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Works by the same Author: 

Letters of Princess Elizabeth of England, 

Daughter of George III and Landgravine of 
Hesse-Homburg, written for the most part to 
Miss Louisa Swinburne. T. Fisher Unwin, 
London, 1898 

A Note-Book of French Literature, 2 vols. 
Blackie & Son, 1901, 1904 








Licenci6-4s-LettreS^f the University of Paris 

And a man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from 
the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock 
in a weary land. Isaiah xxxii. 2. 

O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream 
My great example, as it is my theme ; 
Though deep, yet clear ; though gentle, yet not dull ; 
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full. 

Denham, Cooper's Hill. 


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Narrative. End of the Austrian Alliance — Election of the King of the 

Romans — Further diplomacy — The Chancellor's outlook . . i 

Correspondence. Duke of Newcastle's policy — Henry Pelham's opposition 
— Quarrels and disputes — The Chancellor's views — Subsidies in time 
of Peace — Excessive demands upon Great Britain — Duke of New- 
castle's reply — Duke of Newcastle's foreign policy — Election of the 
King of the Romans — Chancellor on American insubordination — On 
the Prussian Alliance — Conduct of the Court of Vienna — Lord Gran- 
ville's enthusiasm — The King's separate negotiation .... 9 


DOMESTIC HISTORY 1 748 — 1 7 54 

Narrative. Bedford goes into opposition — Prince of Wales's opposition 
— Duke of Cumberland's opposition — Attacks upon the Government 
— Troubles in Ireland — The Irish Pension List — Progress and Reform 
in England — The Jew Bill — The Chancellor's speech for the repeal — 
Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act — Opposition in Parliament — Pam- 
phlets — Fox's attack upon the Chancellor — Severe reprisals — Fox's 
"mean submissions" — Meaning of this hostiUty — Character of the 
measure — Ecclesiastical jurisdiction suppressed — The Chancellor 
created an Earl — Death of Henry Pelham 39 

Correspondence. Archbishop Herring declines Primacy — The Chan- 
cellor's remonstrances — Narrative of domestic Factions — Duke of 
Cumberland — Chancellor's rebuke of Chief Baron Idle — Joseph Yorke 
aide-de-camp to the King — Duke of Newcastle's complaints — The 
Chancellor as peacemaker — Newcastle and the King at Hanover — 
The Chancellor's advice — Henry Pelham's complaints — Successor to 
the Duke of Bedford — The Chancellor to judge between them — 
Continuance of the disputes — Plot to assassinate the Chancellor — 
Newcastle's wounded feelings — Resignation of the Duke of Bedford — 
Newcastle out of favour — Causes and origin — Hostility of Duke of 
Cumberland — Charles Yorke's defence of his Father — The King's 
satisfaction — Lord Kildare's memorial — The Chancellor on the Jew 
Bill — Legal Status of the Jews — Opposition in the country — The 
Chancellor's Irish policy — The Chancellor on the Marriage Act — 
Queries answered .......... 79 


FAMILY HISTORY 1 742 — 1 7 54 

Narrative. The Chancellor's home life — Charles Yorke's rise — His 
correspondence — His character — Philip Yorke — Joseph Yorke — At 
Paris — Minister at the Hague — John and James — Lord Anson — The 
Chancellor's daughters 138 

Correspondence. Election expenses — Illness — Charles Yorke's visit to 
Dover — Joseph Yorke's Paris correspondence — His promotion — 
Chancellor d'Aguesseau— Montesquieu — Duke of Newcastle at the 
Hague — Montesquieu's advice to Charles Yorke — The fire at Lincoln's 
Inn — Charles Yorke's escape — Joseph Yorke in love — Yields to 
counsels of prudence .......... 160 





Narrative. The Chancellor's preference — Fox Minister and not Pitt — 
Causes and results — Alliance of Fox and Pitt — Pitt renews opposition 
— Evil consequences 187 

Correspondence. Pitt's attitude — Correspondence with Lyttelton — His 
"simple plan"— The Chancellor's attitude— Newcastle First Lord 
of the Treasury — The Chancellor's letter to Pitt— No neglect of 
Pitt's claims — Pitt's letter to the Chancellor — Intrigues of Fox — 
Alliance of Pitt, Fox and Legge— The King's hostility to Pitt- 
Advancement of Fox — The King's displeasure with Newcastle — The 
Chancellor defends him — Negotiations with Pitt — His interview with 
the Chancellor — Favourable appearances — Pitt, Fox and Legge 
threaten opposition— Pitt's interview with Newcastle — Insists upon 
an "office of advice" — " Determined and negative" — Duke of New- 
castle's alternatives — The Chancellor's observations — Advice — Fox 
made Secretary — Hostility of Leicester House — Pitt in favour with 
the Princess 201 



Narrative. The war precipitated — Opposition to the German treaties — 
The Chancellor's speech — Project of the Militia — The Chancellor's 
speech — The French attack Minorca — Preparations of the Govern- 
ment — Byng's failure — Consequences of the reverse — Fox deserts 
— Pitt necessary — Conference with the Chancellor — Fall of the 
Ministry 255 

Correspondence. Peace or War — Colonel Yorke and the King — The 
French project of Invasion — Colonel Yorke's criticisms — Pitt's 
attacks on the Government — Byng's letters — Byng's failure — Hostility 
of Leicester House — Murray claims his peerage — The Chancellor's 
support — Colonel Yorke "gives up" Byng — Lord Bute — Unpopularity 
of the Ministers — Attacks upon the Chancellor — Charles Pratt — 
Dutch contraband trade — Bute made Groom of the Stole — Legal 
promotions — Fox resigns — Pitt necessary — The King consents — The 
Chancellor has interview with Pitt — Pitt's final negative — Has re- 
course to Lady Yarmouth — The Chancellor's narrative — Newcastle 
decides upon resignation — Tributes to the Chancellor — His resigna- 
tion of the Great Seal — Retirement of Lord Anson .... 281 



Narrative. The twelfth article of War — Lord Hardwicke's firmness — 
Proceedings in the Lords — Byng's crime — House of Commons 
inquiry — Lord Hardwicke organizes the defence — Conduct of Pitt . 340 

Correspondence. Mallet's pamphlet — Lord Hardwicke's instructions — 

Proceedings in the Commons 353 



Narrative. Pitt's change of front in office — Adopts the policy of the 
late Ministers— Dismissed — Conferences and factions — Hardwicke 
settles new Cabinet — His generosity — Character of the new Ad- 
ministration 260 


Correspondence. Hardwicke's visit to Pitt — His advice — Pitt supports 
continental measures — Lord Hardwiclce attacked — Pitt's moderation 
— Letter from Clive — Rumours of Hanoverian neutrality — Schemes 
for a new Government — Lord Hardwicke on the situation — Pitt's 
failure — The Great Seal — Hardwicke's advice to Newcastle — The 
Waldegrave-Fox fiasco — Hardwicke's commission from the King — 
Settles the new administration — Lord Anson reinstated — Pitt's ill- 
humour — Encouraged by Lord Hardwicke — Congratulations . . 373 

LORD CHANCELLOR 1737 — 1756 

Narrative. Origin of equity jurisdiction — Various powers — In law^In 
equity — Limitations — "Certainty" and "Repose" — Force of pre- 
, cedents — Chancery reports — Lord Hardwicke's reporters — Absence 
of official reporters — Relations with Common Law Courts — 
Lord Hardwicke's influence — Importance of uniformity — Large dis- 
cretionary powers remaining — Relief against Law and Statute — 
Leading cases — Hervey v. Aston — Le Neve v. Le Neve — Garth v. 
Cotton — Stapilton v. Stapilton — Chesterfield v. Janssen — Ward v. 
Turner — Omychund v. Barker — Penn v. Baltimore — Other principal 
cases — Avoids constitutional decisions — The peace of families — 
Protection of infants — Moral considerations — Slavery — Enforcement 
of decrees — Sole Law Lord — Appeals to the Lords — Finality of 
Hardwicke's decrees — Appeals from Scotland — Lord Hardwicke's 
capacity — Influence of Roman Law — Generalisation — Creative work 
— Transformation of equity — Methods of reasoning — Complaints of 
the Law — Failure of justice — Charge of delays — Contemporary testi- 
mony — Mistaken modern criticisms — Hardwicke's and Eldon's ad- 
ministrations — Absence of congestion under Hardwicke — Separation 
of Equity and Law — Later amalgamation — Inconveniences arising 
from separation — Abuses among officers of the Court — Lord Hard- 
wicke's orders — Lord Hardwicke's influence — The Law the Bulwark 
of Liberty — Lord Hardwicke's bearing in Court — Delivery of his 
decrees — Multitudes to hear him — Lord Mansfield's eulogy . . 413 

Correspondence. Correspondence with Duncan Forbes — Scottish legal 
reforms — House of Lords and the Scottish Judges — Appeals from 
Scotland — Remonstrance to Walpole — Appeal case of Gordon of 
Park — Appeal from an offender — Appointment of Justices of the 
Peace — Appeal for protection — Lord Kames's treatise on equity — 
Separation of Common Law and Equity — Discretionary powers of 
the Chancellor 532 


FAMILY HISTORY 1 7 54 — 1760 

Narrative. Lord Hardwicke's position — Public duties and responsibilities 
— Exercise of patronage — Life at Wimpole — Old friends — Lady Hard- 
wicke — His generosity — Simplicity of his private life — Lord Royston 
and Charles Yorke — Sir Joseph Yorke — John and James Yorke — 
Lord Hardwicke's happiness — Family bereavements . . . 556 

Correspondence. Church patronage — Domestic events — Corporation of 
Dover — Birth of a son to Charles Yorke — Death of Mrs Charles 
Yorke — Charles Yorke's grief — Death of Lady Anson — Marriage of 
James Yorke 582 


Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, ffom a portrait by Allan Ramsay, with the kin d 
permission of Sophie, Dowager Countess of Hardwicke 

frontispiece of "uol. II. 

Facsimile of the last entry in the Chancellors judicial note-books, from the 
original in the Hardwicke MSS . .... to face p. 338. 


p. 26 par. I, 1. 2,yor Grimaldi read Grimaldi [Grimaldo]. 

P. 152 note A, for Bourget read Bourguet. 

P. 213 note *,_/br [Lord Gran\'ille] readSJ Lord GranvUle]. 

P. 262, par. 2, 1. 3, omit approved. 

P. 401 note *, for in such passion read in such a passion. 

P. 430, par. 2, 1. I, for Hervy read Hervey. 

P. 511, par. 2, 1. i%for solid mr^/ substantial. 



The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, which, superficially regarded, 
appears to be nothing but a truce, or a return of the contending 
powers, after the struggle, to their former status, really marks the 
beginning of a new period in the history both of Great Britain and 
of Europe. At home the Peace had finally destroyed the last, 
lingering hopes of the Jacobites in Scotland. While Great Britain 
and France retired apparently from the contest with equal honours, 
the former had in reality emerged in a position of marked advantage. 
The trade of France had been practically destroyed, while that of 
England was firmly established, and now increased by leaps and 
bounds. The French navy fell into decadence, while that of Britain, 
under the energetic administration of Lord Anson and the Pelham 
ministry, appeared after the war in unexampled strength. The 
finances of France were irretrievably ruined by the waste of war, 
extravagance and official mismanagement, while in England Henry 
Pelham, immediately upon the conclusion of hostilities, found no 
difficulty in reducing the interest on the national funds from 4 to 
3 per cent. The stock indeed was quoted at a price actually higher 
than its present valued In the Island Kingdom all departments 
showed signs of a new animation. The busy hum of increasing 
industry, activity and prosperity could be heard rising on all sides ; 
while in France, under the crushing weight of taxation and mis- 
government, trades languished, business stood still, and the whole 
national life began to settle down in gloom and stagnation. 

^ The 3 p.c. stock was quoted at 10 1 and was said to have toviched 109 J (Coxe's 
Walpole, ii. 78, 89; H. Pelham's speech in the House of Commons, Pari. Hist. xiv. 576). 
The high price of the Government stock at this time vjfas of course not entirely due to 
the high character of the security, but also to the great increase of capital and to the 
restricted market, compared with our own times, for investment. 

Y. II. I 


These great changes and their full significance, though noted, 
were not fully understood by contemporaries, engaged without 
ceasing in the heat and turmoil of the struggle. It was some time, 
moreover, though not blind to the faithlessness and increased 
estrangement of Vienna, before they perceived the full extent of 
the great diplomatic reconstitution which now took place. 

Immediately upon the conclusion of the Treaty, the Duke of 
Newcastle, while still abroad, unfolded before his fellow ministers 
a large scheme of uniting the European powers against France by 
an elaborate system o^ alliances, backed up by extensive British 
subsidies, of which the corner stone was a firm alliance with Austria. 
To this his brother, Henry Pelham, intent on financial economies 
and domestic reforms, ever neglectful of exterior developements and 
whose system of administration almost omitted the province of 
foreign policy, replied with a direct negative and refusal', though 
subsequently he was led step by step into an unwilling and peevish 
acquiescence in his brother's plans. 

The utility, and necessity of some scheme of foreign alliance, 
in order to enable Great Britain to withstand the power of France 
and to prepare for the renewal of the great struggle, which could 
not be long in coming, can scarcely be denied; and the most 
ambitious schemes of. the Duke of Newcastle, entailing, as they 
did, a constant activity and interference in continental politics and 
the expenditure of large sums of money, constituted, with all their 
drawbacks, a policy infinitely preferable and far less dangerous to 
the interests of Britain than Henry Pelham's obstinate, complacent 
and ostrich-like oblivion of the great hostile forces arrayed at the 
gates. He seemed to forget that domestic progress and reforms, 
nay, even existence as a nation, are only attainable by a firm and 
vigilant policy pursued abroad and by unceasing preparation for 
war. In particular, the Duke showed a superior wisdom and fore- 
sight in 175 1 in stoutly resisting his brother's wholesale diminution 
of the naval forces from 10,000 to 8,000 men, in which he obtained 
the support of Pitt; and next year the service was accordingly 
restored to its former strengths 

It was not therefore the Duke of Newcastle's general policy 
abroad that was mistaken, but the particular measures taken 
to promote it. It was at the first start vitiated and rendered 

1 pp. 9 sqq. 

2 Walpoliana, by the second Lord Hardwicke, with the Supplement, 20; Coxe's 
Pelham, ii. 141 sqq.; Walpole's George II, \. 17; Letters, iii. 32. 


ineffectual by the alliance with Austria, whose inconsistency and 
uselessness as an ally had been amply shown and who now, under 
the guidance of Kauhitz^ was about to break away definitely from 
the "grand alliance" with England and Holland, and to concentrate 
all her efforts and forces on the recovery of Silesia with the aid of 
France. Moreover, it would have been wiser probably to have 
given subsidies, if granted at all, in time of war or at least with 
a definite object", rather than during a peace to secure general co- 
operation ; and the fact that the treaty now made with Bavaria in 
1750 for 6000 infantry at ;^20,ooo a year, supported by Pitt and 
opposed by Henry Peilham, and that with Saxony at ;^22,ooo a year 
in 175 1 for the same number of men, were in 1756, at the outbreak 
of the war, and when alone they could prove of advantage, no 
longer in force, shows the futility and extravagance of the system ^ 
But the Austrian alliance, besides being the corner stone of the 
" grand system," was also the cardinal point of Hanoverian policy, 
as being the chief obstacle to the growing power of Prussia; and 
a further great scheme was now in July and August 1750 set on 
foot by the King and the Duke of Newcastle, of subsidising the 
German electors to obtain the election of the Empress's son, the 
Archduke Joseph, as King of the Romans, thus assuring to him 

^ Anton Wengel v. Kaunitz, b. 171 1, one of the ablest and most experienced states- 
men of the day, directed Austrian diplomacy for more than 40 years. His poUcy was the 
recovery of Silesia, the consolidation of the German provinces of Austria and the restora- 
tion of Austrian preponderance in Germany. In these schemes the Italian provinces 
and the Netherlands held relatively an unimportant position. Prussia was the great 
object of attack with the aid of France, while England and Holland were of little use as 
allies. A clear sign of the new system and of tie disruption of the old alliance was the 
refusal of Austria any longer to maintain the Barrier Treaty of 1715, by which the 
fortresses most exposed to French aggression in the .Netherlands were defended jointly 
by Austrian and Dutch forces, paid for by Austria. See p. 15; H. 8, ff. 20, 125; 
Waddington, Louis XV et le Renpersement des Alliances, 127. 

^ See the elder Horace Walpole's able speech on this subject, Pari. Hist. xiv. 1137, 
and his views, H. 243, f. 151, Coxe's Lord Walpole, ii. 307. 

' Cf. however the second Lord Hardwicke in Walpoliana, Supplement, 20: "Mr 
Pelham was no friend to subsidies in time of peace ; it was much against his inclination, 
and to gratify the late King and his brother that we voted those two moderate ones to 
Bavaria and Saxony in 17.10. In this point the writer of these ana presumes to be of a 
contrary opinion, and to think pacific subsidies will sometimes prevent a war, and always 
enable you to begin one with advantage. Late events seem to have made this demon- 
stration; but undoubtedly, unless the interest which engages an administration to give 
them is a weighty and important one, the money had better be saved. The affair of the 
King of the Romans was not an object for this country to be a principal in ; but to have 
kept the monarch of Berlin our friend after the peace, or made an active ally of the 
Czarina, what sum ought we to have grudged!" See also D'Argenson's Memoirs, 
October 15, 1751, who considered the treaty with Saxony a decided blow to the influence 
of France. 


the eventual succession to the imperial dignity. " Whatever ob- 
jection," Henry Pelham wrote, " I have to subsidising treaties, if 
the King can bring about the actual election... for ;£'2O,oo0 per 
annum for 6 years, no one will say that it is not a purchase cheaply 
made and that the great end, when obtained, is nationalV Once 
or twice success seemed almost within the Duke's grasp. He told 
the King "that he had made an Emperor; that if he could make 
a King of the Romans too, it would be the greatest honour to him 
in the world": and his Majesty replied, "And that of my own 
proposing without being asked I" These brilliant imaginations, 
however, were fated to remain unrealised. The King of Prussia 
did his utmost to obstruct the measure, the Empress herself showed 
a supreme indifference, and the Electors affected misunderstandings 
and one by one raised their price. The Chancellor and Henry 
Pelham, who at first had thought well of the project, when the 
scheme expanded, entailed larger expenditure and promised less 
success, regarded it with disfavour; but the Duke, as he became 
further involved in the negotiations, strained every nerve to secure 
the election in order to save the King's credit. " Things are gone 
so far," he wrote to the Chancellor, entreating his and his brother's 
consent to a further subsidy for the Elector Palatine, " that if the 
thing is now dropt or should miscarry, the King's credit abroad will 
be totally lost as well as the reputation of his servants... ; and I am 
afraid also of such consequences with regard to the future proceeding 
in foreign affairs and to the system that will, and must, be then 
adopted, as may greatly entangle and affect the close of his 
Majesty's reign ^" The inevitable, however, had to be confronted 
and the unfortunate Duke was obliged to witness the total failure 
of his schemes and the ruin and collapse of " the great system, the 
great object of my life in foreign affairs*." 

In subsequent years this impracticable project was again 
prosecuted with a perseverance and energy, worthy of a better 
cause. The Duke of Newcastle even made appeals to France and 
to Prussia for support and continued, zealous and indefatigable, 
to pursue his will-o'-the-wisp, undeterred either by failure or by 
the freezing indifference of the Queen Empress who, drawing 
steadily towards France, was by no means eager to incur obliga- 
tions to England at the expense of further concessions in all 

^ Coxe's Pelham, ii. 379, 

^ lb. 340, N. to H. 3 7^. ^3o_ 

» lb. 340, N. to H. 

* lb. 121 ; and below, pp. 25 sqq. 


directions, and who herself urged the suspension of the project 
as one not worth the trouble it was causing. The King himself 
created special difficulties, negotiated separately as Elector of 
Hanover, and sought to extract some douceur from Austria as the 
price of his support, and to gain from the Elector of Cologne the 
bishopric of Osnaburg for the Duke of Cumberland, or to get instead 
a larger subsidy for Russia. Referring to the unfortunate project 
of the election, he now told the Duke: "You have this thing much 
at heart. I have it not so much." Finally, he created delays in 
order to have reason for a still longer stay in the beloved Hanover, 
advised Austria secretly to limit her contributions, and in short, 
as the Duke pointed out, provided Vienna with good reasons for 
withdrawing from the whole transaction ^ 

In 1752, accordingly, the Duke accompanied the King back 
to England with the great object unachieved, grfeatly to the 
satisfaction of Henry Pelham, but much to his own disappoint- 
ment and vexation. The comedy was complete, and the absurdity 
of this unlucky negotiation clearly seen, when Austria some years ; 
later, iri 1764, now no longer an ally but a declared enemy, obtained 
the famous election without the slightest difficulty and without the 
least assistance from England or from any foreign power. " What 
shall we say," wrote the second Lord Hardwicke, " of these German 
treaties at which the Duke of Newcastle took so much useless and 
not unable trouble, but that they were all paper and pack thread.... 
Though ably managed by his Grace it was absurd to engage in it 
on our own bottoms and the time [and money] employed therein 
might have been better spent in other pursuits''." 

The Chancellor, placed midway in friendship between the two 
brothers, was similarly situated in his political opinions. He was 
not in sympathy with Henry Pelham's impracticable and perilous 
narrow views, which the latter had inherited with his office from 
Sir Robert Walpole, and which the Chancellor had vigorously 
withstood when maintained by that minister ; while from his corre- 
spondence it would appear that he was far from sanguine in 
expecting any great results from the Duke of Newcastle's "forward" 
policy abroad^ In a long letter to the Duke on August 30, 1749, 
he had expressed his dislike of the proposed subsidies in time of 
peace as a new system of politics, never attempted at the conclusion 

' pp. 35 sqq. ; Coxe's Pelham, ii. 230, 350, 450; H. 65, f. 29. 

2 H. 63, f. 206; H. 64, f. 195. 

' pp. 25-6, 29, 32; N. 36, f. 145; H. 62, f. 226; H. 64, fl. 28, 34. 

6 :: FOREIGN ' A PF AIR'S ^ 

of any former great war, which would develope into a perpetual 
burden, and render subsidies in time of hostilities still higher than 
at present, — a prospect especially disadvantageous at that time on 
account of the recent increase of the national debt. The great 
fault in Sir Robert Walpole's administration had been the vast 
expenditure in time of peace, while nothing had been done to 
diminish the public obligations'. Former experience of the German 
princes was no encouragement in such a plan, and the subsidies 
would probably not be spent upon their troops at all, but frittered 
away on a foolish pr6fusion out of keeping with their resources; 
while it was only too likely, after their payment during peace for 
several years, that when war broke out, they would raise the market 
or perhaps abandon Britain altogether^an anticipation which was 
actually realised^ To a proposal in 1753 for granting an ad- 
ditional subsidy for the maintenance of the barrier in the Nether- 
lands, he objected that " no Chancellor of England would venture 
to put the Great Seal to such a convention'." The scheme for the 
election of the King of the Romans, which he allowed, in common 
with Henry Pelham and Pitt, to be a desirable object at first, he 
regretted when the difificulties to be surmounted and the expense 
incurred were seen to be so considerable, but felt bound to support 
with Henry Pelham the Duke's last attempt to effect the election, 
for fear of the consequences of failure*. 

He attached far more importance, in the struggle with France, 
to the attitude and support of the greater European powers, 
Prussia, Spain and Russia, and to the attachment of Holland by 
some kind of defensive unions British policy, in his view, should 
keep to broad, large lines, should include alliances with these 
States but ignore "princes that were not powers V' and stand clear 

i C?. the D. of N. to H. Pelham July 1/12, 1752, repeating some remarks of the King, 
that "'HeliWalpole] managed the money matters very ill; he did not indeed give money 
abroad, but he gave it away liberally at home ; that he was a great man, he understood 
the Country, but that with regard to money matters, your brother does that, understands 
that, much better.'...! told him, I had often heard you lament that in Sir R. Walpole." 
Coxe's Pelham, ii. 440. " ' 

"^ PP- 3. 17> ai"! ?04 »• Goxe's Pelham, ii. 410. He does not appear to have taken 
any part in .the debate, in January 1752, on the Saxon subsidy in the Lords, notes of 
which in his handwriting are quoted in Pari. Hist. xiv. 1 175. 

■3 N. isji f. 65, also ff. 156 and 180. 

<" pp. 25-6, 33; H. 62, f. 226; H. 75, f. 126; Pari. Hist. xiv. 802; H. 62, f. 232. 

^ pp. 20 sqq. and vol. i. 659. 

8 This phrase was one of the elder Horace Walpole's. See his letter to the Chancellor 
December 18, 1750 (H. 243, f. rji). . . • . , , - . 


of all petty German disputes. A wise activity was shown by the 
government in watching jealously the attitude of Prussia, who at 
this time was once more estranged from England and inclined to 
France. The treaty between Prussia and France of 1741 still 
existed, and Frederick took the side of France in the colonial war 
in North America. His opposition was the chief cause of the 
failure of the Duke of Newcastle's negotiation. He had further 
shown his hostility by sending to Paris, as Prussian Ambassador, 
the Jacobite Keith, and in receiving in the same capacity from the 
French the rebel Lord Tyrconnell. The dispute between the 
Elector of Hanover and Frederick for the possession of East 
Friesland assumed a dangerous shape ; and Frederick, on the plea 
of British depredations upon Prussian vessels, seized forcibly a 
mortgage of ;^250,ooo upon Silesian mines, being a debt incurred 
originally by the Emperor Charles VI in 1734 and now the pro- 
perty of British subjects. At this time, moreover, he was support- 
ing a Jacobite plot to keep England well employed at home and 
which, if successful, might have enabled him to add Hanover to 
his dominions \ The French evacuation of St Lucia, St Vincent 
and Dominica had not been carried out according to the Treaty. 
Tobago, declared neutral by the treaty of 1684, had been occupied, 
and in 1753 secret attempts were made to fortify Dunkirk. All 
these instances of bad faith drew strong remonstrances from the 
British Government, and in the latter case with immediate effects 
Successful means were employed to frustrate the designs of France 
upon Sweden and to effect an understanding with Russia, of which 
the Chancellor had been a strong advocate since 1745. In 1750 
Great Britain, though this was opposed by Lord Hardwicke, who 
feared to excite the suspicions and hostility of Frederick^, acceded 
to the alliance between Austria and Russia, but not to the secret 
engagements between these two powers for the recovery of Silesia; 
and in 1753 the Treaty was further confirmed by a British subsidy*^ 
On October 5, 1750, also, a commercial treaty was concluded with 

''- Coxe's I'eiAam, n. 126, 279, 460; above, vol. i. 538. See also Frederick's letter to 
the Young Pretender after the failure of the Rebellion, expressing his sympathy and ad- 
miration, and his desire to give assistance. Hisi. MSS. Comm., Lord Kenyon, 474. 

^ In 1753, Lord Holderness refused to send his dispatches to Paris in the French 
language, as had been the custom hitherto, and the French minister, after remonstrances, 
was finally obliged to receive them in English. This incident is probably not without 
some significance. R. Waddington, Louis XV et le Renversement des Alliances, 53. 

^ p. 24; Chesterfield's Zf//wj (Bradshaw) 1157. 

* Buckinghamshire Correspondence, i. 23; H. 66, ff. 30, 39, 42, 47. 


Spain on favourable conditions, but leaving the right of search as 
it had existed before the outbreak of the war^ 

To support these alliances and schemes of foreign policy, the 
maintenance of a strong navy was essential. This, in the Chan- 
cellor's opinion, was the great point, and no expense should be 
spared on this object. " France knows that her trade and colonies 
must always be in the power of the superior force at sea"." 

In the new world, the great struggle for supremacy went on 
unchecked by treaties and diplomatic developements, and both 
governments dispatched troops to the scenes of dispute. In North 
America, the great French design of uniting their colony of Louisiana 
with Canada, by a line of forts, and of cutting off the New England 
settlements from the interior, was strongly resisted but with 
doubtful success; and in 1754 the French succeeded in founding 
the settlement of Fort Duquesne on the Ohio, as well as other 
outposts. In Nova Scotia the contest regarding the frontiers still 
continued. In 1749 the government settled a body of nearly 
4000 discharged soldiers in the colony and dispatched a naval 
force thither in 1751 ^ 

In India Clive, who forwarded, to the Chancellor accounts of 
his proceedings, gained the important victory of Arcot in 1751, 
and began the series of successes and conquests which were soon to 
annihilate the schemes of Dupleix and establish British supremacy 
permanently in that quarter! 

To all these great enterprises the Chancellor gave his warmest 
support; and the breadth of his view is exemplified by his dis- 
approval, about this time, of the proposal for the taxation of the 
American colonies from which, together with the Duke of New- 
castle, he dissuaded Henry Pelham"*. 

' Coxe's Pelham, ii. 114 sqq. It was in the debate on this agreement on January 17, 
1751, that Pitt, now in office, made his celebrated recantation and apology for the part 
he had played, when in opposition, in urging on the war with Spain, on account of the 
practice of searching. ^ p. 22. 

* Louis XV et le Renversement des Alliances, by R. Waddii^ton, chap. i. ; Coxe's 
Pelham, ii. 113. "If you do not act with vigour, and support what you have done, and 
our right to the extended boundaries of Nova Scotia," wrote the D. of N. to his brother 
June 9/20, 1750, "you may not only lose that province but... endanger all your northern 
colonies, which are inestimable to us. If you do, you may run a risk of a rupture with 
France. But I think that is to be run." lb. 345. According to Walpole, the naval 
expedition was supported by the Chancellor, the D. of N. and H. Pelham with others, 
and opposed by Bedford and Sandwich. George II, i. 62, 81. 

^ See also H. 244, ff. 179-183, letter of the Chancellor in reply to Lord Holdemess con- 
cerning the project of settlement between the French and British East India companies. 

^ "The people of England," writes the second Lord Hardwicke in Walpoliana, 


But his outlook was often largely restricted and modified by 
the paramount necessity of finding a working compromise between 
antagonistic policies and between incompatible tempers, without 
which the whole scheme of government, both foreign and domestic, 
would inevitably have collapsed. " The great difficulty," he writes 
to Colonel Yorke, " is how to keep this administration together on 
any tolerable terms ^" The wise counsels which range over the 
whole field of foreign and domestic affairs, were not the only 
contribution by the Chancellor to the advance of Britain towards 
empire at this time ; for it was the constant exercise of his calm 
judgment and moderating influence which alone maintained the 
balance between the Duke of Newcastle's forward ambitions and 
Henry Pelham's narrow fears, and which rendered possible activity 
and energy at the extremities of the body politic, by keeping the 
heart strong and sound. 


[On the ^ November 1748 (N. 32, f. 275 ; H. 62, f 86), the Duke 

of Newcastle sends a long letter to the Chancellor on the policy 
which, he considers, should be pursued to secure the peace and 
consolidate the alliances with England. Above all, the navy must 
be kept up to maintain the superiority of England at sea ; then an 
understanding must be created with the Prince of Orange, and 
confidential relations must be cultivated with Austria, in which 
Russia might be included. If this alliance were established, it 
would, in all probability, attract many princes of the empire, and 
especially the support of Saxony which, added to Poland^, was now 
of great weight. Certain forces should be maintained by each ally, 
the King's contribution being restricted to the upkeep of a strong 

Supplement 20, "always applaud a bold active minister, when success attends his 
measures. Mr Pelham acquired their esteem by the opposite conduct. He too had a 
scheme laid before him, not long before his death, for an American tax, and with the 
additional plea on its side, that there was the strongest probability we should be com- 
pelled to engage in a new war for our colonies. He asked his private secretary £John 
Roberts] (from whom I had the anecdote) one day for the paper, saying, ' I must look it 
over with my brother and the Chancellor.' He returned it in a few days with this signifi- 
cant remark ; ' Here, Roberts, you may put up the paper where it will not be called for 
again; we have talked it over, and it will not do.' (See also above, vol. i. 8g.) A few 
copies of Walpoliana were privately printed by the second Lord H., the supplement on 
H. Pelham being still rarer than the tract itself. See the copy in the Grenville collection, 
Brit. Mus. and Brydges, Restituta, iv. 370. 

ip. 87. 

^ Augustus III, Elector of Saxony, was also King of Poland. 


navy. If measures were not taken in time, the alliances would 
moulder away till they were totally dissolved. At any rate it was 
absolutely necessary for the ministry to agree upon some connected 
system in foreign policy.] 

Right Hon. Henry Pelham to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 75, f. 77.] Greenwich Park, November ith, 1748. 

My Dear Lord, 

I send you back the letters which you were so good to 
send me. I have read them over, but shall make no observation 
upon them ; they speak for themselves. I shall only say to your 
Lordship that as great a minister as the Duke of Newcastle thinks 
himself, I am of opinion that he does not quite understand the 
Duke of Cumberland himself upon whom he rests his whole. 
I had a letter from my brother on Saturday ; he complains most 
loudly of the letter I wrote to him in a hurry on Friday fortnight ; 
it was upon the receipt of the three very extraordinary letters 
I had from him that night'....! intend to write to Mr Stone 
to-morrow an ostensible for his Grace, for I find I can't express 
myself to him honestly, and at the same time to his satisfaction. 
I call God to witness I have meant him well, and as to familiarity 
or difference of opinion, I have ventured upon that with the Duke 
of Cumberland ten degrees beyond what I have done with my 
brother, and have not offended His Royal Highness, tho' the son of 
my King. I shall certainly be at the Regency to-morrow ; I don't 
often miss my duty there ; for I think, if we have failed in anything, 
it has been in giving too little attention to the forms of our 
government there. I don't know whether it is not right that your 
Lordship should be apprised of my firm resolution to be no ways 
concerned in helping the Austrians to the ;^ioo,ooo° they seem to 
have set their hearts so much upon receiving, and my brother his 
upon granting. You will make your own use of What I say, but, 
believe me, no reasons nor no authority, I have yet heard quoted, 
can bring me to it. I am, my dear Lord, 

Yours most affectionately and faithfully, 

H. Pelham*. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 32, f. 294; H. 62, f. 93.] Powis House, November 8tA, 1748. 

My Dear Lord,... 

Your Grace has long known how much every altercation 

between you and your brother grieves me. Those incidents have, 

' See above, pp. 675-6. . , ^ p. 683 n. 
* N. B. My Father in his life time never shewed one of these letters to his family, and 
was in the right. H. • 


for a good while past, given me more anxiety, and broke more of 
my rest than any other incidents in business. Forgive me for not 
now entering into the merits. His letter (whereof you enclose 
a copy) is certainly the letter of a man then out of humour. But 
pray (my dear Lord), reflect coolly on things as they then stood. 
It was writ in a great haste, and instantly upon receiving three 
letters from your Grace at once by the same packet boat, all writ 
in the same style and with some sharpness. Their all coming 
together was indeed by the accident of contrary winds, but this 
circumstance made them strike the deeper. Possibly your Grace 
may think I speak here a little feelingly and partially, that mutato 
nomine de tne fabula narratur. But I really think it is a circum- 
stance that may excuse some sudden warm expressions, and 
I believe ybu had no reason to be dissatisfied with the greatest 
part of the long letter, which was the real answer, and went on the 
Tuesday following. Your Grace says, you were in hopes' that the 
Peace would have set all right. I do most sincerely hope and 
believe it will; and for God's sake, let us all contribute our parts to 
it, especially in that quarter, which is the most material of all to 
yourselves and to this administration. I preach the same doctrine 
to him more freely. Your Grace's opinion is certainly wise and 
just, that the true way to preserve the Peace is by supporting the 
system of the old alliance, and maintaining our marine in great 
strength and figure. But as to the first, it is really thought by 
well intentioned persons that the preservation of the old alliance is 
not to be brought about by yielding to the unreasonable demands 
or schemes of our allies, and I know your Grace thinks so too. 
But I must acquaint you in confidence that your brother has told 
me more than once, "that it is his firm resolution to be no way 
concerned in helping the Austrians to the ;^ioo,ooo, and that no 
reasons nor any authority, that he has yet heard quoted, shall bring 
him into it." I thought it but just to let your Grace know this : 
and you have seen what H. R. Highness says on the same 

Ever yours, 



Right Hon. Henry Pelham to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. ^5, f. 79.] EsHER Place, November nth, 1748. 

My Dear Lord,... 

I have read it \i.e. the Duke of Newcastle's sketch of 
foreign policy] over twice, and considered it as well as I am able 
to think of things of that nature. You may be sure it is not at all 
agreeable to my notions, I mean the new modelling or negotiating 
with any of the great Powers at present, further than to assure 
them we desire peace aijd quietness, and that, if they will not 
personally meddle with us, we do not desire to disturb any of 
them, but will abide by our treaties and perform the several 
engagements we have entered into, whenever we are properly and 
legally called upon. Indeed, my Lord, we want rest, and so does 
all Europe, both friend and foe. The Duke of Newcastle's thoughts 
must go further than he discloses in his letter, or else they will avail 
nothing^ We cannot give either Holland, or the Empress Queen, 
a greater testimony of our affection and. good faith than we have 
done ; and if our able and active ministers are to do no more than 
tell them so, I believe they may as well stay at home.... Believe 
me, my dear Lord, all this proceeds only from his active spirit ; he 
wants to be doing, and the many interested parties he has been 
lately with have found out that, and of consequence flatter him into 
their own measures. He always had a partiality and regard for 
the late Lord Stanhope^ I know he thinks no minister has made 
a great figure but him in the two reigns. He will therefore imitate 
him as far as he can, and I doubt, if he is not checked by somebody, 
will bring himself, if not his country, into the same distress that 
fertile, but well intentioned, lord did before him. I chose to write 
this rather than talk upon it, that you may consider it well and 
prevent the ill consequences, if you apprehend the same that I do. 
It is your Lordship only that can do it; for I am supposed to have 
original principles and ancient prejudices, that influence me against 
sense and reason. What I say now is merely for the sake of my 
brother; for I don't fear the people of England being drawn again in 
haste into such a scrape, as they have been in lately. I should hope 
also my brother would not talk of the King of Prussia, whatever he 
thinks, in the way he writes to your Lordship. The generality of 
mankind willjsay the only way to preserve the old system, or to 
recover it, in case it is now so broke to pieces that one can scarce 
give it a name, is to renew our alliances with the House of 
Brandenburg, and not declare them desperate, till by proper means 

1 The event proved this to be true. 

2 James, first Earl Stanhope (1673-1711), commander of the British forces in Spain, 
1708-1810, when he toolc Minorca but was forced to capitulate at Brihuega; afterwards 
Secretary of State and First Lord of the Treasury; he accompanied George I to Hanover 
and controlled the negotiations abroad with great success. 


they have been sounded whether they will reunite with us or not... 
I am with the truest respect and attachment, my dear Lord, most 
faithfully your servant, 

H. Pelham. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[N. 32, f. 310; H. 62, f. 95.] Utrecht, November ^^, 1748. 

My Dear Lord, 

[Expresses his hopes that his scheme of foreign policy 
will be supported, and continues :] But 1 own freely to you, my 
dear Lord, that every letter, which I receive from my brother, 
shows to me clearly that he will be against taking any one necessary 
measure that may secure the great end that I would propose. The 
constant mention of the necessity of Civil List economy as well as 
public, the indifference, or rather the objection, to the sending any 
man of rank and experience to the Hague, where all business that 
relates to foreign measures must be transacted, and lastly the dis- 
position, which I find in the Duke of Cumberland and from him to 
be in England, to do nothing that can possibly displease my Lord 
Sandwich, which the sending Sir T. Robinson^ for a month or two 
to the Hague, it is supposed would do ; all these circumstances put 
together, and your Lordship's absolute and long silence upon the 
most material part of my long letter, viz; the necessity of my 
having ministers in my own province^ who would not think, or say, 
they were wiser than myself; and, as I am now the responsible 
Secretary, I had almost said the successful one, that I should have 
the support of my friends in that situation ; these circumstances, 
I say, put together, give me too much reason to fear, that a jealousy 
that I would engage the King and the nation in extravagant or 
expensive measures, may make it wished [by H. Pelham] that Lord 
Sandwich should be thought to have great merit in the Peace now 
concluded, and thereby be kept as a balance against those, whose 
notions are not so much approved of, the use that was formerly 
made of Lord H[arringto]n and Lord C[hesterfiel]d....I think 
H.R.H. could never press so much my seeming to forgive and 
forget everything that Lord Sandwich has done, if the necessity of 
it had not been strongly insisted upon in England. I shall cer- 
tainly give Lord Sandwich no reason to complain of me. I shall 
not wantonly ever talk of the part he has acted. I shall support 
and encourage him in the great employment' which, I may say, / 
procured him. But I can never, as an honest man, say he made 
the Peace ; because I am in my conscience convinced that, if his 
measures had been taken, they would have defeated it; and because 
I think the talking that language is injurious to one poor man at 
least, I mean Sir T. Robinson....! had the pleasure to find H.R.H. 

' See vol. i. 260 n. ^ See vol. i. 633. 

* First Lord of the Admiralty. 


more than ever satisfied with your Lordship, and convinced of your 
great weight and ability in every branch of the King's service;...! 
found the usual goodness to me, and a perfect agreement in the 
great object I .propose, tho' an apprehension that the means now 
suggested might at present be objected to in England. I read my 
letter of the 6th to your Lordship to H.R.H. Weigh that well, and 
you will see the principle is all I contend for at present, and the 
employing men, willing and able to execute that measure in the 
proper time. If this principle is not now avowed, allow me, my 
Lord, to prophesy that you will be soon alarmed in seeing things 
tend to that fatal indolence and indifference with some mixture 
of resentment and ill will, which produced the strict union with 
France in 1725, which I have so often heard your Lordship con- 
demn as the source of all our misfortunes^ 

Ex illo fluere, ,ac retro sublapsa referri 

Res Danaum, fractae vires, aversa deae mens. 

You will justly say to me. Pars magna fui. I own it, and am 
therefore determined never to be so again, having seen the ill con- 
sequences of it. What an appearance will it have, my Lord, how 
will Europe be astonished and our old friends alarmed, when they 
shall see only Resident Keith at Vienna and Resident Dayrolle at 
the Hague, and the Duke of Richmond ambassador in France, and 
my Lord Chancellor's son secretary to the embassy?... 

The King and the Duke tell me my brother has great and 
national views now in his thoughts ; no less than the reducing the 
whole debt of the nation to three per cent., and the keeping the 
current expense within the land and malt [taxes], and paying yearly 
a million of the sinking fund to the lessening the debt of the nation. 
'Tis a great and glorious design, worthy of him.... I will assure him 
two things, that this will make my happiness in public affairs com- 
plete ; and secondly, that all that I can possibly do to contribute 
towards it shall be done, by never proposing any measure that does 
not appear to me to be absolutely necessary, that can any way 
delay the execution of this great design.... 

Ever my dearest Lord, most unalterably Yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

[The Duke writes again on November i2, 1748, from Helvo- 

etsluys (N. 32, f-325 ; H. 62, f loi), still in ill humour with his 
friends at home. He had not received any draft of the King's 
Speech ; certain orders for restitutions, according to the treaty, had 
not been sent ; another letter had arrived from Henry Pelham] 
such as, I believe, no one brother, that has the least affection or 
regard for the other, ever wrote before. But I am so used to these 
1 The Treaty of Hanover between England, Prussia and -France, whereby the long 
peace between France and Great Britain was inaugurated by Walpole. Cf. below, 
pp. 29-30. 


things that they make less impression. When I come to England, 
i will put the whole secret correspondence between my brother and 
me into some discreet, impartial, unengaged common friend's hands ; 
and I will never pretend to judge again, if for sincerity, affection, 
temper, consistency in measures and reason, supported by facts, the 
fault does appear on my side; and this is my justification.... 

[On December 28, 1748 (H. 75, f 83), Henry Pelham tells the 
Chancellor thati he has had an interview with his brother at Clare- 
mont] I commanded myself as well as you could wish me, though 
my brother said many provoking things to me. My concern is for 
him and him only, being determined myself to have nothing to do 
in this peevish quarrel one way or the other.... 

Col. tJu Hon. Joseph Yorke, at Paris, to the Lord Chancellor 

[H.7,f.".] PARIS, gi^, 1749. 

...To convince your Lordship how much the French Ministry 
have deceived themselves with false hopes of drawing England into 
a convention with them, since first the negotiation was begun at 
Aix-la-Chapelle, it will be sufficient to tell you in what style 
St Severin talked on his return from the Congress. He declared 
that he did not build his reputation on the making of the Peace ; 
that he would allow it to be called a good one or a middling one, 
or even branded with the name of infamous ; but he founded his 
glory, as he said, on having sow'd the seeds of dissension between 
the Courts of London and Vienna, and having made an irreparable 
breach between them.... 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 33, f. 346.] Powis House, _/«/j' i^th, 1749. At night. 

My Dear Lord, 

I have been prodigiously vexed and mortified at the 
accident^ which happen'd this forenoon at Kensington, and which, 
as your Grace truly said, proceeded from the want of a particular 
attention, which ought to have been had. But really, when one has 
so many various things to apply one's attention to, as I have, and 
the occasions of exerting this particular attention so seldom arise, 
as they do to me, one cannot be sure that one may not, at some 
moment or other, be off one's guard. That there may be no danger 
of this for the future, I herewith return, to your Grace a packet of 

. ^ It does not appear to what this refers, but it is probable that the Chancellor in 
speaking to the King had inadvertently touched upon some topic of which he was not 
supposed to be cognisant. 


those letters without so much as opening their envelopes; and I 
humbly beg that no more of them, nor any extracts of them, may 
hereafter be sent to me; and then they will be confin'd, as they ought 
to be, to those hands only, for which the King intends them. I hope 
your Grace's dexterity will be able to give some turn to this acci- 
dent that may prevent any ill consequences arising from it ; or if 
not, I am ready to take any blame upon myself, since there it ought 

properly to lie. I am, my dear Lord, 

Ever yours, 


[On August 25, 1749 (N. 34, f 69; H. 62, f 126), the Duke 
forwards to the Chancellor a "very private" letter, in which he 
expresses his disappointment at the refusal of Denmark to join the 
proposed alliance, and attributes the failure to gain that state to 
the absence of principle in foreign policy and to negotiating too 
late. Now was the time to concert some definite plan, since France 
was at present obliged to maintain peace. He deprecated, more- 
over, the ministerial decision to refuse subsidies in time of peace.] 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 34, f. 83; H. 62, f. 134.] WiMPOLE, August loth, 1749. 

My Dear Lord, 

I sit down to answer the very private letter with which 
your Grace was pleased to honour me on the 2Sth instant. I confess 
myself extremely incompetent to the task ; but as you have given 
yourself so much trouble to lay before me your sentiments relating 
to the system of foreign politics, proper to be pursued by Great 
Britain in this conjuncture, it would ill become me to neglect 
doing my part in return for so great a mark of your Grace's 

I beg leave to begin with a circumstance with which your Grace 
concludes, I mean what the King told you upon this subject,— 
The Chancellor is strongly with you; a comfort, which you are 
pleased to say, you never had from me. As this may seem, (tho' 
not intended), to carry an implication, that to make my court in 
the closet, I had avow'd an opinion there which I had disclaim'd 
elsewhere, I do most sincerely assure your Grace that I never did 
it, and am incapable of it. My audiences are very rare, and I am 
far from wishing that they should be more frequent; but whenever 
they happen, I think it my duty not to profess an opinion to his 
Majesty, which I do not avow to his servants, who are consulted in 


secret affairs, more especially to your Grace, to whom my attach- 
ment has ever been most cordial, confidential and without disguise. 
I know very well what his Majesty referr'd to. When I had the 
honour to wait upon him the day before I came out of town, which 
was but for a very short time, the failure of the Danish negotiation 
was occasionally mention'd. I expressed my concern for the dis- 
appointment and said I was much of opinion for it, which your 
Grace knows to be true. This was the whole ; and no mention 
was made or hint thrown out, either then or at any other time, 
of a general scheme for giving subsidies, or of giving a subsidy, to 
any other power. 

Having very faithfully related this fact, I come now to the 
systematical part of your letter; and as to your Grace's opinion 
of the present system and views of France, I verily believe it is in 
general well founded, particularly as to their design of restoring 
and raising their marine at any rate. If in any other part I may 
seem to differ from you, I beg to be understood to do it with that 
deference, which becomes an ignorant person, to one fully inform'd 
and possessing a comprehensive knowledge of the whole, and rather 
by way of throwing out hints for your consideration, than declaring 
an absolute opinion, even to bind myself*. 

Your Grace in speaking of the miscarriage in Denmark says : 
" The true cause is that the principle of supporting the continent 
at any expense, in time of peace, has been so decried, that no one, 
who is of another opinion, dar'd propose this or any other opinion 
in time'.' . . .\t seems to me to be owing to three causes: — her 
minister being sold to France, the subsidy offer'd by France being 
much greater than yours, said to amount to ;^ioo,ooo per annum, 
and the convenience, which the King of Denmark imagines he shall 
find (whether truly or falsely is not the question), in the cession of 
the Prince Successor of Sweden's rights in ducal Holstein, upon 
which it appears that King has been taught by his ministers to lay 
great weights If these were the causes, the effect would have been 
the same, let your propositions have come never so early. 

As to the principle of giving subsidies to Powers on the con- 
tinent in time of peace, I beg leave to submit a few things to your 
consideration, some of which are general, and others are particular. 

* The deference and diffidence with which Lord H. generally gives his opinion to the 
D. of N. is very extraordinary. H. [The cause was no doubt to avoid giving offence by 
differing in opinion.] 

' Adolphus Frederick of Holstein, heir-presumptive to the throne of Sweden, re- 
nounced his claims to Schleswig and Holstein for certain equivalents. 

Y. II. 2 


As to the first— it is a new system of politics, not practised 
after either of the former great wars, and more difficult now 
to be introduced, by reason of the prodigious increase of our 

The Republic of Holland, in her present distressful state, is 
utterly unable to bear any share of them with us. 

The subsidies given in time of war are increased in a monstrous 
•proportion beyond what they were, either in King William's or 
Queen Anne's war ; for even the two Empresses, the greatest Powers 
in the alliance after his. Majesty, are become subsidiary. 

If you carry it into execution and make it an avow'd system to 
give subsidies in peace, they will become perpetual and as much 
expected as the grant of the Civil List at home. 

With regard to the administration, what was it that brought the 
chief clamour and the chief difficulties upon Sir Robert Walpole's 
administration from well intention'd people? Was it not the 
vast expense created in time of peace, and instead of making use 
of that advantage to lessen the national debt, the going on to 
increase it? 

But your Grace supposes that " the national debt may be put 
in a way of being lessen'd by the reduction of interest to three per 
cent, even in the next session of parliament, and very little money 
will be wanted for subsidies within that time." 

I must take leave to doubt a little whether that laudable scheme 
can be effected so soon\ I heartily wish it may ; and admitting it, 
what material good consequences can follow from it, if measures 
of considerable expense are entered into immediately afterwards .■' 
In order to supply those, you must either take more from the sinking 
fund, which will stop one principal effect of the scheme, or you must 
begin borrowing again and create a new credit, and that will soon 
raise your interest to the height it was at before. 

But who are \h& particular powers to whom it maybe proper to 
grant subsidies in time of peace } 

I presume not the Empress Queen nor the Empress of Russia, 
and that neither of those powers would descend so low as to ask it 
in time of peace. 

The others are the King of Sardinia and the Princes of 

' Mr Pelham's resolutions were carried on November 28, 1749, but the reduction of 
interest was spread over several years, the 4"/,, being reduced to 3^% '" 176° and 3 "/^ 
in 1757. 


Would it be right to give a subsidy in time of peace to a Prince 
{i.e. the King of Sardinia] whose situation and family conduct has i 
always been such that, whatever may have pass'd before, they have 
taken such a part in the breaking out of a new war as their par- 
ticular interest seem'd then to require, and have sometimes been on 
both sides in the same war ? In such a case, what secure tie could 
arise from giving a small subsidy in time of peace ?... 

The Empire must be allowed to be a very great and respectable 
body, but is so disjointed and divided, from want of real authority 
and influence in their head, and by reason of territorial and family 
disputes amongst themselves, that the experience of above half 
a century has shewn little strength can be expected from them. 
In the last war, which of those Princes shew'd any vigour or from 
which of them did any material assistance arise, except from his 
Majesty on one side, and the King of Prussia on the other ? The i 
Hessians, tho' levied, paid and fed by English subsidies for many ] 
years, left us, almost as soon as the war began, from a particular 
family object then played up\ And the Saxons never did any 
material service ; scarce engag'd in the battle with the King of 
Prussia, soon after made their match with France and accepted 
a subsidy from that Courts 

The remembrance of this conduct will suggest a doubt to the 
minds of men, how far the giving small subsidies to the German ' 
Princes in time of peace will secure them to your side, when a war 
shall break out. It will be doubted whether your money will 
really be applied to keep up troops, or rather to supply a vanity 
and profusion unequal to their own revenues. It will be appre- 
hended that, when a new war breaks out, they will raise the 
market upon you, and having received small subsidies for doing 1 
nothing, will demand the larger when they are to enter upon 
service. It will be apprehended also, from the example of the 
Court of Cassel, that if, at such a juncture, either France or Prussia 
should hold out to them some particular points of family or terri- 
torial interest, or of support against the House of Austria (which 

' The Landgrave William VIII of Hesse, after having hired out 6000 of his soldiers 
to England in 1743, acknowledged the Elector Charles of Bavaria as Emperor and ^ 
delivered to him for another subsidy 3000 men, on the condition only that they should not 
fight against their fellow countrymen in the British service. F. Munscher, Geschichte 
von ffessen (1893), 411. 

2 The Austrians and Saxons were defeated by the Prussians at Kesselsdorf near 
Dresden on December 15, 1745; the Treaty of Dresden was made 10 days later and on 
January 11, 1747, the Elector of Saxony's daughter was married to the Dauphin. 


has been the object of their jealousy, ever since the Treaty of 
Munster and the war which gave rise to it'), such a temptation 
would get the better of past obligations. 

Your Grace argues that, because France gives subsidies in 
peace, England ought to do the same; and enforces it by saying 
that the former has gone a good way already towards securing the 
powers of the continent by subsidies. I don't know any instance 
of this, except the prolongation of her old subsidies to Sweden 
and Denmark ; for the latest intelligence is that she has refus'd to 
prolong that to Saxany. But won't the argument from the example 
of France be thought to prove too much .' France keeps up her 
armies of loo or 150 thousand men in time of peace. Can England 
do the like } The answer will be, in both cases, want of ability, as 
well as from the degree of strength and extent of your country, as 
from the nature of your government. 

Your Grace says very judiciously that " some system ought to 
be found, some alliance or party in Europe made, which may 
prevent our being dependant upon France and enable us to make 
a stand." 

This is undoubtedly right in general ; but as to new alliances, 
I am not sufficiently master of the old ones to judge in what 
particulars they want amendment and additions. I believe we are 
already engaged in all the guarantees and defensive alliances with 
our old allies that can be invented, and have taken reciprocal 
guarantees from them to ourselves, so that scarce anything seems 
to remain besides subsidiary engagements. 

If any effectual measures could be entered into with the great 
Powers for preserving the peace and securing ourselves against 
events, (of which your Grace is the best judge), it would certainly 
be very desirable. When I speak of the great Powers, I mean our 
old allies, the Emperor, the two Empresses and Holland. Possibly 
it may be said that the Emperor and Empress Queen will not 
come into your measures, unless you engage some of the lesser 
Powers by subsidies. I don't doubt they will attempt this ; and 
I think Count Fleming^ in his letter of the i^ August has already 
begun it ; for he advises Count BriihP to suggest that point to the 
Court of Vienna, and then, he says, his Court may hope to mend 

1 The 30 years' war, concluded in 1648. 

2 Saxon minister in England, whose letter had evidently been intercepted. 
? Count Heinrich von Brilhl, Polish and Saxon minister of state. 


their market here, or to that effect. But, notwithstanding that, if 
you adhere, the Court of Vienna will not lose your support for 
want of complying with it. 

I cannot help observing in this place, how strongly it has 
appeared of late in Count Fleming's correspondence, that he 
writes up the scheme of giving subsidies with a constant eye to 
the situation and necessities of his own weak, extravagant and im- \ 
poverished Court. This makes me take everything I read in him with 
grains of allowance ; and I will add one thing more upon this head, 
which I will say to no mortal but your Grace, and beg you would \ 
not mention it to anybody. I have my fears that the giving a 
subsidy to the King of Poland now, in time of peace, may be liable 
to a particular invidious imputation of being done with a sinister 
view to enable him to pay the interest, at least, of his great debt 
to the King as Elector of Hanover, for which it is no secret that 
there has been much pressing. 

As to the Republic of Holland, it is certainly deplorably low at 
present. If any advice or reasonable assistance could be given to 
raise them, to enable them to become once more a Power in Europe, j 
it would undoubtedly be worth trying, especially for restoring their 
marine. No adequate succedaneum for this can be drawn from the 
Princes of Germany. 

Another demand is plainly coming upon us, and that pretty 
fast. I mean a demand for assistance towards putting the Barrier j 
into a state of defence. That this is reasonable, I am far from 
saying ; nor do I pretend to foretell how it can be done. But it 
will be thought by many to be a much more material object for 
Great Britain than securing a few of the German Princes. Till 
what is called the Barrier is restored to some condition of defence, 
it is really no Barrier. If they remain in this state, this will be 
one of the greatest temptations to that Power [France] to begin 
a new war, when she is ripe for it ; for she may immediately, with 
little trouble or expense, march two armies into Holland. 

The next great point is to keep up our Marine, and that to the 
height, as your Grace very justly expresses it, and in this I fully 
concur. I think it is the great point of all ; for I am persuaded 
that one principal view of France in making the Peace, when they 
did it, was to give time to restore and raise their's. I am therefore 
clearly of opinion that no expense should be spared upon that 
head, not only for keeping up and increasing the number of ships, 
but also for securing and having in readiness a proper number of 


seamen, for want of which our Fleet has been at some times almost 
I useless. Nothing will tend to keep France so much in awe as 
i steadily and effectively to pursue this measure, especially if there 
could be any hopes of having a Dutch fleet to join us. France has 
\ already felt this, and knows that her trade and colonies must 
• always be in the power of the superior force at sea. I therefore 
hope this will be carried through in the next session. 

[Continuing, he declares that he has little expectation from the 
side of Spain, and approves in general the instructions given to the 
envoys to Russia and Austria, at the same time expressing great 
suspicions of the latter's sincerity.] 

When I look back, I am quite ashamed of the long trouble 
I have given you; but your Grace will remember that you tempted 
me to it, and I thought it my duty to convince you that I had 
considered your letter attentively. Don't be angry with me for my 
freedom, for it is entirely meant to be submitted to you. I neither 
-4 have, nor will talk this language to any other person, and therefore 
beg you would not communicate it to anybody. I look upon your 
Grace at present in a situation, wherein you never were before, and 
in which I most sincerely wish you may very long continue: — 
I mean the supreme direction of public affairs.... For myself, I am 
most faithfully and unalterably, my dear Lord, 

Ever Yours, 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[N. 34, f. 122; H. 62, f. 140.] • Claremont, Sep. 2, 1749. 

My Dear Lord, 

I should very little deserve the friendship and confidence 
which your Lordship shews me, and make a very bad return to the 
great attention you have given to my letter of the 25 th August, in 
yours of the 30th, if I did not take an early opportunity of returning 
you my sincere thanks for both ; and of assuring you that, however 
I might have wished for the confirmation of my own opinion, that 
our sentiments upon the system of foreign politics had been in 
every respect the same, my obligation is (if possible) greater, when 
you have, in so friendly and so clear a manner, suggested your 
doubts. And I will therefore, with your permission, make such 
observations upon every part of your letter, which is now before 
me, as I think may clear up the points in dispute between us. 

[His desire was to form an European alliance strong enough to 
prevent the wanton breaking of the peace, either by Prussia or 


France. He reiterates his opinion that the failure to secure 
Denmark was occasioned by not offering subsidies in time. The 
principle of giving subsidies in time of peace he only supported so 
far as was necessary to maintain the peace, a measure all the more 
necessary because of the weakness of Holland. There was a vast 
difference between making this a regular system, and publishing to 
all the world its utter impracticability. No doubt, one cause of 
the difficulties brought upon Sir Robert Walpole's administration 
was the great expenditure, "to no view, end or purpose, but serving 
some immediate personal object." If, however, the money had 
been wisely employed in forming an alliance upon the Continent, 
in support of Austria against the designs of France upon the death 
of Charles VI, the expenditure would have been universally ap- 
proved. Proper economy he would always support, but always 
oppose ill-judged parsimony ; and the expenditure contemplated 
by him would not be large enough to obstruct the scheme of 
dealing with the National Debt. The Chancellor was quite mis- 
taken in the views he attributed to the King of Sardinia, and as to 
the possibility of the subsidised princes after all deserting England 
at the outbreak of the war, this was a risk which must be incurred 
and prevented as far as possible by a prudent choice of allies. 
France, at least, had not been prevented by such fears from securing 
Denmark. As to the alleged impracticability of competing with 
France in her lavish expenditure abroad and military upkeep, the 
Duke replied,] Does France reason ; because they can't have 
a fleet equal to ours, therefore they will have none at all .'' [He 
then urges the adoption of a treaty with the two Empresses of 
Russia and Austria, as the first step in founding the alliance against 
France and Prussia. News had just come from the Elector of 
Cologne, that if the maritime powers did not grant him the subsidy 
of 200,000 Dutch florins (under ;£'20,OOo) for four years, he would 
immediately conclude with France. Should he be lost for such a 
trifle? He entirely agreed with the Chancellor upon the necessity 
of maintaining and increasing the navy. But] a naval force, tho' 
carried never so high, unsupported with even the appearance of a 
force upon the continent, will be of little use.. ..France will outdo 
us at sea, when they have nothing to fear by land.... I have always 
maintained that our marine should protect our alliances upon the 
continent; and they, by diverting the expense of France, enable us 
to rrtaintain our superiority at sea.... 

[On September 26, 1749 (N. 34, f 186; H. 62, f 166), the Chan- 
cellor writes a long letter from Wimpole in answer to the Duke's, on 
the proposed accession of England to the alliance of Austria and 
Russia of 1746. The Duke had urged] that the accession to this 
treaty will unite our engagements with the two Empresses, and 
consequently give them the greater weight; that it will be the 
basis of a more solid and extended system, to which the Republic 


of Holland and other Powers will accede, and thereby a consider- 
able party be form'd in Europe. [The Chancellor, however, 
questions whether this end will be not rather defeated than secured 
by such a measure. The treaty itself, without the secret articles, to 
which it was impossible for England to accede', was a mere shell ; 
and this would excite a suspicion that it was agreed to for other 
reasons. It was to be made on the foot of certain anterior treaties, 
which would probably create entanglements; and the King of 
Prussia, if he knew of the treaty^ might have reason to complain 
that the Empress Queen was violating the guarantee of Silesia. 
Could England, he asks further, engage in a new war on account 
of another Polish election? Might not the eifect be to frighten 
away the Powers from a general plan, instead of collecting them, 
owing to fears of being implicated in these offensive engagements ; 
while Prussia would be provoked uselessly, and Denmark driven 
into the Court of France? It would be better to strike out some 
new plan, for securing this alliance, simplified, and free from 
entanglements and misunderstandings^.] 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 7, f. 248.] Paris, May ^, 1750. 

My Lord, 

...We have no news yet of the Duke of Newcastle's being 
got to the Hague, but we expect some account of him by this day's 
Dutch mail. The letters from Dunkirk and Lille are full of his 
Grace's curiosity and the infinity of questions he asked. You will 
acknowledge your friend by those marks. I assure you, if he had 
been a military man, he would have occasioned some suspicions ; 
as it is, it only gives room for conversation. He tired Mons. 
Seychelles, I'lntendant de Flandres, at the last of the above men- 
tioned places, by walking him all over and all under the works, 
both of the Town and Citadel. He was in high spirits, of which 
nobody has a greater fund.... 

' The secret articles in the Treaty between Austria and Russia included the restora- 
tion of Silesia to Austria and the partition of Prussia, to which, of course. Great Britain 
could not accede, as she had guaranteed the possession of Silesia to Frederick by the 
Convention of Hanover on August 26, 1745. See above, vol. i. 626. 

^ He was informed of it in January 1753, through Menzel, a Saxon clerk, who sent 
him a copy of the secret articles, and from Weingarl:en, an attache of the Austrian 
embassy at Berlin. Carlyle's Fred, the Great, Book xvi. Chap. xv. 

* Further correspondence on this point, N. 34, if. 193, 205 and H. 62, f. 169. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[N. 35, f. 380 ; H. 62, f. 2115.] Private. Hanover, -^^ — -, 175°* 

June 3 

My Dear Lord, 

...I have desir'd my brother to communicate all my 
letters to your Lordship... and I hope therefore you will take those 
letters as wrote to yourself \... The objects of my residence are : 
1st the election of a King of the Romans, and the securing for 
that and other purposes, the Elector and Princes of the Empire : 
2ndly, the accession to the Treaty of 1746 with the two Empresses: 
3rdly, the accommodating the disputes between the Court of Vienna 
and the Republic of Holland relating to the Barrier, and the putting 
that in some way of being restor'd. 4thly, the reconciling the 
King, as Elector, and the other Protestant Princes with the Emperor, 
upon their present disputes : S^hly, or rather in the first place (if 
possible), the making up our differences with Spain, which now 
seems further off than ever. I beg you and my brother would give 
attention to this last... I can't say this place is quite so agreeable as 
it was the last time. But my brother and you can make everything 
agreeable to me, who am, ever. 

My Dear Lord, 

Most affectionately yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

[On June 6, 1750 (N. 36, f.47'; H.62, ff. 226, 232), the Chancellor 
answers the Duke's letter of May 23/June 3. He suspects some 
collusion between Austria and the German Electors in the negotia- 
tions for the election of the King of the Romans, in order to 
secure British subsidies; and urges the Duke not to be the dupe of 
their intrigues. Parliament would not go further than the grant of 
subsidies to Bavaria and Cologne, and the Duke should be strong 
in sta,nding his ground on that point. He agrees that the points 
of policy, enumerated by the Duke, have their weight, but surely it 
was right for the King of Great Britain to stand as clear as possible 
from all interior Germanic disputes, though this might require a 
" very nice steerage." The settlement of the disputes with Spain 
was a very important object to which, however, there existed 
special obstacles, in the desire of each of the Spanish ministers, 
Ensenada and Carvajal, to throw the responsibility of what might 

^ Writing on August is/^s, 1750, the D. of N. narrates that having said to the King 
"I only write upon the secret part of them (i.e. foreign affairs) to my brother and my 
Lord Chancellor," the King answered, "No, they two are the only ministers; the others 
are for show." Coxe's Pelham, ii. 371. 


prove an unpopular measure, upon the other. The treaty of 171 5' 
was said to have been bought of Grimaldi ; would not one of these 
gentlemen sell''?... 

Writing to the Duke of Newcastle on August 23, 1750 (H. 63, 
f 26), the Chancellor explains his efforts to make Henry Pelham 
agree to the necessary treaties and subsidies with the German 
States but, as was perhaps inevitable, the programme had widened, 
and the Chancellor confesses his agreement with the latter in dis- 
approving of another treaty with the Elector Palatine.] The 
territorial and family ^disputes in the Empire are infinite and it 
has been always my opinion that Great Britain should not be 
involved in them^. 

Duke of Newcastle to tJie Lord Chancellor 

Sept. i6th 
[N.38,f.33;H.63,f.8o.] ^j^^r^'^^o. 

Most secret 

...You will see, by my letter to my brother, the infamous part 
the Elector of Cologne and his minister act. Nothing can be said 
for it: but if we lose the Elector of Cologne and don't get the Palatine 
or Saxony, we are blown up ; and I beg you would consider whether 
this great system should fail for twenty or thirty thousand pounds.. . . 
I have promised to give no subsidies but to Bavaria. I have kept 
my word. I hoped and believed that might be sufficient to carry 
our great object; but if it is not, would... your Lordship fling the 
whole Empire into France for the sake of perhaps ten thousand 
pounds, most unjustly asked by the Elector of Cologne, or 30,000 
or 40,000 in the whole, demanded by the Elector Palatine for an old 
debt. I fling this out only for consideration; you may be assured 
I shall do nothing*.... 

Right Hon. H. Pelham, to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 75, f. 109.] .October 6th, 1750. 

...His [the Duke of Newcastle's] letter upon public business is, 
in my poor opinion, of all propositions, the most inadmissible, 
ransacking obsolete demands and asking for money to pay debts, 
which have been many years liquidated, and for which this 
Country is now mortgaged for near 3 millions of money, by the 
corrupt correspondence between these kind of rogues and certain 
commissioners, whom you and I remember. How can it be men- 
tioned in Parliament and for what? To buy a Prince of the Empire 

' The Commercial Treaty between Spain and Great Britain, signed December 1715. 

2 Further correspondence H. 36, f. 145 and H. 63, f. 193; N. 38, f. 172. 

^ Further H. 243, ff. 112-116. 

* See also Henry Pelham's letter to the Duke, N. 38, f. 48 and H. 63, ff. 156, 189. 


to do that which England, at best, is but collaterally concerned in. 
And how do we know we should have the vote at last? Cologne 
has broke his word, as they say. Why may not Palatine do so too ? 
And what security have we that Bavaria is not at the bottom of all 
this ? It seems to me as if these three great Princes were playing 
their cards to assist each other, without any regard to their private 
engagements, or their public oaths or interests. I should be glad 
to know your Lordship's opinion upon these letters. As I under- 
stand 'em, it is impossible for me to give the Duke of Newcastle 
any encouragement. I find it is a dangerous experiment to try and 
please him at the expense, or abatement, of one's own opinion.... 
Pray send me word when you will be in town, for I shall try to see 
you as soon as I can. ...Ever most truly Yours, 

H. Pelham^ 

Lord Chancellor to Jonathan Belcher, Governor of New Jersey, in answer 
to a letter from the latter, complaining of the attacks upon him in 
England and of the little support received from the Government 
at home in dealing with the riots concerning the ownership of 
lands'^, in which some members of the assembly were implicated 

[H. 561, f. 148.] WiMPOLE, Augt i\st, 1751. 


I received by Mr Partridge your letter in November last, 
and also that of the 2nd of July, and as my short recess here gives 
me a little more leisure for correspondence than my busy life in 
London affords, I sit down to answer them both. [Thanks him for 
the present of American plants.] The disorders and confusions in 
New Jersey, carried almost to the height of revolution, and the 
difficulties which they have brought upon your administration there, 
have given me a great deal of concern, principally on the public 
account, but partly on account of the share I had in recommending 
you (though then a stranger to me) to that government. For you 
cannot be ignorant that this disordered state of the Province, the 
backwardness of the Assembly to redress it, and to support the 
authority of the King's Government and Laws, and the countenance 
which you are (though I hope unjustly) alleged to have given to 
the Assembly in their disputes with the Council, have brought some 
imputation upon your conduct, even in the opinion of many im- 
partial persons, as things have been represented here. 

For my own part, I have always maintained that, however you 

^ Further H. 63, f. 371 ; H. 64, ff. 28, 34, 39. Coxe's Pelham, ii. 403, 408. 

" Bancroft, Hist, of the U.S. (1885), ii. 342, 398. See also H. 561, ff. 109, 112, 114. 


might possibly be mistaken in some points, yet I was persuaded 
you had acted with integrity, according to your judgment; but 
there is one thing, which I ought not to conceal from you, that 
Mr Partridge, who is your agent, having also appeared in some 
degree as agent for those who came over with petitions from the 
rioters, has given colour to these suggestions and done you dis- 

I think you have now an opportunity of retrieving all this, 
if you make a right use of it. You will, before this time, have been 
acquainted with His Majesty's order in Council, part of which is 
for issuing a commission to enquire into any grievances of the people 
of the Province relating to their possessions there. This is a strong 
instance of the King's goodness, as well as justice to his subjects, 
and shows he will not suffer even the disobedient, and those who 
deserve no favour at his hands, to be oppressed. At the same time 
the King's Government and the authority of his Laws must, and 
will be supported; and it is a great reproach that, after so many 
flagrant instances of riots and rebellion, no one example of justice 
has yet been made, no one measure been agreed to for trying them 
in indifferent places, nor for procuring a sufficient force to protect 
the Courts and officers of the Law from insults. 

I am willing to hope that, when the numbers of people, who 
have been seduced from their duty, shall be fully informed of His 
Majesty's equitable and gracious disposition in ordering this 
commission, they will entirely submit themselves and immediately 
behave as becomes peaceful and dutiful subjects. This will be the 
test of the loyalty they profess and the assurances they have given. 
And, when I said that you have an opportunity of retrieving what 
is past, my meaning is, that by such an act of justice and goodness 
shown to the people by the Sovereign whom you represent there, 
your hands will be strengthened to act with the greater firmness 
and vigour, and to demand of the Assembly to concur with you and 
the Council in exerting the authority of the Laws, and in supporting 
the (J) measures of a government, which has acted towards them with 
so much benignity, notwithstanding the provocations they have 
given. I observe that one of your complaints is the slight put upon 
your recommendations of proper persons to fill up vacancies in the 
Council. From what I have already said, you see the cause of it, 
and how it may probably be rectified. To neglect this opportunity 
may be of fatal consequence. I cannot too earnestly recommend 
to you to consider seriously of these matters, and to exert yourself 


to restore good order to the colony and strength to the Govern- 
ment, in which I heartily wish you success, as well as perfect 

[Belcher in answer (ff. 150, 217) repudiates warmly all the 
accusations against him, receives a further encouraging letter from 
the Chancellor, and on December 8, i/SS, writes describing the unity 
and zeal of the Colony in defending the territory against the French. 
He advises an attack upon Quebec, the headquarters and capital of 
the French, rather than attempts upon the smaller forts, and the 
dispatch of a mixed force of British and Colonial troops to effect 
its reduction.] The present complexion of affairs in North America 
seems to say the coming year will be the criterion, whereby we shall 
be able to conclude, whether the French shall drive us into the sea , 
or whether King George shall be emperor of N. America \ 

Lord Chancellor to the Hon. Philip Yorke 

[H. 3, f. 218.] Powis House, Octr itth, 1751. 

Dear Mr Yorke, 

I. ..return you our friend Horace's^ letter. My opinion 
about it is just the same as yours, and I am sorry for the temper 
in which it is writ, the rather as the cause is plainly a personal one. 
I.have known Horace long, and love him ; and have shew'n him all 
the civilities in my power, ever since the great power had left his 
family. I think him very honest, and he knows a good deal ; but 
I know him to be extremely positive and tenacious. What is a 
little provoking is to see him all along reproaching the ministry 
with making personal flattery to — [the King] the motive of all their 
foreign measures, when he must remember that that motive never 
prevailed more strongly, than whilst his brother and he had the direc- 
tion of them. One sees plainly the contrary system, which he would 
have had pursued since the conclusion of the Peace. 1°. To enter 
into a close connection and intimate correspondence with France. 
Having himself pursued this principle, under my Lord Townshend 
and his brother, I know he will never quit it. What did this produce, 
but the weakening the House of Austria, and the ancient allies of 
Great Britain, and those dangers which brought on the last war .'' 

' See also R. O. Board of Trade, New England, vols. 20 sqq. for further corre- 

" The elder Horace Walpole. See above, vol. i. 162 n., 650. His great grievance 
against the Duke of Newcastle v\fas the delay in making him a peer, and it was not till 
1756 that he was created Lord Walpole. 


I shall live and die in the opinion that the Treaty of Hanover was 
the fundamental source of all the mischief; and what was that but 
the gratification of the resentment of the late King and my Lord 
Townshend against the Court of Vienna ? The mischief of it was 
so glaring, that they themselves were forced to tread their steps 
backwards by the Treaty of Vienna of 1732. The same consequence 
will always follow that, whenever Great Britain enters into an 
intimate union with France, you throw all the rest of Europe into 
her arms, and must absolutely depend upon her^. 2ndly, his other 
great point is to raccqmmode and unite with Prussia. And this would 
be right, if it were practicable. It has been more seriously attempted, 
and more real services done for that Prince, since the change of 
Ministry in 1741 \i.e. 1742] than ever was ventured to be even 
proposed before. And what effect has it had upon the spirit of that 
ambitious, turbulent, and I had almost said perfidious Prince? I 
am convinced nothing will satisfy him but reducing and depressing 
the House of Austria, partly for the sake of his exorbitant views 
in the Empire, and partly from the principle that ke, who does the 
injury, never forgives. There is also another reason, which you 
have heard me mention before; that 1 am persuaded nothing, 
which we could offer, would induce him to separate from France 
for the sake of her great subsidies, without which he cannot keep 
up an army so much beyond his proper force, and which he knows 
we can never give in the same proportion....! really don't know 
what to advise, besides writing him a very civil letter and adding 
some politeness from me, and how mortified we both are not to 
have had the pleasure of seeing him and Mrs Walpole. When a 
man is discontented from reasons concerning j^^ there is no con- 
vincing him but by satisfying that self. You may suggest that he 
takes things in much too strong a light; that, surely, it was right to 
try and get a King of the Romans elected in time, in order to prevent 
the troubles, which arose from the last interregnum ; that the putting 
an end to all our differences with Spain and becoming better re- 
conciled to that Power than ever, and improving their disposition 
to shake off the fetters of France, is surely a right measure, especially 
if it should be followed by a more strict alliance with that Crown, 
not at all onerous, merely defensive, and tending to cement and 
preserve the Peace settled by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle; which 
you may hint you have reason to think he may probably soon see. 
But tho' you must make him a compliment upon his political tracts, 

' Cf. above, p. 14. 


of which I know our friend is vain, I would have you particularly 
avoid saying anything to invite or encourage him to communicate 
his new opus promissum^; for that will only produce altercation, and 
when he has once exposed it, he will be the more tenacious. His 
resolution not to come to Town nor to give any support to the 
administration, I think you may modestly blame for his own sake. 
The cause of it is too glaring, and it will hurt himself.... 

I am ever, Yours affectionately, 


Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Hon. Philip Yorke 

Dear Brother, 

You are very kind to think so much of your vagabond 
brother as to epistolize him without any hopes of return, as you 
are pleased to say; though it must go very hard with me indeed, if 
I don't now and then find a quarter of an hour to thank you for your 
affectionate concern for my welfare. It is true that, in my present 
situation and province, the office demands upon me are very large, 
and I am frequently quite drained by the Private, Most Private, 
Secret, Most Secret, Separate, Apart, and all the train of words that 
they require to look decent....! must sit down with the mortifica- 
tion of being hereafter criticized by some such future paper-mongers 
as you and Birch, who will wonder that so dull and wordy a fellow 
was not recalled in half an hour. . . . 

It is now too late to talk of my reception and setting out 
at this place. I am sure you have rejoiced it has been so suc- 
cessful, and I hope [it] will justify to a degree my way of talking 
before I left England, which I will do you the justice to say you 
did not condemn ; I mean my not despairing nor desponding, but 
being willing to believe things might be brought about again by a 
proper conduct. My predecessor's' fault was to have been too par- 
ticular in his acquaintance. I am sure no foreign minister will ever 
succeed, or be able to send good accounts, if he is so. His 
business is to see and converse with all sorts of people and to 
make himself, if he can, agreeable to them. I declared that 
I would do so when I came, and I have succeeded in my first 
steps by it. 

I A memorandum on public affairs. 

^ Col. Yorke had now been appointed British Envoy at the Hague. 

^ Solomon DayroUes, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber of George II, Master of the 
Revels and Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, Resident at the Hague 1 747-1 751 
and subsequently Resident at Brussels till 1757 ; secretary to Lord Chesterfield; died 


The interior of this country wants so much settling, and the 
factions that divide it are so warm, that it renders it very difficult, 
if not next to impossible, to get any attention paid to foreign affairs; 
and indeed, till they have taken proper measures to secure their 
form of government (which I hope and believe they are taking), it 
is absurd to be pressing 'em to take any general measures in 
conjunction with you. The cry of the opposition in this country 
is, that England has undone them, that England has been the 
original cause of the loss of their Barrier, their load of debts, and 
all the train of evils that accompany it. This clamour makes the 
Princess Royal have a very hard task ; for she does not mean ever 
to separate from us, ^nd yet she is afraid in the smallest thing to 
look as if she was led by England. You will easily see how difficult 
this makes the situation of an English minister here, and yet with 
patience and some art I think all that may be got over. Her Royal 
Highness... never fails to see me whenever I go to ask after her, 
though she sees no other foreign ministers.... She is very expeditious 
and clever in business ; she acts with spirit, and has done more for 
her family since the Prince's death than ever he did, from the time 
of his being called to the Head of the Republic to the hour he 
expired. The boy is a fine one and promises much. He has quick 
and lively parts, full of spirit, and talks three or four languages with 

great facility^ 

Joseph Yorke. 

[In a very private letter to the Duke, of May i, 1752 (N. 42, 
f 49), the Chancellor refers again to the eternal question of the elec- 
tion of the King of the Romans and the attitude of the Austrians.] 
Indeed, my dear Lord, the language held both by the Emperor 
and Empress (particularly the latter) on this subject has disturbed 
me much. If they adhere to this, or continue to create new 
difficulties, they will drive this country (as your Grace has very 
rightly said) into a new system, and besides they will destroy their 
best friends here. There will be no standing it in Parliament ; for 
everybody will say that they only meant to hold out the lure of 
proceeding to an election, in order to draw us into give [giving] 
subsidies in Germany in time of peace ; and whilst some will say 
we have been dup'd by them, others will maintain that we colluded 
with them to cheat the nation. 

[The above paragraph and most of the letter is translated into 
French (f. 51) presumably for the purpose of showing it to the 
Austrian and Hanoverian ministers. 

1 The infant prince William V, bom in 1748. The Princess had been named his 
Governor, and Regent, on the death of her husband, October ii, 1751, See her letter 
to the Chancellor, H. i, f. 24. 


On May 20/31, 1752 (N. 42, f. 202 ; H. 64, f. 102), the Duke of 
Newcastle acquaints the Chancellor that the Court of Vienna 
has refused the terms proposed for the election of the King of the 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[H. 64, f. 114.] May 2^tk, 1752. 

...I never was more shocked in my life than with the accounts 
...of the behaviour of the Court of Vienna. Quos perdere vult 
Jupiter, prius dementat...\ must own myself quite at a loss. To 
make all the reflections, which their monstrous ingratitude and 
impertinence deserve, is almost as impossible as unnecessary.... 
The consequences hereof will be fatal to this administration and to 
the present system of foreign affairs. The nation will be said to 
have been duped and deluded ; and the ministers will have no other 
way to defend themselves, but by openly throwing the blame upon 
the Court of Vienna.... Of this advantage will be taken by those, 
who dislike the present system, and I think I see the symptoms 
appear already. You will be told you have nothing to do but to 
break off your connection with this ungrateful, impracticable Court 
of Vienna, and be well with France. Thus you will run into the 
politics of 1725' etc.... Holland will become still more exasperated 
by combining this provocation with those they will certainly 
receive in the course of the negotiations about their barrier and 
commerce, wherein we are also interested ; and the French party 
there will gain strength, and recover their ground upon it. In 
short, I see such a complication of mischiefs, that the very prospect 
frights me.... [He can only "fling out" two hints: (i) that some 
trustworthy friend should carry a secret communication from the 
Duke of Newcastle direct to the Empress, to point out the perils 
of the path she had taken ; and (2) another attempt might be made, 
to persuade the Court of Vienna to go some little way in satis- 
fying the Elector Palatine,] and make up the rest by a moderate 
sum of money from hence. I own the burdening this country 
still more is intolerable and I can hardly forgive myself for 
mentioning it ; and I must beg your Grace will not commit me,, 
for then I shall never be forgiven by others. I know it is to be 
entered into with great caution and not with forwardness; but; 
really the King's honour is so much engaged ; he will make such a 
figure, both at home and abroad, if this measure fails, and fails in ' 

^ The treaty of Hanover with France. 1 

Y. II. 3 


this manner, and the consequences of it may be so fatal, that 
a moderate expense may be justified \ 

[Writing further on August 7, 1752 (N. 44, f. 39 ; H. 64,/. 245), 
the Chancellor, after discussing in a long letter the election, which 
is now almost despaired of, adds ;] I am convinced that they [the 
Austrians] are against the measure of proceeding to an election 
at this time for reasons, which they do not own. 

Right Hon. Hemy Pelham to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 44, f. 210.] « August 28i&, 1762. 

...On Wednesday in the afternoon I went to the meeting at 
Lord Holderness's, tho' I found myself very little fit for such 
conferences. Your friend, Lord Granville, came in soon after 
I arrived, in my opinion drunk ;. for he talked more like a madman 
than a grave councillor of the' King's, and entertained us with such 
a heap of wild stuff" and nonsense, that I own I could hardly keep 
my temper. I gave him one or two replies, which he may think of 
at his leisure. We &.11 agreed in the main question, but that would 
not do for him ; and in the temper I was, I did not want much more. 
I could not bear to stay long with him, which prevented my having 
that discourse with the Chancellor which 1 wished to have had. 
I think we shall not now have many more of these conferences upon 
your foreign affairs ; and thank God, he is too great a genius to con- 
descend to give us any trouble in domestic ones 

Earl of Holderness to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 44, £.-232.]. August lith, 1752. 

Entre nous. 

...Our friend Granville was 7f«« at our meeting on Wednesday; 
wine had heightened his zeal and eloquence ; and he was so fond of 
showing his ardour for the conclusion of the Election at any rate, 
that he would fight "out the point, when everybody were of the same 
mind ; and I own he might as well have omitted some part of his 
declamation, which would at no time have suited Mr Pelham, and 
was far from being agreeable to the tinge of melancholy, which cruel 
private concerns had given him at that timel 

[The Chancellor, however, writing on August 27 to the Duke 
(H. 64, f 301 ; Cox's Pelham, ii. 445), carefully avoids all mention of 
these incidents, and merely emphasizes the fact that they were all 
agreed on the main question and the grant of a sum of money, to 
procure the election. 

' See further, N. 42, ff. 302, 363, 402 and.N. 43, fit. 27, 59, 90, 120, 137 and H. 64, 
ff. ii8, 120, 137, 151, 168, 195, 202, 237. 

2 Possibly the death of Lord Clinton, his eldest grandson, son of Lord Lincoln, which 
took place this year. 


On September 19, 1752 (Coxe's Pelkam, ii. 448, 450), the Duke 
informs his brotlier of the King's obstruction of the negotiations, 
his motive being his desire to have an excuse for remaining a little 
longer in Hanover ; on September 28 he writes word that the 
King had, in return for his good offices, demanded a fief from the 

Right Hon. Henry Pelkam to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 44, f. 411; H. 65, f. 39.] Sep. 29, 1752. 

...My opinion of him [Lord Granville] is the same it always 
was. He hurries forward all these German affairs, because he 
thinks he shews his parts and pleases the King, both which, 
I think, he is mistaken in. But believe me, he lies by. He has as 
much vanity and ambition as he ever had ; arid he hopes therefore, in 
all these contradictory circumstances, something may fall out, and 
then, he imagines, he is sure to succeed.... Notwithstanding this, 
when we meet at the Regency, Council, etc. we laugh, and are 
as good friends as ever. 

[Continuing, he repeats that his opinions as to foreign policy 
have in no way changed.] Before you began, I wished to prevent 
your getting into difficulties, which I thought I foresaw ; and there- 
fore, as far as I decently could, opposed those measures. But 
when I was overruled by numbers and by power, and brought to 
acquiesce in what I never approved of, the same friendship for you, 
duty for the King, and some regard for myself brought me to 
consent, as far as I could, to this further measure of expense... ; in 
truth, I only think that, having gone so far as we have done, it would 
be absurd to break the whole affair for the additional expense of 
six or seven hundred thousand florins. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Right Hon. Henry Pelham 

[N. 45, f. ^^ ; H. 75, f. 136; also N. 44, f. 412.] Oct. 3, 1752. 

...The incident, I mean, is a very extraordinary one. Upon my 
return hither, the Grosvoight Munchausen^ acquainted me with what 
the King had said to Mr Steinberg' and him, relating to the 700,000 
florins then supposed to be paid by us [to the Elector Palatine]. 
H.M. was pleased to talk Nzxy strongly against it, and when M. de 
Munchausen tenderly (and I dare say very tenderly) offered to say 
one word in support of it, the King told him that that was the opinion 
of a fool or a madman, and this in the presence of M. Steinberg. 
H.M. then told them both, that he could not open himself with that 
confidence to me upon the subject that he would do to them ; that 
his true reason for saving this money to the nation was in order to 

^ Hanoverian minister. 

' Probably Ernst v. Steinberg, Hanoverian minister. 



get a subsidy of ;^40,ooo p. ann. for Russia ; that he would cajole 
and manage Mr P[elham], and that he should get his consent to it. 
This, you may depend upon it, is fact.... 

You will see, dear Brother, by these circumstances, what is the 
Carte du Pays both with the K[ing] and the Lady. [He had above 
described some instance, or supposed instance, of the Countess of 
Yarmouth's treachery.] I am persuaded they will not have the 
least influence over you. I am persuaded also that you know as 
much, perhaps more of the same kind, with regard to me (how we 
are, and have been, both played off at each other), tho' you have 
been too prudent to mention it. But I tell you the whole, being 
thoroughly sure that, Whatever you think or may hereafter do, you 
will not let one soul alive (except Stone and the Chancellor) know 
what I have wrote to you.... I thought it was necessary that you 
should know all ; for knowing these things, we may, if we please, 
prevent any ill consequence from them ; and the moment it is seen 
that we act in concert and without reserve, all this little, low game 
will fall of itself. H.M. did very right in not trusting me with his true 
reason for being against giving the money for the Election. I should 
certainly have told him, that no expense could be justified or 
practicable, if this was neglected, and I conclude also that the King 
imagined that I should immediately have acquainted you with it. 
This is the meaning of what H.M. said remarkably to me: "You 
may have this thing (the Election) much at heart, I have it not so 
much." That is in other words, I have another object in view.... 

I was this morning with the King. H.M. was most extremely 
gracious... was very open and confidential, and came out with his 
secret, rather by way of excuse (I really think) for having been 
seemingly against the money for the Election. He talked of the 
advantage of an alliance with Denmark and Russia, in which 
I agreed. I hinted something of the great advantage of the 
Election also. The King said, " I desire, it is true, to save the 
nation's money, but 1 was the more desirous to save it upon this 
occasion in order to do the other."... 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 45, f. 47.] October ^th, 1752. 

...From the time your Grace acquainted me with the secret 
advice given to the Empress that she should not advance more than 
500,000 florins, I saw there was a private, underhand negotiation, 
and feared it comprehended more than was then owned.... What 
a condition do the most faithful ministers act under, who are thus 
countermin'd by those, whose avowed orders they are executing; 
and who stand responsible to the world for the success of the 
measures, which their own Principals are at the same time ob- 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 45, f. 67.] WiMPOLE, Oct. 10, 1752. 

...As to the words made use of, tho' they are to the last degree 
shocking, and give me real pain to read them, yet they are only 
the effects of heat and passion, and certain ill humours, to which 
I don't care to give the true name, and what in the like temper 
would have been said of anybody that ever was about him. They 
are therefore to be neglected, but at the same time to be known to 
as few persons as possible, not merely for the sake of the persons 
who have made the discovery. As to the avowal of cajoling and 
managing Mr Pelham, your Grace is certainly right in com- 
municating it to him in the confidence you have done. The use 
you make of it is also right, and I think it will have a good 

Rt. Hon. Heitry Pelham to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 75, f. 130.] Octr loth, 1752. 

... I have had experience enough already not to be cajoled for the 
future, and I can assure your Lordship, had not my own brother 
been concerned, I should not have been so easily worked upon, as 
I have been hitherto. What I have proposed to the King, was for 
his own sake; if he don't care to do it for his good, I won't purchase 
it by flattering him in his interest as Elector, and come into a 
measure, which [it] is evident will ruin him as King. I should have 
told H.M. the only good reason for giving this money to the Elector 
Palatine is, that it will put a stop to subsidiary measures for the 
future. I have wrote so to my brother more than once, and meant 
the King should see it, but he did not choose H.M. should. As to 
all that stuff of acting together and thorough confidence, I am sick 
of it. I know no time that I had a secret, nor none have I now. 
When we differ toto coelo in a measure for the public, how can we 
act together? When that is not the case, when did we not act 
together.? Forgive me, my dear Lord, I am tired with t\\&se. friendly 
but childish repetitions. And our Master will ruin us all\... 

H. Pelham. 

H-RH. The Princess of Orange to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. I, f. 28.] Hague, April 6tk, 1753. 

The great confidence I have in you, my good Lord Chancellor, 
makes me trouble you with these letters. I write to the King, to 
implore his protection at a time, when the whole good and old 

' See further H. 66, ff. 30, 47 ; Coxe's Pelham, ii. 459. 


system is in the utmost danger. I know your sentiments upon it, 
and therefore can't put my interest in better hands than yours, 
Your son, who I must commend for his behaviour here, will explain 
to you, better than I can myself, how much the French party will 
get ground by the monstrous propositions of Count KaunitzS When 
they come to be known ; and nothing but the strongest union and 
marks of protection from the King can make me hope to be useful 
at this time, or to establish the present government. I have said 
enough to a Friend, and therefore don't doubt but you will assist 
me, and help me through, in this terrible affair, being always your 
true and sincere friend, 

. Anne. 

[To this the Chancellor replied on April 13 (f, 29), expressing 
his fidelity and devotion to her cause and that of the alliance, and 
stating that the ministers had the affairs of Holland under their 
special consideration.] ' 

' See above, p. 3. Austria refused to pay the sums due to the Republic for the upkeep 
of the barrier towns, which it was now hoped might be supplied by Ertglalnd. H. 8, 
ff- ".5, 133-9- 



The conduct of foreign affairs was not the only, nor even the 
chief subject of dissension between the Pelham brothers. There 
was a rivalry, for the principal power which, together with a funda- 
mental disagreement in policy, carried their disputes and ill-humour 
into every department of administration. At home their altercations 
at this time centred round the Duke of Bedford, who had been 
appointed Secretary of State on the resignation of Lord Chesterfield 
in 1748. A young man of good character and of considerable 
parliamentary interest and following in the country, but of excessive 
pride and self-esteem and of very limited ability and experience, 
he had by no means proved a colleague of the tractable and 
subordinate kind desired by the Duke of Newcastle and had, in 
fact, been appointed without his approval, instead of Lord Sandwich. 
He conducted an independent correspondence with the British 
ministers abroad, and the Duke of Newcastle's jealousy was aroused. 
The Duke of Bedford, piqued at the exclusive control of affairs 
exercised by the former, neglected ostentatiously the business of his 
ofifice for play acting and cricket-matches, and entered into secret 
cabals with Lord Sandwich, who had incurred the Duke of New- 
castle's resentment during the negotiations at Aix-la-Chapellei, and 
with others against his brother secretary ; and, aided by the Duke of 
Cumberland, who had taken Lord Sandwich's part abroad and by 
Princess Amelia, made some impression upon the King's mind and 
began to alienate his confidence from the Duke of Newcastle^. 

Accordingly the latter, always fully alive to hostile intrigues, 
moved ardently for the Duke of Bedford's dismissal, a measure 
which was as strongly opposed by Henry Pelham, who wished the 

1 See above, vol. i. 633. ^ p. gi ; N. 35, f. 365; H. 62, f. 240. 

40 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

administration to be supported by persons of influence, who feared 
the consequences of the loss of the Duke of Bedford and his 
faction and who, moreover, regarded his presence in the Cabinet 
with complacence as a curb and balance to his brother's power. 
The Chancellor, also, was opposed to any hasty action, deprecated 
the ostracism of men of weight and influence in the nation and 
the choice of " little people," who, however agreeable, would bring 
no support to the administration; and thought that Bedford's 
incompetence in business would of itself in time bring about his 

To follow all the details and incidents of the dispute would be 
tedious^. Mutual recriminations of a bitter and angry character 
passed. In July 1750, the Duke of Newcastle threatened to throw 
up his office and retire to the Presidency of the Councils He 
returned in November from abroad in great ill-humour and, in 
spite of the Chancellor's friendly remonstrances, remained for some 
days at Dover without coming to London, lest, he declared, he 
might be suspected of further influencing the King's judgment^ 
The great question remained in awkward suspense ^ and the 
brothers ceased to hold personal communication ; while in January 
175 1 the breach was further widened by Henry Pelham's obstinacy 
in reducing the navy". A temporary reconciliation was effected in 
February 1751, and Pelham was at last prevailed upon to apply to 
the King for the Duke of Bedford's dismissal, but met with a 
refusal in which he gladly acquiesced'. At length, however, the King 
himself became convinced of the necessity of the Duke of Bedford's 
withdrawals On June 13, 175 1, his follower and supporter. Lord 
Sandwich, was dismissed from the government, and arranged to 
receive the notice of his discharge at the Duke of Cumberland's at 
Windsor, "as I think it will have a good appearance in the world'." It 
was immediately followed by the resignation of the Duke of Bedford, 
on June 14, who, in a parting interview with the King, took care to 
do all the harm he could to his successful antagonist by some stinging 
reflections upon the Duke of Newcastle's treachery and ambition, 
which were heard by the Sovereign with some sympathy, and by 

1 pp. 100, 102, 117. '^ pp. 84 sqq., 91, 93 sqq. 

^ p. 93. * p. io8. 

^ p. 112; Coxe's Lord Walpole, ii. 294. Walpole's George II, i. r6i, 185 sqq. ; 
Letters, iii. 22 ; Chatham Corresp. i. 54; Chesterfield's Letters (Bradshaw), 925. 

' Above, p. 2. ' N. 39, f. 191. 

* Coxe's Pelham, ii. 384. 

* pi Il5i Bedford Corresp. ii. 94. 


assuring the King that the cause of their quitting the administration 
was their attachment to the Duke of Cumberland^ The unfortunate 
Duke of Newcastle was blamed and reproached on all sides. The 
Duke of Bedford, as Henry Pelham had feared, strongly supported 
by the Duke of Cumberland and Princess Amelia, went immediately 
into active opposition, and with his following in the House of 
Commons, which was considerable, took every opportunity of 
attacking and embarrassing the government^. The Duke of 
Newcastle was blamed as one, whose ambition and intrigues 
constantly disturbed the King's service, and was pointed at as 
the author of all the internal difficulties and discords. In these 
reproaches Henry Pelham and even the King, led by the Duke 
of Cumberland, joined ; and the unlucky Duke was treated in the 
Closet with a rudeness and a neglect, probably without parallel in 
the relations between a minister and the Sovereign ^ So bitter and 
violent were the passions and ill-feelings aroused, and so decided 
was the King's inclination towards the Bedford and Cumberland 
faction, that but for the Chancellor's controlling influence, the 
whole scheme of administration must now inevitably have been 
broken to pieces. He once more succeeded in mitigating the 
■sharpness of the fraternal altercations, and in convincing the two 
brothers of the necessity of reconciliation and cooperation to with- 
stand the new-grown factions of opposition^ Though he had often 
warned the Duke of Newcastle of the danger and impolicy of his 
frequent quarrels with his subordinates and colleagues, and of the 
unfavourable inferences which would be drawn therefrom by his 
enemies, he gave him steady support at the present crisis. He advised 
him to treat the King's disfavour and neglect at their proper value, as 
unreasonable and temporary, and to ignore them ; and strengthened 
by the Chancellor's strong arm and friendly counsels, the Duke was 
enabled eventually to weather the storm. He addressed a humble 
letter of expostulation and justification to the King^, and was some 

^ pp. 113, ir6; Walpole's George II, i. 193. According to the Princess of Wales, the 
Duke of B. relented ; and in an interview with the King in the following summer unsaid a 
great part of what he had told the King concerning the Duke of Newcastle, and attributed 
it to misinformation. Dodington's Z)/ary, 143. 

^ See Dodington's Diary, 309, iii. 

* pp. 113, 115. Walpole's George II, i. 199. The Duke of Newcastle was reported 
to have said to the Duke of Marlborough, " My Lord, the King has not spoke to me 
since your brother-in-law [the D. of B.] has been out." Rigby to D. of B., Bedford 
Corresp. ii. 96. 
■ ■* PP- 95 siq-' 105 sqq., iii, in. ■ 

' p. 115; printed in Coxe's Pelham, ii. 401. 

42 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

little time afterwards restored, as the Chancellor had foretold, to 
favour. ■ I«Iptwifhstanding Lord Hardwicke's objection, who once 
more censured the choice of weak men to the exclusion of abler and 
more influential personages', and who desired the inclusion in the 
Cabinet of the Dukes of Devonshire and Rutland S the Duke of 
Newcastle was gratified by the appointment of Lord Holderness 
to the vacant Secretaryship of State, who was expected to prove 
a good man of business and a docile subordinate^ and by that of 
Lord Granville to the Presidency of the Council, who now, with 
both claws and wings cut, was able neither to injure nor to soar too 
high, and who gave his support to the Duke's forward foreign policy'. 
At the same time, Lord Anson, who had married the Chancellor's 
eldest daughter, and had already for some time had the control of 
the navy, was made President of the Board of Admiralty ; and the 
strength of the navy was restored next year to its former number 
of 10,000 seamen ^ 

Meanwhile, the course of events in another sphere, in the inner 
circle of the Court itself, had tended to the same political develope- 
ments and equally to the disturbance of the administration. The 
King was now growing old, and no longer enjoyed his former 
good health. The advent of the Prince of Wales to the throne, 
attended by a complete change of ministers, appeared an event 
which could not be long delayed and which could not but exercise 
a depressing, as well as a disintegrating, effect upon the actual 
administration. The Prince had dres.sed his window with an 
attractive programme of government, which included the establish- 
ment of a numerous militia, the reform of official abuses, a 
diminished civil list and the abolition of political parties, in other 
words — reform, efficiency and economy^ 

Some of the ministers, including Pitt, together with Bubb 
Dodington, a tenth-rate and fickle politician, who had resigned the 
treasurership of the navy to attach himself to the Prince, the 
Grenvilles, Lyttelton and Chief Justice Willes, had opened com- 
munications with Frederick ; and his adherents had already chosen 
the places they would have under their new sovereign and kissed 
hands for their new offices". 

The Chancellor himself had no desire to prolong the tenure of 

1 pp. 102 sqq. ; Coxe's Pelham, ii. 376. , 2 /^_ ;;_ jg^_ 

3 lb. ii. io8,.,i24, 163 ; H. 63, f. 121 ; N. 39, ff. 362, 374. * See above, p. -2. 

^ Bedford Corresp. i. 320; H. 522, f. 129. 

' Coxe's Pelham, ii. 50, 167; Pari. Hist. xiv. ,318 n.; Walpole's George II, i. 87, 
201 ; Letters, iii. 45 ; Dodington's Diary, i, 8 — 13, 161, 230. 


his laborious office into a new reign, and had little to fear, in his 
personal interests, from the accession to the throne of the Prince of 
Wales. But no man was more conscious of the dangers and 
disadvantages attending the open and permanent breach in the 
royal family, riot only to the dynasty but to the Whig ministry, on 
the stability and strength of both of which he placed his whole 
reliance for the government of the country. While, therefore, he 
had never condescended to make any private advances towards 
conciliating the heir to the throne to himself personally, he had, 
whenever opportunity offered, used his utmost endeavours, often 
alone and in opposition to the rest of the ministers, to reconcile 
the Prince of Wales to the King'. Honesty of purpose and 
disinterested conduct of this kind must, it would be supposed, have 
met with some recognition ; but the Prince of Wales, one of the 
weakest and most worthless characters that have ever sprung from 
the ranks of the British royal family, was only a judge of low 
motives and mean intrigues, and the Chancellor's well-meant and 
patriotic efforts were beyond his comprehension, and met with no 
gratitude and no return. On the contrary, as the Prince's residence 
became the rendezvous of every cabal, however unscrupulous, 
against the government, a personal animosity grew up against the 
Chancellor, as its chief support. 

