E-text prepared by Marjorie Fulton
GEORGE SELWYN: HIS LETTERS AND HIS LIFE
E. S. ROSCOE AND HELEN CLERGUE
London T. Fisher Unwin Paternoster Square
IN the histories and memoirs of the eighteenth century the name of George Selwyn often occurs. The letters which he received have afforded frequent and valuable material to the student of the reign of George the Third. A large number of these were published by the late Mr. Jesse in the four volumes entitled "George Selwyn and his Contemporaries." Except, however, that Selwyn was regarded as the first humourist of his time, little was known about him, for scarcely any letters which he wrote had until recently been found. But in the Fifteenth Report of the Historical Manuscript Commission there were printed, amongst a mass of other material, more than two hundred letters from his untiring pen which had been preserved at Castle Howard. No one who has had an opportunity of examining the originals can fail to recognise the skill and labour with which the Castle Howard correspondence of Selwyn—wanting in most instances the date of the year—was arranged by Mr. Kirk on behalf of the Commission.
A correspondence, however, which illustrates vividly phases of an interesting and important period of English history, appeared to be deserving of presentation to the public in a separate volume, and with the explanations necessary to make the allusions in it fully understood.
A selection has therefore, in the following pages, been made from the Castle Howard letters. The aim of the editors has been to choose those which appeared most interesting and representative, and to place them in definite groups, supplementing them with such a narrative, remarks, and notes as would, without enveloping the correspondence in a quantity of extraneous material, enable the whole to present the life of Selwyn, and at the same time add another to the pictures of the age in which he lived.
The dates of the letters are those ascribed to them by Mr. Kirk.
The frequently incorrect spelling of proper names has not been altered.
The editors desire cordially to thank Lord Carlisle, not only for the permission to publish this correspondence, but for the kind assistance which he has given in other ways to the undertaking.
E. S. R. H. C.
CHAPTER 1. GEORGE SELWYN: His LIFE, His FRIENDS, AND His AGE
CHAPTER 2. 1767-1769. THE CORRESPONDENCE COMMENCES .... Frederick, fifth Earl of Carlisle—Lady Sarah Bunbury—The Duke of Grafton—Carlisle, Charles Fox, and the Hollands abroad—Current Events—Card-playing—A dinner at Crawford's—Lady Bolingbroke —Almack's—The Duke of Bedford—Lord Clive—The Nabobs—Corporation of Oxford sell the representation of the borough—Madame du Deffand —Publication of Horace Walpole's "Historic Doubts on Richard the Third"—Newmarket—London Society—Gambling at the Clubs—A post promised to Selwyn—Elections—A purchase of wine—Vauxhall.
CHAPTER 3. 1773-1777; 1779 AND 1780 POLITICS AND SOCIETY. Fox's debts—Lord Holland—News from London—Interviews with Fox—The Fire at Holland House—A Visit to Tunbridge—Provision for Mie Mie—County business and electioneering at Gloucester—Lotteries —Fox and Carlisle—Highway adventures—London Society—Newmarket intelligence—An evening in town—Charles Fox and America—Carlisle declines a court post—money from Fox—Selwyn and gambling—A Private Bill committee—Selwyn in bad spirits—The Royal Society —Book-buying—Political affairs—London parks—Gainsborough—The Duchess of Kingston—Selwyn's private affairs—"The Diaboliad"—A dinner at the French Ambassador's—Politics and the clubs—In Paris —Electioneering again.
CHAPTER 4. 1781. THE DISASTERS IN AMERICA. A drum at Selwyn's—George, Lord Morpeth—Dr. Warner—Sale of the Houghton pictures—The House of Commons—Pitt's first speech—Selwyn unwell—Play at Brooks's—London gaieties—Fox and his new clothes —Gambling—The bailiffs in Fox's house—"Fish" Crawford—Montem at Eton—Mie Mie's education—Second speech of Pitt—Lord North—A Court Ball—Society and politics—The Emperor of Austria —Conversation with Fox—Personal feelings—American affairs—rd North and Mr. Robinson—State of politics—London Society.
CHAPTER 5. 1782. THE FALL OF LORD NORTH. Fox's political principles—The fifth Duke of Bedford—A little dinner—A debate in the Commons—The attack on Lord George Germaine —An evening at Brooks's—Pitt and his friends—Possible changes in the Cabinet—Faro at White's—A story of the Duke of Richmond—An Address to the King—A Levee—Play and politics at Brooks's —Government and the Opposition—Selwyn and his offices—The position of the King—Fears of change of administration—The King's objections to Fox—Probable debates—Political prospects—Debates and divisions—The fate of the King's friends—Illness of Lord Morpeth—Annoyance of Selwyn at the state of affairs—Fox and Selwyn—Fall of Lord North—A new Ministry—Official changes—Fox and Carlisle—Carlisle's position—Morpeth and Mie Mie.
CHAPTER 6. 1786-1791. THE CLOSING CENTURY. Political Events—At Richmond—The Duke of Queensberry's villa —Princess Amelia—The King's illness—The French Revolution —Proposed visit to Castle Howard—In Gloucestershire—Affairs in France—The Emigres—Society at Richmond—The French Revolution —Richmond Theatre—French friends—Christening of Lady Caroline Campbell's child—Selwyn's bad health—Death.
NOTE ON ILLUSTRATIONS
Portrait of George Augustus Selwyn at the age of fifty-one: from a pastelle by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, drawn in 1770. Hamilton, who was an Irish artist of considerable reputation, was at this time working in London. After a long visit to Italy he returned to Dublin in 1792 and was elected a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy. This drawing is in the possession of the Earl of Carlisle at Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Group of George Augustus Selwyn and Frederick, fifth Earl of Carlisle: from a picture by Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. The dog by the side of Selwyn is his favourite, Raton. Selwyn is dressed in a pale brown coat and breeches, a red vest trimmed with gold lace, and light grey stockings; the Earl of Carlisle in a reddish brown coat and pale yellow vest. He wears the green ribbon and star of the Order of the Thistle. This picture was probably painted about the year 1770, and is in the possession of the Earl of Carlisle at Castle Howard, Yorkshire ....
TABLE OF DATES 1719. Birth. 1739. Matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford. 1740. Clerk of the Irons and Surveyor of Meltings at the Mint. 1742-3. In Paris; having gone down from Oxford for a time. 1745. Finally left Oxford. 1747. M.P. for Ludgershall. 1751. Death of father and elder brother. 1754. M.P. for Gloucester. 1755. Paymaster of the Works. 1767. Correspondence with fifth Earl of Carlisle commences. 1779. Registrar of the Court of Chancery of Barbadoes. 1780. Loses seat for Gloucester. M.P. for Ludgershall. 1782. Loses office of Paymaster of the Works. 1784. Surveyor-General of Land Revenues of the Crown. 1791. Death.
Health is the first good lent to men; A gentle disposition then Next to be rich by no bye ways, Lastly with friends t'enjoy our days.
CHAPTER 1. GEORGE SELWYN—HIS LIFE, HIS FRIENDS, AND HIS AGE
During the latter half of the eighteenth century no man had more friends in the select society which comprised those who were of the first importance in English politics, fashion, or sport, than George Selwyn. In one particular he was regarded as supreme and unapproachable; he was the humourist of his time. His ban mots were collected and repeated with extraordinary zest. They were enjoyed by Members of Parliament at Westminster, and by fashionable ladies in the drawing-rooms of St. James's. They were told as things not to be forgotten in the letters of harassed politicians. "You must have heard all the particulars of the Duke of Northumberland's entertainment," wrote Mr. Whateley in 1768 to George Grenville, the most hardworking of ministers; "perhaps you have not heard George Selwyn's bon mot."* But as usually happens when a man becomes known for his humour jokes were fathered on Selwyn, just as half a century later any number of witticisms were attributed to Sydney Smith which he had never uttered. It was truly remarked of Selwyn at the time of his death: "Many good things he did say, there was no doubt, and many he was capable of saying, but the number of good, bad, and indifferent things attributed to him as bon mots for the last thirty years of his life were sufficient to stock a foundling hospital for wit."*
* Grenville Correspondence, vol. 11. p. 372.
* Gentleman's Magazine, 1791, p. 94.
It is therefore not surprising that Selwyn has been handed down to posterity as a wit. It is a dismal reputation. Jokes collected in contemporary memoirs fall flat after a century's keeping; the essential of their success is spontaneity, appropriateness, the appreciation even of their teller, often also a knowledge among those who hear them of the peculiarities of the persons whom they mock. When we read one of them now, we are almost inclined to wonder how such a reputation for humour could be gained. Wit is of the present; preserved for posterity it is as uninteresting as a faded flower, nor can it recall to us memories sunny or sad. But Selwyn was a man who while filling a conspicuous place in the fashionable life of the age was also so intimate with statesmen and politicians, and so thoroughly lives in his correspondence, that in following his life we find ourselves one of that singular society which in the last half of the eighteenth century ruled the British Empire from St. James's Street.
Selwyn's life, though passed in a momentous age, was uneventful, but the course of it must be traced.
George Augustus Selwyn, second son of Colonel John Selwyn, of Matson, in Gloucestershire, and of Mary, daughter of General Farrington, of Kent, was born on the 11th of August, 1719. His father, aide-de-camp to Marlborough and a friend of Sir Robert Walpole, was a man of character and ability, well known in the courts of the first and second Georges. Selwyn, however, probably inherited his wit and his enjoyment of society from his mother, who was Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte. Horace Walpole writes of her as "Mrs. Selwyn, mother of the famous George, and herself of much vivacity, and pretty."
Selwyn's elder brother died in 1751, and grief at his loss seems to have hastened the death of his father, which occurred in the same year.
