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THE DUKE OF GRAFTON TO THE EARL OF CHATHAM.
Wakefield Lodge, Friday night, ten o'clock.
MY DEAR LORD,
I HAVE this moment received the inclosed from Lord Gower in answer to mine, and I think I cannot make so good a use of it as to transmit it immediately to you. It is my opinion, though this affair has not met with the issue that was expected, yet that it will prove to the world the rectitude of your intentions, so conformable to what has been professed.
It will rejoice me much to find that your Lordship has clinched it for Sir Charles Saunders; who, with the other proposed, will produce a most answerable board.
I have the honour to be, my dear Lord,
and faithful humble servant,
THE KING TO THE EARL OF CHATHAM.
Richmond Lodge, August 23, 1766,
25 m. past 4, p.m.
I AM Sorry I have proved so true a prophet, in the course of the various arrangements that have
been proposed; but am clear the sounding Lord Gower () was right, and must convince the deluded people that the declaration, that no exceptions were made to men, except as far as their own characters pointed it out, was the real truth. I agree with you in thinking it highly necessary the admiralty should not longer remain vacant ; therefore you may send for Sir Charles Saunders, and offer him the presidency at that board.
THE EARL OF CHATHAM TO THE EARL OF BRISTOL.
[From a draught in the hand writing of Lady Chatham.]
North End, August 26, 1766.
LORD CHATHAM, who is confined to his bed by the gout, and disabled in his hand from writing, desires to present his respects to Lord Bristol; and is under a necessity of taking this method to acquaint his Lordship, by the King's commands, that the Duke of Rutland having, in the handsomest manner, offered his employment (2) for the
(1) Granville Leveson, second earl Gower. By this and the preceding letter, it would appear, that an offer had been made to his lordship of the presidency of the board of admiralty, which he had declined. In December 1767, his lordship was appointed president of the council; in 1784, lord privy seal; and in 1786 advanced to the title of marquis of Stafford. He died in 1803.
(2) The mastership of the horse.
accommodation of the King's affairs, Lord Hertford has in consequence consented to resign Ireland, desiring at the same time some weeks more or less before his resignation. If the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland be agreeable to Lord Bristol, his Majesty will see with particular pleasure that important post filled by his lordship, and expects every advantage to his government from the great abilities of Lord Bristol, and from his lordship's more frequent residence in Ireland. The King desires to see Lord Bristol, as soon as is convenient to his lordship.
Lord Chatham is extremely mortified that his present condition puts it out of his power to wait on Lord Bristol on his arrival in town, but will be proud and happy to be at his lordship's orders at North End, to offer any lights in his power, previous to Lord Bristol's attending his Majesty.
THE EARL OF BRISTOL TO THE EARL OF CHATHAM.
Ickworth Lodge, August 27, 1766.
MY LORD, I HAVE just received the honour of your Lordship's most obliging letter by the messenger Evans, and am truly concerned to hear the gout has confined your Lordship to your bed. I should think myself wanting in gratitude to your Lordship, if I did not take the earliest opportunity of going to North End, to express my acknowledg
ments for your recommendation of me to his Majesty for the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland; which I think it my duty to accept of, since you, my Lord, have judged me equal to so important a trust, and that the King condescends to name me to it in so gracious a manner.
I hope to wait upon your Lordship on Friday morning about eleven, and then to renew the professions of that constant attachment, truth, and respect, with which I have the honour to be, my Lord,
most obliged, obedient, and most faithful servant,
THE DUKE OF GRAFTON TO THE EARL OF CHATHAM,
Grosvenor Square, August 27, 1766.
MY DEAR LORD,
THE King, on my coming into the closet, gave me directions that Sir Charles Saunders should kiss his hand, as first lord of the admiralty. He then proceeded to talk of other matters, without bringing up at all any conversation on the subject of Mr. Mackenzie. After having paused some time, I acquainted his Majesty, that that gentleman had called on me yesterday while I was out airing;
that I could not suppose that any difficulty was made by him to accept the post, on the footing his Majesty had been so gracious to tell me and the rest of his servants that he meant he should hold it. To which his Majesty directly replied, "Not in the least. I have thoroughly explained to him, that he holds the office detached of every ministerial power whatever;" and that he could not conceive from whence could arise any reports of doubt on the subject, and that it could come from no good wisher to his affairs. Thus, my Lord, having heard the King repeat again the conditions on which he held it, and his assuring me that Mr. Mackenzie was well informed of it also, I concluded that there never had been a doubt, or, if there was, that it had immediately been stopped in the closet. He kissed hands, and in his behaviour was very civil to me. (1)
(1) When Mr. Stuart Mackenzie first received the privy seal of Scotland, in 1763, he was assured by the King that his appointment was for life: the Duke of Bedford, however, in 1765, apprehensive of being considered under the influence of Lord Bute, deprived him of the situation. Lord Chatham, regarding this removal as a flagrant violation of the royal promise, unmindful of the odium which might attach to the measure, made this reparation of the King's private honour one of the first acts of his new ministry. For this measure of justice he was assailed with all the virulence of party malice; and though he had recently declared in parliament, that he would not submit to be minister where he felt an over-ruling influence, and that his objection to Lord Bute was personal and not national, he was decried as the dupe of that noble lord, and told, that "as he had been caught in a Scotch trap, he must get out of it as well as he could." See "An Enquiry into the Conduct of a late Right Honourable Commoner."