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Title: Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Second, Volume 3 (of 3)

Author: Horace Walpole

Editor: Baron Henry Richard Vassall Holland

Release date: January 16, 2019 [eBook #58705]
Most recently updated: January 24, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by MWS, John Campbell and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



This is Volume 3 of 3. The first volume can be found in Project Gutenberg at: .
The second volume can be found in Project Gutenberg at: .

The List of Illustrations has been copied from Volume I. This list describes six illustrations, two in each volume.

Footnote anchors are denoted by [number], and the footnotes have been placed at the end of each chapter.

When reading this book on the web, the two Indexes have active links back to pages in all three volumes. When reading on a handheld device only the internal links within this volume (vol. iii) are active.

Some minor changes to the text are noted at the end of the book.





London: Henry Colburn 1846.











Second Edition, Revised.




[Pg v]


1757.Dismissal and Resignation of Ministers1
Efforts to form a new Administration2
Parliamentary Inquiries into the Loss of Minorca4
Mr. Pitt’s Power and Popularity5
Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Foxib.
The Inquiries into the Loss of Minorca7
No Ministry formed11
The Militia Bill passesib.
Great success of the King of Prussia12
Various Plans for forming an Administration14
Vote of a Million16
Bill regulating payment of Seamen’s Wages19
Duke of Newcastle’s irresolution21
Rupture of Negotiation between Pitt and Newcastle22
Duke of Newcastle’s Projects and Difficultiesib.
1757.Prince of Wales interferes to facilitate arrangements25
Lord Waldegrave appointed First Lord of the Treasury26
Resignation of the Duke of Newcastle’s friends27
Author’s advice to Fox28
[vi] Lord Waldegrave’s projected Ministry abandoned—The King’s reluctant acquiescence30
The new Ministry settled31
Charge on the Public32
Lord Waldegrave has the Garter34
King of Prussia defeated by Daun36
Battle of Hastenbeckeib.
King overwhelmed with the misfortunes of Hanover37
Leicester House38
Disturbances on the Militia Bill40
Expedition to Rochfort44
Officers employed on Expedition to Rochfort45
1757.Isle of Aix50
Council of War51
Conway proposes an Attack on Fouras53
Attack on Fouras fails56
Affairs in the East Indies57
Victory of the Prussians over the Russiansib.
Convention of Closter Seven58
The King disavows the Convention of Closter Seven59
The Duke’s return60
Duke’s reception at Court, and conduct thereupon61
The Duke resigns64
Affairs of Ireland65
State of Parties in Ireland68
Inquiry into Miscarriages at Rochfort75
Lord Mansfield of Cabinet79
Victories of the King of Prussia80
Sir John Ligonier made Viscount and Marshal81
Death of Princess Caroline82
1758.Mr. Pitt84
Five great men85
Lord Granvilleib.
Sir Robert Walpole86
Lord Mansfieldib.
Duke of Cumberlandib.
Mr. Pittib.
Five great men compared87
Speech of Mr. Pitt88
King of Prussia takes Breslau90
General Clive’s Victoryib.
Military Appointments91
Affairs of Irelandib.
Picture of some of the Manners of the Age97
King’s Munificence100
Affair of the Habeas Corpus101
Mr. Pratt brings in a Bill103
Anecdotes on the Navy Bill106
1758.Death of Archbishop Hutton107
Affair of Lord Tyrawley108
New Treaty with Prussia110
Sequel of the Habeas Corpus112
Habeas Corpus Bill in Lords116
Judges’ Opinions on Habeas Corpus Bill118
Habeas Corpus Bill dropped121
Leicester Houseib.
Operations of the King of Prussia122
Expedition to St. Maloes124
[viii] Passage of the Rhine by Prince Ferdinand, and his Victory at Crevelt127
Defeats of Prince Ysenberg and M. Chevert128
1758.History of Dr. Hensey130
Election of a Pope131
Rezzonico elected Pope133
Taking of Cherbourgib.
Cape Breton takenib.
Other Events in America134
Affair at St. Cas135
Battle of Custrin, and relief of Dresden138
Disputes with Holland139
Assassination of the King of Portugal141
The English Army in Germany147
Defeat at Hochkirchen148
Sieges of Neiss, Cosel, and Dresden raised149
Parliament meetsib.
Addresses of Thanks150
Army voted151
Affair of Dr. Shebbear152
Pitt’s behaviour to Conway154
Pitt’s conduct in Ministry156
Lord Arran157
Disgrace of the Cardinal de Bernis158
Author’s own Character159
1759.Author’s motives for continuing the Work164
A memorable era165
Election of Chancellor of Oxford166
[ix] Exchange of Prisoners167
Death of Princess of Orange168
Capture of Goree169
Expeditions to West Indiesib.
Mr. Pitt’s Character and Ministry172
Estimates of the year176
Duty upon Dry Goods177
Mr. Pitt’s speech on Taxes178
Mr. Pitt’s sensibility to censure179
Mr. Pitt’s complaisance to Lord Hardwickeib.
Jealousies in Ministry181
Message on Militia184
Threats of Invasion from France185
Havre de Grace bombarded186
1759.Campaign in Germany188
Battle of Minden190
Reports of Battle of Minden191
Lord Granby and Lord G. Sackville192
Reflections on Lord G. Sackville193
Lord G. Sackville returns to England198
Correspondence of French General199
King of Prussia’s Campaign200
Battle of Cunnersdorf201
Prussians defeated203
King of Prussia saves Berlin and retrieves his Affairs204
Spain and Naplesib.
Charles III. of Spain sets aside his eldest son206
Reasons for setting aside Duke of Calabria examine207
King of Spain208
Death of Lady Elizabeth211
Boscawen defeats the French Fleeib.
Conquests in Americaib.
Lord G. Sackville212
1759.Marshal D’Estrées216
French worsted in East Indies217
Wolfe’s Embarrassmentsib.
Conquest of Quebec, and death of Wolfe219
Perfidy and cruelty of French Government223
Bankruptcy of Franceib.
Thurot sails224
Mr. Pitt’s speech225
Lord Temple resigns the Privy Seal228
Lord Temple resumes the Privy Sealib.
Monument to Wolfe, and Thanks to Officers229
Admiral Saunders230
Hawke attacks and destroys Conflans’ Fleet231
Debates on Extraordinary Commissions233
Army Estimate234
Proposals for Peace ineffectual236
Heir-Apparent’s Court237
Victorious Officers rewardedib.
Warburton made Bishop239
Tumults in Dublin241
Irish Parliament245
1760.War in Germany247
Prince Ferdinand’s detachment to King of Prussia248
Value of contemporary Memoir249
Lord Bath’s Letter250
Macklyn’s Love à la Mode250
Lord G. Sackville demands a Court-Martial251
Earl Ferrers murders his Steward258
Smollett punished for a Libel259
[xi] Thurot’s Expedition to Ireland262
Thurot’s death265
Debate on Trial of Member of House of Commonsib.
Court-Martial on Lord G. Sackville266
Sentence of Court-Martial273
Trial of Earl Ferrers274
Execution of Earl Ferrers278
Qualification Bill279
Militia Bills280
1760.General Murray beaten at Quebec284
French retreat from Quebecib.
General Amherst takes Montreal288
Successes in East Indies289
Campaign in Germany290
Prussians defeated, and General Fouquet taken291
King of Prussia before Dresden292
Is obliged to raise the siegeib.
King of Prussia defeats Laudohn294
Daun compelled to raise the Siege of Schweidnitz, and retreats295
Allies take Berlinib.
Abandon it296
King of Prussia beats Daun at Torgau297
Campaign in Germanyib.
Duke of Cumberland300
Earl of Clanrickardib.
George the Second dies302
His Character, and Will303
Anecdote of George the First’s Will308

Index of Names319
Index of Matters342


George II.Frontispiece.
Mr. Pelhamp. 378
Mr. FoxFrontispiece.
Duke of Bedford270
Mr. PittFrontispiece.
Duke of Newcastle182

[Pg 1]





Dismissal and Resignation of Ministers—Parliamentary Inquiries into the loss of Minorca—Mr. Pitt’s Power and Popularity—Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Fox—Mr. Pitt’s conduct on the Inquiries—Passing of the Militia Bill—Great success of the King of Prussia—Various Plans for an Administration—Vote for a Million—Bill for regulating the payment of the Wages of Seamen—Duke of Newcastle’s irresolution—Rupture of the negotiation between him and Pitt—His Projects and Difficulties.

April 5th.—Lord Holderness went to Lord Temple to notify to him his dismission. Legge prevailed on Pitt and the rest not to resign, but to be turned out. The Duke of Devonshire had offered Legge to remain; but though he was never tardy at abandoning his friends for a richer prospect, nobody was more steady when it would hurt him to[2] desert. The next night, Mr. Pitt was discarded: and then George Grenville and the others resigned. Charles Townshend alone took time to consider: the income of his place was large, and he did not love Pitt. After an uncertainty of near three weeks, he resigned; but by a letter to the Duke of Devonshire avoided as much as possible to have it thought that he quitted from attachment to Pitt. Resigning with him, and not for him, Townshend thought entitled him to be restored with Pitt, yet would not subject him to the King’s displeasure.

All men were curious to see the new Administration. None was formed. Lord Egremont had consented to accept the Seals of Secretary of State, but soon desired to be excused. He had miscarried with Lord Granville, had not succeeded better by assiduous court to Newcastle, and now attaching himself to Fox, had his hopes soon blasted with this blossom of an Administration. Doddington, who had gone in and out too often to lose any reputation by one more promotion or disgrace, was ready to take anything. Sir George Lee, who could not give up the hopes of being Prime Minister, though never thought of but when he could not be so, prepared to accept the Chancellorship of the Exchequer; and Lord Winchelsea, uniform in detesting the Grenvilles, immediately entered upon his old office, the Admiralty, with a motley board, composed of Boscawen, (one of the last set,) Rowley, (of the[3] foregoing,) Moyston, his own nephew, Lord Carysfort, and young Sandys. Elliot was offered to remain, but refused; and W. Gerard Hamilton was designed for the seventh.

Yet an Admiralty did not make an Administration. No man of abilities or reputation would enlist—even Sir Thomas Robinson refused to take the Seals again. Yet the Duke embarked with satisfaction, telling Mr. Conway, the King could not be in a worse situation than he had been—“Yes, Sir,” said Conway, “but he will, if Mr. Pitt gets the better.” And Fox, to gratify at least some of his views in this revolution, procured a grant for himself and his two sons of the reversion of Doddington’s place of Clerk of the Pells in Ireland. The King had forbidden the Duke, who negotiated this business, to mention the Peerage for Lady Caroline, which he would never grant; but he would give him Doddington’s place for his child—“Say children, Sir,” replied the Duke. “With all my heart,” said the King; “it is the same thing to me.” He cared not how many reversions he granted from his successor. Still it was impossible for Fox himself to accept any ministerial post till the inquiries were at an end; the whole tempest would have been directed at his head.

Indeed many had such intentions: at a meeting of Pitt’s friends and the Tories, it was agreed to push the scrutiny into the military part with great[4] vehemence. Charles Townshend accepted the office of manager: and George, on moving for more papers, made severe remarks on the want of miners at Minorca; which Fox excused, saying, it was hoped that the Minorchese, who had assisted in digging the mines, would have contributed to their defence. To keep miners there on the establishment had been thought too expensive. “Are they more expensive to the Government,” replied Townshend, “than sinecures?” alluding to Fox’s new reversion. Pitt, at the meeting I have mentioned, promised his support, but feared he should not be able to speak five minutes for his cough. He was aware that Newcastle had left too little power to Fox in their joint Administration, for it to be possible with any degree of decency to brand the one, and slide over the errors of the other, with whom Pitt wished to unite. Yet the temper of the nation left him master to take whatever resolution he pleased. The rashness of throwing Government into imminent confusion at such a juncture, struck both the enemies and friends of Fox. His ambition was glaring; his interestedness, not even specious. Pitt had acted during his short reign with a haughty reserve, that, if it had kept off dependents and attachments, at least had left him all the air of patriot privacy; and having luckily from the King’s dislike of him, and from the shortness of the time, been dipped but in few[5] ungracious businesses, he came back to the mob scarce

“—— shorn of his beams.”

The stocks fell; the Common Council voted the Freedom of the City both to Pitt and Legge;[1] Sir John Barnard alone gave a negative. Allen of Bath procured them the same honour from thence; and for some weeks it rained gold boxes: Chester, Worcester, Norwich, Bedford, Salisbury, Yarmouth, Tewkesbury, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Stirling, and other populous and chief towns following the example. Exeter, with singular affectation, sent boxes of heart of oak. On the other hand, a paper was affixed to the gate of St. James’s, with these words, “A Secretary of State much wanted; honesty not necessary; no principles will be treated with.”

Such venom was not likely to bias Newcastle to Mr. Fox. It was the King’s wish that they should unite; and many messages passed; but in vain. It was pretended that the Duke had promised his Majesty never to join Pitt, unless by command. The King said, he would abdicate sooner than give him such command; and complaining bitterly of his ingratitude; imputing to him a refusal[6] made by Lord Duplin to be made Chancellor of the Exchequer; and his leaving his Majesty at the mercy of Mr. Pitt, by not uniting with Fox. His Grace, who scrupled not to wipe out one imputation by deserving another, wrote a penitential letter, and sent it by Munchausen, lamenting his disgrace, after so many years of service, and hoping, when the inquiries should be at an end, that he might again have admission to the closet, where he should be ready to protest and promise whatever his Majesty expected. He had scarcely written this letter, but he laboured anew to obstruct the junction of his friends with Fox. In general, they outran his intentions: Lord Lincoln hated Fox; the little tools feared him. Murray and Hume Campbell and Arundel sincerely wished to bring them together.

The Princess, who looked on any settlement in which Fox was concerned as an establishment of the Duke’s power, frowned on the new revolution; and though Fox made very humble overtures to Leicester House, they were flatly rejected. Pitt grew less and less austere to Newcastle; and now, when this vain man was arrived at the period of detected misgovernment with regard to his country, of ingratitude and disobedience to his master, of caprice, duplicity, and irresolution towards all factions; when under prosecution by Parliament, and frowned on by his sovereign; at this instant were[7] the hopes, the vows of all men addressed to him! The outcast of the Ministry, the scorn of the Court, the jest of the people, was the arbiter of Britain: her King, her patriots, her factions, waited to see into what scale he would fling his influence!

In the meantime, the inquiries began, April 19th. I shall give but a summary account of them: it would be ridiculous to enter into the detail of a pantomime, from which nothing was intended, expected, or produced. The Townshends pretended to be managers against the Ministers: Hume Campbell and Lord Royston acted with spirit and sense for their friends: Ellis was agent for Fox. The latter himself meddled a little, pointing out where inconveniences might arrive to Government from probing intelligence too nicely. The examination began with reading all the papers in order; intelligence, letters, orders, &c. But no kind of check had been held over the offices from whence the materials came. The clerks had been left at liberty to omit, abridge, secrete, what they pleased. No questions were asked, no proofs of authenticity demanded, no witnesses examined; and, for fear of discovering our channels of intelligence, no names were inserted in the extracts. And as the offices had been suffered to curtail at their discretion, so they had had as impartial liberty to send as much useless and perplexing lumber as they could amass. The very[8] dates of the letters filled three and twenty sheets of paper! All this was read over in a hurry, yet was so tiresome, that before half a day was wasted, the House was almost empty. Yet three or four hundred men were supposed to extract a judgment from so crude and slovenly a process!

Pitt, it was expected, would take advantage of illness, and not appear. But he refined on that old finesse; and pretending to wave the care of a broken constitution, when his country demanded his service, and as a pledge of his sincerity in the scrutiny, he came to the discussion in all the studied apparatus of a theatric valetudinarian. The weather was unseasonably warm; yet he was dressed in an old coat and waistcoat of beaver laced with gold: over that, a red surtout, the right arm lined with fur, and appendent with many black ribands, to indicate his inability of drawing it over his right arm, which hung in a crape sling, but which, in the warmth of speaking, he drew out with unlucky activity, and brandished as usual. On his legs were riding stockings. In short, no aspiring Cardinal ever coughed for the Tiara with more specious debility. This mummery was covered over with candour: he acquiesced 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 a censor. The loss of Minorca he avowed he meant to charge on the whole Government—for[9] the whole Government could not be punished. On the second day, indeed, he trespassed a little upon all these gentle virtues, and threatened to secede, and publish to the world the iniquity of the majority: but recollecting how much more useful to him the majority might be than the world, he recomposed himself, and was content that the majority should be responsible for whatever defects the public might find in the judgment given by the House.

George Townshend proposed several resolutions: the drift of all was to show that the Administration had chosen to believe a threatened invasion on Great Britain, rather than a design on Minorca. These motions were contested, modified, balanced, by appendent questions proposed by the Courtiers. Henley, the Attorney-General, scrupled not in the very outset to propose approbation. Pitt said he should prefer printing the examination, and leaving the public to judge for themselves. Hume Campbell pleaded that such procedure in the House of Commons would be abdicating their share of Government. The Ministerial party endeavoured, though with ostentatious decency, to load the late Admiral; but in general their arguments tended to nothing but to prove that Minorca had been lost by the common course of office. The questions of the Opposition were corrected till all sting was taken out of them; and still others were coupled to them,[10] that made the votes of the House seem a mere set of questions and answers, in which the whole advantage remained to the respondent.

These things passed not without divisions, but as the majority felt itself a majority, it was not modest; it stated roundly in favour of its principals. Yet on the last day of the Committee, the Courtiers moving a resolution, that no greater force could have been sent to the Mediterranean under Mr. Byng, Triumph itself blushed at so palpable a falsehood, and the victorious majority shrunk to 78, many retiring, and many of the more independent sort joining the minority. By this might be seen what Mr. Pitt had in his power, had he exerted himself. The alarm, however, was so great, that a conclusive vote of acquittal, nay, of approbation, which it had been determined should be proposed by Lord Granby and Lord George Cavendish, was dropped with evident marks of dismay; and the late Cabinet, to their great disappointment, were forced to sit down contented, without receiving the thanks of the House of Commons for the loss of Minorca.

The conclusion of the inquiries, however, from which at least it had been supposed a new Administration would arise, facilitated nothing. No approbation given pointed out nobody as deserving power again: nobody being stigmatized, nobody seemed excluded. Pitt had declined triumph, consequently[11] had gained none. A field of negotiation was still open, till three men who knew, hated, and could not trust one another, might settle some such plan of agreement as would still leave those who should unite the hopes and the prospect of betraying or overpowering their new allies.

In the meantime, as if to show how long a great nation can carry on itself without any Government, there were no Ministers, even in the midst of a formidable war, but those baby politicians, the Duke of Devonshire and Lord Holderness: the former with much importance declaring, that he would retain the Treasury but till some new system should be completed: yet he was delighted with the plaything of power, and wished his holidays might be protracted. For the King himself, his very office seemed annihilated. While the three factions were caballing, he had not even an option. Whatever Administration should be settled, he was to receive when presented to him. Lord Mansfield held the Seals of the Exchequer pro tempore; and the House of Commons was so devoid of a Minister, that the office of proposing the Ways and Means devolved on Nugent, one of the Lords of the Treasury.

The House of Lords were employed on the militia. Lord Hardwicke opposed, but would not divide against it. The Duke of Bedford and Lord Temple joined to support it; and it passed at last by 64 to 48.


While this ridiculous scene was acting at home, our foreign affairs wore a more respectable aspect. Count Rantzau, the Danish Minister, mentioned to Lady Yarmouth, on the part of France, a neutrality for Hanover. She discreetly refused to meddle in it. He then, in concert with the Minister of the Empress-Queen, proposed it in form, but the terms[2] were so humiliating, that the King rejected them with dignity and scorn. In truth, as Elector, his situation deserved compassion. At this instant, the French had seized in their own name the county of Bentheim, a purchase his Majesty had made himself: the rest of his territories they pretended to hold for the Empress-Queen. Under this depression, news came of a great victory obtained by the King of Prussia over the Austrians. He had planned[13] his measures with such intelligence, that he previously ventured to send the King word, that he should make four attacks at once on the quarters of the enemy, and expected to find them unprepared. He confirmed his designs by success, carried every attack, possessed himself of their magazines, and when he dispatched the courier, was within thirty miles of Prague, hoping to be master of Bohemia by the 15th of the month, and to be able to detach a body of twenty-five thousand men to support the Duke of Cumberland. The Austrian Generals disagreed; their Foot behaved ill: in general, their troops thought the Prussians irresistible.

The Hero-King, who dared to prophesy, because he left so little to chance, pursued his blow; Marshal Brown retiring to the other side of Prague.[14] The King of Prussia with a strong Army on one side, Marshal Schwerin at the head of another from behind, fell on Brown at once, forced his camp, and took it with all his tents, baggage, and 250 pieces of cannon. Prince Charles, Brown, and Lucchesi, were wounded, and shut up in Prague. The King of Prussia lost little in numbers, exceedingly in one man, Marshal Schwerin, who making his attack before his second line was formed, and seeing his first line repulsed, seized a pair of colours, and fell with them in his hand. The glory of the day, that thus remained indubitably with the King, did not recompense him for the loss of such a servant.

The primate of Ireland, who suspected that he should have little part in the Bedford Administration, had stayed in England to negotiate between Newcastle and Pitt, hoping that if Fox was entirely set aside here, the Duke of Bedford might in pique resign his new empire before he took possession of it; at least, would not be countenanced in any depression of him (the Primate). Lord George Sackville laboured in the same cause; and about the second week in May an interview was brought about between Pitt and Lord Hardwicke—as the latter said, by chance. Pitt insisted that Newcastle should not interfere in the House of Commons, nor with the province of Secretary of State; that is, with neither domestic nor foreign affairs,[15] but should confine himself to the Treasury; yet there too Pitt pretended to place George Grenville as Chancellor of the Exchequer, with Potter and James Grenville. Legge, whom he meant to remove, having conceived insuperable aversion to him since harnessed with himself in the trammels of popularity, he named for the head of the Admiralty, with a Peerage. For Lord Temple he demanded the Garter and some Post in the Cabinet. The terms were lofty; yet considering his interest in the people, and his experience of Newcastle’s engrossing chicanery, he was justifiable in endeavouring to clip the wings of so volatile a constitution.

The death of the Duke of Grafton, who had so often transacted Newcastle’s variations, arrived now to facilitate his re-establishment. The Duke of Devonshire was charmed with the bubbles of the Chamberlain’s office, and in three days accepted the White Stick and Golden Key, leaving the Treasury open. Yet in a week more the treaty between Newcastle and Pitt was broken off. Newcastle had negotiated for support, not for a master. Lord Hardwicke, notwithstanding his predilection for Pitt, owned that Fox was the more practicable: and George Grenville, finding that the coalition was impeded by what was demanded for him, desired to wave the Exchequer. But Pitt, not apt to bend to[16] difficulties, replied to this concession, that it became Mr. Grenville to make it, but he himself should not relax.

During this parley, the King demanded support from the two Houses. Lord Waldegrave moved the Address, and a million was proposed. Lord Temple would have reduced it to 300,000l. Lord Holderness pleaded his Majesty’s noble refusal of a neutrality for Hanover, and the claim he had to assistance. Lord Temple would have restricted the money to English purposes. The Duke of Bedford supported the Motion of the Court, reflected on Pitt’s all-sufficience, and the Address passed without a division. In the other House it occasioned a good Debate, though no division. Nugent expatiated on the King’s merit to Britain: that he had said, “While Europe is in danger, Hanover shall not be safe.”

Pitt dropped several artful sentences, hostile to those that had been or might be Ministers, convertible into excuses for himself, if he should again become a Minister. He said, he should not oppose the gross sum upon any foot but on the gift being offered without an iota of restriction: that indeed he had predicted his own fate when he acted on the restrictive plan: that he would support whoever had contributed to set this Government going again: that everybody was free to speak his sentiments on this measure, for no man could tell who[17] would be Minister, who would be trusted with this million: that if it was to be confined to Great Britain and America, he would consent to give a million: but now this might be dispensed to the troops of Hanover, though we had already given them 200,000l. He had heard of his own all-sufficience; he knew our insufficience. This might be the plan of a few great Lords who did not mind tossing in one or two hundred thousand pounds more: but the people had lost all confidence, seeing how surreptitiously their money was taken and given.

He would not ask a question on the victory, the news of which were arrived that morning—he did not wish to relax, because the King of Prussia was successful. That King, who saw all, did all, knew all, did everything, was everything! If you would deal with such great masses, and not take little things, and think they would make a great one, there might still be hopes—don’t go on subsidizing little Princes here and there, and fancy that all together they will make a King of Prussia. That Prince had never asked a subsidy, at least while he had had any part in the Administration; yet had raised the spirits of everybody, who hoped for a decent end of the war; for they were offensive operations that must bring about a peace. For the King, he said, though his Majesty did not serve so absolutely for nothing as the King of Prussia did,[18] nor were the coffers of Hanover so exhausted but they might stop a gap till next winter, yet their Majesties had gone hand in hand together: but he dreaded the war being transferred to Flanders—he had rather feed it in Germany. If the King’s Hanoverian ministers had been negligent in their preparations, this victory would not repair their remissness: the Duke’s authority must fetch up their negligence.

He hoped the Ministers would not go to market this summer for German Princes, with whom we should find ourselves hampered next winter. Had any illumination broken in upon that poor piddling plan, which carried the approbation of a whole nation along with it? The King of Prussia with 170,000 men was worth giving one or two hundred thousand pounds to—but don’t let a conciliabulum of Ministers, when they happen to dine together, settle another subsidiary plan, at once minute and extravagant. Were he Minister, he would have deprecated this measure, nay, would have said more against it, than he would say in the House of Commons. He added some hints on his own popularity, and on the independence of the country gentlemen who favoured him. Fox took up some of Pitt’s expressions: if a conciliabulum might not decide our measures, he hoped at least one man should not dictate them. With regard to independence, he supposed every man there was independent—but who[19] were these particularly applauded for their independence? Were they those, who, two years ago, lay under the irremissible crime of being Tories? or, who this year had the unknown merit of being so? These and other taunts drew on some warmth. Conway, too, offended Pitt by vindicating the Duke of Devonshire, whom Pitt had seemed to censure as concerned in what he called this surreptitious vote of credit. Lord George Sackville naturally closed with Pitt, when Conway seemed to debate with Fox:—Charles Townshend and Lord Egmont had another squabble; and at last the million was voted. In one of the Debates at this time, Pitt talked much on Ximenes, who, he afterwards owned to Fox, was his favourite character.

Another Bill, brought in by George Grenville on a good-natured principle, called out the passions and feelings of men at this extraordinary crisis. It was the custom in the Navy not to pay punctually the wages of the seamen, but to keep back some part, lest the natural profuseness of that wandering people should disperse them as often as they were masters of a little sum. Grenville proposed more frequent terms of payment. The superiors of that class in the House of Commons, who, according to the nature of mankind, liked that others should endure what they had endured, and who are apt to attribute their own proficience to an education under which they had begun with[20] suffering, had opposed this compassionate reformation; and indeed the profession were but too well founded in the advantages resulting from the established hardships! Fox divided against the Bill, though without speaking; and it was carried in that House by above 60 to 42.

When it came to the Lords, it was warmly opposed by Lord Winchelsea. The Duke of Bedford, too honest to be always biassed by faction, supported it against his friends, as he had the Militia Bill. Lord Denbigh, a man whose parts were better than his character, spoke out in very plain terms: he said, he should be for measures, not men: good measures he would support, whoever proposed them, be his name William, Holles, or even Harry—and observing all the Bishops withdrawn but two, he supposed, he said, they were gone to dinner—he hoped they would not return to vote! The Dukes of Newcastle and Devonshire, Lord Hardwicke, and many others had retired, which gave but too fair a handle for that satire on the Bench. The Bill was rejected by 23 to 18.

The inter-ministerium (if I may be permitted to use a new word on a new occasion; and truly as there never was such a being as the Duke of Newcastle, one may be allowed to describe him, his actions, and their consequences in a novel language,) had now lasted seven weeks. On the last rupture of the treaty with Pitt, his Grace thought he had[21] determined to take the sole burthen of the State upon himself. He even sent his Majesty word that he would be at Kensington on the 24th, and would declare his final resolution—but he put the King off; he had fixed on nothing—and while he prevented any other man from having power, his own idea of being Minister was in a manner answered. Lord Lincoln, Lady Catherine Pelham, and Lord Ashburnham, the private chorus, that had not the less part in the drama for being cyphers, earnestly dissuaded him from coming in again without an union with Leicester House. To advise him to be governed by his fears, was governing him. He reverted to another interview with Pitt at Lord Royston’s, where Lord Hardwicke was present.

Pitt, the more he foresaw incompliance on the Duke’s part, knew how much more grace he should wear (if forced to come to public explanation), by stipulating some advantages to his country, asked if they meant to send abroad any part of the new granted million, as Lord Granville and Fox had declared for doing. Newcastle said, he was not bound by their declarations—“and you, Mr. Pitt, you are not bound against sending any of it, are you?” Pitt replied he was; “and you, my lord, though you are not bound to send any more money abroad, are not you inclined to it?” Newcastle would not explain. Lord Hardwicke proposed to wave this point ad referendum; knowing how easily[22] they should settle the nation’s concerns, if they could agree upon their own. They then passed to the article of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Pitt urged that he had had it before for one of his friends; Newcastle, that it would mark his having no power at the Treasury. Neither would yield. Even on the first Lord of the Admiralty, Newcastle haggled, pretending the King would not be brought to dismiss Lord Winchelsea.

They parted in discontent; though the Duke, in all his messages by the Primate, Lord George Sackville, and others, had promised how reasonable he would be. This was exactly the manner in which he had formerly treated Fox, departing from his own concessions before he had time to ratify them. Lord Hardwicke behaved more uniformly; declared he would not take the Seals again; desired nobody should be displaced for him; if the Presidentship of the Council, or the Privy Seal should be vacant, he would gladly accept either: for Lord Anson he peremptorily insisted on the Treasurership of the Navy. Pitt now found his error; by facilitating Newcastle’s escape from the inquiries, he remained at the mercy of that Duke, not the Duke at his.

May 27th.—The Duke of Newcastle did go to Kensington, and after a long audience, promised to be sole Minister, permitting Fox to be Paymaster, but with no power. Sir Thomas Robinson was to be Secretary of State, Sir George Lee, Chancellor of[23] the Exchequer. Hume Campbell modestly asked the Treasurership of the Navy[3] under this Ministry, in addition to his office of Lord Register—and probably would have had it, or something equivalent: Newcastle’s greatest want now was of men who would take anything to support him. Lord Egmont was much solicited to be of the band; but he, the great opposer of the Duke of Cumberland and Fox, would have stipulated for more power to the latter, and did insist on a Peerage for himself, which would have destroyed his whole utility: it was not in the placid House of Lords that Newcastle expected to be worried. The Duke of Dorset was to be displaced (for Lord George Sackville had been designed for Pitt’s Secretary at War), Lord Gower was to be Master of the Horse, and Lord Hardwicke Privy Seal. The Duke of Newcastle was to retire to Claremont for two or three days, and take a final inspiration from his oracles.


[1] A card was published representing Pitt and Legge, like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, in a triumphal car, with this motto,

—— Et sibi Consul

Ne placeat, serves curru portatur eodem.—Juv.

[2] Vienna, June 4.—Marshal Daun has detached from his Army a regiment of Hussars and some light troops, in order to cover the western side of Bohemia from the incursions of the Prussians. The Empress Queen has communicated to several of the Courts with whom she is in friendship, the conditions that were proposed for bringing about a neutrality in favour of the Electorate of Hanover. According to the overtures made on this occasion, the King of Great Britain, in quality of Elector of Hanover, would have been considered as a party not concerned in the present war, in consequence of which neither his troops nor those of his Allies were to act against those of the Empress Queen and her Allies. He would likewise have engaged not to assist the King of Prussia either with troops or money. The passage through that part of his Electorate which lies on the left of the Aller was to have been granted to the troops of her Imperial Majesty and her Allies, they paying for provisions, forage, and waggons; besides which, they were to be allowed to establish magazines and hospitals in such places as should be assigned them in the Electorate. The town of Hamelen was to be given up as a security, either into the hands of the Empress or of some of her Allies, or to the guarantees of the Convention, which were proposed to be the Empress of Russia and the King of Denmark. Besides all this, it was to be stipulated in this Convention, that the Hanoverian troops should be quartered in such places only as should be agreed upon, and their number not augmented. (Extract from printed journal.)

[3] When he found another designation of that office, he demanded that Lord Edgecumbe should be removed, and the Duchy of Lancaster given to himself for life—yet he had said on the inquiries, on which he pretended to date his new merit, that it would be ungrateful in any man not to defend Newcastle; in him it would be infamous.



The Duke of Newcastle’s difficulties in forming a new Government—Prince of Wales interferes to facilitate arrangements—Lord Waldegrave appointed first Lord of the Treasury—Resignation of the Duke of Newcastle’s friends—The Author’s advice to Fox—The King reluctantly acquiesces in the abandonment of Lord Waldegrave’s projected Ministry—The new Ministry settled—Charge on the Public—Lord Waldegrave has the Garter—King of Prussia repulsed by Daun—Battle of Hastenbecke—Duke of Cumberland defeated—The King overwhelmed with the misfortunes of Hanover—Proceedings at Leicester House—Disturbances on the Militia Bill—France—Expedition to Rochfort.

June 3rd.—His Grace returned to Kensington, but still fluctuating; and begged to defer declaring his last resolution till the Tuesday following: this was on the Friday. Preposterous as this suspense of Government was, it occasioned no disturbance, scarce a murmur. The people, hating Fox, neglected by Pitt, and despising Newcastle, waited with patience to see which of them was to be their master.

The next day was the Birthday of the Prince of[25] Wales. His Royal Highness was told, that it would have a gracious air with the people, if he took upon himself to facilitate measures for his grandfather’s ease; that he must command Pitt to give up the point of George Grenville being Chancellor of the Exchequer. Pitt, who had heard how much he was loaded by the other factions with the accusation of impracticable haughtiness, yielded; and had a conference at the Prince’s drawing-room with Newcastle and Lord Bute, who acted as mediator. Newcastle persisted that the King would retain Lord Winchelsea; and to balance the authority that he saw must fall to Pitt, said to him, “But you will not act with Fox.”—Pitt replied, “My lord, I never said so—but does your Grace say you would? When you have said you will, I will consult my friends.” Newcastle, not the most intelligible even when he was explicit, took care not to be understood sooner than he was determined; and the conversation ended abruptly:—however, on the 7th, though not agreed with Pitt, he went to Kensington, and declared to the King, that he could not come in, unless Mr. Pitt’s whole plan was accepted. The King reproached him bitterly with all his shifts and evasions, and falsehoods; and demanded his assistance for Fox, if he would not himself undertake the service. He waved any such promise, and the King dismissed him in wrath.

Fox now took the merit of venturing all to support[26] his Majesty, and declared he would accept the Ministry—but it seemed almost impossible to form one, if Pitt was not to be of it, and Newcastle withheld his assistance. It was difficult even to know whom they should place at the head of the Treasury. In this distress the King (probably by the suggestion of Mr. Fox,) sent for Lord Waldegrave, and commanded him to accept that high and dangerous post. The public was not more astonished at that designation, than the Earl himself. Though no man knew the secrets of Government better, no man knew the manœuvre of business less. He was no speaker in Parliament, had no interest there, and though universally beloved and respected where known, was by no means familiarized to the eyes of the nation. He declined as long as modesty became him; engaged with spirit, the moment he felt the abandoned state in which his master and benefactor stood.

A trifling incident showed the ridiculous light in which the new establishment appeared: it was the 8th of June when Fox’s Administration was notified: the House of Commons was very thin; Ellis came with an air of mysterious importance, and desired the House to adjourn to the 13th following. Lord George Sackville and George Townshend opposed this in joke, the latter saying that a Bill of great consequence relating to Milbourn-port was to be[27] considered that day; yet if Ellis would say that a Ministry was to be formed during the proposed recess, he would consent to it. Ellis would say nothing; the House divided, Ellis with ten more against fifty-seven; and thus Fox lost a question even before he was Minister.

The next day Lord Holderness went to Kensington and resigned the Seals, as a declaration of the Newcastle squadron against Fox. The King received him with the cool scorn he deserved.[4] Lord Rockingham and many others[5] notified their intention of resigning upon the same foot. Newcastle took pains to promote these resignations, and told Lord Northumberland that they caught like wildfire. The latter replied artfully, “I have great obligations to your Grace, but should think I repaid them very ill by resigning, as it would be contributing to make your Grace distress his Majesty.” Indeed, to the King and others, the Duke solemnly forswore any knowledge of that measure; and while he enjoined or inculcated it to his friends, he prohibited it to Lord Lincoln and the Duke of Leeds, his relations, that he might tell the King that his own family had stood by his Majesty—a silly finesse, and blown up [28]even by himself, he bragging to Lord Waldegrave of the display of his power in that measure, the very instant after he had denied it with oaths.

One resignation was made on the other hand; Sir George Lee quitted the Princess, not brooking the influence of Pitt with her, and finding himself a cypher at that Court, since Lord Bute had become more than Minister there. Sir George had even once determined to make such a remonstrance to her on her conduct, as the Fathers of the Church had formerly assumed the impertinent familiarity of making to Princes, in ages when insolence was reckoned a primitive virtue.

Horace Walpole saw the precipice on which Fox stood, and wished to save him from it. He saw, too, an opening for delivering the nation from that disgraceful man (Newcastle), who had so long perplexed all its Councils, and been a principal cause of its misfortunes. He sounded Lord George Sackville, and thinking him not ill-disposed to Fox, and by no means amicable to Newcastle, he proposed his plan to the former. It was, that the King should send carte blanche to Pitt, to place the Duke of Dorset at the head of the Treasury, with Lord George for Secretary at War, and, by dissolving the Parliament, dissipate at once Newcastle’s influence. Fox, who feared a popular election, disapproved the latter part, and did not relish Lord George in the War Office—too sharp-sighted, and[29] who, to the desertion of Fox, had added a refusal of making Calcraft agent to his regiment. However, he permitted Walpole to propose all this to Lord George, adding that he would take Paymaster (which seemed to be his nearest wish), under Pitt, or would even act under him without an employment, with the sole privilege reserved of abusing Newcastle as much as he pleased.

Lord George Sackville owned he should have liked the plan, but was now too far engaged. He confessed he had taken his part, as the contest lay between Leicester House and the Duke; and the rather, as he had long observed that the Duke loved none but men totally detached from all other connexions, and had even been less kind to Conway since his marriage; and, as an insurmountable objection, said, that Lord Bute, who was of scrupulous honour, would now reckon their party bound by these resignations. Thus this plan failed, though the King, whose aversion was diverted from Pitt to Newcastle, would have consented to anything, that might make the treacheries of the latter fall on his own head.

Fox’s junto met two or three times: Lord Granville would have infused his jovial intrepidity into them: Bedford wanted no inspired ardour; but Fox himself desponded, and Bedford reproached him with it.

June 11th.—Lord Mansfield went to Kensington[30] with the Exchequer Seals, which Fox was to receive. The King asked the former his opinion; Lord Mansfield told him fairly it could not do for Fox; then, said the King, “Let them make an Administration.” Fox and Lord Waldegrave both told him the impossibilities they found, yet would proceed if his Majesty insisted. He said, “No, he did not desire his friends should suffer for him: he found he was to be prisoner for the rest of his life: he hoped, whatever he might be made to do, his friends would not impute to him, for he should not be a free agent: he had not thought that he had so many of Newcastle’s footmen[6] about him: soon, he supposed, he should not be able to make a Page of the Back-stairs. For Hanover, he must give it up, it cost an hundred and twenty thousand pounds a month for forage alone: he found he must lose his Electoral dominions for an English quarrel: while at the same time he lost all authority in England!”

Leicester House took advantage of these difficulties: they engaged Lord Chesterfield to negotiate between Newcastle and Pitt. The Earl, who had lived for some time retired from business, undertook the Embassy. It seemed a marvellous office for him, who had long broken with the latter,[31] and had even, in very cutting terms, acquainted the world with his reasons for breaking with the former. But it seems he had still stronger prejudices to the Duke of Cumberland: he undertook the employ[7] with cheerfulness and success.

On the 15th, the King wrote a note to Lord Hardwicke, desiring him, in consideration of the state of affairs both at home and abroad, to hasten some Administration that might not be changed again in five months. He mentioned his promise of the Pay-Office to Fox, and his obligations to Lord Winchelsea. Lord Hardwicke promised to wait on his Majesty on the 17th with some plan; but the next day desired a day longer.

At last, after an interval of above eleven weeks, the Ministry was settled, and kissed hands on the 29th. The Duke of Newcastle returned to the Treasury, with Legge for his Chancellor of the Exchequer. Pitt and Lord Holderness were Secretaries of State. Lord Temple had the Privy Seal in the room of Lord Gower, who was made Master of the Horse, the Duke of Dorset being set aside, but with a pension of 3000l. a-year, added to his Wardenship of the Cinque Ports. On Lord George Sackville the King put a flat negative. Fox accepted the Pay-Office, professing great content, and that he should offend neither in thought, word, nor deed. Both Newcastle and Pitt acted wisely in[32] permitting him to enjoy this place: he was tied up from giving them any trouble—and while serving for interest under Pitt, how much did it exalt the latter! Yet the latter, too, took care to deserve his share of reproach.

Adjusting their list with Lord Hardwicke, Pitt said, he missed a very respectable name there, which he hoped would be placed greatly—it was Lord Anson’s—and he was restored to the Admiralty—whether with more opprobrium to himself, who returned to that Board with Pitt’s set, abandoning his own, who had been disgraced with him; or to Pitt, who restored so incapable an object to a trust so wretchedly executed, I am in doubt to determine. Who did act with honour and noble spirit, was Lord Winchelsea; he refused a pension, disdaining to accept any emolument, when his associates were excluded. At that Board he always acted with capacity, everywhere with firmness; and was the only man who, in all these changes, acquired credit, both by his rise and by his fall.

Lord Cholmondeley got a pension to make way for Potter: Lord Thomond had Lord Bateman’s White Stick, who, the Duke of Newcastle said arrogantly enough, should not carry his messages. Tennison was removed with a pension from the Buck-Hounds, ceding them to Lord Bateman. Pitt insisted that Pratt, a favourite lawyer at the bar of the House of Commons, should be Attorney-General.[33] Sir Robert Henley, who could not decently be disgraced without any reason, was so lucky to find that that reason (and certainly there could be no other) was sufficient to promote him: he was made Lord Keeper. The Seals had been offered to Murray, and to the Master of the Rolls, who refused them, and to Willes, who proposed to be bribed by a Peerage, to be at the head of his profession, but could not obtain it. Henley, however, who saw it was the mode of the times to be paid by one favour for receiving another, demanded a Tellership of the Exchequer for his son, which was granted, with a pension of 1500l. a-year till it should drop; and, as if heaping rewards on him would disguise his slender pretensions, Lord Hardwicke told him he must be Speaker of the House of Lords too, for Westminster-Hall would never forgive him (Lord Hardwicke) if he suffered those offices to be disjoined. Sandys and his son were both laid aside. Hardwicke himself took no employment; the Seals, which it was plain from his not resuming them, he had not resigned from mere friendship to Newcastle, were too great a fatigue; and no other of the great offices was vacant.

It was no small mischief flowing from these disgraceful revolutions, the additional charge entailed on the public. Here were new pensions, of 3000l. a-year to Dorset, near as much to Cholmondeley,[34] 1500l. to Henley, 1200l. to Tennison; besides others more secret. Yet all this profusion of grants and concessions could not satisfy everybody. The Townshends were furious: George, at any amnesty for Fox; Charles, at not being promoted himself. Lord Halifax, who demanded to be Secretary of State for the West Indies, a theatre on which Pitt meditated to shine himself, threw up on being refused; but, having outlived his income, was forced to re-accept, what, unless he had persisted, he had done more wisely to retain. The Duke of Bedford was warm against the new system, but was soon composed. The City, too, was indignant at the re-establishment of Lord Anson: but when the chiefs are accorded, the mob of a faction are little regarded. Men could not but smile observing Pitt return to Court, the moment he had been made free of so many cities for quitting it, exactly as he accepted an employment there before old Marlborough was scarce cold, who had left him 10,000l. as a reward for his patriotism.

The King gave the Garter to Lord Waldegrave, an almost unprecedented favour, as it was given alone—but he deserved it—and this act of royalty, almost the only flower of the Crown unviolated, gave the King double satisfaction, for he had before given hopes of it to Lord Holderness, who being, like Lord Harrington, the mere creature of his Majesty’s bounty, had, like Lord Harrington, been[35] the first to insult his master with an offensive resignation.

I here close the scene on these Court squabbles; and perhaps have described them too minutely. Passages, in which one has been conversant, often appear too interesting. I can only say, that I have preferred offending in this extreme to the contrary. Nothing is more easy than to pass over what is too diffuse—but, as many men love these details, their curiosity would be unsatisfied with abridgments. Probably these anecdotes will amuse for some years, till they are lost in the mass of books, and when the affairs of this little spot, which we call Britain, shall appear of no more importance than our island itself in a geographic picture. To be read for a few years is immortality enough for such a writer as me!

A greater field was now opened. That formidable confederacy of France, Austria, Russia, and Sweden, seemed determined to enclose and crush the King of Prussia. The Duke of Cumberland, with the forlorn Hanoverian army, was a slight barrier against such alarming advances. Coloredo, the Austrian Minister at London, was ordered to retire without taking leave; and as a further earnest of their hostile intentions to England, Ostend and Nieuport were resigned into the hands of France. Count Daun, the Austrian Fabius, was sent with 45,000[36] men to raise the siege of Prague. The King of Prussia, too impetuous to await their cautious approach, flew with about 30,000 men to meet them; and finding Daun strongly entrenched on a hill, thought ardour and his name sufficient to dislodge them. He returned seven times to the attack after as many repulses, performed actions of extravagant bravery himself; and when forced at last, by an impregnable situation, by superior numbers, and by equal valour, to abandon his purpose, he crowned the splendour of the enterprise by modestly confessing how unadvisedly he had undertaken it. He raised the siege of Prague, and retired to Leutmeritz. Daun had the good sense to know that his country was not to be saved by the rules of romance. Rashness might immortalize a Monarch whose crown and life were at stake, and were at the same time less objects than his glory: a subject would be unpardonable, and of all subjects an Austrian had the least chance of pardon, who should suffer his fame to weigh one moment against his duty.

The French in the meantime advanced in such formidable numbers, that the Duke of Cumberland was obliged to retire and leave Hanover at their mercy. However, they came up with him at Hastenbecke, and a battle ensued. The Duke never showed himself so able a General, and though exceedingly inferior in force, disputed his ground till the French, who had great difficulty to carry up[37] their men to the charge, despaired of the victory. But fresh squadrons pouring in upon him, and more approaching, his Royal Highness, apprehensive of being enclosed, resigned the success, though not the glory, of the day to D’Etrées, who was happy to find his enemy take a step that he was deliberating whether it would not be prudent for him to take himself. The Hanoverian statesmen, in the wildness of their despair for the destruction of their country and of their fortunes, not caring whom they charged, accused that Prince of timidity, whom all England had all his life accused of rash and German appetite for fighting; and the French with no less injustice decried their own victorious General, till Madame Pompadour and the Courtiers took advantage to supplant him; and Richelieu was sent to become those laurels which had been earned by the best officer in their service.

The King almost sunk under this weight of misfortunes. That country, which with so much patriotism and so little prudence he had made the point in which his whole policy centred—that country now felt all the bitterness of desolation! Hanover, which so long had tasted the felicity of being conjoined to England, was now ravaged in an English quarrel. And unless we will suppose that his Majesty hoped to hire out his Electoral troops to his Crown in a contest which he flattered himself would never be agitated in Germany,[38] one cannot conceive why with such improvident facility he had permitted the Chancellor and Newcastle to bound into a war with France; a war undertaken from some provocation, with no preparation; and discussed with no more solidity, than the mob, whom it was made to captivate, could have employed. The French had aimed at and proceeded to invade our settlements. We returned hostilities with as slight a force as if we had only sent a herald to denounce war. We then seized their ships—and did nothing more; yes, we engaged some German mercenaries, as if the Duke of Newcastle had thought that the Rhine and the Ohio were the same river. Had we, like the French, waved expressions of war, till we had mustered a mighty force in America, where our superiority is exceedingly great; had we increased our Navy before we seized theirs; had we at least imitated their arts as well as their invasions, we might have dictated in the new world, and lived without hostilities in the old. No wonder the King was overwhelmed with the explosion of such calamities and blunders—still he had deserved compassion; had he not shown that, whatever his reflection suggested, his heart had no generous feelings—But of this anon.

