BENNET, Hon. Henry Grey (1777-1836), of Walton-on-Thames, Surr. and Camelford House, Oxford Street, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 2 Dec. 1777, 2nd s. of Charles, 4th earl of Tankerville (d. 1822), and Emma, da. of Sir James Colebrooke†, 1st. bt., of Gatton Park, Surr.; bro. of Charles Augustus Bennet, Lord Ossulston*. educ. Eton 1788-92; Peterhouse, Camb. 1799-1801; L. Inn 1798, called 1803. m. 16 May 1816, Gertrude Frances, da. of Lord William Russell*, 1s. d.v.p. 3da. (1 d.v.p.). d. 29 May 1836.
Ensign 1 Ft. Gds. 1793, lt. and capt. 1794, ret. 1796; capt. Glendale vols. 1803.
Bennet was an assiduous spokesman for the ‘Mountain’ who, until blighted by personal tragedies in 1824 and 1825, remained one of the most active and prominent radical Whigs of his time. A diminutive figure, he had a history of ‘factious opposition’ and took particular delight in provoking the Liverpool ministry’s foreign secretary Lord Castlereagh* and home secretary Lord Sidmouth into disclosing information which could later be used against them. He had hoped to see the Commons party led by Lord John Russell* or Samuel Whitbread† when George Tierney was installed as leader in 1818; but he spoke frequently in support of Tierney and the ‘constitutional Whigs’, whom he otherwise mistrusted for deserting ‘Foxite principles’, counted Henry Brougham* and Thomas Creevey* among his closest personal and political friends and acted increasingly in the House with Joseph Hume.1 Vitriolic letters to the press charged him with failing his constituents and ‘betraying’ his ‘gentlemanly deportment’ by championing the causes of the Peterloo martyrs, the Catholics, and parliamentary and penal reform, so ‘lending yourself to a party for the sole purpose of opposition and clogging the wheels of government’.2 However, despite a belated attempt to find a third man, his return for Shrewsbury in 1820, on his father’s and Lord Darlington’s interests, was unopposed.3 He declined attendance at the Westmorland dinner in honour of Brougham, 22 Apr., on account of pressure of business.4
Resuming his place on the opposition second bench, he harried ministers relentlessly for returns and information and, frequently as a teller, divided against them in almost every known division until April 1824, making over 500 speeches, interventions in debate, motions for papers and presentations of petitions in the same period. Assisting with the opposition’s planned campaign against civil list expenditure, he obtained details of pensions so granted, 2 May 1820, and was a minority teller on the 5th for their motion to have admiralty and crown droits treated as civil list revenue. He failed to carry an amendment obliging placemen to vacate their seats, 12 May, but persisted in calling for a new pensions bill, 12, 15 May; and he criticized the government’s appropriation of the Leeward Islands four-and-a-half per cent levy with his ‘Mountain’ colleagues, 2 June.5 Later that day the dean of arches, Sir John Nicholl, approved his suggestion for incorporating a clause in Phillimore’s abortive Marriage Act amendment bill denying adults who married minors the power to sue for annulment. He argued strongly on financial and strategic grounds against retaining four military establishments in London and was a minority teller against the barracks grant, 16 June. He confirmed his commitment to criminal law reform, 9 May, and went to Freemasons’ Hall on the 23rd to hear William Wilberforce* speak on prison discipline.6 True to his humanitarian principles, he endorsed government expenditure on the refuge for the destitute and Millbank penitentiary, 16 June, and claimed when John Lockhart criticized the latter that ‘he was not for pampering the palate of the convict’ but ‘for allowing him that quantity of provisions that was requisite to his support’.7 Knowing that it ‘disclosed a very extraordinary scene of squabbling with regard to patronage’, he succeeded in having the detailed breakdown of the cost of the Peninsular war (seen by the 1817 finance committee) put before the House, 7, 12 July.8 He opposed the award for the Opthalmic Institution, 2 June, suspecting malpractice or at best a ‘job’, 10 July, and, finding his speech that day misreported in the Morning Chronicle, he insisted that he had intended no slight to the Institute’s director Sir William Adams by his statement that ‘three medical persons’ disapproved of his methods, and added that during visits there he had found only three of the current 69 patients dissatisfied with their treatment, ‘it was understood without reason’, 12 July.9 Bennet had a reputation as a constitutional defender of the liberties of underdogs and radicals, and among the petitions of complaint he presented that session were several from debtors in the Fleet prison, 31 May, 11 July, and the convicted Peterloo radicals George Dewhurst, 31 May, John Knight, 14 June, and Nathan Broadhurst, 5 July, who alleged ill-treatment in Lancaster gaol.10 Ministers and Governor Macquarie of New South Wales had reacted angrily to his 1818 pamphlet on the transportation laws and the state of the hulks, and he engaged in hostile exchanges with the colonial under-secretary Goulburn over the New South Wales bill, 8, 26 June, 3 July. On the 11th, despite objections by Castlereagh and the Grenvillite leader Charles Williams Wynn, he persuaded the House to receive a petition from John Decke, the master of a convict ship, whose allegations of underpayment embarrassed the government.11 A potential candidate and stalwart of reform and anniversary dinners in Westminster, where he supported John Cam Hobhouse*, Bennet brought up the borough’s petition against renewing the aliens bill, 8 June 1820.12
Bennet and his brother Lord Ossulston were among Queen Caroline’s ‘furious partisans’ depicted in Cruikshank’s cartoon ‘The Cradle Hymn’.13 Unlike the ‘great guns’, Lords Grey, Lansdowne and Holland, they waited on her when she returned from France, and the ‘violence’ of Bennet’s speeches and pertinent questions concerning Lord Hutchinson’s letter and the alleged £50,000 bribe offered to her counsel Brougham, 6 June 1820, created a great stir, for Castlereagh refused to reply and directed him to ‘gain the information ... by the ordinary means’.14 He had mingled with the London crowd who greeted the queen and declared when the grant for the coronation was voted, 3 July, that
nothing was more likely to excite public indignation than to find that while one House was agitating a bill of pains and penalties against Her Majesty, the other was employed in voting a sum of money to be expended in the pageantry and show of the coronation of the king.15
He opposed the decision to proceed with the bill and Castlereagh, the Speaker and Williams Wynn intervened repeatedly on points of order in vain attempts to stifle his criticism of the composition and proceedings of the secret committee, for which he held the king personally accountable, and to stop him raising constitutional issues and drawing close parallels between the cases of Caroline and Anne Boleyn, 6 July. Seconding Hobhouse’s tactical motion for a prorogation, a ploy to prevent the appointment of a select committee to examine the bill, 18 Sept., he asserted that there was ‘no safety but in retreat’, as the Commons, Lords and sovereign would be degraded whether or not the measure was carried, and claimed that abandoning the divorce clause would harm both parties. The motion was defeated, by 66-12, but ‘drawn out like double teeth’ from Castlereagh was the useful disclosure that the switch from secret service to civil contingency funds had been made on 6 July.16 Reporting to Brougham, Bennet observed:
I did not like my own display. The people were very civil to me about it as my wits were wool gathering about the measles in my family and Creevey tells me that my hint about the army was somewhat more than one. Mr. Attorney was furious at my attack on him, but he derives ten times more from the opening speech and the solicitous chamber pot evidence. I am sure we have struck the right chord, as I hear from all parts that the coarseness and grossness of the evidence defeats the one object of the producers and that if the secret Lords say truly, not half the things in the bag were seen to, or even asked about. I very much doubted the wisdom of dividing, but Creevey seemed most anxious and so it was done.17
‘Bennetizing in the House’ remained the dominant opposition strategy.18 He pointed to ministerial involvement in sanctioning the scurrilous letters and publications of Denis O’Bryen and others on Peterloo and the queen, 17 Oct., and was one of the rump who remained in the House, 23 Nov. 1820, when its sudden prorogation prevented them receiving the queen’s message after proceedings against her were abandoned.19 He was a signatory to the Northumberland requisition and attended the Shropshire county meeting, 10 Jan. 1821, when his amendments to their loyal address (incorporating references to distress and disavowing ministers) were rejected and his speech misreported.20