His sister Albinia married Thomas Townshend, second son of Charles Viscount Townshend. By this marriage the families of Selwyn and Walpole were connected.
The home of the family was at Matson, a village two and a half miles south-east of Gloucester, on the spurs of the Cotswold hills, looking over the Severn valley—once called Mattesdone. There is a good deal of obscurity as to the ownership of the manor in mediaeval times, but it appears to have been in the possession of what may popularly speaking be called the family of Mattesdone. The landowner described himself by the place; "Ego Philippus de Mattesdone" are the words of an ancient document preserved among the records of the Monastery of St. Peter at Gloucester.*
* "Historia et Cartularium Monasterii Sancti Petri Gloucestria," edited by W. Hart, vol. i. p. 100.
To come to more recent times, the manor house was built in 1594 by Sir Ambrose Willoughby. From him the estate was purchased in 1597 by Jasper Selwyn, Counsellor at Law, of Stonehouse, who was the fourth in descent from John Selwyn, one of a Sussex family.
In 1751 the direct entail was broken by Colonel Selwyn, and the property was re-entailed on the descendants of his daughter, Mrs. Townshend, though it was left by will to George Selwyn for his life. On his death it devolved on Thomas, Lord Sydney, and has since remained in the possession of the Townshend family.** Walpole has given a description of the place in the days when he used to visit it.
** Bigland, "History of Gloucestershire," vol. ii. p. 200.
"I stayed two days at George Selwyn's house, called Matson, which lies on Robin Hood's Hill; it is lofty enough for an Alp, yet it is a mountain of turf to the very top, has wood scattered all over it, springs that long to be cascades in twenty places of it, and from the summit of it beats even Sir George Lyttleton's views, by having the city of Gloucester at its foot, and the Severn widening to the horizon. His house is small, but neat. King Charles lay here at the siege, and the Duke of York, with typical fury, hacked and hewed the window-shutters of his chamber, as a memorandum of his being there. Here is a good picture of Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in his later age, . . . and here is the very flower pot and counterfeit association for which Bishop Sprat is taken up, and the Duke of Marlborough sent to the Tower. The reservoirs on the hill supply the city. The late Mr. Selwyn governed the borough by them, and I believe by some wine too. . . .
"A little way from the town are the ruins of Lantony Priory; there remains a pretty old gateway, which G. Selwyn has begged to erect on the top of his mountain, and it will have a charming effect."*
* "The Letters of Horace Walpole," vol. ii. p. 354.
Selwyn's schooldays were passed at Eton with Gray and Walpole. In 1739 he became an undergraduate of Hertford College, Oxford, or Hart Hall as it was called. It was to Hertford also that later Charles Fox went, "a college which has in our own day been munificently re-endowed as a training school of principles and ideas very different from those ordinarily associated with the name of its greatest son." Hertford was in the middle of the eighteenth century a college where the so-called students neither toiled at books nor at physical exercise. They passed a short and merry time at the University, fashioned as nearly as might be on the mode of life of a man about town. In 1740 he was appointed to the vague-sounding office of Clerk of the Irons and Surveyor of the Meltings in the Mint, a sinecure which, after the manner of the time, required no personal attention from the holder. Even in those early days Selwyn, who went by the sobriquet of "Bosky," had many friends—not only among college boys, but in London society. "You must judge by what you feel yourself," wrote Walpole to General Conway, the soldier and statesman, on the occasion of a severe illness from which Selwyn suffered in 1741, "of what I feel for Selwyn's recovery, with the addition of what I have suffered from post to post. But as I find the whole town have had the same sentiments about him (though I am sure few so strong as myself), I will not repeat what you have heard so much. I shall write to him to-night, though he knows, without my telling him, how very much I love him. To you, my dear Harry, I am infinitely obliged for the three successive letters you wrote me about him, which gave me double pleasure, as they showed your attention for me at a time that you knew I must be so unhappy, and your friendship for him."* But then came an interval in Selwyn's academic career—if such it may be called—since he was certainly in Paris, much in want of money, at the end of 1742 and the beginning of 1743. It is probable that he had gone down from Oxford for some irregularity; he ultimately was obliged to leave the University for the same reason. For though he re-entered his college in 1744 he only remained there until the following year, when he was sent down for an irreverent jest after dinner, having taken more to drink than was good for him. His friends, especially Sir Charles Hanbury Williams and some in authority at Oxford also, thought that Selwyn was harshly treated. Whether that were so or not this was the end of his University career. It was not a promising beginning of a life, and for some years he was regarded as a good-natured spendthrift. The death of his elder brother and father however in 1751 produced a sense of responsibility, but even before this date he had been endeavouring to regain his father's goodwill. "I don't yet imagine," wrote his friend, Sir William Maynard, shortly before the death of Colonel J. Selwyn, "you are quite established in his good opinion, and if his life is but spared one twelvemonth you may have an opportunity of convincing him you are in earnest in your promises of a more frugal way of life." As too often happens the son had not time in his father's lifetime to regain his good opinion. Certainly Selwyn made no attempt to give up pleasure, though he was bent on it no doubt with a more frugal mind. He was a man of fashion and of pleasure, having his headquarters in London, paying visits now and again to great country houses as Trentham and Croome. To Bath he went as one goes now to the Riviera. In Paris too he delighted; when in the autumn of 1762 the Duke of Bedford was in France negotiating the treaty which is known in history as the Peace of Paris, it was Selwyn who accompanied the Duchess when she joined her husband. "She sets out the day after to-morrow," wrote Walpole on September 8th, "escorted to add gravity to the Embassy by George Selwyn." After the treaty was completed on February 10th of the following year, as a memento of his visit the Duke presented Selwyn with the pen with which this unpopular document was signed.* Indeed in those days he was constantly in Paris, much to the regret of his friends at home—"Do come and live among your friends who love and honour you," wrote Gilly Williams to him in the autumn of 1764, but in spite of their wishes he stayed on throughout the winter in the French capital, and when his friend Carlisle went in 1778 to America as a peace commissioner Selwyn tried to console himself for his absence by a stay in Paris. "George is now, I imagine, squaring his elbows and turning out his toes in Paris," wrote Hare to Carlisle in December of that year. Neither politics nor pleasure could prevent continual and long visits to France.
* Horace Walpole to H. S. Conway, Florence, March 25, 1741.
* Bedford Correspondence, vol. iii. P. 206.
The charming country estate and house which he had inherited from his father had little attraction for Selwyn, and to the end of his life, if he could not be in town, he preferred Castle Howard, or indeed any house where he would meet with congenial spirits. "This is the second day," he once wrote to Carlisle, "I am come home to dine alone, but so it is, and if it goes on so I am determined to keep a chaplain, for although I do not stand in need of much society, I do not relish being quite alone at this time of day."
All this time he was a Member of Parliament. There is a little village of small red cottages with thatched roofs lying among the Wiltshire downs between Savernake Forest and Andover. It is called Ludgershall, and has a quiet out-of-the-world look. In the eighteenth century it was a pocket borough, returning two Members to Parliament, and was the property of the Selwyn family. The representation was as much in their hands as the trees in the adjoining fields. In 1747 George Selwyn had found it convenient to enter the House of Commons. In Ludgershall there were no constituents to take him to task; to be able to go to Westminster when he wished added to the variety of life. It kept him in touch with the politicians and statesmen of St. James's Street, and it made him a marketable quantity—his price was another sinecure, the place of Paymaster of the Works. But this he did not receive until he had inherited the family property, which gave him a hold on the city of Gloucester. For this city he was a Member from 1754 to 1780, when, losing his seat at the general election, he gladly returned to his former constituency. The seat at Ludgershall was never in the nature of a true political representation, and even when Member for Gloucester Selwyn seems to have attended but little to the House of Commons. He was one of a legion of sinecures—a true specimen of the place-man of the age. Possessed of some political influence, he was able to find in politics a means of increasing his income. It would be absurd to censure him because he was a sinecurist; he was acting according to the customs of the time. The man who in the reign of George III. had the opportunity of obtaining posts which carried with them salaries and no duties would have been regarded as Quixotic if he had thrown such opportunities away. In this Selwyn is thoroughly representative of his time, and his frequent anxiety lest he should be deprived of his offices is indicative of an apprehension which was felt by many others.
Yet, sinecurist as he was, Selwyn often regarded his position as a hard necessity, especially when he was driven into the country to look after his constituents. He would then heartily wish himself out of Parliament: the sorrows of a sinecurist might well be the title of some of the letters written from Matson.
Selwyn's was a life devoid of stirring incidents, and from the date at which his correspondence with Lord Carlisle begins the course of his days is indicated in his letters. It is sufficient, therefore, to state that he died at his house in Cleveland Row, St. James's, on the 25th of January, 1791, still a Member of Parliament, in the place where his life had been passed and among his innumerable friends.
In one sense his life had been solitary, for he was never married; but an unusual love for the young which was a charming and remarkable characteristic, singularly opposed to many of his habits, had been centred on the child whom he called Mie Mie,* the daughter of an Italian lady, the Marchesa Fagniani, who was for some time in England with her husband. The origin of Selwyn's interest in the child is obscure, but the story of his affection is striking and unusual.
From a letter written by the Marchesa Fagniani to Selwyn in 1772 it is evident that Mie Mie, then about a year old, had been with him for some months, and in 1774 Lord Carlisle congratulates him upon the certainty of the child's remaining with him. The first mention of her in these letters occurs under date of July 23, 1774, where we have a picture of Selwyn, drawn by himself. He is sitting on his steps, the pretty, foreign-looking child in his arms, pleased at the attention she attracts. When she was four she was taken to pay visits with him; but it is difficult at this time to know if he or the Earl of March had charge of her.
