BROUGHAM, Henry Peter (1778-1868), of Brougham Hall, Westmld. and 5 Hill Street, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 19 Sept. 1778, 1st s. of Henry Brougham of Brougham Hall and Eleanor, da. of Rev. James Syme, minister of Alloa, Clackmannan; bro. of James Brougham* and William Brougham*. educ. Edinburgh h.s. 1785-91; Edinburgh Univ. 1792; north European tour 1799; adv. 1800; L. Inn 1803, called 1808. m. 1 Apr. 1819, Mary Anne, da. of Thomas Eden of Wimbledon, Surr., wid. of John Spalding† of The Holme, Kirkcudbright, 2da. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1810; cr. Bar. Brougham and Vaux 22 Nov. 1830. d. 7 May 1868.
Charity commr. 1818-37.
Att.-gen. to Queen Caroline 1820-1; patent of precedence May 1827; ld. chancellor Nov. 1830-Nov. 1834; PC 22 Nov. 1830.
Rect. Glasgow Univ. 1824-6.
For much of the 1820s Brougham, whose frenetic energy underpinned the establishment of the Edinburgh Review (1802), the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1825), University College, London (1823-8), the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science (1857) and a plethora of legal reforms, shared in the direction of the Whigs in the House of Commons, frequently performing the functions of opposition leader, a position he intermittently aspired to but was repeatedly denied ‘due to failures of temperament and character’.1 Prominent as a debater and undaunted by his adversaries George Canning and the home secretary Robert Peel, his sharp intellect and command of detail, innuendo, irony and sarcasm were unsurpassed on major issues ranging from foreign and colonial policy and slavery to charity abuse, education and religious toleration. Nicknamed ‘Wicked Shifts’ by Thomas Creevey*, he was mistrusted by the Whig aristocracy as a scheming lawyer of small (2,300-acre) estate, complex mind and indomitable ego and ambition, who was adroit at manipulating the press and financed his grand lifestyle through his practice on the northern circuit and precipitate marriage in 1819 to a niece of the 1st Baron Auckland, a pretty widow who was more than his match in eccentricity. The most genial and witty of dinner companions, his unguarded comments and bouts of lassitude, depression and debauchery were widely publicized, while his sombre apparel, nervous twitch, ungainly gait and gaunt face, with its long upturned nose and compressed mouth, were readily caricatured; and his debating style was encapsulated in the couplet ‘long arms that saw the air like windmill sails and tongue whose force and fury never fails’.2 He spoke on average 300 times a session and from preference late in debate, distilling salient points from the speeches of others into a reasoned rallying cry before the division. Primed with laudanum in the mornings and drink at night, he deliberately mixed ‘ex tempore speaking ... [and] more prepared style ... without showing the sentences’.3 He was rarely a teller, served infrequently on select committees and adjusted his parliamentary business to accommodate his regular absences on the circuit and attendance in king’s bench, keeping abreast of events through newspapers, dinner parties and a voluminous (and often undated) correspondence, through which he also curried support for his educational work.
Returned by Lord Darlington since 1815 for Winchelsea following the failure of his forays at Liverpool (1812) and Westminster (1814), Brougham coveted the status of a county Member. He attributed his defeat in 1818 by the Tory Lowthers in Westmorland, where, as in neighbouring counties, he and his brothers had forged an interest and conducted a high profile, metropolitan style campaign for reform and the abolition of colonial slavery and against ‘old corruption’, to the refusal of Cumberland’s Whig grandees, the 5th earl of Carlisle and the 6th duke of Devonshire, to back him. Assisted by the 9th earl of Thanet and his brother James Brougham*, he renewed his challenge at the general election of 1820, when he was narrowly beaten after the diversionary contest his friends fostered in Cumberland ended prematurely with the retirement of Carlisle’s son Lord Morpeth†.4 The outcome exposed the rift in the parliamentary party between the ‘Mountain’ and the magnates, whose hostility to Brougham increased.5 Local circumstances, however, justified his conduct and Thanet cautioned Lord Holland that ‘really he ought not to be goaded’.6 Their ailing elected leader George Tierney had chosen Brougham as his deputy and he had been unstinting in his support of the mainstream Whigs during the recent Peterloo debates; and as official spokesman for Queen Caroline, whom George IV proposed to divorce, he was a key player in the issue by which Lord Liverpool’s administration was most likely to be brought down.7 Brougham’s perspective on the queen’s case was determined by his complete confidence in his brother James’s March 1819 report that Caroline and Bergami lived ‘as man and wife’ and would remain abroad for £25,000 a year and her formal separation from the king.8 Doubting whether she could be defended convincingly if charged with adultery, he avoided meeting her, encouraged her to stay away and made her projected return a negotiating ploy in discussions with Canning and Liverpool, which rumour had it were calculated to serve his own political and personal interests.9 These, according to Lord Holland, he deliberately obscured ‘like an inkfish’ in a flurry of correspondence.10 On 20 Apr. 1820 the premier countermanded lord chancellor Eldon’s refusal to grant Brougham equal precedence with king’s counsel, securing him, when he was sworn in as the queen’s attorney-general that day what his political adversary John Croker* termed the ‘profits without the inconveniences of this appointment’.11 He turned down Liverpool’s suggestion that he accompany the king’s confidant Lord Hutchinson to Geneva to remonstrate with Caroline, which would have ensured his absence when Parliament met.12
The session began badly for Brougham, whose estimate of ‘14 Whig gains’ in the general election contrasted with Tierney’s of ‘six losses’; his prediction that they had 207 ‘thick and thin men’ proved wildly optimistic.13 Tacitly mooted and vetoed for the leadership by the 6th duke of Bedford, Lord Althorp*, Holland, the 5th earl of Jersey, John Lambton* (son-in-law of their leader in the Lords, Grey), the 3rd marquess of Lansdowne and Lord Tavistock*, he was excluded from key pre-session discussions. He congratulated Charles Manners Sutton on his re-election as Speaker in what he pointedly termed ‘the absence of those more competent and worthy generally to express the feelings of those who sat on his side of the House’.14 Drawing on ministerial assurances of 1812 and 1816 that the civil list would be overhauled early in the new reign, he joined Tierney and his colleagues on the third bench in pressing the issue daily, 27 Apr.-8 May, reserving particular criticism for the awards to the royal dukes, 28 Apr., and the radical Hume’s attempt to secure ‘too drastic a pruning’, 2 May.15 As agreed at the Whig meeting two days later, he tested party strength with a motion to consider admiralty and crown droits as civil list revenue subject to parliamentary scrutiny, which failed by a disappointing 273-155, 5 May. His ‘elaborate and able’ speech, peppered with statistics on rising taxation, appeals to historical precedents and hints at compensation for the king, served also to launch the annual opposition attack on the Leeward Islands four-and-a-half per cents; but as Canning indicated in reply, his stance on crown revenues and the right of the king to wage war without parliamentary consent was obscure.16 Prompt intervention by Tierney thwarted Huskisson’s attempt to question him further on the matter, 8 May. A poor opposition muster and ministerial promises of inquiry dashed hopes of success on a motion criticizing the hasty appointment of an additional Scottish exchequer baron, 15 May, and his reckless impromptu amendment to a follow-up motion by Lord Archibald Hamilton was immediately rejected by Tierney, ‘wrecking the effect’ of the debate and highlighting the ‘ludicrous’ state of party management. According to Sir Robert Wilson*, ‘all three were sitting together and had consulted’.17 Differing again from Tierney, Brougham pointed out anomalies in taking the corn averages when presenting a Sussex agricultural distress petition, 16 May. He again gave this as his reason for endorsing others on the 18th, and opportunistically backed Holme Sumner’s motion to refer them to a select committee, 30, 31 May, when government were unexpectedly defeated. His ‘dashing’ and ‘argumentative’ speech on the 30th was deemed the best by both sides.18 In the House, 1 June, Alexander Baring and John Calcraft, who had divided with Tierney in the minority, criticized his jobbing vote. That day, before leaving for St. Omer for discussions with the queen on the settlement offered her by Liverpool, he complained to Grey that ‘even [Lord] Milton and Lambton saw the party question right and voted with me ... but many of the rest under Tierney went the other way and got Castlereagh out of the worst scrape he ever was in, be the "principles" one way or the other’.19 Like Tierney, who had summoned Grey to London to restore party discipline, he hinted that the queen’s business might yet afford a means of turning out ministers.20
As Grey predicted, the queen ignored Brougham’s advice and embarked with the London alderman Matthew Wood* for England and a rabble-rousing reception in the City.21 He had left St. Omer fully intending to resign his post, 4 June, but he grasped the opportunity afforded by the announcement of the green bag inquiry on the 6th to come to her defence and denounced the garbled newspaper reports of the recent negotiations, which he was suspected of supplying.22 Reconciled with Caroline, he presented her reply, 7 June, and portrayed her in a ‘judicious and persuasive’ two-hour speech as a wronged and neglected woman, condemned the proposed secret committee, asserted her right to ‘a fair, free and open trial’ by grand jury, and specified as her prime grievance her exclusion from the liturgy. On 21 Feb. he had dismissed this as ‘a trifle light as air’.23 Prompt action during the debate by Wilson and Thomas Fowell Buxton, assisted by the Grenvillite leader Charles Williams Wynn, enabled Wilberforce to secure a two-day adjournment. On the 9th Brougham took the credit for obtaining the queen’s consent to negotiations in private between the duke of Wellington, Castlereagh, himself and Thomas Denman*, based on Liverpool’s earlier proposals of separation, residence abroad, £50,000 a year and no title.24 During them he co-operated fully with ministers in the House and distanced himself from Caroline’s radical partisans, lending credence to speculation that compromise was possible until Castlereagh announced their failure, 19 June. Brougham then confirmed that ‘no satisfactory understanding’ could be reached on the queen’s title and patronage and seconded the government motion to have the protocols printed.25 An approach by the king’s emissaries to Grey, Lansdowne and Tierney having meanwhile failed, Tierney joined him in resisting the introduction of a compromise motion, 20 June, and Brougham committed himself to opposing it again next day, unaware of the queen’s private communications with its mover Wilberforce.26 Having been informed of the arrangement, he explained before recommending the motion’s rejection on the 22nd that he spoke ‘not as one of the law officers of the queen’, but as a private Member, and he gave a resumé of negotiations which focused on her right to be named in the liturgy and stipulated that it was a matter of royal prerogative. He then excused himself from further participation in the debate because of ‘a heavy chest cold’, but returned to vote in the minority. Grey complained that his defence of the queen was ‘inadequate’ and delivered with ‘a consciousness that he was charged with the management of a bad cause’, and suspected him of harbouring a ‘secret wish’ to see the resolutions carried.27 Similarly displeased, Wellington confided to Edward Littleton* that ‘ministers had only committed one error through the whole affair ... and that was in having employed Brougham to negotiate with the queen abroad, for he had betrayed everybody, king, queen, ministers and Lord Hutchinson’.28 Internal party feuding provoked by ministerial overtures to the Grenvillites that month added to Brougham’s unpopularity, and his contributions to the debates of 24 and 26 June on the liturgy question, when he remained unwell, were disappointing.29 A brief stay with Lord Sefton* at Salt Hill improved his health and spirits and his ingenious attacks on ministers, 6, 9, 12 July, couched in motions to authorize the attendance of the queen’s other legal representatives (Denman, Dr. Stephen Lushington*, Nicholas Conyngham Tindal*, Thomas Wilde* and John Williams*) at the bar of the Lords, where the bill of pains and penalties was introduced on the 5th, delighted her partisans.30 The only other issue Brougham persisted with in 1820 was his bill for the education of the poor in parish schools, based on the Scottish system. He introduced it in a three-hour speech, 28 June, but Dissenters objected to its proposals to confine employment as teachers to practising members of the established church, and its recommendation that religious teaching be kept minimal displeased all churchmen, spawning a flurry of correspondence and pamphlets, that he later reviewed in the Edinburgh.31 He was obliged to withdraw it, 11 July, and proposed legislation the next day to improve the administration of education endowments.32 Overestimating the support available to him through the Dissenters’ parliamentary spokesman William Smith and the Anti Slavery Society, he stubbornly refused to make the required amendments and his 1821 bill also foundered.33
Trusting none but his brothers, he dispatched James to Italy in June 1820 to prepare the queen’s defence witnesses and for the six weeks before the hearing commenced he went the circuit, interrupting his return journey to London to discuss politics with Grey at Ferrybridge, 14 Aug.34 In the Lords three days later he opposed the bill as a retrospective measure and a private law formulated for this particular case.35 His stringent cross-examination of the queen’s former servant Majocchi, whose memory soon faltered, prompted an unscheduled adjournment at ministers’ request, 21 Aug.-18 Sept., and Whig morale revived with his own, although Grey continued to express concern privately that ‘the soundness of ... [Brougham’s] head is not equal to his talents’.36 Contemplating their strategy in the event of the bill’s failure, Canning observed to Huskisson that ministers had been hoodwinked by Brougham.37 The celebrated peroration, ‘composed twenty times over’, with which he opened the queen’s defence, 3-4 Oct., stunned the House and stalled Grenvillite criticism of his performance.38 A disappointing government division (123-95) for the second reading, 6 Nov., saw him carried in triumph to Brooks’s and induced ministers to remove the divorce clause before the third reading on the ninth, which they carried by only nine votes.39 With no prospect of it passing the Commons, the bill was abandoned and Parliament forcibly prorogued before Brougham and Denman could deliver the queen’s message, 23 Nov. 1820.40 Fêted by the mob, lambasted by government hacks and commonly perceived as ‘co-tenant’ with Tierney of the Whig leadership, Brougham remained in London when Canning’s resignation prompted fresh ministerial negotiations in December, and may have contemplated an arrangement with Tory moderates.41 He approved the strategy of taking the campaign against ministers’ handling of the queen’s case ‘out of doors’, but saw no prospect of generating county petitions from Cumberland and Westmorland.42
