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Ticonderoga, denounces and repudiates them in a spirited letter (p. 363).
In the year 1774 are some original rolls of the Royalist Militia of different districts of the Province of New York, which rolls it is supposed escaped the fire at Fort George where, Governor Tryon says, a complete statement of the militia was lost (p. 215).
The correspondence multiplies in the year 1775, the last year of Lord Dartmouth's office. Most interesting are many private despatches from the governors and others in the different American provinces, notably Lord William Campbell of South Carolina, Lord Dunmore of Virginia, Martin of North Carolina, and Tryon of New York, each with its own tale of the anarchy and strife amongst the people, the acts of the provincial assemblies, the subversion of the Royal authority, and the final departure of the Royal governors.
Correspondence with Richard Oswald, a Scotch merchant in London, and of Achincrue, Ayrshire, who is commended to Lord Dartmouth by Mr. Secretary. Pownall in a note on a wrapper (p. 268). According to Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice's Life of Lord Shelburne, Mr. Oswald originally became knownto the Government as a contractor during the Seven Years War. Mr. Pownall says, “ Your Lordship's uncle .... I believe, consulted him much in matters of commercial policy.” The correspondence thus opened with the American Department culminated in 1782 in his appointment by Lord Shelburne as agent Plenipotentiary in Paris to negotiate the Treaty between England and America.
The numerous copies of intercepted letters in this year show, the activity of the Post Office over the American mails. Many of them were enclosed within wrappers (see pp. 347, 376, 393), which still bear in the King's hand the exact hour and minute at which he received them. That the same activity extended to the French and Dutch mails in connection with the Home and Foreign Departments is shown by Lord Auckland's collection of Manuscripts, where, besides the copies of those intercepted, are letters in 1777 from Anthony Todd, the Secretary of the Post Office, giving glimpses of himself and his confidential "young men ” engaged twelve hours on a stretch over the business.
' Lord Dartmouth's important despatches of the 2nd August 1777 (pp. 344–45), recalling General Gage, “the mild General" as the King calls him, and announcing reinforcements in troops, money, and supplies, receive added interest by being read with the King's letters to Lord North (Donne, Vol. I., Nos. 303-305). The employment of Indians is here based on the ground of the American people having been the first to enlist them in their service.
Bancroft, in his History, states that in the spring of this year the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts had sent messages to the Mohawks to persuade them either to take part with the Americans “or to stand neuter," and that it had won over the converted Indians settled at Stockbridge by presents of blankets and ribbon. Also, that on the formation of Washington's camp outside Boston, a number of these same Indians were armed with bows and arrows as well as guns, visiting that camp with their squaws and children.
On the other hand the Americans grounded their overtures towards the Indians on the action of Canadian emissaries who were reported to be seeking to influence these nations in favour of England.
The holograph unaddressed letter from Mr. Jefferson, of the 25th August 1775, was, I find since the entry was printed, intended for John Randolph. As joint author in 1774 of the Declaration by Congress setting forth the causes or necessity of taking up arms, and in the year following as sole author of the Declaration of Independence, Mr. Jefferson's words at this date are noticeable:
“I wish no false sense of honor, no ignorance of our real intentions, no vain hope that partial concessions of right will be accepted may induce the ministry to trifle with accomodation till it shall be put even out of onr own power ever to accomodate, if indeed Great Britain ; diajoined from her Colonies, be a match for the most potent nations of Europe with the colonies thrown into their scale, they may go on securely, but if they are not assured of this, it would be certainly unwise, by trying the event of another campaign, to risque our accepting a foreign aid which perhaps may not be obtainable but on a condition of everlasting avulsion from Great Britain."
On the 9th of November 1775 the Duke of Grafton resigned the Privy Seal, disapproving of the measures pursued towards America. This led to various changes, Lord George Germain
taking the American Department. The King seems to have had some difficulty in satisfying all parties ;, he wishes Lord Dartmouth to have the Southern Department, and though his affection for him is well known, he petulantly speaks of him as “unaccomodating” and “foolishly attached to the office of Privy Seal.” Lord Dartmouth's own state of mind is well put forward in the following letters.
Mr. Robinson, Secretary to the Treasury and Leader of the House, writes from the House of Commons, 8th November, at 15 minutes past 4 p.m., that from the situation he perceives Lord North’s mind is in, and the anxiety he expresses that his Lordship should agree to accept the seals of one of the old Secretaries of State, he hopes he will agree to do so.