* Maria Fagniani (1771-1856). She was married in 1792, the year after Selwyn's death, to the Earl of Yarmouth, afterwards third Marquis of Hertford. She led a life of pleasure (1802-7), travelling on the continent with the Marshal Androche. She had three children, and died at Rue Tailbout, Paris.
Such interest in a young child naturally occasioned remark in London society, and the question of her paternity has never been clearly settled; in the gossip of the time both the Duke of Queensberry and Selwyn were said to be her father. The characters of the two men, however, and various points in their correspondence, seem to fix this relation upon the Duke of Queensberry. Selwyn's interest was that of a man who though without children had a strong and unusual affection for the young. He looked forward to the pleasure her development and education would be to him, and to the solace of her companionship in old age. She enlisted his sympathy and devotion. From the first time he saw her he wished to adopt her, and until the end of his life she was first in his thought, and all his circle approved of his little friend.
He soon made provision for her in his will, writing to Lord Carlisle July 26, 1774, that he must no longer delay in securing her future. In 1776 he placed her at school. After infinite trouble, Campden House was chosen, where every day he either saw her or received communications from the schoolmistress relative to her health, comfort, and happiness.
"Mrs. Terry presents her compliments to Mr. Selwyn; has the pleasure to assure him that dear Mademoiselle Fagniani is as well to-day as her good friend could possibly wish her to be. She is this minute engaged in a party at high romps."
"Mrs. Terry presents her best compliments to Mr. Selwyn; is very sorry to find that he is so uneasy. The dear child's spirits are not depressed. She is very lively; ate a good dinner; and behaves just like other children. She hopes Mr. Selwyn will make no scruple of coming to-morrow morning, or staying his hour, or more if he likes it; she will then talk to him about the head; but in the meantime begs he will not suppose that the dear child suffers by his absence, or that anything is neglected; for if Mrs. Terry thought Mr. Selwyn could suppose such a thing, she would wish to resign the charge. She begs he will come to-morrow."
Mie Mie was a disturbing element, if also a satisfaction, in Selwyn's life, for at all times overhanging present pleasure in her company was the dread of losing her. In August of 1776 the Marchesa Fagniani and her husband came to England. Selwyn had a fairly satisfactory interview, in which it was settled that the child should not leave him for a year. Before the time had expired he was exhausting every means to procure a longer delay; he even applied to the Austrian Ambassador that the Governor of Milan should use his influence with the family; but her return was insisted upon, and in August of 1777 Mie Mie left England to join her parents in Paris. The most careful and elaborate arrangements were made by Selwyn for her safety and comfort while travelling, and a list of the houses where stops were to be made given to faithful attendants.
He dreaded however the pain of parting with the child, and when the day of her departure arrived he absented himself to avoid the farewell, and his spirits and health suffered from her loss. Two months later Carlisle writes, "I never thought your attachment extraordinary. I might, for your sake, have wished it less in the degree; but what I did think extraordinary was that you would never permit what was most likely to happen ever to make its appearance in your perspective. March speaks with great tenderness and real compassion for your sufferings. Have you been at Lady Holland's? Are you in my house? Do not stay too long at Frognal; change the scene; it will do you good. Gratify every caprice of that sort, and write to me everything that comes into your head. You cannot unload your heart to any one who will receive its weight more cheerfully than I shall do."
But next year we hear of Selwyn at Milan negotiating with Mie Mie's relatives for her return. His proposals to make settlements on her met with alternate rebuffs and promises that kept him in a state of intermingled fear and hope. He was finally put off with the understanding that she should return to him in the spring; and in October he turned homeward.
In the spring it was arranged that the Marchesa Fagniani should bring Mie Mie to Paris to be left a few weeks in a convent before Selwyn should claim her. The meeting did not take place without a last trial of patience for him. He arrived in Paris in April, expecting to find the little traveller, but he was informed that the departure from Milan had been delayed for a few days; this was followed by the news of a change of plans, and that Selwyn must go to Lyons to meet the child, who would be conducted there by her mother—a meeting Selwyn had wished to avert. Eventually, early in May, we read the congratulations of his friends on the restoration of what had become dearest to him in the world.
During the month Selwyn spent in Paris, however, waiting for Mie Mie, who was passing the specified time in the convent, fresh difficulties were raised, and he began to doubt if he should ever bring the little girl to England. His health was seriously affected by the strain, and his friends begged him to give up a pursuit which was injuring it and taking him from them; but Mie Mie was at last received from the convent under a vague condition that at some future time she should return to it; a half promise which neither side expected would be fulfilled.
The Rev. Dr. Warner gives us a slight description of Mie Mie. A year had passed; she is nine years old; he is writing to Selwyn:—
"That freshness of complexion I should have great pleasure in beholding. It must add to her charms, and cannot diminish the character, sense, and shrewdness which distinguish her physiognomy, and which she possesses in a great degree, with a happy engrafting of a high-bred foreign air upon an English stock . . .
"But how very pleasant to me was your honest and naive confession of the joy your heart felt at hearing her admired! It is, indeed, most extraordinary that a certain person who has great taste—would he had as much nature!—should not see her with very different eyes from what he does. I can never forget that naive expression of Mme. de Sevigne, 'Je ne sais comment Von fait de ne pas aimer sa fille?'"
* The Duke of Queens berry.
But Selwyn was never quite free from the fear that she should be taken from him. In January, 1781, he writes to Lord Carlisle:—
"From Milan things are well; at least, no menaces from thence of any sort, and I am assured, by one who is the most intimate friend of the Emperor's minister there, that he was much more likely to approve than to disapprove of Mie Mie's being with me, knowing as he does the turn and character of the mother."
The relationship from this time was more settled, and as Mie Mie grew into womanhood she became to Selwyn a delightful and affectionate companion.
Selwyn was a universal friend; he was equally at home with politicians, dilettanti, and children; he was a man of such consistent good nature, so unaffectedly kind-hearted, that every one, statesman, gambler, or schoolboy, liked to be in his company. Yet among Selwyn's many friends and acquaintances two groups are remarkable. The first was formed of men of his own age—Walpole, Edgecumbe, Gilly Williams, and Lord March comprise what may be called the Strawberry Hill group. It was at Walpole's famous villa that they liked best to meet, and it is by Reynolds that Walpole's "out-of-town party" has been handed down to us.** They were an odd coterie—cultivated, artificial, gossiping. None of them ever married; to do so seemed to have been unfashionable, if not unpopular; and when we see the results of many marriages among their friends, they were best, perhaps, as bachelors. They considered themselves free to act as they pleased; and this freedom became notorious by the life-long dissipation of March, and by the free living of Edgecumbe, who died at forty-five after a life misspent at the gaming-table. That he possessed a bright mind and ingenious wit is proved by his verses and by the estimate of his friends. The amusing coat of arms which the friends designed for White's Club was painted by him, while he was one of the first to recognise the genius of Reynolds.
** The group of Selwyn, Edgecumbe, and Williams which was painted for Horace Walpole in 1781, and subsequently became the property of the late Lord Taunton, now belongs to his daughter, the Hon. Mrs. Edward Stanley, and is at Quantock Lodge, Bridgwater. It is a charming and interesting picture. A replica by Sir J. Reynolds, the property of Lord Cadogan, is at Chelsea House.
The other group was of a younger generation, more brilliant and more modern. They might not inappropriately be called the Fox group, since his personality was so conspicuous among them. They talked politics and gambled at Brooks's, they appreciated each other's brightness, and lost their money with the indifference of true friends. There was the gallant and charming soldier Fitzpatrick, the schoolfellow and friend of Fox, the sagacious and versatile but place-seeking Storer. Hare, who, less well-born, had risen by his wit and talents to a place among the cleverest men of the time, "the Hare with many friends," as he was called by the Duchess of Gordon. Frederick, Earl of Carlisle and Crawford, the "petit Craufurt" of Mme. du Deffand; and chief of all was Charles Fox, who to Selwyn was incomprehensible. Selwyn had been his father's friend, and had known him from childhood. He loved him and liked his companionship; yet his unrestrained folly at the gambling-table and on the racecourse, his loose ideas on money matters, and his political opinions, at times annoyed, irritated, and puzzled him almost beyond endurance. With the older and the younger group Selwyn was on the same terms of intimate friendship: now pleasing by his wit, and now helping by his kindness and common sense.
Castle Howard was the place, outside London, which most attracted him. It is even to-day a long way from the metropolis, and one feels something like surprise that such a lover of the town as Selwyn could, even to the end of his life, undertake the tiresome journey to Yorkshire. But in the stately galleries of Vanbrugh's design he renewed his associations with France. There he was not bored by country society; in the home circle he had all the company he needed. He could look out over the rolling uplands and see the distant wolds, contented to observe and enjoy them from afar amidst the books and pictures which his host had collected. If he wanted exercise the spacious gardens were at hand, and the artificial adornment of temples and statuary pleased a taste highly cultivated after the fashion of the times.
In a drawing-room Selwyn was as welcome as in a club, and he could only be said to be out of place in his own country house, more especially at the time of an election for Gloucester. The modern love of landscape, of country life as an aesthetic pleasure, was unknown to him. Civilisation, refinement, seemed to him to be confined to London and Paris, to Bath or Tunbridge Wells. "Now sto per partire, and I ought in point of discretion to set out to-morrow, but I dare say 'twill be Friday evening before I'll have the courage to throw myself off the cart. But then go I must; for on Monday our Assizes begin, and how long I shall stay the Lord knows, but I hope in God not more than ten days at farthest, for I find my aversion to that part of the world greater and more insufferable every day of my life, and indeed have no wish to be absent from home but to go to Castle Howard, which I hope that I shall not delay many days after my return from Gloucestershire" (August, 1774). A week later he had arrived at his home. "The weather is very fine, and Matson in as great beauty as a place can be in, but the beauties of it make very little impression upon me; in short, there is nothing in the eccentric situation in which I am now that can afford me the least pleasure, and everything I love to see in the world is at a distance from me" (August 9, 1774).
