« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
MR. COOKE TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Dublin Castle, Jan. 15th, 1795. MY DEAR LORD,
As it was through your Lordship's kind and affectionate partiality that I was placed in the War Office, I think it my duty to give you the earliest information of my removal.
Since Lord Fitzwilliam's arrival, I have merely seen his Excellency at levée. With his chief secretary, Lord Milton, I have daily transacted official business, without a syllable passing of a nature in any degree confidential. The removal of Mr. Beresford, of the Attorney and Solicitor-General, had created alarms; but there were assurances from an English quarter that Mr. Hamilton and I were not to be meddled with.
The reverse has taken place. About four o'clock to-day, Lord Milton conveyed to Mr. Hamilton his Excellency's pleasure that he should retire from office, with a desire that Mr. Hamilton should state his situation after removal, as it was his Excellency's intention to make him a provision.
About half an hour after, Lord Milton sent for me, and delivered a similar message; stating, upon conversation, that his Excellency did not in any degree mean to reflect upon my conduct, but that my retirement was necessary for his arrangements, and that he was disposed to make me a fair provision; at the same time, upon conversation, his Lordship intimated that it was possible his Excellency might differ as to the provision which I might expect and he might think reasonable.
I have thought it my duty to submit these particulars to your Lordship. From your Lordship I received my office ; the Government with which you have been connected I have supported to my utmost ; and I have the happiness to feel assured that I shall ever retain your Lordship's kindness and regards till I cease to deserve it.
Believe me, my dear Lord, with the utmost respect,
E. Cooke. The Most Noble the Marquis of Buckingham, &c. &c.
MR. COOKE TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Dublin, Sackville Street, Feb. 7th, 1795. My LORD,
I am to thank your Lordship for your most friendly and flattering letter; and as you seem curious to know the feelings of myself and colleagues on our removals, as well as the nature of our compensations, I will endeavour to detail them as well as I can.
With respect to Mr. Wolf, the first act was to claim the reversion recommended for him by Lord Westmoreland, and promised above a year ago by Mr. Pitt, and which the King had actually signed, as a measure for negotiation. Wolf in vain argued that the reversion was not a subject for negotiation. They offered him a Peerage for his wife, and a Chief Judge's place. Wolf, in addition, asked precedency at the Bar. After some days, the precedency was refused, and the promise of a Chief Judge's place was retracted. Wolf insisted on the promise. He was threatened that if he insisted, he should be superseded. He did insist, and the promise was at length renewed, in case a vacancy should happen.
Mr. Wolf gains nothing but the Peerage for his wife, for the reversion was actually his own, and had been signed by the King; the promise of a Chief Justiceship is very precarious, and he is degraded in his profession.
Mr. Toler, having in his pocket the promise of succeeding to the Attorney-Generalship, is to be superseded for Mr. Curran. He has asked for a Peerage to his wife, and for the succession to Lord Carleton. Upon his first demand, nothing has been said to him; upon his second, it has been intimated that he may look for any seat on the Bench short of Chief Justiceship. Your Lordship must guess that Mr. Toler feels himself gratified, especially when he recollects that, after having boldly and manfully, at the risk of his person, set himself against all the seditious and levellers in and out of the House, he is sacrificed to make way for Mr. Curran, who has been the most seditious incendiary in Ireland ever since he became a public character.
Mr. Beresford your Lordship may have probably seen. He, it seems, was dismissed because he was king of Ireland, as Bowes Daly authoritatively informed him in his Excellency's name. The object with respect to him was to publicly degrade him, give him a provision during pleasure, then attack him, and have a pretext to ruin him, if he should defend himself with spirit. He has been acquainted that, in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons, he is to have his salary of £2000 a-year on Excise Incidents—not for his services, but his long and laborious attendance. The attempt has been to stigmatize him, to degrade him, and to make him dependent. I hope the last will not be the case--the two former cannot.
Mr. Hamilton had merely fifty years of the most laborious and faithful service to plead, under all Administrations, whether adverse to each other or combined. He loses £1200 a-year by removal; he loses the comforts of settlement, he loses the prospect of providing for his sons; he is, however, informed that something will be done for one of them!
I am equally removed from a station of much advantage and opportunity. If I do not resort to my bargain with Thornton, I lose £1800 a-year; if I do, I lose £1300 a-year. I am told that I am not to expect compensation for my losses, but that bis Excellency, on review of my situation, will make com
pensation for my services. As, however, Lord Milton was pleased to state to me that his Excellency did not mean to cast in any degree any imputation on my conduct, and that he removed me merely on the principle of accommodation, and to make room for arrangements which he thought necessary for his Government, I thought it my duty to claim compensation, not for my services, but for my losses, and to throw myself upon his Excellency's justice and honour.
I have heard that my having ventured not to appear satisfied in my dismissal, has given offence; and it has been intimated, though not from authority, that there is not an intention to compensate me at all, but merely to indemnify Thornton for what, by agreement, he is in honour obliged to pay me.
When Lord Fitzwilliam seized upon the Provostship and the Secretaryship of State, the patronage of which absolutely belonged to Lord Westmoreland, his Lordship was obliged to forced measures, in order to extricate himself from specific promises ; he therefore, on this principle, included Lord Glentworth in Sir L. O'Brien's patent of Clerk of the Hanaper. Sir L. lately died. Lord Glentworth felt the luckiest of men; in a few days, Lord Fitzwilliam sent for him, and acquainted him that he could not suffer him to remain in that office; that, however, he had a high respect for him; that he had been particularly recommended to him by Mr. Pitt, and that he should hope to do something for him. The Duke of Leinster, being very hungry, has swallowed the office.
With regard to coalition here, or the slightest appearances of it, there are none. Parnell is the only old servant of the Crown who is at all consulted, and he only so far as concerns his situation. The whole is very strange. The Ponsonbys are all-powerful, and appear to direct everything. I know not at all what measures are intended, or whether an opposition will start up; but the giving up all the powers of the State to one family does not please.
The idea of removing all the remaining restraints from the Catholics is not relished; the worst is, that an appeal has been made to the Catholic democracy, and I know they are not to be depended upon; they look to the abolition of tythes and a reform of Parliament on numerical principles. Ever since the first movements of the Roman Catholic Committee, the lower classes have been in a state of fermentation, and they continue their disorders and insurrections.
I write this confidentially, and beg your Lordship to accept my best acknowledgments for your kind sentiments.
Ever most respectfully, your Lordship’s most faithful and obedient servant,
The result of Lord Fitzwilliam's vigorous attempts to force upon the Cabinet a line of policy which reason and justice alike rejected, is well known. A Cabinet Council was called on the 19th of March, for the purpose of taking the whole subject into consideration, when it was unanimously resolved to recal Lord Fitzwilliam “as a measure necessary for the preservation of the empire.” The most remarkable incident connected with this proceeding was the fact that the Duke of Portland, upon whose“ system” Lord Fitzwilliam had based his operations, and who was supposed, all throughout, to have supported him in them, was present at this meeting of the Cabinet, and concurred in its decision.
But Lord Fitzwilliam had not done with Ireland yet. On his return to England, he brought the subject before the House of Lords and demanded an inquiry, which was refused. On this occasion some letters which had been addressed by him to Lord Carlisle were published, and in