The situation was changed for the moment by the sudden and 
unexpected death of the Prince on March 20, 175 1. The prospective 
Prime Ministers, Lord Chancellors and great officers of state saw 
their laurels wither before they could be placed upon their brow. 
The Princess and her children were reconciled to the King and the 
whole faction was broken up, while its members made haste to 
transfer their allegiance to the Pelhams^. 

But a disturbing element of hostility to the administration from a 
part of the royal family still remained. The Duke of Cumberland had 
in former years rendered good and conspicuous service to his country. 
Alone, when scarcely more than a boy, he had driven back the tide 
of invasion and anarchy and suppressed a dangerous rebellion. If 
his generalship in the Netherlands had not been rewarded with 
success, it had at least the merit of honest endeavour; and failure 
had been excused by the insuperable and special difficulties of his 

. ' See especially above, vol. i. 162 sqq. 
^ Dodington's Diary, 121. The Duke of Newcastle writes to the Chancellor on 
April 9, 17,51, "Everything passed extremely well at the interview on Thursday. night ; 
the King continues to be perfectly satisfied with the Princess and is in raptures with the 
young Prince, who, he says, has taken a liking to him." H. 63, f. 243. 

44 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

command. Without possessing any great claim to statesmanship, he 
had proved, by his courage and military spirit, a valuable supporter 
of his father's throne and dynasty, and a source of strength to 
the King's administration. But in later years, since the con- 
clusion of the war, there had been a marked and unhappy change 
in the young Duke's character and public actions, probably the 
result of habits of constant self-indulgence and of a deterioration 
of morals, which had now thoroughly undermined his physical 
constitution 1. The former victor of Dettingen and Culloden, who 
with youthful zeal, devotion to duty and single-minded purpose, 
had pressed on to the accomplishment of the great national work 
entrusted to him and imparted his ardour to a defeated army, the 
"conquering hero" whose triumph had called forth Handel's most 
spirited strains, had become a mere court intriguer, a backstairs 
politician, the tool of abler and less scrupulous persons, inspired no 
longer by great public motives but by petty jealousies, the instigator 
of cabals and the chief obstructor of the measures of his father's 
government. ,He had taken the part of Lord Sandwich, a man of 
disordered life and notorious principles, and now his intimate friend, 
in his intrigues against the Duke of Newcastle abroad in 1748, and 
together with the Princess Amelia, a meddling and mischievous 
woman, gave strong support to the Bedford and Fox faction ^ He 
had long lost all his early popularity, and had become the object of 
general hatred and abuse, which had been encouraged by the Prince 
of Wales and which the Princess continued to instigate. This 
same year a bitter and libellous pamphlet, attributed to Lord 
Egmont, a leader in the late Prince's faction, was published against 
him, entitled Constitutional Queries, m. which he was compared to 
Richard HI, and which was ordered by Parliament to be burnt by 
the common hangman. According to Horace Walpole, on the 
Duke's showing the young Prince George one day a sword, "he 
turned pale and trembled, and thought his uncle was going to 
murder him^" 

For these horrid suspicions, so wickedly propagated and cir- 
culated, there was not the smallest foundation ; but the Duke, as 
Captain General, held the supreme military power, which he 
probably intended to use in securing the predominating political 
influence in case of a minority^ He began to give some anxiety 

1 p. 171. 

"^ p. 87; Life of Lord Shelburne, by Lord Fitzmaurice, i. 58; Dodington's Zlza^y, 143. 
3 George II, i. 106. * Lord Waldegrave's Memoirs, 23, 


to the ministers, who excluded him from the council of regency 
during the King's absence abroad, as long as possible. The 
Duke's ill-conduct and hostility, displayed not only against the 
administration, but against the Princess of Wales, had moreover 
important and far-reaching consequences ; for owing to it, the 
ministers, fearing that the Duke would acquire an unfavourable 
influence over him if he were brought, as was suggested, to the 
King's palace, now acquiesced in the King's desire to leave the 
young Prince of Wales in his mother's care — a decision which 
involved a loss of control over the Prince's education and advisers, 
and proved hereafter the source of the greatest national misfortunes. 
On September 14, 1752, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to 
the Chancellor, " I have some reason to say that one of that bad 
man's principles [Bolingbroke] is already stirring in the Royal 
Family, viz. that a King of England is a King of his people, not of 
Whigs and Tories. This is a noble principle, it must be owned, 
and would to God it took effect truly ; but what must be the 
consequence, when it is only made the vehicle of Jacobitism and 
tends to overturn a government which began, and can only be 
supported, on Whig principles^" On August 7, the Chancellor 
had himself urged upon the Duke of Newcastle the importance of 
the control of the young Prince's education and household : " Your 
Grace says you have nothing to do with the affairs of that family.... 
If you have nothing to do with them, I don't know who has. They 
are of a very serious consideration.... The filling of those places is 
a matter of the utmost importance^" 

The Duke of Cumberland's attitude no doubt also influenced 
the character of the Regency Bill, which was passed through 
Parliament by the ministers on May 20, 1751, by which not the 
Duke, but the Princess of Wales, was appointed Regent in case of 
a minority, with powers limited by a council of which the Duke 
was made Presidents This was a cause of bitter disappointment 
to the Duke, who had desired- and expected the Regency for 
himself, and of renewed resentment*. He had, however, no real 
claim to the sole power and the Bill followed faithfully the spirit 

1 H. 251, ff. 63 sqq. 2 N. 44, f. 39 ; H. 64, f. 245. 

2 H. 522, f. 216; Dodington's Zl/a?^, 104; Coxe's /"e/tow, ii., 169; Walpole's Zfrtcra, 
iii. 48, 52 ; cf. Walpole's Reminiscences {British Prose IVrilers, xxiv. 66), " The low. 
ambition of Lord Hardwicke, the childish passion for power of the Duke of Newcastle,, 
and the peevish jealousy of Mr Pelham, combined, on the death of the Prince of Wales, 
to exclude the Duke of Cumberland from the Regency." 

" PP-. "3 sqq. 

46 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

of the constitution, according to which a regency had never, as 
of right, been granted to the next adult male member of the 
royal family. To the objection raised by the Opposition in the 
House of Commons to the division of the sovereign power, Charles 
Yorke replied by reminding the House that, while there was no 
good precedent of a female regency in a minority, no precedent 
existed of a regency without limitation except that of Richard, 
Duke of Gloucester, which was an unconstitutional usurpation^ 
The measure was no doubt, in the circumstances, a wise and 
prudent arrangement, and was followed as a precedent in 1765. 
But the Duke of Cumberland regarded the bill exclusively from 
the personal point of view, and as a retaliation on the part of the 
ministers for the support given by himself to the Bedford and 
Sandwich faction. 

Much of *his resentment fell upon the Chancellor, who had had 
a principal share in the preparation and passing into law of the 
measure, and who was deputed alone to inform him of its provisions 
on April 18, 175 1, a disagreeable office such as was frequently laid 
upon him and of which he complains to the Duke of Newcastle''. 
The mutual esteem and collaboration in administration, which had 
existed between them for so long and so much to the public 
benefit, was now checked, and the Duke showed his displeasure by 
giving the cold shoulder to Col. Joseph Yorke, hitherto his favourite 
and devoted follower, while the Princess Amelia collaborated 
according to her capacity and refused the Chancellor a key into 
Richmond Park, of which she was Ranger^ 

Every opportunity of revenge and of raising embarrassments 
for the government was now taken^ In March 1752, the Duke' 

^ Pari. Hist. xiv. 1008, ion ; Walpole's George II, i. 125, 130. 

^ H. 243, f. 181. "H.R.H. the Duke of Cumberland's answer when I carried him 
the King's message with the siietch of the Regency Bill. — ' I desire you will present my 
humble duty to the King, and return His Majesty my thanks for the honour he has 
done me by ordering this affair to be communicated to me;' that I think it is necessary 
something should be done in it, and shall - — — ^ (as it is my duty) to take such part in 

it as His Majesty shall judge proper for me.'" Cf. Walpole's highly coloured account, 
George II, i. 104. "The Lord Chancellor was deputed from the King to communicate 
the plan to the Duke. He went in a great fright. ...The Duke desired he would return 
his duty.. .and .said 'for the part allotted to me I shall submit to it, because he commanded 
it, be that Regency what it will.' The Duke bade Mr Fox tell Mr Pelham this answer 
and remember the word submit ; adding ' it was a material word ; the Chancellor will 
remember it, however he reports it.'" Also pp. 115 sqq., ^n; N. 189, f. 489. 

5 Walpole's Letters, iii. 97. 

* See also Walpole's George II, i. 242, 250, here a good authority, if he can tell the 
truth, as he was in the secret of these intrigues. 


handed to the King a list of supposed Jacobites who held office in 
Scotland^ A strict inquiry was held, and it was demonstrated 
that only a few disaffected persons were still in the public employ- 
ment. We have already seen with what ill effects his influence 
was used upon the King in inciting him to unworthy and unjust 
suspicions and dislike of leading Scotsmen, to some of whom, like 
Lord Glenorchy, the King and government were under great obli- 
gations for their valuable support in suppressing the Rebellion". The 
King was even led into some momentary feelings of enmity against 
the Chancellor himself and into some expressions of disregard ; 
and together with his sister, the Princess Amelia, the Duke made 
constant attempts to poison the royal mind against the ministers ; 
but these evil designs had fortunately no more serious results than 
occasional outbursts of the royal temper and short periods of 
estrangement. A special opportunity for attack was furnished by 
the disputes among the tutors and governors in the young Prince's 
household, and by a miserable accusation, brought in 1753 against 
Andrew Stone, formerly the Duke of Newcastle's secretary and 
now the Prince's sub-governor, and against Murray, the Solicitor- 
General, who had influence at Leicester House, and who belonged 
to a Jacobite family — his brother, the Earl of Dunbar, having been 
the Pretender's chief minister. They were charged with having, 
together with Johnson, Bishop of Gloucester, drunk the Pretender's 
health somewhere nearly a quarter of a century ago^. A cry was 
raised by the enemies of the administration that the Duke of 
Newcastle had, in these appointments, meditated some great 
Jacobite treachery, a notion which was even half credited by some 
of his supporters. On the Cabinet proceeding to investigate the 
matter, Fawcett, the principal accuser, wavered in his stories, failed 
to substantiate his accusations, and finally refused to sign his 
depositions, when the charge was very properly pronounced false 
and scandalous^ 

A violent attack was made by the Duke of Bedford in the 

' Coxe's Pelham, ii. 412, 416, 440 ; N. 41, f. 314; N. 42, f, 82. 

2 pp. 118, 181 and vol. i. 531, 553 sqq. 

' Dodington's Diary, 167, i86, 193, 202; Coxe's Pelham, ii. 254; Walpole's George 
II, \ 289, 298; Letters, vi\. 134, 146; Bedford Corresp. ii. 121; P. Yorke's Diary, Add. 
35,337, f- "6. 

* H. 522, f. 226. According to Walpole {George II, i. 309), the Chancellor in his 
communication of the matter to the Duke of Bedford "seemed to own Mr Murray guilty." 
But whether innocent or guilty, the raking up of such ancient indiscretions was not a 
practice to be encouraged. The Duke of Bedford himself was reported formerly to have 
had Jacobite leanings. 

48 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

Lords upon the government, on March 22, 1753, and especially 
upon the cabinet council, which he described as a " state-expedient 
borrowed from France," a " star-chamber," " an inquisition," " mys- 
terious, secret, arbitrary, cruel." On making reference to certain 
communications between Fawcett and Lord Ravensworth, the 
originator of the charge, he was called to order by the Chancellor, 
who declared it unparliamentary to repeat a hearsay account of 
what had passed in council, and on the conclusion of the Duke's 
speech easily answered these diatribes. 

He showed that, the cabinet was not a foreign instrument of 
oppression but one, the existence of which was on record in the 
Journals of Parliament. Nor in the recent investigation had it 
acted in any way as a judicial body, but had conducted the inquiry 
solely for the satisfaction of the government, and not for legal 
prosecution ; while the oaths had been taken by the witnesses at 
their own request and had not been imposed by authority. He 
added that the King's permission had been given to all the cabinet 
ministers to answer any questions put to them. He then exposed 
the inconsistencies and contradictions of Fawcett, the accuser, and 
praised in high terms of appreciation the services of Stone and 
those of Murray to the government. He deprecated the inter- 
ference of Parliament in the King's family, the management of 
which the Judges had declared to be the King's prerogative, and 
especially denounced the mean and shabby scraping up of for- 
gotten indiscretions. " He reflected with pleasure on the many 
converts that had been made from Jacobitism and hoped that by 
raking into old stories, their Lordships would not prevent and dis- 
courage such change of principles ; that it would make those, who 
were willing to come over to the pale of loyalty, dread parliamentary 
inquiries hanging over their heads ; they would never think them- 
selves safe ; and it would be ungenerous to exclude men of any 
principles from enjoying the sunshine and blessings of such a reign 
and government. For his part, he hated names and distinctions, 
and to stifle any attempts for reviving them he would give his 
negation to the motion^" 

1 Coxe's Pelham, ii. 261; cf. Walpole's George II, i. 316, "The Chancellor, who was 
to conduct the solemn drama of the day, took care to keep off all episodes that might 
interfere with the projected plan of action, and interrupted the two Lords [Ravensworth 
and Bedford] by laying it down for order that Lord Ravensworth must not repeat what he 
had only heard passed in Council. But this authoritative decision was treated as it ought, 
to be by the Duke of Bedford, etc." 

^ Walpole's George II, i. 321 sqq. who calls these remarks "the Chancellor's hackneyed 


This attack on the government also failed completely, and the 
Duke of Bedford, going below the Bar for a division, had the 
mortification of finding himself followed by only three others^ 

Intrigues and cabals thus fomented by so powerful a personage 
as the Duke of Cumberland, the King's favourite son, gave great 
anxiety to the ministers and often impeded their measures ; but it 
must not be supposed that these troubles, or the constant disputes 
within the cabinet, which fill so large a place in the memoirs and 
correspondence of the time, monopolised the attention and energies 
of the cabinet. On the contrary, a series of great reforms were, 
during these last years of Henry Pelham's administration, con- 
ceived and accomplished, which must for ever distinguish this 
period as one of the brightest and happiest in our political history. 

The great administrative reforms in Scotland, carried through 
with so much firmness and success by the Chancellor, have already 
been described. The intervention of the government was also at 
this time required in Ireland, where a political agitation of some 
interest and importance had been set on foot. Superficially, it had 
all the appearance of a great movement in favour of Irish inde- 
pendence from English control, but in reality it was essentially one 
of personal rivalry and competition. Henry Boyle, a grandson of 
the first Earl of Orrery, now over 70 years of age, had sat for 
forty years in Parliament and had. held the offices of Chancellor 
of Exchequer and Speaker of the House of Commons for the 
space of twenty. With a large following in the Parliament, and 
supported by several great Irish families, he had long been one 
of the most powerful persons in Ireland and had acted, for a 
long period, though unrecognised officially, as the deputy of the 
English government in Irish parliamentary affairs. Lords Chester- 
field and Harrington had prudently acquiesced in the large share 
of power and influence held by this great personage ; so had 
likewise the Duke of Dorset during his former Lord Lieutenancy; 
and the responsibility for disturbing these relations was now attri- 
buted to Lord George Sackville, a son of the Lord Lieutenant, 
a man of some ability but, according to Walpole, "haughty, 

' " I did expect," writes the Duke of Newcastle to Col. Joseph Yorke at the Hague, 
on March 30, 1753, "more congratulation from you, either public or private, upon the 
greatest day that ever any administration had in Parliament. The vilest calumnies 
detected, and the boldest and most unjust attempts against ministers, your particular 
friends, defeated, to the confusion of the actors and abettors, and to the honour of the 
administration and their friends. I shall never forget the obligation I have to your 
Father upon this occasion." N. 158, f. 384. 

Y. II. 4 

so DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

obstinate and overbearing," and whose name, a few years after- 
wards, obtained an unenviable notoriety. He was supported by 
the Primate, Dr George Stone, a brother of Andrew Stone, the 
Duke of Newcastle's former secretary and confidant, — a bishop 
whose ambition was too much centred in Irish politics. They 
became rivals to the Speaker and drew into their plans the Lord 
Lieutenant, who in his former tenure of office had been very 
popular, representing the hostility of the Speaker and his party to 
themselves as disloyalty to the Crown. 

The quarrel broke out on the question of the royal assent to the 
disposal of the overplus towards the payment of the national debt, 
which the Speaker's party took the opportunity of repudiating as 
an infringement of Irish liberties. The principle, however, of the 
royal consent and control was this time established ; but the dis- 
pute was by no means composed ; and Lord Kildare, the eldest son 
of the Duke of Leinster, took the audacious step of coming to 
England and of presenting a memorial to the King against the 
Duke of Dorset's administration, to which a reply, drawn up by the 
Chancellor, was sent, not to Lord Kildare, who was passed over, but 
to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, affirming in dignified terms the 
King's entire confidence in the Lord Lieutenants In December, 
1753, the dispute was renewed once more. The Bill from England 
with the altered preamble, announcing the King's consent to the 
disposal of the surplus, was thrown out by a majority of five, and 
an alarming Protestant opposition to the government declared 
itself, in consequence of which Boyle, and those who held office 
under the Crown and had voted in the majority, were summarily 
dismissed, and a part of the surplus was employed by royal authority 
in the payment of the debt. 

The struggle and agitation, however, continued for some time. 
No further surplus was allowed by the opposition to accrue ; and 
the money was spent in lavish bounties on trade and on local 
improvements, while the administration of the Lord Lieutenant was 
interrupted by much disorder and by several serious and violent 
riots. In February 1755, however, the Chancellor and the Duke of 
Newcastle, recognizing the personal character of the dispute, dis- 
approving of the Primate's and Lord George Sackville's conduct, 
and by no means desirous of sacrificing the peaceable administra- 
tion of Ireland to the political jealousies and ambitions of these two 
persons, or of losing or dividing the Protestant interest, "acquainted 
^ pp. r25, 133. H. 66, f. no. 


the Duke of Dorset that he was to return no more to Ireland," and 
obtained for him instead the office of Master of the Horse. He 
was succeeded by Lord Hartington. The Archbishop finally lost 
his influence, and was omitted next time in the number of the 
Lords Justices appointed on the departure of the Duke of Dorset 
from Ireland. The Speaker left the House of Commons and was 
created Earl of Shannon with a pension of ;^2000 a year; while 
a number of his followers obtained pensions or places, and the 
" patriots dismissed the woes of their country for which they had 
no longer occasion \" 

The Chancellor had been kept well-informed of these events in 
Ireland through his old friend the Irish Chancellor, Lord Jocelyn, 
and his namesake, Sir William Yorke, the Lord Chief Justice, and 
had been largely responsible for the firmness shown by the govern- 
ment at first, as well as for the spirit of accommodation and com- 
promise thought wise and necessary later. But there is little trace 
here of the courageous and vigorous statesmanship, which revived 
and rejuvenated Scotland. His intervention was restricted to the 
maintenance of order and to the support and strengthening of the 
government, or, to use his own words, "to maintain the King's just 
prerogative and the legal dependence of Ireland upon Great Britain, 
which I think essential to both nations ; to support the credit, 
weight and authority of my Lord Lieutenant and to prevent any 
lasting divisions growing out of these difficulties amongst the Pro- 
testants in Ireland^." His action never seems to have extended 
beyond these limits. The abuse of the Irish pension list, indeed, 
invariably met with his strong disapproval, and it was kept rigorously 
within bounds during the whole period of his tenure of office. In 
1757 it exceeded only by a little more than iJ^SOOO its amount in 
1727; while shortly after his retirement, by 1763, it was nearly 
doubled. In 1761 the Duke of Bedford, upon quitting his 
Lieutenancy, obtained Irish pensions to the amount of ^^^2900 
for his sister, his friends and dependants. " I freely confess," 
writes Lord Hardwicke in reply to the Duke of Newcastle, on 
February 23, "that I utterly dislike the whole. ;^2900 per 
annum for private friends and dependants is monstrous. How 
can we wonder that those people are ready to run into all 

1 Walpole's George II, ii. 3, 10, 18, 23, 39, 183, and for the whole, i. 278, 354, 363, 
3671 389; Coxa's Pelham, ii. 283, 429; Bedford Corresp. ii. 143, 165; Lecky's Hist, of 
England (iS%^), ii. 430 sqq.; H. 257, f. 330. 

^ P- 133- 

52 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

kinds of faction when we take all ways to provoke them, and drive 
them mad'?" But the fundamental evils of the Irish government 
— the injurious and wasteful system of finance, the difificulties and 
dangers arising from the separate legislatures, and from the division 
of power between the crown officials and the Irish Protestant 
leaders — do not seem to have been considered by him as problems 
of practical statesmanship ; though such mischiefs, together with 
the necessity of uprooting an old and rotten civilisation, and of the 
opening up of the natural resources of Ireland to England and to the 
world, oifered opportunities of great and far-reaching reforms. If 
similar methods, indeed, had been applied here that were employed 
in Scotland, and at this early stage, as great results and as lasting 
benefits would in all probability have followed. The necessity for 
reforms, however, had not been forced upon the attention of those 
in power by a sudden crisis, which threatened the throne and the 
central administration itself, such as the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745; 
and the early death of Henry Pelham in 1754, followed soon after- 
wards by the retirement of the Chancellor from an active official 
part in public affairs, interrupted the reign of domestic reform, the 
Duke of Newcastle's government which followed, being preoccupied 
with resisting attacks from rivals and opponents and with the great 
struggle with France for empire. 

In England itself, on the other hand, great energy and wisdom 
were shown by the ministers in the spheres of administration and 
of legislation. Severe, and what is more important, efficacious 
measures were passed to control the terrible gin traffic^, which 
were the foundation for all subsequent legislation. A new police 
was instituted, which prevented to a great extent the abominable 
outrages and crimes of violence in the streets ; and a whole series 
of beneficial enactments for the suppression of lawlessness and 
brutality, for maintaining public order and for protecting property, 
which included the defence of the shipwrecked from plunder, 
became law. The exact share which the Chancellor had in these 
administrative reforms does not now appear, but it was probably a 
principal one. Henry Fielding, the famous novelist and the London 
magistrate, whose firmness and energy were chiefly instrumental 
in suppressing crimes of violence, received much encouragement 

1 N. 234, f. 215; H. 72, f. 197; H. 52, f. 109; Bedford Corr. ii. 273; Walpole's 
George III, i. 268. 

^ The act of 1736, which amounted to a total prohibition, had proved an entire 
failure, vol. i. 133. 


from him and dedicated to him his well-known 'Inquiry' in 
1750^ In 1753 a sum of £600 was placed in Fielding's hands by 
the government, and employed by him to such good purpose, that 
m a short time the gangs of thieves were broken up, and in the last 
two months of that year no single murder or street robbery occurred 
in London% The Chancellor lent the weight of his authority — 
"the highest which doth now exist," wrote Fielding, "or which 
perhaps ever did exist in this Kingdom^" — to the suppression of 
the low gaming tables^ the centres of all kinds of brutality and 
vice ; and a detestable plot was formed against his life by some 
of the miscreants, who profited by them, which was happily dis- 
covered and frustrated*. 

Upon the conclusion of hostilities, the government set itself 
zealously to repair the damage caused by the war and to restore 
prosperity. Employment was found for soldiers discharged, in 
consequence of the reduction of the forces, by a great scheme of 
emigration which settled numbers of them in Nova Scotia^ Great 
financial reforms were carried through successfully. The national 
debt, which at the peace amounted to over seventy-eight millions, 
with an annual charge for interest of over three millions, and which 
Sir Robert Walpole had done little during the long years of his 
peaceful rule to reduce, was consolidated, diminished by 3^ millions, 
and the interest gradually reduced to 3 per cent. — " the boldest, 
and most useful operation of finance, recorded in the history of this 
country"." A striking developement in the material prosperity of 
the country was inaugurated. A low rate of interest was main- 
tained. The wages of labourers were higher in proportion than 
for many ages pasf, and trade increased and expanded. A useful 
measure dealing with wills, initiated by the Chancellor, of which 
one clause prohibited a legatee being at the same time a witness 

^ See also H. Fielding to Lord H., July 21, 1749, sending his Charge to the Grand 
Jury of Westminster and his draft of a bill for the prevention of street robberies, H. 242, 

f- 3.34- 

^ Fielding's Voyage to Lisbon. 

^ Cf. vol. i. 126 H. Walpole even here manages by a veritable tour de force, which 
one cannot but admire, to get in an abusive antithesis : " His exceeding parsimony 
was qualified by his severity to, and discouragement of, usurers and gamesters ; at least, 
he endeavoured to suppress that species of avarice that exists by supplying and encouraging 
extravagance." George II, \. 161. 

* pp. 108-110. ° See above, p. 8. 

" Sir J. Sinclair, Hist, of the Public Revenue, i. 448 sqq. ; Coxe's Pelham, ii. 89 ; and 
see above, p. i. 

' Malthus, Principles of Political Economy (1820), 279. 

54 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

to a will, was passed in 17521. The alteration of the calendar 
to the new style was another sensible reform, supported b}' the 
Chancellor^ which exposed the government to some unpopularity 
in the country. 

In the House of Lords, he gave his assistance to several im- 
portant measures. He spoke strongly in support of the Alutmy 
Bill, brought into the Lords on March 15, 1749, and opposed on 
account of the unpopularity of the Duke of Cumberland, and the 
additional power it was thought to give to the Commander-in-chief 
of the army, when he .reviewed the history of the standing army 
from the Restoration. He argued that, far from being a menace, 
that force had, since that time, been the great defence of the consti- 
tution ; and those, who had raised a clamour against it, had been 
men far from zealous in the cause of national libert)^ and religion, 
and had done so with treason in their hearts. The results of 
compelling King William III to disband the troops after the Treaty 
of Ryswick had been disastrous; on the death of Charles II of 
Spain we had no troops to send thither, and thus that country fell 
under the power of France. As to a militia, it could by no means 
be regarded as a sufficient defence ; and of that a convincing proof 
was afforded in the late rebellion when, though most men believed 
that popery as well as slavery would have been the certain con- 
sequence of the Pretender's success, yet but a faint resistance was 
made in any part of the kingdom by the people, so faint that 
had not a body of regular troops been obtained from abroad, 
the rebels might have gained possession of the capital without 
any opposition. He concluded by supporting the death penaltj' 
for desertion, and the revision of verdicts b}" courts-martial'. The 
question of the liability of half-pay military officers to martial 
law was long debated. The Judges were divided in opinion, 
but the Chancellor pronounced in favour of it, and the clause was 
carried ^ 

Another measure, the Jews Naturalisation Bill, received the 
Chancellor's strong support. This was a small enactment to 
enable Parliament to naturalise individual Jews who applied for 
it. It was founded on clear principles of liberty and justice, and 

1 2; George II, c. 6; Statutis at Large, xx. 323, and see Lord H. to the Lord Ch. of 
Ireland on this question, H. 243, f. 27S. 
- Coxa's Pelham, ii. 1 7S. 

* Below, pp. 84 sqq. ; Pari. Hist. xiv. 450. 

* lb. xiv. 46 1 «. ; Coxe's Pelham, ii. 66 ; for the Chancellors notes of the debate on 
March iS. see H. 528, ff. 376-3S2. 


was conceived with the object of aiding the developement of trade 
in England at the conclusion of the war, and "to bring in a greater 
number of rich Jews to reside amongst us." The Jews had been 
naturalised in almost all the European states, and were among the 
most useful, peaceable and industrious people in the kingdom. 
They could already become denizens by Letters Patent from the 
Crown, by which their descendants might inherit land from them ; 
but they were still debarred from inheriting collaterally, which 
implied a retrospects These considerations, however, were over- 
borne by prejudiced popular opinion, and a wave of anti-semitism 
swept over the country, bearing down all common sense before it. 
The measure raised violent religious, commercial and aristocratic 
jealousies. The lower and more ignorant clergy declared the 
Christian faith to be dishonoured and endangered ; the merchants 
feared competition in trade, the land-owners dispossession from 
their estates, and the governing class that money, and not family, 
might become the passport to power. 

The Bill passed without much opposition in the Lords in April 
1753, largely through the Chancellor's influence, who had persuaded 
most of the bishops to support it, and had inserted a clause dis- 
abling all Jews from purchasing livings or presenting to them", 
and in spite of the Duke of Bedford's warning that England would 
become a second Canaan, divided out among the Jews. In the 
Commons, however, on the second reading on May 7, it was 
attacked furiously. To allow the Jews to settle in England, it 
was said, was to rob Englishmen of their birthright as Christians 
and to fly in the face of Providence, which had ordained that they 
should be a scattered nation. The, extreme peril of "an Ahasuerus 
upon the throne," with an army of foreign mercenaries at his 
disposal, was demonstrated. According to Admiral Vernon, 
circumcision would soon become compulsory. From voting and 
choosing members of Parliament, it was affirmed, the Jews would 
become members of Parliament themselves, though to none does 
the possibility of a Jew prime minister seem to have occurred. 
Several London merchants of substance presented a petition in 
favour of the Bill, calculated, in their opinion, to increase the trade 
and credit of the kingdom. But the Lord Mayor and corporation 
of the City offered one against it, and the opposition to the measure 
appeared to increase in strength. 

^ Seep. 130; H. S. Q. Henriques, The Jevis and the English Law, 241. 
^ H. 3, f. 247 ; Walpole's George II, i. 357. 


The Bill was, however, carried through Parliament by the 
ministers', and great pains were taken by the Chancellor to explain 
its real nature and overcome the prejudices against it^. The feel- 
ing in the country, however, remained so strong, that it was soon 
seen that the Jews would be injured, instead of benefited, by the 
law, and that no Jew would venture to apply for his naturalisation. 
A number of pamphlets appeared in violent abuse of the measured 
Englandj it was declared, would be known as " little Jewry." Less 
brawn, ham and bacon would be sold, and duelling would increase. 
"The rage of the peoplcj." it was said, "was ungovernable^." Those, 
who had supported the Bill, incurred the greatest unpopularity, and 
their seats in Parliament were jeopardised in consequence. The 
Bishops were attacked and abused when travelling in their dioceses. 
The Archbishop of Canterbury, while at Lewes, writes to the 
Chancellor of being "a little insulted with the Jews. This ridiculous 
prejudice is trumpeted all over England, in which I am not so 
much concerned for its influence on the next election, as I am to 
see how easy it is to raise this foolish people to an inhuman and 
savage spirit, in spite of all the light and moderation, which has 
of late years prevailed V The Bishop of Norwich was mobbed by 
rude youths in his diocese, who called upon him, instead of con- 
firming them, to circumcise them. A general election was at hand, 
and the government, perceiving that persistence in a trivial matter 
might have serious and far-reaching consequences, decided wisely 
to repeal the Act; and at the beginning of the new session, on 
November 15, 1753, introduced a Bill for that purpose in the House 
of Lords. 

Here the Chancellor in -advising this Concession to popular 
clamour and prejudice appeared in a new light. He pointed out 
the inconveniences and injury which the Act, in the state of public 
opinion, would inevitably bring upon the Jews, whom it had been 
desired to benefit, and the dangers to which they would be exposed 
from the exasperation of the people, which, he believed, would not 
soon subside but, indeed, had only been hitherto restrained by the 
expectation that the Act would be repealed. If this had been a 
law on which the national security and happiness had depended, 
he woiald not have yielded; for he had such an opinion of the good 

' Pari. Hist. xiv. 1365. 2 p_ j,2y_ 

" See G. B. Hertz, British Imperialism in the 18M Century, 6^, for an account of 

■■ pp. 127-133; Pari. Hist. xiv. 1431. « H. ^si, f. 93; p. 132. 


sense of the people, that he should have expected their opposition 
to cease when they saw the utility of the measure. Such a case 
had occurred at the beginning of the late reign, when it was necessary 
for Parliament to suppress the blind, persecuting spirit that then 
prevailed in the Established Church, and when it would have been 
madness to have yielded to madmen^ What was the consequence? 
As soon as the people had time to consider and to cool, they saw 
their folly and approved of the action of the legislature.. The Bill 
now before their Lordships, however, was not of this importance, 
and the government would act wisely in yielding to the popular 
humour. The Act to prevent the spreading of cholera in England, 
in the seventh year of the late reign, was a similar case to the 
present. Though the regulations imposed therein were extremely 
proper, yet the enemies of the government made them an occasion 
for exciting a popular clamour. The cry was everywhere, " No 
barrack hospitals ! No red-coat nurses ! " and the ferment among 
the people became general. Accordingly the legislature, perceiving 
that the law had been made a tool of faction, repealed the clauses 
in the next session. They should now follow this example, and 
disarm the enemies of the government of the only weapon they 
had to use against them. "If it were of much greater impor- 
tance than it is," he continued, " I should be for repealing it ; for 
however much the people may be misled, yet in a free country, 
I do not think an unpopular measure ought to be obstinately 
persisted in. We should trust the people as a skilful and humane 
physician would trust his patient: if they nauseate the salutary 
draught we have prescribed, we should think of some other remedy, 
or we should delay administering the prescription till time or 
change of circumstances has removed the nausea." This might 
happen in the present case. The people might grow cool; they 
would then consider the consequences of the Act, had it subsisted, 
without prejudice, would discover that their apprehensions were 
groundless, and then would as universally desire its revival, as they 
formerly had its repeal. The Chancellor concluded by declaring 
that on no consideration whatever would the government go further 
than yield on this small matter. The Plantation Act, 13 George II, 
c. 7, by which Jews might obtain naturalization in the Colonies 
after a residence of seven years, and against which it was now sought 
[by the Duke of Bedford] to raise a clamour, would be maintained 

' The allusion is to the Bill against Occasional Conformity, and to the Schism Act, 
passed in Anne and repealed in George I. 

58 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

intact; for any other course would entail a gross breach of public 
faith, which would have fatal consequences^ As to the repeal of 
the Toleration Act, or any measures of persecution against the Jews 
or any other religious sect, he had too high an opinion of the good 
sense of the people to believe that they would countenance such 

The Bill, accordingly, after debate in the Commons, was repealed, 
the preamble stating as the cause the " discontents and disquiets," 
which had been raised in the minds of the King's subjects. Another 
good measure of a similar kind, to allow the naturalization of 
foreign Protestants, after passing through several stages in the 
House of Commons in 175 1, was likewise for the same reasons 

The Chancellor's attitude towards another subject of reform, 
but of much greater importance, was very different. The famous 
Marriage Act, 26 George II, c. 33, hereafter always associated with 
his name, forrns one of the chief landmarks in the history of the 
marriage laws. It was passed, as is well known, to put a stop to 
the extraordinary abuses arising from the so-called Fleet marriages, 
by which young persons, without due consideration of the conse- 
quences, often in a state of intoxication or intimidated by threats, 
hastily concluded unsuitable and clandestine alliances. Such 
marriages, soon repented of, proved the ruin of those who had 
become entangled in them ; and kept secret, disturbed the happi- 
ness and legal status of whole families, when discovered at a later 
date. The registers were easily falsified, often antedated for the 
convenience of the parties, liable to be sold, dispersed or destroyed ^ 
and though they might be produced, as might other evidence, for 
the purpose of proving a marriage, they were not admitted as legal 
records^ in the Courts of Justice. 

' An attempt in this direction in the House of Commons on December 4, 1754, was 
defeated by 208 to 88. Walpole's George II, i. 364. 

^ Pari. Hist. xv. 99; Walpole's George II, i. 360; Bedford Corresp. ii. 138; N. 48, 
f. 213. 

^ Coxe's Pelham, ii. 180. 

■* See the entries quoted by J. S. Burn, Registi'um Ecclesiae Parochialis, 229. 

^ Burn, Hist, of Fleet Marriages, 127 sqq. ; J. T. Hammick, Marriage Law (1887), 
II «. ; Peake's Nisi Prius Cases, 137, 231. They were rejected by Lord Chief Justice 
Kenyon who in 1792 said, "there was a tradition in Westminster Hall, that when the 
books of the Fleet were produced before Lord Hardwicke, he would not receive them in 
evidence, but cut them to pieces in court." On the other hand, it was stated by counsel 
in another case, Lloyd and Passingham, in 1826, that such registers "were received by 
another high and enlightened individual, rarely equalled in point of legal knowledge, 
never at any period surpassed, I mean by the celebrated Lord Hardwicke." 


The number of persons, who were united by these irregular 
marriages, was enormous. Over a hundred couples were sometimes 
joined by a single clergyman in a single day. John Gainham 
between 1709 and 1740 "solemnized" 36,000 marriages; the 
Reverend Alexander Keith, at Mayfair Chapel, on an average 
6000 yearly, and on Sunday, March 24, 1754, the day before the 
Act came into force, "near 100 pair had been joined together." 
Walter Wyatt, a Fleet parson, earned £y^. 12s. in one month, — 
October, 1748^ A female correspondent, who signs herself 
" Virtuous," and whose letter is printed in the Gentleman's Magazine 
of February 1735, complains "of the many ruinous marriages that 
are every year practised in the Fleet by a set of drunken, swearing 
parsons with their myrmidons, that wear black coats and pretend 
to be clerks and registers of the Fleet, plying about Ludgate Hill, 
pulling and forcing people to some pedling ale-house or brandy 
shop to be married, even on Sunday, stopping them as they go to 
the church. Not long since a young lady was deluded and forced 
from her friends, and by the assistance of a very wicked swearing 
parson, married to an atheistical wretch, whose life is a continual 
practice of all manner of vice and debauchery. Another young 
lady was decoyed to a house in the confines of the Fleet by a 
pretended clergyman; Dr Wryneck immediately appeared and 
swore she should be married ; or if she would not, he would have 
his fee and register the marriage from that night. The lady to 
recover her liberty left her ring as a pledge that she would meet 
him the morrow nightl" " In walking along the street in my 
youth," writes Thomas Pennant in his account of London', "on 
the side next to this [i.e. the Fleet] prison, I have often been 
tempted by the question. Sir, will you be pleased to walk in and 
be married f Along this most lawless space was hung up the 
frequent sign of a male and a female hand conjoined, with Marriages 
performed within written beneath. A dirty fellow invited you in. 
The parson was seen walking before his shop ; a squalid profligate 
figure, clad in a tattered plaid nightgown, with a fiery face, and 

' Gent. Mag. xxiv. 141; J. S. Burn, Hist, of Fleet Marriages (1834), 20, 54; Pari. 
Hist. XV. 19, 42 ; G. Howard, Matrimonial Institutions (1904), i. 440, where a de- 
tailed description of the traffic and of the consequent disorders and scandals will be 

^ Vol. V. 93; J. S. Burn, Registrum Ecclesiae Parochialis, 118; see also the de- 
scription of the parson in Sir Charles Grandison, Letter xxx. 

^ (1793) 232; see also the instances mentioned in Lettres d\m Franfais (1745), i. 


ready to couple you for a dram of gin or roll of tobacco. Our 
great Chancellor, Lord Hardwicke, put these daemons to flight, 
and saved thousands from the misery and disgrace, which would 
be entailed by these extemporary thoughtless unions." 

Nor was it only the young and reckless that were exposed to 
these evils and mischiefs. In the case of Bennet and Spencer v. Wade 
for example, which came before Lord Hardwicke in 1742, Sir John 
Leigh, a helpless, drunken old man, had been imposed upon by his 
apothecary who caused him to marry his daughter of 16, procuring 
a Fleet parson to perfQrm the ceremony and obtaining settlements, 
which were, however, set aside by the Chancellor, and the estate 
conveyed to the heirs at law^ 

The gross abuses and hardships, arising from this license and 
confusion, had frequently been brought to the notice of the 
Chancellor, when presiding in the Court of Chancery, and had often 
formed the subject of his remarks from the Bench^; and the scandal 
of these proceedings had lately been brought in a special manner 
before the public by the case of Cochrane v. Campbell, which came 
on appeal before the Lords from a Scottish court, in which a man, 
after a supposed marriage of thirty years, was claimed by another 
woman on the strength of one of these irregular contracts. The 
case was taken up by Lord Bath, and on January 31, 1753, the 
Lords directed the twelve Judges to draft a Bill which, however, 
not giving satisfaction, the Chancellor brought in his own measure, 
on March 19, 1753. 

In its final form it provided that, except in the case of Jews, 
Quakers and the Royal Family, who were exempted, a marriage 
in England was only valid when performed by a clergyman in 
orders, according to the Anglican liturgy, and after the banns had 
been published in the parish church for three successive Sundays, 
or by special license, such licenses not being obtainable by minors 
without the consent of their parents or guardians; while a license 
from the Archbishop of Canterbury alone permitted the ceremony 
to take place elsewhere than in the parish church. Some attempts 
had already been made to suppress the abuse by inflicting fines on 
the off"ending clergymen but without success'*, and by the Act they 
were now made liable to transportation. Provisions for the strict 

1 H. 67i,f. 56^; Dickens, i. 84-5. ^ ^./.pp. 4+7, 469, 471,475 and see vol. i. 121-4. 

^ Bills had been brought into the House of Commons in 1718 and 1735; see also 
6 & 7 Will, in, c. 6 and 7 & 8 Will. Ill, c. 35 ; and the able tract of Dr Henry Gaily, 
Some Considerations upon Clandestine Marriages (1750), where the remedy provided 
by the Act vifas recommended. 


keeping of the parish registers were also included, the falsification 
of which was made a felony to be punished by death. The Act 
contained, moreover, a clause forbidding any suit or proceeding 
in the ecclesiastical courts to compel a celebration of marriage 
in facie ecclesiae, by reason of any contract entered into after the 
date of the enacting of the new statute^ 

That a- remedy had not been found and applied before to 
scandals and abuses of Such magnitude is surprising, and still 
more strange must appear the opposition and hostility with which 
the measure was received from various quarters. Blackstone in his 
second edition of the Commentaries, of 1766, while allowing it to 
be a remedy for inconvenience in private families, argues that 
" restraints upon marriages, especially among the lower class, are 
entirely detrimental to the public by hindering the increase of 
the people ; and to religion and morality, by encouraging licence 
and debauchery among the single of both sexes, thereby destroying 
one end of society and government^." 

In Parliament, a violent opposition was organised against the 
Bill, which developed into an audacious attack upon the Chancellor 
himself, and was supported by appeals to the most ignorant popular 
prejudices. In the Lords it was assailed, amongst others, by the 
Duke of Bedford, on May 4, 1753, who complained of having been 
desired not to interrupt the proceedings, and of being deprived 
of opportunity to debate against it in committee. He denounced 
it as an obstruction to marriage, an injustice to Roman Catholics 
and Nonconformists, as a measure beyond the powers of the legis- 
lature, contrary to the Gospel and, last but not least, increasing 
the power of the Court of Chancery^ 

In the Commons it was received with great hostility. It was 
opposed by young Charles Townshend, the second son of the third 
Viscount Townshend, celebrated for his wit and oratory — afterwards 
the corrupt Chancellor of the Exchequer in Pitt's administration of 
1766, and the minister responsible for the fatal American taxation 
— who drew a harrowing picture of a younger son prevented from 
marrying an heiress by a hard and unfeeling parent, though a year 
after the passing of the Act he showed these alarms to be quite 

' Statutes at Large, xxi. 124, and for the Chancellor's further explanation of some of 
its provisions see pp. 134-6. 

''■ There is considerable significance in the fact that this sentence does not occur at all 
in the first edition of 1765, written, no doubt, during Lord Hardwicke's lifetime. 

2 Notes of the debate in Lord HardM'icke's handwriting and objections, H. 529, 
ff. 119 sqq. 

62 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

unfounded by himself marrying a rich widow and coheir of the 
second Duke of Argyll. "A gentleman marrying a beautiful 
young girl of little or no fortune," he went on, " is generally so 
much laughed at by his companions, that no man would choose 
to have it made public beforehand..., and the necessity of his 
doing so may very probably prevent his making her happy, and 
induce him to render her miserable by debauching her\" " It 
shocks the modesty of a young girl," declared Nugent, another 
speaker, "to have it proclaimed through the parish that she is 
going to be married ; and a young fellow does not like to be 
exposed so long beforehand to the jeers of all his companions^" 
" Sir," continued Charles Townshend, " I must look upon this bill 
as one of the most cruel enterprizes against the fair sex, that ever 
entered into the heart of man; and if I were concerned in pro- 
moting it, I should expect to have my eyes torn out by the young 
women of the first country town I passed through, for against such 
an enemy I could not surely hope for the protection of the gentle- 
men of our army." A month was far too long for a loving couple 
to wait for the completion of their wishes, and the Bill would 
undoubtedly promote fornication. " Were new shackles," he de- 
manded, " to be forged to keep young men of abilities from rising 
to a level with their elder brothers? "..." If," however, the young 
orator went on, with impertinent reflexion upon the Chancellor, 
" this bill could anyway contribute to secure our rich heiresses to 
the eldest sons of noble reduced families, the argument might 
have some weight; but as a rich lord is as fond of having his 
eldest son married to a rich heiress as any poor lord can be, and 
as an avaricious father always will, and the Court of Chancery, or 
a guardian, must always prefer the former, the bill will have quite 
a contrary effect." 

Pamphlets in violent opposition were scattered broadcasts 
John Shebbeare, the hack writer for the Tories, niade, like Charles 
Townshend in Parliament, his debut, in letters, on this occasion, with 
The Marriage Act, a novel, written " in defence and for the service 

1 Cf. H. Walpole to Conway (Letters, iii. i6o), "How would my Lady Ailesbury 
[Conway's wife] have liked to be asked in a parish church for three Sundays running ? 
I really believe she would have worn her weeds for ever, rather than have passed through 
so impudent a ceremony." This extreme delicacy in the author of letters and memoirs, 
many passages of which can only be represented by asterisks, is rather startling. 

^ Pari. Hist. xv. 19, 49 sqq.; see also below, p. 120. 

2 G. E. Howard, Hist, of Matrimonial Institutions (1904), i. 406-7, where some of 
these are enumerated. 


of the fairest objects of creation," and containing first a very 
obsequious dedication to the Duke of Bedford. In the course of 
the tale, Mr Narrowbottom, the needy pedagogue, declares, " This 
act will throw all the money into the hands of the nobility, who, 
purchasing the boroughs, will choose what Commons they please, 
by which means they will become the representatives of the Lords 
and not the People; the... [King] will be a mere cypher, a kind of 
pensioner of the Lords." Further on, the evils of the Act are 
viewed under another aspect. " Why, really, my Lord," says Lucy 
[my Lord Sapplin's mistress], " matrimony has seldom been a 
prejudice to us, who enjoy the company of gentlemen without that 
clog, and this marriage law bids fair to improve our advantage." 
A large portion of the story turns upon the woes of Mr Barter's 
daughter, who, under the Act, is forced by her parents to marry an 
unpleasing baronet. In the second volume, Mr Thoroughgood, "the 
good old man," discourses on the iniquities of the Act which, he 
declares, must end in " universal adultery." The Chancellor is 
represented pronouncing in favour of forged documents, " with that 
equity which ever attends his decisions " ; a conscientious clergy- 
man, who has performed the nuptial ceremony contrary to the Act, 
pleads eloquently to the judge and is sentenced to transportation, 
and the healths of the Duke of Bedford and Mr Fox are drunk, 
whose portraits, it is declared, should be placed, like those of 
guardian angels, by every virgin's bedside^ 

This singular and extravagant attack may be further followed 
in the pages of Horace Walpole, a close friend and adherent of the 
Bedford and Fox faction, in whose family there were several 
examples of these irregular marriages I " Whether from mere 
partiality to an ordinance thus become his own," he writes, "or 

^ Thos. Birch to Lord Royston, September 14, 1754, " Deputy Hodges, the bookseller 
on London Bridge, one of the city demagogues, and candidate for the post of Common 
Crier against the next vacancy, has in the press a romance intended to expose the con- 
sequences of it, and entitled The Marriage Act. The author is the well-known Dr Sheb- 
beare, who duped Nourse, the bookseller, out of notes for 200 guineas, by the pretence of 
selling him Lord Hyde's letters." A little later he reports that the book has been called 
in, Hodges sent for by Lord Holdemess, obliged to cancel the invectives against the 
government and to give security. H. 50, ff. 211, 242 and below, p. 137. The author paid 
for his temerity by imprisonment ; but the book appeared again the next year under the 
title of Matrimony, and again in 1 766. He was the author of several other attacks on the 
government, and in 1758 was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and the pillory, the 
aim and object, according to Horace Walpole, of his life. At the accession of George IH 
and the break up of the Whig power, he received a pension and supported the Court. 
Below, p. 380 n.\ Walpole's George II, iii. 152. 

2 George II, i. 336-353; Letters, iii. 158, 160. 


whether in shaping a law, new views of power opened to a mind 
fond of power, fond of dictating; so it was that the Chancellor 
gave all his attention to a statute, into which he had breathed the 
very spirit of aristocracy and insolent nobility. It was amazing 
in a country where liberty gives choice, where trade and money 
confer equality, and where facility of marriage had always been 
supposed to produce populousness — it was amazing to see a law 
promulged that cramped inclination, that discountenanced matri- 
mony, and that seemed to annex as sacred privileges to birth, as 
could be devised in ii}e proudest, poorest little Italian principality ; 
and as if the artificer had been a Teutonic Margrave, not a little 
lawyer, who had raised himself by his industry from the very lees 
of the people ; and who had matched his own blood with the great 
house of Kent [...The new act set out with a falsehood, declaiming 
against clandestine marriages as if they had been a frequent evil\;... 
enjoined indispensable publication of banns, yet took away their 
validity, if parents, nay if even guardians, signified their dissent ;... 
but guardians are a limb of Chancery !... Persons solemnizing 
marriages without these previous steps were sentenced to trans- 
portation... so close did congenial law clip the wings of the 
prostrate priesthood ! And as if such rigour did not sufficiently 
describe its fountain and its destination, it was expressly specified 
that where a mother or a guardian should be non compos, resort 
might be had to the Chancellor himself for license.... The speeches 
hitherto had only been flourishes in the air : at last the real enemy 
came forth, Mr Fox, who neither spared the bill nor the author 
of it.. ..On the 23rd and 25th. ..Mr Fox.. '.repeated his censures on 

the Chancellor, which old Horace Walpole reproved 28th... The 

Pontific power arrogated by the Head of the Law and his obstinate 
persisting to enforce a statute, by no means calculated or called 
for by general utility, was most indecent. The Speaker argued 
with great weight against the clause [annulling marriages con- 
trary to the act.]... Mr Fox at one in the morning spoke against it 
for above an hour, and laid upon the chicanery and jargon of the 

1 Yet he gives several instances himself, Letters, ii. 338, iii. 85, and George II, ii. 155, 
where he writes, January 1756, " a little event happened that demonstrated the mischiefs 
produced by the Marriage Act. One Grierson, a minister, was convicted of solemnising 
matrimony contrary to that law. No fewer than 1400 marriages were said to be dissolved 
on his conviction, in which number 900 women were actually pregnant. The Chancellor 
triumphed in punishing so many who had dared to contravene his statute : a more 
humane man would have sighed to have made such numbers suffer even by a necessary 
law." The Chancellor's triumph is of course purely mythical. See J. S. Burn, Hist, of 
the Fleet Marriages, 141. 


lawyers, [and] the pride of their Mufti. [He compared the Court of 
Chancery and its proceedings to a cobweb. " Touch a corner 
of it," he cried, "and the great Spider of the Law will be out 
upon you."] ^ . . 30th. The committee went upon the clause that gave 
unheard of power in the first resort to parents and guardians and 
thence to the Chancery, on the marriages of minors. Fox spoke 
with increasing spirit... He drew a most severe picture of the 
Chancellor, [comparing him to an ignorant country surgeon who, 
having pronounced that a woman's sore leg must be cut off, 
though another surgeon undertook to save the leg without any 
operation and he was himself convinced of his error, yet deter- 
mined to carry the matter through to save his character]. Charles 
Yorke, the Chancellor's son, took this up with great anger and yet 
with preciseness, beginning with these words : ' It is new in Par- 
liament, it is new in politics, it is new in ambition,' and drew a 
lofty character of his Father and of the height to which he had 
raised himself by his merit ; concluding with telling Fox, how 
impudent it was to attack such authority, and assuring him that he 
would feel it^. Mr Fox replied with repeating the sententious 
words : ' Is it new in Parliament to be conscientious ? I hope not 1 
Is it new in politics .-' I am afraid it is ! Is it new in ambition 1 
It certainly is, to attack such authority ! ' Mr Pelham answered 
him well. Mr Fox once more replied, urging how cruel and absurd 
it was to force the bill down : that he knew he should not be heard 
by above one-third of the House, but would speak so loud that he 
would be heard out of the House ; that from the beginning to 
the end of the bill, one only view had predominated, that of pride 
and aristocracy ^ There was much truth in this.... Captain Saunders, 
who had said that he would go and vote against the Bill, for the 
sake of the sailors, having once given forty of his crew leave to go 

^ The simile formed the subject of a caricature by Hogarth. It does not appear on 
what day of the debate it was employed, but probably as inserted in the text. See the 
attack of Wilkes upon Hogarth, vol. iii. chap, xxxii. 

^ See also p. 121. 

^ Walpole's accounts of the debates, at which he was probably present, appear, when 
there is any opportunity of comparing them with others, though coloured and prejudiced, 
to be the most accurate portions of his narrative. The following is not included in the 
text, as being obviously mere gossip : "At the very beginning, on the Duke of Newcastle's 
declining to vote in the Bill, the Chancellor told Mr Pelham, 'I will be supported in 
this, or I never will speak for you ^ain.'...This breathed a little more than a mere spirit 
of obstinacy, and foretold a Bill not without an interested meaning : at least a legislator 
is uncommonly zealous for the common good, who forgets the philosophy of his character 
to drive on his honest ordinances by political menaces." 

Y. II. .■; 

66 DOMESTIC ff IS TORY 1748-1754 

on shore for an hour and all returned married, was compelled by 
Lord Anson, the Chancellor's son-in-law, and his patron, to vote 
for it\...June 4th. The Marriage Bill was read for the last time. 
Charles Townshend again opposed it with as much argument as 
before with wit. Mr Fox with still more wit, ridiculed it for an 
hour and a half. [He denounced the measure in violent terms as 
one passed to maintain and increase aristocratic power, as one 
which would expose the whole female sex to perils unknown before, 
encourage vice and immorality, reduce the population, endanger 
even the existence of the nation, and violate, besides the law of 
nature, the divine law, ' Whom God has put together, let no man 
put asunder.'] Notwithstanding the Chancellor's obstinacy in 
maintaining it and the care he had bestowed upon it, it was still so 
incorrect and so rigorous, that its very bodyguards had been forced to 
make, or to submit to, many amendments^. . . ; . . .however, he finished 
with earnest declarations of not having designed to abuse the 
Chancellor, and with affirming that it was scandalous to pass the 
Bill, — but it was passed by 125 votes to 56." 

The Chancellor was by no means conciliated by these " earnest 
declarations," and this tardy repentance on the part of Fox. 
The personal insinuaticms and abuse he might have passed over 
in contempt ; but the Lords as a body had been held up as the 
oppressors of the people', and the majesty of the Law, — the King, 
the Fountain of Justice, whom he represented, had been attacked 
and insulted in his person by a member of the administration. On 
the 6th of June, the Bill having passed the Commons with several 
amendments, the debate was renewed in the Lords. Lord Granville, 
who had announced his intention of opposing the Bill, and had 
been specially requested to attend by Fox, remained away, fearing 

1 Cf. Keith, the Mayfair marriage broker's statement in Observations on the Act 
for Preventing Clandestine Marriages (1753), p. 24, "I remember once on a time I was 
at a public house at RadcUff which then was full of sailors and their girls ; there was 
fiddling, piping, jigging and eating; at length one of the tars starts up and says, 
'D— n ye Jack,. ..I will have my partner. '...The joke took and in less than two hours ten 
couple set out for the Fleet.... They returned in coaches, five women in each coach, the 
tars some running before, others riding on the coach box and others behind. The caval- 
cade being over, the couples went up into an upper room, where they concluded the 
evening with great jollity.. ..My Landlord... said those things were so frequent that he 
hardly took any notice of them." 

* Pari. Hist. xv. 74; according to the Lords Journals, with the exception of the 
useful clauses relating to the keeping of the registers and providing the death penalty for 
deliberate falsification, these were immaterial. 

8 Lord Egmont, though one of the opposition, had separated himself from these 
unworthy tactics and expressed his disgust. Pari. Hist. xiv. 1420. 


some severe reprisals^; but the Duke of Bedford again resumed his 
attacks upon the whole Bill, when he was interrupted by the 
Chancellor, who reminded him that the proper course at this 
stage was to confine his criticisms to the amendment. The Duke 
appealed to the House, but receiving no encouragement, retired 
from the struggle.emphasizing his objections to the amendment from 
the: Commons which restricted the operation of the Act to England, 
regretting to see himself so ill supported, and lamenting that a Bill 
of such importance should have been crammed down, and forced 
through. Parliament. At the conclusion of the debate, the Chancellor 
rose^ " and began," writes Thomas Birch, who was a spectator of 
the scene, "a most spirited speech, of near three quarters of an 
hour, with declaring his concurrence to all the amendments, though 
some of them evidently weakened the Bill as sent down from that 
House, since the substance of it was of so much moment to the 
nation and these defects might be supplied by a subsequent one. 
He hoped their Lordships would act as their predecessors had 
done in the case of the Act of Succession under King WiUiam, 
(if he might compare great things with small), when the Commons, 
who were generally thought ill-affected to it, clogged it with many 
impracticable limitations, in order to prevent their Lordships from 
passing it, who, on the other hand, wisely consented to the whole, for 
the sake of securing the Succession itself, resolving to wait for some 
future opportunity to retrench the exceptionable clauses connected 
with it. He then expressed his surprise at the Duke of Bedford's 
complaint of the Bill's having been crammed down and forced 
through the two Houses, which had been brought into that of their 
Lordships' towards the end of January and lain five weeks before the 
Commons. And he could not avoid declaring his astonishment 
that a Bill so long called for, and so often attempted, and now at 
last introduced not by a single Lord, but the whole House, prepared 
by the Judges, improved by the almost joint sense of their Lord- 
ships, authorized by the concurrence of the reverend bench and 

^ Bedford Corresp. ii. 126; T. Birch to P. Y. printed in Pari. Hist. xv. 84. 

^ "At last," continues Walpole, George II, i. 348, "the Chancellor — not as he has 
been represented, in the figure of Public Wisdom Speaking (see below, p. 529), but with all 
the acrimony of wounded pride, of detected ambition and insolent authority. He read his 
speech ; not that he had written it to guard himself from indecency, or that he had feared 
to forget his thread of argument in the heat of personality: he did not deign an 
argument, he did not attempt to defend a bill so criticised. He seemed only to have 
methodized his malice and noted down the passages where he was to resent, where to 

s— 2 

68 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

drawn up with a retrospect to past offences, should have been 
styled out of doors an absurd, a cruel, a scandalous and a wicked 
one." — He allowed conscience and candour to the Duke of Bedford, 
in his opposition to the Bill, but what he had to complain of had 
occurred without those walls, and in another place. He passed 
lightly over Charles Townshend's impertinence as the folly of 
a young man averse, in the warmth of his constitution, to any 
limitations, which might interfere with his pursuits or passions ; 
excused the opposition of the Speaker, a good, well-meaning man, 
who had been abused*by words, and directed the whole force of his 
displeasure upon Fox, whom — reading passages carefully prepared 
from a paper, which he held in his hand, he denounced in vehement 
and indignant terms as " a bad, black manV' " a dark and insidious 
genius, an engine of personality and faction," whose factious designs 
had been exposed and defeated. He condemned the reproach cast 
upon the Courts of Justice, and declared that such attacks upon the 
Chancellor and the Law were attacks upon the King; for the King 
spoke through the Seals, and was represented by the Chancellor 
and Judges in the Courts. Indeed, this open contempt of the Law 
vi'as but one step short of a design to overthrow the Constitution by 
abolishing the Law, which would in fact deserve it, if it were, as it 
had been described, a heap of inconsistency, confusion, perplexity 
and absurdity. Government could only be maintained by Law or 
by Force, and he, who attacked the Law, favoured government by 
arbitrary force and disclosed his real principles''. But the in- 
cendiary had already met with a just and dignified rebuke (alluding 
to his son's defence of the Bill and its author in the House of 
Commons), and such conduct was not the way to popularity or 
favour' which, he would venture to say, that person had already 
discovered. With regard to his own share in the torrent of abuse, 
he was obliged to those who had so honourably defended him. He 
concluded with a contemptuous allusion to Fox's subsequent 
apology : " I despise the invective and I despise the retractation ; 
I despise the scurrility (for scurrility I must call it), and I reject the 

' It is remarkable that the expression black was applied to Fox independently by the 
King, by Pitt and by the Chancellor. Below, pp. 72 «., 304. 

^ According to Walpole, the Duke of Cumberland took tliis as aimed at himself 
(George II, i. 350-1). 

3 Fox had successfully played up to the King's partiality for the Duke of Cumberland, 
of which a special instance was his opposition to the Regency Bill. Coxa's Pelham, ii. 
176; Walpole's George II, i. 157 ; Letters, iii. 52. 


The Bill then passed and the Chancellor on the following day 
prorogued the Parliaments 

" Mr. Fox was not present," continues Birch, " but had soon an 
account of what passed ; for the same evening, being at Vauxhall 
with some ladies, he broke from them, and collecting a little circle 
of young members of parliament and others, told them with great 
eagerness that he wished the session had continued a fortnight longer, 
for then he would have made ample returns to the Lord Chancellor's 
speech''." The Speaker Onslow, who had been very active in 
opposition, who had addressed the King on the injustice of the 
Bill, and had been reproved by the Chancellor in the House of 
Lords, " talked of my Lord Chancellor's speech in the style of Mr 
Fox, as deserving the notice of the Commons, if they had not been 
prorogued ^" "What offends still more" [than the Chancellor's "most 
outrageous invective on Fox that ever was heard"], writes Walpole, 
" was the Chancellor describing the chief persons, who had opposed 
his Bill in the Commons, and giving reason why he excused them. 
As the Speaker was in the number of the excused, the two maces 
are ready to come to blows S" These threats, however, came to 
nothing ; while a Bill brought forward by the Duke of Bedford on 
March 4, 1754, to postpone the enforcement of the act, " till it 
should be maturely considered and amended," was opposed by the 
Chancellor, according to Walpole, " dictatorially," and rejected'. 
Fox, who had enjoyed a brief popularity, and whose coach had 
been dragged along the streets by the populace for several days 
together^, soon saw this artificial agitatiori subside. "The marriage 
bill," laments Horace Walpole, " that bane of society, that golden 
grate that separates the nobility from the plebeians, had not excited 
a complaint from the latter'." Fox had already begun to regret 
his audacity, which was now to end in-" very mean submissions^" 
" Mr Fox," states even Horace Walpole, " seemed wantonly and 

1 Walpole's George II, i. 336 sqq. ; R. Cooksey's Essays, 103; Birch to P.Y.June 9, 
1753, printed in Pari. Hist. xv. 84; and below, pp. 120 sqq. 

2 Cf. Hist. MSS. Comm., Earl of Carlisle, 206, Robert Ord to C. June r6, 1753. 
" The patron of it [the Bill] in your Lordship's House, when it came back there, expressed 
so thorough a contempt for his chief opponent in the House of Commons, that some of 
his words, being reported to him that night at Vauxhall, produced both motions and 
expressions much stronger than any we had in the House of Commons." 

' Birch, as above. * Letters, iii. 163; and below, p. r24. 

° George II, i. 369. 

* J. Wilkinson's Memoirs (1791), i. 66. The author, the comedian, was the son of 
J. Wilkinson, minister of the Savoy, convicted for celebrating clandestine marriages after 
the Act, and transported. 

' George II, i. 358. ^ Chesterfield's Letters (Bradshaw), 1066. 

70 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

unnecessarily to have insulted the Chancellor, and had even 
manifested some fear at having done so. Indeed, he who had 
always been rash and resolute, now first discovered some symptoms 
of irresolution ; and the time advanced but too fast when the pro- 
vocation offered to [Charles] Yorke, and the suspicion of his want 
of a determined spirit, were of essential detriment to him. He 
could not but feel the Chancellor's haughty scorn of the atonement 
he had offered ; yet, though he let slip both sentences of resent- 
ment and indications of an ambition that began to aspire higher, 
he soon )'ielded to a silent pacification." Even Lord Waldegrave, 
his personal friend and supporter, reckons his " wanton offending 
of the Chancellor " " a capital mistake^" His conduct, though 
applauded by the Duke of Cumberland, met with almost universal 
condemnation^ and incurred the King's displeasure. " Mr. Fox," 
writes John Yorke, the Chancellor's fourth son, to his brother 
Philip, on June 19, 1753, "has complained to his Majesty of the 
treatment he has met with, but received a strong rebuke. This 
gave Papa a very proper occasion to explain what had passed, in 
his audience of today, though he said, at the same time, that he did 
not mean to make any complaints at present. He was told he had 
never done righter in his life ; ' it was necessary for your own 
honour and mine! My Lord said, he had made it the rule of his 
life, which he had inviolably kept, never to begin anything personal 
in public or private, but always to return it. ' That is my rule,' 
said [the King], ' never to begin, but I love reprisals.' He never 
was more gracious, spoke much of his obligations to my Lord, and 
of the personal esteem he had always had for him." On June 23, 
John Yorke writes again : " Vulpes gives out that his master is not 

' Waldegrave's Memoirs, 24. 

^ pp. 122-4, 131; according to Lord Shelbume, Fox gained "gr^at reputation 
and some degree of popularity by the spirit and wit with which he opposed and 
attacked Lord Hardwicke." But the value to be attached to Shelburne's statements, 
regarding the events and persons of this period, may be gauged by his account, for 
instance, of Lord Hardwicke's poUtical support of the Duke of Newcastle, which he 
appears to believe to have first begun at the death of Henry Pelham in 1754. {Life, 
by tax& Fitzmaurice, i. 55, 56, 79.) Cf. also his account of Lord Granville's "secret 
of cowing Lord Hardwicke" (86), one method being the following: "In one of the 
short-lived administrations at the commencement of the war, Lord Granville, who had 
generally dined, turned round to say, ' I am thinking that all over Europe they are waiting 
our determination and canvassing our characters. The Duke of Newcastle, they'll say, is 
a man of great fortune, who has spent a great deal of it in support of the present family; 
Fox, they'll say, is an impudent fellow who has fought his way here through the House 
of Commons ; as for me, they know me throughout Europe, they know my talents and my 
character. But I am thinking they will all be asking Qui est- Chancelier? How 
came he there ? ' " Lord Shelbume married Lord G.'s eldest daughter. 


offended with him, but those who can discern the face of the sky 
say that his barometer is at settled dark and gloomy. Neither he, 
nor Lord Granville, were spoke to by the King upon the Accession 
Day, while my Lord was twice very graciously noticed^" 

An attack of this kind of one minister upon another, even at 
a time when the ties of ministerial cooperation were much looser 
than at present, was a strange incident. Fox had himself made 
a clandestine marriage, his union with the daughter of the Duke of 
Richmond having been effected in this manner^, a fact which has 
generally been taken as the explanation of his behaviour. The real 
cause, however, was a very different one. The extravagant hostility 
shown against the Bill was without any doubt an incident in the 
series of intrigues, organised against the administration by the 
Bedford and Cumberland faction, with the object, as in the case of 
the Jew Bill, of playing upon popular prejudices and passions, 
and of raising an irresistible clamour against the government, — 
intrigues, which were, in this instance, directed especially against 
the Chancellor, as the chief author of the Regency Bill, and the 
strongest support of the ministry which it was hoped to subverts 
It was rumoured that Fox would be dismissed, but no open quarrel 
or disruption of the administration was allowed by the Chancellor 
to result from the incident. He had long taken Fox's measure, 
the meanest, the most depraved, the falsest, the most unscrupulous 
and mischievous of all the public men of that time ; but while 
despising his character, he recognised his ability and activity, his 
strength derived from the favour of the royal family, and the 
value of his support in the House of Commons, and had resolved 
for the present, on public grounds, to work with him in the adminis- 

' H. 26, ff. 88, 90 and p. 131. According to H. W.'s account, doubtless Fox's own 
version : " The King was civil to Fox at his next levee : afterwards, in his Closet, Mr Fox 
beginning to say, 'Sir, last Wednesday the Chancellor ' — the King interrupted with ' Oh 1 
Sir, I believe you had given him cause; it is now pretty even.'" Fox repudiated all 
factious intrigues in his behaviour, and the interview ended with Fox obtaining a place for 
one of his dependents. George II, i. 352. 

^ "Lady Car: Lennox has, in her great wisdom, and in her excellent parts, clapped up, 
without the knowledge, and against the approbation of her parents, a clandestine marriage 
with that accomplished person, Hen: Fox Esq"=." P. Y. to J. Y., May 10, 1744 (H. 15, 
f. 48). 

" The hostility to the Marriage Bill continued for some time to be a kind of hereditary 
mania in the Fox family. Charles Fox, son of Henry Fox, was accustomed to abuse it in 
the House of Commons, and his grandson, Lord Holland, to express great disapproval of it. 
Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors (1846), v. 127 k. ; Wraxall's Hist. Mem. (1884), ii. 126. 

''. See chap. xxx. H. to N., Sep. 27, 1761; cf. Pitt's character of Fox as related by 

72 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

The Bill itself, which came into operation on March 25, 1754, 
and remained unaltered for- nearly 70 years, notwithstanding 
frequent attempts, notably in 1764-5, 1772 and 1781, to abrogate 
its provisions', was undoubtedly one of the most beneficial measures 
ever passed into law. It suppressed the infamous matrimonial 
trade with its grave scandals and abuses, abolished verbal marriage 
contracts, enforced publicity, and secured for the first time certainty 
in the marriage tie, the foundation of the family and of the national 
existence. Yet it retained some defects, which were, however, for 
the most part, rather pointed out by later critics than perceived, or 
felt, by contemporaries. Owing to an ill-judged amendment in the 
Commons'*, its application was restricted to England; and runaway 
couples could still be married at Gretna Green, or elsewhere, across 
the Scottish border, in the Channel Islands, or abroad. It had 
been originally intended to immediately extend the Act to Scotland. 
An order was passed by the Peers, on April 17, 1753, for the Lords 
of the Court of Session to prepare a Bill for this purpose, and 
correspondence passed between the Chancellor and the Scottish 
judges concerning the provisions of the measure. But in February 
1754, on account of the violent opposition raised against the English 
Act and to avoid further occasion of cavil, Lord Hardwicke 
advised its postponement. It was therefore abandoned ^ and the 
abuses, restricted, however, by various judicial decisions, exist in 
Scotland to this day*. Some injustice to innocent persons, offending 
through ignorance, resulted from the clause, which rendered null 
a marriage between minors without the consent of the parent or 
guardian, and from the provisions relating to the use of false 
names in the banns and concerning celebrations in improper 
churches or chapels, which was remedied by the Acts 3 George IV, 
c. 75 and 4 George IV, c. y6^. 

The inferior status in which the obligation of celebrating all 
marriages according to the Anglican rite placed those communions, 

Shelburne (Life, i. 78) — "he thought him the blackest man that ever lived... a great dealer 
in anonymous letters...also in newspaper abuse... that he educated his children without the 

least regard to moralitv " Shelburne, however, had quarrelled with Fox. Lord Walde- 

grave's account is much more favourable (Mem. 24) but still unconvincing. It is only fair 
to add Fox's opinion of Pitt — "profligate and abandoned in his political life... what Lord 
Winchelsea four years ago said he was, a very silly fellow " (Life of Lady Sarah Lennox, 

i- 57)- 

' J. S. Burn, Hist, of the Fleet Marriages (1834), 21; and see below, vol. iii. chap, 

2 Above, p. 67. * H. too, ff. 59 sqq. 

■* G. E. Howard, Hist, of Matrimonial Institutions, i. 473. ' lb. 463—4. 


which dissented from the national church, was a defect, which in later 
times would have been felt as an intolerable injustice. The Act, 
indeed, deprived the Protestant Nonconformists of their right to 
celebrate marriages in their own chapels, which they had before 
enjoyed. There appears, however, no reason to think that this 
was considered at the time a serious grievance. The Protestant 
dissenters from the Church of England still used the parish church 
and the parish registers for baptisms, marriages and burials, and 
the compulsory celebration there of weddings would not be deemed 
any hardship. The Roman Catholics were content to go through 
a formality, which the civil power enjoined, to secure a legal status 
for their children ; while they satisfied their religious instincts in 
addition by a celebration of the rite according to their own faiths 
Jews and Quakers were specially exempted from the Act, and 
allowed to celebrate their marriages in their own places of worship. 
As time went on and the principle of religious equality extended 
and became recognised, the inequality inflicted by the law was 
resented. It called then for redress and it did not call in vain, the 
civil marriage law of 1836, 6 and 7 William, IV, c. 85, removing this 
grievance. But at the period under consideration this was not the 
case, and the Bill, probably, was felt as an injustice by few except 
the too impetuous lovers, and the sharpers and degraded parsons, 
who had formerly assisted in, and profited by, their escapades. 
Neither in Wilson's History of the Dissenting Churches (1808-14), 
nor in Bogue and Bennett's History of Dissenters (1833), is the 
Marriage Act even mentioned ; though the authors of the latter 
work devote a considerable portion of their labours to the discussion 
of the various acts of injustice and severity, for which the English 
government was at different times responsible. On the contrary, 
they extol the kindly liberality of the times and the reign of 
George II, as the golden age of the Nonconformists. And if more 
positive proof is wanted, we have it in the fact that the Protestant 
Nonconformists continued, even subsequently to the Act of 1836, 
to celebrate their marriages in the parish churches. It is not till 
recent years that the liberty of marrying in their own chapels has 
been to any extent exercised °. 

While the law has been amended to meet the requirements of 
later political and social conditions, and particular defects have 

^ Life of Bishop Challoner, by E. H. Burton, i. 325-45. 
'^ J. T. Hammick, Marriage Law of England {^lii'ii'), 17. 

74 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

been remedied, for which the violent opposition in the House of 
Commons was in great part responsible, the fundamental principles 
and provisions of this great statute have remained unchanged, and 
from it have proceeded all subsequent developements of the marriage 
law in England^. 

A very special importance attaches to the Act, owing to the 
suppression of the jurisdiction of the Church over marriage, which 
it entailed. Hitherto the marriage law had remained within the 
jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts in a state of chaos and 
confusion ; and no portion of the great history of the church is less 
satisfactory or less edifying than its treatment of this all-important 
matter. According to the canon law, the validity of a marriage 
depended on the religious ceremony performed by the priest at 
any time or in any place, or even upon the mere consent of the 
parties, without ceremony, followed or not followed by cohabitation. 
The leading case was the lawsuit of Richard de Anesty, the result 
of a divorce pronounced in 1143, when "a marriage solemnly 
celebrated in church, a marriage of which a child had been born, 
was set aside as null, in favour of an earlier marriage constituted 
by a mere exchange of consenting words.... A strong case is put. 
On the one hand stands the bare consent per verba de praesenti, 
unhallowed and unconsummated, on the other a solemn and a 
consummated union. The latter must yield to the former^." 
Some abuses were abolished at the Reformation but others, and 
especially that of clapdestine marriages, though declared an offence 
by the lay courts and by statute', had continued under the ecclesi- 
astical jurisdiction. The canons of 1604, prohibiting marriages 
without banns or license and without the consent of parents in the 
case of minors, were habitually violated by the clergy. As Lord 
Hardwicke himself had pointed out from the Bench, " one would 
think nobody ever read them, neither the officers of the spiritual 
courts nor clergymen, or they could not act so diametrically opposite 
to them^" Marriages in violation of the canons still continued to 
be performed, and were still valid, though the parties were liable to 

^ For the act and the state of the marriage law previous to it, see History of Matrimonial 
Institutions, by G. E. Howard (1904), vol. i. pt. ii. chaps, vii.-ix. and list of authorities 
there collected; W. E. H. Lecky, Hist, of England (1883), i. 490; Democracy and 
Liberty (1896), ii. 140; J. H. Hamraick, The Marriage Law (1887); Geary, Marriage 
and Family Relations, 9-15; Burn and Phillimore, Ecclesiastical Law (1842), ii. 433 a; 
J. S. Burn, Fleet Marriages, 33, 146. 

^ Pollock and Maitland, Hist, of English Law (1895), ii. 365, 369. 

' See Lord Hardwicke's judgment in Middleton v. Croft, vol. i. 123. 

* More V. More, 2 Atkyns 158; and Barnardiston, Eq. Cases, 410, 


ecclesiastical censure. Moreover, these unions, though valid to the 
extent of voiding a subsequent marriage with another person, were 
not necessarily legal ; for the temporal courts had endeavoured to 
check irregular marriages by making the acquisition of certain pro- 
perty contingent upon the publicity of the ceremony^ " Anarchy 
was practically sanctioned by the Canon Law. Where the utmost 
clearness and simplicity were needed, obscurity and perplexity 
prevailed ; and where publicity was urgently required by the 
plainest rule of common sense, there secrecy was in effect invited 
and rewarded^." 

The effect of the new law was to supersede entirely the canon 
law as far as marriage was concerned, since it declared the religious 
ceremony, unless accompanied by the prescribed legal formalities, 
absolutely null and void, and forbid the ecclesiastical courts from 
enforcing verbal contracts. Such a change was in fact a revolution ; 
for though the ecclesiastical courts by previous legislation, such as 
that embodied in the Regency Bill of 175 1, which annulled a 
marriage entered into by the heir to the throne, being a minor, 
without the consent of the Regent, or that in Ireland dealing with 
certain marriages between Protestants and Roman Catholics, or 
again by the frequent dissolution of marriages by act of Parliament, 
had suffered some attacks upon their powers, yet these measures- 
had only a very limited application. By the Marriage Act of 1753 
the state removed marriage entirely out of the jurisdiction of the 
Church and placed it within its own, though while it did so, it was 
careful to recognise and retain not only the religious, but the 
Anglican, sanction. It was no doubt owing to this fact that the 
measure, beyond the cavillings of a few Jacobite preachers at 
Oxford, did not arouse ecclesiastical opposition or hostility, and 
that it received the support of the whole bench of bishops'. It 
forms the basis of the entire marriage law as we now have it, and 
the purely secular marriage, provided in 1836, and the law of divorce 
of 1857, are merely corollaries and necessary consequences, when 
once marriage became a secular contract. The change was in- 
evitable in the new order of society which was then developing; 

^ G. E. Howard, Hist, of Matrimonial Instittitions, i. 355. ^ lb. 324. 

' Walpole's George II, i. 147 and 342, who attributes the episcopal attitude to the 
decline of ecclesiastical controversy and is followed by Lecky, i. 497 ; a section of the 
Anglican Church at the present day appears, from the attitude adopted on the occasion of 
the recent alteration of the marriage law by Parliament, to claim for the Church a 
jurisdiction over marriage separate from, and concurrent with, that of the state, a pretension, 
which the church of the i8th century, on the occasion of the Marriage Act, never put 
forward, and which there is now neither machinery nor authority to enforce. 

76 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

and though the weakening of the religious sanction of marriage is 
regrettable, yet as the sanctity of marriage must ever be of the 
highest importance politically as well as morally, being indeed the 
foundation of society itself, so it is not unreasonable to suppose 
that the security of the marriage contract will never be a nlatter of 
indifference to the state ; and experience has shown that the 
secular power, at least in Great Britain, is a more jealous and 
a more competent guardian of its inviolability than the ecclesiastical 
power has ever been. 

In concluding this brief review of the legislation carried through 
Parliament by the Pelham ministry — incomplete, because during 
those years, owing to the recent order, parliamentary debates ceased 
to be published in the Magazines — it is worthy of notice that each 
of these reforms was effected in opposition to popular opinion, 
and at the risk of losing popular support. The Jews Bill had 
raised a formidable hostility, and the cry of ' No Circumcision ' 
took the place for the moment at election meetings of ' No Popery.' 
The Mutiny Bill continued, and made permanent, the establishment 
of " a standing army in the time of peace," a phrase, ever since the 
Commonwealth, synonymous amongst the people with despotic 
and arbitrary governments The reform of the calendar long left 
a vague sense of injury, and government candidates were assailed 
at the hustings with shouts of " Give us back our 1 1 days." The 
lowering of the interest on the national debt was said to betray 
those, who had cheerfully come to the assistance of the government 
at a time of national peril, and to rob widows and orphans^ and the 
project formerly, on account of its unpopularity in the City, had been 
dropped by Sir Robert Walpole'. The whole of the vast legislation 
affecting the Northern kingdom, though it met with little organised 
opposition in Parliament, received little support from Scotland, 
and was a bold act, breaking up as it did, a whole civilization, and 
demolishing the privileges of many powerful individuals. The 
Marriage Bill was a drastic reform of the most far-reaching character, 
carried against factious opposition and popular prejudice, in spite 
of the approaching general election ^ by the Chancellor's influence 
and authority. During the discussion on the Jews Bill it was asked, 

' Pari. Hist. xiv. 462 n. 

^ "It was sorely against the inclination of the great proprietors in the Stocks, 
and I suspect by throwing out a bait for some of the most interested." The 2nd Lord 
Hardwicke in Walpoliana, Supplement 20. 

3 Hist. MSS. Comm., Earl of Carlisle, 183. 

■• Chesterfield's Letters (Bradshaw), 1066, who deplores the imprudence. 


" What terrible crime the people of this kingdom have committed 
...because we have of late had some sort of bill offered every year 
to Parliament for depriving them of their birthright." Yet the 
government held firmly on its way, bowing only to the storm in 
the case of the Naturalisation Bills, the least important by far of 
the several measures, and showing a very different disposition to 
the easy acquiescence in domestic abuses which had characterized 
the rule of Sir Robert Walpole. There could scarcely be offered 
a better example of true legislative reform than the Bills prepared 
and carried through Parliament by the Chancellor during these 
years, or a wiser precedent established of when to persist, and 
when to yield, than his attitude towards the Marriage Act and the 
Jews Bill ; in the first case, where a serious social abuse called for 
immediate remedy, firmly confronting, with his whole strength and 
authority, and overruling, factious opposition and hostility, and in 
the other, where no great interests were involved, refraining from 
forcing an unpalatable and misunderstood measure upon the 
country and showing hiriiself indulgent to popular prejudices. 
Such examples and such precedents might indeed be studied and 
followed with advantage by more modern statesmen, who would 
then learn that, while it is sometimes unwise and dangerous to 
legislate too far in advance of popular opinion, yet that the office and 
duties of a government are not entirely limited to carrying out the 
popular mandate, and that the rulers of a great state must not 
content themselves with always following at the tail of the mob, 
but must stand forth on occasion to lead the nation. 

The Chancellor had been the person most aimed at during these 
contests in domestic affairs, and he had emerged a greater figure 
even than before. As a personal mark of favour and approbation 
from the King at this time, and as a public sign of the King's 
confidence in the ministry in the midst of so much hostility, some 
part of which had originated in the royal family itself, an earldom 
was at the beginning of 1754 offered to Lord Hardwicke. "The 
King's offer to the Lord Chancellor," writes Henry Pelham to his 
brother on January 8, 1754, "is a great proof of his present 
disposition ; and I hope, for all our sakes, the Lord Chancellor will 
not demur in accepting it. I know few things that would give 
greater klat at present than this promotion. I hope we shall not 
lose the benefit of it\" The rise in the peerage, which seems to 
have been before refused", was now accepted, and the Chancellor 

■' Coxe's Pelham, ii. 496. " Ace. to Walpole It was talked of in 1746, Letters, ii. 205. 

78 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

took his seat in the House of Lords, with the prescribed ceremonies, 
on April 4, 1754. 

After the Earl of Holderness had signified to the House the King's 
grant of the new titles of Earl of Hardwicke and Viscount Royston, 
" his Lordship, taking in his hand the Purse with the Great Seal, 
retired to the lower end of the House ; and having there put on his 
robes, was introduced between the Earl of Lincoln and the Earl of 
Breadalbane (also in their robes) ; the Gentleman Usher of the 
Black Rod, Garter King at Arms in his Coat of Arms carrying his 
Lordship's Patent (which he delivered to him at the Steps before the 
Throne) ; the Deputy Earl Marshal and the Lord Great Chamber- 
lain of England preceding. His Lordship (after three obeisances) 
laid down his Letters Patent upon the Chair of State, kneeling ; 
and from thence took and delivered them to the Clerk ; who read 
the same at the Table. 

The said Letters Patent bear date the 2nd day of April [1754]... 

His Lordship's writ of Summons was also read.... Then his 
Lordship came to the Table; and took the Oaths and made and 
subscribed the Declaration, and also took and subscribed the Oath 
of Abjuration, pursuant to the statutes ; and was afterwards placed 
at the lower end of the Earls Bench, and from thence went to the 
Upper End of the same Bench, and sat there as Lord Chancellor ; 
and then his Lordship returned to the Woolsacks" 

This public recognition of the legislative measures and conduct 
of the government had not been formally completed when, on 
March 6, 1754, the sudden and unexpected death of Henry Pelham 
took place, at the age of 60. In the course of this narrative, 
and still more convincingly in the correspondence, the good and 
the bad points in his administration, both at home and abroad, 
together with the merits and defects of his private qualities, have 
clearly appeared. But whatever might be the difference of .opinion 
upon these, his absolute integrity and honesty of purpose were 
universally acknowledged by his contemporaries 2, and had won 
general respect. " The administration lost in him its essence and 
stability," writes the second Lord Hardwicke. " I never remember 
a Minister so generally lamented. Those, who had been in opposi- 
tion to him, did justice to his memory, so universal was the opinion 

^ Lords Journals, xxviii. 262. 

2 Pari. Hist. xv. 287 and below, p. 187; always of course excepting Horace Walpole, 
who though he abuses him in his usual fashion does not scruple to ask favours of him 
(George II, i. 369; Letters, iii. 132). And see his letter in execrable taste on the dead 
minister, iii. 212. 


of his integrity, economy and rectitude of intention ^" The loss of 
a man of such sterling character and patriotism was a serious one 
at that moment, and one greatly felt by the Chancellor who, besides 
his esteem for the departed statesman, had regarded his continuance 
at the head of affairs, in conjunction with the Duke of Newcastle, 
as the only possible scheme of administration, and as the sole 
security for the interests of the nation. 


Hon. Charles Yorke to Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke, with the army 
in the Netherlands 

[H. 37, f. 71.] Wrest, Thursday, August 6, 1747. 

...The King's Speech at the close of the Session gave a very 
general satisfaction, and was a good prelude to the dissolution. 
His Majesty was so much pleased with it himself, that he told the 
speech maker [the Chancellor] he thought it had made a great 
impression upon the people, and that the right and happy temper, 
in which the nation seemed to be, was very much owing to itl The 
compliment was great, but the effect imputed to it proceeded from 
deeper and more weighty causes, the breaking of two oppositions 
in the House of Commons to pieces, the terrors of the Rebellion, the 
wise and steady conduct of the Government in its measures of 
prevention for the future, the dread of France. All this has 
crumbled away the strength of the Jacobite and Tory faction for 
the present and united us ; but when the difficulties are over, the 
sense of them will vanish too, and we shall divide again.... 

[H. 250, f. 283.] 

[On October 17, 1747, Thomas Herring, the Archbishop of 
York, and the Chancellor's great friend, having been offered 
the archbishopric of Canterbury, forwarded to Lord Hardwicke 
an extremely decided refusal based on various grounds, his un- 
equal abilities, the expense, his complete happiness and satisfac- 
tion in the place where he now was.] I have considered the thing, 
my best friend and my most honoured Lord, with all the coolness 
and deliberation and compass of thought that I am master of, and 
am come to a very firm, and most resolved determination, not to 
quit the see of York, on any account, or on any consideration. 

^ WalpoKana, Supplement 19; H. 75, f. 165; Lord Chesterfield, Letters (Bradshaw), 

^ Printed in Pari. Hist. xiv. 63. See above, vol. i. 626. 

8o DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

Lord Chancellor to the Archbishop of York 
[H. ■26o> f- ^287.] Powis House, Oct. 20, 1747. 

My Dear Lord, 

I never received a- letter from your Grace, which gave 
any real concern till yesterday, and in truth the anxiety that has 
created in me is not easy to be described. 

I must begin with acquainting your Grace with what has passed 
since my last. On Wednesday the 14th [came] the King's mes- 
senger with an answer from the Bishop of Salisbury', absolutely 
declining the archbishopric in very decent but positive terms ; 
alleging such reasons from his age of full 70 years, very bad health 
and infirmities, as are unanswerable ; but declaring that otherwise 
he should have thought himself bound in duty to accept it. To 
this refusal his Lordship has adhered in another letter by yesterday's 
post. On Sunday noon, before this last letter, the King acquainted 
me with his resolution that you should go to Lambeth, for which I 
thanked him as became me, not in the least suspecting (as I am 
sure I had no reason for it) that you would decline it, and yester- 
day noon his Majesty declared his pleasure in form to the Duke of 
Newcastle to the same effect. In this state the affair stood at the 
time I received your two last letters, which your Grace will have 
the goodness to forgive me in saying, did to the last degree sur- 
prize and grieve me. As the King's positive orders were already 
given to the proper officer, there was no opportunity for interposing 
to prevent them, and therefore I thought it most advisable not to 
communicate, or so much as mention, your letter to any person 
whatsoever, lest that might make an ill impression, and lay your 
Grace under new difficulties. So far I did go as to hesitate and 
throw out doubts to the Duke of Newcastle and Mr Pelham, 
whether you would be inclined to accept. Upon which they both 
stood astonished at me ; said it was impossible that a bishop in the 
vigour of his age, not quite 55, of such a character, so much obliged 
to the King and so well esteemed and beloved in the world, should 
decline it. They went further, and very sincerely declared their 
opinions that it would have the worst appearance and create the 
worst impression, make people doubt of the stability of [his] 
Majesty's government, minister a new triumph to the Jacobites, as 
if nobody of merit would venture to accept the highest and most 

' Thomas Sherlock, became bishop of London the following year. 


important dignity in the Church. These were their sentiments, and 
I confess they are my own. 

Pardon me, my dear Lord, if I say I am sorry at my heart that 
you entered into this consideration with so early and fixed an inten- 
tion to form a resolution. You were alone, at a great distance from 
your friends ; and though I know some of them, who may be much 
less able to advise you than your own thoughts, yet in affairs of 
this nature, which concern the world and things exterior to our- 
selves, the sentiments of others may add to one's own stocl^ and 
have their weight. Pace tud then, permit me a little to examine 
your reasons. 

The disabling argument, drawn from your unfitness to fill this 
high station, could proceed from nobody but yourself. Everybody 
else sees and allows the contrary; and, believe me, whoever is fit 
to be archbishop of York and has filled it with reputation, is fit to 
be archbishop of Canterbury. Therefore, it is my sincere opinion 
(and if it were not really so, I am too much your friend to say it), 
that this must be totally laid aside. 

Your Grace supposes some extraordinary difficulties in exe- 
cuting the duty of this station. Be assured there are none, unless 
in very difficult times, which, in respect of that see, do not now 
exist. If there should be any, you have so many friends, and are 
so well beloved and esteemed, that you would want no advice, 
assistance or support. I choose not to speak of myself; but all my 
friends, who I am sure are yours, will be ready to contribute to 
it. I spent near two hours with the Bishop of London^ on Satur- 
day night. You know he has a great deal of prudence and 
judgment. He is entirely of this opinion ; declares most explicitly 
*, wishes you at Lambeth, and that he will be ready 
to furnish you with all his lights and assistance in those matters. 
He appeared to say this not affectedly, but in such frank expres- 
sions, that I firmly believe him. 

The principal objection seems to be that of the expense of 
coming into this see. But indeed, my dear Lord, you ought not to 
lay any weight upon that. Your Grace has no family ; you know 
the first fruits are paid by instalments, and the usage of modern 
times has been for a new archbishop not to go to Lambeth to 
reside under a year, or a year and a half, and sometimes to the 
extent of two years. In that time you may, without living 
improperly, lay up out of your revenue of that see (which I take 

^ Edmund Gibson. ^ Words illegible. 

Y. II. 6 

82 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

very near ^6000 per annum declared), more than sufficient to 
defray the whole expense of coming in, including furniture. This 
is what has been always expected. Your Grace objects that within 
that time you may die. Our breath is in the hands of Providence, 
and if we should decline great or useful things on that account, we 
should live all our life-time subject to budget 

This seems to be the sum of your Grace's objections. I will 
now plainly, and without compUment or ornament, tell you my 
reasons why I am most sincerely of opinion that you ought to 
accept. I. I see deafly the King, to whom you and I are so much 
obliged, expects it of you. Notwithstanding what has passed, 'tis 
his wish to have a good Whig there, and if you refuse, no persuasion 
or art can prevail with him not to be offended. I may say to your 
Grace, but it must not be told to any other, that his Majesty said, 
surely you would not take it ill, that it was offered to two others before 
you. It was what he could not in decency avoid. If you should 
now refuse it, he will ^ believe it proceeds from pique, and it 

will be impossible to get the better of that court way of judging. 

2. His Majesty's domestic government will suffer by your 
refusal, both in reality and in the opinion of the world ; and your 
Grace will admit that opinion goes a great way in Government. 
It will minister a great handle of triumph ^ to the enemies of 
the King and his present administration, and I know they will 
think so. 

3. It has been the universal wish and expectation of the Whig 
party that this great preferment should fall into your Grace's hands. 
If you refuse, it will be a grievous blow to the cause, particularly 
to such of the Whig clergy as deserve encouragement. 

4. If you accept it now, it will be attended with no envy that 
can bear a colour ; the only two persons who, by their studies, 
though not [?] character, had probable pretensions before you, 
having declined. This is a new circumstance, not known to you 
when you writ your letter. 

5. As to the objection of difficulties in the business and 
duties of this station, there will be none. The Bishop of London, 
who judges well, said to me, there never was a inore favourable time 
for accepting an archbishopric. A strong Whig Parliament is just 
chosen, which may sit 7 years. All contests about ecclesiastical 
powers, particularly that of convocation, which created the greatest 

1 I.e. to flinch, shirk. ^ Words illegible. 


trouble to Tenison and Wake, are subsided and quiet, nor likely to 
rise again in our days. 

6. Instead of contracting new difficulties, you will be delivered 
from some old ones. Canterbury is free from those provincial or 
county disputes, to which your present situation is subject. Your 
Grace will be delivered from being implicated in the disagreeable 
embarras of elections, and from the invidious suggestions of people 
who fancy themselves not sufficiently supported. The circumstances 
of York bring more trouble of this kind upon an archbishop than 
any other see in England. 

7. Your Grace will above all things consider that this station 
will put into your hands an opportunity of doing great [?] services 
to Religion, your King and your Country. No wise and good 
man should decline this. Besides, it will give you great oppor- 
tunities of serving your friends, who have merit. York has but 
a poor patronage, Canterbury, including the options^ a great one. 

8. I come now to the personal consideration. You cordially 
wish well to your old friend Hutton''; so do I. Everybody allows 
that it is quite impossible to carry him [to] Canterbury at once, but 
York may be practicable; and between you and I, that is one aim 
of the Ministry, and they sincerely desire to do both together. If 
your Grace refuses, you disappoint the whole and defeat your 
friend. This consideration is also new to your Grace, but [it] is 
more than personal. It will greatly add to the mortification of 
the Whig party, which will all be laid at your Grace's door. If 
you two shall fill the two archiepiscopal sees, it will be reckoned 
giving the greatest stability to the true protestant cause, that it 
ever received almost in any time. 

I had more reasons, but have gone through as many of them as 
I can recollect. For God's sake, for the sake of the King, your 
country and your friends, don't decline. Consider the weight of 
this reasoning, and suffer yourself to be persuaded to yield to it. 
You are called by the voice of the King and of the best-intentioned 
men, and in this limited sense, Vox populi est vox Dei.... 'Let your 
answer to my Lord Duke be accepting ; I know it will be most 
dutiful to his Majesty and not flattering, and make it as concise 
as you can.... 

1 The right of the archbishop of choosing and presenting to one living in the see of 
every bishop whom he consecrated, abolished 1845. 

^ Matthew Hutton (1693-1758), rector of Spofforth and Bishop of Bangor, where he 
succeeded Archbishop Herring in 1743. He followed the latter now to York, and in 1757 
also to Canterbury. 


84 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1734 

[This accumulation of arguments proved irresistible, and on 
October 24 (f. 293), the Archbishop, after much agitation of mind, 
writes to the Chancellor that he has just thrown into the fire 
three letters of refusal and has accepted. 

On April 7, 1749 (H. 250, f 412), he writes:] I assure your 
Lordship... that my repose and support is in your Lordship's 
friendship, and that in all public points I am resolved to be 
governed by your Lordship's judgment; for there I am sure of 
finding, what I can find nowhere else, integrity and wisdom. 

Lord Chancellor to ' Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke, Secretary to the 
Embassy at Paris 

[H. 7, f. 38.] Twickenham ParkS April 2nd, 1749. 

Dear Joe, 

I set down to write this without knowing when I may 
find a safe hand to convey it, but I think it is right you should not 
be ignorant of the state of the Court at the turn things have taken 
since you left us. This tempts me to make use of part of the 
short leisure this place aff"ords me, and to take my chance for 
sending it. 

The relations you had received from the Duke of N. and 
myself, as well as your own observation, had put you au fait of the 
state in which you left us. Since your departure, the great contests 
in Parliament have been upon the Mutiny Bill, and the Bill for 
making New Articles of War and Regulations for the Navy. In 
the course of those two Bills, and from the various accidents 
attending them, the dispositions of different parts of the Court and 
the new connexions, or rather the progress of connexions begun 
before, have shewn themselves. 

As to the Mutiny Bill, you know whose power that chiefly 
concerned^, which made it a particular object of opposition from 
Leicester House; for this reason the two points most laboured 
were the subjecting the half-pay officers to the Articles of War 

^ The residence of the Countess of Mountrath, formerly Lady Diana Newport, 
daughter of the second Earl of Bradford, who, as the sister of Lady Elizabeth Cocks, wife 
of James Cocks, Lady Hardwicke's brother, was thus related to and often visited by the 
Chancellor. Cf. Horace Walpole's nonsense (Letters, 1903, iii. 98): "By the way, you 
know that reverend head of the law is frequently shut up here with my Lady Montrath, 
who is as rich and tipsy as Cacofogo in the comedy." (Beaumont and Fletcher's Rule a 
Wife and have a Wife.) 

2 The Duke of Cumberland as Captain-General. 


and military discipline, and the power of the King or Captain- 
General to cause the proceedings of the Courts martial to be 
revised after sentence given. 

As to the other Bill about the navy, the like clause about their 
half-pay officers being inserted, rais'd a loud clamour amongst 
a great number of the Admirals and Captains of the Fleet, which 
created a violent opposition against the Lords of the Admiralty, 
and was in great measure levelled at Lord Anson whose un- 
common good fortune and high elevation must naturally have 
produced envy. 

You clearly see that the subject matter of these two Bills gave 
them a kind of natural relation the one to the other, which was 
increased, and brought something nearer, by their going on in the 
House at the same time, and was still aggravated by an accident. 
The accident was this :— When it was perceived how unpopular 
the clause about the sea officers in half-pay was become, some 
of the Admiralty (amongst whom Lord Anson was one) were 
for giving up that point, as being [?] no sort of necessity in their 
service. Lord S[andwich] upon this went immediately (over from 
the meeting) to the Duke^ and represented that the giving up 
of the sea-point would destroy, or at least weaken, the land-point, 
and at his return openly declared H.RH.'s opinion that it must 
not be departed from. Against this nothing was to be said, and 
the consequence has been that it has pointed the unpopularity in 
both services against H.R.H. 

From this time, the dispositions and merits of persons towards 
that quarter were judged of according to the zeal or coolness they 
shew'd in the several debates, which arose upon those Bills; and of 
this our friend Mr P[elham], who I believe has had real misgivings 
upon some things, and has not cared unnecessarily to draw the 
odium of some others upon himself, has felt a share. 

Lord S[andwich] has pushed on the D[uke] of B[edford], 
having, in conjunction with the Duchess, gained the absolute 
ascendant over his Grace. Therefore such persons in the House 
of Commons as they could influence, have taken strong parts, and 
of the old Walpolian corps, Mr Fox has appeared the most zealous. 
This may have made others not dislike to see the majorities upon 
some of the questions grow thinner. 

When the Mutiny Bill came up to the House of Lords, the 
Opposition appeared remarkably broken and divided. Lord 

1 Lord S. was First Lord of the Admiralty. 

86 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

Granville and Lord Winchelsea, with such as are particularly 
attached to them, never attended. Those who did attend, differ'd 
much amongst themselves, so that in the first division which was 
upon a question made by Lord Bath to extend the power of life 
and limb, their numbers were 16 to 88; and on the two last 
15 to 73 and 12 to 72. The Duke of Newcastle took a strong 
and handsome part ; the Duke of Bedford and Lord Sandwich 
a warm one. For myself, I was forced to take a more active part, 
and rise more often than one in my station would have wished 
to do upon an army Bill. But I found it necessary from the want 
of information in others and, by the help of some management, 
I think it rather produced conviction than disgust in the House. 
However, I have had the good luck to receive the thanks both 
of the King and H.R.H. for my service and — I shall make you 
laugh when I tell you that — the latter says I should make an 
excellent Adjutant General. 

One circumstance was remarkable ; that whereas a particular 
case of a revision of the sentence of a court martial, in Flanders 
in the Campaign of 1747, having been foreseen to be objected, 
and which was accordingly objected in the debates, the materials 
to answer that complaint were put into my Lord Sandwich's 

Of the incidents which occurred in this affair. Lord S. has 
endeavoured to make the best advantage, in order to fix and 
extend his credit with your Master^ To give it the more figure 
and parade, suppers and balls at the Admiralty and Bedford House 
have gone round, and Lord S. is of H.R.H. 's party at Windsor 
Lodge for these holidays. I can't help telling you an absurdity 
that happened at the last of these balls, that his Grace was pleased 
to invite Dick Lyttelton^, who began the opposition to the Mutiny 
Bill, to be one of his party to entertain H.R.H. 

As this kind of conduct would naturally give jealousy, you will 
easily imagine how strongly that must operate in a mind so prone 
to jealousy as a certain friend of ours^ But it gives it also to 
many others. Fox and H. Legge'' are said to be gone over to this 
party and the Duke of Bedford I have named already, which is the 
most material of all. And here I cannot but observe how odd 

1 The Duke of Cumberland. 

2 Colonel Richard Lyttelton, younger brother of George, later first Lord Lyttelton 
K.B. 1753. 

3 The Duke of Newcastle. * Vol. i. 668 n. 


a coincidence this is, that Fox and Legge, whose sole quarrel with 
the Duke of N. is that he (as they are persuaded) opposed either 
of them being made Secretary of State in favour of Lord Sandwich 
(whom he was quite in earnest to have made so at that time, and 
not being able to carry it named Lord S.'s great friend the D. of B.), 
should unite with the same Lord S. and his great friend, who did 
succeed, against the D. of N. But so are courts made. 

From these symptoms you may be sure the party is alarmed. 
Serious people, who are only lookers on, lament the Duke [of 
CumberlandJ's being likely to fall into the hands of an ambitious, 
interested, warm young man\ ready to make his court at any rate, 
and to push him to any lengths. I hear the Pr. Amelia was likely 
to have gone wrong, but for some short time past has seen the 
error and the danger^, and is frightened at the precipice she sees her 
brother drawing near to. For nothing can possibly give so great 
an advantage to the Prince of Wales as such a conduct, and it 
is effectually doing the business of the Leicester House party 
for them. Lady Y[armouth] is affirmed to be in the right system, 
and I believe is so, and Sandwich has never been once to make 
his court to her, since his return from Holland. As to the King, 
I don't find he is yet touched. He naturally hates Lord Sandwich^ 
and the D. of Bedford's manner of doing business is disagreeable 
to him to such a degree that, tho' he wishes to be civil to so great 
a subject, yet he can't forbear brusquing him, of which his Grace 
has of late complained even to me. The turn he seems to be just 
now taking is from being partial to Prussia, to become a violent 
anti- Prussian in the Closet. A dangerous card, if played unskil- 
fully; for tho' nothing should be done to aggrandize or encourage 
Prussia, yet the working up that prejudice too strong may end in 
consequences very pernicious to this country. 