According to Bennet’s diary, a daily account and resumé of the 1821 session,21 he was one of 60-70 at the pre-session meeting that Tierney chaired at Burlington House, 22 Jan., when they resolved to protest against the November prorogation, but failed to agree whether to force a division on the address or whether the liturgy question or a censure motion should take precedence. Thus, according to Bennet, as a result of Tierney’s exasperating indecision and Lord George Cavendish’s* deliberate absence they failed to capitalize on the queen’s case, so setting the tone for a disappointing session.22 Taking his place between Lord Tavistock and Sir Francis Burdett on the fourth bench, 23 Jan., he supported Wetherell’s attack on ministers and cast the first of several votes for the restoration of Caroline’s name to the liturgy. He wrote:
The speech from the throne abstaining from all debatable questions, and the speeches of the mover and seconder provoking them ... It certainly was the most discreditable day I ever witnessed in the House of Commons, and there is no common debating society of mechanics but what could have produced two better speeches. Curwen followed in his usual bad manner ... Tierney ... continued in the flattest manner and in the lowest key to say as many dull sentiments as ever were crowded into so small a compass.23
Dismayed, he surmised that their ‘first great mistake’ was in not forcing a division on an amendment which Scarlett had to hand, and noted:
Our duty [is] to inflame the people and to keep the momentum up at the pitch it now is. Our only chance of getting rid of the system which disgraces and oppresses us is by urging the people out of doors by speeches within, but by the plan adopted yesterday, it would seem that the ... Commons is the only place in the kingdom in which there is no sympathy with the feelings of the people at large. At Lord Holland’s and at Brooks’s last night our friends were all furious. Lord Grey said it was disgraceful to let Lord Castlereagh’s speech pass unanswered.24
Bemoaning the damage to the crown and Parliament, he presented and endorsed petitions for the restoration of the queen’s rights almost daily and, convinced that they were ‘on the right track’, called repeatedly for inquiry. He carried the overnight adjournment of Tavistock’s censure motion, 5 Feb., with a speech that cast doubt on the credentials of members of the Milan Commission, George Canning’s* role, and the church’s stance on divorce. Turning on its head Peel’s criticism of the queen’s partisans as ‘a base and desperate faction whose object seemed to be little less than the subversion of government’, he argued that ministers were a ‘faction who had made an instrument of Her Majesty for their own ambitious purposes and then deserted her’.25 He sought details of ex-officio informations, 5, 9 Feb.26 As at the county meeting, 2 Feb., on the 8th he strongly endorsed the Surrey petition deploring the queen’s prosecution and exclusion from the liturgy.27 He knew, as a member of the committee at Brooks’s which managed the queen’s subscription fund, that ‘business flags’;28 but he presented the petition of Thomas Rhodes, detained for carrying an effigy of Majocci at Stamford, 16 Feb., and although he distanced himself from its wilder demands, he spoke and was a teller for receiving the Nottingham petition for the impeachment of ministers, 20 Feb.29 He wrote of his abortive negotiations with Lord Kensington† on the prospect of the queen’s former paramour Canning joining opposition ‘upon an understanding that we would not take office without including him, nor would he without including us’, 12 Feb.:
Kensington ... proposed to put the question of reform upon the same footing as the Catholic question stands at present in the cabinet ... I confess myself to be friendly to it, as there are no means of fighting the crown except by the union of public men, and though not a jot of principle is ever to be abandoned, yet men can act together without cordially concurring in all opinions as I am sure I disagree with many of our opposition friends such as Lord G. Cavendish, etc., full as much, if not more than with Canning.30
He divided for Catholic relief, 28 Feb., when he found Plunket and Charles Grant impressive, Peel ‘bad and weak’ and ‘no other speech of the night ... worth hearing’.31 Urging the receipt of the Yorkshire anti-Catholic petition, 26 Mar. 1821, he argued that ‘all sects were intolerant’, and ‘if some of the petitions which had been presented some years ago against the former indulgences granted to the Catholics were to be closely examined, they would be found to contain several sentiments very uncongenial to the mild principles of Christianity’.32
Tierney resigned the leadership on 8 Mar. 1821 leaving the Whigs, as the foreign office under-secretary Joseph Planta* reported, ‘almost broken up as a party ... [and] the warfare ... that of the guerrillas: Hume, Bennet, Wilson and Co. give all the trouble they can’.33 He spoke on behalf of the licensed victualler Samuel Meeke, 14, 19 Feb., the Bowditch family, 15 Feb., Nathan Broadhurst and other prisoners alleging ill-treatment at Ilchester and Lancaster, 7, 9 Mar., 11 Apr., 2 May, 6 June, and had most of their petitions referred to the select committee on the state of gaols, to which he was appointed, 16 Mar.34 He brought up several petitions, including the contentious one from John Lees, for inquiry into the Peterloo massacre, 15 May, voted for it, 16 May, and was ‘pleased with this division’, but perplexed and disappointed by the silence of Brougham, Macdonald and Tierney and Scarlett’s speech.35 He revealed, on presenting a petition from a rival quarry owner, how George Dawkins Pennant*, a wealthy government supporter, was protecting his enterprise at Penrhyn by failing to develop adjacent quarries leased from the commissioners of woods and forests, 25 May, but Hume’s attempt to pursue the matter failed, by 90-19, 21 June.36 Bennet’s commitment to penal law reform was widely respected, and his well-researched speech against the ‘short sighted’ transportation of offenders bill was commended, 26 Feb.37 Drawing on his experience as a leading member of the 1816 committee on policing the metropolis, he criticized the ministerial bill, 17 Apr., 2 May, and was pleased when it was held over for amendment, 29 June.38 He obtained returns on convictions and advocated criminal law reform and abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 1, 19, 20, 27 Feb., 26 Mar., and suggested increasing the proportion of Bank of England notes in circulation to deter forgers, 13 Apr. He postponed his ‘placemen bill’ to make way for Mackintosh’s forgery punishment mitigation bill, 16 May, for which he was a majority teller, 4 June.39 His own measure for amending the law of rescue of prisoners received royal assent, 10 July 1821.40
Since February, Bennet and his fellow ‘Mountaineers’ Creevey, Thomas Davies and John Maberly had supported Hume in a concerted and obstructive campaign against patronage and the estimates, thereby seizing the initiative from the mainstream Whigs, who, as The Times complained, gave them only occasional support.41 Bennet made several purposeful interventions, 2 Feb., and wrote of their minority of 22 on ways and means, 14 Feb.:
This is a curious division. Very good people in it, though some of our friends voted with government upon the plea that having voted the supply, they could not refuse the ways and means. This is absurd, as the point is to stop the vote in the shape it appears, for we did not mean to say we refuse you supplies to the crown, but we will not give them now for no previous estimate has been laid before the House. Government were very angry and Creevey made a droll speech quizzing Warrender ‘as once a tip top patriot, rather in the radical line’.42
Pleased by Hume’s speech on moving to have the ordnance estimates printed in full detail, 16 Feb., he observed:
We have thus begun well ... Our people are becoming daily more interested in the chase. The attendance is daily better and soon the leaders will take an interest in the whole affair; if not it will be necessary to come to an understanding with Tierney, who is not to be allowed to take our exertions amiss if he absents himself on any plea except bad health from his daily attendance in the House.43