To-day such a man as Selwyn Would have had a choice collection of water colours; he would be ashamed if he could not appreciate the tone and tenderness of an English landscape. But though a friend of Reynolds and of Romney, though he commissioned and appreciated Gainsborough, and valued the masterpieces of the past, in a word, was essentially a man of culture, yet this phase of modern refinement was utterly unknown to him.
As a politician Selwyn, as has already been said, was a sinecurist; he never took a political interest in affairs of state, and he looked at events which have become historical from an unpolitical point of view. But though he writes of parliamentary incidents as a spectator, there is always in his letters a personal characterisation which gives them vividness and life. For his long parliamentary career brought Selwyn continually into contact with many varied personalities of several political generations. When he entered the House of Commons Henry Pelham was Prime Minister, and the elder Pitt had not yet formed that coalition with the Duke of Newcastle which enabled him to command a majority in the House of Commons and to be the greatest War Minister of the century. When Selwyn died, still a Member of Parliament, the younger Pitt was Prime Minister and the French Revolution had upset that old regime which Selwyn had known so well. In his time Pelham, Newcastle, Bute, Grenville, Chatham, Grafton, North, Rockingham, Shelburne, and Portland were successively heads of administrations: of some of these, and of many who served under them, Selwyn was a friend. Of the political and personal life of every one of them he had been an interested spectator. There was no man of the age who had a longer period of parliamentary observation and of personal association with the leading politicians of the time. But this intimacy with political personages never impressed him with the importance of political office. "You will not believe it, perhaps," he once wrote to Lady Carlisle when he had been asked to meet Pitt at dinner, "but a minister of any description, though served up in his great shell of power, and all his green fat about him, is to me a dish by no means relishing, and I never knew but one in my life I could pass an hour with pleasantly, which was Lord Holland." Cabinet Ministers of the eighteenth century belonged to a single section of society, which included every one of note and every one in it knew their faults and their failings; they were not afraid of offending constituents or of being lectured in leading articles. Thus their littleness, rather than their greatness, was apt to impress a daily observer like Selwyn, and to give to his remarks an aspect of depreciation and of pessimism.
That Selwyn was a gossip, no one knew better than himself, and he has incurred the censure of Sir George Trevelyan for repeating tittle-tattle, as he calls it, about Fox and his gambling. But posterity desires to see the real Fox, not an ideal statesman—to see a man as he lived, not only a political figure. Looking back for more than a century we may very well appreciate to the full Fox's great qualities and yet be aware of his weaknesses and his vices, in which he showed the strength of a passionate and virile character in contact with certain characteristics of the society of the age. Instead, therefore, of blaming Selwyn for repeating to correspondents the minor incidents of the time, we ought to be thankful to him for enabling us to picture so many of the leading personages of that day as they were. If we look to a period before or after that of Selwyn, we see an immortal gossip in Pepys, and in Greville another who will be read after the works of eminent historians have been put on upper shelves as out of date. The detailing of the minor facts of life without malice and with absolute truth enables posterity to form a sound judgment on a past age.
Among the amusements of the society in which Selwyn delighted was one which now seems both morbid and cruel: that of attending the execution of those condemned to capital punishment. Even to his friends and immediate successors, no less than to those who have written of him, the fact that a man so full of kindness, who took pleasure in the innocent companionship of children, could with positive eagerness witness the hanging of a thief at Tyburn, has been a cause of surprise. When one is conversant with the history of the time the astonishment is ridiculous. The sight of a man on the gallows no more disturbed the serenity of the most good-natured of men at the end of the eighteenth century than do the dying flutters of a partridge the susceptibilities of the most cultured of modern sportsmen. Selwyn was ever trying to get as much amusement out of life as possible, and he would have been acting contrary to all the ideas of the fashionable society of his age if he had sat at home when a criminal was to die. It was said of Boswell, just as it was of Selwyn, that he was passionately fond of attending executions. We need not therefore be surprised that Selwyn did as others of his time. Gilly Williams was a kind and good-natured man, yet we find him writing to Selwyn:
"Harrington's porter was condemned yesterday. Cadogan and I have already bespoken places at the Braziers, and I hope Parson Digby will come time enough to be of the party. I presume we shall have your honour's company, if your stomach is not too squeamish for a single serving."
Another friend, Henry St. John, begins a letter to Selwyn by telling how he and his brother went to see an execution. "We had a full view of Mr. Waistcott as he went to the gallows with a white cockade in his hat." Not to be wanting in the ordinary courtesies of the time, Selwyn's correspondent presently remarks, as one nowadays would do of a day's grouse-shooting: "I hope you have had good sport at the Place de Greve, to make up for losing the sight of so notorious a villain as Lady Harrington's porter. Mais laisons la ce discours triste, and let us talk of the living and lively world." Selwyn made his world brighter by his wit and pleasantries, and the sight of an execution did not depress his spirits. "With his strange and dismal turn," wrote Walpole, "he has infinite fun and humour in him."* And the author of a social satire blunted his thrusts at Selwyn by a long explanatory note which concludes with the remark that "George is a humane man."*
* Letters, vol. ii. 315.
* "The Diaboliad," P. 18. See Chapter 3.
It was Selwyn's fate—and in every generation we find some one of whom the same may be said—to have his characteristics or foibles exaggerated. It occurred to him in regard to witticisms and the sight of executions; he did not complain of this, for he knew it would be useless, but he disliked to be regarded as an habitual jester or as possessing an unnatural taste for horrors.*
* "George, as soon as the King had spoken to him, withdrew and went away, the King then knighted the ambitious squire. The King afterwards expressed his astonishment to the group-in-waiting that Mr. Selwyn should not stay to see the ceremony, observing that it looked so like an execution that he took it for granted Mr. Selwyn would have stayed to see it. George heard of the joke, but did not like it: he is, on that subject, still very sore." ("Journals and Correspondence of Lord Auckland," vol. ii. p. 210).
But another and more widespread habit is often referred to in his letters. The gambling which Selwyn disapproved, but indulged in for years, is constantly alluded to in his correspondence. The hold which this vice had upon nearly every one who regarded himself as belonging to the best society of London has never been more clearly and vividly depicted than in Selwyn's letters. It was the protest— always varying, always taking new forms, but always present—against the monotony of life. Fortunes were nightly lost at Brooks's and White's, and substantial sums were gambled away by ladies of position and of fashion in the most exclusive drawing-rooms in order to kill time. Selwyn himself was a sagacious and careful man; but he was nevertheless a moderate gambler; he always perceived the folly of it; and yet for a great many years, he was constantly risking part of by no means a large fortune. The green table was the Stock Exchange and turf of the time, men and women frequented the clubs and drawing-rooms where the excitement of gambling could be enjoyed as they now flock to the race-course or telegraph to their brokers in Throgmorton Street. The nobleman now enjoys his pleasure side by side with the publican, and his example is followed by his servants on the course. Gambling in Selwyn's time was more select—a small society governed England and gambled in St. James's Street, while in more democratic days peers, members, and constituents pursue the same excitement together on the race-course or in the City. Great as were the sums which were lost at commerce, hazard, or faro, they were less than the training-stable, the betting-ring, and the stock-jobber now consume; and the same influences which have destroyed the Whig oligarchy and the King's friends have changed and enlarged the manner and the habit of gambling in England.
Of Selwyn the humourist it would be easy to collect pages of witticisms. Walpole's letters alone contain dozens of them, and there is not a memoir of the eighteenth century in which is not to be found one of "George's" jokes. Though often happy, as when seeing Mr. Ponsonby, the Speaker of the Irish Parliament, parting freely with bank-notes at Newmarket, he remarked, "How easily the Speaker passes the money bills," or, as when Lord Foley crossed the Channel to avoid his creditors, he drily observed that it was "a passover not much relished by the Jews," yet their repetition now is tiresome.
Manner and appearance assisted his wit, an impassive countenance hid his humour so that his sallies surprised by their unexpectedness. He knew how to appropriate opportunity, and saw the humour of a situation. A reputation for wit is thus gained not only by what is said, but by the mere indication of the ridiculous. This it is impossible to reproduce, and the celebrity of Selwyn as a wit must be allowed to rest on the opinion of his contemporaries.
"Je suis bien eloignee," wrote Madame du Deffand, in 1767, who, of those who knew him, has left us the most finished portrait, "de croire M. Selwyn stupide, mais il est souvent dans les espaces imaginaires. Rien ne le frappe ni le reveille que le ridicule, mais il l'attrape en volant; il a de la grace et de la finesse dans ce qu'il dit mais il ne sais pas causer de suite; il est distrait, indifferent; il s'ennuierait souvent sans une tres bonne recette qu'il a contre l'ennui, c'est de s'endormir quand il veut. C'est un talent que je lui envie bien; si je l'avais, j'en ferais grand usage. Il est malin sans etre mechant; il est officieux, poli; hors son milord March, il n'aime rien: on ne saurait former aucune liaison avec lui, mais on est bien aise de l'encontrer, d'etre avec lui dans le meme chambre, quoi qu'on n'ait rien a lui dire." *
* "Correspondance complete de Mme. du Deffand," vol. i. p. 87.
There is a popular idea that in the eighteenth century England and France were essentially hostile nations, immemorial enemies, yet at no time had there been more sympathy between two sections of society than there existed between the governing and fashionable men and women of Paris and London; in literature, art, and dress they held the same opinions. Englishmen braved the Channel and underwent the fatigue and trouble of the two land journeys with cheerfulness in order to enjoy the society of St. Germain. They were received not as strange travellers, but as valued friends.
