« PreviousContinue »
Errors of History—Lord Bath at Court—His overtures to Lord Cobbam—Duke of Newcastle asks the Place of Secretary at War for Mr. Pitt, and is refused—Ministry resign—Lord Granville appointed Secretary of State—Lord Granville resigns, and the late Ministry restored—Mr. Pitt made Vice Treasurer of Ireland, and afterwards Paymaster —Makes no private use of the public money in his hands—Refuses to accept the perquisite of office on the Sardinian Subsidy.
H E versatility of courts has been the po- Chap. pular theme of writers, during several of the vir* latter centuries. It would have been more to ,74^ the honour of history, had the causes of such mutability been explained. But it has been the misfortune of the public, that sew of the modern gnonbf historians have been in situations in which they history, might obtain true information. This has more than once occasioned Lord Mansfield, and other great men to fay, that nothing is so salse as history. Tindall, Smollet, Goldsmith, and a long train of others, have stated, that about this time a very extraordinary change took place in the British ministry. That Lord Granville was made minister, and the Pelhams resigned;—that in a sew days afterwards Lord Granville resigned, and
Chap, the Pelhams were restored. The London Gavir* zette surnishes them with the appointments and 1745. the dates, which are the only sacts to be depended upon: all the rest being of their own invention. Dr. Newton says, that Lord Bath wrote an account of these tranfactions, at the desire of George the Second; but that on the death of his son, Lord Pulteney, in the reign of George the Third, his Lordship burned it--Fide indignus. If it had been written at the desire of the King, it is more than probable, that it would have been published.—However, if it was not more true, than the account of the great change in the ministry in the year 1742, written by the same hand, and given us by Dr. Newton, the loss is not important nor worthy of regret.
Upon the King's return from Hanover, Lord Cobham claimed of the Duke of Newcastle, the performance of his promise, respecting Mr. Pitt. The Duke wished to postpone the matter; but Lord Cobham insisted upon it. At length his Grace undertook to lay the affair before the King. A more unsavourable period could not have been chosen. The King was at this time dissatissied with the conduct of his ministers. The dismission of the eight thousand Hanoverians, he imputed to their personal dislike of Lord Granville; and the rapid progress of the rebellion, he imputed to their negligence, while he was abroad. He suspected that the Pelhams were averse to war, which was true; and he had conceived an idea, probably from Lord Granville, when minister, that war at this time*
was only resource. It was an omission in the Broad Bottom treaty, that Lord Hath had not been proscribed; for soon aster the King's return from the continent, his Lordship appeared at court, several times—and was each time honoured withatc0UrU an audience. His own friends have said, that in these audiences, he did not fail to exaggerate the causes of the King's disgust with his servants, and to flatter the abilities of his friend, Lord Granville, and to warmly represent his zeal for his Majesty. The French war was Lord Granville s favourite measure. It was also the King's. On this great point, as well as in some lesser ones, there was a coincidence of sentiment, which naturally led to a partiality in savour of Lord Granville.
During the time that Lord Bath was thus im- Lord proving his interest in the closet, he made over- Bath's oftures to Lord Cobbam, with a view to form a new [crs!p , administration; in which he ofsered to includcham. Mr. Pitt. But Lord Cobbam returned an answer importing, that Lord Bath had deceived him in X742, and he should not dupe him in 1745. This resusal of Lord Cobham, gave his Lordship a stronger claim upon the Duke of Newcastle. The common language of Lord Bath's and Lord Granville's friends at this time, was, that the King was surrounded by a faction; that he was a prisoner upon his throne; and that an administration on a broader bottom ought to be formed, for the interest of the country, and for the ematt' cipation of the King.
Ar length the Pelbams took the alarm; and whether,, from the apprehension of losing Lord
Chap. Cobham, or of losinq their places, or both; the Dukd of Newcastle resolved to lay before his 1745. Majesty, a list os some alterations in the inserior departments s>f government, which they intendIntended e^ to ma^e» m order to introduce Mr. Pitt ', sbrsecre- who, in this arrangement, they proposed for at secretary at war, in the room of Sir William lounge, to be made one of the vice treasurers of Ireland. But when the King came to Mr. Pitt's name, he gave an immediate and positive refusal to the whole list. The Duke slated to his Majesty his engagement with Lord Cobham; the King angrily replied, then he must break his engagement.
Lord Bath and Lord Granville instantly seized this opportunity of improving their influence in the closet. Their friends applauded in the warmest terms of panegyric, the spirit which the King had shewn in the rejection of Mr. Pitt; and they added, "that Lord Bath had advised his "Majesty to stand steady, and be true to his "own interest."
In consequence of the King's negative on the proposed employment of Mr. Pitt, the Duke of Newcastle met Lord Cobham again at Lord Harrington's. After some conversation on the necessity of resigning, and the Duke saying, that Lord Hardwicke was decidedly of that opinion, and had both suggested and warmly recommended it, the Duke put this question—Will Lord Cobham, and his friends, adhere to us (the Pelhams) in and out of court, if we engage, never to negociate with the court, without including Lord Cobham
and all his friends?" Lord Cobban consessed, Chap. the proposition was so handsome, he could not, VI1" as a man of honour, refuse giving it his most 1745. hearty assent. This compact: being made, and the union thus cemented, between the great parliamentary interests, and the great parliamentary abilities, the Pelhams now considered themselves strong enough to combat any saction, however favoured and supported it might be in the closet.
The measure of a general resignation was immediately adopted. Accordingly, on the next day, February 10, 1746, the Duke of Newcastle *74 * and Lord Harrington resigned. The King im- Ministry, mediately gave the Duke's Seals to Lord Gran- resign. ville. But the following day, Mr. Pelham, Lord Hardwicke, Lord Pembroke, Mr. l-egge, Mr. George Grenville, and several others, all went to court, and resigned their employments. Neither the King, nor Lord Bath were prepared for this stroke. They had not the least expectation of it. And they were informed, that several noblemen and gentlemen, who held commissions in the army, were preparing to resign in a sew days. The King, Lord Bath, and Lord Granville, were alarmed beyond expression at these resignations. It was upon this occasion only, that the King discovered his own insignisicancy. He found, that the assurances of men, without alliances, were no support to a Sovereign; and that if a King would be maintained in his royalty, he must take those into his service, who have the greatest influence