From these circumstances arises a very embarrassed situation 
of affairs. The great difficulty is how to keep this administration 
together on any tolerable terms. 

I. In the first place, the Duke has so good an understanding 
and such a sense of his real obligations to the Pelhams (if services 
performed to a Prince may be called so), that I flatter myself, if 
the fatal consequences of the measures he is going into are calmly, 

^ Lord Sandwich. * This proved unfortunately not to be the case. 

' Lord Sandwich had formerly spoken insultingly of Hanover. See p. 171, where 
Col. Joseph Yorke writes of the King's anger at the Duke's licentious habits and his 
close friendship and alliance with Lord Sandwich. 

88 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

considerately and weightily laid before him, he might be brought 

2. H.R.H. might retreat without absolutely ruining Lord 
Sandwich, if he would be content with his province of first Lord 
of the Admiralty, without meddling in other political affairs. This 
indeed I take to be difficult, but 

3. It is still more difficult to separate the D. of Bedford 
from him, and here the great danger lies ; for if the D. of B. is 
either hurried out or quits with resentment, it will make such 
a break in the party as will not be easy to be repaired. 

This difficulty I foresaw, and gave warning of the last summer, 
at the very beginning of the quarrel with Lord Sandwich, but was 
not attended to. H.R.H.'s strong partiality for his Lordship, I own 
I was not then aware of. 

I have now told you a long story, because I" thought it was not 
fit to leave you uninformed ; but it is for your own information 
only, and you must not shew this letter or mention any part of it to 
any mortal. The use you are to make of it is for your conduct... 

Powis House May 2nd. I had writ thus far of the former date, 
and my letter has lain by me till now, in expectation of Mr Jeffreys's 
setting out. During this delay some incidents have happened, which 
have, to a certain degree, varied the state of things. The clause 
in the Navy Bill about the sea-officers in half-pay was reduced 
very low in the Commons, with the concurrence of Mr Pelham, 
insomuch that the D. of Bedford and Lord S. complained much 
of this yielding, and talked loudly for retiring it upon the Report. 
This created a great difficulty ; for either an opposition must 
have arisen between different parts of the administration, or else 
Mr Pelham must have submitted to those new courtiers, and that 
would have been understood as a proof from whom th.e parole was 
to be taken. At last H.R.H. put an end to this by overruling 
Lord S., and upon the Report, instead of mending the clause or 
restoring it to its former strength, it was entirely given up and left 
out. Thus ended haec certamina 'tdnta. 

What I believe greatly contributed to this was that the King, 
in the meantime, had given no kind of encouragement to this new 
connexion ; but on the contrary had, in discourses in the Closet, 
declared himself very strongly in favour of the Pelhams, and indeed 
I believe his Majesty is at present in as right a way as possible, 
and the noise, which this new party had raised in the public, is 
much abated.... 


Lord Chancellor to Lord Chief Baron Idle^ {written in consequence 
of a letter from Henry Pelhani (f. 85) complaining of the latter' s 

[H. 75, f. 87.] Powis House, May 4, 1749. 

My Dear Lord, 

I received your letter of the 28th past, and am extremely- 
glad to hear of your good health. But I was never more surprized 
or concerned in my whole life than at reading a letter of the same 
date from your Lordship to Mr Pelham, which he showed me 
yesterday. As to the affair, which makes the subject of the dispute, 
I never heard one word of it before, and therefore cannot pretend to 
enter into the merits of it. The point Mr Pelham strongly com- 
plains of is the style of your letter, and the manner of treating him 
and the rest of the Lords of the Treasury. The true regard and 
friendship I have long had for your Lordship, of which I hope 
I have given some proofs, made me look upon this with the greatest 
anxiety, and at the same time wonder how you could suffer your- 
self to be so far transported beyond your usual calm and decent 
behaviour to everybody, as to use some expressions, which I was 
sorry to read there. You call this proceeding of the Treasury 
a determination against law and justice, that it savours strongly 
of tyranny, an arbitrary dictate, and assuming a power of dispensing 
with laws and acts of parliament. I repeat these expressions, 
because I fear your Lordship writ in so much warmth as possibly 
not to remember them. People may be surprised into passionate 
expressions in speaking, but writing is a deliberate act, and Litera 
scripta m.anet. Therefore I have always thought that, next to 
judging or acting in a passion, writing in a passion was the most 
to be avoided in business, and he who falls into it commonly puts 
himself in the wrong. The act done was the act of the Treasury, 
and the imputation is upon the Board. But if it had only con- 
cerned Mr Pelham, to whom your letter is addressed, I should 
have imagined that his high station in the King's service, your 
Lordship's rank in the same service, and the strict friendship and 
connexion which have so long subsisted between that gentleman 

^ The Chancellor in recommending Idle to President Forbes on his taking up the 
appointment of Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Scotland, which he had obtained through 
Lord Hardwicke's support, speaks of him as one of the oldest acquaintances he had in the 
world and as having been called to the Ear at the same time as himself. But the Chief Baron 
was a weak man of only moderate ability. He had now got himself into a considerable 

go DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

and myself, might have induced you to use terms better suited to 
all those considerations, and which might have equally conveyed 
your sentiments upon the right of the case. As I am now expostu- 
lating with your Lordship with great cordiality towards yourself, 
I cannot help suggesting that if the right or power of the Court 
has been infringed in this instance, it would have been more prudent 
to have consulted the rest of the Barons and to have made the step, 
which should have been thought proper to be taken, the joint act 
of the Court, by a proper and decent representation to the Treasury, 
both of the facts and the law, as it should have appeared to them. 
In such a method the matter might have been calmly and delibe- 
rately examined, and I am confident on which side soever the law 
had been found, it would have been submitted to. But in the 
method now taken, you appear at present to stand single, without 
taking any one of the Barons along with you. I write these things 
in the fulness of my heart, and out of a sincere regard to your 
Lordship. I beg you would consider them seriously and dis- 
passionately, and endeavour to give such a turn to this affair as 
may avoid any ill consequences from what has already passed. 

In your letter to me your Lordship mentions an intention of 
coming to London. It is always a great pleasure to me to see you 
here, but you will forgive me for putting you in mind that your 
Whitsuntide term, beginning on the 25 th of this month (ist of June 
next,) there is now a particular duty of great consequence to the 
King's service, laid by Act of Parliament upon the Court of Ex- 
chequer in Scotland, [i.e. the business of the forfeitures] besides 
their ordinary business. Your Lordship passed the whole Martin- 
mass term in London, and you cannot but be sensible that the 
eyes of the public are much turned upon the dispatch of the 
business. Complaints of delay are ready to arise, and hints of 
that kind have already been thrown out in both Houses of Parlia- 
ment. I desire not to be understood by this to impute delay to 
the Court, for indeed I don't mean it ; but it is my duty to lay these 
things before you as highly concerning the public service and the 
honour of the Court ; and your own knowledge of the world will 
easily suggest to you what observations the Lord Chief Baron's 
spending two terms in the year in this town, in such a conjuncture, 
will naturally give occasion to. 

I have writ with freedom, and I trust your Lordship will take 
it as proceeding from that friendship, which I have always sincerely 
for you.... 


[The cause of the dispute was the appointment of a person to 
be agent for the Treasury in Scotland other than the one recom- 
mended by the Chief Baron. For the latter's answer to the 
Chancellor's reprimand, explaining his conduct, see f. 89.] 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[N. 34, f. 290.] Claremount, Nov. iih, 1749. 

My Dear Lord, 

I am persuaded your Lordship is fully convinced of the 
real satisfaction I have in Col: Yorke's late promotion on his 
account^ but 1 own more particularly on yours, when I saw you 
apprehend your own credit and figure to be concern'd in it, both 
which no one person living can interest themselves more in than 
I do and have ever done. I am sorry to say that a very disagree- 
able incident has made me imagine I had more share in it than 
I even flatter'd myself with. [The Duke of Bedford had taken 
occasion to point out to the King that Lord Cathcart^ was an older 
officer than Colonel Yorke, and would quit the service, in con- 
sequence of which the King had shown some marks of displeasure 
to the Duke of Newcastle on account of the latter's recommendation 
of the Chancellor's son.] I am sure it is unnecessary to observe 
who are your Lordship's true friends, upon this and all other occa- 
sions; but my dear Lord, flattery and complaisance, my Lord Duke 
thinks his due. If things are to go on, neither the King nor his 
servants must do too much of that. I can't bear, or support, to have 
every miscarriage from my best friends imputed to me; and then, 
if by proper application I may have been so happy as to get things 
over, the King's to be blown up and look grave upon me, from the 
absurd conduct of others. I desire I may be judged by my actions, 
public and private, and I desire my Lord Duke may be so too.... 
I say this in the utmost confidence to you ; your Lordship's weight 
and character can protect me from it, but you must then resolve to 
use courage and resolution, and that will make yourself and me easy. 
Forgive me, my dear Lord, for this freedom ; I have felt too much 
for near two years not to be a little sore.... 

1 He was appointed aide-de-camp to the King on November i. See pp. 148, 170-2 ; 
N. 34, ff. 269, 275. 

'■' Also aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cumberland, and since the decline of favour 
with the Duke of the friends of the ministry, the first favourite. He was three years older 
than Col. Joseph Yorke but regarding his seniority see the following letter. His threat- 
ened resignation did not take place and he obtained a colonelcy the following year. 

92 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 34, f. 292.] Powis House, Noif ith, 1749, at night. 

My Dear Lord, 

I return your Grace my sincere thanks for the honour 
of your private letter and for all the goodness which you express 
in it for me and my family. I never doubted of the kind share you 
take in everything that concerns me or mine.... I was surprized at 
the incidents related in your letter.... The gravity of the King's 
behaviour to your Grace... would give me more concern than the 
success does pleasure, if it should continue, but I flatter myself it 
will not... His Lordship [Lord Cathcartjs offering to resign his 
commission (from whatever advice it proceeded) is to me surprizing. 
Why did not all the Lieut. Colonels, who stand upon the list before 
the three last promoted to be aides de camp, quit ? and what has the 
King done in this instance.' In the first place, I never heard that 
Lord C. ever asked to be aide de camp to the King, or that the 
Duke ever had a view to it for him. The scheme was of another 
kind. In the next place, his Lordship and Joe stand in the printed 
list as Lieut. Colonels by commissions dated the same day, and Joe 
was in the army and an ensign in the Guards, i.e. a Lieutenant, two 
years before him. Besides, perhaps I have vanity enough to think 
that his being my son, ought to be allowed to be some ingredient — 
I mean with regard tp the station I am in in the King's service, not 
with regard to myself But I take the whole of this to have pro- 
ceeded from the new clique about H.R.H., accompanied possibly 
with some mixture of a hope in Lord C. that it may continue to 
drive on his other scheme of obtaining a regiment the faster. 

I never doubted one moment, my dear Lord, who are my true 
friends, nor to whom I ought to be, and will ever be, a faithful 
servant. The complaisance' your Grace mentions was, upon my 
honour, never intended with any other view but that ; and if it has 
been at any time mistaken, it was still well meant. In my little 
way I have never used to want courage or resolution in any cause 
of your Grace's, even in the most critical circumstances, and you 
will ever find me acting upon that principle, however I may, thro' 
error or weakness, fail in the execution. 

I am with my whole heart, my dear Lord, 

ever yours 
.... Hardwicke. 

' To the Duke of Bedford, above. 


[On June 22, 1750 (N. 36, f. 145), the Chancellor gives the Duke 
of Newcastle an account of a visit paid by him and the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, on May 30, to the Prince of Wales, who had summoned 
them to obtain directions concerning the baptism of his child, born 
on May 13. The Lords of the Regency, however, could give none, 
not having received any from the King. The child was baptised on 
June 17 by the name of Frederick William.] 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[N. 36, f. 214; H. 62, f. 251.] Very secret, to yourself only. 

Hanover, y«/j/ ^j, 1750. 

My Dear Lord,... 

I shall confine this letter singly to myself: and must 
begin with what most nearly affects me, viz: a great alteration of 
style and manner in my brother's late letters. I do apprehend this 
change arises from my private letter to him about the late Royal 
parties\...'Tis now I summon all your friendship: and, as a mark 
of my firm dependence upon it, I shall acquaint you with some 
circumstances [namely the coolness and reserve of the King and 
of Lady Yarmouth], that I have not mention'd to my brother, and 
which confirm me in my present resolution [either to procure the 
removal of the Duke of Bedford from the office of secretary to that 
of Lord President and the " appointment of a Secretary of State 
upon whom I could entirely depend and who would have a proper 
deference for one who has been in that office above six and twenty 
years," or else retire himself to the President's office^]. 

I own I had flattered myself that my brother began to be 
convinced of the necessity of an alteration, that he was pleased 
with my manner and matter and with my unreserved confidence 
in him upon everything. I was led into this opinion by most of 
his own letters, by two very remarkable ones from my Lord Lincoln, 
and by one which I have had from Mr Pitt, who wrote in the hand- 
somest and most friendly manner imaginable upon the subject, took 
notice of my brother's great satisfaction with me, and concluded 
with the strongest wish for success to all that I was doing abroad, 
and to everything that I might think necessary for my own ease 
when I came home. This conclusion, tho' very kind in him, did give 
me hopes, that he had known, or thought, my brother not so averse, 
as by the tenour of his late letters, I must suppose him to be.... In 
short, all my own friends have made it necessary, and they must 
take the consequences for their pains. I am much easier in the 
event than they imagine. I know, my Lord, you have often thought 

1 The D. of N. objected to H. P.'s attendance at the Duke of Cumberland's and 
Duke of Bedford's parties. See pp. 86, 99. 

^ N. 36, f. 239; H. 62, f. 263. Coxe's Pelham, ii. 354; also H. 62, f. 240 and 
N. 35, f. 365. 

94 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

me too vain. But one in my station must sometimes speak for him- 
self. I think the Secretary of State who in the then circumstances 
made the Peace with the consent of every one of our allies, has 
preserved it upon the same foot, has united most of the considerable 
princes of the Empire, and (if it shall so happen) has sans coup ferir, 
or much money spent, chose the Archduke King of the Romans, 
may retire to be President of the Council with some satisfaction to 
himself: and now I fancy you begin to think me in earnest. You 
see how much I depend upon your friendship, or I could not write 
to you in the manner I do. I write to nobody else so. I only 
expect as unreserved a letter in return, which I shall ever value, and 
am most- sincerely and unalterably yours 

HoLLEs Newcastle. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 36, f. 266; H. 62, f. 268.] Powis House, July ^th, 1750. 

...For God's sake, my dear Lord, don't imagine that my not 
writing by every opportunity proceeds from any reserve towards 
you, to whom I have the most faithful and invariable attachment, 
and with whom I have no reserve. The real reason is that my time 
has of late been so entirely taken up by very long and intricate 
Causes, which requir'd consideration as well out of court as in it, 
that in truth I have not had leisure frequently to write letters of 
political speculation, or even to write at all, unless it was necessary. 
And if this should happen again, be so good as to have so much 
consideration for me, as to impute it to some such unavoidable 

If you will suffer a word of advice from me, it shall be to 
appear to put the best construction upon the conduct of those, 
whom you have reason to think your friends, and not at this time 
to create a coolness in them.... 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 36, f. 363; H. 62, f. 275.] , Powis House, ■_/«()/ i^th, 1750. 

My Dear Lord, 

I receiv'd the honour of your Grace's pacquet by the 
messenger on Tuesday, and from your short letter which I happen'd 
first to open, receiv'd great satisfaction as to the state of public 
affairs, for which we are so much indebted to your Grace's dexterity, 
and to your indefatigable labours where you are. But I must own, 
when I came to your very secret letter^ that fill'd me with more 

^ See above, July 3/14. 


than a proportionable degree of concern and uneasiness, which have 
remained upon my mind ever since. I had a long conference on 
Wednesday night with Mr Pelham on the subject of your letters 
to him, and produced your short one to me and no more. In this 
I obey'd your Grace's commands, tho' if he should come to the 
knowledge of my having receiv'd a longer pacquet by that messenger, 
(which is not impossible) it may give him jealousy, and be attended 
with disagreeable consequences. From hence you may be sure that 
I was perfectly silent upon the alteration of the King's and Lady 
Yarmouth's behaviour to your Grace, tho' I found your brother 
had at least suspicions of the former.... 

Your brother was very full of complaints of the manner in 
which your Grace takes some expressions in his letters, disclaimed 
the meaning you put upon them, protested there was no change 
in him, that he had no intention of giving you the least offence; 
that he thought it his duty to tell you his opinion on points of 
public business, that he was very far from having any dissatisfaction 
in the present situation of foreign affairs. ...We next discuss'd the 
great point of the resolution your Grace has declar'd. He profess'd 
himself entirely of opinion against it; that it could not be; appre- 
hended the worst consequences, both to yourself and the pubhc; 
wished the other scheme of your Colleague's changing his office 
could take place;... and repeated what he had formerly said, that 
it was his opinion that it could be brought about no other way 
but by direct removal. I find him every day more and more 
dissatisfied with the Duke of Bedford ;... and [he] wished for a 
more intelligent, useful secretary in his place. But how to bring 
this about he did not know.... We reason'd upon this a good while, 
and I pressed him to Ta^ks further efforts.... 

Here it is that your Grace is pleas'd to summon all my friend- 
ship. It was unnecessary to do it in so solemn a manner. My 
best advice and most faithful service are ever at your devotion ; 
and when I presume to give it, you may be assur'd it is always 
sincere and well-meant. But I am, to the last degree sensible, 
that it is above my ability to advise you upon this nice and delicate 
question, which is rendered more delicate by the circumstances 
added in your letter to me, which are not disclosed to your brother. 
But tho' I am really unable to advise, one cannot help having an 
opinion about it, and my sincere opinion is against your Grace's 
attempting to carry this scheme into execution whilst you are 
abroad. In forming this opinion I do, in the first place, assure 

96 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

your Grace that I have laid myself entirely out of the question. 
After having drudged in the laborious office of Chancellor near 
fourteen years, I have no fondness to keep it longer, especially 
at near three score. 'Tis a constant round of the same fatigue. 
The incentive of ambition is quite over. The profits of it I don't 
now want or value; and if I can't have the satisfaction of serving 
with my friends^ I can have nothing to make it tolerable. 

My reasons are entirely drawn from the consideration of the 
public and yourself 

As to the public, you know my opinion that it will suffer pro- 
digiously by losing your service in this office. On that head I will 
not say all I think, because I would in this letter avoid all appear- 
ance of flattery. If your Grace was in the late Earl of Sunderland's 
situation and could remove from one office to another, still retaining 
the character and influence of prime minister, the case would be 
different. But your own scheme, and the motives to it, speak the 
contrary to that. In this situation, I think it will be impracticable 
for your Grace to name your own successor. Those you leave 
behind won't take Sir Thomas Robinson. Amongst other reasons, 
it would be looked upon as a mortifying stroke to Lord S[andwich]. 
The King would not take my Lord Chesterfield, neither do I think 
he would serve with the Duke of Bedford. It is therefore my firm 
opinion that the King would immediately send for my Lord 
Granville. How could you serve as President under him, or how 
could the party endure it .' For I cannot agree that the prejudices 
of your friends against his Lordship are got over. 

As to yourself, your Grace must give me the indulgence to 
speak freely. It is my duty, especially as you summon me to it. 
I think it would be represented in the world as your quitting the 
field and leaving a complete victory to your adversaries. This 
reflection you would not easily bear. 

For your Grace to continue at court in the President's office and 
see all the business and power, the access to the closet as well as 
to the other branches of the Royal Family in other hands ; suppose 
also that they should happen to make their court so well that for 
some time the appearances of favour and countenance on that side 
should increase ; — would not this be a scene of perpetual uneasiness 
and dissatisfaction to you, and keep your mind in constant agita- 
tion? I protest, for my own part, I would much rather quit the 
court entirely than be in such a situation. 

If you take the President's plate, you must either make yourself 


a mere cause-hearer, or else be a party at political conferences and 
meetings. The first I take to be impossible. In the latter you 
would find more contradiction and uneasiness, without the power 
you have now. Don't flatter yourself, my dear Lord, that' after 
having been 26 years in the office of Secretary of State, you shall 
find any relief in retiring to that of President. It never did 
happen nor ever will. In this consideration, what you say of an 
alteration in the King is certainly very material ; but of this it is 
impossible to judge without knowing the nature and extent of it. 
If it proceeds from any real alienation, you won't be more easy in 
the President's office. But, from your own account, this alteration 
seems to me of another kind. 

Your Grace owns that he does what you wish and propose, both 
as to English affairs and foreign affairs. That takes in the whole 
circle of real business. His reserve, or want of good humour now 
and then, may proceed from different causes. May it not have pro- 
ceeded now from his illness — pain — apprehension of such a distemper 
as the gout returning and giving him frequent vexations .-' "Your 
Grace knows the King much better than I do, but I should think 
him of a make likely to be affected by such incidents, especially 
when they come upon him at a time, and in a place, where he had 
promised himself nothing but amusement and pleasure. 

But you say he assumes to himself the sole merit of the measures 
of electing a King of the Rornans, etc. For God's sake, my dear 
Lord, let him do so, and flatter him in it. A Prince cannot make 
his minister a greater compliment than by making his measures 
his own. I have heard it has been no unuseful art in some ministers 
to give things that turn to their masters. 

As to the great Lady, your account of her behaviour is indeed 
surprizing. It has been for some time a mystery to me. Your 
Grace knew long ago what was my way of thinking about suffering 
some other persons to fall off from you, and depending entirely 
upon her. But it is hard for me to persuade myself that she can 
really be in the same system with the D[uke of Cumberland] and 
the Pr[incess Amelia].... 

To all this Your Grace will be apt to retort — But what is to be 
done ">. Am I to go on for ever thus yoked, and have no prospect of 
deliverance .' I think not ; and I think further that there is a 
prospect of deliverance, not very remote, tho' not immediate. 

Your Grace mentions your resolution not to take another 
Hanover journey. God knows, that is a very remote consideration. 

Y. II. 7 

p8 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

You are a much younger man than the King; — look forward to His 
Majesty's age two years hence, and consider what is the probability 
of another Hanover journey, especially if infirmities should increase. 
Surely such a distant possibility can furnish no reason for taking 
a present measured 

But your Grace will still ask what is the prospect of redress ? 
As to that, I really think that the Duke of Bedford's manner of 
executing his office, whatever it may be for the public, is the 
luckiest circumstance for yon personally that possibly can be. I am 
thoroughly convinced ^at your brother is now heartily tired of him, 
and would be glad to find a method to get rid of him, consistent 
with his own way of thinking. The experience of this Regency 
must have convinced every Lord who attends that Board of the 
same thing. His unpopularity increases every day, and he is 
sensible of it. Add all these together, and consider whether, at the 
foot of the account, it does not appear that he is doing his own 
business for you ; and I really think that with a little patience, the 
thing will be brought about in no long time after you come home, 
provided you keep your hold of the King ; whereas, if you should 
prematurely propose your present scheme at Hanover, I can't 
pretend to foresee what may be the consequence. It will give new 
spirits and minister new cause of triumph. Neither is there any 
necessity for it, for the President's office may be kept open as long 
as you please without inconvenience. This suspension will leave 
both doors open. 

Your Grace thinks this a favourable time to retire to be Presi- 
dent of the Council, after making the Peace with so much advantage, 
and the other instances of conduct which you have just reason to 
be proud of My dear Lord, whenever you retire, it will be satur 
gloriae"^. Nobody can have more real concern for your honour and 
fame than I have. Posterity will do it justice, but nobody ought to 
rely upon their contemporaries for such retribution. Besides, I 
imagine you would wish to finish the affair of Spain whilst you are 
in your present situation. 

I fear I have tired your Grace. I am sure I have tired myself 
Whatever I have said proceeds from the sincerity of my heart. I 
v/ill revolve this important question over and over again in my 
mind, and when anything further occurs, will submit it to you. 
I understand your Grace has not writ to the D[uke of Cumberland] 

' The King made two more Hanoverian expeditions after this one, in 1752 and 1755. 
'^ That was just what the D. of N. could never be. 


since you left England. You may remember I was humbly of 
opinion that it was right for you to seek an occasion of doing it, 
and I think so still. It is impossible to want topics. 

I had writ thus far when your Grace's scolding letter^ of July 6/17 
came in. For God's sake, my dear Lord, don't be angry with me 
for what I can't help. My time is not at my own command, and 
I hope my last letter has satisfied you. 'Tis easy to guess from 
whence the stories of the parties^, which have been echoed to you, 
come. I have not heard of any new- ones. Possibly your Grace 
may hear that I have been at Woburn, and that you may know the 
truth, I will tell it you myself I went to Wrest, as I have sometimes 
done for three or four days only, between the last day of the term 
and my first Seal. On Friday evening I received a letter from the 
Duke of Bedford "that he wanted my advice about issuing warrants 
for taking up two persons in Staffordshire on account of a treason- 
able letter, that he had all the papers at Woburn, and would bring 
them over to me the next day in the forenoon." I considered this 
would confine me the whole day, whereas my business there was 
air and exercise, so I returned for answer that I would wait on his 
Grace. I took my horse the next morning and rid to Woburn, read 
over the papers, settled the warrants, rid about the park for an hour 
and return'd to my son's to dinner. This is the whole true history ; 
what the fabulous may be I can't tell.... I am (I mean so much of 
me as remains undissolved by the burning heat we suffer here) with 
my whole heart, my dear Lord, ever your's 


Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 36, f. 467 ; H. 62, f. 303.] July i-jth, 1750. 

[He advises the Duke to inform his brother of his changed 
position at the court, and knows no other way of getting the better 
of a difficult situation of this kind than] with a certain firmness of 
mind, to overlook the low and petulant parts of it, to go strait for- 
ward with prudence and resolution in the great road of material 
business and service, to cultivate and cement one's friends of which 
your Grace has a great many, and by all these means to create 
a conviction in the mind of the King that you can do his business, 
and can support both that and yourself.... 

^ The Duke's own expression. 

^ At Woburn (where the Duke of Cumberland and Princess Amelia had been present) 
and which aroused the D. of N.'s jealousy, f. ■275 ; above, p. 93. 
3 Further H. 62, ff. 279 sqq., 304. 



[On August 17, 1750 (N. 37, f. 175 ; H. 63, f. ip), the Chancellor 
advises that, in filling up vacancies in the administration,] persons of 
weight and influence in the nation ought to be looked out and 
united with you if possible. Little people, how much so ever liked 
at Court, will not answer this end nor bring any reinforcement. 

Right Hon. Henry Pelham to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 76, f. 102.] Greenwich Park, Aug: 19.- 1750. 

...You see his Grace is -in high spirits; his Duchess, I thank 
God, recovered.... All Ije says about a certain Lady, I understand. 
He would in the winter, I know, talk to her on subjects she chose 
he should not ; and the King was, I also know, averse to any change 
in his administration, which I have constantly told my brother he 
was ; that in my opinion occasioned the coolness he talks of before 
they left England.... You see I am at present very well with his 
Grace, but I doubt it is all founded upon an expectation of my 
being for certain changes, which your Lordship knows I am not, if 
they can be possibly avoided. One would think he had never 
heard of this country, when he can seriously name such colleagues 
as he does. I hope however, and believe, nothing will be done till 
the King comes over.... 

[The Duke writing from Hanover on September -j^, 1750 (N. 37, 
f 369 ; H. 63, f. 49), recommends Lord Holderness, who had 
already been named by the King, to be the Duke of Bedford's 
successor, as one who had ability and " who will give no uneasiness 
to his companions." To the taking in of Lord Chesterfield, as 
Henry Pelham had suggested, he objects that it would make Lord 
Granville desperate.] 

Right Hon. Henry Pelham to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 75, f. 105.] Sept. 8, 1750. 

My Dear Lord, 

I send your Lordship by his Grace's desire a long 
voluminous dispatch I received yesterday morning\...I have read 
over the long letter three several times, and I protest to you I can 
make neither head nor tail of it ; there are so many contradictions 
in it and, in my poor opinion, such strange flights, that I scarce know 
what it tends to. He seems still angry with, ahd jealous of, the Lady, 
and yet puts his full confidence in her. He tells me everything is> 
as I desire, postponed till they come to England ; and yet shows me 
plainly that all the employments are provisionally agreed to, as far 
as His Majesty and my brother think necessary. Who will then 
burn their fingers with giving other advice } I am sure I will not, 

1 Of September 2/13, printed in Coxe's Pelham, ii. 383, informing his brother of the 
King's intention to get rid of the Duke of Bedford, and suggesting that H. Pelham should 
write to the King to support his resolution. 


and so I have sent him word. I judge the whole of his letter to be 
this, that he desires to get rid of the Duke of Bedford in the 
Secretary's office at any rate, and tells me plainly, if it is not so, I 
am the cause of it, and at the same time he says the Lady has 
stopped it hitherto, and would be glad to do so still if she could. 
He says in another paragraph he could have done it two years ago, 
and even two weeks ago, if he had pleased, but out of regard to me 
he did not. What can one make of all this t The next thing is he 
seems almost determined to make Lord Holderness Secretary of 
State ; I am certain I have no objection to that Lord, but I fear it 
will be thought an improper choice. I find his Grace, and "the 
King also, thinks there is nothing necessary to make a Secretary 
of State but crossing the water, and having credentials to one of 
the principal courts as a foreign minister ' ; I heartily wish they 
may find it so. But it is the last part of his letter which strikes me 
the most ; I mean the great fear he has of offending Lord Granville 
and the plain desire he has of bringing that Lord into the King's 
service. I have heard that suggested by the Duke of Newcastle's 
enemies before this time, but I never believed it till now. My God ! 
how little does he see his own situation, and how eagerly does he 
pursue his own destruction. I have wrote to him on this point very 
sincerely, but I hope very kindly^ I have told him that if he thinks 
there is the least variation in the minds of sober people with regard 
to Granville, he is exceedingly mistaken. I have showed him also 
how incompatible such a scheme is with my continuing where I am; 
at the same time, I have declared I will enter into no cabal to keep 
him out. The King, for me, shall do as he likes ; but then I have 
nothing to answer for in the consequences. I have endeavoured to 
write as kindly and as clearly as I could. I have omitted taking 
the least notice of all his reasonings. I have referred to my former 
letters as to my opinion, and concluded with desiring only that 
I may have nothing to do with any of these dispositions. You 
may depend upon it, my dear Lord, that I have wrote with great 
temper. I do not take anything amiss of my brother, tho' in this 
long letter there are contained as many things contrary to my 
sentiments, as could be well put together. I wish your Lordship 
would read over the letter carefully and then, if it is not too much 
trouble, I should be glad to know your thoughts upon it, that 
I may correct my own by your better judgment, if there is any 
great difference between us. I look upon the affair of the Duke of 
Bedford to be over ; they seem all to wish it abroad, and I have 

^ Lord Holderness had been ambassador at Venice and at the Hague. 

^ N. 37, f. 343. The letter may have been "sincere" but was scarcely "kind." In 
it he repudiates any intention of proposing " disagreeable changes," and insinuates that 
the Duke, after the way of courtiers, has shifted this on to his shoulders. He will have 
nothing to do with the Duke of Bedford's dismissal and will not propose it to the King, 
and the Duke will certainly be blamed for effecting it, though in fact it may be the 
King's own action. He objects to taking in Lord Granville also, as one who will support 
the Duke's ambitious foreign policy. 

102 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

some reason to thiiik it is not less desired at home. His Grace 
grows impracticable, even to his most intimate friends, and I believe 
my Lady Duchess [of Bedford] and Lord Sandwich both wish him 
in another office.... 

I am my dear Lord [etc.] 

H. Pelham*. 

[In answer to the Duke of Newcastle's letter of September 3, 
1753, the Chancellor writes on September 20 (N. 37, f 448 ; H. 63, 
f 72) disapproving of the appointment of Lord Holderness as did 
Mr Pelham, as too inexperienced, and attached to the connection of 
which the Duke was justly most jealous, as well as of the inclusion 
of Lord Granville. The latter] can never be your friend or support. 
Let him come into what office he will that is fit for him to accept, 
he will be considered as the King's foreign minister ; to which his 
own vanity will contribute, and he will soon effectually be so, as 
well as get the ascendant with the Lady [Yarmouth]'. As to 
Lord C[hesterfield] your Grace knows I have no partiality for, nor 
intimacy with, him ; but what pretence Lord Granville can have to 
take it as a personal offence to himself, if the former should have 
an employment, I cannot well comprehend. [He concludes by 
suggesting the Duke of Rutland.] 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

Ssi) 16 
[N. 38, f. 33; H. 63, f. 80.] Most secret. Hanover, -y^ — , 1750. 

My Dear Lord,... 

After I thought everything was upon the point of being 
settled almost to everybody's satisfaction, your Lordship will be 
surprised to see the discontent, uneasiness, jealousy and distrust, 
which fill all his [Henry Pelham's] late letters.... 

It must, my dear Lord, create an opinion in me that when it 
comes to bear, my brother apprehends the consequences of my 
being easy, master in my office, of my having a colleague agreeable 
to me who will not thwart me, before whom I can talk to the King, 
and with whom I can be free enough to desire (if necessary) that 
I may see the King alone. This must be the only objection to my 
Lord Holderness,... and it is that which goes to my heart. I am 
to be hampered, in order to prevent my overbearing credit with 
the King; when, God knows, I have daily proofs that, some way 

* It is [a] great pity my Father did not preserve his answers to these very remarkable 
letters." H. (H. 75, f. 114.) [These are now, for the most part, supplied from the 
Newcastle MSS.] 

' These fears, however, proved groundless. ' 


or other, they have found means to weaken and sap that so, that 
even in conjunction with you all, it will be hardly sufficient to 
carry things on to all our satisfactions, and this you will find 
a truth. 

I must remember (which I had hoped he had forgot), what my 
brother once told me emphatically, " The cabinet council will not 
suffer you, or bear that you should have a brother secretary entirely 
dependent upon you." This explains the whole.... 

The King names, or rather flings out, my Lord Holderness. 
I knew no more of it, no more suggested it to the King, than your 
Lordship ; but when the King named him I could not say it was 
an improper choice.... I only beg this favour of you that, after having 
perused all the enclosed letters and compared them with this, you 
will have the goodness, the friendship for me, to tell me whether 
I am in the wrong ; and if I am not, that you would say what you 
think proper to my brother upon a full information of the facts. 
I am sorry to acquaint you that things here are far from being as 
I could wish them. The day of the King's return, or rather 
leaving this place, is put off to the 30th of October, His Majesty's 
birthday, and happy are we that he will come away then. ...The 
true cause of the delay goes to my hearts And here I may 
again observe to your Lordship, my friend; had I not been so 
unreasonably hampered at home, had I not had to fear from 
all quarters, had I been supported at court, I should have had 
more courage, than I own I have had, to have combatted those 
prejudices, those predilections, which have produced this delay in 
the King's journey.... 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[N. 38, f. 87 ; H. 63, f. 152.] ^g^°, 1750. 

[The objections against Lord Holderness have taken their rise 
solely from the supposition] that he will behave in that office in 
a manner towards me, as a new secretary at this time of day should 
do.... I will consent to no Secretary that I think will not be upon 
that foot ; I have seen enough of the contrary not to run a third, 
nay a fourth time, into that difficulty....! believe your Lordship 
and I agree more as to my Lord Chesterfield than as to Lord 
Granville. I fear neither. I esteem the last the most for the 
great superiority of his talents and his right way of thinking in 
foreign affairs. But I opiniatre nothing. Lord Granville is 
dropped. I will never mention him more.... Let me have another 
colleague, and then I am upon the level with all of you. At 
present I am alone, baited and the sacrifice. In short, I am quite 
weary. I do all I can to please and I can't do it ; and so I will 
leave things to take their course, renouncing all imputation of 

^ " He is afraid of what he shall meet in England," the Duke says in his letter to 
Henry Pelham of the same date (N. 38, f. 41). 


having settled any one thing here.... Is there any acting upon any 
other foot, except one must not dare to speak, or think, without 
first being sure that it would be agreeable to any one certain 
person .' That is a slavery that nobody but my Lord Oxford 
(and for ought I know my Lord Orford) expected. It is enough 
to give up one's opinion at last, as I have done in almost every 

I am sure your Lordship will pity me when you hear that, with 
all this vexation from your side of the water, our great affair^ 
(which is the vanity and object of my life, in foreign affairs) is like 
to miscarry thro' the weakness and absurdity, (if not worse), of our 
negotiators with the Elfector of Cologne.... 

My dear Lord, don't take any part of this letter amiss. I mean 
very little of it to you. I am sorry you differ so much with me' in 
a few things, because they are essential to me in their consequences. 
I am cruelly hurt. Let me vent it to you, and I hope it will 

ever and unalterably yours 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Right Hon. Henry Pelham to the Lord Chancellor 
IH. 75, f. 109.] Greenwich, Oct. 6ih, 1750. 

My Dear Lord, 

The packet which will be delivered to you by Tom 
Parker, arrived here about seven this evening; and tho' it is, both as 
to the public and private contents, the most disagreeable one I ever 
received, yet I doubt not your forgiveness for troubling you with 
it. To whom can one resort, either for counsel or comfort, but to 
one of your known justice and wisdom, and of experienced friend- 
ship to us both .'' As to his private letter, it is in the style of 
almost all that I have received of late. As God shall judge me, 
I don't know what he means by my uneasiness. I have wrote him 
word that I have none but the receipt of such letters. I endeavoured 
to form the letter he speaks of as much to his taste as I could, 
consistent with what he has always known to be my opinion ; and 
even in that I have told him I would acquiesce in whatever he 
should think proper to do, provided, indeed, that Lord Granville 
was not to be introduced into the Council.... I own to you my 
patience is wearied out. I don't know what will become of us; 
I heartily wish I was a private man ; though the folly of my conduct, 
during the time I have been in a public station, very little qualifies 

1 As a matter of fact, the Duke nearly always gained his point. 

^ The election of the King of the Romans, above pp. 3 sqq. 

* H. Pelham writing to the Duke on October 5, says : " I sent your letters, as you 
desired, to Lord Chancellor, who reasons upon the behaviour of Electors in general just 
as I do" (f. 103). 


me for a comfortable retreat. Anything: is better than the life 
I lead... 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 38, f. 112 ; H. 63, f. 164.] WiMPOLE, Octob" tih, 1750. 

My Dear Lord,... 

The subject of this dispatch' gave me the greatest con- 
cern; for I had conceived hopes that such altercations, which had 
often grieved me to the heart, had been over. Your Grace does me 
the honour to make me the judge, which of you is in the right or in 
the wrong. I look upon it as a mark of your friendship and confidence 
in me. But how is it possible for me to execute that office, or with 
what utility to either, between two persons who zxe.inseparable friends, 
who ought to remain so, who must remain so, for both of whom I have 
the most faithful and inviolable attachment, and do my endeavour 
to use it chiefly to preserve that necessary union } The only use 
I can at present be of, is by holding a proper language to the 
person who is here [Mr Pelham], which I will not fail to do when 
I go to London, and that will be in a very few days. I had 
already writ to him on the last of the objections you state, I mean 
that of having settled etc. [the new appointments to the cabinet 
alone with the King at Hanover], and was so lucky as to urge the 
same argument in substance which you now insist on. I will not 
omit to enforce the whole more fully. 

But permit me even here to add one word to your Grace, and 
that shall be, that the best way of putting an end to these dis- 
agreeable altercations is, in the first place, not to overthink the 
motives of them ; and in the next place, to let them rest here. 
Write no more in that strain, unless unavoidably call'd upon 
to do it. Expostulations amongst friends seldom produce a good 
effect, and rubbing over a sore place always frets and irritates. 

It always rnakes me very uneasy whenever your Grace has any 
complaint against me. I am so now upon what you say of my 
sensibility; but be assur'd I said nothing which could bear the 
interpretation your Grace puts upon it, much less deserve one 
tenth part of the explanation you have taken the trouble to make. 
Of this I doubt not to satisfy you when I shall have the happiness 
of seeing you. 

Your Grace is pleased to suppose that when, in one of my letters 

' The Duke's letter of September s6. 

io6 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

I named the Duke of Devonshire, I meant another Duke \i.e. the 

Duke of Rutland]. Upon my honour I did not. It is not my way 

to name one person and mean another. I had no notion at that 

time of the other Duke.... I am extremely sorry that the [King's] 

journey is put off to so long a day on many accounts; but want no 

argument to convince me that it is not owing to your Grace.. ..It 

has been reported that your Grace intends to return thro' Flanders 

by Calais. If so, you will probably be ten days behind the King^. 

Suffer an old friend and faithful servant to advise you not to do 

this on any consideration. Be at St James's as soon as your 

master.... God send his Majesty and you all a quick, safe and happy 

passage, and believe me, my dear Lord, to be ever, as I most 

sincerely am, 

unalterably yours 


...P.S. Just as Iwas sealing up my letter, Turner, the messenger, 
brought me your Grace's of ^0^^/°^ ; and tho' I see you are a 
little angry with me, I thank you for the frankness of it, particularly 
the friendly conclusion. ...I hope, however, I may now be so happy 
as to satisfy you on one point. I assure your Grace, with the utmost 
sincerity, I never had the suspicions you charge me with. I give 
entire and absolute credit to the whole narration in your long 
letter.. ..Be assured, my dear Lord, I take, no part of your letter 
amiss. I know the most vif parts of it don't relate to me. Be so 
good, in your turn, as to take no part of this amiss, and to consider 
some things that are said in it. Your parody on my words about 
looking on a certain measure in one view only is a good one.... 
As soon as I get to town I will talk with your brother about the 
supplemental project contained in your inclosures. I fear he will 
call it a jeu between the three electors, and be much hurt with it. 
We must do the best we can. Your Grace says nothing about the 
route you intend to take. Don't neglect the hint in my letter. 
God preserve you^ 


[On October |f, 1750 (H. 63, f 183 ; N. 38, f 134), the Duke of 
Newcastle informs Henry Pelham that on proposing that the 
unfortunate Lord Harrington, who had incurred the King's hatred 

^ The Duke in his ill-humour affected to keep away and leave' the field open to the 
ministers at home, to settle with the King the changes in the administration. 
2 Further, N. 38, ff. 124, 155 ; H. 63, ff. 166, 187. 


by his support of the ministers in the crisis of 1746, and was now 
turned out of his Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, should be given 
the place of General of Marines on' his retirement,] the King 
was more enraged than ever I had before seen him upon the 
occasion. He said the General of the Marines was to be the 
reward for everybody that flew in his face ; that that was the 
case of that old rascal Stair ; that my Lord Harrington should 
have his ears cut off. ..He should not have it, if he could hinder 
it, and at last said, " He deserves to be hanged, and I am ready to 
tell him so."... 

Lord Chancellor to the Dicke of Newcastle 
[H. 63, f. 193; N. 38, f. 172.] Powis House, Octr. ii^th, 1750. 

My Dear Lord, 

I remov'd from Wimpole to this place on Saturday last, 
and am once more embark'd in the Chancery galley, where the 
honour of your Grace's letter of the ^, inst.^ found me on Tuesday. 
It gives me the greatest concern to observe by the inclosures the 
same kind of correspondence continued, which I flatter'd myself, 
from certain explanations in some of the former letters, had been 
totally at an end. In my letter of the 7th O.S.'' by the Post, which 
I hope came to your hands, I laid some reasons before your Grace 
why it was improper for me to give an opinion, who is in the right 
and who in the wrong. I hope they have satisfied you ; for indeed, 
my dear Lord, I am convinced in my conscience, it would do no 
good but a great deal of harm. At least be content to let it rest 
so, till we have the happiness of seeing you in England ; and then, 
I firmly believe, you will meet your brother in good humour, and 
many of those disagreeablenesses will subside and wear out of 
themselves, which by writing and being commented upon are kept 
alive, and temptations administered to a little positiveness, and 
perhaps a little pride too, to enter into justifications. In talking 
with Mr Pelham the other night on this topic, he protested in the 
strongest manner that nothing was further from his intention than 
to call in question the truth of what you had writ, concerning the 
first motion of the removal having come from the King himself... 
and meant only to convince you that other people, not so informed, 
would report and reason differently upon it.... I long to see you 
well here.... Ever yours 


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

io8 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

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

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

My Dear Lord,... 

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

ever yours, 


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

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

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


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

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

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

no DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

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

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

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


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

H. Fielding. 

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

My Dear Lord, 

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

' The celebrated novelist, above p. 52. 

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


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

Burn this. 

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

My Dear Lord, 

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

HoLLES Newcastle. 

112 • DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

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

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

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

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

My Dear Lord, 

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

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

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

My Dear Lord, 

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


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

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

y. II. 8 

114 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

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

I am ever and unalterably yours 

HoLLEs Newcastle. 

^ The Duke of Bedford and Lord Sandwich retired together. 

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


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

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

My Dear Lord, 

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

HoLLES Newcastle. 

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

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

^ Tune 'i.'.th 

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

My Lord, 

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

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


ii6 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

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

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

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

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

My Dear Lord,... 

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


viz. that of carrying on in the main his business with his present 
administration, and yet gratify the resentment of the Duke and the 
Princess Amelia against me. And the way of doing it is plain, to 
consult me and follow my advice in foreign affairs, which the King 
must know is his own plan, and at the same time to exclude me 
totally from any share in the home administration. This would 
certainly indulge the resentment of my enemies, and reduce me to 
make a most contemptible figure in the administration. The truth 
is, that in fact everything passes through my brother's hands, and 
I am, with regard to the King, as much a stranger as if I was not in 
the ministry. The truth is also, that my brother accepts this at 
least, if he don't promote it or approve it; and his constant court to 
Princess Amelia lays the foundation for it, and gives the King 
reason to think that by this conduct his administration may go on 
in the present hands, and his children's unreasonable resentments 
against me be gratified.... My dear Lord, was there ever such cruel 
usage.... I believe the like of this was never known to one, who 
labours as I do, for His Majesty's service.... ' 

Mr Pelham is much embarrassed, inwardly pleased with his 
great situation at home and great affluence of fortune, got singly 
by the court, whenever he leaves it... [He concludes by proposing 
a visit to Wimpole where he begs he may have " a warm room and 
a bed that has been constantly laid in."] 

[N. 40, ff. 538-568.] 

[The Duke of Newcastle in a long letter to Andrew Stone of 
December 8, 175 1, relates the history of the recent domestic troubles. 
The original cause of estrangement between himself and H. Pelham 
arose in foreign policy ; his own opinion, which was his real and 
sincere one, being more in agreement with the King's wishes than 
with those of his brother. He had lost the favour of the Duke 
of Cumberland and Princess Amelia by his quarrel with Lord 
Sandwich, when Henry Pelham had made close application to 
them and united with them with the object of isolating him. The 
Duke of Bedford was called in "to keep him down," and cabals 
were raised against him while he was abroad, when the King, of 
his own accord, determined on the removal of the Duke of Bedford. 
He returned and was ill-used, accused of having misrepresented 
what took place and not treated as a minister. The Duke of 
Bedford, on resigning, had left a legacy of malice against him ; tho' 
his resignation and the access of office of Lord Holderness took 
place without his intervention. During the last week, however, he 
had noticed a change for the better in the attitude of his brother 
towards him ; but Stone must obtain from Henry Pelham the 
restoration of a complete mutual confidence between them and an 
assurance that the coolness displayed towards him by the royal 
family would be discouraged. He believed that the King meant 
to take Lord Holderness instead of himself to Hanover next 


time; in any case, he himself would not go as a clerk or ai 
subaltern, but only as the King's minister, possessing his' full 

Duke of Newcastle^ to Andrew Stone 
[N. 42, f. 63.] -Very private. Hanover, May^, 1752. 

Dear Stone, 

Johnson sent you by the last messenger a copy of my 
long letter to my Lord Chancellor^ I conclude you think that, 
upon the whole, I came off pretty well, tho' with the hearing, of 
many most disagreeable things, and particularly with regard to my 
Lord Chancellor. It is amazing that anybody should endeavour 
to set the King against so good, so great and so valuable a man. 
I am afraid he has great enemies, and some cool friends, who may, 
by their silence or admissions, have contributed to this very extra- 
ordinary turn. All sort of personal disregard was shew'd. All his 
family heap'd with favours, his eldest son a teller of the exchequer; 
another son, a boy, a Plenipotentiary in Holland ; another, all the 
things in the Law, which meant the Clerk of the Crown, etc. And 
this provoked me to say what I did. But the remark I make, my 
dear Stone, is, what has brought this upon him ? His firm attach- 
ment to me ; and what is worse, I am afraid, from more quarters 
than one. But the thing is done, and the Chancellor will be pleased 
with that^... 

[On June 12, 1752 (N. 42, f 404), the Chancellor had written 
an " ostensible " letter {i.e. one to be shown to the King), to the 
Duke of Newcastle, desiring the appointment in Chancery of the 
Chaff Wax for his nephew, Philip Billingsley, and that of the 
Clerkship of the Briefs, vacated by the latter, for his clerks, Robert 
Salkeld^ and Carlton Hayward. At the close he inserted a para- 
graph dwelling on the fine appearance of the Hanoverian troops at 
the recent review in Hanover, to put the King in a good humour. 

The Duke in answer on ^-^^^ (N. 43, f 90) writes that the request 

has been granted but with a very bad grace.] I must own, your 
long ostensible letter about it frighten'd me, and the paragraph 
about the troops at the end, I thought not right judged. We are 

' "The King set out for Hanover. The Duke of Newcastle... vifould not venture him- 
self in any yacht but the one in which Lord Cardigan had lately escaped a great storm." 
Walpole, George II, i. 278. 

2 See vol. i. pp. 553-6. 

^ The Chancellor's request had been for Lord Breadalbane to be chosen a representa- 
tive Peer for Scotland in the House of Lords. 

^ Probably a son or nephew of the Chancellor's old law tutor. 


not to be reasoned with. We hate detail, and we do find out when 
paragraphs are put in to please us for other ends\ 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 45, f. 177,] Powis House, Octob' ^•{tk, its^. 

My Dear Lord,... 

I observe your Grace's account of your conference with 
L[ady] Y[armouth], and am sorry for her accounts of the King's 
humour. I fear it will grow worse rather than mend after 69^ 
I hope she will execute well what she has undertaken to inculcate, 
about the necessity of giving countenance and support to the 
administration. If we [i.e. the King] are determined to continue 
this administration, 'tis wonderful this should want inculcating ; for 
not to do it is to weaken and disable the hands and instruments, by 
which 7m ourselves must act. Wh'at your Grace says about that 
channel I take to be very true ; but, as things' are now situated, it is 
necessary to cultivate and make the most of it. You and your 
friends have contributed to make it stronger and more operative 
than it was, and it would be ridiculous not to turn it to your own 
account, but to leave others to make the advantage of it.... When 
your Grace returns I am confident we shall meet with great joy 
and cordiality; and, as your Grace has writ your mind so fully 
about acting in thorough confidence and concert, I daresay you will 
not think it necessary to repeat much of it in discourse ; for I have 
reason to think that kind of language is sometimes understood as 
conveying reproaches for what is past^...I am unalterably, ever 


Hon. John Yorke to the Hon. Philip Yorke 
[H. 26, f. 85.] Powis House, Novr. lotk, 1752. 

...Lady Anson tells me she has wrote word to Lady Grey of 
Papa's having carried me to the Lord Mayor's entertainment at 
Guildhall.... Before Papa took his leave of the company, Lord Mayor 
desired to speak with him in private, and when they were together 
made him many fine speeches on the part of the city for the honour 

^ The King's hostility at this time was owing to the intrigue of the Duke of Cumber- 
land and Princess Amelia against the Duke of Newcastle. On his return to England, 
and on the application of the Chancellor himself, this request was granted very readily. 

=> The King's age. 

' This was a very judicious hint; see above, p. 37. 


of his presence upon that and so many former occasions', and how 
kindly they received that mark of his attention. His Lordship 
then desired to know whether he might have any hopes that his 
Majesty would pass through the city on his return ; that if it was 
intended, he would upon notice being given, cause the Mansion House 
to be illuminated that evening, would invite the court of Aldermen 
to supper, and as his Majesty passed by, they would come out and 
drink his health. This you may be sure' was not discouraged; 
Papa promised to acquaint the Secretary of State, which he did as 
soon as he got home.... 

Hon. Charles-. Yorke to the Hon. Philip Yorke 

[H. 12, f. iji.] Nov. i8, 1752. 

The King came to St James's this evening, at half an hour 
after eight o'clock, as the park guns informed me.. . .The notice of his 
arrival by a messenger, at S o'clock this afternoon, dispersed a great 
audience assembled in Lincoln's Inn Hall, to hear the argument in 
Dr Schomberg's case against the College of Physicians^ my Lord 
being obliged to go immediately to St James's.... 

Lord Chancellor to the Hon. Charles Yorke 
[H. 5, f. 128.] Powis House, May \ith, [1753] at night. 

Dear Charles, 

I forgot to mention to you an argument which I have 
heard as coming from Mr Fazakerley ^ ; that clandestine marriages 
are a mischief or inconvenience to private families, but not to the 
public. I think this is too weak to be his ; for what is the public or 
community but an aggregate of particular families or persons ? 
and what is, or may be, a general mischief to them, must be so to 
the public. The same argument might have been used against 
the will bill*, and with rather more reason ; for it is in most cases 
very indifferent to the public whether John or Thomas enjoys an 


Yours affectionately, 


y The Chancellor appears to have made a point of dining every year with the Lord 
Mayor and Corporation. See Dodington's Z'z'arj', 12, 113. 

^ Isaac Schomberg (1714-80), physician, petitioned the Lord Chancellor and several 
' of the Judges, as visitors, to compel the College of Physicians to admit him into their 
.society. After several hearings the visitors decided, July 25, 1753, that they had no 
jurisdiction. Charles Yorke was one of the counsel for the plaintiff (H. 718, f. 28). 
. • ^ The Jacobite Nicholas Fazakerley (see vol. i. 157 «.), still a zealous antagonist of the 
administration; M.P. (and Recorder) for Preston. He had lately been active in opposing 
the Regency. Bill,, the Jew Bill, and the Marriage Act. He died in 1767, without even 
being appointed a K.C. 

« Seep. 53. .,,.:- . ... , ... 


Duke of Newcastle to the Hon. Charles Yorke 
[N. 46, f. 529] Newcastle House, Thursday morning, il/ay 31, 1753. 

Dear Sir, 

You must forgive my presuming in this manner to return 
you my most sincere thanks for your noble defence' yesterday of 
my best friend and the best servant, that ever prince or country had. 
Your tender relation to him does not unite you more than that long 
friendship (which will ever be my greatest honour), which has sub- 
sisted between him and dear Sir, your most truly affectionate 

friend and sincere humble servant 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 8, f. 151.] Hague, _/««£• 5M, 1753. 

My Lord, 

The mail which arrived yesterday brought me the honour 
of your Lordship's letter of the 1st inst.^, and I can't refuse myself 
the satisfaction of conveying, by the first opportunity, my sincerest 
congratulations on my brother Charles's success in the House of 
Commons, upon which there is but one voice. If I may be allow'd 
an honest jealousy, I can't help envying him the glory of standing 
up as your Champion in the face of the world, against envy, hatred 
and malice and all uncharitableness. I confess I would have given 
up many advantages in life to have had such an opportunity, and 
to have acquitted myself of it as well. Your Lordship's services 
to your King and country will be recorded in the annals of our 
country and the minds of all good men, when the names of those, 
who are weak and vain enough to attack you, will be buried in 
oblivion. I am infinitely obliged to your Lordship for the detail 
you are so good as to give me of the rise and progress of the bill in 
question. \, who have spent my life in foreign countries, know 
what a reproach the frequency of clandestine marriages has brought 
upon our nation. We are ambitious of passing for a wise people, 
and have permitted till this time one of the greatest evils to subsist, 
which can be found in a civilized country. Europe applauds what 
is now doing and, happily for the opposers to this law, neither they 
nor their motives are sufficiently known to be remembered to the 
next session. If the view was to found an opposition, they seem 
to have defeated their own scheme; but I should rather suspect the 
attack upon your Lordship is owing to a spirit of revenge for the 

1 Charles Yorke's defence of his father against Fox's attaclc, on the occasion of the 
Marriage Bill; above, p. 65. Charles Yorke's answer, f. 531. 

2 Not in, the MSS. ■ 

122 \ .DOMESTIC, HISTORY i7^?,-i7SA 

generous defence you undertook of your friends in a late proceeding 
in the House of Lords^... ■ 

Sir Thomas Robinson to the Lord Chancellor, 
[H. 244, f. 65.] Whitehall, /z;»f 6 pyaKfi 7], 1753. 

My Lord, 

The sincere attachment I have to your Lordship's person 
and interest, and the great obhgations I owe you on many occasions, 
prevents my keeping silence ; therefore must take this method to 
congratulate your Lofdship and my country on the passing of a 
bill, which every good man has long wished for and which hitherto 
factions and interested persons have been too strong for, I mean 
that for preventing clandestine marriages, which this country of 
boasted liberty has hitherto wanted. ...It will be one of the most 
distinguished actions of the present era, and after ages will be 
surprised to hear that any opposition was given to it in this, but a 
great deal more, when they are informed of the licentiousness of 
that opposition it met with. By the indulgence of the Houses of 
Parliament to strangers, I was present at all the debates.... Your 
Lordship's speech in the House of Lords yesterday, I had the very 
good fortune to hear ; permit me most humbly to declare my 
opinion that 'twas one of the finest performances I ever heard in 
Parliament. You did justice to yourself and your friends, and set 
in a clear light that shame, which unprovoked enemies had brought 
on themselves, and most justly deserved ; may you ever triumph 
over the united force of envy and malice (constant followers of true 
greatness and distinguished merit).... 

Thos: Robinson. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 65, f. 210.] Kensington, _/«»« 8, 1753. 

My Dearest Lord, 

It is with as much surprise as satisfaction that I can 
acquaint you that, finding Lord Holderness in the Closet, his 
Majesty began with a great good smile upon me, " Lord Holder- 
ness has just told me the particulars of Lord Chancellor's speech," 
— which he approved most highly ; he seemed particularly pleased 
with some touching expressions, and said afterwards a most right 
and just thing. I explained your Lordship's reasons, particularly 
with regard to the insult upon Law and the observation you made 
upon His Majesty as Head of the Law and Constitution. The 
King said, that was very right, for at Hanover where the govern- 
ment is military, as it is here legal, whoever struck a sentinel, 

1 The Murray and Stone affair is probably meant. (See p. 47.) 


struck him the King. This was strong indeed. I told the King, 
and Lord Holderness confirmed it, that all which your Lordship 
had said upon the Laws was upon that principle. This remark, or 
rather application, of His Majesty's showed how well he approved 
and understood the whole. The King said his family came to 
preserve the Laws and were therefore to maintain them, implying 
from interest and obligation. I told your Lordship what effect 
your speech would have and, believe me, I have some knowledge 
of things and men. I told him the story of Pulteney, Yorke and 
Talbot^ I told him the quotation out of Quintilian, Impudentiae 
resistendum est. You may see how happy this has made me ; I look 
upon your Lordship as part of myself, Utrumque 7iostrum incredibili 
modo, Consentit astrum"....! am, my dearest Lord, ever and most 
cordially yours 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to his cousin, Hugh Valence Jones, 

secretary to the Duke oj Newcastle 

[H. 84, f. 90.] Hague, June 8, 1753. 

...The marriage Bill passing by so great a majority is a proof 
that the opposition formed to it, and the manner of opposing it, 
has not been so much approved, as those who set it on foot at first 
hoped. Mr Fox's behaviour unprovoked, and in a matter of such 
general importance, has not raised my esteem for him, exclusive 
of the interest I naturally must have in everything that is personal 
to my Father. It would not have come with a good grace from 
anybody else in this case, but circumstanced as he is, it becomes 
him less than another to proclaim war. I take it for granted, 
that his endeavouring to come off with some flattery, is owing 
to the little applause he has met with out of doors for his 
behaviour within ; for, thank God ! all the dirt he can throw 
upon that Person will never stick,' though it may bespatter 

Right Hon. Henry Pelham to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 75, f. 160.] EsHER Vlac.^, Jane loth, 1753. 

...You will give me leave to assure your Lordship no one 
more seriously rejoices at the reception your conduct in the House 
of Lords, on a late occasion, meets with from all quarters, and 
particularly, as your letter and my brother this morning has 
informed me, at Kensington. I never doubted but when Lord 
Chancellor undertook the defence of his own honour or that of any 
of his friends, he would do it with ability, dignity and authority ; all 
which, I am assured, were thoroughly maintained in your late 
performance. I hope it will be a means of putting an end to the 
mad conduct which has occasioned it... 

^ The allusion unfortunately cannot now be explained. 
^ Horace, Odes, ii. 17, 22. 

124 DOMESTIC HISTORY 17 i.Z-n t,i, 

Hon. Philip Yorke to the Rev. Thos. Birch 
[H. 50, f. 116.] Wrest, _/««« i2<*, 1753- 

Dear Birch, 

I am much obliged to you for the particular account, 
which your letter of the 9th' gave me, of my Lord's Philippic (for so 
it may be called) in the House of Lords. It must have made a great 
noise in the Town ; and I should be glad to know what the sentiments 
of people are about it„and whether the generality do not think he 
was justly provoked to shew his resentment of the treatment he had 
met with. My brother says your relation is a very good one, but 
that you have mistaken the turn of the speech in one place, which 
he will tell you of when he sees you in town.... Mr Fox will have 
time to cool between this and next session, and if he is wise, 
he will draw some useful hints for his own conduct out of this 
transaction. No man can think it just that a subject of this kind, 
where the public alone was concerned, should be turned into a 
personal attack ; and one must be very ignorant of the present 
state of the court not to see that, tho' the Chancellor was made 
the butt, the two brothers were really struck at, and he was to be 
run down for adhering to them.... 

[In a letter of June 16, 1753 (H. SOj f 118), Birch speaks of the 
Chancellor's speech as] admired by every impartial person who 
heard it, but misremembered by some, and misrepresented by others, 
as a passionate invective against the House of Commons in general. 

Earl of Breadalbane^ to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 102, f. 235.] June 30, .1753. 

...The manner of opposing the Marriage Bill in the House of 
Commons was the subject of a great deal of conversation at 
Edinburgh, and I had the satisfaction of hearing Mr Fox's behaviour 
universally blamed. Justice is done to your Lordship's merit in 
this country, and even if 'tis possible to be partral where you are 
concerned, the people here in general are so. Surely such a bare- 
faced personal attack must carry shame with it.... 

1 Missing from the MSS. ; printed in Pari. Hist, at length, xv. 84. See above, 
p. 67. , . 

, . .^ Lord Glenorchy had become Earl of Breadalbane. by the death of his father, on 
February 23, 1752. 


Draft of a Letter written by the Lord Chancellor to be sent by Lord 
Holderness to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland upon the Earl of 
Kildare's Memorial 
[H. 344, f. 85.] Whitehall, June, 1753^. 

My Lord, 

I have the King's commands to transmit to your 
Lordship the inclosed copy of a paper, which has been presented 
to his Majesty by the Earl of Kildare,. containing an account of 
supposed discontents and divisions amongst his Majesty's faithful 
subjects in Ireland, and ascribing the causes thereof to the conduct 
of the Lord Lieutenant and of those in whom his Excellency, for 
the better carrying on of his Majesty's affairs, places a confidence; 
and all this is represented as the sentiments of a great part of the 
House of Commons of Ireland and of many others, the most zealous 
of the King's Protestant subjects there. On the perusal of so un- 
common and extraordinary an application, his Majesty expressed 
his great surprize ; and has directed me to acquaint your Lordship 
that his Majesty has the firmest reliance on the duty and inviolable 
attachment of his Protestant subjects of Ireland to his sacred 
Person, Royal Family and Government, being thoroughly per- 
suaded that their loyalty and zeal for his service are not to be 
shaken by any insinuations or misconstructions whatsoever. 
The King has had so great experience of the abilities and fidelity 
of the Duke of Dorset, in the several important trusts which have 
been reposed in him, and particularly by the great satisfaction 
which a seven years administration in Ireland had formerly given, 
not only to his Majesty, but also to his faithful subjects there, that 
his Majesty judged that, by appointing his Grace a second time to 
the important station of Lord Lieutenant, he gave no small proof 
. of his attention and regard to their interest and welfare, which his 
Majesty has, and always will have, at heart. In this light his 
Majesty looks upon his Grace as deserving his support, without 
which his service cannot be carried on. The King's ear will always 
be open to receive any just complaint of any of his subjects; but 
his Majesty thinks it does not belong to any particular person, 
how respectable soever, to speak in the name of a great body of 
his People, much less of one of his Houses of Parliament, and to 
put an interpretation upon their proceedings and resolutions, which 
they have not thought fit to express. The King is determined to 

' See p. 60. 

126 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

continue his royal protection and countenance to all his faithful 
servants and subjects in Ireland ; but his Majesty, and under him, 
his Chief Governor of that Kingdom, are, and ought to be, the 
proper judges by what persons, and through what channel, his royal 
favours are to be dispensed. 

It is his Majesty's pleasure that your Lordship should commu-. 
nicate this letter to the Earl of Kildare, and to such other persons 
as you shall think proper and expedient. Your Lordship will 
observe how little impression representations of this nature make 
on the King's greatness of mind against daily proofs of fidelity 
and zeal in his service; and the duty and attachment and good 
affections of his Majesty's faithful commons of Ireland, and of the 
rest of his loyal Protestant subjects there, have been so truly and 
amply laid before the King by the Duke of Dorset, that they did 
not stand in need of any further endorsement. Upon the whole, 
his Majesty depends upon the cheerful concurrence of all his good 
subjects of that Kingdom to support his Government, and render 
it easy and happy in those hands, in which His Majesty has, for the 
justest reasons, been pleased to entrust it. 

Col. the Hon, Joseph Yorke to the Hon. Philip Yorke 
[H. 16, f. 331.] Hague, July ird, 1753. 

Dear Brother, 

Your obliging account^ of what had passed between 
the contending powers in the affair of the marriage... was not less 
agreeable for being a little late, because it contained some particulars 
which I had not seen in other accounts. What related to Charles's 
speech in particular was new to me, and gave me great pleasure, 
as well from the substance as the spirit of it, for I was tired of 
hearing so much barking without a little biting. The world reasons 
much upon the present quietness, which I ascribe to my Lord's 
usual moderation and candour, which has not made him push a 
man further than the wall, thou^, indeed he does not deserve it 
at his hands, after his late behaviour.... 

^ Not amongst the MSS. 


The Lord Chancellor to the Right Rev. Thomas Seeker, Bishop of 
Oxford, in answer to a letter from the Bishop relating the clamours 
and discontent aroused by the Jew Bill in his diocese. [H. 244, 
f. 84] 
[H. 244, f. 93.]- Powis House, /«{y 3, 1753. 

My Lord, 

I ask your pardon and am sensible I stand in need of 
much excuse for not sooner having acknowledged the honour of 
your Lordship's letter, which nothing but my constant engagements 
should have prevented. I am very sensible that a handle is taken 
for clamour from the act passed the last session relating to the 
Jews. It began in this town, in order to hurt a particular gentleman 
who serves for the City of London, and has since been industriously 
propagated in the country with the same view, I mean the approach- 
ing elections. That is an occasion upon which all kinds of weapons 
are taken up, and ill-grounded clamour is one of the readiest, but 
such a one, as it is the duty of every honest man to oppose and 
disappoint. Your Lordship has acted a very worthy part in en- 
deavouring to undeceive your clergy in your visitation, and I make 
no doubt but you will continue to exert yourself in the same way. 
It is reilly surprizing that any man of good understandings and 
dispositions should fall into this snare. They certainly must have 
taken up their original prejudices before they knew what the Bill 
was, and some of them may possibly be unwilling to own their 
mistake. Your Lordship knows very well that no one Jew in the 
world is naturalized by this act, and that it only puts it into the power 
of the legislature to receive Bills hereafter for naturalizing particular 
Jews by name, which the Parliament may refuse or grant in such 
measure, and upon such conditions as they, in consideration of the 
particular persons and the circumstances of each case, shall think 
fit. Not knowing whether your Lordship has the printed act, I 
have taken the liberty to enclose one. 

As to the few points on which your Lordship desires to be 
enabled to give some further satisfaction, the first is, whether Jews 
born in England had, before this act passed, a right to purchase 

If they had not, this law does not give it them, for it has no 
relation to Jews born here. But not to rest upon that, it is certain 
that some of the old Law Books say they had not such a capacity, 
and my Lord Coke is very strong upon this head. But it is as 


certain that in modern times the greatest lawyers have been of a 
contrary opinion, and have' held the rule, which Lord. Coke lays 
down, or rather made, viz. Infidi perpetui hostes, to be absurd'. 
I am old enough to remember that when the act of the loth of the 
late King (to which your Lordship refers for another purpose) was 
under consideration^, the opinions of all the great men at the Bar 
were taken, and in general they concurred that they were capable. 
Dr Tovey's' discovery was not then made. I have on this occasion 
looked into the book, which is a very incorrect work. I am con- 
vinced that the MS. which he found is apocryphal and of no 
authority. It is neither in print nor upon the Statute Roll. I 
cannot find that any Parliament was held in that year, the 54 Hen. 3, 
and the Parliament of Marlebridge al[ia]s Marlebrough, which was 
held 52 Hen. 3, has always been taken to be the last of his reign^ 
On the face of the instrument it does not import to be an act of 
Parliament ; for tho' the form of them differ, I know of none that 
run in that style viz. de consilio proelatoru magnatu et proceru qui 
sunt de consilio nostro, which is a description either of the King's 
privy council or of the magnU consiliU Regis; for in those days it 
was frequent for the King to hold assemblies of certain great 
prelates and lords, who took upon them to make ordinances, but 
these ordinances had no proper parliamentary authority. ■ These 
assemblies Were called Magnu Consiliu Regis. This instrument 
concludes in the form of letters patents and with teste meipso, 
importing it to be under the Great Seal which, tho' particular 
grants passed in Parliament sometimes were, general laws were 
not; and though the Doctor represents this as an instance of the 
ancient method of proclaiming acts of Parliament, which my Lord 
Coke so much applauds, he is mistaken in that also ; for the method 
was to send transcripts of the acts, passed in the preceding session, 
to the sheriff of every county in England, under a writ quod pro- 
clamari faciat throughout his whole bailiwick. Whereas this 
apocryphal statute of the Doctor's has a general direction to all 
sheriffs, bailiffs and liegemen whatsoever, which shows it rather 
(if real) to have been a proclamation founded on the ordinance of 

■ Rep. vii. Calvin's case, !•} a, b. ^ lo George 1,0.4. 

^ De Blossiers Tovey (i69'2-i745), Principal of New Hall, Oxford, author of Anglia^ 
Judaica (1738). The discovery was a supposed Act of Parliament from a MS. in the 
Bodleian forbidding the Jews to purchase or even hold lands, p. 187. 

* Cf. Stubbs, Cons. Hist. (1880), ii. 106. "Two or three parliaments were held in 
1270 to complete' the taxation of 1269...," and who mentions one of 1271; see also 
H. S. Q. Henriques, 7%^ Jews and the English Law, 192. 


Council. To this I will only add that, if this instrument was really 
an act of Parliament, it is incredible that neither my Lord Coke, 
Mr Selden nor any other lawyer or antiquary, who has treated of 
that subject, should have taken [no] notice of it. This negative 
argument appears to me to be of no small weight. 

As to the supposed banishment of the Jews in the reign of 
Edward I, no such act of banishment appears, and my Lord Coke 
affirms none ever passed, but that they were banished consequen- 
tially by the abolition of usury, tho' Mr Prynne' maintains the 
contrary. Their return into England was in Cromwell's time. King 
Charles the 2d found them here at the Restoration and, notwith- 
standing the zeal of those times in Church matters, that Government, 
instead of expelling them, did, from principles of policy, encourage 
them to stay. It is true that no act of the legislature passed for 
that purpose, but authoritative and judicial notice was taken of 
them. Then it was allowed by the opinion of all the judges that 
they should be sworn in all Courts of Justice upon the Pentateuch; 
and my Lord Chief Justice Hale, as great a lawyer and as good 
a Christian as this nation ever produced, was the chief promoter 
of that practice, which has prevailed ever since. 

As to the objection that a proviso should have been added, that 
Jews born in Great Britain should be incapable to sit in Parliament 
or vote for members of Parliament, the first observation that occurs 
is, that it is foreign to the subject matter of this Bill, which does not 
meddle with Jews, who are natural born subjects and remain on the 
foot of former laws. 

But to answer this more particularly; I apprehend that if they 
are capable of purchasing freeholds, they are capable of giving 
votes incident to those freeholds. As to sitting in Parliament; 
'tis an extravagant, strained objection, and may be as well supposed 
of Mahometans or of Gentous, or any other Heathens. 

But there is a plain legal answer to it ; for no man can sit in 
Parliament without taking the Oath of Abjuration after the 
Speaker is chosen. Now the Act 10 George I [c. 4] enables the 
Jews to take the Abjuration Oath, leaving out the words upon the 
true faith of a Christian, only in cases where they should present 
themselves to be sworn in pursuance of that act and the recited 
act 9 George I, i.e. for the purposes of these acts. .Therefore, 

^ William Prynne, the well-known Puritan writer (1600-1669), had published on the 
occasion of the proposed re-admission of the Jews to England A Short Demurrer to the 
Jews in 1656. 

Y. II. 9 

I30 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1.748-17^4 

if any borough should be so anti-Christian as to elect a Jew, he 
must take the Abjuration Oath upon the true faith of a Christian. 
If anybody should reply, that some Jews may submit to this, the 
answer is, you may suppose hypocrisy and dissimulation in any 
case. You may suppose that a Papist may take the oath of 
supremacy and the declaration against transubstantiation, or that 
any infidel may take all kinds of tests. But this is the fault of 
man's depravity and not of the law. Would these objectors require 
a sacramental test to qualify men for sitting in Parliament? That 
never has been attempted, and I believe never will ; nor, upon the 
supposition of such gross prevarication with God and man, would 
any security be attained by it. 

To return to the case of Jews born in foreign countries, I ques- 
tion whether there will be many instances of naturalization under 
this new act. The objectors don't consider that it has been a 
common practice since the Restoration to make Jews denizens by 
Letters Patents of the Crown. There are upon record instances of 
20, 30 or 40 Jews made denizens together in one grant. By being 
made denizens they acquire all rights of natural born subjects 
accruing from that time, but a denization by Letters Patents has 
no retrospect and doth not give them entire civil blood. By virtue 
of denization they may purchase, and their children born here 
afterwards may inherit to them, and so on to all generations in the 
descending line. But they can't inherit to collateral relations; 
because in order to that they must derive their descent from some 
common ancestor, which is a retrospect, and presumes a capacity 
antecedent to the denization. Your Lordship sees that the whole 
they will gain by naturalization, beyond what they might have by 
denization, is a capacity of inheriting amongst themselves and some 
further small advantages in trade. 

I have not had time to look into the laws or customs of France 
concerning the Jews, but am assured they are very extensive and 
not so local as is represented. 

The case of Holland is very well known, and I have seen 
a letter from one of the ablest and most considerable men in that 
country, expressing an astonishment that such a clamour should be 
raised in England against so innocent, and as he thinks, useful a 

[An answer from the Bishop, f. 102.] 


Horace Walpole {the elder) to the Hon, Philip Yorke 

[H. 258, i. 73.] WooLTERTON, July 7, 1753. 

...I could not forbear showing my zeal and attention last 
sessions in behalf of that great man, whose character and behaviour 
in private life is most unexceptionable and engaging to all that 
have the honour of being particularly acquainted with him, and 
who has maintained his high station for so many years with the 
greatest dignity, justice, ability and temper, to the satisfaction of all 
persons and parties, and whom I shall always consider as one of 
the greatest supports of the present happy constitution. 

Upon this principle, I could not forbear expressing my uneasi- 
ness, and even resentment, to all my friends in the House at the 
unaccountable sallies of severe wit and disrespect of a certain 
person, without the least provocation, towards the first minister of 
state, who I daresay never offended him, and who could have no 
other view or intention than the service of the public in promoting 
in another place the bill in question ; nay, I did not conceal my 
dislike at such a violent proceeding to the great orator himself, 
tho' I have always lived in friendship with him ; and I am extremely 
glad to hear that he met at last with such a reception in a certain 
place ; it was no more than his unjustifiable conduct deserved, 
and nothing less could be done in justice to the unworthily injured. 
Had the sentiments of the Closet been known sooner, it might 
have prevented, as you rightly observe, that disagreeable scene in 
the Housed... 

Rev. Thos. Birch to the Hon. Philip Yorke 
[H. 50, f. 145.] London, Aug. 11th, 1753. 

Dear Sir, 

Amidst the inexhaustible torrent of ribaldry against 
the Jews Bill, which daily overflows us from the press, one of the 
very few pieces on the other side appeared yesterday in the Public 
Advertiser. It is probably Mr Fielding's, both from the manner 
of writing and his share in the paper in general. It is in the form 
of a letter to a friend, who desired to know what was the true 
meaning of the term naturalization; and the answer shows first 
what a naturalization bill is not, and then what it is. I hope the 
Whitehall, or General Evening will spread it through the nation in 
order to counteract the malice of their rival the London Evening, 
which on Thursday inserted the instructions of the sheriff" and 
grand jury of Wiltshire to their members to attempt the repeal of 
that bill, drawn up with all the virulence and absurdity which 

' " During the contest in the House of Commons it was whispered about, with some 
industry, that His Majesty was displeased both with the Bill and the keeping the Parlia- 
ment sitting for it, but we were soon undeceived and strong indications given to the 
contrary." Ord to Lord Carlisle, Hist. MSS. Comm., Earl of Carlisle, 206. 


132 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

a Jacobite country divine (for such the writer seems) can furnish 
upon such a topic. This example will, I am afraid, be followed 
by other places, which may render the affair more serious than 
I at first thought it. At Lewes in Sussex the Archbishop's 
universal reputation could not protect him from the cry of No 
Jews, which, his Grace observed, gave him no other concern than 
as a melancholy proof, how far the people are sunk back in reason 
and charity, in which they were before imagined to have made some 

Rei>. Tkos. Birch to the Hon. Philip Yorke 
[H. 50, f. 158.1 London, Sept. 8, 1753. 

...The Duke of Marlborough declares that the Jews Bill has not 
lost him above one vote, but that the loss of this one vote has 
surprised him more than that of an hundred others would have 
done. It is that of Mr Benj. Holloway^ the minister of Woodstock, 
an enthusiastic Hutchinsonian, who owes his chief preferment to 
the Duke's family; and yet upon his Grace's sending him venison 
lately, returned him no other answer than that, if it was intended as 
a bribe, it would be lost upon him.... 

Hon. Philip Yorke to the Rev. Thos. Birch 

[H. 50, f. 168.] WiMPOLE, Oct. 4, 1753. 

Dear Birch, 

The domestic politics of this summer will make but 
a contemptible figure in history, which can record nothing else than 
the art employed by faction to swell a most inoffensive Bill into 
a national grievance, and the success with which the weak and -the 
credulous have been deluded into the grossest of absurdities.... The 
government will always be exposed to these popular gusts, as long 
as the corporation part of the city of London continues in the hands 
whichruleit at present....! seethe Common Council have instructed 
their representatives to obtain a repeal of the Jew Bill; and if such 
a motion should be made, it will be pretty difficult to withstand it, 
as many of the Whigs will be afraid of risking their elections just 
at the eve of a new representative. I consider our government in 
a state very near anarchical.... 

^ Probably the elder B. HoUoway (d. 1759), a religious controversialist, rector of- 
Bladon near Woodstock 1736-9, when he handed over the living to his son of the same 
name; John Hutchinson (1674-1737), a religious symbolist and antagonist of Newton's 
theory of gravitation ; author of Moses's Principia. 


Lord Chancellor to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland 
[H. 244, f. 258.] Powis House, _/««. 30, 1754. 

My Lord,... 

I have been under the greatest anxiety for the uneasi- 
ness, which the present situation in Ireland must have given to my 
friend, the Duke of Dorset. I know his Grace's great honour and 
prudence, the moderation of his temper and his other virtues, 
formed to render the people, over whom he is placed, happy. 
I know also his sensibility of such undeserved ill usage. I have 
not troubled his Grace with letters, because in cases, where one is 
not master of the carte du pays, or of the dispositions, views and 
humours of the different parties and their leaders, especially in 
Ireland, which I have always been told differs widely in these 
respects from England, 'twould be presumption to advise. In the 
deliberations here, the principles I have acted upon are, to maintain 
the King's just prerogative, and the legal dependence of Ireland 
upon Great Britain, which I think essential to both nations, to 
support the credit weight and authority of my Lord Lieutenant, 
and to prevent any lasting divisions growing out of these difficulties 
amongst the Protestants of Ireland. My way of thinking has been 
that such measures as proceed from a combination of those principles 
must be right, and all others wrong^.... 

Right Rev. Thomas Seeker, . Bishop of Oxford, to the 

Lord Chancellor 

[H. 244, f. 410.] CuDDESDON, Aug. 30, 1754. 

[Describes doubts that have been raised concerning certain 
points in the Marriage Act and proceeds :] Surprising pains are 
taken to keep up and increase ill humour in relation to it. Your 
Lordship, I presume, hath been informed that it was publicly ar- 
raigned and condemned by one Hawkins, son to Serjeant Hawkins, 
whom the Vice-Chancellor appointed preacher at the Assizes here; 
a man, from whom everything virulent was to be expected, and that 
the judges either thanked him, or at least expressed to him no sign 
of displeasure. But possibly you may not have heard of his 
affirming in the pulpit of me, by name, that I had on a late 
occasion, meaning my last years' visitation, told my clergy that 
persons, whose marriage was annulled by the Act, might with 
a good conscience cohabit ; to which he added his own opinion that 
they were in conscience bound to do it*.... 

1 For other Irish correspondence see H. 244, if. 169, 226, 233, 253, 264, 270-4, 319; 
H. 245, ff. 42, 54, 324, 336; H. 246, ft. 45, 364; N. 49, f. 3. 

* "N.B. Our Family may be said at this time to have been in their temporal 

134 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

Lord Chancellor to the Bishop of Oxford 
[H. 245, f.'i.] WiMPOLB, 5«//. 3' 1754- 

My Dear Lord, 

I received the honour of your Lordship's letter of the 
30th of August, with much pleasure to hear of your health and that 
of the ladies. I. cannot say that the enclosures gave me the same. 
Mr Archdeacon Sharpe appears again before your Lordship in a very 
questionary shape. I reverence his character, because I hear it is 
a, very good one; but clearly he has a head to raise doubts. My 
grea,t regard for your Lordship will induce me to tell you my 
thoughts, but it is upon these express conditions, that my name be 
never mentioned or hinted at, and that whatever you shall write to 
him be not in a positive or decisive way. 

As to Licenses, which make the subject of all the Doctor's 
present doubts, the late Marriage Act has left the law relating to the 
power and manner of granting them just as it found it, except in one 
particular viz : that they shall be granted only to solemnize marriage 
in the parish church or public chapel of the parish or chapelry within 
which the place of abode of one of the parties shall have been for 
the space of four weeks, immediately before the granting of such 
license, etc. 

The oath and bond required from surrogates is only a collateral 
circumstance, enjoined by way of further security to prevent 
abuses, but does not alter the rules of law concerning the instru- 
ments themselves. 

The Doctor's first question, in the order of things, is, whether 
a surrogate is at liberty to refuse granting a license, when he is 
applied to by persons pleading great inconveniences, etc. As to 
thiSj I think that a surrogate is at liberty to refuse a license, because 
a license to marry without publication of banns is a dispensation 
with the general rules of law ; and as a dispensation is not demand- 
able de jure, I apprehend that no action will lie for denying it. 
This much is certain, th^t in sound discretion no ecclesiastical 
judge or surrogate ought to refuse licenses of this nature, without 
some legal objection, or reasonable ground of suspicion. 

But upon the 2nd question, I apprehend that the minister to 

zenith, of which the clamour raised about the Marriage Act is a proof; for in this country 
envy and abuse always attend power and prosperity. The Decline it has since had from 
various incidents is the lesson which Providence always holds out to us, that Nihil mortale, 
— diutumum. H." 


whom such license is directed and tendered, cannot refuse to, 
solemnise the matrimony, unless it shall appear to him that one of 
the parties is under age and the consent of the parents or guardians 
not given, or that the usual place of abode of one of the parties 
has not been in his parish^ for the space of four weeks immediately 
before the granting of the license. And since this Act has given 
a sanction to licenses equal to banns, I think an action may be 
maintained for refusing to solemnise the matrimony in any other 

The 3rd question is, what is meant by the words according to law 
in the proviso relating to the oath and bond of surrogates ? 

The answer is, the law relating to licenses precedent to the Act, 
with the addition of the circumstances required by the Act, which 
I have already mentioned. That precedent law appears to me to be 
the canons of i6o3[-4], which bind the clergy and the ecclesiastical 
courts and officers. But as to the qualification mentioned in 
Canon loi, to such persons only as are of good style and quality, I am 
very clear that the constant uniform usage of this kingdom, for 
granting licenses of marriage to persons of almost any state or 
condition, has put an altered exposition upon that canon, and that 
no surrogate can be judged to have acted contrary to law for 
granting licenses in like manner as they have been usually before 
granted in this respect. 

As to the customs of particular dioceses or the special directions 
of local ordinaries, I am an utter stranger to them. Custom, I am 
sure, there can be none in this case to hold against the canons, which 
are the general law of the Church ; and as to special directions of 
local ordinaries, if the Bishop or other local ordinary, who has 
power over his officers, has authoritatively given them any caur 
tionary rules relating to the granting of licenses, I think the 
surrogates, or other officers, ought to observe them when signified 
to them. 

The Doctor's doubt relating to blank licenses with the seal 
affixed to them, left with the country surrogates and filled up by 
them after they are so sealed, is a reasonable onel I never under- 
stood that practice and always thought it irr^ular, and am sure it 
has been introductive of much abuse. But I am clear that no such 

^ ' ' One of the parties has not been in the parish " is crossed out and the entire sentence 
in the text inserted instead. The word usual would seem to have some weight, and to 
exclude the artificial residence now frequently obtained and regarded as a sufficient 

''See More v. More, 2 Atlcyns 158. 

136 DOMESTIC HISTORY 1748-1754 

surrogate could be punishable for forgery in filling up a license in 
this manner, for that the general usage would exempt the act from 
any fraud or evil intention, and be a sufficient ground to acquit him. 
But I would advise that the depositing of such blank licenses should 
be avoided as far as possible; though where it cannot be avoided, 
I should not be inclined to break in upon the established practice, 
at least at present, for reasons very prudently suggested by your 
Lordship in your letter'. 

As to the question what is meant in the act hy. persons having 
authority to grant licenses, or surrogates deputed by an ecclesiastical 
judge, it was the intent of the act, and I think it is plain, that every 
person, who has a written deputation or appointment from any 
chancellor, vicar general, etc. to issue out licenses, is within that 
designation. The clause requiring the oath and security was parti- 
cularly aimed at such persons, and unless they are within it, it 
would be nugatory. 

I have now, for your Lordship's sake, gone through all Mr 
Archdeacon's queries; and as to those which he threatens to have 
in reserve, I hope these answers will help him to resolve them 
himself. If some difficulties are laid upon licenses in consequence 
of this act, I think there is no harm in it ; for I always was of 
opinion, that the most desirable point of all was to induce the 
people of this country, as far as possible, to marry by banns ; and 
therefore this new law has given certain advantages to that regular 
public method, established by the Rubric, which is part of the text 
of the Act of Uniformity. Indeed, it is wonderful how licenses 
came afterwards to be allowed. 

I heard of the impertinence of Mr Hawkins before your letter. 
Surely there never was such a piece of impudence as quoting your 
Lordship on such an occasion and in such a manner, but you are 
quite in the right to despise it. If I had been judge of assize, 
instead of thanking him for his sermon, I should have been tempted 
to have begun my charge, as my Lord Chief Baron Smith^ did 
once at Dorchester, after such an assize sermon, " Gentlemen of the 
Grand Jury, you have been very pragmatically told from the pulpit 
that etc:," and yet my Lord Chief Baron Smith was as good a 
Churchman as any of his time. 

As to a certain party, which your Lordship describes, I am sorry 
they have deceived your hopes, but am glad you now see them in 

^ Namely, to avoid giving occasion for fresh clamours against the Bill. 
2 John Smith (1657-1726), Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer 1708. 


their true colours. I have long seen that spirit ; and great industry 
has been used to keep up that spirit, where you see the exertion of 
it, in order to hold out that place as the garrison and fortress of 
Toryism and Jacobitism'.... 

Hon. John Yorke to Viscount Royston'^ 
[H. 26, f. 107.] Powis House, Nov. i, 1754. 

...You will be glad to be told that Dr Shebbeare, the author 
of that low novel, entitled the Marriage Act, has been obliged to 
give bail to appear before our Sovereign Lord etc: whenever it is 
thought proper to call him to an account. I hear it is so ill contrived, 
that scarcely one distress is described in the book, which might not 
just as well happen, if there was no such act. It is dedicated to 
the Duke of Bedford ; and I think her Grace has reason to take it 
amiss that she is not celebrated in it as the patroness (I won't say 
of female honour but) of the private liberty, which this wicked law 
may perhaps help to ruin^.... 

Who do you think is going to be married ? I don't believe 
even Lady Grey could guess. No less a man than Mr Pitt, and to 
whom? To no less a woman than Lady Hester Greenville. He 
talks of attending the House very diligently this winter, but quo 
animo is not very clear. 

^ The University of Oxford. 

^ The Chancellor having been created an earl, his eldest son was henceforth known by 
this title of courtesy, 

' The Duke of Bedford was said to be hen-pecked. 



The termination of the prolonged and anxious negotiations 
for the peace, the final suppression of the Rebellion and the 
successful accomplishment of his reforms for Scotland, brought 
at last some respite to the Chancellor from the close attend- 
ance to affairs of state, which devolved upon him in addition 
to his duties as Speaker of the House of Lords, and to the 
extremely onerous business of his own great legal office in the 
Court- of Chancery. In our own days the load of so much public 
business could not possibly be supported by one man. The 
enormous increase of office work, the fatiguing correspondence, 
and the endless circulation and annotation of papers, appropriate, 
together with speeches in Parliament and in the constituencies, 
the greater part of the time and energies of modern statesmen. 
Parliamentary and official routine were happily far less exacting 
and less engrossing in the eighteenth century, the necessity of 
appealing for popular support not so pressing; and the freedom 
from this great burden enabled a much larger amount relatively 
of administrative work to be accomplished ; while at the same 
time the responsibility of the individual, who possessed none of the 
modern expedients for eluding it or shifting it to other shoulders, 
was far greater. Making, however, all due allowances for the 
difference of conditions, not only the responsibility exercised in 
so many spheres, but the actual attendance and drudgery of the 
Chancellor's various offices must, especially in these years, when 
his active influence was extended so far in domestic legislation and 
foreign policy, have been enormous. "The Duke of Newcastle," 
wrote Philip Yorke in 1748, "never had any mercy on my Father's 
timeV' and the demands made upon his private leisure were in- 
cessant. Human strength and endurance are capable of wonderful 

1 H. 61, f. 156. 


increase and expansion at the bidding of a strong will, and can 
respond to the most exacting demands at times of crisis and 
necessity, but they have their limit ; and it was therefore with 
uncommon pleasure and a great sense of relief that the Chancellor 
found himself once more enabled to enjoy his vacations at Wimpole, 
where considerable improvements had been carried out, and where 
he now again gathered his family around him. It was a leisure, 
writes a friend of the family, " which should be held sacred by every 
Englishman^" " His Lordship," wrote the elder Horace Walpole, 
an old acquaintance, " being able to throw off the air of business 
with the gown of the magistrate is a happiness of temper that will 
contribute to preserve long such a state of health, as is so necessary 
for the service of the public, especially at this juncture, when 
I imagine that his great abilities may be more wanted than ever^." 
His constitution, as his sons inform us in the obituary article in 
the Annual Register of 1764^, was not naturally a strong one; 
"but his care to guard against any excesses... and his habitual 
mastery of his passions gave him a firmness and tranquillity of 
mind, unabated by the fatigues and anxieties of business," and 
left him with spirits vacant and disengaged, capable of enjoying his 
domestic life. His health was now restored by the needful rest, 
fresh air and exercise; and in September 1753 he tells his son 
Charles that he has ridden a race with Sir John Heathcote, on the 
old race-course on Empingham Heath, and beat him by his mare's 
length, " after having been Lord Chancellor of Great Britain near 
17 years^" 

The same year, on June i S,the Chancellor attended the University 
of Cambridge to receive the degree of LL.D., and replied to the 
compliment in a speech composed, as his son John relates, " while 
[Lord] Dupplin held him in discourse," and which gave universal 
pleasure, and wa? followed in the procession by his three sons, 
masters of arts'. No cloud appeared to dim the satisfaction with 
which the Chancellor regarded the happiness and advancement of 
his children, and the paternal affection and the pride which he felt 
in them were happily expressed in the following sonnet, addressed 
to him in 1746 by the poet and critic, Thomas Edwards^ 

1 Daniel Wray to P. Y., H. 53, f. 136. 

'^ H. 258, f. 146. ' pp. 282 sqq. 

* H. 5, f. 132- 

« H. 26, f. 87; Add. MSS. 5852, f. 133. 

' See note above, vol. i. 213. 


O Thou, to sacred Themis' awful throne, 

And the chief seat among the crowned peers, 

The nation's last resort, in early years 
Rais'd by thy high desert; not these alone. 
Nor all the fame thy eloquence has won, 

Though Britain's councils with success it steers. 

And the rash Scot its distant thunder fears, 
Rank thee so far above comparison, 
As that prime bliss with which thy heart is warmed. 

Those numerous pledges of thy nuptial bed, 
Who back reflect a lustre on their sire; 
Taught by thy lore, by thy example form'd. 

With steady steps the ways of glory tread. 
And to the palm of virtuous fame aspire i. 

Charles, the most talented of all his children, had now definitely 
begun his legal career^. In 1744, at the age of 22, while only a 
student of Lincoln's Inn and before his call to the Bar, he had 
published his Considerations on the Law of Forfeiture for High 
Treason, which immediately attracted attention and reached 
subsequently five editions ^ The heir of his Father's intellectual 
power, he nevertheless entered his profession with no light heart 
at first, literary pursuits having for him superior attractions to 
the routine and active practice of the law. Participation in 
politics and public life was equally distasteful. Writing to 
Warburton, in January 1744, he quotes Bacon's words, "I dis- 
cern in me more of that disposition which qualifies to hold a book 
than to play a part*." In 1752, a remark of the same kind to 
Montesquieu draws a remonstrance from the great French thinker, 
who points out the advantage and propriety of ambition in young 
men, reminds his correspondent of the superiority assigned by 
Cicero, himself a philosopher, to those engaged in public life over 
the mere thinkers, and urges him strongly to persevere in his 
illustrious profession ^ Completely wanting in his Father's calm 
self-confidence and happy optimism, he was weighed down by 
a sense of responsibility, fearful of sinking beneath the great 
standard set up before him, and afraid of appearing unworthy of his 

^ J. Nichols, Select Collection of Poems, vi. io6. 

^ Above, vol. i. 208. 

^ See above, vol. i. 328. It has earned amongst others the enthusiastic praise of Lord 
Campbell (Lives of the Chancellors, 1846, v. 378). "Now, for the first time, appeared 
among us a writer, who rivalled the best productions of the French and German 
jurists," etc. 

* Selections from Unpublished Papers of W. Warburton, by F. Kilvert (1841), 153. 

° p. 177. George, afterwards first Lord Lyttelton, describes him to Warburton about 
this time as " a young gentleman of equal virtues and talents; the last he will improve 
by living more in the world." lb. 206. 


Father's example, rather than encouraged by it. With character- 
istic diffidence and depreciation of his own abilities he begged to 
be allowed further time for study and preparation before pleading 
in public; but the Chancellor overruled his objections and insisted 
upon his call to the Bar, which took place on February 4, 1746^ 
Once, however, embarked, he made rapid strides in his profession". 
His great talents immediately triumphed over all obstacles and 
all misgivings. " Charles has very little regard for sub-legal affairs," 
writes Daniel Wray, an intimate friend of the family, a few months 
later on June 5, 1746, "having made a huge stride last week in 
Westminster Hall. He had, what he calls, an excellent hit, an 
opportunity of speaking upon a point with only the Attorney 
before him who, moreover, had by no means exhausted the subject 
with his usual copiousness. All people that heard Charles were 
extremely pleased, and his friends found something more taking 
in his manner than they expected ^" A year after his call he was 
pleading in an important case before the House of Lords and his 
Father. " I can acquaint you with no little satisfaction," writes 
Philip to Col. Joseph Yorke on February 23, 1747, "that Charles 
has made his appearance in a cause before the Lords greatly to his 
credit. Everybody commends his pleading. It was material to 
the point in issue, handsomely worded and spoke with becoming 
assurance. My Lord was much pleased with it, and you know he 
is not flippant of his commendations'"." "I rejoice at my brother's 
success," he writes later on July 9, 175 1, "and cannot help wish- 
ing that he himself took a more hearty liking to a profession 
in which he will make so considerable a figure, if he perseveres 
in it»." 

On December 7, 1747, he was returned to Parliament for Reigate, 
a family constituency", in which he succeeded his elder brother, 

^ Records of Lincoln's Inn, Black Books, iii. 336. " The first practice into which I 
may naturally be thrown," he writes to his brother Philip on June 9, 1746, " will be that 
of the Court of Chancery where he presides, and I apprehend that I shall appear very 
ignorant and deficient." H. 13, f. 143; H. 37, ff. 39, 56; H. 56, f. 40; also H. 5, f. 5. 

* According to entries in his fee-book, quoted by Harris (iii. 441) which is no longer 
to be found among the family papers, he appears to have made his way from small 
beginnings by slow and sure progress. During his first year at the Bar he only made 
£\ii, during the second £20^. It was not till his seventh year (1752-3) that his fees 
approached ;^iooo. In 1756 they were nearly ^■2500. In 1757 when Solicitor-General 
more than ;^340o, in 1758 over £^000, while in 1763 they amounted to ^^7322. 8j. dd, 

' H. 53, f. 53. ^ H. 15, f. 194. 

^ H. 50, f. 6; for Charles Yorke's cases and legal papers see H. 835-847, 849-850, 
852-856, 860-867 and 873-878. 

* The manor of Reigate had been given by KingWilliam III to Lord Chancellor Somers. 

142 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

Philip, and which he continued to represent till 1768. His entrance 
into the House of Commons was celebrated in the following lines 
by Thomas Edwards : 

Charles, whom thy country's voice applauding calls 
To Philip's honourably vacant seat, 
With modest pride the glorious summons meet, 

And rise to fame within St Stephen's walls ! 

Not* mean the honour which thy youth befalls. 

Thus early claim'd from thy lov'd learn'd retreat. 

To guard those sacred rights which elevate 
Britain's free sons above their neighbour thralls. 
Let Britain, let admiring Europe see 

In those bright parts, which, erst too long confin'd, 
Shone in the circle of thy friends alone, 
How sharp the spur of virtuous ancestry. 

When kindred virtues fire the generous mind 
Of Somers' nephew and of Hardwicke's son. 

He took an active part in the proceedings of the House of 
Commons, where he spoke with weight and effect, and was heard 
with attention. He seconded the address in November 1748, and 
moved it in January 1753. " The figure Charles Yorke made," wrote 
Henry Etough to Birch on the first occasion, "is an agreeable 
piece of news. Nothing can be more pleasing than such accounts 
of young men, who have the additional character of probity and 
virtue^." In May 1748 he caused the rejection of a mischievous 
Bill for the security of the Protestant purchasers and trustees of the 
effects of papists*, and subsequently supported with great ability 
some of his Father's measures, in particular the Marriage Act 
of 1753. On this occasion, during a scene of great excitement, 
he warmly defended the Chancellor, repelled the audacious and 
insolent attacks made upon him by Henry Fox, and obtained 
great praise and applause ^ In May 1751 he spoke in support 
of the Regency Bill, and in February 1754 on the extension of 
the Mutiny Act to India, a measure rendered necessary by the 
frequent warfare maintained between the forces of the East India 
Company and the French. The accounts of the debates, however, 
are at this time very scanty, and afford an exceedingly imperfect 

1 J. Nichols, Select Collection of Poems, vi. io6, which gives nor here, probably 
a misprint. See also the verses addressed to him by another poet, Hawkins Browne, 
in Dodsley's Collection of Poems (1775), ii. 287. ^ Add. MSS. 4326 B, f. 21. 

* "Your brother Charles... urged such a weight of objections, that the patrons of it. 
Lord Gage and Mr Fazakerley, abandoned it without any reply." Birch to P. Y., May 7, 
1748; Pari. Hist. xiv. 267, 325, 1008, 1275 sqq., xv. 270; Sir R. Wolfe from Lincoln's 
law, May \2, Erthig MSS. 

* See above, p. 65. 


notion of his parliamentary activity. In 1746 he obtained the 
reversion of the office of Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, jointly; 
with his brother John, according to Walpole, worth £1200 a year\ 
and on his younger brother receiving that of the Chaff Wax, he 
held it all. His Father had handed over to him the whole of 
his share of estate, which included landed property in Kent, and 
with his legal earnings he enjoyed now a considerable income^ 
On July 3, 175 1, he received the important post of Counsel to the 
East India Cornpany, upon the affairs of which he gave several 
opinions; and in 1754 he was elected a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn^ 
and appointed Solicitor-General to the Prince of Wales, with a 
patent of precedence at the Bar. 

These various public and professional duties almost excluded 
literary occupations, and little therefore remains from his pen 
beyond some occasional verses of considerable elegance*, and the 
Athenian Letters already mentioned^ He continued to correspond, 
amongst others, with Thomas Birch, Warburton and Montesquieu, 
whom he visited when at Paris. To the latter, who regarded the 
influence of the nobility as a beneficial curb to the autocratic 
power of the Crown, he explained the real reasons and nature 
of his Father's Scottish legislation*. He sometimes criticised 
Warburton's emendations of Shakespeare, and letters written by 
him at the age of 20 to Warburton show a maturity of judgment, 
wide reading and a clearness of thought unusual in so young a man, 
and include some passages which appear to contain unorthodox 
opinions on the state of guilt common to humanity and consequent 
to the Fall'. They are composed in a formal style, and often 
on controversies which have long been settled, or on topics which 
have ceased to interest ; but they are distinguished in diction, in 
ideas and conception, and are instinct with the true feeling of the 
scholar and the man of cultured Occasionally, he found time to 

1 Letters (1903), ii. 226. ^ p. 179. 

^ Black Books Lincoln'' s Inn, iii. 356. 

'' The poem beginning "Stript to the naked Soul, escaped from Clay" ascribed to him 
was however written by Pope. ° vol. i. ^207. 

* p. 172 ; also Sir J. Dalrymple, Essay towards a General History of Feudal Property 
(1758), 246-7. 

' Selection from Unpublished Papers of W. Warburton, ed. by Rev. F. Kilvert 
(1841), pp. 123-53 ; C. Y.'s letters in Letters from an Eminent Prelate (ist ed.), pp. 52, 
72 etc., 216, 369; Letters from Dr Warburton to the Hon. Charles Yorke (1812); and 
Warburton's letters to him in Egerton MSS. (Brit. Mus.) 1952. 