The Court at Leicester House was very differently employed during these serious transactions. Hanover was lost; in North America our affairs went ill; England itself was in no flourishing condition.[39] How did the Princess occupy the heir of all these domains? She was not Spartan enough to buckle on his armour with her own hands, and send him to save or reconquer what he was to govern. The light of the Gospel has emancipated mothers from such robust sensations. The Prince was instructed to commit the care of the temporal concerns of his subjects to Providence; and therefore, instead of sending men, arms, ammunition to the invaded frontiers of our colonies,[8] with more patriarchal vigilance his Royal Highness sent them an hundred pounds’ worth of Leland’s polemic writings against the Deists. The Princess herself bestowed an annuity of one hundred pounds on a young Scotch[9] clergyman, who having been persecuted by the kirk for writing a tragedy called Douglas, threw himself and his piece on the protection of the Earl of Bute.

I have said our affairs in North America went ill; it is very true. About this time came letters from the Earl of Loudun, the Commander-in-Chief there, who said, he found the French were 21,000 strong; he had not so many; could not attack [40]Louisbourg; should return to Halifax. Admiral Holbourn, one of the sternest condemners of Byng, wrote at the same time, that he having but seventeen ships, and the French nineteen, he dared not attack them. These disappointments gave great disgust. Lord Loudun had been selected by the Duke and Fox for this command, and our expectations had been raised high of what he would perform. Here was another summer lost! Pitt expressed himself with great vehemence against the Earl—and we naturally have too lofty ideas of our naval strength to suppose that seventeen of our ships are not a match for any nineteen others.

At home there were great disturbances on the new Militia Bill. Lord Hardwicke and the Lords, meaning to defeat it, had clogged it with impracticabilities, absurdities, and hardships; particularly by obliging every poor man to pay ten pounds, or find a substitute, or go for a soldier; and yet he would be liable to serve again at the end of three years. This was a tax of above three pounds a year. Nor was any fund provided for the expenses of carrying the Act into execution. These objections gave sufficient handle to the disaffected to decry the system. The Tory gentlemen in particular, apprehending that the Whigs would acquire influence in their counties by the articles of clothing, &c., used their utmost endeavours to prepossess the country against the Bill. They inculcated into[41] the people a belief that they would be trepanned to Gibraltar, like the two Somersetshire regiments that I formerly mentioned; and that whoever should give in his name, would to all intents and purposes become a soldier for life.

This misrepresentation had too fatal effect. The peasants became refractory beyond measure; riots were raised in several counties, as Surrey, Kent, Leicester, Hertford, Bedford, Nottingham, and York shires. The lists were forced by violence from the magistrates; Lord Robert Sutton was in danger of his life at Nottingham; the Duke of Bedford’s house, near Bedford, was threatened to be demolished, as he had been the first to advertise for a meeting. The Blues were ordered down to his defence; and it was worth observation, that the standing Army was employed to impose upon the people a constitutional force. His Grace threatened to carry the act into execution with a high hand, but on the day of the meeting he adjourned it to December, when he knew he should be in Ireland. The Duke of Dorset was attacked at Knowle, but saved by a young officer, who sallied out, and seized two-and-twenty of the rioters. The Speaker himself was insulted at Guildford, and menaced in his own house at Ember-court, and could not disperse the insurrection but by promising no further steps should be taken till the next session of Parliament. But the greatest indecencies were committed by the[42] family of Townshend. George, the author of the Militia, was on very ill terms with his father, who was as wrong-headed as his son, and more mad. They wrote abusive pamphlets against one another; and the father, attended by a parson and a few low people, began a mob on the day the meeting for the Militia was to be held, and pasted up one of his own libels on the doors of four churches nearest to his seat.

Under these difficulties, Mr. Pitt began to exert his new-acquired power, and to give symptoms of more vigorous government. France, notwithstanding her imposing airs, and our feeble and spiritless conduct, had carried no great point against us. Her finances were in disorder, her marine not respectable, the flower of her armies transported to Germany. Their King threw a damp on all operations. Melancholic, apprehensive of assassination, desirous of resigning his Crown, averse to the war from principles of humanity, perplexed by factions, and still resigned to the influence of his mistress, every measure was confirmed by him with reluctance or obtained by intrigues; yet they had imprinted such terrors of invasion upon us, that Mr. Pitt, concluding their own coasts might be ill-provided, while they menaced ours, determined to strike a hardy stroke, that should at once invert the system of fear, and restore our reputation by carrying the war into the quarters of the enemy.


There was a young Scot, by name Clarke, ill-favoured in his person, with a cast in his eyes, of intellects not very sound, but quick, bold, adventurous. At the siege of Berg-op-zoom, being pursued into a house where the enemies fired at him through a door, he opened it and told them he was related to Marshal Lowendahl, who would reward them for saving him. Being conducted to the Marshal, with the same readiness he avowed the deceit, urging that he had no other method of saving his life. Lowendahl was pleased with the man, and gave him money. Not rising in England to his expectation, he attempted to advance himself in Ireland under the Duke of Devonshire; where miscarrying too, he imputed his disappointment to Mr. Conway, who equally incapable of disserving any man, or of enduring a false imputation, took Clarke to task, and convinced him of his error. Clarke, in the interval of some of these adventures, had rambled into France, and passing through Rochfort, observed a bank to which there was no ditch, and one part of the fortification left quite open. The adjacent country, called Little Holland, was flat, and cut with dykes, but which he persuaded himself were easily passable. Four years had passed since he made these remarks, and that in a time of profound peace. He did not pretend to know the strength of the garrison, nor what troops were stationed on the coast since the declaration of war—and[44] unfortunately a plan of the place procured by the late Lord Albemarle from the King’s closet, since Clarke’s survey, differed from his description. Yet communicating these observations to Mr. Pitt, the latter was captivated with the idea. The man and the project struck his notions of performing some action of éclat, that might revive our sinking affairs, and throw a lustre on the dawn of his own Administration.

Rochfort lies ten miles from the sea. Of late years, we had dealt exceeding scantily in intelligence. No measures were, possibly could not in time be, taken to obtain better information of the dispositions in and near the place. Pitt indeed was a Minister to execute daringly; there wanted some men of deeper cast to deliberate wisely. He would not lose time on taking advice; the secret might evaporate; and its fairest chance for success lay in the improbability that the French should suspect an attempt on one of the most important and strongest towns in France. But did not that very improbability intimate, that they, so provident about their frontier towns, could not have neglected Rochfort, one of their principal naval magazines? Objections to a genius are but spurs. The Cabinet Council was called. Pitt proposed his conception of surprising Rochfort, and of burning the ships that lay in the river leading to it. The procrastinators in the Cabinet had but too lately felt his fire, to oppose[45] what they saw was a favourite plan. It was determined to be executed forthwith; and the execution offered to Lord George Sackville, who, too sagacious not to feel the impracticability, excused himself, pleading the averseness of the Duke to him, and therefore that he should not be supported. The excuse was flimsy. The persons who offered him the command, would have supported him the more for his disfavour with the Duke. Lord George was still more blameable in talking of the design to several persons after he had refused to undertake it; and yet though a large number were acquainted with it, the secret was kept from the public with uncommon fidelity.

Sir John Mordaunt and General Conway, then encamped in Dorsetshire, were summoned to town, and acquainted by the Cabinet Council with the service on which they were to be sent. They should take ten old battalions, a strong Fleet should be ready in a fortnight to convoy them; they were to attempt Rochfort, or any other place on the coast to which they should find an opening. The Generals felt the difficulty of the commission, saw the crowd of impediments that must arise, and the ignorance of those that foresaw none. Conway, as he told me himself, was satisfied he had given such indisputable proofs of his courage, that it could not be imputed to fear, if he discovered repugnance to the service—whatever might be imputed to him,[46] he was determined honestly to speak his opinion. He asked if they would venture ten of our best battalions on so rash a hazard? If they should perish, would it not draw the French hither, where we had few other veteran troops? He asked, on being told the ramparts were to be scaled, if their height was known? Ligonier, who was present, replied, No; but they never were above twenty-five feet; and they should have ladders high enough. Pitt said, in case they failed, they might go to Bourdeaux. Lord Anson informed him how far that city lay up the river—and it was information, for he knew not. Was it probable, Conway asked, that a place of that high importance should be neglected? and he showed them the contradictions in their own reasoning, for they pretended that it was a measure calculated to disembarrass the Duke, by drawing off the troops of France to its own coast, and yet all the hope of the enterprise depended on the French being taken unprepared. Pitt was too sanguine to desist for a little confutation. The instructions were drawn, the transports prepared.

At first, Conway had been designed to command alone, but the King said he was too young, and insisted on joining Mordaunt with him. Mordaunt had been remarkable for alertness and bravery, but was much broken both in spirit and constitution, and fallen into a nervous disorder, which had made him entreat last year not to be sent to America,[47] lest it should affect his head, and bring on disorders too familiar to his family. But though he and Conway had ill conceit of the service in question, they had both too much honour to decline it. When their representations failed, all they could was to demand specific orders; and not obtaining them, they drew up queries, which if the Ministry could not answer, the Generals hoped they should be justified in not performing what they foresaw impracticable. But neither in this did they receive satisfaction.


[4] It was but seven months since Pitt had insisted on the dismission of Lord Holderness, who now resigned against Pitt’s rival, who had been his own associate at that time!

[5] Fox kissing hands was to be the signal.

[6] He used this expression again soon after. Making Lord Orford Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, he told him, he was of a family that had always stood by him; hoped he would too, and not behave like those footmen of the Duke of Newcastle.

[7] [Sic in MS.] E.

[8] This sarcasm is most unmerited and absurd. The Prince had no means of sending men, arms, and ammunition, nor was it any part of his duty to do so. Even if it had been, a regard for religion and literature, and some liberality in rewarding genius, are surely not incompatible with a due attention to public affairs.—E.

[9] John Home.



Expedition to surprise Rochfort—Officers employed—The Fleet off the Isle of Oleron—Council of War—Difficulties of the Enterprise—Conway proposes an Attack on Fouras—Failure of the Expedition—Affairs in the East Indies—Victory of the Prussians over the Russians—Convention of Closter Seven—The King disavows it—The Duke of Cumberland’s return—His reception at Court, and subsequent conduct—Resigns all his Employments—Affairs of Ireland—State of Parties—Inquiry into the Miscarriages at Rochfort—Court-Martial—Lord Mansfield becomes a Cabinet Minister—Victories of the King of Prussia—Sir John Ligonier made a Field-Marshal and a Viscount—Death of Princess Caroline.

The measure was settled in July; but it was the 8th of September before the Fleet sailed. The French, though they did not learn the specific spot of destination, had ample time for preparation; and having a chain of garrisons along the coast, and being never totally destitute of supernumerary troops, hoped to be able to draw together a sufficient body wherever the storm should fall. As the event occasioned much discourse, I shall be excusable for detailing it; yet I shall do it with brevity; and, as much proceeded from the personal characters of[49] the commanders, I shall describe them shortly, and with the more satisfaction, as their faults flowed from no want of courage; on the contrary, they possessed amongst them most of the various shades of that qualification. Mordaunt, as I have said, had a sort of alacrity in daring, but from ill health was grown more indifferent to it. He affected not Mr. Pitt, and from not loving the projector, was more careless than he should have been of the success of the project, presuming, unfortunately for himself, that if it should appear impracticable, the original mover would bear the blame.

Conway, secure of his own intrepidity, and of no ostentation, could not help foreseeing that from the superiority of his talents to those of Mordaunt, the good conduct of the expedition would be expected from him. The more answerable he thought himself, the more he guarded against objections. Cold in his deportment, and with a dignity of soul that kept him too much above familiarity, he missed that affection from his brother officers, which his unsullied virtues and humanity deserved; for he wanted the extrinsic of merit. Added to these little failings, he had a natural indecision in his temper, weighing with too much minuteness and too much fluctuation whatever depended on his own judgment. Cornwallis was a man of a very different complexion: as cool as Conway, and as brave, he was indifferent to everything but to being in the right. He held fame cheap,[50] and smiled at reproach. General Howard was one of those sort of characters who are only to be distinguished by having no peculiarity of character. Under these was Wolfe, a young officer who had contracted reputation from his intelligence of discipline, and from the perfection to which he had brought his own regiment. The world could not expect more from him than he thought himself capable of performing. He looked on danger as the favourable moment that would call forth his talents.

Sir Edward Hawke commanded the fleet—a man of steady courage, of fair appearance, and who even did not want a plausible kind of sense; but he was really weak, and childishly abandoned to the guidance of a Scotch secretary. The next was Knowles, a vain man, of more parade than real bravery. Howe, brother of the Lord of that name, was the third on the naval list. He was undaunted as a rock, and as silent; the characteristics of his whole race. He and Wolfe soon contracted a friendship like the union of a cannon and gunpowder.

September 20th.—The Fleet appeared off the isle of Oleron; but it was the 23rd before they got in. Knowles, the Vice-Admiral, with his division, was ordered to attack the little isle of Aix. Howe, who led this detachment, sailed up with a steady magnanimity without firing till within pistol-shot of the fort. Greaves followed, and Keppel pressed[51] forward to get in between them: Knowles kept a little more distant. Howe began a dreadful fire, and in less than two hours the garrison surrendered. Conway pressed them to proceed immediately on some further enterprise, and proposed directly to go and consult Sir Edward Hawke, who lay more out at sea. Knowles replied, that he was so fatigued that he could not go till next morning; when he reposed himself till ten. When Conway got him to Sir Edward Hawke’s ship, they found Sir Edward had sent Broderick with their only pilot to see where they could land—and these men did not return till noon. Mordaunt appeared incapable of forming any opinion, and said he was ready to take any officer’s advice.

In this dilemma they called a Council of War. In their deliberation, it appeared that Clarke, and Thierri, a French Pilot, had not seen Rochfort in three years and half: it was longer since the latter was there: that the nature of the road of Basques, the country, the state of the troops and garrison, were entirely unknown to them: that the expedition had been projected on the sole footing of a surprise, a view now entirely vanished, for our troops had lain near two months in the Isle of Wight, and many letters and neutral vessels had been intercepted, which spoke the alarm spread along the coast: that no man of war could lie within two miles of the landing to assist that or secure a retreat; and[52] that if the wind came to the west, as was usual at that season, all communication with the Fleet would be cut off; a point recommended to them to guard against by the express instructions of Marshal Ligonier: that there were sand-hills on the shore equivalent to an entrenchment, from behind which a small body of men might prevent a descent of 2000 men, the most the boats could contain at a time; and that even more troops than were sufficient for that purpose had been seen by the captains who went to sound and reconnoitre the coast: and what was even more discouraging than all these impediments, the chief engineer declared that they had not brought artillery sufficient for a regular attack.

As to Rochfort, many difficulties were foreseen from the state of the place; and considering how long the fleet had lain off the coast, it was highly probable that not only the approach was guarded in a manner to have our troops cut to pieces, as they must have landed in small divisions; but that a strong garrison must have been thrown into the place, if not provided with one before. Bonville, a French volunteer, declared there were sluices with which they could flow the place all round; and he and the pilot of the Neptune had seen the ditch full of water. The dock-men were numerous, and five ships lay in the river, whose crews amounted to near 3000 men; besides the Militia of the country. We should have been two days marching to the[53] place, and could have carried up to it but 7400 men. The nights were as light as day; and a letter found in a Priest’s house at Aix, dated from Rochfort on the 18th, spoke expressly of the precautions the Governor had taken.

No reasonable man could hope to surmount all these difficulties. Those, who had carried the same opinion from home with them, were not likely to find the objections weaker when mustered together on the spot. Both land and sea concurred in voting the surprisal of Rochfort impracticable, and then would have returned to England; but Conway, who the evening before had proposed to make themselves masters of Fouras, a little fort on the shore, where, when once established, they might examine what further damage could be done to the enemy, persuaded the Council that it was necessary to do something before they retired. To that they all agreed except Cornwallis, who had seen no attainable object, or none worth attaining, from the beginning to the end of the plan. Yet, that he might not stand single in a vote for retreating, he was induced to acquiesce:—however, Sir Edward Hawke’s secretary, who took the minutes of the deliberation, inserted Cornwallis’s real opinion into their votes, and without reading them to the Council, sent them to the English Admiralty, by whom they were shown to the King; and what Cornwallis’s associates had advised him to depart from, lest it[54] might turn to his prejudice, was, after their return, construed into the only sensible opinion.

Conway renewed his proposal of an attack on Fouras, as, when once entrenched there, they might with more preparation march to Rochfort; or at least from thence hope to burn the five ships and the magazines on the Charente. Nobody approved the scheme. In these discussions three or four days were wasted. Conway perpetually pressed for some action—at last Mordaunt said carelessly, “Ay, let us go stretch our legs on the Isle of Oleron.” Conway said, a feigned diversion towards the Isle of Rhée would be more advisable; it would draw the French troops, who by this time must be alarmed, to that side; and then some surprise might be practicable. To this the rest would not agree. Conway then offered to make a real attack on the Isle of Oleron: they disputed on it till two in the morning; and though the first proposal had come from the others, he could not obtain their acquiescence. They wasted time even in dining; Sir Edward Hawke’s table lasted till late in the evening. Conway’s[10] importunity at last prevailed for an attack[55] on Fouras; and all the Generals, to show that want of spirit had not operated in their Councils, resolved to be present. The first division embarked, but being moonlight, and the nights clear, and the wind turning against them, Howe himself told them it was not safe at that time; and Wolfe pronounced it would be bloody work. They were ordered back from their boats. Yet Conway persisting for an attempt on Fouras, Mordaunt offered to undertake it, if Conway would take the advice solely on himself. Conway, eager for the danger, was averse to being the author of it. Mordaunt then artfully desired him to relinquish proposing it. Neither to that would he yield. Mordaunt solicited him with strange earnestness, either to abandon the project, or to undertake it as his own; Mordaunt offering[56] to share the danger of the execution, not of the opinion. Conway at last said, if Mordaunt would call Wolfe and any other man, and they would advise him to advise the attack he would; or if they advised him to desist from proposing it, he would; but either Mordaunt declined—in truth, it was a contest to be pitied rather than blamed: both saw the rashness of the project, to which they were willing to sacrifice themselves and their soldiers. Mordaunt, from esteem of Conway’s abilities, hoped to be excused if he executed what the latter advised—and the latter was too happy in not being commanding officer, to take that charge upon himself in a hopeless bravado. Conway then proposed to submit to the same alternative from the opinions of Cornwallis and Howard; to which the General acquiesced; and they, as he foresaw, concurring with him, Conway submitted, but desired they would observe, he acquiesced against his opinion—and it was determined to return, Sir Edward Hawke having often pressed the Generals to come to some resolution, the bad season approaching so near that he could not venture to keep the great ships much longer at sea. Wolfe and Howe had borne the dilatoriness of the chief commanders with indignation; yet seeing the minute lost, made no objection to a retreat; and the Fleet arrived at Portsmouth October 3rd—in the meantime, many important events had happened.


In the East Indies, the fleet under Admiral Watson retrieved the damages inflicted on our settlements by a new Nabob, of which we had received notice in the preceding June. That Viceroy had seized Cossimbuzar and Calcutta; the cruelties exercised on the factory in the latter place, where 170 persons were crammed into a dungeon, and stifled in the most shocking torments of heat, will not bear to be described to a good-natured reader. Watson was seconded by Captain Clive, one of those extraordinary men, whose great soul broke out under all the disadvantages of an ugly and contemptible person.

In the north of Germany, affairs had taken a favourable turn for the King of Prussia. Lehwald, one of his Generals, defeated a mighty army of Russians, who, in the most barbarian style, were pouring into Prussia. The Germans, whatever they pretended, were not cheaply conquerors. But the consequences of the battle were decisive; the Muscovites disappeared from the campaign for the rest of the summer.

The Duke of Cumberland, after the battle of Hastenbecke, had retired with his army towards Stade, and was followed by the French. The Duchies of Bremen and Verden were at the eve of falling into their hands, and the King expected that they would be given back to Sweden. The Hanoverian Ministry did not doubt but the Duke’s high[58] spirit would venture the Army being cut to pieces rather than surrender them prisoners, and they complained of the scanty assistance afforded by England. Lady Yarmouth even said to Lord Hertford, “Que peut on faire, my Lord! le Ministere Anglois ne nous a voulu donner que quelque tonneaux de farine.” The truth was, the King, to avoid expense, had neglected to raise the Militia of Hanover, though they had implored it, and might have given a decisive turn to the battle in his favour. Both the Sovereign and his German Council were determined at all events to save the Duchies and the troops, and the most positive orders were dispatched to the Duke in consequence of those resolutions. Yet, not trusting to what conditions his son, however obedient, might obtain, his Majesty prevailed on his son-in-law, the King of Denmark, to interpose his good offices, and accordingly, on the 7th of September, Count Lynar, Governor of Oldenburg, arrived in the Duke’s camp as mediator, and a passport being demanded for him from Marshal Richelieu, the latter sent it with an escort of a hundred horse, and by the next day a convention was obtained and signed, by which Stade and the district round it was left to the Hanoverians, with permission to the rest of those troops to repass the Elbe, observing a strict neutrality. The troops of Hesse, Brunswick, Saxe-Gotha, &c., in the King’s pay, were to retire to their several countries.


When the news of this suspension of arms arrived at Kensington, it occasioned the greatest surprise, the greatest clamour—for even the Monarch acted surprise! The Foreign Ministers acquainted those of England that it was concluded, or certainly would be. The English with great truth disavowed all knowledge, and protested entire disbelief of it. They not only had not been entrusted with the secret, but saw their master affect equal indignation, and encouraged by that dissimulation, ventured to insist on his permitting them to write to foreign Courts that he disavowed the transaction. Even this he granted. He went further: he told Dabreu, the Spanish Minister, that he would show him the rough draft of a letter which he had prepared to send to his son, with a positive command to fight. It was true, he had written such a letter; it is no less true that he never sent it.

As the Dictator of the Convention disavowed it, as the father disclaimed the son, it was natural for those who suffered by the act, and for those who hated the actor, to break out against both. The King of Prussia said we had undone him, without mending our own situation. The Princess of Wales, Lord Hardwicke, and Legge threw the strongest reflections on the Duke; the last, indeed, with appearance of reason, being extremely hampered, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, by this transaction. How should he be able, he said, next winter to propose[60] the Hessian troops, whose hands were now tied up from assisting us? or must he wave the subsidy to them, when they were starving in our cause? The others went further; they called his Royal Highness’s Generalship in question; he was brave indeed, but that was all; he had wasted a good Army; had beaten the French, and did not know it.

But the most indecent in personal invectives was Baron Munchausen, the Hanoverian Minister in England—a man reckoned one of their ablest heads, and who had hitherto always comported himself with civility and inoffensively. He went so far as to call for a Council to examine the Duke’s behaviour; and Lord Hardwicke, to extend the insult, or to divide it amongst many, desired the whole Cabinet Council, not merely the junto, might meet: the affair was too serious. Thither Munchausen brought copies of his own letters to the Duke, to prove that his Royal Highness had acted without authority. Mr. Pitt observed, that they proved the direct contrary; and he, who certainly had never managed the Duke, nor stood on any good terms with him, acted a part nobly honest: when the King told him that he had given his son no orders for this treaty, Pitt replied with firmness, “But full powers, Sir; very full powers.”

Yet this sincerity in a foe could infuse none into a father. Two messengers were dispatched to recall the Duke, and, October 12th, he arrived at Kensington.[61] It was in the evening, and he retired to his own apartment, where Mr. Fox and his servants were attending. He thanked Mr. Fox for being there, and said, “You see me well both in body and mind. I have written orders in my pocket for everything I did.” (He afterwards said, his orders had been so strong, that he had not expected to obtain such good conditions.) He then dismissed Fox, saying, he would send for him again. (The shortness of this interview, he afterwards told Mr. Fox, had proceeded from his determination of seeing nobody alone who could be supposed to advise him, till he had taken the step he meditated.) At nine, the hour the King punctually goes to play in the apartment of the Princess Emily, the Duke went to her. The King, who was there, had ordered the Princess not to leave them alone, received him with extreme coldness; and when his Royal Highness went afterwards into the other room where the King was at cards, his Majesty said aloud, “Here is my son, who has ruined me and disgraced himself,”—and unless this was speaking to him, spoke not a word. At eleven, when the cards were over, the Duke went down to Lady Yarmouth, and told her the King had left him but one favour to ask, which he was come to solicit by her interposition, as he wished to make it as little disagreeable to the King as possible—it was to desire leave to resign everything, the post of Captain-General, and his regiment.[62] The Countess was in great concern at the request, and said, “Pray, Sir, don’t determine this at once.” He replied, “He begged her pardon; he was not come for advice; he had had time to think, and was determined.” “Then, Sir,” said she, “I have nothing left but to obey.”

The King received the notification with as much real agitation as he had counterfeited before. The next morning he ordered the Cabinet Council to wait on the Duke, and pay their respects to him. Lord Holderness went in first, and kissed his hand, but was not spoken to. Pitt followed; and of him his Royal Highness took most notice, speaking to him at different reprisals with kindness, to mark his satisfaction with Pitt’s behaviour. He said a little to the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Granville, and Lord Anson. Lord Hardwicke was out of town. The Duke of Devonshire was sent to the Duke in private, to persuade him not to resign. He was inflexible. Devonshire was sent again to ask from the King as a favour that he would at least retain his regiment; he need not do the duty; but his Majesty should not think himself safe in any other hands; yet even this counterfeit of confidence was an aggravation of the cruelty. The Duke learned that this solicitude about the regiment proceeded solely from the King’s averseness to give it to Prince Edward; as would be expected, and he was not softened by such duplicity. He even determined[63] never to be employed under his father again, telling Fox, that no collusion about the treaty should be imputed to him, by his resuming his command. To Conway he said, he could not, did not hope that the King would do what was necessary to justify him, it was therefore necessary to do all he could to justify himself. The next day, the Duke visited the Princess, and beginning to mention his resolution of resigning, she rung the bell, and asked him if he would not see the children.

When the King found his son’s resentment inflexible, he thought of nothing but making it as little uncomfortable to himself as possible: provided the interior face of the palace was not discomposed, he cared little about justifying himself or making any reparation to his son; who, he thought, might as easily forget in the ceremonies of the drawing-room what he had suffered, as his Majesty drowned all sensibility in the parade of that narrow sphere. He insisted that the Duke should appear as usual at Court, and come to him in a morning. The Duke acquiesced, saying, he should always show the utmost respect to the King as his father, but never could serve him more. When these essential forms were adjusted, the Duke sent for Munchausen, and said, “Mr. Privy-councillor, I hear the King has sent for opinions of Hanoverian Generals on my conduct; here are the opinions of the Hessian Generals, and of the Duke[64] of Wolfenbuttle. As the King has ordered the former to be deposited among the Archives of Hanover, I hope he will do me the justice to let these be registered with them. Take them, and bring them back to me to-morrow.” Munchausen returned with them the next day, and with a message from the King that his Majesty had been better informed, and thought better of his Royal Highness than he had done; and then Munchausen falling prostrate to kiss the lappet of his coat, the Duke with dignity and anger checked him, and said, “Mr. Privy-councillor, confine yourself to that office; and take care what you say, even though the words you repeat should be my father’s; I have all possible deference for him, but I know how to punish anybody else that presumes to speak improperly of me.”

On the 15th, the Duke resigned all his commands.

I have dwelt minutely on the circumstances of this history, having learned from the best authorities, and being sure that few transactions deserve more to be remembered. A young Prince, warm, greedy of military glory, yet resigning all his passions to the interested dictates of a father’s pleasure, and then loaded with the imputation of having acted basely without authority: hurt with unmerited disgrace, yet never breaking out into the least unguarded expression; preserving dignity under oppression, and the utmost tenderness of duty[65] under the utmost delicacy of honour—this an uncommon picture—for the sake of human nature, I hope the conduct of the father is uncommon too! When the Duke could tear himself from his favourite passion, the Army, one may judge how sharply he must have been wounded. When afterwards the King, perfidiously enough, broke that famous convention, mankind were so equitable as to impute it to the same unworthy politics, not to the disapprobation he had pretended to feel on its being made. In a former part of this history, I have said with regard to his eldest, that the King might have been an honest man, if he had never hated his father, or had ever loved his son—what double force has this truth, when it is again applied to him on his treachery to the best son that ever lived! Considering with what freedom I have spoken of the Duke’s faults in other parts of this work, I may be believed in the just praise bestowed on him here.

We must now turn our eyes to Ireland, which Mr. Conway had left in a state of perfect tranquillity. The imprudence of the new Governors opened the wounds afresh. The Duke of Bedford set out for that Kingdom on the 20th of September, determined as he thought to observe a strict neutrality between the factions, and rigid uprightness in the conduct of his Administration. He began with exacting strict attendance on their posts from[66] persons in employment, and with refusing leave of absence to officers and chaplains of regiments; and considering, too, how his new dominions had been loaded of late years to smooth the difficulties of the English Government, his Grace commenced his reign with strong declamations against Irish pensions. He had two difficulties to encounter before these fair views could be carried into execution: his own Court were far from being so disinterested as their master, and his new subjects were as little desirous of a reign of virtue. Nor had the Duke himself the art of reconciling them to it by his manner, which was shy, untractable, ungracious, ungenerous. The Duchess pleased universally; she had all her life been practising the part of a Queen; dignity and dissimulation were natural to her. The Irish were charmed with a woman who seemed to depart from her state from mere affability. But the person who influenced them both was the Secretary Rigby. He had ingratiated himself with the Duchess, and had acquired an absolute ascendant over her husband, who, with all his impetuosity, was governed by his favourite in a style that approached to domineering.

Rigby had an advantageous and manly person, recommended by a spirited jollity that was very pleasing, though sometimes roughened into brutality: of most insinuating good-breeding when he wished to be agreeable. His passions were turbulent and overbearing; his courage bold and fond of[67] exerting itself. His parts strong and quick, but totally uncultivated; and so much had he trusted to unaffected common sense, that he could never afterwards acquire the necessary temperament of art in his public speaking. He had been a pupil of Winnington, and owed the chief errors of his life to that man’s maxims, perniciously witty. Winnington had unluckily lived when all virtue had been set to notorious sale, and in ridicule of false pretences had affected an honesty in avowing whatever was dishonourable. Rigby, whose heart was naturally good, grew to think it sensible to laugh at the shackles of morality; and having early encumbered his fortune by gaming, he found his patron’s maxims but too well adapted to retrieve his desperate fortunes. He placed his honour in steady addiction to whatever faction he was united with: and from the gaiety of his temper, having indulged himself in profuse drinking, (for in private few men were more temperate,) he was often hurried beyond the bounds of that interest which he meant should govern all his actions, and which his generous extravagance for ever combated. In short, he was a man who was seldom loved or hated with moderation; yet he himself, though a violent opponent, was never a bitter enemy. His amiable qualities were all natural; his faults acquired, or fatally linked to him by the chain of some other failings.


In a Court of such a complexion as I have described, no wonder the reign of virtue was violated in the outset. The Queen-Dowager of Prussia, the King’s sister, was lately dead: during the parsimonious barbarity of her husband, a pension of 800l. a year, on Ireland, had been privately transmitted to her; and she retained it to her death. The Duke of Bedford was persuaded to ask this for the Duchess’s sister, Lady Betty Waldegrave, and obtained it. His impartiality was as ill-observed as his maxims of frugality. Rigby, sacrificing to what he concluded Mr. Fox’s inclination, hurried the Lord-Lieutenant into flagrant partiality to Lord Kildare. The Primate was neglected; but he knew how to make himself of consequence. The prostitution of his opponents had raised his character, and he omitted no address to conciliate popularity. Malone had at length accepted the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer; and being the last renegade, was the most obnoxious. Being regarded as Minister in the House of Commons, the storm was intended to fall on him, for Rigby was not known as a man of business; and till Lord George Sackville affected the active part of power, and after him Mr. Conway, the Lord-Lieutenant’s secretary had been no character in Parliament.

The factions existing were, the Primate’s, Lord Kildare’s, those attached to the Speaker Ponsonby,[69] and who in truth were a defection from Kildare; and a flying squadron of patriots, the smallest body of the four, and composed as is usual, of the discontented—that is, of those who had been too insignificant to be bought off, or whose demands had been too high—and of a few well-meaning men. Lord Kildare had still the greatest number of dependents, though inferior to those of the Primate and Ponsonby, if united; a point[11] now eagerly pursued by the Archbishop, while at the same time he underhand inflamed the patriots against the Castle: and had sufficient success. The Session no sooner opened, than French, a lawyer, proposed a trifling amendment to the Address, but with indirect reflections on Malone, whom they endeavoured to make rise, and take the Minister upon him; but he avoided it, and suffered the amendment. The next day, one Upton, a warm and obstinate Patriot, formerly a friend of Malone, moved for the list of Pensions, on which Lady Betty Waldegrave’s name must have appeared. Malone at last rose, and said, the Motion was premature, for the list would be given in with the Estimates. Upton, not being content with this answer, Malone moved to adjourn, the other threatening to renew his Motion at their[70] next meeting. And when he did repeat it, it was rejected but by a majority of five; an advantage so slender, that the Castle did not venture to stem a torrent of violent resolutions, which the House passed a few days afterwards against pensions, absentees, and other grievances, of which they demanded redress, desiring the Lord-Lieutenant to transmit them to his Majesty in their very words. This heat was led by one Perry, a bold, troublesome, and corrupt lawyer, who had been vexatious to Mr. Conway, and between whom and Rigby there soon passed such warm altercations, that they were with difficulty prevented from going greater lengths.

The Duke, in answer to their resolutions, told them they were couched in such extraordinary terms, and aimed so high, that he should take time to consider whether he would transmit them to England; and this answer Rigby moved to have entered in the Journals, but desisted, on finding great opposition. Both the Duke and he acted with incredible intemperance; and intending to establish their authority by the weight of power, his Grace sent to England for assistance, and demanded to be invested with a latitude of rewards and punishments. The absentees were sent over to strengthen his party in the House of Commons; but the English Council meeting upon his other demand, and not being composed of many of his friends, Mr. Pitt wrote him a[71] civil excuse, with a refusal of full powers; if his Grace would name whom he wished to displace or prefer, he should be supported; on the whole, he was advised to compose the heats that had arisen. The Primate no doubt had early intelligence from Lord George of the little attention paid to the Lord Lieutenant’s remonstrance; but being disposed to govern the Castle rather than overturn them, he retired to his country seat at Leixlip, declaring his disapprobation of the violence of the Commons; and the next day sent two of his creatures to the Duke to disavow any connexions with the Speaker, and to profess his aversion to disturbing the Government; in elections only against Lord Kildare and Malone he proposed to interfere. On the other hand, Lord Kildare protested that if the Primate was left of the Regency, he would not be of it. A menace most indifferent to the Prelate, who could forgive anything but exclusion from power, and who on his former disgrace had much resented the part his brother had acted in consenting to his being laid aside; and when it was notified to him, he broke out, “Now will my wise brother write me four sides to tell me it is all for the better.”

The dissimulation of the Primate was soon detected: the Duke of Bedford, to oblige him, had preferred Cunningham in rank, who, however, voted against the Court in the strongest questions. Yet continuing to frequent the assemblies at the Castle,[72] the Duke took him aside, reproached him with his behaviour, and told him, the bread he eat was the King’s. The young man replied honestly, he had such obligations to the Primate and Lord George, that though he should be reduced to his pristine indigence, he would act in all things as they ordered him. Some days afterwards, the Opposition calling in question the great powers exercised by the Privy Council of Ireland, and Malone sitting silent, the Solicitor-General, a friend of the Primate, said, that, as an officer of the Crown, he could not sit still and see the prerogative attacked, without marking his disapprobation. He was joined by all the Primate’s friends, and the motion for abridging those powers was rejected by 140 to 40. This more civil way of displaying to the Castle the Primate’s interest in the House was not calculated to inspire them with less awe of his strength.

Lord Kildare (who had no talents for governing, and yet would not unite with anybody that had,) declined Mr. Fox’s advice of joining with the Speaker, by which he might have balanced the efforts of the Primate. The Earl thought of repelling the war by carrying it into the quarters of the enemy, and the Castle weakly concurred in this silly project. They determined to move for an inquiry into the conduct of the Commissioners of the Revenue for the last twenty years, in which the principal[73] retrospect would involve the partizans of the House of Dorset. The execution of the measure was delegated to Sir Archibald Atcheson, a man so insignificant, that, having acquainted the House that he had a Motion of consequence to propose on the following Monday, he was so little regarded, that when the day came, the House was remarkably empty. The Courtiers opposed the question, till Rigby rose and said, a Motion from so respectable a person must be of consequence; the gentleman, he supposed, had some mismanagement to lay open. A secret Committee was immediately proposed and elected by ballot, when, to the great confusion of the Ministers, they carried but three out of thirty-one; the other twenty-eight were all elected from the creatures of the Primate and Speaker. The Castle had no more success in the popularity they expected from this inquisition, than they had in the choice of the inquisitors. The Lord-Lieutenant, too, increased the offence by his ungracious reception of the Commissioners of the Revenue, who waiting on him to disculpate themselves, as they feared they had been misrepresented to his Grace, he answered them dryly, if anything was wrong, he supposed it would come out; if innocent, they would clear themselves.

These transactions, which reached to the end of the year, I have chosen to throw together, as they would be little intelligible, if broken into the precise[74] order in which they happened. I shall use the same method on the sequel of the expedition to Rochfort.

As soon as the Fleet was returned, Sir John Mordaunt was ordered to town to give an account of his conduct; and Mr. Pitt inserted in the Gazette his letter to the General and Admiral, empowering them to stay out longer if they should find it necessary. This did not allay the ill-humour in the City, where they coupled the fruitlessness of the expedition with the Hanoverian neutrality; and concluded that both flowed from the same attention to the preservation of the favourite Electorate. The Ministers affected to distinguish the naval commanders. The Generals were coldly received, particularly by the King, though he did speak to Conway, who, however, was so sensible of the injustice done to him, that, if he had not been overpersuaded by his friends, who foresaw that his resignation would be represented as a dismission, he would have immediately quitted his post in the King’s Bed-chamber.

His Majesty had at first been indifferent to the plan; then ridiculed it to all who came near him. Now, being in a humour of heroism and criticism, he took it up in the bitterest terms, and did the Generals the honour of treating them as ill as his own son, the Duke, seizing every opportunity of casting reflections on the one and the others; and[75] on the news of the King of Prussia’s success, the Monarch said, “Yes, people may beat, if they do not always retreat; but there are so many cowards, I am almost afraid of growing one myself.” Pitt, though really more hurt, and apt enough to take any step to illustrate his own measures, behaved with greater decency. He pressed no violent resolutions against the officers; he prevented the City from addressing against them; and only took the more sensible, though not less severe style of punishing the miscarriage, by raising Wolfe at once over the heads of a great number of officers.[12]

Sir John Mordaunt finding no notice taken of him in any shape, went to Mr. Pitt, and told him he had waited a week to see what would be done on his affair: he found he was in disgrace, but found it only by neglect and silence. He entreated Mr. Pitt to ask the King to permit an inquiry on it. Pitt told him, this had been thought of; owned they did blame the first Council of War; but this was always the case when officers went prejudiced against a measure.

Accordingly, November 1st, a Commission of Inquiry[76] was directed, composed of the Duke of Marlborough, Lord George Sackville, and General Waldegrave: a Court that could not be called unprecedented, for one of the very same nature had been held in the foregoing year, but most unconstitutional and dangerous; nay, absurd, for they had neither power to acquit nor condemn. As the Ministers selected whom they pleased, if the criminal was to be saved, a favourable report from this Board would exclude a legal trial; if to be condemned, was not such a preparatory inquisition likely to influence future judgment? The present Board was indeed artfully constituted. Two of the Commissioners were attached to Fox; if their majority acquitted, the odium would fall on Mr. Pitt’s antagonist—and to them he had joined Lord George Sackville, as much devoted to himself, and more than a balance to the other two in abilities. But another step Pitt took, still more novel, and as pernicious for the precedent. He sent Mr. Blair of the Secretary’s office to the Lord Mayor of London, to inform the City that an inquiry was appointed. What right the City of London had to such notification above all other towns in the kingdom could not well be told. What use they will make of such admission into the executive part of Government can easily be conceived; and what confusion may follow from incorporating the mob of London with the other parts of the Legislature, where they are[77] already represented, and where they have no title to be more than represented.

The inquiry began on the 12th. The Generals, and Knowles, and Broderick, utterly disavowing Sir Edward Hawke’s minutes, Lord George took them to pieces severely, and censured Hay, the composer of them. The Duke of Marlborough asked many questions, with appearance of thinking ill of the conduct of the Generals. Waldegrave took no part at all. Sir John Mordaunt defended himself weakly; Conway most ably; exposed Clarke; and at last producing his own narrative, it silenced all further inquiry; yet the resolutions of the Court, which were not explicit, seemed to say, that they thought more might have been performed; or at least that there had not been sufficient reasons for desisting from the attempt. The report of these opinions was made to the King on the 21st, who, on the 30th, ordered a Court-Martial on Sir John Mordaunt alone.

The Duke of Cumberland[13] espoused the cause of the Generals, wished them to make it a common cause, and to pin down their whole defence to the impracticability of the measure. To this Conway could not consent. He had too much endeavoured to explore whether it was practicable or not, to[78] submit to involve himself in the remissness of those for whose sake he now suffered. Yet the delicacy with which he avoided whatever might set their failings in a strong light, the management he used invariably for Sir John Mordaunt, for whom he drew up every paper he could want, the obstinacy with which he persisted to sink material articles of his own defence, rather than charge his colleagues, at the same time that no worthy mind was ever so wounded with disgrace, these and every instance of his behaviour made the solidity of his virtue appear most amiable and interesting; and it was still heightened by not meeting with an equal degree of tenderness from those in whose protection it was exerted.

The Court-Martial began its session on the 14th of December, and finished on the 18th; though it was opened again for one day to hear Sir Edward Hawke’s evidence, who had been at sea. Lord Tyrawley was President. Mr. Pitt appeared before them, as he said, to authenticate his own orders, but took the opportunity of making an imperious speech, and defended Clarke and Thierri, the pilot; who, he affirmed, had supported their information, though sifted in so extraordinary a manner. General Cholmondeley interrupted him, reminding him that he only came thither to authenticate. Pitt replied with haughtiness; and being asked, who had sifted Clarke and the pilot, he said, the military men; and[79] often spoke of Mordaunt and Conway by name. There have been times when a Minister, in less odour of popularity, would have been impeached for presuming to awe a legal Court of Justice; but as it did Mr. Pitt no harm, neither did it produce any good to the cause he favoured. The whole Court treated the expedition as rash and childish; and acquitted the General with honour. Sir Edward Hawke reflecting on Thierri as an ignorant Fanfaron, General Cholmondeley asked if there were two Thierris? Surely, he said, this ignorant Fanfaron could not be the one so applauded by Mr. Pitt!

Thus ended the chimera of taking Rochfort. The public, however, were entertained for part of the following winter with a literary controversy, which it produced between General Conway and Mr. Potter. Mr. Doddington, too, flung in one or two bitter pamphlets against Mr. Pitt.

I have dwelt so long on the singular events of this year, that I shall hasten to the conclusion of this book, touching briefly the other most material passages, the chief of which, relating to the victories of the King of Prussia, will be found at large in other histories, and demand a more exalted pen than mine, sullied with the faults and follies of my countrymen, and though suited perhaps to the trifling province of catching ridicules, unequal to the lofty compass of history.

Lord Mansfield was called to the conciliabulum,[80] or essence of the Council; an honour not only uncommon and due to his high abilities, but set off with his being proposed by Lord Hardwicke himself, who wished, he said, to get repose for three months in the country: Lord Mansfield would amply supply his place. It was about this time that this great Chief Justice set himself to take information against libels, and would sift, he said, what was the real liberty of the press. The occasions of the times had called him off from principles that favoured an arbitrary King—he still leaned towards an arbitrary Government.

At the end of October came news that our Fleet under Holbourn, blocking up a French squadron at Louisbourg, had been dispersed by a great storm, in which the Nassau was lost, the Eagle was driven home, and ten ships were dismasted.

The year concluded with a torrent of glory for the King of Prussia. On the 5th of November, he defeated the combined Imperial and French Armies at Rosbach; and though the Austrians took Schweidnitz, and beat the Prince of Bevern, the King repaired that disadvantage by a complete victory over their best Army, commanded by Prince Charles and Count Daun, at Lissa: a single month intervening between this and his success at Rosbach. His uncle’s efforts were neither exerted nor crowned with equal honour. The decline of the arms of France in the empire encouraged the King to break[81] the convention of Closter Seven. The Hanoverians were reassembled, and Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, a general of repute, appointed to command them. Some trifling infractions of the neutrality on the part of the French were pretexted to cover this notorious breach of faith—a monument to future politicians, in how short a space of time a treaty may be commanded, concluded, disavowed, made advantage of, and violated!

During these transactions, the unfortunate Queen of Poland died suddenly at Dresden; a witness of calamities to which she had not contributed, and which she had in vain remained there to temper.

In England, Sir John Ligonier, to whom the supreme command of the British armies was entrusted, was created a Viscount of Ireland, and a Marshal, with his seniors, Sir Robert Rich and Lord Molesworth. Lord George Sackville succeeded as Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance; and by that employment escaped the unwelcome command in America, which he could not with any grace have otherwise avoided.

Colley Cibber, that good-humoured and honest veteran, so unworthily aspersed by Pope, and whose Memoirs, with one or two of his comedies, will secure his fame, in spite of all the abuse of his contemporaries, dying about this time at a very great age, the Duke of Devonshire bestowed the laurel on Mr. Whitehead, a man of a placid genius. His[82] Grace had first designed it for Gray,[14] then for Mason, but was told that both would decline it. In truth, it was not Cibber’s silly odes that disgraced the employment, but an annual panegyric venally extorted for whatever King, and with or without occasion, that debased the office. Gray, crowned with the noblest wreaths of Parnassus, could not stoop to be dubbed poet by a Lord Chamberlain; and Mason, though he had not then displayed all the powers of his genius, had too much sense and spirit to owe his literary fame to anything but his own merit.

On the 28th of December died the King’s third daughter, Princess Caroline. She had been the favourite of the Queen, who preferred her understanding to those of all her other daughters, and whose partiality she returned with duty, gratitude, affection, and concern. Being in ill health at the time of her mother’s death, the Queen told her she would follow her in less than a year. The Princess received the notice as a prophecy; and though she lived many years after it had proved a vain one, she quitted the world, and persevered in the closest retreat, and in constant and religious preparation for the grave; a moment she so eagerly desired, that when something was once proposed to her, to[83] which she was averse, she said, “I would not do it to die!” To this impression of melancholy had contributed the loss of Lord Hervey,[15] for whom she had conceived an unalterable passion, constantly marked afterwards by all kind and generous offices to his children. For many years she was totally an invalid, and shut herself up in two chambers in the inner part of St. James’s, from whence she could not see a single object. In this monastic retirement, with no company but of the King, the Duke, Princess Emily, and a few of the most intimate of the Court, she led, not an unblameable life only, but a meritorious one: her whole income was dispensed between generosity and charity; and, till her death by shutting up the current discovered the source, the jails of London did not suspect that the best support of their wretched inhabitants was issued from the Palace.

From the last Sunday to the Wednesday on which she died, she declined seeing her family; and when the mortification began, and the pain ceased, she said, “I feared I should not have died of this!”

Finished August 8th, 1759.


[10] He himself took a cutter and twenty marines and went to survey the coast. A battery fired on them; and one of the rowers said, “Sir, we are in great danger.” He replied, coolly, “Pho, they can’t hurt us;” and turning to young Fitzroy (Charles, afterwards Lord Southampton, from whom I received this relation), he said, “Now, if they would not say I was boyish, I would land with these twenty marines, to show them we can.” I have already mentioned his gallant behaviour at Fontenoy, at Laffelt, and at Culloden, at the first of which battles he was taken prisoner; but I cannot help repeating an unsuspected, because disinterested testimonial in his favour. When this miscarriage at Rochfort made so much noise, and the courage of the Generals was questioned, Lord Chesterfield said to Mr. Fox these words: “I am sure Conway is brave; I remember when I was praising George Stanhope (a young man of remarkable spirit, brother of Earl Stanhope), he replied, ‘Faith, my Lord, I believe I have as much courage as other people; indeed, I don’t pretend to be like Harry Conway, who walks up to the mouth of a cannon with as much coolness and grace, as if he was going to dance a minuet.’”

[11] Lord George Sackville, who was privy to this negotiation, and who hated the Speaker on former injuries, said, “Ponsonby is a dirty fellow; we have nothing to do but rub his nose against a Devonshire.”

[12] The conduct of one of his friends was not quite so judicious; Potter, then ill at Bath, sent the Mayor of the place an account of a private letter he had received from Mr. Pitt, lamenting his disappointment, which had broken his heart. This letter was left for public perusal in a bookseller’s shop, till getting into the Bath Journal, Potter thought proper to advertise that this had been done contrary to his intention.

[13] The Duke was much diverted on hearing that Pitt, who had drawn the plan for the Militia, urged against the Generals that there had been no force on the coast of France, but twenty thousand of the Militia!

[14] It appears by Mr. Gray’s Letters, published with his Life by Mr. Mason in 1795, that the laurel was actually offered to Mr. Gray, and was refused by him.

[15] Eldest son of John Earl of Bristol, and Lord Privy Seal: a great favourite of Queen Caroline, and a principal object of Pope’s satire.