He harried ministers in committee of supply, 26 Feb., 5, 6 Mar., when he also resumed his attack on Adams and the Opthalmic Institution; and, as ministers soon perceived, after Tierney formally relinquished the leadership, their ‘Pindaree warfare’, with which Hobhouse, John Lambton and Sir Robert Wilson now assisted, became by default, and to Bennet’s regret, the mainstay of the opposition attack.44 He invariably backed Creevey, endorsed Maberly’s resolutions on the revenue, 6 Mar., and supported motions calculated to appeal to disgruntled Tory squires, such as repeal of the agricultural horse tax, 5 Mar., 5 Apr., and the additional malt duty, 21 Mar., 3 Apr.45 He ‘rated in strong terms the conduct of the Tory country gentlemen’ and called for the remit of the agricultural distress committee to be extended to the currency, taxation and parliamentary reform, 7 Mar.46 He spoke and was a minority teller for Creevey’s amendment to reduce the number of placemen and pensioners in the Commons, 9 Mar.47 He divided for reform, 2 Mar., 18 Apr., 9 May, and was a steward at the London Tavern dinner, 4 Apr.48 He joined Curwen and Western in advocating corn law revision, 29 Mar., and criticized Baring’s cash payments bill, 9 Apr.49 The political economist Ricardo thought Bennet’s speech for equalization of the timber duties was ‘full of the soundest argument and as yet totally unanswered’, 5 Apr. Advocating ‘free trade’ and equal tariffs, 13 Apr., 4 May, he joined Lord Althorp in criticizing the ministerial measure, 16 Apr.50 On 12 Mar., in a ‘trial of physical strength’ with government that lasted until four in the morning, he divided the House repeatedly on Hume’s resolutions encapsulating the 1817 finance committee’s recommendation that the estimates be restored to their 1792 equivalents, making it central to their campaign.51 He remained at the forefront of a group of 20 or so Members who set their sights on retaining extra-parliamentary support rather than obtaining office, steadfastly opposed all non-humanitarian expenditure and delayed business at every opportunity.52 By May their objective was said to be ‘to prolong the session and so delay the coronation and the king’s visit to Ireland’.53 Having seen it, Bennet suggested printing the queen’s correspondence with Lord Liverpool and challenged ministers to announce whether or not she would be crowned, 22 May. He cited the duke of Clarence’s conduct towards her as a reason for voting against his annuity and settlement, 8, 18, 25, 29 June, and moved unsuccessfully for its reduction, 2 July. Outmanoeuvred by ministers, he was at the lord mayor’s dinner in honour of the queen when the estimates were carried, 22 June.54 The case of the Irish judge O’Grady had been scheduled for consideration, but
Londonderry [Castlereagh] rose, confessed he had not had time to read the papers and begged to have the debate postponed to a future day. This of course was agreed to. The consequence of this was the committee of supply, and when Hume and myself returned at 10 o’clock, we found all the votes had passed without discussion. Of course a great laugh was raised against us.55
Distancing himself from Tierney, Mackintosh and Calcraft, but with some support from Brougham, whose conduct as the queen’s counsel Londonderry had criticized, Bennet joined Creevey and Hume in goading Londonderry with protests against the slight to the queen, Clarence’s conduct at her trial and the high cost of the coronation when distress was rife.56 Annoyed by Brougham and Mackintosh’s refusal to speak for Hume’s economy and retrenchment motion, 27 June, he threatened to ‘shift my quarters and found another colony’.57 His speech that day was an unplanned response to Londonderry’s taunts:
I followed him, and in a few sentences raked up all the provoking things I could at that time remember: such as, that he had no claim to taunt opposition, or panegyrize the ... Commons, he, who when out of office, was proved to be the very creature of office, whose friends forsook him, and who was left alone as the maker of all cabal, and the agent of the low and base intrigue which replaced them in power, which the lord chancellor called ‘the seat of solitude and sorrow’. That as for the House ... and its confidence, I knew it went to those whom the crown favoured. It was now with the noble lord as it had been with his predecessors in office; it would be the same to his successors. The ... Commons would support the king’s beefeater if named prime minister. I had recollected the House ... of 1807, who stood by the present opposition when the king favoured them, but betrayed them when he withdrew his support. That vile and base crew I well remembered, and though decency and order prevented me from speaking of the present Parliament as I should of former ones, yet every day convinced me that the power of the crown in that House was paramount to all considerations of duty, and that there the king was everything, the people nothing. I wished the noble lord joy of such a support. For my part I neither sought nor valued it. I was contented to do the people’s business, to save their money and their honour; and I willingly left to the noble lord the favour of the crown. This sortie of mine is not reported for there was no reporter in the gallery, and the House was breaking up, the Members standing round the table. The government was very angry, and the next night Lord Londonderry asked me in his half serious and joking manner if I had cooled or had any more spiteful and venomous things to say, and that he wished I was gone to the sheep-shearing at Holkham.58
He had made time-wasting interventions on the public accounts bill, 13, 30 Apr., 25 June, and the budget, whose ‘immoral’ provisions for the lottery he condemned, 1 June.59 He railed against the grants for Irish newspapers, 28 June (and again, 22 July 1822, 14 Apr. 1823, 19 Mar. 1824),60 and the aliens office, 29 June, and expressed alarm when the government summoned extra troops to London for the coronation, 3 July; but his only tangible success was a last minute adjustment in the compensation paid to the French General Desfourneaux, 28 June 1821.61
As a member of the committee of privileges, Bennet intervened increasingly on points of order, precedence and privilege, usually with an eye to discomfiting recipients of government patronage. When Stuart Wortley’s motion of complaint against the Morning Chronicle was rejected, 9 Mar. 1821, he quipped that he rejoiced to see ‘the great Member for Yorkshire, the maker, unmaker and mender of administrations, at war with a poor printer and beat’.62 He condemned the Newington select vestry bill as a ministerial ‘job’ brought forward by Holme Sumner in ‘defiance of the sense of the parish’, 21 Mar., 6, 9 Apr., 14, 16 May;63 and his criticism of the deployment of the military at the Carlisle election was calculated to embarrass the Lowthers through their association with the scurrilous John Bull, 15 Mar., 3 Apr.64 On 6 May John Bull joined the Courier in misreporting his speech on the army estimates, 3 May, a breach of privilege first drawn to the attention of the House by Thomas Mackenzie, 4 May. Bennet, as the satirist I.L. Marks observed, had to ‘take the bull by the horns’, and, supported by Londonderry, he lodged his complaint, 8 May. He submitted the printers Arrowsmith, Cooper, Shackle and Weaver ‘to a degree of inquisitorial investigation ... seldom permitted even in the latitude of parliamentary examination, 9, 10 May,65 decided against seeking their committal and recommended prosecuting them for libelling him. This Londonderry, Williams Wynn and Burdett opposed, 11 May, and at Scarlett’s behest he withdrew his motion, 12 May, leaving Sir Ronald Ferguson to present his case and Alexander Baring to move for Cooper’s committal to Newgate. Lord Nugent and Hobhouse moved an amendment that Cooper be brought to the bar of the House to be reprimanded, and it became apparent during their exchanges with Londonderry and Williams Wynn that Londonderry was protecting John Bull. Cooper and Weaver were ordered to Newgate, by 109-23 and 34-27 respectively. On the 13th John Bull, which claimed that the case had boosted its circulation by ‘at least two thousand’, reported the week’s proceedings interspersed with squibs against Bennet, ‘such a little gossiping waspish thing that even the Shrewsbury cake-sellers themselves are sick of him’.66 He recorded:
Thus has ended a very disagreeable business. As far as I have been concerned it has been very flattering, as all those who most oppose questions of privilege stayed away, or went out of the House, and the expressions of civility I received were complimentary to the highest degree. Tavistock was in the minority - he told me he should be so, and that however much he abhorred the publication, yet he could commit no man for a breach of privilege in the nature of a libel. He highly approved of my motion and would have voted for it. Many other persons told me the same, and there seemed to be but one opinion as to the infamy of the paper in question, and a just abhorrence of its authors and proprietor, whether secret or avowed. Lord Londonderry did himself no good by his motion, and it is evident he would have been left in a minority. Very few of our people voted in the minority and some persons of the government who were in it were evidently so from political opinion and not upon any principle (like the vote of Tavistock) against the summary judgement in matters of privilege.67
