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peared to me to be a most amiable, most bon-exclamations,- all but Sir Robert Peel; he ourable, and most intelligent man; and five- looked serious and angry, as if he had discovered and-thirty years of intercourse with him have that the Ministers, by the boldness of their not altered the opinion that I then formed of measure, had secured the support of the counhim.” (Vol. ii. pp. 50–52.)
try. Lord John seemed rather to play with the We have never heard any explanation clauses which seemed to complete the scheme,
fears of his audience; and, after detailing some of the fact that on the formation of Lord smiled and paused, and said, “More yet. Grey's Government to carry the Reform
more,' 80 well as I recollect, was Bill, Sir Francis Burdett and Hobhouse, Schedule B, which took away one member from who were certainly two of the oldest and some boroughs that returned two previously. staunchest Reformers in Parliament, were When Lord John sat down, we, of the Mountain, not invited to join it.
“ It was
soon cheered long and loud; although there was known," says Hobhouse after the Duke's hardly one of us that believed such a scheme resignation, “ that the King had sent could, by any possibility, become the law of the for Lord Grey, whom Sir Francis Burdett land. , hall seen."
“We all huddled away, not knowing what to think —
the Anti-Reformers chuckling with “Lord Durham (Privy Seal that is to be) delight at what they supposed was a suicidal told me that all was going well and nearly set- project, and the friends of Ministers in a sort of tled. Going home soon afterwards, I received a wonderment. I recollect that a very good man, note from him, saying that Lord Grey would Mr. John Smith, a brother of Lord Carrington's, like to see me the next day. Accordingly I caused much amusement by saying that Ruswent to his house, and waited there some time, sell's speech made his hair stand on end. but came away without seeing him. I was, for “ Lord Howick and others asked me if I was once, wise enough to say nothing about this, satisfied. I told them I did not know what to neither at the time, nor ever afterwards; al- say to the 101. qualification for householders in though many explanations were offered to me towns. Sir Robert Peel, with his usual quicksubsequently by those who, whatever they were ness and sagacity, took care, at the end of the. before, became my intimate official friends.” debate, to ask for an explanation of this part of (Vol. ii. p. 57.)
the scheme, which, certainly, partook more of
disfranchisement than any other reform, and This is a curious passage ; for it shows
was calculated to make the whole plan unpopu. that Burdett and Hobhouse were thought lar. of (as was natural) but not employed. “ Burdett and I walked home together, and But they gave a firm and unwavering sup- both agreed that there was very little chance of port to the Government, and they used the measure being curried. "We thought our their influence in the most serviceable Westminster friends would oppose the 107. qualmanner by moderating the violence of ification clause; but we were wrong; for, calltheir own followers.* Then came the ing the next day on Mr. Place, we found him Bill.
delighted with the Bill, and were told that all
our supporters were equally pleased with it. “At last came the great day — Tuesday, We were told that a Westminster public meeting March 1. [ went to the House at twelve was to be called immediately, to thank and cono'clock, and found all the benches, high and gratulate the King.” (Vol. ii. pp. 77–79.) low, on all sides, pa'ched with names. With much difficulty I got a vacant space on the We shall not attempt to follow our aufourth bench, nearly behind the Speaker, al- thor through his animated descriptions of most amongst the Opposition and the Auti- the debates on the first Reform Bill. Reformers. “ Lord John Russell began his speech at sis Nothing retains less of its original life
than a Parliamentary discussion in the o'clock. Never shall I forget the astonishment of my neighbours as he developed his plan. pages of history. The scene itself is all
action Indeed, all the house seemed perfectly astounded;
the tone of the speakers, the emoand when he read the long list of the boroughs tion of the audience, and the uncertainty to be either wholly or partially disfranchised, of the result, raise the feelings of those there was a sort of wild ironical laughter, mixed who are present to the highest pitch of with expressions of delight from the ex-Minis- excitement; but the fire is soon burnt ters, who seemed to think themselves sure of re-out, and but little remains of the most covering their places again immediately. Our splendid displays of oratory and pasown friends were not so well pleased. Baring sion. The great trial of strength came Wall, turning to me, said, “They are mad; at last on General Gascoyne's motion they are mad!' and others made use of similar that the number of knights, citizens, and
A peerage was subsequently offered by Lord burgesses for England and Wales ought Grey to Sir F. Burdett. He was gratified by the not to be diminished. The end seemed at offer, but declined to leave the House of Commons. hand, for on the 20th of April the Govern
ment were beaten by eight votes. Two member that the party who had been in possessdays afterwards Hobhouse learned that ion of power so long now saw that their hold on the King was resolved to come down in that power, through the borough system, was
The person to thank Parliament for granting about to lcave them — never to return. the Civil List and to dissolve it. Sir
firmness of the King had dispelled the last illuRichard Vivyan was in the act of deliver-sion of the Anti-Reformers, who, to do them jusing a furious and factious speech against tice, did not give way until all resistance was Ministers. He was called to order by hopeless.” (Vol. ii. pp. 103-105.) Burdett and Tennyson, but in vain.