Brougham attended the Whig planning meetings of 14, 18, 22 Jan. 1821, when they failed to decide whether the liturgy or censure motions on the queen’s affair should have priority, and their procedural disarray remained apparent in the House when the Tory Wetherell forced a division on the liturgy, 23 Jan.43 Having vainly questioned Castlereagh on the likelihood of further proceedings against the queen, Brougham naturally voted for it, and he spoke powerfully in her defence and upheld his conduct as counsel when Hamilton made a similar motion on the 26th.44 He presented and endorsed the queen’s statement (which she later countermanded) declining her £50,000 civil list award ‘while her name remained excluded from the liturgy’, 31 Jan., and vehemently opposed Holme Sumner’s attempt to have the sum reduced, 1 Feb. Winding up the debate on the opposition censure motion, before its crushing defeat, 6 Feb., he condemned the conduct of the Milan commission and the secret committee, upheld the queen’s decision to return to England and countered allegations that he had mismanaged her business or that she had ‘acted by any other advice than her legal adviser’. As the issue degenerated into one of ‘radical bluster and form’, his interventions served mainly as reminders of his presence as her loyal advocate, 13, 20 Feb.45 Seeking a scapegoat, he accused James Robert George Graham* of Netherby, of leaking confidential information to their opponents to undermine him.46 He protested perfunctorily with Hume and Wilson at her exclusion from the coronation, 21 May, and the cost of her trial, 28 May, 8 June, when (as again, 30 June, 2 July) he was goaded by Castlereagh into differing from Tierney and making common cause with the radical minority opposed to the payment of arrears to the duke of Clarence as an enemy of the queen. Peeved by taunts that he neglected her business, on 30 June he confirmed what ministers and her partisans well knew - that she had chosen to deal with the coronation question herself until 13 June, the day after its proclamation.47 When the privy council rejected his memorandum pleading her right to attend, 5 July, he issued it as a pamphlet and cautioned Caroline in vain against trying to force her way into Westminster Abbey.48 In later life he recalled the difficulty of the whole case and claimed that he owed the queen ‘no gratitude, she had always behaved as selfishly and as treacherously as possible’.49
He contributed to the general clamour against the estimates, 9, 15, 16 Feb., and, according to the ‘Mountaineer’ Henry Grey Bennet, he ‘spoke well’ for the motion deploring the Holy Alliance’s suppression of the liberal regime in Naples, 21 Feb. 1821.50 Riled by a hostile press and exhausted ‘in body and mind’, he postponed his parliamentary business pending his return from the circuit, where the publicity of the queen’s case boosted his earnings to £7,000 a year. When Tierney formally resigned as leader, 8 Mar., Brougham ignored what James Macdonald* pleaded with him was their party’s need for a ‘good general’, leaving Hume and the ‘Mountain’ to take the initiative.51 As prearranged, he addressed the Cumberland reform meeting, 5 Apr., and endorsed their petition, 17 Apr.52 Six weeks after his return John Whishaw informed Lady Holland:
Brougham is under the influence of one of his fits of political apathy. He attends the House pretty regularly, but does little or nothing. He has not decided what he means to do respecting his education bill, but will probably let it drop quietly for the present session. It will certainly not pass, being violently opposed by the great body of sectarians, who on this occasion will be joined by many Tories and high churchmen. Brougham applies very steadily to his profession; but at present he has no success in London equal to what he has obtained on the circuit, where he is now in established business though he still suffers in Lancashire from the church and king prejudices of that high Tory county.53
He joined Tierney in supporting reductions in the army, 16 Apr., and divided fairly regularly for economies thereafter, and consistently for parliamentary reform, 18 Apr., 9 May. 1821, 25 Apr. 1822, 26 Feb. 1824, 13, 27 Apr. 1826. His probing questions and refutation, with Charles Williams Wynn, of the precedent appealed to by ministers in the case of The Times reporter Collier served to confirm the involvement of Lord Londonderry (as Castlereagh had become) in John Bull’s libel on Grey Bennet, 10, 11 May.54 The radicals were annoyed at his pointed refusal to do more than vote for inquiry into the Peterloo massacre, 16 May.55 He voiced his mistrust of the Constitutional Association, 23, 30 May, and upheld the petitioner Benbow’s complaints against the Irish ‘loyalists’, 3 July, but the attorney-general, Sir Robert Gifford, countered that his argument that the Association was legal but unconstitutional was unproven.56 Differing openly from James Abercromby and Fowell Buxton, he ridiculed Williams Wynn’s attempt to obtain a hearing for James Stephens, a petitioner against the slave removal bill, 31 May.57 He declined to support Hume’s call for inquiry into the conduct of Sir Thomas Maitland† as governor of the Ionian Isles, 7 June (but supported a similar motion, 14 May 1822). He endorsed a Liverpool petition against Scarlett’s poor relief bill, 7 June, and criticized its ‘divisive’ and ‘inadequate’ provisions in speeches that day and the next.58 He backed the Cumberland Member John Christian Curwen’s successful campaign for repeal of the agricultural horse tax, 14, 18 June 1821, and similar initiatives in 1822 against the salt duties.59 On 15 June he condemned the appointment of the Grenvillite Member Thomas Frankland Lewis as an Irish revenue commissioner and confirmed, when challenged in debate, that he had himself offered to ‘act unpaid’ in that capacity. He denounced the £200,000 award for the lottery on fiscal and moral grounds, 1, 11, 29 June, and supported inquiry into the ‘jobbing’ Llanllechid quarry lease and conditions in Ilchester gaol, 21 June. He voted, but refused to speak for Hume’s economy and retrenchment resolutions, 27 June, and further riled the radicals by expressly approving Henry Bankes’s successful amendment, in which ministers colluded.60 Robert Owen of New Lanark’s education schemes, which Brougham considered too doctrinaire, 26 June, rivalled his own, which he promoted at length when Spring Rice moved to have the Irish education commissioners’ 14th report printed, 10 July. ‘All the ministers left the House’ during his speech, which, Grey Bennet noted, was ‘dull enough to warrant them’.61 Reviewing the session, Grey Bennet wrote sourly of the ‘fancies and disgusts and alienation of Brougham’, who ‘kept away from the House and if he came, it was only to find fault, and to grumble at the labour of others’.62
Following the queen’s death, 7 Aug. 1821, Brougham attended the inquest and accompanied her funeral procession to Harwich, whence he informed the Whig whip Lord Duncannon* that ‘what little’ he had seen of Wilson’s attempt to force a route through the City (for which he was dismissed from the army) was ‘quite harmless’, and the behaviour of the soldiers who barred their way vulgar and disrespectful.63 He supported subsequent motions by Wilson, whom he had previously advised to return to England from Paris to defend himself, 13 Feb., and Waithman, 28 Feb. 1822.64 Although piqued to be demoted from a judge’s ‘silk to cloth’ by the queen’s death, his practice increased five-fold, and at Lancaster assizes in September he secured a memorable victory in the libel action against the Rev. Richard Blacow for a sermon attacking the celebration of her acquittal in St. Paul’s.65 His infant daughter Eleanor Sarah had died on 30 July 1821, having languished after contracting measles the previous December, and he awaited the birth of his second child in September anxious only that his wife ‘should get well through it; as for children, I never wish to see one again’. In the event his wife’s health suffered greatly by the birth of his adored daughter Eleanor Louisa (1821-39).66 He attended a meeting at the Freemasons’ Tavern in December that resolved to take up the cause of Greek independence, and when the ministerial reshuffle to accommodate the Grenvillites was announced that month, Sir James Mackintosh* urged him to ensure that Lansdowne was ‘represented in any pre-session plans’.67 Instead, taking refuge in Grey’s inaction and his own propensity to revive ‘all sorts of old jealousies’, he merely predicted that distress and Ireland would be the major issues.68 He defended the proprietor of the Durham Chronicle, John Ambrose Williams, who king’s bench ruled (25 Jan. 1822) should stand trial at Durham for libelling the cathedral chapter for failing to have the bells tolled on the queen’s death.69
Speculation revived before the 1822 session that ‘Brougham would lead the country gentlemen and the agriculturists’ in the Commons.70 Responding to the address, 5 Feb., he pre-empted Hume’s amendment against excessive taxation, by criticizing ministers’ inaction on distress, claimed that the resumption of cash payments ‘left tax reductions as the only remedy’ and announced a motion for them for the 11th. Unlike Tierney and most of the third bench, he divided with Hume, 5 Feb., having first harangued the Tory agriculturists and delivered a sharp and at times humorous resumé of events since 1797 that skirted the contentious subject of the sinking fund.71 Londonderry’s authoritative reply undermined his ‘moderate’ words against the ‘precipitate’ suspension of habeas corpus in Ireland, 7 Feb., and the insurrection bill, which he divided against the next day.72 Wrong footed by the delayed announcement of the ministerial relief package, his motion for ‘such a reduction of the taxes as may be suited to the change in the value of money’, 11 Feb., was ineffective. Condemned as ‘inconsistent’ by Londonderry and ‘too strong’ by Tierney, who abstained, it suffered from Ricardo’s criticism (though he voted for it) and was defeated by 212-108, despite his impressive three-and-a-quarter-hour speech, which also pleaded for private initiatives instead of ‘visionary’ state spending.73 According to Creevey, 21 Whigs were shut out of the division.74 When Huskisson revived the debate on 15 Feb. Brougham scored useful points against Londonderry, with what Wilson termed ‘his scorpion lash’, but the political economists would have no truck with his arguments and criticized his understanding of Adam Smith, 18 Feb.75 He divided silently for Althorp’s moderate relief resolutions, 21 Feb., and endorsed Hume’s call for detailed estimates, 27 Feb., having persuaded him on the 25th to postpone his inquiry motion on Irish tithes pending his return from the assizes. He refused to confine his speech for James’s motion alleging interference with Members’ mail to Lancaster gaol, where the offence was ‘already proven’, 25 Feb.76 He felt that he ‘spoke well’ on the 28th for reduction of the salt duties, but, despairing at its narrow defeat, ‘sickened’ by Tierney’s conduct and Whig disunity, to which he conceded he had contributed, he sent an apology to Duncannon before leaving for the circuit the next day, and indicated that in future he could be relied on only ‘to give my vote’.77 Tierney’s ‘mismanagement’ of affairs during his absence confirmed his resolve to stand aloof:
I shall continue in Parliament to the end of the session because there are one or two things I am desirous of doing, by myself, and quite unconnected with any party; and also because I may have occasion to attack the common enemy before I go out. But as to wasting one’s life in the tiresome farce of an opposition party, which in reality is a set of ministerial supporters in disguise, I am getting too old for it, and the utmost restraint I can impose on myself will be to avoid speaking my mind to this effect before I get back to town. A secession is absolutely necessary in this state of things, I mean a secession of such men as don’t mean to play the game of ministers, and if others won’t at least I am resolved to do so. When a set of men are got into such a state, whether from vanity or spleen, that they had rather injure one another than the common enemy, it is high time for those to leave them whose only object is to make vigorous war on that enemy, and it is better to be out of the fray altogether than to be among such as them 78
He kept Holland informed of Williams’s progress in the Lincoln by-election and dispensed venom to Creevey and Grey’s brother-in-law Edward Ellice* in letters to Duncannon from the safe distance of Newcastle and York.79