A related allegation of misreporting was not pursued.68 Reasoning that ‘if the House did not reform itself by turning out all useless placemen and pensioners ... it could not possess the confidence, affection or respect of the people’, he proposed legislating to reduce their number from 51 to 22, but was refused leave to do so, by 76-52, 31 May, ‘the division having unexpectedly taken place’ when Hume, Lord Bury, Mackintosh, Barrett Lennard and others were shut out.69 On 8 June 1821 he succeeded in ordering returns of all crown office-holders.70
Bennet divided silently for inquiry into the conduct of the Allies towards Naples when Tierney and the front bench engaged ministers, 21 Feb. 1821.71 He used his personal knowledge of Neapolitan business (acquired during his residency with the envoy Sir William A’Court†) to endorse the petition of Captain Romeo, expelled for assisting the English during the occupation of Sicily, 20 Mar., and realized that Davies’s attempt to revive the issue was ‘ill advised’, 3 July.72 He ‘spoke for about half an hour’ and was a minority teller for inquiry into the conduct of Sir Thomas Maitland† as governor of the Ionian Isles, 7 June, and noted afterwards that he ‘was well listened to and made some tolerable hits, yet it was an entire off hand speech, as I knew nothing upon the subject except what the listening to Hume’s speech furnished me with’.73 He urged inquiry into the administration of justice in Tobago, 6 June, and the Holy Alliance, 20 June 1821, but deemed Hely Hutchinson’s arguments for the latter ‘very tiresome and heavy’ and his motion ‘remarkably ill drawn up, and as awkwardly worded as it could be’.74 He stayed away when Parliament was prorogued on the 11th, deeming Hume’s motion on the coronation to be ‘not in very good taste’.75 Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of parliamentary and popular opposition at the close of the session he observed:
What then is to become of us next year I know not. The indifference of Tierney, whose health does not enable him to continue as leader, the want of popular qualities and sympathies of Mackintosh, the fancies and disgusts and alienation of Brougham and the temper of Lambton are sufficient to separate a large body of nobility and gentry who have, for so many years, in various fortunes, in good and evil report acted together - not indeed successfully to obtain office, but at least to keep alive in the minds of the country a spirit of liberty and habits of right thinking and acting ... The country has been taught to look into the details of its own affairs. The frame of the government has been examined into piecemeal. The forms of Parliament are seen to be admirably fitted for such examination, and though it is manifest that the distress of their pockets has alone made the government side of the ... Commons act with opposition in enforcing economy, yet the blow is struck, the impulse is given, and stop it who can.76
A contributor to the Quarterly Review observed: ‘Speeches delivered in the present year at public meetings by Lord Folkestone*, Hume and Bennet have been the same in doctrine, tendency and even language as those of [Henry] Hunt* ... One calls for revolutions, the others say it is inevitable’.77 Bennet’s in-laws the Russells regretted the continued delegation of opposition ‘by default’ to Hume, Bennet and Davies, which alienated ‘all reasonable and honest men’.78
John Gladstone* warned Canning before the start of the 1822 session that Bennet was ‘brimful of something or other’.79 He was a teller for Hume’s amendment to the address, pledging the House to support stringent economies and retrenchment, 5 Feb., opposed the government’s coercive measures for Ireland, 7, 8, 11 Feb., mustered support for Brougham and Althorp’s proposals for further tax reductions to alleviate distress and was a teller for Brougham’s, 11 Feb.80 After further concessions were announced, he took the chancellor of the exchequer Vansittart to task for the inconvenience caused by his ‘ill-arranged and ill-digested plan’, 4 Mar.81 He advocated ‘total abolition’ and voted against the ‘most pernicious’ tax on salt, 28 Feb., 3, 28 June.82 According to Mackintosh and others, he spoke at length and with ‘coarse invective’, ‘like a blackguard’, for Creevey’s civil officers’ pensions bill, 27 Feb., so falling prey to the caustic wit of Londonderry, who deemed the prudence of his ‘rush for change’ unequal to his gallantry.83 Repeatedly condemning ‘the whole of the present system’ which his ‘own inquiries’ showed had been driven by ministerial bribery since 1688, he echoed Hume’s plea for financing naval and military pensions from the sinking fund, and spoke against the government’s measure, 22 Feb., 11, 20 Mar., 3, 7 May, 3, 26 June, creating a furore on the last occasion with his vicious criticism of the £3,000 award to Lord Sidmouth, who he said had been ‘no more qualified than any of the door keepers of the House’ to be home secretary.84 Supporting Hume ‘with his wit’, he remained a stalwart of the ‘select society’ which sustained the campaign against the estimates and divided consistently with them until 19 July, including for the reductions in diplomatic expenditure proposed to embarrass the Williams Wynns in the wake of the Grenvillite accession to the ministry, which Londonderry made a question of confidence, 15, 16 May.85 He reserved his severest criticism for the awards for a national monument in Scotland, 5, 15 July, and the Opthalmic Hospital, 24 July.86 He ‘chose not to oppose’ the £100,000 grant for the Irish poor, 21 June, but objected to those for the charter schools and the foundling hospital, 17 July.87 He spoke against the Irish insurrection bill, 8, 15 July 1822.88
He announced, 5 Feb. 1822, that he would submit a critical motion concerning the late queen’s funeral the first time ministers mentioned ‘supply’, but delayed doing so until the associated motions on the assault on Alderman Waithman*, 8, 28 Feb., and Wilson’s dismissal from the army, 13 Feb., had been defeated, and his interim resolution inserted in the Journal, 11 Feb.89 Knowing that it would fail, he couched his motion of complaint in a hard-hitting speech which, according to Mackintosh, ‘being free from his usual violence was feeble, inoffensive and decent’, 6 Mar. He described how ministers and officials had neglected the queen during her final illness and made inadequate and inappropriate provisions for her funeral, and protested at the manner in which she had been ‘taken up as a party tool to be alternately caressed and betrayed’ and ultimately forsaken.90 He spoke against financing pensions for her servants from the consolidated fund, recommending instead that they be placed on the pensions list as vacancies arose, 19 July.91 He hoped to reform the alehouse licensing system by transferring power from the brewers who owned tied houses to the magistrates, and although his bill, which was supported by petitions from Maidenhead, 17 Apr., and elsewhere, 24, 26 Apr., 17, 24 May, 3 June, 12, 17 July, was strenuously opposed in committee, it passed its third reading, 27 June, and became law, 25 July.92 He secured information on transported convicts, 1 Mar., signalled his intention of having the definition of ‘an accessory before the fact’ revised, 29 Mar., and was granted leave (though nothing came of it) to introduce bills to amend sentencing for felony and manslaughter, 17 Apr.93 He failed to secure alterations to the Orphans’ Fund bill, 20 July.94 A member since 12 Mar. of the record commission, he voted for the £2,000 grant to publish ancient history ‘as a work of general utility, which devoid of unnecessary splendour might find easy circulation’ 24 July.95 He was a spokesman and teller for the abortive bill to reform the Middlesex county court, 28 Mar., 19 June 1822, 19 June 1823, the vagrancy laws amendment bill, 1, 21 May,96 and criminal law reform, 4 June 1822. His appeals to precedent foiled an early attempt by Londonderry to kill Brougham’s motion condemning the growing influence of the crown, for which, having delivered his customary harangue against placemen and for reform and cheap government, he was a minority teller, 24 June.97 He similarly supported an amendment to the burgh magistrates bill, 19 July 1822.