On the 11th of August, 1831, Sir Benja
min Hobhouse died and his son succeed“ Vivyan again spoke; the cannons an-ed to the baronetcy. A short time afternounced the approach of the King; and at each wards, in February 1832, Lord Althorp discharge of the guns the Ministerialists cheered loudly, as if in derision of the orator's solemn to Sir John Hobhouse to take office as
was authorized by the Cabinet to propose sentences. At last the roaring of the cannon,
not the laughter, and our cheering fairly beat the Secretary of War. The office Baronet, and he suddenly sat down.
particularly agreeable to him, especially “ Peel, quite beside himself, now jumped up; as he stood committed to strong opinions so did Burdett. The Speaker, not quite fairly, against flogging in the army. But a sense called on Peel, and Lord Althorp rose. The of duty to his friends and to the party calls for Peel, Burdett, Althorp, and Chair, now prevailed, and he accepted the appointwere heard in wild confusion. The floor was ment to their great satisfaction. The covered with members; half the House left King gave him a most gracious reception their seats, and the Opposition seemed perfectly when he kissed hands and said, “I trust frantic; William Bankes looked as if his face your manners will be as pleasing in interwould burst with blood; Peel stormed; the
course on public matters, as your father Speaker was equally furious; Lord Althorp stood silent and quite unmoved. At last the Speaker of the Privy Council with the usual forma
was in private life.” He was then sworn recovered himself, and said, 'I am quite sure I understand what the noble Lord moves — - he
lities. It is important to remark that this moves that Sir Robert Peel be heard.' Althorp proposal of office by Lord Althorp was assented, and after some more shouting and accompanied by a positive assurance that screaming, Sir Robert Peel was heard. The Black Ministers would carry the Reform Bill, Rod cut short his oration just as he seemed about though their own tenure of office was not to fall into a fit. Then the Speaker, with a face likely to be permanent. The position of equally red and quivering with rage, rose, and, Lord Grey and his colleagues was pecufollowed by many members went to the Lords. liar and even unprecedented. They had But Peel was not the only over-excited per- not the ordinary resource of withdrawing former on that day; for Sir Henry Hardinge from office. They stood pledged to the crossed the House, and said, • The next time you hear those guns they will be shotted, and plied that they were bound to employ the
country to carry the measure, which imtake off some of your heads. I do not mean yours,' said he to me, 'for you have been al- means necessary to carry it. But on the ways consistent; but those gentlemen,' pointing nature and extent of those means they to the Ministers. The Speaker returned and were not at all agreed among themselves, read the Royal Specch at the table — it was an
as Hobhouse soon found out. Although admirable speech indeed.
he was not in the Cabinet, the assurance “ Lord Althorp, Sir James Graham, and my-given him by Lord Althorp gave him a self, walked away together, and stopped to see right to insist on the adoption of decisive the King pass the door of the hat-room. He measures, and throughout this critical was much cheered; but the crowd was not period he advocated with great energy the great. Lord Althorp said to me, Well, I creation of Peers as indispensable to enthink I beat Peel in temper;' as, indeed, he
sure the result. The following important bad most completely.
