TEMPLE, Henry John, 3rd Visct. Palmerston [I] (1784-1865), of Broadlands, nr. Romsey, Hants and 9 Great Stanhope Street, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 20 Oct. 1784, 1st s. of Henry Temple, 2nd Visct. Palmerston [I]†, and 2nd w. Mary, da. of Benjamin Mee, merchant, of Bath, Som. educ. by Gaetano Ravizzotti, an Italian tutor; Harrow 1795; Edinburgh Univ. 1800; St. John’s, Camb. 1803. m. 16 Dec. 1839,1 Hon. Emily Mary Lamb, da. of Peniston Lamb, 1st Visct. Melbourne [I]†, wid. of Peter Leopold Louis Francis Nassau, 5th Earl Cowper, s.p. legit.; 2s. 2da. illegit. suc. fa. as 3rd Visct. Palmerston [I] 16 Apr. 1802; GCB 6 June 1832; KG 12 July 1856. d. 18 Oct. 1865.
Ld. of admiralty Apr. 1807-Oct. 1809; sec. at war Oct. 1809-May 1828, with seat in cabinet Apr. 1827; PC 1 Nov. 1809; sec. of state for foreign affairs Nov. 1830-Nov. 1834, Apr. 1835-Sept. 1841, July 1846-Dec. 1851; sec. of state for home affairs Dec. 1852-Feb. 1855; first ld. of treasury 10 Feb. 1855-25 Feb. 1858, 18 June 1859-d.
Capt. Fawley vol. inf. 1803-4; lt.-col. commdt. S. W. Hants militia 1809.
Ld. warden, Cinque Ports 1861-d.; master, Trinity House 1862-d.; ld. rect. Glasgow Univ. 1862-d.
By 1820 Palmerston, who had inherited his dilettante father’s indebted estates and Irish title in 1802 and had sat, despite his pro-Catholic sentiments, for Cambridge University since 1811, was an odd amalgam of the Regency buck, whose boyish good looks had earned him the nickname ‘Lord Cupid’, and the inconspicuous, as yet apparently unambitious, bureaucrat.2 As secretary at war, a post described by the prime minister Lord Liverpool as that of ‘the finance minister of the army’, with a salary of £2,480, he was an unrelenting pen-pusher, although he was responsible for the introduction of useful organizational and humanitarian alterations, and, as in the major row over the army returns in March 1820, he was never shy of asserting his competing jurisdictional claims with those of the commander-in-chief, the duke of York.3 His contributions in Parliament, which were adequate to the purpose - although, as in his correspondence, the clarity of his expressions was sometimes undermined by his vituperative tone - were limited to the annual departmental business of carrying the army estimates and the militia bill; his senior colleague George Canning* later lamented his inability to bring ‘that three-decker Palmerston’ into action in debate.4 Although lacking strong personal connections with any of the leading ministers, he was already on the ‘liberal’ side of the government; of course he invariably divided with them in the Commons, where he was often a teller on military matters, and sat on several select committees, including those on the militia estimates.5 Yet, at the same time, he devoted himself to the dizzying social whirl of Almack’s and the race course, and was an unconscionable philanderer, keeping a record of his conquests in his pocket book. He was noticed by the Irish poet Tom Moore in May 1819, ‘sitting faithfully close to his old flame Lady Cowper - a vulgar man’, of whom Canning reportedly said, ‘he looks like a footman who thinks his mistress is in love with him, and who is mistaken’.6 With her, his equally wayward principal mistress, he had already fathered two children: his eventual heir, William Francis Cowper†, later Baron Mount-Temple, and his favourite ‘Minny’, mother of his future private secretary Evelyn Ashley†. Another child, ‘Fanny’, born on 9 Feb. 1820, was probably also his, although by then he was involved with Eliza Blackburn, the wife of a school and university contemporary. Despite his limited financial means, he for many years had to provide for a Mrs. Emma Murray (later Mills), whose son John Henry Temple Murray was supposedly his bastard. Nothing came of the perhaps not entirely serious proposal he made to Lord Minto’s sister Lady Anna Maria Elliot in 1820, nor of his attempts in 1825 to woo Lady Georgiana Fane, whose refusals were probably prompted by the meddling of her jealous sister, Lady Jersey.7 A year or so later he propositioned the wife of Edward John Stanley* with a brusque, ‘Ha ha, I see it all - beautiful woman neglected by her husband - allow me - etc.’8
The compromise with his Whig colleague still holding, Palmerston was returned unopposed for his university at the general election of 1820, when it was briefly rumoured that he would accept a United Kingdom peerage.9 As well as intervening against the radical John Cam Hobhouse* in Westminster, he attempted to influence the choice of candidates for Hampshire, where, though this was really the duke of Wellington’s bailiwick, he continued to play a role in the Tory resistance to seditious activities and helped to establish a patriotic Southampton newspaper early that decade.10 He cited the necessity of the armed forces in the preservation of internal peace and freedom on resisting calls for a select committee on military expenditure, 16 May, and for a reduction in the size of the army, 14 June. He easily carried his limited parliamentary business that session, during which his only other intervention was against the exclusion of Thomas Ellis, the Irish master in chancery, from the House, 30 June. He had believed it unlikely that George IV would persist with a prosecution of Queen Caroline and in mid-October 1820 he commented on the likely failure of the bill of pains and penalties in a letter to his former guardian Lord Malmesbury, whose death the following month aroused painful feelings in him.11
Palmerston voted for Catholic relief, 28 Feb., and, on presenting his constituents’ hostile petition, expressed his support for this and the intended securities, 16 Mar. 1821.12 He introduced the army estimates, claiming that economies had been made and that it was delusory to hope for a return to the expenditure levels of 1792, 12 Mar. For the next two months he fought a successful rearguard action against the concerted opposition of radicals and advanced Whigs, who divided the House on at least a dozen occasions, including on the grant for volunteer corps, 16 Apr., when he stated that, although the war had ended in 1815, this had been only the first year of ‘domestic peace’. Lady Cowper commented to her brother Frederick Lamb in early May that
I am very glad to find Lord Palmerston has done himself such credit by the talent, discretion and temper he has displayed during all this time and if Hume has not managed to reduce the estimates, he has at least reduced the secretary at war, for he has grown as thin again as he was.13
Nevertheless, that summer he gave Liverpool proposals for large additional savings, noting that the ones relating to three household cavalry regiments ‘are those which in all the discussions we have had in the House of Commons have excited the most attention and upon which we have had the least favourable divisions’.14 In November 1821 he declined Liverpool’s bid, as a means of providing for William Huskisson*, to demote him to the Lords and the department of woods and forests (while awaiting a vacancy at the post office), opining that such an arrangement ‘would be liable to misconstruction’.15 The following month Lord Binning*, referring to Palmerston’s survival instincts, called him ‘a very shy cock. An old pheasant is not more dexterous in eluding dogs, beaters and guns’.16
Having spoken briefly against Hume’s amendment to the address, 5 Feb., Palmerston was, in Hudson Gurney’s* word, ‘wretched’ in his sneering defence against Sir Robert Wilson’s censure motion, 13 Feb. 1822; then, as on most occasions that the cases of aggrieved officers were brought before the House, he stood his ground wholly on the king’s prerogative to dismiss him from the army.17 Boasting that he had implemented the economies requested by opposition, 4 Mar., he saw his departmental accounts through the committee of supply that month with his now characteristic flippancy and informed his brother William Temple, a diplomat, on the 25th that
