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We are called upon on all sides for counter associations, and indeed it seems too clear that the peace of the country cannot otherwise be preserved. The army, though I trust still steady, is too small to be depended on. We must look to individual exertions, and to the Militia. I forgot to beg you to state to me the grounds you had to think parts of that body infected. It is material to know the truth on that subject. Our plan is to enable the King to authorize the Lord-Lieutenants to commission volunteer companies to be added to the Militia on the first appearance of tumult. This seems to add the advantage of subordination to regular power to that of association.

In the meantime, we are preparing an association in London, which is to be declared in the course of next week. I enclose you the plan of their declaration, in which you see the great object is to confine it within the limits of the regular Government, and not to go beyond that point. A few persons of rank cannot be kept out of it, but we mean it chiefly to consist of merchants and lawyers, as a London society, and that the example should then be followed by each county or districtincluding there as many farmers and yeomen as possible. In this we shall of course have no difficulty. Probably we need hardly appear much before the Quarter Sessions. It seems desirable that at the different Quarter Sessions the magistrates should name an adjourned day for receiving the reports of their different constables, &c., &c., relative to the state of their districts in this respect, and taking the necessary measures thereupon.

I throw out these ideas to you for your consideration, as it is now clear I cannot see you before Saturday, if then. If I cannot leave town I will let you know in time.

Ever yours,


I really have not time to extract for you a state of the

Austrian and Prussian armies. Both Courts are making the utmost possible exertions to march down fresh troops. But then, I apprehend, the amazing superiority of numbers must keep them on the defensive, unless they can cut off Custine, of which I have little hope..

I am delighted with the spirit and feeling of your son's letter, which are, I hope of the best augury, with a view to a game in which he will probably be called upon to play his part pretty soon.


Whitehall, Nov. 29th, 1792. MY DEAREST BROTHER,

As we have, I think, nearly determined that, in consequence of the situation of affairs, both at home and abroad, we cannot discharge our duty to the country, nor even answer for its security, without calling the whole or a considerable part of the Militia immediately, I lose not a moment in apprizing you of it, both that you may be enabled to hold yourself in readiness to take your measures, and also to beg you to suggest to me any particular of importance that may occur to you respecting the mode of doing the thing.

Parliament must, as you know, by law be assembled within fourteen days; and it will, I think, be so within twelve days of the proclamation, which I expect to issue on Friday. But the precise day is not yet determined, because we are desirous, before the thing is known, to have troops enough round London to prevent the possibility of anything happening in the interval, which they would of course try if they saw an opening

You must not, from this measure, think the alarm greater than it is. The step is principally founded on the total inadequacy of our military force to the necessary exertions.

At the time that the order is sent, directions will be given

to the Lord-Lieutenant immediately to assemble the serjeants, &c., and to place the arms under proper guard. I am, as you will easily believe, too much hurried to be able to go into more details. We have nothing new from abroad.

Ever most affectionately yours,

I am afraid all visits to Dropmore are quite out of the question.

I do not understand what you say in one of your letters about quarters instead of lodging.


Saturday, Dec. 1st, 1792. MY DEAR BROTHER,

The King's orders are this day given to embody the twothirds of all the Militias of the counties on the east coast from Scotland to London, which, together with Cumberland, Westmoreland and Kent, give us a strength of about five thousand one hundred men.

Parliament will meet on Thursday sev’nnight. Before that time, I conclude I shall see you here. I am really so occupied, as not to have a moment to spare.

Dumourier is advancing towards Liege ; and I think if some blow is not already struck by their small force from Ostend against Flushing, the season secures Holland for some months, during which much must happen of all sorts.

We have, I trust, secured the Tower and the City, and have now reason to believe that they are alarmed, and have put off their intended visit; but we are prepared for the worst.

Ever yours,


Whitehall, Dec. 5th, 1792. MY DEAR BROTHER,

We determined last night to call out, in addition to the regiments already ordered, the Militias of the maritime counties from Kent to Cornwall, inclusive, and those of Berks, Bucks, Herts, and Surrey. You will, in consequence, receive by this messenger the warrant and letter for that purpose. The reason of the addition is partly the increasing prospect of hostilities with France, and partly the motives stated in your letter. Our object at first was to limit the number, in order not to give too great an alarm. The spirit of the people is evidently rising, and I trust that we shall have energy enough in the country to enable the Government to assert its true situation in Europe, and to maintain its dignity.

We shall certainly proceed to business on Thursday; but how long we shall sit, it is impossible as yet to decide. I think the present idea is to bring forward the bills immediately which are necessary for strengthening the hands of Government. Hitherto, we have every reason to be satisfied with the impression our measure has made.

Ever most affectionately yours,


Parliament stood prorogued to the 3rd of January; but it was convened by proclamation on the 3rd of December, in consequence of the urgent necessity that existed for adopting immediate measures of internal defence. On the 17th, Lord Grenville introduced his Alien Bill; and two other measures were rapidly passed for interdicting the circulation of French assignats, and preventing the exportation of naval stores and ammunition.

The signs of the future were now darkening the horizon. The French Republic sent over an ambassador extraordinary, under the title of Minister Plenipotentiary, to demand of England whether France was to consider her as a neutral or a hostile power. Lord Grenville refused to negotiate with him in a character which England could not acknowledge; but intimated that if France was desirous of maintaining peace with Great Britain, she must renounce her views of aggression and aggrandizement, and confine herself to her own territory, without insulting other Governments, without disturbing their tranquillity, without violating their rights. · The sequel need not be detailed. The King of France was brought to trial, sentenced to death, and beheaded. This terrible catastrophe terminated the mission of the French Ambassador, who was informed by Lord Grenville that he could no longer remain in this kingdom in a public character, and ordered to retire within eight days. In a week from that time, the Convention passed a decree declaring the Republic of France at war with the King of England and the Stadtholder of Holland.

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