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FREE TRADE AND THE LEAGUE.

SECT. 1.-THE RIGHT HONOURABLE POULETT THOMSON,

LORD SYDENHAM.

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 parliamentten 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 youngest child of John Poulett Thomson, Esquire, of Waverley 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

* Preface by Poulett Scrope, Esq.

ssing which in after his circumstanedhe may

Russian trade, and possessed an establishment as well in St Petersburg as in London. Mr John Thomson assumed the name of Poulett by sign manual in 1820, in remembrance of his mother, who was heiress of that branch of the ancient family of Poulett, which had for some centuries been fixed at Goathurst in Somersetshire. He married, in 1781, Charlotte, the daughter of Dr Jacob of Salisbury, by whom he had a family of nine children. Charles, the youngest of this number, was born at Waverley on the 13th September 1799, and his mother's health being at that time much enfeebled, he may be supposed to have derived from this circumstance the constitutional weakness which in after life occasioned the continued and harassing infirmities to which he was subject, and which, aggravated by the incessant fatigues, both bodily and mental, of parliamentary and official business, wore out his frame, and prematurely shortened his valuable life.

In his infancy he was remarkable for the perfection of childish grace and beauty, yet attested by the pencil of Sir Thomas Lawrence; and hence, during the sojourn of the younger part of the family at Weymouth in the summer o: 1803, he attracted the attention and became the especial favourite of the good old King, George III., then residing there for the benefit of his marine excursions, and whose partiality to children is well known. His elder brother yet remembers the terror inspired when, at their first meeting with the Sovereign on the Parade, General Garth was dispatched to bring the children to the presence, and they were subjected to a rapid interrogatory froin the impatient monarch as to their names, birth, and parentage. After this, the King became so partial to Charles, the youngest—then not quite four years old—that he insisted on a daily visit from him, often watched at the window for his arrival, ran down himself to open the door to let him in, and carried him about in his arms to shew all that could amuse the child, in the very ordinary lodging-house then occupied by the royal party, and especially the suppers laid out for the children's balls, which their Majesties frequently gave for the amusement of their young favourites. On one occasion, the King being on the pier-head, about to embark in the royal yacht upon one of his sailing trips, and having the child in his arms, he turned round to Mr Pitt, who was in attendance at his elbow, having probably hurried down from London for an audience on important business, and exclaimed, " Is not this a fine boy, Pitt? Fine boy, isn't he? Take him in your arms, Pitt; take him in your arms: charming child, isn't he?” Then, suiting the action to the word, he made the stiff and solemn premier,

Russian trade, and possessed an establishment as well in St Petersburg as in London. Mr John Thomson assumed the name of Poulett by sign manual in 1820, in remembrance of his mother, who was heiress of that branch of the ancient family of Poulett, which had for some centuries been fixed at Goathurst in Somersetshire. He married, in 1781, Charlotte, the daughter of Dr Jacob of Salisbury, by whom he had a family of nine children. Charles, the youngest of this number, was born at Waverley on the 13th September 1799, and his mother's health being at that time much enfeebled, he may be supposed to have derived from this circumstance the constitutional weakness which in after life occasioned the continued and harassing infirmities to which he was subject, and which, aggravated by the incessant fatigues, both bodily and mental, of parliamentary and official business, wore out his frame, and prematurely shortened his valuable life.

In his infancy he was remarkable for the perfection of childish grace and beauty, yet attested by the pencil of Sir Thomas Lawrence; and hence, during the sojourn of the younger part of the family at Weymouth in the summer o: 1803, he attracted the attention and became the especial favourite of the good old King, George III., then residing there for the benefit of his marine excursions, and whose partiality to children is well known. His elder brother yet remembers the terror inspired when, at their first meeting with the Sovereign on the Parade, General Garth was dispatched to bring the children to the presence, and they were subjected to a rapid interrogatory froin the impatient monarch as to their names, birth, and parentage. After this, the King became so partial to Charles, the youngest-then not quite four years old—that he insisted on a daily visit from him, often watched at the window for his arrival, ran down himself to open the door to let him in, and carried him about in his arms to shew all that could amuse the child, in the very