* See e.g. the interesting letter of, April 10, 1742, probably to Warburton, in support 
of the genuineness of Cicero's letters to Brutus, which it was the fashion at that time to 
reject. H. 285, f. 66. 


visit his friends, joining the genial and intellectual house-parties 
of the famous Ralph Allen, the friend of Pope and of Pitt, at Prior 
Park in Bath. In 175 1 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. 
The large collection of the papers and correspondence of the 
great Lord Somers, of unique historical value, then at Bellbar, in 
the possession of Lady Jekyll, the widow of the late Master of the 
Rolls, sister of Lord Somers, and aunt of Lady Hardwicke, was 
a source of considerable interest to Charles Yorke ; and in 
conjunction with his elder brother Philip, and with the aid of 
Thomas Birch, an able writer and historian and one experienced 
in this kind of work, an annotated selection seems to have 
been projected. Some progress appears to have been made in 
arranging the collection, and a rough catalogue was drawn up^ 
Subsequently the whole of the collection was removed to Charles 
Yorke's chambers at 10, New Square, Lincoln's Inn, where the 
process of sorting and digesting went on ; and here, in the night 
of June 27, 1752, it was almost entirely consumed by a terrible fire, 
which broke out in the chambers beneath, and which destroyed in 
a few minutes this priceless record of a great man's career^. " It 
filled upwards of 60 volumes in 4to," states the second Lord Hard- 
wicke, "and did not contain a paper from Lord Somers's pen, which 
the most intimate friend would have wished to secrete, or the 
bitterest enemy could have fairly turned to his prejudice'." The 
catastrophe created an intense alarm and panic, and the Chancellor 
was obliged to suspend his sittings owing to Lincoln's Inn 
Hall, where he generally heard causes, being filled with the 
effects which had been saved from the conflagration ^ Charles 
Yorke, himself, barely escaped with his life, and took refuge bare- 
footed in a friend's chambers opposite, from which he viewed the 
destruction of the precious manuscripts as well as of all his own 
books and legal collections. Subsequently he recovered some "frag- 
ments which the flames had spared and, after correcting the damaged 
portions with his own hand, bound up the valuable remains into a 
folio volume^" A selection of these, immitis ignis reliquiae, was 
published by his brother in the Hardwicke Miscellaneous State 

1 H. 12, f. 86 and H. 37, ff. 3, 5; H. 48, f. 262. 

'^ pp. 178 sqq. ; Gent. Mag. xxii. 287; Letters from an Eminent Prelate, 87, "our 
excellent friend, Mr C. Yorke, escaped narrowly with his life. This makes me think all 
the rest a trifle." 

^ Hardwicke Miscellaneous State Papers, ii. 399. 

^ Records of Lincoln's Inn Black Books, iii. 473. 

' Hardwicke Miscellaneous State Papers, ii. 399; H. 50, ff. 62, 64. 


Papers in 1778, and is enough to deepen our regret for the loss 
of the rest. 

This calamity was deeply felt by Charles Yorke ; and it was 
some time before he was able to regard his loss with equanimity. 
In May 1747 he had suffered from a severe illness, called by 
his father "a milliary fever," when his life was for some days in 
danger; and his health was subsequently affected by headaches, eye 
troubles and digestive disorders ^ In 1749, and in later years, he 
took the waters at Spa but without any definite benefit. His 
younger and more robust brother, Col. Joseph Yorke, treated his 
brothers complaints as the effect of mere nerves and a despondent 
imagination; and recommended, in the manner of Moli^re, "un bon 
mariage," as a cure for all ills of this nature. The true cause, how- 
ever, lay somewhat deeper. In one individual had been joined 
extraordinary and varied talents, which inevitably drew him into 
the full tide of public life, and at the same time a delicate physical 
constitution, and an excessive sensibility and habit of introspection 
which, acting and reacting upon one another, rendered him often 
inclined to morbid scruples, wanting in independent decision, and 
too pliable to outside influence on great and critical occasions. 
" His spirits," wrote the Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle, "are 
not of the best and firmest kind^"; and the entire lack of his 
father's healthy optimism, calm judgment and strong self-reliance, 
was the tragedy of Charles Yorke's life. But this deficiency had 
its compensations ; for his " softness of nature and the force of his 
domestic and natural affections," of which his friend Wcirburton 
speaks^ his sensibility, refinement of feeling and power of sympathy, 
drew the hearts and affections of all, with whom he came into contact, 
towards him ; and there must have been something eminently lovable 
and engaging in a character which inspired such tributes of friend- 
ship and affection to his memory, as are so often found in the writings 
of his contemporaries, which, with their ardent enthusiasm, on the 
cold printed page of history, seem to us almost exaggerations*. 

' pp. 160, 174; H. 5, f. 83. H. Walpole, writing on March ii, 1748, says tliat it had 
"taken off a great many people. It was scarce known till within these seven or eight 
years, but apparently increases every spring and autumn. They don't know how to treat 
it, but think they have discovered that bleeding is bad for it." Letters, ii. 304. 

^ p. 179. 3 Egerton MSS. 1952, f. 62. 

* E.g. those of Sir John Dalrymple of Cranstoun who dedicates his Memoirs of Great 
Britain (1790), to his memory, and had said in a letter to C. Y. that the latter had 
" since I came to London, this last time, taken me by the hand, when I was in absolute 
despair, and when no other person would." (H. 287, f. 246; see also ff. 241-4, 447); 
and of Francis Hargrave, the editor of Coke upon Littleton, and Warburton's letters 

146 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-17^4 

His elder brother Philip had something of the same want of 
physical vigour and ambition, incapacity for or dislike of public 
life, and of excessive introspection and caution. Col. Joseph Yorke 
deplored "so much prudence and good sense" as encumbrances, 
and as family failings. " There is one fundamental objection I make 
to everyone of the family including myself," he writes, " aind that 
is that we all of us are too apt to overthink things. I admit that 
we may be involved by that means in fewer scrapes, but it prevents 
us at the same time from attempting things, where we should be 
as likely to succeed as "others." This " cursed way of overthinking 
everything," he declares, " keeps us as lean as carrion ^" In the 
case of Philip, unlike his brother Charles, a great marriage in early 
life, and an ample fortune with the prospect of succeeding to a 
great deal more, had, together with weak health, tended to foster 
his natural inclinations, and to withdraw him more and more from 
the great scene, and had enabled him to pursue occupations con- 
genial to his temper, those of letters, those of the domestic sphere 
and of the country gentleman. He was a generous patron of letters, 
and possessing himself an extensive knowledge of history, he con- 
tributed to, or aided in, various productions, including the publica- 
tions of Thomas Birch and Harte, the biographer of Gustavus 
Adolphus^ In later years he edited and published Sir D. Carleton's 
Letters {17 S7) and other works, and the Hardwicke State Papers, 
and is known as the well-informed and judicious annotator of 
Burnet. He gathered together a large and valuable collection 
of historical manuscripts, and Thomas Birch held a permanent 
commission to supply a periodical letter, containing literary 
information as well as public news^ The latter, who was greatly 
assisted by him in his historical publications, both with money 
and advice, dedicated to him Sir Thomas Edmondes' Negotiations 
in 1749 and other works;. and the poet Edward Young inscribed 
to him the 4th Night of Night Thoughts^ He became a fellow 
of the Royal Society in 1741, and served on the council in 
1753, 1755 and 1758. He was elected a fellow of the Society of 

to him, Egerton MSS. (Brit. Mus.) ipsJ; also John Taylor, the classical scholar, in 
dedicating to him his Orations of Demosthenes and Lycurgus in 1743, "Ob singularem 
morum suavitatem et felicissimam in optimis Uteris culturam et in amicitiae et obser- 
vantiae perpetuum argumentum." 

1 H. 8, f. 109. 

2 H. 50, f. 347 ; in H. 48, f. 127 there is a plan drawn up by him for a history of the 
Spanish invasion of 1588. 

^ H, 49, f. 247. * See also H. 2, ff. i sqq. 


Antiquaries in January 1744, became, together with his father, 
a trustee of the British Museum at its foundation^ and was granted 
the degree of LL.D. at Cambridge in 1749. Even William Cole, 
the Jacobite and Romanist antiquary, and a bitter enemy of the 
family in Cambridgeshire, calls him " learned and ingenious''." He 
was a man of high character and amiable virtues', a trained 
politician, an acute observer and sound judge of events and men ; 
and the state was no doubt a loser by his determined refusal to 
take that share in public life to which his abilities and opportunities 
frequently invited him. His brother Charles had addressed to him 
the following sonnet in 1743, to rouse his patriotism and ambition. 

Philip, well versed in the wily Maze 
Of subtle Politiques (whose busy Mind 
Hath fill'd the World with Discord, while their Praise 
Lives on each Tongue; for thus perverse Mankind . 
Adore their Ills :) To take the Part why slow 
■Which Nature, Art, and Fortune bid thee bear ; 
Dost thou inglorious view the mortal Foe 
To Sense, to Liberty its Crest uprear 
With blind but fatal Rage, misguided Zeal ! 
The better Maxim for the Public Weal 
Is to prevent, not to redress, its Wrong; 
Join Sommers' Temper, Knowledge, Eloquence, 
To Lucas' Spirit; stem the Torrent strong, 
E'er Faction burst of Laws the sacred Fence*. 

March ^th, 1743. 

C. Y. 

Notwithstanding, however, his decided inclination for a life of 
ease, study and retirement, amidst the delights of Wrest, Philip Yorke 
often took an active part in public affairs. He had been appointed, 
soon after his father's purchase of Wimpole, Lord Lieutenant of 
Cambridgeshire, an office which, owing to the new Militia Acts and 
the consequent popular opposition and riots, entailed considerable 
responsibility. In Parliament he often spoke with effect, though 
generally on formal occasions, while his attention to, and interest 
in, the proceedings of the House of Commons are shown by his 

1 H. 921, f. 57. 2 Add. 5886, f. 20. 

^ See the ode to him by Soame Jenyns, whom Walpole calls sneeringly " the poet 
laureate of the Yorkes" (George II, ii. 140), beginning: "Thou, whom nor honours, 
wealth, nor youth can spoil," (Dodsley's Collect, of Poems (1775), iii. 175) ; and the verses 
of Thos. Edwards in the same sense. {Canons of Criticism, 1765, p. 313.) 

■* MS. at Wimpole; see also other odes of his composition in J. Nichols, Select 
Collection of Poems, vi. 297 sqq. and H. 48, f. 209-11. 

148 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

parliamentary journals In 1747 he relinquished the family borough 
of Reigate to his brother, Charles, and was returned himself, with the 
support or acquiescence of all parties^ for Cambridgeshire, which he 
continued to represent, till he succeeded to his Father's peerage. 
He seconded the address of thanks in December 1743, supported 
the government on the vote for the British troops in Flanders in 
January 1744, moved the address in November 1744, and seconded 
the election of Speaker Onslow at the opening of the new Parlia- 
ment in November 1747. He was one of the managers for the 
Commons at the trial' of Lord Lovat, and later, in 1757, for the 
Newcastle government in defending their naval policy in the House 
of Commons after the loss of Minorca, while in December of the 
same year he moved the address'. 

The advancement of the Chancellor's third son, Joseph, had 
been strikingly rapid. Able and ambitious, he had none of his 
elder brothers' excessive self-disparagement or want of self-con- 
fidence, and active and self-reliant he had, while still not much 
more than a youth, risen high in the army and become already 
a personage in diplomacy. We have already followed him in his 
successful military career to Dettingen, Fontenoy, Culloden and 
Lauffeld. In April 1743, he had been promoted from ensign to 
lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards*. He had served as aide-de- 
camp to Marshal Wade, and subsequently to the Duke of Cumber- 
land through all the Prince's campaigns in Flanders and Scotland, 
and had won the affection and regard of his comrades and superiors. 
On May 27, I74S^ before he was one-and-twenty, he was promoted 
to a company in the Coldstream Guards, with the rank of lieutenant- 
colonel, for his conduct at the battle of Fontenoy. " Without any 
compliment to your Lordship," wrote Lord Albemarle, his colonel, 
to the Chancellor, " he always behaved in such a manner, and 
particularly at the Battle of Fontenoy, that he justly deserves the 
favour of our brave young General, and the love and esteem of us 
allV His good humour, good comradeship and geniality dispersed 
the envy and jealousy, which the favour shown to him and his rapid 
promotion would naturally excite. On November i, 1749, he was 
made aide-de-camp to the King as a reward for further services', 

1 See vol. i. ■211. ' H. 241, f. 260; p. 161. 

3 Pari. Hist. xiii. 135, 150, 389, 986, xiv. 89, xv. 832 ; State Trials, xviii. 695. 

* See vol. i. 292; Hist. MSS. Comm., Mrs Frankland-Russell-Astley, 237. 

* Jb. 409 sqq.; see below, p. 169 and vol. i. 411. 

« H. 6, f. 133. ' pp. 91, 169-172. 


on which event he observes candidly, " I am sorry for his [another 
candidate, Lord Cathcart's] disappointment, but I should have been 
much sorrier for my ownV In March 1755 he was appointed 
colonel of the 9th Regiment of Foot Guards. 

The last stages of the war in the Netherlands had not been 
encouraging to military ambition, and expectations of military glory 
sank to their lowest ebb. "Married men," he writes to Colonel 
Russell, " that live happily at home with their wives, may be con- 
gratulated on the approaching peace ; young bachelors, whose 
fortunes are to make, should be condoled with^." Accordingly, on 
the conclusion of the Treaty, in October 1748, despairing of further 
progress in the army, he entered with some eagerness into a project 
of engaging in diplomacy and of undertaking a mission to Paris, 
desired by the Duke of Newcastle, whose aim in this appointment, 
it may be surmised, was to secure some one through whom he 
could control the policy and negotiations in that part of the scenes 
As the Duke of Cumberland's secretary and aide-de-camp, he had 
already shown uncommon ability in the conduct of political corre- 
spondence and in the writing of state papers, and had been dis- 
patched by the Duke on several important missions, which he had 
managed with tact and success*. 

At the beginning of 1749, therefore, though a mere boy of twenty- 
four, he was appointed secretary of the embassy in Paris ; and for 
some time represented British interests alone in the capital of the 
hereditary enemy, retaining, even after the arrival of Lord Albemarle, 
the ambassador, who paid little attention to the duties of his office'', 
the real direction of affairs^ In May 1751, Lord Chesterfield wrote 
to his son : " Mr Yorke is by this time at Paris. Make your 
court to him, but not so as to disgust in the least Lord Albemarle, 
who may possibly dislike your considering Mr Yorke as the man 
of business, and him or\\y pottr orner la scene'. The chief subjects of 
diplomatic controversy, in which he found himself engaged, were the 
delay of the French in evacuating the islands in the West Indies 
and in settling the frontier disputes in Canada, their intrigues to 
gain the Northern Powers, and the appointment in 1751 of George 

' H. 7, f. 141-3. 

2 Hist, MSS. Comm., Mrs Frankland-Russell-Astley, 410. 

3 H. 6, f. 412. 

* vol. i. 650, 652. 

^ Walpole's George II, i. 82. 

* Bedford Corresp. i. 594. His instructions, N. 131, f. 44. 
'' Letters (1892), i. 433. 

I50 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

Keith, Earl Marischal, a Jacobite and refugee, as Prussian am- 
bassador at the French court, while at the same time Tyrconnel 
represented France at Berlin ^ In spite of his youth and inexperi- 
ence, he applied himself with great industry to his new duties and 
conducted himself with ability, tact and firmness". He had a 
natural talent for diplomacy, a sharp insight into the characters 
and aims of persons and the trend of events, the power of keeping 
his own secrets and of discovering those of others, and a prudence 
and caution, joined to a quiet and persistent perseverance, which 
were masked by a seemjng frankness and audacity. He knew well 
how to keep up the dignity of his office, and earned the highest 
recognition and compliment a statesman or an ambassador can 
receive, the abuse of the enemies of his country. " On nous a 
cnvoy^ ici," writes D'Argenson, "comme charg^ des affaires, un 
Colonel York, qui est un des [.■' plus] insolents, un des [.■' plus] 
impertinents petits coquins d' Anglais que nous ayons poss^dds 
encore"; and again a little later complains: " Le Colonel York... 
ayant entendu dire, k Fontainebleau, que le roi aurait I'^t^ prochain 
quarante vaisseaux de ligne, il a r^pondu tout haut que si cela 
devait etre, le roi d'Angleterre I'empdcherait bienl" 

In the meantime, while attending with great prudence and 
diligence to his official duties and correspondence, he had become 
exceedingly popular, both among his own countrymen at Paris and in 
French society. " Lord Albemarle," writes Lady Featherstonhaugh, 
"is not yet returned... ; but Colonel Yorke is here, and from him we 
receive great civilities. We live much with him, and he is very agree- 
able^" He took up his residence at first at the Hotel d'Anspach, rue 
Jacob, and later in the same year in the Rue Colombier, Faubourg 
St Germain'. In his gay, brilliant manner he quickly picked up 
the French language and French fashions, and amused and enjoyed 
himself, always preserving, however, the proper sense of British 
superiority". He made Voltaire's acquaintance', and basked in the 
smiles of M™^ de Pompadour, whom, at his first visit, he had the 
satisfaction to see " tremble " at his approach, though whether from 
love at first sight of the gallant young British colonel, or from fear 

^ Above, p. 7 ; Coxe's Pelham, ii. 195. ■ 

2 pp. 165 sqq. ; Bedford Corresp. ii. 3 sqq. for correspondence , and approval of his 

J Journal et Mim. du Marquis d'Argenson (1863), v. 421, vi. 56. 
* Memorials of Lord Gambler, by Lady Chatterton, i. 51. 
^ H. 7, f. 122. « H. 39, f. 93. 

' H. 15, ff. 266, 270. 


of the representative of British might and power, we are not in- 
formed\ In person, Joseph Yorke was little, with well-formed and 
regular features, and a gayer and more attractive countenance than 
either of his two elder brothers. His success and happy disposition 
increased a vanity, which was, however, too boyish and innocent to 
be displeasing. He had no false modesty about him, and he tells his 
sister. Lady Anson, that Lord Anson had called him "the most 
impudent fellow he ever saw, and for that reason fit for a foreign 
minister^" He took a less serious view of life than his brothers, and 
his correspondence supplies the element of lightheartedness and 
animation which is often wanting in theirs. There is much in his 
letters, however, of a more serious vein. He gives a vivid and ac- 
curate description of the state of the French, court and nation. He 
writes much concerning the struggle between the crown and the 
clergy, the distress and ill-treatment of the people and their 
frequent frenzied outbreaks against their oppressors; and the distant, 
but deep note of the coming revolution is continually sounding in 
his correspondence. One of the benefits of the conclusion of the 
Peace had been the reopening of social intercourse between the 
two countries. The grand tours were now resumed by the young 
Englishmen of fashion, and in 1749 Philip and Charles paid a visit 
to Joseph at Paris. Parisian society and gaiety, however, made far 
less impression upon them than upon their younger brother. The 
more staid Philip, in particular, felt out of touch with his surround- 
ings ; he was bored and fatigued by the society and the entertain- 
ments to which his brother introduced him', and returned to 
London more convinced than ever of the superiority of the English 
race, manners and constitution. 

In the autumn of 175 i. Col. Joseph Yorke left Paris for Hanover, 
where he was well received by the King, with whom he was a 
favourite. " The Colonel," writes his brother, John Yorke to Philip, 
on October 26, 175 1, "has already had two audiences of his master 
of three quarters of an hour each time, and walked up and down 
the closet like a great minister the whole time^" 

In December, 1751, he was appointed British minister at the 
Hague^ Here he took up a post of great difficulty and responsi- 
bility, which required considerable diplomatic ability, tact and 
patience. " In the present situation of affairs, in the United 

1 H. 39, f. 125. 2 H. 40, f. 100. 

3 H. 39, f. 141. 4 H. 26, f. 77, and H. 99, f. 3. 

* N. 147, f. 128, account of his first reception; and pp. 31, 174. 


Provinces and at St James's," wrote Lord Chesterfield, referring no 
doubt to the exposed situation of Holland to the encroachment of 
France, the jealousies which divided Holland from Great Britain 
and the estrangement which separated the King from his daughter 
the Princess of Orange, " that of an English minister at the Hague 
is not to be envied, elk sera scabreuse^" The services he rendered 
now to the government, though not always rewarded with complete 
success, were of the very highest value. He very soon became 
a persona grata with the Princess Royal, a person of intractable 
and undependable character, who, upon the death of the Prince of 
Orange and during the minority of her son, carried on the govern- 
ment as Regent of the States ; and he employed his influence 
usefully in maintaining British ascendancy, in spite of great 
obstacles, in the country, and in opposing French intrigues and 
encroachments. " A juger de son caractere," wrote Burghermaster 
Hop, in an intercepted letter, " et de sa maniere de faire, il imite fort 
I'exemple de Lord Strafford ^ qui fut employ^ ici au tems du 
Congres d'Utrecht, fort fier et avec force de hauteur, s'appuyant 
sur I'appuy de Madame la GouvernanteV " Mr Yorke," wrote his 
antagonist D'Affry, the French Ambassador at the Hague, of him 
to the Due de Choiseul in 1759, " a la reputation d'un galant homme, 
et je crois qu'il la m^rite.. ..II est avantageux, tres vif et sujet a des 
fougues dont il convient de bonne foi. Je ne vous parle de ses 
d^fauts que parceque je crois devoir le d^peindre tel que je le 
connais. Ses d^fauts n'affectent que son esprit et ne portent point 
sur le cceurV His political view, more sanguine than that of the 
ministers at home, embarrassed by all kinds of domestic obstacles, 
embraced ambitious military plans and preparations, and the total 
destruction of the supremacy of France. Hence he soon became 
a great favourite of the old King, though he was by no means 
a Hanoverian, and regarded the "despicable electorate" and its 
ministers with scarcely less dislike than Pitt himself. He 
early, while still serving in the army, became disgusted at the 
duplicity, folly and weakness of the Court of Vienna, and at the 
narrow views and hesitation of the Dutch, and regarded the King 
of Prussia, for whose military exploits he had an enthusiastic 

^ Lord Chesterfield's Letters (Bradshaw), 1006. 

2 Thomas Wentworth (i67'2-1739), Baron Raby, son of Sir W. Wentworth of Wake- 
field, created Earl of Strafford in 1711. "Lord Strafford," says Swift in Ihe Journal to 
Stella, 20 November, 1711, "is as proud as hell." 

3 H. 8, f. 279. 

* A. Bourget, Etudes sur la Politique £trangire de Choiseul, 140. 


admiration, as the only power in Europe whose alliance was of 
essential importance to Great Britain. 

He excelled greatly as a correspondent, in the clear exposition 
of the subject under discussion, and in the well-cut and well-balanced 
style, characteristic of the best writers of his time, often enlivened 
by amusing wit and lively fancy. In that capacity he appears to 
have been indefatigable ; for though he employed secretaries, two of 
whom seem to have died practically at their desks from exhaustion S 
by far the greater portion is written in his own large, clear hand. 
Its volume is enormous. It was kept up without intermission 
during the many years that he remained in the King's service, and 
with a great number of persons. His official correspondence with his 
chief, the secretary of state at home, was doubled by another with 
the Duke of Newcastle, which often contains freer and more candid 
expressions of opinion on men and measures; and the Duke took it 
much amiss if there was any relaxation in its continuance. This 
again was supplemented by a more expansive correspondence with 
his Father, and by letters still less reserved addressed to his brothers 
and sisters, and especially to his favourite sister. Lady Anson, as 
well as to friends and acquaintances, and to ministers at foreign 
courts. He appears to have maintained a number of spies or agents 
in various centres who supplied him secretly with news. Nearly 
all the continental intelligence came through his hands at the 
Hague, which place, on the renewal of the war, became the 
nearest point of communication ; and he was thus enabled to 
send the first word to his own, and to friendly governments, of 
important developements. The first news of the renewal by the 
French of the work of fortifying Dunkirk, contrary to the Treaty, 
came from him in 1753. He was the first to give detailed notice 
to Frederick of Prussia, early in 1756, of the great design of 
France and Austria, in union with Saxony, to exterminate his 
power in Europe^ His frequent letters of advice and warning to 
the British government show that no man had a more complete 
knowledge of the course of events, or more insight and wisdom in 
dealing with them. From this time he becomes one of the most 
striking figures in the diplomatic world. It will be seen that his 
reputation and sphere of influence develope greatly during the years 
that now follow; and in 1754, on the reconstruction of the ministry, 

^ H. 3, f. 307 ; H. 8, f. 338 ; H. i6, f. 93 ; Schaiblin from a fit of apoplexy 1755, and 
Cramahe who succeeded him in 1756. 

^ See further chap. xxix. ; H. 282, f. 97. 


he was even considered for the post of Secretary of State in the 

In January, 1750, he was brought into Parliament for the Duke 
of Dorset's borough of East Grinstead, in opposition to a candidate 
of the Prince of Wales 2; but his attendance in the House of 
Commons must have been very rare, and no speech of his delivery 
is recorded during these years. 

" Myself came in first for Cambridgeshire," records the second 
Lord Hardwicke, " Charles for Reigate, Col. Yorke for East Grin- 
stead ; good days for tjie family V In November, 1753, John Yorke 
was brought in by Lord Rockingham for Higham Ferrers in 
Northamptonshire, and the Chancellor had then four sons in the 
House of Commons. 

Meanwhile Joseph, more impetuous and susceptible than his 
brothers, had more than once fallen in love. On One occasion he 
appears to have met with a refusal from a lady, styled by him "the 
widow Munter," who later, in 1754, further showed her bad taste 
by marrying the Chevalier de Bonnac, brother of the French 
ambassador. At least, Joseph Yorke's observations on the occasion 
seem to have a good deal of the flavour of sour grapes. " I bless 
my stars every day for my escape, and hope, if I am to be catched, 
it may rather be by a woman of sense, than by a fool with a fine 
skin and a great deal of money*." On another occasion he 
confessed an ardent affection for the daughter of Count Golowkin, 
the Russian ambassador at the Hague, sister of a lady by whom he 
had formerly also been attracted. The union, however, not meeting 
with the approval of his parents and family, he " made a sacrifice of 
his strongest inclinations to pride and ambition," and relinquished 
the project with regret. Later, in 1760, he rejected a very lucrative 
alliance with a lady worth ;^40,000, with further great expectations, 
prepared for him by his family at home^ It is permissible to sym- 
pathise with the victim of so much prudence who, as he says himself, 

1 H. 40, f. 9. " 

2 H. 243, ff. 56,98. 3 H. 6i,f. 30. 
*■ H. 40, f. 26. 

^ Cf. Walpole (Letters, iv. 225), "a Marchioness Grey or a grocer, nothing comes 
amiss to the digestion of that family. If the rest of the trunk was filled with money, 
I believe they would really marry Carafattatouadaht — what was the lump of deformity 
called in the Persian tales, that was sent to the lady in a coffer? — and as to marrying 
both the girls, it would cost my Lord Hardwicke but a new marriage bill ; I suppose it 
is all one to his conscience, whether he prohibits matrimony or licenses bigamy." Also 
H. 5, f. 258 and H. 37, ff. 144 and 146, and Add. MSS. 5832, (, 129. 


"tired of being a single man," probably missed many years of 
happiness, and who did not enter matrimony till 30 years later'. 

John and James, the Chancellor's youngest sons, were follow- 
ing their elder brothers' good examples. John, now member of 
Parliament for Higham Ferrers, was admitted to Lincoln's Inn 
in 1746, and called to the Bar in 1754'. He held the office of the 
Chaff Wax, in 1754 was appointed to a commission in bankruptcy, 
and was destined to be his Father's secretary and constant com- 
panion in declining years. 

James, like his brothers, was educated at Hackney School and 
at Bene't College, Cambridge, where he matriculated in 1748 and 
obtained his M.A. in 1752. He represented the family in the 
Church, took Holy Orders in 1754, and was declared by the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury to be making a " handsome beginning^" The 
following lines were addressed to him by John Buncombe : 

Your rising Virtues soon will claim 
A Portion of your Brothers' Fame 

And catch congenial Fire. 
They shine in Embassy and War, "■ 

They grace the Senate and the Bar 

And emulate their Sire. 
Invested with the sacred Gown, 
You soon, to rival their Renown, 

The glorious Task 6hall join. 
And while they guard Britannia's Laws 
You, steady to Religion's Cause 

Shall guard the Laws divine. 

The two daughters of the family also had ceased to be that 
source of anxiety, which unmarried female progeny is said to 
cause fond parents. Elizabeth, the elder, married on April 25, 
1748, the celebrated Lord Anson, the ceremony being performed at 
Powis House by the Archbishop of Canterbury at 7 o'clock in the 
evening, and the bride receiving a portion of .^£"12,000^ In addition 
to his famous voyage round the world and capture of the great 
Spanish galleon. Admiral Anson had recently, in 1747, gained an 
important victory over the French fleet off Cape Finisterre, effecting 
another capture of enormous treasure, and had been created the 
same year Baron Anson of Soberton in Hampshire. His great 
naval abilities had been for some time recognized by the Chancellor, 
to whom he owed much valuable support at the beginning of his 
career, and who, in later years, stood by him manfully, when the 

' pp. 182 sqq. ''' Records of Lincoln's Inn, vol. iii. 356. 

3 H. 251, f. 156. * ErthigMSS. 

iS6 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

great admiral's fame was clouded temporarily by unmerited failure. 
Under the Duke of Bedford, and afterwards in 1748 under Lord 
Sandwich, he had practically directed the organisation and ad- 
ministration of the navy, and in 175 1 he became actual head of the 
admiralty, his famous administration of the service lasting with one 
short unfortunate interruption till his death in 1762. His prolonged 
tenure of office was marked by great energy, efficiency and by valuable 
reforms, some of which, such as the corps of marines and the articles 
of war, have stood so far the test of time as to last to our own days\ 
The marines were entirely reorganized, or rather created, by him, 
made a corps separate from the army in 1755, and their numbers 
raised by 100 companies, amounting to 9000 men. Great improve- 
ments were carried out by him in naval administration and discipline, 
in ship-building, supplies and ordnance, and vital reforms introduced 
in tactics. He was elected a member for the House of Commons 
for Hedon in 1744, but he took no part in parliamentary business 
or in the struggles of parties. He laid no claim to oratory, and 
there is no record that he ever opened his lips in debate. Though 
a hero of the day, he took little pleasure in society and Horace 
Walpole sneeringly observes, " he was so ignorant of the world 
that Sir Charles Williams said he had been round it but never 
in itV Cabinet discussions and office correspondence, the dis- 
taste for which he never overcame, afforded no scope for his great 
talents and energy, which found their proper sphere in practical 
administration and organisation and in solid seamanship. Lord 
Anson was probably the greatest naval administrator that this 
country has ever seen. He was, moreover, a man of great goodness, 
amiability and simplicity of character, which found expression in 
his open, manly countenance, and his tall upright figure. 

" Lord Anson," wrote the second Lord Hardwicke in later 
years', "was so worthy and valuable a character and so sincere 
a friend, that his name and memory should be ever respected and 
cherished by every member of our family. He had a very extensive 
knowledge, acquired more by practice than study of his own 
profession ; he could explain it to others clearly and pointedly 
without parade or affectation. He was in himself shy and reserved, 
but when he was once free or admitted others to be so with him', 
no man could be more agreeable or communicative. He thought 

^ Prof. J. K. Laughton in the Diet. Nat. Biog. ; and see chap. xxix. A. to H., July 22, 
1758; Barrow's Life of Anson, 234, 394; J. S. Corbett, England in the Seven Years' 
War, i. 34; ii. 366 sqq. ^ George 11, i. 194. ' H. 80, f. 4. 


deeper about men and things than a stranger would have imagined, 
who had only seen him in mixed companies. He had high notions 
of sincerity and honour, and practised them without deviation in all 
parts of his life. He loved reading little, and writing or dictating 
his own letters less ; and that seeming negligence in an office, which 
must be attended with frequent applications to the first Lord in 
person; to which answers are always expected and are often proper, 
drew upon him the ill-will of many. He had a remarkable 
quickness in making dispositions of ships and appointing them to 
the services, for which they were fittest, and, without making a bustle 
or raising the daily newspaper or coffee house puffs, conducted 
the business of a very complicated department with uncommon 
vigour and dispatch. He had a natural partiality to a good sea- 
officer, and raised the greatest part of those who distinguished 
themselves in that service during the last war. He withstood 
recommendations of interest or favour more than any first Lord of 
the Admiralty was ever known to do. He was fortunate in his 
choice of commanders, except in that of Admiral Byng, and in 
him he was only mistaken with the rest of the profession ; for 
nobody ever suspected the capacity or courage of that unfortunate 
officer, till the action off Mahon." 

" As I was intimately acquainted with his private, as well as his 
public virtues," wrote Lord Hardwicke, his father-in-law, on the 
occasion of his death, to the Duke of Newcastle, " nobody can be 
more sensible of the weight of this loss, both to his friends and to 
the nation. I could mention instances of his private generosity 
which few persons rise to ; and as to the public, I need say nothing 
to your Grace. As he had the clearest [?] military courage, I have 
sometimes wished that he had shewn a little more of the political 
kind ; but that appearance was, in a great measure, owing to a 
natural modesty and bashfulness, which he never got the better of 
He was a man, take him for all in all (as Shakespeare says), that 
I shall never see his like in that office ^" 

In Lord Anson the Chancellor's eldest daughter found an ideal 
husband. Lady Anson was herself a woman of great feminine 
attraction, who inspired affection and whose " humanity " was 
eulogised by Henry Fielding^ She was the nearest in age to, and 
the favourite sister of Col. Joseph Yorke, with whom, till her early 
death, she kept up a lively correspondence. She was fond of social 

' N. 354, f. 383. ^ Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, July 5, 1754. 


amusements^ and of some ability and proficiency both in verse and 
painting^ The latter even received the praise of Mrs Delany, 
a near relation of Lord Granville and an ardent supporter of the 
opposite faction'. 

A single incident which has accidently survived the oblivion, 
which generally overtakes mere domestic charms and virtues of the 
past, shows her to have been also a woman of character and 
decision ; for she refused, to the annoyance of her husband and her 
brother Joseph, to pay her respects to Lady Yarmouth, the King's 
mistress, and in consequence her visit to the Hague and Hanover, 
to which all three had looked forward was abandoned*. The newly- 
married couple took up their residence at first at Carshalton, at the 
same house which had been the home for many years of Lord and 
Lady Hardwicke'*, and which probably still remained the property 
of the Chancellor. Subsequently, in 1751, Lord Anson, who now 
possessed a very large fortune, purchased Moor Park in Hertfordshire, 
celebrated for its gardens, which after 1752 they made their home*. 

Margaret, the Chancellor's younger daughter, described as 
" perfectly beautiful " and of a " mild and affectionate disposition " 
was, like her sister, a woman of some literary ability and of 
cultured tastes and refinement'. She married on June 22, 1749', 

1 Walpole's Letters (1903), ii. 428. 

^ See the lines addressed to her on her marriage by Soame Jenyns (Works, 1793, '• 
142) ; also R. Cooksey's Essays, 34. 

s Correspondence, December 23, lyS'Z, "I have heard a great deal of Lady Anson's 
painting, and saw some very well done. " A little feminine envy and spite appear in some 
other passages : Bath, November 17, 1755, " Lady Anson began the last ball in a green 
damask sack, trimmed very full with blond lace and lappets : I was much entertained with 
her airs." November 26, 1749, " If you hear of any reports of a disagreemetit between 
Lord Anson and his Lady, you may contradict them ; there never has been any, she is 
a little coxcombical, and affects to be learned, which may sometimes put him out of 
countenance; but Lord Anson is a most generous, good-natured amiable man and he 
deserved a wife of more dignity." Horace Walpole's mahcious gossip (see Sir J. Barrow's 
Life of Anson, in), and Sir C. H. Williams's indecent epigram {Works, ed. by Walpole, 
ii. 271) are not worth transcribing. 

« p. 184. ^ p. 168. 

' Walpole, however, who visited it, was "not much struck with it, after all the 
miracles I had heard. . .there are not even chairs in the great apartment. " (Letters, iv. 405.) 

7 Cooksey's Essays, 34; Mrs E. Carter's Letters (Pennington (1808), ii 470). See 
some verses of her composition, inscribed to her sister-in-law Lady Grey at Wrest, and 
written at the age of 14, printed in J. Nichols's Select Collection of Poems, vi. 350, concluding 
with the lines : 

And O ! if Heaven will hear my ardent prayer. 
And grant a wish, which from my bosom ne'er 
Shall be removed — long may these shades obey 
The mild commands of her, whose name adorns this lay ! 

" Walpole's Letters (1903), ii. 401. 


Gilbert Heathcote, eldest son and heir of Sir John Heathcote, 
second baronet, and grandson of the famous Sir Gilbert Heathcote, 
Lord Mayor of London, one of the founders of the Bank of 
England, who was reputed, with his fortune of ^700,000, to be the 
richest commoner of England of his time. The bride received 
a dowry of ;£'9000 from her father and ^10,000 from her father-in- 
law'. The younger Gilbert inherited Normanton and his father's 
immense wealth in 1759. The marriage, in point of estate, was 
a great one ; but the Heathcotes were Tories and had been 
Jacobites, and Sir Gilbert appears to have been a retiring, dull and 
uninteresting personage. An offer from Lord Hardwicke and the 
Duke of Newcastle to bring him into Parliament in 1756 was 
declined abruptly as "very disagreeable to him^" He was regarded 
with little favour by his wife's brothers. His persistent self-seclusion 
from society. Col. Joseph Yorke declared, would turn to his own 
and his wife's misfortune, who would get tired of seeing each other 
from morning to night and nothing else, and would grow peevish 
or worsen " What a beast indeed is H. to prevent his wife's going 
to the Masquerade," he writes later in January 1755, "and why 
does not the Chancellor take him a little more to task. If I had 
been in England, she should have gone.... I do not see why we are to 
be browbeat so continually by such a brute, or where the harm can 
happen from his being forced into a little better manners'*." There 
are no complaints, however, from Lady Margaret herself, and it 
must be hoped that Sir Gilbert proved more amiable and engaging 
as a husband than as a brother-in-law. 

The Chancellor's regard and interest in his children followed 
them all to their new homes, and in their various spheres and 
avocations, and drew them together, with the strong ties of .family 
affection, in happy reunions under his roof " The Wimpole con- 
gress," he writes to his eldest son in October 1748, "is the principal 
pleasure of my life^" 

1 H. 880, f. 2o6. 2 H. 346, fF. 344, 347. 3 H. 39, f. 184. 

' H. 40, f. 46. 5 H. 3, f. 166. 

i6o FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 


Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 26, f. 178.] Powis House, May lotfi, 1747, 9 at night. 

My Dear Lord, 

I cannot help returning your Grace a thousand thanks, 
under my own hand, for the kind concern you have been so good 
as to express for poor Charles. When I writ my postscript last 
night, I was under great uneasiness, tho' really I did not then know 
how ill he was. I was soon afterwards made sensible of it, and 
past the most unhappy night that ever I did in my life. My 
affliction was increased this morning by finding his delirium con- 
tinue and, so far as we then knew, all the symptoms such as shew'd 
his fate to be very near. But upon Dr Mead and Dr Wilmot 
seeing him this forenoon, they discover'd some eruptions about his 
neck and bosom, which they judge indicate his fever to be of the 
milliary kind. In a short time afterwards his delirium went off, 
and he became calm and lay quiet, and since that has got some 
sleep.... Upon these grounds they have given me better hopes that, 
by God's blessing, he may do well. ...I now think that the dreadful 
appearances of last night proceeded from the struggle between 
nature and the disease, upon the effort then making to throw out 
this eruption. I have not seen him today, and intend not to go 
near him now the eruption is formed. Your Grace, who has so 
tenderly felt much of this kind of anxiety, will pity my inquietude, 
which you will not wonder still continues. If Mr Pelham is at 
Esher, his good nature and great friendship for me will make him 
glad to hear this more favourable account. I pray God to 
continue both your healths, ^nd am most cordially, my dear Lord, 
ever yours, 


[The next day (f. 1 80) the Chancellor writes that his son is better, 
but notwithstanding] I shall be under great uneasiness till a little 
surer judgment can be made of the event, which, with this good 
boy, I trust in the hands of God^ 

[On June 16, 1747 (H. 3, f. 103), the Chancellor sends his eldest 
son a long letter of advice as to his conduct in the election, in- 
cluding instructions for the care of his health :] You can't drink, 

1 Also H. 39, f. 35. 


and need not:do it much yourself. If you find yourself hot and 
dry, drink Negus, I mean wine and warm water. And be sure to 
take care that your bed and sheets are in all places well-aired.... The 
King expressed himself to me most extremely pleased with your 
standing for the county.... 

Hon. Philip Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 3, f. 109.] Wl MPOLE, y«Kfi list, 1747. 

My Lord, 

I am very glad everything passed off so well on Friday, 
with so much harmony and good humour. The meeting was a very 
numerous one.... Yesterday was spent in signing the printed circular 
letters, which several of the gentlemen have taken home with them 
to distribute, and in walking the town to canvass. This is a com- 
pliment which has always been paid to the voters who live in 
Cambridge only, and took us up 7 hours and a half to go through. 
As we walked the whole time, I was heartily footweary when 
I got home. Most gave us favourable answers.... One particular 
I will mention to your Lordship now. It was formerly the custom 
to treat all the electors, but the last time the entertainment was 
confined to the gentlemen, and the common freeholders had a 
largess given them to bear their expenses viz. a guinea to those 
that come out of the Isle and half a guinea to those of the 
County. It was paid to those entitled to it on their producing 
a ticket. Mr Shepard and Mr Jenyns both say they found it not 
only the cheapest method, but most liked by the people, because 
they put the best part of it in their pockets^ 

Your Lordship's most dutiful Son, 

P. Yorke. 

Hon. Philip Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 3, f. 124.] Wrest, Aug. i,th, 1747. 

My Lord, 

Mr Rice has been here with his account and the vouchers ; 
and as I imagine your Lordship may be curious to know the 
amount of the whole expense, I shall acquaint you that the money 
I have already paid and given draft for, on account of the election, 
comes to ;^2003. lu. There is besides a bill sent me in by 
Mr Jenyns, as paid by him in part of his £l<X), the total of which 
is £\%i. y. and 6^.... It would be needless to trouble your 

1 See the verses addressed to Philip Yorke by Soame Jenyns, his colleague in the 
representation of Cambridgeshire (Works, 1793, i. 131), on the joys of electioneering, in 
imitation of Horace, Odes, 2, xvi.; and cf. Bubb Dodington's Diary, 253. 

Y. II. II 

i62 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

Lordship with the particular items of the account; I shall only 
select 2 or 3 of the most remarkable. The tickets on the election 
day came to ;^8iS, the bill at the Rose to ^^245, the meetings 
made under thie direction of Mr Shepard to £\l6, and the use of 
2 old elbow chairs for the candidates, belonging to Mr Mayor and 
Mr Alderman Graves, is set down at 4 guin'.... After all, I believe it 
is the cheapest election that has been in Cambridgeshire for many 

Lord Chancellor to the Hon. Philip Yorke 
[H. 3, f. 126.] Powis House, Aug. 6, 1747. 

...I have not of late expected that the expense of the election 
would be much less than you mention, thp' it is a monstrous one 
for an election without any opposition ;... some method must be 
fallen upon to correct it on another occasion....! shall be glad to 
see all the bills when I come to Wimpole, and then will settle the 
affair with you. . Let the whole account be made up.. ..It will be 
a fortnight before I shall get released. 

Archbishop of York to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 250, f. 277.] BiSHOPTHORP, Aug. 29, 1747. 

My Lord, 

...Nothing in the world could be more acceptable to me 
than the enclosed from the young soldier ^ who is almost at the 
top of his profession at a time when others are in the elements 
of it, and I am surprised at the quick progress he has made, when 
I consider this youngster as posting upon negotiations between 
the great Princes of Europe, at a most critical and dangerous 
juncture, and executing them to the approbation of his Master, 
whom the other day I saw equitare in arundine longd. He has a 
brave spirit and honest heart. He is fearless, because he is virtuous ; 
and successful, because he is prudent and considerate. Would to 
God the King had five hundred rnore such officers as he is, for the 
times want them exceedingly.... We must not prescribe to Pro- 
vidence, but sure some check must be provided to stop the effusion 
of human blood, These two generals, with the idiot King in 
'their hands, are th^ greatest criminals under the cope of Heaven, 
arid' it is amazing that so proud a generation .'as the French nobility 
will suffer themselves to be thus annihilated.... 

1 Col. Joseph Yorke; , 


Hon. Charles Yorke to the Hon. Philip Yorke 

[H. 37, f. 74.] Tuesday night, Oct. 13, 1747. 

[On recovery from illness.] The kindness of your last letter to 
me is more than I have words to acknowledge. I know how well 
you love me ; but to express it so cordially and so affectionately, as 
you have done on the late occasion of my illness, has touched me 
very sensibly, and gives me the most pleasing prospect that your 
friendship will make a great part of the happiness of that life, 
which providence has been pleased to allow me.... 

Lord Chancellor to Lord Anson 
[Add. 15,956, f. 13.] Powis House, Aug. 30, 1748. 

My Dear Lord, 

After having so lately given your Lordship the trouble 
of a letter I should not have repeated it now, were it not for a piece 
of intelligence, relating to dear Lady Anson, which we received on 
Sunday, night from Wrest. It gives me and her mother much 
concern to hear that, when M'' Yorke left her on Tuesday last, she 
had a feverish disorder upon her ; and, though that was somewhat 
relieved by the account M"^ Anson was so kind as to send by 
Wednesday's post, that she had no return of it, yet we cannot help 
being apprehensive that it might afterwards return and prove an 
intermitting fever. Your Lordship will excuse the trouble, which the 
anxiety of a father gives you, to be informed particularly how she 
now is, and it will rejoice me much to hear goOd news of you both. 
I must beg a little more of your indulgence, which my know- 
ledge of her from her childhood induces me to presume upon. 
She has great spirits, rather superior to her strength, and is always 
inclined to make the best of her case. It is therefore necessary, on 
such occasions, to look a little beyond her own representations, 
especially at this time, when she is certainly mortified at any inter- 
ruption of the pleasure she had promised herself in attending your 
Lordship at the Staffordshire diversions, and may be inclined to 
exert herself to partake of them, though at some hazard. [He 
therefore begs that she may not be allowed to go to the Lichfield 
races, and that Lord Anson will use his authority as well as his 

i64 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

Hon. Charles Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 5, f. 41.] Dover, ^a^, 30M, Tuesday night [1748]. 

My Lord,... 

Early the next morning, after I wrote from Lincoln's Inn, 
I set out for Rochester and reached it in the forenoon.... 

I came to Dover early on Saturday, where your Lordship will 
easily believe I have visited some things for their own sake, and 
others for the sake of those whom they may concern.... After 
church on Sunday I presented your Compliments to the Mayor and 
Jurats, who returned them in a most respectful manner to your 
Lordship.... Your Lordship's picture in the Town Hall keeps the 
best of royal company. Queen Elizabeth and King William ; and 
I ought not to forget that I visited your old Lares', and as I passed 
by besought a little of their influence. The mother of M^ RussellS 
with whom I lodge, remembers you in your cradle, M^ Broadley 
before you went to school, others when you were very young, and 
all your townsmen take a pride in tracing the incunabula vatis. 
It may seem trifling to say it, but it flattered me to find, as much 
a prophet as you are, that you are spoken of with the greatest 
honour in your own country. I have received civilities from Cap"> 
Gunman and several more, who are always acknowledging their 
obligations to your Lordship. On Sunday, in the afternoon, I went 
over Chilton Farm^ with M"^ Russell and the tenant, and yesterday 
proceeded for the Isle of Thanet, by Wanson Farm*, Walmer 
Castle, Deal and Sandwich. M"" Garret met me at Ramsgate 
and we rode over the Dompton estate^ this morning, almost as far 
as the North Foreland. The tenants seem to be industrious, 
substantial, honest men ; and I did not go over a foot of the 
ground they shewed me, without reflecting every instant on your 
Lordship's goodness to me. I was much pleased with Nethercoiirt, 
where one of M"^ Garret's brothers lives, in the Island, and the 
prospect from Minster Mill, which I took in my return; not for- 
getting the ruins of Richborough Castle. 

As soon as I came into Dover this evening, I understood that 
the Dean of Canterbury and Sir T. Hales called yesterday to have 
seen me, whilst I was in the Island, as they happened to be in the 
town at the harbour sessions.... 

I am with all possible truth 

Your Lordships most dutiful Son, 

C. YoRKE. 

' The Chancellor's birthplace in Snargate Street, see vol. i. 33. 

^ The Russells were old friends of the Chancellor's family at Dover, the present 
Michael Russell acting as their agent; from them descended the present family at 
Swallowfield, see vol. i. 56 n. 

^ Part of the lands of Simon Yorke, the Chancellor's grandfather, see vol. i, 20. 

^ Gibbon property inherited by the Chancellor from his mother, see vol. i. 39. 

° This estate had been purchased and handed over to Charles Yorke by the Chan- 


Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke, Secretary of the Embassy at Paris, 
to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 7, f. I..] Paris, -^^^^^ , 1749'- 

My Lord, 

I give an account by this post to the Duke of Bedford of 
a conversation I had last Tuesday with M. Puyzieulx^ on the 
affairs of the North, which is curious enough, and proves clearly 
that the intelligence the King has had of this Court's designing to 
tempt us to a connection with them in that part of the world is 
very well founded. I shall be a little uneasy till I know whether 
I have conducted myself properly, as it is a ticklish point for 
a novice in negotiation to get clear of I acted to the best of my 
understanding, and all I can say more is that I acted with the 
greatest civility and attention.... 

It will be very agreeable to me to be clear of that sort of 
conversation with the ministers, provided I can but convince 
them of the firm resolution the King is in to preserve the Peace 
which, you will see, they affect to doubt of and are, let them say 
what they will, a little alarmed at. A trifling anecdote will serve to 
shew your Lordship what is the opinion at Mons. Puyzieulx's 
of our determination to support and unite with Holland. I was 
by accident seated at dinner next to Mons. Larrey, which catched 
the eye of Madame, who does not want wit (tho' now and then 
a little satirical) and is certainly very well with her husband. She 
was offering round the table a dish that was next her, and when 
she came to me, she cried out: "AUons Mo"" Yorke, je m'en vais 
vous en envoyer pour vous et Mo^ Larrey sur la m^me assiette, 
pour voir un peu comment vous partagerez cela entre vous deux, 
car je voudrois voir s'il n'y a pas moyen de faire une division entre 
I'Angleterre et la Hollande." As the minister of the leading nation, 
I took upon me to answer and, without appearing at all embarrassed, 
replied that the likeliest and the only method I thought was by 
some favour from her hand, tho' to shew how just England was to 
her allies, I would make her the judge of the equality of my 
division. By this answer I got the approbation of the table, and 
turned the Lady's jest into a compliment upon herself 

I never saw anything so strong as the affectation of Mo"" Schaffer^ 
to be thought well at Mon^ Puyzieulx's. Their conferences are 
long and frequent. The former, after he has had his audience, 

1 In a former letter of February x^^ , 1 749 (f. 6) he gives a long account of a conversation 
with Count Larrey, the Dutch envoy at Paris, who gave him warning of the desire of the 
French court to draw England away from the old alliance with Austria and the Nether- 

2 Louis Brulart de Sillery, Marquis de Puisieux, successor of the Marquis d'Argenson 
as foreign minister, a weak incompetent minister of Mme de Pompadour's faction. 

* Baron Karl Fredfik Schaffer, Swedish minister at Paris. 

i66 ■ FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

generally retires to the window to minute down what has past, 
and then takes an opportunity to ask another, and this every 
Tuesday regularly. Besides this, I am told, he writes more than 
any foreign minister at this Court ; he and Chambrier^ always 
style one another p6re et fils, affecting, by every such methpd, to 
shew in public how intimately they are connected. 

When I was last at Versailles, I went the round of the ministers 
of the Conseil d'lfetat and saw Mo' Maurepas'' and Mo^ D'Argenson', 
who received me with very great civility. The latter is in a very 
infirm condition, and by his appearance seems very unfit for the 
fatigues of business. His distemper is ... and that incurable, 
as is publicly said, 'notwithstanding which he generally shuts 
himself up, two days in a week, at a little country lodging with 
two ladies of pleasure. By this means one should think business 
must suffer in his department, and the talents which all the world 
allows him, be in some degree impair'd, or what amounts to much 
the same in effect, not employ'd to advantage. 

Mo"" Maurepas passes for a very vain man, and no great friend 
of Mof Puyzieulx's, nor by what I can pick up is his department in 
a very thriving way; at least, if they are taking any considerable 
measures for restoring their fleet, it is as yet kept a profound secret ; 
tho' one should think, if their preparations were very great, they 
are of a nature not to be quite unknown. I was told the other day, 
by a man that pretended to know something of the matter, that 
they want every kind of material in their yards, and that to put the 
fleet on any tolerable footing will take them up a very considerable 
time. How far this is true you may know better than I do, but 
this is what I am told^... 

The gracious eye, with which your Majesty has had the 
goodness to look upon some of these letters, encourages me to. 
lay the enclosed at your feet. I should not have presumed to 
take this way of doing it, if my unavoidable engagements in your 
Majesty's service had not absolutely prevented my attendance on 
your Majesty this day. 

March i, 1749. 

1 Baron de Chambrier, Prussian minister at Paris. . 

2 Jean Fr^d^ric Phelippeaux, Comte de Maurepas (1701-1781), Secretary of State and 
Minister of Marine ; he was banished from Paris this year on account of lines written 
against Mme de Pompadour, recalled in 1774 by Louis XVI as President of the Council. 

8 Marc Pierre, Comte d'Argenson (1696-1764), brother of the former Foreign 
Minister, Conseiller d'Etat 1740, War Minister 1742 to 1757 when he was disgraced. 
Cf. D'Argenson'syo«?'»a/,e/A/'^z«. (1863), V. 374. 

* For further letters on the situation in France, see H. 7 passim. 


[Endorsed in the King's handwriting.] 

I thank you, my Lord, for the communication of this letter, 
which I have read with great pleasure, as being very instructif, and 
well turn'd. 

George R. 

[Lord Hardwicke sends the King another of his son's letters of 

TunG 2 7 

J . g , 1749) to which the King replies, " I thank you, my Lord, 
for the communication of this letter,' whose contents I think are of 
consequence. G. R.^"] 

H.R.H. the Duke of Cumberland to Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke 

[H. 7, f. 61, copy in the latter's handwriting.] London, April lotk, 1749. 

Dear Yorke, 

You know me too well to expect long answers, tho' 
I must confess that no letters ever deserved them better than 
yours have done. They have highly pleased in the places where 
they have been shewn ; and I can with truth assure you, that you 
are spoken of here in the light, which I wish and think you ought 
to be. I heartily congratulate you that since you had not the 
Duke of Richmond for your Embassador you have Lord Albemarlel 
Had 1 had the naming of one, either with regard to the Court he is 
to be employ'd in or upon your account, there could not have been 
one that would have answer'd better those two ends. I have been 
at Windsor the greatest part of this fortnight, where I much wish'd 
your company to have talk'd over past times, as well as to have 
shewn you my several new improvements, tho' I fancy at present 
you are got into such a delicate taste of improvements, that 
Windsor would no longer be allowed what it was. I assure you, 
the country wa,s very necessary to me, to purify me after the bad 
air and humour I contracted in London ; as, for want of better 
employment, the weak and virulent minority had diverted them- 
selves and teased us with dividing upon every clause of the Mutiny 
Bill' for near six weeks together, but which, thank God, we carried 
thro' at last without any material alterations. 

I enclose herewith a letter for Lord Cathcart*, and I desire 

^ H. 7, f. 68. See also others forwarded in the same manner with the King's comments, 
ff. 150, 164, 182, 208, 229, 321. 

^ William Anne Keppel, second Earl of Albemarle (1702-1754), governor of Virginia 
I737> major-general 1742 and colonel of the Coldstream Guards 1744; took part and 
distinguished himself in the Flanders and Scottish campaigns, and was now made 
ambassador to France and the same year K.G. ; Groom of the Stole and P.O. 1750; 
died in Paris in 1754. 

' See above, p. 84. 

* Charles, ninth Baron Cathcart (1721-1776), formerly one of the Duke's aides-de- 
camp, now sent to Paris as one of the two hostages. 

i68 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

you would not think my friendship altered by the irregularity 
of my correspondence, as you have too long helped me in that, 
hot to know how negligent and idle I am. I remain your most 
affectionate friend 

William ^ 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lady Anson'' 

[H. 39, f. 133.] Paris, /w/y H, 1749- 

[Your letter] from Carshalton diverted me most, as it recalled 
to my mind all the scenes of my childhood in a comical light ; and 
I enjoyed excessively the ideas which struck you upon inhabiting 
the same place as mistress of it, where formerly one was constrained 
by the looks of Papa and Mama. I dare say you were much 
surprised to find you could go out when you pleased, and I question 
whether you had half the inclination to go out you had then ; but 
what would divert me most would be to see you taking the air on 
Banstead Downs with both the glasses up.... 

Hon. Charles Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 5, f. 75.] [Spa] &/; 8, 1749 O.S. 

My Lord,... 

Lord Bath left us about ten days since ; his son came 
from Dusseldorf to meet him, and they are gone by way of Brussels 
to Paris, where my lord and lady proposed staying till Christmas. 
I accompanied him as far as Liege, as a compliment of respect 
for the civilities he shewed me after my arrival. When I did not 
happen to be engaged with other company, he insisted on my 
dining with him, and in every respect showed the utmost politeness 
and attention to me. In conversation with me he talked freely of 
past times (I mean) before Lord Orford's resignation, but would 
not come down lower. He dwelt much upon his old acquaintance 
with Sir Robert, and the admiration he had of his abilities. Not 
a word to me of any minister now in power, but your Lordship, of 
whom he affected to speak with much honour, and that very often. 
But Mr Darner, who has been here in a bad state of health, with 
Lady Caroline, told me that Lord Bath had said to some people, 
that this administration could not last ; for the most obstinate, and 
the most jealous man in the world' could never agree. Of Lord 
Granville and Lord Chesterfield he spoke sometimes, . but with 
great coldness ; and to my surprize commended Fox one day, as 

. ^ There appears no trace in this letter of the subsequent estrangement of the Duke 
from the family. 

^ Lord Anson and his wife occupied Carshalton House, formerly the home of the 
Chancellor and where his children were brought up. 

' Mr Pelham and the Duke of Newcastle — the observation had great force. 


the ablest speaker upon business amongst the King's servants in 
the House of Commons.... 

Believe me, [etc.] 


Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 34, f. 165.] Powis House, Sept. \a,th, 1749, at night. 

My Dear Lord,... 

I cannot... restrain myself from acquainting your 
Grace that I am extremely mortified with what has lately pass'd 
relating to the Aid de Camps [to the King]. I cannot help thinking 
that it is contrary to all the hopes that had been given me, and 
what I had reason to flatter myself with. I don't mean by this 
that I had persuaded myself the King would do this for my son 
immediately ; but what I mean is that his Majesty's filling up 
all the three vacancies at this time may shut the door upon him 
for years to come, which puts the affair in a very different light. 
Far be it from me to press improperly. I have learn't for some 
time past that my soliciting or pressing is of very little consequence. 
But I should humbly hope that his Majesty might be induced not 
absolutely to tie up his own hands, but at least to keep one of the 
three vacancies open and in reserve. I know it is said that Joe is a 
very young lieutenant colonel. He is of the 27th May, 1745, the same 
day with my Lord Cathcart, and there are a vast many younger. 
I know at the same time that, under these circumstances, much 
weight is never laid upon that objection but when there is an 
indisposition to do the thing. The three persons, now proposed to 
be promoted, are but two years elder ; Col: Howard and Col: Rich, 
who both have regiments, not quite one year elder. I must 
•therefore humbly entreat the favour of your Grace to prevent 
this blow, which I am sure would be a great mortification and 
discouragement to Joe; and to prevail with his Majesty if possible, 
at least to keep one of these vacancies in reserve and still open, 
that we [may] not be precluded of all hopes. And indeed, I should 
humbly think (abstracted from my son's case) that this would 
be the most advisable way for the King himself. I ask a thousand 
pardons for giving your Grace so much trouble, and am with my 
whole heart. 

My dear Lord 

ever yours 


170 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

[On September 15, 1749 (H. 242, f. 395), the Chancellor writes 
on the same subject to the Duke of Cumberland.] 

Hon. Charles Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 5, f. 90.] Paris, Friday night, Oct. 20, 1749 O.S. 

My Lord, 

I have not troubled your Lordship with any letters for 
some days past, as I have been engaged in visiting the French 
King's palaces....! was introduced with many other English (amongst 
whom was Lord Bath> to his Most Christian Majesty. The King 
spoke to Lord Bath with much civility, and was so gracious as to 
ask Lord Albemarle two or three questions about me. I went thro' 
all the forms of waiting upon the Queen at her Toilette, on the 
Mesdames before they went to Mass, and afterwards dined with 
Mons"". Puisieux, and attended the King at the grand Couvert in 
the evening.... The old Chancellor^ would have invited me if I had 
staid longer. The Dutch Minister, Mons''. Larrey, introduced ' me 
to him. He received me with great politeness, and spoke a great 
deal. I told him that I came to pay my respects to him, comme un 
enfant de la Robe to the Fathei; of it ; and presumed to say some- 
thing handsome (at least as much so as I could make it) in your 
Lordship's name. He seemed pleased, and began with enquiring 
much after your Lordship ; of your health, age, the weight of your 
office, the variety of its duties, and especially the extent of its 
jurisdiction. He said that as he had been told I was an advocate^ 
and therefore acquainted with the books of the law of England, he 
should be glad if I would recommend to him some well written dis- 
course upon the distribution of justice with us, and the departments 
of the several courts of Westminster. As I did not extempore 
recollect any book, which a foreigner could read with pleasure, or 
even understand upon that subject, I said that the finest geniuses 
of the profession in England were generally too much employed 
to write siach treatises ; and consequently the best extant were 
both too dry for entertainment, and too "imperfect for information. 
He then talked of the English history, of Bacon, Burnet, Clarendon 
and others, whose works he had read. And when I took my leave 
he charged me with his compliments to your Lordship, with many 
expressions of the honour and esteem he had for your character ; 
"and as for you," says he, " I hope you will shew the same genius, 
and find the same success."... 

[On October 21, 1749 (H. 7, i. 126), the Chancellor writes a long 
letter to Col. Joseph Yorke on the neglect of the latter in the new 
appointments of equerries to the King, made while the Chancellor 

1 Henri Franfois P'Aguesseau (1668-1751), the great Chancellor of France had almost 
as long a tenure of office — 1717, 1720-2 and again in 1737 till 1750 — as Lord Hardwicke. 
He was also famous for his learning, eloquence and high character. 


himself was away from town. He had almost received a promise 
from the King, and yet these promotions were made without con- 
sulting the Duke of Cumberland, and M^ Pelham had solicited the 
King for Col. Boscawen.] I will own to you that, in the progress 
of this affair, I think I have not been well used by some friends, 
from whom I had reason to expect more friendship to serve me, 
and I have told them as much with great firmness, though with 
decency. What I have most reason to resent is that, after what 
the King had said to M"" Pelham and what I had writ, not one of 
them was pleased to interpose their good offices, or to say one word 
to his Majesty on the subject. I shall not soon forget it, though 
I will, for my own sake, conduct myself with prudence. [The 
Duke of Cumberland had not been consulted in the matter and 
expressed considerable astonishment. He concludes] I had writ 
thus far last night when I received the inclosed letter from the 
Duke of Newcastle, which I choose to send you that you may judge 
of it for yourself ...It is a proof that I have made them sensible how 
much I feel this neglect, and that my manner of taking it has made 
some impression upon them \... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 7, f. 134.] Paris, November ^V) I749' 

My Lord,... 

It concerns me that you have had reason to be hurt at 
the conduct of your friends, on my account ; tho' the opportunity 
given to M'' Pelham to throw in a word in my favour was so fair, 
that I confess my surprise is not small to find he could neglect 

What concerns me most, from the affection I owe and do bear 
him, is the coolness that appears between the King and the Duke. 
I have been long dreading it, for since I left England I have 
observed several things, which seemed to tend that way. The 
affection shewed to Lord Sandwich has certainly not helped to 
remove it, and I have thought H.R.H. not so assiduous last 
summer in paying his Court as formerly. I have been told too, 
from pretty good hands, that the King does not like the irregular 
way in which the Duke lives, particularly with regard to women, which the King is not always a stranger \i.e. is informed of]. 
His Majesty, I have reason to believe further, has of late been 
much hurt at what was told him, and from his affection to the 
Duke, has express'd himself very warmly on the subject. He 
one day said, talking to L[ady] Y[armouth] about it: That it 

1 See pp. 91-2, 

172 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 , 

was monstrous the Duke did not take better care of his health; that he- 
was so angry about it he did not care if he was dead, tho' he believed 
it would kill him {the King) the next minute. There is great 
paternal love mixed with this acrimony, but I doubt whether the 
Duke is enough attentive to remove the bad impressions meddling 
people, from different motives, give his Father. To be sure, the 
promotions of the last winter have not gone as the Duke wish'd, 
and that I could tell without hearing it from your side the water. 
In filling up his aides de camp, I have known the King commonly 
tenacious of nominating them himself without his son's interven- 
tion, and that even when he was in the height of his favour. This 
the Duke has told me himself, when he has formerly talk'd to me 
on the subject; and I particularly remember after the Battle of 
Culloden, when Lord Bury was sent up with the news of it, tho' 
the Duke told him he wished it him with all his heart, yet he would 
not venture to mention it to the King, for fear of preventing its 
taking place ; if it required so much caution then, it . is no Wonder 
at least as much is necessary at present.... All that could be done 
for me, I am sensible has been done by your Lordship, and it must 
now be left to time and the King's goodness to do it, when he sees 
proper. I am convinced solicitation would only retard my obtaining 
it next time, and I should be hurt, to the greatest degree, if on my 
account, your Lordship exposed yourself to the smallest vivacity \... 

H.R.H. the Duke of Cumberland to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. I, f. 16.] St James, past two, No'v. i, 1749, 

My Lord Chancellor, 

I would not fail acquainting you the first with the 
proper promotion the King has of his own accord given Col: Yorke 
by naming him his Aide-de-Camp in L^ Bury's room. As you know 
my affection for Yorke and my regard for everything that relates 
to you, you will be best judge of the share I take in this mark of 
the King's favour to you and your family. 

ever your affectionate Friend 


Hon. Charles Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 5, f. 92.] Paris, Tuesday, J ' ^' , 1749. 

My Lord,... 

I had the honour to make your Lordship's compliments 
to the President Montesquieu ; and as I had happened to converse 
with him, some days before, on the subject of those seignoral rights, 

' The appointment had in fact, been already made by the King. 


which were the consequences of the feudal constitution, I had the 
fairest opportunity of giving him your Speech' and explaining it to 
him. He had said that he considered those rights as a barrier against 
the Crown, to prevent monarchy from running into despotism. I 
admitted that, under an absolute monarchy, they were a strength in 
the hands of the noblesse, and might be one means of preventing 
the government of France from becoming like that of Turkey ; 
but that in a limited monarchy, as England, all private rights, 
which encroached on the legal authority of the Crown, tended to 
erect petty tyrants at the expense of the people's liberty. The 
Speech was very much to the purpose on this point, and I was 
happy to illustrate and support it by your Lordship's reasonings 
and opinion. I explained the history of the subject, the delicacy of 
it, the point of time at which it was taken up, and the returns of the 
Court of Session ; so that the President followed the argument of 
the Speech with great ease. I added that it was taken from your 
mouth, as you spoke from short notes. I will not tell your Lord- 
ship what he said, tho' a very honest as well as a very able man ; 
because, after the approbation given to the Jurisdiction Bill in your 
own country, I think your Lordship would feel little pleasure from 
the Eloges of the whole French Academy.... 

[On -^^^j 1750 (H. 7, f. 270), Col. Yorke writes to his Father:] 

It is undoubtedly in the head that France is weak, for the body is 
of a surprizing force ; and the more I examine into it, the niore I 
am struck with the strength and infinite resources of this Kingdom, 
I am furtheir persuaded that, if once they take a turn to agriculture, 
and are wise enough to encourage propagation in the provinces 
(for it is the human species they are poorest in), by a diminution 
of the Taille and such like tyrannical oppressions, they will be twice 
as formidable as they are at present... 

H.R.H. the Duke of Cumberland to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 7, f. 272.] Windsor Great Lodge, July ^th, 1750. 

My Lord, 

I received yours this morning, inclosing a particular 
letter from Col. Yorke... and was very sorry to observe his opinion 
of the resources rather higher than lower, as he is more acquainted 
with them. It is seldom I would wish him mistaken, but I most 
heartily wish him so now. 

You could not have chose one more a friend to Col. Yorke 
than me for to consult on anything that is for his service^ ; but no 
one is a better judge than yourself in this point, and I see no very 
particular advantage it will be of to him. I should think M"' 
Pelham would be the properest person to advise with in this case. 

' On the Scottish Hereditary Jurisdictions, see above, vol. i. 692. 

^ The reference is probably to the proposed appointment of Col. Yorke at the Hague. 

174 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

As I shall be in town Sunday and the beginning of next week 
I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you then, and remain your 
affectionate Friend 


Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lady Anson 

[H. 39, f. 228.] Paris, j^^^Ty . i75i- 

...Shall I go to the Hague or not? The informed write me 
word that my friends will push for me. I 5hall be glad if they do, 
and succeed ; for I begin to grow horribly tired of filling up the 
train of an embassy without a character, and with a chance, because 
I am thought not to do very ill, of being kept on in the same way. 
What alarms me is, that I remember during the war the Duke 
pressed very hard to have an old major, who had served with 
distinction, promoted to be L' Colonel and for three years together 
the King always replied, that he was so good a major, it was a pity 
to promote him.... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to tlie Lord Chancellor 
[H. 7, f. 362.] Paris, Aug. /^, 1751. 

... I am very glad your Lordship agrees with me in your way of 
thinking about my private affair'. I am not naturally apt to lay 
things to heart, and particularly in affairs of this nature ; whether it 
is good opinion of myself or bad opinion of others, I don't know ; 
but I could never bring myself to believe that, because one op- 
portunity was lost, another would never offer itself. I have naturally 
too much vivacity ; and when I have undertaken a thing, I am for 
carrying it on warmly; but if once it fails, my vivacity takes 
another turn, and I am glad to be rid of it;... Charles shall not want 
my good advice, when I see him here.... He certainly wants a wife 
to govern him a little and who, by obliging him to have some 
attention for her, might prevent him from having quite so much 
for himself; it is the only fault I know in him 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 7, f. 365.] Paris, August ^, 1751. 

...What my real situation with the D[uke of Cumberland] is, 
I cannot say, tho' I have no great reason to imagine he has altered 
his opinion about me; but your Lordship knows that princes do 
not much trouble their heads about their humble servants, when 
they are out of sight. I take that to be my case with H.R.H., and 
therefore I am not surprised at his never mentioning me, especially 

' The Hague embassy had apparently fallen through for the time. 


considering all the late transactions in England, the principal 
actors in which I am more or less connected with, and am likely to 
be a gainer by them in the consequences. Those who write to me 
upon that subject, assure me that I am still well with him ; and 
I can only say that I give myself all the trouble I can to execute 
the commissons he honours me with here, which are pretty numerous, 
through Sir Everard Fawkener's channel.... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 7,f.368.] Paris, ^^^, 175 1. 

...I have seen some letters from Spa, which mention my brother 
Charles being arrived there. I hope he will find benefit. When 
I see him, I will do my best to cure him of his fancies, which are 
his worst distemper. He knows I wish him well, and I have always 
been upon a foot to speak very freely to him. I shall be sure 
not to commit your Lordship in anything I shall say to him.... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke'- to Lady Anson 
[H. 39, f. 240.] Hague, February \\, 1752. 

...Of all the places I ever was in, this is that one has the most 
occasion of a wife of one's own in ; for upon my honour, those of 
other people are not worth picking up ; one would not touch 'em 
with a pair of tongs, and as little converse with them. In this 
situation and without a single diversion, you will own it is a happi- 
ness to have a good fund of spirits and to love one's fireside, a 
companion that frequently amuses me when I retire from the 
Yahoos I meet with, whilst I am abroad. I look upon myself only 
as a passenger here, and therefore console myself with the thoughts 
of leaving it one day or other, either to go somewhere else or to be 
Secretary of State ; for it must come to that at last, and indeed, till 
I came here, I did not think the residing here some time deserved 
so great a reward, but now I am thoroughly convinced of it... and 
yet with all that I am very easy and contented and ready, you may 
tell my Lord, with my kind love and compliments, to take any good 
match he pleases to give me. 

The Duke of Newcastle''' has already alarmed me with his 
intending to lodge in my house. He little thinks that the hangings 
of his bed-chamber are not up, nor his bed made, tho' I hurry it as 
much as I can, that I may lie in it till the very night before he 
comes. You don't know perhaps that that is necessary ; I must 
therefore illustrate it by an example, the last time he came back 
from Hanover. He dispatched Cleaverly, the messenger, to Rotter- 
dam to lie in his bed on board the yacht, that was to convey him to 

^ Appointed minister at the Hague in December 1751. 
2 The Duke accompanied the King -abroad this year. 

176 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

Moerdyck, and ordered that the Duchess's bed should be lay'n in 
likewise. On his arrival at Rotterdam, he enquired very earnestly 
whether the messenger was sure he had lay'n there, which, after he 
had swore to, "Well," says he, "but who lay in the Duchess's bed?" 
" One of the sailors, my Lord." " Very well, you are sure of it ? " 
"Yes." " Well, that^s well." That Cleaverly is one of the best fellows 
upon the road, and the best at contrivance.... 

I am always in good spirits when I think of you, which I do 
every minute of the day. Adieu, ma tr^s ch^re et tr^s aimee sceur; 
embrassez votre mari pour moi, et aimez moi autant que je vous 


[" When Sir Joseph Yorke was ambassador at the Hague... the 
day before they [the King and the D. of N.] were to pass the sea, 
a messenger came at five o'clock in the morning and drew Sir 
Joseph's bed curtains. Sir Joseph starting asked what was the 
matter. The man said he came from the Duke of Newcastle. 
' For God's sake,' exclaimed Sir Joseph, ' What is it .? Is the King 
ill?' 'No' — after several fruitless questions, the messenger at length 
said, 'The Duke sent me to see you in bed, for in this bed he means 
to sleep.' " H. Walpole's Walpoliana, i. 32.] 

Col. the Hon, Joseph Yorke to Lady Anson 
[H. 39, f. 249.] " Hague, i^^, 1752. 

Dearest Sister, 

I am infinitely obliged to you for your kind letter of the 
19'^ Inst., as it brings me an authentic account of my Lord Anson's 
safe return to London, where we hardly dared to flatter ourselves 
he would arrive so soon, as the wind seemed to us quite contrary 
when he set sail. If Lord Anson took the will for the deed, he will 
then have thought himself well entertained ; but else, what with 
the stupid surprize of all my servants, at the empressement of his 
Grace, and the little time that vivacity allowed me to spend with 
my Lord, I am afraid I stand in need of all his good nature and 
prejudice in my favour, to pass for a good host. I shall endeavour, 
however, to improve against another time; for as avantageux as you 
may think me, I was much humbled with the turn my domestics 
took, from an eagerness of doing better than ordinary. I shall not 
fail, however, against the Duke of Newcastle comes back, to have 
the drudging box well supplied with flour for all the r6ti, in 
hopes that he will then be able to commend something really 
d, I'Anglaise; for unfortunately, to shew his firm taste, he commended 
nothing as English but some Dutch cheese, (a secret I never let 
him into), which he abused me for fetching out [of] England to 
waste upon my foreign servants ; voila un dchantillon de notre goilt 
assurd. I had the honour to conduct his Grace as far as Utrecht, 
from whence I saw him set out the next morning in perfect health 


and spirits, in a French post-chaise a une, into which he crammed 
himself and Johnson, the divine, who travels with him only out of 
friendship, and will certainly refuse a bishopric, whenever it is 
offer'd him^ Whether the Duchess is to make a third in the same 
vehicle, I am yet to learn, the' I really do think three may as easily 
get in as two. Lord Anson will tell you what spirits he kept us all 
in whilst he staid, and I really think the States ought to make him 
a handsome allowance for raising their spirits once in two years.... 

President Montesquieu^ to the Hon, Charles Yorke 

[H. ., f. 3.] BORDEAUX, ff^^^, I76^- 

Vous etes venu a Paris ou je n'dtois pas, vous n'etes pas venu ^ 
Bordeaux ou j'etois ; je me plains de ce que vous etes venu en France. 
J'espere, Monsieur, men tres illustre ami, de vous trouver a Paris vers 
le mois d'aout ou de septembre, et que vous me donneres avis de 
votre voyage, pour que je puisse me vanter d'y etre pour quelque 
chose. Vous me parlds de la lettre de Grotius a Hentius; j'ai peur 
qu'elle se vous ait trop frape. Remarqu^s que Grotius, quand il 
^crivit cela, n'dtoit pas de votre age ; une noble ambition convient 
aux jeunes gens, le repos a un age plus avance; c'est la consolation 
de la perte des agrements et des plaisirs. Ne negliges pas des talents 
qui vous sont venus avant I'age, et qui ne doivent point etre con- 
traires a v6tre sant6, puisqu'ils sont votre nature meme. Vous vous 
souvenes des belles choses que dit Ciceron dans son livre des 
Offices contre les philosophes, et combien il les mit au dessous de 
la vie active des citoyens, et de ceux qui gouvernent la r^publique ; 
et on ne pent pas le soubsonner d'avoir eu de I'envie contre ceux 
qui s'attachoient a la philosophie, puisqu'il dtoit lui-meme un si 
grand philosophe; le meme dans un autre endroit appelle Archimede 
un petit home; et Platon n'alla en Scicille que pour faire voir a 
I'univers qu'il ^toit, non seulement capable de donner des Loix a une 
rdpublique, mais de la gouverner. Continues done une pfofesgion 
que vous faites avec tant de gloire; continues une profession qui 
fait, qu'en vous regardant, on se souvient toujours de votre illustre 
pere; continues une profession qui fait voir que dans un age trfes 
tendre, vous avez pu porter le poids de sa reputation sans vous 

Faites moi le plaisir, je vous prie, de faire remettre cette lettre 
a M"^ le docteur Wauburton : j'ay une veritable impatience d'apprendre 
qu'il donne son grand volume de Julien'; c'est un bel ouvrage qui 
appartient a toutes les branches de la religion chretienne. Je vous 
remercie de tout men cceur de ce que vous me mand6s sur les ouvrages 

^ James Johnson (i 705-1 774), chaplain to the King and made Bishop of Gloucester 
this year (see above, p. 47) , later bishop of Worcester. 

''■ P- 143- 

' Julian, or a Discourse concerning the Earthquake and Fiery Eruption which defeated 
that Emperor's attempt to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem... (1750). 

Y. n. 12 

1/8 . FAMILY HISTORY 1742^1754 

qui ont paru en Angleterre. Y auroit-il trop de hardiesse de ma part 
de vous prier de me donner vos reflexions et vos jugement \sic\ ? 
Je me charge d'etre de mdme v6tre correspondant 4 Paris. Je vous 
embrasse, Monsieur, et ay I'honneur d'etre avec un respectueux 
attachement, v6tre tr^s humble et tres ob^issant serviteur. 


Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Hon. Charles Yorke 

[H.37.f.78.] • Hague, g-3^, 1753. 

...I am sorry you do not seriously think of marrying^ for I am 
convinced some amusement in your own house, to take you off 
sometimes from your more serious occupations, would make you 
pass your life more agreeably. A man like you should not be always 
forced to go out pour se distraire ; and all the vain phantoms you 
have dressed up to yourself of what is necessary in the married state, 
would all vanish when once you had taken your resolution. I preach 
nothing but what I propose to myself. If some women refuse me, 
let them repent it ; I shall find others and sooner or later, if I can't 
get a woman with a fortune, I shall please myself and marry without. 
I have calculated the whole, and find that I am drawing towards 30. 
When I have doubled that, by the grace of God, I shall be called 
an old fellow, or a very few years added to it will make me so. 
Why then, I have lived half the time most people live. Is it then 
really worth while to be computing whether I shall get \;f 100,000 
or nothing, or a good companion for the other half of my life. 
Voila le r^sultat de mes meditations. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle {in Hanover') 
£N. 43, f, 190; H. 64, f. 176.] Most private. Powis House, y«^ yi, 1752. 

My Dear Lord,... 

Your Grace has, I presume, been informed of the 
dreadful fire which happened in Lincolns Inn Square, in the night, 
between Friday and Saturday last. My son Charles's chambers 
were on the first floor, immediately over M'' Wilbraham's, in which 
the fire began, and had got to a great height before it was discovered. 
Charles, went to bed at twelve, and about 20 minutes after one was 
waked accidentally by some noise, and that not then very great, in 
th? Square. His chambers were instantly filled with smoke, and 
without staying t(j) save anything at all, he was forced to run down- 
stairs, in danger of suffocation, with nothing on but his shirt and 
breeches and an old frock thrown over his shoulders, without shoes 
or stockings. In that condition he ran across the Square, and took 


shelter in his friend, M^ Clarke's chambers, from whence, in ten 
minutes time, he had the mortification to see the floor of his own 
chambers, with everything in them, fall in. . His personal preserva- 
tion was the more providential, as it was by mere accident that the 
door of Mr Wilbraham's chambers was prevented from being broke 
open, before he got away. If that had been done, the staircase had 
been immediately in flames, and it had been absolutely impossible 
for any person, that was above stairs, to have escaped^. He has lost 
everything, and came home to me almost as naked as he came into 
the world ; but what affects him most is the loss of his library of 
books and all his manuscripts and papers, amongst which were my 
Lord Sommers's papers. I know your Grace's good nature will make 
you sympathize with your faithful friends under such a calamity. 
I must own this unforeseen event has given a new turn to my way 
of thinking concerning the office of Chaff- wax... for none of the 
persons, whom I mentioned in my former letter, know one word of 
the matter or of any intentions I had with regard to them, and I 
may afterwards find some other way of accommodating them. As 
I had given my son Charles his whole portion in possession and 
made all the provision I intended for him, his present loss is a very 
heavy one for a young man. But that is not my chief motive ; for 
tho' I may be allowed to say that he has very good parts and has 
improved them with great application, yet his spirits are not of the 
best and firmest kind. For this reason, besides repairing his loss, 
I want to do something that may keep up his spirits and encourage 
him by some better permanent provision. Your Grace (if you 
remember such trifles) knows that the Crown-office is between him 
and his brother John jointly, so that the latter has one half of the 
profits. If it were possible, upon this accident, to turn it so that 
the King would give the office of Chaff'-wax to Jack, which would 
be an equivalent for his half of the Crown-office, Jack should give 
up that share and Charles enjoy the whole of the Crown-office.... 
Whether a word could be flung in upon this subject, after the first 
emotion of compassion in the King on hearing of such a distress, 

' Cf. Robert Ord to Lord Carlisle, June 30, 1752, Gary street (ffist. MSS. Comm., 
Earl of Carlisle, 205)1 "We were much alarmed by the fire in Lincoln's Inn t'other 
night, though I think not much in danger ; the account you have in the papers is pretty 
exact. The lives of Mr Cha: Yorke and four other gentlemen were probably saved 
by an old gentleman coming from the tavern, who found the porters breaking open 
Mr Wilbraham's door and with much difficulty stopt them, till they had waked the 
gentlemen above stairs, who had scarce got down stairs without their clothes when the 
fire burst through the door and set the whole staircase in a flame at once...." 

i8o FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

I humbly submit to your Grace's consideration, and only entreat 
a few words of direction. The loss of deeds and writings in several 
of the chambers will be deeply felt by many families.... 

ever yours 

Col the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Hon. Charles Yorke 

[H. 37, f. 80.] Hague, /«/y A>. 1752- 

When I wrote to 'you last post, my dearest brother, I little 
thought that I should so soon have an occasion to express my joy 
at your miraculous escape from the most imminent danger it is 
possible to be in. God Almighty has then preserved you, and 
permitted me still to tell you how much I love you, and how much 
I feel for your deliverance. May I never forget the blessed news 
he has this day permitted me to receive, and for which my grateful 
heart will never cease to praise his holy name. I am heartily 
concerned for the irreparable loss you have sustained, but as your 
dear life has been preserved, I cannot think of anything else, or 
look upon it as a thing of consequence. I really think, had I even 
been the greatest book worm in the world, in such a case as this, 
I could not spend a thought upon what the flames have consumed ; 
and I am glad to hear you have such a love for us all, as to bear 
your loss with resolution and complacency of mind. . Nay, I am 
almost persuaded, that this will make you exert still more, and that 
you will rise like a Phoenix out of the ashes. You must forgive 
me, if I am so happy at knowing you are safe and well, that I 
cannot suppose that you miss any thing else, because I do not, 
and because I know that you may command everything I have, or 
can procure.... Another thing is to use your interest in Lincolns 
Inn to get stone staircases made instead of the wooden ones, which 
is a precaution used in all public buildings, except in our own 
country, and which you see is of the utmost importance.... How 
much I wish that my political rubbish could supply the place of 
what you have lost, or that by burning them all 1 could restore 
your valuable papers to you, tho' indeed life is so short that it does 
not much signify. Remember the advice I gave you in my last 
letter. I am now convinced you ought not to live in Chambers; 
and therefore long to see you settled in a house, and most sincerely 
hope you will not think seriously about it, but really set yourself to 
bring it about, and I am convinced you would not find it so difficult, 
and that it would contribute to your ease and happiness.... God 
preserve you always, as he has so manifestly done in this instance, 
and give you long life, health and happiness ! I am, and shall be 
whilst I live, my dearest brother. Yours from my heart, most 

J. Y. 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 64, f. 179; N. 43, f. 206.] Hanover, July -t^thti 1752. 

My Dear Lord, 

The messenger is just come in with your most kind 
letter of the 3''<i. I must begin... by expressing my most sincere 
joy at the providential escape of poor Charles. I feel at the same 
time for his great and irreparable loss.... I have laid the circum- 
stances before the King in the best and most feeling manner I 
could, and indeed His Majesty seemed touched with them. But 
as truth and sincerity are the characteristics of every good man, 
and remarkably so of your Lordship, I should not act agreeably 
to them, if I advised making any alteration in that inconsiderable 
office of the Chaff- Wax, which has given us both so much anxiety.. . . 
His Majesty was pleased to say; My Lord Chancellor is getting 
every office that falls in the law for his own children. I took that 
up pretty strongly....! treated this office (as I really thought it)... 
as an inconsiderable object — a thing of course, scarce a favour but 
rather a right of office. If after this you would have any alteration ; 
you know I shall always do what you desire. I ought to do so, 
for I know from what cause, and I guess from whom, this originally 
comes \... 

ever most affectionately Yours 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 43, f. 283; H. 64, f. 196.] Powis House, July i<], 1752. 

...I am extremely obliged to your Grace for the cordial and 
affectionate concern you express for poor Charles....! own the 
observation about asking every office that falls in the law for my 
own children would have given me some vexation, if it had been 
true. Our memory used to be more correct. ! have never procured 
or asked any office in the law for a son of mine, except the crown 
office, for the other little one was given to a nephew. My Lord 
Cowper got three very valuable ones for nephews, for his sons were 
then scarcely out of their cradles, and my Lord Talbot procured 
two in three years service. Such strictures, after so many years 
faithful and laborious service, must give rise to some serious 

^ The Duke of Cumberland and Princess Amelia. 

i82 FAMILY -HISTORY 1742-1754 

reflections, and I return your Grace a thousand thanks for the 
friendly part you took on that occasion^*.... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Hon. Charles Yorke 

[H. 37, f. 84.] Hague, August Jf , i^si. 

...Now, my dear brother, for my secret, which weighs upon my 
mind, and I shall be much lighter when I have unburthened myself 
in your bosom. You know my attachment to the family [that of 
Count Golowkin, the Russian ambassador] I have just been talking 
about ; you know too Jiow far that went some years ago. There 
seems to be a fatality which attends me in that house and, to say 
the truth, I was apprehensive of it when I was first named to come 
here; though I had then still some hopes of succeeding in a more 
advantageous way for my fortune, and whilst they lasted, which I 
pushed as far as they would bear, I would not listen to an inclina- 
tion, which those who don't see and feel as I do, will certainly 
condemn, and I should perhaps the first, if it was not my own 
case^ I am in plain terms in love with the sister of my old mistress, 
and not wildly, not as I should have been 8 or 10 years ago, but 
seriously, and with the strongest desire of being allied to her in the 
nearest manner. I foresee immediately a thousand objections crowd 
into your mind, which seem difficult to get over. I see that it will 
be said she is a foreigner, she is not rich, has little or no fortune 
and we know nothing at all of her. All that is true, and yet 
anatomize all these difficulties and they are reduced to one only, 
1 which is the fortune, and that I don't see in the strong light many 
others will do. As to her character, it would make me the happiest 
man alive; for I never saw more sweetness nor sobriety united in 
one person in my life, for I protest to you I am ten thousand times 
more in love with her character than with her figure. I have seen 
a good deal of the world, and am tired of being a single man. I am 
doomed to spend the flower of my life in foreign countries ; by that 
means I am out of the way of making my fortune in England by a 
good match, and Mama declares she will not meddle with our 
affairs as to that point. If that is the case, what am I to do ? I 
am old enough, and have been my own master enough, not to make 
a choice which should disgrace my family, or which I should repent 
of when the honeymoon is over. I ask nothing but the continuation 
of the protection of my friends which, I flatter myself, they would 
hot think nrie unworthy the continuance of for having married a 
young lady of the first blood in Europe, of the same religion as 

^ The King's accusation was grossly unjust ; Lord Hardwicke having asked for far 
fewer advantages of this kind than were generally supposed to be the right of persons in 
his office. His estate had been augmented by the long continuance in his profession 
rather than by royal favours. But the words were probably spoken in one of the King's 

* My father told me afterwards that when he mentioned this little affair to the King 
on his coming over, "he grarited it very readily. H. 


myself and who is, I am gOre everybody who knows lier will allow,' 
a real treasure in herself. The wise people' will say arid very pru- 
dently, but she has no fortune; for 3, 4 or ;^5000 is nothing I allow;' 
but why am I to be miserable on that account ? I am advanced in 
the world, I think I shan't stop>« si beau chemin, and I cannot long- 
be without a regiment, which will be a very good addition to my 
income. As she brings little, she will expect little; and lam sure 
what I have to settle, which is small (though including the reversion 
of the house in Berkeley Square it may be 13 or ;£'i4,ooo) would: 
thoroughly satisfy her and her friends, and if I live I shall make it 
still better than that. As to all other expenses at setting out and 
all that, I should ask nothing. Her family is here upon the spot 
and will with pleasure do that ; as I am sure the old man would go 
to his grave much happier, if his daughter was my wife ; and I really 
love him as tenderly as a father, and that is one reason for my 
wishing it still more. This then, my dear brother, is my history 
and the secret of my heart. As you love me and know my honesty, 
sobriety and prudence, for to you I may mention my own merit, 
you will not look upon this scheme as the heat of youthful blood 
and passion. It is not;. mind is seriously bent upon it; let 
me beg your advice how to proceed, and your assistance, when you 
go to Wimpole, to negotiate the affair for me. I may be trusted in 
the affair ; and if Papa and Mama have a mind to make me a happy 
man, they will leave me to my inclinations and kindly promise me 
not to withdraw their afTection and assistance ; for to marry with 
the fear of that would be dreadful....! trust my happiness in your 
hands.... You love me ; and have been bred up with me ; exert your 
affection and tenderness for me in this affair.... dear Charles, 

Your most faithful and most affectionate. 
Col. the Hon. Joseph Yprke to Lady Anson 
[H. 39, f. 263.] Hague, -^^^, 1752. - 

...My Dear Sister, 

I am going to tell you a story, which will to the wise 
appear foolish, but. ..I am sure you will serve me if you can. 
Would you believe it, I am in love and seriously, not with the 
widow \ she has used me ill; not with a great fortune, i can find 
none, but with one whose character has caught me as fairly as, ever 
any body was catched, and whose person, though a fine one, I had 
long resisted the charms of. It is no other than Count Golowkin's 
daughter. You have long known my attachment to the family and 
my apprehensions, in former times, of doing what the world calls 
a foolish thing. I have dotie my utmost to get the better of it; 
I have absented myself for a long time together from the house^ 
but it all comes to the same .thing.... My firm resolution is then to 

■ - ■ • - - ■ -'' The widow Munter.- . . ; 

i84 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

bring it about if possible ; but I would not, for her sake more than my 
own, forfeit the protection of my family and friends. [He proceeds 
to enumerate the advantages of the proposed marriage]....! have 
wrote to Charles to help me in the negotiation... and to interest as 
many as he could for me, as I am afraid of losing what I regard as 
the greatest treasure, that ever was offered to me. Lord Anson has 
seen her; he knows the family; he is good natured ; he is my friend ; 
I am sure he will shew it in this instance, when he sees that I have 
set my heart upon it. It is not the first fire of youth ; I am too old 
and have seen too much of the world; I have been likewise my own 
master too long not to know the different sensations of a pretty 
face's causing and tho^e, which are occasioned by a sympathy of 
inclination.... Will you then, my dearest sister, stand my friend, and 
help to carry this affair through ; concert, if you love me, this affair 
with Charles, and see how it is to be broke at Wimpole. Mama has 
always said she would not interfere with what we should do in this 
way ; and as for Papa, when I spoke to him about the other you 
know, he yawned and said, " Jo, you know the world better than 
I do." Let them then trust me in an affair, which concerns my own 
happiness in life.... You are now in possession of my most secret 
thoughts and my most tender wishes. You will see that your poor 
brother is far gone.... You will, my dearest sister, not forget me....' 
When your's and Lord Anson's surprise and laughing are a little 
over upon this sort of love letter, let me hear from you, and as you 
love me, remember that no time is to be lost for fear of accidents.... 
Yours most affectionately. Best respects attend Lord A. I had 
twenty times a mind to have mentioned this to him, when he was 
here in April, but I still hoped to get the better of it; but I find it 
is impossible. 

[On September 22, 1752 (H. 37, f 88), he writes to Charles Yorke 
another letter on the same subject. He has received counsels of 
prudence from Lady Anson, and he will certainly not marry contrary 
to his parents' and friends' wishes.] I would not bring anybody 
. I value enough to make a wife of into a family, where she should 
not be well received. 

Col, the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lady Anson 
[H. 39, f. 276.] Hague, Dec'' ist, 1752. 

... I found that there had been thoughts of your taking a trip here, 
but when I inquired further I found to my surprise and, I own, my 
ignorance till then, that you never visited the Countess [of Yarmouth]. 
As soon as I heard that, I had nothing further to say ; because it 
would be impossible to think of the journey, without paying a civility 
in that quarter. Upon being told that you never had visited, I asked 
the reason, but could not find it out. My Lord [AnsonJ's prudence 
only said that he had mentioned it more than once as what he 
should like ; but as he had. found you averse to it, he had not pressed 


it and he supposed you had advised with the higher Powers. 
When I learnt this, I was determined next time I wrote to ask you 
what particular reasons you might have to decline a visit, which is 
a mere matter of civility, which so many people make, and find 
their account in, and which our Master certainly takes as a mark 
of attention to himself. Scruples of conscience, to be sure, you can 
have none in a point so indifferent ; and as to any punctilios, I think 
I could easily fight them over with you. You see what advantages 
some people draw from thence for themselves and families, and 
certainly without any risk, either to their reputations or anything 
else ; and in the situation, where my Lord [Anson] is, where so 
many of us are, and none but myself of the family paying any 
attention there, such a civility would certainly be well taken and 
might be productive of good. I am far from wishing you should 
enter into any Court intrigues ; I should be the first to advise you 
against them ; but as one is not a necessary consequence of the 
other, I do think you might contrive to bring it about, unless you 
have any stronger reasons against it than strike me at present.... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Hon. Charles Yorke 
[H. 37, f. 90.] Hague, Dee' idth, 1752. 

Dear Charles, 

I hope you ascribe my silence, since the receipt of your 
last kind letter, to the true cause, which is the not knowing what 
to say in answer to it ; many of the arguments were so solid and 
others so friendly, that I was sorry to wish against them a 
moment....! shall wait for more favourable opportunities and, not 
for the first time, make a sacrifice of my strongest inclinations to 
my pride and ambition. [He repeats his advice to his brother 
himself to marry.] You may certainly find women enough with 
good fortunes who will be happy, as well as their friends, in your 
alliance ; and yet you had rather live funking in your chambers and 
dying of the pip, than take courage and have amusement at home. . . . 
I have told Papa in a letter, and I insist upon it, that I have 
a fundamental objection to all the family, myself included, and that 
is a cursed way we have of overthinking everything, which keeps 
us as lean as carrion, and deprives us of a thousand things which 
sweeten the lives of our fellow creatures. I lament this kind of 
mind every day in myself, and would fain have you give us all 
a good example. In a word, Mr Yorke has no son ; why are you 
to have none .' If he is 10 years between every child, with the chance 
of girls, our hopes are in you ; therefore I have a right to give you 
my advice, and I hope you will take it in good part.... I give you 
6 months to decide.... 

Yours most affectionately 

J. Y. 

i86 FAMILY HISTORY 1742-1754 

[In subsequent letters (fif. 92 and 94) he declares that he will 
submit to the opinion of his parents, but hopes they will not always 
stand out, when they become] accustomed to the sound of foreigner, 
poverty, pride, alliance, fortune and many unfortunate etceteras. 
[He reiterates his advice to Charles to marry.] How the devil 
came we all by so much prudence and good sense ; they are great 
encumbrances ; and those who have none of them, are much 
better off^. 

President Montesquieu to the Hon. Charles Yorke 
[H. 2, f. 5.]^ • Paris, /««^ 6, 1753. 

Monsieur, mon tres cher et illustre ami, j'ay un paquet de mes 
ouvrages, bons ou mauvais a vous envoyer ; j'en seray peut-6tre le 
porteur. II pourra arriver que j'aurois le plaisir de vous ambrasser 
tout a mon aise. Je remets k ce tems \ vous dire tout ce que 
je vous ^crirois. Mes sentiments pour vous sont graves dans mon 
coeur et dans mon esprit d'une maniere k ne s'effacer jamais. 
Quand vous verr^s monsieur le Docteur Walburton \_sic\, je vous 
prie de luy dire I'idde agr^able que je me fais de faire plus ample 
connoissance avec luy; d'aller trouver la source du savoir et de 
voir la lumiere de I'esprit ; son ouvrage sur Julien m'a enchante, 
quoique je n'aye que des tr^s mauvais lecteurs anglois, et que j'aye 
presque oubH6 tout ce que j'en scavois. Je vous ambrasse, Monsieur, 
conserv^s-moy votre amiti6. La mienne est eternelle. 


L'abbe SalHer' et Monsieur de Fontenelle^ vous saluent". 

1 See further on this topic H. 39, if. 266 sqq. 

^ Printed in Letters from an eminent Prelate, 377, where Charles Yorke says of the 
writer : " His heart is, as good as his understanding in all he siys or writes, though he 
mixes now and then a little, of the French clinquant with all his brightness and solidity 
of genius, as well as originality of expression." 

" ■ 8 Claude Sallier (1685-1761), philologist; Keeper of the MSS. in the King's Library 
at Paris. 

* Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757), nephew" of Comeille, secretary of the 
Academic des Sciences and the patriarch of the French literary world. 

* Another letter, H. 2, f. 7. ' 



Writing on March 7 Pitt describes Henry Pelham's death as 
a " loss utterly irreparable. The Chancellor is the only resource : 
his wisdom, temper and authority, joined to the Duke of Newcastle's 
ability as Secretary of State, are the dependance for Government. 
The Duke of Newcastle alone is feeble'." Lord Hardwicke^ was 
now entrusted by the King with the settlement of the new ministry ; 
and his efforts were immediately directed to the reconstruction of 
the Cabinet with the Duke of Newcastle as head of the govern- 
ment, to whom the chief power now naturally fell, supported by 
persons of weight in both Houses, and with Pitt as leader of the 
House of Commons. These were clearly the foundations on which 
the new administration could be constructed with the best security 
and prospects. Pitt's inclusion in the Cabinet, however, an event 
which would have had many good consequences, was once more 
prevented by the hostile determination of the King, whose resent- 
ment was kept alive by the Duke of Cumberland, the friend and 
patron of Fox. He significantly told the Chancellor at the outset, 
that he hoped no " person who had flown in his face " would be 
proposed to him. 

For some time, indeed, the succession of the Duke of Newcastle 
to the chief power, vacant by his brother's death, hung in the 
balance. Fox had for long ' hoped to be Pelham's successor. 
He had, as we have seen, on several occasions, pandered to the 
Royal weaknesses, and affected to champion the interests of the 
Duke of Cumberland, the King's favourite son. He had thereby 
gained the King's favour, and he had secured numerous and 
influential supporters, including the Dujce of Cumberland and 

' Grmville Papers, \. 106, in. 

^ The common talk of the town had named him, as well as the Duke of Newcastle, 
for the office of Lord Treasurer, of which the last holder had been the Earl of Oxford. 
Walpole'sZe«»-j, iii. 217. 


Princess Amelia, the Dukes of Bedford and Marlborough, and 
Lord Sandwich. His friend Lord Waldegrave however says: 
" He increased the number of his enemies by discovering an eager- 
ness to be the minister, whilst Mr Pelham was still alive ; many of 
whose friends might possibly have attached themselves to him, if, 
instead of snatching at the succession, he had coolly waited till it 
had been delivered into his hands'." According to Dodington, 
who quotes Lord Barnard, " Mr Fox had declared he would have 
it ; that he had served up to it and it was his due, and that he was 
resolved to give way to nobodyl" The late minister had scarcely 
drawn his last breath, about 6 o'clock on the morning of March 6, 
before Fox was hurrying to the doors of all possible rivals or 
supporters of his claims. He was at Pitt's house "early in the 
morning," at Lord Hartington's between 7 and 8, and within a few 
hours had made pressing advances to the Duke of Newcastle and 
Lord Hardwicke. Perceiving now how much power was temporarily 
lodged in the Chancellor's hands, arid regretting the imprudence of 
his recent audacious attack upon him, he sent him within a few 
hours of Henry Pelham's death "no less than three very humiliating 
and apologizing messages V' and in a subsequent interview "received 
the Chancellor's absolution^." 

When the choice, however, lay between Fox and Pitt, there 
could be no doubt, in spite of these renewed professions, to which 
side the Chancellor would incline^ He had long known Fox to 
be a mere unscrupulous political adventurer, destitute of the sense 
of honour, whose recent conduct had afforded glaring proofs of 
treachery and gross dissimulation. 

1 Memoirs, ii,\ Hist. MSS,- Comm. Rep. viii. 221. 

^ Diary, i6r, i,'},i. He continues: "That the Pitts, Lytteltons and Grenvilles had 
written a letter that, if Mr Fox had it, they would oppose ; that Lord Bath had sent a 
message to the Chancellor that if Fox came in, old as he was', he would muster up a party 
to oppose:... that Hartington was for him, that he thought the Duke of Grafton was so 

3 lb. 232, 238 ; and below, pp. 205-6, 211. 

^ Walpole's Letters, iii. ■219; cf. George II, i. 380, 382: "Fox acted reserve and 
retirement, and expected to be wooed. ...The Chancellor on his part contributed; he sent 
Lord Anson to Fox to offer reconciliation, though justifying himself on the former quarrel." 
This is no doubt Fox's own version {lb, xxxii. and 384) which is contradicted by every 
other authority and is obviously false. The narrative continues : " The next morning the 
Marquis [of Hartington] carried Mr Fox to the Chancellor, where a reconciliation was 
completed; though, as this sinceire man told Lyttelton and Granville, he had made peace 
with Fox, yet would never act in concert with him." Hist. MSS. Comm. Rep. viii. 222. 