Having clashed with Gooch over the Suffolk agricultural distress petition, 15 Feb., Bennet presented similar ones from Northamptonshire, 12 Mar., and was peeved, but not surprised, when the Shropshire distress meeting rejected his radical amendments, 25 Mar. 1822.98 He objected to postponing consideration of the agriculture committee’s report brought up by Gooch, 1 Apr., and claimed that it was better suited to ‘constant and repeated small discussions’ than an exchange of long speeches between Londonderry and an opposition spokesman.99 He succeeded in drawing Londonderry into the debate on the Wiltshire distress petition, 3 Apr., when, criticizing Ricardo’s tenet that taxes had nothing to do with the agriculturists’ plight, he attributed it to ‘such demands on their pockets by the crown, the church, and the poor, that nothing was left to the landlord for rent, or to the cultivator for profit’. At the meetings, 4, 18 Feb., and in the House, 29 Apr., he strongly endorsed the Surrey distress petition advocating reform, retrenchment and lower taxes.100 He asserted that ‘the return to cash payments was right’, but inadequately prepared for, 26 Apr.,101 criticized Ricardo’s proposals for a fixed duty on wheat, 7 May,102 and divided for Althorp’s amendment for an 18s. bounty on wheat exports, 9 May, and to permit the export (as flour) of bonded corn admitted for grinding, 10 June. He was for receiving radical petitions from Greenhoe, 3 June, and Kent, 14 June, linking reform, distress and the high cost of the national debt, and his challenge to Londonderry to accept and heed a similar one from Grimshaw was loudly cheered, 4 June.103 He had Western’s motion for inquiry into the resumption of cash payments adjourned, 11 June 1822, and, opening the debate next day, he agreed with the liberal Tory Huskisson’s assessment of the ‘miserable consequences of tampering with the currency’, conceded that repeal of the 1819 Act was impossible and said that although he supported inquiry he had no ‘way forward’ to suggest.104
Bennet was no match for Williams Wynn, with whom he became embroiled to little effect in discussions on precedent, procedure and constitutional matters affecting Hunt’s case.105 Drawing on his correspondence with Hunt and his expertise on prisons, he stressed the evidence of mismanagement and mistreatment at Ilchester gaol, 8, 20, 27 Feb., 4, 11, 13 Mar., and endorsed complaints that interference with Members’ mail constituted a breach of privilege, 13, 25 Feb., 15 Mar. 1822.106 He recommended appealing to the royal prerogative to secure Hunt’s release, 4 Mar., had no qualms about receiving pro-Hunt petitions imputing corruption to the House, 22, 28 Mar., 2, 24 Apr., and was a minority teller for remission of Hunt’s sentence, 24 Apr. He supported attempts to revive the issue, 13 May, 19 June, and to keep under review the cases of the printer James Ferguson, 14 Mar., 8 July, Theodore Hooke, 24 Apr., 24 May, 5 July, James Meeke, 24 May, the Wests, 12 July, and the Java prize money claimants, 17 July.107 He presented petitions from the bookseller William Clark, whose trial for sedition was delayed, 28 Mar., Le Marchant, complaining of the inefficient administration of justice in Guernsey, 4 July, and various debtors in king’s bench prison, 18 July.108 ‘Sick to death of it ... literally every other opposition man’ was said to have ‘gone out of town’, before Bennet made his end of session speech, 31 July 1822.109 In it he claimed that the House had begun to heed petitions and comply with their requests for retrenchment, reductions in placemen, reform and assistance for farmers, and maintained that the best way forward was by increasing pressure on ministers through public petitioning and prolonged parliamentary sessions. Praising the ‘independent Members’, he said:
He disliked the name of Whig and he held in just abhorrence the name of Tory, because he considered those parties as having inflicted great mischief on the country. He would discard those terms, and class the parties of the present days, under the names of reformers and anti-reformers. He and his friends would call on the people to gather round them, and to give them that support which they deserved as reformers.110
Newspapers grossly inflated Bennet’s likely inheritance following his father’s death in December 1822, which amounted to £400 a year plus his 1811 settlement.111 Members of the Beresford family were among Tankerville’s legatees, and addressing the House, 12 Feb. 1823, Bennet, who had privately predicted that Canning’s appointment as foreign secretary and leader of the House would prove to be the ministry’s ‘undoing’, further alienated himself from the Whig hierarchy and set the tone for the session by announcing that he would not be deterred by personal friendship and professional regard from opposing Sir William Carr Beresford’s peacetime appointment as lieutenant-general of the ordnance, and that he and Hume would remain obstructive in opposition. He voted in condemnation of Beresford’s appointment, 12 Feb., and for inquiry into his duties, 19 Feb.112 Apparently ignoring a request from the Whig George Agar Ellis* to ‘soften as much as he could [Lord] King’s intended resolutions’ before the 10 Feb. Surrey meeting, ‘in order that Ellenborough may agree to them’, Bennet seconded William Cobbett’s† successful amendment making parliamentary reform central to the Surrey petition and ‘the evils of currency depreciation’ subsidiary to it.113 Endorsing the petition in the Commons, 26 Feb., he acknowledged his differences with front bench Whigs on the currency and public debt, and they made him concede that the Surrey meeting should have been permitted to vote on the ‘difficult’ question of the currency. He divided with Maberly for tax remissions of £7,000,000, 23 Feb., and, still pressing for abolition of the sinking fund and huge tax cuts, he spoke and was a minority teller against the national debt reduction bill, 3, 6, 17 Mar.114 He endorsed hostile petitions and condemned the Insolvent Debtors Act as ‘nothing short of a legalized system of fraud’, 18, 25 Feb., 13, 18 Mar.115 He was for equalizing the duties on East and West Indian sugars, 19 Mar., and opposed Huskisson’s merchant vessels apprenticeship bill, 17 Mar., 18 Apr.116 The House took no action after his speech of the 17th, when he followed Williams Wynn in the tumultuous debate on the Catholic question, was misreported in the Courier. According to The Times and to Agar Ellis, he had declared that the Catholics’ ‘only hope’ lay in ‘a dissolution and a new ministry’, before deliberately walking out of the chamber with Burdett and their friends.117 Assisting Hume, he pressed for inquiries into the Newfoundland fisheries, 14 May, and the taxes on beer and malt, 28 May, ‘inveighed against’ the latter, 24 Mar., 12 May, and voted against bringing up the report on the ministerial bill, 13 June, which he again criticized on the 23rd.118 He defended Hume’s decision to revive his attack on Maitland’s government of the Ionian Isles, 24 Mar., and was a minority teller for information on embassy costs, 25 Mar., in which he advocated reductions, 9 June.119 He spoke, 9 June, and was a teller, 19 June, for inquiry into the coronation expenses, a ‘most wicked expenditure of the public purse’, 11 June. He had postponed the bank cash payments bill on Western’s behalf, 19 Mar., and explained before dividing with him for inquiry, 12 June 1823, that though ‘no friend to a paper currency’, he was anxious to see those who had mishandled the return to metal ... brought to account.120