Punch. Who is that?

Luckless. That is an orator, Master Punch.

Punch. An orator!—what’s that?

Luck. Why, an orator is—egad, I can’t tell what: he is a man that nobody dares dispute with.

Fielding’s Pleasures of the Town.


Mr. Pitt’s political Influence at the commencement of the year 1758—Five Great Men—Opening of Parliament, and Speech of Mr. Pitt—Clive’s Victories in India—Military Appointments—Affairs of Ireland—Disinterested conduct of Mr. Conway—Dr. Clayton, Bishop of Clogher—Picture of the Manners of the Age—The King’s Munificence—Affair of the Habeas Corpus—Attorney-General Pratt brings in a Bill for extending it—Anecdotes of the Navy Bill.

Pitt was now arrived at undisturbed possession of that influence in affairs at which his ambition had aimed, and which his presumption had made him flatter himself he could exert like those men of superior genius, whose talents have been called forth by some crisis to retrieve a sinking nation. He had said the last year to the Duke of Devonshire, “My Lord, I am sure I can save this country, and nobody else can.” It were ingratitude to him to say that he did not give such a reverberation to our stagnating Councils, as exceedingly altered the appearance of our fortune. He warded off the evil hour that seemed approaching; he infused vigour into our arms; he taught the nation[85] to speak again as England used to speak to Foreign Powers; and so far from dreading invasions from France, he affected to turn us into invaders. Indeed, those efforts were so puny, so ill-concerted, so ineffectual to any essential purpose, that France looked down with scorn on such boyish flippancies, which Pitt deemed heroic, which Europe thought ridiculous, and which humanity saw were only wasteful of lives, and precedents of a more barbarous warfare than France had hitherto been authorized to carry on. In fact, Pitt had neither all the talents he supposed in himself, nor which he seemed to possess from the vacancy of great men around him. Thinly, very thinly, were great men sown in my remembrance: I can pretend to have seen but five; the Duke of Cumberland, Sir Robert Walpole, Lord Granville, Lord Mansfield, and Pitt. I have expatiated on all their characters separately; and yet I am inclined to say a few words more in the light of comparison. It is by setting the same characters in different oppositions and points of view, that nearer acquaintance with them may be struck out.

Lord Granville was most a genius of the five: he conceived, knew, expressed whatever he pleased. The state of Europe and the state of literature were equally familiar to him. His eloquence was rapid, and flowed from a source of wit, grandeur, and knowledge. So far from premeditated, he allowed[86] no reflection to chasten it. It was entertaining, it was sublime, it was hyperbole, it was ridiculous, according as the profusion of ideas crowded from him. He embraced systems like a legislator, but was capable of none of the detail of a magistrate. Sir Robert Walpole was much the reverse: he knew mankind, not their writings; he consulted their interests, not their systems; he intended their happiness, not their grandeur. Whatever was beyond common sense, he disregarded. Lord Mansfield, without the elevation of Lord Granville, had great powers of eloquence. It was a most accurate understanding, and yet capable of shining in whatever it was applied to. He was as free from vice as Pitt, more unaffected, and formed to convince, even where Pitt had dazzled. The Duke of Cumberland had most expressive sense, but with that connexion between his sense and sensibility, that you must mortify his pride before you could call out the radiance of his understanding. Being placed at the head of armies without the shortest apprenticeship, no wonder he miscarried: it is cruel to have no other master than one’s own faults. Pitt’s was an unfinished greatness: considering how much of it depended on his words, one may almost call his an artificial greatness; but his passion for fame and the grandeur of his ideas compensated for his defects. He aspired to redeem the honour of his country, and to place it in a point of giving law to[87] nations. His ambition was to be the most illustrious man of the first country in Europe; and he thought that the eminence of glory could not be sullied by the steps to it being passed irregularly. He wished to aggrandize Britain in general, but thought not of obliging or benefiting individuals.

Lord Granville you loved till you knew him; Sir Robert Walpole, the more you knew him: you would have loved the Duke, if you had not feared him. Pitt liked the dignity of despotism; Lord Mansfield the reality: yet the latter would have served the cause of power, without sharing it: Pitt would have set the world free, if he might not command it. Lord Granville would have preferred doing right, if he had not thought it more convenient to do wrong: Sir Robert Walpole meant to serve mankind, though he knew how little they deserved it; and this principle is at once the most meritorious in oneself and to the world. I beg pardon for this digression.

The Parliament had opened on the first of December in the last year; and, as if to notify honestly, that Germany would not be proscribed by Mr. Pitt, the King’s Speech talked openly of the defence of his Majesty’s dominions of Britain and elsewhere. By that little word elsewhere, Hanover was incorporated into the very language of Parliament. Lord Westmoreland, in the Lords, spoke with applause against re-echoing Addresses, and universal submission[88] to a Minister. In the Commons, Mr. Fox was absent on the death of his favourite nephew, Lord Digby; and elsewhere passed as if a phrase of course, like the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Yet on the 14th, when Lord Barrington, on delivering the estimate of the Army, had complaisantly reverberated the word elsewhere, Mr. Pitt himself said, he did not agree with his Lordship in that term; he meant the Army for our immediate selves. He had never been against continental measures when practicable; but would not now send a drop of our blood to the Elbe, to be lost in that ocean of gore. Other parts of this speech, admired almost beyond any of his orations, were so fine, and so bombast, that I must just mention a few, though I do not intend to fatigue the reader with more speeches: those I have given are sufficient to illustrate our oratory.

Sir John Philipps had spoken dully, Beckford wildly, dropping this expression, “He did not know in what hands we were.” Lord George Sackville had made the apology of Lord Loudun, whose idle conduct in America was much censured; yet where Lord George wished to have him remain, lest, on a change of commanders, he himself should be named. Pitt said, “In what hands were we?—in those of a most gracious King:” on whom he made a panegyric, and of which the least part was not his Majesty’s goodness to him since he last took the Seals.[89] How the King had listened even to him, though least in Administration—though least, he hoped to continue in it with honour: and he spoke of the great concord among the Ministers. But nothing could be well till the Army was subjected to the civil power: they were to obey, not to reason. Those sent on the late expedition had laughed at it even at table—nay, so had some of the Cabinet. He warmed himself on this topic, though he knew, he said, he ought not, as the commander was actually under trial. On Lord Loudun he kept no measures at all, but loaded him with all the asperity peculiar to his style—he had scarce any hopes now, though the people paid such an army in America: not only nothing was done—nothing was attempted. We had lost all the waters; we had not a boat on them now. Every door there was open to France. Though Lord George had excused, he could not; he would not condemn, yet he believed against Lord Loudun, who might have recovered our affairs if he had not loitered from the 9th of July to the 5th of August, inquiring whether or no the French were superior: indeed, for himself, our ill success had hurt his quiet and tainted his health. He then burst out into an Eastern panegyric. There he found Watson, Pococke, and Clive:—what astonishing success had Watson had with only three ships, which had been laid up for some time on land! He did not stay to careen this, and condemn that, but[90] at once sailed into the body of the Ganges. He was supported by Clive, that man, not born for a desk; that heaven-born General, whose magnanimity, resolution, determination, and execution would charm a King of Prussia; and whose presence of mind astonished the Indies!

These heroes soon added new wreaths to those with which Mr. Pitt had crowned them. The King of Prussia took Breslau, and made prisoners an Army of Generals and ten thousand men: and the letters of the following month brought accounts of such victories and riches acquired by Clive as astonished Europe as much as the Indies. Discovering that the Nabob who ruled in that quarter was encouraged by the French to break his alliance with us, and was actually on the march to attack our settlements, Clive bribed his first Minister, who, expediting his treachery in a more summary way than is usual in this part of the world, murdered his master; and then Clive, at the head of only three thousand men, and with a bravery that deserved a better foundation than the assassination of an enemy, attacked and defeated an army of thirty-five thousand. The new Nabob, established by Clive’s influence, made immense presents to our fleet and East India Company. Clive’s share amounted to above 200,000l. Admiral Watson, to whom the Red Riband was destined, died of a fever two days after the engagement.


General Abercrombie was sent to command in America; a man who signalized himself neither before nor after his advancement. Five new Brigadier-Generals and three Colonels, with rank only in our colonies, were appointed to serve under him. Amherst had a separate command, with Wolfe for second. These officers were all selected by Pitt, who contented himself with always speaking of the affair of Rochfort as res intentata, and with keeping the commanders on that expedition unemployed; though Conway, in the most earnest terms, and by every interest he could use, begged to serve in any quality, and in any part of the world. He was refused: and even when the English staff was carried in to the King by Ligonier, his Majesty struck out the names of Mordaunt, Conway, and Cornwallis. Ligonier represented Conway’s eagerness for employment, and that his case was different from Mordaunt’s—he had tried to do something. “Yes,” said the King, “après diné la moutarde.” However, he said he would think of Conway, though not then.

In Ireland, affairs grew to a crisis. The Opposition were inflamed with resentment at the Secret Committee set up by the Duke of Bedford, the management of which they had wrested from him. As the season, too, approached for the departure of the Lord Lieutenant, the Primate had no time to lose for recovering his place in the Regency. Every[92] reason of policy and decency made it more eligible to him to obtain that situation by gentle means than by violence. He and Ponsonby offered terms to the Duke of Bedford, who, though confessing their superiority in the House of Commons, refused to unite with them. In truth, he had involved himself so much with Lord Kildare, and was so unwilling to disoblige Fox by disobliging that Lord, that he knew not how to extricate himself. If Kildare would have softened towards the Primate, the accommodation would soon have been completed; but he would not desert himself; and he knew his party would desert him if once reconciled to the Prelate. More, the Black Rod, was dispatched to England to consult Mr. Fox; the Duke hoping in the meantime to be able to govern independently of either party.

The first step he took towards the system only tended to make it more impracticable. A Judge’s place falling vacant, the Lord Lieutenant, to demonstrate his impartiality, offered the nomination to the Chancellor, who recommended Malone’s greatest enemy, a creature of the Primate, and one formerly employed by Lord George Sackville to write pamphlets on their side. His preferment, thus obtained, was no obligation to the Primate: Malone resented it strongly, and soon took an opportunity of exerting his resentment. The Secret Committee got enlarged powers, intending to turn[93] them against the Duke of Bedford’s Treasury; and the party in general hurried to hostilities.

The Lord Lieutenant’s secretary was a place of great profit, if in the hands of an intelligent and interested man. He had fees from every new commission in the army; and his selling regiments and subordinate ranks had long passed as a matter scarce to be disavowed. If he had great power over his patron, and none over himself, Bishoprics and every other preferment in the gift or at the recommendation of the Lord Lieutenant were marketable at the secretary’s apartments in the Castle. But it was on the death of a King that the secretaryship was largely lucrative. He touched for every renewal of commission and patent. With some of these advantages, Mr. Conway had been a sufferer by the employment. The table and equipage are very expensive for the year of the Lord Lieutenant’s residence in Ireland. It is the second, the fallow[16] year, that indemnifies both the master and the servant; and the Duke of Devonshire quitted before their second year.

Mr. Conway had disdained the least gratification for his interest; and as often as the Duke of Devonshire offered him the nomination of regiments and[94] commissions, he constantly recommended neglected officers, who deserved the station, and were too indigent to reward the service, for which Conway scorned to be rewarded. The great age of the King, joined to the other inducements I have mentioned, had been the principal object that had shone in Rigby’s eyes when he carried the Duke of Bedford to Ireland; but that prospect the Opposition now cut off; and while their patriotism was only sharpened by popularity, it happily served to disburthen poor officers from so heavy a tribute. They proposed a question, which, by the ill-humour of Malone, was carried without a negative, that the Lord Lieutenant’s secretary ought to have no fees for commissions; that the loss ought to be made up to him in some other way. The King, when this resolution came to England, ordered the secretary’s salary to be 2500l. a year. The blow was heavy, and had its effect.

The Primate, having demonstrated his power, showed he was not implacable. Lord Fane, of whose integrity the Duke of Bedford had the greatest opinion—and with some reason, for it was like his own, founded on a partial degree of sense, and easily misled to very contrary purposes—was then in Ireland. To him the Primate sent Lord Hilsborough’s uncle, Mr. Hill, with new offers of accommodation. Lord Fane carried them; but at first the Duke of Bedford was deaf. Lord Fane went again; the[95] Duchess and Rigby were present, and to disguise their inclinations to the treaty, affected to receive him with the same coldness as the Duke did; by which stale art the Duke thought them of his opinion, till they had time to make him of theirs; and then the negotiation was easily carried on, and the Primate restored to his usual power in the Government, where, when once reinstated, he became the sole arbiter of affairs. He avoided interfering with Rigby’s traffic; he assured the Duchess of the homage of her subjects, and secured her return to them; and he had too much insinuation not to charm the Duke himself, who departed to England, smiling and self-satisfied, though sold by one[17] man and vanquished by another! Offers were made to Lord Kildare of being included in this treaty, which he refused, quitting his part of[96] the Regency, but professing to avoid future hostilities. The Primate and the Speaker were left Lords Justices; the third place, Lord Kildare’s [one must have lived in England and seen the abandoned behaviour of our patriots before one could believe it], was filled by Lord Shannon; that very Mr. Boyle, for whom Lord Kildare had commenced all these disturbances, and whose opposition to the Primate had first introduced virtue, and consequently prostitution, into Ireland. Malone, too, kept his place, and Sir Richard Cox[18] was made a Commissioner of the Revenue.

Before I quit the affairs of that country, I must mention a spiritual business that made some noise there. Dr. Clayton, Bishop of Clogher, had already distinguished himself as a man of parts and a freethinker. His Essay on Spirit, which seemed to accord with Clarke’s esoteric doctrine, had more the address of an heresiarch than the plain-dealing simplicity of a Christian pastor. He now published a vindication of the Testament, which seemed calculated for doing anything with the Testament rather than supporting it. Yet the man was believed sincere in his opinions—and so a man ought to be who thinks it worth his while to expose himself by exploding any common prejudices. He even aspired to sufferings for his zeal in propagating counterband[97] metaphysics among illiterate Irish. But the Bishops, his brethren, taking the alarm, and intending a meeting with their orthodox Primate, in order to prepare an application to the Crown for a royal visitation, Clayton died suddenly of a panic, though possessed of a good private estate, and ambitious of martyrdom!

This little flame was soon extinguished; in fact, there were no religious combustibles in the temper of the times. Popery and Protestantism seemed at a stand. The modes of Christianity were exhausted, and could not furnish novelty enough to fix attention. Linzendorffe plied his Moravians with nudities, yet made few enthusiasts. Whitfield and the Methodists made more money than disturbances; his largest crop of proselytes lay among servant-maids; and his warmest devotees went to Bedlam without going to war. Bower, whom some thought they had detected as a Jesuit, and who at most was but detected as an impostor, had laid open the practices of the Catholics, and detailed the establishments of the Jesuits in the very heart of London, without occasioning either alarm or murmur against those fathers. His History of the Popes, one of the ablest performances we have, was decried, because, to recommend a work of truth and utility, he had embroidered his own story with some marvellous legends. Yet, uninflammable as the times were,[98] they carried a great mixture of superstition. Masquerades had been abolished, because there had been an earthquake at Lisbon; and when the last jubilee-masquerade was exhibited at Ranelagh, the ale-houses and roads to Chelsea were crowded with drunken people, who assembled to denounce the judgments of God on persons of fashion, whose greatest sin was dressing themselves ridiculously.

A more inconvenient reformation, and not a more sensible one, was set on foot by societies of tradesmen, who denounced to the magistrate all bakers that baked or sold bread on Sundays. Alum, and the variety of spurious ingredients with which bread, and indeed all wares, were adulterated all the week round, gave not half so much offence as the vent of the chief necessary of life on the seventh day. Indecent prints were prohibited: the Chief-Justice Mansfield caused to be seized at an auction a well-known tale, called “The Woman of Pleasure,” a work that simplified novels to their original intention. Some of the elders, too, of our own Church, seeing what harvests were brought into the tabernacles of Whitfield and Wesley by familiarizing God’s word to the vulgar, and by elevating vulgar language, had the discretion to apply the same call to their own lost sheep, and tinkled back their old women by sounding the brass of the Methodists. One Ashton, a quaint and fashionable preacher of[99] the Orthodox, talked to the people in a phrase compounded of cant and politics: he reproved them for not coming to church, where “God keeps a day, but sees little company;” and informed them that “our ancestors loved powder and ball, and so did our Generals; but the latter loved them for their hair and hands.” Yet to do justice to better principles, the age had made some estimable improvements. Prize-fighting, in which we had horribly resembled the most barbarous and most polite nations, was suppressed by the Legislature. Hogarth had undertaken the cause of humanity, and painted satires on all species of cruelty. From France and Italy, we had adopted hospitals for foundlings; and from the dictates of nature, all manner of hospitals. Our stage grew chaste; indecency dared not to show its face in a modern comedy, though it still remained in possession of the old ones; and what is remarkable, having been tolerated when women went to the theatre in masks, preserved its hold, now they went without them.

About this time, Lord Bute[19] obtained by the[100] means of Pitt the place of Commissioner of Excise for Scott, the late Preceptor, to whom it had been promised. It was even wrested from a young Pelham, to whom Newcastle had actually given it. Lord Bute thought this service to Scott necessary, and had insisted warmly—otherwise Pitt shunned all interfering in the disposal of employments.

The King, on the death of Princess Caroline, had voluntarily promised to continue her allowance to Princess Emily, who handsomely engaged to pay the same pensions and the same grants to the prisons that her sister Caroline had done. She had even desired to impart a large portion of it to her sister Mary of Hesse; but the King, while the vapour of munificence lasted, said he should take care of Mary. In a month’s time, the Duke of Newcastle was sent in form to notify to Princess Emily that the King retracted his promise, and should not continue to her the allowance of Princess Caroline.

An affair was now opened, which having once been deemed the most important point to English liberty, would seem to demand large discussion. But having been so much agitated formerly, and so well explained in our parliamentary books, and now ending without any alteration—rather without any improvement, of the ancient system, I would willingly be very brief in relating what passed. That I mention it at all with any detail, when hastening[101] to the conclusion of my work, is only to mark how much the modes of thinking change, and that fundamentals themselves can make no impression, if apprehensions of arbitrary power are not in fashion. If a passion for freedom is not in vogue, patriots may sound the alarm till they are weary.

The Act of Habeas Corpus, by which prisoners may insist on being brought to trial within a limited time, is the corner-stone of our liberty. The power of pressing, and some other cases, seemed to clash with this invaluable privilege, or that with the utility of pressing; for if soldiers or mariners, impressed and carried to any distant quarters or ports, might demand their habeas corpus, and claim to be brought to the capital to have it examined whether they were properly subject to the violence laid on them, sudden emergencies would be deprived of their service, and a thousand accidents might happen to facilitate their total escape, though ever so fit for the intended destination of them. It was a doubt, too, whether all the twelve Judges could or were obliged to grant the writ in time of vacation. These doubts, which many prudent men thought it best to leave in suspense or overwhelm in silence, others, if warmer, not worse-intentioned, held necessary to be ascertained the moment they had come into question: and they had come into question, and a man, too apt to decide peremptorily[102] when his decisions could strengthen prerogative, had affected to pronounce against that universal immunity from uncertain detention of their persons, which the English, with so much reason, think their birthright. This was the Chief Justice Mansfield. He had a bitter antagonist in the Attorney-General Pratt, who had not only entered into employment on a popular foot, but personally hated the Chief Justice, and was himself steady, warm, sullen,[20] stained with no reproach, and an uniform Whig. He declared himself with impetuosity for the utmost latitude of the Habeas Corpus; and it reflected no small honour on him, that the first advocate of the Crown should appear the firmest champion against prerogative. Nor should we deem less highly of him, because private motives spurred him on to the contest—alas! how cold would public virtue be, if it never glowed but with public heat! So seldom, too, it is that any considerations can bias a man to run counter to the colour of his office and the interests of his profession, that the world should not be too scrupulous about accepting the service as a merit, but should honour it at least for the sake of the precedent.


Pratt prepared a Bill for explaining and extending the Habeas Corpus, and ascertaining its full operation. It was brought into the House of Commons, where Pitt and the Speaker supported it with firmness, and the majority cheerfully promoted it. Yet even in that House it met with avowed foes. The authority of Lord Mansfield had weight with some; the influence of Lord Hardwicke with more; and the lawyers, who easily overlooked the essence of a thing on which there was enough said in their books to enchant them with sounds and cavils, laid themselves out in such a profusion of jargon, that nothing but the nonsense they talked prevented all the world from seeing how much they contradicted both themselves and one another. They made the plainest thing in the world, the right to freedom, the most obscure; and yet while any hope of their becoming intelligible remained, men listened to know through what genealogy of terms this blessing had been derived to them: a common error that I willingly censure, as if precedents brought in support of, did not weaken liberty. Can ages of ancestors submitting to tyranny impeach my freedom? Have I not a right to be free the moment I have the power of being so? If we hold our liberties but by Magna Charta, we hold them by an extorted piece of parchment. If the Crown had a right to enslave us before, it has a right still, for[104] then that struggle was Rebellion; and what right can Rebellion give? Magna Charta was but the King’s confession of his usurpation; as taking up arms against oppression is only doing justice on the oppressor. I have ever found that such grave personages as affect to authenticate our liberties by history and precedent, are no better than those foppish tools the Heralds, who hoard long rolls of nobility, but are ready to forge a pedigree for the first pretender to birth.

The Bill passed easily, though tediously, through the Commons. Before I proceed to its fate among the Lords, I must touch upon the other events of the season.

The campaign was opened on our part with great success. Prince Ferdinand and that gallant boy, his nephew, drove the French out of Hanover, by a plan, like that of Turenne in Alsace, of attacking them in four different quarters at once. The Count de Clermont, who had succeeded Richelieu, behaved with a politeness that sufficiently indicated how much the French were humbled;—he gave a pass to a Courier, to come and acquaint the King that he was again master of his dominions. But the virtuous humanity of the Duc de Randan must not be confounded with the humiliation of his countrymen: Governor of Hanover, he had treated the conquered with amiable lenity; and when he was obliged to[105] quit his post, and had full time to destroy his magazines, he nobly abandoned them to the magistrates, and marched himself the last out of the city, to prevent his troops from committing any revengeful outrage.

George Grenville took advantage of the triumphant situation of his connexion, and renewed his Navy Bill, which had been thrown out the last year. And here Mr. Pitt had an opportunity of showing that if he had submitted to unite with the very men he had persecuted, the depression fell to them. The Duke of Newcastle, Lord Hardwicke, and Lord Anson were all obliged to vote for this very Bill, which they had rejected last year. Some pretended that this shifting conduct was but a compromise, and that their intention of flinging out the new Habeas Corpus was to be overlooked, in consideration of their facilitating the Navy Bill; a bargain about laws, not the more incredible for its being shameful; and considering for what trifling acts Mr. Pitt has stickled, while he acquiesced in the loss of such an invaluable Bill, his patriotism will lie under the suspicion of being more specious than real. Lord Winchelsea, Lord Lyttelton, Lord Marchmont, and the adherents of the Duke and Fox, still opposed the Navy Bill; but it was carried on the first division by 74 to 14. At the third reading, Lord Bath spoke upon it,—a speech so[106] miscellaneous and rambling, that it resembled his ancient orations, except that in this he much commended Sir Robert Walpole. Lord Denbigh attacked Lord Marchmont, and said, he remembered when that Lord had been connected with a man of very different principles. Lord Marchmont, thinking Lord Bolingbroke was the person alluded to, treated his memory with great severity—though, by the way, Lord Bolingbroke had died in friendship with him. Lord Denbigh, without rising, said aloud, “He mistakes; I meant Sir William Windham.” Marchmont was disconcerted. The other, after the debate, went up to Lord Hardwicke, and said, “Sir William Windham put me under Lord Marchmont in politics; and one day, in warm conversation, the latter clapped his hand on my knee, and said, ‘Young man, remember I tell you, this country will never be in a better situation while one of this family is on the Throne.’” The Bill passed.


[16] It seems by this passage, that in George the Second’s reign, the Lord Lieutenants of Ireland absented themselves, as a matter of course, the second year of their Viceroyalty.—E.

[17] When they returned from Ireland, the Duke of Newcastle, who was leaning from Pitt, was impatient to see Rigby. The latter went to dine at Claremont. The Duke showed him the gardens and improvements; and in the expansion of the folly of his heart, forgetting that it was himself and not Rigby that was in transports of satisfaction, he said, “Well! is not this better than going about and abusing me?” In the following summer, Newcastle carried this disposition to the Bedfords still further: at the Commencement at Cambridge he affected to take extreme notice of Lord Tavistock, a modest, but plain lad, cried up his beauty and the goodness of his coffee, and recommended him to the University for successor to himself.

[18] See the First Volume of these Memoirs.

[19] The power of that Scotch favourite was so great at Leicester House, that the Prince of Wales went three times to Agis, a new tragedy written by John Home, and so indifferent a one, that nobody else could bear to go to it twice. Sir Henry Erskine wrote a patriot prologue to it. The Prince, from an affectation of popularity, generally went to the play on Saturdays, the opera-night.

[20] Why the Author has chosen, in this just and spirited passage, to introduce the word “sullen,” I am at a loss to discover; and believe those who had the happiness to know the late Lord Camden will be as much so.—E.



Death of Archbishop Hutton—Affair of Lord Tyrawley—New Treaty with Prussia—Sequel of the Habeas Corpus Extension Question—The Bill debated in the Lords—Lord Mansfield’s Speech—The Bill dropped—Affairs at Leicester House—Operations of the King of Prussia—Expedition to St. Maloes under the Duke of Marlborough—Its failure—Passage of the Rhine by Prince Ferdinand, and his Victory at Crevelt—Defeats of Prince Ysenberg and M. Chevert.

March 20th died Dr. Hutton, Archbishop of Canterbury, after short possession of his see. The Duke of Newcastle had great inclination to give it to Dr. Hay Drummond, Bishop of St. Asaph, a gentleman, a man of parts, and of the world; but Lord Hardwicke’s influence carried it for Secker, who certainly did not want parts or worldliness.

Lord George Sackville was now rising to a principal figure. His abilities in the House of Commons and his interest with Pitt gave him great weight in Government, and everything seemed to promise him the first rank in the Army, where, since the depression of Conway, he stood without a rival. The[108] Duke, who hated him, was removed; Marshal Ligonier was very old, and was governed by him; and by his seat in the Ordnance, and his own address, he began to balance Fox in the direction of the Duke of Marlborough. But his imperious temper was not to be restrained; and at this very period he wantonly started an enemy, under whose lash he had reason afterwards to wish he had not fallen.

A considerable officer was Lord Tyrawley, too old to give jealousy to Lord George, and who having been neglected by the Duke of Newcastle, had treated the latter with a contempt which, besides his attaching himself to Fox, had assured an entire stop to his own further advancement. Lord Tyrawley had a thorough knowledge of the world, though less of his own country than of others. He had long been Minister in Portugal, where he grew into such favour, that the late King, to keep him there, would have appointed him his general. He had a great deal of humour, and occasional good breeding, but not to the prejudice of his natural temper, which was imperiously blunt, haughty, and contemptuous, with an undaunted portion of spirit. Accustomed to the despotism of Portugal, Muscovy, and the Army, he had little reverence for Parliaments, and always spoke of them as the French do of the long-robe. He even affected not to know where the House of Commons was. He was just returned[109] from Gibraltar, where he had ordered great additions to the works, with no more economy than Governors are apt to do, who think themselves above being responsible. Lord George Sackville caught at this dissipation, and privately instigated Sir John Philipps to censure the expense. To their great surprise Lord Tyrawley demanded to be heard at the bar of the House in his own defence. A day was named. Lord Tyrawley drew up a memorial, which he proposed to read to the House; and which in the meantime he did read to everybody else. It was conceived in bitter terms against Lord George, and attacked him roundly on having avoided all foreign command. This alarmed. Lord George got the day of hearing adjourned for near a fortnight; but Lord Tyrawley was not a man to recede from his point; and Lord George having underhand procured the report of Skinner, who surveyed the works at Gibraltar to be brought before the House, without mentioning what it was, Mr. Fox laid open the unhandsome darkness of this conduct, and Lord Tyrawley himself appeared at the bar. As the hearing was before the Committee, high words were avoided, which must have ensued had the Speaker, who was not wont to suffer disrespect to the House, been in the chair; for Lord Tyrawley made good by his behaviour all that had been taken for vapour before[110] he appeared there. He treated the House with great freedom, their forms with still greater; and leaning on the bar (though he was allowed a chair), he browbeat Skinner his censor, who stood on his left hand, with such arrogant humour, that the very lawyers thought themselves outdone in their own style of worrying a culprit. He read his memorial, which was well drawn and somewhat softened, with great art and frankness, and assumed more merit to himself than he had been charged with blame. Such tough game tempted few hunters. Lord George was glad to wave the sport; and the House dismissed the affair with perfect satisfaction in the innocence of a man who dared to do wrong more than they dared to censure him.

Hitherto the King of Prussia had lain quiet. Suspicions had even been entertained that he was meditating or concluding a separate peace. At last a new subsidiary treaty was concluded with him, and Colonel Yorke was dispatched from the Hague to fix that essential man. Luckily, Kniphausen was on the road, with his assent to the treaty, before Yorke arrived; otherwise the vainglory of Lord Hardwicke could not have imagined a more impolitic step for his country or his son. Every attempt of our sending men of parts to circumvent him had succeeded ill. The King of Prussia was so far a little genius, that he dreaded trying himself against talents. For this reason, he[111] used Legge and Sir Charles Williams in the most ungracious manner. Lord Hyndford, Mr. Villiers, and Mitchell, were the men that suited him—and had he known him, he would not have feared Yorke. But the King made Mitchell introduce him, would talk to him on no business, and entertained him with nothing but a panegyric on Mitchell.

The treaty was laid before the Houses, and approved. Lord Denbigh commended it, and said, he was glad the Elector of Hanover was included in it, that he might not desert the King of England. He entered a claim against any Hanoverian neutrality, and rejoiced that we had another General; censuring the Duke for the convention of Closter Seven. This unjust bitterness was received with marks of approbation by the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Lincoln, and Lord Temple, and was ill retorted by Lord Sandwich. Lord Lyttelton spoke well, distinguishing between the two parts of the Administration, and too ridiculously ascribing whatever had been done well to the Duke of Newcastle. Lord Temple answered him with vehement abuse, and applied to him a passage out of Tully, which Lord Lyttelton had formerly inscribed on a temple at Stowe; the gentle conclusion of it was to call him “Hominem detestabilem, imbecillum, caducum.” Lord Lyttelton, as usual, replied with firmness, but with too little asperity, considering[112] how unrelenting towards him was the malice of that faction.

The grant of money for the treaty was followed by the Ways and Means for the year. The new taxes were laid on houses and windows, and on places; a poor tribute to popularity offered by Legge.

The Bill for explaining and extending the Act of Habeas Corpus was now got into the House of Lords, where it produced a new scene, and showed how the feelings of men differ from their professions. The constitution, as settled at present, is in a King elected by the voice of the people, without any right of succession, in opposition to an arbitrary family, and tied down from acts of violence against the liberty of individuals by that peculiar fundamental law, the act of Habeas Corpus. The House of Lords is the next branch of the Legislature. It is composed of the ancient Peerage, who have expelled their ancient Kings for the innovations of the latter, and of modern Peers, created under the new establishment by the favour of the Prince, or selected from the sages of the Law for their integrity, wisdom, and knowledge of the true rights of their country. In this House, too, sit the Bishops, who cannot be too tender of those laws, which secure the exercise of their holy religion. In this House sit the Cavendishes and Russels, renowned for their vigorous defence of the Habeas[113] Corpus; and with them the Duke of Newcastle, the ring-leader of the mob of Whigs on the accession of the present family. The third estate is the House of Commons.

Let us, before we pass to the discussion of the Bill, anticipate the behaviour of all these persons and bodies of men, all engaged by common interest and common honour to support the charter, for which they had violated other inferior ties; but almost all swayed by private and separate interests to abandon the cause. The King talked openly at his Levee against the Bill; and it was understood to be offensive to him to vote for the extension of it. He was King; he did not desire to reduce the prerogative lower than it had been delivered to him. The Lords were become so much more considerable than they had been before the Revolution, that they were in no danger from the Crown; and when they do not fear it, they will always be ready to uphold it. They look on themselves as distinct from the rest of the nation; and at best, leave the people to be taken care of by their representatives, the Commons. As jealous of, and as fond of their privileges, as the King of his prerogative, they are attentive to maintain them, and deem the rights of the people rather encroachments than a common interest. Added to this general description, they were, at the time I write of, a tame, subservient,[114] incapable set of men, governed entirely by the Duke of Newcastle, and the two lawyers, Hardwicke and Mansfield. Those lawyers were instances of the discrimination that ought to be made between the spirit of the laws and the profession of them. Nobody better read in them, nobody more warm to enforce them, nobody less actuated by the essence of them. If either of them ever took the side of liberty, or the side of mildness, I am willing to be thought to asperse them. The conduct of the Prelates had for so many years been so uniformly supple, that no man expected anything from them but complaisance for the Court—and they deceived no man! The Hierarchy behaved so nobly in the reign of James the Second, and has behaved so poorly ever since, that they seem to know no medium between a mitre and a crown of martyrdom. If the clergy are not called to the latter, they never deviate from the pursuit of the former. One would think their motto was, Canterbury or Smithfield.

The heir of the house of Russel was silent, and at last acquiesced in rejection of the Bill. His compeer, the Duke of Devonshire, who did not love Murray, and who had set out with approving the Bill, became even an emissary to procure votes against it. He wrote to Lord Hertford, to press him to come to town and oppose it; and begged[115] him, if he had any scruples, to come to him for the clearing of them. A Cavendish soliciting against the Habeas Corpus was a phenomenon; that Cavendish supposing himself qualified for a casuist was the height of burlesque. For the other Whig Duke, Newcastle, he was the most pardonable of all. There had not been an hour of his life that laid him under the least obligation of acting consistently. The House of Commons maintained their character.

If this survey appears severe, let the motives be considered and weighed. The Bill rejected was of the most national concern; if rejected conscientiously, the grounds were those of convenience preferred to those of immutable right—and with what arms do tyrants begin to combat liberty but with those of necessity and convenience? But in the present case I cannot allow conscience to the House of Lords. The House of Commons,[21] almost to a man, approved the Bill. Five hundred men are probably as conscientious as two hundred. But it was evidently an affair of faction; and was rejected in compliment to Lord Mansfield, to mark whom it had been designed, and to gratify the private pique and public authority of the family of Yorke, the[116] head of which always considered what was the law, never on what grounds a law had been made.

On May 9th, the Bill was read by the Lords. Lord Hardwicke, after chicaning upon it, rather than attacking it openly, proposed to ask the opinions of the Judges. Lord Temple answered him with spirit, and reproached his Peers with being so long governed by one Law Lord, now by two. He read the strong introduction of the Earl of Devonshire to the conference with the Commons on the former Bill, and concluded with showing how improper it was to take the opinions of the Judges, which must be biassed, as the new Bill inflicted penalties on them if they refused the writ. This drew on more altercation between them, and much haughtiness from Lord Hardwicke, who urged that it was an improper time to press the Bill, when civil authority wanted the utmost support: an argument that suits the worst times and the worst Ministers; and never advanced with less truth, for no man living could say in what instance civil authority had wanted assistance. Lord Granville spoke for the Bill; but discovering afterwards how unwelcome it was at St. James’s, he attended it no more. Lord Mansfield opposed the Bill, and was seconded by the Duke of Newcastle, who, though approaching to seventy, still appeared in the full vigour of his nonsense.


Lord Chief Justice Willes, in the name of his brethren, desired time to consider the question till next term, as he himself was ill, and three of the order were obliged to attend for three days at the Old Bailey. But Lord Hardwicke, who the last year would have detained Admirals under sailing orders of the utmost consequence, affected to see danger in this delay, in which by the nature of the thing there could be no danger but in not giving it sufficient deliberation, and was urgent that the Judges should have but two days to consider the point: so little decency did that man observe in pursuing the dictates of his passions. But in this, as in the former case, the House, with all its complaisance, declined acquiescence, and allowed the Judges above a fortnight. It was not expected that Lord Hardwicke would have taken up the point so strongly, as Lord Mansfield, whom he did not love, was aimed at by the Bill; but Charles Yorke, his son, who resented that Pratt was preferred to him for Attorney-General, had declared against the Bill, even without consulting his father.

The calling upon the Judges for their solemn opinions was one of those dramatic exhibitions which had twice before been played off by the Ministry with success. No man supposed that Lord Hardwicke or Lord Mansfield wished, wanted, or would be directed by the sentiments of the rest, the subordinate[118] part of the order: but the Bill was to be thrown out, and the world to be amused by the gravity of the oracles that were to pronounce against it. The plan, I believe, in this, as in the former cases, was Lord Mansfield’s. In his own and Stone’s affair, the decorum of the Cabinet Council had made prodigious impression. The Admirals, who were rather struck with awe than inspired it, had served to give a sort of colour to the fate of Mr. Byng—but in the present instance this decoration of the theatre did not terminate so advantageously. The Cabinet Council had said little, but it was with dignity: the Admirals less, but that was the very thing desired. When the Judges came, they were to talk, to talk on law, and to explain that law by jargon. The field was so spacious and so inviting, that they ran into all the subtleties, distinctions, chicaneries, and absurdities of their profession. They contradicted one another, and no two of them but differed on some particular case. They exposed themselves and their instigators, who at last could not build upon any decision of those sages.

They began with Noel, the youngest Judge, a pompous man, of little solidity. Wilmot, whose manner was like Lord Mansfield’s, and very rapid and full of fire, spoke warmly against the Bill, though the intimate friend of Pratt and Legge. So did Legge’s brother, the Judge, and Adams, another[119] friend of Pratt. Wilmot and Noel differed in some points of not much moment. The former spoke with great applause, though too diffusely. Bathurst was strong against Wilmot; Smyth with him. Foster could not attend, being hindered by the illness of his wife; but he was zealous for the Bill, and published a large pamphlet in support of it. The rest were discordant and inconclusive; and so little was gained by the delivery of their opinions, that Lord Temple now pleaded for the Bill on the disagreement of the Judges; and moved a long question, the purport of which was, that an affidavit of confinement ought to be a probable cause for the Judges to grant the writ. Lord Lyttelton saying, that in any other place that question would be a defamatory libel on the Judges, Lord Temple started up and said, “This is impertinence I will not bear.”—This occasioned much confusion. Lord Lyttelton explained himself handsomely, saying he had applied words to words, not to persons: he was sorry if he had given offence; he had meant less offence to Lord Temple than to anybody: he revered the manes of their former friendship; he hoped the ashes were not extinguished past return. To all this Lord Temple said nothing; and when the House insisted on their giving their words that it should proceed no further, Lord Temple sullenly endeavoured to avoid it by shifting the asking of[120] pardon on Lord Lyttelton. The latter engaged with frankness to drop it—always the most sensible way when words have passed in public, which are sure of being prevented from further discussion. Lord Lyttelton was known to want no spirit: Lord Temple had been miserably deficient.

The fate of the Bill, which could not be procured by the sanction of the Judges, Lord Mansfield was forced to take on himself. He spoke for two hours and half: his voice and manner, composed of harmonious solemnity, were the least graces of his speech. I am not averse to own that I never heard so much argument, so much sense, so much oratory united. His deviations into the abstruse minutiæ of the Law served but as a foil to the luminous parts of the oration. Perhaps it was the only speech that, in my time at least, had real effect; that is, convinced many persons. Nor did I ever know how true a votary I was to liberty till I found that I was not one of the number staggered by that speech. I took as many notes of it as I possibly could; and prolix as they would be, I would give them to the reader, if it would not be injustice to Lord Mansfield to curtail and mangle, as I should by the want of connexion, so beautiful a thread of argumentation.

Lord Temple made a feeble answer—yet the force of truth was still so great, that notwithstanding the[121] visible operation of Lord Mansfield’s speech, they would not venture directly to reject the Bill. Lord Hardwicke agreed that all the Judges ought to have equal power in granting the writ, and said that he would move to order the Judges to bring in such a Bill against the next session. Lord Temple’s friends seemed glad to catch at this proposal; and the Bill was heard of no more![22]

The complexion of the rest of the year was military. Even the softest penetralia of the Court were threatened with storms. The Princess began to perceive an alteration in the ardour of Lord Bute, which grew less assiduous about her and increased towards her son. The Earl had attained such an ascendant over the Prince, that he became more remiss to the mother: and no doubt it was an easier function to lead the understanding of a youth, than to keep up to the spirit required by an experienced woman. The Prince even dropped hints against women interfering in politics. These clouds, however, did not burst; and the creatures of the Princess vindicated her from any breach with Lord Bute with as much earnestness as if their union had been to her honour.

The King of Prussia opened one of his ablest[122] campaigns. The same enemies still crowded upon him, though much of their vigour was abated by the extraordinary efforts they had made to overwhelm him: yet obliging him to make head against so many Armies, his fall at last seemed inevitable. Sweden, involved in domestic broils, rather kept up his attention, and divided his forces, than hurt him actively. The unwieldy numbers of Muscovites again advanced. The Czarina, inflexible in resentments, which she did not attend enough to the operations of government to enforce properly, had thought herself betrayed. Apraxin was recalled; the great Chancellor Bestucheff, inclined to England, was disgraced, and new Generals commissioned to execute her vengeance. The Empress-Queen had drained her own and her husband’s dominions to collect a decisive force: yet the vivacity of the King of Prussia, instead of entrenching wholly on the defensive, though he disposed various Armies to keep the Russians at bay and to cover Saxony, led him to a hardy step: after besieging and taking Schweidnitz in thirteen days, he instantaneously appeared in Moravia, the short road to Vienna. Daun had thought him preparing to attack Bohemia, when, to his surprise, he heard the King had opened the siege of Olmutz. On this theatre the alert Monarch and the cautious Marshal displayed all the resources of their art, and by the opposition[123] of their characters, and the balance of their talents, showed each other in every light that could create admiration.

But this is a theme, beyond my flight:—suffice it to say, that Daun repaired his oversight by cutting off the King’s convoys, and reducing him to raise the siege; and the King converted this check into new matter of glory, by suddenly starting from Daun, getting a march of two days, and piercing into Bohemia, where he made himself master of Konigsgratz, while Daun did not suspect that he had driven him from a siege to a conquest. In fact, it was not Daun alone that rescued Olmutz and saved Vienna: the Russians were pouring upon Brandenburgh, not more formidable by their designs than by their dreadful manner of executing them. Savage cruelty and devastation attended their march. They besieged Custrin with unspeakable fury, and reduced the brave Governor to defend a mountain of ashes and a few ruinous walls—the next step was Berlin. But I am advanced too far into the year, and must look back to other operations.

Mr. Pitt, no less enterprising than Frederick, but a little less informed, and a good deal less disposed to listen to information, determined to strike some mighty stroke on his part, that might combine his name with the glory of that King, and cement and justify their harmony. Unfortunately, his mind was[124] not purged of its vision of Rochfort, and he again chose the coast of France for the scene of his romance. A strong fleet was equipped of eighteen ships of the line, thirteen frigates, three sloops, four fire-ships, and two bomb-ketches, and carrying an Army of fourteen thousand landmen and six thousand marines. The Duke of Marlborough, on whom Lord George Sackville could not avoid attending, was appointed General. Commodore Howe was destined to lead the Fleet: on which Sir Edward Hawke struck his flag; but being persuaded to resume it, accompanied Lord Anson, who took the command himself. The mode of volunteers, which the Duke had always discouraged, now revived: Sir James Lowther, master of 40,000l. a year, Lord Downe, Sir John Armitage, and others, embarked with the expedition. Lord Granby at the same time came into the service, and was appointed Colonel of the Blues; and George Townshend, now there was no more question of the Duke, returned to the Army, and was restored on the foot of his former rank. The armament sailed on the first of June. Lord Anson, with the larger ships, kept out at sea; Howe led the transports, which for some days were kept back by contrary winds, but anchored on the fifth in Cancalle-bay, near St. Maloes. The troops landed without opposition; when the Commanders (as in former expeditions) seeming dispatched, so[125] scanty was their intelligence, to discover the coast of France, rather than to master it, soon perceived that the town was so strongly situated, and approachable only by a narrow causeway, that, after burning a parcel[23] of small vessels, they returned to their ships; and the French learned that they were not to be conquered by every Duke of Marlborough.

The Duke himself was personally brave, and was eager to land on the first possibility; but he had neither experience nor information, nor probability on his side adequate to such a bravado. However, it was well for him that his miscarriage happened under the auspices of Pitt, not of Fox. Here, it was said, his Grace and his troops remarked that Lord George Sackville was not among the first to court danger: and Howe, who never made friendship but at the mouth of a cannon, had conceived and expressed a strong aversion to him.[24] It is certain that both the Duke and Lord George were so sick of naval expeditions, that, after parading before Granvelle and Cherbourg, they returned with the [126]Fleet to St. Helen’s, and set out for the Army in Germany, where the Duke took the command of the English forces. General Blighe had been fetched from Ireland on that intent, but was obliged to cede to the superior influence of Marlborough;[25] and more cruelly was appointed to resume the thread of our silly expeditions, from which Mr. Pitt and the mob still expected I don’t know what of glory. Blighe was an elderly man, of no talents, brave, but in every other shape unfit for the destined service, supposing there was such a thing as fitness for that service. The armament sailed again, and Prince Edward embarked with them: and that some utility might at least be pretended from this vain expense, Prince Ferdinand, to flatter Pitt, wrote letter after letter to declare the great benefits he reaped from our expeditions, by which the attention and troops of France were divided: an affirmation of so little truth, that the Duke of Marlborough, in the hurry of their retreat, having left his silver tea-spoons behind him, the Duc d’Aiguillon, politely to mark contempt, sent them home by a cartel-ship.

But Prince Ferdinand who thus complimented the English Ministry on the wisdom of these idle[127] measures, showed it was not from want of knowing how to perform realities. Having pushed the French beyond the Rhine, he passed it himself at Herven in sight of their whole Army, and soon eclipsed the glory of that passage by defeating them at Crevelt, where they lost seven thousand men, and the Duc de Gisors, the only son of Marshal Belleisle, an amiable and accomplished young man. The King had Knyphausen thank the King of Prussia for giving him so able a General. The Princess Gouvernante wrote to Prince Ferdinand to complain of his passing over part of the territories of the States. He replied, “He was sorry; it had been over a very small part, and he should not have violated even that, had he had the same Dutch guides that led the French to Hanover in the preceding year.”

The French were commanded by the Count de Clermont, a Prince of the Blood of no estimation: their discipline was so bad, that two-and-fifty officers went to amuse themselves at Paris without leave of the Court. D’Etrées, their best General, had been recalled by the intrigues of Madame Pompadour and her faction, whose interest was displayed in a remarkable instance. At a meeting of the Marshals of France, D’Etrées complained of a libel written against him, which he produced. Maillebois, attached to the mistress, said, “It would be right for the honour[128] of the corps to have it inquired into; and the more so, because he believed the charge was well-grounded, as he had been informed by his son, who wrote the pamphlet.” The declaration was frank: Maillebois was banished, and his son chastised but gently; and indemnification was soon procured for both.

The victory of Crevelt did not draw on the consequences that were expected. Contades, the fourth commander despatched into Germany by the fluctuating councils at Versailles, found employment for Prince Ferdinand without risking another battle; and the Duc de Broglio and the Prince de Soubise attacked and cut to pieces seven thousand Hessians under the Prince of Ysenberg; and would, it was feared, intercept the English troops under the Duke of Marlborough, who landed at Embden. This became more probable, as Monsieur Chevert formed a plan to burn one of Prince Ferdinand’s bridges and to seize his magazines, and cut off Baron Imhoff, who was posted to secure the passage of the Rhine. But Imhoff, who soon perceived his own desperate situation, destroyed this well-concerted scheme, which failed by its very approach to success; for Imhoff would not stay to be surrounded, but with his little force attacked Chevert (who commanded twelve thousand men) and dispersed them in less than half an hour, taking eleven pieces of cannon, their baggage, and a great number of[129] prisoners. Chevert was one of the ablest officers in the French service; Imhoff, a man of so little capacity, that the talents of his life seemed to have been reserved for this sole occasion. The junction with the English was made, and Prince Ferdinand repassed the Rhine unmolested.


[21] Mr. Fox, who did not love Pratt, and paid court to Lord Mansfield, was one of the very few who gave negatives to the passing of the Bill.

[22] Till the year 1816, when this just and necessary measure passed with little notice, and no reference to the Judges.—E.

[23] The King said to Lord Waldegrave, “I never had any opinion of it; we shall brag of having burnt their ships, and they, of having driven us away.”

[24] They agreed so ill, that one day Lord George putting several questions to Howe, and receiving no answer, said, “Mr. Howe, don’t you hear me? I have asked you several questions.” Howe replied, “I don’t love questions.”

[25] The King would have hindered Lord George from going to Germany; but he preferred it to expeditions, and would go; and did, even without kissing the King’s hand.