6 "There is no doubt but the Chancellor and the Duke of Newcastle will endeavour 
to secure their own power by giving an exclusion to Fox," Walpole's Letters, iii. 217, 
and George II, ii. 40. 


It is true that there was much also in Pitt's character and 
career which aroused misgivings. There had been here also a 
factious opposition and a pandering to popularity, in order to force 
an entrance into place and power, and an indefensible inconsistency 
with regard to great measures of policy, which were taken up and 
supported, or denounced and opposed, as best served his personal 
aims at the time. The Chancellor remembered Pitt's opposition 
to the retention of the British troops in Flanders in January 1744, 
his unscrupulous obstruction of the necessary upkeep of the army 
in 1738, his fatuous denial of the existence of any enemies, his , 
absolute declaration against a standing military force, and in the 
same year his unwise denunciations of the Spanish Convention, 
for which, indeed, he afterwards expressed his regret, but only when 
an atonement was necessitated by his personal situation in sub- 
ordinate office, hoping for entrance into the Cabinet and in alliance 
with the administration, whereby he was compelled, in his own 
defence and interests, to support those views, which he had formerly 
so eagerly condemned ^ The Chancellor mistrusted his popular 
inclinations, his oratorical extravagances and his play to the 
gallery, which often led to wrong and unworthy conduct, the 
insulting language regarding the King and Hanover being perhaps 
the most flagrant and deplorable example. The abuse of the 
" despicable electorate," of a country which had one million in- 
habitants, one-sixth of the population of England, and the dis- 
paragement of the battle of Dettingen, where the " ardour of the 
British troops" was represented by Pitt as "restrained by the ^ 
cowardice of the Hanoverians," the action nothing but " a lucky 
escape," which he would never " consent to honour with the name 
of victory," and the King's bravery as fictitious'' — in brief the 
frequent encouragement of all the worst, most base and most 
dangerous popular prejudices and passions by the cheap arts of 
the demagogue, in order to serve personal and private views, were 
incidents in Pitt's career, which could not fail to arouse grave fears 
as to the kind of influence he might exercise in public affairs in 
the future. Nor would the Chancellor place much faith in those 
assurances, which Pitt now gave, of his abandonment of factious 

1 A. V. Ruville's Pitt (Eng. trans.), i. 154, 156, 170, 212, 224, 251. The unfavour- 
able account, however, of Pitt's conduct, motives and intrigues presented by this author, 
who has followed Walpole with too little discrimination, cannot always be accepted; 
cf. also Pitt's attack on Walpole's excise and his subsequent recantation, above, vol. i. 
98 n. ; Walpole's George II, iii. 178; Pari. Hist. x. 464; Coxe's Pelham, ii. 139. 

2 Pari. Hist. xiii. 154, 166. 


opposition^, which in fact was to be immediately resumed, directly 
the hopes of attaining office were diminished. 

There were two ways, Pitt wrote to Lyttelton, of obtaining 
consideration and weight in the House of Commons ; one by royal 
favour, which he had forfeited and which was denied him, and the 
other from credit in the country arising from opposition to public 
measures". The latter was the instrument which Pitt had chosen 
to promote his personal and ambitious aims, and his ostentatious 
morality and attitude of lofty disinterestedness did not deceive the 
Chancellor, as they di4 the public, or inspire in him any feeling 
but distrust and contempt. Far from being the impetuous, frank, 
proud, romantic, reckless and generous patriot into which the 
popular, imagination transformed him, the Chancellor knew him 
to be the most cautious, the most intriguing, the most artificial 
and the most dissembling of men, with whom both public policy 
and private friendship, while he remained excluded from office, were 
subordinated to his ambition, and than whom no one would execute 
more sudden volte-faces, submit, when necessary, to more humble 
condescensions, or present, during the transaction, a more " unem- 
barrassed countenance*." On the occasion of the present crisis, 
moreover, Pitt had not responded to the Chancellor's call to co- 
operate in the establishment of the new ministry. He had remained 
at Bath, detained by an attack of gout (which we need not follow 
Walpole in representing as fictitious), and had replied to the 
Chancellor's invitation to visit him in letters which, instead of 
openly and frankly representing his desires and demands, contain 
nothing but vague expressions of good will and gratitude mixed 
with veiled threats, or to borrow the words of Burke, " significant, 
pompous, creeping, explanatory, ambiguous matter, in the true 
Chathamic style''." 

Nevertheless, Pitt's true greatness could not be obscured by 
these failings, however serious. They were, indeed, chiefly the 
result of exclusion from office, and might be expected to disappear 
with the attainment of power. His abilities in Parliament, though 
he was not yet included in the administration, already employed in 

1 p. 204. ^ lb. 

2 Pitt's own expression, H. 15, f. iia\ cf. Life of Lord Shelbume, by Lord Fitzmaurice, 
i. 76, autobiography, who is, indeed, no very trustworthy judge in general, but who had 
lived for 10 years in close political intimacy with Pitt, and whose opinion is fully 
supported by Burke and by Lord Hardwicke. 

* Burke's Correspondence, i. 173 ; Grenville Papers, i. io6 sqq. ; below, pp. 203 sqq., 
214 sqq. 


support of the ministers, had proved of the greatest value. " Though 
his political sins are black and dangerous," wrote in 1758 Lord Walde- 
grave, no favourable critic, " his private character is irreproachable^." 
In spite of his indefensible conduct in opposition, Pitt was a man 
of character, who in office (when once his personal ambitions were 
satisfied), though his vanity might render him a difficult and in- 
tractable colleague, could be depended on to carry through large 
measures of public policy, and would, without doubt, with his 
popular and parliamentary following and with his great talents, 
be an addition of immense strength to the Cabinet. 

Meanwhile several anxious days passed, during which it seemed 
likely that the King's partiality ipight lead him to bestow on Fox 
the chief power ; but the Chancellor, by carefully avoiding any 
appearance of dictation or control, guided the King's choice finally 
in another direction. On March 12, at a meeting of the Cabinet, 
together with the Duke of Devonshire at the Chancellor's house, 
the Duke of Newcastle, with the King's approval, was unanimously 
chosen First Lord of the Treasury and his brother's successor. 
But the Chancellor did not venture to extend his influence further, 
and Fox, and not Pitt, was made Secretary of State". 

[Endorsed by the Chancellor'.] Minute of such of the King's 
servants, as are of the Cabinet Council, who met, in obedience 
to His Majesty's commands, to consider of filling up the 
vacancies happening by Mr Pelham's death. 

N.B. I delivered this minute on Wednesday, March 13th, to the 
King in his Closet, who read it over deliberately, and entirely 
approved thereof. His Majesty was afterwards pleased to 
deliver the same back to me to keep.... 

Powis House, March iith, 1754. 

Lord President Duke of Argyll 

Lord Steward Marquis of Hartington 

Lord Chamberlain Earl of Holderness 

Duke of Devonshire Lord Anson 

Lord Chancellor. 

The Lords above-mentioned met in obedience to His Majesty's 
commands, and were acquainted by the Lord Chancellor that the 
King had been pleased to order such of his servants, as are of the 
Cabinet Council, together with the Duke of Devonshire, to be 
summoned to deliberate upon the most proper and advisable 
methods of filling up the vacancies, happening in consequence 

^ Memoirs, 16. 2 pp_ 206-13. 

3 H. 522, f. 245. 


of the great loss, which His Majesty has sustained by the death 
of so able and faithful a servant as Mr Pelham. 

The Lord Chancellor further acquainted the Lords that His 
Majesty had been graciously pleased to open to him his own ideas 
as to what might be proper to be done on this occasion, and to 
direct him to communicate them to their Lordships, in order to His 
Majesty's being informed of their sentiments thereupon ; (viz.) that 
His Majesty's first idea was that it might be for his service, in the 
present circumstances, to divide the two offices of First Commis- 
sioner of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and to fill 
the former with some peer of great rank and character, and the 
latter with some gentleman of the House of Commons of proper 
talents for it. That, for the first. His Majesty had cast his eyes upon 
the Duke of Newcastle, who had long served him with ability and 
integrity, and greatly to his satisfaction, in the office of Secretary of 
State, and that, for the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, His 
Majesty had thought of Mr Legge. 

That, as by this means, a vacancy would be made in the office 
of Secretary of State for the Northern Province, his Majesty had 
thoughts of laying his commands upon the Earl of Holderness, 
from whose services he had received great satisfaction, to change 
his department of the Southern Province for the Northern. 

That to fill up the department of the Southern Province, His 
Majesty had cast his eyes upon Mr Fox, who had served him a 
great while, and much to his satisfaction, in the employment of 
Secretary at War, 

Their Lordships took these several matters into their serious 
consideration, and expressed the most dutiful sense of the King's 
great goodness and condescension in being willing to know their 
sentiments upon an affair of this nature and high importance. And 
their Lordships do unanimously lay their humble sentiments before 
His Majesty that the ideas, which he has been graciously pleased to 
communicate to them, are the most prudent and wise that could be 
formed upon the present occasion ; and they humbly offer their 
opinion to His Majesty that (if he shall be so pleased) they may be 
carried into execution, as the most advisable plan for His Majesty's 
service in this critical conjuncture, and the best adapted to support 
the system of his affairs upon the same foot, on which they have 
been carried on for several years with great success. 

The Lord Chancellor also laid before the Lords a letter, which 
he had received this day from the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
acquainting him with His Grace's opinion to the like effect'. 

There is no doubt that the Chancellor acquiesced in the disaster 
of Pitt's exclusion from office — for it can be called no less — for fear 
of risking the whole, and throwing all into Fox's hands, by insisting 
on what was personally so distasteful to the Sovereign. "Lord 

1 p. 205. 


Hardwicke," wrote Sir George Lyttelton, " to keep down Fox, his 
personal enemy, most ardently desired the advancement of Pitt, as 
soon as the obstacles in the Closet could be removed ; but that was 
really a work of much more difficulty than Pitt's impatience would 
believe. An attempt to force the King to it so early as he wished, 
after the death of Mr Pelham, would have had no effect (as I have 
frequently heard Lord Hardwicke say) but to drive his Majesty 
into the arms of Fox, who, with a very considerable number of the 
Whigs, was ready to support him against such a compulsion, and 
might probably have made his party good, Mr Pitt's popularity not 
being yet acquired. Whereas his Lordship made no doubt that, if 
Pitt would have been quiet and friendly to the Government, the 
King would have been persuaded to give him the seals before the 
end of the year V No one was more conscious than the Chancellor 
of the necessity for moderation and compromise in these arrange- 
ments, and his conduct now was similar to that pursued by him 
two years later, when he sacrificed the undoubted claims of his son, 
Charles Yorke, to legal preferment in order to facilitate Pitt's return 
to power'*. " The not taking in Pitt " Lord Royston includes in an 
enumeration of the errors of the Duke of Newcastle's administra- 
tion, " by insisting in the Closet upon his being made Secretary of 
State, or declaring, if it was refused, that he would not be answer- 
able for the event of things. Neither did he take any pains to con- 
vince Pitt that he was sincere in his endeavours.... The not engaging 
Pitt before the King went to Hanover last year [1755], when he 
had withdrawn himself from the House and had entered into no 
engagement with the P[rince] of W[ales], but was open to treaty, 
and had neither declared for or against measures'." 

These are no doubt counsels of perfection on paper, but in the 
actual circumstances they were in reality impracticable. There was 
no truth, in any case, in the statement that the Chancellor's advocacy 
of Pitt's claims to office was insincere or pretended*. In his letter 
to Pitt of April 2, the Chancellor gives the strongest assurances 
that he has done his utmost to serve him and pledges thereto his 
honour, which assurances Pitt, in his reply, accepts without reserve, 
while he expresses his conviction that it is the King's hostility 

' R. Phillimore, Memoirs of Lord Lyttelton, 478. ^ Below, p. 371. 

3 H. 247, f. 4. 

•* "The Chancellor, ever since Pitt's return, had falsely boasted to him of having 
proposed him for Secretary of State." Walpole, George II, i. %^^, -who is followed with 
too little discrimination by Pitt's latest biographer, Ruville, Life of Pitt (Eng. trans.), 
i. 321. 

Y. II. 13 


alone that has stood in his way^ A further proof of the Chancellor's 
genuine support of Pitt, if such is needed, is afforded in Pitt's 
letter to his friend Lyttelton of April 4th, where, while expressing 
some sarcastic doubts of the zeal of the Duke of Newcastle, to 
whom he had written on March 24, representing his disappointment 
that the Secretaryship of State, on Fox's ultimate refusal, had not 
been offered to him, he avows the " deepest sense of his [the 
Chancellor's] goodness to me," at the same time that he declares 
himself obliged to resist his influence, and announces his determina- 
tion to abstain no longer from opposition. On March 24 Pitt 
wrote, " You will say all you suppose I feel towards the Chancellor, 
as when I tell you I think him sincere in his professions, and 
reverence his wisdom before any man's. The Duke of Newcastle 
I don't charge with insincerity intentional or want of good willV 

Meanwhile Fox, finding there was no intention of giving him 
the real leadership of the House of Commons, or any share in the 
government patronage, had (on March 14) thrown up his office as 
Secretary of State, on the advice of the Duke of Cumberland, and 
retired to his former subordinate post of Secretary at War^ The 
Duke of Newcastle, by no means displeased at the prospect of 
having no rivals to his power in the Cabinet, and of keeping the 
direction of the House of Commons in his own hands*, immediately 
appointed to the vacant office Sir Thomas Robinson, a diplomatist, 
who had rendered useful service abroad, but who possessed no 
administrative ability or parliamentary experience. He forgot that 
rivals, exasperated by exclusion from power, may be much more 
active and dangerous than when soothed by the sweets of office. 

Accordingly Pitt, who at first, and while he still cherished hopes 
of office, had given the strongest assurances of support and of his 
sense of obligation to the Duke of Newcastle and the Chancellor^ 
yielding to his feelings of disappointment, resumed his denunciations 
of Hanover and of foreign subsidies, and joined forces in an un- 
natural coalition with Fox, who enjoyed the steady support of the 
Duke of Cumberland ; while both, though retaining their subordinate 
offices, attacked violently and unscrupulously the offitial leaders of 
the government in the House of Commons. " The not settling the 

1 pp. 214-6. 

^ Phillimore's Memoirs of Lord Lyttelton, 462, 467 ; and for the whole transaction 
Crenville Papers, i. 429 sqq. 

* Dodingtoii's Diary, 239, 271; H. Walpole's George II, i. 381; Letters, iii. 219, 
224; N. 49, f. 243; Hist. MSS. Comm. Rep. viii. 220. 

■* Coxe's Lord Walpole, ii. 370. 


management of the House of Commons in able hands, but having 
a notion that it could be conducted without a minister at the 
head of it," is rightly criticised by Lord Royston as one of the 
chief mistakes of the Duke of Newcastle at this time\ The ad- 
ministration was left practically unsupported, except by Murray, 
in the Commons; and this strange situation continued for some 
time, till January 1755. Fox, who had immediately regretted his 
resignation of office ^ then undertook to cease from further opposi- 
tion at the price of a seat in the Cabinet Council, which was 
followed, on April 26, by one in the Council of Regency during the 
King's absence abroad', an office which was secured now, for the 
first time also, by the Duke of Cumberland. Pitt then perceiving 
the drift of Fox's political plans angrily declared all connection 
with him at an end, and that he would be " second to nobody*." It 
was with reference to this reunion between Newcastle and Fox that 
Pitt made use, afterwards in November, of his much applauded 
metaphor of the junction of the Rhone and the Saone, the one 
" a gentle, feeble, languid stream, and though languid of no depth, 
the other a boisterous and impetuous torrents" The alliance, how- 
ever, of Newcastle now with Fox was not so strange as Pitt's own 
unscrupulous coalition with Fox had been, or to use the Chancellor's 
metaphor that " fire and water should agree." The principal cause 
of this coalition of the ministers with Fox, moreover, had been 
Pitt's own conduct, which had forced them to have recourse to Fox^; 
and the renewal of Pitt's factious opposition now considerably 
increased as well the difficulty of surmounting the King's hostility- 

I H. 247, f. 4. 

''■ Hist. MSS. Comm. Rep. viii. 224, Lord Ilchester to Lord Digby, March 21, 1754, 
describing Fox as "now convinced that he has made as great a mistake, as ever 
Was made by man. ..and laments himself in a most passionate manner, blaming every- 

" pp. 219, 221; Walpole's George II, i. 420; Letters, iii. 271; Chatham Correspon- 
dence, i. 132. 

*■ Ruville, Pitt, i. 348, 356; Walpole, Letters, iii. 268; Chatham Correspondence, i. 
^'^4-idTt Lord Waldegrave's Memoirs, 31 sqq., 155 sqq. ; Dodington's Diary, 282, 284, 
333 i Walpole's George II, i. 392, 409, 417, ii. 21, 37. According to this writer (i. 418) : 
"The Chancellor had discovered so much of the secret of his breast as to ask Pitt, ' Could 
you bear to act under Fox?' Pitt replied, 'My Lord, leave out under: it will never be 
a word between us, Mr Fox and I shall never quarrel.'" According to Potter, one of 
Pitt's followers, Pitt's rupture with Fox was caused by the latter's " eagerness for power, 
which inspired a doubt of his firmness on trying occasions"; because "it was apparent he 
was always pu-rsuing a private rather than a joint plan," and on account of his " implicit 
obedience to the commands of the Duke of Cumberland." Grenville Papers, i. 142. 

^ Walpole's George II, ii. 58. 

* See p. 204 n, 



The Chancellor, however^ and the Duke of Newcastle endeavoured 
once more to resume negotiations. Pitt was first approached in 
April, I7SS, shortly before the King's departure and at the time of 
Fox's inclusion in the Regency, by the elder Horace Walpole, when 
he demanded the immediate insistence of his claims upon the King, 
to lead the House of Commons, and a definite promise of the next 
vacant Cabinet office^ 

The Chancellor, who alone had prevented Pitt's summary dis- 
missal at the close of 1754^ earnestly desired his accession to the 
administration and the strengthening of the government in the 
House of Commons ; and on July 11, the Duke of Newcastle dis- 
patched a letter to Lord Holderness in Hanover, to be laid before 
the King, urging Pitt's inclusion in the Cabinet in his own and 
Lord Hardwicke's name, and obtained the King's reluctant consent'. 
A few days previously, on July 6, a preliminary and tentative con- 
ference had been held, by the Duke of Newcastle's desire, with Pitt 
by Charles Yorke*, between whom a friendship, cultivated under 
the hospitable roof of Ralph Allen at Bath, existed. And this was 
followed by another on August 9, between Pitt and the Chancellor, 
when the latter candidly explained the position of affairs, and while 
showing the impossibility of then giving a definite promise of the 
Secretaryship, offered meanwhile' a seat in the Cabinet*. There 
seemed at this moment every prospect of an agreement, even on 
the subject of the foreign subsidies, which were in reality, in Pitt's 
mind, matters of secondary importance in comparison with the 
satisfaction of his personal ambitions ; but once more the project of 
this alliance, so necessary in the public interests, was doomed to 
failure. The meeting between Pitt and the Duke of Newcastle did 
not take place for some weeks ; and during the interval the stability 
of the government received a new shock by the revolt of Legge, the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer and adherent of Pitt, who, under the 
latter's influence, had grown rebellious, and now, in August, took 

' Dodington's Diary, 301 ; Walpole, George II, ii. 37, 40. 
^ pp. 221 sqq., 229. 

* p. 229 ; Walpole's George II, ii. 387, appendix. 

* Pitt iiad also visited Lord Royston at Wrest in the autumn of 1734. Chatham 
Corresp. i. 116. See below, pp. 227-9; ^""^ H. 67, f. 15, N. to H. July 25, 1755, 
who writes again, "Pray consider how we must entamer the great Pitt: Counsellor 
Charles must come to our assistance. " The statement of James Grenville (Dodington's 
Diary, 302), that the assurances of friendship and support that Charles Yorke was 
commissioned to give Pitt were repelled by the latter, who refused any favours and any 
conferences is contradicted by the sequel. 

^ pp. 230 sqq., 237. 


occasion to raise difficulties by refusing to sign the Treasury warrants 
for the Hessian subsidy'. Moreover the imminent renewal of the 
war, which had been pushed on by the factions, both of Fox and 
Pitt, to embarrass the ministers, rendered the position of the govern- 
ment still more precarious; for no one placed any trust in Fox, 
who indeed now threatened to join the Opposition, if he were not 
further satisfied", Pitt, who, on the first reconstruction of the 
ministry, might have been gained on easy terms, was no longer to 
be had on the same conditions. He saw himself now sought after, 
because the ministers had no one else to whom, in their embarrassed 
situation, they could have recourse ; and the feeling of power arising 
from these circumstances, together with the sense of disappoint- 
ment and of ill-treatment, rendered him now exacting and im- 

Accordingly, at a further interview at the end of August', the 
Chancellor found Pitt's attitude far less friendly; and at a meeting 
between Pitt and the Duke of Newcastle, on September 2, all 
favourable impressions were found to be quite removed. Pitt, 
while acquiescing in the Hessian, refused to have anything to do 
with the Russian subsidy ; though the Duke of Newcastle defended 
the latter as the fruit of four year's negotiations, and repudiated 
entirely a general continental schemed Pitt rejected definitely the 
Cabinet Council as insufficient, demanded the Secretaryship of 
State, an " office of advice " as well as one of " execution," with 
a share in the recommendation to employments and in the choice 
of measures, insisted on the necessity of a leader in the House 
of Commons and the cession by the Duke of Newcastle of a part 
of his " sole power," and eulogised the rebellious Legge as " the 
favourite of the House of Commons " and the " Child of the Whigs ^" 
Notwithstanding these exacting and peremptory demands, the 
Chancellor still supported Pitt. He thoroughly understood his 
character, and was convinced that, once the object of his ambition 
was secured, his opposition to the policy of the government would 
vanish. The alternative was the entrance into the Cabinet of Fox 
with great powers and a great following, patronized by the Duke 
of Cumberland and the King, and making a breach between the 

' Walpole, George II, ii. 35. On November 8, 1754, the D. of N. had complained to 
the Chancellor of Legge's having ridiculed him, and had desired that Lord Anson and 
Charles Yorke should " talk strongly and roundly to him about his behaviour." (H. 66, 
f. 218.) 

2 pp. ^34-6. ' p. 236. * pp. 237 sqq. 

* Dodington's Diary, 329; Waldegrave, Memoirs, 44; below, pp. 239, 244. 


government and Leicester House. He saw clearly the dangers of 
this step, and declared his determination to have nothing to do with 
it, adding : " If any other persons shall be inclined to bring him in, 
I can acquiesce in it, as all personalities between that gentleman 
and myself are now quite over, as if they had never been; and 
I shall go on to serve the King, and adhere to and support my old 
friends, to the best of my poor ability \" " My Father's opinion," 
writes Lord Royston, "though indirectly given, was clearly for 
Pitt. [But] the King came over in ill-humour, and the Duke [of 
Cumberland] got about him, and Murray, with other friends of the 
Duke of Newcastle, were for FoxV The Duke of Newcastle him- 
self, moreover, was not so hostile to Fox as the Chancellor, and not 
so well disposed to Pitt, whose power, when once established as 
leader of the Commons and Secretary of State, he could not help 
fearing. Besides it was his opinion — and no man had a greater 
experience or prudence in such matters — that to ask so much for 
Pitt at once, would only embitter the King and render the situation 
of the government still worse'. 

The final result, therefore, was that Fox was offered and 
accepted the Secretary of State and leadership of the House of 
Commons at the end of September 1755, and received the Seals 
of his office on November 15*; and Lord Barrington, a pliable 
character, became Secretary at War, with Sir George Lyttelton as 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. Pitt was dismissed on November 20, 
I7SS> together with George Grenville and Legge, while James 
Grenville resigned the Board of Trade and Sir Thomas Robinson 
returned to the Great Wardrobe. Pitt had not waited for this open 
mark of the King's displeasure to resume his campaign of active 
opposition. On November 1 3 he again attacked Hanover and the 
foreign subsidies in his most declamatory style, and declared " that 
within two years His Majesty would not be able to sleep in 
St James's for the cries of a bankrupt peopled" " How widely 
Mr Pitt departed afterwards [when he was in office] from the 
language he held at this time," wrote Lyttelton, " to gain popularity 
and distress the Court he opposed, I need not observe. The wonder 
is, that in doing so, he did not lose that popularity, but this must 
chiefly be accounted for by his almost miraculous success in the 

1 N. 51, f. 41S. 2 H. 67, f. 83. 

' pp. 349, 350. 

* Walpole, George II, ii. 43 ; Letters, iii. 349; Grenville Papers, i. 137 sqq. 

^ Walpole, George II, ii. 60. 


war.... It was quite impossible for me, as a man of honour and 
integrity, to join in an opposition which, at the beginning of it, in 
the year 1754 and through the ensuing session of 1755, had not 
even the pretence of any public cause, but was purely personal 
against the Duke of NewcastleV Pitt continued his violent dia- 
tribes against Hanover in the House of Commons; and in May 1756 
declared, in his most insulting tones, the electorate to be " a place 
of such inconsiderable note that its name was not to be found in 
the map," " a barren rock," to which the nation was chained like 
Prometheus^. The breach was now complete and this unfortunate 
issue had many unhappy consequences, besides the loss of Pitt's 
services to the administration, and the waste of his splendid 
talents in the petty sphere of factious opposition. The choice of 
Fox, " tied and bound," to use Pitt's expression, to the Duke of 
Cumberland', was attended by serious disadvantages. The Duke, 
together with Fox, on the King's departure for Hanover, in April 
1755, had obtained a seat in the Council of Regency, though this 
accession to his power was feared and deprecated by the Chancellor^, 
and the government was largely dominated by their influence and 
faction. The military appointments were in the Duke's hands as 
Captain-General, and were distributed among his own and among 
Fox's adherents ; and the mismanagement in this province was 
largely the cause of the failures in the initial stages of the war^ ; 
while suspicions of the Duke's good faith and intentions made the 
ministers unwilling to increase the military forces in England". 
Through the influence of the Duke of Cumberland and Fox, sup- 
ported by Pitt, who wished to embarrass the Duke of Newcastle in 
the House of Commons and render himself necessary, the general 

^ R. Phillimore, Mems. of Lord Lyttelton, 478-480. 

^ Pari. Hist. xv. 704. 

' Lord Waldegrave's Mems. 161. 

* Coxe, Lord Walpole, ii. 381, who urged this measure upon the government in a 
memorandum: " As to Lord Chancellor, whose great talents, moderation and practicable 
disposition, nobody can have a better opinion of than myself, I must own that when 
I read to him at his house the paper. ..his thoughts upon it, relating to the Duke of 
Cumberland, appeared to me to be contracted into narrower views than seem consonant 
with the importance of our condition, and the disagreeable consequences apprehended 
from it at this great juncture. His Lordship intimated to me that H.R.H. was not very 
popular, and let fall something, from whence I concluded. ..that his Lordship may be of 
opinion it might fling the administration wholly into His Royal Highness's hands jointly 
with others in his immediate confidence, that are not friends to the chief ministers." See 
also Walpole, George II, ii. 21. 

^ p. 206; Waldegrave's Memoirs, 21, 46. 

" Walpole's George II, ii. 19. 


war with France was precipitated, before the country was prepared 
or ready \ The Princess of Wales, moreover, who regarded the 
Duke with intense aversion as a rival and enemy, and possibly 
a supplanter, became as a consequence, immediately hostile, and 
threw all her influence into the balance against the ministry ; while 
the Leicester House faction was joined by Pitt and the Grenvilles'', 
The young Prince was induced to reject the project of marriage 
with the Princess Sophia of Brunswick Wolfenbiittel, desired by the 
King, and to persevere in his demand for the appointment as Groom 
of the Stole of Lord Bute, between whom and the Princess, accord- 
ing to common belief, there existed a criminal intimacy, of which 
there is no proof or sufficient evidence, but the suspicion of which 
alone was both an unquestionable disqualification and a public 
calamity. He refused, moreover, the King's offer of a separate 
residence. He remained with his mother at Leicester Hous6, 
which became, under the guidance of Bute and Pitt, the centre 
of intrigues against the King's administration, and prepared that 
unfortunate developement of events, which led to such disasters 
at the opening of the new reign^ 

1 " The Duke [of Cumberland] and Fox," writes Lord Royston, ' ' were at this time 
[October 12, 1754] pushing things towards war; Pitt, without direct concert co- 
operating with them, because he knew the Duke of Newcastle would be distressed by 
such active operations in the then state of the House of Commons where, with a very 
great party and the real power at Court, his Grace had nobody to take the lead." H. 66, 
f. 202. 

^ Grenville Papers, i. 432. 

3 Lord Waldegrave who is, however, an adversary and not an impartial judge, and 
who allows Lord Bute not much more than " fine legs, a theatrical air of the greatest im- 
portance" and " an extraordinary appearance of wisdom," repeats a slighting reference to 
him of Frederick, Prince of Wales, adding ' ' but the sagacity of the Princess Dowager has 
discovered other accomplishments of which the Prince, her husband, may not perhaps 
have been the most competent judge." " The Chancellor, with his usual gravity, declared 
[at the Cabinet Council] that for his own part he had no particular objection to the Earl 
of Bute's promotion ; neither would he give credit to some very extraordinary reports, 
but that many sober and respectable persons would- think it indecent, for which reason 
he could never advise his Majesty to give his consent." Waldegrave, Metn. 38, 67. 
Walpole criticises adversely the Duke of Newcastle's and the Chancellor's support of the 
King's objections to Lord Bute, as losing an opportunity of ingratiating themselves with 
the heir to the throne, and is so completely devoid of all sense of public duty that he can 
only imagine: "the truth was he [the D. of N.] was overruled by the Chancellor who, 
having been slighted and frowned on by the Princess in the winter, was deterriiined to be 
avenged; and the gentle method he took was to embroil the Royal Family and blast the 
reputation of the mother of the Heir apparent." Nor can the Chancellor's conduct later, 
when he endeavours to persuade the King to give Bute some appointment other than the 
Stole, satisfy this severe moralist, which is then only "dishonourable sophistry'' and 
"sanctimonious chicane." Below, pp. 249 sqq., 254, 296, 305; H. 522, f. 259; 
Dodington's Diary, 257, 286, 292, 294, 304 ; Waldegrave's Mems. 30, 37, 65 sqq., 
161 sqq,; Walpole's George II, ii. 36, 39, 205, 221, 249. 


William Pitt to Sir George Lyttelton, Bart, 

[R. Phillimore, Memoirs of Lord Lyttelton, 449.] 

Bath, March lath, 1754. 

Dear Lyttelton, 

I am much obliged to you for your dispatch, and am 
highly satisfied with the necessary reserve you have kept with 
respect to the dispositions of yourself and friends. Indeed the 
conjuncture itself, and more especially our peculiar situation, 
require much caution and measure in all our answers, in order 
to act like honest men, who determine to adhere to the public 
great object ; as well as men who would not be treated like 
children. I am far from meaning to recommend a sullen, dark, 
much less a double conduct. All I mean is to lay down a plan to 
ourselves ; which is to support the King's Government in present, 
and maintain the Princess's authority and power in a future 
contingency. As a necessary consequence of this system, I wish 
to see as little power in Fox's hands as possible, because he is 
incompatible with the main part, and indeed of the whole of this 
plan ; but I mean not to open myself to whoever pleases to sound 
my dispositions, with regard to persons especially, and by pre- 
mature declarations, deprive ourselves of the only chance we have 
of deriving any consideration to ourselves, from the mutual fears 
and animosities of different factions in court : and expose ourselves 
to the resentment and malice in the Closet of the one, without 
stipulations or security for the good offices and weight of the 
other ^ there in our favour. But do I mean then an absolute 
reserve, which has little less than the air of hostility, towards our 
friends (such as they are) at court, or at least bear too plainly the 
indications of intending a third party or flying squadron .■" By 
no means ; nothing would in my poor judgment be so unfit or 
dangerous for us. I would be open and explicit (but only on 
proper occasions) " that I was most willing to support His 
Majesty's Government upon such a proper plan, as I doubted not 
His Majesty, by the advice of his Ministers, would frame ; in order 
to supply, the best that may be, the irreparable loss the King has 
sustained in Mr Pelham's death ; in order to secure the King 
ease for his life, and future security to his family and to the 
Kingdom; that my regards to the Ministers in being were too 
well known to need any declarations"; this and the like, which 
may be vary'd for ever, is answer enough to any sounder. As 
to any things said by Principals in personal conference, as that 
of the Chancellor with you, another manner of talking will be 
proper, though still conformable to the same private plan which 

^ Fox and the Duke of Newcastle. 


you shall resolve to pursue. Professions of personal regard cannot 
be made too strongly ; but as to matter, generals are to be answered 
by generals ; particulars, if you are led into them, need not at all 
be shunn'd; and if treated with common prudence and presence 
of mind, cannot be greatly used to a man's prejudice, if he says 
nothing that implies specific engagements, without knowing speci- 
fically what he is to trust to reciprocally. Within these limitations, 
it seems to me, that a man whose intentions are clear and right, 
may talk without putting himself at another's mercy or offending 
him by a dark and mysterious reserve. I think it best to throw my 
answer to the Chancellor into a separate piece of paper^, that you 
may send it to his Lordship. I am sorry to be forced to answer in 
writing, because not seeing the party, it is not possible to throw in 
necessary qualifications and additions or retractations, according 
to the impression things make. 

As far as, my dear Lyttelton, you are so good to relate your 
several conversations upon the present situation, I highly applaud 
your prudence. I hope you neither have, nor will drop a word 
of menace, and that you will always bear in mind that my personal 
connection with the Duke of Newcastle, has a peculiar circumstance 
which yours and that of your friends have not". One cannot be 
too explicit in conversing at this unhappy distance on matters 
of this delicate and critical nature. I will therefore commit 
tautology, and repeat what I said in my former dispatch : viz. that 
it enters not the least into my plans to intimate quitting the 
King's service, giving trouble if not satisfied to Government. The 
essence of it consists in this : attachment to the King's service and 
zeal for the ease and quiet of his life, and stability and strength to 
future Government under the Princess ; this declared openly and 
explicitly to the Ministers. The reserve I would use should be, 
with regard to listing in particular sub-divisions, and thereby not 
freeing persons from those fears, which will alone quicken them to 
give us some consideration for their own sakes : but this is to be 
done negatively only ; by eluding explicit declarations with regard 
to persons especially ; but \) not] by intimations of a possibility of 
our following our resentments ; for indeed, dear Sir George, I am 
determined not to go into faction. Upon the whole, the mutual 
fears in Court open to our connection some room for importance 
and weight, in the course of affairs : in order to profit by this 

^ See below. 

" " The peculiar circumstance in Mr Pitt's personal connection with his Grace, which 
he desires me always to bear in mind, was his being brought by his Grace into parliament 
for one of his family boroughs [Aldborough in Yorkshire]. But this he forgot soon, as he 
did many other things declared by him in these letters ; for instead of being ready to he 
called out into action as often as the Duke of Newcastle s personal interests might require it, 
he acted the next session with much personal malignity against the Duke of Newcastle, 
in conjunction with Fox, whom he speaks of as so odious. By which conduct, though 
he did not lay down his employment, he forced the administration to let in Fox." 
Phillimore, Mems. of Lord Lyttelton, 477. 


situation, we must not be out of office : and the strongest argument 
of all to enforce that is, that Fox is too odious to last for ever, and 
G. Grenville' must be next nomination under any Government. 
I am too lame to move. 

Your ever affectionate, 

W. Pitt. 

William Pitt to Sir George Lyttelton, Bart {ostensible to 
Lord Hardwicke) 

[R. Phillimore, Mems. of Lord Lyttelton, 453.] Bath, March loth, 1754. 

My Dear Sir George, 

I beg you will be so good to assure my Lord Chancellor, 
in my name, of my most humble services, and many very grateful 
acknowledgments for his Lordship's obliging wishes for my health. 
I am still under an utter impossibility of travelling, with much 
gout and pain in both feet ; it is particularly mortifying to me not 
to be able to wait on his Lordship to receive his commands in this 
unhappy and difficult conjuncture, when the King and Kingdom 
have sustained an irreparable loss. The best which can be done 
must leave, I fear, the public exposed to many disagreeable and 
perhaps dangerous contingencies — that this best, wherever it is 
to be found, will be done, I can safely trust to my Lord Chancellor's 
wisdom, authority and firmness in conjunction with the Duke of 
Newcastle's great weight and abilities, as soon as his Grace can 
recover into action again. I can never sufficiently express the 
high sense I have of the great honours of my Lord Chancellor's 
• much too favourable opinion of his humble servant, but I am so 
truly and deeply conscious of so many of my wants in Parliament 
and out of it, to supply in the smallest degree this irreparable loss, 
that I can say with much truth, were my health restored and his 
Majesty brought from the dearth of subjects to hear of my name 
for so great a charge, I should wish to decline the honour, even 
though accompany'd with the attribution of all the weight and 
strength, which the good opinion and confidence of the master 
cannot fail to add to a servant ; but under impressions in the 
Royal mind towards me, the reverse of these, what must be the 
vanity which would attempt it? These prejudices, however so 
successfully suggested and hitherto so unsuccessfully attempted 
to be removed, shall not abate my zeal for his Majesty's service, 
though they have so effectually disarmed me of all means of being 

' George Granville (i 712-1770), second son of Richard Granville and younger brother 
of Richard, Earl Temple. He had already by his ability made his mark in public life; 
joined in the opposition to Walpola, a lord of the Admiralty 1744, of the Treasury 1747, 
now (June 1754) appointed treasurer of the Navy and a Privy Councillor, afterwards, 
when Prime Minister in 1 764, the author of the American Stamp Act. See further Pitt's 
praise of him below p. 215; Pitt married his sister. Lady Hester, this year. 


useful to it. I need not suggest to his Lordship that consideration 
and weight in the House of Commons arises generally but from 
one or two causes — the protection and countenance of the Crown, 
visibly manifested by marks of Royal favour at Court, or from 
weight in the Country, sometimes arising from opposition to the 
public measures. This latter sort of consideration it is a great 
satisfaction to me to reflect I parted with, as soon as I became 
convinced there might be danger to the family from pursuing 
opposition any further' ; and I need not say I have not had the 
honour to receive any of the former since I became the King's 
servant. In this humiliating and not exaggerated view of my 
situation within the Hofise, of how little weight can I flatter myself 
to be there? And how even would it be for me, were I in town, 
to assume anything like the lead, even though encouraged to it by 
as animating a consideration as my Lord Chancellor's protection, 
without the attribution of a weight, which does not belong to 
myself, and can arise to me only from marks of Royal Countenance 
towards me and my friends. Perhaps some of my friends may not 
labour under all the prejudices that I do. I have reason to believe 
they do not : in that case should Mr Fox be Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, the Secretary at War is to be filled up. I cannot 
leave off without repeating again the high sense I have of the 
great honour of my Lord Chancellor's good opinion. I fear I have 
very little else to merit any degree of it but unutterable good 
wishes for the security, ease and quiet of His Majesty's reign, 
and a firm attachment to the maintenance and stability of the 
Princess's authority as established in case of a minority, which 
God avert ! And I hope I need not add that no one is more 
respectfully and gratefully attached to his Lordship than I am. 
Farewell, my dear Sir George, 

Your ever affectionate 

Wm. Pitt. 

William Pitt to Earl Temple 
\Grenville Papers, i. 112.] Bath, March iiiA, 1754. 

My Dearest Lord, 

I hope you will not disapprove my answer to Lord 
Chancellor.... You will see the answer contains my whole poor 
plan ; the essence of which is to talk modestly, to declare attach- 
ment to the King's Government, and the future plan under the 
Princess, neither to intend nor intimate the quitting the service, to 
give no terrors by talking big, to make no declarations of thinking 
ourselves free by Mr Pelham's death, to look out and fish in 
troubled waters and perhaps help troubling them in order to fish 
the better ; but to profess and to resolve bon& fide to act like 
public men in a dangerous conjuncture for our Country, and 
1 This conviction only lasted as long as the expectation of obtaining office remained. 


support Government when they will please to settle it; to let 
them see we shall do this from principles of public good, not as the 
bubbles of a few fair words, without effects (all this civilly), and 
to be collected by them, not expressed by us ; to leave them under 
the impressions of their own fears and resentments, the only friends 
we shall ever have at Court, but to say not a syllable which can 
scatter terrors or imply menaces. Their fears will increase by 
what we avoid saying concerning persons (though what I think 
of Fox, etc. is much fixed), and by saying very explicitly, as I have 
(but civilly), that we have our eyes open to our situation at Court, 
and the foul play we have had offered us in the Closet ,; to wait the 
working of all these things in offices, the best we can have, but 
in offices. 

My judgment tells me, my dear Lord, that this simple plan, 
steadily pursued, will once again, before it be long, give some 
weight to a connection, long depressed, and yet still not anni- 
hilated. Mr Fox's having called at my door early the morning 
Mr Pelham died is, I suppose, no secret and a lucky incident, 
in my opinion.... 

[He concludes with recommending to Lord Temple, amongst 
other things, " a dinner to the Yorkes," i.e. to the Chancellor's sons. 
Lord Royston, Charles and John, all in the House of Commons, as 
"very seasonable." 

On March 10, 1754 (H. 251, f 163) the Archbishop of Canterbury 
writes to the Chancellor to condole on the death of Mr Pelham.] 
All I converse with... look up to your Lordship as our common 
friend and support, and the only man that can steer us happily 
through the difficulties that hang round us. 

Lord Chancellor to the Archbishop of Canterbury 
[H. 251, f. 165.] Powis HonsE, March nth, 1754, Monday, 8 at night. 

My Dear Lord, 

The late melancholy event has greatly affected us all. 
I am sure nobody is more sincerely concerned for it than your 
Grace; and at the same time I fear you are angry with me for 
not writing to you upon it, and the consequences of it ; but I give 
your Grace my word that I have had no time\ The poor Duke of 
Newcastle, under the most overwhelming grief, has been shut up; 
and I have been forced, in the midst of a broken attendance of the 
Court of Chancery, to be continually running about to the King, 
and to have meetings with the principal persons in the administra- 
tion. If your Grace had been nearer, you had not escaped. — But 
to proceed to business. 

' The Archbishop of Canterbury was ex officio a member of the Cabinet. 


Your Grace has heard that the first candidate at Court is 
Mr Fox. Your Grace knows my situation with that gentleman. 
Within a few hours after poor Mr Pelham's eyes were closed, I had 
no less than three very humiliating and apologizing messa'ges from 
him, which have not at all altered my way of thinking ; but I am 
determined to act such [a] part as I think best for the King and 
my friends in the present critical conjuncture, and to consider 
personalities no further, than to maintain and save the point of 

In the several audiences, which I have had of the King, His 
Majesty has declared that " he has no favourite for this succession, 
that he shall be for the best man, who can carry on the public 
service in the best manner; that he would have it considered by 
the Lords of his Cabinet Council, and know their opinion. But he 
hoped they would not think of recommending to him any person 
who has flown in his face." The meaning of this is plain, and 
I have seen Mr Fox through it, though His Majesty has never 
named him to me. Your Grace knows his .great supporter at 
Court, and from that quarter the prepossession comes\ I have 
thrown out several considerations to His Majesty from day to day, 
and so have others. These have made an impression upon him, 
and he has been more deliberative. He begins to find that all the 
world is not for Mr Fox, as he had been told ; for in truth it is 
a very narrow clique, and many of them of the worst sort. If he 
should succeed to the plenitude of power, which Mr Pelham had, 
there is an end of this administration, and of all that you and 
I wish well to in that respect. He would also, by his connection 
in a certain place^, have another power added to it, which Mr Pelham 
had not for several years, the army. So here would be the 
Treasury, the House of Commons and the Sword joined together. 
At the same time, there is a great scarcity of men to fill the place 
with in any shape. The opinion therefore which I, with my friends 
in the Cabinet, have formed, is that there is at present no person in 
the House of Commons fit to pla.ce entirely in Mr Pelham's 
situation, with safety to this administration and the Whig party. 
Upon this they have proceeded to think of advising His Majesty 
to place some peer at the head of the Treasury, with a Chancellor 
of the Exchequer in the House of Commons under him. That 
peer must be somebody of great figure and credit in the nation, in 
whom the Whigs will have an entire confidence. He must be one, 

^ Duke of Cumberland. 


who will carry on the election of the next Parliament upon the 
same plan, on which Mr Pelham had settled it without deviation. 
This is at present the immediate fundamental point. That once 
well settled and effected, the rest will follow with time. The 
Duke of Devonshire has declined it, but is entirely connected with 
the Duke of Newcastle, the Duke of Grafton and myself In 
consequence of this, the Duke of Newcastle has been entreated 
by his friends to quit his present office, and go to the head of the 
Treasury, if His Majesty shall approve it. In him the Whigs will 
have a confidence. His Grace is much averse to it, and has good 
reasons against it, but will, I believe, for the sake of the whole, 
submit to the entreaties of his friends. 

The Lords of the Cabinet are to meet at my house to-morrow 
evening at seven o'clock. There is no expecting to see your Grace 
here at that hour, nor do the Duke of Newcastle or I incline that 
you should run any risk. But we both wish to know your senti- 
ments, and humbly hope that your Grace will authorize me to say 
something in your name. If your Grace is of this opinion, upon 
the matters submitted to your consideration, we both beg of you 
to write me a short letter by this messenger, signifying that " in 
your view of the present circumstances, your Grace apprehends that 
it will be most for His Majesty's service to divide the two offices 
of First Commissioner of the Treasury and Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, and to put some peer of great rank and weight at 
the head of the Treasury, and to fill the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer's place out of the House of Commons, as has been 
done in many instances. That, if His Majesty would be pleased 
to direct the Duke of Newcastle, who has served him long with 
great ability and integrity, to change his office of Secretary of 
State for that of First Commissioner of the Treasury, your Grace 
thinks (if such is your opinion) that it would be the best measure 
for His Majesty's service in this critical juncture, and maintain the 
system of things upon the same foot, upon which they have been 
for several years carried on with great success." I ask pardon for 
having presumed to go so far in the plan of your answer ; but as 
I am at present more in the scene, I thought you would have the 
goodness to excuse it. This is the way of thinking of all the 
friends to your Grace and me, and as you are not used to differ 
from them, I hope your answer will be to this effect. All the words, 
which I have inserted, that are complaisant to the Duke of 
Newcastle, are entirely my own ; for his Grace has not seen this 


letter, nor knows one word that is in it; Indeed, poor man, his 
excessive grief makes him just now very unfit for business ; so 
much so, that I believe he will not be able to bear being at the 
meeting ; but we shall want the joint assistance of all our friends, 
though I am persuaded there will hardly be any difference of 
opinion. But that joint assistance will be wanting to carry the 
measure through effectually. Besides such an ostensible letter^ 
I shall be much obliged for a separate private letter to convey any 
particular sentiments or observations, which your Grace shall 
honour me with. But that must be a separate letter. 

If this plan should take place, we must expect that some 
promotion will be insisted upon for Mr Fox. That has been 
treated of secretly already, and possibly it may be, that my Lord 
Holderness should take the Northern Province, as Secretary of 
State, and Mr Fox be made Secretary of State for the Southern 
Province. If the power of the Treasury, the secret service and 
the House of Commons is once settled in safe hands, the office of 
Secretary of State of the Southern Province will carry very little 
efficient power along with it. The plan of the election of a new 
Parliament will be in safe hands which, (as I said) is the immediate 
fundamental object. When that is once well settled and chosen, 
with a good majority of sqund Whigs, everything else will be 

I am afraid I have tired your Grace, but I could not be shorter 
and explain myself. Your Grace will forgive me, for the sake 
of your friends and the good cause, to which you are so zealous 
a well-wisher, and so great a support. I must add one thing 
more, that your Grace would keep this letter and send it back 
to me, after this affair is over, that I may take a copy of it, after 
which it shall be faithfully returned. I am most entirely. 

My dear Lord, 

Ever yours, 


P,S. Your Grace will be pleased to introduce your letter by 
mentioning that you have received notice of this meeting by the 
King's command and, not being able to attend, send your thoughts 
to me etc. Be so good as to let me have your Grace's answer 
to-morrow by eleven o'clock in the forenoon, at furthest. 

[The Archbishop answers on March 12 (H, 251, ff. 171-3) 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 66, f. 126.] Newcastle House, March iztk, 1754. 

I cannot lose one moment in returning my thanks from the 
bottom of my heart, to my dearest and ablest friend, for the kind, 
affectionate and zealous part you have acted towards one, who 
depends upon you, for not being exposed where you have placed 
me, and for the great and noble part which you have acted as 
a great Minister, to determine the King in an affair of this im- 
portance. The best acknowledgment I can make to you is to put 
myself entirely, which by this letter I do, under your care and 
direction. I heartily thank you once more, and am ever most 
gratefully and sincerely yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

William Pitt to Sir George Lyttelton, Bart. 

[PhiUimore, Mem. of Lord Lyttelton., 468'.] Bath, \) March\ loth, 1754. 

...The Country here is delightful, and the taste I find in me for 
quiet, every hour takes deeper root in my mind. What can I do 
so well as yield myself up to this taste ? to the tranquil comforts 
of indolence and innocence ? I don't dare think I ever could have 
done much good ; but since it is now become evident that I am 
never to be suffered to try to serve my Country, I have nothing 
left in my power but to be resolved not to hurt it. ...I hope my 
answer to the Chancellor'' will not be disapproved ; it contains my 
poor plan in the exactest limits and extent of it ; and equally to 
this answer I should wish to forrh my whole conduct and language 
(when I thought proper to use any). I desire you will be so 
good to read it to the Chancellor....! wish to have it com- 
municated to the Duke of Newcastle, and by you.... I have not 
intimated, you see, anything with regard to what consideration 
I might expect for myself. I think it better that should arise 
from themselves, at least not come from me. If they are in 
earnest to avail themselves of me against what they fear, they will 
call me to the Cabinet ; though a Cabinet Council office may be 
impracticable at this time, in future it may not, and I may be 
better able to undertake one. Whether they will do all they 
can for us, I cannot tell ; but their wants are so great and 
will infallibly grow so fast upon them, that if God grants us all 
health, our poor depressed, betrayed, persecuted band, will have 
its weight, if we keep our tempers, and hold employments, and act 
systematically, without haste and fluctuation to the great plain 
objects of public good.... Before I lay down the pen, 1 will say 
nothing can be so glaring as to say to you in one and the same 
breath, it was wished I was in town to take the lead, and to lay in 

1 Where the letter is dated May, probably an error. 
^ Above. 

y. II. 14 


a claim to plead the King's alienation of mind against me. Who 
could his Lordship think he was talking to ? I, however, really 
honour and respect the Chancellor, and think him a great resource 
in these times. ...I beg you will mend the English in my answer to 
the Chancellor, if there are any slips. 

Sir George Lyttelton, Bart, to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 244, f. 294.] March i},rd, 1754. 

My Lord, 

I waited on your Lordship this morning, both to enquire 
after your health, and to let you know that Mr Pitt, though other- 
wise well, is still so lame that he fears he can't be in town this 
week or ten days. I gave him the most faithful account that 
I could of what your Lordship had said to me upon the sight of 
his letter.... But if your Lordship had leisure to write to him 
yourself, and thought proper to do it upon this delay of his 
coming to town, I believe he would feel it as a very great 

I hear from good hands that Mr Fox says he wishes to 
serve with, and under, Mr Pitt. I wish to have Mr Pitt serve 
with, and under, your Lordship. Pardon me, therefore, if knowing, 
as I do, that he would not be insensible to any mark of regard 
from your Lordship, I press your writing to him upon this 

I am sorry to hear that the return of cold weather made 
your cough so troublesome to you last night. Your Lordship 
can't take too much care of your health. The public is always 
very greatly concerned in it, and can hardly be more so than at 
this crisis. One of the pillars of the Commonweal has been thrown 
down. I pray God to preserve and strengthen the other. 

Permit me to repeat the expressions of gratitude and attach- 
ment to your Lordship, which very sincerely broke from my heart 
in our last conversation, and believe that I am, with the highest 
veneration, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obliged and most obedient 
humble servant, 

G. Lyttelton. 
Lord Chancellor to Mr Pitt 

[H. 75, fi 172; Chatham Correspondence, i. 89- [03'; Phillimore, Mems. of Lord 
Lyttelton, 456.] 

Powis House, April ind, 1754. 


[He has read Pitt's ostensible letter to Sir George Lyttelton, 
excuses himself for not having written sooner, and proceeds:] I have 

1 Where the correspondence between Pitt and the D. of N. is also printed. 


lived in such a continual hurry from the day of our great mis- 
fortune, Mr Pelham's death— 

Ille dies quem semper acerbum 
Semper honoratum, sic Dii voluistis, habebo — 

that I have had no time for correspondence. 

The general confusion called upon somebody to step forth, and 
the Duke of Newcastle's overwhelming affliction and necessary 
confinement threw it upon me. I was a kind of minister, ab aratro, 
I mean the Chancery plough, and I am not displeased to be 
returned to it, laborious as it is to hold. I never saw the King 
under such deep concern since the Queen's death. His Majesty 
seemed to be unresolved, professed to have no favourite for the 
important employment vacant, and declared that he would be 
advised by his Cabinet Council with the Duke of Devonshire 
added to them ; and yet I could plainly discern a latent pre- 
possession in favour of a certain person, who, in a few hours after 
Mr Pelham's death, had made strong advances to the Duke of 
Newcastle and myself I gained no further ground for four days 
and remained in a state of utmost anxiety, as well for the King's 
dignity, as for the event. To poll in a Cabinet Council for his 
first minister, which should only be decided in his closet, I could 
by no means digest, and yet I saw danger in attempting to drive 
it to a personal determination. My great objects were to support 
the system, of which Mr Pelham had been in a great measure at 
the head, by that means to preserve and cement the Whig party, 
and to secure the election of a new Parliament upon the plan he 
had left, though unfinished, which I inculcated to be the immediate 
fundamental object. This I stuck close to, as I saw it carried the 
greatest force; and I took advantage of the king's earnestness for 
a good House of Commons to show him the necessity of fortifying 
his interest there, not only by numbers but by weight and abilities. 
Under this head it might have the appearance of something 
I would avoid being suspected of, if I told you all I said of 
particular persons. I was not wanting to do justice to true merit ; 
nor backward to shew him how real strength might be acquired. 
Some way I made, though not all I wished ; and 1 drew out in- 
timations that on this occasion openings might be made in very 
considerable employments, in which some of those I named would 
be regarded. I sincerely, and without affectation, wish that it had 
been possible for you to have heard all that I presumed to say on 

14 — 2 


this subject. I know you are so reasonable, and have so much 
consideration for your friends (amongst whom I am ambitious to 
be numbered), that you would have been convinced some impression 
was made, and that, in the circumstances then existing, it could 
not have been pushed further without the utmost hazard. It would 
be superfluous and vain in me to say to you, what you know so 
much better than I, that there are certain things which ministers 
cannot do directly; and that, in political arrangements, prudence 
often dictates to submit to the minus malum and to leave it to time 
and incidents, and perhaps to ill judging opposers, to help forward 
the rest. Permit me to think that has remarkably happened, even 
in the case before us. An ill judged, demand of extraordinary 
powers, beyond what were at least in the Royal view, has in my 
opinion, helped to mend the first plan, and to leave a greater 
facility to make use of opportunities still to improve it\ This 
situation, with the Duke of Newcastle (whose friendship and attach- 
ment to you are understood and avowed) placed at the head of the 
Treasury and in the first rank of power, affords a much more 
promising prospect than the most sanguine could hope for, when 
the fatal blow was first given. 

It gave me much concern to find by your letter to the Duke of 
Newcastle, which his Grace did me the honour to communicate 
to me in confidence, that you are under apprehensions of some 
neglect on this decisive occasion''. At some part of what you say 
I do not at all wonder. I sincerely feel too much for you, not to 
have the strongest sensibility of it. But I give you my honour 
there was no neglect. I exerted my utmost in concurrence with, 
and under, the instructions of the Duke of Newcastle, whose zeal in 
this point is equal to your warmest wishes. That an impression 
was made to a certain degree I think appears in the instances of 
some of your best friends, Sir George Lyttelton and Mr George 
Grenville, upon whom you generously and justly lay great weight'. 
I agree this falls short of the mark, but it gives encouragement. 
It is more than a colour for acquiescence in the eyes of the world ; 
it is a demonstration of fact. No ground arises from hence to 
think of retirement, rather than of courts and business. We have 
all of us our hours, in which we wish for those otia tuta, and 

^ Fox, on the refusal of his demand for the leadership of the H. of Commons and 
further powers, had thrown up his office on March 14. 
2 Printed Chatham Con: i. 100, dated there April 5. 
2 Grenville was made Treasurer of the Navy and Lyttelton Cofferer of the Household. 


I have mine frequently. But I have that opinion of your wisdom, 
of your concern for the public, of your regard and affection for 
your friends, that I will not suffer myself to doubt but you will 
continue to take an active part. There never was a fairer field in 
the House of Commons for such abilities, and I flatter myself that 
the exertion of them will complete what is now left imperfect. 
I need only add to this my best wishes for the entire re-establish- 
ment of your health. These wishes are as cordial as the assurances 
which, with the utmost sincerity and respect I give you, that I am 
always. Sir, 

Your most obedient, most faithful and most humble Servant, 


Hon. Charles Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 5, f. 155.] April 2, 1754. 

My Lord, 

I have just been with Sir George Lyttelton, and read your 
Lordship's letter to Mr Pitt. He approves it most highly and said, 
that you had hit the true medium in the manner of it, stating the 
difficulties so as to shew him, there had been no neglect, and yet 
not too strongly ; — allowing much to his own feelings and uneasi- 
ness of mind and yet shewing him, that some impression had been 
made which, by the activity of his own conduct, may be improved, 
especially as the plan is now settled, and considering the advan- 
tages which have been given by the ill judgment of others'. 

He said that if your Lordship would do him the honour to send 
the letter under cover to him, he would take care and send one he 
can trust.... He concluded with saying, that of all things he wished 
this letter to go, which was the best framed to soothe his friend's 
mind of any that had been writ, and would have the most weight 
with him.... 

* The fact is that this letter, though prudently and skilfully drawn, had no effect with 
Mr Pitt. His ill-humour broke out the beginning of next session, and he never thought 
the old ministers were in earnest to serve him. The truth is, one [D. of N.] had no mind 
to have an efficient minister in the House of Commons, and the other [Lord Granville] 
knew that it would be drawing the King's resentment upon himself to propose Mr Pitt for 
the only ofiice which would have satisfied him. H. And see p. 218 k. 

' I.e. Fox's sudden resignation of office. 


Mr Pitt to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 75, f. 175. Phillimore, Lyttelton, 471, and Chatham Correspondence, i. 103, from 
a draft in Pitt's handwriting, where the letter is dated Ap. 6th, and differs from that in the 
text with some slight variations.] 

Bath, April ^th, 1754. 

My Lord, 

No man ever felt an honour more deeply than I do 
that of your Lordship's letter : your great goodness in taking the 
trouble to write amidst perpetual and important business, and the 
very great condescension and the infinitely obliging terms, with 
which your Lordship is 'pleased to express yourself, could not but 
make impressions of the most sensible kind. I am not only unable 
to find words to convey my most grateful sense of them, but am 
much more distressed to find any means of deserving the smallest 
part of your Lordship's very kind attention and indulgence to 
a sensibility, carried, perhaps, beyond what the cause will justify, in 
the eye of superior and true wisdom. I venerate so sincerely that 
judgment that I shall have the additional unhappiness of standing 
self-condemned, if the reasons already laid before your Lordship 
continue to appear to you insufficient to determine me to inaction. 
I cannot without much shame so abuse your Lordship's indulgence 
as to go back, but for a moment, into an unworthy subject, that has 
already caused your Lordship too much trouble, and which un- 
avoidably must be filled with abundance of indecent egotism. But 
permit me to assure your Lordship in the first place, very far from 
having a doubt remaining on my mind that more might have been 
done in my favour on this occasion (as impressions have been 
suffered to remain), that I think myself greatly indebted to your 
Lordship's friendship, and will ever gratefully acknowledge the 
kind efforts you was pleased to make to remove impressions so 
deeply-rooted. But I hope your Lordship will not think me un- 
reasonable, if I conclude, as I do, from the inefficacy of these efforts, 
in such an urgent want of subjects to carry on the King's business 
in Parliament and under His Majesty's full sense of that want, that 
these impressions are immovable. Your Lordship is pleased kindly 
to say that, some way being made for others, some future occasion 
may be more favourable to me. Pardon me, my Lord, if I own 
I am not able to conceive any such future occasion morally 
possible. God forbid the wants of His Majesty's government 
should ever become more urgent : such an unhappy distress can 
only arise from an event so fatal to this country, and which must 
deprive me of one of the two protectors, whose friendship constitutes 
the only honour of my public life, that I will not carry my views 
or reasonings to that melancholy contingency. I might likewise 
add, I conceive not unreasonably, that every acquiescence to that 
constant negative, (necessary as I am convinced it was on the late 
occasion), must confirm and render more insurmountable the re- 
solution taken for my perpetual exclusion. This, I confess, continues 


to be strongly my view of the situation. It is very kind and 
generous in your Lordship to suggest a ray of distant general 
hope to a man you see despairing, and to turn his view forward 
from the present scene to a future. But, my Lord, give me leave 
to say that after having set out, ten years ago, under such general 
suggestions of future hope, and bearing long a load of obloquy for 
supporting the King's measures, without ever obtaining in recom- 
pence the smallest remission of that displeasure, I vainly laboured 
to soften, I am come finally to feel all ardour for public business 
extinguished, as well as to find myself deprived of all consideration, 
by which alone I could have been of any use. For indeed, my 
Lord, I am persuaded I can be of no material use under such 
circumstances ; nor have I the heart or the presumption to attempt 
an active, much less a leading part, in Parliament. The weight of 
irremovable Royal displeasure is too heavy for any man to move 
under, who is firmly resolved never to move to the disturbance of 
Government ; it must crush any such man ; it has sunk and 
exanimated me ; I succumb under it, and wish for nothing but 
a decent and innocent retreat wherein, by being placed out of the 
stream of Cabinet Council promotion, I may no longer seem to 
stick fast aground and have the mortification to see myself, and 
offered to others the ridiculous amusement of seeing, every boat 
pass by me that navigates the same river. To speak without a 
figure ; I will presume so far upon your Lordship's great goodness 
to me as to declare my earnest wish. It is that, (since I cannot be 
admitted into a subordinate share in government under His 
Majesty's principal ministers, upon equal terms with those of no 
more than equal pretensions), a retreat not void of some advantages, 
nor derogatory to the rank of the ofSce I hold^ might (as soon as 
practicable) be opened to me. In this view I take the liberty of 
recommending myself to your Lordship's friendship, as I have 
done to the Duke of Newcastle. Out of his Grace's immediate 
province patent offices of this kind arise, and to your joint protection 
and to that only, I wish to owe the future quiet and satisfaction of 
my life. 

I see with the greatest pleasure the regard that has been had to 
Sir George Lyttelton and Mr [George] Grenville. Every good 
done to them will ever be as done to me. At the same time I am 
persuaded nothing could be done so advantageous to the system. 
Sir George Lyttelton's ability for set debates and solemn questions 
is very considerable. Mr Grenville is universally able in the whole 
business of the House and, after Mr Murray and Mr Fox, is among 
the very first, if not the best Parliament- man in the House. 

I am now, my Lord, to ask a thousand most humble pardons 
for the length and, I fear still more, for the matter of this letter. 
If I am not quite unreasonable, in a trying situation, your Lord- 
ship's equity and candour will acquit me. If I am so unfortunate as 
to appear otherwise to a judgment I revere, I hope humanity and 

' Pitt had been Paymaster of the Forces since 1 746. 


generosity of nature will pardon failings, of which I am not quite 
the master and that, I trust, do not flow from any bad principle. 
Sure I am they never shall shake my unalterable and warm good 
wishes for the quiet and stabihty of Government. I can give no 
better proof of these wishes than by those my heart forms for the 
long continuance of a health just restored, so essential to those 
great objects. I have the honour to be with the most respectful 
and grateful attachment, 

My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most humble and most obedient Servant, 

' • W. Pitt. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 66, f. 167.] Most secret. Claremont, Sept. ist, 1754. 

[Begins by detailing the intrigues of Fox with the object of 
forcing his way back into office.] I never had, or ever' shall 
have, a friend whom I honour and love like yourself, and for 
whose opinion, both in public and private life I have, and now 
for near thirty years have had, so great a deference. It is 
upon that principle that I now act, and it is to that friendship 
that I owe my comfort and my security; and therefore, if we 
ever differ about persons^ or things, be assured that that difference 
of opinion will have no other effect but to make me examine 
more closely, and even perhaps doubt my own after examina- 
tion, if it shall still continue to be contrary to yours. I sometimes 
wish that you would take up some points with a little more 
authority and resolution. I think upon the foot of Whiggism, you 
might have treated Mr Legge, that creature of ours, in his present 
station, with authority and contempt. But however I am far from 
being any otherwise uneasy at it, than as I think it might have 
saved us trouble. To conclude, I know we have as good a body of 
friends in the House of Commons as ever men had ; we have 
the King, we have the nation at present and we have, and shall 
have, the House of Lords. I will hope that we shall not suffer 
three ambitious men in the House of Commons^ (of which two are 
at this time guilty of the highest ingratitude to us) to defeat all 
our good designs for the public, and to convince the King that we 
can't serve him without their being our masters. I beg pardon for 
this long letter. I was determined to pour out my heart to you. 
I have done it with sincerity and I hope you think, with affection 
and respect, being as I ever shall be, 

Unalterably yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

1 Fox is meant and pefhaps Pitt. ^ Fox, Pitt and Legge. 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 66, f. 193.] Claremont, Sept. i\si, 1754. 

My Dear Lord, 

I desired Mr Jones to prepare your Lordship by last 
night's post for a summons to town, which I am very sorry to be 
obliged to send you, but I hope you will see it is unavoidable. 
[The expedition to America was the great question to be discussed 
and settled.] I must now acquaint your Lordship with some very 
material occurrences, which require the greatest secrecy. I have 
received an authentic information that the Princess of Wales is 
under the greatest apprehension lest we should make up with 
Mr Fox, and would do anything rather than that. This you may 
depend upon, and this must strengthen our own opinion and 
resolution. The next is, that before I could have time to acquaint 
the King with what passed at Wimpole and with our plan, His 
Majesty began, " Who is to take the head in the House of 
Commons 1 I know it is Sir Thomas Robinson's place and rank\ 
but he does not care for it." To which I replied—" Sir Thomas 
Robinson, Sir, will always be ready to give the House the necessary 
informations ; but as to the rest, I believe it must be divided. The 
Chancellor of the Exchequer^, by his office, must lay everything 
before the House that relates to the revenue, and there is the 
Secretary at War^ and the Paymaster^" His Majesty then 
insinuated that those gentlemen might not be disposed, to which 
I replied, that I should talk strongly to Mr Legge and acquaint 
him with everything that was proposed ; that Mr Pitt was very 
much displeased with me, and thought that he had been neglected ; 
upon which the King ran out against Pitt and said that I had 
made him do that for him and put him upon a foot, which enabled 
him to talk this language and act in this manner'; to which I 
answered that the circumstances of the times and Mr Pitt's abilities 
were the occasion of it. The King said, " I don't suppose Fox is 
in good humour; but after the strong assurances he gave me, I don't 
believe he will enter into opposition." — I said that we had nothing 
to do but to pursue the plan and measures that His Majesty should 
approve, and then, I hoped, they would not oppose them. H.M. 
said, " If Pitt acts ill. Fox may have his place," — and I am per- 
suaded H.M. thinks that would set all right. 1 told him we were 
ready to communicate to Mr Fox the plan of the session, not to 
give him a handle to say that he was not informed. That the 
King liked, and upon the whole things ended tolerably well, though 
it is plain His Majesty had been talked to favourably for Mr Fox, 

^ Secretary of State on Fox's resignation. ^ Legge. 

2 Fox. 4 Pitt. 


and particularly that somebody should take the lead [of the House 
of Commons].... If we can go on with success, all will be right in 
the Closet. If we cannot, nothing will make it so....I must now 
beg pardon for giving you this trouble, which nothing but necessity 
could have induced me to do. I have several more circumstances 
to relate to you, but these I will defer till I have the honour and 
pleasure of seeing you in London. Give me leave to return your 
Lordship my sincerest thanks for your kind and agreeable enter- 
tainment at Wimpole.... 

Most affectionately yours, 

, HoLLES Newcastle. 

{On Oct. 21, I7S4 (H. 66, f 203) the Duke of Newcastle informs 
the Chancellor that he has dissipated Legge's ill-humour who, 
however, was much afraid of the "able and terrible" Fox in the 
House of Commons, to whom he confessed his inability to reply.] 

[On Oct. 24, 1754 (H. 6Q, f. 207) he writes to the Chancellor] 
Possibly you may have an opportunity to-morrow to hint some- 
thing to the King with regard to the state of his affairs here... and 
the situation of the House of Commons. Your Lordship, in one 
respect, is the most proper person, as you had the sole hand with 
the King, in the present arrangement, and in all that passed 
originally upon it. I have nothing to answer for but, as jar as 
depended upon me, the conducting the King's affairs in the several 
branches belonging to me, in a proper, unexceptionable and, I may 
add, successful manner*. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 66, f. 213.] Newcastle House, Oct. y>th, 1754. 

My Dearest Lord, 

I cannot be easy till I have, under my hand and from 
the bottom of my heart, begged your Lordship's pardon and asked 
your forgiveness, in the very just cause of offence which I, though 
undesignedly, gave you this evening. Nothing ever was further 
from my thoughts and intentions than the doing it, and I do 
declare I did not recollect what I had done, till I observed you 
were very rightly angry with me. For God's sake, my dear Lord, 
don't harbour a thought of my want of gratitude, or the highest 
respect for you and regard and submission to your advice. Every 
action of my life shows the contrary. Every friend I have knows 

* It was singularly unjust and absurd in the D. of N. to lay the whole weight of the 
then arrangement on my Father, who had acted entirely under his Grace's eye and almost 
under his direction. The affair with Pitt was not pushed, not to anger the Closet ; that 
with Fox flew off, because the Duke of Newcastle and he could not agree between 
themselves. H. 


it, and every enemy I have sees it with concern. I may have faults, 
but want of sincerity is not one; and therefore you may believe me, 
when I assure you that there is not one in the world, who loves or 
honours you more than, my dearest Lord, 

Yours most unalterably, 

HoLLES Newcastle*. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 66, f. 223.] Clarbmont, N<w. l^th, 1754. 

My Dear Lord... 

I had desired Sir Thomas Robinson to wait on your 
Lordship last night, to have told you the particulars of a very 
extraordinary conversation, which I had yesterday morning with 
Mr Legge at his own house, where I went to congratulate him 
upon the success the day before^...! began with applause and 
congratulation. Mr Legge replied, the day was good, but that 
he would not deceive me... He came plainly to his old point, that 
Pitt and Fox must be satisfied, and then made (as from himself 
only) the following proposal in form ; that he had had a discourse 
with Mr Pitt ; that he found he would no longer insist upon being 
Secretary of State, since the King did not like it ; nay, that he 
(Legge) believed now, that if it was offered him, he would not take 
it, but that if the King would take notice of him, and he was treated 
with confidence, that that would do, and that Pitt, (he believed) 
would then act an active part. But, continued Mr Legge, " Mr Fox 
must be Secretary of Stater As to Mr Pitt, I said I was glad to 
hear he was now in that disposition ; that when / flung out that 
very thing to him, he treated it as words and m.ere amusement ; but 
that, if he would be satisfied with that, one might endeavour to 
bring that about. As to Mr Fox's being Secretary of State, I did 
not know who would advise the removal of Sir Thomas Robinson ; 
but if they did, I was sure the King would not do it. " No," says 
Legge, "that I believe, but something may be found for Lord 
Holderness, and Sir Thomas Robinson be made a peer and 
remain Secretary of State in the House of Lords, and Mr Fox in 
the House of Commons." — I contented myself with saying only to 
him, that it was too great and too difficult a thing for me to say 
anything upon, and did not in the least give into it. He said 
remarkably, he left it with m,e to consider, and repeated his nonsense 
of uniting by that means the Whigs, and of his two dear friends, 
Mr Fox and Mr Pitt. It is plain to me that this proceeds, first 
from their seeing that they are beat, then from a most thorough 
combination in the three to get at once the House of Commons 

* N.B. Not known what this alluded to. H. 

^ The debate on the Address on November 14, in which Legge spoke in support of 
the government. Pari. Hist. xv. 346. 


and consequently the whole administration, into their hands. 
Mr Pitt is to make this seeming condescension to please the King, 
and Sir Thomas Robinson is to be kept in for the same purpose, of 
whom Mr Legge spoke as of one set up purely for a show in the 
House of Commons at present. My dear Lord, Legge is, and has 
been, linked against us, and this proves it. 

Ever yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle*. 

Earl of Bath to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 245, f. 63.] Bath, Nim. lyd, 1754. 

My Dear Lord, 

Your ill health, I dare say, affects everybody more than 
it does yourself. I am sure that I was so struck with reading in 
the papers, that your place as Speaker in the House of Lords was 
supplied by another, that I could not refrain from troubling you 
with a letter to desire to know how you find yourself. 

Your life, I think, is of such infinite importance, that it is 
impossible not to be greatly alarmed with the frequent return of 
your colds. Your constitution was once a very good one ; but 
believe me, my Lord, it is the worse for your incessant labours, and 
requires now a little more care of it. Do not think I flatter you ; 
I have lived too long in the world and in general despise it so much, 
that I scorn to flatter any one. My honour and esteem for you is 
real, rooted and unaffected. I should be puzzled extremely to 
name anybody else for whom they are so. I have long admired 
your integrity and your abilities, talents that are rare enough in 
the present age, and which you pay dearly enough for having, by 
the terrible fatigues you are forced to undergo. 

May you long live to be of use to your Country ; and I entreat 
you to think now of nursing yourself up a little, for the sake of 
the public, more than for your own. Insignificant as I am, I have 
been taking care of my health and fancy myself better for these 
waters. About the beginning of next month I hope to have the 
honour of waiting on you in Parliament. I am, with the greatest 
sincerity and respect. 

Your Lordship's most humble and obedient Servant, 


* N.B. The House of Commons certainly does not go on well without a minister in 
it, and a pretty good speaker too. The Duke of G[rafto"|n jumbled through two sessions 
without one; but then there was more submission in the majority, and less ability in 
individuals than in 1754, and no stirring faction at Court. H. 

t N^B. This noble Lord always avowed the strongest attachment to my Father, and 
could he have foreseen all the consequences of his latter conduct at Court would, I am 
persuaded, [have] been sorry for it. H. [See below, p. 545.] 


Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 62, f. 449.] Powis House, Dec. i^th, 1754. 

My Dear Lord, 

I received the honour of your Grace's letter of yesterday 
morning, and am very glad our friends do not appear to be offended 
with what has been done in regard to Mr Fox. Agreeably to what 
was settled between us, I had an audience of the King yesterday 
morning, and everything passed extremely well. His Majesty was 
in good humour and very gracious. I began with referring to 
what had passed between your Grace and me relative to the trans- 
action with Mr Fox, and that I was sure your Grace had done me 
justice to His Majesty as to my concurrence with you in facilitating 
his views in that affair, upon the clear and limited foot on which it 
was now settled ; and then I explained the sense in which I 
understood His Majesty's intentions, the necessity of adhering to 
that, and of creating no opinion of a separate confidence with His 
Majesty independent of his Ministers, and of abiding by the 
priority declared for Sir Thomas Robinson ; that otherwise the 
most inconvenient consequences would follow to his service. I will 
not here repeat all the particulars I said on this subject ; but the 
King entered very fully into the whole, and I thought I had all the 
reason in the world to be satisfied with what His Majesty said on 
that topic. The King then of himself asked me, — " But, my Lord, 
what is your opinion about turning out Pitt ? " — and then followed 
his question with his usual description of him, and censure of his 
behaviour. As to his behaviour, I agreed in the whole, and carried 
it as high as His Majesty could do. But I said that, as His Majesty 
did me the honour to ask my opinion, it was incumbent on me to 
tell it him sincerely, and I would do it with great plainness and at 
the same time with great duty; that, in truth, I had no personal 
connection or partiality, that what I should say proceeded only 
from my great regard for his service, and his future ease and quiet; 
and after His Majesty had heard me, if he should determine to 
remove him to-morrow, I would say everywhere that it was right, 
and not let anybody know that I had been in a different way of 
thinking. I then went through my whole reasoning upon the 


subject, in the same manner as I have done more than once to your 
Grace, and therefore it would be tedious to repeat it here. The 
King heard me through with great patience, attention and ap- 
pearing placidness ; but when I made use of the argument, that 
Mr Fox had made it a kind of condition for himself that, if Mr Pitt 
should now be turned out, he must be excused from taking a 
personal part against him, the King interrupted and said, "And I 
assure you has done himself no good by it."... At last the King con- 
cluded very calmly, " Well, I was, and am, very angry with him.... 
He is etc. and deserves etc. ; but upon the whole, I believe it is 
most prudent to let it remain suspended, and not to make any 
declaration about it " 

This day after Court, I called on the Duke of Devonshire. 
We talked over the present situation ; and his Grace said he under- 
stood Mr Fox was very well satisfied with what had been done, 
and believed he would go on very well. He condemned Mr Pitt's 
behaviour, but fully declared his opinion against removing him 
in the present circumstances.... Mr Fox has made me his visit 
to-night in the mixed company, which I usually have at such 
times; He came alone, and nothing remarkable passed. Upon 
his coming in, I wished him joy of the late mark of the King's 
favour, which he received with civility ; the rest of the conver- 
sation turned merely upon the common business of the House of 

Your Grace will probably be told of a long whispering conver- 
sation between the Princess Amelia and me in the Drawing- Room. 
It all turned on her sister the Princess of Hesse^ and the letters 
which came by yesterday's post from Cassel, in which the Landgrave 
declines agreeing to her coming over to England. H.R.H. said 
" We are satisfied with it, but I am not...." 

Ever yours, 


' Her husband, the electoral prince, had turned Roman Catholic. 


Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 8, f. 269.] Hague, Dec. loth, 1754. 

...The state of your interior in the House of Commons is 
a little extraordinary. I am sorry Mr Pitt has thrown away so fine 
a game into the hands of Mr Fox, but I think he deserves what is 
likely to happen to him. I shall at the same time be very sorry if 
the latter, after all he did last winter, should finally gain his ends, 
but I began to be afraid of it before I left England. As to 
Mr Legge, he plays a sneaking part and I am indifferent what 
becomes of him. I rejoice at the King's goodness to his old 
servants, for without that firmness it would be impossible to carry 
on the business of the nation at all... 

[On December 31, 1754 (H. 66, ff. 251, 254, 259) the Duke of 
Newcastle complained to the Chancellor of the King's behaviour 
to him in the Closet, on the subject of the appointments of Groom 
of the Stole and Lord of the Bedchamber. The King had told him 
that he should confine himself to the Treasury and said, " You 
know there is no such thing as first minister in England, and 
therefore you should not seem to be so."] 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[N. 167, f. 37.] Most private. Claremont, Jan. 2nd, 1755. 

My Dearest Lord, 

I have received, almost at a time, your Lordship's two 
most kind letters. I want words to express the gratitude of my 
heart for your extreme goodness and affection, and attention to 
what must so nearly concern me, in determining immediately to go 
to London, to be upon the spot and see the carte de pays. It is 
from your Lordship that I can have comfort. It is you, and you 
only, that can procure me ease and redress, and I can never forget 
your readiness to put yourself in the front of the battle. My 
actions shall shew my sense of it to you and yours. [Mr Stone is 
to call upon the Chancellor and relate the whole account of what 
passed with the King, and is humbly to beg the Chancellor's 
immediate interposition with His Majesty, as his present position 
is intolerable. He had not dared to say anything on Joe's subject, 
but the ill humour, he thought, would operate in his favour.] We 
don't love to use above one faithful servant ill at once and, after what 
has lately happened to me for no fault at all, we shall be glad to 
cuddle with the Chancellor and vainly think, or try, by that means 
to do it. I have constantly observed this, in the several marks of 
just reprimand, which we have all in our turns felt... 


Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 167, f. 63.] Powis House, ya». ■^rd, 1755. At night. 

My Dear Lord, 

I received the honour of your Grace's very material 
and informing letter last night ; and after having obeyed your 
commands in the best manner I was able, am very sorry not to 
have it in my power to give your Grace a more pleasing account 
of this day's audience. But such as it was, I will relate it faithfully. 
At the Levee the King was very civil, in appearing good humour 
and disposed enough to discourse. My Lord President was there, 
to whom only he spoke besides myself. His Majesty had on 
Wednesday at the Drawing-room enquired of mj' wife, very 
particularly, when I should come to town, who had answered, not 
till Sunday. For fear, therefore, he should think I was sent for, or 
had come to town on purpose, I began in the Closet with saying 
that I had hastened my return on account of my Lord Montfort's 
unfortunate deaths... The King said that was extremely right, and 
entered very properly into conversation about the causes of this 
fatal act.... After this was quite over, I said, "Sir, I don't mean to 
importune your Majesty ; but as you have been formerly pleased 
to express so much goodness for my son Colonel Yorke, I should 
be very happy if, in the succession that may be opened by the great 
regiment now vacant, he might find your Majesty's favour." To 
this the King made no manner of answer, good or bad. He stood 
quite silent, but did not look displeased, but rather with a placid 
countenanced After we had looked at each other rather more 
than a minute, the King made the usual sign when he dismisses 
one. I said not one syllable more about Joe, but instantly said 
that I thought it my duty to mention to His Majesty that, though 
I had not seen your Grace, I had received a letter from you last 
night, by which I found you were under the greatest concern that 
His Majesty should interpret the opinion you gave him for sus- 
pending the disposition of the Groom of the Stole for the present, 
as proceeding from any other motive than the real one, a desire 
that it might be further considered by His Majesty. The King grew 
warm, and said, "The Duke of Newcastle meddles in things he has 
nothing to do with. He would dispose of my Bedchamber, which 

1 Henry Bromley, first Lord Montfort of Horseheath (i 705-1 755), committed suicide 
on January i, 1755, after squandering his estate. H. 3, f. 292. 

''■ Col. Yorke was appointed Colonel of the 9th regiment of footguards in March, p. 149. 


is a personal service about myself, and I won't suffer anybody to 
meddle in. I know what he wanted; he wanted to. recommend my 
Lord Lincoln or his brother-in-law." Here I interposed, and assured 
His Majesty that I did, in my conscience, believe your Grace did not 
intend to have proposed any particular person, much less my Lord 
Lincoln or the Duke of Leeds, and that you had never given me 
the least hint of it. I then went on to say, that there was one 
thing, which I thought myself bound to tell him in point of honour 
and justice, and I knew His Majesty loved justice ; and that was, 
that I might have been partly, tho' very innocently, some cause of 
this myself ; that it was a thing of that nature, that if it should be 
known, the very person concerned might take it ill, and therefore 
I must humbly entreat His Majesty not to mention it, for I meant 
it only for his service. The King hearkened. I then told him all 
that I had thought about the Duke of Dorset, my reasons for it, 
which I connected with the doubts His Majesty in his wisdom had 
formerly thrown out about the Duke of Dorset's returning [to 
Ireland]. I took care to shew that I thought it might be practic- 
able, but nobody could answer for it ; and that, if a change should be 
thought necessary, his goodness for my Lord Duke was such that 
he would not disgrace him for obeying his orders, and that His 
Majesty could not do it without condemning his own measures, 
and giving up the point of his prerogative ; that all this had 
occurred to me in ruminating by myself in the country upon his 
service, and therefore I had flung it out to your Grace. The King 
heard all this at large with attention, but then said what will 
surprise you :-^" Could you think that I would make an old man 
of 70 my Groom of the Stole } " I replied gravely, that objection 
had not occurred to me. His Majesty then talked of his Father's 
having been in the right in resolving to have no Groom of the 
Stole, and of Sunderland's having forced him to make him etc. ; 
that the Treasury was the Duke of Newcastle's department, and 
that was business enough etc. ; that your Grace had begun at the 
wrong end, and proposed Lords of the Bedchamber to him before 
there was any vacancy there. To this I said that the head of his 
Treasury was indeed an employment of great business, very 
extensive, which always went beyond the bare management of the 
revenue ; that it extended through both Houses of Parliament, the 
members of which were naturally to look thither ; that there must 
be some principal person to receive applications, to hear the wants 
and the wishes and the requests of mankind, with the reasons of 
Y. II. 15 


them, in order to lay them before His Majesty for his determination; 
that it was impossible for the King to be troubled with all this 
himself. This he in part admitted, but there were some things 
nobody should meddle in etc. I said it was only a method of 
laying things before him, and the absolute final decision was in him; 
that it had been always the usage in this Country, and I supposed 
was so in others ; that without it no administration could be enabled 
to serve him, that ministers bore all the blame and resentment of 
disappointed persons, and they could never carry on his affairs 
without having some*weight in the disposition of favours. The 
King said, he had seen too much of that in this Country already, 
and it was time to change it in some degree. I then asked his 
pardon for presuming so far ; that I only thought it my duty and 
a point of justice. The King said the thing was over, and he had 
determined it ; " But I know how you are connected (I am not 
sure whether he did not say linked) together." I answered that it 
was far from my intention to argue for altering the thing, but only 
to shew him the reasons why a suspension had been proposed ; that 
as to connections I had none, but what were very consistent with 
his service and tended to the real support of it ; and here my 
audience ended. One thing I forgot that, in the course of what 
I said, I let him know that such things would materially create 
appearances and interpretations in the world that, by weakening his 
administration, might give rise to disturbance in Parliament, and 
alter that state of ease and quiet, which His Majesty and his 
servants under him had been endeavouring to bring about ; that 
people would be looking different ways, and every question upon 
an election might become a contest between different sides of the 
Court. But the King seemed to despise such fears at present. 

I will make no observations upon this narrative. Your Grace 
sees the whole and will judge fully of it. In short, the humour 
was as bad as ever I saw it ; and in this situation, I did not think it 
right to revive the affair of Mr Fox, which the King would have 
been apt to ascribe to my prejudices, as he has called them, and 
I am convinced it would rather have done harm than good.... 

What to advise at present, I know not. The affair requires 
serious and mature deliberation. I will be at Court again on 
Sunday and Monday, and see how looks and appearances 

I thank your Grace for your particular account of the cir- 
cumstances... about poor Montfort. 'Tis a dreadful affair, and 


a tremendous example for your fine gentlemen of spirit and 

Most faithfully and unalterably, my dear Lord, . 

Ever yours, 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 66, f. 261.] Clarbmont, Jan. 4M, 1755. 

My Dearest Lord, 

I have read over twice, with the greatest attention, yoiir 
most kind letter, and cannot delay one moment returning your 
Lordship my most sincere thanks for the very proper and friendly 
manner, in which you talked to the King upon my subject, though 
it had not the desired effect... The principle of confining me to the 
Treasury and, I suppose, all of us to our respective offices, seems 
now avowed ; and. . . I adhere to my opinion that, if Mr Fox had not 
been admitted into favour, his Majesty would not have ventured to 
avow that principle in the manner he has done, and own to your 
Lordship that it was time to change it in some degree.... I shall take 
no rash resolution, but do as you shall advise. Humility, sub- 
mission, obeying and feeding we have seen (though attended with 
all imaginable success), will not do ; there must be a mixture of 
something else which may donne a penser, strike some fear. The 
branch of foreign affairs has the greatest weight with us.... Nothing 
seems to me so natural as for me to tell Munchausen^ that, as his 
Majesty is pleased to confine me to the Treasury, I could not meddle 
in any foreign affair. It would be contrary to his Majesty's inten- 
tion, and dangerous for me to attempt... and at once wash my hands 
of Hessian Convention, Russian treaty and the Saxon and Bavarian 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

P.S. It is impossible for us to do the King's business if things 
remain as they are. We must, in justice to ourselves, tell the King 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 171, f. 484.] Powis House, July ^th, 1755. 

The anecdote of Jemmy Grenville's conversation is material, 
and yet I cannot help suspecting that, either he is not in Mr Pitt's 

^ The Hanoverian Minister. 

2 James Grenville (1715-1783), another brother of the Earl Temple; M.P. for Old 
Sarum, Lord of Trade 1746-55, Lord of the Treasury 1756-61, when he was appointed 
Cofferer of the Household. He had declared that "Mr Pitt did not insist upon being- 
made Secretary of State and that the Duke of N. knew it." H. 67, f. i. 

IS— 2 


secret, or else he uses the words confidence and regard in a different 
sense from what we understand by them. He has had confidence 
and regard, and thrown it away. It has been assured to him over 
and over again, and yet declined. Does it not therefore mean some 
other kind of confidence and regard arising from employment? 
If this is the meaning of these equivocal words, and yet they mean 
something lower than the employment of Secretary of State, possibly 
the lot of his quondam friend Fox may serve the turn, and Cabinet 
Councillor may satisfy /ro hie & nunc. If so, I think it will be a 
cheap bargain, provided our master can be brought to it. To- 
morrow the Princess of Wales has a Drawing-Room, and Charles 
will be there. I hope the great man will be in town also, and that 
may open something. I am very sorry to differ in opinion from 
your Grace as to a separate meeting in the first placed I know what 
it would end in, and am sure it would have no effect. Otherwise, 
upon my word, I would not decline it,... 

Hon. diaries Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 5, f. 169.] July "jth, 1755) Monday morning. 

My Lord, 

Mr Pitt came from your Lordship to me last night, and 
staid till between 11 and 12 o'clock. I took occasion, from the 
imperfect hints and intimations, which I had picked up (by chance) 
of Mr Walpole's negotiation^, to lead him into conversation ; but he 
talked in such a complaining manner of the Duke of Newcastle, that 
I did not venture to propose the meeting, (especially as the sugges- 
tion was to come from myself, without authority), till your Lordship 
had judged on the effect .of what he said. In this, if I have been 
guilty of any error, it is on the safe side; and can be attended only 
with the inconvenience of a little delay, till another conversation 
can be had, with some person fit to conduct a thing of this sort. 
On the other hand, if I had proposed, and your Lordship and the 
D. of N. should have judged on the result of what fell from him, 
that no good was to be expected from your joint treaty, or that it 
was very doubtful whether he would give any answer but a negative, 
it must have been thought that I had gone too far. I will not 
trouble you with the detail, till you rise to go to dinner. The 
principal thing. upon which the whole seemed to rest was this: — 
that in talking with Mr Walpole he had at last waived the thing 
impossible viz. to be at once made Secretary of State; but had 
desired a pledge of security, which might be the beginning of 

1 The D. of N. had desired the Chancellor to have this first interview with Pitt. 
H. 67, f. 3. He appears however to have seen Pitt, see below. 
^ Above, p.. 196. 


confidence; it was that the Duke of Newcastle should take occasion, 
before the King went, to speak to his Majesty of the state of the 
House of Commons ; to speak of Mr Pitt, as his Grace's friend, and, 
in the present necessity of the King's service, the proper person to be 
trusted with the debate of it ; to remove ill impressions by talking 
over the grounds of them with the King ; that the D. of N. should 
likewise interest Lady Y[armouth] for him ; that this beginning in 
his favour might have been followed by her management, during 
the summer at Hanover. This, he said, had been absolutely refused. 
That at present it was impossible for him to trust any other propo- 
sition than this ; — Sir, here is the plan of the King's affairs, this is 
the station (meaning Secretary of State) in which you will be 
enabled to support them, these are your friends, who will join and 
act with you. 

I am [etc.]. 

Your most dutiful son, 


[On July 1 1, 1755 (H. 67, f. 6), the Duke of Newcastle wrote to 
Lord Holderness in Hanover a letter, to be laid before the King, 
on the necessity of making new arrangements in the House of 
Commons for the coming session, when great opposition might be 
expected to the measures proposed by the administration for the 
continent, from which it was absolutely necessary to detach the 
men of ability. The Duke and the Chancellor therefore urged the 
taking in of Pitt and, if necessary, his inclusion in the Cabinet, 
making Sir George Lee' Chancellor of the Exchequer, and satisfying 
Lord Egmontl Fox had already obtained what he demanded.] 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 67, f. 20.] Claremont, July i(>th, 1755. 

...As to Mr Pitt your Lordship must judge how we shall get at 
him. I suppose him now at my Lord Temple's. To send for him 
up will raise his vanity and his terms, and make a ridiculous dclat. 
To send Mr Yorke down to him, if some pretence could not be 
found out, would have near the same effect. But I should think 
Charles might write to him, that something had happened since 
their last conversation, which made your Lordship wish to see him 
when he came next to town, and he might add, that you would be 
going soon to Wimpole. Your Lordship sees, I propose that you 
should be singly n^med in the first invitation to Mr Pitt ; and sure 
that is right. Mr Pitt has kept up a correspondence with your 
Lordship. He knows, and everybody does, that your Lordship 

' Sir George Lee, M.P. for Launceston, dean of arches, formerly adherent of 
Frederick Prince of Wales, and on his death made Treasurer to the Princess. 

^ John Perceval, second Earl of Egmont in the Irish peerage (1711-1770), M.P. for 
Bridgwater, formerly of the Prince's party, a prominent opponent of the administration 
and pamphleteer. 


had (and very rightly) the principal hand in preventing his being 
turned out. He has never been near me since he personally fell 
upon me in the House of Commons. His sole complaint, his sole 
attack, is levied at me ; and therefore nothing can be so natural, or 
so likely to bring this negotiation to bear, as to have the ground 
first broke by some other person of weight and equal consequence ; 
and no difficulty can arise, since we are sure of the King's consent 
and of being supported in what we do.... 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 173, f. 74; H. 67, f. 34.] Powis House, Aug. gth, 1755. At night. 

My Dear Lord, 

...I am now to the great affair of Mr Pitt, who called 
upon me at noon, and staid an hour and three quarters. He began 
by saying that he came out of Buckinghamshire directly to town 
last night, and that Lady Hester turned off upon the road to 
Sunning-Hill ; that he called upon me in consequence of Mr Fury's' 
having acquainted him that your Grace wished he would see me. 
From hence I conjecture that he had received a letter from Fury, 
either before his setting out or upon the road, and that brought 
him directly to London. I soon entered into matter with him and 
referred to the unlucky steps of the last winter, professing not to enter 
into expostulations, which seldom did good. I then told him how 
sincerely we had laboured for him, and particularly how long your 
Grace had done so, till he had put it out of our power by his own 
conduct ; that time and temper had softened the resentments 
occasioned by it, and that I hoped the impressions of ancient 
friendship would revive. I then showed him fully the impossibility 
of your Grace's doing anything with the King upon kis last pro- 
posal to Mr Walpole, just before His Majesty went to Hanover, in 
the humour which then existed to the last. But I took advantage 
from that proposal to infer that he himself was convinced it was 
impracticable for him to be put into possession, or to have an 
absolute promise, of the Secretary's ofifice, and therefore it was 
necessary to resort to some other scheme to satisfy him. I then 
showed him, in a proper manner, how we had since jointly laboured 
in his cause ; that I thought we had gained a good deal of ground, 
that we were authorised to talk to him, and then stated to him the 
proposition, just as it is, and which I need not repeat, nor the reason- 
ing with which I followed it. He began with making professions, 

' Peregrine Fury, of the Pay Office. 


which were handsome and modest, and expressed great regard for 
your Grace and me ; averred the innocency of his expressions, 
which had been only construed into an offensive sense ; disclaimed 
any thought of forcing himself into the Secretary's office, was not 
so weak as to think it was to be done presently, nor did he wish it 
ever without the King's own inclination to it. All he desired was, 
that your Grace would tell His Majesty that you were of opinion 
it would be for his service, if you thought so. He added remark- 
ably enough that, in the present situation of affairs, he did not 
think that employment a desirable pillow to sleep upon ; that the 
being assured of His Majesty's gracious reception and countenance, 
as a public mark of favour and confidence, was what he laid more 
weight upon, as to the personal part, than upon any change of office. 
Your Grace knows I always thought that would be the most 
pressed to be explained, and I made that as strong as our powers 
warrant. He added that it must also be extended to his friends, 
by which, I suppose, he chiefly meant my Lord Templet He then 
went to the conditions viz. : — that he should take a clear, active and 
cordial part in support of the King's measures in the House of 
Commons, and must be informed what those measures were. 
I told him that would certainly be done, and I knew of none to 
be concealed ; 'twas all open and above board, the support of the 
maritime and American war, in which we were going to be engaged, 
and the defence of the King's German dominions, if attacked on 
account of that English cause. The maritime and American war 
he came roundly into, though very onerous, and allowed the 
principle, and the obligation of honour and justice as to the other, 
but argued strongly against the practicability of it ; that subsidiary 
treaties would not go down, the nation would not bear them ; that 
they were a chain and connection, and would end in a general plan 
for the Continent, which this Country could not possibly support ; 
that the maritime and American war would cost six millions a year 
besides the increase of the Navy debt, and he supposed more troops 
must be raised for the defence of this island ; that by this alone 
you would run in debt two millions per annum, and an addition 
of a million more to that could not be supported ; that above all 
he could never give his consent to the mortgaging or funding upon 
the sinking fund, but, whether in place or out of place, was bound 
in conscience to oppose it ; that if any misfortune should happen 

1 Richard Temple Grenville, Earl Temple (171 1-1779), the eldest of the three Grenville 
brothers, and brother-in-law of Pitt, of whom hereafter. 


to Hanover (which he hoped not), it could only be temporary, 
might be made the quarters of French or Prussian troops for a 
time, but there was no danger of the King or his family finally 
losing it, and he thought England ought never to make peace 
without restitution, and a full d^dommagement to the King on that 
account ; that he was for treating the King's German dominions 
with the same support and regard as even a foreign dominion 
belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, so situated, should in 
prudence be treated, and he had rather concur in giving the King 
five millions, by way of d^dommagements, at the end of the war, 
than undertake the defence of it by subsidies. I endeavoured to 
show him the absurdity of this notion ; could not suppose he was 
serious in it, and supported the measures of defence and preserva- 
tion. I then stated to him all I knew or believed about subsidies — 
the Hessian and Russian, with the reasons of them, and knew of no 
intention to go further. He made some objections to "Cat. former, 
and also to the great expense of the latter, if the requisition should 
be made ; but I think, upon the whole, will not adhere to his objec- 
tions against these. But he asked, very observably, what do others 
of the King's servants think of subsidiary treaties — the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, Mr Fox and Sir George Lee. If he was willing, 
he could not stand alone in support of these measures. I made 
him no other answer but that I had not had any opportunity of 
knowing their particular opinions upon this point, but could not 
doubt of their supporting the King's measures. Here I will add, 
as possibly connected with it, that in a subsequent part of the 
conversation, he told me that, in a short time, he was to go into 
Hampshire to spend a week at Mr Legge's. On this point of the 
proper measures for the defence of Hanover, there was much 
reasoning on both sides ; but at last he said that he must know 
the sentiments of his friends ; that if his own inclination should be 
to support the defence of Hanover this way, (which he was far 
from saying it would), yet he must have the concurrence of his 
friends. My answer to this, in substance, was that I could not suffer 
myself to doubt but his opinion would have the deciding influence 
with his friends. It now grew late, and he was just setting out for 
Sunning-Hill, and said he was much obliged for the trouble I had 
taken, and would take what I had so kindly opened to him into 
serious consideration. I told him I was going out of town to stay 
as long as I could, that he saw by me your Grace's disposition, and 
I saw his with regard to your Grace personally ; why should he not 


wait on you ? He said he had no manner of objection, and if you 
would let him have a hint that you would see him, either in the 
country or in town, he would be at your service. Thus we parted, 
and if your Grace approves of it, you may convey the hint by the 
same canal of Mr Fury. I must observe that he said nothing, either 
by way of objection to, or approbation of his being called to the 
Cabinet Council, though I mentioned it more than once and dilated 
a little upon it. The proper reflections will occur to your Grace 
without my pointing them out. My own opinion is, that he will 
appear to close with, or at least not to reject, the proposition, so far 
as it regards \ivins€A personally; that he will still go on to make 
difficulties upon measures. Those difficulties may be real, or they 
may be made use of colourably to raise the terms for himself, 
as being the more honourable shape to turn it in. Your Grace will 
best judge when you talk with him. His manner was easy and frank, 
and I think pleased with the overture. 

May everything happy and agreeable attend your Grace in 
Sussex. I go on Wednesday morning, and be so good as to cover 
my retreat and let me stay as long as you can. I am most faith- 
fully and entirely, my dear Lord, 

Ever yours, 


[On August 12, 175s (H. 67, f 38), the Duke asks for advice 
in detail on the persons and topics he is to discuss at his meeting _ 

with Pitt] I neither can nor will proceed one single step without Y^- 

[The same day (N. 173, f 120), the Chancellor sends the advice 
sought for by the Duke, and answers all his questions. Pitt probably 
would not press the Duke on the subject of the appointment of Secre- 
tary of State, but if he should, the Duke must promise " so far in case 
His Majesty should think of a change," to avoid absolutely break- 
ing with him. This was not much, as the King was so determined 
against it. He was not to take Pitt into his confidence concerning 
the subsidiary treaties, but rather talk to him upon the restrictions 
to be placed upon them. As to discussing the subject of Fox, 
Legge, Sir George Lee and Lord Egmont, he must use his own 
judgment at the time. Pitt probably knew more than they did 
and he, the Chancellor, had heard that a House of Commons cabal 
was being formed against subsidiary treaties, and that Mr Fox was 


secretly in it. The Duke might well talk to him on Ireland and 
the new scheme for the House of Commons, but not too many- 
particulars should be discussed, at first. He proceeds :] 

As absurd as your Grace and I think Mr Pitt's notion about 
Hanover, I fear your Grace will find that it has gone further than 
that gentleman. I have endeavoured to answer all your Grace's 
questions and will add only my entreaties to be suffered to stay 
at Wimpole, at least till the end of this month for this turn, and to 
beg your Grace's protection not to be sent for without absolute 
necessity • 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[N. 173, f. 241; H. 67, f. 46.] Claremont, Aug. iind, 1755. 

[Gives account of a conversation on foreign affairs in the Council 
with Lord Granville, "who had dined*," and discusses the progress 
of negotiations for the inclusion in the administration of Lord Egmont 
and Mr Pitt] I propose to see Mr Pitt by myself on Tuesday the 
2nd and then, if anything awkward passes in our conference, your 
Lordship, I hope, will set it right on Wednesday and return to 
Wimpole on Thursday. I cannot say I have much glee in seeing 
Mr Pitt. I know it is necessary and I must do it, but I don't know 
how to talk to such a man, — who has acted towards me as he has 
done. I entirely agree to the plan laid down for it by your Lordship, 
but I hope to be more fully instructed by you the Tuesday morning 
before our conference.... 

I am now to acquaint your Lordship with a very extraordinary 
conversation, which I had last Wednesday with my Lord Granville.... 
He began by telling me that it was resolved to begin opposition 
the first day upon subsidiary treaties, that the Hessian treaty must 
be mentioned in the Speech, and that they would take their handle 
from this. In this, Mr Pitt and Mr Legge were, I think, supposed 
to be the principal actors; that Lord Egmont and Sir George Lee 
would probably concur; that Sir George Lee had talked to him 
most strongly against the Hessian treaty and the Russian treaty; 
that he (Lord G.) had justified both, and had talked in support of 
those measures, for which he had always at all times declared himself, 
and I think talked as if subsidiary treaties and continental measures 
were our present system \ I told him, he knew the contrary and 
how strongly we had represented against them. He said that 
was true, but that that was not known, that we had concluded the 
Hessian treaty etc. All this was to magnify the danger in order 

* N.B. My Lord Granville talked better sense drunk than sober. H. 