conversation explains his position: “We were joined in Palace-yard by Lord Goderich, who told us that the scene in the “ The House of Commons met at twelve the House of Lords had been more disgraceful than next day (11th February). Going down to that in the Commons. Lord Londonderry had Westminster, I met Lord Howick, who said he shaken his fist at the Duke of Richmond; and wanted to speak with me; and, accordingly, we the Lord Chancellor had been hooted by the Op- walked together for some time. He told me position Peers when he left the woolsack, and that he had had a conversation with his father Lord Shaftesbury had been voted into his seat. the night before, and that Lord Grey still hesiLord Tankerville told me that the angry Lords tated about creating Peers previously to the seowould, without the least scruple, have voted off ond reading. Lord Howick said that his father the Ministers' heads that day. All this fury was not aware of the consequences of rejecting and despair were not surprising when we re- the Bill; and that, in fact, he was not aware even of the paramount importance of the meas- “ The next day I called on Lord Durham. ure itself, and confessed that, had he known what He told me that on the previous Thursday he would ensue, would never have embarked in it. had, through Lady Durham and Lady Grey, Lord Grey added, that, up to a certain time, he conveyed to Lord Grey his intention of resignand all the Cabinet were resolved upon the cre- ing, unless the Bill was ma le quite safe in the ation of Peers; but that Brougham fell ill, and House of Lords. He assured me that, when he then took fright, which was communicated to persuaded me to accept office, everything was Lord Grey. Now Lord Brougham had re-decided upon. As many Peers as were thought covered from his panic, and Lord Grey had his ; requisite were to be made, either at once, or by doubts. He was most decidedly adverse to | degrees; and on this the whole Cabinet seeme i swamping the peerage, and desired to retire determined, but Brougham's illness made bim from ofice. He did not seem aware that he flinch, and his flinching raised doubts in Lord could not do that without losing his character, Grey; and both together revived the hesitation and risking the ruin of the country. Lord in that portion of the Cabinet that hud origHowick concluded by begging me to call on his , in:lly objected to the creation of Peers. It father, and state my opinion. I said, I seemed that the Duke of Richmond, although as would do so;' and added that, if the Bill strong for Reform as any member of the Cabiwas allowed to be lost, I should consider that net, was still very averse to the creation of the Cabinet had broken its pledge with me, Peers. Loru Melbourne also was against, also made through Lord Althorp, and that I should Lord Palmerston; and, strongest of all, John be wantonly sacrificed.' Lord Howick as- Russell - a discovery which, Lord Durhamn senteil to this view, and repeated his entreaties | said, he had made only a day or two ago. The that I would see Lord Grey at once — not a others were for the creation, Lord Holland inoment was to be lost. Some of the young strongly. Stanley (so long as Lord Grey apmen who were to be called to the Upper House proved) also for it. Lord Goderich very manhad begun to cool; others might refuse and it fully; also Graham, and Grant, and Durham. would take some time to make out a fresh list. These, with the Lord Chancellor and the Prime I replied that I should prefer a meeting of Minister, were, of course, a majority. HowMembers of Parliament to advise Lord Grey. ever, when the Lord Chancellor seemed to waLord Howick remarked that his father would ver, matters took another turn; but when he not like that; he would call it dictation, and became right again, their prospects improved." would prefer friendly advice given privately. I (Vol. ii. pp. 179-182.) confess I was mightily surprised, and not a little alarmed, that a man with so much power, so
Lord Durham, whose confidence in his much honesty, and so much intellect, should' be father-in-law was limited, and who was so indifferent to his own glory and to the best irritated because he did not get as much interests of the country. I went to Sir Francis credit for his own share in the Bill as he Burdett, and had a long conversation with him. thought he deserved, confirmed these parHe felt as I did; and wrote to Lord Grey. He ticulars, and added that the Cabinet was told me that I ought to save myself, and resign not kept together without the greatest office the moment I discovered that it was in difficulty. Lord Althorp allayed Hobtended to risk the loss of the Bill, by not doing house's apprehensions by assuring him that which the Administration had the power of that “ Brougham and I will go out also, doing. Sir Francis added that taking this unless we have a moral certainty of carry; course might, perhaps, destroy the Government; but the fault would not be mine. To sac- with this chance of quitting office.
ing the measure;
" and he seemed pleased rifice me would not save them, nor ought they this Hobhouse replied that if it was gento be saved.'
“This day I dined at the Speaker's — my erally suspected he might have carried first Ministerial dinner. I sat between Charles the measure, and would not do it, he Grant and Poulett Thompson, and had some would be stoned in the streets; and if the serious talk with them both, and told them other party came in there was no small what I had resolved to do. Taking Grant chance of his coming to the scaffold.” Al afterwards to the Duke of Sussex's conversa- thorp calmly rejoined, “I think so, too; zione (of F. R. S.) at Kensington, I told him I I have long thought so.” Upon another should go to Lord Grey before the Council the occasion Lord Althorp concluded a simnext day, and would resign office if I was not ilar conversation by saying: assured that the Bill was to be carried. He said I was quite right. I spoke to him, as one “ That he would carry the Bill, but he would of the Cabinet, with the utmost freedom and not promise to remain in power afterwards. unreserve, for I felt that it was absolutely nec- He talked very confidentially of his own repug essary to take some decisive step. I thought nance to office, and declared that it destroyed the creation of Peers, were it ever so objection- all his happiness; ' adding that he had reable, was nothing in comparison with the con- moved his pistols from his bedroom, fearing sequences of rejecting the Bill, and bringing that he might shoot himself.' Such are the back the old set and the old system.
