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for such a meeting have arisen. Numerous letters from Ireland conveyed fragments of news of this kind to Lord Buckingham in his retirement, the old supporters of Administration still seeming to look up to him for encouragement and advice. But these letters are not now of sufficient interest to justify their publication.
Such, indeed, is the general character of the correspondence of the year. One letter, however, announces an incident which cannot be so satisfactorily recorded as in the language of the writer. Mr. Grenville was about to receive that recognition of his great talents and important services which few men had earned so worthily or were destined to wear more honourably and usefully. The absence of all exultation at his approaching elevation to the peerage, and his near assumption of the title by which he is best known in the history of the country, is a characteristic of that nobility of mind which conferred dignity upon, rather than derived it from, the station to which he was advanced.
MR. W. W. GRENVILLE TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
St. James's Square, Nov. 22nd, 1790. MY DEAR BROTHER,
I send this by a messenger, in order to lose no time in informing you that Pitt wrote yesterday to the King, to propose the measure of my going to the House of Lords, and that he has received His Majesty's acquiescence, in terms very satisfactory to me. The delay has been occasioned by a sort of negotiation which has been pending with the Chancellor for some time past, and which there seemed a prospect of bringing to a point before the meeting. As the determination respecting
my peerage might possibly have been affected, one way or the other, by this negotiation, we were unwilling to decide that question finally till the last moment; but as that last moment is now arrived, it seemed, after much deliberation, better to take the step in the present situation of things, rather than to wait the issue of a business, one event of which could much have increased the difficulties of the measure itself.
Pitt is gone to-day to Windsor, to lay before the King the whole of the transaction, and to explain more fully the motives which have induced us to wish for my being removed to the House of Lords. There is no probability that this conversation will alter the full consent which the King expressed yesterday by letter. If it does not, it will be necessary that I should kiss hands on Wednesday, in order to give time, which even that will barely do, for passing my patent, &c., so as to enable me to take my seat on Friday, which is the day on which the King makes his speech, and on which the general Address will be moved in the House of Lords. We mean to fix a separate day for considering the Convention, and to have a particular Address upon it. The precise day for this is of course not yet settled.
This arrangement will necessarily occasion a delay of two or three days before the writ can be moved in the House of Commons, who do not proceed to business till the Monday, on account of swearing the Members; but this does not seem to me to be at all material, and I am persuaded that you will feel with me that it is unavoidable. The writ once moved, the election may come on upon the tenth, or at latest, the eleventh day from the Monday, so that the whole notice will not exceed a fortnight.
I reserve, till I see you, the particulars of the negotiation of which I have spoken, and of our present situation with a view to that important point. I am sorry for the delay in making the other arrangements, but you must allow something for the difficulties which always occur in bringing points of this nature to
bear, and for the various loads which press at such a moment as this on Pitt's time, by whose personal negotiations alone all this must be done. Pray let me know, by the return of my messenger, when I may expect you in town.
I am sorry to hear of so long a sick list. Adieu, my dear brother, and believe me Ever most truly and affectionately yours,
W. W. G.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS-RESIGNATION OF THE DUKE OF LEEDS—
FLIGHT OF THE ROYAL FAMILY OF FRANCE-PROSPERITY OF ENGLAND AT THIS PERIOD.
The first object to which the attention of Ministers was addressed at the opening of Parliament in 1791, was a measure for the further relief of the Roman Catholics.
The only objection urged against it by the Opposition was that it did not go far enough. Mr. Pitt himself held the same opinion, but did not consider it expedient to act upon it.
The interest which Lord Buckingham never ceased to feel in Ireland, where this question of Catholic disabilities was a spring of constant agitation, led him to regard the subject in relation to that country with much solicitude. Agreeing in principle with Mr. Pitt, he held that the Roman Catholics should be placed on the same footing in both kingdoms; and that whatever privileges were bestowed upon them in England should also, and at the same time, be granted to them in Ireland. Mr. Hobart, who had been his Lordship's secretary during his last Administration, and who was continued in that appointment by his successor, Lord Westmoreland, corresponded with him frequently on this topic; and it may be gathered from his letters that the views of the new Lord-Lieutenant were unfavourable to the demands of the Roman Catholics. In the early part of the correspondence, Mr. Hobart expresses considerable doubt about the policy of placing power in their hands, especially with reference to their admission to the bar, which had been conceded to them in England. His observations on that particular point are curious. In Ireland, he remarks, the sentiments of the lawyers have considerable weight in the discussion of political subjects, which, “whether it arises from the confident and pertinacious loquacity of gentlemen of that profession, or from the deference which is shown and felt for those in whose hands are entrusted the most interesting concerns of every family in the kingdom, and from their frequent intercourse with all parts of it, is matter of no consequence.” The influence which the lawyers were thus supposed to possess, weighed strongly with Mr. Hobart as an argument against the admission of the Roman Catholics to the bar. Such a measure might be adopted with comparative safety in England, but it was likely in Ireland to be productive of increased agitation and social disorder. The perplexities of the question were evidently taking a very distinct shape at this time, and occupying no inconsiderable share of the attention of Government. In endeavouring to sift them, and to extricate something like a practical line of policy from them, Mr. Hobart was not a