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FREE TRADE AND THE LEAGUE.
sECT. 1.--THE RIGHT HonounABLE Poulett Thomson,
To bring the services rendered to the progress of free trade by this eminent statesman before the public in an enduring form is at once a very desirable and agreeable task. For the events of his early life, we are indebted to the affectionate memoir published by his brother, Poulett Scrope, Esq., M.P. in 1843; for the latter portions, we are indebted to the public records of fifteen years; for some particulars more immediately relating to his connection with Manchester and the free trade party there, we are indebted to various persons for documents and information not, before made public. The space devoted to his life and services will not be deemed unduly large when it is borne in mind that, “without any peculiar advantages of birth, rank, fortune, or connection, by the unaided exertions of his talents, industry, and tact, he had, before the age of forty, sat for fifteen years in parliament— ten of them as the spontaneously selected representative of the great manufacturing capital of the country, Manchester —had been minister of state ten years, in the cabinet five, and occupied the station of Governor-General of all the British North American Colonies; being rewarded for his brilliant administration of this high office by a peerage and the order of the Bath.”* Charles Edward Poulett Thomson was the third son and oungest child of John Poulett Thomson, Esquire, of Waverey Abbey and Roehampton, in Surry, the head of the old and respected mercantile firm of J. Thomson, T. Bonar, & Co., which had been for several generations engaged in the Russian trade, and possessed an establish. Petersburg as in London. Mr John Thol name of Poulett by sign manual in 1820, i his mother, who was heiress of that bran family of Poulett, which had for some centu Goathurst in Somersetshire. He married, in the daughter of Dr Jacob of Salisbury, by family of nine children. Charles, the younges was born at Waverley on the 13th Septemb mother's health being at that time much e be supposed to have derived from this circu stitutional weakness which in after life occi tinued and harassing infirmities to which he which, aggravated by the incessant fatigues, mental, # parliamentary and official busines frame, and prematurely shortened his valuabl In his infancy he was remarkable for th childish grace and beauty, yet attested by th Thomas Lawrence; and hence, during the younger part of the family at Weymouth in 1803, he attracted the attention and becam favourite of the good old King, George III., there for the benefit of his marine excursio partiality to children is well known. His elde remembers the terror inspired when, at their with the Sovereign on the Parade, General G patched to bring the children to the presence, a subjected to a rapid interrogatory from the impa as to their names, birth, and parentage. After t became so partial to Charles, the youngest—th four years old—that he insisted on a daily visit fr watched at the window for his arrival, ran dow open the door to let him in, and carried him arms to shew all that could amuse the child, in t nary lodging-house then occupied by the royal especially the suppers laid out for the children's their Majesties frequently gave for the amusem young favourites. On one occasion, the King b pier-head, about to embark in the royal yacht upo sailing trips, and having the child in his arms round to Mr Pitt, who was in attendance at his di probably hurried down from London for an aui. ortant business, and exclaimed, “Is not thisa fine ine boy, isn't he? Take him in your amp. in your arms: charming child, isn't he?" i. action to the word, he made the stiff and o weighed down as he seemed to be with cares of state, dandle and kiss the pretty boy, and carry him some minutes in his arms, albeit strange and unused to such a burden. The circumstance, though trivial, had so comical an effect, from the awkwardness and apparent reluctance with which the formal minister performed his compelled part of nurse, as to make an impression on the writer, who stood by, though but seven years old himself, which time has never effaced. Pitt, although no doubt fretted by his master's childish fancy, which exposed him to the ill-suppressed titter of the circle around, including several of the younger branches of the royal family, to whom the scene afforded great amusement, put the best countenance he could on the matter, but little thought, no doubt, that the infant he was required to nurse would, at no very distant time, have the offer of the same high official post which he then occupied—the chancellorship of the exchequer—and would be quoted as, perhaps, newt to himself, the most remarkable instance in modern times of the early attainment of great public eminence by the force of talent alone; equally §. alas! by premature extinction, at the zenith of a rilliant career. As the youngest and prettiest child of the family, Charles was naturally the spoilt pet of all. This would not be worthy of mention, but that it seems not impossible the same course of partial treatment which usually, no doubt, produces a selfwilled and selfish character, may, when acting upon a disposition naturally generous and full of sympathies, have failed in producing its usual bad effects, while the habit thus early permitted in the child, of considering his will to be law with all around, may have had some influence in giving to the man that self-confidence and decision, and that unconquerable determination to excel, which, in after life, became a prominent feature of his character, and exercised no slight influence towards the attainment of the success which so generally attended his exertions. At the age of seven Charles Thomson was sent to the preparatory school of the Rev. Mr Hannington at Hanwell, whither his elder brother, George, had preceded him ; and after three years' residence there, was removed to the Rev. Mr Woolley's at Middleton, near Tamworth, and afterwards to the Rev. Mr Church's at Hampton, both professing to be rivate tutors, taking two or three pupils at most at a time. W. the latter he remained up to the summer of the year 1815, when, at the age of sixteen, with the view to his establishment in his father's house of business, then under the chief direction of his eldest brother. Mr Andrew Thomson, he
* Preface by Poulett Scrope, Esq.
took his departure from England for St Pe. one branch of the firm had been for upwards o tled, and there he remained for more than two It is thus remarkable that his education w completed at any public school, college, or univ fined to a small private school, or a tutor. A the disputed question respecting the advantage education, this circumstance is worth noting. qualifications which such an education is gen to have a tendency to confer, namely, the spiri the habit of pushing your way through a h competitors, self-knowledge, and a just estin own faculties, amenity in social intercourse, a popular manner, the savoir vivre, in short, of so cisely those qualities for the possession of which son was very peculiarly distinguished. And y only not educated, as has been said, at either a or university, but the possession of some at qualities may undoubtedly, in a great degree, that very fact, and to his consequently being busy world itself, rather than its supposed min blance, dependent only on his own resources, at at which young men, academically educated, ar state of pupilage, watched by preceptors, as with youths of their own age, and kept under of a strict scholastic discipline. At the early age of sixteen Charles into life in St Petersburg, and, too business he was there to learn, he yet ea !". the amusements of society, to which his . ye tion gave him access, and in which him. nectio tions soon rendered him a special #". re Russian nobility and diplomatic or o with Petersburg, who had the good to: en resi the British. . It was no dojo..."... th in the close intimacy which he WaS se circles, an enjoy with several polished and . at th then residing at St Petersbur 'ghly cultivated Count and Countess j.". as Count family.) Princess Galitzin, . . (Very old frie peculiar charm of manner. **, he began to a distinguished him thr - d tone of soc advancement in hi §gh life, and won - *Political career. 0 mé
mother, whosa"... .". with an affectionat. ..."