The notion that Brougham had ‘retired’ spread, although he supported colleagues from all sides of the party and attacked ministers on diverse issues for the remainder of the session.80 On his return to London he continued to speak ‘savagely of all the world’, voted for the remission of Henry Hunt’s* gaol sentence, 24 Apr., and delighted in exposing ‘the fallacy of describing the financial part’ of Londonderry’s £1,800,000 relief plan, which incorporated Irving’s ‘corn hiring project’, as ‘anything but in effect an appropriation of the sinking fund’, 29 Apr.81 He joined Hume in recommending the payment of military pensions from its surplus, 1, 3 May, and opposed the government bill, 30, 31 May, 3 June.82 Irving’s scheme having been abandoned, he harried ministers effectively on the agriculture report, 3, 6, 8 May, spoke, and voted in the minority of 37 for Wyvill’s proposal for massive tax reductions to ease distress. Next day he supported Althorp’s amendment for a permanent 18s. bounty on wheat exports, and Ricardo’s for a 20s. duty on wheat.83 He gave a qualified welcome to the ministerial proposal to relax the Navigation Acts and urged the application of the same ‘liberal treatment’ to criminal law, taxation and all commercial problems, 20 May. Bringing up the report on the manslaughter bill that day, he contended that ‘punishment should be definite in its nature, certain of execution where crime was made out, as mild as could be consistent with due effect, and above all, justly and truly proportional to the nature of the crime for which it was inflicted’.84 Holland, who was delegated the task, was reluctant to inform him that soundings by the party hierarchy that month showed that he remained an unpopular choice to succeed Tierney as their Commons leader.85 He had ‘no objection to throwing open the retail trade in beer’, threatened to sponsor an alehouse licensing bill should Grey Bennet’s fail, 24 May, and voted in the majority for its third reading, 27 June. His own bill (introduced, 4 July) was petitioned heavily against and withdrawn on the 18th.86 He was for receiving the violently worded Greenhoe distress petition urging reform, 3 June, and defended the conduct of the Whig leaders in Kent when the contentious county petition was presented, 14 June. He voted for criminal law reform, 4 June, and inquiry into chancery arrears, 26 June. Certain that the gaoler Wyatt was mad, he seconded Burdett’s motion for production of the Ilchester magistrates’ journal, 5 June. He criticized the corn bill, 10 June, and called for the resumption of cash payments, 11, 12 June.87 He opposed, 5, 14, June, and failed to amend the aliens bill, 1 July.88 To the Irish secretary Goulburn’s dismay, Brougham remained one of the severest critics of Irish policy. Having attacked the ‘unconstitutional’ Irish constables bill, 7, 21 June, he cited it among his reasons for proceeding with a motion protesting against the present influence of the crown, 24 June, which he lost by 216-101.89 Emulating Dunning’s 1780 motion, he reviewed official appointments and attendant legislation since 1688, protested at the number of placemen in the Commons (he claimed 87), pensioners and election fixing, and pressed for reductions in and greater parliamentary control of expenditure. Agar Ellis thought it ‘in some respects [a] very good’ speech, but it was not generally well received and had to be ‘puffed’ in an editorial in The Times, 26 June.90 He joined Creevey in opposing the ‘dead weight’ pensions bill ‘to the last’, 26 June. He divided silently for inquiry into the conduct of the lord advocate towards the Scottish press, in which his brothers James and John, an Edinburgh wine merchant, were implicated by association, 25 June, and left its discussion to Abercromby and Tierney. He came to Abercromby’s defence in the subsequent breach of privilege action against the printer Hope, 9, 12, 17 July 1822, when he also brought up a petition of complaint from John Lawless, proprietor of the pro-Catholic Irishman, against the Orange marchers.91
Brougham’s defence of Williams at Durham assizes, 6 Aug., a prime example of ‘forensic eloquence’, was arguably his best, and although Williams was found guilty, sentencing was evaded by an arrest of judgement and never pronounced. His speech and subsequent ‘dissertation on the law of libel and slander’ were widely printed as, it was speculated, an act of revenge against the clergy who had opposed his education bill and the Tory dean of Durham Henry Phillpotts (Eldon’s nephew by marriage), who had intrigued against Lambton at the 1820 election.92 Following Londonderry’s suicide that month Brougham met Canning at a circuit dinner at the Tory and former Liverpool slave dealer John Bolton’s mansion of Storrs, near Windermere, 19 Aug. According to his correspondence with Creevey, Duncannon, Grey and the Hollands, he thought Whig interests would be best served if the pro-Catholic Canning exchanged India, where he was to become governor-general, for the foreign office, but that he would be an ‘idiot not to go’. He considered an overture to the Whigs unlikely but not impossible.93 Having raised the issue, he instigated an anti-Peel campaign in The Times, warned against the loose talk by which the Lowthers had become privy to Whig scheming through Tierney’s friend Charles Long* and tested his standing within the party by suggesting to Grey that as he could not give up his profession, Tierney might ‘go on’ as a ‘nominal leader’ with his own ‘constant support’. Concerned lest he should defect to the liberal Tories, Grey replied flatteringly, and wrote to Holland, 9 Sept. 1822, that no Whig government could stand without him and that ‘he must in reality lead the ... Commons’.94 Brougham was sounded again when Darlington summoned his Members to meet the duke of Sussex at Raby the following week and conceded to Creevey that he felt ‘somewhat low’ when Canning’s appointment as foreign secretary and leader of the House was confirmed.95
Preparing for the 1823 session, when the possibility of a French invasion of liberal Spain was the major issue, Lansdowne approved Brougham’s suggestion that the Whigs should exploit Canning’s differences with his colleagues rather than ‘commit ourselves on our points of difference with him’, and abstain from ‘all needless attack’ until the return of the lawyers at Easter. Brougham would move an amendment to the address, 4 Feb.96 Although apparently convinced, as Canning had intended he should be, by its profession of non-intervention in Spain’s internal affairs, Brougham also realized that a division would expose the pro and anti-war factions among the Whigs, so he changed tack, praised the king’s speech and stole the debate with a ‘bitter and vindictive’ attack on the Holy Alliance and a review of the treaties by which Britain was ‘bound to prevent Portugal being overrun, ... to repeal the Foreign Enlistment Act ... [and] to support free nations’. Mackintosh found him ‘in one of the most agreeable of the many moods into which his powerful and capricious mind throws itself’ at Lansdowne House, 11 Feb.97 Next day he criticized the planned Whig attack on the peacetime appointment of Canning’s ally Beresford as lieutenant- general of the ordnance. He paired for tax remissions of £7,000,000, 23 Feb., intervened on most issues the following week and obtained leave to reintroduce his beer bill, 28 Feb. 1823. Before leaving for the circuit that day he pertinently quizzed Canning, whose foreign policy he had again endorsed on the 14th, on the veracity of a report in Le Moniteur that Wellington had approved the Verona arrangements for policing the Spanish borders. He received a fudged reply.98
Away, and with pressure to make his leadership official mounting, Brougham consulted Darlington, Grey and Lambton, approved a scheme to boost party cohesion with dinners at the Beefsteak Club, kept a watchful eye on by-elections and debates, dictated Whig strategy on France, Spain, and the Irish church in letters to Creevey and Duncannon, and countered his colleagues’ ‘lapses’ by having The Times reprint his 1817 ‘state of the nation’ speech attacking the Holy Alliance.99 Summoned especially by Lansdowne, he replied to the announcement of the French invasion of Spain with a ‘very entertaining’ but abusive attack ‘against the Bourbons and their Ultra advisers, whom he denominated by every degrading epithet’, rebuked ‘liberal’ Canning for being duped by France and singled out Wellington’s handling of the Verona (1820) and Paris (1822-3) negotiations for criticism, 14 Apr.100 He voted for repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr. When Burdett provoked Peel into defending Canning’s decision to refrain from promoting Catholic emancipation, 17 Apr., Brougham risked their uneasy truce by accusing Canning of ‘monstrous truckling, for the purpose of obtaining office’. Canning retaliated and both were briefly detained to avert a duel, while the Speaker, Wilson and others concocted a compromise. Writing to John Murray afterwards Brougham claimed that the incident ‘signified little except fatigue and illness’.101 Outmanoeuvred by Canning and James Stuart Wortley, his plea to Macdonald to withdraw his motion criticizing the negotiations with Spain came too late to prevent a 372-20 rout, 30 Apr. (He was shut out of the division.) He gained little by further exchanges on foreign policy with Canning that session, but, encouraged by Wilberforce, he spoke for Fowell Buxton’s resolutions, 15 May, when his exposé of the risk of colonial insurrection was a factor in Canning’s decision to carry his own amendment.102 He cautiously welcomed Huskisson’s appointment as president of the board of trade, 22 Mar. As agreed with Duncannon and Lansdowne, on 15 Apr. he countered Brownlow’s ‘dangerous’ motion censuring the Irish attorney-general Plunket’s handling of prosecutions following the Dublin theatre riot by suggesting one for inquiry into the conduct of the sheriff of Dublin, which Burdett proposed for the 22nd.103 He wound up the debate that day when, with Protestant support, they defeated the government. He was indefatigable in his examination of witnesses 2-26 May, and seconded the unsuccessful motion to force Abraham Bradley King to disclose the Orange oaths, 26 May.104 His attempt to force inquiry into the administration of justice in Ireland failed by 139-59, 26 June, when the precedents he cited and references to his Durham speech failed to disguise the motion’s links with Daniel O’Connell* and the Catholic Association. Abercromby and Hutchinson said as much, encouraging opposition from others, and Goulburn capitalized on his discomfiture and lack of local knowledge.105 Discussions during Brougham’s visit to Scotland in the autumn of 1822, his contribution to the February 1823 Edinburgh Review on Scottish nominal juries and subsequent correspondence had encouraged Henry Cockburn and fellow Whig lawyers to look to him to promote the Scottish juries and appellate legislation bills.106 However, his sarcastic attack on Scottish ‘political subservience’ (5 June 1823) failed, for it was interpreted as an endorsement of Canning’s policy when reported in the press and critically received in Scotland.107 He tried to make amends at the third reading of the Scottish law commission bill, 5 July, which he endorsed ‘in principle’, pressing also for high calibre commissioners and similar scrutiny of English courts. Characteristically, he made bitter personal attacks on Eldon on both occasions.108 He voted in condemnation of the lord advocate’s conduct in the Borthwick case, 3 June.109 He joined Hume in harrying ministers on the cost of the coronation 9, 11, 19 June, when his own inquiry motion failed by 127-77. Arriving late, he added only a few humorous remarks before voting for inquiry into the currency, 12 June. Withdrawing his beer bill, a casualty of the combined opposition of the brewers and barley growers, 19 July 1823, he complained that, like his plan for parochial schools, it was squeezed out from both sides.110 He left afterwards for Brougham, the circuit and Scotland, angry at the spitefulness of ministers and division among the Whigs.111 He communicated regularly with Abercromby, Denman, Duncannon, Lambton and Mackintosh during the recess and Whishaw informed Lady Holland in November that he was ‘in great health and spirits’.112 However, in January 1824, preoccupied with legal work, he described himself to Holland as the personification of ‘the principle I have always maintained, that lawyers are very ill adapted for party leaders’; and he apparently devoted little time to the task until his return from the circuit in April.113
Citing newspaper reports which he asked ministers to verify or deny, he resumed the attack on the Holy Alliance, foreign and Irish policy directly the address was read, 3 Feb., drawing Canning, who left his probing questions on Spanish South America, Austria and the Swiss Cantons unanswered, to state his views on the Catholic question, which Peel immediately qualified.114 Afterwards, a disillusioned Ellice informed Grey, ‘the same system is going on ... Brougham may protest as much as he pleases against the tyranny and injustice of the Holy Alliance, Canning will only reply that he cannot in his situation indulge his feelings on the same subject’.115 He voted in Lord Nugent’s minority of 30 for the production of papers on government’s conduct towards France and Spain, 17 Feb., and endorsed the London petition for recognition of the independent South American states, 15 June. He joined in the criticism of the government’s financial statement, 23 Feb., when he welcomed the repeal of the bounties on whale fisheries and linen, but deprecated their removal from coal, wool and silk and what he termed the misapplication of the sinking fund surplus and Austrian loan repayment to finance the construction of new churches rather than the repeal of the window tax; he voted thus, 2 Mar. On 24 Feb. he brokered the withdrawal of Williams’s motion complaining of chancery arrears for an inquiry by commission, whose evidence Peel, having packed it with Tories instructed to report at leisure, agreed to publish. Thomas Greene* complained to his cousin, ‘I never heard Brougham so weak and inefficient’.116 He supported the complaint against Lord Eldon, 27 Feb., protesting that the wider issue of misreporting debates had yet to be addressed. He voted to end military flogging, 5 Mar. Reports of ministerial disunity and a Whig coalition with Canning were rife when Brougham returned to London in May.117 He supported inquiries into the church, 6 May, the state of Ireland, 11 May, and Irish first fruits, 25 May, and on the 31st presented the Catholics’ petition complaining specifically of abuses in local jurisdiction since the Union. He assisted with Lushington’s exposé of irregularities in the deportation of the coloureds Lecesne and Escoffery from Jamaica, 21 May. On 1 June, after lengthy discussions with Zachary Macaulay, the Anti-Slavery Society and the Methodist Missionary Society, he brought their sustained petitioning campaign to a climax by moving for inquiry into the indictment for inciting slave riots in Demerara in 1823 of the Methodist missionary John Smith, whose background, trial and treatment he described in a powerful three-hour speech, drawing on Smith’s private journal and Missionary Society archives. A poor reply by the colonial under-secretary Wilmot Horton obliged government to concede an adjournment, and Brougham tried again on the 11th with a motion censuring the court and governor for acting contrary to Canning’s 1823 resolutions. He lost by 193-146, but Canning’s allies Charles Grant, William Lamb and Lord Palmerston voted in his minority. Later that day he was assaulted in the lobby of the House by the aggrieved Robert Gourlay, whose petition advocating assisted emigration to Upper Canada he had presented, 27 June 1821. (Gourlay was ‘taken into custody for a breach of privilege and detained as a lunatic.)118 He supported the Dissenters in their opposition to the new churches bill, 14 June, and, much to the embarrassment of Peel, he carried a motion on the 24th to print the petition of the Manx House of Keys protesting against their exclusion from Tinwald by the island’s governor, the duke of Atholl.