Bennet naturally voted for inquiry into voting rights, 20 Feb., information on Inverness elections, 26 Mar., and parliamentary reform, 24 Apr., 2 June, for which he presented and endorsed petitions, including a Cobbettite one from Southampton, calling also for the appropriation of church lands, 12 May 1823.121 He supported inquiry into the regulation of private madhouses, 30 June,122 and reported from the select committee that absolved the staff of Millbank penitentiary from responsibility for the high mortality there, 8 July.123 He secured 37 votes for his bill to abolish the whipping of felons, 30 Apr., which he also failed to carry as a late amendment to the prisons bill, 7 July.124 He supported Calvert in his successful bid to have the Southwark court of requests bill recommitted, 11 June.125 He failed to secure an amendment to the New South Wales judicature bill permitting trial by jury there, 7 July. Bennet divided for information on, 24 Mar., and inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr., examined witnesses during it and observed at its close that it had confirmed his suspicions that ‘a great deal of tampering existed in Ireland, which ought not to be tolerated’, 27 May.126 He supported inquiry into, 4 Mar., and opposed the awards for Irish churches, 1 July, and voiced his customary criticism of the government’s failure to bring O’Grady to account, 13 June. He divided with Brougham on the administration of justice in Ireland, 26 June. He supported petitions from the disgraced guardsman Colonel Home, 25 Mar., the former victualling officer Cochrane, 24 June, and the explorer William Smith, 7 July.127 He praised the Anti-Slavery Society when he presented and endorsed an abolitionist petition from Hexham, 20 June 1823, and several from Shropshire and Northumberland in 1824.128
Bennet discussed politics and opposition tactics with Hume and Hobhouse during the 1823 recess.129 He negotiated with his mother’s brother-in-law, the father of the House, Sir John Aubrey, who, early in 1824, granted him a lease on his Oxfordshire mansion of Chilton, which Bennet furnished on the understanding that Aubrey would bequeath it to him in his will. His youngest daughter had died, 21 Dec. 1823, and it was hoped that a move to the country would benefit his sickly children.130 On 12 Feb. 1824, supported by Hume and Davies, he took the chancellor of the exchequer Robinson to task for failing to schedule the evening’s business properly.131 His commitment to the estimates war and to public business had waned, but he delivered his usual rebuke to the currency reformers, 23 Feb., and was a minority teller for a 10,000-man reduction in the army, 23 Feb. He criticized the details of the public works grant and voted to reduce the award to the Toulonese and Dutch emigrants, 1 Mar.132 He considered the charge of breach of privilege against lord chancellor Eldon justified, 2 Mar. Praising the merits of tariff reform, he voiced his customary criticisms of the annual excise duties bill and was a teller for reductions in the grants for colonial services, 12 Mar.133 Making penal reform his priority, 24 Feb., he moved for and was appointed to the committee on Millbank penitentiary, 1 Mar., spoke for Hume’s motion for returns on Newgate, 2 Mar., served on the select committees on prisons, 18 Mar., and county gaols, 12 Apr., and pressed for remission for prisoners detained in the hulks, awaiting transportation, 19 Mar.134 He voted to end military flogging, 5 Mar., which, with the sale of commissions, he had long condemned. When the Gaol Act amendment bill was read a second time that day, he inveighed against the practice of using treadmills for exercise and hard labour and announced that he would move several amendments in committee, which on 8 Mar. Peel agreed to postpone to allow time for him to return from Worthing, where he had been summoned to his sick wife and son.135 On 11 Mar. he divided against the Welsh judicature bill, secured returns on the transportation of convicts and trade with New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, and spoke for Althorp’s motion for information on the insurrection of the Irish ‘ribbon men’ in 1820.136 He objected to the proposed amalgamation of counties under the county courts bill, 26 Mar., and voted to permit defence by counsel in cases of felony, 6 Apr.137 He presented Shropshire petitions against the hides regulation bill, 17, 26 Mar., and complained at the restoration ‘by stealth’ of the 2d. duty on wool, 29 Mar.138 Citing an article in the May 1823 Edinburgh Review, which Sir Charles Long, a British Museum trustee, told him he could safely ignore, he criticized the management of the Museum and opposed its grant, 29 Mar. His objections to spending government money on new church buildings, 30 Mar., 5 Apr., aroused great mirth, for he compared the unfinished church in Langham Place to ‘a flat candlestick with an extinguisher on it’, 30 Mar. He was equally dismissive of expenditure on the Angerstein sculptures and the Windsor Castle improvements, 6 Apr.139 He called for information and inquiry into the currency in New South Wales, 9 Apr.140 His only son Henry Charles was dying of consumption, and according to the late nineteenth century historian Percy Fitzgerald, his death on 10 June 1824 at the age of five ‘utterly crushed’ Bennet’s spirit and brought his parliamentary career to a close.141 Contemporaries also noted the effect of their bereavements on the Bennets and their deep concern for their remaining daughters.142
Mackintosh enjoyed Bennet’s company at the Fishmongers’ Hall dinner, 2 Aug. 1824, and he was in Shrewsbury as usual for the November hunt,143 but his vote against bringing in the bill outlawing the Catholic association, 15 Feb. 1825, is the last recorded for him. A radical publication of that year noted that he ‘attended regularly with the exception of the last session and uniformly voted with the opposition: speaks much but not very efficiently’.144 He was granted six weeks’ leave because of illness in his family, 29 Mar., asked his colleague Corbett to inform the House and their constituents that his commitment to Catholic relief was unchanged and took his family to the continent in search of a cure.145 He did not return. That August, in Spa, he was accused of propositioning a young male servant, whose accomplices extorted money from him and threatened to press charges. He informed Tierney that he was innocent of wrong-doing and that he suspected a conspiracy, but he could not deny that the allegation was partly true. The Brussels envoy Sir Charles Bagot was consulted and a formal prosecution avoided, but the matter soon became ‘quite publicly known’ and Bennet’s reputation as a ‘moral patriot’ was destroyed.146 His plight, amatory prowess and exile to Florence attracted much public attention, and by November 1825 his Shrewsbury seat was being canvassed and Aubrey had taken steps to disinherit him, which hurt him ‘beyond belief’.147 At the dissolution in 1826 he stood down at Shrewsbury, where his name was linked with that of the disgraced homosexual Member for Oxford University, Richard Heber, and he quietly relinquished his business interests.148 He and his wife remained in regular contact with his mother and the Russells and lived out their lives in a villa close to Lake Como, where he died in May 1836, recalled for his commitment to criminal and penal law reform and for founding the Oxford readership in geology.149 He left everything to his wife, with reversion in equal shares to his surviving daughters, Gertrude Frances, who married Hamilton Gorges of Kilbrew, County Meath, and Charlotte Emma, the wife of Fitzstephen French, Liberal Member for Roscommon, 1832-73.150
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Margaret Escott
- 1. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iii. 178-82; D. Rapp, ‘The Left-Wing Whigs: Whitbread, the Mountain and Reform, 1809-1815’, JBS, xxi (1982), 35-66.