I have not had half the trouble with estimates this year that I had last year: indeed, we had made such large reductions, that little was left for Hume to object to, and the body of the Whigs did not support him much in his objections even to that little.18
In August 1822, in the aftermath of Lord Londonderry’s suicide, which he regretted - not least because it was a toss-up whether the more brilliant Canning, who became foreign secretary, or the more reliable Robert Peel, the home secretary, should succeed as leader of the House - he was considered for promotion, but John Wilson Croker*, who admitted his ‘readiness and nerve’, wrote to Peel that
Palmerston’s deficiency is exactly that which we are now considering how to supply - that flow of ideas and language which can run on for a couple of hours without, on the one hand, committing the government or, on the other, lowering by commonplaces the station of a cabinet minister.19
He retained his office in the ensuing reshuffle, though he did himself no favours by exasperating Liverpool over another turf war with York early the following year.20 Apart from skirmishes over the mutiny bill’s provisions relating to the dismissal of officers, 6, 14 Mar. 1823, Palmerston secured his army estimates without difficulty that session. No doubt so as not to antagonize his constituents, whose increasing Protestantism had been demonstrated by the return of the arch anti-Catholic William Bankes at a by-election late the previous year, he made no comment on presenting their petition against Catholic relief, 16 Apr.; he brought up another from the university for the abolition of colonial slavery, 22 Apr.21 He departed from his usual inactivity by making a major speech in defence of Canning’s policy of not threatening force of arms against France over its invasion of Spain, 30 Apr., his first outing on foreign affairs since 1808.22 On 7 May 1823 he was forced up to explain his part in the prosecution and execution of the poacher Charles Smith, who had shot at his gamekeeper, an affair which William Cobbett† elevated into a radical cause célèbre.23
Palmerston gave an account of his visit to Holland and Germany that autumn in a series of amusing letters to his sister Elizabeth. After an initial period of being ‘at slack water’ in the Commons, he recounted to her husband Laurence Sulivan, a subordinate at the war office, 26 Feb., that the ‘estimates went off like smoke from a steam engine’, but he was obliged to defend the practice of flogging in the army, 5, 11, 15 Mar. 1824.24 He was named to the select committee on the Irish Insurrection Act, 11 May, and, having chaired most of its sittings, he brought up its first report, 31 May, and justified its proceedings, 24 June.25 On 30 Dec. 1824 he concurred in Peel’s decision to suppress the Catholic Association without prior recourse to parliamentary inquiry.26 He again took charge of the committee on the state of Ireland, which was reappointed on 17 Feb. 1825, presenting three of its four reports that session.27 Although on 15 Mar. he brought up the hostile petition of Cambridge University, he of course voted for Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May, and was privately optimistic about its chances.28 He observed that granting it would do much to facilitate military reductions in Ireland, 4 Mar., when, as on the 7th, he denied that modest increases in the size of the army were related to matters of internal unrest or official patronage. In September 1825, and again a year later, he visited his county Sligo estates, where he busied himself with an ambitious programme of practical improvements.29
Although in January 1825 he had found ‘things looking very prosperous’ at Cambridge University, his future prospects were soon reckoned to be so doubtful that he was expected to retreat to the Lords.30 He was grateful that no dissolution took place that autumn, but was shocked to have to embark on an extensive canvass there in December, when a rumour briefly arose that he was to be governor-general of India.31 Not only was he challenged by Bankes, but, to his fury, both the staunch anti-Catholics John Singleton Copley, the attorney-general, and Henry Goulburn, the Irish secretary, also offered, with the backing of like-minded ministers. As the Whigs, such as the Rev. Adam Sedgwick, who had no candidate of their own, rallied to him as a long-standing pro-Catholic Member, he knew by January 1826 that his continued exertions gave him a fighting chance, but he made his displeasure at this deeply embarrassing situation abundantly clear to Liverpool that month in a strongly worded protest; in this he blamed the prime minister, whose reply was unsatisfactory, for failing to abide by the rule of cabinet neutrality on the Catholic question.32 In February he had his hostile views on slavery relayed to his constituents, and he presented and endorsed their petition for its abolition on the 28th.33 Amid further squabbles with York that spring, he vindicated the expense and size of the army, 3, 7 Mar., but was unconvincing, 13 Mar. 1826, in his rejection of Hume’s motion to end flogging, a practice which he was quietly endeavouring to restrict.34
After a six months’ ‘nightmare’ of strenuous canvassing, including agonizing about how far to share splits with his rivals, Palmerston was returned in second place behind Copley at the general election of 1826, at the cost of at least £750.35 He had told Liverpool, who he thought ‘acted, as he always does to a friend in personal questions, shabbily, timidly and ill’, that he would have resigned if defeated, and, although he saw his triumph as securing his own seat and as a setback for the ‘no popery’ cause generally, he wrote in his short autobiographical memoir that ‘this was the first decided step towards a breach between me and the Tories, and they were the aggressors’. He confided to his brother:
As to the commonplace balance between opposition and government, the election will have little effect upon it. The government are as strong as any government can wish to be, as far as regards those who sit facing them; but in truth the real opposition of the present day sit behind the treasury bench; and it is by the stupid old Tory party, who bawl out the memory and praises of Pitt while they are opposing all the measures and principles which he held most important, it is by these that the progress of the government in every improvement which they are attempting is thwarted and impeded. On the Catholic question, on the principles of commerce, on the corn laws, on the settlement of the currency, on the laws regulating the trade in money, on colonial slavery, on the game laws ... on all these questions, and everything like them, the government find support from the Whigs and resistance from their self-denominated friends. However, the young squires are more liberal than the old ones, and we must hope that heaven will protect us from our friends, as it has from our enemies.36
In July 1826 Canning suggested moving him to the post office with a peerage, and also raised the idea of his taking on Frederick John Robinson’s departmental and Commons duties at the exchequer, although he admitted that Palmerston’s ‘only fault is a habit of non-attendance on ordinary occasions, a fault wholly inconsistent with the existence of a chancellor’. Liverpool scotched this, and it was possibly at this time that Palmerston declined two offers of postings in India.37 Disturbed that autumn by the incipient civil war in Ireland, where he noted in a memoranda book that he would vote for any fair securities, ‘not as safeguards against a danger I foresaw, but as the price to be paid to respectable prejudice for the purchase of substantial justice’, he regretted the anti-Catholicism of his colleagues, observing to Temple that
I can forgive old women like the chancellor [Eldon], spoonies like Liverpool, ignoramuses like Westmorland, old stumped-up Tories like Bathurst; but how such a man as Peel, liberal, enlightened and fresh minded, should find himself running in such a pack is hardly intelligible ... But the day is fast approaching, as it seems to me, when the matter will be settled, as it must be.