secrets of the human breast! Who could have
imagined that this could ever have entered into “ The young Princess (her present Majesty) the head of the cool, the imperturbable, the vir- was treated in every respect like a grown-up tuous Althorp? It served, however, to increase woman, although apparently quite a chill. my alarm as to the great question itself, and I Her manners were very pleasing and natural, urged, in every way, the necessity of adding to and she seemed much amused by some converthe peerage. He assured me that this would sation with Lord Durham, a manifest favourite be done, if it were indispensable. If I doubted at Kensington. him, I had better see Lord Grey, and learn the “ When she left the company she curtsiedl fact from him. He would give me his word round very prettily to all the guests, and then that all I wanted would be done. The Bill ran out of the room. What will become of would pass.' I took my leave of this excellent this young, pretty, unaffected child in a few, man with greater admiration of himn than ever.” few, years ? (Vol. ii. p. 187.)
“An interval of thirty-three years, & reign Yet one more of these most remarkable
of twenty-eight years - some of them in very interviews :
and the difficult, if not dangerous times
greatest of all calamities that can befall a wo“ Althorp said, • I must decide what I will man and a queen, have not deprived her of the do — resign, because my colleagues will not smile, the kind and gracious smile, which make Peers; or stand the risk with them. If charmed me in those long bygone days, and the latter, and we are beaten, I can never show with which she received an old servant and submy face again. If the former, I know the Gov- ject only two days ago [15th May, 1865].” ernment is dissolved, and the Bill is lost, and (Vol. ii. pp. 220, 221.) perhaps a revolution ensues.
I tell you (auded the excekent man, with much feeling amicable intervention of Lord Wharnelitfe
In spite of Hobhouse's distrust of the and earnestness) •I have long felt that uncontrollable circumstances were advancing me to a and Lord Harrowby, they did succeed in position to which my capacity is unequal; and I carrying the second reading of the Bill. now feel that I have not the mind which is re- But this success was of short duration. quired for a man in my station. I do not al- Lord Melbourne wisely said, “it was not lude to my conduct in Parliament. There, I all over yet;” and on the first division in think, I have succeeded in a line altogether new Committee the Government were beaten. and untried before. I allude to my manage- Ministers resigned. Sir John had his aument out of the House, and more especially in dience to take leave of the King, who toll consulting with my colleagues. Then I find I him that “ he knew he had too much prophave not character enough for the great emer- erty to lose to wish for, or assist in, a congency out of which we are to extricate our
vulsion; to which the Baronet replied, selves.' “ I told him that, if he threatened to resign
that “ His Majesty had not a more loyal unless Peers were made before the second read subject than himself.” ing, the Cabinet would yield. “I do not know
The Duke of Wellington's attempt to that,' said he; "they would rather go out with form a Ministry broke down at once, as me; and then comes a revolution;' and he then everyone knows, but the first great obstaadded gravely, 'I do not know whether I ought cle to it was Peel's refusal to join it. The not to make matters easier by shooting myself.' Duke of Wellington had told Alexander • For God's sake !' said I, shoot anybody else Baring, who was to have been Chancellor you like.'” (Vol. ii. pp. 198, 199.)
of the Exchequer, that "he should think Even at this distance of time, and after himself unfit to crawl on earth if he did the publication of Lord Grey's corre
not stand by the king, even at the expense spondence with William IV., we doubt of his own consistency; and that he had whether it is known how critical the state resolved to carry the Reform Bill, as an of affairs was at that moment and how in- inevitable measure, in all its main provitense the differences in the Cabinet had sions — indeed, a Bill, probably, more exbecome. Let us vary the narrative by a tensive than that which Lord Grey would more pleasing picture:
now grant.” The King was resolved to
pass the Reform Bill and made that a “On the following Monday (26th March) ! condition of giving office to the Duke ; dined at Kensington Palace with the Duchess of what he objected to was the making of Kent. The party was numerous : Lord Dur- Peers. Such a scheme deserved to fail and ham, Lord and Larly Surrey, the Duke of Som- it did fail; but it cleared the way for erset and Luly C. St. Maur, Lord Radnor, Sir John Sebright, the Duke and Duchess of Leins- the adoption of the Bill, and the Peers ter, and Sir John Conroy. The Princess Victo- were not created. ria sat on her mother's right hand. Sir John
Sir John Hobhouse was not a mere Conroy, the Controller of H.R. H.'s household, hustings Reformer, nor did he confine himsat at the bottom of the table. Lord Durham self to supporting the legislative measures handed the Duchess in to dinner.