Brougham’s complaint to Holland in August 1824 that the circuit was ‘tiresome, long and laborious’ also applied to his political life at this time.119 Making education his priority, he prepared three articles for the Edinburgh, which also printed his speeches in support of Smith. 120 A vindictive campaign in the Tory press failed to prevent his election as rector of Glasgow University, where he defeated Sir Walter Scott by Mackintosh’s casting vote. His inaugural lecture, 6 Apr. 1825, a plea for the wider dissemination of knowledge, was issued with his Practical Observations upon the Education of the People (reprinted from the October 1824 Edinburgh Review) and did much to promote the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Mechanics’ Institutes and University College, London, for which he now sought cross-party support. His speech on receiving the freedom of Edinburgh, 5 Apr. 1825, was criticized by Cockburn as ‘egotistical; desultory, what Creevey would call irrelevant, and remarkably heartless ... He gave them various striking specimens enough of his powers, but he certainly neither enlightened, confirmed, nor exhorted them’.121
According to a radical appraisal of the 1825 session, Brougham ‘was regularly in the House and opposed the measures of the present government. His abilities are too well known to require any comment and they are not overrated, from the prejudice having gone forth of his being a political adventurer’.122 Perhaps deliberately, but certainly with Althorp’s acquiescence, he misinterpreted Canning’s Irish visit in the autumn of 1824 as a sign that Catholic concessions were likely, and specifically approved the conduct of the Catholic Association at pre-session briefings and in a controversial speech on the address, 3 Feb. 1825, by which he also resumed his criticism of Eldon and rekindled the debate on ‘independent’ South America.123 Canning afterwards wrote:
Brougham did all that could be done to help me out of the difficulty about Ireland, by his most injudicious violence about the Catholic Association ... He did too exactly what I wished to be done about Spanish America, contending that we might have proceeded much more summarily and rapidly, and thereby enabling me to show how cautiously and considerately we had proceeded.124
Called to account by Peel next day, he said that he knew that the Association did not represent all Catholics and added the word ‘virtually’ to his statement. He failed to delay the suppression bill by moving for a call of the House, which Peel refused to grant until the 21st, 7 Feb., by adjournment, 11 Feb., or by a robust defence of the Association as an open and legitimate forum of debate, 15 Feb. His attempt to have their counsel heard, 17 Feb., was defeated by 222-89 on the 18th.125 Wilson informed Grey that Brougham’s speech on the 17th
was grand and terrific ... I never saw a being so prostrated as Peel, and yet he had the false taste to tell Brougham on going out of the House that it was the finest speech he had heard him make. The effect was prodigious, but being late when produced, the drowsy editors had gone to bed so that justice has not been done to our hero.126
Tierney, who privately echoed the Grenvillites’ complaint that Brougham allied himself too closely with the Association, was equally generous in his praise; and Canning realized that Brougham had made his ‘task ... more difficult than even in April 1823’.127 With Lansdowne’s approval, he and Burdett met the Association leaders, 20 Feb., agreed to give priority to the Catholic question and propose legislation, 1 Mar., but they opposed the suppression bill to the last, 21, 25 Feb. Three days later, before leaving for the circuit and Scotland, Brougham rebuffed Peel’s attack on Burdett, and their petition to consider relief was carried by 247-234 next day without Canning’s backing.128 Briefed by Mackintosh on the bill’s progress during his absence, Brougham presented and endorsed favourable petitions, 19-21 Apr., stated his ‘hostility’ to the religious tests proposed to differentiate between Dissenters and Catholics, 19 Apr., divided for the bill’s second reading, 21 Apr., and intervened regularly in committee.129 He reserved judgement on the attendant proposals to pay Catholic clergy and disfranchise Irish 40s. freeholders, 21 Apr., and voted against the latter, 26 Apr. Williams Wynn thought his ‘mischievous’ speech that day, which Plunket demolished, was
very bad ... except in the attack on the duke of York ... [He] carried with him Lambton, Creevey, Sefton, Denman, Hume, in all I should think from 15 to 20; but after the division, stated that he should not offer any more opposition.130
His decision cost him the friendship of Lambton, with whom he clashed in debate, 9 May, for the next eighteen months. The clergy bill posed ‘no problem’ for Brougham, 29 Apr., and he wound up the debate on the third reading of the relief bill with a rallying speech, 10 May, and next day took it to the Lords, where it foundered. On 26 May he reviewed ‘religious animosities’ in Ireland in a major speech and wrote to William Smith of the ‘impolicy of touching the Dissenters’ question at present’.131 He ‘reluctantly’ supported Hume’s motion for inquiry into the Irish church, 14 June. Brougham was refused a judge’s status in May and now generally spoke after Williams and Denman on English legal matters. He supported Williams’s vain call for chancery reform, 25 Apr., 31 May, 7 June, and Scarlett criticized his opposition to the judges’ salaries bill as ‘inconsistent’, 20 May, 17 June. He spoke against the West India bill, 16 May, and opposed the grant to the duke of Cumberland, 27 May-10 June, which he failed (by 143-113) to kill by adjournment, 6 June. His bill to establish University College, London was rejected, 3 June. He warned Fowell Buxton, who raised the case of the expelled missionary Shrewsbury, 23 June 1825, that a debate on colonial legislatures and slavery that session was unlikely to prove worthwhile.132 Thanet’s death in January 1825 and his quarrel with Lambton, from whom he had hoped for financial assistance, had put Brougham’s Westmorland affairs into a ‘fine unintelligible confusion’. With an autumn dissolution expected, he corresponded widely and wildly, contemplated switching to Cumberland and bringing in his brother James for Appleby, but settled for the unfinanced support for Westmorland of the 10th earl of Thanet and for one of Darlington’s boroughs for James.133 Mackintosh, one of several guests at Brougham in October, when the dissolution was postponed, found him ‘amiable, though he is planning the campaign, corresponding about elections and the prime mover in all lectures, institutions and universities except those by law established’. His wife meanwhile was ‘very seriously ill’ in London.134
Brougham, according to Lansdowne, was prepared to join him in making the Catholic question a party issue in January 1826.135 The 6th earl of Carlisle and others thought his speech on the address more supportive than critical of ministers and ‘not violent’. It reaffirmed his views on distress, South America, the currency and Ireland and called for a check on the Bank’s monopoly, 2 Feb.136 On the main debating issues of corn, cash and trade, his opinions frequently approximated to those of Canning, Huskisson and the chancellor of the exchequer Robinson, and his ‘silence’, ‘low spirits’, ‘illness’ and poor prospects at the bar and in Westmorland were a talking point on both sides of the House.137 He briefly endorsed the principle of the Bank charter and promissory notes bills, which Baring and the Whig country bankers opposed, 10, 13 Feb., and spoke and voted in the minority of 24 on the 20th against the ministerial proposal to allow banks to issue pound notes until October.138 He denounced the recalcitrant colonial legislatures, 1, 3 Mar., and voted against government on the Jamaican slave trials, 2 Mar. He returned from the circuit ‘sanguine as to his Westmorland prospects’.139 Calling for ‘the system of averages to be swept away’ and the currency question settled, he voted for corn law revision, 18 Apr. Before dividing for inquiry into the state of the nation, 4 May, he delivered what he termed ‘a corrective speech’ advocating fixed duties and a ‘complete investigation and overhaul’ of revenue and expenditure. He joined in the arguments for defence by counsel in all felony cases, 25 Apr., and chancery reform, 18 May. He seconded Burdett’s motion to bring up the Catholic petition, 25 Apr. He supported inquiry into the slave trade at Mauritius, which was conceded, 9 May, and criticized the colonial legislatures in a powerful but to some ‘tedious’ two-and-a-half hour speech on the 19th, when his motion for the better treatment of slaves was defeated (100-38).140 He was also for inquiring into James Silk Buckingham’s† petition on the liberty of the Calcutta press, 9, 11 June. With a wry quip that it was already in train, he divided for Russell’s resolutions condemning electoral bribery, 26 May 1826. Although The Times and anti-Lowther press puffed his candidature, his defeat after an exhausting nine-day poll in Westmorland, where he remained committed to standing ‘again and again’, was no surprise, although it cost the Lowthers dearly. Brougham interrupted his campaign to accompany his brother James to his election at Tregony, kept his Winchelsea seat and, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, denied that ‘No Popery’ had blighted his prospects.141 Now in better health, he wrote to Holland in August:
We have lost the time for emancipation, I fear, and must be prepared to pay a higher price for keeping Ireland ... We must make no more attempts to keep back the question, but fight it bitterly from the first day of the session, and we must not even by way of candid admission join in any attack on the priests ... We must not admit the fitness of keeping up the present Irish church establishment.142
As the opposition spokesman on the address, 22 Nov. 1826, Brougham, whom Bedford was to call Canning’s ‘most efficient ally’, focused attention on the omission from it of Ireland.143 Francis Thornhill Baring* thought his ‘the only speech worth listening to’.144 Later in the debate he praised Peel’s brother-in-law George Dawson’s remarks and pointedly refused to support Hume’s amendment regretting the failure of distress measures since 1822 and seeking inquiry. Before the Christmas recess he spoke briefly on Portugal, 12 Dec., when he ‘strongly praised and supported Canning’ against Hume, and called for newspaper stamp duties to be repealed and slavery universally abolished, 13 Dec. 1826.145 Writing in January 1827 to Lansdowne, who also approved Canning’s foreign policy, he proposed a pre-session meeting on Ireland and requested that any Catholic relief motion be scheduled to take account of his absence on the circuit.146 He opposed the duke of Clarence’s award, 16 Feb., and when on the 27th Michael Angelo Taylor proposed removing bankruptcy jurisdiction from chancery, he pressed for the reforms previously urged by Williams, castigated Eldon and his ‘stitch-up’ commission and called for the appointment of a deputy Speaker in the Lords to relieve the lord chancellor. He would ‘not say pro or con’ on Canning’s corn bill, which he praised for combining prohibition with protection, 1 Mar., but he endorsed its principle and voted against amendment, 8 Feb. At Brooks’s, 4 Mar., he had been called out by Raikes for insulting him in his speech as defence counsel for The Age and avoided a duel only through the prompt action of Wilson in securing his ‘preventive’ arrest and having Raikes disciplined by the Brooks’s committee.147 He spoke and voted for Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827.
He travelled the circuit as usual despite the uncertainty generated by Liverpool’s stroke, and, leaving Wilson to represent his interests, he made the exclusion of the anti-Catholic Tories from government his priority.148 He did not, as Althorp as others suggested, 26 Mar., move an address after the Easter recess ‘praying the king to form an administration united in principle’, but on his own initiative, and depicted in caricature as ‘Diogenes in search of an honest ministry’, he campaigned assiduously by letter (through a ‘cabal at Brooks’s’ when negotiations faltered, 20 Apr.) and in the press, to try to deliver Whig support for Canning’s premiership and to reconcile their differences with him on reform and the appointment of a pro-Catholic administration in Ireland.149 Believing that public sentiment would give the Whigs the edge on policy, he advised Canning, who in turn used his letters to convince the king that he could form a viable ministry, of his own ‘disinterestedness’.150 He also encouraged Lansdowne to accept the home office and Tierney the mint, and professed himself happy to sever their ‘connection with either Hume and Co. or the Benthamites’.151 Grey’s ‘ill conceived initiative’ against Canning and the ensuing breach with Althorp, Milton, Tavistock and the Russells riled him, as did Scarlett’s appointment as attorney-general, Lyndhurst’s as lord chancellor and Canning’s overtures to the Lowthers. His own reward, a patent of precedence, was conditional on his non-attendance at Court to receive it.152 The Times rightly quashed reports that it would bring him £5,000 a year, although the removal of Scarlett from the circuit briefly boosted his business.153
On 1 May 1827 Brougham crossed to the third bench on the government side of the House, ‘occupying Gooch’s pillar’ near Calcraft, Newport, Spring Rice, Lord Stanley and Wilson, and where Lambton later joined them.154 Defending the new ministry as second speaker, he affirmed his support for liberal commercial policy and criminal law reform and explained that Catholic relief would not be a ‘cabinet measure’. He refused to be drawn by allusions to his exclusion from office and said nothing on parliamentary reform. Over the next two months he intervened frequently to support ministers, to explain anomalies in his own conduct and to criticize the opposition Whigs. He found fault with Althorp’s election regulation bill and refused to commit himself to supporting the Penryn disfranchisement bill without further inquiry, 8 May. After assisting with it, 18 May, he delivered a powerful endorsement of reform by sluicing, ‘as complete by letting in the hundreds as by transferring the elective franchise elsewhere’ and voted accordingly, 28 May. He cajoled Wolryche Whitmore into withdrawing his inquiry motion on the India trade, 15 May. He criticized and declined to vote for Taylor’s scheme to remove bankruptcy jurisdiction from chancery, which ministers had approved, 22 May, and so, Grey remarked, ‘gave Scarlett a plaister for his former attack’.155 He ‘expressed himself satisfied with the budget’ but pressed again for repeal of the stamp duty on newsprint, 1 June. He attended Canning’s dinner ‘for both colours’, 2 June, and delivered a strong endorsement of the premier and his policies at a public dinner on the 18th in Liverpool, where he was engaged as counsel in the docks case.156 On the 8th Mackintosh had found him ‘in that intense and frightful state of excitement which has continued without interruption (I suppose sleep) for the last six weeks’, and he was widely assumed to be currying favour with the king and angling for office.157 Hearing it from Lambton, whose return from Italy he had called for with others, Ellice wrote that Brougham should be declared insane if he left ‘his profession for any office unconnected with it’.158 On 29 July he rejected Canning’s offer of the chief barony of the exchequer court at £7,000 a year for life, because it would have removed him from the Commons, and he remained underprovided for when Canning died, 8 Aug. 1827. The next day Brougham wrote to his wife: ‘I never thought he would live above a year or a year and a half, which among other things made me refuse the high station lately’.159 Condoling with Mackintosh, on their personal loss he added:
The public loss is great in respect of the Catholic question; and of the king’s favour which he had and above all of the barrier which hatred of him placed to the return of the ultras. In other respects, the loss is not so great; for we have no enemy in the Commons, where he alone was useful. In the Lords ... he was more boastful than serviceable, and in the country the same.160
Later, ill with a cold and on the circuit, he sent a supportive letter to Lansdowne hinting that Canning’s death might facilitate a reconciliation with Grey, which he duly attempted.161 His priority was to keep out Wellington and the anti-Catholics by forming a Whig or coalition ministry, and he cautioned Abercromby, Carlisle, Lansdowne and Tierney against resigning their places.162 Mistrusted because the coalition had not delivered power to the Whigs, but perceived as a strong contender for legal office, the leadership of the Whigs or of the House, his health soon improved and his every move was watched, discussed and speculated on by friend and foe during the protracted ministerial negotiations that autumn.163 The courtesan Harriette Wilson successfully blackmailed him for a £30 annuity (£160 by 1832) to keep quiet about their 1824 dalliance.164 Initially undaunted at the prospect of a ministry headed by the ‘weak’ Lord Goderich (as Robinson had become), on account of his own and Tierney’s superior debating skills, he feigned indifference to office for himself, but changed his mind when the anti-Catholic John Herries* (whom he proceeded to attack in the press) was appointed chancellor of the exchequer and Holland passed over for foreign secretary. He recanted only briefly at the prospect of an anti-Catholic administration headed by Wellington and Peel.165 He had difficulty in persuading the Whigs, who to Tierney’s embarrassment he now circulated by letter, to match his pace. The prospect of Huskisson leading the Commons irked him, and according to Ellice he sought a bribe to remain quiescent on the opposition benches.166 When the Canningite ambassador to France Lord Granville suggested making him solicitor-general, 21 Sept., the king vetoed it and refused sinecures for his brothers.167 Tierney, making the same suggestion to Lady Holland two days previously, had quipped, ‘if [Brougham] believes the master of the rolls to be seriously ill, he would not accept it’.168 He was mentioned but rejected for the Irish lord chancellorship in October, and remained ‘unharnessed’.169 Furious with those, including Tierney, ‘damping the public joy’ at the destruction of the Turkish fleet at Navarino, he told Wilson:
Our friends are worthy but too feeble. We must have some men qui ont le diable au corps by the opening of the session. I positively will no longer protect men who only blubber and bleat.170
In December 1827, with nothing settled, his alleged ‘mischief’ included ‘twisting Grey’s words’ criticizing the coalition ministries and plotting with Holland to secure the downfall of Goderich’s, which he told Abercromby he now ‘hated ... properly’, preferring a new broad-based coalition.171 On the 21st Granville advised Huskisson, who contemplated heading one, against excluding Brougham (as solicitor-general):
The position of Brougham in the ... Commons out of office and professing to support the government is too powerful, too commanding. Ministers are too much at his mercy, and he is so crotchety and so irritable that you can never be sure of him for two days, if you have him not in harness.172
Brougham was caricatured as ‘The Political Bellman’ when Wellington replaced Goderich in January 1828, and as ‘stage manager and prompter’ of his administration.173 Initially he criticized Huskisson’s decision to remain in office and sounded out Thomas Coke I* and Althorp on a pro-Catholic realignment, but the latter would ‘not be caught’.174 He predicted that the ‘Turko-Tories will force on Navarino the first night’, which Mackintosh thought he might ‘himself find means to accomplish in order to exhibit himself at once as the Lord Protector’.175 He attempted this in what was otherwise a ‘neutral’ response to the address, 29 Jan., having first announced a motion for inquiry into the state of the law, on which he had been working since November with Denman, Humphreys, Mackintosh, Mill and Williams.176 His ‘prodigious’ and effective six-and-three-quarter hour analysis of the administration of common law and arguments for its reform was universally acclaimed and an adjournment ordered to enable ministers to respond, 7 Feb.177 He seized on the exclusion of Althorp from the finance committee, 15, 18 Feb., when, according to Agar Ellis, he ‘shattered’ Huskisson and Herries’s explanations of the Goderich ministry’s fall, in which his own correspondence with the Liverpool Unitarian William Shepherd was cited, ‘into slivers by showing their contradictions’ and omissions. His own account of the finance committee’s dealings and of the Goderich ministry ‘driven’ by Herries’s threatened resignation ‘provoked’ Abercromby ‘beyond bearing’, for he realized that Brougham’s ‘object was to damage Herries, throw a little dirt on Husky and give the impression of Lord Lansdowne having been as weak as Goody’. He also defended Althorp, Goderich’s Irish policy and the corn bill, and expressed confidence in Lansdowne and ‘those pushed out by Wellington’.178 His questions to Herries on his ‘stock jobbing’ background, 21 Feb. 1828, had been circulated to Palmerston and others the previous August.179
Brougham struggled to justify Canning’s opposition to repealing the Test Acts before dividing for it, 26 Feb., and criticized the Lords’ amendments, reinstating ‘tests’ for Quakers, in a letter to The Times, 14 Apr., and in debate, 2 May 1828.180 Proceeding with common law reform, on which Scarlett was his main critic, he advocated inquiry by commission, 29 Feb., knowing that two would be conceded: on the progress of cases in the superior courts of Westminster and on the laws affecting real property. He refused to accept Taylor’s declaration on the inadequacy of chancery, believing that the remedy lay in distributing some of its business to ‘cheaper’ local courts, 24 Apr. He presented and endorsed several petitions for the abolition of colonial slavery, 5 Mar., 9 June, 8 July, and vainly tried to legislate to make ‘slave evidence’ permissible in colonial courts, 10 July. He presented ‘a great body of petitions’ against the friendly societies bill, 22 Apr., and several for Catholic relief, 7 Mar., 7, 9 May, for which he spoke and voted, 12 May. Following its rejection in the Lords he claimed that the issue had changed and that its passage was now a matter of ‘expediency alone ... that must be met by legislation and not by negotiation’, 12 June. His first speech after the Huskissonite secession, which took him by surprise, urged Wellington to ‘bring forward measures of retrenchment to satisfy England and of conciliation to pacify Ireland’ 2 June.181 He called for a select committee on the Calcutta bankers’ petition, 17 June, opposed public expenditure on Buckingham House, 23 June, and voted to reduce the salary of the lieutenant-general of the ordnance, 4 July. He presented petitions for extension of the law commission to Ireland and the Isle of Man, 26 June, and embarrassed Peel that day by criticizing the omission of the chancery barrister Joseph Humphreys from that on property law. His failure to contest Westmorland that month, when Lord Lowther sought re-election on appointment to office, encouraged speculation that he was ‘joining government with Cleveland’ (as Darlington had become).182 Dismissing it when they travelled the circuit together in August, the Newcastle barrister James Losh made it the explanation for Brougham’s poor health and spirits.183 In October 1828 University College, London, where ‘church teaching’ was excluded, opened ‘auspiciously’ after a five-year campaign during which he persuaded 61 sitting Members to become shareholders (nine more joined in 1830) and a further two were donors. There were also 20 Members on the 54-strong Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge committee he now chaired, with Lord John Russell as his deputy.184
Brougham co-operated with Abercromby, Althorp, Graham, Russell and Edward Smith Stanley in the Commons and Holland and Lansdowne in the Lords to dictate the pace of Peel and Wellington’s ‘conversion’ to Catholic emancipation, and demanded ‘a full attendance’ when Parliament convened so that it could be pressed nightly for the first three or four weeks before he went the circuit.185 In November 1828 there was talk of setting him aside and electing Burdett or Smith Stanley as the Whig leader, but Holland, who with Carlisle sounded Abercromby and Edward Davies Davenport*, found that there was no one who could match his abilities.186 He thought Peel’s ‘sudden turn around’ on emancipation ‘very droll’ and feared that Wellington would ‘grab Whig support with maximum securities’ to carry it and then ‘blame the Whigs when blamed for its terms’.187 Althorp had informed Milton in December that Brougham required a full attendance when Parliament met and that he had cautioned him against forcing a division on the address or demanding the attendance of those who did not normally speak.188 As discussed with Burdett and Duncannon, he expressed praise for Peel and Wellington and ‘moderate satisfaction’ with the address announcing the concession, and complained only at the ‘chronology’ of putting down the Catholic Association before carrying relief, 5 Feb. 1829.189 He commented privately that ministers should ‘be made to feel the value’ of Whig support, but he withdrew his opposition to the suppression bill at its second reading, 12 Feb., and presented pro-emancipation petitions daily until 6 Mar., when he divided for it and affirmed his reluctant support for the franchise bill as its ‘price’.190 Abercromby and Holland briefed him on its progress during his ‘circuit’; Althorp and Grey rejected his proposal that he should speak at its third reading, 30 Mar.191 He argued for permitting O’Connell to take his seat without swearing the oaths of supremacy, 15, 18, 19, 21 May. Before voting to transfer East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 5 May, he alluded to the apparent inconsistency with his 1827 Penryn vote and said he now thought it wrong to sacrifice the great manufacturing towns to the hundred of Bassetlaw. On 2 June he refused to vote for a new East Retford writ and divided for Lord Blandford’s reform proposals. He echoed Buxton’s call for papers on slavery at Mauritius, 3 June. He kept a close eye on the work of both law commissions, which he feared were ‘hampered ... (I think by Peel)’ and restricted to ‘pleading and practice’, protested at the delayed implementation of their recommendations, and had no sympathy for the defenders of the doomed Welsh judicature, 4, 25 May.192 He voted to reduce the duties on hemp, 1 June. Calling that day for foreign intervention on behalf of Dom Miguel in Portugal, he warned that the Terceira force had been driven away. He presented several distress petitions from the manufacturing districts, 4 May, 22 June, 4 June, when, referring to the 8,000-signature Birmingham one attributing distress to overtrading and currency change, he conceded that it was ‘too late’ for change. Speculation of a Whig ‘junction’ with Wellington involving Brougham persisted, and according to Graham, when the Ultra leader Sir Richard Vyvyan* considered a putative Tory realignment in October 1829, he thought he ‘would make an excellent [lord] chancellor’ and so ‘be got out of the House’.193 Palmerston, however, reporting a conversation with Vyvyan, 3 Oct., wrote that he thought Brougham would ‘certainly not refuse the woolsack, however naturally modest and diffident, and ... it would be a toss up whether he did or did not make an incomparable chancellor’.194 He meanwhile prepared to lead the opposition next session as a ‘party of honour’, overriding ‘Tierney’s doctrine of self-distrust and self-vilification’, and committed himself to making O’Connell explain his desertion and to financing a morning paper with Robert Torrens* as its editor.195 He provoked Cleveland, who defected to administration in January 1830, by accepting Devonshire’s offer of Knaresborough (made vacant by Tierney’s death) to avoid sitting ‘hampered’, and suggesting Williams, Duncannon or Lord William Cavendish Bentinck* for Winchelsea.196 According to Ellice:
There appear to be four distinct parties preparing for Parliament. First government. Second, a direct and entire opposition led by Lord Palmerston in the Commons and Lord Melbourne in the ... Lords, with Charles Grant and the ex-liberals, etc. ... [and] a large support from our friends, who have only made the condition that Huskisson is not to lead ... and on this point they willingly give up their leader Lord Lansdowne. The third party are what they call the Watchers, under ... Althorp in the ... Commons, and to this I fear Brougham proposes to attach himself. The fourth, the discontented and still more bitter old Tories, who will make no peace with Peel.197
As agreed with Althorp and Russell, Brougham voted for the Ultra Knatchbull’s amendment regretting the omission of distress from the king’s speech, 4 Feb. 1830, but he insisted that it signalled no change in his views on colonial policy and the currency.198 He harried ministers on the East India Charter, 5 Feb., the malt duties, 8 Feb., and colonial legislatures, 23 Feb. When the administration of justice bill based on the 1829 law commissioners’ reports was announced, 18 Feb., he justified the commission’s cost, praised its recommendations for Wales, called for the extension of jury trial in Scotland and reserved the right to take an independent line on details of the proposed bills. He surprised colleagues by failing to amend and dividing for Blandford’s revised reform scheme, 18 Feb., fully endorsed Russell’s for the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester in a splendid speech, 23 Feb., and advocated inquiry into Newark’s petition of complaint against the duke of Newcastle’s electoral influence, 1 Mar.199 He justified his previous statements on parliamentary agencies and Lord Charles Somerset’s† regime as governor of the Cape, 26 Feb., 1 Mar., and failed that day to prevent Graham bringing on his motion condemning Frankland Lewis’s ‘unnecessary’ appointment as treasurer of the navy, a motion that exposed a ‘schism’ in Whig ranks.200 His motive remains unclear, but he had been touted as a contender for office himself, and Graham had rejected his suggested motion on Wilson’s case.201 On 3 Mar., with Brougham’s departure for the circuit imminent, Holland wrote to his son Charles Fox*:
Brougham is unfettered and looks and talks like a giant released among the pygmies. Nothing but a prudent and necessary preference of his profession to his politics and occasionally the base calumnies of his enemies, or of the envious, prevent his courting them all and becoming the real and only leader of the House of Commons. It may end and perhaps will in two parties of one of which Peel, of the other Palmerston will be the leader and they may succeed alternately as Brougham or the king may choose to direct their smiles, for in real substantial power neither one nor the other can equal that of Brougham.202
He did not attend that day’s meeting to invite Althorp to lead a revived Whig opposition in the Commons, but he promised ‘great activity’ on his return from the circuit, and Grey hoped for his continued support.203
Acting with them, he used the Royston bankers’ petition for mitigation of the death penalty for forgery, 26 Apr., as a pretext for reviving Mackintosh’s 1821 measure, backed by further petitions, speeches and votes, 24 May, 7 June. He refused, 27 Apr., to reschedule his local courts bill to accommodate Charles Grant’s resolutions alleging undue British interference in Terceira, on which he apparently failed to vote, 28 Apr., despite contemplating a similar motion in 1829.204 He deliberately forced an altercation with the turncoat Scarlett, 29 Apr.,205 and received leave that day for his courts bill: a corrective measure, supplementary to the administration of justice bill, its stated aim was to reduce costs in actions for debts under £100 by hearing them at monthly county courts instead of Westminster.206 He divided with the revived Whig opposition on most major issues, but welcomed the government’s beer bill, which he compared favourably with his own unsuccessful measure, 4, 21 May, 4 June, and saw no benefit in postponing licensing for on-consumption, 1 July. He opposed the grants for colonial churches and the Canadian legislature, 10 May. Before dividing for Jewish emancipation, a ‘matter not of state necessity or state policy ... but one of justice to an assembly of just men’, 17 May, he presented a favourable petition from 150 London barristers and chastised the House for its ‘pretended and totally un-Christian howling’.207 Exaggerations in Graham’s speech and his disappointingly small minority for returns of privy councillors’ emoluments, 14 May, infuriated him. According to Howick
his object is to delay the money votes as much as possible in order that government may not be able to dissolve as soon as the king dies without settling a regency or an administration ... by taking the only nights in the week the ministers have for public business.208
On 28 May, he rejected the ballot and triennial parliaments proposed in O’Connell’s scheme for the temperate and ‘general corrective reform’ and constitutional monarchy proposed by Russell. Francis Baring thought his speech ‘very good on the ballot, otherwise exceedingly dull’; and Howick, that it ‘was most ingenious, clever, amusing, but in my opinion far from conclusive and very open to reply.209 Replying for opposition, he endorsed Peel’s decision to reschedule public business to deal with the legislative backlog and attributed their ‘overlong sessions’ to ‘inconsequential petitions’, 15 June. Anticipating the king’s death, he sought reassurance from the chancellor of the exchequer Goulburn that the administration of justice bill would be proceeded with, 11 May, ridiculed all criticism of its botched arrangements for Wales, 27 May, 18 June, 2 July, defended the £16,000 voted for the commissioners’ salaries, 4 June, praised their work, 11 June, and spoke against delaying the measure until the next Parliament, 2 July. He criticized the Madras registrar bill, 27 May, 19 June. He presented hostile petitions and called for further consideration of the Scottish court of session bill, 27 May, when, as subsequently, he endorsed its proposals for sheriffs’ courts, but faulted it on several points, especially the arrangements for jury trial, 18 June. He was ‘not sorry’ to see it held over. He failed to salvage his local courts bill by confining it to Durham and Northumberland, 17 June. On the chancery bill, a casualty of the dissolution, he attacked Eldon, criticized Lyndhurst as a ‘time wasting’ lord chancellor and complained that by appointing an additional equity judge the bill ‘started at the wrong end’, because the solution lay in cheaper and better access and greater use of local courts, 17, 24 June 1830. These harangues and the prospect of lower fees caused the attorneys to boycott his services at the summer assizes.210