Such sentiments put him firmly on the reformist wing of the administration, although he hardly qualified as a Canningite.38
Palmerston was privately delighted by Canning’s sterling pre-Christmas speech in favour of British intervention in Portugal.39 He responded angrily to Hume’s criticisms of the war office, 30 Nov., 8 Dec. 1826, 14 Feb. 1827, saw off opposition to his army estimates, 19, 20 Feb., and again defended flogging, 12 Mar. He presented the petition of the Catholics of county Sligo for their claims, 21 Feb., and voted accordingly, 6 Mar.40 On 9 Apr. he distanced himself from any responsibility for the Cornwall and Devon Mining Company, one of the ill-fated entrepreneurial concerns with which he became embroiled in the mid-1820s and which seriously exacerbated his worrying financial problems.41 On the accession of Canning as premier that month, when he was also considered for the home office, he accepted the invitation to become chancellor (a position he had declined in 1809) in order to support him both at the treasury and in the Commons. However, to avoid his re-election becoming mixed up with a contest which was already due to take place at Cambridge University, his appointment was postponed to the end of the session. Lady Cowper reported him to be ‘very well pleased’ with this arrangement, especially since he joined the cabinet with immediate effect.42 As he had done briefly after York’s death in January, he served as acting commander-in-chief following what he saw as the regrettable resignation of Wellington, and, having helped to stifle the king’s plan to exercise this role personally, he drew up a memorandum on this, 11 June, and explained his role to the House, 21 June.43 In his only other interventions that session, he gave lukewarm support to the Penryn disfranchisement bill, 7 June, and favoured the East Retford measure only in so far as the existence of such electoral abuses strengthened the hand of radical reformers, 11 June 1827.
Palmerston, who approved of Canning’s intention ‘to found his government upon public opinion rather than borough interests’, welcomed the exclusion of the bigoted Tories and the inclusion of moderate Whigs in subordinate roles.44 Mrs. Arbuthnot, who liked him despite his quarrelsome nature, was aghast at this about-turn, remarking in June 1827 that ‘he professes now to be a Whig, having been for 15 years in office upon high Tory principles, and he makes this profession just at the moment when the Whigs get into power in order to keep his place’. So she was delighted to hear that he might suffer the indignity of being dropped.45 Perhaps because of rumours of his alleged improprieties over share dealing, but more probably simply because the premier’s vexed political arrangements required him to hold the chancellorship himself, Canning, at about this time, asked him to relinquish the promise of the exchequer. This Palmerston did with a good grace, putting the interests of the government ahead of his own, and perhaps only in retrospect was he to attribute such moves to displace him to the underlying hostility of George IV. Subsequently, he later recorded, the prime minister offered him the governorship of Jamaica, at which ‘I laughed so heartily that I observed Canning looked quite put out’, and the governor-generalship of India, about which, as when Liverpool had made such a suggestion, he repeated that ‘my ambition was satisfied with my position at home’.46
Although, as Lady Cowper put it, Palmerston was ‘quite a late convert’, he was described by her to have been as ‘completely devoted’ to Canning as her brother William Lamb*, the Irish secretary, and he was consequently devastated by his death in August 1827.47 Canning’s successor Lord Goderich (as Robinson had become) soon revived the offer of the chancellorship, but, on the king insisting on the appointment of John Charles Herries*, Palmerston, who had vainly urged William Sturges Bourne* to take it, retracted his acceptance ‘in the handsomest manner’.48 During the tortuous imbroglio that ensued, owing to the struggle to have this decision reversed, he acquitted the king of acting on motives of political partisanship, as the Whigs reckoned, but was aware that some element of personal animus lay behind it, since George IV had told Princess Lieven, the wife of the Russian ambassador, that ‘il y a quelque chose en lui qui me déplait, il a toujours l’air si fière [sic]’. Nevertheless, he was of the opinion that the king, at the instigation of his secretary Sir William Knighton, wished to insert his supposed creature Herries, whom Palmerston in fact judged to be a man of talent and integrity, at the exchequer, so as to pave the way on ‘a hundred questions connected with the privy purse, the crown revenue and royal expenditure which are constantly arising’.49 Thus, while Henry Brougham*, for instance, privately advanced Palmerston’s merits, writing that ‘I abhor Herries - I love Palmerston, an excellent, honourable, liberal man, and of good Whig stock, and I have remonstrated with The Times for him strongly, and against Herries’, he and the studiously calm Palmerston agreed that the Whig leaders should do all they could to preserve the existing parliamentary majority of the ministry and particularly the ‘preponderance of liberal views in the cabinet’.50 To his brother Palmerston argued that otherwise either Goderich would have to take back some of the secessionist Tories, which would create a government ‘just like Liverpool’s, consisting of men differing on all great questions, and perpetually on the verge of a quarrel, the result of which is that nothing is done’, or ‘the Tories would come in bodily’, which ‘would be most unfortunate in every possible way’.51
By early September 1827, when he saw through the king’s rather too obvious flattery of him during an explanatory interview, he was content to remain where he was.52 It had been reported the previous month that ‘the army is going to the devil under Palmerston’ and that he was ‘a good deal quizzed for having gone in uniform to the review of the Coldstream Regiment’, so he was relieved to relinquish his additional duties to Wellington, the reappointed commander-in-chief, with whom, however, professional disagreements soon arose.53 Rumours had emerged that he might have been president of the board of trade, but on the leadership of the Commons, for which Croker deemed him unsuited because he had ‘not fluency nor industry, nor a general knowledge of business’, he gladly deferred to Huskisson, the colonial secretary. Displaying his usual lack of ambition, he confided to Sulivan, of this position, that
there are few things indeed in this world which I should so much dislike; even if I felt that I was fit for it. But in various ways I should be unequal to it. To go no further than one point, the person so placed must be in a perpetual state of canvass; and of all irksome slaveries there is none more difficult to me than that; besides the character of the government is, as it were, identified with the debating success of the individual.54