History of Dr. Hensey—Election of a Pope—Cardinal Cavalchini excluded—Rezzonico elected—Taking of Cherbourg, and Cape Breton—Other Events in America—Disastrous Affair at St. Cas—The King of Prussia defeats the Russians at Custrin—Disputes with Holland—Assassination of the King of Portugal—Attributed to the Jesuits—The Court of Lisbon—Discovery of the Criminals—Their Punishment—The English Army in Germany—Prince Ferdinand and Lord George Sackville—Defeat of the King of Prussia at Hochkirchen—Meeting of Parliament—Addresses and Votes of Thanks—Army voted—Affair of Dr. Shebbeare—Pitt’s behaviour to Conway—Disgrace of Cardinal de Bernis—Character of the Author—His Impartiality.

During these operations, the Parliament of England rose; and nothing worth notice happened but the conviction of Dr. Hensey, a poor physician, who had been taken up in the preceding year for a treasonable correspondence. It appeared that he was a pensioner of France, who gave him but an hundred a year, and thought it too much; threatening, in answer to his repeated solicitations of invasion, that they would withdraw their allowance, unless he found means of giving them more material[131] intelligence. The threat had such effect, that he gave them the first notice of the design on Rochfort. How he obtained it I know not; but his close connexion with D’Abreu, the Spanish Resident, whose physician he was, and who visited him often in prison, and obtained his pardon on the very morning that he was going to execution, made it probable that he was only a tool of that Minister, known to wish ill to England.

The election of a Pope drew a momentary attention to Rome, which did not use to be forgotten because Europe was embroiled. Benedict XIV. was dead. Thirty-four Cardinals wished to raise Cardinal Cavalchini to the Tiara: but he was disagreeable to the Court of France, which endeavoured to deal with the Holy Ghost in the more decent way of intrigue, to prevent his exaltation. Lanti, who had several benefices in France, was admonished not to vote for him; but Lanti was his intimate friend, and had the promise of being Secretary of State. France applied, too, to the Cardinal of York, on whom they had lately bestowed rich Abbeys: but his obstinacy always found out some virtue to justify itself; and when they pressed his father to dissuade him from voting for Cavalchini, young Stuart replied, “He had rather lose his head than violate his conscience.” For twenty-four hours, Cavalchini’s[132] party was inflexible. The French Cardinals endeavoured to get the nomination put off till the arrival of the German Cardinal Roolt, who was supposed to have the secret of the Court of Vienna: but all was in vain. The declaration was fixed; when the Cardinal de Luynes, finding no temperate measures would have any effect, produced a formal exclusion of Cavalchini. It occasioned great amazement and disgust. Of late years, no such step had been practised. The friends of Cavalchini let him for one night enjoy the dream of empire: it was not till next morning that his friend Lanti went to his cell and announced the fatal veto. However he received the stroke in private, his public answer was sensible: he thanked the Court of France for saving him from the tremendous station of being God’s Vicar upon earth. The ostensible reason of his exclusion was his attachment to the King of Sardinia; the true one, his being devoted to the Jesuits. In the critical situation of religious affairs in France, it was not thought proper to throw the weight of the Court of Rome into the scale of those fathers, and to suffer at the head of the Church a man who had written strongly in favour of the canonization of Cardinal Bellarmine. It was said, that the same exclusion would have been urged against Cardinal Durini, had he appeared[133] on the lists before Cavalchini. Durini’s crime was of a less public nature, but not a more remissible one: when Nuncio in France, he had refused to visit Madame Pompadour.

Rezzonico, a simple Venetian bigot, not at all less addicted to the Jesuits than Cavalchini, ascended the Papal Chair. The revolution of affairs was singular; the state of Venice had been on the point, just when the late Pope died, of incurring the penalty of excommunication for disobedience to the Holy See.

The English Fleet had again sailed from St. Helen’s to attack the French coast. Prince Edward went on board Mr. Howe’s ship, and General Blighe led the land forces. They soon anchored before Cherbourg, landed, and the next day without opposition entered the town. There they destroyed the bason formed at great expense, burned some small vessels, and brought away the brass cannon and mortars, which were reposed for some days in Hyde Park, to the high amusement of the populace, and then with equal ostentation drawn through the City and deposited at the Tower. But the news of a much more considerable conquest arrived at the same time: Cape Breton was again fallen under the power of England. Admiral Boscawen and General Amherst, with a Fleet of one hundred and fifty sail and fourteen thousand men, had appeared[134] before Louisbourg on the 2nd of June, and by the end of July made themselves masters of the place, after destroying or taking five men-of-war that lay to cover it. The bravery of the English and the want of spirit in the French never appeared in greater opposition: the former making their attacks on spots which the French deemed impregnable, threw them into utter dismay; and dictated very quick and unjustifiable submission. Boscawen’s rough courage was fully known before; Amherst was a cool, sensible man, whose conduct, now first experienced in command, shone to great advantage; and the activity of spirit in Wolfe, who accompanied him, contributed signally to the reduction of the place. The colours taken there were carried with great parade to St. Paul’s.

The other operations in America were not equally successful. Lord Howe was killed in a skirmish, in which he gained the advantage, as the Army was marching against Ticonderoga; before which place Abercrombie was defeated with the loss of two thousand men, and from whence he made a precipitate retreat. Colonel Bradstreet, however, took Fort Frontenac; and General Forbes, Fort Duquesne. The French, indeed, behaved ill everywhere. The ambitious plans of their Government, their perfidious breach of treaties, and their airs of superiority, were not at all supported by genius in[135] their Ministers, conduct in their officers, or bravery in their troops. The most remarkable advantage they obtained against us was in an affair, in which, though the bravery of our officers and troops was gallant and firm beyond expectation, yet there certainly appeared neither genius in the Ministers who directed, nor conduct in the Commanders who were entrusted with the execution—if I may use the term execution—of an affair, in which there was neither plan nor common sense. This was the unhappy action at St. Cas.

The Fleet, after leaving Cherbourg, hovered about the coast of France; and at last the troops were landed on the other side of St. Maloes, in the bay St. Lunaire. The new Lord Howe contented himself with setting them on shore; and the weather proving very tempestuous, he left them there, with directions to come to him at St. Cas by land. What he left them there to do, or why General Blighe suffered himself to be left there, no man living could ever tell or guess. The troops, as if landed on some new-discovered coast of America, roved about the country for some days, even without artillery, till they heard that the Duc d’Aiguillon, with a considerable force, was within a few miles. A retreat to the ships was immediately ordered. The French advanced, but keeping at a distance till their prey was sure. Our troops were to descend[136] the rocks; among which they were no sooner embarrassed, than the French appeared on the rising grounds above them; and before the Grenadier Guards, who made the last stand to cover the embarkation, could get on board, the French fell on them in a hollow way, and made a dreadful slaughter. Yet the intrepidity of the soldiers and of the young officers of the Guards was displayed in the most heroic manner—but in vain: many of the latter fell. General Dury was shot, and fell into the sea. Sir John Armitage, a young volunteer of fortune, was lost, and several officers of quality and figure were made prisoners. The folly of this exploit, the inhumanity of exposing gallant men to carnage for no end imaginable but to satisfy the obstinate ostentation of a Minister, who was as much determined to do something as he was really determined to do well, was contrasted, with great severity, on our nation, by the tender attentions, politeness, and good-nature of the Duc d’Aiguillon, who spared his victims the moment he dared to spare, and comforted and relieved the prisoners and wounded, as if he had been their own Commander. Such was the conclusion of Mr. Pitt’s invasions of France, the idleness or fruitlessness of which took off from the judgment of his other attempts and successes; though, while this country exists in independence, not even his own ambition, which prompted his[137] attempts, can detract from the merit of his undertaking, retrieving, re-establishing, the affairs of Britain.

General Blighe, the passive tool in this Quixotism, was the only sufferer after their return. He was so ill received, that he found it necessary to resign his regiment and government, and saw himself undone by being sent, when a veteran officer of Horse, to command a naval expedition. He had been actuated, during the course of these enterprises, by a young Lord Fitz-morrice and the adventurer Clarke, who diverted himself from the ships with the difficulties his comrades found in re-embarking. But he was on the point of falling under the punishment due to his arrogance: depending on his interest in the General, he had broken the arrest under which he had been put, for some misdemeanour, by Cunningham, his commanding officer; the same Cunningham, whose handsome behaviour at Minorca I have mentioned: at his return from thence he had been preferred by the Duke, who told him he had been misinformed of his character, and was sorry he had not sooner known his merit. At their return from St. Cas, Cunningham insisted on bringing Clarke before a Court-Martial. The Princess unwisely countenanced the latter, who had made himself odious to the Army, and who escaped; Cunningham being suddenly ordered on the expedition[138] to Martinico and Guadaloupe, at the latter of which places he unfortunately died, when his services were in the fairest train of being rewarded.

We left the King of Prussia in apprehension of seeing his own dominions become the theatre of war. To detail his actions would destroy the idea of their rapidity. He had flown from the siege of Olmutz to invade Bohemia, attacking his enemies everywhere, while his Generals could scarce preserve themselves on the defensive. Dohna was watching the Russians rather than opposing them: Manteuffel could scarce make a firmer stand even against the Swedes. Prince Henry was threatened as he covered Dresden. The King, always present where the nearest danger pressed, appeared before the ruined walls of Custrin, gave battle to the Russians, and after a bloody contention from nine in the morning till seven at night, obliged that savage and undaunted people to retire. Above twenty thousand had fallen,[26] yet slaughter seemed to inspire them with fierceness rather than with dismay; when obliged at last to avoid a butchery which they had tempted rather than repelled, they retired in good order, and even claimed the honour of the day. The trifling loss suffered by the King’s[139] troops, and the consequences of the victory, which delivered him from those barbarians for that campaign, contented a Prince who had been forced into a hero, and who knew that many such successes were necessary before he could lay aside the sword. He left Dohna to adjust the controversy of victory, and marched to the relief of his brother. He accomplished it by joining him, and Daun retired. The Swedes marched back with precipitation on the defeat of the Muscovites.

About this time we were on the point of a rupture with Holland. That country was sunk in power and reputation, laboured with debts and factions, was influenced by no genius, and had lost all military spirit. In such a situation, no wonder they were not desirous of again beholding the Armies of their neighbour King on the frontiers of Flanders; the only spot where those universal aspirers, the French, know how to shine. Animated by no zeal of a common cause, the Dutch, who were determined not to engage on our side, thought the second step of prudence was to profit of our calamities. The States winked commercially at supplies furnished by their merchants to the French colonies, and a little more than commercially, transported,[27] not only their commodities, but[140] military stores. Our privateers, as apt to infringe treaties as the wisest Burgomaster, and who distinguished between friendship and enmity by no rule but that which constituted contraband goods, made very free with the ships of our friends employed by our enemies. Those friends complained with as little modesty as if they had acted like friends: we replied with firmness, and advised them to avoid giving provocation. They grew more violent, without growing more impartial. Their ships were condemned as legal captures. Their merchants presented remonstrance after remonstrance to the Princess Gouvernante, pressing her to proceed to more open declarations. She, who knew that clamour was not power but in its own country, told them she would not declare, unless they would augment their forces.

The Dutch endeavoured to draw Spain and Denmark, who had suffered in the same manner from the same causes, though in a less degree, into an association against what they called our piracies. The Princess was dying: it was apprehended that her death would let loose all the interested fury of the Dutch traders. The Duke of Newcastle ordered Mr. Yorke to make strong promises of satisfaction to Holland: this was without communicating with Mr. Pitt; who receiving duplicates of complaints, empowered Mr. Yorke to give assurances of much[141] fainter complexion. Mr. Yorke answered, that was now too late; he had been commissioned to give, and had accordingly given encouragement to hope for fuller redress. Pitt, with becoming warmth, expostulated with Newcastle, and bade him get out of the scrape as he could. More of this dispute will appear hereafter.

While Europe was attending to the scenes of blood exhibited by most of its formidable powers, its attention was called off by an event very foreign to those struggles. An attempt of assassination was made on the person of the King of Portugal. One night, as he was returning in his chaise, with very few attendants, from an affair of gallantry, he was attacked and shot through the arm: the assassins thought their work completed. The King was not wounded mortally, and recovered in a few weeks. The Court’s ignorance of the murderers, and of the cause of the blow, prompted them to endeavour to conceal the fact. Their Ministers in foreign Courts were ordered to give out that the King had had a fall in his palace, had hurt his arm, and that during his incapacity of signing papers, the Queen would assume the reins of Government. A tale too ill-concerted, not to divulge the secret, supposing the assassination of a King could have remained a secret. Yet the notoriety of the fact led the public to no light into it. Revenge was[142] undoubtedly the groundwork: but whether the revenge of an injured husband, of a dishonoured house, or of more holy murderers, all the curiosity of the public could not ascertain.

The lady, supposed in question, was of illustrious blood—yet, jealous and vindictive as Portuguese and Spaniards are, they seldom carry their delicacy of honour so high as to think the wound irreparable, if given by their Sovereign. But there was another order of men, on whose ideas the generality reasoned differently: an order not so scrupulous about receiving affronts, or of returning injuries, where more essential interests than their honour is concerned. These were the Jesuits: they had long assumed dominion over Paraguay, and had established an economy of government there, which, while it ensured their authority by endearing them to the governed, almost made amends, by the felicity they established among the people of that province, for the numberless mischiefs they have brought on other countries. In short, the Jesuits alone indemnified the Americans of that region for the loss of their liberty, and atoned for some of the cruelties exercised by European conquerors. But the good fathers were not content with dispensing blessings as proxies for others: the Paraguayans must own their sceptre as well as their beneficence.

I do not pretend to pierce the mysterious veil[143] thrown over the transactions of that country, nor to assert the tale of their actually crowning one of their order. It is sufficient to say that the Court of Lisbon had entertained the strongest jealousy of their proceedings; had determined to break the charm by which they excluded their own Sovereign from interfering in his own domain; and had actually engaged that upright Pontiff, Benedict XIV., to discountenance their ambitious proceedings. The fathers even apprehended severe decrees from the Vatican. At that crisis the life of the King of Portugal was attempted—no wonder the Jesuits were suspected.

The Court of Lisbon, which in its confusion had formed so improbable a story to account for the disappearance of the King, did not act by any means, in its subsequent proceedings, with equal inconsideration. The consequences of this affair ran into the following year; but being totally unconnected with every transaction that I propose to relate, I shall throw the whole of this Portuguese history into this place. The first Minister was Carvalho,[28] a bold, politic man, who hated the Jesuits. For some months the Court observed a total silence: nobody was apprehended, no suspicion discovered. Till Carvalho had got a clue that led to the darkest recesses of the mystery, it was affected to forget or treat the whole as an accident of a private nature.[144] How he wound himself into the secret I do not pretend to say: there were many accounts, probably mere conjectures: it is an anecdote never likely to be known. The first notification to the public that the conspiracy was discovered, was made by seizing at the same instant, at a ball, the whole families of Tavora and Aveiro, houses of the first rank and noblest birth in Portugal, and the chiefs of which were possessed of the greatest posts and employments about the King. To them, till assembled in the snare, the King wore a face of the most unsuspecting favour.

The Marchioness of Tavora was a woman of fierce and lofty spirit; one of the married young ladies, the person beloved by the King. And hence the whole dark plot was unravelled; and the two different conjectures of the public on the cause of the assassination appeared to have been both true, for they were combined together. The Jesuits had worked on the pride and jealousy of the injured husband and his house, till those rash noblemen thought to revenge themselves, while they only acted the revenge of the Jesuits. Enough was confessed to establish the guilt of both the one and the other. How far the plot was spread, and how far its views extended, perhaps the conspirators themselves knew not: whatever they discovered beyond their actual guilt, and the participation of the Jesuits, was locked up in the penetralia of the palace. The public learned[145] enough in knowing the latter; perhaps too much in seeing the dreadful executions of several of the principal conspirators, and in not seeing some justice done on the most guilty, the instigators of the crime. The old Marchioness was beheaded, and died with as heroic spirit as if she suffered for her country. Her husband and son-in-law suffered the most exquisite torments. A hapless youth, her son, shared her fate, with others of his house. One of the actual assassins, a hired bravo, or servant, was put to extreme torture. All the Jesuits and their effects were seized, and their persons imprisoned, while leave was demanded from Rome to punish them in a more exemplary manner. But there the strong sense of Benedict was no longer on the throne—and an absolute Prince, wounded by the practices of priests, did not dare to proceed to extremities. The dress of religion guarded men, the more guilty for violating the duties of their profession. As the Pope’s permission to inflict capital punishments could not be obtained, the Court of Lisbon took upon itself to embark the whole order of Jesuits, and sent them to Rome to the patron of their crimes; reserving only a few of the most guilty, whose fate is still a secret.[29]


I cannot quit this subject without taking notice of the manifesto issued by the Court on the detection of the conspiracy. The spirit of despotic government never defined itself with so much truth, or with less modesty, than in that singular piece: I say nothing of the ridiculous bombast in which it is clothed; but the following maxims of an arbitrary Court ought to be inscribed in our seats of Legislature and of Law, by the side of the humane rules of our Government, that we might know how justly to value the one, and avoid whatever tends to approach it to the other. “Whereas,” says the Portuguese manifesto, “all presumptions of the law are held for so many every way unquestionable truths, and for so many full and uncontrovertible proofs, and lay the person who has them against him, under the incumbency of producing other contrary proofs of such strength and efficacy, as may conclusively destroy them, &c.;” and the next paragraph adds, “Whereas, the law presumes, that he who has been once bad, will be always bad in crimes of the same species with that he has already committed, &c.” Could one imagine that two assertions, so repugnant to all ideas of justice, were produced as instances of condescension and moderation? and yet, in the beginning of the first of these paragraphs, it is maintained, that the presumptions of the law, which condemn the ringleaders or heads of the said conspiracy[147] to be punished thereby with all the rigours of the law, would amply suffice, without the proofs which the Court had obtained. Are Lisbon and London so distant as these notions, and our establishment of juries, and the methods by which the latter are bound to proceed?

While our Army in Germany lay on the defensive, the fatal distempers incident to a camp raged there, and in particular carried off the Duke of Marlborough. The command of the English devolved on Lord George Sackville, between whom and Prince Ferdinand there was by no means any cordiality. Both liked to govern, neither was disposed to be governed. Prince Ferdinand had gained an ascendant over the Duke of Marlborough, and Lord George had lost it; sufficient groundwork for their enmity. Lord Granby, the next in rank to Lord George, was an honest, open-hearted young man, of undaunted spirit, and no capacity; and if he wanted any other recommendation to Prince Ferdinand besides these ductile qualities, he drank as profusely as a German. Lord George’s haughtiness lost this young man, as he had the Duke of Marlborough; Prince Ferdinand knew better how to bend in order to domineer.

In the mean time the King of Prussia, who had performed such shining actions in this campaign, was again reminded by Marshal Daun, that the[148] solid glory of generalship, if not the brilliancy, might be disputed with him. As the King lay in the strong camp of Bautzen, extending to Hochkirchen, covering, as he thought, Misnia, Lusatia, and Brandenburgh, preserving a communication with his brother, and at hand to throw succours into Silesia, Daun, marching in the dead of the night, surprised his right wing, and the first notice of the attack was given in the heart of the Prussian camp. There fell Marshal Keith; and Prince Francis of Brunswick, mounting his horse on the first alarm, lost his head by a cannon ball. In this critical moment the King possessed himself, that is, coolness and ardour: he flew to the thick of the contest, and after leading on his troops four times to the most desperate service, retreated in good order. He lost 7000 men, but scarce any ground or reputation. Surprised in the night, he behaved with as much conduct as if he had made the assault, and retired from the conflict as if only from a disappointment. Twice now had he been defeated by Marshal Daun; both times he appeared greater from his activity and resources. It was still more extraordinary when, after his loss at Hochkirchen, he acted in the style of conqueror. He prevented Daun from penetrating into Silesia, and hastened into that province himself, where Neiss and Cosel were besieged by the Austrian Generals Harsch and Deville. On the[149] King’s approach, both sieges were instantly raised. Daun, the check and illustrator of Frederick’s glory, who, by beating the King, had only precipitated his succour of his own dominions, had no choice left, but to attack Dresden. He led a great army to besiege it, but Schmettau, the Governor, having burned the suburbs and retired into the city, before Daun could begin any regular operations against the place, the King of Prussia was returned from his successes in Silesia, and concluded the campaign with obliging his conqueror to abandon Dresden. After this the several Armies went into winter quarters.

Nov. 23rd the Parliament met. Pitt opened the business of the session with art, seeming to avoid all ostentation of power, while he assumed everything to himself but the disposition of the money. That load he left on the Treasury, and vast, he said, it would be: heaps of millions must be raised,—thus affecting to heighten rather than disguise the expense and the difficulties of our situation; we could not make the same war as the French, or as our ancestors did, for the same money. He painted the distress of France, and coloured high what had been done by ourselves. He called on any who disapproved the measures taken or taking, to speak out, to discuss them, or to propose others then; not to lie in wait in hopes of distresses, and then find fault; though, for himself, he hoped[150] he should never be judged by events. If there were any secret Austrians in the House, instead of dispersing pamphlets, he invited them to speak out. This was particularly levelled at Doddington, who had just published severe reflections on Pitt and the Prussian cause, in a piece called, “Examination of a Letter, attributed to General Blighe.” The Addresses of both Houses were couched in strong terms of panegyric. Prince Ferdinand was commended by name; and Sir Richard Grosvenor, a young converted Tory, who seconded the Address, called Mr. Pitt a blazing star. Other thanks were moved and voted to Admiral Boscawen and General Amherst, for the conquest of Cape Breton, of which Sir John Philips said, he hoped no Ministry would ever rob us. Beckford re-echoed this, and spoke on the superiority we had now attained: all the Duke of Marlborough’s battles had given us no real superiority. Pitt replied, it was too early to decide on what we would or would not restore. The Duke of Marlborough had acquired superiority; the peace of Utrecht gave it away. And then (whether equity or flattery dictated the declaration) he protested, that at the peace he would not give up an iota of our Allies for any British consideration. This, it was pretended, was to satisfy the Landgrave of Hesse, who was afraid of being abandoned. The Duke of Newcastle had early presented[151] an Address from the University of Cambridge, in which that reverend body were by no means penurious of compliments on the Hanoverian victory. It was even resented at Court that the city of London had been more reserved—so much were times changed! a few years before, it was thought lucky if the city did not pass some censure even on success, if it came from that quarter. The victory of Dettingen had been stigmatised as an escape. The prisoners now brought from Louisburg raised the numbers of that nation captive here to twenty-four thousand; and the King of France, to increase the burthen of our expense, withdrew his allowance to them. Admiral Osborn, too, received the thanks of the Commons, for the activity with which he had guarded the Mediterranean, and by preventing succours, contributed to the conquest of Cape Breton. He was a man of singular modesty and bravery, and had lost an eye by the palsy during the hardship of his service; but being allied to Admiral Byng, not the least notice was taken of him by the King.

An army of near 95,000 British troops, and near 7000 foreigners, were voted, and above twelve millions of money raised for the service of the ensuing year; an enormous sum to be furnished by a country no larger than and so indebted as England, but exceeded by the great benefits to which it contributed.[152] I mention these things in gross, and very cursorily; they will be found at large in all our common histories. Were I master of them, I should touch on them with reluctance. The system of money, the great engine on which all modern affairs turn, is become of so complicated a nature, and labours with such ungracious intricacies, that no beauties of style, scarce any clearness of expression, can reconcile it to a reader of common indolence. How such systems would have perplexed the elegance of Roman or Greek historians! what eloquent periods could they have formed, encumbered with three per-cents, discounts, premiums, South-sea annuities, and East India bonds!

Nov. 28th, Dr. Shebbear, author of several letters to the people of England, having been tried for many treasonable expressions in the sixth of them, was sentenced by the King’s Bench to stand in the pillory, to be imprisoned for three years, and then to find security of 1000l. for his good behaviour for seven years following—the latter part of the sentence importing in effect perpetual imprisonment, for both the fortune and character of the man were at the lowest ebb. Though he had been the most open champion of the Jacobite cause, though his libel tended to point out the mischiefs entailed on this country by union with Hanover,[30] and though[153] the bitterest parts of the work were a satire on King William and King George the First, his venom by no means flowed from principle. He had long declared that he would write himself into a place or the pillory, the latter of which proved his fate, as Mr. Pelham, the purchaser of opponents, was dead, and as Shebbear’s pen, though not without force, could not find the way to be hired by the Duke of Newcastle. The most remarkable part of this trial was the Chief Justice Mansfield laying down for law, that satires even on dead Kings were punishable. Whatever obsolete statutes may pronounce, can any thing be more foreign to the genius of English constitution, nay, to the practice even of arbitrary countries? Why are tyrants sacred, when once dead? Adieu! veracity and history, if the King’s Bench is to appreciate your expressions! If the dead are not to be censured, it is only pronouncing history a libel, and the annals of Britain shall grow as civil things as the sermons at St. James’s.

It was a misfortune that Shebbear had gone such enormous lengths, that the warmest friends to the liberty of the press could scarce lament the handle taken to restrain its licentiousness. On the 5th of December the man stood in the pillory, having a footman holding an umbrella to keep off the rain. The mob received him with three huzzas: he had had[154] the confidence to disperse printed bills, inviting the friends of the liberty of the press and of old England to be at Charing Cross by twelve o’clock of that day, to see the British champion. Colonel Robert Brudenel, a hot-headed and foolish young officer, threatened the sheriff for the indulgence allowed to Shebbear, and the King’s Bench afterwards actually punished him. Insignificant as the man, and scandalous as his cause was, such periods are often critical to liberty. The Court victorious, the Minister popular, an arbitrary magistrate, a worthless criminal, officers undiscerning and ready to act any violence when their master is affronted—how little was wanted to roll the machine of Power to any eminence!

The miscarriages at St. Maloes and St. Cas, and the slender advantages accruing even from success at Cherbourg, had a little opened Mr. Pitt’s eyes. He could not help seeing that the slaughter at St. Cas was not very preferable to the bloodless return from Rochfort. He recollected that Conway had offered to be as rash as Blighe, though having at the same time thrown judgment into his plan. If Blighe was punished for exposing his troops, and Mordaunt and Conway for bringing back theirs in safety, the implication was that Mr. Pitt would pardon nothing but victory. These or some such reflections made him change his behaviour to Conway. Both the brothers being in waiting at[155] Kensington, Pitt took Lord Hertford aside, and told him he knew the nicety of the subject on which he was going to speak; that a new expedition being projected to the West Indies, and Hobson appointed to the command, he (Pitt) desired to explain to his Lordship, that no opposition from him had prevented Mr. Conway from being employed on it, as the latter had so earnestly solicited to be. The case had stood thus: one day finding the Duke of Newcastle, Marshal Ligonier, and the King’s Ministers, consulting who should command the expedition, he (Pitt) had said, “Perhaps my presence lays you under difficulties, but I object to nobody; pray consider who is most proper, and I shall be for him.” That he then retired to the other end of the room, while a list was formed of Conway, Cornwallis, Lord Albemarle, Hobson, and Moyston, which Lord Ligonier immediately carried to the King, who chose Hobson. Pitt added to Lord Hertford, “He was sorry things had gone so far; he now thought of Mr. Conway as he had done formerly, though he could not give up his private opinion about Rochfort, yet he should be concerned if Mr. Conway was not employed.”

On these overtures Conway visited Pitt, neglecting nothing that might procure him to be sent on action. He was soon after commissioned to settle with the French a cartel for the exchange of[156] prisoners, put upon the staff, and the following summer commanded in the lines at Chatham—but it went no farther: Pitt, unapt to forget or to forgive, seemed to have made these acknowledgments and reparations to his own character, not to Conway’s; and while Pitt would lend no hand to restore him to service, the Duke of Newcastle, supposing Conway more attached to the Duke of Cumberland than to him, was glad to keep him down, and to let the obstructions be imputed to Pitt. It was natural they should: Pitt took on himself the province of war and foreign operations: the whole domestic he left to Newcastle, and, except from foreign Ministers, would receive neither visits nor court. He lived in the same recluse manner as when a valetudinary patriot, indulging his own unsociable humour, and acquiring popularity, while he kept off friends and attachments. Yet some symptoms now and then appeared of deeper designs. Munchausen having presented an ample bill of extraordinaries for forage, &c., Pitt affected to be much offended at its exorbitance, said the whole should be laid before the House, and the members should be summoned to examine and consider the estimates. On this pretence he sent circular letters to the Tories, whom the Treasury never used to invite to any parliamentary attendance. Nothing could be more artful than this step. Pitt knew[157] himself not agreeable to the Whigs, the whole body of which were cantoned out in attachments to the Dukes of Newcastle, Devonshire, and Bedford, and to Fox. The Scotch were devoted to Argyle, or looked up to Lord Bute. The Tories had no leader. This summons captivated them, and at the same time tied up their civil gratitude from exercising any rigour on the Hanoverian accounts. Nay, whatever was demanded, was granted or allowed with such inconsiderate facility, that Lord Mansfield, to stigmatise Pitt’s measures and profusion, and the Parliament’s condescension, called it The South-sea year.

At the end of the year died Lord Arran, an inoffensive old man, the last male of the illustrious House of Ormond. He was Chancellor of Oxford, and much respected by the Jacobites, who had scarce any partizans left in whom they might venerate even a noble name. Sir George Lee died at the same time.

In France happened a sudden revolution, as soon forgotten as it had been unforeseen. The Cardinal de Bernis was the new Prime Minister. He had an easy talent for trifling poetry; it was his whole merit and his whole fortune. Madame Pompadour was pleased with some of his incense offered to her, and first sent him to Venice, then to the Hague, where he distinguished himself by an intriguing[158] vivacity. These qualifications and his attachment to her seemed solid enough to the mistress to fit the Abbé-Comte de Bernis for the government of France, where even these superficial talents were not outshined, so exhausted in that country was the vein of genius. Bernis was made a Cardinal, and amassed benefices to the amount of 14,000l. a year; but was scarce settled in that exalted station before he received a lettre de cachet as he was going to bed, ordering him to retire to his Bishopric by ten the next morning. The cause of this rapid fall was imputed to his own folly. He who had scrupled to receive no benefits from the mistress, nay, whose flatteries had obtained the greatest, and whose conscience had stooped to owe to her interest the first dignity in the church, grew at once conscientiously ungrateful, and arrogantly absurd, refusing to wait on her in her apartment, and to communicate in the dignity of the purple with a woman of so unsanctimonious a character. The world laughed at his impertinent pretences, and she punished them. Lord Granville, hearing the swift progress of this meteor, said, “Soh! his ministry has been almost as short as mine!”

At this stage I shall make a pause in my work, uncertain whether ever to be resumed, though I am rather inclined to prolong it to the conclusion of the war. I warn my readers, however, not to expect[159] as much intelligence and information in any subsequent pages of these Memoirs as may have appeared in the preceding. During the former period I lived in the centre of business, was intimately connected with many of the chief actors, was eager in politics, indefatigable in heaping up knowledge and materials for my work. Now, detached from those busy scenes, with many political connexions dropped or dissolved, indifferent to events, and indolent, I shall have fewer opportunities of informing myself of others. And here perhaps it may not be improper, or unwelcome to the reader, if I say some words on the author of these Memoirs: the frankness of the manner will prove it flows from no vain glory; yet to take off all such appearance, and to avoid a nauseous egotism, I shall make use of the third person.

Horace Walpole, without the least tincture of ambition, had a propensity to faction, and looked on the mischief of civil disturbances as a lively amusement. Indignation at the persecution raised against his father, and prejudices contracted by himself, conspired with his natural impetuosity of temper to nourish this passion. But coming into the world when the world was growing weary of faction, and some of the objects dying or being removed, against whom his warmth had been principally directed, maturity of reason and sparks of[160] virtue extinguished this culpable ardour. Balanced for a few years between right and wrong, happily for him virtue preponderated early enough to leave him some merit in the option. Arts, books, painting, architecture, antiquities, and those amiable employments of a tranquil life, to which in the warmest of his political hours he had been fondly addicted, assumed an entire empire over him. The circumstances too of the times contributed to make him withdraw from the scene of business. With Newcastle he had determined never to connect: Fox’s behaviour on the case of Mr. Byng had rooted out his esteem, and the coldness discovered by Fox on Walpole’s refusing to concur in all his politics, had in a manner dissolved their friendship. Of Pitt he retained the best opinion; but the wanton exposure of so many lives at the affair of St. Cas, and in those other visionary attempts on the coast of France, had painted Pitt on his mind as a man whose thirst of glory was inconsistent with humanity; and being himself strongly tinctured with tenderness, he avoided any further intercourse with a Minister, who was Great with so little reluctance.

Thus without disgrace, disappointment, or personal disgust, Walpole, at the age of forty-one,[31] abandoned the theatre of affairs; and retaining[161] neither resentment to warp, nor friendship to bias him, he thinks himself qualified to give some account of transactions, which few men have known better, and of which scarce any can speak with equal impartiality. He has not falsified a circumstance to load any man; he has not denied a wrong act to excuse himself. Yet lest even this unreserve should not be thought sufficient, lest some secret motive should be supposed to have influenced his opinions, at least his narrative, he will lay open to the reader his nearest sentiments. Severity in some of the characters will be the most striking objection. His dislike to a few persons probably sharpened his eyes to their faults, but he hopes never blinded him to their virtues—lest it should have done, especially in so inflammable a nature, he admonishes the reader of his greatest prejudices, as far as they could have risen from any provocation. From the Duke of Cumberland, Mr. Pelham, and Lord Hardwicke, he had received trifling offence. To the two last he avows he had strong aversion. From Mr. Fox, as I have said, he had felt coldness and ingratitude. By his uncle and the Duke of Devonshire he had been injured—by the former basely betrayed; yet of none of these has he omitted to speak with praise when he could find occasion. Of Lord Hardwicke had he known a virtue, he would have told it: for now, when his[162] passions are subsided, when affection and veneration for truth and justice preponderate above all other considerations, would he sacrifice the integrity of these Memoirs, his favourite labour, to a little revenge that he shall never taste? No; let his narration be measured by this standard, and it will be found that the unamiableness of the characters he blames imprinted those dislikes, as well as private distaste to some of them. The King, the Duke of Newcastle, and others, who do not appear in these writings with any signal advantage, never gave him the most distant cause of dissatisfaction.

How far his own character may have concurred towards forming his opinions may be calculated from the following picture, impartial as far as a man can know himself.

Walpole had a warm conception, vehement attachments, strong aversions; with an apparent contradiction in his temper—for he had numerous caprices, and invincible perseverance. His principles tended to republicanism, but without any of its austerity; his love of faction was unmixed with any aspiring. He had great sense of honour, but not great enough, for he had too much weakness to resist doing wrong, though too much sensibility not to feel it in others. He had a great measure of pride, equally apt to resent neglect, and scorning to stoop to any meanness or flattery. A boundless[163] friend; a bitter, but a placable enemy. His humour was satiric, though accompanied with a most compassionate heart. Indiscreet and abandoned to his passions, it seemed as if he despised or could bear no constraint; yet this want of government of himself was the more blameable, as nobody had greater command of resolution whenever he made a point of it. This appeared in his person: naturally very delicate, and educated with too fond a tenderness, by unrelaxed temperance and braving all inclemency of weathers, he formed and enjoyed the finest and unabated health. One virtue he possessed in a singular degree—disinterestedness and contempt of money—if one may call that a virtue, which really was a passion. In short, such was his promptness to dislike superiors, such his humanity to inferiors, that, considering how few men are of so firm a texture as not to be influenced by their situation, he thinks, if he may be allowed to judge of himself, that had either extreme of fortune been his lot, he should have made a good prince, but not a very honest slave.

Finished Oct. 27, 1759.


[26] It was said, “no people ever took so much killing.”

[27] They were permitted to trade to the French colonies, a privilege denied to them in time of peace.

[28] Marquis of Pombal.

[29] Malagrida, the chief criminal, was executed long afterwards, but under the clumsy pretence of being condemned by the Inquisition.

[30] The motto was with some humour taken from the Revelations: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse [alluding to the white horse in the arms of Hanover] and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed.” Ch. 6, v. 8.

[31] At the end of 1758.



Verbis restituit rem.


The Author’s motives for continuing this Work in the year 1759—A memorable era—Election of Chancellor of Oxford—Exchange of Prisoners—Death of the Princess of Orange—Capture of Goree—Expeditions to West Indies—Generals Wolfe and Townshend—Mr. Pitt’s character and ministry—Estimates of the year—Mr. Pitt’s speech on Taxes—Jealousies in the Ministry—Royal Message respecting the Militia—Threats of Invasion from France—Havre de Grace bombarded.

The conclusion of the reign which furnished the preceding Memoirs arrived so soon after the period where I quitted my narration, and was terminated by such a scene of glory, that it would be unpardonable to break off the thread in the most interesting moment of our annals. The particular events will be detailed by many writers, more accurately perhaps, and more circumstantially: but as I am accustomed to relate our story with exact fidelity to the impressions it made on me, the picture of so memorable an era drawn by an eyewitness must, with all its faults and prejudices, be[165] more striking to future readers, than the cold and critical detail which men less partial may hereafter retrace and digest on a regular plan.

These volumes, however, having swelled to a bulk far beyond my first intention, I shall endeavour to restrain this sketch to as compact dimensions as perspicuity will admit of. Descriptions of battles and victories I have always avoided, as not coming within the scope of my purpose, and from my ignorance in military transactions. Even the glorious campaigns which will be the chief subjects of the two years I am going to write of, will be but slightly touched: their consequences alone are my object. Intrigues of the Cabinet, or of Parliament, scarce existed at that period. All men were, or seemed to be, transported with the success of their country, and content with an Administration which outwent their warmest wishes, or made their jealousy ashamed to show itself. Few new characters appeared on the stage. One episode[32] indeed there was, in which less heroic affections were concerned; but having given rise to no memorable catastrophe, nor disturbed the shining order of events, it will not demand a long narration, though it will diversify the story, and, by the intermixture of human passions, serve to convince posterity that such a display of immortal actions as[166] illustrate the following pages is not the exhibition of a fabulous age.

The winter of this great year was not memorable. I shall briefly skim the events of it. The Chancellorship of Oxford was vacant by the death of Lord Arran.[33] The candidates were the Earls of Westmoreland[34] and Lichfield,[35] and Trevor, Bishop of Durham. The last, who had the appearance of a Court-candidate, was yet Tory enough not to make him despair of success. Lord Lichfield’s education, principles, and connexions were still more favourable to his hopes. He lived in the neighbourhood, was unalterably good-humoured, and if he did not make the figure that his youth had promised, the Jacobites could not reproach him, as he had drowned his parts in the jovial promotion of their cause—but of late he had [167]warped a little from what they thought loyalty. Lord Westmoreland was an aged man, of gravity and dignity, married to a Cavendish, and formerly so attached to the House of Hanover, that he commanded the very body of troops which King George I. had been obliged to send to Oxford to teach the University the only kind of passive obedience which they did not approve. But having fallen into the intimacy of Lord Chesterfield and Lord Cobham during the Opposition to Sir Robert Walpole, his regiment[36] was taken from him, and his resentment, which was not so versatile as theirs, had led him to imbibe all the nonsensical tenets of the Jacobites. They wanted a representative, and he was a comely one. The choice accordingly fell on him, after Lord Lichfield, who divided the Tories, had flung his interest into that scale to prevent the election of the Bishop.

The cloud which had hung over General Conway since the disappointment at Rochfort began to disperse. He was commissioned to meet at Sluys Monsieur de Bareil, who commanded in French Flanders, and to settle a cartel for the exchange of prisoners. The distresses of France had obliged that Crown to withdraw their allowance from their prisoners here, who were so numerous as to make that scanty stipend an object: it seemed none to[168] the generosity of this country to replace it—private and voluntary subscriptions[37] were even made for their relief. The cartel was immediately and satisfactorily settled: yet as Mr. Pitt could not digest the smallest deviation from his plans, the essence of which was rashness, and as he wisely was desirous of inspiring the most romantic valour into our officers and troops, nothing could prevail on him to trust another enterprise to Mr. Conway, who panted for an opportunity of encountering the rudest dangers that Mr. Pitt could chalk out. But Conway was still crossed; and even Moyston, who pleaded ignorance of his profession, to excuse himself from being employed on the West Indian expeditions, was, by the favour of Newcastle, whose creature he then was, preferred to Conway for service in Germany.

On the 12th of January died Anne, Princess-Royal of England and Dowager of Orange, the King’s eldest daughter, and Gouvernante of the Republic during the minority of her son, in the fiftieth year of her age. She left no children but the young Stadtholder,[38] of eleven years of age, and the Princess Caroline. Her last offices had been [169]employed in preventing a rupture between Great Britain and Holland, which was ready to break out on the many captures we had made of their vessels carrying supplies to the French settlements.

The first conquest that opened the year was the capture of Goree by Commodore Keppel.[39] That island had indeed surrendered on the 29th of December preceding; but the account did not arrive till the 27th of this month. An expedition of far higher importance was at that time on the point of departing. The war was to be carried into the heart and to the capital of the French empire in America; and so weakened was the force of that Monarchy on that side of the globe, by their encroachments, in which they had drawn upon themselves such extensive vengeance, that this was not attempted to be made a secret expedition. Quebec was the object, and was avowed to be so. Another fleet had sailed in November, to attempt the reduction of Martinico and Guadaloupe, under the direction of General Hopson and Commodore Moore. The former was old and infirm: brave, but neither able nor experienced:[170] Moore has been mentioned before. On Martinico the attempt miscarried. Moore was blamed by some for want of activity; but his subservience to the Ministry on the affair of Admiral Byng had secured such favour to him, that, in the Extraordinary Gazette published on this disappointment, Moore was treated with great lenity, and the blame made to bear hard on Hopson, who, however, survived long enough to expire in the arms of victory; for, on the failure at Martinico, the troops embarked with alacrity for Guadaloupe, and carried that island by dint of bravery. Basseterre, the capital, was reduced to a heap of ashes by the artillery from the Fleet; and Hopson died in possession of the ruins. The remainder of the island was subdued by General Barrington,[40] who succeeded to the command, and Colonel Clavering. Moyston,[41] as I have said, had been named for this service, but professed he knew nothing of his trade: yet, on a promotion of general officers, before which the King, as usual, made a promotion of Hanoverians in the same line, by which some Major-Generals were now put over the head of General Waldegrave, who had commanded them in the last campaign; Moyston, of the same [171]rank with Waldegrave, offered to serve under the new Hanoverian Lieutenants-General, if he might be sent to Germany; which well-timed flattery obtained his suit. On his waving Martinico, Pitt carried a list of names to the King, who selected Hopson—a choice not consonant to Mr. Pitt’s practice, who, considering that our ancient officers had grown old on a very small portion of experience, which by no means compensated for the decay of fire and vigour, chose to trust his plans to the alertness and hopes of younger men.

This appeared particularly in the nomination of Wolfe for the enterprise on Quebec. Ambition, activity, industry, passion for the service, were conspicuous in Wolfe. He seemed to breathe for nothing but fame, and lost no moments in qualifying himself to compass his object. He had studied for his purpose, and wrote well. Presumption on himself was necessary to such a character; and he had it. He was formed to execute the designs of such a master as Pitt, till risen to an eminence, whence he might choose to thwart his master. To Wolfe was associated George Townshend,[42] whose proud,[172] and sullen, and contemptuous temper never suffered him to wait for thwarting his superiors till risen to a level with them. He saw everything in an ill-natured and ridiculous light—a sure prevention of ever being seen himself in a great or favourable one. The haughtiness of the Duke of Cumberland, the talents or blemishes of Fox, the ardour of Wolfe, the virtue of Conway, all were alike the objects of Townshend’s spleen and contradiction—but Wolfe was not a man to wave his pre-eminence from fear of caricatures. He felt his superior knowledge and power, and had spirit enough to make Townshend sensible at least of the latter—a confidence in himself that was fortunate for his country: but we must pass to the other events of the year which preceded the decision of that attempt.

Mr. Pitt, on entering upon Administration, had found the nation at the lowest ebb in point of power and reputation. His predecessors, now his coadjutors, wanted genius, spirit, and system. The Fleet had many able officers; but the Army, which, since the resignation of the Duke of Cumberland, had lost sight of discipline, was destitute of Generals in whom either the nation or the soldiery had any confidence. France, who meaned to be feared, was[173] feared heartily; and the heavy debt of the nation, which was above fourscore millions, served as an excuse to those who understood nothing but little temporary expedients to preach up our impossibility of making an effectual stand. They were willing to trust that France would be so good as to ruin us by inches.

Pitt had roused us from this ignoble lethargy: he had asserted that our resources were still prodigious—he found them so in the intrepidity of our troops and navies—but he went farther, and perhaps too far. He staked our revenues with as little management as he played with the lives of the subjects; and as if we could never have another war to wage, or as if he meant, which was impracticable, that his Administration should decide which alone should exist as a nation, Britain or France, he lavished the last treasures of this country with a prodigality beyond example and beyond excuse; yet even that profusion was not so blameable as his negligence. Ignorant of the whole circle of finance, and consequently averse from corresponding with financiers, a plain set of men, who are never to be paid with words instead of figures, he kept aloof from all details, drew magnificent plans, and left others to find the magnificent means. Disdaining, too, to descend into the operations of an office which he did not fill, he affected to throw on the Treasury[174] the execution of measures which he dictated, but for which he thus held himself not responsible. The conduct was artful, new, and grand; and to him proved most advantageous. Secluded from all eyes, his orders were received as oracles; and their success, of consequence, was imputed to his inspiration. Misfortunes and miscarriages fell to the account of the more human agents: corruption and waste were charged on the subordinate priests. They indeed were charmed with this dispensation.

As Mr. Pitt neither granted suits nor received them, Newcastle revelled in a boundless power of appointing agents, commissaries, victuallers, and the whole train of leeches, and even paid his court to Pitt by heaping extravagance on extravagance; for the more money was thrown away, the greater idea Pitt conceived of his system’s grandeur. But none flattered this ostentatious prodigality like the Germans. From the King of Prussia[43] and Prince Ferdinand to the lowest victualler in the camp, all made advantage of English easiness and dissipation. As the Minister was proud of such pensioners, they were not coy in begging his alms. Fox, too, was not wanting to himself during this harvest, to which his office of Paymaster opened so commodious an inlet. Depressed, annihilated as a statesman, he[175] sat silent, indemnifying himself by every opportunity of gain which his rival’s want of economy threw in his way. The larger and more numerous are subsidies, the more troops are in commission, the more are on service abroad, the ampler means has the Paymaster of enriching himself. An unfortunate campaign, or an unpopular peace might shake the Minister’s establishment—but till this vision of expensive glory should be dissipated, Fox was determined to take no part. But thence, from that inattention on one hand, and rapacity on the other, started up those prodigious private fortunes which we have seen suddenly come forth—and thence we remained with a debt of an hundred and forty millions!

The admirers of Mr. Pitt extol the reverberation he gave to our councils, the despondence he banished, the spirit he infused, the conquests he made, the security he affixed to our trade and plantations, the humiliation of France, the glory of Britain carried, under his Administration, to a pitch at which it never had arrived—and all this is exactly true. When they add, that all this could not be purchased too dearly, and that there was no option between this conduct and tame submission to the yoke of France—even this is just in a degree; but a material objection still remains, not depreciating a grain from this bill of merits, which must be gratefully acknowledged[176] by whoever calls himself Englishman—yet very derogatory from Mr. Pitt’s character, as virtually trusted with the revenues, the property of his country. A few plain words will explain my meaning, and comprehend the force of the question. All this was done—but might have been done for many millions less—the next war will state this objection more fully.

Posterity, this is an impartial picture. I am neither dazzled by the blaze of the times in which I have lived, nor, if there are spots in the sun, do I deny that I see them. It is a man I am describing, and one, whose greatness will bear to have his blemishes fairly delivered to you—not from a love of censure in me, but of truth; and because it is history I am writing, not romance. I pursue my subject.

The estimates of the year will show how our expenses increased. When the Ways and Means were to be voted, the disposition of Mr. Pitt, which I have mentioned, appeared; and some other passions. He had taken umbrage at Legge from the time the latter had been associated with him in the testimonials of popularity which they had received together from many counties and corporations, or he might have discovered some of Legge’s subterraneous intrigues. The new-intended tax to answer part of the supplies granted, was destined to fall on sugar.[177] Pitt, who rarely condescended to make use of any instrument for acquiring popularity, was less reserved on this head with regard to Beckford, who was a noisy, good-humoured flatterer, bombast, as became the priest of such an idol, and vulgar and absurd, as was requisite to captivate any idol’s devotees, the mob. On that class in the City, Beckford had much influence. He was pompous in his expense, or rather in his expressions, but he knew his interest, and was attentive to it. His fortune lay chiefly in Jamaica—a tax on sugar touched his vitals. Accompanied by fifty West-Indian merchants, he applied to Legge to divert the new duty; but the measure was taken. He was obliged to have recourse to Pitt, who professed being little in the secret of money-matters; promised the affair should have farther consideration, and that himself would be open to conviction on what he should hear in the debate.

