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It is impossible for you to conciliate Ireland whilst he is the leading law officer of the Crown. If the vacant seat be not filled by Blackburne or Crampton it ought not to go beyond Serjeant O’Loghlen. He is a Catholic, and his appointment would show that it was not intended to allow Emancipation to continue a dead letter. Besides, all parties admit his perfect capability. . . . You are aware that almost all the functionaries who serve under the present Administration in Ireland are of the deepest Orange tinge. I merely submit to you that this ought not to continue.

In forwarding this letter to Lord Melbourne, Mr. Abercromby said—

The only remark I shall make on O’Connell's letter is that I wrote to Althorp, on hearing of Jebb’s death, suggesting that Serjeant O’Loghlen should be the new judge, assigning as my reasons that such an appointment would help to conciliate the Irish public, who are rather more favourable than formerly to the Ministry. And secondly, that it was very important to show the Orangemen that the recovery of their political influence was hopeless. This being a vacancy that was not reckoned upon, it leaves your chance of removing Blackburne just as it was, and there may be some advantage in not opening the office of Attorney-General until you have finally decided how to act with respect to O’Connell.1

The Government, however, refused to accede to Mr. O’Connell’s wish. The Solicitor-General was made a judge; but, with a view to conciliating the Irish, Serjeant O’Loghlen was made Solicitor‘General. The Ministry probably thought that by this arrangement they had satisfied the claims of their own colleague, and at the same time had done something to conciliate the Irish Roman Catholics. But events, which they could not have foreseen, were in progress which deprived Serjeant O’Loghlen’s appointment of much significance; for Lord Spencer died in the beginning of November, and Lord Althorp, the leader of the House of Commons, succeeded to the peerage.

1 This very important correspondence was apparently sent by Lord Melbourne to Lord John, and not returned. The reader will do well to compare it with Mr. O’Connell's letters to Lord Duncannon in the Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell, i. 473, 477.

Three days after Lord Spencer’s death, Lord Melbourne drove down to Brighton, where the King was staying, and submitted to him the arrangements necessary on Lord Althorp’s retirement from the Commons. ‘The concurrent opinion and advice of all his colleagues, and those most competent to suggest any opinion with respect to the feelings of the House of Commons, was that Lord John Russell should succeed Lord Althorp as leader.’ .

Lord John did not underrate the difficulty of the task which was thus proposed to him. But he thought it cowardly to refuse. He said, in joke, that if he were offered the command of the Channel Fleet, and thought it his duty to accept, he should not refuse it. What his relations thought of the offer, however, may be seen from the following note of Lord Tavistock :—

Dreadful indeedl. I suppose you must be leader, and yet I tremble for your health. Then comes the difficulty about your seat and your office. Oh that you had provided for this long ago! There are two plans : you must either remain where you are, and' make Abercromby or 5. Rice Chancellor of the Exchequer, or you must boldly take your chance of re-election and fall back upon this county if you are defeated. Charles [Lord C. Russell] would, of course, resign, as I wished and proposed to do in 1830 after the Bedford election. It would make a noise for a short time. But I see no other'course but one of these two—Yours affectionately, T.

Russell [Lord Russell, eighth Duke] might resign for you in case of defeat. But that would make a much greater noise.

His relations were soon relieved from their anxiety. The King had tolerord Melbourne two months before thatrhe .‘ could not bear John Russell,’ and now

His Majesty stated without reserve his opinion that he [Lord John] had not theabilities nor the influence which qualified him: for the task, and observed that he would make a wretched figure when opposed by Sir Robert Peel and Mr. Stanley. . . . His Majesty had further objections. He considered Lord John Russell to have pledged himself to certain :encroachments upon. the Church, which his Majesty had made'up his mind and expressed his determination to resist.l


And so, to bring the long story to a short conclusion, the King, exercising his personal authority in a manner which the sovereign of England has never since employed, dismissed his advisers and sent for the Duke of Wellington.

It so happened that Lord John was far from well at this time, and was unable, in consequence, to attend the council at which the Ministers formally took their leave of the King. He wrote explaining the reasons of his absence to the King’s private secretary, Sir Herbert Taylor, and received the following answer :— '

S'r. JAMES’s PALACE : N011. r7, 1834. '

MY DEAR LORD,—- . . . His Majesty wishes me to say that your attendance at the Council upon this occasion was not necessary; but that he regrets that indisppsition should have partly been the cause of your absence. His Majesty has commanded me further to assure you of his entire satisfaction with the manner in which your Lordship has discharged the duties of your office, and of his sense of the zeal and assiduity which you have shown, as well as of your attention to his Majesty in every communication you have had to make to him.—I remain, &c., yours very faithfully, H. TAYLOR.