Of this francophile feeling of the eighteenth century Selwyn was the most remarkable example. He was as much at home in the salon of Mme. du Deffand, or at one of President Henault's famous little dinners, as in the drawing-room of Holland House or the card-room at Brooks's. He introduced Walpole and Crawford to French society, adding to the social and literary connection between Paris and London during a time when political ties were broken. He was a favourite, too, with the French Queen.* Under date of February 10, 1764, the Earl of March writes to him from Fontainebleau: "The Queen asked Madame de Mirepoix—si elle n'avoit pas beaucoup entendu me dire de Monsieur Selwyn et elle? Elle a repondu, oui, beaucoup, Madame. J'en suis bien aise, dit la Reine."
* Maria Leschitinskey, daughter of Stanislaus, King of Poland, and Queen of Louis XV.
The correspondence of Mme. du Deffand contains frequent allusions to the intimacy between the first English and French society of the period. David Hume, Lord Ossory, Lady Hervey, Lord March, the Duke of York,* and other well-known English names, are mingled with Rousseau, Voltaire, d'Alembert, and the Duc and Duchesse de Choiseul. This oddly assorted company moves in the world of M. de Maurepas and of the Duc d'Aiguillon, and is seen in the charming salons of Mme. Geoffrin and Mme. d'Epinay; the beauty of Lady Pembroke is commented on, the charm of Lady Sarah Bunbury analysed, Lady Grenville eulogised.
* Edward, Duke of York (1739-1767), brother of George III., visited Paris the summer of 1767, on his way to Italy, where he died Sept. 17th.
There is an irresistible fascination in the study of the men and women of the eighteenth century of France and England; they, their manners and customs, have disappeared for ever, but Gainsborough's gracious women, Sir Joshua Reynolds's charming types, and Romney's sensitive heads, have in England immortalised the reign of beauty of this period; in France the elegance and grace of the time are shown in the canvases of Greuze, Vanloo, and Fragonard, in the cupids and doves and garlands which adorned the interiors of Mme. de Pompadour.
It was a time of great intellectual development and progress in both countries. It was the epoch of the salons, of the philosophers and encyclopaedists, of a brilliant society whose decadence was hidden in a garb of seductive gaiety, its egotism and materialism in a magnificent apparelling of wit and learning. Literary standing in France at once gave the entree to society of the highest rank and to circles the most exclusive. David Hume, whose reputation as philosopher and historian, had been already established there, was received with enthusiasm when he accompanied Lord Hertford to Paris as Secretary of Embassy, though his manner, dress, and speech were awkward and uncouth; but his good-humoured simplicity was accepted and appreciated as was his learning. He had begun in England a correspondence with the Comtesse de Boufflers, he was made welcome too in the salons of Mme. Geoffrin and of Mile, de Lespinasse, and he soon became intimate with d'Alembert and Turgot. His reception was no less cordial at court, where the children of the Dauphin met him, prepared with polite little speeches about his works. He had such admiration for Rousseau that he brought him to England, assisting him there in spite of Horace Walpole's ill-natured jest on the flight of the susceptible French philosopher.
During Burke's visit to Paris in 1773 he was often present at Mme. du Deffand's supper parties, who said that although he spoke French with difficulty he was most agreeable; here and at other salons he met the encyclopaedists and obtained the insight into French morals and philosophy which, in his case, strengthened conservative principles.
When "Clarissa Harlowe" appeared in Paris, the book created a sensation and was more talked of there than in England. Diderot compared Richardson, as the father of the English novel, to Homer, father of epic poetry. In England men of letters were far less recognised in society. Walpole remarked, "You know in England we read their works, but seldom or never take notice of authors. We think them sufficiently paid if their books sell, and of course leave them in their colleges and obscurity, by which means we are not troubled with their vanity and impatience." But Walpole overdrew the picture, for though literature did not hold the place in London that it did in Paris, yet wit was never more appreciated, and learning added to the equipment of the first of the fine gentlemen of the time. Of this unique state of society and of international friendliness Selwyn and his friends were the products. We cannot too clearly realise them as types which can never recur.
The secret of Selwyn's charm lies in the contrasts of his character; his versatility and cosmopolitan sympathies attract us now as they attracted in his lifetime men very different in habits, pursuits, and mind.
The first Lord Holland, Horace Walpole, the Duke of Queensberry, each a type of the society of the eighteenth century; the unscrupulous politician, the cultivated amateur and man of letters, the sportsman with half the opera dancers in London in his pay—of all he was the closest friend. The most intimate of them, the Duke of Queensberry, led an extravagant and a dissipated life, in contrast with which Selwyn's was homely and simple. He could leave the gambling table of the club to play with Mie Mie or a schoolboy from Eton; while his friends were crippled by dice and cards and became seekers after political places by which they might live, he was prudent in his play and neither ruined himself nor others. He had a self-control and a sound sense, which were not common in his generation; we see them in the tranquil, contemplative eyes of Reynolds's portraits, ready in a moment to gleam with humour. By reason of his unfailing good-nature, he was always at the service of a friend. Himself without ambition, he watched men, not possessed of his tact and ability, rise to positions which he had never the least desire to fill. In an age of great political bitterness and the strongest personal antagonism he continued the tranquil tenor of his way, amused and amusing, hardly ever put out except by the illness or the misfortune of a friend. "George Selwyn died this day se'night," wrote his friend Storer to Lord Auckland; "a more good-natured man or a more pleasant one never, I believe, existed. The loss is not only a private one to his friends, but really a public one to society in general."* Gaiety of temperament and sound sense, a quick wit and a kind heart, sincerity and love of society, culture without pedantry, a capacity to enjoy the world in each stage of life: these are seldom found united in one individual as they were in George Selwyn, and he is thus for us perhaps the pleasantest personality of English society in the eighteenth century.
* "Journal and Correspondence of Lord Auckland," vol. ii. p. 383.
CHAPTER 2. 1767-1769 THE CORRESPONDENCE COMMENCES.
Frederick, fifth Earl of Carlisle—Lady Sarah Bunbury—The Duke of Grafton—Carlisle, Charles Fox, and the Hollands abroad—Current events—Card-playing—A dinner at Crawford's—Lady Bolingbroke —Almack's—The Duke of Bedford—Lord Clive—The Nabobs—Corporation of Oxford sell the representation of the borough—Madame du Deffand —Publication of Horace Walpole's "Historic Doubts on Richard the Third"—Newmarket—London Society—Gambling at the Clubs—A post promised to Selwyn—Elections—A purchase of wine—Vauxhall.
IN the chapter which contains the earliest of Selwyn's letters to Frederick, Earl of Carlisle,* something must be said of the correspondence itself. It was begun in 1767, and most of the letters which Selwyn wrote to Lord and Lady Carlisle from that date to his death have been preserved at Castle Howard. The collection is in many respects unique. It records a great number of facts, many no doubt small and in themselves unimportant, which, however, in the aggregate form a lifelike picture of English society in the eighteenth century. The letters are written in the bright and unaffected manner which Madame de Sevigne, whose style Selwyn so much admired, had introduced in France. Filled with human interest and easily expressed, they differ materially from Walpole's letters in that they are characterised by a greater simplicity, and a less egotistical tone. They show a keener interest in his correspondent. There is in them a delightful frankness, an unconventional freshness. Walpole's correspondence, invaluable as it is, always bears traces of the preparation which we know that it received. But Selwyn, with a light touch, wrote the thoughts and impassions of the moment, never for effect. Walpole was often thinking of posterity, Selwyn always of his friends, who were numberless and who were in their time frequently his correspondents. How numerous Selwyn's letters must have been we know from the number to him which have been published; but with the exception of those which have fortunately been preserved at Castle Howard, his appear to have perished.
* FREDERICK, FIFTH EARL OF CARLISLE. 1748. Born. 1769. Married Lady Caroline, daughter of Lord Gower. 1777. Treasurer of Household. 1778. Commissioner to America. 1779. Lord of Trade and Plantations. 1780. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 1782. Lord Steward. 1783. Lord Privy Seal. 1825. Died.
The frequent French interpolations with which his letters are interspersed now strike us as affectations. They were, however, a fashion of the day; nor should we forget that Selwyn spent so much of his life in Paris that the language came to him as easily as his own.
In 1767 Selwyn and Carlisle had not long been friends. "Don't lead your new favourite Carlisle into a scrape," wrote Gilly Williams to Selwyn in the previous year. The words were written without serious intent, but they are noticeable because they are so opposite to the whole course of the rising friendship. The relations of the two men were remarkable.
It has been well said of Selwyn by a statesman of to-day that he was a good friend, a fact never better exemplified than in his friendship with Carlisle. In his affairs he took a greater interest than would be expected of the nearest of relatives, and with this he united a singularly warm and open-hearted affection not only for Carlisle but for his family. It lasted to the day of his death. There was between them, as Pitt said of his relations with Wilberforce, a tie of affection and friendship—simple and ingenuous and unbreakable.
The nobleman who has been referred to simply as Lord Carlisle had many of the qualities that mark a leader of men. He did not attain, however, to the eminence as a statesman, man of letters, or in society which had once been expected of him.
He succeeded to the earldom when ten years of age, following a father who had shown no disposition for any activities beyond those of a respectable country gentleman. His grandfather, Charles, third Earl of Carlisle, had, however, filled an important place in his day. His local influence in the North was great, and he' was a man of sufficient capacity and ambition to become a personage of some position in politics and at court.