The chiefs of the City had already been acquainted with the tax, and approved it; but Pitt obliged Newcastle and Legge to depart from their plan, though at so late a day, and to shift the new duty upon dry goods in general. Yet when the debate came on, Pitt reproved Legge for having been so dilatory with the taxes; and made an extravagant panegyric on Beckford, who, he said, had done more to support Government than any Minister in England; launched out on his principles, disinterestedness,[178] knowledge of trade, and solidity; and professed he thought him another Sir Josiah Child. The House, who looked on Beckford as a wild, incoherent, superficial buffoon, of whose rhapsodies they were weary, laughed and groaned. Pitt was offended, and repeated his encomium, as the House did their sense of it. He added, that he thought a tax on wine or linens preferable to that on dry goods (which included sugar as part): he wished either had been proposed sooner: now he must sequi deteriora—yet why did he talk of his being consulted? Accident, jumble, and twenty circumstances, had placed him in an odd gap of government—but only for a time—he only desired to be an instrument of government, and the drudge of office. He wished for no power; he had seen what effect it had had on his predecessors!

But the most remarkable part of his speech on that and a following day, at least what was much recollected a few years afterwards,[44] was the commendation he bestowed upon excise, upon Sir Robert Walpole’s plan for it,[45] and upon that Minister. He concluded with declaring, that he should [179]like a tax on hops better than on any commodity that had been mentioned. This, too, was very ill received by the House. Legge, as usual, kissed the rod with much humility—yet many, who knew he deserved to be crushed, did not approve the violent manner in which it was done.

On the Corn Bill, Sir John Philipps reproached Pitt with Hanoverizing. Soame Jenyns, a humorous poet, had indirectly done the same in a simile to ridicule the Tories, whom Pitt was leading towards the Court, and who had already gone so far as to agree to his most extravagant demands for Germany. Pitt was grievously hurt; and it required all the intercession and protection of Lord Hardwicke to save Jenyns from being turned out of the Board of Trade. Pitt was no less complaisant to Lord Hardwicke on a point of higher importance. Lord Denbigh[46] acquainted the House of Lords, that he should move to ask the Judges for their new Act of Habeas Corpus, (which Lord Hardwicke had promised to prepare,) and said he did not doubt but that Lord would second his motion. The Judges were accordingly[180] summoned—but Lord Denbigh told them he had dropped his design. As he professed attachment to Pitt, the inference was obvious.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who could be obsequious, too, and who was showing great management for the Methodists, so far as to enter into their superstitious prosecution of the bakers for baking on Sundays, was not rigid even on that or still more solemn days, when he looked towards Court. On the general fast he acquainted the King by the Lord Chamberlain, that he had provided a preacher for his Majesty, who would have all proper regard to necessary brevity—but the man happened to preach half an hour—double the time to which the King was accustomed; who complaining that the Archbishop had deceived him, the flattery came to light. The Prelate was not less attentive to paying his court in a point of greater moment. The King, persuaded that his indulgence to and toleration of the Catholics would secure him from their plotting, was constantly averse to every proposition of rigour towards them. Representations of Justices of Peace against their chapels in private houses were always quashed. Of late it had appeared in print, by concurrent testimonies of opposite parties on the controversy with Bower,[47] that a regular mission of[181] Jesuits was established in London. They had attempted or suggested the assassination of the King of Portugal; they were detected and decried in France—Catholic kingdoms—in London no notice was taken of them. The Primate was too much occupied on forcing Protestant bakers to church, and in providing laconic preachers for his master!

Newcastle had now been long enough connected with Pitt to grow jealous of him once more. On a fine speech in the House of Lords, for the importation of Irish cattle, made by the Duke of Bedford, Newcastle commended him extravagantly; and soon after, a connexion between them recommenced by the intervention of Fox and the Duke of Bedford’s creatures. The consequences, however, did not soon appear, except in mutual diffidences of Newcastle and Pitt, the former of whom suspected the latter of designing to break on some popular topic; an opportunity which therefore the new connexion determined not to throw in his way, apprehending the power of his popularity. The jealousy, however, frequently broke out: the instances, trifling as they were, I shall sometimes briefly mention, as several of them led to higher matters.

The Privy Council sitting to hear the case argued of the captures made on the Dutch; Pitt, sensible of the clamour that would be raised, if the prizes were restored, went officiously early to the House of Commons, to mark, by his not being at[182] Council, his taking no part in the decision. Newcastle went thither; but perceiving the politic absence of Pitt, his Grace pretended the chamber was too hot, and retired too. This was followed by the affair of the Judges: on a proposal the last year to exempt them from the new tax on employments, it had been agreed rather to increase their salaries. Legge had promised a Bill for that purpose; and John Campbell,[48] of Calder, a staunch revolutionist, said he would add a motion to convert their commissions during good behaviour into patents for life. Then followed the Debate on the Habeas Corpus, on which, though the opinions of the Judges were divided, they certainly were not very favourable to Mr. Pitt and the friends of the extension. Now when the time was arrived for fixing those salaries, Pitt told Newcastle that the increase had been made to reward the complaisance of the Judges on the Bill of Habeas Corpus, and that it was the largest fee that ever was given. This terrified the Duke so much, that he prevailed on Campbell to drop his intended Motion. The King, too, disapproved it; wishing, when he could, to leave the prerogative as ample as he found it. The Treasury, however,[183] having advanced the salaries, were censured by Lord Denbigh and Lord Temple. Yet when it came before the House, Pitt, though he warmly opposed it in private, did not attend; but his friends, George Grenville and Beckford, attacked the Motion, and a Mr. Coventry told many entertaining stories of the Judges and their rapaciousness on the circuit, and of casual presents that they had converted into standing usages. Charles Yorke defended both the Judges and the measure—the latter with more success than the former: yet as the stories were neither flagrant nor of very recent date, the best apology for the Judges was, that so little could be objected to them. The additional salary was voted by 169 to 39; which occasioned Charles Townshend to say, that the book of Judges had been saved by the book of Numbers.

London, Henry Colburn, 1846.

Legge, who officially made the Motion, did not escape Pitt’s anger; but he was protected by Newcastle, to whom he had newly attached himself. The first interview passed with such privacy, that they met at Lord Dupplin’s without candles. Yet Newcastle discovered it to Pitt, and others to Lord Bute, which completed the ruin of Legge with both. Lord Bute immediately showed his resentment by excluding Oswald, though a Scot, from the Treasury, because recommended by Legge; and even to Pitt, Lord Bute made use of the name of the Prince[184] of Wales to fortify the exclusion. Legge, however, was indemnified by obtaining the vacant post for his friend Lord North.[49]

These were the most remarkable, and not very interesting events of that session, which concluded with a Message from the King to desire to be enabled to march the Militia out of their several counties on the apprehension of an invasion from France. Notice of such an intention had been received so early as February last. Fifty thousand men were said to be destined for that service, which formerly had been a plan of Marshal Belleisle in the last war, had been communicated to the King of Prussia, and approved of by him. Pitt made a pompous speech on delivery of the Message, and distinguished between the various kinds of fear: this, he said, was a magnanimous fear. The Address in return was still more lofty. Vyner and Cooke added an Address, that his Majesty would quicken such Lords Lieutenant as were dilatory with their Militias—there were several of them; the measure was far from being generally popular. When they did come to march, several country gentlemen would have excused themselves on the season of hay harvest. Pitt answered, that if any such objection[185] were made, he would, move the next session to have the Bill repealed—a dreadful threat to his Tory friends, who, by the silent douceurs of commissions in the Militia, were weaned from their opposition, without a sudden transition to ministerial employment.

The invasion, though it ended in smoke, was very seriously projected, and hung over us for great part of the summer; nor was it radically baffled till the winter following. Immense preparations were made along their coasts of flat-bottomed boats. They even notified their design to the Dutch; but at the same time informing the States, that they did not intend to disturb the established succession, but to punish England for her attempts on their coasts the last year. This notification had the least serious air in the whole transaction, but accorded with those weak councils, which knew not how to conduct any of their operations. We were defenceless at home, and could not assemble above twelve thousand men. Our towns were crowded with French prisoners. They were removed up into the country, and committed to the guard of the Militia. The Earl of Orford,[50] with the Militia[186] of Norfolk, was garrisoned at Portsmouth, whence they addressed the King with offers and promises of service—a zeal somewhat unconstitutional, and indicating how far from impossible it might be to divert this national force to the same purposes as are always reasonably apprehended from a standing Army. In the present case the apprehension was the more pregnant, as the officers of the Militia were chiefly Tory gentlemen.

To ward off or dissipate the invasion, Admiral Rodney[51] was dispatched to the French coast; and arriving off Havre de Grace, he with two bomb-ketches[187] set fire to the town in two or three places, though the fire from the forts was very warm. He threw so prodigious a number of bombs into the place, that he almost melted his own mortars; but the flat-bottomed boats, which were not finished, proved to be out of his reach; and he returned with having done but inconsiderable damage. About the same time advice being received that Monsieur Thurot, with 1500 men under his command, had escaped out of Dunkirk, another battalion was flung into Dover Castle, and two more were ordered into the lines at Chatham—but Thurot was not then sailed.


[32] The story of Lord George Sackville.

[33] The late Earl of Arran was only brother of the last Duke of Ormond, and had been elected Chancellor of Oxford, on the forfeiture of his brother, to show the devotion of the University to that family, and to the Jacobite cause.

[34] John Fane, Earl of Westmoreland, married Mary, only daughter of Lord Henry Cavendish, a younger son of the first Duke of Devonshire.

[35] George Henry Lee, third Earl of Lichfield, married Diana, daughter of Sir Thomas Frankland; a very remarkable union—for she was fourth in descent from Oliver Cromwell, as her Lord was from King Charles the First. They had no issue.

[36] He was not even permitted to sell his regiment, though he had paid 8,000l. for it.

[37] 1740l. were collected for them in London alone. The Romans dragged Princes in triumph after their cars—the English taxed themselves to support their prisoners.

[38] Father of the late King of the Netherlands.—E.

[39] Augustus Keppel, second son of William Anne, Earl of Albemarle. This was the same Keppel who had interested himself to save Admiral Byng, and who was so much more known in the succeeding reign from his own trial and quarrel with Sir Hugh Palisser.

[40] John, younger brother of the Lord Viscount Barrington.

[41] John, younger brother of Sir Roger Moyston, and Groom of the Bed-chamber to the King.

[42] George, eldest son of the Viscount Townshend, whom he succeeded in the title, afterwards Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.—A.

Our Author, who had no objection to satirical jokes, should have been more indulgent to a man whose chief offence was his success in them. A love of fun may be mischievous, but is rather a proof of levity than of sullenness, pride, or a contemptuous temper.—E.

[43] The King of Prussia melted the gold coin which we furnished for our subsidy, and recoined it with much more alloy.

[44] On the cider-tax in the following reign.

[45] Sir Robert Walpole had brought in a Bill on general excise, but so virulent was the opposition made to it by his enemies, that, though he carried it, he had been in danger of his life, and was persuaded by his friends, against his own opinion, to drop it. Almost all his chief opponents lived to recant their opposition to that plan, as Mr. Pitt did on this occasion; which was the handsomer, as he had lost his cornetcy of horse, and his uncle Lord Cobham his regiment, for their opposition on that occasion.

[46] Basil Fielding, Earl of Denbigh, much better known in the following reign.

[47] Archibald Bower, author of the History of the Popes, was much exposed in print by Dr. Douglas, and a warm controversy was stirred up on that occasion.

[48] This Mr. Campbell, who had estates both in Scotland and Wales, had been one of the Lords of the Treasury during the Administration of Sir Robert Walpole, and died very aged since the year 1770.

[49] Frederick, Lord North, afterwards Prime Minister, eldest son of Francis, Earl of Guildford, who married to his second wife the widow of Lord Lewisham, elder brother of Mr. Legge.

[50] George Walpole, third Earl of Orford, grandson of Sir Robert Walpole. Lord Orford, whose intellects were never very sound, and which were afterwards much disordered, showed at no time a disposition to tread in the principles of his grandfather and family. He lived almost always in the country, and was chiefly influenced in politics, when he did take any part in them, by George Lord Townshend, who had deviated still more from the Whig principles of his grandfather; being poisoned by his mother, the celebrated Ethelreda, Lady Townshend. That lady had been very affected. She had a great deal of wit, which was seldom delicate, and had turned Jacobite on some disregard from the Duke of Cumberland. One day that she was very severe on the Royal Family, Margaret Cecil, Lady Brown, said to her, “Lady Townshend, it was very well, while you was only affected; but now you are disaffected, it is intolerable.” A famous bon mot of Lady Townshend on the Royal Family was occasioned by seeing them often at Ranelagh: she said, “This is the cheapest family to see, and the dearest to keep, that ever was.”

[51] Afterwards Sir George Brydges Rodney; much more known in the years 1780 and 1781.



Opening of the Campaign in Germany under Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick—Reports of the Battle of Minden—Lord Granby and Lord George Sackville—Reflections on the latter—His Lordship’s conduct at the Battle of Minden—He returns to England—Correspondence of French Generals—King of Prussia’s Campaign—His Army defeated at Cunnersdorf—He saves Berlin and retrieves his Affairs—Spain and Naples—Charles III. of Spain sets aside his eldest son in the succession, in consequence of weakness of intellect—Admiral Boscawen defeats the French Fleet—Conquests in America—Lord George Sackville—Death of the Bishop of Worcester.

Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick had opened the campaign with less success than reputation, having been obliged to retreat after attempting to dislodge the French from Bergen. It was this and some parallel occasions in which the French stood their ground, that intituled Prince Ferdinand most deservedly to the character of a consummate General. Retreats before a victorious Army, and prosperous campaigns against a superior Army, these were his titles—the incapacity of the hostile Generals, and the shameful behaviour of their troops, rendered his subsequent[189] achievements less brilliant, without proving that he would not have succeeded against abler antagonists. It is a little more problematic whether he could not have served us better, had he had no interests to serve but ours. As we were strictly connected with the King of Prussia, co-operating with him was serving the common cause. The question is, whether Prince Ferdinand never lost sight of the interests of Great Britain, when a motion, a diversion that might shield that Monarch, clashed with an obvious plan of activity for driving the French out of the territories that more immediately affected our cause.

The advantage of employing so able a German General balanced some signal inconveniences attending that nomination. The sums which were never refused to him, and for which, not being a Briton, he could not be called to account, will perhaps outweigh the glory he procured to our arms, the benefits that resulted from his success, or the share which he made us take in saving the King of Prussia from destruction. Should the last-named Prince prove oftener our enemy than our Ally, we must comfort ourselves with having guarded the Protestant religion in Germany—for the Protestantism of its chief, it was too ridiculous to be made, as it was, even a serious object by the mob! Atheistic odes were the psalms which that Protestant confessor sung by the waters of Babylon!


After the check at Bergen, Prince Ferdinand, though retreating, disputed his ground by garrisoning the chief towns on his march. Yet they were all taken by the French, particularly Munster and Minden. Hanover seemed again on the point of becoming their prey. Nothing was left, but to hazard a battle; on which the Prince determined, and the news of which arrived here, when such an event was least expected, except by the King, who, on receiving General Yorke’s[52] courier, owned that he had had Prince Ferdinand’s plan in his pocket for ten days, without communicating it to a single person. This testimony was given immediately, before the slightest particulars were known, except that the general result of the action was complete success. Yet, however the event was coincident with the design, however determined the Prince was to provoke an engagement, it is rather clear that he was surprised, though not by his own fault, as came out afterwards.

Colonel Ligonier[53] followed General Yorke’s courier, but had been dispatched so early from the field of battle, that he scarce knew any of the circumstances, [191]except the great loss on the French side, the large number of prisoners, with the capture of their cannon and baggage.

Three days afterwards arrived Colonel Fitzroy,[54] Aide-de-camp to Prince Ferdinand, with confirmation of the victory; not so ample as in the first intelligence, but decisive, and attended immediately by essential advantages. Contades had passed the river in the night, ordering the bridges to be destroyed. Minden, with its garrison, surrendered the next day. The loss on our side had not been inconsiderable, and had fallen chiefly on the English, who had also the greatest share in the honour of the day. The Generals Kingsley and Waldegrave had particularly distinguished themselves.

With Fitzroy came over the Duke of Richmond; and they, particularly the latter, disclosed a passage, which soon threw the nation into a flame. Lord George Sackville,[55] by his weight with Mr. Pitt,[56] and in Parliament, had insisted on going to [192]Germany, and had gone without the King’s approbation, and even without waiting on his Majesty. Lord Granby was next to Lord George in command, and so popular, that when he set out for the Army, fifty-two young officers had solicited to be his Aides-de-camp. Between these two Lords a coolness soon ensued, and divided the Army, if it can be called division, where almost every heart sided with Lord Granby. He was open, honest, affable, and of such unbounded good-nature and generosity, that it was impossible to say which principle actuated him in the distribution of the prodigious sums that he spent and flung away.

Lord George Sackville was haughty, reserved but to a few, and those chiefly Scotch; and with no pre-eminence over his rival, but what his rank in command gave him, and his great talents, in which there could not be the smallest competition; and yet with those superior talents, Lord George never had the art of conciliating affection. He had thwarted Prince Ferdinand, and disgusted him, in the preceding campaign; and was now in the Army against the Prince’s inclination. The latter, with equal haughtiness, but with far more art and address, could not fail of fomenting a breach that tended so much to mortify Lord George, and to promote his own views. Lord Granby was tractable, unsuspicious, and not likely to pry into or[193] control the amazing impositions of the German agents, which Lord George had too honestly, too indiscreetly, or too insultingly, let Prince Ferdinand see had not escaped his observation, instead of remonstrating or withstanding such dissipation, as he should have done, at home—though it is questionable whether his representations would have been listened to by Mr. Pitt, who cared not what he lavished on whoever would carry on his glorious sketches, or rather adventurous darings—a prodigality unhappily copied in the next reign, throughout the American war, by men who imitated Mr. Pitt in nothing else, and who had none of his genius, ambition, patriotism, activity, nor even his lofty ideas.[57]

This was the state of things before the battle of Minden; but being little or not at all known in England, it was with equal surprise and indignation that the people heard Lord George Sackville, who had always stood in high estimation for courage, more covertly at first, soon openly accused of cowardice, and of having thrown away the moment of completing the total destruction of the French[194] Army. Prince Ferdinand had passed this reproach on him, indirectly and artfully indeed, but, when combined with the circumstances of the battle, not to be misunderstood. In the orders which he gave out the next day, he expressed concern that Lord Granby had not had the command of the Cavalry on the right wing, which, if led by him, his Highness did not doubt would have given a more decisive lustre to the day. More mysterious, yet still more pointed, was a paragraph in the same orders, requiring that, for the future, his commands, delivered by his Aides-de-camp, should be more exactly obeyed.

Inquiry soon led to the particular fact alluded to. During the battle, the Prince sent Ligonier, one of his Aides-de-camp, to Lord George, with orders to bring up the Cavalry; Fitzroy immediately after, with orders for Lord George to march with only the British Cavalry, and to the left. Lord George, as Fitzroy, who arrived suddenly after Ligonier, said, received the order with some confusion, and replied, “This cannot be so; would he have me break the line?” Fitzroy, young, brave, and impetuous, urged the command. Lord George desired he would not be in a hurry. “I am out of breath with galloping,” said Fitzroy, “which makes me speak quick; but my orders are positive. The French are in disorder; here is a glorious opportunity for the[195] English to distinguish themselves.” Lord George still hesitated, saying, it was impossible the Prince could mean to break the line. Fitzroy stuck to the Prince’s orders. Lord George asked which way the Cavalry was to march, and who was to be their guide? “I!” said Fitzroy, bravely. Lord George pretending the different orders puzzled him, desired to be conducted to the Prince for explanation; in the meantime dispatched Smith, his favourite, with orders to lead on the British Cavalry; from whence, he pleaded, no delay could happen. Smith whispered Lord George, to convince him of the necessity of obeying. Lord George persisted on being carried to the Prince, who at Fitzroy’s report was much astonished. Even when Lord George did march, he twice sent orders to Lord Granby to halt, who was posting on with less attention to the rules of a march, but with more ardour for engaging. Before they arrived, the battle was gained. Lord George defended himself on the seeming contradiction of the orders; on the short space of time that was lost, at most eight minutes; on obstructions from a wood on his march; and on his own alertness, he having been one of the first on horseback on hearing the French cannonade; the Prince of Anhalt having neglected to send to Prince Ferdinand information of the approach of the French, which he had learnt from four deserters.


That the whole affair turned on very few minutes, is certain. Whether, if employed, they would have been of great consequence, cannot now be determined. Enough was evident to prove that Lord George, at best, was too critically and minutely cool in such a moment of importance. Indeed, more was proved. Previous to the arrival of Ligonier, he had lost time in affecting not to understand a message delivered to him by a German Aide-de-camp. Colonel Sloper, too, (who had been obliged to him,) remarking his confusion, said to Ligonier, “For God’s sake, repeat your orders to that man, that he may not pretend not to understand them—but you see the condition he is in!” Had Lord George’s courage been less problematic, one might suspect that his hatred to Prince Ferdinand had made him willing, by an affected delay, to balk the Prince of part of his glory;[58] but some late occasions had already discovered that his Lordship was no hero. The late Duke of Marlborough[59] had remarked it in their joint expedition to the coast of France; and the little spirit he had shown in Ireland, [197]under the most grievous abuse, was now recollected, and concurred to corroborate the present imputation. His real constitution, I believe, was this: he had a high and bold spirit, till danger came extraordinarily near. Then his judgment was fascinated—yet even then he seems not to have lost a certain presence of mind. His quickness in distinguishing a trifling contradiction in a message delivered by two boys in not precisely the same terms, showed that all his senses were not lost; but if that dexterity served his fears, it cut up his fortune by the roots, annihilated his character, and gratified the utmost spleen and vengeance of his enemy. I question if a fuller victory had been more acceptable to Prince Ferdinand.

That disappointment alone had not provoked his Highness, seemed to appear from the choice he made of Lord Granby for the particular object of his compliment. Though the next officer to Lord George in the Cavalry, Lord Granby had only marked a great readiness to lead them to the charge; but had had no opportunity of otherwise distinguishing himself. For Lord George, whether unconscious of having failed in his duty; or whether, which is more probable, to carry on the semblance of having done it, he did not scruple to mix with the general officers at Prince Ferdinand’s table after the battle. “Voilà cet homme,” said[198] the Prince to those nearest to him, “autant à son aise comme s’il avoit fait des merveilles!” No more passed then. The next day’s orders informed Lord George that the Prince’s silence was no indemnity. His Highness knew the English; and left it to them to execute the rest.

Lord George Sackville felt the stroke. He saw Germany and the Army were no longer a situation for him. He wrote for leave to resign his command, and to return. Both were granted. Ere he could arrive, both the Court and the nation were prepared to receive him with little less abhorrence and abuse than had led the way to the fate of Admiral Byng.

A promotion of Lieutenants-General was immediately made, in order to include and hasten the rank to General Waldegrave,[60] to whom the success of the battle had in great measure been owing. The six English regiments, who sustained the whole effort of the French, had begun the engagement with less promise of valour. At first they began to give way. Waldegrave, affecting not to perceive that their motion tended towards a retreat, cried out, “Wheel to the right!”—they did, and recovered the day. Waldegrave was a man who[199] united much frankness with steady attention to his interest. His parts were never taken notice of but on this occasion: but such an occasion is immortality.

Seventy thousand men routed by 35,000 was indeed a shining victory. The defeat of the French was attended with scarce less rancour between their Generals than happened between ours. The Marshals Contades and Broglio threw the blame on each other: but the former never recovered any share of estimation. His papers, which fell into our hands soon after the battle, were artfully published. They included his correspondence with Marshal Belleisle, who directed the operations of the war, and gave orders for the conduct of it with a barbarity that spoke very plainly how little France was influenced by any sentiments of humanity or good faith in pursuit of her views.[61] The Germans were treated in those despatches with the most marked contempt; the Princes suspected by them, despotically; and even their friends, the Electors of Cologne and Palatine, were to be made feel the misery of being connected with a too powerful and arrogant Ally. They were to be plundered under the observance of the most insulting ceremonial. But what shocked Europe most, were repeated commands to reduce[200] the most fertile provinces of Germany to a desert: the pretence, to shorten the war. Had their meditated invasions of this country succeeded, one may judge what would have been the secret instructions to their Generals!

We must now turn to the King of Prussia. The efforts he had made in the preceding campaigns to withstand so many enemies were again to be renewed. The Russians were ready to burst on Silesia, and were not a nation with whom he could temporize, as he could with Marshal Daun, by stratagems, shifting situations, and the other resources of a politic general. Count Dohna, who was opposed to them, had endeavoured to ward off the blow by such expedients: but his master determined in his own mind that the Russian storm should be encountered by a shock like their own. He disgraced Dohna, and substituted Wedel in his place, with absolute command to risk a battle. Wedel accordingly engaged seventy thousand Russians with less than half their number, and was defeated. The towns of Crossen and Francfort-on-the-Oder fell into the hands of the conquerors.

The King, to vindicate his own measure, and indeed from the necessity of making a decisive effort, hastened with ten thousand men to the shattered remains of Wedel’s army; while Marshal Daun, who knew that the Russians wanted nothing[201] but a body of cavalry, despatched twelve thousand horse to them under General Laudohn, who was accompanied, too, by eight thousand foot. This supply made the Russian force amount to above fourscore thousand men, already blooded with victory and barbarity. The King, with all the recruits he could collect, had not assembled above fifty thousand men—enough to sacrifice to despair! It was near the village of Cunnersdorf that he once more tried what the most intrepid rashness could perform. Even the advantage of situation was against him; yet nothing stopped his impetuosity. His Generals had no option: his troops were animated by revenge, by the dangers that threatened their country, and by the example of their King, who was so far entitled to lavish the blood of his soldiers, as he was prodigal of his own. Such motives and such fury bore down all before them. The Russian entrenchments were forced; seventy pieces of their cannon were taken; posts after posts were carried, and prodigious slaughter made of their bravest battalions. The King, confident of success, and impatient to notify it, despatched a courier to the Queen with these words: “Madam, we have beaten the Russians from their entrenchments; in two hours expect to hear of a glorious victory.” Unless he concluded that the expeditious divulging of his success could check the progress of his other[202] enemies, or encourage his people to withstand the tempest that was ready to break upon them, this anticipation of his good fortune was childish, and more like the juvenile ardour of an unpractised hero, than of a man accustomed both to victory and reverses, and who was now fighting for dearer objects than glory.

The promised two hours never arrived. Soltikoff, the Russian General, collected the remains of his right wing, and, with supplies drawn from his centre, reinforced his left, which he observed to be the most entire, and posted it on a rising ground to advantage. The King, flushed with success, and now engaged in honour to make it complete, resolved to drive the Russians from that last post too. The fatigue of his troops, the representations of his Generals, the advantages already gained, nothing could dissuade him from pushing his fortune to the utmost. The command for attack was given, and was obeyed with alacrity by the Prussians, though almost spent by the heat of the day, and the efforts they had exerted. At that moment the Austrian cavalry, so judiciously furnished by Daun, and as ably put in motion by Laudohn, rushed upon the enfeebled victors, broke their ranks, drove them back in disorder, and ravished from them in few moments the fruit of their glorious ardour and intrepidity.


A total defeat of the Prussians ensued, notwithstanding the undaunted valour of their monarch, who could not recover by despair what he had let slip out of his hands by presumption. Yet, to that intemperance in action succeeded the coolest prudence and judgment. He had acted as in despair at the head of fifty thousand men; he took measures for re-establishing his Army, when he knew not whether he had an Army left. All his Generals were killed or wounded, all his cannon taken, the flower of his troops slaughtered or dispersed: yet, in those circumstances he made so able a retreat, so assiduously reassembled the remains of his Army, and chose his ground in so masterly a manner, that the Russians not only did not venture to make any attempt on Berlin, but drew no advantages from so complete a victory. Even Marshal Daun, who had selected the very moment for deciding the King’s ruin, improved the conjuncture with far less capacity than the vanquished Prince, who seemed to have no resource left. The Marshal, instead of being born, as men conjectured, to weary out the fertility of that monarch’s genius, seemed at last but the proper touchstone for proving the extent of his abilities. In a second note to his Queen, his Majesty ordered her to remove from Berlin with the Royal Family; the archives to be transported to Potsdam. The capital, he added, might make conditions[204] with the enemy. This was the first thought—yet he not only saved Berlin; but though Marshal Daun joined Soltikoff, and though the King received two more defeats during the course of the campaign, yet by the dexterous manœuvres of his brother, Prince Henry, whose military talents the King professed to prefer to his own, and who drew the Marshal towards Saxony by a daring and celebrated march, by the retreat of the Russians, to which the King forced them, and by the too deliberate councils of the Austrian chief, who continued to act in a defensive style even after he had reduced the King to the last gasp, that Prince was still saved to baffle the reasonings of the speculative, and to terminate his glorious career in a manner worthy of its progress.

While the war seemed drawing towards a conclusion in the North, it looked as if fate was opening a new source of calamities to mankind. Ferdinand King of Spain died; a Prince of no abilities, and lately of disordered intellects. His want of issue had formerly been imputed to drugs administered to him by the practices of his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Farnese, the politic Queen-dowager. Men of a suspicious cast might attribute his frenzy to the same cause; but a more pregnant reason might be assigned. His father, who certainly was far from being afflicted with any bodily debility, had been[205] equally disturbed in his understanding. Ferdinand’s Queen,[62] who had great ascendant over him, had kept his madness within bounds. On her death nobody had any influence with him. His disorder, thus left to itself, increased, and put an end to his life about a year after the decease of his Queen.

The Queen-dowager, though not absolute directress of affairs during the life of her son-in-law, had yet, from her intrigues, bribes, and dependents, and still more from the visible and approaching prospect of her own son’s succession, acquired much authority, though not enough to throw the kingdom, as she wished, into direct connexion with France. The probability of the weight she would have with her son Don Carlos; the power his own Queen, who was a daughter of Saxony, was known to have with him; and the subjection in which we had held him while only King of Naples—all these motives concurred to lead him into French measures. Naples, by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, had been destined to his brother the Duke of Parma. Don Carlos, indeed, had never given his consent to that disposition: he was less inclined to conform to it when the forces of Spain enabled him to dispute it. Accordingly, on obtaining the Spanish Crown, he destined that of Naples to one of his[206] younger sons. The eldest, called Duke of Calabria, and heir-apparent of Spain, inherited the weakness of mind of his grandfather and uncle. Him, therefore, it was determined totally to set aside. Solemnity was used in proceeding to that rejection. The young Prince, then thirteen, was formally examined by physicians. One[63] of them was so honest as to refuse to sign his persuasion of the Prince’s incapacity, though at length he too yielded. The case was novel and striking. Just, undoubtedly, to the people who were to be governed: but many favourers of hereditary right—that is, men who think that no want of talents or virtues ought to exclude a Prince from exercising that office which requires the noblest share of both, and hold that mankind, like land, ought to be the property of birth—will not be pleased with the reasons which the Neapolitan physicians were of opinion disqualified the Prince for the throne of Spain.

“He was short, his joints were contracted, he stooped, looked down, squinted, was sometimes indifferent to things convenient for him, at others too warm and impetuous. His passions not restrained by reason; he had an obstinate aversion to sweetmeats; was disturbed by all sorts of noise; pain or[207] pleasure made no lasting impressions on him; he was utterly unacquainted with good-breeding; had not the least idea of the mysteries of their holy religion; loved childish amusements, the most boisterous the best; and was continually shifting from one thing to another.”

If these defects were disqualifications, hard would be the fate of most sovereigns! how seldom would an eldest son succeed his father! Would not one think that the faculty of physic at Naples had rather been describing a Monarch than dispossessing him? One thing is evident—it must have been a King who selected such criterions for judging whether his son was capable of governing a great nation. “Ask him,” we must suppose, said his Neapolitan Majesty, “whether he loves sweetmeats! if he does not, he is unworthy of filling the Throne of his ancestors.” The Prince’s ignorance of good-breeding and of his religion seems rather imputable to his parents and preceptors than to him. If it were the mysteries of the Roman Catholic faith which he was incapable of comprehending, I should suspect the Prince was a sensible lad. Perhaps the honest physician thought as I do—at least, I do not doubt but, if permitted, he would have asked the Prince other questions.

Voltaire, who, I do not know why, thinks Princes are always to be mentioned with strict decorum,[208] could hardly persuade any man to refrain from laughing at this absurd catalogue of royal deficiencies. The Prince really was an idiot; nor was it likely that a father would wish to disinherit his own child, especially who was not old enough to have given him jealousy, unless the incapacity had been glaring and hopeless—but one would think the whole Cabinet of Naples had been idiots likewise, when they could find no better colours to dress up a notorious fact. Indeed, the Spanish as well as Portuguese statesmen have been wofully defective in composition in this age, as often as they have attempted to lay the grounds of their proceedings before the rest of Europe. The most barbarous periods of monkish ignorance and despotism produced nothing more despicable than several manifestos of those Crowns.

The Prince was set aside in consequence of the decision of the physicians.[64] The second son was [209]carried to Spain and declared Prince of Asturias. To the third was actually resigned the Crown of Naples, though too young to have it known whether he was more fit to reign than his eldest brother—but a baby is never thought disqualified. The tranquillity, however, of that child’s reign depended so much on preserving the friendship of England, that the new King of Spain was not impatient to hurry into French councils. His wife too had prepossessed him with apprehensions of being governed by his mother. The Crown of Naples, which he had owed entirely to her intrigues, could not induce him to put that of Spain under her direction. She could not even obtain to see him alone—a mortifying return from a darling son, who had been absent from her thirty years! But if the new Queen in that instance showed her influence, she lost it in every other. The King was extremely weak, but unmeasurably obstinate. The Crown of Spain, or[210] probably some Spanish Minister, infused into him higher thoughts of himself. He grew jealous of his wife’s ascendant, sent away a Neapolitan Duchess who governed her, and took a resolution of deciding everything by his own judgment. He could not have chosen a worse counsellor.[66] The disgraces that soon attended his measures made the true Spaniards wish that the Neapolitan doctors had been consulted on more cases than one.


The death of King Ferdinand was followed (September 4) by that of the Lady Elizabeth of England, second daughter of Frederic, Prince of Wales, in her eighteenth year. She had the quickest parts of any of his children, but was extremely deformed and homely. She died at Kew, of an inflammation in her bowels, having been ill but two days.

The beginning of the same month was distinguished by a torrent of prosperous news. The French fleet had sailed from Toulon. Admiral Boscawen[67] was refitting his squadron at Gibraltar, an inaction of which they hoped to profit, but the alertness of our commander demolished their hopes. On notice of their approach, he sailed out, and came up with the French off Cape Lagos, in Portugal. They made a running fight, but could not escape the vigilance and bravery of Boscawen. Two of their largest ships were taken; two others forced on shore and burnt; in one of which was the Commander, who was wounded in both legs, and expired soon after. The action passed on the 18th of August.

At the same time we learnt the conquest of Niagara by Sir William Johnson, the provincial hero. The account was carried to General Amherst on the very day on which he took possession of Ticonderoga[212] and Crown Point, abandoned by the French. It had been the plan to attack all the strong posts of the French at once. Amherst[68] had the command in chief; and, by the river St. Lawrence, was to fall on Quebec on one side, while the expedition under Wolfe and Saunders was to undertake the siege on the other. The conduct of that against Niagara was committed to General Prideaux, who was killed in the trenches by the bursting of a cohorn. Sir William Johnson, on whom the command devolved, took the place, after beating an army of French and Indians sent to relieve it.

Amid such a tide of success Lord George Sackville arrived in London. He immediately wrote to Lord Holderness to demand a Court-Martial. The demand was evaded for the present. He was told, the officers necessary were employed abroad. Lord Ligonier, the Commander-in-Chief, and Lord Barrington, Secretary at War, were more explicit, and informed him, that if he desired a Court-Martial, he must seek it in Germany. This was followed by a message, delivered by the latter, acquainting Lord George, that not only the command of his regiment would be taken from him, but that he would be dismissed from his rank of General, and from his post of Lieutenant-General of the[213] Ordnance; and Lord Barrington asked civilly if his Lordship chose to receive that notification then from his mouth, or in writing! Lord George preferred the latter. “That,” replied Lord Barrington, “will be easy; for I know but one precedent, that of the late Lord Cobham. I will send your Lordship the same.” Lord George smiled, and replied, “I hope your Lordship will send me a copy of Lord Cobham’s answer, too.”

This behaviour of the Court was not very intelligible, many even thought it had been concerted, as the gentlest way of letting Lord George escape. Certain it is, that their avoiding to call him to a trial made him presume on his cause, and resolve to try to correct the severity of his fortune. On the other hand, the punishment seemed too rigid to a man untried, uncondemned, who asked a trial, and against whom no complaint was preferred in form. He had even, a fortnight after his disgrace, written to Prince Ferdinand to know his charge. The latter protested he had no complaint against him, nor had written a word in his disfavour, till on hearing the discourses in the camp. Tenderness to so old a servant as the Duke of Dorset, perhaps, made the King willing to avoid the last severity, which, should Lord George be condemned, would be difficult to avoid. The officers of the Fleet, who had seen an example made in their profession,[214] would exclaim against partiality to a land officer, the greatness of whose birth would be the obvious cause of such lenity.

Mr. Pitt, too, was of no sanguinary complexion, though a rigid exactor of obedience. From the first moment of Lord George’s disgrace, Mr. Pitt warmly adopted the sentiments of Prince Ferdinand, whom he was determined heartily to support. Though he went to visit Lord George in form, he by no means meant to protect him. He would not, he said, condemn any man unheard. But he was sworn to the German cause, and to the heroes whose success reflected such lustre on his own Administration, and concurred so much to give it stability. When Fitzroy returned to the Army, Mr. Pitt charged him with the strongest assurances to Prince Ferdinand (as Fitzroy told Mr. Conway): “Tell him,” said Mr. Pitt, “he shall have what reinforcements, what ammunition, he pleases—tell him I will stand or fall with him.” Hearing, too, that Lord Mansfield connected with Lord George, and the Law intended to support him, “The Law,” said Pitt, “have nothing to do with that question.” Lord Granby succeeded Lord George Sackville in the Ordnance, and General Waldegrave in the regiment. Lord George published a short address, intreating the nation to suspend their opinion till he could have an opportunity of clearing himself.


In this month of September died Dr. Madox, Bishop of Worcester, a man who, from very low beginnings, and with no visible address, had raised himself to great height in the Church; and which at that time was singular, he never pushed his fortune through the Duke of Newcastle. He had higher merit—assiduously promoting regulations to prevent the destructive vices of the common people. He was succeeded by Johnson of Gloucester, who has been much mentioned in these Memoirs on a particular occasion.[69]


[52] Joseph Yorke, third son of Philip first Earl of Hardwicke, and Minister in Holland; afterwards, in 1788, created Lord Dover.

[53] Nephew of Marshal Lord Ligonier, whom he succeeded in the title.

[54] Charles, only brother of Augustus Henry, Duke of Grafton; afterwards created Baron of Southampton.

[55] Third son of Lionel Sackville, first Duke of Dorset.

[56] He had, however, already offended Mr. Pitt. The latter had offered to him the command of the expedition to St. Cas. Lord George replied, “he was tired of buccaneering.” It was to avoid that service that he had insisted on going to Germany—but Pitt did not forget the sarcasm on his expeditions.

[57] From this passage, as well as others, it is clear that our author revised his work many years after he wrote it. To this chapter, in a copy fairly transcribed, he has subjoined Oct. 28th, 1763; but in the same copy the concluding sentence of the paragraph in text does not occur.

[58] Some went so far as to suppose, that Lord George, concluding the Prince would be beaten, had a mind to have the honour of saving the Cavalry—but I know nothing to confirm that opinion.

[59] Charles Spencer, second Duke of Marlborough. He died between the expedition to St. Cas and the battle of Minden.

[60] John, younger brother of James, Earl of Waldegrave (the author of the Memoirs), whom he succeeded in the title in 1763, died Oct. 15, 1784.

[61] Lord Chesterfield wrote and published a letter to expose that infamous conduct.

[62] Barbara, a Princess of Portugal.—E.

[63] His name was Serras. He urged, “That the Prince was not an incurable changeling; and that age, strengthening his constitution, might strengthen his intellects.”

[64] The rejected Prince lived several years after at Naples, but never attained any degree of understanding. He was allowed to take the air in his coach constantly and publicly, and every body could perceive his insensibility. The next Prince, become Prince of Asturias,[65] was violent and brutal. The third, King of Naples, was not void of symptoms of the malady of his family, though it was doubtful whether his intellects were weak or deranged. Like his father, he was indefatigable in hunting, and passed many more hours of every day with his dogs than with his Ministers—such a sinecure is royalty! Had the eldest Prince been capable of passing his whole time in hunting, he might have been King.

[65] And afterwards Charles IV. of Spain. He never renounced his right to the kingdom of Naples; and though he acquiesced in his brother’s possession of it, always disputed his title, which, as it was in violation of the law of primogeniture, was never distinctly admitted by any government of Spain till the revolution of 1820.—E.

[66] Our author treats Charles III. with undue severity. He was no hero or statesman, but yet not devoid of good qualities. Probity, justice, consistency, and humanity, were among his virtues. On his accession to the Crown of Spain he submitted to great inconvenience, from a principle of honesty—he deemed it wrong to divert any portion of the treasure of Naples from the service of that kingdom; and he adhered so religiously to his scruple, that he not only left the public funds untouched, but divested himself of all private wealth, even to pictures, gems, and rings, considering them as the property of the people whose resources had enabled him to purchase them. He engaged, indeed, in two wars—one manifestly unjust, and both perhaps unnecessary; but he protected literature and the arts of peace. Though a bigoted Catholic, he suppressed the Jesuits, abolished, or at least discountenanced, torture, and mitigated religious persecution by his neglect and dislike of the Inquisition. In short, few absolute Kings, and none of his race and country, have been more free from the reproach of extravagance, injustice, or inhumanity. His reign was less oppressive and less inglorious than any under which Spain languished during the long suspension or evasion of her ancient free institutions.—E.

[67] Edward Boscawen was second son of Hugh, the first Viscount Falmouth.

[68] Jeffery Amherst, afterwards Knight of the Bath, and made a Peer and Commander-in-Chief in the next reign.

[69] The affair of Lord Ravensworth and Fawcet.



Influence of Madame de Pompadour in the Councils of France—French reverses—Wolfe’s Embarrassments—His Conquest of Quebec—His death—Perfidy and cruelty of the French Government—Bankruptcy of France—Meeting of Parliament—Mr. Pitt’s speech—Lord Temple resigns the Privy Seal, and then resumes it—Monument raised to Wolfe, and Thanks conferred on the Officers engaged in the Expedition—Admiral Saunders—Sir Edward Hawke attacks the French Fleet under Conflans, which he destroys—Debates on extraordinary Commissions—Proposals for Peace—Court of the Heir-Apparent—Victorious Officers rewarded—Warburton made a Bishop—Ireland—Tumults in Dublin—Irish Parliament.

Prince Ferdinand reaped as little advantage from his success at Minden as the enemies had from the defeat of the King of Prussia. The French Army was still superior. Contades had so entirely lost his credit, that Marshal D’Etrées, against his own inclination, was sent to share the command, and at least warded off any new disgrace to his country. Yet so sunk were both their Councils and Commanders in the estimation of the public, and[217] so much of the national shame was attributed to the influence of Madame de Pompadour, that a description of their situation and of the supposed cause was fixed upon the walls of Versailles, in these words,—

“Bateaux plats à vendre,

Soldats à louer,

Ministres à pendre,

Generaux à louer,

O France, le sexe femelle

Fit toujours ton destin,

Ton bonheur vint d’une Pucelle,

Ton malheur vient d’une catin.”

But the measure of their disgraces was not yet complete. They were foiled in the East Indies, as in all other parts. Lally, their General, a man of great parts and impetuosity, but with both the high and the low talents of an adventurer, was forced to raise the siege, which he had undertaken, of Madras, and resigned his command in indignation at the cowardice of his countrymen. Admiral Pococke twice beat their Fleet. Their invasions on the Ohio cost them the second empire which they had so artfully and so silently been founding at the other end of the world.

The joy on those successes, however, was damped by a desponding letter received from General Wolfe before Quebec, on the 14th of October. He had found the enterprise infinitely more difficult than[218] he had conceived, the country strong from every circumstance of situation: the French had a superior Army, had called in every Canadian capable of bearing arms: twenty-two ship-loads of provisions had escaped Admiral Durell, and got into the town; Amherst was not come up: and, above all, Montcalm, the French General, had shown that he understood the natural strength of the country, had posted himself in the most advantageous situation, and was not to be drawn from it by any stratagem which Wolfe, assisted by the steady co-operation of our Fleet, could put in practice. Wolfe, himself, was languishing with the stone, and a complication of disorders, which fatigue and disappointment had brought upon him. Townshend[70] and other officers had crossed him in his plans, but he had not yielded. Himself had been one of the warmest censurers of the miscarried expedition to Rochfort; and he had received this high command upon the assurance that no dangers or difficulties should discourage him. His Army wasted before his eyes by sickness; the season advanced fast which must put an end to his attempts: he had no choice remaining but in variety of difficulties. In the most artful terms that could be framed he left the nation uncertain whether he meaned to prepare an excuse for[219] desisting, or to claim the melancholy merit of having sacrificed himself without a prospect of success.

Three days after, an express arrived that Quebec was taken—a conquest heightened by the preceding gloom and despair. The rapidity with which our arms had prevailed in every quarter of the globe made us presume that Canada could not fail of being added to our acquisitions; and however arduously won, it would have sunk in value, if the transient cloud that overcast the dawn of this glory had not made it burst forth with redoubled lustre. The incidents of dramatic fiction could not be conducted with more address to lead an audience from despondency to sudden exultation, than accident prepared to excite the passions of a whole people. They despaired—they triumphed—and they wept—for Wolfe had fallen in the hour of victory! Joy, grief, curiosity, astonishment, were painted in every countenance: the more they inquired, the higher their admiration rose. Not an incident but was heroic and affecting!

Wolfe, between persuasion of the impracticability, unwillingness to leave any attempt untried that could be proposed, and worn out with the anxiety of mind and body, had determined to make one last effort above the town. He embarked his forces at one in the morning, and passed the French sentinels[220] in silence, that were posted along the shore. The current carried them beyond the destined spot. They found themselves at the foot of a precipice, esteemed so impracticable, that only a slight guard of one hundred and fifty men defended it. Had there been a path, the night was too dark to discover it. The troops, whom nothing could discourage, for these difficulties could not, pulled themselves and one another up by stumps and boughs of trees. The guard, hearing a rustling, fired down the precipice at random, as our men did up into the air: but, terrified by the strangeness of the attempt, the French picquet fled—all but the Captain, who, though wounded, would not accept quarter, but fired at one of our officers at the head of five hundred men. This, as he staked but a single life, was thought such an unfair war, that, instead of honouring his desperate valour, our men, to punish him, cut off his croix de St. Louis before they sent him to the hospital. Two of our officers, however, signed a certificate of his courage, lest the French should punish him as corrupted; our enterprise, unless facilitated by corruption, being deemed impossible to have taken place.

Day-break discovered our forces in possession of the eminence. Montcalm could not credit it when reported to him; but it was too late to doubt when nothing but a battle could save the town. Even[221] then he held our attempt so desperate, that, being shown the position of the English, he said, “Oui, je les vois où ils ne doivent pas être.” Forced to quit his entrenchments, he said, “S’il faut donc combattre, je vais les écraser.” He prepared for engagement, after lining the bushes with detachments of Indians. Our men, according to orders, reserved their fire with a patience and tranquillity equal to the resolution they had exerted in clambering the precipice—but when they gave it, it took place with such terrible slaughter of the enemy, that half an hour decided the day. The French fled precipitately; and Montcalm, endeavouring to rally them, was killed on the spot. General Monckton[71] was wounded early, and obliged to retire.

The fall of Wolfe was noble indeed. He received a wound in the head, but covered it from his soldiers with his handkerchief. A second ball struck him in the belly: that too he dissembled. A third hitting him in the breast, he sunk under the anguish, and was carried behind the ranks. Yet, fast as life ebbed out, his whole anxiety centred on the fortune of the day. He begged to be borne nearer to the action; but his sight being dimmed by the approach of death, he entreated to be told what they who supported him saw: he was answered that the enemy[222] gave ground. He eagerly repeated the question, heard the enemy was totally routed, cried “I am satisfied”—and expired.

In five days the town capitulated. Wolfe dead, and Monckton disabled, General Townshend signed the articles. He, and his friends for him, even attempted to ravish the honour of the conquest from Wolfe. Townshend’s first letter said nothing in praise of him. In one to the Speaker of the House of Commons he went so far as indirectly to assume the glory of the last effort. The words were these, “We determined on the 13th of September to do what we ought to have done in the beginning: but in military operations it is never too late to reform.” In other more private dispatches Townshend was still more explicit. These he ordered to be shown to the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Newcastle, and Mr. Pitt. From the first he received great assurances of countenance—but the passion of gratitude with which the nation was transported towards Wolfe’s memory overbore all attempts to lessen his fame. It was not by surviving him that he could be eclipsed.