The following month he escaped for a few weeks to Ireland, and that winter he took a close interest in foreign affairs, noting that the battle of Navarino ‘will smooth and not increase our difficulties’.55 In December 1827 he was kept in the dark about a ministerial scare, for which he forgave the prime minister, but he was scathing about the collapse of the ministry the following month.56 According to his later account, which Herries’s son and biographer found to be inaccurate in this and other respects, Palmerston wrote that Huskisson, who now led the Canningites
blamed me for not having stood out. He said if I had insisted upon the fulfilment of Goderich’s promise [of the exchequer], that promise would not have been retracted, especially as it had been spontaneously made, and Herries would not have been thrown like a live shell into the cabinet to explode and blow us all up. At the appointed time he did explode. He picked a quarrel with Huskisson ... Goderich had not energy of mind enough to determine in favour of one or the other ... and gave the king to understand that he had no advice to give, and did not know what to do. But George knew very well what he had to do: he bid Goderich go home ... and he immediately sent for the duke of Wellington ... The king was the great plotter, and [William] Holmes* and [Joseph] Planta* worked upon Goderich, and persuaded him he could never overcome the difficulties he would have to encounter.57
However, he yet again survived in the cabinet, to the despair of Mrs. Arbuthnot, who exclaimed that Palmerston, ‘the shabbiest of all’, had ‘told me himself that he was a Whig and would always remain so’.58
Yet Palmerston’s course was governed less by love of place than by concern for public principles, for example the continuation of cabinet neutrality over Catholic relief, as guaranteed by the retention of a sufficient number of like-minded friends, or ‘liberals’, to counterbalance the extreme Tory ‘pigtails’. Following negotiations in January 1828 it was agreed, among other concessions, that Huskisson’s presence was essential, ‘as a security for the maintenance of those liberal principles which we both profess’. At the same time, although he regretted the retreat of Lord Lansdowne’s moderate Whigs (with whom he would not have sat in the Commons had he too left office), Palmerston judged Peel, the reinstated home secretary, to be ‘QUITE as liberal on every point except the Catholic question as Huskisson or Canning’, and considered that Lord Dudley’s
continuance in the foreign office ... would give a security that our foreign relations would be kept up in the same spirit as hitherto, while Huskisson’s superintendence of our colonial system and [the president of the board of trade Charles] Grant’s management of our commercial arrangements would preclude any departure from the much calumniated principles of free trade.59
Believing Wellington was ‘not a bigot’ over emancipation, he was cautiously prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and, having persuaded himself that the inclusion of Herries should not be made an insuperable objection, he, with the other members of the ‘triumvirate’, Dudley and Grant, nudged Huskisson into accepting the final ministerial arrangement. This he almost settled at a meeting on the 18th, when, however, he raised additional demands for the fair treatment of pro-Catholics over official or electoral patronage and the exclusion of rigid Protestants from the Irish administration, to which the new premier laughingly replied that ‘the first was asking him whether he was an honest man, and the second whether he was a madman’. He later recorded that ‘Dudley, Lamb, Binning [soon to become 9th earl of Haddington], Grant and myself met at Huskisson’s house’, and accepted Wellington’s offer, ‘not as individuals, but as a party representing the principles, and consisting of the friends, of Mr. Canning’. The ministry was settled by the 21st and Palmerston opined that ‘I think it will do, and the government will be strong and liberal, at least if it is not the latter, it will soon cease to be the former’.60
Palmerston, ever ready to express his stoutly held opinions in cabinet, stated his reservations about Wellington remaining as commander-in-in-chief at its meeting, 24 Jan. 1828.61 Anxious that no revelation of internal splits over religion should place power in the hand of the ‘illiberals’, he made careful preparations for his low-key speech on the address, 29 Jan., when, as the only minister present in the Commons, he reported its uneventful approval to the king.62 He fended off embarrassing questions about the new government, 31 Jan., and during the ministerial explanations on 18 Feb. he insisted that it would remain Canningite in its foreign and commercial policies. He clashed with Hume on introducing the curtailed army estimates, 22 Feb., and his request for papers on the full and half-pay lists, 12 Mar.; he thought these matters much better left to the finance committee, to which he gave evidence in person, 10 Mar., and he continued to suggest economies, for instance over the militia.63 He wound up the debate on the Test Acts, apologetically remarking that they had, in any case, been ‘to all intents and purposes practically repealed’, 26 Feb.; Mrs. Arbuthnot, who complained that he ‘scarcely ever speaks’ and ‘sneaks about ashamed (as well he may) of showing his face’, wryly observed that he ‘argued for the repeal and voted against it!’64 As he recorded in his journal, in March Palmerston was dissatisfied with the new corn bill, but agreed to it as a compromise, considering that ‘the great object was to get established the principle of protection by duty, instead of prohibition’; on Grant threatening to resign over the duty being fixed at too high a rate, he eventually persuaded him to stay since otherwise both Huskisson and himself would then have been forced to depart over this issue.65 The following month he sent Wellington a summary of his objections on foreign policy, especially over the proposals for Greek independence, which, on behalf of the diffident Dudley, he constantly raised in cabinet.66 However, writing to Temple, 25 Apr., he remarked that, partly because of the finance committee, ‘our session has hitherto been one of the most inactive I ever remember’, and, detecting the decline of the agriculturists and the end of the ‘reign of Toryism’, he was even hopeful of the eventual concession of Catholic relief, for which he gave a silent vote, 12 May 1828.67