brought forward by the Government. On
the contrary, he applied himself with great manliness and consistency by electing his energy to the more obscure and difficult old opponent Colonel Evans to the seat he task of reform in his own office, the War had vacated. Department. He succeeded in obtaining Sir John Hobhouse did not return to of the assent of the King and the Cabinet to fice under Lord Grey, but in that interval a Pension Warrant which reduced the a transaction occurred to which we desire charges on what was termed the “dead to advert more particularly because it has list.” He abolished sinecures and induced been very commonly misrepresented, to the King to surrender the Governorships the prejudice of a very able and excellent of Berwick and Kinsale, to which His man, the late Lord Hatherton (then Mr. Majesty wanted to appoint two of his own Littleton), who succeeded Hobhouse as
He restricted flogging in the army Irish Secretary; and because it was the to certain misdemeanours, and proposed to immediate cause of the dissolution of the take away the power of flogging from Ministry. The renewal of Lord Grey's regimental courts-martial. And he had Irish Coercion Bill in the following year, prepared a scheme for the reduction of 1834, was debated with extreme warmth. the land forces by about 5,000 men. In The powers vested in the Lord-lieutenant all these reforms he had to encounter the by the original Act were extraordinary. steady resistance of Lord Hill and Lord Lord Wellesley said of them, that they Fitzroy Somerset at the Horseguards and were" far more formidable to himself, than an opposition scarcely less steady from the to the Irish people,” for he had to decide Prime Minister. Lord Grey used language on the propriety of exercising them; in that convinced Hobhouse that he "had point of fact, he had not exercised them another Lord Hill to deal with ;” and the at all. In the course of the debate on the proposed reduction of the army ended in 3rd of July, 1834, as is stated by Lord an augmentation, which was required by Broughton, O'Connell and Mr. Littleton the state of Ireland and by the necessity contradicted each other flatly, and the of providing for the tranquillity of the Irish Secretary was accused of great imWest Indies during the critical period of prudence, or something more, in having Slave Emancipation.
made a communication to O'Connell wbich These discussions rendered the position he was not justified in making. A similar of Sir John Hobhouse exceedingly disa- statement is made by Lord Palmerston in greeable to him. He frequently desired a letter to his brother William, published to resign, but was dissuaded by Lord Al- by Sir Henry Bulwer. It is desirable that thorp, who threatened to go out with him. the truth should be accurately known on Mr. Stanley, who had recently brought in this subject, and as we have before us the two great measures for the reform of the whole of the original correspondence that Irish Church and for a Coercion Bill in passed on the occasion, we
are enabled Ireland, was equally dissatisfied with his with certainty to relate it. position as Irish Secretary; and it was A Bill for the renewal of the Coercion eventually arranged that Hobhouse should Act in all its extent was contemplated, succeed him in that office. On the 28th when Mr. Littleton stated to Lord Wellesof March, 1833, he kissed hands on this ley, then Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, in a new appointment. But he was not des- letter dated 19th June, 1834, that in his tined to hold it long. Within a month, opinion the Irish Government was not the Radical party brought forward a pro- likely to require any other extraordinary posal for the abolition of the House and powers than those that were directed Window Taxes, a measure which was against agrarian disturbances. This sughighly popular with the Westminster elect- gestion was made at the instigation of ors and to which Hobhouse hiinself stood Lord Brougham, the Chancellor, who committed. He declared to his colleagues wrote himself to Lord Wellesley to the that he could not vote with them in up- same effect on the same day. It was posing the Resolution, and conscious of therefore proposed to omit from the Bill the awkwardness of his new position, he the clauses empowering the Lord-lieutenresolved resign both his office and his ant to prohibit public meetings and the seat. This honest and energetic step was court-martial clauses, which constituted warmly combated by his friends both in half the Act, from a belief that the introand out of office; but he was convinced in duction of these clauses would endanger his own mind that he was right. He acted the Tithe Bill, and would provoke O'Conon his convictions; he was abused by both nell to resort to agitation and opposition parties for doing so; he quitted his office; to the Government. Lord Wellesley reand the electors of Westminster repaid his plied to this letter on the 21st June : “I