- 2. Salopian Jnl. 1, 8, 22 Dec. 1819, 19 Jan., 16, 23 Feb., 1, 8, 15 Mar.; The Times, 7 Mar.; Salop Archives, Corbett of Longnor mss 1066/122, diary of Katherine Plymley, 26, 28 Feb., 9 Mar. 1820; Add. 37949, f. 80; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Philips mss DR198/32; E. Edwards, Parl. Elections of Shrewsbury, 22-23.
- 3. Salopian Jnl. 23 Feb., 8 Mar. 1820; Grey mss, Darlington to Grey [Mar. 1820].
- 4. Brougham mss, Bennet to J. Brougham, 20 Apr. 1820.
- 5. The Times, 3, 16, 18 May, 8 July 1820.
- 6. Plymley diary 124, 29 May 1820.
- 7. Ibid. 123, 29 May; The Times, 10 May, 17 June 1820.
- 8. The Times, 8, 13 July 1820.
- 9. Morning Chron. 11 July; The Times, 11-13 July 1820.
- 10. The Times, 15 June, 6 July 1820.
- 11. Ibid. 9, 27 June, 4, 12 July 1820; L. Macquarie, Letter to ... Sidmouth in refutation of statements made by Hon. H. Grey Bennet (1821).
- 12. A. Aspinall, ‘Westminster election of 1814’, EHR, xl (1925), 562-9; Add. 56545, f. 7.
- 13. M.D. George, Cat. of Pol. and Personal Satires, x. 13764.
- 14. P.H. Fitzgerald, Life of Geo. IV, ii. 237-8 (Grey Bennet diary, June 1820); E.A. Smith, Queen on Trial, 36-37, 44-45; Add. 52444, f. 133; NLW, Coedymaen mss 937; Greville Mems. i. 95; Creevey’s Life and Times, 128-30; The Times, 7, 9 June 1820.
- 15. Fitzgerald, 242-4; The Times, 4 July 1820.
- 16. The Times, 19 Sept.; Brougham mss, Bennet to Brougham, 19 Sept. 1820.
- 17. Brougham mss, Bennet to Brougham, 19 Sept. 1820.
- 18. Add. 51679, Lord J. Russell to Lady Holland, 19 Sept. 1820.
- 19. Add. 51686, Lansdowne to Holland, 27 Nov.; 51729, Jersey to same, 20 Nov.; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 24 Nov. 1820.
- 20. Salopian Jnl. 3, 10, 17 Jan.; Shrewsbury Chron. 5, 12 Jan.; The Times, 13, 16 Jan. 1821.
- 21. HLRO, Hist. Coll. 379, Grey Bennet diary.
- 22. Grey Bennet diary, 120; Ward, Llandaff Letters, 271-2.
- 23. Grey Bennet diary, 3.
- 24. Ibid. 4-5, 120.
- 25. Ibid. 5-16; The Times, 25, 27 Jan., 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 13 Feb. 1821; Creevey’s Life and Times, 138-9.
- 26. The Times, 6, 10 Feb. 1821.
- 27. Ibid. 3, 9 Feb. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 9-11, 16-17.
- 28. Grey Bennet diary, 20, 24.
- 29. The Times, 17, 21 Feb. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 25-26.
- 30. Grey Bennet diary, 18-19.
- 31. Ibid. 28-29, 42-48.
- 32. The Times, 27 Mar. 1821.
- 33. TNA FO352/8/4.
- 34. The Times, 15, 16, 20 Feb., 8, 10 Mar., 12 Apr., 3 May, 7, 22 June 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 24a, 104, 114.
- 35. Grey Bennet diary, 81-83; The Times, 16 May 1821.
- 36. The Times, 26 May 1821.
- 37. Ibid. 27 Feb. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 28.
- 38. T.H. Ford, Henry Brougham and His World, 249, 252, 277-81; The Times, 18 Apr., 3 May 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 114.
- 39. The Times, 2, 20, 28, Feb., 27 Mar., 10 Apr., 18, 26 May 1821.
- 40. Ibid. 24 May 1821; CJ, lxxvi. 371, 427, 449, 478, 502.
- 41. The Times, 3 May 1821.
- 42. Grey Bennet diary, 17, 20; Creevey’s Life and Times, 138-9.
- 43. Grey Bennet diary, 22-23.
- 44. The Times, 27 Feb., 6, 7, 8 Mar.; Harrowby mss, Castlereagh to Harrowby, 8 Mar.; Trinity Coll. Camb. Dawson Turner mss DT2/K2/3; Dorset RO, Bond mss D/BoH C16, Jekyll to Bond, 20 Mar. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 121-2.
- 45. Grey Bennet diary, 30; The Times, 6 Apr. 1821.
- 46. The Times, 8 Mar. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 32.
- 47. The Times, 10 Mar. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 34.
- 48. The Times, 20 Apr. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 76.
- 49. The Times, 30 Mar., 10 Apr. 1821.
- 50. Ibid. 6, 17 Apr. 1821.
- 51. Gurney diary, 12 Mar. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 35.
- 52. The Times, 31 Mar., 2, 3, 7, 12, 14, 17, 19 Apr., 1-3, 8, 12, 19, 22, 26, 29 May, 1 June 1821; B. Hilton, Corn, Cash, Commerce, 138; Colchester Diary, iii. 216-7.
- 53. Bagot mss, Wellesley Pole to Bagot, 17 May 1821.
- 54. Grey Bennet diary, 41, 53, 54, 84, 89.
- 55. Ibid. 104a.
- 56. Ibid. 111-6.
- 57. Ibid. 107.
- 58. Ibid. 108-11.
- 59. The Times, 14 Apr., 1 May, 26 June 1821.
- 60. Ibid. 29 June 1821, 23 July 1822, 20 Mar. 1824; A. Aspinall, ‘The Irish "Proclamation" Fund, 1800-46’, EHR, lvi (1941), 269.
- 61. The Times, 23 Mar., 30 June, 3 July 1821; CJ, lxxvi. 487; Grey Bennet diary, 36, 111, 112; A. Mitchell, Whigs in Opposition, 161.
- 62. Grey Bennet diary, 33-34; The Times, 10 Mar. 1821.
- 63. The Times, 22 Mar., 10 Apr., 15, 17 May 1821.
- 64. The Times, 4 Apr. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 36-38.
- 65. Courier, 4 May; The Times, 5, 8 May; John Bull, 6 May; George, x. 14045; Grey Bennet diary, 68-77; Dorset RO, Bankes mss D/BKL, Bankes jnl. 128 (9 May 1821).