He spoke for the grant to Canning’s family, 13 May 1828, much to the delight of the embittered widow of the late premier, and the following day, in response to an attack from Lord Chandos, he declared ‘that as the principles which emanated from him are followed, just in that proportion will those who adopt them conduce to its interest and advantage, and obtain for their government the confidence and approbation of the people’.68 This sensational ‘mutiny’, as the prime minister described it, apparently gave ‘mortal offence’ to Wellington, who, already at odds with Palmerston personally, especially at his ‘always pecking’ in cabinet over the endlessly postponed issue of relations with Russia, and regretting the accession of the Huskissonites altogether, meditated some kind of reprimand in the Lords.69 Before an opportunity arose, however, both the hesitant Huskisson, who had pledged himself in cabinet to vote for transferring the seats of at least one corrupt borough to a large town, and the nonchalant Palmerston, who understood that its meeting on 19 May had agreed the matter was not to be considered a government question, divided that night, against Peel, for transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham. Palmerston, who had told him to ‘stay where you are’ and later remarked that ‘if Huskisson had had to move, instead of sitting still, he would have voted the other way’, was certainly responsible for their votes, but he knew nothing of his colleague’s blundering written apology, which Wellington, despite Palmerston’s subsequent explanations, insisted on interpreting as a letter of resignation.70 The lord privy seal, Lord Ellenborough, who reckoned that ‘Palmerston’s loss can be easily supplied’, recorded that Wellington had said that ‘Palmerston must follow Huskisson, and he did not choose to fire great guns at sparrows’; so, with the prime minister evidently prepared to eject them, Palmerston left office with Dudley and Grant in late May 1828. Dudley, who was the only one to waver, felt himself bound to follow the sterling example of Palmerston, who later noted that ‘We joined as a party; as a party we retired’.71 Wellington, who thought that ‘Palmerston never liked me’, later confided that ‘I may be wrong, but I have always suspected him of having put Huskisson up to the move which led to the tender of his resignation. He imagined that without Huskisson and his friends ... I should not be able to get on’.72
Palmerston’s justificatory Commons statement on this affair, 2 June 1828, was satisfactory to both his former colleagues and the Huskissonites, or ‘ejected liberals’, who sat below the treasury bench on the government side. He compiled a list, ‘respectable both in its number and composition’, of ‘gentlemen in Parliament who may be supposed as agreeing pretty much in opinion and likely to find themselves voting the same way’; the three versions of it, each of which placed him second after Huskisson, comprised about 26 MPs and about 11 peers.73 Commenting that ‘it is so many years since I have been my own master that I feel it quite comical to have no tie’, he relinquished the war office, whose clerks were ecstatic at his departure, but, having requested Sulivan to supply him with the relevant papers, he made interventions on the previously postponed army estimates, 13, 20 June.74 He spoke and voted for the usury bill, 19 June. He urged the enfranchisement of disturbed manufacturing towns as a prophylactic against radical alterations, declaring himself in favour of the transfer of East Retford’s seats, ‘not because I am a friend to reform in principle, but because I am its decided enemy’, 27 June. He divided with opposition that day, and again on Fyler’s amendment to the silk duties, which was carried with government support, 14 July. He judged that the session ‘went off languidly, and without any events of particular interest’, but was smugly pleased that, except on the Catholic question, ministers appeared to be more liberal than before the exit of the Huskissonites, perhaps being ‘disposed to do things, when they have the credit of doing them, which they refused to do when it would have been supposed that we were urging them to do them’. Thus, as he had predicted the previous August, the reshuffled government had become ‘essentially Tory, with a garnish of liberals to keep up appearances’; but he thought that, unless overwhelmed by the growing pro-Catholic tide, ‘the ship will sail well enough in fair weather, and the business of the crew must be to keep her out of storms’.75 By the end of July 1828 he was astounded that Wellington had reverted to Canning’s foreign policy, at least as far as Turkey was concerned, and informed Lady Cowper that
all points on which we had almost angry disputes at every cabinet from January to May, and upon which I thought it impossible we ever should agree, and out of which I daily expected a break up of the government to take place; all of these points have now been settled exactly in conformity with our opinions.76
By the following month, when, according to lists he sketched in his journal, he seems to have envisaged serving under Wellington as chancellor or under Lansdowne as colonial secretary, he was speculating that the ministry’s apparent weakness would lead to another reorganization once Parliament was recalled, although he had determined ‘to make the [settlement of the] Catholic question a sine qua non to my return to office’.77
He visited Ireland in the wake of what he saw as the epochal Clare election that autumn, conferring with the lord lieutenant, Lord Anglesey, on the desirability of Catholic relief, and in December 1828 he welcomed the revelation that Wellington, whose foreign policy he again found deficient, was, as had long been suspected, preparing the ground for emancipation. His visit to Huskisson’s Sussex estate at Eartham that month, in the company of Goderich and Lord Melbourne (as Lamb had become), gave rise to speculation that what Croker jokingly referred to as the ‘party of the three viscounts’ might be attempting to position itself to exploit the ministerial split that Palmerston imagined would arise if Peel refused to give up his entrenched anti-Catholicism.78 He was in Paris for most of January 1829, enjoying its high society and political gossip, but, particularly concerned about the still uncertain future of Ireland, he returned before the meeting of Parliament, crossing from Calais with Hobhouse, who observed that ‘he "talked" liberal just as well and as freely as if he had played that part all his life’.79 On the announcement of emancipation, after which he privately considered himself ‘as landed at Cambridge’, he congratulated ministers in the House, although not without disapproving of the suppression of the Catholic Association, 10 Feb.80 He of course voted for emancipation, 6 Mar., and on the 18th delivered a major speech in its support, which ‘astonished everybody’ by its unexpected oratorical brilliance, so much so that the former Whig leader George Tierney* said that it was ‘an imitation of Canning, and not a bad one’.81 Among the congratulations he received on circulating a printed version of it was one from Horace Twiss*, who asked him whether ‘I am not justified in the opinion which I have more than once ventured to give you, that you were doing great injustice to yourself and to the country, by keeping your parliamentary talents so much in the shade?’82 To his brother, he explained, of Wellington’s achievement of emancipation, that ‘neither Canning nor any other minister could, this year, have done the thing, because nothing has brought the king to agree to it but his being check-mated by having no other move left on the board’, in the form of a viable anti-Catholic government; nevertheless, he judged the ministry to be weak in the Commons and wrote that ‘we must have a turn out upon foreign politics before the session is over’.83 He criticized the punitive disfranchisement of what he deemed to be independent 40s. freeholders in Ireland, 19 May, dividing in minorities against the bill that day and the next, when he suggested that the measure might be made temporary. According to his pocket diary, he continued to attend Parliament throughout that month, and he again voted for relief, 30 Mar. 1829.84