Brougham seconded the address when George IV’s death was announced in an extraordinary and impudent speech, which showed him to be nervous and anxious for office, 28 June, and complained next day at the delay in taking Members’ oaths.211 On the 30th he vented his spleen against ministers, ‘the mean, fawning parasites of the duke’, for postponing to the next Parliament the civil list and regency bill. He had been working with Agar Ellis to prepare an alternative to the latter, vesting sole power over Princess Victoria in the pro-Whig duchess of Kent. He also criticized the ‘unpopular’ measures selected for dispatch before the dissolution (which included the administration of justice bill and the beer bill which he had approved) in a ‘mad’, ‘outrageous’ speech, 30 June, which Althorp thought did ‘incalculable’ damage to the Whigs.212 He made a ‘foolish’ speech at the party meeting at Althorp’s rooms, 4 July, which resolved upon opposition next Parliament should Wellington ‘do no better’.213 His captious quibbling when Robert Grant* moved for an address requesting the king for immediate clarification on the regency, 5 July, was well heeded and confirmed it as a party question ‘essential’ to Whig strategy; Althorp and Williams Wynn attributed their 247-93 defeat that day to Brougham’s selfishness and unpopularity.214 Commenting on a new caricature of him addressing William IV, ‘the rising sun’, James Joseph Hope Vere* observed that ‘he has been most unlucky in Parliament lately; and it is remarkable that he and Lord Grey, now indisputably the greatest speakers of the day, are both now disappointed men’.215 He had been engaged with Agar Ellis since 14 May in drafting and promoting a pamphlet exposing the Wellington ministry’s weakness, The Country Without a Government, whose publication, 3 July, caused a ‘great sensation’, and he publicized it with his local courts bill in that month’s Edinburgh.216 In his last major speech before the dissolution, 13 July 1830, Brougham endorsed the Dissenters’ petitioning campaign by moving a resolution for the early consideration of colonial slavery in the next Parliament with a view to its eventual abolition. He supported his case with statistics supplied by the Anti-Slavery Society, allusions to Missionary Smith’s case and the recently abandoned sugar bill. The ‘Saints’ backed him, but he encountered strong opposition from the West India Members and lost by 56-27.217 However, his speech was widely circulated and served to launch his canvass in Yorkshire, which, backed by the manufacturing districts, Wyvill and, belatedly and crucially, Milton, he contested successfully with Carlisle’s son Lord Morpeth at the general election. Devonshire also returned him for Knaresborough as a precaution.218 He had recently brokered his interests in Carlisle, Cumberland and Westmorland in an electoral pact with Thanet and Lonsdale, under which his brother James, its chief architect, was returned for Lord Radnor’s borough of Downton.219 The Lowthers claimed that he contested Yorkshire only to avoid being upstaged by Hume’s election for Middlesex.220 Echoing the misgivings of the Whigs, Charles Greville observed that Brougham was
rather mad without a doubt; his speeches this year have been sometimes more brilliant than ever they were; but who with such stupendous talents was ever so little considered? We admire him as we do a fine actor, and nobody ever possessed such enormous means, and displayed a mind so versatile, fertile and comprehensive, and yet had so little efficacy and influence.221
He narrowly avoided a duel with the defeated candidate Martyn Stapylton, whom he reputedly insulted on the hustings as ‘a paltry insect’, wrote boldly to congratulate the duc de Broglie on the overthrow of the French king Charles X, and encouraged his constituents to address him.222 He opposed intervention in the event of a French invasion of Belgium and wrongly predicted that it was unlikely.223 No longer constrained as a Member for a nomination borough and elated by success that Abercromby, Althorp, Lord Durham (as Lambton had become) and others warned would make him ‘unmanageable in the next session’, he devised a reform scheme which gave the vote to inhabitant householders and deprived each rotten borough and a few other small boroughs of one Member in order to enfranchise the large towns. He promoted it at post-election dinners throughout Yorkshire in September 1830, before Russell returned from Italy to announce his own plan.224 Kennedy and Cockburn, who now nicknamed him ‘the Evil Spirit’, prevented him from usurping Scottish reform.225
As author of The Result of the General Election, Brougham ridiculed the patronage secretary Planta’s original prediction of 93 Tory gains, now revised down to 21, and assumed 25-30 opposition gains - enough to enable the Huskissonites to sway the balance in the next Parliament.226 Howick thought its advice to the Whigs to co-operate with Huskisson and the Tories sensible
but it is too bad if it is written by Brougham that he should represent himself as our leader, when he must know that there are not half a dozen people who would follow him. I fear we shall find him very troublesome next session, his return for Yorkshire seems to have increased his before intolerable vanity to the highest peak and I should not be in the least surprised if he should insist on managing everything in spite of his total want of discretion (and I cannot but think honesty), of which he has just given a remarkable proof in a speech he made at an anti-slavery speech at Newcastle in which ... he represented ... [Beaumont’s] coming in for Northumberland as one of the greatest victories achieved by the Liberal party.227
Collaborating with Graham, he went to Liverpool for talks with Huskisson on the eve of the ill-fated opening of the Liverpool-Manchester Railway, 15 Sept., and corresponded afterwards with Abercromby, Devonshire, Durham, Agar Ellis and the Lansdowne Whigs with a view to co-operating to bring down the ministry with Huskisson’s acolytes the Grants, Granville, Melbourne and Palmerston, whom he held in high esteem. Palmerston thought The Result ‘uncommonly able and powerful, but too violent and bitter and personal: and it savours more of resentment from neglect, than of public zeal’. Yet he surmised that Brougham’s speeches had made the enfranchisement of large towns ‘unavoidable’ and their collaboration with the Whigs more likely.228 Fears that Brougham would not confine his attack to reform persisted and Ellice reported to Grey, 28 Oct., two days after Brougham seconded the adjournment following the Speaker’s re-election:
I see on all sides great jealousy of Brougham’s assumption of office of leader, great distrust of his prudence and intentions, and much apprehension of his committing some fault, which will strengthen ministers by throwing back the old Tories into their ranks.229
To the Russells’ annoyance, on 31 Oct. the Whigs at Althorp’s backed Brougham’s reform scheme, which, at Graham’s behest, and confirming observations that he was ‘more tractable’, he agreed to refrain from moving as an amendment to the address, and instead to seek inquiry with a view to reform on 16 Nov.230 Before responding to the address, 2 Nov., he described his reform scheme as neither ‘limited’ nor ‘revolutionary’ but ‘conciliatory’ and ‘calculated to restore the constitution’. He applauded the king’s decisions to relinquish hereditary revenues, including admiralty droits, and to accept civil list restrictions; and, treating the remainder of the speech as ‘Wellington’s, not the king’s’, he launched into immediate opposition. He criticized the ministry’s collusion in the Belgian and Polish uprisings and their Irish policy and declared strongly for the Union. Although widely acclaimed as a ‘splendid’ speech, it failed to satisfy Cockburn, and Mackintosh thought it was unlikely to improve ‘his own situation or the prospect of his friends’. The following day he scheduled his local courts bill for 10 Nov., and a motion for inquiry into slavery for the 21st; but he would not be drawn further by Peel on reform and foreign policy.231 With ‘all eyes turned’ on his reform resolutions, on which the fate of the Wellington ministry was said to hinge, he and James hosted a party dinner, 7 Nov., attended by Althorp, Denman, Graham, Howick, Macdonald, Morpeth and Smith Stanley. After visiting his wife and daughter briefly in Brighton, he sparred with Peel in the Commons over slavery petitions, 8, 9, 10 Nov., the cancellation of the king’s visit to the City, 8 Nov., local jurisdictions and chancery reform, 10, 11 Nov., and the civil list, 12 Nov.232 The final wording of his reform resolutions was approved at Althorp’s by his brother James, Agar Ellis, Graham, Morpeth and Spring Rice, 12, 13 Nov.233 He contributed to the government’s defeat on the civil list, 15 Nov., and refused to confirm afterwards whether the Whigs would form an administration. He initially refused to postpone his reform resolutions when Wellington resigned next day, and they were put off to the 25th. He declined Grey’s invitation to become attorney-general, and being refused the mastership of the rolls, at the king’s insistence, he stubbornly resolved to remain unplaced and glory in being Member for Yorkshire.234 However, his brothers prevailed on him not to put the new ministry at risk, and on the 19th he accepted the lord chancellorship proffered by Grey after a full cabinet consultation.235 Abercromby cautioned him against ‘holding aloof’ and had written to Holland:
To discard Brougham is to cut your own throats instantly. He is the person who from his talents has the most power in the House of Commons and from his public services, the most influence out of it ... To make him master of the rolls is to extinguish him or else it gives him the means to extinguish you ... I cannot conceive that to make the Member for Yorkshire attorney-general and to be led by Palmerston will do. With all its objections he ought to be chancellor.236
Cockburn remarked, ‘What a strange and merciful event Brougham’s elevation is! The Evil the head of the church’.237 A commoner view, shared by his mother, who disapproved of his decision, was that he was made a peer ‘to render him harmless in case he should become unruly’. The caricaturist HB portrayed him in ‘Sampson and Delilah’ having his hair cut by Lady Holland.238 As his constituency remained undetermined, his elevation caused by-elections at Knaresborough and in Yorkshire.239
As lord chancellor, Lord Brougham and Vaux, who looked as ever like a ‘half-starved Methodist minister’, was soon deemed to be ‘in his proper place’ and exceeded Whig expectations by getting through business with ‘incredible dispatch’, clearing the arrears by late August 1831 and carrying the 1831 Bankruptcy Act, which reformed his court.240 An avid seeker and exploiter of patronage, he encountered strong Commons opposition to the awards to Abercromby as chief baron of the Scottish exchequer court, and his brothers James as a clerk of patents and registrar of affidavits in chancery, and William as a master in chancery. His local courts bill was not carried until 1842, when he had long been out of office.241 Deliberately excluded from the committee of four who drafted the Grey ministry’s reform bill, he confined his quibbling over its details, rotten boroughs and peer creations to the cabinet room. He arranged for the king to dissolve Parliament in April 1831 when the first bill was wrecked, and played a crucial role in carrying the revised measure and in obtaining the king’s consent to peerage creations to carry it, 18 May 1832. His claim that William IV offered him the premiership when Wellington failed to form a ministry that month is unsubstantiated.242 He threatened resignation over Irish policy in December 1832, stayed on after Smith Stanley and his colleagues resigned in April 1834 over the appropriation of Irish tithes and again in July 1834, when the O’Connell scandal forced Grey to give way as premier to Lord Melbourne. He did not write up his memoirs beyond that year.243 ‘A political Ishmael’, suspected of plotting the downfall of six ministries, his campaign tour of Scotland in September 1834, during which he addressed the Edinburgh dinner to Grey, his overtures to Peel in December 1834 and 1843 and to Russell in 1837 all failed. He turned down Lyndhurst’s offer of a permanent presidency of the privy council in 1841 and gravitated towards the Conservatives for much of the decade. He remained out of office, but a powerful figure and effective ‘free-lance’ speaker in the Lords until 1864. He grieved to the point of insanity over the deaths of James in December 1833 and of his mother and daughter in 1839, when his own demise was erroneously reported. Much of his later life was spent in France, where he built the Chateau Eleanor Louise, near Cannes, in memory of his consumptive daughter, applied vaingloriously for citizenship in 1848 and wrote most of his books. He died there in May 1868, predeceased in 1865 by his wife, whose hypochondria had led to a debilitating nervous breakdown 20 years previously. He was recalled as a legend in his own lifetime and one of the most eminent men of his age, responsible for ‘kick-starting’ several long-delayed legal reforms and as a pioneering educational reformer and social scientist. However, his name, like the Brougham carriage he gave it to, did not endure in public memory.244 His will was proved in London, 17 June 1868, and executed by his brother William, on whom he had settled his estates in 1840 and who succeed him in the barony in preference to the issue of his brother John (d. 1829), under letters patent dated 22 Mar. 1860.245 Evaluating Brougham’s contribution when the Liberal reformer Roebuck vainly moved in the Commons that he be commemorated in Westminster Abbey, 27 July 1868, William Ewart Gladstone observed:
It may, perhaps, not readily have been inferred by those who knew Lord Brougham chiefly from the part he took in the most stormy debates of his times, that there was in him ... an overflowing affectionateness of character ... That characteristic entered into beautiful combination with the strong, vigorous, masculine, and even ruder parts of his mental and political composition. Lord Brougham was eminently happy in the length and consistency of his career: in most of the great undertakings of his life he addressed himself to purposes in which his countrymen could not but recognize an ardent love of liberty, a determined hatred of corruption and abuse, and remarkable disinterestedness. It seemed as if a certain instinct led Lord Brougham continually to deviate from the path of mere party politics for the purpose of anticipating the wants of coming generations, and preparing the paths which after coming men were to tread. The fame of Lord Brougham is great and secure fame.246
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Margaret Escott
Although superseded by W.A. Hay, The Whig Revival (2005), A. Aspinall, Lord Brougham and the Whig Party (1927), with its wealth of incorporated caricatures and correspondence, remains an authoritative source on Brougham’s early political career. Other biographies include G.T. Garratt, Lord Brougham (1935); F. Hawes, Henry Brougham (1957); C. New, Life of Henry Brougham to 1830 (1961); its sequel R.K. Huch, Lord Brougham, the Later Years, 1830-68: The Great Actor (1993); and R. Stewart, Henry Brougham (1778-1868): His Public Career (1986). Brougham’s autobiography, Life and Times (1871), compiled to counter and pre-empt criticism in Lord Campbell’s Lives of the Lord Chancellors, is unreliable. T.H. Ford, Lord Brougham and his World (1998) and Chancellor Brougham and his World (2001) draw heavily on it and on The Times, reflecting their author’s rejection of the approaches of Marxist and Tory historians to biography. Ford’s publications have the most comprehensive bibliographies. Ford also reappraised Brougham in several articles and in Law and Hist. Rev. xviii (2000), 397-432. For Brougham’s writings see The Works of Lord Brougham (1872).
- 1. The Times, 11 May 1868; Aspinall, Brougham, 246.
- 2. Huch, 2; E.A. Wasson, Whig Renaissance, 130-2; Greville Mems. i. 196.
- 3. Brougham mss, Brougham to Denman [1 Jan. 1831].
- 4. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iii. 265-76; Hay, 10-114; and ‘Henry Brougham and the 1818 Westmorland Election: A Study in Provincial Opinion and the Opening of Constituency Politics’, Albion, xxxvi (2004), 128-51. See APPLEBY, CARLISLE, CUMBERLAND, WESTMORLAND, YORKSHIRE.
- 5. Add. 51562, Brougham to Holland [23 Mar.]; 51571, Thanet to Lady Holland, 21 Mar.; 52444, f. 99; Grey mss, Grey to Brougham, 13 Apr. 1820.
- 6. Add. 51571, Thanet to Holland , 27 Mar. 1820.
- 7. Bessborough mss, Tierney to Duncannon, 28 Dec. 1819; Lambton mss (History of Parliament Aspinall transcripts), Wilson to Lambton, 28 Feb.; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 22 Feb. 1820; Add. 52444, f. 93. Aspinall, Brougham, 100-8.
- 8. New, 228-34; Brougham mss, J. Brougham’s draft memos.
- 9. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 22 Feb.; Add. 51564, Mackintosh to Lady Holland, 2 Apr. 1820; New, 234-5.
- 10. Holland, Mems. Whig Party, 276-8.
- 11. Add. 38193, ff. 111, 118; Harewood mss WYL 250/8 HAR/GC/26, Liverpool to Canning, 3 Apr.; NLW, Coedymaen mss bdle. 29, Williams Wynn to Phillimore, 10 Apr. 1820; Aspinall, Brougham, 106-9; Croker Pprs. i. 172-3.
- 12. Brougham mss, Hutchinson to Brougham, 17, 20 Apr.; reply, 19 Apr. 1820. Hawes, 147 speculates that his infant daughter’s illness prevented his departure.
- 13. Brougham mss, Brougham to Lady C. Lindsay, 1 Apr. 1820; Add. 38284, f. 28; 40344, f. 38; A. Mitchell, Whigs in Opposition, 140-1.
- 14. Add. 53444, ff. 93, 110-13; Mitchell, 35.
- 15. Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV, i. 18; The Times, 28, 29 Apr. 1820.
- 16. Dorset RO, Bankes mss D/BKL, Bankes jnl. 117 (5 May 1820); Bucks. RO, Fremantle mss D/FR/46/12/40.
- 17. The Times, 16 May; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 18 May, Grey to wife, 20 May 1820; Add. 30123, f. 157.
- 18. The Times, 17, 19, 31 May, 2 June; Bankes jnl. 117 (30 May 1820).
- 19. Add. 52444, ff. 122, 124; Grey mss, Brougham to Grey, 1 June 1820.
- 20. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 18 May; Brougham mss, Brougham to same, 1 June 1820.
- 21. Brougham mss, Hutchinson to Brougham, 1, 17 Apr., Brougham to Lady C. Lindsay, 28 May, to Liverpool, 1 June; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 18 May, Grey to wife, 20 May 1820; Add. 30123, ff. 121, 155; New, 237-44.
- 22. The Times, 7 June 1820; New, 239-44; M.D. George, Cat. of Pol. and Personal Satires, x. 13730.
- 23. Add. 30123, f. 171; 52444, f. 133; Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 7 June; The Times, 8 June 1820; New, 233, 244-5.