- 66. The Times, 12 May; John Bull, 13, 20 May 1821.
- 67. Grey Bennet diary, 80-81.
- 68. The Times, 11 July 1821.
- 69. Ibid. 19 May, 1 June 1821.
- 70. Ibid. 9 June 1821; CJ, lxxvi. 426 and App.
- 71. Grey Bennet diary, 26-27.
- 72. Ibid. 40, 115.
- 73. Grey Bennet diary, 98; Quarterly Rev. xli (1829), 490.
- 74. Grey Bennet diary, 97, 102-3.
- 75. Ibid. 116b.
- 76. Ibid. 122-3.
- 77. Quarterly Rev. xxviii (1821), 214; R.K. Huch, Radical Lord Radnor, 104.
- 78. Ward, 294-5; Add. 51676, Russell to Lady Holland, 29 May 1822.
- 79. Harewood mss WYL 250/8/83.
- 80. The Times, 6, 9, 12, 14, 22 Feb. 1822.
- 81. Ibid. 5 Mar. 1822.
- 82. Ibid. 21, 22 Feb. 1822.
- 83. Add. 52445, f. 56.; Bankes jnl. 133 (27 Feb.); The Times, 28 Feb. 1822.
- 84. The Times, 23 Feb., 21 Mar., 4, 8 May, 27 June 1822; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 171.
- 85. The Times, 23, 28 Feb., 2, 5, 13, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 28, 30 Mar., 1 Apr. 1822.
- 86. Ibid. 16 July 1822.
- 87. Ibid. 22 June, 23 July 1822.
- 88. Ibid. 9 July 1822.
- 89. Ibid. 6, 9, 12-14, 22 Feb. 1822.
- 90. Ibid. 7 Mar. 1822; Add. 52445, f. 62.
- 91. The Times, 20 July 1822.
- 92. Ibid. 25, 27 Apr., 18, 21, 27 May, 4, 11, 12, 28 June, 26 July; CJ, lxxvii. 382.
- 93. The Times, 2, 30 Mar., 18 Apr. 1822.
- 94. Ibid. 22 July 1822; CJ, lxxvii. 42, 446.
- 95. The Times, 24 July 1822.
- 96. Ibid. 2, 22 May 1822, 20 June 1823.
- 97. The Times, 25 June 1822.
- 98. Shrewsbury Chron. 8, 15, 22, 29 Mar. 1822.
- 99. The Times, 16 Feb., 13 Mar., 2 Apr. 1822.
- 100. Ibid. 5, 19, 30 Apr. 1822.
- 101. Ibid. 27 Apr. 1822.
- 102. Add. 34545, f. 87.
- 103. The Times, 5 June 1822.
- 104. Ibid. 12, 13 June 1822.
- 105. Ibid. 23 Mar. 1822; J. Belchem, ‘Orator’ Hunt, 140-3.
- 106. The Times, 9, 14, 21, 26, 28 Feb., 5, 12, 14 Mar. 1822.
- 107. Ibid. 15 Mar., 25 Apr., 14, 25 May, 20 June, 9, 13, 18 July 1822.
- 108. Ibid. 5, 19 July 1822.
- 109. Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV, i. 354.
- 110. The Times, 1 Aug. 1822.
- 111. Shrewsbury Chron. 31 Jan. 1823; PROB 11/1667/115; IR26/975/113.
- 112. Creevey’s Life and Times, 162; The Times, 13 Feb. 1823.
- 113. Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 18 Jan.; The Times, 11 Feb. 1823.
- 114. The Times, 7, 11, 18 Mar. 1823.
- 115. Ibid. 19, 26 Feb., 4, 19 Mar. 1823.
- 116. Ibid. 20 Mar., 19 Apr. 1823.
- 117. Agar Ellis diary, 17 Apr.; The Times, 18, 19 Apr; Courier, 18 Apr. 1823.
- 118. The Times, 25 Mar., 13 May, 24 June 1823.
- 119. Ibid. 18, 25 Mar. 1823.
- 120. Cent. Kent. Stud. Stanhope mss U1590 C190/1, Western to Stanhope, 4, 23 Mar.; The Times, 19 Mar., 13 June 1823.
- 121. The Times, 27 Mar., 25 Apr., 13 May 1823.
- 122. Ibid. 1 July 1823.
- 123. Ibid. 9 July 1823.
- 124. Ibid. 8 July 1823.
- 125. Ibid. 12 June 1823.
- 126. Ibid. 8, 10, 28 May 1823.
- 127. Ibid. 26 Mar. 1823.
- 128. Plymley diary 131, 20 July; The Times, 17 Mar., 21 June 1823, 3, 5, 6, 16, 17 Mar. 1824.
- 129. Add. 36460, ff. 96, 109.
- 130. Blakiston, Lord William Russell, 114-15; Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 27 Feb. 1824; Aubrey Fletcher mss [NRA 7632] D/AF 122/1/152; 39C, 49-50, 66-84, 86-138, 177-204, 211, 214.
- 131. The Times, 13 Feb. 1824.
- 132. Ibid. 2 Mar. 1824.
- 133. Ibid. 13 Mar. 1824.
- 134. Ibid. 25 Feb., 2, 3, 20 Mar. 1824.
- 135. Ibid. 6 Mar. 1824; Add. 40362, f. 211.
- 136. The Times, 12 Mar. 1824.
- 137. Ibid. 27 Mar. 1824.
- 138. Ibid. 18, 27, 30 Mar. 1824.
- 139. Ibid. 31 Mar., 9 Apr.
- 140. Ibid. 10 Apr. 1824.
- 141. Gent. Mag. (1824), ii. 286; Fitzgerald, Lives of the Sheridans, ii. 103.
- 142. Mitchell Lib. Sydney, Macarthur mss MLA 2911, J. Macarthur to fa. 12 June 1825.
- 143. Add. 51654, f. 186; Salop Archives, Morris-Eyton mss 6003/4, Slaney jnl. Nov. 1824.
- 144. Session of Parl. 1825, p. 451.
- 145. Plymley diary 135, 13 May; Macarthur mss MLA 2911, Macarthur to fa. 12 June 1825.
- 146. Hants RO, Tierney mss M70/10; Lonsdale mss, Beckett to Lonsdale, 20 Oct.; Bagot mss, Lyttelton to Bagot, 17 Nov. 1825; Add. 56550, f. 25.
- 147. Globe, 7 Nov.; John Bull, 27 Nov. 1825, 19, 26 Feb. 1826; Add. 51749, H.E. Fox to Holland and replies, 14 Dec. 1825-18 Jan. 1826; 52012, H. Greville to H.E. Fox, 8 Nov.; 52017, Townshend to same, 6 Jan. 1826; 61937, f. 38; Coedymaen mss 954; Aubrey-Fletcher mss D/AF 122/1/152; PROB 11/1710/192; IR26/1072/256; L. Crompton, Byron and Greek Love, 352.
- 148. Salop Archives 6001/6858; Macarthur mss ML 2911, Macarthur to bro. James, 19 July 1826.
- 149. Blakiston, 150, 213, 242 Disraeli Letters, i. 76; Shrewsbury Chron. 17 June 1826; Oxford DNB; J.M. Edwards, ‘Founding of Oxford Readership in Geology, 1818’, Notes and Recs. of the R. Soc. of London, xxxiv (1979), 33-51.
- 150. PROB 1