Palmerston contented himself with a silent vote for enfranchising Birmingham, 5 May 1829, commenting to Temple the following day that, with the Catholic question becoming forgotten, ‘parties are returning to their ancient demarcations’ and ‘our division last night upon East Retford brought us nearly to the status ante’.85 He objected to the introduction of poor laws to Ireland, preferring to advocate English capital investment, 7 May. He divided for allowing Daniel O’Connell to take his seat unimpeded, 18 May, and to reduce the hemp duties, 1 June. That night, rising at 1 am, he strongly condemned Britain’s tacit neutrality towards the Portuguese tyrant Dom Miguel and urged the government, by diplomatic interference rather than military intervention, to assist the supporters of the rightful queen, Maria; he also denounced the reversal of Canning’s policy in relation to Greece and complained that the reputation of Britain, as a country governed by public opinion rather than physical force, had been gravely damaged. He again wrote out this well-prepared and ably presented speech to be printed, and, in its resonance with the popular mood, which had been one of his aims, it confirmed his arrival as a significant national politician, especially coming after his recent triumph on emancipation.86 In mid-June he privately expressed his frustration that ‘the Whigs were too coquetting with the treasury bench’ to reinforce his assault on ministers’ vulnerability over foreign affairs, and, doubting that any of the Huskissonites would rejoin them, ‘because we would then have no security against being obliged to concur in measures which we disapprove’, he forlornly speculated that ‘the best government would be one composed by a union of Huskisson and Lansdowne; in short, the government of Goderich, with a better head and some changes’.87 Although that summer it was supposed by Lord Londonderry that Palmerston might take the Commons lead in the king’s desired liberal Tory government, Sir Henry Hardinge* had heard the rumour that the Huskissonites and ‘low Whigs’ would unite under him; the latter commented that ‘Palmerston must look sharp, for the university in a general election say they will not tolerate two Whigs’, but he was apparently aware of this danger, since, for his electioneering foray there in July 1829, with the newly elected Whig William Cavendish, he drafted an (in the end unused) speech extolling his own independent conduct.88
Sir Edward Knatchbull* questioned whether Palmerston could be separated from the Huskissonites, but the Ultra chief Sir Richard Vyvyan* believed that, if handled with care, he might be caught.89 He duly sounded Palmerston during a long conversation, 3 Oct. 1829, offering him flattering promotions, including the position of colonial secretary, in the Ultra ministry that he hoped to establish that autumn. Palmerston, who confided to Lady Cowper that he found the idea of a government led by Lord Mansfield and his ilk faintly ludicrous, declined to commit himself to, but evidently led on, Vyvyan, who subsequently recorded that
by detaching Lord P. from the Huskisson party, which may be done effectually, provided a favourable change takes place, we have dislocated the strength of that party and gained a most valuable auxiliary, a good speaker, a man of business and, if necessary, a competent leader in the House of Commons.90
In fact, he had no intention of abandoning Huskisson and, for instance, in November he attempted to encourage Melbourne to participate in his planned assaults, especially on foreign policy, in the following session.91 In Paris, where he predicted a possible change of ministry and even of the French regime, he talked at length to Minto, who reported to Lansdowne, 16 Dec. 1829, that he was ‘eager, very eager I think, to attack our great duke’, including by concerted liberal efforts to oust him, and that ‘I think he feels his own value and that you will see him next session take his own line as a leader’; on 6 Jan. 1830 he added that Palmerston, who did not labour under the disadvantages which beset the more talented Canning, ‘goes home I think quite resolved to take up his own position as a rallying ground for liberal opinions’.92 That month, Edward Ellice*, who relayed to Lord Grey a rumour that he was to replace Ellenborough, counted the ‘direct and active opposition’ led by Palmerston and Melbourne as one of four distinct parties in Parliament.93
Despite wanting to raise foreign affairs at the start of the session, Palmerston contented himself with voting for Knatchbull’s amendment on distress, 4 Feb. 1830.94 The following day he explained that he had been bound to do this, given the factual inaccuracy of the address, but saw the agricultural depression as a temporary effect of the beneficial return to a metallic currency; he also criticized ministers’ conduct towards Portugal and on the 9th gave notice of a censure motion on this topic. He made what Hobhouse described as a ‘furious speech’ on the government’s failure to guarantee the independence of Greece, 16 Feb., when, in response to an irate intervention by Peel asking who he stood for, he declared that ‘I stand here ... as one of the representatives of the people of England ... I also stand here ... as one of that body which represents or which, at least, ought to be the maintainers of, the honour and interests of England’.95 It was perhaps in relation to their ‘brisk skirmish’ that day, which marked a breach between them, that Lord Holland surmised that the session might end in the formation of ‘two parties, of one of which Peel, of the other Palmerston, will be the leader’.96 He voted for transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 11 Feb., 5 Mar., and the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb., but against the Ultra Lord Blandford’s reform bill, 18 Feb. He stated that he would divide against restricting the grant for the army to six months, 19 Feb., but sided with opposition against filling the vacant treasurership of the navy, 12 Mar., and spoke and voted for inquiry into the revision of taxation, 25 Mar. As George Agar Ellis* put it, Palmerston ‘spoke admirably and bitterly respecting the conduct of government’, commending to ministers the maxim ‘Be just and fear not’, on introducing his unsuccessful motion for papers on relations with Portugal, 10 Mar., which was defeated by 150-73.97 The speech, which he had published, led to a lively debate, during which he was again pitted against Peel, and provoked further contributions to the continuing pamphlet war on the subject.98 Palmerston, who according to Joseph Jekyll†, ‘looked pale and jaded, and five years older since last summer, from his parliamentary anxieties and displays’, asked a question about a reported amnesty in Portugal, 6 Apr., and voted for Grant’s resolutions on the affair at Terceira (which he had criticized on 10 Mar.), 28 Apr.99 He divided for Jewish emancipation, 5 Apr., 17 May. He voted to repeal the Irish coal duties, 13 May, for a return of privy councillors’ emoluments, 14 May, and to end capital punishment for forgery, 24 May, 7 June 1830.