- 24. Coedymaen mss 937, 939; Bodl. (Rhodes House), Buxton mss, Brit. Emp. S.444, vol. i. 248; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 10 June 1820.
- 25. Grey mss, Grey to wife, 22 June; Add. 52444, f. 167.
- 26. Coedymaen mss 588; Hatherton diary, 21 June 1820; Mitchell, 144-6.
- 27. Agar Ellis diary, 22 June; Grey mss, Grey to wife, 23 June 1820; Add. 52444, ff. 168-70.
- 28. Hatherton diary, 22 June 1820.
- 29. Add. 52444, ff. 173, 179, 183; Greville Mems. i. 100.
- 30. Add. 52444, f. 184; Hatherton diary, 6 July; Grey mss, Grey to wife, 9 July; The Times, 13 July 1820; G. Harris, Mem. of Lord Brougham (1868), 25.
- 31. The Times, 17, 31 May, 29 June 1820; Add. 52444, f. 180; Edinburgh Rev. xxxiv (1821), 214-57, 509-15.
- 32. The Times, 12 July 1820.
- 33. Northants. RO, Gotch mss GK1206; The Times, 22 Feb. 1821; Oxford DNB.
- 34. Grey mss, Grey to wife, 14 Aug. 1820; New, 249.
- 35. Grey mss, Grey to wife, 17 Aug.; The Times, 18 Aug. 1820.
- 36. Sheffield Archives, Wharncliffe mss WhM/T.704; Harris, 25; Grey mss, Grey to wife, 29 Aug.; Lambton mss, Duncannon to Lambton, 1 Sept. 1820.
- 37. Add. 38742, f. 29.
- 38. Brougham, Speeches (1838), i. 103-228; Fremantle mss 46/12/38; Grey mss, Grey to wife, 3 Oct.; JRL, Bromley Davenport mss, Macdonald to Davenport, 4 Oct.; Morning Chron. 5 Oct.; The Times, 4-5 Oct. 1820; Add. 38742, f. 31.; New, 253-6.
- 39. Agar Ellis diary, 6 Nov.; The Times, 14 Nov. 1820.
- 40. Mitchell, 150.
- 41. Add. 30123, ff. 232-3; 51662, Bedford to Holland, 14 Nov.; Brougham mss, Hutchinson to Brougham, 15 Nov.; Wharncliffe mss T.E14; Coedymaen mss bdle. 29, William Wynn to Phillimore, 21 Dec. 1820; Croker Pprs. i. 184; Mitchell, 148-9. Aspinall, Brougham, 114-8 finds no evidence that Brougham sought a coalition.
- 42. Brougham mss, Brougham to Lambton, 20 Dec. 1820.
- 43. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 10, 13, 17 Jan. 1821; HLRO, Hist. Coll. 379, Grey Bennet diary, 1-5; Buckingham, i. 112; Colchester Diary, iii. 201; Creevey Pprs. ii. 5; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 66; Add. 38742, f. 171.
- 44. Grey Bennet diary, 5; The Times, 27 Jan.; Castle Howard mss, Morpeth to Lady Carlisle, 28 Jan. 1821.
- 45. The Times, 14, 21 Feb.; Brougham mss, Hutchinson to Brougham, 26 Feb. 1821 and reply [n.d.].
- 46. Brougham mss, Graham to Brougham, 2, 6 Mar. 1821.
- 47. The Times, 22, 29 May, 9 June, 1, 3 July; Grey Bennet diary, 98-99, 113-14, 116; Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon, 18 June 1821.
- 48. Brougham, Speeches, i. 257-85; Croker Pprs. i. 190; Grey Bennet diary, 115-16; Add. 51564, Mackintosh to Lady Holland, 15 July 1821.
- 49. Canning’s Ministry, 315; Aspinall, Brougham, 120.
- 50. The Times, 10, 16, 22 Feb. 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 27.
- 51. The Times, 22 Feb.; Brougham mss, Hutchinson to Brougham, 26 Feb., Macdonald to Brougham, 1 Apr.; Londsdale mss, Lowther to Lonsdale, 27 Feb. 1821; Life of Campbell, i. 396; Mitchell, 36-37.
- 52. Add. 51564, Brougham to Lady Holland, 8 Mar.; Brougham mss, Graham to Brougham, 15 Mar.; The Times, 10, 18 Apr. 1821.
- 53. Add. 51569, Whishaw to Lady Holland, 30 May 1821.
- 54. The Times, 11, 12 May 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 77-80.
- 55. Grey Bennet diary, 81-83.
- 56. The Times, 4 July 1821.
- 57. Ibid. 1 June 1821.
- 58. Ibid. 8, 9 June 1821.
- 59. Ibid. 15, 19 June 1821.
- 60. Ibid. 28 June 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 107-8.
- 61. The Times, 11 July 1821; Grey Bennet diary, 116 (b).
- 62. Grey Bennet diary, 121-2.
- 63. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon, 18, 25 Aug. 1821.
- 64. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 25 Sept. 1821.
- 65. Brougham, Speeches, i. 299-304; Harris, 27-8; Stewart, 160-1; George, x. 14251.
- 66. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon, 13 Dec. 1820, 18 Aug. 1821; Gent. Mag. (1821), ii. 188, 271; Add. 52445, f. 23; Hawes, 147.
- 67. Add. 36459, f. 183; Lansdowne mss, Mackintosh to Lansdowne, 28 Dec. 1821.
- 68. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon [17 Jan.]; Add. 51564, Brougham to Lady Holland [30 Jan. 1822]; 52444, f. 29; Mitchell, 162.
- 69. Brougham, Speeches, i. 313-29.
- 70. PRO NI, Hill mss D642/A/14/22.
- 71. The Times, 6 Feb. 1822.
- 72. Add. 37298, f. 158.
- 73. B. Hilton, Corn, Cash, Commerce, 86, 145-6; Mitchell, 163; HLRO HC/LB/1/89, Moulton Barrett diary, 12 Feb.; Grey mss, Ellice to Grey [11, 12, 14] Feb. 1822.
- 74. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 14 Feb. 1822.
- 75. Moulton Barrett diary, 19 Feb.; Add. 30124, f. 7; 34545, f. 80; The Times, 19 Feb. 1822.
- 76. The Times, 14, 26 Feb. 1822.
- 77. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon, 1 Mar. 1822.
- 78. Ibid. Brougham to Duncannon [15 Mar. 1822].
- 79. Ibid. Brougham to Duncannon [15, 20 Mar.]; Add. 51562, Brougham to Holland [14, 21 Mar. 1822].
- 80. Add. 51676, Lord G.W. Russell to Lady Holland, 29 May; The Times, 18 Apr.-19 July 1822 reports speeches by Brougham in 42 issues.
- 81. Add. 52444, f. 81; Coedymaen mss 637; The Times, 30 Apr. 1822; Hilton, 155.
- 82. The Times, 31 May 1822.
- 83. Ibid. 9, 10 May 1822.
- 84. Ibid. 21 May 1822.
- 85. Add. 56546, f. 6.
- 86. CJ, lxxvii. 402, 438.
- 87. The Times, 10-15 June 1822.
- 88. Ibid. 2 July 1822.
- 89. Ibid. 31 May, 8, 12, 22 June 1822; Add. 37299, f. 328.
- 90. Agar Ellis diary, 24 June; Gurney diary, 26 June 1822.
- 91. The Times, 10, 13, 18 July 1822; NLS mss 3895, ff. 28-32.
- 92. Durham Chron. 18 Aug.; Lambton mss, Wilson to Lambton, 26 Aug.; Brougham, Speeches, i. 331-69, 371-70; Law Mag. (1829), ii. 102; Edinburgh Rev. xxxvii (1822), 350-79; A Letter to ... Brougham upon his Durham Speech (1823); Harris, 28-30; Stewart, 165-9.
- 93. Aspinall, Brougham, 123-5; Add. 51564, Brougham to Lady Holland, 26 Aug. .
- 94. Aspinall, Politics and the Press, 314; Lansdowne mss, Holland to Lansdowne, 23 Aug.; Brougham mss, Brougham to Grey, 2 Sept.; Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon [4 Sept.]; Grey mss, Grey to Holland, 9 Sept. 1822.
- 95. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon [13 Sept. 1822]; Creevey Pprs. ii. 50.
- 96. Lansdowne mss, Brougham to Lansdowne [18 Dec.]; Brougham mss, Lansdowne to Brougham, 25 Dec. 1822; Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon, 23 Jan. 1823.
- 97. W. Hinde, George Canning, 328; Mitchell, 172-3; Brougham mss, Milton to Brougham, 2 Feb., Brougham to Grey, 5 Feb.; Agar Ellis diary, 4 Feb. 1823; Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV. i. 424; Bankes jnl. 141 (4 Feb. 1823); Broughton, Recollections, iii. 10; Cockburn Letters, 78; Add. 52445, ff. 114-15.
- 98. The Times, 13, 15, 20, 21, 26 Feb., 1 Mar. 1823.
- 99. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon [2, 4, 10 Mar.]; Add. 76369, Althorp to Brougham, 13 Mar., 3 Apr.; Brougham mss, Russell to J. Brougham, 23 Mar., Abercromby to Brougham, 26 Mar. 1823; Mitchell, 36-37.
- 100. Brougham mss, Lansdowne to Brougham, 9 Apr.; Agar Ellis diary, 14 Apr.; Gurney diary, 14 Apr.; The Times, 15 Apr. 1823; Hinde, 221.
- 101. Agar Ellis diary, 17 Apr.; Opinions of Lord Brougham, 26-31; Creevey Pprs. ii. 68; The Times, 18 Apr. 1823; New, 270-2; Add. 40687, f. 1.
- 102. Brougham mss, Wilberforce to Brougham, 20 Mar. 1823.
- 103. Ibid. Lansdowne to Brougham, 9 Apr.; Agar Ellis diary, 15 Apr. 1823; Mitchell, 177.
- 104. Add. 37416, f. 171; 40687, f. 1; The Times, 3-26 May 1823.
- 105. Brougham, Speeches, iv. 17-61.
- 106. Cockburn Letters, 72, 83; Add. 40687, f. 1; New, 40; Ford, i. 358.
- 107. The Times, 6 June 1823; NLS ms 24749, f. 30.
- 108. The Times, 6 June, 11 July 1823.
- 109. Add. 51516, Tierney to Lady Holland, 6 June 1823.
- 110. The Times, 10 July 1823.
- 111. Add. 51564, Brougham to Lady Holland, 31 July; The Times, 10, 16 Sept. 1823.
- 112. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon, 16 Aug.; Add. 51564, Mackintosh to Lady Holland, 8 Nov.; 51659, Whishaw to same, 3 Nov.; 51575, Abercromby to Holland [n.d.] 1823; 52445, f. 137.
- 113. Add. 40311, f. 64; 51562, Brougham to Holland [10 Jan. 1824].
- 114. Buckingham, ii. 42; Agar Ellis diary, 3 Feb. 1824.
- 115. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 5 Feb. 1824.
- 116. The Times, 25 Feb.; Lancs. RO, Dawson-Greene mss DDGr Box C4, Thomas Greene to Robert Greene Bradley, 25 Feb. 1824.
- 117. Aspinall, Brougham, 131-3; Fremantle mss 46/11/99.
- 118. Mems. Clan Aulay, 62-74; Brougham, Speeches, ii. 51-128; Coedymaen mss 404, 405; Bankes jnl. 151 (1 June); Agar Ellis diary, 1, 11 June 1824.
- 119. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 29 July 1824; Add. 51562, Brougham to Holland [17 Aug. 1824].
- 120. Edinburgh Rev. xli (1824-5), 55-78, 195-228, 450-64, 508-11.
- 121. Cockburn Letters, 127, 129, 132; The Times, 12 Nov. 1824, 11, 28 Mar., 5, 6, 9, 12 Apr.; Carlisle Jnl. 22, 29 Jan. 1825; Brougham, Speeches, iii. 69-98; Stewart, 174-5, 184-204.
- 122. Session of Parl. 1825, p. 453.
- 123. Add. 51562, Brougham to Holland [?2 Oct.]; 76939, Althorp to Brougham, 14 Dec. 1824 and undated; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 19, 31 Jan.; Merthyr Mawr mss F/2/8, Nicholl diary, 3 Feb.; Bankes jnl. 152 (3 Feb.); Add. 51663, Bedford to Holland [6 Feb.] 1825; Buckingham, ii. 206.
- 124. Harewood mss HAR/GC/27, Canning to wife, 3 Feb. 1825.
- 125. Add. 30124, f. 133; Buckingham, ii. 211; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 376; Broughton, iii. 86; Nicholl diary, 18 Feb.; Harewood mss HAR/GC/27, Canning to wife, 18 Feb. 1825.
- 126. Add. 30124, f. 139.
- 127. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 17 Feb.; Harewood mss HAR/GC/27, Canning to wife, 18 Feb. 1825.
- 128. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 21 Feb.; Harewood mss HAR/GC/27, Canning to wife [22 Feb.] 1825; Buckingham, ii. 217.
- 129. Brougham mss, Mackintosh to Brougham, 16, 17 Mar. 1825.
- 130. Agar Ellis diary, 26 Apr. 1825; Buckingham, ii. 242-3.
- 131. Brougham mss, Brougham to Smith, 26 May 1825.
- 132. Buxton mss Brit. Emp. S.444, vol. ii. 113.
- 133. Lonsdale mss, Lonsdale’s diaries, 2 July-18 Sept., Lowther to Lonsdale, 14, 24, 29 Sept., reply, 16 Sept.; Brougham mss, Lonsdale to Brougham, 10 July, Graham to same, 25 July, Brougham to Shepherd, 21 Sept.; Lansdowne mss, Holland to Lansdowne, 27 July; Creevey mss, Creevey to Miss Ord, 6 Sept.; Grey mss, Darlington to Grey, 18 Sept. 1825.
- 134. Add. 51655, Mackintosh to Lady Holland, 6 Oct.; 51679, Lord J. Russell to same, 11 Oct., 9 Nov.; 51586, Tierney to same, 24 Oct., 25 Nov. 1825.
- 135. Lansdowne mss, Lansdowne to Spring Rice, 26 Dec. .
- 136. Agar Ellis diary, 2 Feb.; Add. 51580, Carlisle to Lady Holland, 5 Feb. 1826.
- 137. Fitzwilliam mss 124/8/1; Creevey mss, Creevey to Miss Ord, 20 Apr.; Add. 51659, Whishaw to Lady Holland, 14 May; 51668, Bedford to same, 23 May 1826; Wellington mss WP1/850/9; Aspinall, Brougham, 137; Buckingham, ii. 300.