ordinary lodging-house then occupied by the royal party, and especially the suppers laid out for the children's balls, which their Majesties frequently gave for the amusement of their young favourites. On one occasion, the King being on the pier-head, about to embark in the royal yacht upon one of his sailing trips, and having the child in his arms, he turned round to Mr Pitt, who was in attendance at his elbow, having probably hurried down from London for an audience on important business, and exclaimed, “ Is not this a fine boy, Pitt? Fine boy, isn't he? Take him in your arms, Pitt; take him in

your arms: charming child, isn't he?” Then, suiting the action to the word, he made the stiff and solemn premier,

weighed down as he seemed to be with and kiss tho pretty boy, and carry hir arms, albeit strange and unused to suc cumstance, though trivial, had so comi awkwardness and apparent reluctance minister performed his compelled part an impression on the writer, who stood years old himself, which time has never no doubt fretted by his master's childish him to the ill-suppressed titter of the c several of the younger branches of the the scene afforded great amusement, put he could on the matter, but little thoug infant he was required to nurse woul time, have the offer of the same high then occupied — the chancellorship of would be quoted as, perhaps, next to markable instance in modern times of t. great public eminence by the force of purchased, alas ! by premature extincti. brilliant career.

As the youngest and prettiest child was naturally the spoilt pet of all. Thi of mention, but that it seems not impos of partial treatment which usually, no d willed and selfish character, may, when tion naturally generous and full of symj producing its usual bad effects, while permitted in the child, of considering all around, may have had some influence that self-confidence and decision, and determination to excel, which, in after 1 ent feature of his character, and exercis towards the attainment of the succes. attended his exertions. At the

age of seven Charles Thomson paratory school of the Rev. Mr Han whither his elder brother, George, had after three years' residence there, was Mr Woolley's at Middleton, near Tamu to the Rev. Mr Church's at Hampton, private tutors, taking two or three pupi With the latter he remained up to the 1815, when, at the age of sixteen, with lishment in his father's house of busin chief direction of his eldest brother, Mr

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took his departure from England for St Petersburg, where one branch of the firm had been for upwards of a century settled, and there he remained for more than two years.

It is thus remarkable that his education was in no degree completed at any public school, college, or university, but confined to a small private school, or a tutor. As bearing upon the disputed question respecting the advantages of academical education, this circumstance is worth noting. The peculiar qualifications which such an education is generally supposed to have a tendency to confer, namely, the spirit of emulation, the habit of pushing your way through a herd of jostling competitors, self-knowledge, and a just estimation of your own faculties, amenity in social intercourse, and a pleasing popular manner, the savoir vivre, in short, of society, are precisely those qualities for the possession of which Mr C. Thomson was very peculiarly distinguished. And yet he was not only not educated, as has been said, at either a public school or university, but the possession of some at least of these qualities may undoubtedly, in a great degree, be traced to that very fact, and to his consequently being cast upon the busy world itself, rather than its supposed miniature resemblance, dependent only on his own resources, at a time of life at which young men, academically educated, are usually in a state of pupilage, watched by preceptors, associating only with youths of their own age, and kept under the control of a strict scholastic discipline.

At the early age of sixteen Charles Thomson was initiated into life in St Petersburg, and, while not neglecting the business he was there to learn, he yet eagerly entered into the amusements of society, to which his connections and position gave him access, and in which his personal recommendations soon rendered him a special favourite with those of the Russian nobility and diplomatic corps then resident at St Petersburg, who had the good taste to open their doors to the British. It was no doubt in these circles, and especially in the close intimacy which he was permitted at this period to enjoy with several polished and highly cultivated individuals then residing at St Petersburg, such as Count Woronzoff, Count and Countess Sabloukoff, (very old friends of his family,) Princess Galitzin, &c., that he began to acquire that peculiar charm of manner, and polished tone of society, which distinguished him through life, and was no mean aid to advancement in his political career.

He enjoyed, moreover, the advantage of a very close and valuable correspondence with an affectionate and intelligent mother, whose watchfulness over the physical, moral, and

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