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Lord T. having sent their proxies, as it has answered no other purpose but that of pledging them; for it now seems to be agreed, that no use can be made of proxies in a case where the Parliament does not legally meet, but is rather to be considered as an extraordinary assembly of the same persons who constitute the two Houses of Parliament. It is something more than a Convention, and something less than a Parliament.
Our triumph here is very great. The indignation of the two Princes is, by what I hear, beyond all measure or bounds. The steadiness of the House of Commons on this occasion is no bad lesson to them, and I believe they will long remember it.
W. W. G.
In the House of Peers, Ministers did not come off so triumphantly. Lord Bulkeley communicates the result, and enumerates the rats.
LORD BULKELEY TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Dec. 27th, 1788. MY DEAR LORD,
We divided last night at half-past twelve; our majority was 33, the members being 99 to 66, which in the House of Peers was certainly a large minority. The rat Peers were Duke of Queensbury, Marquis of Lothian, Bishop Watson, Lord Malmesbury, Earl of Abergavenny, Lord Chedworth, Lord Audley, Lord Eglinton; and all of the armed neutrality, who are : Duke of Northumberland, Lord Rawdon, Lord Selkirk, Lord Breadalbane, Lord Hawke, Lord Kinnaird, Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Huntingdon; Lord Lonsdale absent ; Lord Lansdowne with us, and spoke better than I ever heard him in my life, fewer flourishes, and less rhodomontade. The Chancellor spoke incomparably; and did give it Lord Loughborough and Lord
Rawdon most completely, particularly the former, who felt it. We are in good spirits, for we fall with éclat, and high in public estimation. I have no time to add more ; but that I am yours affectionately,
The Opposition are in great hopes of a riot in the Irish Parliament.
MR. W. W. GRENVILLE TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Whitehall, Dec. 28th, 1788. MY DEAR BROTHER,
The messenger carries with him, as usual, the account received to-day from Kew. I do not know that I have anything material to write in addition to my former letters. I stated to you on Friday, at length, the strong objections which both Pitt and myself feel against your idea of proroguing the Parliament. If any accident should detain that letter till after you receive this, I hope you will take no step of that sort till you have received that letter, and seriously considered the nature of our objections, which seem to me to be of the utmost importance.
The belief that the Prince of Wales will certainly accept seems to gain ground. It is most probable that we shall be enabled to speak with more certainty on this subject in the course of to-morrow, as a letter is to be written to him to-day by the Ministers, stating the outlines of their plan. It will not materially differ from what I originally stated to you. Peerages, grants for life (with the necessary exceptions), and reversions, are to be restricted for a certain time, which will be about a year and a half. This time is fixed in consequence of what you will observe in the evidence both of Willis and Addington, who both state the recovery as infinitely, and beyond all calculation, less probable if it does not take place within that time. Some line is to be drawn with respect to the King's household, but what that shall be is the subject of this morning's deliberation. It is a point of delicacy and difficulty. The entire custody, management, and government of the King's person; the appointment, &c., of his physicians, and the regulation of his actual family, &c., is to be vested in the Queen, with the advice of a Council, to be named and removable by her. The idea of a Council of Regency to assist the Prince, but to be removable by him, seems to be given up.
Our division in the House of Lords, though sufficiently decisive, was less than it would have been, owing to a variety of accidental circumstances. There is every reason to believe that we shall divide stronger on Monday. I have no apprehension whatever as to the carrying our restrictions in the House of Commons. Accidental circumstances may vary our majority from 50 to 80; but there can be no doubt of success. There seems very little reason to believe that they will venture to dissolve Parliament till March or April, if they do it then, which I doubt.
There certainly never was in this country, at any period, such a situation as Mr. Pitt's. It is no small addition to the satisfaction which we derive from all these events, to observe that every man of all parties seems to feel how well the game has been played on our side, and how ridiculously it has been mismanaged by our opponents. Add to this, that they are all quarrelling amongst themselves, and that we were never so united as at this moment. With all these reflections you will own that the prospect before us is not an unpleasing one. The opinion of Willis continues as sanguine as ever. Believe me, my dear brother, Most sincerely and affectionately yours,
Lord Bulkeley announces, with exultation, the division VOL. II.
in the Commons, and returns to his enumeration of rats.
LORD BULKELEY TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Stanhope Street, Dec. 29th, 1788. MY DEAREST LORD,
We are in high spirits here at the first majority of 64, and at the last of 73, which, considering the open and undisguised canvass of the Prince and the Duke of York, and the very liberal distribution of promises from both, does the House of Commons a great deal of honour. Parry fell down in a fit about two hours before the division of the first day, and was carried home in a chair speechless, where he remained confined till Monday, when I polled him by means of a pair with Sir Robert Clayton, which T. Steele arranged for him. A certain lady in St. James's Square has been tampering with Parry, and he certainly vented all his grievances into the compassionate bosom of that active and politic fair one, who has likewise infused such a political ardour into the mind of her dear Sir Poddy, that on the first division he was seen to take down the names of the different speeches and the members, besides other occasional notes. I have not been in St. James's Square since I have been in town, the manner with which they affect to treat me being such that an old English Baron cannot put up with; besides we are not in the best of humours at present, Sir Poddy being unwell, and unable to attend the last division and we find it difficult to sing the praises of the Prince and the Duke of York on the usual themes of filial piety, virtue, &c., in the face of a majority of 73 in favour of a falling Minister.
Sir George Warren was one of the rats, which Lady B. was much affected at. He and Lady W. dined with us the day before the first division, and both sung the praises of Mr. Pitt, and expressed the warmest anxiety for the King's recovery. I was not all surprised, well knowing his rattish dispositions. Glynne Wynne, whom I have been working for three years to detach Lord Uxbridge from, has, with the utmost effrontery, cast his benefactor off, and set him at defiance, to which he has been led by promises at Carlton House. I trust we shall be able to do his business on a dissolution, and he well deserves it, being one of the first of scoundrels.
I subjoin a list of those members who usually have voted with Mr. Pitt, who have quitted him in the late divisions, i. e. rats.
The Lonsdales voted against Pitt in the first division, and staid away the second. The Lansdownes voted with Pitt in the first, and, I believe, in the second, or staid away.