There was never a time in English history when the possession of an ancient name and wide estates gave greater opportunities for taking a large share in public affairs than when the fifth Earl attained his majority. It was natural, therefore, that a young man who was recognised by his friends as above the average should be regarded as a person of unusual political promise.
In 1775 an offer was made to him of the sinecure post of Lord of the Bedchamber. He declined it, on the openly declared ground that the position of an official at Court was such as "damps all views of ambition which might arise from that quarter." But in 1778 there came an opportunity of satisfying his public spirit and ambition by crossing the Atlantic as a peace commissioner to America.
It is a curious historical fact that this mission appears to have been partially, if not entirely, originated by Carlisle himself. The story of its inception and the outlines of its progress are told by Carlisle in a letter preserved at Castle Howard, which he addressed to his friend and former tutor, Mr. Ekins. It is doubtful if the King ever really hoped or intended that Carlisle's mission should have a successful issue. It ended, as history has told, in absolute failure. Carlisle returned home with the barren honour of good intentions.
The trying work which he had undertaken entitled Carlisle, however, to posts of importance at home, and he subsequently filled the high office of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, under the administration of Lord North. When on the resignation of Lord Shelburne, in the year 1783 the memorable and short-lived coalition between Fox and North was formed, Carlisle became one of the Cabinet as Lord Privy Seal. With the fall of the Ministry on Fox's India Bill in the same year, Carlisle's official life ended. No public man who attains to Cabinet rank can be regarded as a failure, and it may be that he was satisfied with what he had achieved by the age of five-and-thirty. With a versatility and serenity rare among those who have once felt the pleasure and excitement of political power and responsibility, he turned to literature, and at Castle Howard and Naworth he produced poems and dramas which, in spite of Byron's sharp attack, who thus avenged himself for the inattention of his guardian on his entrance to public life,* though they have had no posthumous fame, gave him a reputation in his day as a man of letters, which was probably a higher satisfaction than would have been the rewards of a political career alone. And it threw him into closer connection with men of literary and artistic tastes and aims. Of his writings the poem addressed to Reynolds on his resignation of the Presidency of the Royal Academy is perhaps that which is best worth recollecting. Carlisle's cultivated mind made him always a liberal patron, and at the sale of the celebrated Orleans collection of paintings he bought the greater part.
* Carlisle and Byron were not only guardian and ward, but were nearly related; it is a singular fact that Carlisle declined to introduce him in the house of Lords.
Selwyn's letters open with the departure of Lord Carlisle for the Continent. The young peer was then not quite twenty, but had fallen desperately in love with Lady Sarah Bunbury. This beautiful and attractive woman had half London at her feet, including the King. For obvious constitutional reasons it was impossible for him to marry her, but day after day the town told how he used to ride to and fro in front of Holland House to catch a glimpse of Lady Sarah. At the drawing room after the royal marriage, at which, by the wish of the King, she was first bridesmaid, Lord Westmoreland, who was an adherent of the Stuarts, knelt to Lady Sarah, mistaking her for the Queen. Selwyn said "the lady in waiting should [must] have told him that she was the Pretender."*
* "Memoirs of third Duke of Grafton," p. 33.
Paris was no more able to resist her than London. "Votre milady Sarah a en un succes prodigieux; toute notre belle jeunesse en a eu la tete tournee, sans la trouver fort jolie, toutes les principantes et les divinites du temple l'ont recherchee avec une grande emulation. Je ne l'ai point vue assez de suite pour avoir pu bien demeler ce qu'on doit pensez d'elle; je la trouve aimable, elle est douce, vive et polie. Dans notre nation elle passerait pour etre coquette. Je ne crois pas qu'elle le soit; elle aime a se divertir; elle a pu etre flattee de tous les empressements qu'on lui a marquees, et je soupconne qu'elle s'y est livree plus pour l'apparence que par un gout veritable. Je lui ai soupconne quelques motifs cachees, et je lui crois assez d'esprit pour avoir trouve nos jeunes gens bien sots. Si vous etes de ses amies, elle vous dira ce qui en est."*
* "Correspondance complete du Mme. du Deffand," vol. i. P87.
The letters for the succeeding year contain frequent references to Carlisle's youthful passion. Lord Holland had taken his family abroad, and Charles James Fox, whose brilliant public career Carlisle had foretold in verse at Eton, was a congenial companion during a part of his continental travels.
Carlisle at this epoch of his life is an interesting study. Here is a boy of nineteen voluntarily leaving home because of a fascinating woman; he is anxiously awaiting the delayed green ribbon, and his investiture by the King of Sardinia. He is in close association with the foremost men of that and a later day. For three days he is crossing the Alps, a journey filled with as many hopes or fears of adventure as could have befallen one a century earlier.
At the time when the correspondence begins, Selwyn's friend, the third Duke of Grafton, was virtually Prime Minister, or as it was then termed, "principal Minister," for the personal ministerial responsibility of the head of the Government was, in the days of Chatham, Grafton, and North, less distinct and less recognised than in the nineteenth century. Chatham still held the office of Lord Privy Seal, which he had accepted on the formation of his Ministry in 1766. But by this time ill-health had rendered him unable to take any part in public affairs. In October, 1768, Chatham resigned office, and Grafton became the recognised head of a Ministry the policy of which he was incapable either of formulating or directing; and when in January, 1770, Grafton resigned office and handed over the Ministry to Lord North, it released him from a trying and irksome position.
Kindly and shrewd in worldly affairs, and well intentioned as a politician, but wholly lacking in strength of purpose, the third Duke of Grafton was a man who obtained the goodwill and lost the respect of his contemporaries. Between Selwyn and him there existed a cordial friendship, of which there are many evidences in these letters.
It is time, however, to let the correspondence speak for itself; as has been already said, Carlisle was now at Nice.
[1767,] Dec. 29, Tuesday, de mon Chateau de Tonderdentronk.(1)—I received your letter of the 8th and 10th, that is, one part wrote at Antibes, the other at Nice, here yesterday, which gave me every degree of pleasure and satisfaction that a letter can give; it could never have come more seasonably, than when I cannot possibly, from the snow without doors, and the Aldermen(2) within, have any other pleasure.
As I am well furnished with maps, I had recourse to them to follow you in your travels, and had besides the pleasure of hearing that you were well, and knowing exactly where you are, which was an occupation for the whole morning. The Antiquities of France have furnished me with the knowledge of some places through which you have passed. Mme de Sevigne(3) did, long ago, bring me acquainted with others; and sure I am that when she was at Rochers, she could not think more of the Pont de Garde than I should have done, if I had known of your being there.
If you do me the honour to give me in future letters so much detail, I shall be infinitely happy. You may be assured that I shall not communicate a letter of yours to any one, not even to L(ady) S(arah),(4) who hinted to me she wanted to see your last, without your leave; but as for burning them directly, I cannot in your absence resolve upon that; je les conserverai pretieusement till your return, and that is all I can promise without your very express commands.
The accident that had like to have happened to you and Charles(5) ma fait glacer le sang. I hope it was not Robert that was so heedless. But that, the wild boars, the Alps, precipices, felouques, changes of climate, are all to me such things as, besides that they grossissent de loin, that if I allowed my imagination its full scope, I should not have a moment's peace.
I shall think no more of anything that may happen unfortunately either to you or me for the next twelve months, than I do in passing from Dover to Calais of the one-inch plank that is between me and Eternity. I have assured myself that as long as the time will appear in passing now, I shall think some time hence its progress not so slow, and I will not add imaginary to real evils, by supposing it possible that I shall not meet you again.
I came down here on this day sevennight, and could I have walked Out—but the deep snow has prevented that—I should have passed my time among my workmen tolerably well.
Lord Lisbourne(6) and Williams(7) were to have come with me, but disappointed me. His lordship was hunting a mare's nest, as they say, and fancied he should be this week nominated either of the Admiralty or Board of Trade. He is fututo de, and Lord Ch[arle]s Spencer(8) is of the first, and no vacancy in the other.
Vernon(9) has Fanshaw's place at the Green Cloth, and this Greasy Cook dismissed with a sop, but of what sort I know not; however, he thinks himself happy that a dish-clout was not pinned to his tail. March(10) is passing Xmas between Lord Spencer's and the Duke of Grafton's.(11) There is no Oubourn;(12) that family has been occupied, and is now, between recovering a little of his Grace's sight, and niggling themselves into Administration.
I believe I told you of Crawfurd's(13) preferment in my letter of last Friday sevennight. I shall return to London the end of this week, and go in search of further news for your entertainment. The journal which you suppose me to keep is no other than minutes I make of what I hear. When you come back from your travels my office of journalist will cease.
I have no one with me but Raton,(14) but he is in great health and beauty. I'm sorry that you told me nothing of poor Rover; pray bring him back if you can, and don't let a Cardinal or any other dog stick it into him.
I find my affairs here, which you are so good as to enquire after, much as I expected them. The needy and tumultuous part of my constituents are daily employed more and more, as the time of election approaches, to find me a competitor, and put me, if they cannot, to a needless expense, but I believe their schemes will be abortive as to the main design; and as to money, I must expect to see a great deal of it liquified and in streams about the streets of the neighbouring city.
Morpeth I hope will be settled to your satisfaction for this time by the help of the Duke of Grafton, and in all future times by no means but what are in your hands. I hope as soon as I come to town to find the St. Andrew(15) ready to be sent, and shall by this post send a quickner to Hemmins; if a courier goes before I come, I hope he will carry it. Lady Carlisle(16) was to go and see it. I take it for granted that Sir W. Musgrave(17) will have an eye to the courier's going. I believe, at least the papers say so, the other two Ribbands are given away; so yours must be dispatched, of course. What would I not give to see your Investiture! What indeed would I not give to be with you on more occasions than that! I know nobody but Charles that I should not envy that pleasure, but il en est tres digne by knowing the value of it.