- 138. Agar Ellis diary, 13 Feb.; Keele Univ. Lib. Sneyd mss SC8/79; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle, 15 Feb. 1826; Hilton, 221.
- 139. Add. 51586, Tierney to Lady Holland, 28 Apr.; 51690, Lansdowne to same, 18 Apr. 1826.
- 140. Agar Ellis diary, 19 May 1826.
- 141. Add. 40387, f. 207; NLS mss 24748, ff. 1-3; The Times, 2, 16 May, 15, 17 June, 3, 4, 11 July; Manchester Guardian, 1 July 1826; George, x. 15125; Hay, Whig Revival, 133-6.
- 142. Add. 51562, Brougham to Holland [Aug]; 51813, Scarlett to Lady Holland, 5 Sept. 1826.
- 143. Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle [22 Nov. 1826].
- 144. Baring Jnls. i. 51.
- 145. Broughton, iii. 159; Croker Pprs. i. 322; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle, 13 Dec.; The Times, 13 Dec. 1826.
- 146. Brougham mss, Lansdowne to Brougham, 4 Jan.; Lansdowne mss, Brougham to Lansdowne [Jan.]; Add. 51669, Bedford to Lady Holland, 1 Feb. 1827.
- 147. Agar Ellis diary, 5 Mar.; Add. 52017, Townshend to H.E. Fox, 5 Mar.; Add. 48406, f. 113; The Times, 6, 8 Mar. 1827.
- 148. Canning’s Ministry, 143; Add. 30111, f. 285; 30115, ff. 122, 185; 51562, Brougham to Holland [?18 Apr. 1827].
- 149. Add. 30110, f. 335; 51584, Tierney to Holland [22 Apr.]; 76369, Althorp to Brougham, 26 Mar.; Wellington mss WP1/887/28, 35; Aspinall, Brougham, 146-8, 155; Blair Adam mss, W.G. Adam to fa. 22 Apr. 1827; Canning’s Ministry, 139, 165, 176, 186, 202, 214.
- 150. Hay, Whig Revival, 139-44.
- 151. Add. 30115, f. 120; Hinde, 446-7; Wellington mss WP1/887/48; Aspinall, Brougham, 148-52; Canning’s Ministry, 191.
- 152. Add. 51584, Tierney to Holland [22 Apr.]; Lonsdale mss, Lowther to Lonsdale, 24 Apr.; Add. 76380, Tavistock to Althorp, 25 Apr.; Wharncliffe mss, Lady Wharncliffe to Lady Erne [26 Apr. 1827]; Hay, Whig Revival, 144-9; Canning’s Ministry, 150, 233, 315, 324.
- 153. The Times, 8 June, 5 July 1827.
- 154. Gurney diary, 1 May; Bankes jnl. 160 (May 1827).
- 155. NLS, Ellice mss, Grey to Ellice, 31 May 1827.
- 156. Canning’s Ministry, 327; The Times, 8, 9, 20 June 1827.
- 157. Add. 51669, Bedford to Lady Holland [29 May]; 52447, ff. 74, 84, 89; Ellice mss, Grey to Ellice, 13 July 1827.
- 158. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 10 July 1827.
- 159. Add. 30115, f. 82; Wellington mss WP1/894/14; Brougham, Life and Times, ii. 489; Canning’s Ministry, 352, 354-5, 358, 361, 364; Coedymaen mss 204; George, x. 15416; Brougham mss, Brougham to wife [9 Aug. 1827].
- 160. Add. 52453, Brougham to Mackintosh [after 8 Aug. 1827].
- 161. Lansdowne mss, Brougham to Lansdowne, 9 Aug. 1827; Durham CRO, Londonderry mss D/Lo/C83/6.
- 162. Add. 52453, ff. 152, 161; Lansdowne mss Brougham to Lansdowne, 9 Aug.; Spring Rice to same, 18 Oct. 1827; Wellington mss WP1/897/5.
- 163. Aspinall, Brougham, 153-8; Hay, Whig Revival, 152-3; Wellington mss WP1/895/10, 13, 14, 16, 18, 22, 25; 897/5; Lonsdale mss, Croker to Lowther, 11 Aug., Lowther to Lonsdale, 27 Aug., reply, 31 Aug.; Lansdowne mss, Duncannon to Abercromby, 19 Aug.; Add. 51669, Bedford to Lady Holland [19 Aug. 1827]; Arbuthnot Corresp. 89; Russell Letters, ii. 104.
- 164. Harriette Wilson’s Mems. (1929 edn.), 429, 553, 571-2, 633-5; K. Bourne, Blackmailing of a Chancellor.
- 165. Add. 30115, f. 118; 51562, Brougham to Holland, 11, 15 Aug.; Brougham mss, Dudley to Brougham, 11 Aug.; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle [Sept. 1827]; NLS mss 24748, ff. 17, 62; Coedymaen mss 715; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 197-9; Aspinall, Politics and the Press, 194-5, 220-1.
- 166. Brougham mss, Holland to Brougham, 13 Aug., Allen to same, 22 Aug., Brougham to Shepherd, 4 Sept.; Add. 38750, f. 95.; 38751, ff. 5, 76; 51584, Tierney to Holland, 1 Sept.; 51687, Lansdowne to same, 5 Sept.; Lonsdale mss, Lonsdale to Lowther, 6 Sept.; Ellice mss, Grey to Ellice, 8 Sept., 4 Oct.; Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 29 Sept. 1827; Londonderry mss C83/7, 8; Coedymaen mss 202; Aspinall, Brougham, 160, 284.
- 167. Add. 38753, f. 38; NLS mss 24748, f. 58; Aspinall, Brougham, 160-1.
- 168. Add. 51586.
- 169. Add. 36464, f. 70; Devon RO, Sidmouth mss, Stowell to Sidmouth, 27, 29 Oct.; Lansdowne mss, Brougham to Lansdowne, 22 Oct. 1827; Aspinall, Brougham, 285.
- 170. Add. 30115, f. 126.
- 171. Lambton mss, Ellice to Lambton, 3 Dec.; Ellice mss, Grey to Ellice, 26 Nov., 7, 15, 27 Dec. 1827; Londonderry mss C83/10, 11; Wellington mss WP1/903/11, 16; 913/8; Arbuthnot Corresp. 96.; NLS mss 24748, f. 36; Add. 52444, f. 147.
- 172. Add. 38753, f. 37; Add. 51578, Carlisle to Holland, 22 Dec.; Castle Howard mss, Carlisle to Morpeth, 29 Dec. 1827.
- 173. George, x. 15502, 15899.
- 174. Stirling, Coke of Norf. 512; NLS mss 15012, ff. 39-41; Add. 36464, ff. 166, 182; 38754, ff. 114, 182; 51675, Tavistock to Holland, 13, 15 Jan.; Lonsdale mss, Lowther to Lonsdale, 16, 17 Jan. 1828.
- 175. Add. 51565, Mackintosh to Lady Holland [Jan. 1828].
- 176. Add. 52447, f. 124.
- 177. Brougham, Speeches, ii. 317-486; Agar Ellis diary, 7 Feb. 1828.
- 178. Agar Ellis diary, 18 Feb.; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle [19 Feb.]; TNA 30/29/9/5/62.
- 179. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 198-9.
- 180. Agar Ellis diary, 26 Feb. 1828; Hay, Whig Revival, 155-7.
- 181. Add. 51564, Brougham to Lady Holland, 25 May 1828.
- 182. Carlisle Jnl. 14 June 1828.
- 183. Baring Jnls. i. 61; Aspinall, Brougham, 168; Diaries and Corresp. of James Losh ed. E. Hughes (Surtees Soc. cclxxiv), ii. 67-68.
- 184. New, 358-89; Add. 51659, Whishaw to Lady Holland, 6 Oct. 1828; P. Jupp, British Politics on Eve of Reform, 365.
- 185. Add. 51542, Graham to Holland, 4 Nov.; 51564, Brougham to Lady Holland, 13 Aug.; 51565, Mackintosh to same [Dec.]; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle, 10 Nov.; Brougham mss, letters from Abercromby 6 Dec. 1828, 1, 12 Jan. 1829, Holland, 28 Oct., 2, 20 Dec., Lansdowne, 26 Dec., Russell, 28 Sept., 28 Nov., 15 Dec.; Fitzwilliam mss, Althorp to Milton, 5 Dec. 1828; NLS mss 24748, f. 79; 24770, ff. 23, 29; Russell Letters, i. 104-6, 109.
- 186. Bromley Davenport mss, Holland to Davenport, 20 Oct.; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle, 10 Nov.; Add. 51574, Abercromby to Holland, 19, 26 Nov.; 51843, Davenport to same, 18, 19 Nov. 1828.
- 187. Lansdowne mss, Brougham to Lansdowne, n.d.; Add. 76371, Brougham to Althorp [30 Dec. 1828]; NLS mss 24748, f. 76.
- 188. Fitzwilliam mss, Althorp to Milton, 5 Dec. 1828.
- 189. NLS mss 24748, f. 115; Ellenborough Diary, i. 377.
- 190. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 12 Feb.; Howick jnl. 12 Feb., 3 Mar. 1829.
- 191. Grey mss, Grey to Howick, 19 Feb.; Brougham mss, Abercromby to Brougham, 16, 31 Mar., Holland to same, 18 Mar.; Add. 76369, Althorp to same, 27 Mar. 1829.
- 192. Brougham mss, Brougham to Denman, 18 Sept. 1828.
- 193. Aspinall, Brougham, 170; Add. 76369, Althorp to Brougham, 17 June; Brougham mss, Graham to same, 6 Oct. 1829; NLS mss 24748, f. 109.
- 194. Southampton Univ. Lib. Broadlands mss BR23/AA/5/6.
- 195. Add. 30115, f. 100.
- 196. Brougham mss, Abercromby to Brougham [Jan.]; Add. 51575, Abercromby to Holland [28 Jan]; 51680, Russell to Lady Holland, 31 Jan.; Grey mss, Durham to Grey, 30 Jan., Ellice to same, 9, 11 Feb., Grey to Howick, 5 Feb., Howick jnl. 2 Feb. 1830; Greville Mems. i. 366 Aspinall, Brougham, 172.
- 197. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 18 Jan. 1830.
- 198. Brougham mss, Russell to Brougham, 30 Jan. 1830; Greville Mems. i. 370.
- 199. Howick jnl. 18, 23 Feb. 1830.
- 200. Mitchell, 222-8.
- 201. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 15 Feb. 1830.
- 202. Add. 51786.
- 203. Sneyd mss, Littleton to Sneyd, 3 Mar.; Add 76369, Althorp to Brougham, 6 Mar.; Grey mss, Grey to Howick, 9 Mar.; Add. 52176, Allen to C.R. Fox, 4 Apr. 1830; Aspinall, Brougham, 184.
- 204. Add. 51562, Brougham to Holland [?16, 22 Aug. 1829].
- 205. Add. 76369, Althorp to Brougham, 30 Dec. 1829.
- 206. New, 402; Brougham, Speeches, ii. 489-529.
- 207. NLS mss 24748, f. 89.
- 208. Howick jnl. 15 May 1830.
- 209. Baring Jnls. i. 64; Howick jnl. 30 May 1830.
- 210. Add. 51670, Bedford to Lady Holland, 12 Sept. 1830; Ford, i. 493.
- 211. Howick jnl. 28 June; Agar Ellis diary, 28 June 1830.
- 212. Howick jnl. 11 July; Agar Ellis diary, 30 June; Borthwick, Halifax archive, C. to F. Wood, 2-3 July 1830; Add. 40340, f. 223; Althorp Letters, 150-1; Ellenborough Diary, ii. 295.
- 213. Fitzwilliam mss, Duberley to Milton, 5 July 1830; Broughton, iv. 36.
- 214. Howick jnl. 5 July; Agar Ellis diary, 6 July; Jupp, 302; Add. 75940, Althorp to Spencer, 7 July; NLW ms 4817 D, Williams Wynn to H. Williams Wynn, 9 July 1830.
- 215. Hopetoun mss 167, f. 153.
- 216. Agar Ellis diary, 14 May-14 July; Edinburgh Rev. li (1830), 478-96, 564-6, 583-5; The Times, 28 Oct. 1830.
- 217. Brougham, Speeches, ii. 129-157.
- 218. Add. 34014, f. 365; Chatsworth mss, Brougham to Devonshire [24 July]; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Morpeth, 25 July; Fitzwilliam mss, Scarlett to Milton, 26 July, Ingleby to same, 2 Aug., Milton to Brougham, 29 July 1830; Brougham mss, Brougham to Denman n.d. See YORKSHIRE.
- 219. Lonsdale mss, bdles. on 1830 election; Wilts. RO, Radnor mss, Radnor’s memo. 9 July 1830.
- 220. Lonsdale mss, Beckett to Lonsdale, 19, 27 July 1830.
- 221. Greville Mems. ii. 18-19.
- 222. The Times, 17 Aug. 1830; Wellington mss WP1/134/21; Greville Mems. ii. 32-33.
- 223. Add. 51562, Brougham to Holland, 10 Sept.; 51575, Abercromby to same, 19 Aug.; Chatsworth mss, Brougham to Devonshire, 17 Aug. 1830.
- 224. Lansdowne mss, Abercromby to Lansdowne, 17 Aug.; Grey mss, Durham to Grey, 17 Aug.; Add. 61937, ff. 116, 118; Devon RO, Earl Fortescue mss, Althorp to Ebrington, 29 Aug.; Report of Speeches of Lord Morpeth, Brougham, etc. ... at Saddleworth, 25 Sept. 1830; Hay, Whig Revival, 162-70.
- 225. Cockburn Letters, 239-42.
- 226. Brougham mss, Agar Ellis to Brougham, 15 Aug., 27 Sept., Durham to same, 7 Sept., Brougham to Denman [3 Sept.]; Agar Ellis diary, 9 Sept.; Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 30 Sept. 1830; Greville Mems. ii. 49; Edinburgh Rev. lii (1830-1), 261-79.
- 227. Howick jnl. 27 Aug. 1830.
- 228. Hatherton mss, Palmerston to Littleton, 25 Sept.; Howick jnl. 27 Sept.; Broadlands mss PP/GMC/35, Palmerston to C. Grant, 25 Sept. 1830; Aspinall, Brougham, 178-84.
- 229. Grey mss, Durham to Grey, 4 Oct.; Add. 51587, Lansdowne to Holland, 21 Oct.; 75940, Althorp to mother, 12 Oct; Lansdowne mss, Macdonald to Lansdowne, 22 Oct.; Earl Forte