Lord Dartmouth's reply is amongst the Marquis of Abergavenny's Manuscripts :“Dear Sir,
“The distress I see Lord North in deprives me not only of the power of expressing my thoughts to him, but even of collecting and digesting them myself. Be assured that if I take the seals that are offered me, I shall render myself ten times more miserable than I am. There is nothing I dread more than the appearance of impracticability, but you will allow me to say to you, that I think it is reasonable that a noble Viscount [Weymouth] should be expected to accomodate as myself; from what you told me to day I cannot but entertain a hope that he may still be prevailed upon to do it. I dare not ask Lord North to try, perhaps you may have an opportunity to get at those who may effect it, sure it was unfortunate that Lord N proposed the option, I think incoherently & therefore I must write so: the dread of a situation in wch I foresee no satisfaction to myself on one hand, & my love for Lord N. & regard to his peace of mind on the other tear me to pieces. I would with all my heart go quite out of employment, but that would look unkind to him if you think you see a ray of light for me, let me know, and believe me always your most
faithful humble Servant, Dartmouth." Mr. Robinson sends another pote from the House at 7 p.m. “Lord North this moment tells me that he will again apply to La Wey—th.” Both the King and Lord North, however, wish his Lordship to accept the seal of Secretary of State
The next morning Mr. Robinson writes :-“ Lord North after “ leaving the House last night said he could never think of “ pressing you to accept an office that would make you miser. “able.” He is to see Lord Weymouth this morning, and it is hoped he will accept, in which case Lord Dartmouth would have the Privy Soal that day.
Thursday Evening 119 relieved by Mr. hou Lord Weymouth
· Again at half-past two, Mr. Robinson sends a note that Lord Weymouth is to see the King for the purpose of settling, to which Lord Dartmouth replies: .
: i . in " Dear Sir,
“The suspence in which I have been since I received your note, is a state of no small Agong-relieve me if you can-sure I must have heard before this hour, if the interview had turned out as you expected, and things are going on well for
D." . His suspense is shortly relieved by Mr. Robinson's letter (see p. 400), written after ten o'clock, stating that Lord Weymouth accepted the secretaryship referred to, and that the much desired Privy Seal was at Lord Dartmouth's disposal. .
Lord Dartmouth retained the office of Privy Seal till the return of the Whigs in March 1782. That he was not quite satisfied during that time, may be inferred from a letter written to Lord North 13th September 1780, now amongst the Marquis of Abergavenny's Manuscripts :“My dear Lord,
“I have opened my mind more freely to Mr. Robinson than I could have done it to you, if you had had leisure to hear me, le may perhaps have repeated to you some part of what I said to him respecting both Lord Lewisham and myself; with regard to myself I have only to say that if other people are urmindful of me, you are in a situation that gives you opportunity to remind them whenever you think fit: as to Lord L.,.. it is. employment that I desire for him .... a seat at the board of trade would not now, I believe, be acceptable to him and .... he would not receives my approbation if he should accept of it. You will think perhaps that I hold myself pretty high apon this occasion; it may be so but you must pardon my freedom, if I say that neither your plea of old promises, nor your impatient and unfriendly manner with me, have convinced me that I am wrong; however, my attachment to you, is formed upon such grounds, that no ill-treatment that I may think I receive can ever make me cease to wish well to your administration, or to be my dear Lord, your affectionate faithful humble Servant.-D.”
It is recorded in one of Mr. Toplady's letters that about October 1776 it was “strongly represented,” and believed that Lord Dartmouth should have the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland. “ If,” adds Mr. Toplady, " he should be sent with a land tax in his right hand, I shall heartily wish him safe back again."
Records of the part taken by Lord Dartmouth in Parliamentary debate are not numerous. Subsequent to the Cyder Bill of 1763 which he attacked, and his condemnation of Brecknock's Droit le Roi, 1764, they relate to American affairs. 1st Feb. 1775 , Debate in the Lords on the Earl of Chatham's
Provisional Act for settling the troubles in
America. 21st Mar. Debate on the Bill for restraining the Trade
· and Commerce of the New England
Colonies. 17th May - Debate on Lord Camden’s Bill to repeal the
Quebec Government Act. 26th Oct. ' . Debate in the Lords on the Address of
Thanks. (America—“The measures of “ last Session were directed to the protec" tion of the Province of Massachusetts
“ Bay entirely.") .. 1st Nov. - Debate on employing Foreign troops without
the consent of Parliament. 8th Nov. - Debate on a Motion “ That the Petition of
“ the Congress of America to the King
"affords ground of conciliation.” 15th Nov. - Debate on the Duke of Grafton's Motion
- respecting the British Forces in America. · 14th Mar. 1776 Debate on the Duke of Grafton's Proposi
tion for Conciliation with America. 7th Dec. 1779 - Debate on the Duke of Richmond's Motion
for an Economical Reform of the Civil List Establishments. The public expenditure (mostly in connection with the War in America) Richmond said was lavish
and wasteful to a shameful degree. In the Coalition Ministry, April to December 1783, Lord Dartmouth served as Steward of the Household, and in 1786 he was given by Lord North the High Stewardship of Oxford University.
Both Lord and Lady Dartmouth were strongly attached to the evangelical sect organized by the Countess of Huntingdon. Lord Dartmouth had been introduced to her by her cousin the then Countess of Guilford, third wife of Francis, Lord North, Earl of Guilford. Lord Dartmouth so identified himself with