I shall be in pain till I hear again concerning Lord Holland(18); il fait une belle defense, mais il en demeure la a ce qu'il me paroit; I see nothing like a re-establishment. Ses jours sont comptes au pied de la lettre. I beg my best and kindest compliments to him, Lady Holland,(19) and to Charles, to whom I wrote by the last post. I desired him to do me the favour to stick a pen now and then into your hand, that I might hear often from you. I shall be extremely glad to have some of your observations upon the places to which you go; but if that takes up too much time, I shall be contented to know that you are not any more within pistol-shot.
Lord Beauchamp(20) trains on well, as they say, but il n'a pas le moyen de plaire. Lord Holl[an]d's criticism upon Beauc[hamp] is not just; he will get nine daughters if he goes on as he does, before me; and I thought once it was a hard-run thing between us.
Poor Lady Bol(ingbroke),(21) quelle triste perspective pour elle! J'en suis veritablement touche. Adieu, my dear Lord, pour aujourd'hui. God preserve you from boars of any kind, but one, which is the writer of a long letter; for mine to you cannot be short, or ever long enough to tell you how sincerely and affectionately I am your Lordship's.
(1) Writing from Matson.
(2) Of Gloucester.
(3) Selwyn rivalled Walpole as an ardent admirer of Mme. de Sevigne (1626-1696) through her "Letters"; he read them assiduously, and passionately collected any information relating to her; prizing the smallest object that had once been hers as a precious relic.
(4) Lady Sarah Bunbury (1745-1826), youngest daughter of Charles Lennox, second Duke of Richmond; great granddaughter of Charles II.; sister to Lady Holland, Lady Louisa Conolly, and Lady Emily, Duchess of Leinster; divorced from her first husband, Sir Charles Bunbury, the well-known racing baronet, in 1776; married, for the second time, George Napier, sixth son of Francis, fifth Lord Napier, in 1702; mother of the distinguished soldiers, Sir Charles James Napier, Sir George Thomas Napier, and Sir William Francis Napier, the historian of the Peninsular War. Constitutional reasons alone prevented George III. from marrying her; he settled 1,000 pounds a year on her at Napier's death in 1807. She was quite blind when she died.
(5) Charles, whenever the name occurs, refers to Charles James Fox (1749-1806). He entered Parliament at nineteen; at twenty was made a Lord of the Admiralty; in 1773 a Commissioner of the Treasury; in 1782 Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the Rockingham Ministry; in 1783 he became again Secretary of State in the memorable Coalition Ministry formed by himself and Lord North under the nominal premiership of the Duke of Portland. When the Whigs at length returned to power in 1806 he was again Secretary for Foreign Affairs in Lord Grenville's Ministry of all the Talents, and died in office. No statesman so little in office ever obtained so great influence in Parliament and in the country.
(6) Wilmot, fourth Viscount Lisbourne.
(7) George James Williams, commonly known as Gilly Williams (1716-1805), son of William Peere Williams, an eminent lawyer; uncle by marriage to Lord North; appointed Receiver-General of Excise in 1774. It was he of whom it was said that he was wittiest among the witty and gayest among the gay, and his society was much sought after. He and Edgecumbe, with Selwyn, met at Strawberry Hill at stated periods, forming the famous group—Walpole's "out-of-town party."
(8) Lord Charles Spencer (1740-1820); second son of third Duke of Marlborough; M.P. for Oxfordshire 1761-1784, and again 1796-1801; filled from time to time several minor political offices.
(9) Richard Vernon (1726-1800), termed father of the turf. He was a captain in the army and a Member of Parliament; it was as a sporting man, however, that he was best known. One of the original members of the Jockey Club, he had a racing partnership with Lord March, and rode in races. His skill at cards and on the turf afforded the means for extravagant living. He married the youngest daughter of the first Earl Gower.
(10) William Douglas (1725-1810), third Earl of March and fourth Duke of Queensberry, in his later years called "Old Q." He was appointed a Lord of the Bedchamber on the accession of George III., and in 1767 made Vice-Admiral of Scotland. Pleasure in all its forms was the sole object of his life, regardless of public opinion; he was good-natured and shrewd, and not without interest in politics and literature. At the time of the King's madness, in 1788, he openly declared for the Prince of Wales, and voted for the regency; he entertained the princes and Fox with reckless prodigality until the King regained his reason, when he lost his place at Court, and prudently retired to Scotland for a time. Among Selwyn's many friends the Duke of Queensberry held the first place. "Hors son milord March, il n'amie rien," writes Mme. du Deffand, in her portrait of Selwyn, whose unentailed property was left to the Duke of Queensberry, and who survived his friend by nineteen years.
(11) Augustus Henry, third Duke of Grafton (1735-1811). In 1766 he became First Lord of the Treasury in Lord Chatham's Ministry, resigning in January, 1770; and in 1771 Lord Privy Seal in Lord North's Government, stipulating at the same time that he should not be "summoned to any Cabinet." He resigned in 1775, but joined the Rockingham Ministry in 1782 as Lord Privy Seal. On the formation of the Coalition Ministry of North and Fox, in 1783, Grafton left office for the last time.
(13) James Crawford of Auchinames, Renfrewshire. He belonged to the group of fashionable young men who frequented the clubs and played heavily. He was a Member of Parliament. In 1769 he accompanied Charles Fox abroad, and the following year visited Voltaire at Ferney. He was a correspondent of David Hume and of Mme. du Deffand, who always referred to him affectionately as "Mon petit Crauford"; in a letter in which she urges her desire that he should become more intimate with Horace Walpole, she writes, "Vous etes melancholique, et lui est gai; tout l'amuse et tout vous ennuie." Crawford was called the Fish at Eton, a name which clung to him throughout life. He had wit and vivacity, but the reputation of being affected, insincere, and jealous. Much of his life was passed abroad. He died in London in 1814.
(14) Raton was a present from Lady Coventry, and Selwyn was much attached to him. Sir Joshua Reynolds introduced him in his portrait of Selwyn and Lord Carlisle which is at Castle Howard.
(15) The Order of the Thistle had just been conferred on Carlisle.
(16) Isabella, Countess of Carlisle (1721-1795); daughter of fourth Lord Byron. In 1743 she became the second wife of the fourth Earl of Carlisle, who died in 1758, and was the mother of the fifth Earl. In 1759 she married Sir William Musgrave.
(17) Sir William Musgrave (died 1800), of Hayton Castle, Cumberland. Commissioner of Customs and a well-known personage in London Society. He was Vice-President of the Royal Society, and filled many useful offices.
(18) Henry Fox, first Baron Holland (1705-1774); Secretary for War, 1746; Secretary of State, 1735 Paymaster General, 1757; Leader of the House of Commons, 1762; created Baron Holland, 1763. He had at this time gone abroad for his health.
(19) Lady Holland (1723-1774); eldest daughter of Charles, second Duke of Richmond. Her runaway marriage to Lord Holland, then Mr. Fox, which, however, proved very happy, created much talk at the time.
(20) Francis Seymour (1743-1822); son of Francis, Earl of Hertford, afterwards second Marquis of Hertford.
(21) Lady Diana Bolingbroke (1734-1808); eldest daughter of second Duke of Marlborough; sister to Lady Pembroke. She was celebrated for her high character, beauty, and accomplishments. Two days after her unhappy marriage with Lord Bolingbroke was dissolved she married Topham Beauclerk.
1768, Jan. 5, Tuesday morning, Chesterfield Street.—Many and many happy new years to you, some of which I hope to have the pleasure of being a witness of. When I came to town yesterday from Gloucestershire, I received, to my surprise and great satisfaction, your letter of the 16th of last month, for this is now the second which I have had within a week beyond my expectation.
My answer to the first is now on the road to you, and will, I hope, reach you some time next week. I don't recollect in any which I have wrote that there was any expression of formality, which you seem to have observed, and which I certainly did not intend, because I know it would not be acceptable to you; and therefore don't interpret that to be formality, which can be nothing but that respect, which no degree of familiarity can ever make me lose in my commerce with you.
I was surprised to find that Sir Ch[arle]s and Lady Sarah [Bunbury] were in town, and had not been out of it. The weather has been and is so cold there is no stirring from one's fireside, and so they changed their mind. I dine with them to-day, when I hope I shall see Harry; I have not seen him yet. I have been absent, it is now above a fortnight. I shall not seal up my letter till I have been in Privy Garden. I was asked to dine at Lord George's(22) to-day, but am glad that, it being postday, I can dine where I may be able to pick up something that will be interesting to you. I don't wish to add fuel, but it is natural to wish that one's letters are made as acceptable as possible.
I have had a message to-day from Sir W. Musgrave, who desires to see me to-morrow; I will endeavour to see him to-day, as the post goes out; I don't know particularly what he has to say. I have sent to Hemmins this morning, but he is not yet come to me.
Lord W. Gordon(23) says he thinks his brother will ask for the other Ribband. I long to see the Duke of Buccleugh(24) in his. I can tell you no more at present of Brereton's(25) affair than that he is to be prosecuted. I send you his advertisement, which came out a fortnight ago. I think some answer should have been made to it; although I think the controversy very unequal, and a paper war with such a low fellow very disagreeable. But the assertions in this advertisement will gain him credit. As I live with but one set of people, I do not hear all the animadversions that are made upon this affair, but I believe there is a certain monde where my two friends pass but for very scrubby people; a bold assertion, and a great deal of dirt thrown, although by a very mean hand, must inevitably have a disagreeable effect.
