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THE REV. EDWARD WILSON(') TO THE COUNTESS OF CHATHAM.
Weymouth, August 2, 1766.
I CANNOT omit the earliest opportunity of informing your Ladyship, that your letter this morning was a most agreeable surprise to us all; and as compliments of congratulation will now universally be the testimonies of sincere joy, permit me to congratulate your Ladyship on the present happy change, which will undoubtedly reflect the greatest honour on our country, give perfect satisfaction to the nation in general, and once more enliven the English annals. I beg my most respectful compliments to the Earl of Chatham; I most heartily wish him health long to enjoy that title, and then I have no doubt of its being equally
from both. Lord Northington has secured to himself four thousand a year for his life, when he ceases to be president. The Duke of Grafton hates business, and will soon be weary of the treasury; Charles Townshend thinks himself injured by having the chancellorship of the exchequer crammed down his throat; the Duke of Portland, by the advice and at the earnest request of his friends, for the present holds the staff. In short, the city have brought in their verdict of felo-de-se against William, Earl of Chatham."
(1) Mr. Wilson was the private tutor of Lord Chatham's children. He was of Pembroke-hall, Cambridge; whither, in 1773, he accompanied his pupil, the future prime minister of England. He was subsequently canon of Windsor, prebendary of Gloucester, and, for more than thirty years, rector of Binfield, in Berkshire; where he died in 1804.
honoured with the name of Mr. Pitt; greater honour cannot be.
My Lord Pitt is much better, Lady Hester quite well, and Mr. William very near it. The last gentleman is not only contented in retaining his papa's name, but perfectly happy in it. Three months ago he told me, in a very serious conversation, "he was glad he was not the eldest son, but that he could serve his country in the House of Commons like his papa." I am, Madam,
Your Ladyship's most obliged
and obedient servant, EDWARD WILSON.
SIR EDWARD WILMOT, BART. (1) TO THE EARL OF
Nottingham, August 5, 1766.
GIVE me leave, on my return from the frontiers of the other world, with a tottering hand but from
(1) This eminent physician, the son of Robert Wilmot of Chaddesden, in the county of Derby, was born in 1693. He married one of the daughters of Dr. Mead, and was made physician to Queen Caroline, and to Frederick, Prince of Wales. After the Queen's death, he was appointed one of the physicians to George the Second and physician-general to the forces, and in 1759 was created a baronet. On the accession of George the Third he retired from practice; and at the date of this letter, being then in his seventy-third year, he was residing at Nottingham; where his house was much resorted to by multitudes of the poor of that place, as well as from his native
a sincere heart, to congratulate your Lordship and my country on your being again at the helm ; whither the voice of your country has long called you. How God will dispose of me I know not. Be that as it may, I shall leave the world without regret, now I find my children secure of their small property, liberty, and religion, under your wise administration.
I pray God grant your Lordship health, long life, and prosperity. I am, with the greatest respect and attachment, my Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient
and most devoted humble servant,
Give me leave to present my most respectful compliments and congratulations to the countess.
county of Derby, to whom he gave advice gratis. At the age of seventy-seven, however, finding the climate rather too cold for his years and constitution, he went, as he said, to spend the remainder of his days with his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Williams, at Herringstone, near Dorchester; where he continued to correspond with his relation, John Eardley Wilmot, son of the lord-chief-justice, with all the vigour and sprightliness of youth, till within a few months of his death; which happened in 1786, when he had completed his ninety-third year. Dr. William Heberden, in his Commentaries on the History and Cure of Diseases, says of him, "that very ingenious and learned physician, Sir Edward Wilmot, told me, that when he was a youth he was so far gone in a consumption, that the celebrated Dr. Ratcliffe, whom he consulted, gave his friends no hopes of his recovery," yet he lived to be above ninety; and this has been the case with some others who had many symptons of consumption in youth."- See Life of Sir Eardley Wilmot, p. 56.
THE EARL OF CHATHAM TO SIR ANDREW MITCHELL.
London, August 8th, 1766.
(Private and most secret.)
MY DEAR SIR,
MR. CONWAY'S office letter (1) will have informed you of the advice the King's servants have most
(1) The following is a copy of Mr. Conway's letter to Sir Andrew Mitchell. The original is among the Mitchell papers in the British Museum:
"St. James's, August 8, 1766.
"I HAVE it in command from his Majesty to inform you, that his Majesty, being convinced that nothing can tend so effectually to secure the continuation of the present general tranquillity as the forming such a firm and solid system in the North, as may prove a counterbalance to the great and formidable alliance framed by the House of Bourbon on the basis of the family compact; and considering a connection of Great Britain with the two great crowns of Russia and Prussia as the natural foundation of such a system, has been pleased to appoint Mr. Stanley his ambassador extraordinary to the court of Petersburg; who will be instructed to act in communication with you, and in order to that, will have his Majesty's commands to pass through Berlin, there to confer fully and freely with you on the most effectual means of bringing this great and salutary plan to the desired conclusion: and, that he may be enabled to do it more effectually, will have credentials to his Prussian Majesty, so as, in concurrence with you, to settle the proper measures to be pursued in the progress of this affair; in which the intimate knowledge you possess of the state of that court where you reside, and of the dispositions and views of his Prussian Majesty, will be of the most essential service. But as you are thoroughly acquainted with the coldness that has lately reigned between the courts of London and Berlin, and have been witness to the extreme backwardness his Prussian Majesty has shown towards any ideas of a more intimate connection with this
and abundance of substance and real mutual confidence.
More words upon this important matter are totally useless. I will only add, that you are to make such use of this letter with his Prussian Majesty, as you shall judge most conducive to the great object of it. Your own perfect knowledge of that court, your zeal, ability, and address are the best instructions. My heart is in this arduous business, so highly for the King's dignity and repose, and yours, I know, will go with ardour along with it. The conjunction of the King's ambassador, as he passes, I am persuaded, will cause no uneasy sensation in a mind composed like
I am ever, with unalterable esteem and warm affection, my dear Sir,
Your most faithful friend,
and obedient humble servant,
THE MARQUIS OF GRANBY TO THE EARL OF
MY DEAR LORD,
Knightsbridge, August 8, 1766.
THE unhappiness which I am well informed the honour his Majesty intends me will create to my friend Lord Ligonier, who I find intends paying his respects to your Lordship this morning, to express