Monsieur de Vaudreuil, Governor of the province, had appeared at the close of the engagement, but, seeing his countrymen defeated, retired to Montreal. Had he fallen into our hands, our men were determined to scalp him, he having been the chief and[223] blackest author of the cruelties exercised on our countrymen. Some of his letters were taken, in which he explicitly and basely said, that “Peace was the best time for making war on the English.” Such perfidy, and such barbarism as was contained in the dispatches of Marshal Belleisle, mentioned before, affix a stain on a nation which it requires an age of generous heroism to wash out. The cruelties exercised in the Palatinate by Louis XIV. conjured up that storm which overwhelmed the end of his reign, and enjoined the humiliating proposal of obliging him to concur in dethroning his own grandson. When ambition is inhuman, and tyranny insolent, they double the bitterness of a reverse of fortune by having given a precedent of wanton indignities.

The repeated misfortunes of France, and the efforts they had made without effect to bring the war to some tolerable conclusion, reduced them at last to a state of bankruptcy; a kind of evidence which even their future historians will not be able to parry. Defeated Armies frequently claim the victory, but no nation ever sung Te Deum on becoming insolvent. Three arrêts were published by the Court of France in October, suspending for a year the payment of the orders upon the general receipts of the finances, and allowing five per cent. on the respective sums as an indemnification. The second, of the[224] same tenour with respect to the hills of the general farms; and the third suspending the reimbursement of capitals, as well in regard to the treasury as to the redemption-fund.

This stoppage[72] gave rise to a stroke of humour in the English newspapers, which, in the list of bankrupts, inserted these words, “Louis le Petit, of the City of Paris, peace-breaker, dealer, and chapman.”

Monsieur Thurot, in the meanwhile, who had escaped our Fleet, arrived at Gottenburgh; it was then supposed with an intention of taking some Swedish forces on board, and invading some part of Scotland or Ireland. Mr. Pitt thinking too little attention was paid in Ireland to this project, wrote to the Duke of Bedford to notify the suspicions entertained here on that head. The Duke too rashly communicated that intelligence to the Irish parliament, and his son, the Marquis of Tavistock, moved them to arm. The consequence was, that the bankers there took the alarm, and stopped payment.

The English Parliament met October 13th. Beckford, by a high-flown encomium on Mr. Pitt, paved the way for that Minister to open on his own and our situation, which he did with great address, seeming to waive any merit, but stating our success[225] in a manner that excluded all others from a share in it. He disclaimed particular praise, and professed his determination of keeping united with the rest of the Ministers. Fidelity and diligence were all he could boast, though his bad health perhaps had caused him to relax somewhat of his application. Not a week, he said, had passed in the summer but had been a crisis, in which he had not known whether he should be torn in pieces, or commended, as he was now by Mr. Beckford. That the more a man was versed in business, the more he found the hand of Providence everywhere. That success had given us unanimity, not unanimity success. That for himself, however, he could not have dared, as he had done, but in these times. Other Ministers had hoped as well, but had not been circumstanced (not so popular) to dare as much. (This was handsome to them, yet appropriated the whole merit to himself.) He thought the stone almost rolled to the top of the hill, but it might roll back with dreadful repercussion. A weak moment in the field, or in council, might overturn all; for there was no such thing as chance; it was the unaccountable name of Nothing. All was Providence, whose favour was to be merited by virtue. Our Allies must be supported: if one wheel stopped, all might. He had unlearned his[226] juvenile errors, and thought no longer that England could do all by itself; (This was an indirect apology for having embraced the German system; and what followed on the invasion was perhaps an artful method of soliciting more troops, which once voted, might be sent abroad)—who had never been subject to a panic, was not likely to be terrified now.

He stated Prince Ferdinand’s Army as containing but 60,000 effective men: France, the next year, would have an hundred thousand—was Prince Ferdinand, therefore, as strong as we wished him? He did wish 10,000 more could be found for him; believed France meaned to invade us, though he should not look on the attempt as dangerous if she did. He balanced his attention between the landed and the monied interest; said, he did not prefer the monied men and the eighty millions in the Funds to the landed interest, though he thought our complaisance for the former ought to increase as public credit became more delicate. He ended with a mention of peace. Anybody, he said, could advise him in war: who could draw such a peace as would please everybody? He would snatch at the first moment of peace; though he wished he could leave off at the war. This conclusion seemed to come from his heart, and perhaps escaped him without design. Though no man knew so well how to say what he[227] pleased, no man ever knew so little what he was going to say.[73]

Lord Buckingham moved the Address in the Lords, and flung in much panegyric on George Townshend; whose friends were now reduced to compose and publish in his name a letter in praise of Wolfe. The Ministers had proposed that the Address of the Commons should be moved by Charles Townshend, the nearness of whose connection would exclude him from being profuse on his brother: but he refused, on finding how little incense was intended to be offered to their name.

The unanimity in the Government which Mr. Pitt had advertised was far from solid. It was not the fault of one man’s vanity that it was not dissolved.[228] Lord Temple, taking advantage of the adoration which the nation paid to Mr. Pitt, asked—considering the moment, it may be said demanded—the Garter; and being refused, abruptly resigned the Privy Seal. The insult, in effect, was to the nation: it was saying, “I will have that I will, or here end your victories; Mr. Pitt shall serve you no more.” It was sacrificing largely to friendship and gratitude that Mr. Pitt did not reckon himself deeply insulted too. An ascendant so notified could not be endured by many men. What if Antony had said to Cæsar, “Abandon the conquest of Gaul, if I am not allowed to wear a chaplet of laurel!”

Two days afterwards, the King commissioned the Duke of Devonshire to persuade Lord Temple to resume his place: some civil hints towards a promise of the Garter were added. Lord Temple finding his resignation received by the world with due indignation, was not obdurate, and kissed hands again for the Privy Seal. He pretended to Lord Hertford, that finding himself ill-treated by the King, he had asked for the Garter as an indication of returning favour; that his suit being rejected, he had begged an audience, in which he hoped he had effaced his Majesty’s ill impressions; and in which audience the King had three times pressed him to reconsider his resolution of retiring:[229] that he had entreated Mr. Pitt to resent nothing on his account; and had insisted on his brothers retaining their places, and continuing to support the Government, as he should himself: that he was then going out of town the most contented man in England. This passed before his resumption of the Seal. To others he denied having asked the Garter. He obtained it shortly after this violence.

On the 21st, Mr. Pitt moved the House of Commons to order a monument for General Wolfe; and, in a low and plaintive voice, pronounced a kind of funeral oration. It was, perhaps, the worst harangue he ever uttered. His eloquence was too native not to suffer by being crowded into a ready-prepared mould. The parallels which he drew from Greek and Roman story did but flatten the pathetic of the topic. Mr. Pitt himself had done more for Britain than any orator for Rome. Our three last campaigns had over-run more world than they conquered in a century—and for the Grecians, their story were a pretty theme if the town of St. Albans were waging war with that of Brentford. The horror of the night, the precipice scaled by Wolfe, the empire he with a handful of men added to England, and the glorious catastrophe of contentedly terminating life where his fame began—ancient story may be ransacked, and ostentatious[230] philosophy thrown into the account, before an episode can be found to rank with Wolfe’s.

Beckford commended General Townshend, and hoped some thanks would be given to those who completed the conquest. Sir William Williams enlarged on the praise of Wolfe. Lord North, in a more manly style, said it was a proof of Mr. Pitt’s abilities, that they sat there securely discerning rewards, while the French Fleet was sailed from Brest. For Wolfe he had paid his debt of expectation. Pitt then moved, in general words, for thanks to the Generals and Admirals; mentioned them all, particularly Admiral Saunders, whose merit, he said, had equalled those who have beaten Armadas—“May I anticipate?” cried he, “those who will beat Armadas!” He expatiated more largely on Townshend, who, he said, had gone unrequested whither the invited never came. This was far from being strictly the fact. Townshend had gone unwillingly; sent even, as was believed, by Mr. Pitt, who wished to get rid of so troublesome a man. George Grenville put an end to the day in an affecting manner; mentioning the death of his younger brother Thomas, who, in the preceding war, had fallen with expressions of content[74] on a day of victory.


Mr. Pitt’s anticipation of Saunders’s renown was prophetic. That Admiral was a pattern of most steady bravery, united with the most unaffected modesty. No man said less or deserved more. Simplicity in his manners, generosity, and good-nature, adorned his genuine love of his country. His services at Quebec had been eminent. Returning thence, he heard that Monsieur Conflans had taken the opportunity of Sir Edward Hawke’s retiring to Gibraltar to refit, and had sailed out of Brest. Saunders, who heard the news at Plymouth, far from thinking he had done enough, turned back instantaneously, and sailed to assist Hawke. His patriotism dictated that step, and would not wait for other orders. He arrived too late—but a moment so embraced could not be accounted lost. Such, too, was the age, that England did not want the addition of a Saunders!

That prudent and active officer, Sir Edward Hawke, had sailed on the first notice to seek the French squadron. He had twenty-three ships, they twenty-one. He came up with them on their own coast; and, before half his Fleet had joined him, began the attack. Conflans at first made a show of fighting, but soon took the part of endeavouring to shelter himself among the rocks, of which that coast is full. It was the 20th of November: the shortness of the day prevented the[232] total demolition of the enemy—but darkness nor a dreadful tempest that ensued could call off Sir Edward from pursuing his blow. The roaring of the elements was redoubled by the thunder from our ships; and both concurred in that scene of horror, to put a period to the Navy and hopes of France. Seven ships of the line got into the river Vilaine, eight more escaped to different ports. Conflans’ own ship and another were run on shore and burnt. One we took. Two of ours were lost in the storm, but the crews saved. Lord Howe, who attacked the Formidable, bore down on her with such violence, that her prow forced in his lower tier of guns. Captain Digby,[75] in the Dunkirk, received the fire of twelve of the enemy’s ships, and lost not a man. Keppel’s was full of water, and he thought it sinking: a sudden squall emptied his ship, but he was informed all his powder was wet—“Then,” said he, “I am sorry I am safe.” They came and told him a small quantity was undamaged—“Very well,” said he; “then attack again.” Not above eight of our ships were engaged in obtaining that decisive victory. The invasion was heard of no more, but in a puny episode that will be mentioned hereafter. While[233] in agitation, it was expected that the people would call for the Duke of Cumberland to command. The Duchess of Bedford told him of the rumour. “I do not believe, madam,” replied the Prince, “that the command will be offered to me, but when no wise man would accept it, and no honest man would refuse it.”

The Parliament in the meantime had sat on the Army for the future year, and a new case had appeared before the Committee of the Commons. Lord Downe,[76] Lord Pulteney,[77] and Sir William Peere Williams, had received general commissions to act as officers, yet their seats in Parliament had not been declared vacant. As this seemed an innovation, and contrary to the usage of the House of Commons, Sir John Philipps desired to have the case explained. Lord Downe, he said, he knew had received a brevet, that if taken prisoner, he might be entitled to the benefit of the cartel. Sir William Williams took upon him to explain it: declared he had no pay, never would accept pay, and had only a commission to raise men, as his zeal had prompted [234]him to do. Mr. Fox asked, how he came then to be employed in any particular regiment? He replied readily, though his usual manner was formal, that he acted only by the regimental book at Northampton. Lord Barrington urged for Lord Downe, who was in Germany, that he acted only as Deputy Lieutenant-Colonel, another person receiving the pay. Favour to those three disinterested young men obtained the connivance of the House, though the case indubitably was unparliamentary. The partiality of the Tories to George Townshend, who, having quitted the service during the command of the Duke of Cumberland, had again lately entered into it, and accepted a regiment, was still more remarkable. As no evasion could except him from the law, his case was not mentioned, and he continued to enjoy his seat without a re-election.

Lord Barrington then opened the state of the Army, which, including 18,000 Militia, would amount to above 175,000 men in British pay. Sir John Philipps again glanced at new regiments and extraordinary commissions. Mr. Pitt avowed the measure for his own, and owned he would have carried it further, if he had been permitted: related how he had been pleased with the behaviour of Colonel Hale, who had brought the news of the conquest of Quebec; and who finding an invasion threatened, and himself at a distance from his regiment,[235] had offered to form a corps of the footmen and chairmen of London, and lead them against the best household troops of France. For the economic part, to push expense was the best economy—for blood, we had lost none; never had been so bloodless a war; not fifteen hundred men had fallen in America. That the city of London had raised more men than Ireland in a twelvemonth. He hoped it would be related to the Irish Parliament that they had been censured in the English. He did justice to the merit of General Amherst, whose campaign, if in Vegetius, all the world would admire: it was in America, and nobody regarded it. He dwelt on Amherst’s letters to the provinces, exhorting, encouraging, and commanding their efforts for the common cause. He painted France in a state of bankruptcy and despondence; and their attempts as rather those of a dying than living monarchy. On this topic he made a fine conclusion—and the battle of Minden was not forgotten.

So much given to glory, something was to be done that might look like moderation. Europe began to take umbrage at our success: but, sailing with prosperity, Mr. Pitt did not trouble himself whether Europe’s voice went along with his achievements. It was the nation that he had made so great, that must be allured to approve his further enterprises. General Yorke, at the Hague, had received some[236] anonymous proposals of peace, and had transmitted them to his father, who communicated them to the Duke of Newcastle. The latter mentioned them to Knyphausen, the Prussian Minister, who, though enjoined to secrecy, revealed them to Lord Holderness. The latter, who had quitted Newcastle for Pitt, instantly carried the intelligence to his new patron. Pitt, enraged to find a kind of negotiation carrying on without the participation of either Secretary, reproached Newcastle in warm terms. The latter threw the blame on General Yorke. Pitt, however, thought it prudent (whether to have the honour of the treaty, or an opportunity of breaking it off) to direct General Yorke, in the name of his own King and of the King of Prussia, to acquaint Prince Lewis of Brunswick, who commanded the forces of Holland, and through him Monsieur D’Affry, the French Minister at the Hague, and the Ministers of Spain and Russia, that, notwithstanding our victories, we were willing to listen to terms of peace, if France would specify her proposals—an overture that ended in air. Nor did any subsequent step of Mr. Pitt speak him cordial to the business of peace. “I have been told,” he said, “that some time before he should have been well contented to bring France on her knees; now he would not rest till he had laid her on her back.”

During these events of éclat, an incident happened[237] that led to a discovery of some of the secret politics of the Heir-Apparent’s Court. A seat for the county of Hampshire was become vacant, the Marquis of Winchester,[78] one of its members, succeeding his father in the Dukedom. Legge, about the same time, had likewise vacated his seat for the same county, a patent-place devolving to him by the death of his brother. Lord Bute took that opportunity of notifying his resentment to Legge, who stood for the county, and carried it against one Stewart,[79] recommended by the Earl. Pitt did not favour Legge; and was as little inclined to favour the views of the Prince’s Court. Their mutual haughtiness and reserve had early impaired the connexion of Lord Bute and Pitt. The Prince’s Court had secrets of their own; nor was Pitt more communicative to the successor of his grandfather’s measures. The affair of Lord George Sackville, who was patronized by the Prince, widened the breach.

Rewards were now bestowed on the meritorious Commanders. Sir Edward Hawke, a man void of ostentation or ambition, was rewarded with an annual pension of 1500l. for thirty years. Admiral Boscawen [238]was made General of Marines, and Saunders Lieutenant-General; the former with 5l. a day, the latter with 4l. A present of twenty thousand pounds was given to Prince Ferdinand by the King, but brought into the House of Commons with other charges of the year. Sir John Philipps, obliquely to make the King’s parsimony remarked, who had made a present to his General at the expense of his people, found fault with the manner, and said that the gift of the House ought to have been transacted in a handsomer manner. Pitt took the advice on himself, and descanted on the merit of the Prince, who had served us for two years without pay; talked on the rewards to the Duke of Marlborough; and quoted Lord Stair for having in one article charged 40,000l. for putting the Austrians in motion. But neither was the present itself blamed, nor could the Prince be said to have served for nothing. Twelve thousand pounds a year were paid to him for his table and stables: he had the Garter, and a pension of two thousand a year on Ireland. If he suffered his German agents to embezzle millions without accounting with him, he had less prudence than the Duke of Marlborough—and yet did not escape similar suspicions.

Towards the close of the year, Nugent was made Vice Treasurer of Ireland, on the death of Potter, and was succeeded in the Treasury by Oswald.[239] Pitt, in contradiction to the House of Manners, who solicited for Dr. Ewer, to Newcastle, who stickled for a Cambridge man, and to the opposition of the Episcopal Bench, made Warburton Bishop of Gloucester; whose doubtful Christianity, whose writings and turbulent arrogance, made him generally obnoxious. Warburton, inquiring of a friend what the Clergy thought of his promotion, and being told how much it offended them, said, “Tell them it was well for their cause that I did not embrace any other profession.”—We must now take a view of another scene.

Mr. Pitt, as I have said, had endeavoured to instil apprehensions of an invasion into the Irish Parliament; at least, to encourage a spirit of raising troops, which might afterwards be applied to other services. It happened at that juncture that there was another point which alarmed the Irish more than the rumours of invasion. This was a jealousy that an union with England was intended, which they regarded as the means of subjecting them further to this Crown. This union was, indeed, a favourite object with Lord Hilsborough. He had hinted such a wish a year or two before in the Parliament of England; and being now in Ireland, let drop expressions of the same tendency. This was no sooner divulged than Dublin was in a flame.[240] The mob grew outrageous, and assembled at the door of the House of Commons. Mr. Rigby[80] went forth and assured them there was no foundation for their jealousy; but his word they would not take. Ponsonby, the Speaker, was at last obliged to go out and pacify them; and Mr. Rigby declared in the House, that if a Bill of Union was brought in, he would vote against it. The tumult then subsided; but Rigby soon after, in consequence of the representations from England, moving that the Lord Lieutenant might on an emergency, such as on an invasion, summon the Parliament to meet without an intervention of forty days, the former suspicions revived, and Rigby’s motion was interpreted as preparatory to some sudden scheme of union before measures could be taken to oppose it. The surmise was absurd; for were any surprise intended, the forms are so many before a Bill can be complete in Ireland, that time can never be wanted to withstand the most expeditious. A Bill must come from the Irish Privy Council to their House of Commons, must return to the Council, must then be transmitted to England and back again before it becomes a law.

But mobs do not reason, nor, if once prepossessed,[241] listen to reason. A dangerous riot ensued; the people rose in all parts of Dublin, and possessing themselves of the avenues of the Parliament, seized on the members, and obliged them to take an oath to be true to their country, and to vote against an union. Many were worse treated. One Rowley, a rich Presbyterian, who had long opposed the Administration, they seized and stripped, and were going to drown, from which they were with difficulty prevented. Lord Inchiquin, who was newly arrived from the country on purpose to oppose the rumoured union, was alike insulted. They pulled off his periwig and Red Riband, and put the oath to him. He had an impediment in his speech, and stuttering, they cried, “Damn you, do you hesitate?” but hearing that his name was O’Brien, their rage was turned into acclamations. They pulled the Bishop of Killala out of his coach, as they did the Lord Chancellor Bowes, obliging him to take their oath; but being seized with a droll scruple that their administering the oath did not give it legality, they stopped the Chief Justice, and made the Chancellor renew the oath before him. Malone was so little in their favour, that though he had taken the oath, one of the ringleaders dipped his fist in the kennel before he would shake hands with him.

They then went to the House of Lords, where[242] Sir Thomas Pendergrass looking out, they pulled him forth by the nose, and rolled him in the kennel. In the House they found Lord Farnham taking the oaths on the death of his father, instead of which they made him take theirs. There they committed the grossest and most filthy indecencies, placed an old woman on the Throne, and sent for pipes and tobacco for her. They next went to the House of Commons, and ordered the clerk to bring them the journals to burn. He obeyed; but telling them they would destroy the only records of the glorious year 1755, they were contented to restore them. But their greatest fury was intended against Rigby, whom the Duke of Bedford had lately made their Master of the Rolls. The office there is no post of business: still the choice of a man so little grave was not decent. The mob prepared a gallows, and were determined to hang Rigby on it; but, fortunately, that morning he had gone out of town to ride, and received timely notice not to return. The Duke of Bedford sent to the Mayor to quell the tumult, but he excused himself on pretence of there being no Riot Act in Ireland. The Privy Council was then called together, who advised sending for a troop of horse. That was executed: the troopers were ordered not to fire; but riding among the mob with their swords drawn, slashing and cutting, they at length dispersed the rioters, after putting to death fifteen or sixteen.


The Duke of Bedford and Rigby, in their letters to England, carefully concealed the enormity of the outrage. They knew Lord Temple wished to be Lord Lieutenant; and perhaps suspected, that that ambition had been the foundation of Mr. Pitt’s expostulations. Those seeds of jealousy, combining with Rigby’s devotion to Fox, gave rise to the succeeding animosities between the Duke and Pitt. What was more remarkable was, that the letters from the Castle acquitted the Papists of being authors of the sedition; yet, a short time before, the Duke had quarrelled with the Primate for saying he had no apprehensions from that quarter. Whatever was pretended, there was much reason for believing that the insurrection had deeper foundation than in a mere jealousy of an union with England. Seditious papers had been printed: two drummers, in the livery of the College, had commenced the uproar in the Earl of Meath’s Liberties, telling the people, that if they did not rise by one o’clock, an Act would be passed to abolish Parliaments in Ireland. So small, too, was the dislike to the then Government, that one of the rioters skimming away Lord Tavistock’s[81] hat, his comrades[244] gave him 200 lashes, saying, Lord Tavistock had not offended them.

But the strongest presumption of the tumult being excited by the emissaries of France came out afterwards; it appearing that the commotion began the very day after intelligence was received that the French fleet was sailed from Brest. Indeed it is now past doubt, that the Court of France had laid a very extensive plan, meditating an attack on the three kingdoms at one and the same time. England was to be invaded from Dunkirk, Ireland by the Brest Fleet, while Thurot[82] was to fall on the north of Scotland. Nor was Dublin the sole theatre where confusion was to be spread. Riots were raised at Cork on the prohibition of exporting[245] Irish cattle. Mr. Pitt wrote a warm letter to the Duke of Bedford to complain of his supineness after such repeated intelligence of the designs of France.

That storm weathered, the Castle met with little opposition. Perry, the most formidable of the minority, they bought off. One man alone gave them trouble; his name Hutchinson,[83] a lawyer. His views he owned himself. Being asked, on leaving England, whether he should addict himself to the Opposition or to the Castle, he replied, “Not to the Castle, certainly; nothing is to be gotten there”—meaning that Rigby engrossed everything. Hutchinson had good parts, and exerted them briskly, annoying Rigby, Malone, and the Courtiers. He said, Lord George Sackville had[246] parts, but no integrity; Conway, integrity, but no parts; now, they were governed by one who had neither. There was more wit than truth in this description. Conway’s parts, though not brilliant, were solid: for Rigby, though he never shone in the Irish Parliament, no man wanted parts less—and his joviality soon made him not only captivate so bacchanalian a capital, but impress a very durable memory of his festive sociability.

For the Irish Courtiers, it required no masterly pencil to expose their profligacy. That was the case of Sir Richard Cox. Hutchinson moved a resolution that the vote against pensions had had effect. “It is true,” said Sir Richard; “I lost a small pension, and have got a good place—yet I should not have expected such a Motion from that gentleman.” “Oh!” replied Hutchinson, “I should have opposed the Motion in the House, though I have now made it in the Committee; I only had a mind to try if this Committee would not vote for anything—yet I cannot believe that gentleman (Sir Richard Cox) is so very profligate and abandoned as he says himself.”

Finished Oct. 28, 1763.


[70] George, son of Charles Viscount Townshend, whom he succeeded.

[71] Robert Monckton, second son of the Lord Viscount Galway.

[72] The King, the Princes of the Blood, and the Nobility, sent their plate to the mint.

[73] In 1766, Lord Chatham, then Privy Seal, in going down to Parliament with Lord Shelburne, the Secretary of State, in his carriage, communicated to him some intelligence which it was important should be known to the Ministry, and equally important should be concealed from the public. Soon afterwards the coach stopped at the House of Lords, and Lord Shelburne carelessly asked Lord Chatham if he meant to speak that day?—“Not after what I have told you,” was his Lordship’s answer. His companion then observed, that he did not see why that should prevent him, as the matter communicated bore no sort of relation to the question coming on in the House. “True,” said Lord Chatham; “but when my mind is full of a subject, if once I get on my legs, it is sure to run over.”—E.

[74] He said, “This is preferable to being brought to a Court-Martial.” There is a monument in Westminster Abbey to his memory, and a column in the gardens at Stowe.

[75] Robert, brother of Edward and Henry, successively Lords Digby. He died, senior Admiral of the Royal Navy, in 1814.—E.

[76] Henry Pleydell Dawnay, Viscount Downe.

[77] William, only son of William Pulteney, Earl of Bath. These three spirited young men were taken off soon after this period. Lord Downe was killed in Germany, Sir W. Williams at Belleisle, and Lord Pulteney died in Spain, on his return to England.

[78] Charles Poulet, eldest son of Harry, Duke of Bolton. He died in 1775.

[79] Not a Scot, but son of Sir Simeon Stewart, a Hampshire Knight.

[80] Richard Rigby, favourite Secretary to the Duke of Bedford, Lord Lieutenant. He was afterwards Paymaster, and died April 8, 1788.

[81] Only son of the Duke of Bedford. (I find 200 lashes in my notes, but it is not probable that they carried their severity so far for so trifling an offence.)

[82] The plan was Marshal Belleisle’s. The author of La Vie Privée de Louis XV. says, that Thurot had orders not to commit hostilities on Scotland, but to invite the Jacobites to join him.—Vol. iii. That author has collected a great deal of curious matter, as far as he could be assisted by public materials; but his secret history is far from being equally authentic, nor does he seem to have been conversant with persons well informed, and near the scene of action. He thinks the first cause of the Dauphin’s illness and death proceeded from his vexation at the expulsion of the Jesuits. The Dauphin had been bred a bigot; but, before his death, was grown a free-thinker to a very great latitude, and gave very indubitable marks of it in the last days of his life. The author was as ignorant of the motives of the Duc de Choiseul’s opposition to Madame du Barri, and his consequential fall, which the author imputes to the Duchesse de Grammont, his sister, being provoked at not being the King’s mistress herself—a vulgar story. The author seems to be most versed in the marine, and the great object of his work, to show that all the successes of the English, in 1759 and 1760, were owing to the incapacity of all the Ministers and Commanders, and especially to the cowardice of their Admirals, to the King’s indolence, and to Madame de Pompadour’s ascendant.

[83] Hely Hutchinson, afterwards Provost of the college at Dublin; where his conduct was so violent as to draw on him a most acrimonious inquest, which he repelled by equal adulation to power.



Une noble hardiesse reveille l’enthousiasme national.

Siècle d’Alexandre, p. 177.


The War in Germany at the commencement of the year 1760—Prince Ferdinand detaches 12,000 men to the assistance of the King of Prussia—Value of contemporary Memoirs—Lord Bath’s Letter—Macklyn’s Love à la Mode—Lord George Sackville demands a Court-Martial—Earl Ferrers murders his Steward—Smollett punished for a Libel—Thurot’s Expedition to Ireland—Takes Carrickfergus—Re-embarks, and is intercepted—He is killed, and his Vessels captured—Court-Martial on Lord George Sackville—Reference to the Judges—Sentence—Trial and Execution of Earl Ferrers—Qualification Bill—Militia Bills.

The year began, as the last had concluded, with severe weather and hard frost; yet the Armies in Germany kept the field. Glory was not the object of that war. Mutual animosity excluded all confidence, and neither side would retire a foot, while both were impatient to bring things to a conclusion, and while the Empress Queen, especially, flattered herself with hopes of crushing her enemy. What the country suffered from that bitterness is not to be expressed—but when are the number considered? None suffered more than the Saxons. While their[248] King and his criminal favourite were wearing out their inglorious lives in Poland, without power or esteem, Dresden endured the worst consequences of Bruhl’s impertinent ambition. Bread was risen there to elevenpence a pound.

Our Army suffered no less hardships: one day in December they were fourteen hours under arms, expecting to be attacked by the French, which was threatened by Broglio, whose natural vivacity was encouraged by Prince Ferdinand weakening our Army. Without waiting for permission from England, he had detached 12,000 men, under the Hereditary Prince, to the assistance of the King of Prussia; a step that highly and justly offended King George; and the more provoking, as there was reason to believe the measure concerted with the King of Prussia to involve both Hanoverians and English in actual war with the Empress Queen; a declaration which the British Monarch, both as King and Elector, had hitherto carefully avoided. The first question Frederic put to the Prince of Brunswick was, “What English have you brought to me?” There were both Highlanders and Hanoverians. Broglio did, indeed, make an attack on Prince Ferdinand, who retreated, but repulsed the French to their loss.

In England the winter was not memorable for any parliamentary debates; the few of consequence[249] shall be mentioned. Other events, too, I shall not omit. These sheets, I have often declared, were less intended for a history of war than for civil annals. Whatever, therefore, leads to a knowledge of the characters of remarkable persons, of the manners of the age, and of its political intrigues, comes properly within my plan. I am more attentive to deserve the thanks of posterity than their admiration. A great modern author (Voltaire) recommends the omission of small circumstances, and would confine history to its capital outlines. In the first place, mine is not history, but Memoirs. Next, what would be less amusing than such a history? Battles, revolutions, and the wild waste of war, are common to all times; but they are the circumstances that distinguish one age from another. Lastly, future historians may reject the rubbish, and preserve only striking events: yet, for the power of such choice, he must be indebted to us contemporaries. With me, I own, one reflection further has determined me to the course I have pursued. They are the minutiæ of which I have observed Posterity is ever most fond; they are the omissions that historians in their grandeur disdain to record, which the humble reader most painfully labours to recover, and, if recovered, to weave into the materials of which he is already possessed. The patchwork seldom unites well, for want of those lights which[250] contemporaries might have given. Is it not more eligible to have chaff to winnow, than to add to a stack?

Lord Bath,[84] assisted by Douglas,[85] his Chaplain, published a piece called “A Letter to Two Great Men,” (Mr. Pitt and the Duke of Newcastle.) It contained a plan of the terms which his Lordship thought we ought to demand, if we concluded a peace. It was as little regarded by the persons it addressed as a work of Mr. Pitt’s would have been, if, outliving his patriotism, power, and character, he should twenty years after have emerged in a pamphlet. However, it pleased in coffee-houses more than it deserved, yet made much less noise than a farce written at the same time by an Irish player, one Macklyn,[86] called Love à la Mode. The principal characters were a Scotchman and an Irishman; [251]the first, heightened and odious; the latter, softened and amiable, played inimitably by one Moody. What made it memorable was, that Lord Bute[87] interposed to have it prohibited. This intervention made the ridicule on the Scotch the more tasted; and being tasted, it would have been too offensive to the public to have stopped the run. A composition was made that it should not be printed. The King, whose age then kept him from public places, sent for the copy, and ordered it to be read to him.

Lord George Sackville, having waited till the officers returned from Germany, had written at the end of the year to Lord Holderness, demanding a Court-Martial. He received for answer, that it would be referred to the Judges; a question having arisen, whether he could legally be tried, the orders he had disobeyed having been given by a foreigner. The Attorney and Solicitor Generals, however, not[252] the Judges, were the persons consulted, and they gave their opinions that he might have a Court-Martial. Another doubt had been started, whether, having been dismissed from the service, his Lordship could yet be subject to military law; but this was then passed over; and, Jan. 18th, Lord Holderness notified the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor to Lord George, adding, that his Majesty desired to know how his Lordship wished to have the proceeding, as there was no specific charge against him. This disculpation under the hand of a Secretary of State was remarkable. Some surmised that it had been contrived by Lord Mansfield, a friend to Lord George. It was palpable, at least, that the Court had gone even this length, in order to hold out to Lord George an opportunity of not pushing the matter any further.

He, notwithstanding, assuming to himself such a conviction of innocence, that he declared he would even accept of Lord Tyrawley[88] (a brutal man, and one of his bitterest foes on that and former occasions) for president of the Court-Martial, wrote in[253] reply to Lord Holderness, “that he had no business to accuse himself, nor had been guilty of any fault; but that he concluded Prince Ferdinand must have exhibited some charge against him; otherwise, undoubtedly his Majesty would not have stripped him of everything in so ignominious a manner. He therefore repeated his petition for a Court-Martial, and would abide the event.” Intimations at the same time were privately given to Lord George, that if he would desist from prosecuting the affair, the Court would also. On the other hand, he was told, that be the consequence how severe soever, the King was firm to let the law take its course, should the Court-Martial once proceed.

With any mitigation of his fate, if the event was sinister, Lord George could not flatter himself. He had too many and too powerful enemies, to expect any remission. The King hated him, and hated those who favoured him, the Prince’s faction. The Duke was as ill-inclined to him. Fox, from private resentments, was his enemy. The Army, whether the officers were attached to the Duke, to Prince Ferdinand, or to Lord Granby, were equally averse[254] to him. Mr. Pitt, though no bitter enemy, had adopted Prince Ferdinand’s cause. The people, too, who in a free country are reckoned for something, were prepossessed against him. In his own profession he had disgusted many, both of superior and inferior rank. Newcastle, who never felt for a powerless friend, had abandoned him. The house of Bedford, from reasons of family,[89] were not his well-wishers.

What had he to depend on?—an ancient father and mother, of great dignity indeed, and old servants of the Crown;[90] but the Duke retired, disgraced almost, and worn out by age and infirmities; their small circle of friends; the Scotch obnoxious at Court by the mutual hatred between the Duke of Cumberland and them since the last Rebellion, and from being attached to the Prince, and even by being attached to Lord George; his own parts; and perhaps the unwillingness of every profession to proceed against a member of their own corps—what frail trust, when weighed against influence!—yet he pushed on his trial, and sought danger, though he saw it, and must have weighed it. If here [255]ambition preponderated over fear, at least he was not always a coward. It was pretended that Lord Mansfield had assured him he could not be convicted—but do General Officers weigh legal niceties in the scales of Westminster Hall? Does their education qualify them for the tenderness required of English juries? Are not military men apt to pique themselves on showing antipathy to every suspicion of cowardice, unless they are very brave and sensible indeed?

For my own part, I would sooner pronounce Lord George a hero for provoking his trial, than a coward for shrinking from the French. He would have been in less danger by leading up the Cavalry at Minden, than in every hour that he went down to the Horse-guards as a criminal. But whatever apology is due to Lord George’s spirit, none offers itself for his judgment. The obvious consequence of a trial was condemnation. Laying aside the consideration of life, ambition, and restlessness under the ruin of his fortune, which probably dictated his insisting on a Court-Martial, were almost certain of being disappointed by a formal sentence.[91] A legal conviction[256] of cowardice would for ever dash his hopes. An acquittal would but partially remove such an imputation. The Court’s avowal of there being no specific charge against him was equal in value to such an acquittal. Time would have drawn a kind of oblivion over what was passed: art and future incidents might have superinduced a plea in his favour from the supposed animosity of Prince Ferdinand. A declaration of the Court rather in his favour was of more weight than even an acquittal after the reproach of an actual trial. As a Military man he could entertain no further views. In a civil light he might thereafter construe the rigour he had felt into substantial merit. The approaching reign promised to be favourable to any sufferer under the present; nor could Lord George but know, that to be the enemy of Prince Ferdinand would be meritorious in the eyes of the Prince and Princess Dowager, who hated the Ducal line of Brunswick.

But this was not the only error Lord George Sackville had made in judgment. It is not easy to conceive why he had persisted to seek employment in Germany, if he felt that within him which told him the road of martial glory was not his proper walk. He had interest enough to waive service;[257] and had his declining it been interpreted to his disadvantage, what was suspicion in comparison of proof? On the 23rd of January he was acquainted that he should have a Court-Martial. It was appointed, and General Onslow[92] constituted President. A messenger was dispatched to Prince Ferdinand to send over evidence. To General Balfour, nominated one of his Judges, Lord George objected, on the score of former enmity between them.

While this affair was depending, a more atrocious criminal appeared on the stage. Lawrence, Earl Ferrers, had been parted from his wife,[93] and an allowance settled on her by Parliament out of his estate, for his causeless ill-usage of her. A receiver of his rents, too, had been appointed, but the nomination left to the Earl, who named one Johnson, his own steward. That honest man not proving so tractable as his Lordship expected, had fallen under his displeasure. The Earl lived at his own seat in Leicestershire with a former mistress, whom he had taken again on being separated from his wife, and by whom he had four children. In that retirement [258]there appeared many symptoms of a frenzy incident to his family, as had also during his cohabitation with his lady; and frequent drunkenness inflamed the disorder. In that mood of madness and revenge he sent for Johnson, having artfully dispatched his family and servants different ways on various pretences. The poor man was no sooner alone with him, than the Earl locking the door, and holding a pistol to his breast, would have obliged Johnson to sign a paper, avowing himself a villain. While the unhappy man, kneeling at his feet, hesitated to sign, Lord Ferrers shot him in the body. The wound was mortal, but not instantly so. Remorse or fear seized on the murderer, for he was then sober. He sent for a surgeon, and wished to have Johnson saved. Those sentiments soon vanished, or were expelled by drink; for the Earl passed the remaining hours of that horrid day between his bottle and the chamber of the expiring man, sometimes in promises to his daughter, whom he had summoned to her father, oftener in transports of insult, threats, and cruelty, to the victim himself, who languished till the next morning. At first the Peer prepared to defend himself from being seized; but his courage failed him, as it had on former occasions. He was apprehended by the populace, and lodged in Leicester jail. Thence he was brought to town, and carried before the House[259] of Lords, where his behaviour was cool and sensible. The Lords committed him to the Tower.

In February was tried a criminal of a still different complexion. Dr. Smollett was convicted in the King’s Bench of publishing scurrilous abuse on Admiral Knollys in the Critical Review. Smollett was a worthless man, and only mentioned here because author of a History of England, of the errors in which posterity ought to be warned. Smollett was bred a sea-surgeon, and turned author. He wrote a tragedy, and sent it to Lord Lyttelton, with whom he was not acquainted. Lord Lyttelton, not caring to point out its defects, civilly advised him to try comedy. He wrote one, and solicited the same Lord to recommend it to the stage. The latter excused himself, but promised, if it should be acted, to do all the service in his power for the author. Smollett’s return was drawing an abusive portrait of Lord Lyttelton in Roderick Random, a novel; of which sort he published two or three. His next attempt was on the History of England; a work in which he engaged for booksellers, and finished, though four volumes in quarto, in two years; yet an easy task, as being pilfered from other histories. Accordingly, it was little noticed till it came down to the present time: then, though compiled from the libels of the age and the most[260] paltry materials, yet being heightened by personal invectives, strong Jacobitism, and the worst representation of the Duke of Cumberland’s conduct in Scotland, the sale was prodigious. Eleven thousand copies of that trash were instantly sold, while at the same time the university of Oxford ventured to print but two thousand of that inimitable work, Lord Clarendon’s Life! A reflection on the age sad to mention, yet too true to be suppressed! Smollett’s work was again printed, and again tasted: it was adorned with wretched prints, except two or three by Strange,[94] who could not refuse his admirable graver to the service of the Jacobite cause.

Smollett then engaged in a monthly magazine, called the Critical Review, the scope of which was to decry any work that appeared favourable to the principles of the Revolution. Nor was he single in that measure. The Scotch in the heart of London assumed a dictatorial power of reviling every book[261] that censured the Stuarts, or upheld the Revolution—a provocation they ought to have remembered when the tide rolled back upon them. Smollett, while in prison,[95] undertook a new magazine; and notwithstanding the notoriety of his disaffection, obtained the King’s patent for it by the interest of Mr. Pitt, to whom he had dedicated his history. In the following reign he was hired to write a scurrilous paper, called the Briton, against that very patron, Mr. Pitt.

While the trials of Lord George Sackville and Earl Ferrers were preparing, the attention of the public was drawn off to Ireland. We have mentioned the escape of Thurot from Dunkirk, and his[262] arrival with his pigmy squadron in Sweden. His expedition was a codicil to the lofty plan of invading these kingdoms in various parts at once. While the expedition from the coast of France should pour its flat-bottomed boats on this island, Conflans was to fall on Ireland, and Thurot to make a diversion either in Scotland or in the North of Ireland. His armament, originally composed but of five frigates, was by various accidents reduced to three: his twelve hundred men, by sickness, to half that number. The winter too was so adverse, that they lost three months in beating about among the northern isles; whence their provisions were so consumed, that they were obliged in the middle of February to put into the Isle of Islay to recruit. Supplied they were, and paid for what they received. Scotland was too wise to take a step further in behalf of so forlorn a hope.

There he learned the fate of the larger machine, the defeat of Conflans. Ambitious, however, of personal honour, and aware that desperate characters can only be supported by desperate actions, he determined to make an attempt on some part of Ireland; and about the 28th of February appeared before Carrickfergus. The remonstrances of the English Ministry had operated so little on the Administration in Ireland, that Carrickfergus, though seated in the heart of the Protestant interest, where[263] arms might securely have been trusted, was found by Thurot totally unguarded and unprovided. Making a draught from his seamen, he landed with a small body, and prepared to attack the town which was so little prepared to resist. The walls were ruinous, in many places incomplete. The force within consisted of four companies—unluckily, they consisted but of seventy-two men. They were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Jennings, a man formed for a hero; for he had great bravery and a small portion of sense. Thurot, who wanted provisions even more than glory, was content to make a demand of about twenty articles, for which he promised to pay. In case of refusal he threatened to burn the place, and then to march to Belfast, a far more opulent and commercial town. Colonel Jennings, who had scarce any ammunition, thought it more prudent to comply than to resist, when he had no means of resisting. He agreed to furnish Thurot with what he wanted. Some disagreement, however, arising, the capitulation was broken. The gates were shut against the invaders—still to the honour of Jennings, for the gates had neither bars nor locks. The fight began by firing at each other through the gates: but the Irish ammunition soon failing, so brave was the garrison, and so zealous the inhabitants, that for some time they defended themselves with brick-bats, which the rotten[264] condition of the walls easily supplied. When even those stores were exhausted, Jennings retired to the castle, while four or five raw recruits still defended the shattered gates. The citadel, however, could not hold out without either powder or provisions. It surrendered, and the garrison were made prisoners. Thurot plundered the town, and then sent to demand contributions from Belfast.

Ridiculous as this campaign was, it was no joke to the Duke of Bedford. Jennings and his puny force had shown themselves willing to do their utmost. The success of Thurot was a glaring comment on the negligence of his Grace’s administration. The danger to which so wealthy a town as Belfast was exposed was still more alarming. General Fitzwilliam was immediately detached with four regiments of Foot and three of Horse to drive out the invaders. The Lord Lieutenant in person promised to overtake him at Newry. But Thurot would not give his Grace an opportunity of retrieving his own carelessness. Taking along with him the Mayor and three of the principal inhabitants of Carrickfergus, Thurot again put to sea.

Another measure taken by the Irish Administration had luckier consequences. They had sent advice of the invasion to Kingsale, where lay three of our best frigates. Elliot[96] commanded them. He[265] instantly sailed, and came up with Thurot in the Irish Channel. Elliot’s vessels were inferior in size and number to Thurot’s, but cleaner, and the men fresh. After a smart action, he boarded Thurot’s ship. The latter fell, but not till he had given proof of the most romantic bravery. The other two frigates soon struck, and were all carried into the Isle of Man. Elliot’s account to the Admiralty was penned with such modesty, that a more important victory had not been more honourable.

Feb. 28th, Lord Barrington acquainted the House of Commons that Lord George Sackville had been put under arrest for disobedience of orders. The Speaker had been much averse to the trial of a member who was no longer in the Army, and hoped it would be opposed: but it was not. Lord Milton,[97] brother-in-law of Lord George, was empowered by him to say that the trial was what he earnestly desired. Lord Barrington then moved an Address of Thanks to the King for the communication, and for his Majesty’s tenderness of the privileges of the House. This being readily agreed to, Lord Barrington said it was nemine contradicente; but Doddington[98] had faintly said no, and the Speaker [266]said there had been a negative. Sir Francis Dashwood then said, that he had not opposed the Address, as Lord George wished the trial; but he hoped the measure would be considered hereafter in some Mutiny Bill, and that the time might be limited how long persons who had quitted the Army should be liable to martial law. Doddington added, “that everybody seemed to agree it ought not to remain law; that he did not think it law; nay, that Lord George might have been tried while he was a military man. Martial law was growing upon us, would eat up the banks, and overflow the whole. The Mutiny Bill fell to the ground every year, but, like the giant, recovered new strength on touching it.” Sir John Rushout added, that, were he in the Army, he would not sit on the trial of any man out of it. Sir Francis Dashwood promised to call for a revisal of the Mutiny Bill, if nobody else did.

The next day the Court-Martial met. When Lord George Sackville appeared before it, seeing General Balfour on the bench, he said, he thought that officer had not been to sit on him, he having made his exceptions, and been told Balfour should not be of the Court. Balfour said, he came not to be a judge, nor desired to be, but to know the exception,[267] which he thought touched his honour—a strong proof how dissonant Courts-Martial are from the spirit of the English constitution, which does not understand that persons accused are to be awed by points of romantic honour from excepting against their jury, if suspected of enmity or partiality. Lord George pleaded opposition that Balfour had exercised against him in the Ordnance. The Court-Martial voted that reason insufficient, but told Balfour they would excuse his attendance if he desired it; which he did. They had no such power either of voting the exception invalid, or of excusing him. The King had appointed him, and had allowed the exception. The next step was more respectful to the laws, and came from a quarter which was not suspected of much tenderness to the prisoner. Lord Albemarle[99] asked him if he was in the Army; the judge-advocate for the prisoner answered, “No.” The Court then was cleared, and adjourned to the following Thursday (it was then Friday), desiring to have the opinion of the Judges, whether a man no longer in the Army was subject to martial law. The Attorney and Solicitor Generals had determined in the affirmative, grounding their sentiment on those words of the Mutiny Bill, “All persons being[268] officers on the 25th of March, and committing such and such faults within the course of the year,” &c. These words being in force as long as the Bill, they thought comprehended such persons for the same period.

Lord Albemarle had gone further: he had asked if the Court was empowered to inflict any punishment under capital on the delinquent. This provision of tenderness was not expected from the favourite of the Duke of Cumberland, or from one who had expressed himself warmly enough against Lord George. Private reasons were sought for this conduct by those who would not suppose that in that trial any motives but those of passion or interest would be hearkened to. They who canvassed Lord Albemarle’s behaviour under such prejudice accounted for it by the Duke’s envy of Prince Ferdinand, and desire of rescuing even that hated criminal from his vengeance—yet were those but surmises, not corroborated by any appearance of acrimony in the complexion or conduct of the judges. So ill, however, was Lord Albemarle’s obstruction of the proceedings accepted by the King, who now pushed on the trial angrily and indecently, that his mother, Lady Albemarle,[100] was [269] omitted in the private nightly parties at Court, and not spoken to in the morning Drawing-Room.

The King went further: Prince Ferdinand was impatient for the return of the officers: General Onslow, President of the Court-Martial, was member of another on Lord Charles Hay,[101] a brave but mad officer, who having in America reflected on the dilatoriness of Lord Loudon, had been put under arrest by him. Onslow at that trial was seized with an apoplectic fit, and died. The King was so impatient of any delay on Lord George Sackville’s case, that the Duke of Newcastle, at four in the afternoon, was ordered to send to the Secretary at War, then in the House of Commons, directions to have a new commission made out that very evening, that not a day might be lost. Four more members too were added to the Court, to guard against any deficiency, the law allowing not a greater number than twenty-one, nor less than thirteen.

Ten Judges (the other two, Bathurst[102] and Clive, [270]of which the former held Lord George’s trial illegal, being absent on the Circuit,) gave their opinions, that, as far as they could then see, he might be tried; but they reserved to themselves a further consideration, if any appeal should be made from the sentence. On the very day on which they were to deliver their opinion arrived the account of Thurot’s defeat and death. There was a great Court to congratulate the King; yet so impatient was he to learn the decision of the Bench, that he scarce stayed a moment in the Drawing-Room. In private he expressed, without decency, his apprehensions of what the German Princes would think of his want of power, should he not be able to obtain Lord George’s trial and condemnation. The moment he was certified that the trial might proceed, he named General Pulteney[103] President of the court in the room of Onslow; and Pulteney excusing himself, Sir Charles Howard[104] was appointed.

March 7th, the trial recommenced. Lord George, who treated his adversaries with little management, desired the Judge-Advocate to explain to Wintzenrode, Prince Ferdinand’s Aide-de-camp, the nature of perjury: the German replied handsomely, that he understood it both from religion [271]and honour, and supposed it was the same in all countries.

Through the course of the trial, which being in print it is not necessary to recapitulate, the chief examinents were General Cholmondeley[105] and Lord Albemarle; both appearing unfavourable to Lord George, and the latter as little sparing Prince Ferdinand, when, by any indirect question, he could draw forth evidence of the Prince having been surprised into the battle. The rest of the Court took so little share in the examination, that Cholmondeley complained of the invidious part that was forced on him. Sloper was particularly acrimonious in his evidence against Lord George, and was believed actuated by General Mordaunt, so warmly did the latter resent Lord George’s practices on the miscarriage at Rochfort; though, if Lord George stirred up the prosecution of that affair, Mordaunt had only suffered by implication: Conway was Lord George’s object; but Conway was far from retorting that injury in the same manner.