^ The Duke draws a proper distinction between the German policy directed to promote 
British interests or defend Hanover, attacked in consequence of British policy, and a 
German policy following, as Lord Granville's had formerly, and supporting particular 
German interests. He made the same distinction to Pitt. See p. 240. 


to introduce the remedy. He said Mr Fox had been twice with 
him lately, that he had told him of the opposition designed to 
these subsidiary measures, that he (Fox) had hitherto kept himself 
free, and would do so till the time came nearer; but my Lord 
Granville gave me to understand very plainly that if Mr Fox was 
not satisfied, we must expect that he would join the opposition; 
that Mr Fox told him (forgive me for repeating the idle expres- 
sion) that / must have a lieutenant, that he, Fox, was ready to 
be my lieutenant, and to serve me faithfully*. I ridiculed a little 
the notion of a lieutenant, who was to be general over me ; I urged 
the same reasons, which I must always urge upon this occasion, how 
impossible it was, from higher connections, for Mr Fox ever to stand 
in that light with regard to me.... Sometimes my Lord said, he 
believed Fox would give up everybodyf for me, if he could be well 
with me; at other times, sure, if he could bring others with himf, 
so much the better. I then entered into the possibility of getting 
Mr Pitt, of securing my Lord Egmont, etc.... My Lord Granville 
said, whether from Fox or himself, I can't say, that Pitt would not 
make up with me\; that he and Legge were so closely connected, 
that the removing Legge was inconsistent with the making up with 
Pitt; that Legge had got great popularity for not countersigning 
the Hessian warrant... Lord Granville asked what answer he must 
return to Mr Fox. I gave him no particular answer, but shewed 
by my whole discourse that I could not think of Mr Fox for my 
lieutenant. He said the Parliament would force me to have one, 
[and] talked more of Legge's consequence and reputation than ever 
I heard him §....! do suppose that Mr Fox knows what we are doing 
with Mr Pitt and my Lord Egmont, and I may also suppose that 
he fearSj (notwithstanding what he says), that it may take place; 
and in that case Mr Fox may very rightly think he is no more so 
formidable or so valuable, and therefore in the present uncertainty 
he employs his friend, my Lord Granville, to make the best bargain 
for him he can, and my Lord Granville is to represent Fox ready 
to take part with us or against us ; ready to support our measures, 
whatever they may be, which Pitt, Legge, Egmont and Sir George 
Lee, for different reasons, will not do.... The messenger tells me he 
will be at Wimpole to-morrow before dinner. It is not too much 
to hope that, in the course of Monday, I may be so happy as to 
receive your thoughts upon every part of this long letter.... 

[The Chancellor answers on August 23, 1755 (N. 173, f 259), 
He is " not at all edified with the extraordinary conversation which 
his Grace has had with my Lord President... Fox is alarmed at 
this treaty with Pitt and Egmont. He therefore represents a 

* Fox was then a Cabinet Counsellor. The word Lieutenant was properly enough 
applied as to the House of Commons. H. 
t Meaning the Duke [of Cumberland]. H. 
% Lord Granville proved a true prophet. H. 
§ Legge was not equal to the conduct of the House of Commons. H. 


coalition with them to be impracticable, but very practicable and 
safe with himself." He strongly advises the Duke, however, by no 
means to "brusque" the overtures from Fox, as the one may 
forward the other negotiation' ; and, in his opinion, there was no 
danger of Fox's joining the opposition to the subsidiary treaties, 
but more probability of his " running races of merit on the other 

Pitts account, September 2, 17SS, to Bubb Dodington of his interview 
with the Chancellor, a day or two previously. (Dodington's 
Diary, 325.) 

The Chancellor told him that he hoped, he would assist them 
cordially in their business; that the King had, indeed, taken pre- 
judices which were disagreeable, and that steps had been taken to 
remove them, before he went to Hanover ; that they had been the 
subject of correspondence since; that they had not all the success 
they could wish as yet, but they hoped they would : that the King 
was very fond of Lord Holderness and Sir Thomas Robinson: but 
if any accident should happen, it might probably be brought about, 
in case he would assist them cordially, that they might procure the 
Seals for him which he so much desired. When the Chancellor had 
finished, Mr Pitt replied, that he must begin with his last words — 
the Seals which he so much desired — of whom ? — he did not 
remember that he had ever applied to his Lordship for them: he 
was sure he never had to the Duke of Newcastle ; and did assure 
the Chancellor, that if they could prevail upon his Majesty to give 
them to him, under his present dislike, all the use he would make 
of them, would be to lay them at his Majesty's feet: that till the 
King liked it and thought it necessary to his service, and till his 
ministers desired it, he never would accept the Seals: that he knew 
the King had lately said that he had intruded himself into office: 
that the Chancellor knew how much he was misinformed, and if he 
should ask for any favour, it would be that they should inform his 
Majesty better: the Chancellor had said a great deal, but he desired 
his Lordship to let him know what he was expected to assist in and 
what was the work ? Why, replied the Chancellor, to carry on the 
war they were engaged in. He said there was no doubt of his 
concurrence in carrying on the war, as it was a national war; and 
he thought regard ought to be had to Hanover, if it should be 
attacked upon our account. — The Chancellor stopped him short and 
said, he was extremely pleased that they agreed in their principles, 
and that both thought Hanover should be defended. Mr Pitt desired 
his Lordship to observe the words he had used, " that regard was to 
be had to Hanover," and then said all he had said to me [Dodington] 
before as to our inability to defend it, and the impropriety of the 

' The Chancellor was right, see Chatham Corr. i. 134. 


defence by subsidy. The Chancellor said that he understood, that 
the Commons the last session had tacitly allowed that Hanover 
must be defended: that in consequence of that acquiescence, there 
was a subsidiary treaty for 8,000 Hessians in the usual form, and 
also a treaty for a body of Russians. 

But where Mr Pitt laid the greatest stress was on what the 
Chancellor in reasoning had said ; to be sure those things (meaning 
subsidies) should have their bounds and that, he was afraid, they 
•would not be very popular; and when he was enforcing the necessity 
of putting a total stop to them, and leaving Hanover to the system 
and constitution of the empire, the Chancellor seemed to acquiesce 
in the reason, but told him he must be sensible that talking in that 
manner would not make way with the King. Mr Pitt still persisted 
in not giving into the subsidy, and the Chancellor desired him to 
see the Duke of Newcastle and to talk it over with him. Mr Pitt 
said that, if the Duke sent to desire to speak to him, he would wait 
on his Grace, but not otherwise. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[N. 172, f. 422 ; H. 67, f. 58.] Most secret. 

Newcastle House, Sept. 3rd, 1755. 

My Dear Lord, 

I never sat down to write to your Lordship, with more 
melancholy apprehension for the public, than at present. I see 
nothing but confusion, and it is beyond me to point out a remedy. 
I had last night a conference of about two hours and a half with 
Mr Pitt. The whole passed with the greatest decency, civility, 
openness and seeming friendly disposition on his part. But at the 
same time there was such a firm resolution, so solemnly declared, 
both as to persons and things that, if complied with, must produce a 
total change of the present system, both as to measures and men. 

I began by making him a civil compliment of my desire to 
assure him, myself, of my sincere inclination to act with the utmost 
confidence and concert with him, which he received and returned 
very kindly and properly. 

I then referred to your Lordship's conversation with him, and 
to what you had said to him, both with regard to himself and to 
public measures. To my very great surprise, and what I thought 
an ill symptom at setting out, he had a mind I should think that 
nothing material had passed between you, that, indeed, your Lordship 
had touched upon several points*, that he could not very well tell 
what to collect from it; that he looked upon it only as a preparatory 
conversation to that which he was to have with me, tho' I found 
afterwards that every single point had been, very properly, laid 
before him. I then proceeded and began by telling him that the 
disagreeable situation, in which His Majesty was upon his leaving 

* Pitt meant no explicit offer, except of general confidence, had been made him. His 
point was to be Secretary of State. H. 


England, from the resolution the King had taken not to yield to 

the earnest entreaties of his servants against his journey, from the 

mention that had been made of it in one House of Parliament, and 

the expectation of it in another, that these circumstances had made 

it impossible, at that time, to enter further into the state of the 

House of Commons, than to beg his Majesty's leave that your 

Lordship and I might lay our thoughts before him upon it, at a 

proper time, and before the next session ; that as soon as the event 

in North America happened, and the resentment shown upon it by 

France appeared^, your Lordship and I took that opportunity to 

represent to the King in the strongest manner, the necessity of 

forming a system for the House of Commons, and of engaging and 

enabling him (Mr Pitt) to take an active part in support of the 

King's measures there; that his Majesty, in answer, had been pleased, 

not only most graciously to approve what my Lord Chancellor and 

I had thus offered to his consideration, but had been pleased also 

to authorise us to assure Mr Pitt of his gracious acceptance of his 

service, and of his Majesty's countenance, and also, as a mark of it, 

that the King was willing to call him to the Cabinet Council. He 

then began his reply, and with great decency said that the King's 

countenance was more to him than any other consideration ; but 

that, if it was expected that he should take an active part in support 

of measures, he must be enabled to do it, which he could not think 

the calling him to the Cabinet Council would, in any degree, do; 

that the House of Commons was now an assembly of atoms*, that 

the great wheels of the machine were stopped, that this could not 

be thought sufficient to put them in motion; that if nothing was 

required of him but what related to himself, he would very readily, 

in his present employment, acquiesce in measures, if he approved 

them, but that I did not know the state of the House of Commons 

which, he might say without vanity, he did better than anybody. 

He then repeated, word for word, the same plan and system which 

Mr Legge proposed to me, the last year, viz: — that the business of 

the House of Commons could not go on without there was a minister, 

(a subordinate one perhaps), which should go directly between the 

King and them; that if there was any objection to him, he was far 

from desiring it himself, that any other person might be thought 

of; but that he could not, and would not, take an active part in the 

1 J House of Commons without he had an o-ffice of advice as well as of 
execution, and that was the distinction he made throughout the 
whole conversation, that he would support the measures which he 

- himself hz-d advised, but would not, like a lawyer, talk from a brief; 

that it was better plainly to tell me so at first, and repeated the 
same thing afterwards, or rather applied that to the disapprobation 
of measures; that it was true they were all a parcel of younger 
brothers, (an observation, though true, which I own I had never 
made before), and that therefore they could not pretend that any 

* What he said of the then state of the House of Commons was true enough. H. 


one was fit to succeed my brother or Sir Robert Walpole, but that 
the House of Commons must be in commission. 

I took great advantage from that expression, and said that that 
was what I wished, and that he should be first Commissioner*. He 
gave me soon to understand that his meaning was that that person 
should, and must, have an office of advice. I made then some 
observations upon my own situation, or rather, after he had said 
that if I could be induced to part with some part of my sole power, 
to that I replied that I knew of no such sole power, that my present 
situation was not my choice, but the King's command. I professed 
my zeal for the King etc: ; but that, if I was disagreeable to the 
House of Commons, I should, with the greatest duty, desire the 
King's leave to retire, and that then his Majesty might put one 
of their own body at the head of the Treasury. He said, that was 
not at all necessary. He liked a Lord first Commissioner very 
well ; but then there must be a Secretary of State, a man of ability 
in the House of Commons and a Chancellor of the Exchequer, well 
supported. He then ran out in the highest encomium of Mr Legge, 
that ever I heard of any one man, that there was the greatest con- 
nection between them two, that ever was between any two men, 
that Mr Legge had capacity, ability, was the child of the Whigs, 
that that connected them together, that his ill-usage and depression 
had raised him in the opinion of everybody, and made him the 
favourite of the House of Commons^ He entered into an entire 
justification of his behaviour in not countersigning the warrant for 
the Hessian levy-money, and thought it very hard that it should be 
expected of him without seeing the treaty. I only observed that I 
believed that that had never been the practice in the Treasury. 
He seemed to make a difference, in that respect, between the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer and the other Lords. It is most plain to 
me that Mr Legge has been, from the beginning, the principal 
instrument of the whole. Mr Pitt mentioned by name no one man 
of the House of Commons but Mr Legge. 

Before I leave this head of personal consideration, I must 
acquaint your Lordship that, in describing what was meant by 
the proposal made to him, I called it a designation. He laid hold 
of the word and said, as I had called it a designation, if it was 
meant for the Secretary's office, he did not desire, or insist, that it 
should be done immediately, or before Monday. I then was obliged 
to explain my meaning to be no further than a designation of the 
man of confidence, to whom the King would show his countenancef. 
He then went as fast the other way, and would make me mean that 
that (viz: — the Secretary's office) was not intended. I told him 
plainly, (and there we rested it), that our powers went no further, 

* The very thing Pitt in his heart despised, for he meant to be sole minister. H. 

^ Cf. Pitt to his wife, September 25, 1755 : "Legge did not sign the Hessian warrants. 
He is my guide, philosopher and friend. A less ludicrous comfort I should not taste a 
hundred miles from my lovely, adored wife." • Chatham MSS. 5. 

t Mr Pitt knew that without, an office of advice was nothing. H. 


than what I had mentioned at first. He said that if my Lord 
Holderness was so liked by the King, and Sir Thomas Robinson 
from his knowledge of his business, that they were neither of 
them to be provided for elsewhere, (and once I think he said, if I 
would not find out something else for them*), he gave me plainly 
to understand, that then there was an end of everything with regard 
to his taking an active part in the House of Commons. 

We then proceeded to measures, and here I must own nothing 
can equal my astonishment and concern. I explained to him 

; fully the strong representations, which we had made against a 
general plan for the Continent and a subsidiary system; that 
I knew of but two, the Hessian treaty and that, which had been 
long in negotiation with Russia ; and I entered fully into the merits 
of both, and showed upon what principles they were made ; that 
the Hessian treaty had been originally projected for the preserva- 
tion of the Protestant religion in that Country, for the protection 
of the King's grandchildren in their religion^, for the support of the 
guaranty given by the King, the King of Prussia and the States of 
Holland and most of the Protestant Powers of Europe ; that the 
danger, which threatened England and Hanover, could not make 
such a treaty less advisable, and that, in our present situation, sure, 
nobody would think that 8,000 Protestant troops might not be 
usefully employed, either here or at Hanover. He talked with the 
greatest respect of Hanover ; said he would take care, whatever he 
might do, not to let drop an unguarded expression with regard 
to Hanover ; but he ridiculed extremely the notion of supporting 
Hanover with 8,000 men, which was too little, if Hanover was 
attacked, and a most unnecessary expense without it. 

I then explained the Russian treaty, showed him that that, if 

^concluded, was the consequence of a four years negotiation, which 
had been universally approved and had even been mentioned to the 
House of Commons with approbation, and that I thought it would 
have an odd appearance, to drop a negotiation at this time, when 
perhaps there might be more occasion for it than formerly. Here 
he replied, (and I fancy he has himself said something formerly in 
favour of this treaty which, indeed, I did not mean or recollect), 
this measure might in time of peace be approved as a measure for 
preserving the peace, but that at present it was the establishing a 
subsidiary system, which was destructive to this country, and might 
alienate the people from the present Royal Family f. I urged (as 
in my opinion) the use that was, that might, and that would be 
made of this treaty, (if made), for the preservation of the peace upon 
the Continent. I told Mr Pitt that, if I was at liberty to show him 
the representations that had been made against a general plan for 
the Continent and a subsidiary system, he would not think that we 
deserved to be reproached with them. And I told him, in general, of 

* He said very truly; they were quite in the D. of N. hands. H. 

1 See vol. i. 656 «. 

t N.B, One of Pitt's flummery artificial distinctions. H. 


the overtures that had been made to keep the King of Prussia 
quiet. He treated all I said with seeming respect, and made me at 
times a sort of compliment upon the rectitude of my intentions, but 
that those distinctions could not stand one moment when taken to 
pieces by an able hand ; that this was the universal opinion. What 
would be the case, he asked, when the Duke of Devonshire should 
attack the Hessian treaty in the House of Lords, which he believed 
he would do, and which should be echoed by him in the [House of 
Commons ? I told him I knew nothing of what he said of the 
Duke of Devonshire. He said he knew he disliked it and believed 
he would oppose it, (and here I find my little friend Legge again)*. 
All that I could say upon these measures signified nothing. He 
however said that, if the Russian treaty was laid aside and the 
Hessian treaty only proposed, as what should stop all other 
demands of that kind, he might possibly, (and once he said he 
would), out of regard to an act done by the King, acquiesce in that 
as an unnecessary thing, useless in all shapes, but to be submitted 
to on condition there was no other, but left it with me at last, 
that no consideration whatever should make him be both for the 
Hessian and the Russian subsidy, which determined the measure of 

When I found him so very negative, both as to what regarded 
himself personally and the measures which are, or probably may 
be, taken, and when he had plainly and invariably given me to 
understand that without he had an office of advice, (which appeared 
in discourse to mean only the Secretary's office), he would not take 
an active part, and when he declared most positively that no con- 
sideration should make him be for the Hessian and Russian treaties, 
I was determined that his declaration should not be left with . 
me only, and therefore proposed to him that he and I might 
wait upon your Lordship at Powis House on Friday sen-night at 
night, to see whether we might not explain things more to his 

He was extremely polite and cool through the whole, and readily 
agreed to meet me at Powis House, declaring, however, his resolu- 
tion, and that he was persuaded things could not be better or 
clearer explained than I had done it to him. I must end this con- 
versation as I began ; that though upon every point Mr Pitt was 
as determined and negative as possible, he acted through the whole 
with great decency, civility, duty to the King, and seeming friend- 
ship to me. 

Your Lordship, I believe, will agree with me in opinion from 
this recital (which I assure you upon my honour is a true one, 
neither aggravated nor lessened in any one particular that I know), 
that in the present system of administration we must not expect 
that assistance from Mr Pitt, which would encourage any man of 
common sense to proceed; and I am very sure that we shall deceive 

* A bit of my friend old Horace [Walpole] then much discontented [on account of 
the delay in granting him his peerage]. H. 

Y. II. 16 


ourselves, if we flatter ourselves with any hopes of an alteration, 
except the King is pleased to make him Secretary of State, whereby 
he very plainly and honestly told me he should expect to have voix 
en chapitre, both as to the recommendation to employments and the 
determination of measures ; and he urged the want of a House 
of Commons minister in the administration to be the occasion of 
the subsidiary treaties, now supposed to be entered into ; for that 
such a minister, by his representations, would have prevented them. 

This being the fact, it is now the duty of us all to consider what 
advice to give the King upon his coming home. , I will very freely 
fling out to you my thoughts for your Lordship's consideration. 
I have seen nobody but Sir Thomas Robinson, and have talked a 
little in general to him. 

There are, in my opinion, but three measures to take — the first 
I most incline to : — 

First, as the present diiificulty arises from a combination in the 
House of Commons, thus circumstanced, originally confined to 
Fox, Pitt and Legge, to which my Lord Egmont and Sir George 
Lee have in some measure since acceded, and from which Mr Fox 
has in some measure of late receded, this combination is against 
me, that is, against anyone in my station not in the House of 
Commons. The most natural remedy, the most easy way, would 
be for me to retire and the King to put Mr Fox at the head of the 
Treasury. Business would go on so for this session, for Mr Pitt 
could not object to a measure, which he himself had brought about 
and was founded upon his principles. I am serious in thinking this 
the rightest measure of all, the best at present for the King's 
measures, possibly the most agreeable to himself and, I am sure, 
the most honourable, the most easy and the most agreeable to me 
in the present circumstances. 

The next way, for me to continue where I am, Mr Pitt Secretary 
of State, Mr Legge Chancellor of the Exchequer. Whether this is 
in any shape practicable, I leave to your Lordship and all who know 
the King, to determine. 

The third and last then is, to accept Mr Fox's proposal, made 
by my Lord Granville, viz: — to take Mr Fox in, to do the business 
of the House of Commons. In this case there must be an entire 
confidence in him. His great Protector [the Duke of Cumberland] 
must say what part he would act; and the great Protector of the 
others must be told what part they must act. The Duke of Devon- 
shire must explain himself and my Lord Hartington also. Mr Fox 
must engage to act with whatever Chancellor of the Exchequer the 
King would appoint ; for a new one upon this system there must 
be. Dodington perhaps should be taken in ; the Attorney General 
[Murray] should be brought to take an active part and all our 
friends of the law. In short a system should be formed, in which 
every one in both Houses and every member of the Cabinet 
Council should previously engage to take their share, and every 
person in employment should be required to assist. 


I am far from saying that this would do. I see almost insur- 
mountable difficulties in every proposition but the first, and to that 
therefore I revert as infinitely the most preferable. I have laid 
before your Lordship the facts. I have also suggested every remedy 
that occurs to me. I hope you will weigh them all with your 
superior judgment and prudence, that you would be persuaded that 
I neither think with passion, resentment or ridiculous false modesty. 
I am open to conviction upon every point, and therefore I beseech 
you, from your love to the King, your concern for the quiet and 
peace of this country and from that friendship, which has now sub- 
sisted between us for upwards of thirty five years, and has constantly 
showed itself by a reciprocal unlimited confidence and regard, that 
you would let me have your thoughts with the same freedom and 
unreservedness with which 1 give you mine ; and if there is. any 
part of your opinion which you wish I should keep to myself, I 
give you my word that I will do it ; for otherwise I should not 
deserve that unlimited confidence. 

You know the deference I shall have to your opinion ; I had 
almost said I should be determined by that alone. It is in these 
trying circumstances, Where an able and honest friend and fellow- 
labourer can best serve his friend, his King and his country. In 
all events I think, we should observe the utmost civility to Mr Pitt, 
keep very secret what has passed with him, and if we find at our 
meeting (as I apprehend will be the case) that he is immovable, I 
think we may say that, if his declining makes it necessary for the 
King to make use of other hands, he can now have no objection to 
it. And whatever should be finally resolved upon, should not be 
known to any party concerned or to anybody but ourselves, till 
Mr Pitt has confirmed to us his determination. 

I am, my dearest Lord, with most unalterable affection. 

Ever yours, 

HoLLEs Newcastle. 

P.S. To make my narrative perfect, I must add a circumstance 
or two which I had forgot. In talking against the Hessians, 
Mr Pitt said they were of all others the worst, that they would not 
fight when they were in Scotland, and could we have any hold 
over the troops of a Prince, who had changed his religion and under 
whose influence these troops would be .■' and in talking about 
Hanover, I avowed the measure and the necessity of defending 
it if attacked, (as in this instance), for English causes, but that that 
defence should be separated from the object of the Continent. 
Mr Pitt said that was impossible, and would understand both 
Russian and Hessian treaties as singly entered into on account of 
Hanover, and what disservice must it do the King and his Royal 
Family, when the people of England saw that they could not enter 
into a war for the support of their own rights, without exposing 
themselves to such consequences .' And he repeated what he said 

16 — 2 


to your Lordship, that Hanover could only suffer by being perhaps 
for a time in the possession of some other Prince, and that even an 
indemnification would be better given afterwards than such expenses 
entered into before hand. 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 173, f. 442 ; H. 67, f. 71.] Most secret. 

WiMPOLE, Sept. i,th, 1755. At night. 

My Dear Lord, 

I begin, as I ought, with my most sincere thanks for 
the most distinct, clear and able narrative of so long a conversation, 
that ever I received in my life, and which gives me the spirit and 
connexion of the dialogue with the greatest perspicuity. The first 
observation which naturally occurs, at least to me, is that Mr Pitt 
is not mended by the counsels of his friends since his interview 
with me. On the contrary, he is worked up to a higher pitch, and 
whether the rniscarriage upon the Ohio', which is a subsequent 
event, may not have made him think himself the more necessary, 
your Grace, who saw his manner, can best determine. As I agree 
with your Grace that the wrong turn, which he set out with giving 
to my conversation with him, was a bad symptom, so I think it is 
some proof of what I have been now saying ; for as he meant to 
abate from it in what was to follow with your Grace, he might 
think it necessary not to admit what had then passed in its full 
strength. It is plain by your letter that no new proposition or 
topic was started, though several were much better illustrated and 
enforced. My next general observation is that no weight is to be 
laid upon many of the personal things which he flung out, because 
it is plain to me that they did not proceed ex animo, and he could 
not be in earnest in them. I will only instance in two of them. 
Could he really think that the Duke of Devonshire would openly 
attack the Hessian treaty in the House of Lords, and give Mr Pitt 
an opportunity of being his Echo on that subject.' 'Tis what 
I have no conception of, and could be meant only to scatter terrors. 
The other instance of this nature is Mr Legge. I am sure he has 
not that opinion of the man which the high encomium, your Grace 
has related, imports. I know he talked otherwise of him formerly, 
and rather in a light of contempt. His meaning, though double, 
was in my opinion, no more than this, partly to show the con- 
nexion between them as something more solid and important than 

1 p. 258- 


it is, and partly to rally and tease a little, under a civil disguise, 
since he knew very well that it would not give your Grace the 
greatest pleasure to hear a panegyric upon that gentleman. 'T would 
be infinite to run through all the false reasonings and partial colours 
of his discourse ; to make all the observations which his political 
system would suggest, or to give all the answers which naturally 
occur to his ill founded objections, would exhaust the language, or 
at least make a longer letter than that, which your Grace has had 
the patience to honour me with. I shall therefore confine myself 
to the two points that appear to me fundamental, and to make the 
hinge on which the whole turns. 

The first is the general principle, that there must be a minister 
with the King in the House of Commons. The other is the personal 
one, that Mr Pitt must be Secretary of State. They are neither 
of them new. The former we heard much of, even before this 
Parliament set down, but notwithstanding all the awkwardnesses 
of the last session, none of us thought that the principle made much 
way in general. 'Tis espoused by a few who are, or would be, 
leading men there, and they sound it high in order to make it 
popular. When they say a subordinate minister, 'tis what they don't 
mean ; and younger brothers as they are, their meaning is to be 
in the place of Sir Robert Walpole or Mr Pelham. If the King 
would give sufficient confidence and authority to his first minister 
to confine it to this subordinate character, possibly there might be 
no great hurt in it ; for I have long been convinced that, whoever 
your Grace shall make use of as your first man and man of con- 
fidence in the House of Commons, you will find it necessary, if he 
be a man of reputation and ability, accompanied with the ambition 
naturally incident to such a character, I say, your Grace under 
these circumstances will find it necessary to invest him with more 
power, than from the beginning you thought fit to impart, either to 
Mr Legge or Sir Thomas Robinson. 

As to the personal point, that he, Mr Pitt, must be Secretary of 
State. The tone is much higher, and the language on this topic 
much stiffened, since he talked with me. I presume that either 
from his own reflection, or the suggestions of those he calls his 
friends, he has brought himself to think that, if he does not push 
that point now, whilst he feels he is so much wanted, he gives him- 
self up for ever. And here it is plain, (and the oftener I have read 
over your Grace's letter, the more I am convinced of it), lies the great 
chasm in your conference and the great defect in that satisfaction. 


which he wished to find in it. When I say defect, I mean only with 
regard to Mr Pitt and his views ; for whether it is fit for your Grace 
to supply it or not, is a different question. He certainly wanted, 
(without directly asking for it), to draw an assurance from your 
Grace that you would press and make a point of it with the King, 
that he should be made Secretary of State within some given 
period, not before Monday, but suppose at the end of next session. 
This he tried first to do with explaining your word designation to 
mean designation to the Secretary's office, and following it with 
saying that he did not desire or insist, that it should be done imme- 
diately or before Monday. When you explained your word designa- 
tion in a more general and lower sense, he resorted to another 
scheme to draw out the same assurance by interpreting it, that it 
was not intended that he should ever be Secretary of State, and this 
he meant to pin down upon your Grace by adding, if you would 
not find out something else either for my Lord Holderness or Sir 
Thomas Robinson, tliere was an end of everything with regard to his 
taking an active part in the House of Commons. And your Grace 
resting it, that our powers went no further and stopping short there, 
without making any declaration or professions from yourself, he 
took as a negative*. You then proceeded to measures, and I take 
it for granted he grew more reluctant apd adversary upon every 
one of these points, from his disappointment in the principal 

This brings it to a point, on which your Grace and I have 
frequently talked together : — " Whether you can think it right, or 
bring yourself to declare to him, that you really wish him in the 
Secretary's office, and will in earnest recommend him to the King 
on that foot." 'Tis my opinion, though I may be mistaken, that if 
you would think fit to do that, he would close and take his active 
part immediately, even without any present promise or declara- 
tion from his Majesty. But without this, he persuades himself, 
or is persuaded, that nothing is sincere at bottom, and that the 
intention is to have the use of his talents without gratifying his 

In my answer to your Grace's letter from Halandf, I told you 

* This was the real truth and happy would it have been for the Duke of Newcastle's 
system, had he then made a point of making Mr Pitt Secretary of State, with proper 
powers, before Minorca etc. H. 

t I wish that letter had remained. It is only amongst the Duke of Newcastle's 
papers, and the Duchess very kindly refused me the sight of them. H. [See above, 
August 13.] 


my thoughts upon this question, agreeably to what I had had the 
honour to mention to you more than once before. Your own heart 
can only dictate to you whether you should do it or not. My poor 
opinion is that, without it, all further meetings and pourparlers 
with this gentleman will be vain ; not that I mean to decline the 
meeting, which your Grace has appointed for next Friday sev'n- 
night, for I will certainly obey your commands, if I am 

I come now to the conclusion your Grace has drawn from the 
whole, and very properly divided into three propositions of measures 
on which I will, with great frankness as becomes me to such a 
friend, tell you my opinion, though I must premise that,, as there is 
to be a further conference, no final opinion ought in strictness now 
to be formed. 

1. The first is to retire, and for the King to put Mr Fox at 
the head of the Treasury. As to retiring, I am ready to take my 
part. I agree with your Grace that it will be most easy, quiet and 
safe. But there are many things to be simplified and considered 
in it, before your Grace can take that part. What can it be put 
upon .'' Will it not be called deserting the King and the nation 
in this time of public difficulty and distress } Perhaps be called 
another resignation by way [of] force upon the King to take in 
Mr Pitt, which Mr Pitt disclaims now, and has done so in the 
former instance*. The world will be apt to say it is a bassesse in 
us to propose Mr Fox to the King for his Minister ; that if his 
Majesty won't enable your Grace to go on without him, let him 
choose for himself; and yet I agree with your Grace that this is 
effectually the most desirable part. 

2. The next proposition is for your Grace to continue where 
you are ; Mr Pitt Secretary of State ; Mr Legge Chancellor of the 
Exchequer. Whether this is practicable with the King depends, I 
think, upon the necessity of his affairs, and I agree that nothing 
else will induce him to it. As to your Grace's own situation in 
that case, it will be the same, in my apprehension, as you would 
find it with any other man of ability and ambition in the House of 
Commons. Pitt has it to say that we originally agreed to it in the 
case of Mr Fox, and he himself threw it away. As to the tacking to 
this Mr Legge's remaining Chancellor of the Exchequer, I don't 
imagine that would give you much trouble ; for I cannot help being 

* N.B. My Lord in his cooler hours disapproved those resignations in '46. H. 


persuaded, notwithstanding the boasted connection, that Mr Pitt 
would take ^& first in full payment. The latter will be no condi- 
tion sine qua non*. 

The 3rd proposition — to accept Mr Fox's proposal made by 
my Lord Granville. Your Grace has fully explained it and, if it is 
to be given way to, I entirely agree in the terms and conditions, 
which your Grace states as necessary to be annexed to it. I can 
add nothing to it but that, if it is thought right, I will be no 
obstacle. I will only state the difference between Mr Fox and 
Mr Pitt in respect of yourself Mr Fox has a party in the House 
of Commons and a great protector and support in Court, besides 
the personal inclination of the King. Mr Pitt has no party of his 
own there, no support at Court, and the personal disinclination of 
the King. He must therefore probably depend, at least for a good 
while, upon those who bring him thither. Your Grace knows also 
how disagreeable the uniting with Mr Fox will be to one branch of 
the Royal family', and upon these two points I leave it. 

You need not, my dear Lord, have summoned me in so solemn 
a manner to give you my opinion. That honourable connexion 
and attachment to your service, which is the pride of my life, has 
now subsisted for 35 years, and those many obligations by which 
you have made me yours, demand it from mef. I am sure your 
Grace does not doubt the cordiality of my attachment under all 
circumstances, nor suspect that I will ever forfeit that valuable 
character of friend, with which you have the goodness to honour 
me. I am sensible that, in such cases as this, my opinion does not 
deserve all that weight, which the sentiments of others may do. 
But here you have it, such as it is at present ; and if anything 
further occurs, I will be ready with it when I come to town. Your 
Grace is so good as to say that, if there is any part that I would 
have you keep to yourself, you will certainly do it. My real 
opinion is that upon such subjects, so personal and so delicate, the 
whole should be kept to ourselves, and our letters not shown to 

I have writ this letter under great interruption and, though I 
had begun it on Thursday night, have been forced to detain your 
messenger till Friday near four o'clock....! propose to be in town 

* N.B. I think he would not then have given Mr Legge quite up, though I am clear 
with my Father that he did not think highly of him. H. 
^ The Princess of Wales, 
t N.B. Surely my Father put those obligations much too high. H. 


on Thursday evening, and in person to repeat the assurances of my 
being, with the most inviolable affection. 

My dearest Lord, 

Ever yours, 


[On September 6, 1755 (N. 174, f. 5), the Duke of Newcastle, in 
answer to the Chancellor's letter of the 4th, after expressing his 
thanks for the latter's support and advice, gives it, as his own opinion, 
that it would be useless to propose Pitt to the King as Secretary of 
State, and would only embitter and render uneasy their own situa- 
tion. He has had further information concerning the attitude of 
Leicester House, and has therefore determined to visit Lord 
Hardwicke at Wimpole on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide 
what proposal shall be made to the King, who was expected home 
on Friday.] 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 67, f. 80.] Secret. Claremont, Sept. 2&th, 1755. 

My Dear Lord, 

...The Princess returned earlier, than was intended, from 
a party of pleasure on Thursday night, and immediately sent for 
C[resset]' and began thus with him. "Eh bien, voila Fox Secretaire 
d'EtatV'...She then went on, "This has been designed this twelve 
month; I have been mal trai tee."... Cresset says she was in a 
violent rage, and spoke with the greatest iirmness and resolution.... 
" I had obligations to the Duke of Newcastle, but now nous sommes 
quittes."...In short, rage and fury appeared through the whole. 

Ever yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 174, f. ■264; H. 67, f. 85.] Wimpole, Sept. 2gtk, 1755. 

...I always expected that this advancement of Mr Fox would 

meet with resentment there [at Leicester House]. When reason 

shall resume the place of passion, the answer to it will be heard, 

and that will be that this great Lady, with her friends, made this 

^ James Cresset, Secretary to the Princess and a great favourite. He was related to 
the Royal Family through Eleonore D'Olbreuse, Duchess of Zell, grandmother of 
George II. Walpole's Letters, iii. 47. 

^ The King had rightly named the cause of the Princess's intense dislike to Fox, 
which was his opposition, in the interests of the Duke of Cumberland, to the Regency 
Bill. H. 67, f. 100. 


measure unavoidable ; for if they would have done what was in 
their power to influence Mr Pitt to accept what my Lord Hartington 
says ought to have satisfied him, this had never happened.... 
H.R.H. knows, from what both your Grace and I said to her in the 
summer, that our intention was declared to bring in Pitt, Egmont 
and Lee. She knows it has been tried in the only practicable 
shape, and that she has at least acquiesced in their negative to that 
arrangement and (what made it still more impracticable) to public 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 67, f. 90.] Claremont, Oct. A,th, 1755, at night. 

...The King told me yesterday, " I am glad Abreu' has wrote 
to all word that Fox is to be subordinate to you. I told Fox that the 
ministers had brought him in, that if he did not behave well (or to 
that purpose), they would quarrel with him and so should I too." 
Fox is not popular, of which I gave H.M. some strong instances.... 
These accounts, most true as they are, do good ; and will hinder, 
I hope, any mischief from the necessary step which we have taken. 
I must do justice to Fox to say that hitherto he acts openly, fairly 
and I think cordially. I have had two long conversations with 
him, and am very well satisfied with both. He has recommended 
only five members of the House of Commons to be provided for.... 
He is very reasonable about them and only desires that they 
should go pari passu with othersf. Many of our friends are not 
pleased with what has been done, but upon talking to them, they 
must be convinced of the necessity of it.... Mr Pitt came to town 
this day. He will probably be at Court to-morrow. I spoke to 
my Lady Yarmouth about the King's speaking to him. She said 
" He will not do it. He told me at Helvoetsluys ' that he would 

not do such a bassesse to a ,' and I don't think," says my Lad)^ 

" that what has happened since will encourage him to do it." Your 

* N. B. How comes no notice to be taken of Lord Bute in these letters. He had 
then the influence at Leicester House, and when I came to town in November, I was told 
it by my brother John, who had it from Fox's friend Hamilton. H. [Probably 
William Gerard, known as " Single speech Hamilton" (1729-1796), M.P. for Petersfield. 
He was connected with the Chancellor's family, but had declared himself of Fox's party 
in the spring, and in 1756 was, on the latter's recommendation, made a Lord of Trade. 
In 1761 he was made Chief Secretary for Ireland, and in 1763 Irish Chancellor of the 

' Spanish minister in England. 

t The Duke of N. was always in raptures at first with a new friend, and angry with 
him in a week. H. [Cf. Walpole, George IT, ii. 43-+, "His. ..terms were moderate 
for, not intending to be more scrupulous than he knew the Duke of Newcastle would be, 
in the observance of their articles of friendship, he insisted on the preferment or 
promotion of only five persons."] 


Lordship sees by this how impossible it was to get over that pre- 
judice. In talking to her Ladyship about the Princess and the 
hopes that Munchausen' had, that all would be well, she said 
"Je n'en crois rien. Elle est en mains qui ne veuillent pas la 
permettre," and then with a smile " We both know what we mean, 
though neither of us will speak*." 

[On October 12, 1755 (N. 17s, f. 13 ; H. 67, f. 97), the Duke of 
Newcastle dispatched a long letter to the Chancellor on the great 
perplexities now besetting the administration, arising chiefly from 
the Princess of Wales's party who, however, according to Lord 
Egmont, was prepared to give up her opposition, in return for 
favours to her servants and further provision for her children.] 

Lord Chaticellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 175, f. 30.] V^TiMPOLE, Oct. 13M, 1755. 

...The conduct of the Court at Kew is the most surprising of 
all, and those who have instigated it have the most to answer for. 

'Tis what no views or resentments of ambition can excuse Cannot 

people be made sensible of the danger and iniquity of such a 
measure, especially in a time of such public danger and distress, 
which requires the united assistance of all hands and hearts.... 
I agree with Lord Egmont in some parts of what he proposed by 
way of complaisance to the Princess of Wales. Gratifying one or 
two of her servants might be done, and I think some additional 
provision for her younger children would be very right in itself. 
If everything would come right at such a price, 'twould be ridiculous 
to refuse to give it, and I am very sorry to see the King so negative 
on that subject. The increase of age of the children may make it 
necessary, and I think his Majesty might do it without making 
a precedent for any other of his family. On this occasion I don't 
wonder that the King should reflect on the plan of the Regency 
Bill, but I wonder that Her Royal Highness does notl However 
I cannot persuade myself that that will have much effect upon his 
mind, as to ourselves. Your Grace named my Lord Bute in a very 
proper manner, and I heartily wish you could find ways and means 
to come at him. The Scotch are not used to be impenetrable to 
such motives. He was not only a servant of her husband's but, 

1 Hanoverian minister. 

* Meaning Lord Bute, but why all this mystery. The King should have spoke himself 
to the Princess. H. 

' I.e. it is not surprising the King should, in consequence of the Princess's conduct, 
regret the power given to her by the Regency Bill. 


I think, it was said at the time, that she brought him into that 

The conversation between Pitt and Fox is curious and quite in 
the style^...M.oi\. faithfully and unalterably yours, 


Hon. John Yarke to Lord Royston 
[H. ^6, f. 125.] Lincoln's Inn, Oct. iS/A, 1755. 

...Mr Pitt is very busy, is particularly well received at Leicester 
House and his late friend^ hardly spoke to. The great person 
there* seems vastly uneasy, and has looked very ill of late. By 
means of his old emissary Glover^ he is endeavouring to stir up a 
clamour in the city against subsidies, from whence Lord Egmont 
says we are to have petitions against them. That will be going 

very far and is new. Lord T e' and he have been lately at 

Woburn with intention to stay a week, as the story goes, but met 
with so cold a reception that they packed up their cloak bags and 
went away the day after they came. I find Mr Fox's circular to 
his friends, in which he uses an expression we heard repeated, is 
spoken of pretty freely, as not being quite so artful as might have 
been expected^... 

[On Nov. 3, 1755 (N. 17s, f. 324), the Chancellor gives an 
account to the Duke of Newcastle of an interview, which he has 
had, by his desire, with the Duke of Bedford. He found him in 

' The Duke of Newcastle had related (f. 10) on Lord Granville's authority, " Pitt has 
been with Fox and told him, 'We Sir, stand now upon dififerent ground ; we were upon 
the same circumvergent ground but now, Sir, you have done what was right for you and 
I must do what is right for myself.'" 

^ Further on the same topic, H. 67, f. 108. 

' No doubt Sir George Lyttelton, who now joined the government as Chancellor of 
the Exchequer. 

■* Lord Bute. 

" Richard Glover (1712-1785), the poet, author of the unreadable Leonidas and 
Athenaid. He dabbled in politics, as an adherent of the Prince of Wales, posed as a 
patriot, wrote the ballad Hosier's Ghost, and became later a supporter of Bute and 
Leicester House; M.P. for Weymouth in 1761; left anonymous Memoirs, in which he 
shows himself an extremely unintelligent spectator of the events of his time and an 
inaccurate narrator ; see his ludicrous criticisms of the Chancellor and his comment upon 
the struggle for the New World : " The right of these useless lands was not a question 
worth resolving, in my estimation." p. 59. 

' Probably Lord Temple. 

' It is printed by Walpole, George II, ii. 65-66. It began: "The King has de- 
clared his intention to make me Secretary of State and I, (very unworthy as I fear I am 
of such an undertaking), must take upon me the conduct of the House of Commons." 
According to Walpole he had in it so injudiciously betrayed his own aspirations that 
the letter gave general offence, and it was the subject of a debate in the Commons 
on November 21. 


good humour, disposed to support the two subsidiary treaties^, 
against divisions and expressing no ill-will or jealousy of the 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 67, f. 127.] Cockpit, Dec. iph, 1755. 

...Allow me to say, my dear Lord, that I never was so much 
hurt as with your reproach yesterday which, I declare, I did not 
deserve. Your Lordship is extremely mistaken, and that all the 
world knows, if you can imagine that I value any man a hand- 
width part so much as I do you, or that I would prefer any one's 
recommendations to yours. Your recommendations are always 
orders to me and I never did, or will, dispute them, when your 
Lordship insists upon them. You must be sensible that you never 
insisted, though very much wished, as I did, that Lord Sandys 
might have one of the vacancies 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 67, f. 131.] Newcastle House, Dec. 20th, 1755. 

My Lord, 

The enclosed papers will show your Lordship how little 
reason my Lord Sandys had to refuse, or be offended with, an offer 
of an employment which brings in clear 2600 per ann. paid weekly in 
London. But the very severe expressions, made use of last night 
by your Lordship, affected me so sensibly, that I immediately took 
a resolution to procure an employment for my Lord Sandys to his 
Lordship's satisfaction, or to retire from business ; for I will not 
serve one moment after I am convinced that I have lost the least 
degree of that confidence, good opinion or affection with which you 
had honoured me for five and thirty years. I have therefore 
desired Mr Fox to induce my Lord Sandwich or my Lord 
Berkeley of Stratton to accept the Irish office.... As soon as I have 
either of their answers, I shall acquaint your Lordship with them, 
and am with great respect, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obedient, humble servant, 

HoLLES Newcastle*. 

' He supported them in the debate in the Lords on December 10, 175,5, when Lord 
Temple violently opposed them. Walpole, George II, ii. 104 ; cf. ib. 46. 

* N.B. Lord Sandys was a useful man in the common business of the House of 
Lords ; in other respects his importance was of little moment, nor do I see why my 
Father made such a stir for fiim. H. 

[Samuel Sandys, first Baron Sandys of Ombersley (c. 1695-1770), formerly M.P. for 
Worcester and author of the Place Bill of 1734, which however later, in I74'2, when 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, he opposed ; viks succeeded by Henry Pelham in 1743 ^""^ 
was raised to the peerage and made Cofferer of the Household ; Treasurer of the Chamber 
1747-1755, and a w^arden of the King's forests 1756. On the Chancellor's resignation in 
November 1756, he was appointed Speaker of the House of Lords.] 


Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 176, f. 357.] Powis House, Dee. loth, 1755. 

My Dear Lord, 

I received the honour of your Grace's letter whilst 
I was at dinner with company, otherwise I should have sat down 
to have answered it immediately. I am very sorry that anything 
I said last night in the coach should make such an impression 
upon your Grace, as you are pleased to describe. I might say it 
hastily but it proceeded 'from the fullness of my heart, not arising 
from the object in question, but because I thought I discerned 
that the affair had been treated with a certain indifference, and 
that indifference was ascribed to a want of zeal in pressing the 
affair by me which, I own, hurt me the more. If in this I was 
mistaken, I heartily ask your Grace's pardon for what passed ; but 
I own I could not bear with patience any symptoms of that kind 
in your Grace, or what appeared to me in that light, after a friend- 
ship which had been my pride for five and thirty years, and after 
the most faithful and invariable attachment to your Grace for 
as long a duration, from which I had never deviated, however 
unprofitable to you it may have been. But if in all this I was 
under an error, id nee dictum, esto.... 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 67, f. 133.3 Clarbmont, Dec. 2ith, 1755. 

...I now come to our domestic affairs, and there the King talked 
very freely and very warmly, pretty much in the old strain, the 
necessity of doing something, the extravagant behaviour of Leicester 
House, the taking no notice of anybody who had received employ- 
ments from the King, the open countenance given to those in the 
most violent opposition etc:... I have reserved for a note apart, to 
be burnt immediately, to acquaint you by the King's order with a 
proposal of his Majesty which, you will easily see, is impracticable 
and dangerous, viz: that the two Houses should address the King 
to remove from the Princess all persons who have endeavoured 
to create misunderstandings in the Royal family, by which H.M. 
means particularly my Lord Bute. I told the King that it would 
be expected that some proof should be made. H.M. said, "Im- 
peachments have often been M'pon public fame on\y." The thought 
must drop of itself I could not avoid mentioning it, and I wish 
you would say a word or two in answer, in a separate paper 
which I will burn also as soon as I have read it*. 

* N.B. Papers desired to be burnt are generally kept. H. 



We now emerge from the devious courses and obscure windings 
of the petty intrigues which fill so large a space in the annals of 
the time, upon the broader scene of the great international struggle, 
on the issue of which depended the whole subsequent developement 
of the British Empire and, to a large extent, the history of the 

It had been evident for some time that peace between the rival 
nations existed only in form. In the New World the Treaty of 
Aix-la-Chapelle had scarcely interrupted the course of hostilities. 
In the summer of 1754 the French succeeded in erecting the 
strong fort of Duquesne on the Ohio, expelling the English, while 
George Washington, who came up with assistance, was defeated 
and taken prisoner^ On September 21 the Chancellor was sum- 
moned to London to deal with the crisis which had arisen and 
decide on measures of reinforcement. The ministers however were 
handicapped in their military plans. The policy of the Duke of 
Newcastle and the Chancellor, which was justified by the evident 
reluctance of the French to declare war'' and by the situation 
in Europe — where the Austrian alliance was lost, the league 
with Prussia uncertain, Holland wavering, Spain neutral only 
if not incensed by British encroachments in the New World, 
Hanover defenceless and if conquered to be held as a pledge by 
the enemy for acquisitions in America — was to avoid an open 
rupture, to concentrate all the national strength on the contest 
in the Colonies and to send out reinforcements with as much 
secrecy and as little ostentation as possible. In the King's Speech 

1 H. 382, f. i6i. 

^ R. Waddington's Louis XV, 185-7. They were actually at this moment making 
informal proposals for peace to the Chancellor and through other channels. 

256 THE WAR 

on opening Parliament on November 14, 1754, the Chancellor 
studiously avoided any mention of hostilities^ This policy, how- 
ever, met with strong opposition, at first more secret than open, 
from the Duke of Cumberland and Fox, who employed all methods 
to hurry the country into a declared and general war with France, 
in which event, their influence, as founded on the army, would 
certainly be greatly increased ; while at the same time the 
administration would be embarrassed in Parliament and more 
dependent upon their faction ^. According to Lord Royston a grave 
error was committed by "going so precipitately into a war with 
France before the real grounds of it, as stated by the Americans, 
were thoroughly understood; [also] the not sending a successor to 
Lord Albemarle' to sift the real intentions of that Court, the not 
making a point of uniting the Colonies for their common defence, 
before a war was entered upon*" — and, it may be added, while 
Great Britain had no allies of any weight on the Continent and her 
own military resources were so greatly inferior. "One great political 
reason for avoiding a war, by all means that were safe and decent, 
was the enormous power which was likely to be thrown by it into 
the Duke [of CumberlandJ's hands'." The Duke monopolised the 
management of military affairs, exercised his choice of commanders 
with unwise partiality and brought forward few or none of the 
more promising younger ofificers, while the necessary military 
training both of officers and men was much neglected, and was 
declared by Wolfe* to be the worst in Europe. There can be 
little doubt that to this cause must be chiefly ascribed the. notable 
absence of military success in the initial stages of the war, and 
Lord Royston blames the ministers for continuing to carry on 

^ Pari. Hist. xv. 530. The second Lord Hardwicke does not appear to have under- 
stood the object and policy of the ministry when he writes "I must fairly admit that 
the draft of the speech was not strong enough about N. America, where we were sending 
troops and commissions, and had been forcibly dispossessed of forts. It gave an advantage 
to Potter [one of Pitt's adherents] the ist day of the session. Pitt was silent, but had 
tutored the latter." H. 66, f. 206; see J. S. Corbett, Englandin tkeSeven Years' War, i. 

10-30- 37- 

" See above, p. 199; Ruville, Life of Pitt (1907), i. 355; Lord Waldegrave's 
Memoirs, 46; Lord Shelburnis Life, by Lord Fitrmaurice, i. 79, Autobiography, 
"The war was contrived by the Duke of Cumberland underhand. Mr Fox was his 
instrument. Mr Pitt was not sorry for it, as things stood. The Duke of Newcastle 
was frightened, bullied and betrayed into it...." 

' Ambassador to France; he had died at Paris in 1754. 

■* Lord Anson had urged the organisation of the colonists in the first place and their 
support by officers from England (PL 28, f. 127); and Lord Loudoun was sent as 
Commander-in-Chief of all the Colonies. 

" H. 247, f. 4. ' Wolfe's Life, by Wright, 324, 329. 


the government with this important province withdrawn from their 

The ill effects of these mischievous influences were only too 
apparent in the opening incident of the war. In October 1754 
a force of 2000 troops was dispatched to the scene of conflict 
in North America, while a plan of campaign was settled for the 
following year, which included the conquest of Montreal and 
Quebec^. It was intended by the Chancellor and the Duke of 
Newcastle that the force should embark as secretly and as quietly 
as possible, in order not to alarm the French and avoid provoking 
reprisals. The expedition, however, with the object of precipitating 
the war, was published by Fox, now Secretary for War, in the 
Gazette and announced with as much parade as possible, without 
the knowledge or authority of the ministers. " The force," writes 
Lord Waldegrave, apparently unaware that he is censuring not the 
ministers but his friend Fox, "was nowise adequate to any great 
plan of operation, and might have gone imperceptibly without 
giving the least alarm. But the whole was conducted with all the 
pride and solemnity of a formidable armament, by which injudicious 
ostentation an European, as well as an American war, became 
inevitable'." In consequence of this ill-advised publicity a still 
stronger force was sent out by the French, which arrived safely at 
its destination, escaping Admiral Boscawen's fleet with the loss 
of only two ships^ The choice by the Duke of Cumberland of 
General Braddock to command the expedition, a favourite of his 
own but whose military abilities were generally decried, made 
success still more improbable. " I am sure," Col. Joseph Yorke 
writes on April i, 1755, "that the account given you of him is the 
true one, for I have known him these 14 years and I never knew 
him do anything but swear, but you know he is not of my recom- 
mendation. There are several young gentlemen gone with the 
embarkation from Cork who, I am persuaded, will distinguish 
themselves and who may repair the want of better capacities in 
the chiefs." On May 20 he declares Braddock to be " the last man 
in the army he should have chosen for that command"." These 

' H. 247, f. 4; pp. ■282, 306, 310. 

2 H. 561, f. 208. 

' Memoirs, 27 ; N. 166, f. 56; below, p. 282 ; R. Waddington, Louis XV et le Ren- 
versement des Alliances, 60-75. 

'' H. 258, f. 148 ; Barrow's Life of Lord Anson, 235 ; Waddington, Louis XV et le 
Renversement des Alliances, 6osqq., 96, 106; Boscawen sailed on April 28, 1755, and 
the French fleet on May 3 ; below, p. 284. 

» p. 285; H. 8, ff. 265> 3". 315. 354; H. 40, f. 61. 

Y. II. 17 


unfavourable forebodings were only too well justified by the 
subsequent total defeat of the general on attacking Fort Duquesne 
on July 9, 1755, a serious disaster for which a small success obtained 
by the British in surprising the French fort of Beaus6jour on 
June 16, 1755, and another near Lake George gained by General 
Johnson in September, were no compensation. It is only fair 
to the unfortunate General's memory to add that he had great 
difficulties to encounter, that the colonists were backward in lending 
their assistance, that the conduct of his men was unsatisfactory 
and that he fought and died bravely with the last words on his 
lips " We shall know better how to deal with them next time'." 

In the Council of Regency a sharp contest took place on the 
question of declaring war with France, which was strongly opposed 
by the Chancellor^, who was supported by the Duke of Newcastle, 
but urged persistently by the Duke of Cumberland and Fox. The 
war party prevailed so far that Sir Edward Hawke, who was placed 
in command of a fine fleet of 18 ships', sailed with instructions, in 
July, to inflict all possible damage upon the enemy's shipping, — 
orders which were extended to the enemy's warships later in 
Augusf. War was not actually declared till May 17, 1756, after 
the attack upon Minorca had begun, but before the end of the 
present year Sir Edward Hawke succeeded in bringing in 300 
French merchant ships and 7000 to 8000 French sailors. The 
ministers were hampered in their plans and operations in all 
directions. The Princess of Wales continued to cabal against 
them and to press for the appointment of Lord Bute as Groom 
of the Stole. The King, in spite of the ministers' expostulations, 
had persisted in leaving England for Hanover, accompanied by 
Lord Holderness, at the very moment when the outbreak of 
hostilities with France in Europe appeared imminent, and when 

' H. 50, f. 271; Walpole's Z^rtera, iii. 336; H. 28, f. 127. 

^ The shallow and hostile Lord Waldegrave adds in his Memoirs (47, 56) : The 
Chancellor ' ' agreeable to the common practice of the law, was against bringing the cause 
to an immediate decision" ; though a few pages later he himself expressly states, " As to the 
land service, we first engaged in a war and then began to prepare ourselves ; consequently 
our internal force must be very deficient. This might have been foreseen and prevented 
without any extraordinary sagacity ; for it certainly was in our power to have deferred the 
war, till the nation had been in a better state of defence...." After this it is no great 
matter of surprise to hear that Lord Hardwicke "might have been thought a great 
man, had he been less avaricious, less proud, less unlike a gentleman and not so great a 
politician" (20). 

^ Barrow's Life of Anson, 239. 

■• A. T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power on History, 284-5; below, pp. 282-3; H. 69, 
f. 90; H. Walpole's George II, ii. 32. 


there was even some danger and risk attached to such an ex- 

In Parliament, Pitt and his adherents were fulminating against 
the Hessian treaty concluded on June 18, 17SS, which secured, at 
the price of ;£'300,000, 12,000 Hessians to serve in Germany, the 
Netherlands or Great Britain, as occasion required, and against 
the Russian treaty completed on September 30, whereby 55,000 
Russians were engaged at the cost of ;£'5oo,ooo a year. Such 
subsidies were far more defensible in time of war than in peace, 
and no one knew better than Pitt their value or employed them to 
better purpose when in power. " While we had France for our 
enemy it [Germany] was a scene to employ and to baffle her arms. 
Had the armies of France not been employed in Germany, they 
would have been transported to America.... America had been 
conquered in Germany." These were Pitt's words in discussing 
the Treaty of Peace in 1762^ Now however the same measures 
"were framed entirely for the preservation of Hanover," as parts of 
" a vast comprehensive system," an " unsizeable, impracticable and 
desperate project," which must "bring bankruptcy upon Great 
Britain." The British people were " pressed into the service of 
an electorate... deceived by names and sounds... and none but 
a nation that had lost all signs of virility would submit to be 
so treated^" 

In the Lords the attack upon the government was begun on 
November 13, 1755, on the address of thanks for the King's Speech 
by Lord Temple, who was answered by the Chancellor, after which 
the motion was agreed to without a division. On December 3 
Lord Temple moved for papers relating to various Hessian and 
Russian treaties, " and fell upon the Chancellor who, he said, had 
hurried on the taking them into consideration, and by his own 
authority converted three weeks into a fortnight... And then the 
Chancellor laid Temple on very handsomely, said he did not 
expect, nor had ever heard, so unfair an allegation in that House 
of Parliament, appealed for his candour in wording the motion for 
taking the treaties into consideration of the whole House, and 
observed much, and very well and with a great deal of spirit,... upon 
the particular spleen and temper that Temple seemed to show 
upon the present occasion'." Lord Temple, however, undeterred 

> Pari. Hist. xv. 1-266; also Walpole's George III, i. 75. 

^ Almon's Anecdotes and Speeches of Lord Chatham {1793), i. 276. 

^ Rigby to Duke of Bedford, December 4, Bedford Corresp. ii. 176. 

17 — 2 

26o THE WAR 

by these rebukes, renewed his attack on December lo, when the 
Chancellor once more spoke in support of the government. "Seeing 
the Prince of Wales there taking notes, he said he now began 
to have hopes of him ; hoped he would be the father of all his 
subjects'." He emphasized the fact that these treaties constituted 
no new departure but were merely a developement of former policy. 
It was impossible to acquiesce in the new and strange doctrine 
that England should never enter into any treaties of alliance abroad, 
a doctrine which would be absolutely inconsistent with the safety 
and interests of the kingdom, No man of sense or integrity would 
say that they could quite separate themselves from the continent. 
A commercial kingdom must have connections there. Far from 
being a measure to kindle a general war upon the continent, as 
had been objected, this was one to prevent it, and was a treaty of 
defence with Russia against any power which should attack the 
King or his allies. Nor was it entered into singly for the defence 
of Hanover, though that was included in it, only, however, in the 
case that Hanover should be attacked on account of Great Britain. 
Its purpose was also the defence of Great Britain and of the King's 
allies, and for these objects they must employ foreign troops ; they 
had none to spare from home. He regretted the frequency of the 
introduction of Hanover into their debates as an instrument of 
raising popular disaffection. Had there been no connection with 
Hanover, it would nevertheless have been necessary to take some 
such measures to prevent the extension of French influence 
throughout Europe. He would himself make no attempt to appeal 
to passions but to unbiassed judgments. But, for God's sake, from 
whence proceeded all that unprovoked, unprecedented invective? 
Had ministers in an instant changed their shapes and natures to 
be one month panegyrized into angels and the next transformed 
into monsters"? It must proceed from some hidden cause which 
he would not pretend to explain. He concluded by alluding to 
the " impotent menace " thrown out of invoking the parliamentary 
power of impeachment. Their lordships' justice was not a thing to 

' Pari. Hist. xv. 529-31 and 616-47, where the Chancellor's notes of these debates 
and his speech on the latter occasion are printed. H. 5, f. 181. Walpole's George II, 
ii. 49, 104, according to whom the Chancellor "spoke severely against Lord Temple 
and fulsomely and indecently.. .flattered the Duke [of Cumberland]. 

^ "Lord Temple repaid the invective. He did not know, he said, whom he had 
painted as angels ; he had some time ago heard one man (Mr Fox by Lord Hardwicke on 
the Marriage Bill) painted as a monster — he did not know how he would be represented 
now." Walpole's George II, ii. 105. 


be played with, and those that did so, were usually the first to 
suffer by it. 

The motion of censure upon the government was then put 
to the vote and lost by 85 to I2\ 

The new year, 1756, opened gloomily. Though the formal 
declaration of war with France was not published till May, it was 
plain that a great contest had been entered upon and, if Britain 
was to stand alone, with insufficient forces. There appeared every 
prospect of an immediate invasion, and to supply the want of 
a military force, application was made to the Dutch for the 6000 
men which they were bound by treaty to send over in such a 
contingency, and on their refusal" a large force of Hessians and 
of Hanoverians was landed in this country in May 1756. The 
employment of foreign troops in support of the national security, 
though by no means unprecedented, put a useful weapon into 
the hands of the Opposition. " What an inglorious picture 
for this country," cried Pitt, " to figure gentlemen driven by an 
invasion like a flock of sheep, and forced to send their money 
abroad to buy courage and defence'!" In December 1755 Charles 
Townshend had introduced his Militia Bill, which received Pitt's 
strongest support and which now passed the Commons in May 
1756. The proposed measure, like many other subsequent military 
schemes, was specious and plausible on paper. It provided a militia 
of 61,250 men, all foot, liable to be called upon by the civil power 
to serve outside their counties but not abroad, and subject only to 
the civil law, except when actually embodied, the Crown being 
empowered, after apprising Parliament, to call out the force and 
place it under officers of the regular army in case of rebellion or 
invasion. The Lords-Lieutenant or their Deputies, together with 
the commissioners of the land tax, fixed the proportion for each 
hundred, and supervised the lists, the men being chosen by ballot 
and serving for three years. They were to be exercised on Sunday, 
and to receive when called out the same pay as the regular forces, 
and it was computed that, in the course of 12 years the scheme 
would provide 240,000 or 250,000 men trained to arms, while the 
cost was reckoned at not more than ;£^300,000 a year*. 

' I'arl. Hist. xv. 659-663 ; Walpole, George IT, ii. 105. For debate in Commons, 
December 13, see H. 5, ff. 181, 183, and Walpole's George II, ii. 118. 

" Waddington's Louis XV, 228. 

' Walpole's George II, ii. loi. 

* Walpole's George II, ii. 97, 191, 201 ; Clode's Military Forces of the Crown, i. 38-41 ; 
see the Bill with corrections, some in H.'s hand, H. 529, ff. 277 sqq. 

262 THE WAR 

The general principle of the bill, which was the substitution 
of a genuine British force for the foreign regiments in the cause 
of the national defence, appealed strongly to the sentiment of national 
honour. "Walled towns, stored arsenals and armories...," Bacon had 
written, "number in armies, ordnance and artillery — they are all 
but a sheep in a lion's skin, except the breed and disposition of the 
people be military.... A Prince or State that resteth upon waged 
companies of foreign armies... may spread his feathers for a time, 
but he will mew them soon after'." 

The notion that an untrained or half-trained body of men, because 
they were British, were equal to the well-drilled and disciplined 
approved foreign troops and could take their place, flattered the 
national pride. The Bill in the abstract was extremely popular and 
was approved by several supporters of the government, including the 
elder Horace Walpole, the speaker Onslow and Sir George Lyttelton. 
In reality, however, the measure was ill-considered and objectionable 
in many of its details. The debates upon it in the House of Commons 
had been neglected and had frequently taken place with not more 
than 1 5 members present, and the real object of the zeal and eager- 
ness shown in pressing on the measure was to embarrass the govern- 
ment by forcing ministers into opposition to a popular measured 
Many, according to Walpole, voted for it, believing that its own 
impracticability would defeat it, and on May i8, 1756, it was read 
a second time in the Lords with the support of the Duke of Bedford, 
and allowed to pass through the Committee without any division'. 

On the third reading, however, on May 24, the Chancellor 
declared against it, in spite of representations from several quarters, 
urging a prudent acquiescence. The speech which he made on this 
occasion and which lasted an hour, was printed by his authority, a 
proof of his anxiety that the nature and reasons of his opposition 
should not be misunderstood*. He began by complaining of the 
manner in which legislation was carried through Parliament. 
Formerly, laws were first considered and passed in the Upper 
House where the learned judges were always ready to give their 
assistance. They were able to inform Parliament, from their know- 
ledge and experience, whether the grievance complained of proceeded 

' Of the Greatness of Kingdoms. 

''■ R. Phillimore, Memoirs of Lord Lyttelton, 510; H. Walpole (the elder) to H., 
H. 246, f. 40 and Coxa's Lord Walpole, ii. 424; H. 246, ff. 263, 296. 
3 Pari. Hist. xv. 704-6. 
* It was reprinted in 1770 and again later in the Pari. Hist. xv. 724. 


from the non-execution of the existing laws and whether it was of 
such a nature as might be remedied by a new law. This was the 
meaning of the writs of summons, those to the Commons being "ad 
consentiendum," and those to the Lords "ad consulendum'." The 
method now prevailing of sending up Bills drawn and passed in the 
Commons to the Lords at the end of the session, when there was no 
opportunity to properly consider them, had great inconveniences. 
The Bills, drawn up without consultation with the judges and neg- 
lected by the Lords through want of time, nearly always required 
further new laws for explaining and amending them. By these 
means the statute books had grown to such a bulk that the most 
experienced lawyer could not pretend to be master of their contents. 
It was high time to put a stop to this abuse, and their Lordships 
should refuse to pass any Bill which came up to them too late to 
examine it maturely and with the assistance of the judges. More- 
over, the following points should receive their special consideration : 
(i) whether a new law was necessary for the purpose intended, since 
a multitude of useless laws was the greatest plague to which a 
people could be exposed ; (2) whether the grievance was of such 
a nature as to be curable by any human law ; (3) whether the 
removal of the particular grievance might not result in introducing 
one still greater; and lastly, whether the law was expressed in clear 
terms and was such as would effect the object desired. 

Proceeding, he claimed indulgence on account of illness, and 
began by declaring and affirming his own decided preference for 
a national militia to the employment of foreign troops. " I am 
for a militia and I am against laying the nation under the necessity 
of resorting to the aid of foreign forces in general." But he objected 
to the present Bill on two general grounds. The first was a con- 
stitutional one of some gravity, though " he could with truth affirm 
to their Lordships that he was not for stretching the prerogative; 
nor was he ever thought by any impartial man one of those who 
are called prerogative lawyers. He was only concerned for the due 
temperament of this mixed government; that this limited monarchy, 
as established since the Restoration, and improved at the Revolution, 
may be preserved and delivered down unhurt to posterity." In this 
Bill the militia was taken from the control of the Crown and placed 
under that of Parliament, violating the law enacted at the Restora- 
tion, which, in its preamble, declared "that the sole and supreme 

^ Stubbs' Constitutional //istory (iS8o), iii. 428, but this distinction did not apparently 
always exist in the earlier writs of Edward I, cf. ii. 273-5. 

264 THE WAR 

power... command and disposition of the militia is... and ever was 
the undoubted right of his Majesty." This the present Bill repealed. 
It obliged the Crown to apprize Parliament before calling out the 
force, an obligation which in time of emergency might render it 
useless. It provided no pay for the men when called out and, 
lastly, it placed the execution of the Act chiefly in the hands of the 
Land Tax Commissioners, a class of officials appointed exclusively 
by the House of Commons and which included no peers. " The 
scale of power in this government has long been growing heavier 
on the democratical side. I think this would throw a great deal 
of weight into it. What I contend for is this, to preserve the 
limited monarchy entire, and nothing can do that but to preserve 
the counterpoise." 

After dwelling upon a number of special defects in the Bill in 
detail, such as the absence of provision for maintaining discipline 
and the undesirable multiplication of oaths which the Bill further 
increased, he passed to the general political objection that such 
a Bill would make a military state. " In universum, populi bellicosi 
feriari gaudent," Bacon had written, "et pericula quam labores minus 
exhorrentV He distinguished between a "martial spirit" and a 
" military habit." To instil the former there was nothing better 
than to make the practice of shooting with muskets general through- 
out the country; and this could be easily effected by a slight modi- 
fication of the statute of 33 Henry VIII, c. 9, which ordered the 
practice of shooting with the bow and arrows for all males between 
7 and 60. As for the latter, he declared it his absolute conviction 
that a nation of merchants, manufacturers, artisans and husbandmen, 
defended by an army, was vastly preferable to a nation of soldiers. 
The weaning of the people since the days of Elizabeth from arms 
to trade, arts and manufactures, had been the origin of the national 
greatness and prosperity. From thence had sprung commerce, 
colonies, riches, England's real strength. In Scotland, on the other 
hand, had been lately seen the results of the practice and habit of 
arms. The people had become averse from agriculture and labour, 
idle, followers of sports, next of thieving, and at last of rebellion, as 
a more extensive scene of plunder. To cure this mischief they had 
been disarmed, and would their Lordships introduce the same dis- 
position into England ? 

He added a third religious objection ; the regular exercise on 

' De Augmentis Scimliarum, lib. 8, cap. 3, sect. 5. 


Sunday would turn the holy day into a fair, and a constant scene 
of jollity and the face and public appearance of religion would be 
abolished from the country ^ 

In conclusion he reaffirmed his general approval of a militia 
and declared, if another Bill should be brought in next session, 
providing for a force of about half the number now proposed and 
controlled by the Crown, or to be incorporated upon emergency 
with the regular troops, he would support it. The Bill was then 
rejected by a great majority, the numbers being 59 to 23^. 

"My Lord Chancellor's argument against the Bill," wrote Gilbert 
Elliot, an adherent of the Pitt faction and supporter of the measure 
to George Grenville, "was worthy of so great a man, one who declared 
that day he was no prerogative lawyer. He too is a friend to 
militia; his idea is that it ought to consist only of 30,000 men, a 
fixed revenue for their pay, not to be annually voted, to depend 

^ Several petitions and remonstrances from Protestant Nonconformist and Anglican 
bodies were presented to Parliament against this provision. Pari. Hist. xv. 782. 

"^ Pari. Hist. xv. 724-746 ; for list of division H. 529, ff. 303-5, and notes of Lord H.'s 
speech f. 293, beginning: — • 

' ' Sorry to differ 

— more sorry that, after bill having been depending four months, it comes novr to be 
debated originally and for the first time in this last stage of it. 

— Respect for the persons and for the abilities of those etc. 

Very laudable to turn their thoughts to some scheme for rendering the Militia useful. 

Brought in with a reasonable view, a view of prudence and temper. 

— to lie over to another session to be understood and considered. 

Why that was departed from, especially as it is avowed that it can be of no use in our 
present exigency, cannot imagine. 

As I have had the misfortune to be all along of opinion against this bill, think it my 
duty to declare my thoughts. 

As I am not perfectly well at present, desire to be heard with some indulgence and with 
some excuse for what I shall say — 

Shall deliver my opinion with the same freedom, as if I had no other seat in this 
House but etc:, and with the same truth and sincerity, as if I was absolutely certain that it 
was the last opinion I should give here. 

Obj: Am aware of some prejudices — against a militia in general — for creating and 
perpetuating the necessity of foreign forces. Disclaim them both — am for a militia." 

But N.B. f. 299 where the passage beginning, "We have seen this in Scotland" is 
crossed out, and the whole ends with ' ' Liberavi animam meam " erased. 

There is very little resemblance to the speech printed in the text of the Pari. Hist. 
XV. 724 which, however, is the only version which contains the Chancellor's complaints 
on the subject of legislation. Clode, Military Forces, i. 38 ; L. Dickins, An i&th 
Century Corr. 335; cf. Walpole, George II, ii. 202, who adds incoherently, "If I 
have here marked out Lord Hardwicke's memory to the indignation of free men, he 
might pardon me; there are always numbers ready to admire the advocates of prerogative — 
Laud had his adorers, Jeffreys hardly escaped them." Cf. also the amiable Glover : "No 
one distinguished himself more in opposition to it than the Chancellor Lord Hardwicke, 
marking his own prostitution and servility under religious cant and hypocrisy by declaiming 
against the profanation of the Sabbath." (Memoirs, 74.) 

266 THE WAR 

solely on the Crown. The consent of Parliament to their being 
called is no doubt a violent encroachment upon prerogative.... This 
hint, it is devoutly to be wished, will be adopted next session'." 

In the following year, 1757, the Bill was received from the 
Commons" once more and amended by the Lords in accordance 
with the Chancellor's views now expressed. The land-tax com- 
missioners were excluded from the execution of the Act, which was 
placed in the hands of the Lords- Lieutenant and their Deputies. The 
number of men to be enrolled was reduced to 32,340. The training 
day was changed from Sunday to Monday, while the term of service 
was limited to three years and the annual training to 20 days. More- 
over, in case of emergency, when Parliament was not sitting, the 
force could be called out by the Crown by proclamation'. The 
new measure, however, which was passed into law for five years on 
trial on June 28, 1757, by a wave of national sentiment, by no means 
fulfilled the expectations of its zealous promoters. Immediately 
upon being put into execution, the Act became exceedingly un- 
popular. The enthusiasm of the country gentlemen was seen then 
not to extend in general beyond the parliamentary debates and 
they showed, with some few exceptions, very little zeal in entering 
upon their new military functions^; while the obligations and burdens 
it placed upon the people were so distasteful and oppressive, as to 
cause organised resistance and dangerous riots in several parts of 
the country"*. In 1759, by which time 17,436 m.en had been raised 

' Grenville Papers, i. 160-1. 

2 Walpole's George II, ii. 302, 318; H. 532, ff. 312 sqq., for notes of a speech by 
Charles Yorke in which the inferiority of a half-trained militia to a regular force was 
strongly argued. 

' H. 529, ff. 312 sqq. ; Statutes at Large, xxii. 129, 30 George II, c. 25; Pari. Hist. 
XV. 739, 782 ; Glover's Memoirs, 94, 107; "As to the militia, says Dodington, such a one 
as it will be, you would have had from the old ministry; and it is most true that he wrote 
to me in the summer on that subject and proposed to consult with Lord Hardwicke upon 
it; to this I replied, that always suspecting unfair dealing from this channel, and that a 
snake in the grass would lie concealed even under a militia of his contriving, I earnestly 
entreated Mr Dodington to have no concert with the Chancellor on that head, and for 
that reason declined to give my sentiments.... [The proposals however were submitted to 
Lord H. (H. 3, f. 360).] In fine the bill passed modelled to the sense and relish of such 
court sycophants as Hardwicke." Yet Mr Fortescue can write in his Hist, of the 
British Army, ii. 301, that " the measure was practically identical with that which had 
been rejected in the previous year," and add — a truly astonishing statement in a military 
work — " the regular army was set free for service aibroad." 

* See H. 311, Lord Royston's militia correspondence and the variety of excuses, 
ranging from "shortness of breath" to the case of Mr Martin Bird, who desired to have 
his name scratched off the militia list as his wife "on hearing he had taken a commission, 
was so affected he thought she would have died." 

^ See below, chap, xxviii.; Chatham MSS. 53. 


and 6280 embodied, the force was once more reconstructed with 
better prospects, and placed, according to the Chancellor's original 
advice, under the military law and the Mutiny Act. Yet though 
many generations have since passed and many schemes have been 
devised and put into execution, the great mass of able-bodied men 
in Great Britain still remains untrained to arms and unorganized 
for war. The nation, moreover, appears in a condition far more 
defenceless than in 1756. Its standing force is reduced to perilous 
insignificance by economies of funds intercepted and squandered 
elsewhere; the disparity of military strength relative to the European 
nations with their armed millions, is grown still greater, and become 
still more glaring on account of the vast progress and developement 
made in the military art and the increased value of military training, 
while the resource so largely employed by our ancestors of utilising 
foreign troops is no longer available. 

The threatened invasion, however, and the preparations at Brest 
and Dunkirk which had caused the panic, proved in the end to be 
a feint to attack elsewhere, or else were abandoned in view of the 
substantial forces collected together for the defence of England. 
The armaments which had been fitting out at Toulon were now 
seen to be destined not for America, the West Indies, Ireland or 
England, but against Minorca. Judging by the event, the govern- 
ment was probably mistaken in not reserving and dispatching a 
relieving force earlier to the Mediterranean, but judging in view 
of the actual circumstances and the untrustworthy or contradictory 
information concerning the plans of the French, which they received, 
they probably acted with prudence and wisdom in retaining their 
resources at home, till the French plans were further developed and 
till they knew with certainty in what quarter the blow was to fall, 
whether in Great Britain, America or the Mediterranean'. More- 
over, as the issue proved, the expedition not only arrived in full 
time to support the garrison in Minorca but the latter, even after 
Byng's departure, though far from complete in its numbers, yet 
with a fortress well-stored and the batteries well and effectively 
served^ was able to hold out for five weeks longer. After the event, 
it was astonishing what wisdom and foresight had existed, modestly 
concealed, before it. All except the ministers, it was declared, had 
known the real intentions of the French. The Duke of Cumberland 

' Phillimore, Mem. of Lord Lyttelton, 522; below, pp. 285-7, 290 «., 306; Ruville's 
Pitt (1907), i. 390 ; N. 175, f. 30; N. 179, f. 490; H. 67, ff. 147-9; ^"^ further chap. xxiv. 
^ Fortescue's Hist, of the British Army, ii. 294. 

268 THE WAR 

had urged arming sooner. Fox had wished a strong squadron to be 
sent out in March but could not prevail. The policy and plan of the 
ministers were, however, in reality settled in full accordance with 
expert opinion. Lord Anson, writing to the Lord Chancellor on De- 
cember 6, 175 s, objects to the dispatch of the fleet away from home 
waters to stations whence it could not be recalled if wanted, and 
declares himself " strongly of opinion that, whenever the French 
intend anything in earnest, their attack will be against this country. 
This I should be glad the Duke of Newcastle should know\" Their 
action was also fully supported by the public and by contemporary 
opinion, till Byng's disastrous failure ruined everything and offered 
too advantageous an occasion for attacking the government to be 
resisted. It was not till May 7, 1756, long after Byng had sailed and 
Richelieu, the commander of the French expedition, had landed in 
Minorca, that Pitt accused the ministers of neglect, and declared 
it a wilful, deep-laid scheme for avoiding the war, an intentional 
loss of Minorca to excuse a bad peace and justify the abandonment 
of America^; and not till June 16 that "innocent and gallant men's 
honour and fortune were to be offered up as a scapegoat for the 
dins of administration." Even Horace Walpole, the most malicious 
and strenuous traducer of the ministers, continues to praise and 
approve of their conduct till the disaster. In February 1755, he 
speaks of the fleet of 30 ships, " fitted out with equal spirit and 
expedition. Lord Anson had great merit in that province where 
he presided." On June 15 he writes again, "The spirit and 
expedition with which we have equipped so magnificent a navy 
has surprised them [the French] and does exceeding honour to 
my Lord Anson who has breathed new life into our affairs." In 
August "nothing is so popular [in the city] as the Duke of 
Newcastle." In November " Lord Anson, attentive to, and in 
general expert in, maritime details, selected with great care the 
best ofificers." On April 20, 1756, he congratulates himself on the 
diversion of the French attack away from England to Minorca. 
" The French are said to be sailed to Minorca, which I hold to be 
a good omen of their not coming hither, for if they took England, 
Port Mahon, I should think, would scarcely hold out." On July 1 1, 
he writes of the incriminated officers, "one talks coolly of their 
being broke and that is all." It is not till after the arrival of the 

1 H. II, f. 384. 

" Walpole's George II (1849), ii. 189; below, p. 289. Cf. also Grenville Papers, i. 
164, 168. 


news of the disastrous capitulation, at the end of July, that Lord 
Anson's " incapacity grew, the general topic of ridicule," that the 
" ministers were preparing to transfer the guilt to others," and that 
all were asking why Byng was not sent sooner and sent stronger^ 
It is interesting also to follow the developement of Col. Joseph 
Yorke's opinion at the Hague, always exceptionally well-informed, 
and supplied with accurate foreign information, who, though 
intimately connected with the administration and Lord Anson, 
shows great independence in his criticisms. In the early stages, 
while expressing his disbelief in the projected invasion and directing 
the attention of his Father to the absence of ships of transport, 
he approves strongly of all the precautions taken by the govern- 
ment, as the surest way of preventing the attempts Later, after 
Byng's sailing, he repeats and reproduces the criticisms passed upon 
the government abroad for not sending a larger force earlier to the 
Mediterranean, and even justifies and approves Byng's inaction'; 
but finally, after the publication of papers and of Byng's instructions 
and a closer examination of the facts, he is convinced of Byng's 
misconduct; and writing on May 13, 1757, after the finding of the 
parliamentary enquiry, while rejoicing at the complete justification 
of the ministers, he notes that their chief defence was " pinned upon 
the advices about the invasion, and as this is a matter of opinion, 
nobody can pretend to condemn what was done. You know at the 
same time that I never was of that opinion, though some of the 
most circumstantial evidence about it came from me*." 

The sequence of the extraordinary events which led to the loss 
of Minorca was as follows. On April 6, 1756, three days before 
the departure of the French fleet from Toulon, Admiral John Byng, 
a younger son of the Lord Torrington, who had gained his naval 
reputation by his successes in the Mediterranean, chosen, to com- 
mand the expedition as senior ofificer next to Lord Anson himself, 
sailed from Spithead with a fleet of 10 ships', a regiment of Fusiliers, 

1 Walpole's George II (1847), ii. i, 33, 227; Letters (1903), iii. 314, 417, 436, 439; 
H. 8, f. 312. 

2 pp. 285-7 ; H. 8, f. 354. 

3 pp. 289, 295, 297; H. 40, fr. 160, 165, 171; H. 16, ff. 89, 99. 

■* H. 16, f. 213; below, pp. 303, 341 »., and H. 40, ff. 149 sqq.; the project of 
invasion, however, seems to have been genuine and to have been taken up again in 
August. See letters from Compi^gne to the French minister at the Hague intercepted 
by Col. Yorke, H. 246, f. 132. 

' The assertion made afterwards that they were in bad condition was contradicted by 
the Inquiry of the House of Commons, of which one of the resolutions certified that the 
" 10 ships at their sailing were fully manned. ..and as appears from a letter of the said 

270 THE WAR 

and definite orders to relieve Minorca " without a moment's loss of 
time " and by " all possible means in his power," in case of an attack 
upon it by the French'. On his arrival at Gibraltar on May 2, 
after a very slow voyage of 26 days, occasioned by " contrary winds 
and calms'*," for which delay however he was not held responsible 
by the subsequent court-martial, he received the news of the landing 
of the enemy on the island on April 18 with an army of about 15,0x30 
men and siege artillery, which was supported by a fleet of 12 ships'; 
and all doubt as to his future action must have been dispelled. 
He was here reinforced ^by three men of war and three frigates, 
which rendered the iighting power of the two fleets about the same*, 
and a bright and exhilarating prospect of an engagement with the 
enemy upon equal terms, of the capture or destruction of their 
squadron, of shutting up a large French force in Minorca, and of 
ultimately securing their capitulation, presented itself to the British 
admiraP. But hopes, which would have given wings to the move- 
ments of any other man and braced every chord of moral and 
physical energy, became risks and dangers in the mind of the 
pusillanimous Byng and paralyzed his action. The spirit in which 
he set out to engage the enemy now appeared*. His instructions 
were to take on board a. battalion of soldiers from the Rock to 
reinforce the garrison at Minorca ; but, already despondent, he 
acquiesced in the refusal of Fowke, the Governor, who had been 
directed to supply them, on the plea of the hopelessness of the 
attempt, and that strengthening the garrison by reinforcements 
would only be increasing eventually the number of prisoners' and. 

Admiral [Byng] to the said Commissioners, were in every respect, ready for sailing." 
Pari. Hiit. XV. 826; see also H. 547, f. 343, and Add. 31,9.59, f. 3. 

^ See his instructions printed in Beatson, Naval and Military Mem. iii. 113. 

" H. 547, f. 344. ' pp. 288-9, 291, 295. 

* The British had 950 guns to the French 914, computed from the 12 April, when the 
French fleet left Toulon, and 7037 men to the enemy's 7180, and 13 men of war to 12, 
H. 547, ff. 12, 28 and 337 sqq. and 349: according to a statement handed in by Byng, 
however, the French ships threw a heavier broadside { Trial of Ad. Byng, app. xxvii. , 
xxviii.). Lord H. himself describes the British fleet as " rather superior." 

^ Walpole, George II, ii. 212. ■ 

8 See especially his own letters. May 4, May 25 (below, pp. 287, 291-5), the former full 
of fears and complaints, of whicH almost every sentence begins, "if I had been so happy," 
"as it has unfortunately turned out," " I am sorry to find, " " it is to be apprehended," "I 
fear," " I am afraid." According to Walpole {Mem. of George II, ii. 217), the King on 
receiving this letter dashed it to the ground, exclaiming, "This man will not fight." 

' Cf. Blakeney (the Governor of Minorca)'s evidence at the court-martial in reply to 
Byng, "By the oath I have taken I believe I could have held out till Sir Edward Hawke 
came, if that detachment had been landed," and also as to the facilities of landing 
troops, Trial, pp. 51 sqq., 79, and below, pp. 306, 355. Cf. also Walpole, wha writes 


after having remained six days at Gibraltar^ sailed without them 
on May 8 "with little, if any, hopes of relieving Minorca^" On 
the 20th of May took place the unfortunate engagement with the 
French fleet, grossly mismanaged by the British admiral, who failed 
altogether with the ships he was commanding in person, on which 
not one man was either killed or wounded', to get into action with 
the enemy. The whole loss was insignificant, the British casualties 
being 211 to the French 219, of which 43 were killed among the 
former and 38 among the latter*. Nevertheless the attack was not 
renewed ; and four days afterwards, fortified by the fatal resolutions 
of a council of war^ Byng withdrew to Gibraltar. 

It is clear that there was here a great failure in plain duty. 
There was still every hope of success in accomplishing the object 
of the expedition. Without some risk no advantage in war can 
be obtained, and supposing even that the renewal of the naval 
engagement had ended disastrously, and that the fleet had failed 
in communicating with the garrison", yet some damage would have 
been inflicted upon the French naval forces and the garrison would 

(Letters, iii. 433), " Instead of being shocked by this disappointment, Byng accom- 
panied it with some wonderfully placid letters in which he notified his intention of 
retiring under the cannon of Gibraltar, in case he found it dangerous to attempt the 
relief of Minorca." 

^ Cf. Wolfe, " If Byng has lost one day at Gibraltar, he is the most damnable of 
traitors." Zi/i, by R. Wright, 346 sqq. ; Walpole's C«»?'^e //, ii. 299. The court-martial, 
however, absolved him from any blame on this point. 

'' Byng's private letter of May 25, p. 293 ; H. 547, f. 25. 

' Gent. Mag. xxvii. 154; A. F. Mahan, Ty/w of Naval Officers, 47 sqq. ; Grenville 
Papers, i. 163 ; and account of the French Admiral La Galissonniere, H. 547, f. 12, "En 
general il n'y a eu aucun de leurs vaisseaux qui ait soutenu longtemps le feu des n6tres." 

>■ H. 547, f. 28. 

' " 1. Whether an attack upon the French fleet gave any prospect of relieving 
Mahon? — Unanimously resolved it would not. 2. Whether if there was no French 
fleet cruizing off Minorca the English fleet could raise the siege ? — Unanimously of opinion 
that the fleet could not. 3. Whether Gibraltar would not be in danger by any accident 
that might befall the fleet? — Unanimously agreed that it would be in danger. 4, Whether 
an attack with our fleet in the present state of it upon that of the French will not 
endanger the safety of Gibraltar and expose the trade of the Mediterranean to great 
hazard? — Unanimously agreed that it would. 5. Whether it is not more for his 
Majesty's service that the fleet should immediately proceed for Gibraltar? — We are 
unanimously of opinion that the fleet should immediately proceed for Gibraltar." H. 547, 
f. 14; Beatson, i. 478. "By all one learns," wrote Walpole on June 8 in a very diiferent 
strain to that adopted afterwards, ' ' Byng, Fowke and all the officers at Gibraltar were 
infatuated ! They figured Port Mahon lost and Gibraltar a-going ! a-going ! " Letters, 
iii. 431. 

" "There would not have been the least difficulty," writes Fox to the Duke of Bedford 
on September 7, on the authority of Col. Jeffreys, who had been the life and soul of the 
defence, "in landing succours, had we but tried." Bedford Corresp. ii. 193, 195, 197; 
see also above, p. 270 n. 

272 THE WAR 

have been encouraged to hold out till reinforcements, which in fact 
to the number of five large ships of the line with several trans- 
ports and three regiments, sailed from England on May 25th 
and arrived at Gibraltar on June 15, rendered a further attempt 
practicable^ In the event, the garrison at Fort St Philips, after 
gallantly holding out five weeks after Byng's departure, laid down 
their arms on June 28, marching out with the honours of war and 
being conveyed to Gibraltar, when the whole island fell into the 
possession of the French ^ 

This was a serious reverse, and though when viewed in just 
proportion and taking into account the fickleness of the fortune 
of war, the disaster was not more than one unfavourable incident 
in the great, prolonged and ultimately victorious, struggle with 
France, and was far from having any decisive influence upon 
the final issue, yet being a naval defeat, it wounded deeply the 
national pride, and was exaggerated by Pitt and his adherents in 

1 Add. 31,959. f- 4- 

" For accounts see H. 547, a collection of papers relating to the loss of Minorca 
and Add. 31,959; Gent. Mag. vols. xxvi. and xxvii. ; Dodington's Diary, 345-6; 
R. Waddington's Louis XV et le Renversement des Alliances, 438; Trial of Admiral 
Byng (1757); art. on Byng by Professor Laughton in the Diet, of Nat. Biog. ; R. Philli- 
more's Memoirs of Lord Lyttelton, 504, 519; Chatham Corresp. i. 163; Life of Lord 
Barrington (1814), 21 sqq., who writes " It was their [the ministers'] misfortune to have 
had the practicable measures resolved on by them so infamously executed " (Add. 
6834, f. 10), also ff. 1-4 and 9; and Beatson's Naval and Military Memoirs {1804), i. 

.^(si sqq. and iii. 113 sqq., where documents are printed and a zealous but unconvincing 
defence of Byng is made, extending even to his management of the naval engagement, 
while that of Galissonniere, the French admiral, is held to be "highly blameable." These 
events are much misrepresented in Mr Fortescue's Hist, of the British Army, ii. 291, who, 
while pursuing his general argument, forgets all the facts in favour of. the admiralty and 
the ministers. He calls Byng's ships "ill-manned and ill-found," neglecting the findings 
of the House of Commons and Byng's own testimony to the contrary (above, p. 269 ». 5), 
and makes no mention of the three extra ships and frigates which joined Byng at Gibraltar 
and gave him a nominal superiority. He writes, " Byng's fleet was so slenderly manned 
that he required the 7th Fusiliers for duty on board ship and therefore asked Fowke for a 
battalion for Minorca" whereas the ordinary complement of marines had been purposely 
withdrawn from the ships before sailing to admit the Fusiliers for embarkation and 
service at Minorca, and the furthen supply of troops from Gibraltar was included in Byng's 
and Fowke's official instructions, leaving neither officer any option in the matter and 
forming part of the official plans for the defence of Minorca. The writer's tirades against 
the government conclude with " finally. ..the unfortunate admiral was shot because 
Newcastle deserved to be hanged." The value of this military history appears to be 

J greatly diminished by the exclusive military partisanship with which it is written. The 
conduct of the administration cannot be judged alone by the activity or success in one 
direction or sphere ; this must be viewed in relation to responsibilities and expenditure 
of resources elsewhere, to the political condition at home, to the strength of the nation 
compared with that of the enemy ; and military and naval preparations and policy must 
be judged by contemporary and not by present standards. 


order to inflame the populace against the ministry. On August 20 
the Lord Mayor presented an address to the King from the Corpo- 
ration of London, reflecting upon the neglect of the government, 
the dishonour incurred by the nation and the need for a constitu- 
tional militia, and demanding the punishment of those responsible^ 
Lord Anson, Pitt declared, "was not fit to command a cockboat on 
the river Thames"." A violent campaign of calumny and abuse 
was initiated against the Duke of Newcastle upon whom, in accord- 
ance with the plan and object of the attack, it was sought to cast 
the chief blame and responsibility^; while the unhappy Byng, the 
real author of the calamity, who had been promptly superseded by 
the government and brought home a prisoner, was elevated to the 
rank of a victim and a hero. Further misfortunes in other parts 
of the world, where the contest was being fought out, added to the 
difficulties of the administration and increased the strength and 
opportunities of the Opposition. In America the fort of Oswego 
was captured by Montcalm on August 14, 1756,' and not long 
afterwards came from India the news of the capture of Calcutta by 
Surajah Dowlah and of the tragedy in June of the Black Hole. 

The Chancellor felt the disappointment arising from these mis- 
haps very keenly, not only from public but also personal reasons, 
owing to his near kinship with Lord Anson, for whose rapid rise in 
his profession and appointment to the head of the Admiralty he 
was mainly responsible. Some part of the popular outcry more- 
over was aimed at himself. He however viewed the recent disasters 
in their real proportion, showed no signs of yielding to clamour, 
repudiated the notion of "deserting the King and running away 
from danger," and quietly made preparations for remedying the 
ill-effects of the disaster and for justifying the government policy 
to the public*. The administration, though shaken, had neverthe- 
less a position still of much strength and stability. They had the 
national resources well in hand. They had an army increased by 
the formation of ten new regiments, by the regiments returned from 
Minorca, as well as by four battalions of foreign Protestants 
enrolled in America, and the Hanoverian and Hessian troops now 
enlisted". They had a large and well-equipped navy, of which the 

' Gent. Mag. xxvi. 408. ' Almon's Anecdotes of Chatham, i. 288. 

" pp. 289, 306. 

* pp. 306-11; Walpole's George II, ii. ido. 

' Fortescue's Hist, of the Brit. Army, ii. 288. According to an army list sent by the 
Duke of Cumberland to the Chancellor July 18, 1755, the total number in Great Britain 
was 22,943. H. 545, f. 170. 

Y. II. 18 

2;4 ■. ■ ■: THE WAR 

number of ships in August 1756 had increased to 345 from the 291 
t-0 which it amounted in 1752, containing 50,000 seamen, while the 
government in December had 60 ships of the line at home as well 
as frigates ready for any emergency, a force greatly superior to the 
French 1. 

On the refusal of Austria to cooperate with Great Britain in 
the defence of the Netherlands the government had concluded, 
in January 1756, with the King of Prussia, the Convention of 
Westminster, by which England and Prussia engaged to resist any 
foreign invasion of Germany^, an important treaty which initiated 
the later military alliance with Frederick, and which superseded 
the convention between England and Russia', the latter power in 
December acceding to the Treaty of Versailles of May i, 1756, 
between France and Austria. In September the ministry deter- 
mined, in conjunction with Frederick, to form an army in Germany 
of 30,000 Hessians and Hanoverians, to be joined by 11,000 
Prussians, and the developement of their plans was only interrupted 
by the domestic cabals which drove them from powers While the 
ministers shrank from entering upon an open declared war with 
France in Europe, they showpd no lack of vigour in the measures 
taken to oppose the French designs in America". Spain firmly 
declined to be drawn into the war and continued to observe a strict 
neutrality". The position of England on the Continent was likely 
to be in the future stronger with these changed conditions than 
with Austria, Bavaria and the Palatinate as fickle allies, together 
with the hesitating Dutch, who now, notwithstanding Col. Joseph 
Yorke's zealous efforts, were omitted entirely from the plans of the 
British government and accepted a neutrality from France. The 
Indian disaster was soon wiped out by the recapture in December 
of Calcutta by Clive, who enjoyed the Chancellor's special patronage 
and encouragement', followed by the great victory of Plassey in 
June 1757. On October 4, 1756, the King at length acceded to 

1 Ruville's Life of Pitt, ii. 77-82. 

^ Waddington's Louis XV, 192 sqq. 

* Buckinghamshire Corresp. (Royal Hist. Society), i. 23^32 ; and H. 37, f. 121, fora 
letter of Col. J. Y. on its value and importance; though never executed, it was largely the 
cause of the accession of Frederick to the alliance with England ; Wa'ddington, Louis XV, 
154, 214 sqq., 509. 

■• Waddington, La Guerre de Sept Ans, i. 160, quoting memorandum of the Duke of 
N. of September 12, 1756. 

' J. C. Corbett, England in the Seven Years' War, i. 41 sqq. 

' '^aAixagion, Louis XV et le Henversement des Alliances, ri6. 

' See their Correspondence. 


the Princess of Wales's importunate request, made the favoured 
Lord Bute Groom of the Stole to the Prince, and agreed to the 
latter's remaining with his mother, by which concessions, it was 
hoped, the support of Leicester House would be obtained for the 

With a majority in parliament there was every prospect of the 
administration weathering the storm in spite of the attacks of Pitt, 
who advocated the abandonment of Hanover^, and who especially 
denounced the treaty with Prussia as " bought by sacrificing our 
rights," and one "he would not have signed for the five great places 
of those who had signed it^" On August 29, 1756, Frederick 
of Prussia, who was kept well informed of the projected attack 
upon him by Austria, and her allies Russia, Poland, Saxony and 
Sweden, and France, marched suddenly into Saxony, occupied 
Dresden, seized the archives, which he published in justification of 
his conduct, and after an indecisive battle with the .Austrians on 
October i at Lobositz, captured the whole Saxon army at Pirna 
on October 16. The same month relations between France and 
Prussia were broken off, and there seemed every probability of 
a successful campaign next year. 

But while the ministers were preparing to proceed with their 
policy and plans a decisive blow was struck at them from within 
their own ranks. The unscrupulous Fox had joined the Cabinet 
at the outset with treacherous intentions*. He now, on the loss of 
Minorca, became alarmed at the prospect of being included in the 
popular censure, and told the Duke of Newcastle that he could not 
defend him in the House of Commons''. He prepared to join in 
the cry against him, and, " thinking it prudent to avoid the storm," 
to employ the phrase of his admirer Lord Waldegrave, and in order 
to escape the discredit of the public misfortunes, or else to take 
advantage of the weakness and embarrassments of the ministers 
and to climb to the top upon their ruins, announced his intention 
of resigning on October 15, 1756*. Moreover Murray, who had 

pp. 314-5. . 

^ Phillimore, Mem. of Lord Lytielton, 481; Grerwille Papers, i. 146. 

' Walpole's George II, ii. 194; and below, p. 391. 

* Grenvilh Papers, i. 144, Potter to Earl Temple. " Fox had sent to him [the Duke 
of Bedford], the strongest assurances that he came in with a view to strengthen himself in 
the Closet, and to undermine the Duke of Newcastle." 
, ^ Dodington's Diary, 339-46. 

' Waldegrave's Memoirs, 82 ; Walpole, George II, ii. 250 ; Duke of Bedford's 
Corresp. ii. 199, where Fox's close friend Rigby declares this step justified by "his 

276 THE WAR 

long supported the administration with ability and fidelity in the 
House of Commons, who had shown himself equal to such oppo- 
nents as Fox and Pitt, and whose assistance was required especially 
at this crisis, claimed the vacant Chief Justiceship with a peerage, 
and would take no refusal nor submit to any delays 

The necessity of taking in Pitt now once more confronted 
the King and the ministers, and the Chancellor again urged the 
prudence of this step, repeating his conviction that Pitt's objections 
to measures would vanish with the attainment of his personal aims. 
Accordingly the King consented to the renewal of negotiations". 
Pitt, however, had now gained Leicester House, "where those who 
had thrown even the most indecent reflections on majesty itself, 
were caressed and honoured with all the nonsense of gracious smiles, 
mysterious nods and endless whispers'." As in similar circumstances 
on a former occasion, Pitt's terms rose in proportion and proved 
impracticable. In an interview with the Chancellor, on October 19, 
in Lord Royston's dressing-room in St James's Square, which lasted 
3^ hours, though offered the ofiice of Secretary of State and assured 
of a good reception by the King, he rejected all Lord Hardwicke's 
arguments and advice, refused his cooperation and arrogantly 
announced his determination to serve in no ministry which included 
the Duke of Newcastle*, a person to whom he was indebted for his 
entrance into political life and whose borough he was at that 
moment representing in Parliament", whose friendship, together 
with that of the Chancellor, he had declared only a short time 
before, " constituted the only honour of his public life V but upon 
whom almost exclusively now fell the popular odium, who was 

treatment from the Duke of Newcastle, " but cannot help fearing mankind will attribute it 
to another motive. Lord Barrington "imputes it chiefly to fear " (Mitchell MSS. Add. 
6834, f. 6); below, pp. 3i8sqq., 325. 

* Waldegrave's Mem. 59; below, pp. 299-303, 329. There is no foundation for 
the silly suggestion that the desire to keep Murray in the Commons originated in the 
Chancellor's jealousy of another law lord in the Peers. Cf. Walpole's George II, 
ii. 224, and see below, p. 477. 

" pp. 310, 323. ^ Waldegrave's Mem. 62. 

* Grenville Papers, i. 435 ; below, pp. 322-34 ; Walpole, George II, ii. 257 ; Phillimore, 
Mem. of Lord Lyttelton, 477; Glover's Metn. 83, according to whom Pitt "confounded 
the meanness of Hardwicke" with his "haughtiness"; and Grenville Papers, i. 178, 
where Pitt announces his intention (October 17 to G. Grenville) to go to the conference 

'resolved to give [a negative] to any plan with the Duke of N. at the head of it, as well 
as to any proposal for covering his retreat." 

° See also Pitt's application and letter of thanks and obligation, October, 1753. 
N. 48, ff. 26, 63. 

8 p. 214. 


compromised by failure and who was therefore not to be supported 
but to be repudiated, attacked and abused'. 

The Chancellor could only report his failure to the King, and 
Pitt followed with a prolonged visit, on October 21, to Lady 
Yarmouth, whom he had previously not condescended to notice, 
when he took care to make "vast professions to the KingV 

On October 24 another interview took place between Pitt and 
the Chancellor, in which the latter communicated the King's refusal 
of Pitt's demand for the exclusion of the Duke of Newcastle, and 
of which he has left the following account. 

Relation of my Conference with Mr Pitt, Oct. 24, 1756, Sunday 
Night. Read to the King in his Closet at Kensington, Tuesday, 
Oct. 26, 1756 (H. 522, f 263) 

Powis House. 

M"^ Pitt came to me by appointnlent. 

I acquainted him that I sent to him by the King's command. 

That I had very faithfully and very fully related to the King the 
exact substance of what had passed between him and me on 
Tuesday last [October 19]. 

That I was sure I had omitted nothing that was material. 

That I related to the King the strong professions which he 
had made of respect and duty to His Majesty and zeal for his 
government, and for the support of his real service, as nearly as 
I could in his own words. 

M"^ Pitt interposed and returned me many thanks for doing 
him this justice. 

I then told him that I had done this on Wednesday last — that 
on Friday the King ordered me to attend him on Saturday. 

' Below, p. 316; cf. Legge to Pitt August 3, 1756, "I fancy it will not be long before 
you will receive proposals in the spirit of.. .the drunken man to his friend, to come and 
roll in the kennel." {Chatham MSS. 48). 