What Palmerston considered that spring to be the ‘very disjointed state’ of parties, with a weak administration and an indifferent opposition, was heightened by the instability generated during the final illness of George IV, which may have been partly the reason why he received an abortive approach from Grey via Princess Lieven in April 1830.100 Following the king’s death, he criticized ministers for failing to consider regency proposals and for precipitating a dissolution because they were unable to carry their business through the Commons, 30 June, and, having made an anxious canvassing visit to Cambridge, he probably divided for settling the regency, 6 July.101 He voted against colonial slavery, 13 July. He was mentioned by Wellington in the course of his overture to Melbourne that month as another potential adherent of government, but that putative arrangement collapsed because of Melbourne’s demands for the inclusion of Huskisson and Grey. Palmerston, who told Huskisson that if they returned to the cabinet they would be in an even more powerless position than they had been in 1828 and would incur public odium as unprincipled place-hunters, privately noted that
my mind was quite made up that I, for one, would not accept the very best offer which it was possible for the duke to make us, supposing he was willing to treat us as a party ... without a general or larger reconstruction of his administration.102
He was nevertheless supposed to want to rejoin singly, possibly replacing Goulburn as chancellor (as Hardinge surmised), although Peel was reported to have said that Palmerston ‘would be too discreditable and unsafe, that he would not come alone and would be paralysed in speaking by fear of attacks from those he quitted’.103 As no Tory in the end stood, he was returned unopposed with Cavendish at the general election of 1830. This, he believed, brought no significant gains for Wellington, and, buoyed up by the simultaneous revolution in France, an event he hailed as ‘decisive of the ascendancy of liberal principles throughout Europe’, he predicted the slow demise of the ministry; government, he quipped, was a word which could ‘only be rendered by the paraphrase of vacillation in public measures and jobbing in patronage’.104
Greville, who had heard conflicting reports of his joining either Grey or Wellington, wrote in his journal, 20 Aug. 1830, that ‘it seems odd that Palmerston should abandon his party on the eve of a strong coalition [with the Whigs], which is not unlikely to turn out the present administration’, but on the 29th he met Palmerston and could ‘from the tenor of his language infer that he has no idea of joining government’.105 Amid reports of suspected negotiations that summer, Palmerston was one of those participants reported by Anglesey to Edward John Littleton*, 1 Sept., to be ‘ripe for mischief, full of fight’, and he was certainly in touch with Huskisson, possibly with a view to concocting plans for the forthcoming session, before the latter’s fatal accident in mid-September.106 Thomas Creevey* conjectured that Huskisson’s removal would smooth the way for the return of his supporters to office, and Hardinge reckoned that now was the time for Palmerston to do so.107 Yet he continued to stand aloof, informing Littleton on 25 Sept. 1830 that the difficulties for the Huskissonites of uniting with Wellington ‘are increased instead of being diminished’ by the death of their leader, ‘because they would enter his cabinet more completely destitute of means of influence to carry their opinions into action’; whereas, in relation to joining the Whigs, he averred that ‘our maxim should be co-operation whenever practicable, but no incorporation’. In his letter to Grant of the same date, he similarly ruled out accepting any offer from the ‘dictator’, if indeed one was forthcoming, and, as well as lamenting the loss of Huskisson’s extensive talents, guessed that the duke would retain power, just as he had over Catholic emancipation, by enfranchising a token number of manufacturing towns.108 Brougham, who judged that he would ‘return to insignificance with a ruined character’ if he left the ranks of opposition, was soon rejoicing that Palmerston wished to ‘take council together’ with the equally delighted Hollands the following month.109
In late September 1830 Wellington contemplated inviting Palmerston to succeed Sir George Murray* as colonial secretary, and, at the suggestion of Mrs. Arbuthnot, who considered him ‘the best of that party and certainly a good speaker’, he decided to use as an intermediary Lord Clive*, who was an old friend of Palmerston and had involved him with his Ludlow constituency affairs.110 Clive dutifully embarked on a series of letters and interviews, which resulted in stalemate since, according to Palmerston’s later account, he insisted that ‘in no case would I join the duke’s government singly’, and that
the friends with whom I was politically acting were Melbourne and Grant; but that, to say the truth, I should be unwilling, and I believed they would be so too, to join the duke unless Lansdowne and Grey were to form part of his government.
Likening Wellington’s offer to ‘asking me whether I was disposed to jump off Westminster bridge’, he determined to stick to his and Huskisson’s former resolution, which still had Melbourne’s support, to hold out for a general rearrangement, a proposal which the prime minister refused to contemplate.111 To his brother, Palmerston wrote that Wellington ‘is playing over again the game of January 1828: he wants us to help him go on, and if by-and-by, when he has got on by our aid, he should be able to stand alone, he would get rid of us again with as little ceremony as before’; so, to avoid further embarrassment, in mid-October he escaped briefly to Paris, where he enjoyed the thrill of the continuing political agitation.112 Egged on by the Arbuthnots, partly because they had heard, via Littleton, that Palmerston would not insist upon the inclusion of such advanced Whigs as Brougham, the duke met Palmerston again on the 30th, only for their talks to collapse on Wellington’s repeating his refusal to countenance a wholesale reconstruction.113 The question of parliamentary reform seems to have been mentioned during these negotiations, and Wellington’s declaration in the Lords against even moderate alterations, 2 Nov. 1830, confirmed Palmerston in the rectitude of his decision.114 He later recorded, of another Tory approach, that
Croker called on me a few days afterwards to try to persuade me to reconsider the matter. After talking some time he said, ‘Well, I will bring the matter to the point. Are you resolved, or are you not, to vote for parliamentary reform?’ I said, ‘I am’. ‘Well, then’, said he, ‘there is no use in talking to you any more on this subject. You and I, I am grieved to see, shall never again sit on the same bench together’.
By that time, having been sounded out by the Whigs, he and some of the former Canningites, or what Lord Althorp* called the ‘Palmerston party’, had agreed to vote for Brougham’s intended motion on reform, provided it was vaguely worded, and he also promised to ask the Ultras to support it.115
Palmerston, who (so Croker assured Peel) was, like Grant, easily answered, as they were ‘really nothing but froth’, raised a question about Portugal on the address, 3 Nov., and criticized the government’s legislative programme and its civil list proposals, 12 Nov. 1830.116 He divided for Parnell’s amendments to reduce the duty on wheat imported to the West Indies, 12 Nov., and to refer the civil list to a select committee, to which he was appointed, 15 Nov., when ministers decided to resign prior to their expected defeat on reform the following day. Palmerston’s truncated autobiography ended with the sentence, ‘As soon as Lord Grey was commissioned by the king to form an administration he sent for me’; but this was not quite true, since Lord Tavistock*, who thought it ‘not a very popular appointment’, recorded that both Lansdowne and Holland had declined the foreign office before he accepted it (and the salary of £6,000, soon reduced to £5,000).117 He had been considered a potential leader of the House, but nothing came of rumours that he had been so appointed. He did propose himself for it to Grey, but declared himself quite content on the new prime minister indicating that this position was to be filled by Althorp, the chancellor; the exchequer, like the home secretaryship (which went to Melbourne), was an office to which Palmerston might reasonably have expected to succeed.118 He thus led the reduced rump of non-Tory Huskissonites, the ‘small political party’ which he believed had been the instrument for carrying him into his new position, back into office with the Whigs, with whom he was from then on to be associated.119 Although, as in the form of Winthrop Mackworth Praed’s* cruel parody (‘I’m not a Tory now’) he remained vulnerable to allegations of being a placeman, others, such as his Cambridge friend George Pryme†, gave him credit for having made a principled stand on emancipation and East Retford.120 His re-election for the university was a formality, 30 Nov., and, as ‘prompter to the puppet’, as Croker had maliciously observed, he deputized for the absent Althorp over routine Commons business for much of December 1830.121 He failed to make a good impression in this role, but as James Abercromby* opined at the end of the year, ‘I think the danger is now that they may underrate Palmerston, for I strongly incline to believe in his being manly, firm and honourable in all things’.122