Lord Granby, who was actually involved in the trial as evidence, showed the same honourable and compassionate tenderness. So far from exaggerating the minutest circumstance, he palliated or[272] suppressed whatever might load the prisoner, and seemed to study nothing but how to avoid appearing a party against him—so inseparable in his bosom were valour and good-nature. That the constitution of the Court itself was not unfavourable to Lord George, appeared, when a question that bore hard against him being put by General Cholmondeley, and Lord Robert Bertie objecting to it, it was put to the vote, and by the majority not admitted to be asked.

Lord George’s own behaviour was most extraordinary. He had undoubtedly trusted to the superiority of his parts for extricating him. Most men in his situation would have adapted such parts to the conciliating the favour of his judges, to drawing the witnesses into contradictions, to misleading and bewildering the Court, and to throwing the most specious colours on his own conduct, without offending the parties declared against him. Very different was the conduct of Lord George. From the outset, and during the whole process, he assumed a dictatorial style to the Court, and treated the inferiority of their capacities as he would have done if sitting amongst them. He browbeat the witnesses, gave the lie to Sloper, and used the Judge Advocate, though a very clever man, with contempt. Nothing was timid—nothing humble in his behaviour. His replies were quick and spirited.[273] He prescribed to the Court, and they acquiesced. An instant of such resolution at Minden had established his character for ever.

The trial had lasted longer than was expected. The Mutiny Bill expired. A new warrant was forced to be made out, and the depositions were read over to the witnesses. It was the third of April before the whole proceeding was closed: the event different from what Lord George had presumed, and yet short of what he had reason to expect. The Court-Martial pronounced him guilty of having disobeyed Prince Ferdinand’s orders, whom by his commission and instructions he was ordered to obey, and declared it their opinion that he was unfit to serve his Majesty in any military capacity whatever.

The King confirmed the sentence, but, dissatisfied that it had gone no further, he could not resist the ungenerous impulse of loading it with every insult in his power; impotent, as circumscribed in narrower limits than his wishes; and unjust, as exceeding the bounds of a just trial; since no man ought to be punished beyond his sentence. The Court-Martial’s decision was directed to be given out in public orders to the Army, declaring the sentence worse than death. The King struck Lord George’s name out of the Council Book, and forbad his appearance at Court. The Lord Chamberlain, too,[274] was ordered to notify that prohibition to the Prince of Wales and the Princess-Dowager; and lest that should not be sufficient, the Vice Chamberlain was sent to acquaint Lord Bute with it, who said, to be sure the Prince would not think of seeing Lord George while it was disagreeable to his Majesty. Lord George’s witnesses and friends were treated with no less cruelty. Hugo, a Hanoverian, was dismissed on his return to the Army. John Smith was obliged to quit it here; and Cunningham was sent to America, though he had been there three times already. Yet not a murmur followed: as the object was obnoxious, even the dangerous precedent of persecuting witnesses who had thwarted the inclinations of the Court made no impression—so much do liberty and power depend on circumstances and seasons.[106]

The trial of Lord Ferrers had more solemn conclusion. To one man his crimes were advantageous. Sir Robert Henley, Lord Keeper, had been hoisted [275]to that eminence by circumstances of faction; which, however, could not give weight to his decisions in Chancery. Those, as he complained, were often reversed before his face by the House of Lords without his being empowered to defend them, he[276] not being a Peer. It was proper to appoint him Lord High Steward for the trial of Lord Ferrers; and it was requisite, to fill that office, that he should be a Peer. Henley was accordingly created a[277] Baron; but as the Seals had not taught him more law, a Coronet and White Staff contributed as little to give him more dignity. He despised form, even where he had little to do but to be formal. He did not want sense, and spirit still less; but he could not, or would not, stoop to so easy a lesson as that of ceremonial.

Nothing is more awful than the trial of a British Peer; yet, the mean appearance of the prisoner, and the vulgar awkwardness of the Chief Judge, made the present trial as little imposing as possible. The Earl’s behaviour conciliated no favour to him: it was somewhat sullen, and his defence contemptible, endeavouring to protract the time, though without address. At length he pleaded madness—unwillingly, but in compliance with the entreaties of his family. The audience was touched at the appearance of his two brothers, reduced to depose to the lunacy in their blood. But those impressions were effaced, and gave way to horror, when it appeared to the Court that the Earl had gloried in his shocking deed. Being easily convicted, he begged pardon of his Judges for having used the plea of madness. But if his life was odious, and during his life his cowardice notorious, he showed at his death that he did not want sense, resolution, or temper. He bore the ignominy of his fate like a philosopher, and went to meet it with the ease of a gentleman. In[278] the tedious passage of his conveyance from the Tower to Tyburn, which was impeded by the crowds that assembled round his coach, he dropped not a rash word, nor one that had not sense and thought in it. Little was wanting to grace his catastrophe but less resentment to his wife, the peculiarity of being executed in his wedding habit too strongly marking that he imputed his calamity to that source. His relation, Lady Huntingdon, the Metropolitan of the Methodists, had laboured much in his last hours to profit of his fears for the honour of her sect; but, having renounced the plea of madness, he did not choose to resign his intellects to folly. So impudent, however, were those knavish zealots, that one Loyd, a Methodist, having been robbed by his coachman, a Methodist too, Whitfield appeared at the trial before the Lord Mayor, and read an excommunication that he had pronounced against the coachman. They would have accepted a murderer, if a proselyte from the Established Church; and flattered themselves that they could shake off the infamy of a house-breaker by casting him out from their own—so brief and effectual do enthusiasts hold their own legerdemain.

A man, whose pretensions to virtue were as equivocal as Whitfield’s to sanctity, took upon him about this time to lay straiter obligations on members of Parliament. The plan, like that of hypocrites[279] of all denominations, was, by coining new occasions of guilt. Sir John Philipps brought a Bill into the House of Commons to oblige the members to give in particulars of their qualifications, and to swear to the truth of them. A known Jacobite, who and whose friends had taken the oaths to King George, ought to have been sensible that perjury was not the crime at which most men stuck in that age: nor could it be hoped that they who made a seat in Parliament the foundation of their fortune would not overleap any obstacle to obtain one. Pitt, James Grenville, and Beckford promoted the Bill. Lord Egmont opposed it with great ability, and pointed out how much it would subject all estates to the inspection, and, consequently, to the iniquitous practices of attorneys: and he showed that western estates in particular were so circumstanced, that, without double the qualification required, they would not be sufficient to answer it. Much spirit against the Bill appeared in others. The Duke of Newcastle was very averse to it, but forced to swallow it a little curtailed, as Pitt insisted that something must be done to gratify the Tories. Lord Strange ridiculed it, particularly one notorious blunder: the Bill directed that no man should take his seat till he had produced his qualification, and sworn to it in a full House, the Speaker in the chair. This, at[280] the opening of a new Parliament, was an impossibility—by whom was the Speaker to be chosen? Young Thomas Townshend spoke warmly against it, and traced its origin to the four last disgraceful years of Queen Anne, when a like Bill had been attempted by the Tories.

The Bill, however, passed both Houses. In the Lords, the Duke of Richmond and the Earls of Gower and Hilsborough opposed it. Lord Temple supported it insolently, threatening disunion if it were not allowed to pass. Lord Hardwicke seemed but cool towards it; yet he treated the Commons arrogantly, and said he had winked at many things for the sake of union. Lord Gower put it home to the Bishops, whether the Bill would not multiply perjuries; yet it was carried by fifty to sixteen, as it had been in the other House by fourscore to forty.

A Bill for a Militia in Scotland was less successful; nor could the disaffected there obtain this mode of having their arms restored. Pitt had acquiesced; but the Duke of Newcastle, the Solicitor-General Yorke, Nugent, Lord Barrington, and the young Whigs, attacked it with all their force. Even the Scotch Lord Advocate spoke with spirit against it. Elliot defended it masterly; and Sir Henry Erskine went so far as to say that all Scotland would come[281] and demand it at the bar of the House. Unluckily for that menace, the man who had most weight in that country, the Duke of Argyll, was not cordial to the Bill, and it was rejected by one hundred and ninety-four to eighty-four.

A proposed extension of the Militia met with the same fate. It had been granted for five years. The counties which had adopted it grew tired of the expense. The Tory gentlemen were fond of this more decent mode of accepting emoluments. To humour them and George Townshend, Pitt had consented that a Bill should be brought in to make the expense common to the whole kingdom, by enabling the counties where Militia was raised to draw on the Exchequer. The Speaker advertised the House that this would not only be a Money Bill, but must have the consent of, nay, must be recommended by, the Crown. That the King absolutely refused to give. Notice being taken of the Bill’s non-appearance, Lord Strange, in his frank manner, said, “Why did not gentlemen speak out? was it not that his Majesty would not consent to the Bill?” Pitt, to draw all possible honour from what he could not bestow, replied, it was now too late in the session; but if any man would renew the Motion the second day of next session, even to make the Militia perpetual, he would not only[282] second, but try to get the Bill passed before the supplies; yet what were those supplies to feed but his own war, which he boasted had doubled the expense of any year of Queen Anne? This very year above sixteen millions were voted.


[84] William Pulteney, the celebrated Earl of Bath.

[85] Dr. Douglas, canon of Windsor, known for his detection of Lauder, and controversy with Archibald Bower, author of the Lives of the Popes.—A.

He became Bishop of Carlisle in 1788; Bishop of Salisbury in 1791, and died in 1807.—E.

[86] Macklyn, in general a disagreeable actor, was liked in Iago, and extremely admired in Shylock the Jew. He had been tried and honourably acquitted for the murder of another actor, but his character was not popular. He played the Scotchman himself in his own farce, but not well; however, its not being printed, nor played but when he pleased, made it always draw crowded audiences; which, with having a daughter who was a pretty good actress, and of an excellent character, made him never rejected by the theatres, though of a quarrelsome temper. He continued to play for twenty years, and, though past fourscore, retained so much vigour and parts, that he wrote another piece, not less severe on the Scotch, though it was much curtailed before he could obtain permission to have it acted; and though it succeeded, it was not near so much liked as his Love à la Mode.

[87] John Stuart, Earl of Bute, a very considerable personage in the succeeding reign.

[88] Being told that General Conway, whose miscarriage at Rochfort it was supposed Lord George had inflamed, would be of the Court-Martial against him, he said, he should wish for no man sooner for his judge—the highest compliment that could be paid to Conway’s integrity and candour. Though at their outset, both as soldiers and parliamentary speakers, the world had marked them as rivals, there never was any open enmity between them; nor were they ever intimate: the spotless virtue of Conway, his disinterestedness, and total alienation from all political intrigues, could not assimilate with a man so different.

[89] The sister of the Duchess of Bedford had married Lord John Sackville, and had quarrelled with Lord George.

[90] The Duke of Dorset had enjoyed many great employments both in the Court and State: the Duchess had been Mistress of the Robes to the late Queen.

[91] This reasoning was not destroyed by Lord George’s being afterwards twice employed in civil employments, the second time in a very high one; for though he had occasion to prove his personal courage, the imputation of wanting it was never effaced; and was so often thrown in his face, that he never afterwards recovered spirit enough to act with dignity, nor to display the parts which had been so conspicuous in his early life.

[92] Richard Onslow, brother of the Speaker of the House of Commons.

[93] Sister of Sir William Meredith, a most amiable woman; afterwards married to Lord Frederic Campbell, brother of the Duke of Argyle.—A. She was burnt to death in 1807.—E.

[94] Strange was a most undisguised Jacobite. Allan Ramsay, the painter, of as disaffected a family, (and who had set out to join the Pretender, when he heard of his defeat,) being offended that Strange had been unwilling to engrave his portrait of George III., imputed it to Strange’s Jacobitism. The latter, who certainly had been patronized by Lord Bute on the death of George II., but quarrelled with him, published a pamphlet against the Earl, in which he taxed the Earl with the ridiculous vanity of chusing to have his own portrait engraved before the King’s.

[95] It was worth remembering, that amongst the authors patronised and pensioned by George the Third, were Smollett, imprisoned for a libel; Shebbeare, who had stood in the pillory for abusing George I., King William, and the Revolution; and some other libellers.—A.

To have patronised two ingenious men of letters, though formerly convicted of political libels, is no discredit whatever to George III.—When, indeed, during his reign, new and severer laws were devised against political libel, it might have been worth remembering how many worthy, eminent, and learned men had incurred the guilt, and been exposed to the consequences, of that imperfectly defined species of offence, at various periods of our history: a circumstance from which it must naturally be inferred, that all further penalties adopted by Parliament may be inflicted on others, as worthy, as eminent, and as learned.—E.

[96] Brother of Sir Gilbert Elliot, one of the Lords of the Treasury.

[97] Joseph Damer, Lord Milton, had married Lady Caroline Sackville, sister of Lord George.—A. He was created an Earl in 1792, and died in 1798.—E.

[98] Doddington was an old friend of the Duke of Dorset, was no friend to Mr. Pitt, and was attached to the Princess Dowager: so was Sir Francis Dashwood.

[99] Lord Albemarle was the favourite of the Duke of Cumberland, who was no friend to Lord George.

[100] Lady Anne Lenox, youngest daughter of Charles, first Duke of Richmond of that line. She had been Lady of the Bed-Chamber to Queen Caroline. After the Queen’s death the King had private parties at cards every night, from nine to eleven, in the apartment of the Princesses Amelie and Caroline, to which only the most favourite Lords and Ladies of the Court were invited, and some of the King’s Grooms of the Bed-Chamber. She died, at an advanced age, in 1789.

[101] Brother of the Marquis of Tweedale.

[102] Henry Bathurst, Chancellor to the late Prince of Wales, attached to the Princess Dowager, and Lord High Chancellor in the following reign.—A. He died in 1794.—E.

[103] Only brother of William, Earl of Bath.

[104] Only brother of the Earl of Carlisle, and Knight of the Bath.

[105] James, only brother of George, third Earl of Cholmondeley, and much attached to the Duke of Cumberland.

[106] As that trial and sentence came remarkably into question two-and-twenty years afterwards, it may not be improper to touch slightly the occasion of its being recalled; together with a few outlines of the subsequent life of a man, whose disgrace seemed to have annihilated him for ever in a political light; and who, though his restless ambition incited him again to aspire to high employments and honours, both which he attained, will never figure in history as an admired character, since he acquired no successes, no glory for his country by his councils, strengthened[107] rather than effaced the suspicion of his courage, almost forfeited the general opinion of his parts, and obtained no honours that were not balanced by redoubled disgraces and mortifications. He was admitted into a lucrative, though subordinate, post in Lord Rockingham’s first Administration; was grossly insulted by Governor Johnson, whom he challenged and fought[107] with a coolness that with almost all men justly palliated or removed the imputation on his spirit. Not long after the commencement of the fatal American war he was suddenly hoisted to the management of it; in the course of which he was frequently exposed to most bitter apostrophes on his former imputed timidity, and did but give new handle to that imputation by the tameness or feebleness with which he bore or repelled those attacks; while the want of vigour in his defences, void of any emanations of parts, made his abilities as much questioned as his spirit by those who were too young to remember his former exertions. Whether his councils and plans were ill-grounded, impolitic, or unwise, or whether the recovery of America was unattainable when he entered on the office, it is certain that not only ill success attended almost every one of the measures he recommended or promoted, but two disgraces[108] (unparalleled so far, that two similar never happened to any country in any one war) befell the British arms, sufficient to blast, if not demolish any Minister so unauspiciously seconded by fortune. Yet misfortune and disgrace were not entirely the causes of Lord George’s fall. The mercenary intrigue and treachery of a few of his associates tumbled him in a moment from a height which he decorated so ill—while the partiality or obstinacy of a Sovereign, whose passions he implicitly obeyed, compensated his fall by the extravagant reward of a Viscount’s coronet. This exaltation was as abruptly and cruelly the occasion of recalling the former stigma. The Marquis of Carmarthen[109] proposed to the House of Lords to protest against the admission into their order of a man stamped by an indelible brand, and by a sentence that had never been cancelled. The positive Monarch precipitated the patent in defiance. The Marquis, as unshaken, pursued his hostility, solicited the Peers to condemn the indignity offered to them; and the new Viscount was reduced in the first debate, after taking his seat, to hear his former sentence read to his face, and to combat in person for the Sovereign’s prerogative right of giving, and his own competence of receiving, the conferred honour.—A.

[107] How he strengthened rather than effaced the suspicion of his courage, and yet fought with a coolness that with almost all men justly palliated or removed the imputation on his spirit, seems rather difficult to explain, if it were any part of the duty of an editor to reconcile the contradictions of an author.—E.

[108] The surrenders of General Burgoyne’s and Cornwallis’s Armies.

[109] Francis Osborne, only son of the Duke of Leeds.



General Murray beaten at Quebec—Retreat of the French from that city—General Amherst takes Montreal—Our successes in the East Indies—Campaign in Germany—Prussians defeated—King of Prussia invests Dresden—Is obliged to retreat—Defeats Laudohn—Daun compelled to raise the Siege of Schweidnitz—The Allies take Berlin—Subsequently abandon it—The King of Prussia defeats Daun at Torgal—Prince Ferdinand’s Campaign—Earl of Clanricarde challenges the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—Character of George II.—His death—His Will—Anecdote respecting the Will of George I.

Those prodigious efforts were crowned, though not with universal, yet with most important success. In Germany, the campaign was far from decisive; but in America the war was concluded. After the loss of Quebec, the French retired into the heart of Canada. General Murray,[110] a brave and adventurous officer, with a garrison of about seven thousand men, and with the terror our arms had inspired, was left to defend the ruins of Quebec.[284] The frost had obliged the Fleet to retire. Monsieur Levi, who had succeeded Montcalm, seized that last opportunity of struggling to recover their empire. Assembling a body of French, Canadians, and Indians, to the amount of ten thousand and upwards, he marched in April to besiege the capital. General Murray, impatient to be cooped within walls into which the English had entered so impetuously, disdained to await a regular siege, and, with far more intrepidity than policy, marched out with inferior force, attacked the French, and was defeated. He lost his cannon, but was sufficiently fortunate in not being cut off, as he was near being, from his retreat to the City. Levi soon prepared to form the siege by land and sea, having brought up six frigates; against which we had not a single vessel. The place must have fallen into the hands of its old masters, if, on the 9th of May, Lord Colville, with two frigates, outsailing the British squadron, had not entered the river and demolished the French armament. Levi, from the heights on the other side, was witness to that defeat; and, judging rightly that the rest of our naval force approached, broke up his camp in haste and confusion, and retreated, leaving his Artillery behind him.

One resource still remained—Montreal. There Monsieur de Vaudreuil, the General Governor, fixed his stand, and collected the whole force of the province.[285] But he had to deal with a man, who, as brave as Wolfe or as Murray, and as circumspect as Vaudreuil was insidious, possessed the whole system of war. Provident, methodic, conciliating, and cool, Amherst disposed his plans, adapted his measures, reconciled jarring interests, and pursued his operations with steadiness; neither precipitating nor delaying beyond the due point, and comprehending the whole under an authority which he knew how to assume, and to temper from giving disgust.[111] A character so composed could not shine [286] on a sudden: it required penetration to admire him; but the finer the details, the more astonishing was the result.

Amherst had determined, by one collective arrangement, to overwhelm the last hopes of France in Canada; an object sufficiently important to justify the exertion of superabundant resources. Colonel Haviland was ordered to sail from Crown Point, and proceed directly to Montreal: General Murray was commanded to bring up all the force[287] he could spare from Quebec. Amherst himself, with a body of ten thousand men, and reinforced by a thousand savages under Sir William Johnson, embarked on Lake Ontario for the river St. Laurence; a spectacle that recalled the expeditions of ancient story, when the rudeness and novelty of naval armaments raised the first adventurers to the rank of demigods. That vast lake was to be traversed in open galleys laden with artillery, not with arrows and javelins. Wolfe, with all the formidable apparatus[288] of modern war, had almost failed before Quebec: Amherst with barks and boats invaded Montreal, and achieved the conquest, though, what would have daunted the heroes of antiquity, he had the cataracts to pass. He surmounted that danger with inconsiderable loss, and appeared before Montreal on the very same day with General Murray. Too many obstacles, to which Monsieur de Vaudreuil had trusted, were conquered. The place itself was little tenable. The Governor took the only part that remained, that of surrendering his[289] garrison prisoners of war. Thus was the French empire in Canada annihilated without effusion of blood. Amherst’s glory was completed by pardoning Vaudreuil’s perfidy and cruelties, and by preserving the vanquished from insult and injury.

The power of France drew as near to a period in the East Indies. Colonel Coote, Major Brereton, who fell in the contest, Major Monson, and others, carried on the war triumphantly. Lally, who left no valour unexerted, no stratagem unattempted, was constantly defeated. Sir George Pococke entirely dispersed their Navy in those seas after three repeated engagements.

The German war was far from drawing to a conclusion. It was next to a miracle, considering how gloomily the last campaign had terminated for the King of Prussia, that the present did not complete his ruin. The Empress Queen’s hatred and resources were by no means exhausted. She contrived, too, to keep up to the same mark the implacability of the Czarina, who, having less both to hope and to fear, may well be believed to have been actuated by bribes and pensions to her Ministers. Immersed in pleasure and cool to ambition, gentle, too, to her subjects, it is not credible that the Armies she poured on the King of Prussia’s dominions were dispatched by feelings of her own. The danger was not the less pressing to the King. The Russians[290] again threatened him; advanced again. The desultory Swedes still hovered over him. The Austrian force was complete and numerous; and, if Daun was too cautious, Laudohn promised to repair by activity the Marshal’s circumspection.

The Court of Vienna seemed to applaud Laudohn’s vigour, whether to animate Daun by giving him a rival, or really wishing for an opportunity to fling the command into hands more alert. The Marshal, who preferred the interests of his mistress to his own glory, was not to be provoked out of his prudence. Inferior forces, he seemed to think, might be justified in rashness: superior strength, that could command time, could also ensure success; and, as his conduct had already brought the King of Prussia to the verge of ruin, he saw no cause to precipitate measures which had and did tend so naturally to complete the work. The King, whom experience had successively taught to be brave, to be desperate, to be circumspect, was not impatient to advance his fate. His whole conduct in this campaign evidenced that he looked on his situation as little less than hopeless; firm, however, to find an issue, if art or industry could furnish one. He entrenched himself strongly between the Elbe and the Multa, covering Saxony. Prince Henry defended Silesia; General Fouquet, preserving a communication with the latter, was posted near Glatz. Daun watched the[291] King in a camp no less strong; while Laudohn, with a light army, shifted his quarters, and by turns threatened Silesia and Berlin—sometimes hovered over the strong places in Silesia, at others made a feint of attacking Prince Henry. The storm, however, at length seemed levelled against Schweidnitz. General Fouquet was the dupe of that mouvement; and, marching to cover the town, was drawn into an engagement by Laudohn near Landshut, in which the Prussians were not only totally defeated, but Fouquet himself, with two other Generals, four Colonels, two hundred and thirteen officers, and seven thousand men, were obliged to lay down their arms and surrender themselves prisoners.

Laudohn, eager to improve his victory, besieged Glatz and took it. He was of a nature not to stop in the career of success. The King trembled for Silesia; while, at the same time, he was kept in check by Daun’s superior force. He had no longer leisure to temporize. By a secret and rapid march he crossed the Elbe before the Marshal had notice of his departure. But Daun, however wary, was not dilatory. He followed the King with an expedition which, being assisted by having a shorter cut to make, soon gave him the start of his Majesty. This was the point at which the King had pushed. When he found that the Marshal was advanced before[292] him by a march of two days, the King turned suddenly back, and, while he was supposed on the borders of Silesia, appeared before the walls of Dresden. He commenced the siege with ardour; for it would admit of no delay. The glory of outwitting Daun was all the fruit reaped by this stratagem; and, unless the King flattered himself with a prospect of carrying Dresden by surprise or storm, his manœuvre was, in his circumstances, a puerile stratagem, a game of generalship not adequate to the crisis of his fortune. It seemed one of those vainglorious littlenesses which too often entered into his composition. The same mistaken appetite of applause tempted him in this very campaign to publish his poems; a superficial medley, ungrateful to the Deity that had given him such talents, and who had not given him a genius for poetry. Achilles was a subject for Pindar’s lyre, but could not strike it like Pindar.

Daun soon compensated for his error, and reached Dresden in six days after the siege was formed. He flung sixteen battalions into the town; and in three days more the King abandoned the siege. He had astonished Europe—and he was satisfied. His brother’s glory was more solid. Laudohn had invested Breslau, and expected to be joined by seventy thousand Russians. The town in the meantime was battered with incredible fury. The Russians[293] did not appear—but Prince Henry did. He had marched from Glogau with surprising expedition, and arrived in time to save the place. Laudohn thought fit to decamp without risking a battle; but he blocked up Neisse and Schweidnitz; and the Russians at last advanced. Three bodies of Austrians also joined, commanded by Daun, Laudohn, and Lacy. The King by large strides hastened to the defence of Silesia, and encamped at Lignitz. His own superiority of force, and the approach of the Russians, appeared to Marshal Daun the favourable moment for determining the contest. He disposed his plan for attacking the King in different quarters with all the three Armies; and, to leave as little as possible to chance, he meant to surprise him in the night. Measures so wisely taken were frustrated by the vivacity of the King. He had learned the approach of a body of Russians, and saw himself in a net. In vain had he already attempted to divide the Austrian Armies; but what his stratagems could not effect, their own disposition offered to him. Meaning to surround him, they necessarily were to act in detached bodies. He seized the lucky hour with vigour and sagacity; and, on the evening before the destined general attack, he silently quitted his position, and seized a post through which Laudohn was to pass. Daun had begun to move, when, to his inexpressible[294] surprise, he found no enemy to encounter. The astonishment of Laudohn was not less, when, at three in the morning, he found himself opposed to the whole force of the King of Prussia. He was fallen into the snare, and it was too late to retreat. For three hours he sustained the redoubled onsets of the Prussian; but the King, who fought to avoid a battle, as well as to gain one, exerted such desperate heroism, that at length he totally routed the Austrians. They fled, leaving the Monarch in possession of every mark of victory, but expecting each moment to have it ravished from him.

Here, if ever, Marshal Daun seems to have hesitated unwisely. The Prussians were flushed with success; but such a victory was not gained without fatigue. Daun suspended his blow, and never recovered the opportunity: he lost it by waiting to ensure it. Never trusting to chance, while additional strength was in view, he detached a strong corps to meet the Russians and press them to advance. Great as the reinforcement was, it did not counterbalance the panic with which they were struck by Laudohn’s defeat. They repassed the Oder with precipitation, and left the King at liberty to join Prince Henry. Marshal Daun, who was more lessened by his competitor’s defeat than he could have been by any triumph of Laudohn, descended from the lofty hopes he had so reasonably[295] entertained, and blockaded Schweidnitz. But the honour of forming a single siege was soon ravished from him by Frederick, who, having surprised and vanquished a corps under General Beck, obliged the Marshal to raise the blockade and retreat precipitately to the mountains.

Still dangers crowded on the King as fast as he dispersed them. While he was defending Silesia, the Russians, seeing Brandenburg open, turned their invasion towards that province. Count Czernichew led on a considerable body; Daun sent them 15,000 Austrians, and the Imperial Army in Saxony was ordered to meet them at the gates of Berlin. Count Halsen had upheld the sinking fortune of the King in Saxony: he was now commanded to make an effort for saving Berlin; but when he had assembled all possible force, it amounted but to 15,000 men. With such scanty means, he could only be witness to the reduction of the capital, which immediately capitulated. The Allied Army laid the town under heavy contribution; but the Russians, who had not distinguished themselves in that war by lenity, blushed to see themselves surpassed by the excesses of the Austrians; so much did animosity surpass barbarism. Even the Swedes had hoped to come in for share of the plunder of Berlin, and were stretching thither.

The King, whose fortune sunk wherever he was[296] not in person to sustain it, marched to relieve his capital. The plunderers did not await him, but, after wasting the country, retired; the Imperialists, to profit of the King’s absence, and to seize Saxony, which lay at their mercy; the Russians, to form the siege of Colberg, which, however, they abandoned, and retreated. Laudohn had no better success before Cosel: and before the end of the campaign, the Swedes, too, were driven back by the alertness of General Werner.

Still Marshal Daun’s Army remained entire, and superior to the King’s. He had followed and watched every motion of that Prince, and both passed the Elbe on the same day. The two Armies encamped near Torgau; the Marshal with every advantage of position. The King’s situation was tremendous. The enemy was not to be forced from a post so judiciously chosen. Winter advanced; and Frederic had nothing but a ruined country to receive him, if defeated. The King saw the gulph that surrounded him. He saw the fruitlessness of disguising their danger to his Army. He determined to fight, and told his troops that he was resolved to conquer or die. Under the awfulness of despair, they attacked the enemy. The onset and the reception became the renown of such Armies and such Commanders. Fury animated the Prussians; intrepidity sustained the Austrians. The King’s[297] valour was correspondent to his declaration. The Marshal showed that his fire had been restrained by wisdom alone—not by want of heroism. The event was long in suspense, and fluctuated alternately, each side being often repulsed, and returning to the charge with fresh alacrity. The Prussians at last threw the enemy into disorder; and the Marshal himself receiving a dangerous wound in the thigh, and being borne from the field, Count O’Donnel, who succeeded to the command, found it vain to dispute the field any longer. It was nine at night in the month of November; the battle had lasted from two in the afternoon. A retreat was sounded, and made in good order by the Austrians.

Dearly did the Prussians buy their victory; but in such a crisis what was too dear a price for Frederic to pay? His loss was computed at 13,000 men. The Austrians had not suffered less; in prisoners abundantly. Four Generals, 216 officers, and 8000 private men taken, with possession of the field, were decisive in favour of the Prussians. The recovery of all Saxony, but Dresden, made the victory indisputable.

Prince Ferdinand’s campaign was not alike resplendent in action or variety. His army had been reinforced, but was still inferior to the French commanded by Marshal Broglio. A separate corps was under the orders of Count St. Germain, an officer[298] of reputation, but between whom and Broglio an enmity subsisted, which made it thought unadvisable to let them act together. That they should even act in concert was little to be expected—nor did they. Prince Ferdinand reaped security from their dissensions rather than laurels. Their animosities ran so high, that Broglio ordering St. Germain to join his force with the Grand Army, contrary to the compact which the latter had made of commanding a distinct body, St. Germain, who was also an older officer, threw up his commission, and quitted the service of his country.

The Hereditary Prince, ever alert, had attacked a post, been beaten, and been wounded. He soon compensated for that disgrace by surprising another detachment, in which he made the General who commanded it, and 3000 men, prisoners. That success was followed by a more considerable action at Warbourg, in which the French were again worsted by Prince Ferdinand and his heroic nephew: yet so little advantage was reaped by that achievement, that the French soon overran Hesse, seized Göttingen and Munden, and were at the eve of possessing Hanover.

The Hereditary Prince continued his eccentric enterprises with advantage. His ardour was well seconded by the bravery of the English troops: yet those flying rencounters rather kept off than forwarded[299] any decisive blow. Prince Ferdinand made other detachments with like prosperity; and gained at least the glory of diverting Broglio, with very superior force, from accomplishing any point of importance. A more unaccountable expedition, on which Prince Ferdinand suddenly dispatched his nephew, at the head of a considerable force, towards the frontiers of Holland, occasioned much solicitude in England, as the main Army, already unequal to that of France, was thus rendered much weaker. King George felt it with anxiety; and though not productive of the disasters apprehended, it was far, whatever were the object of its destination, from turning to account. Cleves, indeed, fell into our hands, and the siege of Wesel was undertaken; but the French not thinking fit to leave the Hereditary Prince undisturbed in his progress, sent Monsieur de Castries, with a powerful detachment, to interrupt the siege. The Prince, whose characteristic was quickness, did not wait to be compelled to raise the siege. He attempted to surprise the enemy, but was repulsed with loss, and received another wound.

In that action fell Lord Downe,[112] a gallant young man, adorned with every amiable quality. Intrepid, generous, and good-natured, he had abandoned the[300] enjoyment of an ample fortune for the pursuit of arms, to which he had an ungovernable impulse. He had parts to have distinguished him in a safer scene; and a peculiarity of humour that ornamented even his virtues. He received three wounds, and languished some weeks in torment, which he supported with indifference to everything but the impatience of returning to his profession—but his wounds were mortal. The Prince rejoined the Army, which soon after went into winter-quarters.

While the theatre of war was thus open to men so formed to shine on it, another hero, who had been excluded from the scene, was in a melancholy condition. The Duke of Cumberland in the summer had a stroke of palsy. He soon recovered both his speech and limbs; but the grossness of his constitution, and other disorders, made his friends apprehend he would not long survive it. Himself treated it with indifference, and with the same philosophy with which his high spirit had supported misfortunes to him more sensible.

The martial temper of the age called forth a champion of dissimilar complexion. There was in Ireland an Earl of Clanrickard, who, even in this country, where singular characters are not uncommon, had been reckoned more than ordinarily extravagant. The Duke of Bedford had refused to let him raise a regiment. To prove his valour, he[301] challenged the Lord-Lieutenant, who contemning so improper an adversary, the Earl printed in the public papers a letter to the Duke, reproaching him with rejecting the challenge, and reflecting both on his Grace and his secretary, whose bones he threatened to break. Such an insult on the chief governor of a kingdom was atrocious. The Privy Council of England ordered the Attorney-General to commence a prosecution against the Earl. Mr. Rigby, whose spirit was more questionless than the Earl’s, returned a challenge for himself; but the Earl thought it safest to confine his prowess to the master, and forbore coming to England. Three years afterwards, when Rigby went to Ireland to qualify for a place, the Privy Council of that kingdom obliged Lord Clanrickard to give security for his good behaviour; and the matter was compromised.

These were the last events in the long and memorable reign of George the Second—a reign that had produced as great statesmen, orators, and heroes as dignify the annals of whatever country. His thirteen first years were stamped with every blessing of peace, but unanimity—if disagreement is an evil to a free country, to which jealousy is perhaps essential. A Rebellion and two wars called forth all our resources: the disgrace that attended the[302] Councils and prosecution of the first war served but to illustrate the abilities of the nation, which, reviving from its ignominy and calamities, carried the glory of our arms and measures to a height unknown in our story. The Prince himself was neither accessary to the one or the other. His greatest merit was bearing either fortune with calmness. Triumphant as Elizabeth and Anne, he neither presumed on the zeal of his subjects like the first, nor was so like the last as to concur in or behold an ignominious peace, that tarnished such conspicuous victories, and squandered such irrecoverable advantages. Full of years and glory, he died without a pang, and without a reverse. He left his family firmly established on a long-disputed Throne, and was taken away in the moment that approaching extinction of sight and hearing made loss of life the only blessing that remained desirable.

On the 25th of October he rose as usual at six, and drank his chocolate; for all his actions were invariably methodic. A quarter after seven he went into a little closet. His German valet de chambre in waiting, heard a noise, and running in, found the King dead on the floor. In falling, he had cut his face against the corner of a bureau. He was laid on a bed and blooded, but not a drop followed: the ventricle of his heart had burst.[303] Princess Amelie was called, and told the King wanted her. She went immediately, and thought him in a fit. Being deaf herself, she saw nothing in the chamber that indicated his being dead; and putting her face close to his, to hear if he spoke to her, she then first perceived he was lifeless.

The character of this Prince has been so amply displayed in the course of this work, that it were tautology to recapitulate it. His faults were more the blemishes of a private man than of a King. The affection and tenderness he invariably showed to a people over whom he had unbounded rule, forbid our wondering that he used circumscribed power with moderation. Often situated in humiliating circumstances, his resentments seldom operated when the power of revenge returned. He bore the ascendant of his Ministers, who seldom were his favourites, with more patience than he suffered any encroachment on his will from his mistresses. Content to bargain for the gratification of his two predominant passions, Hanover and money, he was almost indifferent to the rest of his royal authority, provided exterior observance was not wanting; for he comforted himself if he did not perceive the diminution of Majesty, though it was notorious to all the rest of the world. Yet he was not so totally careless of the affection and interests of this country as his father had been. George the First possessed[304] a sounder understanding and a better temper: yet George the Second gained more by being compared with his eldest son, than he lost if paralleled with his father. His treatment of his second son, to whose valour he was indebted for the preservation of his Crown, and to the silence and tenderness of whose duty he owed the preservation of his honour, was punished by the ingratitude of the Princess of Wales.

Bookish men have censured his neglect of literature—a reflection that at least is evidence that public utility is not the sole purport of their labours. But the advantages resulting to their country from authors must be better ascertained, before the imputation becomes a grave one. Had he pensioned half a dozen poets, and reaped their incense, the world had heard of nothing but his liberality. Let Kings prefer a Tillotson or a Seneca, nay, a Bacon or a Newton—if Bacon or Seneca will not forget their philosophy. Let them enrich such angelic men, when there are such angelic men, as Dr. Hales:[113] but money is as well hoarded as squandered on Boileaus and Benserades, on Atterburys and Drydens. In truth, I believe King George would have preferred a guinea to a composition as perfect as[305] Alexander’s Feast. He certainly did not spare rewards to those who served their country. The profusion of favours which he suffered the Duke of Newcastle to shower on the University of Cambridge ought to disculpate the King from the charge of neglecting literature—it was the fault of that body if they were not learned.

If dying but moderately rich were as good a proof that he had not been avaricious, one of the greatest stains of his character would be effaced. By his will he gave fifty thousand pounds between his three surviving children, the Duke, Princess Amelia, and Mary, Princess of Hesse: a strong box, not to be opened, to Lady Yarmouth. The rest of his private fortune he had given by a deed, executed soon after the battle of Culloden, and unrevoked, to the Duke of Cumberland; who thence became heir to his jewels (sold afterwards to the successor for about fifty thousand pounds), and to his mortgages in Germany, amounting to about an hundred and fourscore thousand more:—a scanty pittance, if compared with what he must have amassed in a reign of three and thirty years. For part of that term he had received yearly to his own use an hundred thousand pounds from the civil list, and never less than fifty thousand; relinquishing the rest to the disposal of his Ministers for necessary services! At his accession he was worth[306] three hundred thousand pounds. The revenues of Hanover exceeded five hundred thousand pounds a year; a sum he by no means expended. Reduce his savings to the lowest, discount his purchases, and swell Lady Yarmouth’s legacy, which was given out to be ten thousand pounds, to four times that sum; and allow two millions, which his last war is said to have cost him in defence of Hanover; it will still be difficult to believe that he did not die worth three hundred and fifty thousand pounds—what became of the rest, or how concealed if there was more, I pretend not to determine, nor even to guess.

The King himself had stated his late expense for Hanover still higher than I have set down. Mr. Onslow, the Speaker, showed me a remarkable paper, which had been brought to him at the King’s command, in the year 1758, by Baron Munchausen,[114] with whom Mr. Onslow had no acquaintance. In that memorandum, the King declared that he had then expended on the war 2,500,000l., the savings of thirty years; that he had borrowed above 200,000l. here in England, as much more in Germany, and that the Hanoverian Chancery of war owed 200,000 rix dollars. “The King,” concluded the paper, “can do no more himself towards the[307] war.”—If he did more in the two following years, and it has never been pretended that he stopped his hand in 1758, his remaining ability to go on induces a suspicion that there was as little exactness observed in stating the rest of the account. On the envelope of Munchausen’s paper Mr. Onslow had written, “I could send no answer to this.”

The morning after the King’s death, the Duke of Cumberland sent for Lord Waldegrave, and told him, that if, as Lady Yarmouth believed, no new will had been made since that in Princess Amelie’s hands, his father had done greatly for him—not, however, so largely as he had once purposed: he had said to the Duke, “William, I see you will never marry; it is in vain to think of making a great establishment of a new branch through you: I shall do well for you for your life; yet not so large as I should have done in that case.” This certainly intimated a project of leaving his purchased Principalities in Germany to the Duke.

Lord Waldegrave in return showed his Royal Highness an extraordinary piece; it was endorsed, very private paper, and was a letter from the Duke of Newcastle to the first Earl of Waldegrave; in which his Grace informed the Earl,[115] that he had received by the messenger the copy of the will and codicil of George the First; that he had delivered[308] it to his Majesty, who put it into the fire without opening it—“so,” adds the Duke, “we do not know whether it confirms the other or not:” and he proceeds to say, “I dispatch a messenger to the Duke of Wolfenbuttle with the treaty, in which is granted all he desires; and we expect by the return of the messenger the original will from him.” George the First had left two wills; one in the hands of Dr. Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, the other with the Duke of Wolfenbuttle. The Archbishop, on news of the King’s death, carried his copy to the Privy Council, and, without the precaution of opening it before them, which the poor man could not apprehend would be so necessary as it proved, gave it into the new King’s hands, who, to the Prelate’s great surprise, carried it from Council unopened.[116] The letter I have quoted above shows what was the fate of the other copy: the honest[309] Duke of Wolfenbuttle sold it for a subsidy! George the First had been in the right to take those precautions: he himself had burned his wife’s testament,[117] and her father’s, the Duke of Zelle, both of whom had made George the Second their heir—a palliative of the latter’s obliquity, if justice would allow of any violation.


[110] The same person who, when Governor of Minorca, was forced to surrender it to the Spaniards in 1782.

[111] Jeffery Amherst, afterwards made Knight of the Bath, a Baron of England, and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of Great Britain, from which post he was removed in 1782, was one of those men who, in particular circumstances, in one period of their life have performed not only great actions, but have conducted them with consummate sense and address, and who in the rest of their lives have been able to display no symptoms of genius. Amherst, who terminated the war in America with so much ability, being afterwards raised to the command of the Army at home, was discovered and universally allowed to be a man of incapacity, or neglectful of the most common details of his office. Whether conscious of his own defects, and of being incompetent to converse with men whom he knew enlightened, he seemed determined to bury his deficiency in obstinate silence; or else his pride and vanity, of which he had a tolerable share, made him disdain to communicate his paucity of ideas. No satisfaction could be extorted from him on whatever business he was consulted; nor was it much easier to obtain from him the necessary orders in his department. In 1779, when the French Fleet arrived off Plymouth, he could not have given more absurd directions had he meant to betray the place; and, when every part of the coast was open to expected invasion, he was nowhere prepared with the common necessaries for taking the field. When reproached in Parliament with his negligence and insufficiency, he confirmed them by the sullen and inadequate brevity of his reply. When at last he was removed by the preponderance of the Opposition in 1782, he fell as unregretted as he had remained in place despised.

General Monk had been another of those temporary brilliants. All the depths of refined policy had seemed to have conducted and ensured his success. After the Restoration, not a gleam of genius appeared, though he proved just the reverse of Amherst. Monk had observed the most profound secrecy and dissimulation in conducting the re-establishment of the King. He seems to have thrown off all disguise in the rest of his life; though his activity remained, whenever called out. Amherst assumed reserve when he had nothing to conceal, and laid aside industry when it would have sufficed to communicate vigour to others. When men shine but once, it is probable that fortune has the chief merit in their success; and that others impute to their foresight the lucky combinations of chance in their favour.

In different parts of these Memoirs I am well aware that I have given very different characters of some of the principal actors. The reason is, that, having observed them well for a long series of years, I have seen cause to change my opinions—perhaps the persons themselves altered, for who is consistent? I choose to leave the portraits with their variations; I think they were just at each period in which they were drawn—the reader must judge from the conduct of the persons; for he will observe, that, if I vary my accounts, I produce the instances in which the actors appear different from themselves. Lord Chatham I have described in all the lights in which he appeared—sometimes a capital statesman, and sometimes an empiric. The Duke of Cumberland I have shown to have become a most wise, philosophic, and respectable, from a haughty and insolent Prince. Lord George Sackville I have spoken of with admiration of his parts, with great indecision on his spirit, with scorn of his want of judgment, and of his want of abilities in the latter part of his time. Lord Amherst was allowed for many years to have deserved the encomiums I have given to his conduct in America. The contempt conceived for him afterwards was so general, that, even while he retained his power, he had not an advocate.—A.

The author’s notes were generally written many years after the text. The above unfavourable portrait of Lord Amherst was probably annexed to the MS. at the close of the American war, when political animosities obscured every impartial view of living characters. The panegyric in text was composed in 1763, Horace Walpole being then more than ever disposed to magnify the events and extol the tactics of the seven-years’ war. Allowance must be made for these circumstances. We may abate something of the warmth of encomium in the text, but we must also mitigate the bitterness which forms so large an ingredient in the note.—E.

[112] Henry Pleydell Dawney, Viscount Downe of Ireland.

[113] Dr. Stephen Hales, parson of Teddington, Chaplain to Augusta, Princess of Wales, author of several most humane and philosophic works.

[114] The Minister for Hanover in England.

[115] Then ambassador in France.

[116] It was believed that George the First had bequeathed a large sum to his daughter, the Queen of Prussia, and another to his mistress, or rather left-handed wife, the Duchess of Kendal. Frederic the Second, King of Prussia, was said to have often claimed his mother’s legacy; and the Earl of Chesterfield, who married the Countess of Walsingham, niece and heiress of the Duchess of Kendal, commenced or threatened a suit for the Duchess’s legacy, and was supposed to be quieted by a sum of twenty thousand pounds. Lady Walsingham was believed to be the King’s daughter by the Duchess of Kendal.

[117] (Vide Appendix.)





(Vide page 309.)

I learned from Henrietta, Countess of Suffolk, mistress to George the Second, the fact mentioned in text, of George the First burning his wife’s testament. That Princess, the Electress of Hanover, liked the famous Count Konigsmark, while her husband was at the Army. The old Elector, father of George the First, ordered him away. The Electress, then Hereditary Princess, was persuaded to let him kiss her hand before his departure. She saw him in bed—he retired, and was never heard of more. When George the Second went first to Hanover after his father’s death, and made some alterations in the palace, the body of Konigsmark was found under the floor of the chamber next to the Electress’s chamber. He had been strangled immediately on leaving her, by the old Elector’s order, and buried under the floor. This fact Queen Caroline related to my father, Sir Robert Walpole.[314] George the Second told it to his wife, but never to his mistress, Lady Suffolk, who had never heard it till I told it to her many years after. The Electress was separated from George I. on that amour, and was called Duchess of Halle; and he married the Duchess of Kendal with his left hand. When the French threatened Hanover in Queen Anne’s war, the Duchess of Halle was sent to her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Zelle, who doted on her their only child, and she stayed a year with them; but though they were most earnest to retain her, she was forced to return to her confinement, in which she died the year before her husband. Some French prophetess, as supposed hired by the Duke of Zelle, warned George I. to take care of his wife, for he would not long outlive her. As the Germans are very superstitious, he believed the prophecy; and when he took leave of his son and the Princess of Wales, Caroline, he told them he should never see them more. George II., who hated his father and was very fond of his mother, meant, if she had survived her husband, to bring her over, and declare her Queen Dowager. Lady Suffolk told me, that the morning after the news of the death of George I. arrived, when she went, as Woman of the Bed-chamber, to the new Queen, she found a whole and half-length portraits of the Electress hung up in the apartment; George II. had had them locked up, but[315] had not dared to produce them. Princess Amelie has the half-length at her house in Cavendish-square. George I. told the Duchess of Kendal, that if he could, he would appear to her after his death. Soon after that event, a large bird, I forget of what sort, flew into her window. She believed it was the King’s soul, and took the utmost care of it. George II. was not less credulous; he believed in vampires. His son Frederic affected the same contradictory fondness for his grandfather, and erected the statue of George I. in Leicester-fields; and intended, if he had come to the crown, to place a monument to his memory in St. Paul’s.

George I., besides the Duchess of Kendal, had several other mistresses, particularly one whom he brought over and created Countess of Darlington; by whom he was father of Charlotte, Viscountess Howe, though she was not publicly avowed. In the last year or two of his life he had another mistress, Miss Anne Brett, daughter, by her second husband, Colonel Brett, of the famous divorced Countess of Macclesfield, mother of Savage, the poet. Miss Brett had an apartment given to her in the palace at St. James’s, and was to have been created a Countess, if the King had returned.







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Boyce, Captain, ii. 364.

Boys, Captain William, ii. 290.

Braddock, General, i. 400; ii. 29, 30, 31, 46, 86, 95, 195, 341.

Bradstreet, Colonel, iii. 134.

Brereton, Major, iii. 289.

Brett, Miss Anne, iii. 315.

Bristol, Earl of, i. 67; iii. 83.

Broderick, Rear-Admiral, ii. 290, 341, 362; iii. 51, 77.

Broglio, Duc de, iii. 128, 199, 248, 297.

Brown, Marshal, ii. 242, 243; iii. 13.

Brown, Lady, iii. 186.

Bruce, Mr., i. 266.

Bruce, Lady Mary, ii. 317.

Brudenel, Mr., ii. 258.

Brudenel, Colonel Robert, iii. 154.

Bruhl, Count, ii. 233, 234, 235, 236, 238, 239, 242, 395, 397, 398, 404, 405, &c.; iii. 248.