The night robberies are very frequent. Polly Jones, my neighbour, was a few nights ago stopped, when the chair was set down at Bully's(26) door, and she robbed of 12 guineas.
Lady Bolingbroke has sent her resignation to the Queen, who wrote her a very gracious letter upon it. Bully kisses hand[s] to-morrow; the others soon after. Lord Gower(27) is the only one who has kissed hands as yet. Fanshaw is not to be in Parliament, so there is so much money saved to him, and his pension consequently in greater security.
I am glad that there is so much care taken of Rover. I think, if he has the good fortune to survive Alps, &c., and ever come to Castle Howard, that he has an establishment for life, and may be a toad-eater of Stumpy's.
I had a letter yesterday from Sir J. Lambert,(28) who says he can contrive to send the Badge safely. I hope he sends my letters regularly. March is still at Lord Spencer's, where he amuses himself, as he tells me, excessively.
I will write more after dinner, when I hope to be more amusing to you. I am glad for your sake and mine that they are still in town. I shall not forget to faire valoir tous vos beaux sentiment. I'm persuaded that I shall not be thought borish upon that subject.
Lord March's election at the Old(29) is to be to-night, if you can call a constant ejectment an election. I thank you for your offer of a Circassian in case you travel into Greece; you must suppose me to be like the Glastonbury Thorn, to receive any benefit by it.
I am also much obliged to you for your hint about Hazard. Foolish, very foolish it is I grant you, and if anything was prevalent enough with me to relinquish so old and pernicious a practice, it would be your condemnation of it. Heureusement pour moi, the occasion fails me more than my prudence would serve me, if that offered. The rage there is for Quinze is my great security. Can you forgive these borish letters; can you excuse my leaving you to go and sup with Sir Ch[arle]s in Privy Garden?
My dear Lord, you have been very kind in writing so often to me; the only mischief of it to me will be, that you will have accustomed me to that which I cannot expect, when you are no longer in that state of retreat and indolence in which you have been at Nice. I owe much to your friendship and great complaisance on all occasions, but I cannot expect to interfere with what will occupy you in those places with so much reason. However, whatever you are, I hope I may have leave to assure you from time to time how truly and affectionately I am, and ever shall be yours.
I should be glad to know if all my letters have come to your hands.
(22) George Sackville Germaine (1716-1785); known from 1720 to 1770 as Lord George Sackville, from 1770 to 1782 as Lord George Germaine; son of the seventh Earl and first Duke of Dorset. A Member of Parliament and a soldier, he became in 1775 Secretary of State for the Colonies in Lord North's Administration until the fall of his chief. His rise to the peerage in 1782 as Viscount Sackville gave cause to some acrimonious debates, which are referred to later, see Chapter 5. The Letters of Junius have often been ascribed to Sackville's pen.
(23) Lord William Gordon; brother of the fourth Duke of Gordon and of Lord George of the Gordon Riots fame. He was Ranger of Windsor Park.
(24) Henry, third Duke of Buccleugh (1746-1812); eulogised in Lord Carlisle's well-known verses on his Eton schoolfellows. He succeeded as fifth Duke of Queensberry in 1810.
(25) Colonel Brereton on leaving the army had become a gambler of doubtful reputation.
(26) Frederick St. John, second Viscount Bolingbroke (1734-1787); known among his friends as "Bully." He succeeded his uncle, the famous Henry St. John, in 1751, and married in 1757 Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of the third Duke of Marlborough; the marriage was dissolved in 1768. He married secondly, in 1793, Arabella, daughter of the sixth Lord Craven.
(27) Granville, second Earl Gower, first Marquis of Stafford (1721-1803). Appointed a Lord of the Admiralty in 1749, and resigned in 1751; having filled various court offices he became in 1767 President of the Council. He resigned in 1779. Upon Pitt's accession to power in 1783 he became again Lord President of the Council; in 1784 left this office and was appointed Lord Privy Seal; in 1786 created Marquis of Stafford; in 1794 resigned the office of Privy Seal. At first opposed to America's independence, he later declared against the war. He was the father of Lady Carlisle.
(28) English banker in Paris.
(29) A club at White's Coffee House in St. James's Street was formed in 1730. About 1745 so many gentlemen were waiting for admission to its membership, that a second club, known as The Young Club at White's, was established. It had the same rules and was in the same house as the Old Club, the members of which were usually selected from the younger society. In 1781 the Old and Young Club: were united, and have since been known as White's Club.
[1768,] Jan. 12, Tuesday morning.—I went to White's to enquire after your ticket, and found The Button with a letter in his hand, which he desired me to direct to you. It was only to tell you that your ticket was a blank: it came up the 2nd instant.
Mr. Walpole's book(30) will not be out this month; I will send it by the first opportunity I can find. Pray let me know if you have received Hume's Hist[ory],(31) that Lord Pembroke(32) was to carry for you to Sir J. Lamb[er]t. The apology for Lord B., that is, Lord Baltimore,(33) I sent for, but it contained nothing to the purpose, and it was a title formed to draw people in.
I dined at Crawfurd's on Saturday; there were Robinson, Sackville, and R[ichar]d Fitzpatrick,(34) who a la suite d'une heure, has been attacked with the rheumatism, and looks wretchedly, and quite decrepid. I went afterwards and sat an hour with poor Lady Bol[ingbroke]; she was very easy and cheerful, et avec une insensibilite qui m'en donneroit pour elle; but that cannot be. She told me she had a favour to ask of me, which was, that I would use my endeavours that she might see her children. Bully is at present out of town, but to be sure, I shall have no difficulty in that negotiation. I have supped at Lady S. several times, and last night went home with her and Miss B. from the play. Je profite de certains momens pour vous rappeller a son souvenir, if that was necessary; they are to dine here, but have not fixed the day. Little Harry and his French friend are at Mrs. Blake's in the country. Sir C. will make him write to you when he returns. Lady Hertford(35) is actually (as Lady S. told me last night) Lady of the B[edchamber].
I expect Sir W. Musgrave to call upon me at three to take measures about the courier, and Hemmins has promised to bring me the Badge at two. I shall then have more to say upon those points. Parker(36) gave us a great dinner, but the company was not numerous. I dine to-morrow at Lord Harrington's,(37) and, I am told, with the new Ministers.(38) I had a little supper at Lady Harrington's(39) on Sunday, en famille; Lord and Lady Barrymore(40) were there. She goes on with her pregnancy.
I found Beauc. sitting with his future,(41) en habit de gala; he soon went away to the Opera, so I had a tete a tete. Mr. Radclif(42) is still talked of for Lady F., but I have not asked Sir Will[ia]m Mus[grave] if it is true. He is very well spoke of, et le nom est assez beau.
Quinze goes on vigorously at Almack's.(43) Lady S. says that you have fixed your coming of age as an epoque for leaving off that and all kind of play whatsoever. My dear Lord, vive hodie; don't nurse any passion that gathers strength by time, and may be easier broke of at first. I am in hopes indeed that when you are maitre de vos biens, as the French say, you will not invite Scot, Parker, or Shafto(44) to partake it with you. Your condition of life, and the necessary expenses of it, will not allow that coalition. I never kept so long from play yet, but I frankly own I have not much virtue to boast of by that continency. I know of no good opportunity which I have resisted. St. John(45) told me at the play last night that you was to go and return from Turin alone. I hope that is not so; I shall be very angry with Robert, if he does not take great care both of you and Rover. I will finish the rest when I have seen Sir William.
Tuesday night.—Sir W[illia]m sent me word he did not call upon me to-day because he could not settle with the courier till Thursday; and Hemmins did call, and assured me that on Thursday the Badge should be ready. I scolded till I was in a fever; I believe he will not venture to put me off any longer.
(30) "Historic Doubts on Richard the Third."
(31) The best English history that had been written up to that time, and the first that made any attempt to literary merit. The first edition was published at intervals from 1754 to 1761. A second edition had been issued in 1762.
(32) Henry, tenth Earl of Pembroke (1734-1794). He married in 1756 Elizabeth, second daughter of the third Duke of Marlborough.
(33) Lord Baltimore had been acquitted of the charge of abduction which had been brought against him, but the prosecution brought forward facts sufficient to justify the public indignation that was raised. He soon after went abroad, and died in Naples in 1771.
(34) Richard Fitzpatrick (1747-1813); second son of John, first Earl of Upper Ossory and Lady Evelyn Leveson Gower, daughter of second Earl Gower. His sister, Lady Mary Fitzpatrick, married Charles James Fox's elder brother, Stephen, afterward second Lord Holland. Fitzpatrick is one of the best known names in the history of the social life of the last half of the eighteenth century—the Duke of Queensberry left him a legacy in recognition of his fine manners. He was the talented and accomplished friend of Fox, whose excesses in gaming and in all the fashionable follies of the day he rivalled. He served with credit in the American war; in 1780 was returned to Parliament; in 1782 appointed secretary to the Duke of Portland, then Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; in 1783 made Secretary at War. At his death he was a Privy Councillor, a general in the army, and colonel of the Forty-seventh Regiment of Foot.
(35) Lady Isabella Fitzroy, youngest daughter of Charles, second Duke of Grafton. She married in 1741 Francis, first Marquis of Hertford.
(36) George Lane Parker(1724-1791), second son of George, second Earl of Macclesfield. He became a general and a Member of Parliament.
(37) William Wildman, second Viscount Barrington (1717-1793). He filled various high official and court offices; he was a Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1761, and subsequently Secretary at War.
(38) The Bedford faction effected a junction with the Government at the end of 1767, and Lord Sandwich, and Lord Weymouth, and Rigby entered the Ministry.
(39)5 Caroline Fitzroy, eldest daughter of the second Duke of Grafton. She married Lord Petersham, second Earl of Harrington in 1746.