2 pp. 329, 332 ; Phillimore, Mem. of Lord Lytteltoti, 534 ; Glover's Mem. 83 ; 
and Walpole's amusing description {George II, ii. 259), "The pages of the Back- 
stairs were seen hurrying about, and crying, 'Mr Pitt wants my Lady Yarmouth.'" 
According to Lord Shelburne {Life by Lord Fiizmaurice, i. 83, autobiography) Pitt's 
visit to Lady Yarmouth was occasioned by his apprehension "that Lord Hardwicke and 
the Duke of Newcastle misrepresented what he said in the Closet," and he "thus laid the 
foundation of cordial support in an important quarter," pronouncing a eulogy of Lady 
Yarmouth afterwards in the House of Commons. "The old courtiers were confounded 
with being outdone at their own game, and Lord Bute often told me that he could never 
have conceived Pitt would have condescended to so much meanness, but Lord Bute with the 
mass of the people were dupes to the imposture of Mr Pitt's character. There was 
nothing to which he would not stoop to gain his point ; he knew the value of con- 
descension and reserved himself for the moment when he was almost certain of gaining his 
point by it; till then he pranced and vapoured. He likewise mixed into his conduct 
strict honour in details, which I have often observed deceive many men in great affairs." 

2,78 THE WAR 

That I did so, and on Saturday the King in his Closet had 
ordered me to give him an answer, which His Majesty himself 
had dictated to me, and I would deliver it to him in His Majesty's 
own words — "The King is of. opinion that what has been suggested 
is not for his and the public service." 

M-- Pitt then bowed and said. His Majesty did him the greatest 
honour in condescending to return any answer to anything that 
came from him, and desired that I would assure the King of his 
high sense of it in the most dutiful manner. 

I promised him that I would do so tomorrrow. 

He then repeated over the answer, and I did so again to him in 
the very same words that I had done before, without the least 

He then desired that I would recollect that all that he had 
suggesied was by way of objection ; that he had not suggested 
anything affirmative as to measures of any kind. 

I told him I had related it to the King exactly according to 
the heads, which he had recapitulated at the end of our former 
conversation, which I also would do again briefly to him. 

1. That it was impossible for him to serve with the Duke of 

2. That he thought enquiries into the past measures absolutely 
necessary ; that he thought it his duty to take a considerable share 
in them, and could not lay himself under any obligation to depart 
from that. 

To this I said that the King was not against a fair and impartial 

3. That he thought it his duty to support a mihtia bill, and 
particularly that of the last session. 

I told him that the King and his ministers were not against a 
militia bill. 

4. That the aflfair of the Hanoverian soldier he thought of great 
importance ; that what had been done ought to be examined, and 
he thought censured ^ 

5. That if he came into His Majesty's service, he thought it 
necessary, in order to serve him a:nd support his affairs, to have 
such powers as belonged to his station, to be in the first concert and 
concoction of measures, and to be at liberty to propose to His Majesty 
himself anything that occurred to him for his service originally, and 
without going through the channel of any other minister. 

' A Hanoverian soldier in England having taken by mistake six handkerchiefs instead 
of four vphile making a purchase and having been arrested for the supposed theft, Lord 
Holderness at the King's desire, who had been much incensed and had declared "he must 
send away his troops if they were to be subject to our laws and not to be tried by them- 
selves," had required the Mayor of Maidstone to release him. This " raised a clamour 
which had echoed throughout the Kingdom, promoted by no one more than Mr Pitt, who 
talked in a very high strain to Lord Hardwicke on the subject." Glover's Memoirs, Sg. 
The zealous constitutionalists were in the end satisfied by the infliction upon the unfortunate 
foreigner, of 300 lashes. Walpole, George II, ii. 248; H. 68, f. 34; see further, p. 376. 


He admitted that these were truly the -points^and then desired 
or hinted to be informed-^whether this was to be considered as an 
answer to the whole^. 

I told him that I related the answer in the King's own words. 
It was the Kind's answer, and I could add nothing to it, nor take 
upon me to explain it. That I understood that he was to take it 
as an answer to everything that had been conveyed by him, M* Pitt, 
to the King. 

He then repeated his deep sense of the King's condescension in 
giving him any answer. But he would say to me only, zs, from one 
private gentleman to another, that he would not come into the 
service, in the present circumstances of affairs, upon any other 
terms, for the whole world. 

I then said that undoubtedly he must judge for himself, but I 
would also say to him, as from Lord Hardwicke only to M^ Pitt, that 
as he professed great duty to the king and zeal for his service, and 
I dared to say had it ; that as he had expressed an inclination to 
come into His Majesty's service, in order really to assist in the 
support of his government; that as he was a man of abilities and 
knowledge of the world ; that as men of sense, who wish the end, 
must naturally wish the means, why would he at the same time 
make the thing impracticable .'' 

To this he answered that he would say to me in the same 
private manner, that he was surprized that it should be thought 
possible for him to come into an employment to serve with the 
Duke of Newcastle, under whose administration the things he had 
so much blamed had happened, and against which the sense of 
the nation so strongly appeared, and I think he added, which 
administration could not possibly have lasted, if he had accepted. 

In answer to that I said some general things in the same sense 
with what I had mentioned on that head on Tuesday last. 

He then rose up, and we parted with great personal civility on 
both sides. 

It was now clear that the Newcastle administration could no 
longer continue, and the Duke and Chancellor offered their resigna- 
tions On October 26^. A union between the two great champions 
of opposition. Fox and Pitt, seemed the most probable arrangement 
for carrying on the government, and the King on October 27 ordered 
Fox to settle an administration. Pitt, however, contemptuously 
declined any alliance in that quarter, and conscious of his own 

' Pitt's meaning was, was it an answer to the suggestions made by him to Lady 
Yarmouth also? p. 332. 

''■ According to Walpole (George II, ii. 260), "the Chancellor, sullen and mortified, 
protested he would follow his Grace, but endeavoured to encourage him to stand alone, 
affirming they could carry everything by their numbers ; and having ever been ready to 
torture the law to annoy his enemies, he could not help expecting to find the same 
support from it for himself and his friends. " _ 

28o THE WAR 

power and value refused to collaborate with any cabinet in which he 
was not himself paramount'. " I am sure," he is reported by Walpole 
to have told the Duke of Devonshire, " I can save the Country, and 
nobody else can^" By his desire, therefore, and with Lord Bute's 
support, the Duke of Devonshire' was entrusted, on October 29, by 
the King with the formation of a new administration in which Pitt 
became Secretary of State with the chief power. Lord Temple first 
Lord of the Admiralty, Legge Chancellor of the Exchequer, George 
Grenville Paymaster of the Navy and James Grenville a Lord of 
the Treasury. Lord Holderness and Lord Granville retained 
their offices and Lord Halifax returned to the. Board of Trade. 
Lord Anson and the Duke of Newcastle*, against whom the 
popular clamour was especially, though unjustly, directed, retired 
from office on November 16. 

They were followed on November 19 by the Chancellor himself, 
who on that day delivered the Great Seal into the King's hands. 
His continuance in office and his support were much desired by the 
new government and great efforts were made to persuade him to 
remain, but loyalty to the Duke of Newcastle who urgently pressed 
his resignation, and the prospect of working separated from his old 
friends, with new and untried colleagues, fixed his resolution. The 
fatigue incumbent on his laborious legal office so long supported, 
moreover, rendered retirement not unpleasing" ; and he now laid 
down his great charge as head of the Law and Speaker of the House 
of Lords after a service of 19 years and 8 months and 16 days, the 
longest on record, excepting that of Lord Ellesmere and that after- 
wards of Lord Eldon". He resigned without asking or receiving any 
of those lucrative rewards invariably bestowed, in the absence of 

' Dodington's Diary, 346 ; Walpole, George II, ii. 262 ; Letters, iv. 7 sqq. ; Philli- 
more, Lyttelton, 533; Bedford Corresp. ii. 205-7; Glover's Mem. 95; Hist. MSS. Comm. 
Rep. viii. 222 ; below, p. 333. 

^ George II, iii. 84. 

* William, fouith Duke of Devonshire, vi^ho had succeeded in 1755 on his father's 
death (see p. 113 ».). See his letter on this occasion to Lord H. desiring that the 
Chancellor will stand his "foremost friend," as he had his father's. H. 245, f. 350. 

* He had acted, testifies Lord Lyttelton, "with great dignity, prudence and modera- 
tion in this revolution." Memoirs, 545. 

" p. 334; cf. Walpole, Letters, ii. 348, December 2, 1748, "We talk much of the 
Chancellor's resigning the seals from weariness of the fatigue and being made President 
of the Council." The report was current once more in 1750 (ii. iii. 23), and he had 
himself proposed to resign on the formation of the new ministry in 1754, H. 244, f. 304. 

" " I heard him [Lord H.] own that he wished to retain the Seals three weeks bnger, 
that he might have had the satisfaction of holding them a few days beyond Lord Elles- 
mere." W. G. Hamilton, October 4, 1779 (Hist. MSS, Comm. Rep. viii. 203). 


similar provision payable from the Civil List, upon officers of state on 
their quitting the King's service, and was followed in his retirement, 
says a political opponent, " with the regret of all dispassionate men 
and indeed of the nation in general'." 

His mantle fell on his son Charles Yorke, whom he had sworn 
in as Solicitor-General, on November 3. 

Prime avulso non deficit alter 
Aureus, et simili frondescit virga metallo. 


Hon. John Yorke to Lord Royston 

[H. 26, f. 102.] Powis House, July 20, 1754. 

...[Joe] had an audience of the King before he set out, who 
commended his conduct in Holland beyond what he had ever done 
before, and even said that "nobodyelse couldot would Ao so well. You 
have found the way to treat with those people." This strong appro- 
bation and the assurances given in a certain conversation, of which 
he probably told you at Wrest, have sent his Excellency off in very 
good humour and spirits. At present too he is the reigning favourite 
at N[ewcastle] House, after having made a second visit at Clare- 
mount, picked the pockets of his Grace and all his company of 
upwards of .£^100 for M"' Parisot's tapestry^, and dared to commend 
Hackney School*. As he was passing through the Drawing Room, 
after he had had his last audience, M^ Fox came up to him with a 
most smiling countenance and begged, whenever he had anything 
to do in his way, he would honour him with his commands, and 
assured him he would not fail to put the K[ing] in mind of him. 
Added to this, a thousand apologies about visiting and not visiting 
passed : and so they grinned, and lied, and parted. We have been 
much entertained with this scene, and as far as we could, astonished 
at such modesty. It seems by his present behaviour as if he hoped 
to bring about, by soothing and flattery, what he has found imprac- 
ticable, by intrigue and violence.... 

[On October 2, 1754 (N. 52, f. 24; H. 66, f. 197), the Duke of 
Newcastle desires the Chancellor's advice on the expedition to 
North America — " I must beg your Lordship's opinion upon the 
whole. I cannot take upon me to determine finally without it." 

' Lord Waldegrave, Memoirs, 84. 

2 Pierre Parisot (1697-1770), Roman Catholic monk and later, in 1736, parish priest 
of Pondicherry, author oi Mlmoires Historiques (1747), in which the methods of the Jesuits 
in obtaining conversions were exposed. In consequence, being obliged to live abroad, he 
came to England and established a tapestry and Turkey carpet manufactory at Paddington, 
under the patronage of the Duke of Cumberland. Subsequently, under the name of 
Platel, he returned to France, visited Portugal and underwent persecutions. 

' Where the Chancellor's sons received their excellent education. 

282 ■ . THE WAR 

On October 12 (H. 66, f. 200) he complains of the Duke of 
Cumberland's and Fox's conduct in extending the scope of the 
expedition, of the "advertisement in the Gazette" and of "the 
alarm being now given." — "Pitt and Fox were near three hours 
alone the other day."] 

Lord Chancellor- to the' Duke of Newcasfle 
[N. 52, f. 147,] WIMPOLE, Oct. 13, 1754. 

...I am extremely sorry that your Grace has so much trouble 
about the concert and preparations for the N. America expedition.... 
As to the/ondofthe affair, the expedition itself, I mean as consisting 
of the several parts, I never apprehended that would be altered, 
considering the g-reat Person^ with whom it was concerted. I 
remember it was always so during the late war. Your brother 
frequently threw in objections and struggled a little, but such as 
was the opinion of that great person, such was the Kings, and that 
finally prevailed. The precipitation with which M"^ Fox has, pushed 
this affair, and the giving orders in His Majesty's name without 
his knowledge, are a fresh proof how fond some people are of 
pow^r, and. what use they would make of it, if the'y were in. I 
never was more surprized in my -life than when I saw the adver- 
tisement in the Gazette ; for if I remember right, it was agreed at 
the Kensington Conference, that everything should be done with as 
much secrecy and as little dclat as possible. I did not doubt but 
such a pompous, formal notification would produce much alarm 
a,nd enquiry amongst the foreign ministers....! think there is an 
affectation in some persoris to make a parade with this affair, and 
a design to make, use of it to let themselves again into business. ;..; 
These long conferences between Pitt and Fox are very remark- 
able''. I suppose in time fire and water may agree. However, it 
niay possibly produce quiet, if not support, from M'' Pitt's quarter, 
as to the measure of the N. American expedition and the expense of 
it. Indeed I judged from the account, which your Grace gave- me 
of that gentleman's conversation with you', that it looked as if he 
was determined to have no demerit with the Duke.... 

[On June 7, 1755 (H. 66, I. 272), the Duke of Newcastle desires 
the Chancellor's opinion on the important subject of the orders to 
be given to the fleet, whether to attack the French ships or not ; 
the Duke himself being against such direct hostilities, without a 
declaration of war and while the French ambassador was negotiating 

' Duke of Cumberland- " See above, p. 194. ' f. 24. 


in England, as exposing the nation to the charge of breach of 
faith and alarming her allies. He desired, too, to confine hostilities 
to America and not to bring on a European war with France, for 
which they were by no means ready, There were, however, many 
arguments on the other side. 

The Chancellor is to weigh all and advise. 

He recurs again in another letter to the same subject.] 

[H. 66, f. 284.] y»»«30, I7S5- 

My Dear Lord, 

I have been so uneasy at what mayhz the consequences 
of the resolution taken last night, viz: to send Hawke with hostile 
orders, which hostile orders, as explained by my Lord Anson, must 
now be the committing general hostilities upon France in Europe, 
even before we hear from America, that I cannot avoid submitting 
to your Lordship some considerations which may perhaps tend to 
the avoiding those ill consequences, without directly putting a 
negative upon the Duke's proposal. I own I tremble, when I 
reflect that we shall begin a war in Europe without one single ally* 
...We may very probably force Spain to take part with France.... If 
we justify it by the hostilities began by France in America, we 
should not have negotiated nine months afterwards. [The best 
opportunities of attacking the French fleet too had been allowed, 
to slip by.] What should we have sai(5 of France if, on account of 
our American disputes, they had four months ago invaded us with 
20,000 men, or now taken our East India ships in their passage 
home? God knows how they may resent this, which they will 
call breach of faith and treaties. The most probable thing is 
an immediate attempt upon Hanover.. ..Suppose they should in 
revenge take the King prisoner. [He concludes by advising the 
modification of the orders to Hawke.] 

[Writing on June 30, 1755 (N. 171, f. 400), in answer to the Duke, 
the Chancellor submits that the Duke himself is the proper person 
to open the discussion in the Council.] Upon my word, I don't 
mention this to throw anything off from myself, but for the propriety 
and appearance. It will have an odd appearance for a Chancellor, 
a lawyer, sitting there in a gown, to begin to lead the Council on 
such a subject, and with some may be the subject of ridicule. If 
your Grace shall not upon consideration think fit to do it, I really 
think my Lord President [Lord Granville] should. He is an old 
statesman and a great warrior — American at least.... 

284 THE WAR 

Lord Chancellor to Lord Royston 

[H. 3, f. 312.] Powis House, Aug. 12, lyss- 

...As to our situation here, it is likely to grow more serious and 

busy every day. You know our success upon the Isthmus of Nova 

Scotia^ which is very material, after the too little and too much^ that 

happened at sea.... 

God send a good issue to all these things. The oldest man 
living never saw such a scene, wherein Great Britain is alone and 
propria marte to cope w^th France. 'Tis a time of great thoughtful- 
ness and anxiety. 

In the midst of all this your Mother and I propose to set out 
for Wimpole tomorrow morning. How long I shall be suffered to 
stay, I don't pretend to guess, but fear I shall be very movable. 
We shall take with us our pretty companion, Lady Bell', who is 
very jolly and pretends to please herself with the thoughts of going 
to Wimpole. She and I were examining her picture today, and I 
commended the goodness and quietness of that little girl, upon 
which she replied, But she turns in her left foot, which is true. So 
jealous is she lest the shadow should be thought better than the 
substance. She presents much duty and asks blessing.... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 8, f. 3j8.] Helvobtsluvs, Sept. 13M, 1755. 

...We dine with his Majesty every day at one o'clock, with the 
Countess [of Yarmouth], Lord Holderness, Lord De la Ware, 
Lord Weymouth, Baron Munchausen^ and Baron Wedel, the 
Hanoverian Chambellan, who crosses the sea with Lord Anson. 
The King eats with a better appetite than any of us and is, thank 
God, as well as ever I saw him. The only change I can perceive 
is, that I 'think he does not hear quite so well*. I began to think 
I should not be talked to upon business at all this journey, but this 

^ The French fort of Beausejour on the Bay of Fundy was captured by Colonel 
Monkton on June 16, 1756- 

^ Admiral Boscawen had attacked the French fleet but had only succeeded in 
capturing two ships. The Chancellor writes in the same sense to Lord Anson expressing 
his disappointment at the result and adding : " It gives me much concern that so little has 
been done, since anything has been done at all." (Barrow's Life of Anson, 237). It will 
be remembered that the Chancellor was opposed to the declaration of the continental 

' Lord Royston's little daughter. * Hanoverian minister. 

" This was the old King's last visit to Hanover. He had expressed great vexation at 
the prospect of returning to England. " There are Kings enough in England. I am 
nothing there. I am old and want rest, and should only go to be plagued and teased 
there about that d d House of Commons." N. 172, f. 553. 


morning the King saw me in the Countess's apartment and sent for 
me, when he kept me for near an hour and was as gracious and free 
as possible, without pushing me so far upon any point as to em- 
barrass me. The topics he talked upon were, the backwardness of 
the States but commended his daughter's behaviour, mentioned the 
Court of Vienna with the highest indignation, and said the time 
might come when the House of Austria might repent its behaviour 
towards England. The delicate point he touched upon was the 
Ohio affair, and there I fought off for reasons obvious to your 
Lordship, but I find his Majesty has a true notion of it already. 
He asked me what people said of it, to which I answered, that it 
was thought from the accounts published that the troops had not 
fair play. His Majesty then said that Braddock had neglected the 
common rules of war, but that " he wash'd his hands of it as he did 
not choose him, for that his son had recommended him, and he 
owned he had been surprised at it, at the time." To this he added 
some abuse upon the soldiers, which they deserve, commended the 
private officers and spoke with pleasure of the Americans (of which 
I think a good use may be made). As I was afraid this conversa- 
tion might grow too particular^, I tried to turn it and succeeded, by 
comparing this action with that of Wynendale, where the French 
under Mo^ la Motte, to the number of 30,000, were beat by 
General Webb with 6ooo^ This led H.M., who made that cam- 
paign in the allied army, into a wide field, which amused him, and 
kept me free of entering too far into an affair which I did not 
wish to be pushed upon. Upon the whole I have reason to be 
satisfied. The King enquired kindly after your Lordship, and is 
as good humoured and as patient as if the wind was fair, and we 
had no crosses in our operations either by land or sea. I wish with 
all my heart he may continue so when he gets amongst you*.... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Earl of Holderness 

[N. 177, f. 426.] Hague, Feb. lo, 1756. 

...The court of France has, I am assured, in most parts approved 
Marshal Belleisle's plan, and he himself is charged with the execution 
and is expected tomorrow at Dunkirk. He proposes to assemble 
a hundred thousand men upon the coast from Cherbourg to Dunkirk, 
the rest of the French troops to cover the frontiers, as I formerly 
mentioned. By this manoeuvre he supposes that he shall give us 
equal uneasiness for the Southern and Western parts of our coast 

' I.e. in relation to the Duke of Cumberland's responsibility. 

^ See the Diet, of Nat. Biog. under General John Richmond Webb for account of 
this incident in the Marlborough campaign of 1708 (September J^), where the number 
of the enemy is, however, given as 22,000, and Fortescue, Hist, of the British Army, 
i. 507. 

* N.B. Braddock's conduct was much blamed, and undoubtedly he was an officer of 
no science, but in this instance the men were most in fault. He had advanced parties, 
and they gave way at the first fire and fell back on the main body. H. 

286 THE WAR 

and oblige us to. separate our force. To facilitate this operation, 
he proposes that orders should be given (and it is pretended they 
are already sent) for equipping 12 ships of the line and 12 frigates 
more at Brest, the places for disembarking to be settled as. oppor- 
tunity shall serve, but which they are, I am yet to learn. His 
intention, however, is to prepare three attacks, two of which to be 
feints, but the real one to be in the West of England. The Marshal 
demands 600 sail of transports for this .service, each ship to carry 
100 men, and he proposes to employ the smugglers of Kent, Sussex 
and Hampshire for his pilots, as the most knowing of any for the 
purpose. As many; persons had objected to the difficulties there 
would be in the execution of this plan, the Marshal has presented 
several memorials to explain his designs and, amongst other things, 
he says that the scheme may be very feasible in a fresh southerly 
wind, a dark night, a fog or a stark calm, because, in any of these 
cases, the fleets of England could not copie to intercept their 

Besides this great though, I hopej very difficult project, it is 
intended to second it with an embarkation upon the coast of 
-Provence, where 30,000 men are ordered to assemble, and to make 
an attempt upon the island of Minorca, which is represented as no 
very, difficult undertaking. . . 

[He does not vouchsafe for the truth of this account but observes 
that it is conformable to the language of the French minister at the 
Hague. Immense preparations were being made upon the sea 
coast, and quantities of stores transported to Dunkirk.] 

Duke of Newcastle to ~ Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke at the Hague 
[H. i77if-.43o.] . Newcastle House, ../«*. ;io, 1756. . 

Dear Sir, 

It is with the greatest pleasure that I can now thank you 
for your very kind and able letters^ . .because I can assure you, that 
the King has expressed himself upon them and upon your conduct, 
in this very nice and critical conjuncture, with all the marks of 
approbation, satisfaction and regard possible. His Majesty has 
lately talked very often to -me upon your subject, how prudently, 
-how ably, and how successfully you had conducted yourself, and 
this day particularly said in a very emphatical manner, how well 
you did, and how considerable you would be, or to that effect. 
This gave me the most sincere pleasure..;. I have seen your reason-' 
ings in your private letters to Holderness about the French 
preparations and motions on the coast. For my part, I own, my 
opinion is that they are so irritated, think their honour so much 
wounded and are so much governed by that hot-headed Marshal 
Belleisle, that I do think they will make an attempt, and most 

^ N. i77j ff. 153 and 239, dealing with affairs in Holland and the receptioa of the 
news of the treaty with the King of Prussia. . , ... .w . , , ,' •. 


probably more than one, upon parts of our coast. They will have 
100,000 men just over against us ; they have quantities of cannon, 
artillery etc: of all sorts, and what should prevent them from 
risking 20,000 or 30,000 men to revenge themselves of this country, 
whilst they have nothing to fear in any part of the world ? For this 
reason we are determined to be as strong as we can. We have sent 
for the Hessians and, I hope, we shall soon have the Dutch from 
you \ . . . ever most affectionately yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 
Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 9, f. 9.] Hague, February 17"", 1756. 

...I must approve, and so must every man of common sense, all 
the precautions you are taking for your security. It is the surest 
way of preventing the attempt, which I don't quite believe France 
will make, notwithstanding her preparations which are tremendous, 
I confess, except in ships for transporting. I can't help a little 
wondering that you are in want of intelligence from the opposite 
shore, but good is not to be had without rhoney.... 

The Treaty with Prussia does not lose ground here and it has 
affected France a great deal, tho' they affect to hide it... 

Admiral the Hon. John Byng to Mr Secretary Cleveland 

\_Trial of Admiral Byng (1757), app. v.; Beatson, Naval and Military Memoirs, 
i. 468.] 

Xamillies IN Gibraltar Bay, May 4, 1756. 


I arrived here with the Squadron, under my command, the 
2°<i instant in the afternoon, after a tedious passage of twenty seven 
days, occasioned by contrary winds and calms ; and was extremely 
concerned to hear from Captain Edgcumbe, who I found here with the 
Princess Louisa and Fortune sloop, that he was obliged to retire 
from Minorca, the French having landed. on that island, by all 
accounts from thirteen to fifteen thousand men.... 

If I had been so happy to have arrived at Mahon, before the 
French landed, I flatter myself, I should have been able to prevent 
their getting a footing on that island ; but as it has so unfortunately 
turned out, I am firmly of opinion, from the great force they 
have landed, and the quantity of provisions, stores and ammunition 
of all kinds they brought with them, that the throwing men into 
the Castle will only enable it to hold out but a little time longer, 
and add to the number that must fall into the enemy's hands''; 
for the garrison in time will be obliged to surrender, unless a 
sufficient number of men could be landed to dislodge the French 

' The forces which by treaty could be demaiided by England from Holland in case of 
an invasion, but which were eventually refused. , 

2 See Blakeney's:evidence to the. contrary, p., 270 n. . 

288 THE WAR 

or raise the siege. However I am determined to sail up to 
Minorca witli the squadron, where I shall be a better judge of 
the situation of affairs there, and will give General Blakeney all 
the assistance he shall require ; though, I am afraid, all com- 
munication will be cut off between us, as is the opinion of the 
chief engineers of this garrison.... It is to be apprehended when 
they [the French] have got all the ships they possibly can, ready 
for service, they may think of turning their thoughts this way. 
If I should fail in the relief of Port Mahon, I shall look upon the 
security and protection of Gibraltar as my next object, and shall 
repair down here with the squadron, and hope their Lordships will 
approve of that measure. 

[Then follow complaints of the absence of stores at Gibraltar 
and of the condition of the wharf and of the " inconveniences we 
shall meet with here."] 

By a council of war,... it was not thought proper to send a 
detachment equal to a battalion for the relief of Minorca, as it 
would evidently weaken the garrison of Gibraltar, and be no way 
effectual to the relief of that island for the reasons therein given. 
[A detachment of men had, however, been sent on board the ships 
commanded by Captain Edgcumbe to replace those that had 
been landed at Minorca.] We are employed in taking in wine and 
completing our water with the utmost dispatch, and shall let no 
opportunity slip of sailing from hence^... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lord Roys ton 

[H. i6, f. 91.] Hague, May 7, 1756. 

...Today I can't enter into Dutch politics which, bad as it is, 
is not worse, in my opinion, than English, for by our letters from 
Paris it is certain now that Marshal Richelieu landed at Ciudadela 
on the Island of Minorca the i8"» April, that the forces and 
ammunition were landed between that and the 20*, that our 
garrison of 300 men retired on their approach, as did likewise 
that of Fornel, both to S' Philip's, where the only opposition can 
be made. Marshal Richelieu sent next day a detachment to take 
post at Meccadal, which is about half way to Mahon, and proposed 
to follow the next day with the rest of the army. Our people 
upon retiring destroyed everything they could, and took away all 
the horses and mules, so that in one account I saw it was said that 
the French would be obliged to send their artillery by sea to 
some creek nearer S' Philip's, upon account of the difficulty of 
transporting it by land. The French letters pretend likewise 
that Commodore Edgecumbe'' was in the harbour of Mahon with 
2 men of war and 3 frigates, and had been obliged to take out his 
guns to assist in the defence of the place. I hope this is not true, 

' See further. May 25, p. igi. 

* George, afterwards first Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. 


because it would then seem to me very difficult for him to join 
M^ Byng, whom Mo"" de la Galissonniere is said to be gone to 
meet, in order to intercept his arrival at Mahon ; and unless 
M'' Byng has more force than what he sailed from England with 
and is not joined by M"" Edgecumbe, I fear the French will be an 
overmatch for him', and it will be indeed a great reproach to 
our conduct if we lose Minorca and are beat by sea, by an enemy 
we despise because of our superiority upon that element. From 
what you mention I am afraid the Admiralty has been deceived in 
its intelligence about the strength of the Toulon squadron, and yet 
I don't know how that can be possible; for all the accounts sent 
over from these parts have always made them 10 ships of the line, 
two 50 gun ships besides frigates, and I hope therefore they have not 
some intelligencer who is paid to deceive them. You must excuse 
my being out of humour to-day, for I can't help being sensibly hurt 
at our conduct which I think preposterous and unaccountable. 
What have our fleets been lying in harbour for so long .'' Not for 
fear of the invasion, for that has never yet been probable and 
I have always asserted it, because I did not care sixpence for 
a 100,000 men upon the coast opposite to you, when 1 did not see 
10 ships to convey them, and to this minute they have not vessels 
enough to carry2000 men. I am afraid the Administration will have 
brought a storm upon itself which will not be easily laid, and how 
they will satisfy the public is a secret I should be glad to know, 
for I live amongst people we have been abusing these 1 5 years for 
neglect, and I don't see we are a bit better ; in a word, Europe cries 
out upon us, and we have sad uphill work to go through. It 
will become them to retrieve the credit of the nation and the 
credit of their boasted superiority by sea, which has not yet had 
the good luck to prevent the French from doing what they 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[N. 179, f. 486.] Newcastle House, May 8, 1756. 

My Dear Lord, 

Your Lordship will have heard of the extraordinary 
debate in the House of Commons yesterday where, I think, M"" 
Pitt laid everything that was blamed upon me, though he varied his 
discourse at times. He made great compliments to. my Lord 
Anson and the Admiralty all at my expense. 1 am not able to 
bear this weight, especially for measures where others have the 
principal, if not the sole, direction. M"' Pitt went so far to charge 
the loss of Minorca as a design in order to justify a bad peace. 
I send your Lordship a most extraordinary letter from M"^ Fox 

' These apprehensions were unfounded, see p. 370. 
¥. II, 19 

290 THE WAR 

and copy of my answer^ I see plainly where M'' Fox would 
lay all blame viz: the not augmenting our force at home ; when he, 
in opposition and conjunction with M"" Pitt, pretended it should 
have been done. Lord George Sackville's part is abominable^ 
Things must not remain upon this foot. 

ever yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 179, f. 504.] . Powis House, May ij, 1756, at night. 

[Approves the Duke's answer to Fox and proceeds] I had 
heard some account of Friday's debate but not that quite so much 
distinction was made, as had been represented to your Grace. 
Some there certainly was, but everybody was brought in in their 
turns, either with blame or ridicule. Opposers in M^ Pitt's 
situation will always principally strike at the first. There is in 
that a mixture both of malice and of politics. As to his scheme 
of wilfully intending to lose Minorca in order to make a bad 
peace, it was scouted and ridiculed by everybody. When I came 
home from Westminster, at the same time I received the honour 
of your Grace's letter, I received a notice of a meeting with a 
request to me to appoint the place, which I did at the Admiralty. 
I found there Lord Holderness, Lord Anson, and M"' Fox, and 
that the business was the relief proposed to be sent to Port Mahon 
at present.... 

Hon. John Yorke to Lord Royston 

[H. 26, f. 134.] Lincoln's Inn, May 13, 1756. 

[Describes the debate in the House of Commons the day 
before.]... Pitt fired a broadside from his first rate: he spoke long 
and well.... He drew a very melancholy picture of our situation 
and laid it thick on the ministers. He compared the Duke of 
Newcastle to a child in a go-cart upon the brink of a precipice, 
and that it was but common humanity to stop it, or to admonish 
the child's nurse of its danger (especially if it was a good shrewd 
nurse, and then turned to Fox). He said he would not have 

^ ff. 478 and 483. Fox wrote : " Mr Pitt has taken the liberty to blame your Grace as 
well as others today. I answered as well as I could, but the loss of Minorca is a weight 
that it is not easy to debate under." The Duke had answered, "You must remember 
what was constantly Said when this question was before us ; that the heart must be 
secured in the first place...." 

2 He had said "that the danger Minorca was in, was a proof of our not being sufficiently, 
or early enough, armed at home." f. 479. 


set his hand to the Declaration, by which we are to give the King 
of Prussia ;^20,ooo, for all the great offices conjointly \... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lord Royston 

[H. 16, f. 93.] Hague, May i8, 1756. 

...The last letters the Court [of France] own from Mon"^ de 
Richelieu are of the 28* past, in which he complains of the 
difficulties he meets with and the impossibility of being able to 
begin the attack against the Fort in less than ten or twelve days. 
He says too as certain that M"" Edgecumbe was got out of Mahon 
with the men of war and had taken away the French prisoners, and 
that the English had abandoned Fort Phelipet, from whence he had 
been to examine the place. I suppose the Governor abandoned 
that Fort when M"" Edgecumbe went away, for as it is on the 
opposite side of the harbour, it would have inevitably fallen into 
the Enemy's hands; and now, if the heavy cannon don't arrive 
before M"" Byng, it is to be hoped that the French on their side 
may likewise be forced to abandon it again, if once our men of war 
come into the harbour. I have had a letter today to inform me 
that there are private letters from Mahon of the 2°<i instant, by 
which it was certain the trenches were not then opened and that it 
was found impossible to bring the heavy train up without horses, 
which with mules were to be sent for from Marseilles ; and if 
that is so, their siege will go on very ill, especially if Mon^ 
de la Galissonniere should have a check and our garrison commit 
no great blunder. Upon the whole that affair looks a little better 
than it did ; and if we can get out of it with credit, it will be a very 
happy event for us.... 

Admiral the Hon. John Byng to Mr John Cleveland, Secretary 
of the Admiralty 

\Trial of Admiral Byng (ilil), app. xix.]^ 

Ramillies off Minorca, May -25 [1756]. 


I have the pleasure to desire you will acquaint their Lord- 
ships that having sailed from Gibraltar the 8th, I got off Mahon 
the 19th, having been joined by his Majesty's ship "Phoenix" off 
Majorca, two days before, by whom I had confirmed the intelligence 
I received at Gibraltar, of the strength of the French fleet and of their 
being off Mahon. His Majesty's colours were still flying at the castle 
of St. Philip's, and I could perceive several bomb batteries playing 

^ The speech described also by Walpole, George II, ii. 193, and Pari. Hist. xv. 703, 
where the date is May ri. 

^ The words in italics being those suppressed by the administration (see below, p. 340), 
and those within brackets additions; also Gent. Mag. xxvi, 483; and London Gazette, 
June 26, 1756, No. 95941 where the abridged letter is published and expressly headed 
" Extract of a letter from Admiral Byng." 

19 — 2 

292 THE WAR 

upon it from different parts ; French colours we saw flying on the 
west part of St. Philip's. I dispatched the,'' Phoenix" " Chesterfield' 
and "Dolphin " ahead to reconnoitre the harbours mouth and Cap^ 
Hervey to endeavour to land a letter for Gen. Blakeney, to let him know 
the fleet was here to his assistance, tho' everyone was of opinion 
we could be of no use to him; as by all accounts, no place was 
secured for covering a landing, could we have spared any people. 
The " Phoenix " was also to make the private signal between Capt. 
Hervey and Capt. Scrope, as, this latter would undoubtedly come off 
if it were practicable, having kept the " Dolphins " barge with him; 
but [when] the enemy's fleet appear««^ecl] to the S.E. and the wind 
at the same time, coming strong off the land, obliged me to call those 
ships in, before they could get quite so near the entrance of the harbour 
as to m,ake sure what batteries or guns might be placed to prevent any 
communication with the Castle, Falling little wind, it was five 
before I could form my line or distinguish any of the enemy's 
motions and not at all to judge of their force more than by their 
numbers which were 17 and 13 [of those] appeared large. 

[Then follows the description of the battle published entire 
including the admiral's signal, on the fleets going into action, for the 
"Deptford" "to quit the line that ours might become equal with 
theirs" and his statement that the French ships "went three feet to 
our one," which occasioned much comment, omitting only the word 
unfortunately in the clause, " The ' Intrepid,' unfortunately, in the 
very beginning had his fore-top-mast shot away," and that of very 
greatly in the sentence " whose loss would give very greatly the 
balance against us."] 

I sent cruisers out to look for the "Intrepid" and "Chesterfield" 
who joined me the next day ; and having from a state and condition 
of the squadron brought me in, found that the "Captain," "Intrepid" 
and "Defiance" (which latter has lost her Captain) were [very] much 
damaged in their masts, so that they were endangered of not being 
able to secure their masts properly at sea, and also that the squadron 
in general were very sickly, many killed and wounded'^, and nowhere 
to put a third of their number, if I made a hospital even of the 
forty gun ship, which was not easy at sea, I .thought it proper in 
this situation to call a council of war before I went again to 
look for the enemy. I desired the attendance of Gen. Stuart, 
Lord Effingham and Lord Robert Bertie and Colonel Cornwallis, 
that I might collect their opinions upon the present situation of 
Minorca and Gibraltar, and make sure of protecting the latter, since 
it was found impracticable to either succour or relieve the former with 
the force we had ; for though we may justly claim the victory, yet we 
are much inferior to the weight of their ships, though the numbers 
are equal, and they have the advantage of sending to Minorca their 
wounded, and getting reinforcements of seamen from their trans- 
ports and soldiers from their camp ; all which has undoubtedly 

^ The actual number of the British casualties was 2 1 1 of whom 43 were killed ; see 
p. 271. 


deen done in this time that we have been lying to to refit and 
often in sight of Minorca; and their ships have often more than 
once appeared in a line from our mastheads. I send their Lordships the 
resolution of the council of war ; in which there was [at which Council] 
not the least contention or doubt arose'. I hope indeed we shall find 
stores to refit us at Gibraltar and if I have any reinforcement, will not 
lose a mometit's time to seek the enemy again and once more give 
them battle, though they have a great adva^itage in being clean ships 
that go three feet to our one, and therefore have the choice how 
they will engage us, or if they will at all, and will never let us close 
them, as their sole view is the disabling our ships in which they have 
but too well succeeded, though ive obliged them to bear up. I do not 
send their lordships the particulars of our losses and damages by 
this, as it would take me much time and that I am willing none 
should be lost ^n letting them know an event of such consequence. 
/ cannot help urging their lordships for a reinforcement, if none are 
yet sailed^, on their knowledge of the enemy's strength in these seas, 
and which by very good intelligence, will in a few days be stre?tgthened 
by four m.ore large ships from Toulon, almost ready to sail, if not 
already sailed to join these. I dispatch this to Sir Benjamin Keene^, by 
way of Barcelona, and am making the best of my way to cover 
Gibraltar ; from which place I propose sending their lordships a 
more particular account. I am, Sir, 

Your most humble servant 

J. B. 

P.S. I must desire you will acquaint their Lordships that 
I have appointed Capt. Hervey to the command of the " Defiance," 
in the room of Capt. Andrews slain in the action. 

I have just sent the defects of the ships, as I have got it made 
out whilst I was closing my letter. 

Admiral t/ie Hon. fohn Byng to Lord Anson 
[H. 547, f. ^s, copy.] Ramillies OFF Minorca, May ■25, 1756. 

My Lord, 

My public letter to your board will acquaint you in 
general of our motions, but think it is proper to let your Lordship 
know very particularly not only whatever occurs but also whatever 
inducements there may be to any steps which may not always 
be so proper to go through the various inspection that a public 
letter must necessarily do, and therefore my Lord I shall tell you 
that when I sailed from Gibraltar I found it was the general opinion 
not to leave that place when there was so little, if any hopes of 
relieving Minorca, and [.'not] much more of hoping for the success 
we have had against a fleet superior to ours, but the many 

1 See p. 271. '^ See p. 1^^, ' Ambassador at Madrid. 

294 1'^^ ^^^ 

advantages they have of being reinforced from their camp, and 

landing their sick and wounded ashore, and the weight of their 

ships made it evident to me after a trial which I was determined 

to make that no further risk should be [sic] of His Majesty's fleet, 

lest by any irreparable accident Gibraltar should become exposed, 

for though my Lord we have evidently beat the French yet it was 

only so that we may call the victory ours since some were drove 

out of the line, though they recovered themselves when to leeward 

and rallied by their Admiral who bore down the whole time to 

join them. Indeed it was in their power to fight us on if they 

pleased, as we continued on our spot and have never but lain 

too [sic] since, for if the French had returned again however 

precarious it might be I should have thought we were too much 

concerned to have retired in their sight, and if a more complete 

victory could be gained of them (which is in their option) yet 

I cannot think it would have availed for His Majesty's service 

in our situation, as we could not hope to engage again with these 

cripple ships without being more disabled, and you know my Lord 

what a distance we have to carry them to, to refit, and when we 

come there we have no stores of any kind, so that I should have 

thought myself, unpardonable on all these considerations to have 

risked another battle. I wish some of our officers had been more 

expert at lines of battle in engagement[;] we should have gone down 

more regular and our ships would have been less exposed to have 

been raked in going down, and though we could never have hoped 

a complete victory yet we might have been less disabled, and 

probably have disabled them more, as I saw none visibly hurt but 

the ship that bore up from me, who had his main top sail yard shot 

away. I have sent the Board the resolution[s] of the Council 

of War for our retiring to Gibraltar and cannot help telling your 

Lordship that they would have been more numerous, but I put 

a stop to the reasons being expressed for these resolutions, which 

were only inflaming people at our being so weak with regard to 

the French fleet and left without stores, or hospital ship, or any 

visible manner of being of service to Minorca when arrived there, 

where the French had been above a month landed, much more on 

this subject but I cut all short by saying we had no business with 

these reflections, I only wanted the opinion of the gentlemen for 

our future motions to be a government to my judgment in the 

execution of my instructions. I hope to hear from your Lordship 

very shortly, and hope for a reinforcement of ships, that I may seek 

again the enemy and recover their present command of that part of 

the Mediterranean, which now exposes all our commerce as I am 

not able to send any ship to support it. 

As to Minorca the enemy have i7,ocx) men there, and I fear the 
Castle will shortly be obliged to surrender, it was invested in such 
a manner that it would be impo.ssible to have thrown in this 
regiment on board the squadron could we have spared them. 
I wish it may ever be practicable to starve their army by cruisers 


about the island when we have the superiority of these seas without 
endangering Gibraltar. 

I hope your Lordship enjoys perfect health and am with the 
greatest respect your Lordship's most obedient humble servant 

J. Byng. 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lord Royston 
[H. 16, f. 95.] Hague, May 28, 1756. 

...I shall not be sorry to hear that the Parliament is separated, 
and that the Cabinet are acting in one united body against the 
common enemy ; for the disputes, which reign amongst you and 
which make a great deal of noise in Europe, do a great deal 
of harm to our cause. [He proceeds to discuss the new treaty 
and alliance between France and Austria.] For my own part, 
if our Court would spend money enough to keep the North in 
order, I should be very glad to be rid of the House of Austria 
now and for ever more, for I sincerely think, if he will act fairly 
by us, we may make a great deal more of the King of Prussia. 

We have very little today about Minorca ; the Court of France 
has news from Mahon by express of the 10"^ instant that the 
trenches were opened before S' Philip's the night before.... A letter 
from Gibraltar of the 2^^ instant says that M"" Byng was just 
arrived, that he had found the Deptford and Princess Louisa, 
that the remainder of Edgecumbe's ships were hourly expected 
and that M"" Byng was to sail very soon. I hear too from 
Brest that Admiral Boscawen's fleet had taken the Aquilon, 
a SO gun ship.... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lord Royston 

[H. 16, f. 97.] Hague, June 4, 1756. 

...You will see by the enclosed that Byng and La Galissonniere 
have had a brush ; it is clear to me that the French were too 
strong for him and he seems to have conducted himself perfectly 
well ; for he kept the advantage of the wind and retired when 
he saw proper, without risking anything with too great a dis- 
advantage'. The French had four 74 gun ships, and from all I have 
ever heard from our seamen, they are fit to fight our 90= as long as 
their masts can stand, and consequently superior by many hundred 
tons to all our 70 gun ships of which M'' Byng had four and one 74, 
which is a new one. What I lament is the fate of Minorca and 
the brave garrison of Fort S' Philip's which, I fear, will be dis- 
heartened, not knowing the reasons; but still I think, had Mr Byng 
been beat, the Italian powers would done more than waver, 
which is of as much consequence as Minorca. To say the truth, 
I don't know why the French account is so modest and that 

' He changed his opinion considerably when all the facts became public ; below, p. 303. 

296 THE WAR 

makes me want another from our people ; for there are circum- 
stances in this relation which I don't comprehend. I think in 
England there will be a great outcry upon this affair, and people 
will complain that a greater force was not sent there which, 
I confess, I don't comprehend neither; for the account we had 
here in April, and which was published in all your newspapers, 
agrees exactly with the account of the French in Mons. la Galis- 
sonniere's own letter, and consequently you must have known their 
force if you had had a mind.... 

[On June 1 1, 1756 (N. 180, f. 257), the Duke of Newcastle writes 
a long letter to Colonel Joseph Yorke at the Hague on the situation 
caused by the new alliance between France and Austria, and the 
necessity of confronting it by one with Prussia and Russia, and asking 
for his opinion. In answer, on June 1 8th (f 339), Colonel Yorke 
agrees on these two fundamental points of policy and advises that 
"whatever money is thought proper to be given at this juncture 
would perhaps be better bestowed upon the ministers in presents 
than upon their masters in subsidies," especially in Russia and 
in Sweden ; that the war should be as much as possible a naval 
one, and that as little English money as could be should be sent 
abroad. As to Holland, not much was to be expected from thence ; 
but if some consideration were shown for Dutch trade in the war, 
the inclination towards Prussia might be maintained.] 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord CImncellor 
[H. 67, f. 188.] Claremont, fune 12, 1756. 

[Discusses the dangers arising from the recent treaty between 
France and Austria. It was a terrible consideration that these 
difficulties came upon them when a breach in the Royal Family 
was threatened.... Lord Waldegrave had had several conversations 
with the Princess of Wales and the Prince and told them that they 
were] oh the brink of a precipice, that the Prince was in a wrong 
way, that the King had the power, that the nation was with the 
King in this point, etc. The Princess of Wales made all the 
professions of duty and gratitude to the King,... that the Prince 
of Wales... only requested to have my Lord Bute, that the King 

was mistaken in my Lord Bute's character or pretensions The 

Princess said to my Lord Waldegrave that she had expected more 
from the Duke of Newcastle, after what she had said to M^ Stone, that 
she should make one more trial, or to that purpose, by M'' Stone, 
and if she found that made no impression "she should then trouble 
the Duke of Newcastle no more'."... When my Lord Waldegrave 

* ' ' During these transactions the Prince and Princess of Wales, forgetting their former 
resentment, sent messages to the Duke of Newcastle in the most submissive terms, 
assuring him that if by his interest in the Closet Lord Bute could be made Groom of the 
Stole they should ever remember it as the greatest obligation ; that it was the only point 
they had really at heart and that they were desirous of obtaining so considerable a favour 


talked of the King's power and the Constitution, the Prince of 
Wales answered, " That is the Chancellor." My Lord Waldegrave 
made a full report of the whole to the King last Wednesday^. His 
Majesty talked it over fully with me afterwards with all the marks 
of goodness, attention and regard for your Lordship and myself 
imaginable, for we went hand in hand throughout his whole 
consideration....! never saw the King more agitated than he was 
yesterday.... His Majesty admitted to me that, whatever was done, 
would fall only upon your Lordship and your humble servant... 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lord Royston 
[H. 16, f. loi.] Hague, y«Kf 15M, 1756. 

...I am free enough to say, notwithstanding all the lists, that 
I am convinced, from the force of La Galissonniere's 74 gun ships, 
that he was much an overmatch for Byng ; whether he ought 
to have risked everything, let the consequence have been ever so 
bad for his fleet, I won't decide, because that must have depended 
a good deal upon his orders and those I have not seen. As to our 
notion about the superiority of the manning our fleet, I am not 
quite sanguine enough to believe it ; for I know what kind of 
stories are always told about the Enemy, and how little grounds 
there generally is for them. I am confident we have had bad 
intelligence, and as confident that, if M^ Byng had had another 
90 gun ship, he would have beat the French fleet out of the sea. 
At present I am chiefly uneasy about S' Philip's Castle where, by all 

accounts, the Governor makes a stout defence Without all dispute 

you must keep your superiority in the Mediterranean.... It would 
be hard indeed, if the French should be masters of the sea with 
only 12 men of war of the line riding in it, which is the case 
at present.... You must not too easily let yourselves be alarmed, 
for that will be destruction to you. If I was the first minister, 
I would support the navy with all my might and defy all continent 
schemes, to which I would lend an ear no more than by negotiations 
and distant promises upon seeing effects, and giving money to 
ministers rather than masters. If you will only keep your 
superiority at sea, which you must do if you will be a power, 
you need not be afraid of any system Austria and Versailles 
can form.... 

Lord Walpole"^ to the Lord Chancellor 

[Coxe's Lord Walpole, ii. 430.] Cockpit, June 20, 1756. 

My Lord,... 

If no opportunity can offer after this day to take my 
leave of your Lordship in person, I hope you will accept, in this 

by his means because they had rather be obliged to him than to any other minister." 
Lord Waldegrave's Metiioirs, 65. 

' Lord Waldegrave gives no account of these conversations in his memoirs. 

'^ The elder Horace Walpole was created by the Chancellor's means Lord Walpole of 

298 THE WAR 

manner, of my sincere acknowledgments for the many favours 
you have from time to time conferred upon me, with my most 
ardent prayers for your health and prosperity in the long enjoy- 
ment of your high station. It is absolutely necessary for the 
public weal, in these doubtful and perilous times, such as I never 
before remember to have happened to this exhausted, divided and 
distracted nation. I beg leave to add that wherever I shall be, 
until I cease to be, I shall retain a remembrance of your Lordship's 
goodness to me, and remain with the most affectionate regard... 


Lord Chancellor to Lord Walpole 
[Coxe's Lord Walpole, ii. 431.] Powis House, June 20, 1756. 

My Dear Lord, 

I return your Lordship a thousand thanks for your 
very kind letter, and am very sorry that my being detained in 
the Chair of the British Museum, till past twelve o'clock last night, 
hindered my waiting upon you, as I hoped to have done. I am 
particularly engaged this morning, and on Sunday evenings am 
expected to be found at home : so that I fear I shall scarce be able 
to have that honour before you go out of town. 

Permit me, therefore, to take this way of repeating my most 
cordial congratulations on your promotion to the peerage, from 
which, I do most heartily wish and augur everything prosperous to 
your Lordship and your family. I am infinitely obliged to you 
for your kind wishes. I lament the situation of the public as 
much as any person in the world, and lament also how little use 
I can be of to it. One thing we may all do some good by, I mean 
by endeavouring to correct the madness of the people for war, and 
instilling gradually a disposition for peace 

Once more let me wish your Lordship all happiness and a very 
good journey ; and assure you that you do not leave behind you 
any one who is with greater truth and affection, my dear Lord, 

[than your, etc. 


WoUerton on June i, 1756. He died soon afterwards on February 5, 1757 in his 79th 
year. See the second Lord Hardwicke's praise of his diplomatic abilities, of which 
many instances are to be found in this correspondence, Hardwicke Stale Papers, ii. 631. 
In a note appended to one of his letters he writes : " This old gentleman was one of the 
best and most affectionate friends that our family ever had." H. 258, f. 87. 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 67, f. 198.] Newcastle House, June ■25, 1756. 

My Dearest Lord, 

Every day convinces me that it is impossible for me 
almost to oblige everybody or to avoid being suspected of falsity 
and duplicity, even to those for whom I have, and have always 
professed, the greatest friendship. 

This is at present the case with M^ Attorney-GeneralS who, 
I own, I thought was the last man in all England capable of 
suspecting me. He came to me this morning under the greatest 
anxiety, "That I had talked mysteriously to him, that he would not 
suspect me, what could be the meaning of this delay. I had told 
him my Lord Chancellor left it to me ; my Lord Chancellor had 
engaged the judges to put off their circuits four days, had told all 
the profession that he knew no more of this affair than the day the 
Chief Justice died on." I answered very truly that I was surprised 
to find myself so very unjustly suspected, that I had told him from 
the beginning that his leaving the House of Commons was a most 
unfortunate thing for me ; but that if he insisted upon it, as he 
does, I would do my utmost to promote the success of his views, as 
I will do ; that it was true that I believed your Loi-dship was not 
at all for the delay, that my reason was that, when a thing attended 
with such very unfortunate circumstances to me, was to be done, 
I was, I owned, willing to do it, as late as possible ; that what 
I proposed principally by the delay was to see whether in the 
meantime some system might not be found out for the House 
of Commons ; that also in this time of distress, which so much 
affected the King, I was unwilling His Majesty should be agitated 
with any business that could be avoided, and that this would 
certainly agitate him. All these reasonings signified nothing. He 
would not suppose, " there could be any difficulty with the King," 
and I found he must either be gratified or / and / alone must 
be suspected ; and as I cannot bear these reproaches, I determined 
to write the other letter to your Lordship^, and must beg that you 
would, for these reasons, comply with what is desired in it. Sure 
your good nature must pity me ; never was poor man so used 
by his best friends ; but I must bear all, and all I can bear but 
being suspected, and that I can't bear, whatever may be the 
consequences. I pour out my heart to you and am always, 
my dearest Lord, 

most unalterably yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

' P- 275- 

^ f. 200, asking the Chancellor to manage Murray's promotion to the chief justiceship 
and peerage with the King. 

300 THE WAR 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 1 80, f. 440.] Powis House, _/■«»« 26M, 1756. Saturday night. 

My Dear Lord, 

Yesterday I received the honour of your Grace's two 
letters under the same cover, and was much concerned to find you 
under so much anxiety....! know very well how to pity your Grace 
under such circumstances. They are always very uneasy and 
vexatious, especially wfcien coming from such hands ; but we so 
frequently meet with incidents of that nature in these times that, if 
one does not grow, to a certain degree, callous against the impres- 
sion of them, there will be no possibility of going on. I imme- 
diately obeyed your Grace's commands by sending to M'' Attorney 
General, who came to me at night, after my return from Lincoln's 
Inn Hall.. ..Mr Murray appeared easy and in good humour, and 
did not talk in the style of suspicion. He applied himself to answer 
the reasons for delay in the same manner as he had done to your 
Grace, and expressed a strong desire to have the affair finished this 
term. He owned he had before expressed more indifference on 
that head, but had formed this opinion on reflection. I told him 
that, as this was now his desire, I would take the first opportunity 
of laying it before the King in the best manner I could. ...Monday 
was the first day and then I would certainly go, with which he was 
perfectly well satisfied. I let him know that it was possible His 
Majesty might continue to make some difficulty, or demur at least 
about the peerage, to which he only answered that he had always 
considered the peerage and Chief Justice as going together. I told him 
that I would certainly lay them both before the King together in the 
most favourable light. This day I received a very civil letter from 
him', but writ professedly with this view, to explain his meaning 
further as to the words first underlined [in italics], viz : that he meant 
to convey, that without the peerage he wished to decline all pretensions 
to the Chief Justiceship. I intend to wait upon His Majesty on Monday 
and do the best I can, and will that afternoon acquaint your Grace 
with what shall have passed on that occasion.... 

I am most faithfully and unfeignedly 

my dear Lord, ever yours, 

1 H. 246, f. 85. 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[N. 180, f. 446; H. 67, f. 204.] Claremont, y««« 27, 1756. 

My Dearest Lord, 

If anything could give me comfort in our present 
most distressed situation, it would be the kind letter which I 
received from your Lordship this morning, and particularly the 
conclusion of it. Assurances of the continuance of your friendship 
are as unnecessary as they are agreeable and comforting to me at 
all times. I have had too long experience to doubt either of the 
importance or extent of your friendship to me. There is only one 
further mark of it, which you have yet left untried, and that is to 
endeavour to make the King easy in my retiring from a situation, 
where I can have neither ease, quiet, satisfaction nor success.... 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
in answer to a letter of the same date from the latter (H. 67, f. 206) 

[N. 180, f. 449.] Powis House, yune 28, 1756, 8 at night. 

My Dear Lord,... 

As to the business of my audience, the result was this. 
I stated M"^ Attorney General's application in as dutiful and favour- 
able a light as I possibly could. I acquainted his Majesty with 
the reasons which, upon reflection and consideration, had induced 
him to be clearly of opinion, that no expedient or equivalent could 
possibly be found out that could make his continuance in the 
House of Commons to be of utility to his Majesty's service, and 
that the world was already prepared to look upon it (whatever 
it should be) only in the light of an honourable pension. I told 
him also the reasons that had convinced M"^ Murray that there 
could be no utility to his service in any longer delay, as the destina- 
tion was so generally known ; and I did not scruple to say that 
upon this point I was inclined to the same way of thinking, and I 
concluded with the point of the peerage which, I assure your Grace, 
I put as strongly as I could, and conveyed to his Majesty, in a 
modest manner, that M"^ Murray had always connected the one 
with the other, and without the one would decline the other. The 
King heard me without interruption and then with great good 
humour asked me, " What is your opinion ? " I gave my opinion in 
support of every part of M"" Murray's request with my reasons ; 
and I told his Majesty that... you had authorized me humbly to lay 
before his Majesty your opinion to the same purpose, which I 
repeated. The King then said, " As this is the opinion of you both. 

302 THE WAR 

I am ready to make M"^ Murray Chief Justice this term without any 
further delay, and I desire you will tell him so and the regard 
which I have for him and his services. But the office of Chief 
Justice is not only one of the most important but, taken in all its 
circumstances, one of the most valuable I have to give. It is 
;£'6ooo a year for life, and I will not make a precedent that when I 
advance a man from the bar to that office, he should think that he 
has an immediate claim to a peerage. I had a very good opinion 
of Ryder (who had served me very long and very well) and loved 
him ; but you know that I refused to make him a peer till above 
two years after he was Chief Justice. That should come after- 
wards, after there has been experience of a man in that office, and 
it may come afterwards in this case." — I tell your Grace pretty near 
the words ; I am very sure the precise sense. I did not fail to urge 
the difference of the two cases ; that M'' Murray was himself of an 
ancient noble family, had made a great figure in Parliament and 
would naturally wish to continue there, though in another House, 
and not to be thrown out of all business of the state at his time of 
life. However, the King adhered firmly (though without any ill- 
humour) to his opinion upon this point, and added one further 
reason, viz : the many importunities which he at present laboured 
under for peerage, and the clamour and uneasiness he should bring 
upon himself, and ordered me to acquaint M^ Attorney with both 
his reasons. 

I have accordingly obeyed his commands and have told 
M"" Attorney the whole, but more at large than I could do in a 
letter. He received it in a very handsome manner, and appeared 
less affected than I expected....! desired to know of him what he 
wished I should say or do further. After some talk between us, he 
rested in this — that as the King seemed at first inclined to delay it 
till the beginning of Michaelmas Term, and your Grace had all 
along wished it, though he did not see the utility of it, he thought 
there was no other party to take but to resort to, and acquiesce in, 
that. I told him I would do as he would have me, but I must 
necessarily in two or three days carry the circuit paper to his 
Majesty to sign. This he agreed [to] and desired I would then talk 
in the manner before described. I told him, I would then repeat 
his request of the peerage ; but say that, as his Majesty had once 
inclined to delay the making a Chief Justice till Michaelmas Term, 
he (M^ Attorney) acquiesced in the King's pleasure in that respect, 
humbly hoping that in the meantime, his Majesty would be 


graciously pleased to determine his own mind to confer the great 
favour of peerage together with the office. He said he was much 
obliged to me for stating it in that way, and it was all he could at 
present desire.... 

ever yours 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lord Royston 

[H. 16, f. 105.] Hague, y«/y 2, 1756. 

...Whatever Admiral Byng may think, he will be single in his 
opinion about his victory ; for the moment he had no communica- 
tion with the Castle and left the sea to the Enemy, I had rather be 
beat like Mons"" de la Galissonniere. Nobody stood by him longer 
than I did, and perhaps I might have still had some small 
remains of charity in relation to the action, tho' I know it is treason ; 
but the questions and answers of the council of war are so much 
the reverse of common-sense that I must give up their heads entirely, 
and think it lucky no worse happened I... By the letters of the 
1 5th June from Mahon, the French had made no progress of conse- 
quence before S' Philip's...; they lose a vast number of men both 
by sickness and the fire of the Castle, and at Marseilles and else- 
where they begin to think the wisest thing would be to draw off 
their troops, before the English fleet returns with a reinforcement 
sufficient to be masters at sea. They are in prodigious want of 
cannon at Toulon for land and sea service, tho' they have stripped 
all their towns ; and, notwithstanding these efforts, they will not be 
able to get out above 3 ships, if so many, to join La Galissonniere 
who has wrote for 800 fresh seamen, but where to have them, even by 
force ? In the meanwhile they press everything, even artizans out 
of their shops. God grant we may still do something!... 

Col. the Ho7i. Joseph Yorke to Lady Anson 

[H. 40, f. 180.] Hague, July 6, 1756. 

...The more one thinks about it, the more vexed and angry one 
grows. I dare not, after the council of war you sent me on the 
29th past and your account of M^ Fowke's intentions to do every- 
thing but succour S' Philip's, I dare not, I say, flatter myself, that 
these genius's united again in council, should undertake anything, 
though with ever such a superiority.... The castle gives him [Byng] 
all the chance in the world. I have had accounts as late as the 
i8th June, till when the besiegers had made no progress. So far 
from it, their batteries were no sooner made than dismounted. On 
the last day they pretended they had some better hopes of success, 
though that was only founded upon a new battery, that was to be 

' See further, H. 67, f. 211. ^ p. 271 «. 

304 THE WAR 

opened the next day. In the meanwhile they lose a great number 
of men. The battalion of artillery, M. de Richelieu carried with 
him, was all destroyed or the greatest part of it, so that he had been 
obliged to recruit them with four companies of the Reg' de 
Soissonnois. The officers write to their friends that they shall never 
take the place, that all their efforts are in vain, and that the army 
will all perish before it... The Marshal writes to Mad^ de Brignol^, 
his friend at Genoa, that he confesses neither he nor any of his 
engineers had any notion of the place, that it is one of the strongest 
in Europe ; that he hopes, however, when he has got everything he 
wants from France, that he shall be able to reduce it, since Mon^ de 
la Galissonniere has beSn able to keep his station, which has enabled 
him to receive his stores and provisions from Provence etc. Besides 
this, the troops are grown very sickly which, joined to the discon- 
tent and the dearness of provisions, completes the agreeableness of 
their situation, to which our fleet must put the finishing stroke, or 
they all deserve to be hanged ; for never place gave them, who come 
to relieve it, a better chance.... 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 67, f. 213.] Powis HoDSE, Thursday, 7 m. past three {July 8, 1756]. 

My Dear Lord, 

You will be surprised at my being at Powis House at 
this time of day, and more with my business. I never was better 
received in my life [by the King]...." My Lord, I am not against 
giving him [Lord Bute] a pension, if he would renounce Pitt, 
opposition etc. ; but who shall I employ .■' Fox shall have nothing 
to do with it." — " Your Majesty is very much in the right." — " Nor 
the Duke of A[rgyll]," says the King. " Can't you find out some 
Scotchman .-' What think you of the Attorney General .■' " — 
" Extremely well. Sir, if he would undertake it." — " Try." — " I will. 
Sir." — " If he will not, what think you of my Lord Moreton ; ask 
Murray what he thinks of Moreton, if he won't do it himself. 
Moreton is a very honest man." — "So he is, Sir."^..His Majesty 
afterwards talked very freely of F[ox]. — " He is black ; I know 
him, tho' I don't show it. I wish the Duke of Devonshire could be 
got from him ; the Duke of Grafton is the man to do it." — " So he 
is, Sir." — I told his Majesty some little circumstances about M"" Fox 
as to little employments in the Treasury and House of Commons. 
" My Lord, I don't like this; get people to be attached to your- 
self" — " It is your Majesty must do that." — These are not quite 
immaterial circumstances. I wished to have seen your Lordship 
before I saw the Attorney General, or before dinner, to have known 
your thoughts, but time presses*.... 

' Subsequently the Duke of Argyll was commissioned through Murray to induce Lord 
Bute to accept some other office or reward than "employment about the Prince of Wales." 
if. ■215, 217. 

* I do not think the D. of N. acted wisely in roiling Fox, when he was not sure of 


Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lord Royston 
[H. 16, f. 108.] Hague, July 9, 1756. 

...The honest Blakeney holds out still and seems to continue to 
foil all the attempts of the besiegers\...No sooner have the enemy 
made a new battery than they unmask a new one to silence it. God 
grant them success, and indeed the French accounts are so dry they 
give one great encouragement. All Europe interests itself for 
Blakeney and even our enemies wish him good luck, so much has 
he gained upon their minds, a noble example which will, I hope, be 
followed by us all.... 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 67, f. 219.] Claremont, y«/y 12, 1756. 

My Dearest Lord, 

...The Duke of Marlborough desired to come to me 
on Friday morning... to exhort me, for my own sake, to get my Lord 
Bute put about the Prince of Wales and to bring them both to 
Kensington ; that if that was not done, there would be the most 
violent and determined opposition and that levelled singly against 
me, and that I should consider in what condition I should be> 
especially if, as it might happen, we quarrelled amongst ourselves 

I went to the Lady [Yarmouth], who was extremely explicit 
that nothing could be said of a certain person [Fox] that she did 
not know and more, that that was a very bad choice, that she 
wished we had had M"" Pitt, and I said she knew that that was not 
our fault ; that as to the other " il minera toujours." 

[Fox had been imprudent enough, without the knowledge of 
the other ministers or their approval, to propose the exchange of 
Gibraltar for Minorca ; he had endeavoured to get the support of 
Viry, the Sardinian minister, and had even, as it appeared, discussed 
it with Abreu, the Spanish ambassador in London.] 

I am afraid you think I love to write long letters. Indeed 
I don't, but I love to have your Lordship informed (and in writing) 
of every material circumstance that concerns the public atid myself. 
Then you have time to reflect upon them, and I can have (what I so 
much want and esteem) your Lordship's opinion upon them, when 
I see you, which I hope you will give me leave to do tomorrow 

I am ever most unalterably yours, 

HoLLEs Newcastle. 

Pitt, and it gave Fox some ground to say to my Father, speaking of the King, that he was 
sure he was not pleased with what is. H. [See p. 330.] 
' The garrison had in fact capitulated on June 28. 

3o6 THE WAR 

Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lord Royston 
[H. i6, f. 109.] Hague, July 16, 1756. 

Dear Brother, 

Since the affair of Minorca I have not had the courage 
to write to anybody....! am convinced from the French account I 
have seen that the Governor' would have foiled all their attempts, 
if he had [had] garrison enough or, perhaps, any hopes of relief; but 
as five weeks were gone over since the action without hearing any 
news of the Fleet, and his garrison weakened and uneasy and no 
hopes of obtaining told'rable conditions for people that had seconded 
him so well, if he staid till the last extremity, the poor old man was 
forced unwillingly to get the best terms he could. I have been told 
too that he had been forced to take the powder from some of the 
mines to employ at his batteries, and that he was in want of spare 
carriages for his cannon.... 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 67, f. 231 ; N. 181, f. ■210.] Ci.AREMONT, _/«/y 19, 1756. 

[He proposes a meeting of the Lords of the Cabinet to concert 
measures to retrieve the loss of Minorca which, he believes, was of 
equal value to any other possession except Ireland. The injury 
to the national reputation and also to the credit of the administra- 
tion was very great, and he was himself personally to be loaded 
with all the blame and resentment, a gross injustice. He had 
no greater share in what was done than any other member of the 
council. He cannot remember that any person suggested sending 
a ship to the Mediterranean before the order to Byng ; more ships 
they could not send without exposing England itself.] The short 
state of the case I take to be this ; we sent our ships as soon as 
they could be spared from hence with safety. The fact shews 
they arrived in time and were sufificient in number; and if Byng 
had done his duty, it is as certain, as anything of that kind can be, 
that the French fleet would have been beat and the siege of 
Port Mahon raised. ...To this therefore we must bring it, and those 
who will not assist us in it are not our friends. I dread to think of 
the Attorney General being out of the House of Commons (as he 
must be), when this question comes on. I hope your Lordship 
will talk seriously to my Lord Anson to prepare materials for 
defence and also (which is still of more consequence) for the 
immediate trial and condemnation of Admiral Byng if, as I think 
there can be no doubt, he deserves it. The sea officers should 
be learnt to talk in this manner and not to think to fling the blame 
upon civil ministers. Your Lordship knows the little share we 
have in military operations or in the choice of military men, either 

' General William, afterwards Lord, Blakeney, see vol. i. 495 n. 


at sea or land. And it would be very unjust for us to suffer, 
where we have scarce been consulted ; I mean this only as to 
operations at land. Could any object of attack, either in the 
Mediterranean, tjie West Indies or North America be agreed upon, 
that would keep up people's spirits and divert their resentment ">. 
Without it we must expect everything that is bad. I know your 
Lordship feels for me as much as I can do for myself You know 
also how unjustly I am attacked upon this occasion.... 

Archbishop of Canterbury to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 251, f. 325.] Croydon House, _/«/)/ 27, 1756. 

...I am much concerned to hear of the disagreeable intercourse 
between the two great houses. Such a parent, as the King, ought 
to be obeyed in such matters without reserve tho', at the P[rince's] 
age, it may be proper to manage his temper and support his credit. 
As to his coming to S' James's, the King will be the best judge ; 
but if he does not bring his heart along with him, he may become 
a troublesome inmate and people round him may have more 
opportunities of domestic mischief, \yhich would soon lay hold 
of the public. I do marvel most extremely at the conduct of 
a great Lady and the zeal that is shown to advance a very 
insignificant nobleman in a way, of all others the most improper, 
for his advancement. I was in hopes these messages etc. had been 
preserved in secrecy, but I heard of them yesterday from Kew, 
as become the tittle tattle of the press, in every disagreeable 
circumstance. I was struck dumb the other day when I was told 
that, in an heated conversation between two great ladies ^ one 
should tell the other that her son was an imbecile and that she 
would find herself accountable for all his sottises. I know the man 
that told me is not of the first character for his veracity, but he is 
an appendant to a great family.... 

Rev. Henry E tough to Lord Walpole 

[H. 346, f. 180. Copy from the Walpole Papers. ^ -Aug. 28, 1756. 

... I spent yesterday in the City, where insanity is predominant. 
Their outrage at present is confined to the Chancellor. The 
D. of N. is said to be obsequious to his absolute direction. His 
and Lord Royston's acquired estates, the places of which the whole 
family is possessed, are represented as equal to the total of the 
D. of Marlborough's grandfather's income when at the highest. 
The value of the places are well known. That of Kent \i.e. Wrest] 
is more than .^8000 a year [but on account of the many jointures 
upon it was for some time of little value]. The whole of the 
Cambridgeshire and Hardwicke estate is below £6000 a year; 

1 The Princess of Wales and Trincess Amelia are probably meant. 

20 — 2 

3o8 THE WAR 

two or three considerable parts of the former are church leases. 
I will not add numerous revilings and misrepresentations of this 

amiable great man.... 

H. EtoUGH. 

James Hoskyns to the Earl of Hardwicke 

[H. 246, f. 369.] Inner Temple Hall Staircase No. 2. [1756-] 

May it please your Lordship, 

I think it is my duty to acquaint your Lordship that 
there will be a strong endeavour used by the malecontents to 
impeach your LordsHip this next session of Parliament. They 
are the same party that spirited up and upheld the Richmond Park 
indictment' and that attacked the late Lord Chief Justice [Ryder] 
by pamphlets, etc: but they are much increased both in power 
and policy since that time. This intelligence I have from a 
gentleman in great trust with them, and that furthermore they 
give out that the Crisis of Time is now come that his Majesty shall 
be greater or must be less. I apprehend the end of the addresses 
from the several counties is to this intent (the members thereof 
receiving as it were their own instructions) that His Majesty being 
obliged to give up the guardians of his realm may be less able to 
withstand their Oliverian or Republican attempts. This gentleman 
(whose information I have found to be true...) tells me that the 
party will seem calm and unruffled, for the first two or three days 
of the session, and that in expectation of a proper handle in the 
King's Speech they are to try their strength in the Address to 
His Majesty, wherein they will, as it were, insist on his giving 
up to justice, as they call it, whomsoever they impeach. I humbly 
Jiope your Lordship will please to pardon this hasty scroll, which 
method I have taken (despairing of a personal opportunity), to 
discharge what is my certain duty ; for I believe in my conscience 
it is worse than I have mentioned. Wishing Heaven may protect 
your Lordship I remain, my Lord, your Lordship's 

most humble servant 

Jas. Hoskyns, A.B.R. 

[H. 246, f. 154.] n. d. [1756.] 

To Phillip Lord Hardwicke at his Seat at Wimple or Elsewhere 
with Care and Speed. 

I am at a loss how to stile you and this is my Reason you play 
the Devil's part bet"" than ever Oliver Did ad you been living then, 
you Wod a \i.e. have] us[urped] the Crown as he did was it not 

1 Sir John Philipps and the younger Beckford brought in 1754 an unsuccessful action 
against Princess Amelia, as Ranger, for closing Richmond Park to the public. A further 
suit, however, subsequently, was decided against the Princess. Walpole, George II, i. 
401, ii. 220. 


for one thing the vain Oppin°" of y Self, is great, you fear that 
you might Miscarry in one point then that wod over Set the Whole 

Villian Tyrant Scoundrel to call the a man or any one belongs 
to y Damnation So<=''y I wrong you all. 

Pray good M^ Wickedness how many Widdows and Orphan^ 
have you Ruin to make WimP'^ in the man[ner] it is in. 

Pray how many fellow Subjects as been murder^ upon your and 
the Rest of y Damnaition Clan^ Ace', purely that you might get 

Pray how many Scalps have you and yi's got great Quantys of 
money by ; this money shall be again^' you at one day. 

Do you ever Remb"" you End and the Rest of the Villian's 
belongs to you good God deliver us from the hands of shuch 
a Set of Villians, if they Remb"' their End they wod nev^ do 

Pray how much more does the family injoy then the Bare set 
down Salery's which I think is only Ninety five thousand a year, 
there's a very Widefield to plow in above Ninety five thousand and 
more O Dam you and those who Incourages shuch Villian^ to 
Reign upon the face of the Hearth. 

Dont you try all arts to get ArbitT Power new acts to add to 
your Vile ways New Laws to Encourage hone but such Villian^ 
as y"' self what shall be y'' Judgement you shall go to the Place 
appoint^ for the Devill and His A.... 

Pray how much money did you sell Port Mahon for. I wish 
y"^ Wicked Laws wod give me leave to speak to you face to face 
then I shod see villiany in all its wicked aray.... 

The Wicked shall Reign for a While Low I went by and 
Wimple was no more Powis and Wimple shall be no more in 
Remb''^"<=^ for my Wickedness to this just Naition says the Wicked 
Lord of Ormond Street.... 

[On Aug. 28, 1756 (H. 67, f. 256; N. 182, f III), the Duke of 
Newcastle writes a long letter to the Chancellor from Claremont 
on the difficult position of affairs, the opposition to the government 
kept up by the Princess of Wales, and his own desire to retire. 
...He proposed various new supporters for the House of Commons 
including Charles Pratt who, if brought forward and given a seat, 
could not occasion jealousy to Henley now obtaining the great 
promotion to Attorney-General.] I by no means say the same with 
regard to another person', and it is upon that account only that 

1 would beg to have your Lordship's opinion. 

' Charles Yorke. This was the beginning of the rivalry between the two which had 
later such fatal consequences, of which much hereafter. 


[Another letter follows to the Chancellor on the same day- 
written at night.] 

[N. 182, f. 123; H. 67, f. 269.] 

My Dear Lord, 

You must excuse the length of my other letter ; you 

have left me alone and, without a compliment, I have nobody 

to apply to but yourself. I see dangers on all sides and no means 

of getting out of them. I wish you would seriously think of my 

getting out. If things should succeed beyond our expectation and 

the King should consent to anything we propose, as I rather think 

/ in the present circumstances he would do, what a figure shall we 

make with M"" Pitt coming in in conquest over us .? though there is 

nothing I would not yield to for the sake of the King and the 

[| public. The army is absolutely under other direction ; the sea does 

I [ not love to be controlled, or even advised ; and yet I am to answer 

'for any miscarriage in either.... My dear Lord, pity me, alone as 

I am in my present distress; give me the comfort you only can, 

viz: a clear and determined opinion, and then I am easy.... 

ever yours 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 182, f. 143.] V^TlMPOLE, Aug. 29, 1756. 

[He does not approve of, but will acquiesce in, the appointment 
of Lord Bute to be Groom of the Stole, and continues to urge the 
taking in of Pitt] One thing I am persuaded of, that, if his 
ambition was gratified in the point on which he has set his heart, 
that [i.e. acting with the Duke of Newcastle] would not stand in 
the way ; and measures are always capable of being distinguished 
by some new turn to be given to them. A small turn did the 
last time with the same gentleman. [Lord Chesterfield was right 
in saying that the Duke, Lord Anson and himself were the persons 
chiefly attacked.] M"^ Fox is distinguished from others, partly 
because he takes pains to distinguish himself. Whatever courage 
M"^ Beckford may ascribe to him, our master has quite changed his 
style on that head ; and indeed, I think his late behaviour has 
betrayed an interested fear. If, as your Grace has heard, he has 
often declared that we might have sent sooner and more, he must be 
made to be very specific in explaining the part he will take in 
Parliament before that meets... .As to the trying all methods for 
making peace, I am quite of my Lord Chesterfield's mind, and 
have long been so. I think this war of the most ruinous kind, both 
in the carrying on and in its consequences. I had from the first an 


aversion to it and have seen no reason to change.... We see and feel 
our own difficulties most, but our enemies have their difficulties 
and great ones too. Their trade languishes much more than ours, 
and I have been told that they now borrow money at six p. cent. 
[The North American project still appeared to him in a favourable 
light. He did not believe in the Jacobite element in the recent 
riots. The infamous and provocative libels against the government 
should be punished, and short papers should be written and in- 
serted in the daily papers in its defence.] As to retiring, my Lord 
Chesterfield said if he was in your place he would absolutely do it, 
and I believe him. [No doubt retirement was the wisest measure 
for them both ; but at that moment it was impracticable and would 
expose them to the reproach of deserting the King and running 
away from danger.] 

As to Mr Pratt, your Grace knows my whole way of thinking 
upon that matter. I cannot change it, nor can I add anything 
to it. I love the man and have been very much his friend ; and if 
he was my own son I should advise the same thing, both out 
of regard for him and your Grace. The difference of time can be 
of no ill consequence to him, nor can your Grace expect any 
immediate use of so new a member.... 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[N. 182, f. 175; H. 68, f. 13.] Newcastle House, Sep. i, 1756. 

My Dear Lord,... 

I could have wished in this time of difficulty, danger 
and almost universal uneasiness and discontent throughout the 
whole kingdom (of which I receive fresh accounts from all quarters 
and from undoubted hands), that your Lordship could have 
suggested some adequate expedient for stemming the torrent 
and effect of this ill-humour in the House of Commons. [The 
King, however, had told him that he was persuaded that things 
were not so bad as they were made out to be, and had agreed to 
the Chancellor being summoned to town to decide on some 
measure. The Duke had had a full discourse with Lady Yarmouth 
whose opinion it was that the King should, and would, take in 
M"" Pitt now, if the Duke and the Chancellor advised it, when 
there would be no reason to yield on the subject of Lord Bute.... 
In an interview with Fox the latter had declared the taking in of 
Pitt to be quite impracticable. He would come to no decision 
without the Chancellor, who must come up on Tuesday and stay 
till Saturday'.] 

' Further, H. 68, f. 21. 

312 THE WAR 

Lord Chancellor's "Draft of part of a Letter to Col. Yorke' 
[H. 9, f. 50.] WiMPOLE, Sept. lyiA, 1756. 

Dear Joe, 

You will accuse me, not without reason, of being as bad a 
correspondent in the Country as in Town ; whether in business or 
retirement, still excuses for not writing. I got down to this place 
on the 2 1st of August, the day after the date of your last letter, 
but had a call to Town since for the best part of the last week, to 
which your dispatches in some measure gave occasion....! sincerely 
pity you for being engaged in so intricate and delicate a negotia- 
tion ; intricate with regard to the evil and the remedy, and 
delicate with regard to both Powers \... 

I agree with you in your state of the trade of Holland as it 
regards France. 

1. The contraband trade. 

2. The cabotage or coastwise trade. 

3. The trade in naval stores. 

4. The carrying on their [t.e. the French] American commerce 
and supplying their colonies with provisions. 

5. The great carrying trade for France. 

If there is any disposition in the States to agree, I should think 
the first three articles might be regulated without great difficulty ; 
viz. the description of contraband might be reasonably enlarged, 
the cabotage prohibited and the supplying France with naval 
stores restrained, the prodigious mischief and extent of which 
appeared by the last ships stopt in the Downs. This is assisting 
France more effectually than if they were allies to them in the war. 

As to the 4th article, it can never be suffered in any direct 
manner. All nations shut out foreigners from trading to their 
American colonies and so things stood at the time of making the 
Treaty of 1674. 'Tis the great rule still and cannot possibly now 
be raised except as a new invention evasively, to screen French 
effects from capture. The question is whether we shall suffer them 
to trade thither [i.e. to the French colonies] in time of war without 
seizure, when the French themselves will not suffer them to trade 
thither in time of peace, but seize them for it ? 

' The great advantage to Holland of the contraband trade with France and the supplying 
France with naval stores was in reality the great obstacle to the collaboration of the two 
nations in measures against the common enemy. See H. 8, f. 368 ; and further, 
PP- 135-7- 


The 5th is the grand article to which the Rule oi free ships free 
goods is applied. This is of the greatest importance to Great 
Britain for reasons which I need not repeat and is I suppose of the 
greatest value to Holland. This great carrying trade I divide into 
four heads — 

1. The outward bound trade from Holland to France. 

2. The carrying merchandize in general in Dutch bottoms from 
neutral countries to France. 

3. The carrying goods, which have been brought in French 
bottoms from the East or West Indies or other parts of the world 
and landed in Spain or Portugal etc., there transhipped and 
transported from there in Dutch bottoms to France, to avoid the 
English cruisers. 

4. The carrying goods in Dutch bottoms from France to 
Holland itself or any other neutral countries. 

1. As to the first head, you say that goods carried from 
Holland to Fraince are usually Dutch property and rarely French. 
If that is in fact so, I incline to let all such Dutch ships go free 
without molestation, provided they have no contraband or naval 
stores on board, and to be subject to be visited and stop't only for 
one of those two causes. 

2. I am not sufficiently master of the circumstances attending 
the course of trade under this head ; but I should incline to be as 
easy as possible on the subject of it, provided the two restrictions 
about contraband and naval stores are observed ; for I suppose it 
is a trade which the Dutch fairly carry on in time of peace. 

3. The 3rd article is in its nature merely an evasive trade to 
prevent England's annoying France, and cannot possibly be ad- 
mitted. It is in effect a continuation and completion of the 
original voyage and ought to be liable to the same captures, tho' 
the vessel is collusively changed and the goods transhipped. These 
ought to be subject to condemnation on proof that the goods are 
French property, notwithstanding any false bills of loading or 
documents whatsoever. 

4. The fourth and last article seems to be the most difficult to 
form any modification upon. From the nature of thing[s], the points 
of contraband and naval stores do not enter into this consideration; 
and therefore I do not see that England can propose anything on 
this head but the general rule of the Law of Nations, that if the 
goods shall appear by proof to be the enemy's property, they shall 
be good prize, the ship being restored and the freight paid. If the 


Dutch can propose any expedient which will establish a reasonable 
medium and not protect all the French trade I, for one, shall be for 
giving attention to it ; but I apprehend that no regulations against 
false or fictitious documents etc. will be sufficient, because they will 
be easily evaded ; and if the States should insist that any passports 
or documents should be established as evidence absolutely con- 
clusive, upon sight whereof the ship should be suffered to proceed 
without being brought into port for further examination, that would 
legitimate all kinds of fraud by treaty. 

You know now the jvhole of what has occurred to me on this 
important subject ; but you must consider it only as coming from 
a private person, and in your manner of negotiating follow such 
instructions as you will receive from your proper superiors. I am 
very sensible of the defects of what I have offered ; but if it should 
suggest any idea which you may find proper to hint or reecho 
back hither, you are at full liberty to make use of it as you shall 
think fit. 
[added in the margin as further topics] 

King of Prussia 

State of affairs at home 

Clamours, addresses etc. 

Lord Royston etc. 

Diike of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 68, f. 65.] Newcastle House, Oct. 5, 1756. 

My Dear Lord, 

I shall begin by sending your Lordship the agreeable 
news that the two messages were carried yesterday by my Lord 
Waldegrave'....My Lord W. communicated that to the Prince first 
and told him that the King had granted both his requests. H.R.H. 
was extremely pleased ; " What, has the King granted both my 
requests .? He has always been extremely good to me ; if ever I 
have offended him, I am sorry for it ; it was not my own act, or my 
own doing," and then was going on, which seemed to be that he 
was put upon it or influenced by others, but stopped and did not 
speak out^ The Princess seemed embarrassed but pleased, and my 
Lord Waldegrave brought this morning the enclosed letters to the 

' On October 4, 1756 (H. 68, ff. 51-64), the King intimated to the Princess and 
Prince of Wales his consent to Lord Bute's becoming Groom of the Stole to the Prince 
and to the latter's remaining with the Princess. 

2 In a subsequent letter to the Chancellor (f. 80) the Duke of N. says " He was alone 
when my Lord W. first communicated to him the two messages... The Prince was then in 
a rapture of joy which has never appeared since. He went immediately to the Princess." 


King', which are as full of duty and gratitude as possible and with 
which His Majesty is very well pleased. ...My Lord W. told the 
Prince that he must not be surprized if he did not find the King at 
first much altered from what he had been of late, but that that 
would come, and that it depended upon him to be as well with the 
King as ever. This was a very proper hint which I hope will have 
its effect. The King is certainly pleased. I can't say the same of 
everybody. I went below stairs [to Lady Yarmouth]. I told them, 
by the Duke of Grafton's permission, that his Grace hoped the 
King would not spoil what he had done by a cold reception. She 

said that was hard, but, however, will certainly do her best 

My Lady Y. told me that the Princess (my old friend) [Princess 
Amelia] disapproved what we were doing. I am sure we have done 
right.... Whether this is to be carried further with regard to any or 
all the opposition, I must expect to hear from your Lordship. As 
you seemed to think that we should wait to see how this worked, I 
suppose nothing is to be done at present....! had a very unpleasant 
conversation this morning with the Solicitor-General" [concerning 
his expectations]. 

I am, my dearest Lord, 

ever yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Have you done anything about M^ Pratt } We shall certainly 
lose him, and it is thought by those that know him that he would 
be a great loss, and we have not friends to spare. I wish you 
would come to some determination as to my bringing him into 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 183, f. liO.] WlMPOLE, Oct. 7, 1756. 

My Dear Lord,... 

I begin, as your Grace does, with my most hearty con- 
gratulations on the present happy issue of the negotiation with 
Leicester House....! heartily wish the Prince had gone on with 
what he was about to say after the expression which dropped from 
him, it was not my own act or my own doing. The subsequent 
part might have been curious. !t puts me in mind of his father's 
words upon the occasion of a former message viz: The affair is 
now in other hands^. Your Grace observes very truly that the 

' ff. Ti, 74- 

^ Sir Richard Lloyd, who was passed over for the attorney generalship as not being 
equal to the office, but who was to be otherwise compensated. 

2 The reply of Frederick Prince of Wales to the Chancellor and Lords in 1737. 
See vol. i. 167. The comparison is indeed very significant. 

3i6 THE WAR 

letters to the King are full of expressions of duty and gratitude to 
his Majesty, and I hope and pray that they may be verified in the 
amplest manner and followed with the happiest effects, as well 
public as domestic, which the best-intentioned can desire... but I 
cannot help observing that these assurances may be understood as 
being restrained to the person of the King and not go further.... 
Mr Pitt is undoubtedly the material man.... As to Charles's being 
made Solicitor General, I think he might now have some claim 
to that promotion, if he was not my son. M^ Attorney General 
has told me that if he* has it not, it can be only because he is my 
son, meaning merely that he cannot miss it, unless I give it up. 
I must therefore beg of your Grace out of that personal friendship 
for me, which I have so long and so often experienced, to facilitate 
this affair as much as possible. Your Grace is very ready at ex- 
pedients and at turning the arrangement of preferments in various 
shapes to accommodate difficulties, and I entreat you to be so good 
as to employ some of that dexterity in accommodating this diffi- 
culty. If something can be proposed to Sir Richard Lloyd for his 
son which is creditable and not too remote, such a proposal will 
perform all that has been said to him ; and if he will not own 
himself satisfied, we shall however stand justified. I am sure your 
Grace may absolutely depend on a most faithfully attached and 
zealous servant in Charles.... 

As to M'' Pratt I have always been his friend. I was his first 
friend in Westminster Hall and have served him, and I mean to 
continue so. I do not think there is any danger of losing him, 
especially as you have made up with Leicester Housed He is not 
so weak, nor would his brother Hardinge" let him be so. As to 
bringing him into Parliament, I am for it and my objection is only 
to the doing it just at this time. I have told your Grace my opinion 
upon it at large, for reasons which regard yourself, and I never was 
more convinced in my life that I am in the right. As they seem 
not to have the same weight with your Grace, I entirely submit 
them. If your Grace intends to do it now, I think the most natural 
way would be to make him second judge of Chester, which I am 
much for ; and as he will then be in the King's service, it will 
appear to be a natural reason for bringing him into the House of 
Commons. I enquired for him when he was in town, but he was 

1 Pratt was a close adherent of Pitt, who was now, it will be remembered, connected 
with Leicester House. 

^ Nicholas Hardinge (1699-1758), Clerk to the House of Commons; he married in 
June Pratt's sister. 


at a distance in the country.... If your Grace would have me, I will 
write to him to sound him as to the place of second justice of 
Chester, or you may direct his brother Hardinge to do so.... 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 68, f. 84.] Claremont, Oct. lo, 1756. 

...I wish your Lordship would immediately write to M"^ Pratt. 
Indeed he is worth securing and I desire he may be secured by 
you.... I never doubted one moment but that M'' Charles Yorke 
would do extremely well and ably, and I am persuaded with all the 
duty and zeal for the King and, as your son, with the utmost 
friendship and affection to rhe. M'' Pratt can never interfere with 
him. I don't know their standing. M"" Yorke is far above him in 
business, is (for that must be taken for granted) the King's Solicitor 
General, and M'' Pratt must think himself happy to follow after 
him. Your Lordship sees I speak my thoughts with the utmost 
freedom ; but notwithstanding these are my thoughts, if your Lord- 
ship wishes yourself that I should not bring M'' Pratt into parlia- 
ment, I won't do it, and Pratt shall never know, nor his brother 
Hardinge, that I ever thought of it.... 

[N. 183, f. 203.] 

[On October 11, 1756, the Chancellor writes further on the legal 
appointments in prospect] 

I am infinitely obliged to your Grace for the goodness which 
you express for Charles and am sure he will exert his utmost 
endeavours not to disappoint your expectations of him. As to 
Sir Richard Lloyd, my wish is the same as yours, that he may be 
let fall gently.... 

As to Mr Henley^, permit me to offer my humble advice to 
your Grace not to treat his subject with so much indifference. The 
office of Attorney-General is a very considerable one. In your 
situation, no man should be supposed to come into it but in con- 
nexion with you, and therefore I would recommend it to you to 
cultivate and put him under you. This cannot be done without 
appearing to put some confidence in him ; and if there are demon- 
strations of your confidence going into a private channel, indeed, 
my dear Lord, it will do substantial harm. 

As to M"" Pratt, Charles is much his friend ; and I never talk to 
him on this subject except about the place of second judge of 
Chester, which Charles is zealous for his having. I think it will be 

1 Robert Henley, M.P. for Bath, K.C., now made Attorney-General in place of 
Murray, afterwards Lord Chancellor and Earl of Northington. 

3i8 THE WAR 

a right ground for bringing him into the House of Commons, and 
they may go hand in hand. I have obeyed your Grace's com- 
mands in writing to him.... 

[The Chancellor wrote to Charles Pratt the same day offering 
him the second justiceship of Chester, which, however, was declined 
(H. 246, ff. 262, 285).] 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 68, f. 88.] Kensington, Oct. 11, 1756. 

[He announces the good news of the victory of the King of 
Prussia over the Austrians at Lobositz, and proceeds] I found the 
King at first much pleased with this success, but in discourse many 
things passed which I did not like, great apprehension of the future 
increase of the King of Prussia's power, expecting advantages for 
himself, as the King of Prussia would certainly have new acquisi- 
tions from this war, and in short that things might go to that 
degree that the King himself might call in France against the 
King of Prussia in the empire. I softened as much as I could.... 
I went to the Duke [of Cumberland] who was much more wrong 
on the other side... that we must support the King of Prussia 
(there he is right), that the more powerful he was the better, that 
the Dutch were a clog upon us, that we had better have them 
against us, for to that I brought him ; that, in short, if the King of 
Prussia was with us, he was more able to support us than the House 
of Austria is, and with H.P[russian] Majesty we were to combat 
the Queen of Hungary, France and Russia ; that in the long run 
we must do what we would in N. America. These discourses have 
much abated for the present my joy on the great good news re- 
ceived early this morning. 

ever yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[N. 183, f. 251 ; H. 68, f. 94.] 

Newcastle House, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 5 o'clock, 1756. 

My Dearest Lord, 

You will not have expected to receive so soon a kind 
of resignation from M^ Fox.... His reasons are many, the King, the 
Ministry etc: but that on which he rests is his want of power in the 
House of Commons, in the disposition of employments (the old 
story). If you would have my opinion... he makes use of this 
opportunity of distress to put the knife to our throats to get his 
own terms and all the power he wants which, he thinks, we cannot 
now refuse him. He talked the old language, that / thought / 


could govern the House of Commons without giving power to the 
person at the head of it, and such stuff as that. Have not M^ Fox's 
friends been sufficiently considered in the House of Commons ? 
Have I failed to support any one single recommendation of his to 
the King ? His Majesty knows the truth of this and has often 
blamed me for it... In short more attention I could not show, even 
to your Lordship. When shall I see you here? Does not this 
situation make you think it necessary to hasten at least your return 
to town ">. It is possible (or it will certainly come to that, if it is not 
so already) that this is done in concert with Pitt, or will soon be 
followed by a concert. Fox talks Pitt's language about the minister 
in the House of Commons, but without foundation. I am hand 
and heart for Pitt at present. 

ever yours, 

HoLLEs Newcastle.... 

M' Fox to the King, deliver d to the Duke of Newcastle by Lord 
Holderness, part of it having been underlined by his Majesty, and, 
by the King's express command, the Duke of Newcastle ii to preserve 
it. Kensington, Oct. i^th, 1756. 

[H. 3, f- 353; N. 183, f. 303.] Oct. 13M, 1756. 

Some months ago, speaking of the impossibility of gaining over 
M"" Pitt, at a less rate than making him Secretary of State, I told 
the Duke of Newcastle (and afterwards said to the Chancellor) that 
whenever that should be his Majesty's pleasure, I would resign ; 
take an inferior employment, and give all the assistance I was 
capable of 

Ten days ago Lord Harrington put me in mind of this ; and 
told me that the Duke of Newcastle had, the day before, said that 
if he was sure it would not offend me, his Grace would offer my 
place to M"" Pitt, the next day. I, at Lord Barrington's desire, told 
the Duke of Newcastle again, that, whenever it was his Majesty's 
pleasure, I was ready. 

I hope this is in negotiation ; for tho' I have behaved in the 
best manner I have been able to the Duke of Newcastle, yet I find 
that my credit in the House of Commons diminishes for want of 
support, and think it impracticable for me, to carry on his Majesty's 
affairs there, as they ought to be carried on'^. And therefore beg 
leave humbly to acquaint his Majesty that I wish some new 
arrangement may be made, in which, if his Majesty thinks me 
worthy of any employment, not of the Cabinet, I will attend, and 
give all the assistance I can in Parliament. 

H. F. 

1 "The King underlined the paper in Lord Granville's presence to show him what part 
he was offended at." See below, p. 323. 

320 THE WAR 

[On the same date (N. 183, f. 314) Fox writes to the Duke of 
Newcastle that the step which he is going to take] is not only 
necessary but innocent. It shall be accompanied with no complaint; 
it shall be followed by no resentment. I have no resentment, but 
it is not less true that my situation is impracticable. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 183, f. 279 ; H. 68, f. 120.] WiMPOLE, Oct. 14, 1756. 

My Dear Lord, 

At my rising this morning, about seven o'clock, I was 
surprized with your Grace's letter of yesterday evening and the 
copy of M"^ Fox's enclosed in it. I agree with your Grace that his 
real view in the step which he is going to take (as he calls it) is — to 
make use of this opportunity of distress to get his own terms and 
all the power he wants. If the King would take him at his word 
and come roundly into a resolution to take in M"^ Pitt etc: (for one 
cannot define the other particulars), I think he would be disap- 
pointed and repent this hasty measure. But M^ Fox depends upon 
it that this will not happen ; and it is very remarkable that this 
proposition of quitting should come, and be to be executed, through 
my Lady Y[armouth] the very day after she had told your Grace 
that you must do the best you could with M' Fox, for that you could 
not change him.:..\i My Fox has found reason to think that the 
King has been newly set, or has set himself, against taking in 
M"" Pitt, he may think such an opportunity advantageous to bring 
about his purposes. For (though I may be mistaken) I can never 
persuade myself .that he wishes to quit, or that the Duke of Cum- 
berland intends he should....! cannot help thinking that his fears^ 
frorh the present situation of affairs and the weight which will lie 
upon him to support them in the House of Commons, and his desire 
not to be obliged to avow himself openly a party to the measures, 
is some ingredient with him.... I submit to your Grace whether you 
would not show the King that M"^ Fox has no reason to take this 
part from any ill usage which he has received... ; that this time 
twelve month the question was whether his Majesty should take in 
My Fox or M"^ Pitt, and his Majesty very graciously showed his 
predilection for M^ Fox and preferred him ; that this was a very 
high distinction and obligation, and now M^ Fox chooses this very 
time, when the King's affairs are under difficulties and the session 
of Parliament is very near, to leave him. That if he does so, it is 
M'' Fox that lays his Majesty under the necessity of taking in 


M"' Pitt, for that there is no third party to take. It must be either 
the one or the other. If the King should say, But Pitt won't come, 
I would humbly advise your Grace not to give in to that but, with- 
out affirming anything, to suppose it not impracticable.... 

Your Grace knows that I had fixed to come to town the latter 
end of the next week.... It will be extremely inconvenient for me to 
come before, but if your Grace sees it to be necessary, I will come 
the beginning of the next week. . . . 

I am, my dearest Lord, 

ever yours, 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[N. 183, f. 281 ; H. 68, f. 100.] Newcastle House, Oct. 14M, 1756. 

[Complains of Fox's intrigues and proceeds to describe his own 
interview with the King.] His Majesty did not quite care to begin, 
as all his information came from my Lady Yarmouth \ I soon 
removed his difficulty. The King said, " What is the meaning of 
this .'' " — I then told his Majesty how much surprised I was at his 
(Mr Fox's) letter,... and I talked upon the complaints and the little 
foundation for any of them, pretty much as your Lordship is so 
kind as to advise by your letter.... The King, however, mentioned 
the supposed message by Lord Barrington with some dislike, 
blaming me (as usual) for talking to such people etc:... The King 
afterwards expressed himself with great bitterness against M"^ Fox 
and said that he had never been quiet since M'' Fox was in the 
council. He reflected upon his family and mentioned what had 
been done for them [and supported the Duke's assertions of his 
recommendations of Fox's friends]. " But," said the King, " what 
is to be done .■' " I said, " Sir, my Lord President said there was but 
one of two things to do, either to gratify Fox in what he wanted 
(which, said I, would perhaps be giving M^ Fox more power than 
your Majesty would think proper) or to take in M'' Pitt." " But," 
replied the King peevishly, " M"" Pitt won't conie." " If that was 
done," I said, " we should have a quiet session." " But M"" Pitt won't 
do my German business." " If he comes into your service, Sir, he 
must be told he must do your Majesty's business. I have wrote. 
Sir, to the Lord Chancellor." — " Well, what says the Chancellor 1 " 
" I have not his answer, but I know what he will say — if this gentle- 
man won't continue, we must go to the opposition." "But I don't 
like Pitt : he won't do my business." " But unfortunately. Sir, he is 
the only one (in the opposition) who has ability to do the business." — 
" Something must be done, my Lord, you must consider ; I will talk 

1 With whom Fox had had an interview. 
Y. II. 21 

322 THE WAR 

to Fox, and see what I can do." — " He will not talk to you, Sir, (as I 
understand by my Lord President)." — " I will begin with him." — 
" Sir Thomas Robinson told me, Sir, that if it was now made up, it 
would break out again in a month or six weeks." — " We shall, how- 
ever," says the King, " gain time, if he would stay this session only." 
The King said, " Well, my Lord, I shall see you tomorrow." My 
opinion is that his Majesty wishes to avoid Pitt and would go 
a great way to gratify Fox. At the same time, if the King could 
be assured that Pitt would do his business, I think, he might be 
brought to take him in. 

...I think Pitt must come; and if Leicester House are not in 
the combination with th6 Duke of Cumberland and Fox, their eyes 
must now be opened. They must make Pitt come. I know his 
demands will be high. He will come as a conqueror. I always 
dreaded it. But I had rather be conquered by an enemy who 
can do our business, than by one in conjunction with us, who has 
deserted us, assigned false reasons for so doing, and has it not in 
his power to do his own or our business....! will endeavour to keep 
things open till you come, and come, I hope, you will soon. You 
see your old, your faithful servant alone, beset on all sides, scarce 
knowing what to propose and less how my proposal would succeed. 
The whole is levelled at me. 

Pallas, te hoc vulnere Pallas 

1 am now to be paid for my old faults. You must see who is at 
the head of this scheme'. I observed and told M"^ Stone that I 
saw an unusual coldness there, on Monday last... Every word you 
write is (as Sir Gilbert Heathcote^ said) sterling. How much then 
must I wish for your presence •' I will stave off everything (if I 
can) till you come. But for God's sake, my dear Lord, be here on 
Monday, if you can, or at latest on Tuesday.... 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[N. 183, f. 306; H. 68, f. 122.] 

Kensington, Friday, Oct. 15, 1756, near four. 

My Dearest Lord, 

...I found the King in good humour^ I began with 
the paper which I had seen. I showed how insidious, and indeed 
false, it was in every part — the introduction as if we had proposed 
or mentioned Pitt to him and he always deferring to the King. 

..."What is to be done, my Lord? I [the King] know a person 
of consequence, sense and good intentions " (which person I know 
to be my Lord Hyde)..." said that there were but three things — to 

' Duke of Cumberland. 

2 Sir Gilbert Heathcote (c. 1651-1733), Lord Mayor, noted for his riches and his 

* The Duke's notes for his interview with the King, N. 183, f. 277. 


take in Pitt, to make up with my own family and, my Lord, I have 
forgot the third. Pitt, says the person, is a man that when once he 
has taken a part, will go through with it steadily, honourably and 
more ably than Fox." " That, Sir," says I, " everybody says." I 
then showed the King a proper extract of your Lordship's letter, 
which had such an effect that his Majesty ordered me immediately, 
or gave me leave, to have M"^ Pitt sounded, whether he would come 
and support the King's affairs and be Secretary of State, but that 
was not to be named at first ; but what was more, " that if he would, 
he should meet with or have a good reception!' These were the King's 
own words and great use may be made of them. They must make 
an impression.... Lord Granville told me that he found the King was 
so angry with Fox that he had rather have anybody than him. The 
King underlined the paper in Lord Granville's presence to show him 
what part he was offended at. The King told Granville that he had 
done too much for Fox, enumerated all the places and graces which 
he had showed him (I put his Majesty au fait), and then ordered 
my Lord Granville to tell Fox that he was much offended at this 
step, and that he would have him appeal to his own conscience 
whether he had done right in these circumstances. My Lord 
Granville told me he should carry the answer immediately, that 
he should not repeat the strong things which the King said, that 
he would do no hurt, that he would still endeavour to make him 
alter his mind, if it was only for one session. 