Brunswick, Duke of, i. 149.

Brunswick, Duchess of, i. 73.

Brunswick, Princess of, ii. 35.

Buckinghamshire, John, Earl of, i. 177; iii. 227.

Buckingham, Duchess of, i. 119.

Burdett, Sir Robert, i. 95.

Burgundy, Duchess of, ii. 210.

Burlington, Richard, Earl of, i. 195.

Bury, Lord, i. 82.

[322] Bussy, Abbé de, ii. 28.

Butcher, Mr., i. 193.

Bute, Earl of, i. 47, 136, 438; ii. 204, 205, 206, 221, 222, 223, 256, 257, 258, 259, 265; iii. 25, 28, 29, 39, 40, 99, 100, 121, 157, 183, 237, 251, 260, 274.

Butler, Dr., Bishop of Durham, i. 148.

Byng, Admiral, i. 4; ii. 190, 212, 214, 216, 225, 227, 228, 245, 247, 249, 275, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 290, 305, 307; iii. 118.

Cadogan, Lord, ii. 191.

Cadogan, Mr., ii. 258.

Calabria, Duke of, iii. 206.

Calcraft, Mr., ii. 42; iii. 29.

Calhoen, Mr., ii. 415.

Cameron, Dr. Archibald, i. 333, 353.

Campbell, General, i. 258.

Campbell, Alexander Hume, i. 19; ii. 107, 108, 112, 114, 116, 118, 125, 126, 142, 143, 146, 149, 179, 322, 323, 330; iii. 6, 7, 9, 23.

Campbell, John, of Calder, ii. 14; iii. 182.

Campbell, Lord Frederic, iii. 257.

Canterbury, Archbishop of, i. 74.

Cardigan, Earl of, i. 255, 260, 278.

Carlisle, Lord, i. 174; ii. 274.

Carmarthen, Francis Osborne, Marquis of, iii. 276.

Caroline, her Majesty Queen, i. 65, 74, 76, 164, 177, 178, 179, 181, 182, 198, 207, 208, 221, 223, 276; ii. 207, 374; iii. 82, 83, 268, 313, 314.

Caroline, Princess, iii. 82, 100, 269.

Carne, Mr., i. 26, 95.

Carneguy, Mr., i. 60.

Carpenter, Lord, i. 26, 27, 32, 200.

Carter, Mr., i. 281, 368; ii. 183.

Carteret, Lord, i. 163.

Carysfort, Lord, iii. 3.

Cathcart, Lord, i. 78; ii. 105.

Cavalchini, Cardinal, iii. 131, 132.

Cavendish, Lord John, i. 195.

Cavendish, Lord George, iii. 10.

Chapeau, M., i. 457, 458.

Chapman, Dr., i. 304.

Charles, Prince of Austria, ii. 131; iii. 14, 80.

Chateauroux, Duchesse de, i. 335; ii. 211.

Cheselden, John, i. 177.

Chesterfield, Philip, Earl of, i. 46, 47, 50, 51, 52, 53, 73, 165, 167, 171, 177, 204, 209, 275, 450; ii. 21, 45, 103, 149, 416; iii. 30, 55, 167, 199.

Chevert, M., iii. 128, 129.

Child, Sir Josiah, iii. 178.

Choiseul, Duc de, iii. 244.

Cholmondeley, George, Earl of, i. 173, 363; ii. 141, 143, 363.

Cholmondeley, Mr., i. 330.

Cholmondeley, General, ii. 284; iii. 78, 79, 271, 272.

Churchill, General, i. 24.

Cibber, Colley, iii. 81.

Clair, St., General, i. 44, 56.

Clanrickard, Earl of, iii. 300, 301.

Clarges, Sir Thomas, i. 32.

Clarke, Dr., i. 65.

Clarke, Mr., iii. 43, 51, 77, 96, 137.

[323] Clayton, Dr., Bishop of Clogher, iii. 96, 97.

Cleland, Mr., ii. 295.

Clavering, Colonel, iii. 170.

Clement, Jacques, i. 184.

Clermont, Comte de, iii. 104, 127.

Clive, General, iii. 57, 89, 90.

Clive, Judge, iii. 269.

Cobham, Richard Grenville, Lord, i. 79, 92, 134, 135, 158, 241, 243; ii. 99, 160; iii. 167, 179, 213.

Coke, Lord, i. 16, 20, 28, 208, 210, 211, 212, 259.

Cologne, Elector of, i. 81.

Colville, Lord, iii. 284.

Coloredo, M., iii. 35.

Compagni, Don Juan, i. 58.

Conflans, Admiral, iii. 231, 232, 262.

Contades, General, iii. 128, 191, 199, 216.

Conway, Lord, i. 41.

Conway, Henry Seymour, i. 13, 41, 57, 60, 341, 390, 403, 404, 414, 415; ii. 2, 3, 20, 23, 24, 25, 144, 147, 183, 268, 269, 302, 317, 318, 331, 335; iii. 3, 19, 29, 43, 45, 46, 47, 49, 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, 63, 65, 68, 70, 74, 77, 79, 91, 93, 94, 107, 154, 156, 167, 172, 214, 246, 252, 253, 271.

Cooke, Mr., i. 13, 14, 15, 16, 30, 32, 84, 218, 254; iii. 184.

Coote, Colonel, iii. 289.

Cope, Sir John, i. 172.

Cornbury, Lord, i. 233.

Cornwall, Velters, ii. 346.

Cornwallis, Colonel, i. 63, 69, 307; ii. 86, 284; iii. 49, 53, 56, 91, 155.

Cotton, Sir John Hinde, i. 8, 14, 22, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 124, 136, 142, 144, 208, 213, 219, 255; ii. 103.

Courtney, Mr., i. 407.

Coventry, Lord, i. 208.

Coventry, Mr., iii. 183.

Cowper, Dr., Dean of Durham, i. 304, 314, 318.

Cox, Sir Richard, i. 281; iii. 96, 246.

Craggs, James, Esq., i. 34, 232.

Crawley, Sir Ambrose, Knt., i. 34.

Cresset, Mr., i. 92, 226, 284, 290; ii. 205.

Crooke, Mrs., i. 176.

Crowle, Mr., i. 17, 19, 20, 21.

Cunningham, Captain, ii. 226; iii. 71, 137, 274.

Cumberland, H. R. H. William, Duke of, i. 2, 39, 40, 47, 69, 78, 79, 90, 98, 99, 103, 104, 105, 132, 157, 189, 212, 213, 227, 251, 260, 262, 275, 302, 384, 403, 419, 436; ii. 11, 15, 19, 22, 29, 32, 38, 42, 105, 140, 156, 157, 176, 203, 204, 219, 257, 276, 306, 347, 373, 374, 376, 377, 379, 389; iii. 13, 23, 31, 35, 36, 45, 46, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 70, 71, 74, 77, 83, 85, 86, 105, 108, 111, 137, 156, 161, 172, 233, 234, 253, 260, 267, 268, 287, 300, 305, 307.

Cummings, Mr., i. 266, 270, 275.

Cust, Sir John, i. 96.

Czernichew, Count, iii. 295.

[324] D’Abreu, M., ii. 215, 262; iii. 59, 131.

Dacre, Lord, ii. 175.

D’Affry, M., iii. 236.

D’Aiguillon, Duc, iii. 126, 135, 136.

Dalkeith, Countess Dowager of, ii. 224.

Dalrymple, Sir Hugh, i. 48.

Damiens, ii. 282.

Darcy, Sir Conyers, ii. 143.

D’Argenson, M., ii. 176.

Darlington, Earl of, i. 389; ii. 140, 274.

Dartmouth, Earl of, i. 190.

Dashwood, Sir Francis, i. 10, 27, 122; ii. 3, 14, 61, 144, 146, 181, 312, 318, 323, 328, 330, 336, 380; iii. 266.

Dashwood, Sir James, i. 364.

Daun, Marshal, iii. 12, 35, 80, 122, 123, 147, 148, 149, 200, 202, 203, 204, 289, 291, 292, 293, 296.

Davidson, Mr., i. 266.

Davison, Major, i. 314.

D’Ayen, Le Duc, ii. 282.

Delaval, Mr., i. 61, 124, 254; ii. 120.

Delaval, Mr., jun., i. 408.

Denbigh, Lord, ii. 351, 357; iii. 20, 106, 111, 179, 180, 183.

Dennis, Captain Peter, ii. 290, 318, 329, 365.

Denmark, King of, i. 227; iii. 13.

Denmark, her Majesty the Queen of, i. 227, 228.

D’Etrées, Marshal, ii. 373; iii. 37, 127, 216.

Devonshire, William, Duke of, i. 114, 195, 196, 286, 303, 321, 327, 378, 381; ii. 22, 39, 49, 85, 109, 183, 222, 258, 263, 265, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 274, 275, 284, 302, 357, 372, 378, 379, 386; iii. 2, 11, 15, 19, 20, 43, 62, 81, 84, 93, 114, 157, 161, 228.

Dickinson, Alderman, ii. 368.

Dieskau, Baron de, ii. 46.

Digby, Mr., i. 94.

Digby, Lord, ii. 203, 251, 258; iii. 88.

Digby, Captain, iii. 232.

Diggs, the actor, i. 389.

Dilks, Mr., i. 368.

Doddington, George Bubb, i. 8, 11, 47, 73, 74, 77, 87, 88, 89, 345, 437, 439; ii. 19, 51, 61, 140, 144, 146, 182, 186, 261, 274, 320, 339; iii. 2, 3, 150, 265, 266.

Dohna, General, iii. 138, 139, 200.

D’Ollone, M., ii. 411, 412.

Doneraile, Arthur St. Leger, Viscount, i. 74.

Dorset, Lionel Cranfield, Duke of, i. 5, 81, 97, 98; iii. 191.

Dorset, Charles Sackville, Duke of, i. 96, 97, 193, 279, 280, 283, 328, 354, 356, 368, 390, 391; ii. 3, 10, 19; iii. 23, 28, 33, 41, 254, 265.

Dorset, J. F. Sackville, Duke of, i. 97.

Douglas, Mr., i. 96.

Douglas, Capt. James, ii. 290, 364.

Douglas, Dr., iii. 180, 250.

Dowdeswell, Mr., i. 28, 144, 145.

[325] Downe, Lord, i. 94, 208; ii. 202; iii. 124, 233, 234, 299.

Drax, Mr. Secretary, i. 87.

Drummond, Dr. Hay, Bishop of St. Asaph, i. 308, 328, 359; iii. 107.

Dubacq, Monsr., i. 207.

Dumfries, Earl of, i. 260.

Dunbar, Titular Earl of, i. 150, 286.

Dunbar, Colonel, ii. 31, 32.

Duncannon, Lord, i. 196; ii. 19.

Dundas, Lord Advocate, ii. 79, 144.

Dunk, Miss Anne, i. 200.

Duplin, Lord, i. 16, 27, 58, 63, 209, 307, 328, 383, 388, 391; ii. 106, 140, 144, 146, 261; iii. 6, 183.

Durell, Admiral, iii. 218.

Durham, Bishop of, ii. 171.

Durini, Cardinal, iii. 132, 133.

Dury, General, iii. 136.

Earle, Giles, Esq., i. 91, 439.

Edgecumbe, Mr., ii. 140, 274.

Edgecumbe, Captain, ii. 225.

Edgecumbe, Lord, iii. 23.

Edward, Prince, i. 73, 80, 117, 228, 260, 289; ii. 207, 258, 259; iii. 62, 126, 133.

Effingham, Lord, ii. 284.

Egerton, Lady Sophia, ii. 371.

Eglinton, Lord, ii. 300.

Egmont, John Perceval, Earl of, i. 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 20, 27, 28, 31, 35, 37, 40, 47, 49, 50, 57, 60, 61, 64, 80, 156, 158, 209, 213, 216, 219, 223, 294, 342, 345, 357, 363, 404, 405, 418, 420, 421; ii. 7, 9, 40, 54, 134, 144, 172, 173, 261, 387, 388, 389; iii. 2, 19, 23, 279.

Egremont, Earl of, i. 80; ii. 105; iii. 2.

Elibank, Lord, i. 17.

Elliot, Mr., ii. 4, 15, 79, 80, 134, 144, 274, 311; iii. 3.

Elliot, Sir Gilbert, iii. 264.

Ellis, Mr., i. 254; ii. 44, 67, 79, 141, 144, 153, 329; iii. 7, 26, 27.

Elizabeth, The Lady, ii. 206; iii. 211.

Emily, Princess, i. 73, 76, 78, 160, 182, 226, 309, 401, 445; ii. 220, 221, 306, 376; iii. 61, 83, 100.

Erskine, Sir Henry, i. 41, 42, 43, 44, 54, 56, 57, 63, 64, 68, 106, 107, 108, 111, 112, 113, 220, 243, 254, 295; ii. 150, 159, 160, 161, 163; iii. 99, 280.

Eugene, Prince, ii. 138.

Euston, Lord, ii. 258.

Evans, Mr., ii. 270.

Fagel, Greffier, i. 198, 207.

Falconberg, Lady, i. 432.

Fane, Lord, i. 407, 409; ii. 47, 94.

Farnham, Lord, iii. 242.

Fawcett, Mr. Attorney, i. 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 314, 316, 319, 322, 324, 326.

Fazakerley, Mr., i. 111, 126, 144, 146, 152, 159, 254, 257, 342; ii. 12.

Ferdinand, Prince, of Brunswick, iii. 81, 104, 126, 127, 128, 129, 147, 150, 174, 188, 189, 190, 192, 193, 196, 197, 213, 214, 216, 238, 253, 254, 256, 257, 268-9, 271, 273, 297, 298, 299.

[326] Ferrers, Earl, iii. 257, 258, 261, 274, 5, 6.

Fielding, Henry, i. 14, 44.

Finch, Edward, ii. 120.

Finkenstein, Count, i. 448, 454, 455.

Firebrace, Sir Cordel, i. 307.

Fitz-morrice, Lord, iii. 137.

Fitzroy, Charles, iii. 54.

Fitzroy, Colonel, iii. 191, 194, 195, 214.

Fitzwalter, Earl of, i. 198, 421.

Fitzwalter, Lady, i. 198.

Fitzwilliam, Colonel, i. 40; ii. 347.

Fitzwilliam, General, iii. 264.

Fleming, Count, ii. 235.

Fleury, Cardinal, i. 336.

Folkestone, Lord, i. 122.

Foley, Lord, i. 116.

Forbes, Admiral, ii. 274, 311.

Forbes, Colonel, ii. 373.

Forbes, General, iii. 134.

Fortescue, Lord, ii. 364.

Foster, Judge, iii. 119.

Fowke, General, ii. 214, 216, 229, 230, 284.

Fox, Henry, i. 8, 12, 15, 16, 20, 21, 27, 29, 30, 31, 35, 37, 40, 44, 47, 48, 55, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 68, 69, 70, 76, 92, 93, 94, 95, 104, 110, 112, 129, 132, 137, 138, 139, 143, 147, 149, 151, 152, 157, 158, 185, 197, 205, 212, 213, 243, 254, 304, 342, 343, 346, 349, 352, 379, 380, 381, 383, 384, 386, 387, 392, 407, 410, 411, 414, 417, 418, 419, 420; ii. 3, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 21, 25, 35, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 61, 62, 64, 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 73, 75, 78, 83, 84, 90, 91, 105, 106, 107, 116, 126, 132, 139, 141, 143, 148, 152, 154, 155, 159, 160, 161, 163, 169, 171, 172, 174, 179, 182, 184, 187, 191, 195, 205, 214, 221, 223, 228, 245, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 256, 257, 260, 261, 262, 263, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 273, 275, 276, 284, 301, 302, 304, 305, 309, 312, 314, 325, 326, 328, 332, 333, 334, 335, 339, 340, 341, 342, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 372, 375, 376, 379, 380, 385, 389, 393; iii. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 40, 55, 61, 63, 68, 72, 76, 88, 92, 105, 108, 109, 114, 125, 157, 160, 172, 174, 175, 181, 234, 243, 253.

Fox, Lady Caroline, ii. 316, 317; iii. 3.

Francis, Rev. Mr., ii. 276.

Francis, Prince, of Brunswick, iii. 148.

Frederick, H. R. H., Prince of Wales, i. 432, 434, 436, 438. Vide Wales.

Fredersdorff, M., i. 449, 456.

French, Jeffery, ii. 125.

Furnese, Harry, i. 118; ii. 141.

Fynte, Sir Charles, i. 22.

Gage, Lord, ii. 141.

Galissoniere, M., ii. 215, 225, 312.

Gally, Dr., i. 49.

Gardiner, Luke, i. 356.

Gardiner, Captain, ii. 292.

Gascoyne, Mr., i. 26.

Gates, General, i. 400.

[327]Geary, Captain Francis, ii. 290, 340, 342, 343, 344, 363, 364, 365.

George I., King, i. 92, 221, 223, 402; iii. 153, 167, 261, 307, 308, 309, 313, 314.

George II., King, i. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 21, 61, 62, 64, 71, 74, 77, 78, 80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 92, 96, 98, 99, 104, 114, 121, 157, 158, 164, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 188, 193, 198, 199, 200, 201, 207, 212, 220, 223, 240, 241, 242, 244, 256, 257, 271, 275, 278, 288, 289, 291, 302, 309, 311, 321, 349, 352, 356, 378, 380, 381, 385, 389, 398, 400, 402, 403, 417, 419, 420; ii. 18, 19, 20, 22, 28, 33, 37, 40, 150, 158, 169, 170, 186, 188, 194, 206, 207, 208, 217, 219, 221, 222, 223, 228, 230, 238, 249, 250, 253, 254, 256, 257, 259, 262, 263, 266, 267, 269, 270, 272, 274, 283, 306, 309, 311, 313, 317, 319, 323, 331, 332, 334, 337, 341, 354, 362, 365, &c.; iii. 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 15, 17, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 34, 42, 46, 53, 58, 61, 62, 63, 64, 74, 75, 77, 80, 82, 83, 88, 89, 91, 94, 100, 104, 111, 113, 125, 127, 162, 170, 171, 180, 182, 184, 186, 190, 213, 228, 236, 238, 248, 251, 253, 260, 265, 268, 270, 273, 276, 279, 281, 299, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 309, 313, 314.

George, H. R. H., Prince of Wales, i. 78, 79, 80, 81, 86, 94, 105, 114, 116, 161, 283, 287, 289, 314; ii. 35, 104, 204, 221, 222, 251, 258; iii. 99, 121, 222, 260, 261, 274.

Gibson, i. 17, 22, 27, 32.

Gilbert, Archbishop, ii. 374.

Gisors, Duc de, iii. 127.

Glenorchy, Lord, i. 66.

Glover, Mr., i. 439.

Godolphin, Lord, i. 221.

Golding, Mr., i. 48.

Gooch, Dr., Bishop of Ely, i. 148.

Gore, Sir Arthur, ii. 183.

Gower, R. L., i. 3, 260.

Gower, Lady Eliz. Leveson, i. 188.

Gower, John, Baron, i. 13, 34, 67, 69, 81, 173, 186, 188, 192, 193, 226, 260, 422; ii. 2, 139, 202, 203; iii. 23, 31, 280.

Grafton, Charles Fitzroy, Duke of, i. 48, 81, 180, 181, 182, 309, 328; ii. 186, 187, 259, 260, 268, 274; iii. 15, 191.

Granville, Earl, i. 5, 7, 9, 44, 46, 47, 53, 67, 74, 80, 88, 90, 93, 105, 121, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 179, 184, 194, 197, 222, 233, 252, 253, 277, 304, 328, 349, 361, 362, 382, 388; ii. 43, 62, 105, 122, 133, 146, 184, 201, 213, 220, 222, 252, 253, 268, 284, 354, 378, 386, 390, 391; iii. 2, 21, 29, 62, 85, 86, 87, 116, 158.

Graham, Mr., i. 184.

Granby, Lord, ii. 19, 124, 131, 301, 306; iii. 10, 124, 147, 192, 194, 195, 197, 214, 253, 271.

Gray, Mr., i. 145, 307, 409.

Gray, the Poet, iii. 82.

Grantham, Lord, i. 221.

Greaves, Admiral, iii. 50.

[328] Gregory, Dr., i. 66.

Grammont, Duchesse de, iii. 245.

Grenville, George, i. 13, 18, 60, 134, 136, 387; ii. 52, 62, 82, 84, 110, 129, 144, 146, 153, 154, 162, 181, 195, 196, 257, 274, 327, 330, 335, 341, 380; iii. 2, 15, 25, 105, 183, 230.

Grenville, James, i. 136; ii. 62, 161, 257, 274; iii. 15, 279.

Grenville, Richard, i. 437.

Grenville, Thomas, iii. 230.

Grey, Lady Mary, i. 66.

Grey, Marchioness de, i. 66.

Grierson, Mr., ii. 155.

Griffith, Colonel Edward, i. 7.

Grosvenor, Sir Richard, iii. 150.

Guildford, Earl of, iii. 184.

Guerini, Father, ii. 397, 399, 405, 408.

Gybbon, Mr., i. 118, 143, 178.

Haldane, Colonel, i. 57, 59, 81, 243; ii. 128, 341.

Hale, Colonel, iii. 234.

Hales, Dr., ii. 63; iii. 304.

Halifax, George Montagu, Earl of, i. 62, 63, 68, 186, 199, 200, 220, 251, 295, 340, 397; ii. 48, 86, 94, 105, 155, 175, 176, 201, 317, 353, 355, 359, 360, &c.; iii. 34.

Halley, Dr., ii. 63.

Halsen, Count, iii. 295.

Hamilton, Lord Archibald, i. 75.

Hamilton, Lady Archibald, i. 74, 75, 76.

Hamilton, Sir James, i. 368.

Hamilton, William Gerard, ii. 44, 51, 140; iii. 3.

Hampden, Mr., i. 18, 254, 342.

Hanbury, i. 401.

Handasyde, General, i. 10.

Hanmer, Lady Catherine, i. 432.

Harcourt, Simon, Earl of, i. 86, 94, 283, 289, 290, 305, 316, 319, 323, 325, 332, 361.

Harding, Mr., i. 29, 30, 58, 134, 226, 418, 420.

Hardwicke, Lord Chancellor, ii. 104, 202, 206, 218, 221, 249, 254, 257, 273, 277, 307, 310, 317, 343, 352, 354, 355, 356, 357, 359, 360, 363, 366, 378, 387; iii. 11, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 33, 38, 59, 60, 62, 80, 103, 105, 106, 107, 110, 114, 116, 121, 161, 179, 280.

Harley, Lord, i. 144, 218, 254, 364.

Harrington, William Stanhope, Earl of, i. 3, 4, 5, 75, 165, 170, 173, 175, 279, 280, 282; iii. 34.

Harris, Mr., ii. 375.

Hartington, Marquis of, i. 12, 19, 20, 87, 184, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 209, 328, 381, 382, 384, 385; ii. 3, 18, 20, 23, 24, 26, 39, 41, 385, 387, 389.

Haviland, Colonel, iii. 287.

Hawke, Sir Edward, ii. 32, 215, 227; iii. 50, 51, 53, 54, 56, 77, 78, 124, 231, 237.

Hawkins, Mr. Surgeon, i. 71.

Hawley, General, i. 103, 302, 303, 327.

Hay, Dr., ii. 17, 54, 85, 134, 144, 146, 182, 271, 274, 311, 372.

Hay, Lord Charles, iii. 269.

[329] Hayter, Dr., Bishop of Norwich, i. 87, 283, 284, 301, 305, 325, 332.

Hedges, Charles, i. 77.

Heichel, M., i. 449, 455.

Heinnech, Monsieur, ii. 408, 409.

Henley, Mr., i. 8, 96, 108, 124, 143, 345, 421; ii. 273, 339; iii. 9.

Henley, Sir Robert, iii. 33, 34, 267, 274.

Henry, Prince, of Prussia, i. 447; iii. 138, 204, 290, 291, 293, 294.

Hensey, Dr., iii. 130.

Herbert, Nich., i. 226.

Hereford, Viscount, i. 116.

Herring, Archbishop, i. 91, 148; ii. 374.

Hertford, Earl of, i. 41, 94, 390; ii. 2, 265, 268, 274; iii. 58, 114, 155, 228.

Hervey, John, Lord, i. 67, 75, 119, 170, 205, 455; iii. 83.

Hervey, Felton, i. 260.

Hesse, Landgrave of, i. 288, 405, 406; ii. 106, 120, 128; iii. 150.

Hesse, Mary, Princess of, iii. 100, 305.

Hesse Cassel, Frederick, Hereditary Prince of, i. 405.

Hill, Mr., i. 390; iii. 94.

Hilsborough, Earl of, i. 80, 145, 243, 259, 342, 388; ii. 49, 140, 143, 144, 274; iii. 94, 239, 280.

Hinchinbroke, Viscount, i. 200.

Hoadley, Dr., Bishop of Winchester, i. 148.

Hobart, Sir Henry, i. 177.

Hobart, Lord, ii. 141.

Hobson, iii. 155.

Hogarth, iii. 99.

Holbourn, Rear-Admiral, ii. 290, 341, 360; iii. 40, 80.

Holderness, Robert Darcy, Earl of, i. 198, 199, 207, 239, 289, 331, 354, 388, 400; ii. 34, 38, 62, 96, 105, 124, 249, 266, 270, 387; iii. 1, 11, 27, 31, 34, 62, 212, 236, 251, 252, 253.

Holmes, Captain Charles, ii. 290, 340, 341, 342, 362.

Holmes, Mr., ii. 344, 345.

Home, Lord, i. 19.

Home, John, iii. 39, 99.

Hopson, General, iii. 169, 170, 171.

Hoskins, John, Esq., i. 195.

Houblon, Jacob, Esq., i. 34.

Howard, General, iii. 50, 51, 56.

Howard, Sir Charles, iii. 270.

Howe, Captain, ii. 27; iii. 50, 51, 55, 56.

Howe, Commodore, iii. 124, 125, 133.

Howe, Lord, iii. 134, 135, 232.

Hugo, iii. 274.

Hunter, Mr., ii. 274, 312, 325.

Huntingdon, Lord, ii. 258.

Huske, General, ii. 284.

Hussey, Mr., i. 206; ii. 11.

Hutchinson, Hely, iii. 245, 246.

Hutton, Archbishop, i. 148; ii. 374; iii. 107.

Hyndford, Lord, i. 450; iii. 111.

Ilchester, Lord, i. 93, 205; ii. 105, 203, 253, 416.

Imhoff, Baron, iii. 128, 129.

Inchiquin, Lord, iii. 241.

Ingram, Mr., ii. 258.

[330] Inverness, Titular Count of, i. 286.

Irby, Sir William, i. 87.

Islay, Lord, i. 164.

Issarts, Mons. des, ii. 401.

Jansen, Alderman, i. 30, 212.

Jefferies, Lieutenant Colonel, ii. 226, 230.

Jekyll, Sir Joseph, i. 67; ii. 134.

Jenyns, Soame, ii. 140; iii. 179.

Jennings, Lieutenant-Colonel, iii. 263, 4.

Joddrell, Mr. Solicitor, i. 71, 96.

Johnson, Dr., Bishop of Gloucester, i. 291, 303, 304, 314, 315, 318, 319, 325, 327; iii. 215.

Johnson, Colonel Sir William, ii. 46, 154; iii. 211, 212, 287.

Johnson, iii. 257, 258.

Johnson, Governor, iii. 275.

Jones, Neville, i. 280, 282, 363, 367, 368.

Jones, Mr., ii. 272.

Joseph, Archduke, of Austria, i. 8, 204, 240, 244; ii. 394.

Kaunitz, Count, i. 99; ii. 234.

Keene, Sir Benjamin, i. 191, 398; ii. 33, 77, 78.

Keith, i. 339.

Keith, Marshal, i. 204; ii. 242; iii. 148.

Kendal, Duchess of, i. 53, 220, 223; iii. 308, 314, 315.

Kent, Henry, Duke of, i. 66, 115.

Keppel, Hon. Augustus, ii. 290, 317, 318, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 333, 334, 337, 339, 340, 342, 346, 349, 364, 365, 367; iii. 169, 232.

Kildare, Earl of, i. 75, 354, 355, 364; ii. 25, 26, 40, 183, 184, 316; iii. 68, 69, 71, 72, 92, 95, 96.

Killala, Bishop of, iii. 241.

Kilmansegge, Count, ii. 248.

King, Dr., ii. 374.

Kingsley, General, iii. 191.

Kingston, Duke of, i. 275.

Kneller, Sir Godfrey, i. 70.

Knight, Mrs., i. 46.

Kniphausen, iii. 110, 127, 236.

Knollys, Admiral, iii. 259.

Knowles, Admiral, i. 100; ii. 152; iii. 50, 51, 77.

Konigsmark, iii. 313.

Lally, General, iii. 217, 289.

Lambert, Mr., i. 367.

Lamont, Dr., i. 49, 85.

Lanti, Cardinal, iii. 131, 132.

Lauder, iii. 250.

Laudohn, General, iii. 201, 202, 290, 291, 293, 294, 296.

Laurence, Dr. Thomas, i. 7.

Lechmere, Lord, ii. 108.

Lee, Sir George, D. C. L., i. 8, 31, 77, 90, 91, 124, 143, 213, 214, 216, 223, 297, 403; ii. 39, 53, 118, 144, 205, 390; iii. 2, 22, 28, 157.

Lee, Chief Justice, i. 115, 378, 391.

Leeds, Duke of, iii. 27.

[331] Legge, Mr., i. 190, 192, 243, 258, 381, 387, 391, 392, 404, 408; ii. 37, 39, 41, 47, 48, 50, 54, 62, 85, 118, 127, 144, 146, 155, 177, 179, 180, 181, 205, 206, 207, 257, 265, 268, 270, 273, 274, 284, 301, 302, 340, 375, 379; iii. 1, 5, 15, 31, 59, 111, 112, 118, 176, 177, 179, 182, 183, 184, 237.

Legge, Judge, iii. 118.

Legonier, General Sir John, i. 103, 292, 396; ii. 139, 140, 284; iii. 46, 52, 81, 91, 108, 155, 190, 212.

Lehwald, General, iii. 57.

Leicester, Thomas, Earl of, i. 208.

Leigh, Dr., i. 71.

Leveson, Mr., i. 193, 226.

Levi, a Jew, i. 330.

Levi, M. de, iii. 284, 285.

Lewis, Mr., i. 330.

Lewis, Prince, of Brunswick, iii. 236.

Lewisham, Lord, iii. 184.

Ligonier, Colonel, iii. 190, 194, 196.

Limerick, James Hamilton, Visc., i. 25, 123, 124, 142.

Linard, Count, ii. 407.

Lincoln, Henry Clinton, Earl of, i. 78, 84, 85, 192, 260, 283; ii. 11, 272, 390, 392; iii. 6, 21, 27, 111.

Linzendorffe, iii. 97.

Litchfield, Earl of, i. 116, 188, 275; iii. 166.

Lobkowitz, Prince, i. 432.

Lochiel, i. 353.

Locke, Mr., ii. 180.

London, Dr. Sherlock, Bishop of, i. 122, 148, 361, 362.

Lonsdale, Henry, Viscount, i. 20.

Lothian, Lord, ii. 142, 143.

Loudun, Lord, ii. 157; iii. 40, 88, 89, 269.

Louis, Monsieur, i. 177.

Louis XV., i. 216, 335; ii. 280; iii. 139, 224.

Loyd, Sir Richard, i. 108, 152, 344, 364, 391.

Lovat, Lord, i. 257, 265.

Lowendahl, Marshal, iii. 43.

Lowther, Sir James, iii. 124.

Lucchesi, iii. 14.

Luynes, Cardinal de, iii. 132.

Lynar, Count, iii. 58.

Lyttelton, Sir Thomas, i. 201, 202.

Lyttelton, Col. Sir Richard, i. 10, 27, 28, 38; ii. 81, 83, 84, 85, 163, 274, 307, 329, 342, 367.

Lyttelton, Sir George, afterwards Lord Lyttleton, i. 11, 13, 18, 48, 73, 79, 85, 134, 201, 233, 382, 387, 409, 414, 416, 435, 438, 439; ii. 3, 52, 63, 102, 106, 126, 144, 146, 153, 176, 177, 181, 191, 192, 195, 196, 197, 261, 272, 307, 360; iii. 105, 111, 119, 120, 259.

Lyttelton, William, i. 213.

Lyttelton, Governor, ii. 33, 171.

M’Cleod, Mr., i. 60.

Machault, M., ii. 215.

Macklyn, the player, iii. 250.

Macclesfield, Lord, i. 51, 275.

Madox, Dr., Bishop of Worcester, i. 120, 331, 332; iii. 215.

Mailly, Madame de, i. 335.

Malagrida, iii. 145.

Malone, Mr., i. 281, 282; ii. 10, 25, 183; iii. 68, 69, 71, 72, 92, 94, 241, 245.

Maillebois, M., iii. 127.

Mallet, Mr., i. 46.

[332] Manchester, Duchess of, i. 206; ii. 287.

Mansfield, Lord, ii. 351, 352, 353, 358, 359, 361, 363, 364, 365; iii. 11, 29, 30, 79, 80, 85, 86, 87, 98, 102, 103, 116, 214.

Manteuffel, General, iii. 138.

Marchmont, Earl of, i. 19, 51, 293; ii. 48, 104, 366; iii. 105, 106.

Marlborough, John Churchill, first Duke of, i. 94; ii. 139, 303; iii. 238.

Marlborough, Sarah, Duchess of, i. 92.

Marlborough, Chas. Spencer, Duke of, i. 10, 69, 81, 199, 328, 406, 419; ii. 2, 47, 48, 139, 248, 261, 416, 301, 303; iii. 76, 77, 108, 124, 125, 126, 128, 147, 150, 196.

Martin, Mr., i. 8, 25, 48, 136, 364; ii. 50, 144, 274, 340.

Martyn, Mr., i. 216.

Mary, Princess, i. 288, 405.

Mary, Princess, of Hesse, iii. 305.

Masham, Mr., ii. 258.

Mason, Rev. Wm., iii. 82.

Matthews, Admiral, ii. 370.

Maynard, Lord, i. 116, 275.

Mazzoni, M., ii. 215.

Mechell, M., ii. 151.

Mecklenburg, Princess Anne of, ii. 279.

Meredith, Sir William, iii. 257.

Methuen, Sir Paul, i. 87, 164, 330.

Michell, Monsieur, i. 295.

Middlesex, Earl of, i. 96, 216, 442.

Middlesex, Jane, Countess of, i. 47, 76, 432; ii. 205.

Middleton, Mr., Sheriff of Denbigh, i. 28.

Middleton, Dr. Conyers, i. 147, 224.

Milton, Lord, i. 266; iii. 265.

Mirepoix, Duke de, i. 203, 423; ii. 28.

Mitchell, Mr., i. 95, 254; iii. 111.

Modena, Duchess of, ii. 210.

Molesworth, Sir John, i. 95.

Molesworth, Lord, iii. 81.

Monk, General, iii. 286.

Monckton, Colonel, ii. 29.

Monckton, General, iii. 221, 222.

Moncrief, Mr., i. 68.

Monroe, Sir Harry, i. 271.

Monson, Mr., ii. 258.

Monson, General, iii. 289.

Montagu, Duke of, ii. 91, 97, 303.

Montagu, Sir Edward, ii. 287.

Montcalm, General, iii. 218, 220, 284.

Moody, a player, iii. 251.

Moore, Captain John, ii. 290, 318, 327, 340, 344, 347, 361, 364, 365; iii. 169, 170.

Mordaunt, Sir John, i. 31, 110, 257, 258; ii. 3, 14; iii. 45, 46, 49, 51, 54, 55, 56, 74, 75, 77, 78, 79, 91, 154, 271.

Morton, Mr., i. 144, 254.

Morton, Lord, ii. 105, 285, 359.

Moyenska, Countess, ii. 405, 410.

Moyston, General, iii. 3, 155, 168, 170.

Moyston, Sir Roger, iii. 170.

Munchausen, Baron, iii. 60, 63, 64, 156, 306, 307.

Murphy, Arthur, ii. 276.

Murphy, Miss, i. 334.

[333] Murray, Lord John, i. 44.

Murray, General, iii. 283, 284, 5, 6.

Murray, Alexander, i. 17, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 34, 35, 48, 50, 57, 84, 85, 114, 115, 201, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 219, 430.

Murray, Lord Chief Justice, afterwards Earl of Mansfield, i. 48, 123, 130, 142, 143, 150, 151, 165, 243, 251, 254, 255, 284, 287, 290, 297, 303, 305, 308, 309, 315, 318, 322, 342, 345, 351, 369, 379, 380, 387, 390, 391, 404, 408, 418; ii. 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 15, 52, 60, 62, 74, 85, 107, 111, 114, 115, 134, 135, 143, 148, 149, 161, 178, 182, 198, 220, 221, 227, 249, 260, 273; iii. 6, 33, 114. Vide Mansfield.

Newcastle, Thomas Pelham Holles, Duke of, i. 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 21, 47, 61, 62, 68, 70, 81, 85, 86, 90, 99, 114, 116, 119, 120, 156, 159, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 170, 171, 179, 181, 182, 183, 184, 189, 192, 193, 198, 199, 213, 236, 239, 246, 247, 249, 251, 256, 274, 278, 284, 295, 297, 302, 314, 327, 329, 344, 350, 352, 359, 373, 379, 381, 383, 384, 385, 388, 390, 396, 398, 400, 401, 406, 407, 412, 415, 417, 420, 448; ii. 10, 11, 14, 19, 22, 24, 25, 35, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 45, 49, 62, 63, 92, 93, 105, 107, 123, 139, 140, 141, 143, 151, 154, 176, 182, 187, 193, 201, 206, 213, 218, 221, 223, 227, 228, 230, 249, 250, 251, 253, 254, 257, 259, 260, 261, 262, 265, 266, 267, 270, 271, 272, 273, 275, 300, 305, 307, 343, 353, 354, 374, 377, 380, 385, 386, 387, 389, 390; iii. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 38, 62, 95, 100, 105, 106, 108, 111, 113, 114, 116, 140, 141, 150, 153, 155, 156, 160, 162, 174, 177, 181, 183, 215, 222, 236, 250, 254, 269, 279, 305, 307.

Newcastle, Duchess of, ii. 371.

Newdigate, Sir Roger, i. 125, 254, 365.

Ninervois, Duc de, ii. 152.

Noel, Judge, iii. 118, 119.

Norris, Rear-Admiral, ii. 290, 327, 340, 344, 347, 362, 363, 367.

North, Lord, i. 77, 86, 171, 187; iii. 184, 230.

Northampton, Earl of, ii. 272.

Northey, Mr., i. 213, 243, 254, 257, 260, 363; ii. 144, 145, 191.

Northumberland, Earl of, i. 8, 256, 330; ii. 202, 274; iii. 27.

Nugent, Robert, i. 12, 20, 31, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 54, 88, 108, 123, 134, 147, 197, 243, 254, 340, 341, 345, 355, 364, 412, 465; ii. 9, 11, 17, 36, 52, 81, 92, 93, 128, 144, 193, 252, 261, 304, 336, 338, 346; iii. 11, 16, 238, 280.

Nugent, Mrs., i. 46.

O’Brien, Mr., ii. 141, 272.

O’Donnel, Count, iii. 297.

Ofarel, Brigadier, i. 106, 108, 116.

[334] Oglethorpe, General, i. 8, 113, 123, 139, 218.

Oldfield, Mrs., i. 24.

Onslow, Lord, i. 260.

Onslow, Mr. Speaker, i. 21, 28, 29, 31, 50, 126, 128, 129, 130, 132, 216, 280, 282, 309, 342, 349, 390; ii. 3, 6, 15, 16, 61, 102, 126, 154, 159, 162, 175, 273, 312, 325, 328, 334, 350; iii. 41, 103, 109, 265, 281, 306, 307.

Onslow, General, iii. 257, 269.

Orange, Prince of, i. 206, 260; ii. 161.

Orange, Princess of, i. 206, 207; ii. 156; iii. 140, 127, 168.

Orange, Princess Caroline of, iii. 168.

Orford, Robert Walpole, Earl of, i. 84, 171, 400, 402.

Orford, George, Earl of, iii. 185.

Orleans, Duke of, i. 77.

Orme, Captain, ii. 31.

Ormond, Duke of, i. 52.

Osborn, Sir Danvers, i. 397, 422; ii. 173.

Osborn, Mrs., ii. 287, 326.

Osborn, Admiral, iii. 151.

Oswald, Mr., i. 59, 226, 257, 421; ii. 144, 146; iii. 183, 239.

Oxenden, Sir George, i. 30.

Oxford, Earl of, i. 47, 84, 98, 116, 119, 160, 275, 276, 385.

Oxford, Bishop of; see Secker.

Palisser, Sir Hugh, iii. 169.

Palmer, Deputy Serjeant at Arms, i. 85.

Panmure, Lord, ii. 216.

Paris, Archbishop of, i. 217.

Paul, Dr., i. 297.

Pavonarius, i. 71.

Peachy, Mr., i. 94.

Pelham, Henry, i. 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 37, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 63, 67, 69, 71, 79, 81, 84, 85, 95, 104, 105, 106, 111, 115, 118, 119, 122, 124, 128, 132, 133, 136, 153, 156, 157, 166, 167, 169, 170, 173, 174, 175, 179, 180, 183, 184, 191, 193, 194, 197, 202, 209, 210, 213, 215, 216, 218, 219, 226, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 239, 241, 242, 243, 246, 252, 254, 255, 257, 263, 275, 294, 303, 304, 307, 315, 342, 344, 346, 350, 351, 355, 364, 366, 369, 378, 379, 381, 388, 392, 407; ii. 8, 37, 69, 150, 195, 213, 252.

Pelham, T., ii. 272.

Pelham, Lady Catherine, iii. 21.

Pembroke, Lord, ii. 258.

Pendergrass, Sir Thomas, iii. 242.

Penlez, Bosavern, i. 13.

Perry, Mr., iii. 70, 245.

Philipps, Sir John, i. 114, 402; ii. 19, 329; iii. 88, 109, 150, 179, 233, 234, 238, 279.

Piccolomini, General, ii. 243.

Pinfold, Colonel, i. 68.

[335] Pitt, William, afterwards Earl of Chatham, i. 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 27, 30, 42, 47, 53, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 70, 75, 76, 79, 85, 92, 94, 95, 109, 110, 111, 130, 135, 137, 138, 152, 153, 165, 170, 171, 191, 203, 226, 231, 233, 239, 240, 241, 364, 366, 379, 380, 387, 392, 407, 409, 410, 412, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 421, 440; ii. 9, 12, 17, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 47, 55, 61, 62, 63, 64, 67, 70, 73, 75, 79, 84, 86, 90, 91, 92, 93, 97, 98, 102, 107, 112, 117, 125, 132, 135, 142, 143, 144, 148, 149, 153, 154, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 168, 169, 170, 174, 179, 185, 187, 190, 191, 193, 196, 197, 200, 205, 224, 250, 251, 253, 254, 257, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 283, 284, 300, 301, 302, 306, 307, 310, 312, 313, 314, 316, 322, 325, 329, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 336, 338, 341, 342, 343, 348, 349, 350, 353, 368, 372, 376, 377, 378; iii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 34, 42, 44, 46, 49, 60, 70, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 84, 85, 87, 88, 91, 95, 100, 103, 105, 114, 123, 125, 126, 136, 140, 141, 149, 150, 154, 155, 156, 160, 168, 171, 173, 174, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 184, 191, 193, 214, 222, 224, 227, 228, 229, 230, 235, 236, 238, 239, 243, 245, 250, 254, 261, 266, 279, 280, 281, 287.

Pitt, Thomas, i. 27, 63, 92, 124, 139, 142, 145.

Pitt, John, ii. 274.

Pococke, Admiral Sir George, iii. 89, 217, 289.

Poland, Augustus, King of, i. 204, 244, 245; ii. 241, 394, 395, 406, 410, 411, 412.

Poland, Queen of, iii. 81.

Pombal, Marquis of, iii. 143.

Pomfret, Lord, ii. 105.

Pompadour, Madame de, i. 217, 236; ii. 176, 211; iii. 37, 127, 133, 157, 217, 245.

Ponsonby, Mr. Speaker, i. 282; ii. 25, 183, 184; iii. 68, 69, 73, 92, 96, 240.

Ponsonby, Lady Eliz., ii. 25.

Pope, Mr., i. 150, 224; iii. 81.

Porteous, Captain, i. 43, 59.

Portugal, King of, iii. 141.

Potter, Thomas, i. 8, 12, 31, 66, 69, 70, 92, 243, 403; ii. 11, 54, 106, 144, 274, 340, 341; iii. 15, 32, 75, 79, 238.

Poulet, Earl, i. 65; ii. 18, 20, 21.

Pratt, Mr. Attorney-General, iii. 32, 102, 103, 115, 118, 119.

Pretender, The, i. 52, 170, 172, 225, 285, 286, 304, 306, 353; ii. 108.

Prevot, M., ii. 156, 171.

Prideaux, General, iii. 212.

Prior, Mr., i. 96.

Probyn, Mr., i. 8.

Proctor, Sir W. B., i. 208.

Prowse, Mr., i. 124, 139, 213, 254, 257, 363; ii. 19.

[336] Prussia, Frederick III., King of, i. 170, 191, 204, 205, 215, 241, 294, 295, 406; ii. 35, 50, 127, 132, 151, 219, 232, 235, 238, 240, 241, 242, 243, 264, 313, 394, 403; iii. 12, 14, 17, 18, 35, 36, 37, 57, 59, 75, 79, 80, 90, 110, 121, 122, 123, 127, 138, 147, 148, 149, 174, 184, 189, 200, 216, 224, 236, 248, 289, 290, 291, 292, 295, 296; i. 448, et seq.

Prussia, Queen of, i. 175; iii. 201, 203.

Prussia, Queen Dowager of, iii. 68.

Pulteney, Lord, ii. 78, 79, 119, 120; iii. 233.

Pulteney, General, iii. 270.

Ralph, James, i. 345, 346.

Ramsay, Allan, iii. 260.

Randan, Duc de, iii. 104.

Rantzau, Count, iii. 11.

Ravensworth, Lord, i. 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 309, 310, 312, 316, 318, 321, 324, 326, 332; ii. 104, 155.

Raymond, Lord, ii. 105.

Rezzonico, Cardinal, iii. 133.

Rich, Sir Robert, iii. 81.

Richelieu, Marshal, le Duc de, ii. 189, 210, 225, 311; iii. 37, 58, 104.

Richmond, Duke of, i. 3; ii. 317; iii. 191, 268, 280.

Rider, Sir Dudley, Attorney-General, i. 10, 107, 123, 130, 143, 146, 147, 257, 297, 342, 391; ii. 202, 223.

Rigby, Mr., ii. 45, 47, 140, 187, 255, 266, 315, 332; iii. 67, 68, 70, 94, 95, 240, 242, 243, 245, 301.

Robinson, Sir Thomas, i. 142, 213, 218, 243, 388, 409, 417, 420; ii. 18, 44, 45, 53, 93, 94, 143, 266, 267, 392; iii. 3, 22.

Robyns, Mr., i. 65.

Rochford, Earl of, ii. 18.

Rochefoucault, Cardinal de la, ii. 176.

Rockingham, Marquis of, i. 272, 331; ii. 202; iii. 27, 275.

Rodney, Admiral, iii. 186.

Romney, Lord, i. 116.

Roolt, Cardinal, iii. 132.

Rothes, Lord, ii. 20.

Rotosha, Count, ii. 410.

Rouillé, Monsieur, ii. 150.

Rowley, Admiral, i. 194; iii. 2.

Rowley, Mr., iii. 241.

Royston, Lord, iii. 7, 21.

Rushout, Sir John, i. 118, 145, 178; iii. 266.

Russell, Sir William, i. 177.

Russia, Elizabeth, Czarina of, ii. 120, 232, 236, 237, 239, 279, 394; iii. 13, 122, 289.

Russia, John, Czar of, ii. 232, 237.

Rutland, Duke of, ii. 2.

Sacheverell, Dr., i. 233.

Sackville, Lord George, i. 30, 31, 41, 107, 108, 279, 282, 295, 368, 390, 421; ii. 6, 94, 102, 130, 144, 147, 158, 174, 184, 186, 190, 248, 284, 301, 302, 313, 314, 315, 316, 330, 331, 340, 379; iii. 10, 19, [337] 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 31, 45, 68, 69, 76, 81, 88, 89, 92, 107, 108, 109, 124, 147, 165, 191, 192, 194, 195, 198, 212, 213, 214, 237, 245, 251, 252, 255, 256, 261, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 272, 273, 287.

Sackville, Lord John, iii. 254.

Sackville, Lady Caroline, iii. 265.

Sandwich, John Montagu, Earl of, i. 2, 3, 7, 69, 78, 81, 99, 116, 122, 161, 165, 185, 186, 187, 188, 190, 192, 193, 195, 199, 239, 250, 251, 254, 263, 275, 407, 408; ii. 10, 11, 13, 14, 47, 141, 277, 355, 358; iii. 111.

Sandys, Samuel, i. 67, 118,