A more genuine expression of regret reached him a few days afterwards :— Cuersm COLLEGE: Nov. 25, 1834.

MY LORD,-I cannot resist the desire to express to your Lordship how deeply sensible almost every individual of this establishment feels for the zealous and constant interest which you have shown for their welfare and comfort during the short period which you have presided at the head of it. I regret I was not aware of your being here the other day, as I should have felt gratified in paying my respects to your Lordship, and in being a witness to the quiet ceremony of affixing as it were your hand and seal to the Old Men’s Paraa’z'rzr2 'which has been so


1 Memoirs ofBaron Stockmzzr, i. 329; and Greville, Alemnirs, iii. 137. ‘—‘ For the Paradise wide supra, p. 162. Lord John reCeived letters of the Same cordial kind from other members of the eStablishment at Chelsea.

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happily called into existence under your Lordship’s kind and considerate auspices.—-I have, &c., J. WILSON,

Among the other letters which Lord John received at the time was one from L0rd Grey, declaring that he could not blame the King; that in his opinion it was impossible for the Government to go on; and that for the sake of the Ministers themselves, and particularly of Lord John, there was not much cause for regret. Lord Althorp in a much shorter note gave a different opinion :—

MY DEAR JOHN,——This is the greatest piece of folly ever committed. It is, however, a great relief to me, and I think ultimately it will have a good effect on the state of parties in the country. We shall, however, have a little confusion at first.— Yours most truly, ALTHORP,l

ALTirORP: Nov. 16, 1834.

Lord John soon came round to Lord Grey’s opinion that the dismissal of the Ministry was no misfortune either for himself or his colleagues. To Mr. Moore, who told him how much he was rejoiced at the turn-out of the Ministry, and that, in his opinion, nothing could be more fortunately contrived for the future interests of the party than the moment and the manner of their ejection, Lord John replied-—

SALTRAM : Der. 6, 1834. MY DEAR MOORE,-—I was, like Mrs. Moore, a little at a loss to understand the cause of your great joy. But I must own that since I came into the country I have been so well received by a great many old friends who were not satisfied with the Ministers that I am inclined to think with you that the King’s resolution was the most fortunate thing that could happen to us. But how is the country to be governed, by Tories, Whigs, or Radicals, for the next two years? . . . However, I am only a passenger, as Tierney used to say, and as a passenger my position is as good as possible. I mean to go to Bowood on my nay to town in

January or sooner.——Y0urs truly, J. RUSSELL.


1 The letter to which this is a reply is published in the Life o/Lord Spencer, p. 525. In it Lord John says. ‘ I suppose everything is for the best in this world ; otherwise the only good which I should see in this event would be that it saves me from being sadly pommelled by Peel and Stanley, to say nothing of O'Connell.' I


ON the dismissal of the Whig Ministry in the autumn of 1834, the King sent for the'Duke of Wellington. But the Duke, realising that the struggle of the future would have to be fought in the House of Commons, and thinking that the General in command should be present at the brunt of the engagement, advised his Majesty to send for Sir Robert Peel. Here, however, arose a fresh dilemma. Sir Robert, occupied with anything rather than a Ministerial crisis, was spending the winter in Italy, and more than three weeks passed before ‘the great man summoned from Rome to govern England’ arrived in London. In the interval the whole conduct of the Executive Government was lodged in the hands of the Duke of wellington ; and politicians were amazed and amused to see one man discharging the business which ordinarily occupied the attention of half a dozen Ministers.

On Sir Robert Peel’s arrival on December 9, this provisional system terminated. Sir Robert was enabled to form aConservative Cabinet; and, on December 17, he startled his colleagues and the country by issuing a document known in history as the Tamworth Manifesto, in which, avowing himself favourable to Reforms both in Church and State, be appealed to ‘a great and intelligent body’ of electors to approve the principles on which his Ministry was founded

In the general election 'which ensued, the Conservatives gained a considerable number of seats. Lord Palmerston was defeated in Hampshire ; and, though Lord John was re-elected {or the Southern Division of Devonshire, he had the mortification of receiving a Conservative colleague. Nor was this

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