But this makes it absolutely necessary not to lose a moment in 
applying to M'' Pitt... The King talked with the greatest kindness 
of your Lordship ; agreed I should write to you and consult with you. 
I told him I would send for your Lordship to be in town on Monday, 
and I do hope in this great crisis... that your Lordship would be in 
town on Monday night'.... The King asked me, "Suppose Pitt will 
not serve with you " ; " Then, sir, I must go." He said most 
graciously and good humouredly, " My Lord, I know your faults, 
but I know also your integrity and zeal for me." — " That, Sir, will 
be the same." — " But, my Lord, you will not be able to do me the 
same service when you are not in the ministry." — " If, Sir, there is 
a concert between Fox and Pitt, they must make the administra- 
tion." — In short he was in excessive good humour. 

...My Lord Holderness and I went together to Lady Yarmouth, 
whom we found quite altered, saying good things of Pitt ; but there 
must not be one moment lost ''.... Where shall we be if my Lord 
Granville persuades Fox to send him to the King to let His Majesty 
know that since he is offended with the part Fox has taken, he will 
submit himself to the King and stay as long as his Majesty shall 
think it for his service .-' Upon turning it every way with Holderness 
and my Lady Yarmouth, she was of opinion with us; and she allows 
me to tell you that it is our joint advice and desire, that your 
Lordship would immediately upon the receipt of this letter, write 

' See Bedford Corresp. ii. 202. 

^ Lady Yarmouth always reflected faithfully the King's wishes. 

21 — 2 

324 THE WAR 

yourself to M"^ Pitt, to desire he would be in town on Monday and 
that you would call upon him on Tuesday morning. This is now 
in your Lordship's power. Don't boggle at it : you see the King 
wishes it. My Lady Yarmouth advises it ; and if it is not done 
before Lord Granville returns to court tomorrow and the Duke 
sees the King on Sunday, nobody can tell whether it will ever be 
done at all, and then it will fail purely from a scruple or nicety 
in yourself.... All the answer I desire to this letter and the other 
voluminous one, is to have leave to meet you at Powis House on 
Monday evening and to let me know that the wishes of all your 
friends are complied with, and that you have wrote by this messenger 
to M"^ Pitt... ever yours ' 

HoLLEs Newcastle. 

P.S. If Lord Granville should succeed, and your Lordship has 
wrote and by that means a step is taken in consequence of the 
King's orders with M"" Pitt, it will be impossible then to go back. — 
The point is to take a step. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 

[N. 183, f. 318.] WiMPOLE, Saturday, Oct. 16, 1756. 

My Dear Lord,... 

I resign myself to the Countess of Y[armouth]'s 
opinion and yours, though I cannot help having my doubts and 
thinking that this negotiation had better have been first entam^ed 
in a more private channel. I have writ to M"^ Pitt as your Grace 
desires... and purpose to be at your service at Powis House on 
Monday evening. 

I cannot help thinking that there is some hazard in taking 
this step, before the effect of my Lord President's and of a still 
greater person's seeing the King is known. If an alteration should 
be produced, M"" Pitt will be much offended at being so treated. 
That H.R.H. is in this affair is, in my opinion, plain, from 
his declining to speak upon it or to stay in town. But H.R.H. 
cannot be in earnest that M"^ Fox should quit, and therefore there 
must be some underplot which don't yet appear, at least there is 
room to suspect it. M^ Fox by the preamble of his paper, will 
have the merit of proposing M'' Pitt to be Secretary of State and 
quitting in his favour, and this directly to the King himself, which, 
he will say, nobody else would do. It gives room also to suspect 
(as your Grace has done) that there may be some concert between 
him and M^ Pitt ; and if so, what can the terms be except that 
Mr Pitt shall absolutely refuse to come in, unless the administration 
is changed ? I am told that M^ Pitt's little place in the country, is 


very near M^ Calcraft's, where M"^ Fox uses frequently to go down 
on a Saturday'.... 

I am quite tired of these embroils and really grow too old for 
them ; but one thing will never wear out, I mean the truth and 
affection with which I am, my dearest Lord, 

ever yours 


Lord Chancellor to Mr Pitt 

[N. 183, f. 320.] WiMPOLE, Saturday, Oct. i6, 1756. 


I ask much pardon for the liberty I am now taking which 
nothing can excuse but the occasion. Being desirous to speak to 
you upon an affair of great consequence, I purpose to be in town 
on Monday night, and must beg the favour of you to give me the 
meeting some time on Tuesday next in the forenoon. I hope this 
will not be inconvenient to you, and would propose to have the 
honour of seeing you at Lord Royston's house in St James's 
Square, at such hour as you shall appoint. If any other place 
is more agreeable to you, it will be the same thing to me. 

I sincerely congratulate you on the birth of your son'' and hope 
my Lady Hester and he are both well. 

I am, with great respect 
Your most obedient and 

Most humble Servant 
\W Pitt replies accepting for 12 o'clock (N. 75, f 180).] 

Rt. Hon. Henry Fox to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 246, f. 289.] Holland House, Oct. 18, 1756. 

My Lord, 

As I am afraid the inclosed^ has been the occasion of 
your Lordship's coming from the country sooner than you intended, 

1 John Calcraft (i726-i77'2), clerk in the commissariat and made by Fox, of whom 
he was reputed to be the son, army agent, in which capacity he corruptly amassed an 
enormous fortune. Later, however, he deserted Fox for Pitt. One of his residences 
appears to have been Ingress Abbey, Belvedere, in Kent, which would not be far distant 
from Hayes. 

2 Afterwards the second Earl of Chatham. 

3 f. 291. The memorandum already printed, p. 319. 

326 THE WAR 

I think it my duty to lay it before your Lordship'. I always knew 
the system begun at Mr Pelham's death was impossible. I own I 
feared that it would not be departed from when I took the Seals, 
which I took unwillingly. My behaviour to H.M. and to the D. of 
Newcastle since I took them, I leave to the D. of Newcastle to 
relate. When I wrote the inclosed I had hopes that a negotiation 
with M"" Pitt was begun. It is the only good party, my Lord, that 
can be taken. And do not, my Lord, imagine that I only say I will 
act in an inferior employment ; I mean it and will do it. If I 
have had ambition, this year has thoroughly cured me of it ; and 
with my ambition all possibility of resentment is gone likewise. 
At Mr Pelham's death some things (which I do not care to recall 
to my mind) happened which made me angry". I have now, upon 
my word, no anger, and could with as much ease of mind converse 
with the D. of Newcastle on this as with any man on any subject. 
I will in any station (not of the Cabinet) support the King's 
measures ; I should indeed except that measure of governing the 
House of Commons by the Duke of Newcastle only. But it is 
unnecessary to except what its own impossibility must put an end 
to. Give me leave to wish H.M. may not desire I should continue 
in the station I am in. It would not be for his service ; it would 
look as if I had taken this step in hopes of more power ; whereas 
my aim is to get out of court, and my justification in so doing the 
impossibility of my carrying on the King's affairs now as a minister, 
even if I had more power given me. 

I am, with the greatest respect, my Lord, your Lordship's 

Most obedient and most humble Servant 

H. Fox. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 183, f. 360.] Powis House, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1756, 4 o'clock. 

My Dear Lord, 

I am just come from my conference which lasted full 
three hours and a half His answer is an absolute final negative 
without any reserve for further deliberation. In short there never 
was a more unsuccessful negotiator. I beg your Grace will have 
the goodness to excuse me for not waiting on you before dinner, for 
the time would not suffice to relate it, and in truth I am so tired 
that I should not have spirits and breath to do it. If your Grace will 

> Cf. Fox to Dodington, October 19 (Hist. MSS. Comm., M. Eyre Matcham, 36), 
" The Chancellor did not come to town till last night. The D. of N. did not know his 
own mind till then, if he does now." 

' See above, p. 194. 


send me word by the bearer at what hour I should attend you after 
dinner, I will not faili. 

ever yours 


Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 

[Endorsed by the latter: "After I had related to the King the 
Conference which had passed between me and M"" Pitt the day 
before, I read all that part of this letter which is scored to his 
Majesty literally and distinctly."] 

[H. 68, f. 127.] Newcastle House, Oct. lo, 1756. 

My Dearest Lord, 

Though a consciousness of my own innocence and 
an indifference as to my own situation may, and I hope in God 
will, support me against all the wickedness and ingratitude which 
I meet with, yet your Lordship cannot think that I am insensible 
of, or senseless to, the great indignity put upon me by these two 
gentlemen. Next to my own innocence, my only consolation is 
the justice which the King does me, and therefore I hope that His 
Majesty will look upon this refusal of M"^ Pitt and the reason he 
gives for it in the same favourable light for me that he has done 
M'' Fox's quitting and his accusation of me. Though I don't in the 
least doubt your friendship, justice and prudence, allow me only to 
suggest to your Lordship the necessity of making the King see that 
the whole is a concert between M"^ Pitt and M'' Fox. The views 
and principles upon which they act [are] the same viz: to make 
themselves necessary and masters of the King ; that the accusation 
of me is the most unjust, grounded upon false or rather no facts ; 
that the only thing M"" Pitt alleges against me is the conduct of the 
war in which, as far as relates to the land war, I have absolutely 
had no share, and as far as relates to the sea, no other share but 1 
concurring in what was the unanimous opinion of every person 
present ; that I never had the least share in appointing any com- 
manding officers, either by sea or by land, and, (what is remark- 
able), never gave any one order or wrote one line to any of them, 
except what immediately related to the Treasury, and your Lordship 
will show where this unjust attack is meant. It is above me to give 
any advice^. The King must talk to his other servants, the President, 
the Duke of Grafton and the Duke of Devonshire. You will lay me 
in the humblest manner at the King's feet, with the highest sense of 
His Majesty's goodness to me and with the utmost resignation to 
his royal will. But you will particularly assure His Majesty that, 
as I find my continuing in his service is made a reason for others to 
decline it, I shall, with the same zeal, duty and cheerfulness, receive 

' p. 276. * From this point read to the King. 

328 THE WAR 

his commands to retire, and serve him as a private person and ever 
zealous subject. That I have always endeavoured to do whilst I was 
in his service. 

I am, my dearest Lord, 

ever yours 

HoLLES Newcastle*. 

Lord Chancellor to Lord Roys ton 
[H. 3, f. 351.] Powis House, Oct. 21, 1756. 

Dear Royston — * 

'Tis a vulgar saying that walls have ears ; and, if they 
had tongues also, the walls of your dressing-room would tell you a 
very long story. There was the scene between your friend M"" Pitt 
and me last Tuesday in the forenoon, which I chose as the place 
freest from objection. The conference lasted full three hours and 
a half, to the astonishment, I fear, of My^ Saubere and John Godfrey ; 
who must, according to their bounden duty, have told you before 
now their suspicions of some terrible plot. But to confess the 
truth — surely never was a more unsuccessful negotiator. We 
fought all the weapons thro', but his final answer was totally 
negative. He was very polite, and full of professions to me, but 
the great obstacles are the D. of N. and measures ; and without a 
change of both, 'tis impossible for him to come. I made my report 
yesterday to the King, and after having made it three times over 
you may be sure I have no mind to write it. His Majesty was 
extremely gracious to me, grave, but not much moved. M^ Fox 
has not yet delivered up the seals, but appears determined to do so ; 
and the King as much determined not to suffer him to keep them 
if he would. But I believe, in consideration of the present circum- 
stances, his Majesty will give him some other employment in his 
service, not in the Cabinet council. He is much provoked at 
M'' Fox for the part he has taken, and more especially for the 
time he has chosen to act it in. But at present everything is in 
uncertainty, and nothing settled. If you have not seen Fox's 
paper, I send it you inclosed. 'Tis the copy which he sent me 
himself, with a very civil letter, the moment I came to town. He 
took me yesterday into a corner, at Kensington, and told me his 

* N. B. There was no other concert between Pitt and Fox, than both uniting in a desire 
to get rid of the Dulce of Newcastle. The latter had certainly a desire to be connected 
with the former, who, when he came in, would have nothing to do with him. The 
Duke of Cumberland was Fox's principal abettor and adviser. H. 


story and pretended grievances. 'Twas all civility and complaisance 
to me ; but that goes for nothing. The concurrent plan of both those 
gentlemen is to load the D. of N. They deny any concert, but I 
am convinced that I see symptoms of it... 

Yours most affectionately 


P.S, I must add to my letter of this day a phenomenon which 
appeared at court at noon, and which I did not then know. M^ Pitt 
sent this morning to my Lady Yarmouth to desire leave to wait 
upon her. He had that leave and was with her a great while. 
Nobody knows what he has said to her, except that he has made 
vast professions to the King, and proposed to her Ladyship some 
sort of plan ; but whether he has adhered to, or receded from, what 
he said to me she has not said, for she would say nothing till she 
had related it to the King. I understand he has flattered me black 
and blue, but, if that be all, it passes for nothing. He will come to 
the King's levee to-morrow, and I guess bring his suite along with 
him. You may imagine that this sets all the court at gaze. I hear 
that Fox makes no part of his plan, which looks a little like concert 
with Leicester House. What is most remarkable is, that he had 
never been with my Lady Yarmouth before in his life. You who 
have read so many negotiations, know that great and important 
treaties are seldom settled by the plenipotentiaries, but at the 
court of one of the contracting powers. I think I have now told 
you news enough for one day. Adieu. 

Attorney-General to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 246, f. 298.] Sunday night, Oct. 24, 1756. 

My Lord, 

I am just come to town and found your Lordship's letter. 
It is impossible to say how much I feel your Lordship's great 
goodness and attention to me throughout this whole affair'. The 
business of my life at all times, and on all occasions, shall be to 
show the gratitude with which I have the honour to be 

Your Lordship's most obliged and obed' hum. Serv' 

W. Murray. 

' His promotion to the bench and the peerage. 

330 THE WAR 

\Endorsed'\ Copy of Letter [from the Lord Chancellor] to Col. Yorke 
containing a narrative in general of what had passed with 
Mr Pitt to that day. 

[H. 9, f. 66.] Most Secret. Powis House, Oct. 31, 1756. 

Dear Joe,... 

An event has lately happened which has been attended 
with consequences, so very material and interesting, that I have 
waited only for time and opportunity to give you a particular 
detail of it. 

Some time before I went out of Town in the Long Vacation, 
now full three months ago, M"^ Fox desired I would appoint him 
an hour to have some conversation with me. He came and it was 
a long one. He entered into the state of public affairs and the 
difficulties which would arise in carrying on the King's business 
the next session of Parliament, unless some additional support was 
gained. Fearful for the public and for the weight upon himself, he 
then gave it as his firm opinion that it would be impossible, unless 
the King would be induced to make an accommodation in his own 
family and Leicester House would unite with the Administration, 
or else M"" Pitt was taken in. To the first branch of the alternative 
I gave him the proper answer. That he knew such terms were 
insisted on by Leicester House that the King only could determine 
upon them by himself, the affair being domestic and concerning his 
honour and authority, as Father as well as King. As to the latter 
branch, I told him that he knew and I would not affect to disguise 
from him, that I had been no enemy to M"^ Pitt, but there were now 
three difficulties in the way. First, I doubted much whether the 
King would yield to it ; in the next place, if he would, I also much 
doubted whether M^ Pitt would come, in the present circumstances ; 
and in the last place he (M"" Fox) knew that M'' Pitt's a^nbition was 
the very place he filled ; that, so far as I knew, everybody was well 
satisfied with him and nobody meant to hurt him, and this was an 
obstacle insurmountable. To this last point he said, what the King 
would yield to he could not tell. He was sure His Majesty was 
not satisfied with what is (meaning himself), and he thought the 
difficulty of His Majesty's affairs would get the better of his aver- 
sion. As to him (Fox), he should be very ready to make that 
matter easy, and should be found more reasonable in the terms 
of doing it than possibly I might imagine. I said J had told him 


my thoughts and did not see how it was practicable. He said he 
had before held the same language at large to the Duke of New- 
castle, and indeed of this his Grace had already informed me. 

Thus things remained and nobody heard any more of this 
proposition till the isth of October, which was near three weeks 
after the Parliament was declared to sit on the iS'^i of November, 
and within about a month of the time of its meeting. The oppor- 
tunity was also taken when M"" Murray, who had been the chief 
support of debates in the House of Commons, was determined to 
leave it to be made Lord Chief Justice. It is remarkable further 
that it was some days after the King had gratified the Prince and 
Princess of Wales in everything, so that the reconciliation there 
was made as far as possible, and the first branch of his alternative 
was complied with. 

The enclosed copy of M"^ Fox's paper will inform you of the 
step which he then took to the surprize of the King and all his 
servants. It was sent down to me at Wimpole on Saturday the 
16*, with the King's orders to come to Town on the Monday 
following and to appoint a meeting with M^ Pitt. 

I came to town on Monday night, and within ten minutes after 
I came into the house received a letter from M"" Fox of which you 
have also a copy enclosed \ 

I had my meeting with M"^ Pitt on Friday \i.e. Tuesday, 
October 19] at Lord Royston's. It lasted three hours and a half 
and everything passed with the greatest professions and flattery to 
me. I offered him, by the King's permission (not command), the 
office of Secretary of State, but the result was that M"" Pitt abso- 
lutely refused to come into the King's service whilst the Duke of 
Newcastle continued in the same administration. The particular 
reason he assigned was, that all these mistakes in the conduct of 
the war had been committed, and all these ill successes had 
happened, whilst his Grace was first Minister, and the nation was 
(as he said) to the last degree incensed against him. Therefore, he 
concluded, it was impossible for the Duke of N. to keep his ground 
or for anybody to go on with him ; tho', by the way, the Duke of N. 
has had no more direction in the measures of the war than any one 
of seven of us. There was much expostulation between us, but so 
it rested ; for tho' he threw out several other conditions, this was a 
sine quA non. 

I made my report on Wednesday to the King, who entirely 

' Above, p. 319. 

332 THE WAR 

disapproved his terms ; but on the Thursday M^ Pitt took another 
more private channel^ to the King, where he had never been before 
in his life. Then he talked over the same things and went so much 
further as to propose his plan of a new administration, a most 
extraordinary one indeed, but without naming either my employ- 
ment or the Head of the Admiralty. 

His Majesty was more offended at this than before, tho' he kept 
his temper. He sent for me and ordered me to give him his answer; 
for, said he, " M'' Pitt shall not go to that channel any more ; she 
does not meddle and shall not meddle." But his Majesty expressly 
restrained me from avowing or hinting to M^ Pitt that I knew 
anything of what had passed in that secret way, or so much as 
that he had taken that channel. 

The King dictated his answer which was literally this — "His 
Majesty is of opinion that what has been suggested is not for his 
and the public service." 

The answer was prudent and not provoking, but the restriction 
laid me, as I told His Majesty, under the greatest difficulty; for 
Mr Pitt might take this as an answer only to what he had said to 
me and might go to the same private channel again for an answer 
to what he had suggested there, or at least affect to believe that 
unanswered. I pressed that the answer might be given by the 
same secret channel, but the King persisted and I obeyed. 

M'' Pitt came to me by appointment on Sunday night 
[October 24]. I gave him the answer by word of mouth and 
repeated it, and turned my conversation so luckily that I was 
sure he must understand it as an answer to both without naming 
or describing the secret channel'^. 

Thus it rested as to M^ Pitt till last Thursday or Friday. In 
the meantime the Duke of Newcastle considered and consulted 
with such as were best informed as to the strength in the House 
of Commons and the possibility of getting another leader there 
besides M"^ Fox or M^ Pitt; for the last of these gentlemen, you see, 
will not come to the Duke of N., and the former will not stay with 
him, and had even then departed from his proposal in the conclusion 
of his paper of accepting another office and supporting. 

Another leader of sufficient strength could not be found and 
numbers grew doubtful, so that the Duke of Newcastle came to an 
opinion that it was best for him to quit and told the King this 

' Lady Yarmouth, above, p. ■277. ^ Above, p. ■279.' 


His Majesty, tho' angry with Fox, was more inclined to him 
than Pitt, for a reason you know — his connection with another 
quarter of the Court'. 

If the Duke of Newcastle should go out, I am determined to do 
so too ; not for that reason only, but also for many others. It would 
be disgraceful and ridiculous for me to continue in, in order to act 
an under part in subordination to these young gentlemen at my 
time of life, stript of my old friends — tired of this laborious office, 
more disagreeable and long attendances than ever. The fatigue 
and vexation would soon wear out the little remains of health and 
life which God has preserved to me. I made the King feel the 
weight of all these reasons, but he still presses me to stay with him, 
is most gracious to me and has already made your brother Charles 
Solicitor General as a mark of his favour to me, and as a pledge 
that I will serve him whether in or out. 

In the meantime M"^ Fox has been negotiating round the 
compass ; has fled to Bath to confer with the Duke of Bedford — 
fled back again and met the Duke of Bedford etc. at Windsor, 
where your old master has chose to stay all this time. M^ Fox 
has negotiated with M"^ Pitt too, and fancied that he would join him 
and he (Fox) be at the head of the Treasury, which is the ambition 
of his heart ; has employ'd his friend the Duke of Devonshire with 
Pitt; but he has put as strong an exclusion upon Fox as upon the 
Duke of Newcastle. He will not serve with Fox in any ministerial 
place. He may have a lucrative one. 

This is thought all to proceed from M"^ Pitt's connection with 
Leicester House, which is very strange after all the condescensions 
the King has shown to them, what he has done for them, and their 
assurances just given by letters under their own hands. Tho' he 
has named nobody for the Head of the Admiralty, yet he strongly 
arraigns the conduct of the Admiralty and the management of our 
fleets and squadrons. He asked the Duke of Devonshire — what 
does my Lord Anson think himself.'' His Grace said he did not 
know, but gave my Lord his just applause and strongly expressed 
his friendship for him. M^ Pitt said he did not know what to 
propose, but thought the King should look out for the best man 
he could find. This is declaring an intention of a change. He has 
given hints about the army and the conduct of the war in North 
America. The King sees where that points '', and is disturbed at it. 

1 Pitt's connection was with Leicester House while Fox was an adherent of the Duke 
of Cumberland. ^ At the Duke of Cumberland. 

334 THE WAR 

As to Lord Anson, you may be sure I am as much concerned 
for him as for myself If this great change is made, I fear it will 
be impossible to keep him in place, and that is of no great conse- 
quence to him. But the affairs of the Admiralty consist of so many 
branches, and admit of such variety of opinions, that nobody knows 
how far enquiries may be carried. Ill success will be worked up 
into mistakes, mistakes into neglects, and neglects into crimes, 
where, in my conscience, there is no crime at all. 

As to my share, I have told you my intention, and if Lord Anson 
is forced out, that will confirm me in it. As the term begins on 
Saturday, I believe the business of the Court will require that I 
should stay in to the end of the Term, between which and the 2^ of 
December I will carry my resolution into execution, unless some 
scheme is found out in the meantime to keep things consistently on 
the old foot. I have been long tired with the slavery of my office. 
With thankfulness to the Divine Providence I see all my children 
well-provided for and (which is more) virtuous. I own your situa- 
tion is the most precarious, but you have a fortune of your own and a 
regiment, and may depend on my best support. Before I take my 
leave of the King, I will ask his promise of a 'regiment of dragoons 
for you, which, I flatter myself, he will not refuse me. Your Ministry 
in Holland may be of very uncertain duration ; but as Lord Holder- 
ness will, I believe, keep in, and the King is extremely well-disposed 
to you, it may not improbably be continued. However, that must 
not be depended upon. I desire only that you will keep up your 
spirits and shew a good countenance. 

As to business, my advice is that in the meantime you only 
execute literally such orders as you shall receive, take nothing upon 
yourself and negotiate as little as possible. 

Tuesday NoV 2^. Under this date I added a paragraph, giving 
a general account that things still remained in the same unsettled 
state, and that M^ Pitt rather rose than abated in his demands. 
Enjoined the secret as to every part of this letter. 

Duke of Newcastle to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. 60, f. 286; N. 183, f. 540.] Newcastle House, Nm. 2, 1756. 

My Dearest Dearest Lord, 

You know, you see, how cruelly I am treated and indeed 
persecuted, by all those who now surround the King. The only 
comfort I have is in the continuance of your Lordship's most 


cordial friendship and good opinion. The great and honourable 
part which you are resolved to take will be my honour, glory and 
security, and upon which I can and do singly rely. I despise 
testimonies from others who, for their own sakes, as well as mine, 
I should desire not to give any of that kind at this time. But my 
dearest Lord, it would hurt me extremely if yours should be long 
delayed. I submit the particular time entirely to you, grateful for 
it, whenever it shall happen. I must have a Treasury tomorrow 
and another on Saturday for the despatch of necessary business, 
and I propose to quit on Monday, for quit before the Birthday 
I must and will*.... 

William Grant (Lord Prestongrangey to the Lord Chancellor 
[H. loi, f. 68.] Stevenage in Hertfordshire, Nov. 9, 1756. 

My Lord, 

Permit one of the most humble and obliged of your 
servants to express to you the thoughts of which he is full, and that 
have much occupied his mind through this day relating to your 
Lordship and the public, which is so much interested in your 
present situation, — though he would not be thought so absurd and 
presumptuous as to think he can suggest anything worthy of con- 
sideration that must not occur to yourself, who are so widely his 
superior in wisdom and experience as well as in rank and station ; 
yet a great man may deign graciously to hear the reflexions concern- 
ing himself of one of his admirers and most sincere well-wishers.... 

When I heard the rumours at Bath of a great minister's resigna- 
tion, which I heartily regretted, I took it for granted that the Great 
Seal would still remain where it has been for near twenty years, 
because I had never heard or read one objection to the conduct 
of the Lord Chancellor in his high office of judicature, in which he 
has for so long a term of years had the chief and highest part in 
deciding ultimately the properties of all the litigating subjects of 
the British empire, in both parts of Great Britain, Ireland and the 
Plantations, and performed that to the happiness and satisfaction 
of so many millions of people. — Is not this a post, a situation 
of such glory to the possessor and such utility to mankind, as 
ought not to be unnecessarily abandoned ? — When the continuance 
in it will, as I apprehend, be most grateful to the King and all his 
good people and even not ungrateful to the persons, who are to be 
newly employed in the active parts of government or administration 
and who have no one wherewith to fill that place.... 

[Apologises for his intervention.] 

* There was a meanness in the D. of Newcastle's pressing in this manner my 
Father's resignation, but with some good and honest qualities he had not a great way of 
thinking. H. 

' See note vol. i. 551. 

336 THE WAR 

[H. 246, f. 3S5-] 

Lord Chief Justice Willes^ sends his best respects to the Lord 
Chancellor, and desires that he would give the Lord Chief Baron ^ 
and him leave to wait on his Lordship some time tomorrow morn- 
ing, they having a message to deliver to him from all the rest of 
the Judges. If the morning be inconvenient, they will come at any 
time in the evening, his Lordship shall be pleased to appoint.... 
He and the Chief Baron come at the earnest request of all the rest 
of the Judges, and they will not detain his Lordship above five 

Earl of 'Bath to the Lord Chancellor 

[H. 246, f. 318.] ISLEWORTH, Nov. 10, 1756. 

My Lord, 

You have always been very good to me on all applica- 
tions I have made to you, and therefore I was not in the least 
dissatisfied at your late refusal to provide for Mr Blair; you was 
pleased to decree it otherwise and I was sure every decree of yours 
is and must be equitable and just. Public rumour tells me in my 
present retreat at Isleworth that your Lordship intends to resign 
the Seals. I own, as affairs are now circumstanced, I think you 
are quite in the right of it. You know I always loved and honoured 
you greatly, and therefore wish to see you retire, in the present 
confusion, with the great character and reputation you will always 
deserve ; and I am confident in a very little time all mankind will 
be loudly calling for you again to return to assist a sinking state 
and restore an almost broken constitution. Perhaps likewise a 
small retreat may be of great use to your own health.... 

Your most obedient humble servant, 


Lord Chancellor to Lord Royston 
[H. 3, f. 358.] St James's Square, Nov. nth, [1756]. 

Dear Royston, 

I call'd only to mention one or two things to you of no 
very great consequence....! have spoke to his Majesty this day 
about Joe. He was pleas'd to assure me of his strong approbation 

^ Lord H.'s old rival. See note vol. i. 478. 

^ Sir Thomas Parker, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer 1 742-1 772, died 1784. 
Lord H.'s life-long friend of 50 years. See vol. i. 54. 

' The message was no doubt one of farewell from the judges and the Bar on the 
Chancellor's retirement. 

* For other letters of this kind, including those from the Princess of Orange and 
Lord Walpole, see H. i, f. 31, and H. 246, flf. 33^-364. 


of his services, and of his intention to continue him in Holland. 
" I won't suffer them to change my foreign Ministers at their 
humour." — My Lord Holderness is to continue in. As to the Regi- 
ment of Dragoons, his Majesty said that he could not promise him 
the first that fell ; but he would give him one as early as he possibly 

Duke of Newcastle to Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke 
[N. 184, f. 27.] Newcastle House, Nov. 12, 1756. 

Dear Sir, 

The hurry that I am in this day in seeing numbers 
of friends upon my retiring from court, which I did yesterday in 
form, prevents the liberty I intended to take by this post to have 
acquainted Her Royal Highness with it... 

As one of my best friends, I am sure you will be glad to hear 
that nobody can leave a good and gracious master with more marks 
of affection and approbation than I have done. That which does 
me the greatest honour, and which not only graces my retreat but 
is the highest distinction to my past conduct, is the noble and 
affectionate part which your great Father acts upon this occasion. 
Such a testimony of friendship after near forty years acquaintance 
and intimacy, union in measures and sentiments, puts me at once 
above reproach, and all the wicked and malicious effects of pride, 
arrogance and ambition, which from two different persons, acting 
with different views, have brought about what has now happened ; 
and I must beg that you would let all my friends know that neither 
apprehension of what might happen in Parliament, or any doubt or 
mistrust of the most cordial and affectionate support from the King, 
have occasioned the resolution which I have taken. 

Misfortunes incidental to all wars, and more particularly to be 
expected from this, have, though unjustly, occasioned a flame which, 
though it did not extend to the members of Parliament, made it 
necessary to have the assistance of Mr Pitt and Mr Fox, or at least 
one of them. They both saw that and have made their use of it. 
Fox gives up a fortnight before the Parliament meets, because 
I did not give him power enough. Pitt was offered in the hand- 
somest manner, by my Lord Chancellor, to be Secretary of State. 
He would not come whilst the Duke of Newcastle was in the 
administration ; and when one would not stay and the other would 
not come, I had nothing to do but to make way for both or either 
of them. Mr Fox is fallen into his own trap. Mr Pitt with the 
Duke of Devonshire at his head will have difficulty to support 
himself In all events I am happy with the approbation of my 

Y. II. 22 

338 THE WAR 

master and the declaration of my best and greatest Friend. Think 
then, how much and how affectionately I am, yours, 

HoLLES Newcastle. 

Lord Chancellor to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 184, f. 76.] Powis House, N<yv. 17, 1756. Wednesday. 

My Dear Lord, 

I return your Grace a thousand thanks for the honour 
of your letter of yesterday' and for the many kind expressions 
of your friendship and regard for me.... I have done with wonder.... 
The want of a proper person, capable of interposing in the Closet, 
begins to be manifest, but we must not be ministers behind the 
curtain. The new gentlemen begin to ascribe the disagreeableness 
of their reception to that cause. 

My day and hour is fixed. The Master of the Rolls [Sir Thomas 
Clarke] has declined contrary to my expectation ^... The com- 
missioners are Willes, Smythe and Wilmot. I have had some 
trouble to help myself out and them in. I have a cold but not 
bad ; but I chose to get the Master of the Rolls to sit for me 
today, that I might not begin any cause and leave it unfinished, 
and so the parties be put to a double expense. I intend to sit at 
Westminster tomorrow upon motions, which cannot be attended 
with the like inconvenience, and then prorogue the Parliament and 
take my leave. On Friday it is settled that I shall go to the 
Lev6e, then deliver up the Seal to the King in his Closet, who will 
immediately after seal the Commission and instantly deliver it to 
the Commissioners then attending, who. will be sworn in his Closet. 
I proposed and fixed this with his Majesty, that there might be no 
delay of business, nor his Majesty be troubled with the custody of 
the Seal. Sic mihi parta quies, omnisque in limine partus.... 

I am, my dearest Lord, ever most faithfully and affectionately 


1 f. 69. 

* I.e. to be a Commissioner of the Great Seal. 

,,^X^£^y '--r ^y.5>^'-t^ ^u,^.4(^ ^^^ 

t^-Tl-m Tn^Ay, /.4yvfe~- ^u^t-g^j- C7hnc^a,^^^tHin^J^^^ 

^2,^ — 

/^, ^^ 



Col. the Hon. Joseph Yorke to Lady Anson 
[H. 40, f. 214.] Hague, Nov. 26, 1756. 

[Expresses regret at the retirement of Lord Anson from the 
Admiralty and his appreciation of his great services.] I was not 
surprised our Chief acted the part he did. He could not in honour 
act any other, and tho' I am convinced he did not approve all that 
was done whilst he was in, yet I am sure he would have been 
bespattered with dirt in six months, if he had kept his place ; 
whereas now he has the good fortune to retire in the meridian 
of his glory, and to be regretted by all the honest men in Europe 
(for don't imagine it is confined to England), at the same time that 
he enables himself to be listened to and followed by those who may 
hereafter govern our country.... 



The trial by court-martial of the unhappy Admiral Byng, 
which, beginning on December 28, 1756, and concluding on January 
27, 1757, took place during the short tenure of office by Pitt and 
the Duke of Devonshire, engrossed completely for the time public 
attention in England. The guilt or innocence of the prisoner 
ceased to be a point of fact and became one of politics, and the 
real question at issue was soon lost sight of amidst the disputes 
of faction. The late government, assailed by all the eloquence of 
Pitt, had been made not only responsible for the whole disaster, 
but was even accused of having purposely brought about the loss 
of Minorca to justify the making of a bad peace. The naked truth, 
however, like a mountain peak hidden for the moment by rolling 
mists, was only obscured for a time, and finally emerged above 
these clouds of oratory, conspicuous and unmistakable. The 
facts were too clear and too well-established for the admiral to 
succeed in escaping personal responsibility. Much was made on 
his behalf of the fact that his letters to the Admiralty had been 
suppressed or mutilated ; but the action of the government was 
defended on the ground of the public interest, and the complete 
text, when published, only deepened the unfavourable impression 
already made in his disfavour^ He was able to clear his character 

1 They had been written (see below, p. 347) after he had determined on a course of 
inaction and with the purpose, by exaggerating the difficulties of his situation, of throwing 
all the blame upon the Government. They were withheld altogether or in part from 
publication by the ministers, who were unwilling to alarm the public unduly, and in 
consideration for the admiral's own reputation, while at the same time Byng's aim in 
writing them was defeated. See p. 353 ; and Fox to Lord Digby {Jlisi. MSS. Comm. 
Rep. viii. 221) "Whoever considers dates, must see how wrong it would have been to 
have published Byng's opinion of his fleet." The letters contained such passages as the 
following: "I despatched the Phoenix, Chesterfield and Dolphin ahead to reconnoitre 


of the crimes of personal cowardice and disaffection, but the Court 
unanimously pronounced him guilty of not having done "his utmost 
to take, seize and destroy the ships of the French King," or " to 
relieve St Philip's Castle," involving the serious charge of neglect 
of duty'. 

Formerly the judges of the court-martial had been allowed 
discretion as to the penalty they inflicted for misconduct before 
the enemy; but this power, owing to the desire, incidental to 
weak human nature, of escaping responsibility, had been abused 
to such an extent as to render the proceedings of courts-martial 
little better than a farce. In 1749, accordingly, owing to the many 
cases of professional misconduct and of the failure of the courts- 
martial to fix the responsibility upon the proper persons and to 
award due punishment, the articles of war were revised and this 
discretion was withdrawn. The new 12th article now provided 
the death penalty, and no other, for "cowardice, negligence or 
disaffection," while the power of pardon, which had before been 
practically exercised by the courts-martial, was restored to the 
proper authority, the Crown^ 

The wisdom of this measure, intended expressly for a case 
of this kind, is clearly shown by what now actually took place. 
The members of the court-martial who, it is said, had offered a 
scarcely judicial display of their feelings in pronouncing sentence, 

the harbour's mouth, and Captain Hervey to endeavour to land a letter for General 
Blakeney to let him know the fleet was here to his assistance ; though every one was 
of opinion we could be of no use to him " ; and another in which he claimed the victory. 
See the three letters, pp. 287, 291—5 ; and cf. in this connection the omissions in the 
publication of Wolfe's letter from Quebec, vol. iii. 238. 

1 Trial of Admiral Byng (1757), 474. Col. J. Yorke, who had shown great 
independence of opinion, in spite of his close ties with the ministers, and had at first, 
before the whole facts became known, been, with the majority, inclined to justify Byng 
and throw the blame upon the government (see above, p. 269), writing on January 25, 
1757, expresses satisfaction at the manner in which the court-martial had been conducted 
and declared the result "at least a strong justification of the late admiralty, and must do 
credit to those who have been so infamously treated." On February 15 he affirms that the 
facts proved against Byng "fully justify those who planned the design and entrusted him 
with the execution of it, of which nobody has at present the least doubt." On March i 
he writes, after reading the trial, " Undoubtedly never facts were proved clearer against 
an officer," and on March 11, "I never was clearer that a man was guilty in my life." 
H. 16, ff. 176, 188; H. 40, ff. 231, 235; and H. 9, f. 106. 

^ Statutes at Large, xix. 328, 22 George II, c. 33 ; below, p. 358. A. T. Mahan, 
Types of Naval Officers (1902), 93-7, who adds that exactly the same difficulty with 
courts-martial was experienced in the United States at the beginning of the Civil War, 
and who points out that " negligence is ranked with more positive faults, because in 
practice equally harmful and equally culpable. Every man in active life, whatever 
his business, knows it to be so." Cf. the Vernon incident, vol. i. 196. 


and who had " manifested grief, anxiety and trepidation, shedding 
tears and sighing with extraordinary emotion"," unequal to the 
painful load and strain of responsibility, proceeded, immediately 
after giving sentence, to " lay the distresses of their minds " before 
the Lords of the Admiralty, deploring the severity of the articles 
of war which, they wrote in strange confusion, "admit of no 
mitigation, even if the crime should be committed by an error 
of judgment only," and recommending earnestly the accused for 
mercy, " for our own consciences' sake as well as in justice to the 

The Lords of the Admiralty, whose chief now was Lord Temple, 
a deep, dark and unscrupulous character, long Pitt's evil genius and 
now one of Byng's principal supporters, in their turn affected doubts 
of the legality of the sentence, and endeavoured to throw the 
responsibility of a decision upon the King, to whom, greatly to his 
indignation', they sent the letter of the members of the court- 
martial together with the account of the proceedings. The King, 
however, submitted the matter to the twelve judges, by whom the 
legality of the sentence was at once established. The enemies 
of the late administration now joined the personal friends of Byng 
to prevent, by every possible means, the carrying out of the sentence. 
The severity of the 12th article, which allotted the death penalty 
for neglect of duty, and which allowed no discretionary powers to 
the court-martial, was assailed, though this was a regulation 
recently passed on account of the abuse of this very power and 
in view of cases such as the present. Cries were raised that Byng 
was being sacrificed, as a scapegoat, to atone for the negligence 
and incapacity of the administration ; that he was being punished, 
not for a neglect of duty but for "an error of judgment," to which 
any man was liable, and that " a judicial murder " was being com- 
mitted. Pitt and Lord Temple espoused publicly his cause and 

" Smollett, quoted in Pari. Hist. xv. 823. 

^ "The whole world condemns the Court Martial and I don't wonder you should be 
disgusted with the absurdities of those tribunals which indeed pass all understanding." 
Col. J. Y. to Lord Royston, February 11, 1757 (H. r6, f. 180) : "The foreign world is 
full of Mr Byng's trial and sentence and criticise greatly the contradictions in the sentence 
of the Court Martial, which, they say, finding him fall under the law, had no business 
but to take notice of that, leaving everything else to those who should confirm the 
sentence. ...I have seen more examples than one of the same nature." February 8 to 
Lady Anson (H. 40, f. 230). 

3 Richard Rigby to the Duke of Bedford, January 28, 1757: "The Monarch is, as 
your Grace will easily imagine, horrid angry with the Court Martial who have shoved the 
odium of Byng's death, if he is to suffer, in some measure off their own shoulders." 
Bedford Corresp. ii. 229. 


pleaded in vain with the King. "Lord Temple," wrote Richard 
RJgby, " pressed him some days ago very strongly for a pardon for 
Mr Byng. His Majesty persevered and told his Lordship flatly he 
thought him guilty of cowardice in the action, and therefore could 
not break his word they had forced him to give to his people, 
to pardon no delinquents^" A letter of recommendation from 
Marshal Richelieu, who wrote " Tout ce que j'ai vu et su de lui ne 
devait tourner qu'^ sa gloire," was sent over by Voltaire, in hopes 
of saving the admiral and to encourage the French navy by his 
preservation I The members of the court-martial persistently urged 
the authorities to save his life. The President, Admiral Smith, 
though satisfied of the prisoner's guilt, shrank from the infliction of 
the penalty of death'. Captain Augustus Keppel declared in the 
House of Commons that he, and four others of the judges, desired 
to be absolved from their oaths of secrecy, as they had something 
to disclose. Subsequently two of these individuals denied that 
they had anything to bring forward*, but a Bill for absolving the 
members of the court-martial from secrecy was immediately passed 
by the Commons by a large majority. 

In the Lords, however, wiser and more prudent counsels pre- 
vailed, and by the influence and advice of Lord Hardwicke, 
supported by Lord Mansfield and by the great body of the peers, 
measures were taken calculated to put an end to these erratic and 
hysterical proceedings, and better adapted to secure the ends of 
justice and satisfy public opinion. By his direction every member 
of the court-martial appeared separately on March 2, at the Bar of 

^ Bedford Corresp. ii. 238. 

^ Voltaire's witticism that Byng was shot "pour encourager les autres " is well known. 
The letters are printed in Barrow's Life of Anson, 275. According to Col. J. Y., Voltaire's 
' ' stupid step displeased everybody and seemed calculated to do the prisoner more harm 
than good." H. 40, f. 230. 

'■ "Home said to the Admiral that, knowing what he knew by conversing with him at 
Leith, he was very much surprised when he recommended Byng to mercy. ' You should 
have known, John, that I could never all my life bear the idea of being accessory to 
blood.'" Autobiog. of A. Carlyle, 307, 371. 

* Walpole endeavours to explain their refusal by their fear of Lord Hardwicke and 
Lord Anson, and the risk to their future promotion, and writes confusedly, "a fact that I 
shall mention presently, when the father of the man whose power Geary [one of the two 
judges in question] dreaded \i.e. Lord Hardwicke], asked for a day of peculiar significance, 
will explain and cannot in the nature of things be disjoined from that sagacious captain's 
conception of what interests were concerned to impose silence on the Court Martial," a 
sentence which has not received the usual French polish. A little further on, however, 
he himself states that two of the three who demanded the Bill in the House of Commons 
received high promotion, but now this was the reward of their answers to the interro- 
gatories in the House of Lords. George II, ii. 343, 367. 


the House of Lords, when certain questions, drawn up by him, 
were put to each and answered on oath'. It soon appeared that 
ten out of the thirteen officers wished for no relief from their oath 
or any reopening of the proceedings, while the three others, in- 
cluding Captain Keppel who had started the whole, while desiring 
the Bill to be passed, swore on oath that they knew of no matter 
that passed previous to the sentence which might show the sentence 
to be unjust or given through any undue practice or motive. 
"Lord Hardwicke," writes Walpole, "authoritatively put an end 
to the debate ; said the jecital to the preamble [of the Bill] had 
been false ; that they had sworn there had been no undue practice, 
and that it appeared upon what no grounds the House of Commons 
had proceeded, which he hoped would tend to ease the mind of his 
MajestyV Lord Temple declared all his doubts removed, and 
congratulated the King and the nation upon the result. The Bill 
was then immediately rejected, and Admiral Byng was shot on the 
quarter-deck of the Monarque at Portsmouth, on March 14, 1757, 
terminating his unfortunate existence with decency and courage^ 

' Walpole " paints" Lord Hardwicke as " a shrewd old lawyer, as weakly or audaciously 
betraying his own dark purposes in so solemn an assembly." George II, ii. 355. The 
following was the method of proceeding as drawn up by Lord Hardwicke in his hand- 
writing : 

" I. The members of the Court Martial to be examined upon oath. 

■2. The members of the Court Martial to be called in and examined separately. 

3. To begin with such of them as are under any immediate orders to sail. 

4. The Clerk to be directed to take down the questions and answers in writing at 
the Bar. 

5. The questions : 

I . Whether they know of any matter that passed previous to the sentence, to shew it 
to be unjust ? 

1. Whether they know of any matter that may shew the sentence to have been given 
through, or by means of, any undue practice or motives ? 

If Yes to either of these questions, then 

3. Whether they apprehend that they are restrained by their oath from disclosing any 
such matter f 

4. What kind of matters or things they apprehend they are restrained by their oath 
of secrecy from disclosing?" 

H. 547, f. 48; and f. 58, for his notes of their answers to the questions. "Lord 
Hardwicke," continues Walpole {George II, ii. 366), "treated the House of Commons 
with the highest scorn." But the King himself was no less contemptuous, for in replying 
to Pitt, who urged the opinion of the House of Commons in favour of Byng's reprieve, 
he said : " You have taught me to look for the sense of my subjects in another place than 
in the House of Commons." (7i5. 331.) 

^ George II, ii. 366. 

3 The Lord Mayor declared his strong opposition to a petition to the King for mercy 
(N. 185, f. 260) ; "I am glad Byng's affair is at last over," writes Col. J. Yorke; "it is 
clear to me that mercy would easily have been procured, if a justification had not been 
sought for ; and I see no colour for it after having read the trial. His dying speech is an 


We can still echo Mrs Montagu's words on his subject — " I cannot 
think of him without some compassion ; a criminal is not always 
an object of mercy, but frail man is ever an object of pity V 

The fate of the unhappy prisoner was no doubt principally 
decided by Lord Hardwicke's firmness, who had shown the same 
resolute opposition to the violation of legal rules and procedure, 
as he had formerly on the occasion of the attack upon the 
fallen Sir Robert Walpolel As invariably happens in such cases, 
when popular and factious agitation finds itself at last unable to 
prevail against conscientious determination and fixed principle, 
his conduct was attacked with great violence and unscrupulousness. 
It was even said that he had laboured to accomplish Byng's destruc- 
tion in order to shield the late ministry, and especially to defend 
his son-in-law, Lord Anson, who, as head of the Admiralty, had 
been chiefly responsible for the state and distribution of the Navy^ 
Such wicked and horrible calumnies can scarcely be thought worthy 
of serious refutation. But were it necessary to justify Lord Hard- 
wicke's attitude on such low grounds, the charge of personal and 
factious motives is applied with far better reason to Pitt and his less 
distinguished followers, who were, there is no doubt, animated in 
their defence of Byng to a great extent by the desire to strike a blow 
at the government*. 

ill-judged one and unworthy of a man in his last moment." H. i6, f. 198. " Would my 
Lord Hardwicke die thus," asks Walpole not very aptly, " even supposing he had nothing 
on his conscience?" Letters, iv. 42. 

^ Correspondence ed. by E. J. Climenson, ii. 90. 

^ See above, vol. i. 289 sqq. 

2 See Walpole above ; Almon's Anecdotes of Chatham, i. 288 ; and Lord Shelbume, 
one of the Fox faction (Life, by Lord Fitzmaurice, i. 82, 90): "the admiral shot 
very unjustly, as everybody agreed, owing entirely to Lord Hardwicke, to turn the 
unpopularity from his son-in-law. Lord Anson." "Lord Hardwicke with great 
deliberation and sanctity sacrificed admiral Byng to be shot contrary to every rule 
of justice and to the best naval opinions, to stem the public clamour and save his son- 
in-law." It seems to have escaped the attention of these great politicians that to execute 
Byng was the very best way to draw popular odium upon the ministers and bring about a 
revolution of feeling in favour of the condemned man, which in fact actually took place. 
The Byng incident does not appear to have been treated by Mr Lecky with his usual 
clear judgment and insight ; and in drawing up his narrative he is content with repro- 
ducing the insinuations and statements of writers all hostile to the ministers, Walpole, 
Waldegrave and Beatson. "Lord Hardwicke steadily laboured for his destruction," is 
not a fair or adequate description of his conduct and motives, and is obviously an echo 
of Walpole's "Hardwicke moved steadily towards his point, the death of the criminal " 
(George II, ii. 310); he also falls into the fundamental mistake of representing Byng's 
delinquency as "an error of judgment," instead of a neglect of duty. 

* According to Lord Waldegrave, whose opinions, however, as the friend of Fox and 
Walpole, cannot be accepted without discrimination, " Pitt and Lord Temple were 


The truth is that in matters where sober reason comes into 
conflict with emotion and sentiment, a difference of opinion is not 
uncommon or surprising. To hold even the scales of justice, to 
pass sentence of death upon a fellow-creature, requires a resolution 
and a firmness of spirits, together with an absolute disinterestedness 
and devotion to public duty which it is not given to every man to 
possess. These are qualities which are not generally prominent 
in excitable and irresponsible politicians, in parliamentary orators, 
in country demagogues and leaders of popular factions, and are 
probably only gained by long training, self-discipline and ex- 
perience. It is therefore certain that a man of Lord Hardwicke's 
character, profession and standing, who had filled the highest legal 
and judicial offices for nearly 40 years, could not regard this matter 
with the same eye as the personal friends and relations of the 
unhappy prisoner, as the impulsive and interested Pitt, the mean 
and frivolous Horace Walpole, or the other hysterical and senti- 
mental, or unscrupulous and intriguing individuals, who clamoured 
for his pardon. His experience as a judge, his knowledge as a 
statesman, told him that to allow a penal enactment to fade, 
on the first outburst of clamour, into a harmless threat, that to 
suffer the legislature to reopen a judicial verdict confirmed by all 
the twelve judges, merely for sentimental reasons, would have 
consequences far beyond the fate of one guilty officer, and would 
shake the foundations of the whole administration of justice and 
the whole maintenance of discipline in the services. But further 
than this. Lord Hardwicke was not only convinced of Byng's legal 
crime, but of his moral guilt. He had the best opportunities 
of reaching the truth, and a large collection of materials among 
his papers testifies to the care and thoroughness with which he 
investigated the case. No man in the kingdom had greater ability 
or experience in sifting evidence and in educing facts from a mass 
of tangled statements, and no man held a greater reputation for 
calm judgment and strict justice. 

Now after the lapse of time, when the case may be regarded 
dispassionately, his judgment on the whole of this unhappy 
transaction is seen to have been a just one, and one not open 

desirous to save him, partly to please Leicester House and partly because making him less 
criminal would throw greater blame on the late administration. But to avoid the odium 
of protecting a man who had been hanged in efiSgy in every town in England, they wanted 
the King to pardon him without their seeming to interfere." Memoirs, 91 ; cf. Glover's 
Mem. 116 sqq., and Lord Chesterfield, Letters (Bradshaw), 1165. 


to the charge of harshness \ Byng's crime was not physical 
cowardice'^, but the far more common moral weakness, the fear of 
responsibility, which is so fatal to men placed in situations de- 
manding decisive action. 

He had sailed animated by great personal ambition and by the 
desire to emulate his father, Lord Torrington's, great achievements, 
"having demanded the Mediterranean service as his right, and 
pressed for it as the scene of his father's glory," " full of his own 
glory and apprehensive of forfeiting any portion of what had 
descended on him^" Mixed with these aspirations was a profound 
sense of disappointment and discontent with the size of the fleet 
allotted to him for the moment, and on arriving at Gibraltar, 
alarmed at the magnitude of the task and the consequences to 
himself personally of possible failure, he had abandoned all hopes 
of success. " He dreaded forfeiting the reputation of 40 years of 
brave service" ; — to continue the quotation from his admirer and 
apologist, who does not see that he is here pronouncing his 
condemnation — " he looked on Minorca as lost and thought it 
could not be imputed to him. He had sagacity enough (without 

' For the whole incident see Pari. Hist. xv. 803-822; H. 547, a collection of papers 
relating to Byng and Add. MSS. 31959; N. 185, f. 81; Tracts relating to Eyng in 
the Brit. Mus. ; Trial of the Hon. Admiral Byng, with appendix (1757); Gent. Mag. 
vols, xxvi., xxvii. ; Beatson's Naval and Military Memoirs, where papers are printed; 
Bedford Corresp., ii. 233, 238; Phillimore's Memoirs of Lyttelton, 584, 587; Hist. 
MSS. Comm. Rep. x. (i) 312; Walpole's account, which takes up a large space in 
his Memoirs of George II, ii. 284-300, 305-12, 317-72, and Letters (1903), iv. 31, 
35, 38, 41, has little weight, and the situation has been entirely misunderstood and 
misrepresented in Ruville's Pitt (1907), ii. 97 sqq. 

^ In the Did. of Nat. Biog. Prof. Laughton seems to reflect upon Byng's conduct in 
former years, and see Autobiography of A. Carlyle, 307, where Admiral Smith, subse- 
quently one of Byng's judges, is made to express an opinion of him as "a man who 
would shun fighting if it were possible." There seems, however, to be no good 
foundation for these aspersions which, if true, should have been given full weight when 
Byng was chosen to command the expedition, and can have little when raked up 
afterwards. Cf. Lord Lyttelton to his brother: "To what his abominable behaviour 
was owing it is hard to conceive; a sudden panic must have seized him, though he 
never was reckoned a coward before, or, as some people think, he must have been 
bribed by the French." (Phillimore, Memoir of Lord Lyttelton, 520.) Lord Royston, 
in a paper intended for a magazine article in defence of Lord Anson, while explaining 
the choice of Byng as the senior admiral in rank next to Lord Anson himself, says that 
Byng's character had never been impeached, and his courage had been "tried upon 
some private occasions." (H. 258, f. 213.) Elsewhere, " He [Anson] was fortunate in 
his choice of commanders except in that of Admiral Byng, and in him was only mistaken 
with the rest of his profession, for nobody ever suspected the capacity or courage of that 
unfortunate officer till the action off Mahon." (H. 80, f. 5.) 

3 Walpole, George II, ii. 216, 298. 


his strict orders) to comprehend that, if Gibraltar followed St 
Philip's, which he knew would be the case if he was defeated, that 
loss would be charged on him\" He resolved to remain inactive, 
and to throw all responsibility for ill consequences on the govern- 
ment. Hence his despondent letters written with the object of 
showing to the public the impossibility of his task, the long delay 
at Gibraltar, the sailing thence without reinforcements, the aimless 
and spiritless engagement with the enemy, the hopeless re- 
nunciation of all further attempts and the helpless return to 

The great crime of Byng, if we do not mistake, was that he 
could not identify entirely his own fame and glory with that of his 
country. Long lines of Englishmen had done this, some great and 
conspicuous figures, who by one stroke of magnificent self-devotion 
or genius had averted national peril or won victory, and whose 
deeds have been inscribed in their country's annals, but by far the 
greatest number those, whose humble names and devoted services 
have been long forgotten but whose animating spirit and example 
have been caught up by their successors, and who have handed 
down the torch of national life from one generation to another. 
Byng was not one of these. He had not this single-minded purpose 
but was pursuing two separate objects and the one, his own 
ambition and interest, overshadowed and obliterated the other, his 
duty to his country. There was here in fact, not only a neglect of 
duty but a real disaffection and a real treason with which modern 

^ lb. 298. " From his knowledge of the people," writes Beatson (Naval and 
Military Memoirs, i. 468, 471) in 1804, the whole-hearted defender of Byng's cause, 
"he was certain they would now turn their eyes from the ministry to him ; and without 
giving themselves leave to reflect on the smallness of the force with which he was to act, 
would expect that, at all events, he should entirely fulfil the design he was fitted out for ; 
and if he failed in answering their most sanguine hopes, he was sensible that the public 
odium would be transferred from the ministry, who had long borne it, to him. But that 
the nation might in some measure be acquainted with his disagreeable situation, both as 
to equipment and the state in which he found things at Gibraltar, he wrote the following 
letter [May 4] to Mr Cleveland, Secretary to the Board of Admiralty. Did he not act 
properly in writing as lie did ? To let the world have a right state of matters, how much 
the national affairs had been neglected by the ministry. ..and. convince the nation, if he 
failed of success, that the blame ought not to be laid to his charge?" It is singular that 
neither this writer nor Walpole, in the remarks already quoted in the text, perceived that 
they were giving away Byng's whole case. Cf. the Cardinal de Bernis {Mim. ii. ■29) on 
the Due de Richelieu's hesitation in pursuing and overwhelming the Duke of Cumberland's 
army at Stade, "II ne voulait pas compromettre la gloirequ'il avait acqiiise a Minorque," 
and cf. also the advice sent to Admiral Vernon to "avoid an over zeal for your country's 
service" and "being drawn into any enterprise that may be hazardous," since failure to 
make progress would be imputed only to the ministers. See vol. i. 196. 


sentiment, notwithstanding its morbid and exaggerated partiality 
for human weakness and failure, ought not to sympathise and 
which it would be highly dangerous for the State ever to pardon 
or to condone. 

Meanwhile the acquisition of power by Pitt had been imme- 
diately followed by a notable diminution in the attacks and 
censures upon the late ministers, which seemed to show that their 
former violence and perhaps their present moderation, were not 
entirely disinterested or genuine. In an interview between Lord 
Hardwicke and Pitt on December 6, only a few days after the 
settlement of the new ministry, the latter, far from maintaining his 
former hostile attitude or repeating his accusations, disclaimed all 
" censures," and treated the coming enquiry in the House of 
Commons regarding the loss of Minorca slightingly, as a matter 
of no importance, though one he could not by his former engage- 
ments, now obstruct. Pitt is now described by Walpole as 
promising his support to his Tory followers in pressing the inquiry, 
but fearing "he should not be able to speak five minutes for his 
cough," and in the debate on April 19 as acquiescing " in every 
softening term, proposed by the advocates of the late criminals ; 
his justice shrunk behind apprehensions of personality ; moderation 
was the sole virtue of the censor^" No investigation, in fact, was 
held during Pitt's term of power. In the event, "the Ministers 
after all their threats not pushing the inquiry," it was Fox, one of 
the incriminated ministers themselves, who moved for it to be 
taken up in committee of the whole House I The publication 
of the whole text of Byng's letters, with his instructions and the 
evidence brought out at the court-martial, could not fail to produce 
on all impartial minds an effect favourable to the former ministers, 
and the latter still held a majority in the House of Commons. 
Accordingly, the examination into the causes of the disaster 
ordered subsequently by Parliament and not opposed by a single 
supporter of the late government ^ was conducted in a more 
impartial atmosphere and with far less animus against the accused 
ministers than appeared likely a few weeks before, and the result 
justified still further their contentions and completed their vindi- 

1 p. 375; and Walpole, George II, iii. 4, 8-10. Chatham Corr. i. 316; but see 
further, p. 361. 

2 Dodington's Diary, 350, and Glover's Memoirs, 132, 138. 

3 Walpole, George II, ii. 305, who sees in this only a proof that all damaging evidence 
had been suppressed by the late ministers before leaving office. 


Lord Hardwicke himself took the lead in organizing the defence 
and in marshalling the facts for the public examination. He had 
already given some assistance to David Mallet in the preparation 
of his pamphlet " Observations on the 1 2th Article of war," in the 
first part of which the author endeavoured to dissipate the false 
issues raised in Byng's defence^ By his direction now, an elaborate 
summary of the information received by the government, relating 
first to the preparations intended against Minorca, and secondly 
to those against Great Britain in the same periods of time, was 
drawn up, together with statements of the strength of the navy at 
the same periods, the several duties upon which the fleet was 
engaged and the exact circumstances in which Byng's expedition 
was fitted out, with the object of demonstrating the two main 
points, that consistently with the probable safety of Great Britain, 
the squadron could not have been dispatched either sooner or 
stronger. The general course of events from the beginning of 
1/55 was here recapitulated and the policy of the admiralty 
explained and defended, — the retention of a large fleet near home 
for fear of invasion ; the unlucky issue of Boscawen's expedition to 
America, his capture of only three ships ; the safe return of the 
French and the delayed return of Boscawen himself, leaving twelve 
ships at Halifax till May 1756, together with the deplorable state of 
his ships and of his men, of whom he had buried 2000, before his 
arrival^; the critical situation in the autumn of 1755 when so many 
British ships were abroad and the French had returned safely 
to port, while large bodies of French were gathered on their side 
of the Channel, and the English forces, which could take the field, 
though increased by all legal means, were not more than 13,000 foot 
and 4000 dragoons, exclusive of those in garrison and in training ; 
the great demands made upon the navy of which the number of 
ships then available amounted to no more than 84, the necessity 
of watching the movements of the French fleet at Brest and 
Rochefort and of defending the American colonies and British 
commerce ; the impossibility of allotting more than ten ships 
to Byng for the Mediterranean before the real objective of the 
French plans was disclosed ; and lastly the peculiar disadvantage 
of the present situation which left France free to engage her whole 
strength in the attack upon Great Britain ; whereas, in former 
wars, England had been supported by continental alliances which 

1 Below, pp. 353-4. 

2 Qf_ Lord Waldegrave's Memoirs, 56. 


kept France engaged, and maintained a large army in Flanders 
within call in case of an emergency'. A series of declarations for 
the Committee of the House of Commons in defence of the 
government and admiralty in Charles Yorke's handwriting, and 
with corrections and suggestions by his Father, form the general 
foundation of the actual resolutions which eventually passed the 
legislature^. Lord Hardwicke's two eldest sons aided the cause 
with their pens and their support in the House of Commons. 
Lord Royston defended Lord Anson, for whom he had a deep 
affection and respect, in the press^, and with Hume Campbell was 
a manager for his party in the enquiry in the Commons, in which 
capacity, as even Horace Walpole allows, he "acted with spirit and 
sensed" He moved the second resolution certifying the reception 
by the government of intelligence relating to the invasion and 
assembling of troops on the French coast", while Charles, now 
Solicitor-General, aided by his father's instructions, took also a 
leading part in the Commons in defence of the late government 
and seconded the thirteenth resolution, affirming the despatch on 
March 28 of the order to send a battalion of men from Gibraltar 
to Minorca'. 

During the debates on the enquiry, which had begun on 
April 19, Pitt had at last, urged on by his supporters, worked 
himself up to pronounce some invectives against the late ministers, 
and especially Lord Anson'. But on May 3, the resolutions of 
the Committee, which were reported and agreed to by the House 
of Commons, were decisively in their favour. After certifying the 
facts of the concurrent intelligence received by the government 
of the preparations on the French coast for an invasion, and of 
those for an attack upon Minorca, and of the naval resources and 
dispositions, they concluded as follows : " It doth appear that no 
greater number of ships of war could be sent into the Mediterranean 
than were sent on the 6th of April, 1756, nor any greater reinforce- 
ment than the regiment which was sent, and the detachment equal 
to a battalion which was ordered to the relief of Fort St Philip's, 

' PP- 355-7 and the statement, H. 547, ff. 123-350, with corrections by Charles 
Yorke, transcribed in Add. MSS. 31959. 

2 H. 547, fif. 72 sqq. ^ H. 258, «. 213, 250, and H. 28, f. r36. 

^ George II, iii. 7. » H. 547, ff. 92, ^6 ; Pari. Hist. xv. 822-7. 

" H. 547, ff. 376-388, where are rough notes of his speeches. 

' Glover's Memoirs, 137, and Lord Royston to Lord Hardwicke: "Mr Pitt's speech 
last night [May 2] was severe, and he extended his indulgence to the errors of ministers, 
not with the most gentle hand." H. 3, f. 370. 


consistently with the state of the navy and the various services 
essential to the safety of his Majesty's dominions and the interest 
of his subjects \" 

Many years afterwards the conduct of the government and of 
Lord Anson was publicly vindicated in a still more striking manner, 
and by no less a person than Lord Chatham. Speaking in the 
House of Lords on November 22, 1770, in a debate upon the 
seizure of the Falkland Islands by the Spanish, he said: "Consult 
the returns which were laid before Parliament in the year 1756. 
I was one of those who urged a parliamentary enquiry into the 
conduct of the ministry. That ministry, my Lords, in the midst of 
universal censure and reproach, had honour and virtue enough to 
promote the enquiry themselves. They scorned to evade it by the 
mean expedient of putting a previous question. Upon the strictest 
enquiry it appeared that the diligence they had used in sending 
a squadron to the Mediterranean and in other naval preparations 
was beyond example." Alluding to Lord Anson he declared, "the 
merits of that great man are not so universally known, nor his 
memory so warmly respected as he deserved. To his wisdom, to his 
experience and care, (and I speak it with pleasure), the nation owes 
the glorious naval successes of the last war. The state of facts 
laid before Parliament in the year 1756, so entirely convinced me 
of the injustice done to his character that, in spite of the popular 
clamours raised against him, in direct opposition to the complaints 
of the merchants and of the whole city... I replaced him at the 

1 Pari. Hist. xv. 827; below, p. 358; Walpole's George II, iii. 7-1 1; Letters, 
iv. 47, 50. The result was naturally extremely displeasing and disappointing to this 
writer, who declares the enquiry a farce and "a pantomime from which nothing was 
intended, expected or produced," and criticises severely, but apparently on no good 
foundation, the methods of preparing the evidence and conducting the examination. 
"The Tories are to affirm that the ministers were very negligent, the Whigs that they 
were wonderfully informed, discreet, provident and active, and Mr Pitt and his friends are 
to affect great zeal for justice, are to avoid provoking the Duke of Newcastle, and are to 
endeavour to extract from all the nothings they have not heard, something that is to lay 
all the guilt at Mr Fox's door." See also H. 547, f. 73, where Lord Hardwicke adds a 
note to the rough draft of the resolution in Charles Yorke's handwriting, expressing his 
entire concurrence with the statement, but doubting whether so much would be accepted 
by the House of Commons, and suggesting instead the words "that there were reasonable 
grounds to judge that the said squadron was the greatest force," etc. The disposition of 
the House, however, was to be awaited. Also H. 529, ff. 357-66, account of the debates 
in various hands, some in Lord Royston's. The new Attorney-General, Sir Robert 
Henley, having examined into the matter, " was ready to say that the late government 
had, all circumstances considered, done everything that a wise and prudent administration 
could have done." Pitt declared that he had never called the government a corrupt, but 
a weak one. If wise measures had been taken, Minorca would never have been lost. 
He desired the printing of the evidence. 


head of the Admiralty; and I thank God I had resolution enough 
to do so^" 

How little Lord Anson was in fact indebted to Pitt for his 
restoration to office will appear in the following chapters. Moreover, 
the objects of these encomiums had then been long in their graves, 
after having borne the unjust weight of popular reproach for many 
years, unaided by such eloquent testimonies to their merits ; and 
not only their reputation but that of the orator himself would have 
been enhanced by a more timely recognition of their good services, 
and by one not delayed till their conduct presented a convenient 
point and theme for attack and invective upon another adminis- 


[On October 9, 1756 (H. 246, f. 254), the Chancellor writes to 
David Mallet^ proposing some alterations in his pamphlet in 
defence of the government, and adds :] 

It may be proper to justify the leaving out the passages in 
Mr Byng's letter published in the Gazette. The first passage as 
immaterial and the fact now clearly contradicted by Mr Boyd's 
account of his going out of the harbour at that time''. 

The 2nd and 3rd as improper to be published to all the world. 

The 4th omitted out of tenderness to Mr Byng by reason of the 
absurdity of his affirming that the French sailed three feet to 
our one". 

As to the sth, the reinforcement was ordered before. 

1 Pari. Hist. xvi. 1099-iior. 

^ Cf. in this connection Pitt's belated encomium of Sir R. Walpole, which forms an 
exact parallel, above vol. i. 98, 189. 

^ David Mallet {c. 1705-1765), poet, dramatist and political writer, formerly under- 
secretary to the Prince of Wales. He published in 1757 Observations on the 11th Article 
of War, to which the correspondence no doubt refers. In the first part he endeavoured to 
clear up the confusion in the public mirid between neglect of duty and error of Judgment. 

^ I.e. of May 25, p. 291. The first passage omitted contained details of the failure to 
communicate with the besieged garrison ; while the existence of the difficulties enume- 
rated was contradicted by the evidence of Robert Boyd (1710-1794), the store-keeper at 
Port Mahon {see further, p. 355). Boyd made an unsuccessful attempt in an open boat 
to carry despatches to Byng on May 19. He was promoted colonel, was made 
Lieutenant-Governor of Gibraltar in 1768, and was second in command during the 
famous siege 1779-83, when he was made K.B. for his distinguished services; Governor 
1790, and died 1794. 

* This extraordinary statement, however, occurs also in an earlier paragraph of Byng's 
letter, which is included in the published extract. 

Y. II. 23 


As to leaving out the words cover Gibraltar, the contradiction 
and absurdity of supposing Gibraltar in any danger when he says 
he had gained the victory. 

Lord Chancellor to Lord Anson 
[H. 246, f. 254.] WiMPOLE, Od. 10, 1766^- 

My Dear Lord, 

I take the opportunity of the Marquis of Rockingham's 
doing me the honour of a visit, to return (by his servant) to 
Mr Cleveland^ the manuscript of Mr Mallet's pamphlet. I have 
read it quite through and upon the whole cannot find much fault 
with it, though, I must own, I am not much enamoured with it. 
But this entre nous, for authors of this kind must not be discouraged 
by too much criticism. However, I have ventured to put down 
in the enclosed sheet of paper some remarks and queries which 
I desire your Lordship will take the trouble to peruse and to 
consider whether you think any of them improper, especially 
in what relates to maritime affairs and dispositions. Whatever 
you shall disapprove in this paper of mine, I desire you will strike 
out and then deliver it to Mr Cleveland, with my request to him to 
copy it over fair, and forthwith send such copy to Mr Mallet, 
keeping my original. My reason (which I will tell your Lordship) 
for taking this method is that I am not fond of giving a handle to 
be named as a joint author with this gentleman ; but I have writ 
him a very civil letter wherein I have informed him that he will 
very soon receive such a paper from Mr Cleveland. I have also 
modestly suggested to him to add something further, by way 
of observation and argument, upon the points of conduct chiefly 
objected to, for in that part I suspect the performance to be 
chiefly deficient.... 

Ever yours, 


Duke of Newcastle to the Earl of Hardwicke 
[N. 184, f. 249.] Newcastle House, Dec. 5, 1756. 

My Dear Lord, 

My Lord Barrington is now with me and has acquainted 
me with a circumstance which is most material that your Lordship 
should know, and I think tends to clear up the point about the loss 

1 Printed in Sir J. Barrow's Life of Anson, 262. 
^ Secretary to the Admiralty. 


of Minorca and to justify all that was done here more than any- 
one which I have yet heard. General Blakeney assured my Lord 
Barrington ; first, that the communication was open and that they 
might have flung in succours at any time, even in day time whilst he 
was master of St Philip's ; secondly, that he surrendered the place 
because his garrison was worn out with continual duty; thirdly, 
that had our fleet been successful and the reinforcement been flung 
in, Marshal Richelieu and his army must have capitulated'.... 

Earl of Hardwicke to the Duke of Newcastle 
[N. 184, f. 253.] Powis House, Dec. 6, 1756. Monday night. 

My Dear Lord, 

I return your Grace my thanks for the information 
contained in the letter with which you honoured me yesterday. 
It is very material and I have communicated it to my Lord Anson, 
who will make the best use of it he can in his present private 
situation. I have gone a little further, and as Lord Barrington 
called upon me last nighty I desired his Lordship to give a hint to 
Sir John Ligonier that General Blakeney should be very particularly 
examined before the general officers upon those points, and that 
they should take care to have his examination very correctly taken 
down, and inserted in the report to be made by the general 
officers to the King ; that his Majesty should be advised to order 
a copy of that report to be transmitted to the Admiralty, and they 
be ordered to summon General Blakeney to attend as a witness 
upon Mr Byng's trial. This will be a regular method of pro- 

Earl of Hardwicke to Philip Carteret Webb 

[H. 247, f. i.] Moor Vamxl, Jan. 2, 1757. 

Dear Webb',... 

As I have this opportunity of Lord Royston's return to 
London, I will tell you the plan, whereon I wish you would set 

' See Blakeney's evidence at the court-martial; above, p. 270 ». 

2 William, second Viscount Barrington in the peerage of Ireland ; M.P. for Plymouth, 
Secretary at War. 

3 Philip Carteret Webb (1700-1770), solicitor, F.R.S. and F.S.A., M.P. for Hasle- 
mere, well-known as an authority on constitutional law and for his collection of MSS., 
had rendered valuable services to the government on the trials of the prisoners in 1745, 
and in defence of the Jew Bill of 1753 ; he was made Secretary of Bankrupts in the Court 
of Chancery by Lord Hardwicke, and in December 1756 joint solicitor to the Treasury. 
He was afterwards, in 1763, conspicuous on the side of the government in the prosecution 
of Wilkes, and in consequence was tried for perjury, and much persecuted. 



out, in as few words as I can. You have seen Mr Cleveland and 
Mr Stevens', and therefore must be possessed of the general idea 
of the affair and have many of the papers already in your hands. 
This enables you to see that they are a confused mass, consisting 
of various subjects mixed together and in want of being dis- 
tinguished and brought into order, without which none but adepts 
in admiralty affairs can extract any lights from them. 
The two main points to be proved are — 

1. That consistently with the probable safety of this country, 
a squadron could not have been sent sooner to the Mediterranean. 

2. That consistently with the probable safety of this country, 
that squadron could not have been made stronger when it 
was sent. 

In order to support these two points I would have the 
materials, which lie in these voluminous letters and papers, extracted 
upon this plan, — 

I. To reduce the intelligence concerning the French prepara- 
tions at Toulon and concerning their design against Minorca, to 
certain periods of time, either by weeks, fortnights or any other given 
periods, as shall appear most convenient. 

2ndly To reduce the intelligence concerning an invasion in- 
tended against Great Britain or Ireland, and the French prepara- 
tions towards it, to the same periods of time, and to set the one 
intelligence against the other. 

To shew the variations of the intelligence on this head. 

This part I think will be pretty easy, but the more difficult task 
will be what follows, — 

I. To shew the condition of our Fleet at those several periods 
of time. 

2ndly To shew the numbers of seamen and the state of the 
manning of the ships at the same periods. 

3rdly To state the several services, on which our ships were 
employed or destined to be employed at those periods, and the 
necessity or utility of those services. 

4thly To shew when the fitting out of Admiral Byng's squadron 
was set about, and why not set about sooner. 

And my notion is that both parts of this detail should be done 
by way of extracts from the several letters and papers, as near as 
possible, in haec verba. 

' No doubt Philip, afterwards Sir Philip Stephens(i725-i8o9), Lord Anson'ssecretary 
and later Secretary to the Admiralty. 


To these two points I would have a third general head added, 
viz ; — To shew that Admiral Byng's squadron, including the ships 
under Commodore Edgcumbe, which were always intended to 
make part of it, was rather superior to Monr de la Galissonni^re's, 
or any other French squadron with which he was likely to meet. 

This is my general idea, which I know you will improve, and it 
will be sufficient for you to work upon till I have an opportunity 
of conferring with you. 

Lord Anson desires me to return you his best compliments and 
thanks for being so good as to undertake this necessary trouble.... 
I am with great truth, dear Webb, 

your most faithful, humble servant, 


Earl of Hardwicke to Lord Anson 

[Add. 15956, f. 27.] [an. 26, 1757. 

[Richelieu's letter to Byng was evidently an extract of a longer 
letter and one that was solicited. Mr Webb had finished the 
papers according to the above plan.] I spent last night from 
9 o'clock till 12 with him in reading them over from beginning 
to end, and think they are extremely well done. They are un- 
avoidably pretty long but they shew the several intelligences and 
facts in a clear light, being divided methodically and applied to 
the different questions ; so that they appear to me to make a 
complete justification. I am convinced we are much better pre- 
pared for the defence than the other side are for the enquiry. [The 
papers must be finally read over to Lord Anson and settled.] 
After that it must be considered into whose hands copies of these 
papers should be put, for they ought not to be spread and divulged 
too early, because that would be shewing our hand at Whist. [He 
believes the opinions and accounts of Galissonniere and of the 
French general on comparison will be found not to quite agree.] 

[He writes again on January 29, 1757 (f 29), on the same 
subject] Do not be sparing in laying any commands upon me, 
for this is a common cause, tho' it would be sufficient for me, if it 
were only yours \ 

' Also ff. 31 and 34. 


Earl of Hardwicke to the Solicitor- General 
[H. 5, f. III.] Powis House, Feb. i^rd, [i7S7]- 

Dear Charles, 

An idea has struck my mind relating to the alteration 
talked of in the 12th art, which may not be unplausible in the 
House of Commons. One, if not the only alteration proposed, will 
be to restore the alternative — or such other punishment as a court 
martial shall think fit. 

My objection is that this was found, by experience, to be in 
effect vesting the court-martial with a power of pardoning; for 
they thought they satisfied the law, if they inflicted any punish- 
ment, and made it so slight, as almost to amount to none. The 
alteration made by the new act was to vest that power of pardoning 
in the Crown, where it ought to be. Not intending that every 
man, who came within the words of the new article, should actually 
suffer death ; but that every man who was found guilty of an 
offence, which might be of such vast importance to the whole 
nation, should know that they were liable to death, and that it was 
not in the power of half a dozen or half a score of their brother 
officers to excuse them from it ; but still leaving it in the power of 
the King, properly advised by his council, to execute justice in 
mercy, according to his coronation oath. 

If there is anything in this thought, you will improve it.... 

Yours affectionately, 

Solicitor- General to the Earl of Hardwicke 

[H. 5, f. 218. Endorsed in Lord Hardwicke's handwriting. ] 

Bloomsbury Square, May yd, 1757, 
in the morning, from Mr Solicitor ; 
Enquiry, last day in the Committee. 

My Lord, 

Mr Townsherid moved in the Committee a resolution 
as to the squadron under Commodore Edgcumbe and the garrison 
of Minorca and added negative words to it — that no greater force, 
etc. had been sent till 6 April, 1756. Mr Ellis moved an amend- 
ment, to leave out the latter part, and to insert — that it appears 
to the Committee that no greater number of ships of war than 
etc. nor of troops than etc. could be sent, consistently with the 
state of the navy and the various services, etc. The debate 
turned till after 8 o'clock on the form of proceeding, whether to 


separate the different parts of the question ; and whether it was 
necessary to call for the returns of the army, that they might lie 
upon the Table, as a foundation for the opinion of the Committee 
upon the military part. 

The Committee was so tired, that few spoke upon the main 
question when we came to it; Nugent, Lord Granby, Lord 
Barrington, Dodington on our side; G. Townshend, Martin, Mr 
Granville, and Mr Pitt on the other. We divided between 12 
and one o'clock on the words proposed to be left out of the 

Ayes 1 34 that those words should stand in the question. 
Noes 212. 
Then Mr Townshend moved, that it is the opinion of the Committee 
that the not sending, etc. was a principal cause of the loss of Mahon ; 
on which we divided immediately — Ayes 127, 

Noes 210. 
The Report will be received today. 

I am, etc. 

C. Yorker 

^ Another letter from Lord Royston on the enquiry, April 29, H. 4, f. 220. 



The trial of Byng and the result of the Parliamentary enquiry 
had supplied a complete defence of the disposition and employment 
of the national armaments made by the late government, and the 
next series of events was destined to provide a full justification of 
its foreign policy, at first attacked and censured, but now adopted 
and approved by the new minister. 

The accession of Pitt to office at first seemed an extraordinary 
personal triumph over all the forces and individuals that had 
hitherto opposed him. He had secured the supreme power, and 
overcome all rivals and all obstacles ; and supported only by a 
small following in Parlianient, by a larger one in the country and 
by Leicester House in the background, he had forced his way into 
office in the face of the determined hostility and opposition of the 
Sovereign. He had contemptuously, in the tones of a dictator, 
refused all collaboration with the Duke of Newcastle or with Fox\ 
declared it to be his intention to stand alone, assumed an attitude of 
" splendid isolation," and. turned a deaf ear to Lord Hardwicke's 
prudent counsels of moderation, conciliation and compromise. 
" Mr Pitt is arrogant," wrote the disappointed Fox, " and I think 
dishonest, if not mad, to take the whole upon him I" 

Pitt's victory, indeed, was soon seen to be scarcely more than 
nominal, and his power to rest on no substantial foundation ; and 
he had early reason to regret his rejection of Lord Hardwicke's 
advice and proposals. The internal weakness and disunion of the 
new government were disclosed at its first setting out, when a clause, 
admitted into the reply of the Lords to the King's speech by the 
Duke of Devonshire, expressing thanks to the King for the Hano- 
verian troops, was violently attacked by Lord Temple, a leading 

' Lord Shelburne's Life, i. 172. 

^ Hist. MSS. Comm., Stopford-Sackville, i. 51. 


member of the Cabinets Indeed, the composition of the new 
ministry including, with Pitt's followers, Lord Holderness and 
Lord Barrington, and other adherents of the old administration", 
and with the Duke of Devonshire at its head, the intimate friend 
of Fox, offered little prospect of stability, while the Duke of New- 
castle's party gained strength by its temporary exclusion from 
office. Writing on December 6, 1756, to Col. Joseph Yorke at the 
Hague, the Duke tells him that he finds he has lost very few 
friends by his resignation of office, and that he has been well 
defended in the House of Commons'. "The Duke of Newcastle," 
wrote Lord Lyttelton, "has been more visited and had greater 
professions of attachment made to him than when at the head of 
the Treasury^" "His antechamber," wrote Lord Barrington, "is 
every day fuller than ever; the foreign ministers come regularly 
on a Wednesday as usual. I see no alteration at Newcastle House 
except that its master is more cheerful"." 

Pitt soon found it necessary to quit his attitude of arrogant 
independence, and to seek the support or neutrality of those whose 
collaboration a few weeks before he had scornfully declined. Their 
policy and plans, which had been so vehemently assailed in oppo- 
sition, were now in office, without any scruple or hesitation, approved 
and appropriated. " They only desired to create as much confusion 
as might be necessary to bring themselves into power," writes Lord 
Waldegrave of Pitt and his party, not without some justification, 
"which being obtained, they were ready to talk a different language, 
to say that the object was changed, and to pursue the same political 
system which had ruined the former administration"." Byng, 
formerly the victim and scapegoat of official guilt and negligence, 
was not preserved from his fate. The late ministers were not called 
to account for the loss of Minorca. The matter was not brought 
up for examination during Pitt's tenure of power, and it was left to 
Fox, one of their number, to move subsequently for the enquiry 
in their own justification'. Writing on January 20, I7S7> to the 

■' P- 375- Grenville Papers, i. li^, 184; Glover's Memoirs, 102; Waldegrave's 
Memoirs, 89. 

" For Lord Holderness's explanation of his situation, see Add. MSS. 6832. 

3 N. 184, f. 260. 

* Phillimore, Memoirs of Lord Lyttelton, 535; Walpole, George II, ii. 275, 284; 
Letters, iv. 12; Bedford Corresp. ii. 207; Glover's Mem. loi. 

^ Add. 6834, f. 8. " Memoirs, 62. 

^ See pp. 349, 376, 383 ; the formal demand for papers by George Townshend on 
February 8, 1757, led to nothing. Walpole's George II, ii. 305, 379-380. 


Duke of Bedford, Richard Rigby, one of the Fox faction, reports 
that the motion for the enquiry had been laid aside, that " the 
language of the Tories is to drop all thoughts of it lest it should 
hamper their new friends, the new administration, in difficulties 
that might force them to quit. This is being steady to them 
indeed, but what is to become of their addresses and instructions, 
and, above all, their popularity, under this acquiescence, I cannot 
guess \" " Some papers have been moved for," wrote Walpole on 
February 13, "but so coldly, that it is plain George Townshend 
and the Tories are unwilling to push researches that must neces- 
sarily re-unite Newcastle and Fox'." The King's Speech, composed 
now for the first time for a generation, not by Lord Hardwicke, 
but by Pitt himself, contained a clause recommending a " national 
militia planned and regulated with equal regard to the just rights 
of my Crown and people," as " one good resource in case of general 
danger"; and announced the return home of the foreign troops, the 
King " relying with pleasure on the spirit and zeal of my people in 
defence of my person and realm'." The militia, however, of which 
so much had been heard, was quietly neglected by Pitt, and the 
Act for its establishment was not passed till after his removal from 
office^ "The measures, as declared and explained by Mr Pitt," 
wrote Lord Barrington, " differ in nothing from those of the last 
administration. Every effort in America, consistent with our safety 
at home, every effort at sea, and whatever this country can do 
besides, given to the support of our allies on the continent. I am 
told the Admiralty change nothing in what they find to have been 
Lord Anson's plan^" " There is certainly enough of Germany in 
it (the Speech)," writes Lord Lyttelton, " and it by no means agrees 
with the public declarations made by Lord Temple oi no foreign sub- 
sidies, much less with the language talked the last year'." "I don't 
like Pitt," the King had said to the Duke of Newcastle in October 
1756: "he won't do my German business'." Lord Hardwicke had 

' Bedford Corresp. ii. 223 ; Glover's Memoirs, 107. 

^ Letters, iv. 35 ; George II, ii. 305. 

3 The speech received Lord liardwicke's compliments; according to Walpole, Pitt 
had at first composed a long oration which the King refused even to read, and sent back 
to Pitt to shorten. A spurious speech, wrhich the King declared that he liked better than 
his own, was published, for which the printers were punished by the Lords. George II, 
ii. 276; Waldegrave's Memoirs, 89. 

^ Ruville's /"iV^ (1907), ii. 96; Glover's ^««. 113, 124. 

» Add. 6834, f. 8. 

* Phillimore's Memoirs of Lord Lyttelton, 543. 

' p. 321. See also Walpole's George II, ii. 254. 


understood Pitt's disposition and views much better. So had also 
Lord Waldegrave, who represented Pitt's character to the King, 
with considerable truth, though with excessive hostility and severity. 
"I was not ignorant that Pitt could be guilty of the worst of actions 
whenever his ambition, his pride or his resentment were to be 
gratified, but that he could also be sensible of good treatment ; 
was bold and resolute, above doing things by halves; and if he 
once engaged would go farther than any man in this country. 
Nor would his former violence against Hanover be any kind of 
obstacle, as he had given frequent proofs that he could change sides, 
whenever he found it necessary, and could deny his own words 
with an unembarrassed countenanced" The King's Hanoverian 
partialities, accordingly, were no longer held up to ridicule or 
abuse, but calmly acquiesced in. The denunciations of Hanover 
were no longer heard, and the project of leaving the Electorate to 
its fate quietly abandoned. The curses pronounced upon the 
continental policy of the late Government were suddenly changed 
to blessings. The German measures of last year, declared by Pitt 
to be a millstone about the neck of ministers, turned out after all, 
in Fox's sarcastic phrase, to be " an ornament." The alliance with 
the King of Prussia, formerly one that Pitt would not have signed, 
for all the offices of the Cabinet together^ was now openly sup- 
ported and approved. The great person called to power by the 
mighty voice of an indignant nation to redress the mistakes of 
the late administration, to free the country from the influence 
of Hanover, the entanglement of continental politics and the 
burden of continental subsidies, signalised his first appearance in 
the capacity of responsible minister in the House of Commons 
on February 17, 1757, by laying before the House a demand for 
;£^200,000 for the defence of Hanover, and to enable the King to 
fulfil his engagements with the King of Prussia ; and the money 
was voted without a single sign of opposition ^ Subsequently, Pitt 
received the thanks of Frederick, who rejoiced at the unexpected 
support of the new minister ; and Pitt replied by expressing his 
"most grateful sentiments and veneration and zeal for a Prince 
who stands the unshaken bulwark of Europe^" According to 

1 Mem. 131. " Above, pp. 275, 291. 

^ P- 385- Pari. Hist. xv. 782 ; Glover's Mem. 113; Ruville's Life of Pitt (1907), ii. 
89; Walpole's George IT, ii. 264, 313; R. Phillimore's Memoirs of Lyttelton, 543, who 
writes " [Pitt] spoke like a minister and unsaid almost all he had said in opposition." 

■* Chatham Corresp. i. 224-7. 


Wiedmarckter, the Saxon ambassador in London, moreover, Pitt 
gave assurances to King George of considerable supplies for 
Germany, in addition to the present sum, which was represented 
as only a first step, taken prudently, in order not to alarm 

Pitt's personal demeanour also towards the King underwent a 
complete transformation as surprising as the change in his political 
attitude ; and he who had formerly startled the world by cruel and 
insulting personal reflections upon the Sovereign, now surprised all 
by his perfect decorum* as a courtier, surpassing all in the obse- 
quiousness of his manner, and at the Lev6e, as was afterwards 
said of him, bowing so low " You could see the tip of his hooked 
nose between his legs^" 

No doubt the desire of maintaining his power was one motive 
in Pitt's conversion to the Newcastle policy and to the King's 
wishes, just as the desire to secure that power had been a motive 
in his former opposition. But the chief cause of his extraordinary 
change of attitude, and of his fortunate inconsistency, was certainly 
the conviction of the necessity and wisdom of the policy itself, 
and of the impossibility, in a general war with France, of ex- 
cluding Hanover and the Continent entirely from the sphere of 

All these surrenders, compromises and accommodations, how- 
ever, could not support him long in power. The known weakness 
of his position, supported only by a handful of friends and a small 
body of the Tories, together with the strength of his opponents, ex- 
posed him to attacks, which in other circumstances would not have 
been attempted, and kept active the King's dislike by the hopes of 
soon supplanting him. " If the Duke of Newcastle," writes Lord 
Lyttelton, " would have joined Fox, Pitt and Company might have 
been safely turned out before Christmas, or any day throughout the 
session ; for the majority was plainly against them, and they carried 
questions only by the Duke of Newcastle's assistance ^ Pitt's 
oratorical harangues were ill received by the King, who, a man 
of plain intelligence and insensible to the ornaments of eloquence, 
liked to dispatch business quickly and without formality ; while to 
Lord Temple the King had an invincible antipathy. He declared 
him to be "so disagreeable a fellow there was no bearing him," 

' Ruville's Pitt, ii. 93 k. (i); also N. 185, f. 23. 
^ Lecky's Hist, of the [8M Century, ii. 484. 
' Phillimore, Memoirs of Lyttelton, 597. 


" pert," " insolent," and " troublesome," and " in the business of his 
office totally ignorant^" Lord Temple had opposed with great 
acrimony, at the very outset of the career of the new ministry, the 
thanks of the'Lords to the King for the Hanoverian troops. In 
the Byng affair, he had used some insolent expressions to the 
King, in imitation of Pitt's opposition manner, which Walpole 
declares to have been — though it is impossible to credit the 
story — an invidious comparison between the King's own conduct 
at Oudenarde and that of the disgraced admiral. A more credible 
version is given by Richard Rigby, according to whom it would 
appear that an attempt was made to bully and intimidate the old 
King. He reports that on the King's determined refusal of the 
pardon. Lord Temple "walked up to his nose and sans autre 
cerimonie said, 'What shall you think if he dies courageously?' 
His Majesty stifled his anger and made him no reply. I think 
I have never heard of such insolence"." " Lord Temple's behaviour 
to the King in his closet," wrote Lord Lyttelton, " gave so much 
offence that His Majesty declared he had never been so treated by 
any servant or subject since his accession, and that he would rather 
give his crown to my Lord than live with him another months" 
He sent Lord Waldegrave to the Duke of Newcastle to encourage 
him to come once more to his aid and form another administration, 
and to tell him that he " did not look upon himself as King whilst 
he was in the hands of these scoundrels." Once more, prompted 
by Fox, the baneful influence of the Duke of Cumberland, who had 
already obstructed Pitt's military measures, as he had those of the 
old ministers'*, was employed in excluding Pitt from office. Chosen 
to command the German troops, which had been taken into British 
pay for the defence of Hanover, he refused to take up his command, 
unless Pitt were removed : and the King, glad of an excuse, dis- 
missed Pitt on April 6, Lord Temple and his friends accompanying 
him into retirement, while the Duke of Devonshire remained the 
head of a nominal administration, in which the chief offices were 
vacant °. 

Such a situation, in the midst of a great war, at the moment 
when the French armies were actually preparing to invade Germany 
and Hanover, was one of extreme national peril. The King's 

^ Waldegrave's Memoirs, 95. 

" Bedford Corres. ii. 238. ' Phillimore, Mem. of Lyttelton, 596. 

* PP- 380, 387, 39°- 

^ Walpole, George If, ii. 376, iii. i sqq. ; Letters, iv. 43; Waldegrave's Mem. 
90-107; Dodington's Diary, 348; below, p. 394; Stowe MSS. 363, ff. 4 sqq. 


inclination, as usual, backed by the Duke of Cumberland, turned 
once more towards Fox, who, soon after Pitt's admission to office, 
had assured the King of his readiness to support his affairs^ Lord 
Hardwicke, on the contrary, notwithstanding obvibus difficulties 
and the failure of former attempts, was still strongly in favour 
of the junction with Pitt, with whom he had maintained good 
relations, and to whom he had given assurances of support. 
He was convinced, as he had been for twelve years, that a union 
of the forces of Pitt and of the Duke of Newcastle was the only 
plan of administration which could offer stability, uphold the 
national interests, carry on a great war and produce peace in the 
Royal Family, as well as gain the support of Leicester House and 
of the future King for the Government. He was now zealously 
supported in his views by the veteran Lord Chesterfield, who acted 
as a mediator between the Duke of Newcastle and the Princess 
of Wales, and represented strongly the impossibility of forming 
any administration of strength and permanence without Pitt and 
Leicester House. By Lord Hardwicke's influence a junction 
between the Duke of Newcastle and Fox was prevented ; and the 
Duke was kept firm in his resolution, in spite of the King's moving 
entreaties and angry complaints, to decline an union with that 

The prospects of securing Pitt, though not encouraging, were, 
however, not quite so unfavourable as formerly. Pitt had now, by 
experience, discovered his power not to be so overwhelming as 
he had supposed. He had found himself unable to stand alone. 
Though his strange and summary dismissal by the King had 
aroused a storm of indignation in the country, and increased his 
popularity, his credit and influence among his own party in Parlia- 
ment had been somewhat weakened by the incidents of his tenure 
of office, while that of the Duke of Newcastle had been restored 
and increased : and it might be expected that the support of the 
latter would now be regarded with more consideration than formerly, 
and valued higher. At the beginning of April, Legge, one of Pitt's 
staunchest followers, had confessed to Lord Anson that "a great 

1 pp. 380. 384. 387- 

^ pp. 387-8; Phillimore, Memoirs of Lyttelton, 597; Walpole's George II, ii. 377, 
who writes: "Lord Mansfield had early gone to Claremont and endeavoured to fix him 
to Fox: but as that Lord himself told the latter, Newcastle was governed by Lord 
Hardwicke, even by a letter." "The Duke of Newcastle. ..would join with Fox; but 
the Chancellor, who hates him and is alarmed at his unpopularity and at the power of 
Pitt with the people, holds back...." Letters, iv. 51. 


mistake had been committed in the winter by his party in not 
joining the Duke of Newcastle"; had given as its cause, "the 
visionary notions of Mr Pitt^," and had at the same time sought 
and obtained an interview with the Duke of Newcastle. 

About the second week of May, according to Walpole, a meet- 
ing took place between Lord Hardwicke and Pitt ; but Pitt refused 
to come in except on the condition of the cession of the whole 
power of the administration and the admittance into office of all his 
adherents. Further meetings, on May 24 and May 25, at the latter 
of which the Duke of Newcastle was also present, were equally 
fruitless on account of Pitt's exacting demands^, and Lord Hard- 
wicke in despair withdrew from the negotiations^ 

Various conferences and meetings followed between the claim- 
ants for power and chiefs of the contending factions, in which Lord 
Hardwicke took no part and which ended without result. The 
Duke of Newcastle, by the beginning of June, showed signs of 
yielding to the Royal persuasions, and of undertaking once more 
the government to fill the void, leaving the various offices to be 
assigned later. The King had said to him, " Well, my Lord, you 
must come in, we cannot do without you*." From this project, 
however, he was dissuaded by Lord Hardwicke, as settling nothing 
and as constituting a "purgatory," in which the Duke would expose 
himself to innumerable disadvantages. The Duke's resolution not 
to take office under these conditions was further strengthened by 
interviews with Bute and Pitt, which took place with the King's 
knowledge on the 4th and 6th of June. " I wish you may find 
them more reasonable than I expect it," wrote the King. " But 
I very much doubt by what I know of them that you will meet any 
reason with these impracticable people. If Pitt will come in with 
a great number of followers, it is impossible you can direct the 
administration, and I know that by inclination he will distress my 
affairs abroad which are so enough already V The Duke remained 
firm, and finally, on June 7, refused to form any administration 

' Cf. Lord Granville : ' ' Pitt used to call me madman, but I never was half so mad as 
he is." Walpole, George II, ii. 284. 

^ "Lord Hardwicke proposed to waive this point [the expenditure of money abroad] ad 
referendum, knowing how easily they should settle the nation's concerns, if they could 
agree upon their own." Walpole, George II, iii. 11; Letters, iv. 54, 57; N. 186, 
ff. i28s.qq. ; H. 12, f. 262. 

^ " Lord Hardwicke notwithstanding his predilection for Pitt, owned that Fox was 
the more practicable," and considered Pitt "out of the case." Walpole, George II, 
iii. 15. ■* H. 12, i. 264; pp. 396 sqq. 

' H. 68, ff. 228-230, and see also f. 232 ; p. 398. 


without Pitt. The King expressed great indignation at his con- 
duct, the motives of which appeared to him only ingratitude and 
ambition. " I shall see which is the King of this Country,' he 
declared, "the Duke of Newcastle or myself"; and the Royal 
displeasure was cleverly manipulated by Fox. " If the Duke of 
Newcastle," he said piously, " would join Pitt and Leicester House 
to make the King prisoner, the King knew the Duke of Newcastle 
could do it, but his Majesty would not believe it of him^" 

The King in his wrath and despair turned now to Fox to form 
a Government with Lprd Waldegrave as the nominal head of the 
Treasury. The nominations to the oiifices, which included those 
of the Duke of Bedford and of the still adventurous Lord Granville, 
were made on June 8. But the new Cabinet had no chance what- 
ever of maintaining its existence in face of the powerful parties 
arrayed against it, and it collapsed before it had made a single 
appearance in public. On June 12 Fox, who now appeared to 
have at length realised his most ambitious expectations, together 
with the other ministers, assembled at Kensington to receive the 
seals of office. Meanwhile, however, grave doubts as to the 
prudence and practicability of the new venture had developed in 
the mind of the King, and the entrance of Lord Mansfield into the 
Closet to surrender the seals of the Exchequer, temporarily placed 
in his keeping as Lord Chief Justice, gave occasion for further 
debate and deliberation. The King asked his opinion, and received 
the answer that the proposed plan was both impracticable and 
perilous, and calculated only to throw public affairs into greater 
confusion. The King now confirmed in his dissatisfaction, resolved 
immediately to put an end to the whole scheme, and ordered Lord 
Mansfield to apply at once to Lord Hardwicke and the Duke of 
Newcastle. Lord Mansfield, accordingly, departed with the seals 
still in his possession, while the new ministers, who had all been 
waiting in the King's antechamber for formal admittance into their 
respective offices, returned home amazed and indignant". Thus 
" his Majesty and the country were deprived," if we may believe ■ 
Fox, " of as able, as honest, and as firm a ministry as this nation 
and these times could furnish'." 

Lord Hardwicke was now desired by the King, in consideration 
of the state of affairs, both at home and abroad, to hasten the 
settlement of some administration that might not be changed again 

» p. 388. = pp. 398-400. 

' Bedford Corresp. ii. 246. 


in five months. On June 15 he had an interview with the Sovereign, 
" a very long and painful audienceV' the details of which he has 
never disclosed, but in which no doubt he tried to calm the King's 
feelings, and at the same time to put the situation clearly and firmly 
before him, and to impress upon him the absolute necessity of 
yielding to the force of circumstances. In the end he left the Closet 
with full power for settling an administration, and for bringing in 
Pitt and his party. 

The difficulties of the undertaking were obvious. Claims, 
ambitions, hopes, must be satisfied, and fears, jealousies and 
animosities composed. The old King's inclinations must be with- 
stood and overruled, yet with all possible consideration and regard 
for his feelings, the Duke of Newcastle's power and political 
influence secured against the encroachments of an ambitious and 
intriguing rival, Pitt's demands satisfied and his abilities given in 
the new administration a fair and proper field of activity. Fox, the 
favourite of the King and the Duke of Cumberland, provided for, 
while the approval of Lord Bute, the rising star at Leicester House, 
must be gained. Lastly, it was a point of honour with Lord Hard- 
wicke, that the great seaman who had been the unjust object of 
popular censure and abuse, and of the attacks of Pitt and his friends, 
should be reinstated in office with full honours. 

Above the reach of jealousy, untouched by the animosities of 
faction, inspiring universal confidence. Lord Hardwicke was the 
only man in England who could have accommodated the jarring 
interests and ambitions then prevailing, and welded them to- 
gether for employment in the public service. By the exercise 
of great tact, patience and good humour, a clear conception 
of the wishes and aims of the different parties, together with 
an unrivalled influence and authority, all the more powerful now 
because obviously honest and disinterested, he succeeded in his 
difficult task, and at length effected that union of persons and 
factions which, partly from the King's dislike and the Duke of 
Newcastle's jealousy, but chiefly owing to Pitt's own impracticable 
temper, mistaken conduct and false tactics, had so often miscarried 
before, to the injury of the interests of the country. 

On quitting the Closet on June 15, Lord Hardwicke had 
promised to wait upon the King on June 17 with some plans, 
but he had afterwards desired a day longer, and by June 18, only 

^ See also the King's expression (below, p. 401), "When Lord Hardwicke was with 
me to-day, I was so heated and in such a passion...." 

Y. II. 24 


three days after he had received the King's commands, he had 
triumphed over all difficulties and, with the exception of his own 
successor, gave in on that day a list of new ministers, which, 
though by no means in entire accordance with the royal wishes, 
was immediately accepted. Pitt became Secretary of State for 
the Southern Department, with Lord Holderness as his colleague 
in the Northern Department, who now entirely -transferred his 
allegiance from the Duke of Newcastle to the former. Legge, 
another adherent, returned to his office of Chancellor of the 
Exchequer. George , Grenville, Pitt's brother-in-law, was made 
Treasurer to the Navy, and James Grenville obtained a post in 
the Treasury. On the other hand, the Duke of Newcastle resumed 
his place as head of the Treasury and of the administration, and 
Lord Anson, and not Lord Temple, Pitt's candidate, who was 
appointed Lord Privy Seal, became once more First Lord of the 
Admiralty. His restoration was effected through Lord Hardwicke's 
influence, who, with the King's zealous support, had made this 
a cardinal point in the negotiations'. "The most surprising 
phenomenon," wrote Lord Waldegrave, " was Lord Anson return- 
ing to his old employment in spite of his unpopularity, and of all 
the abuse which had been raised against him by the very men 
who were now to be his associates^." Lord Halifax returned to 
the Board of Trade and the Colonies, Lord Granville remained 
President of the Council, and Lord Harrington, Secretary at War ; 
while the Duke of Devonshire was appointed Lord Chamberlain, 
the Duke of Bedford Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Fox, to con- 
tent the King's and the Duke of Cumberland's partiality, obtained 
the Pay-mastership of the Navy, an exceedingly lucrative post, 
of which he made a good use, and which, together with the reversion 
of the office of the Pells in Ireland of ;^i8oo a year, for the lives