According to his official biographer William Henry Lytton Earle Bulwer*, a diplomat, in November 1830 Palmerston’s appearance was that
of a man in the full vigour of middle age, very well dressed, very good looking, with the large thick whiskers worn at the time. His air was more that of a man of the drawing room than of the senate; but he had a clear, short, decisive way of speaking on business which struck me at once.123
He was reported by Greville to ‘have begun very well’ in diplomatic circles, although on 22 Dec., a month after his arrival at the foreign office, Palmerston wrote that ‘I have been ever since my appointment like a man who has plumped into a mill-race, scarcely able by all his kicking and plunging to keep his head above water’.124 Assisted by his colleagues, the gossipy Holland and the sedate Lansdowne, but above all by Grey, whose constant supervision he soon found irksome, he usually overcame residual Whig suspicions of him in cabinet, not least because he circulated papers widely and encouraged discussion on them; for example, early the following year Sir James Graham*, the first lord of the admiralty, commented on ‘his honesty and his stoutness’, and Althorp told Littleton that ‘he is doing his work as well as it is possible to do it; we are all in admiration of him’.125 He was certainly required to employ immense reserves of application and self-confidence in the role, and he devoted long hours to the rapidly increasing volume of paperwork, which probably contributed to his haggard looks and irritable behaviour; in later years, his idiosyncrasies only worsened, most notably in the form of his appalling unpunctuality and brusque insensitivity. He drove his clerks unmercifully, famously insisting that they write a large and legible hand, and his unpopularity was increased by his endeavours to improve the efficiency of the office and, following parliamentary pressure, to make economies.126 Princess Lieven, who claimed she had influenced her old lover Grey in favour of the appointment, which she thought ‘perfect in every way’, of Palmerston (himself probably one of her former paramours), wrote to Lady Cowper in January 1831 that he was ‘adorable, controlling foreign affairs in every sense of the word’.127 However, she was later to change her opinion, not least because Palmerston, who was nobody’s fool, soon demonstrated an indomitable spirit and an assured autonomy of action that was quite at odds with his former lowly ministerial subservience. Nothing effected this transformation more than the daunting task, which he inherited on taking over the foreign office, of chairing the newly appointed London conference on Belgium, which had recently won its independence from Holland. These time-consuming, complex and exhausting negotiations, which lasted throughout 1831 and beyond, gave him a fiery apprenticeship in what was an incredibly demanding, but also highly prestigious, cabinet post.128
Except in answering numerous questions and making minor interventions, Palmerston was not called on to make many speeches on foreign policy, although when he was, he always ensured that he had fully mastered his subject.129 He defended the government’s suppression of Irish repeal agitation, 8 Feb., and its slight expansion of the army, 18 Feb. 1831, but otherwise, as Greville noted, did almost nothing in the House that month.130 Refusing Hume’s request for the release of the conference’s initial protocols on the independence, neutrality and future security of Belgium, he vindicated his principle of non-violent interference in the cause of preserving the general peace of Europe, 18 Feb.131 But he was considered by Ellenborough to have been too lackadaisical in manner and by Francis Thornhill Baring* to have been unsatisfactory and incautious in content, while Holland informed Lord Granville, the reinstated ambassador in Paris, on the 24th that ‘Palmerston does not hit [?suit] the temper of our friends and of the House, so well as I had hoped he would’.132 Privately, he was pleased at the king’s confidence in ministers and, despite his doubts about Lord Durham’s radical tendencies, at the popularity of their reform proposals, which, he opined, ‘whatever the Tories may say, will not be revolution, but the reverse’.133 In the words of the Commons clerk John Rickman, he ‘lashed himself up to an uphill speech’, which was considered a failure, in favour of the reform bill, 3 Mar., when, as well as the more common reasons he adduced for reform, he commented that Canning’s genius might have recognized the necessity of it and that the intention was to give the vote to the respectable middle classes.134 Tavistock admitted on the 10th that Palmerston ‘has cut but a sorry figure’, and, after he had proved himself no match for Peel in a clash over the Irish reform bill, 24 Mar., Agar Ellis regretted that ‘Palmerston, Graham and Grant have all failed lamentably in speaking and in courage’.135 He was involved in a squabble over his future prospects at Cambridge on bringing up university petitions for and against the reform bill, 30 Mar. Representing Clive’s views as an example of a Tory who would be willing to back a more moderate reform bill, Palmerston wrote at length to Grey, 8 April 1831, to urge him to consider such alterations as would ensure its parliamentary passage without incurring the dangerous risk of a dissolution or a dismissal of the government:
Notwithstanding the applause which has been bestowed upon the bill, we must not disguise from ourselves, that there is a vast mass of intelligence, of property, of liberality and even of Whiggism by which its provisions are looked upon, with some uneasiness, as too sweeping and extensive, and to whom considerable modifications would be exceedingly acceptable; and the points to which the most frequent objections are directed are the extent of disfranchisement, the lowness of the £10 qualification and the reduction in the English representation.
On the last point, he correctly predicted (as Gascoyne’s successful wrecking amendment demonstrated later that month) that ‘my confident belief is, that we shall be beat, if we resist it’. Although his pleas were partly motivated by concern for his own standing in Cambridge, where he exclaimed that ‘I have scarcely met six people who approve of our bill!’, a pained Grey refused to alter the principles of it.136 Palmerston’s unequivocal public endorsement of and votes for the bill aroused massive opposition in the university and, despite extensive and expensive canvassing, he and Cavendish were defeated by two Tories in the only major contest to go against the government at the general election of 1831.137 He expressed hopes of being able to regain the seat, but Lord John Russell*, the paymaster-general, felt he should have been compensated with a safe berth in a county and there was speculation he would make a suitable Member for Liverpool, should he chose to stand there.138
Enclosing a cutting from The Times, which argued in favour of the will of the people overriding the resistance of the peers, Palmerston complained to the prime minister in May 1831 that such sentiments ‘inspire me with unpleasant misgivings that we are hurrying on too fast’. Grey, however, refused to rein back and his ‘expressions were so strong that they silenced Palmerston’ at the cabinet meeting, 29 May, when the latter was the only minister present who did not agree ‘that a very probable consequence of attempting to conciliate the House of Lords by concession would be to lose the House of Commons’.139 The cabinet split on reform continued in June, when he presented it with Littleton’s list of Members hostile to the £10 rate of qualification.140 Rumours abounded that month that Palmerston would resign over minor humiliations perpetrated by cabinet colleagues on foreign affairs, and Princess Lieven commented that, being dependent on the administration for a treasury seat, he was unfortunately ‘forced to bend, to give way and to obey’.141 The duke of Bedford described Palmerston as ‘by no means of the first calibre’ as foreign secretary, but Grant and Graham confirmed to Littleton that he was cordially respected in the cabinet for his diligent and skilful diplomacy.142 He was brought in on the government interest for Bletchingley, at a cost of £800, 18 July, and the following year he was reluctantly obliged to pay a further £500.143 He took his seat on the 19th, when, in a letter to Granville, Holland ruled him out as a possible replacement as leader for Althorp, whose ailing father’s death would have removed him to the Lords, as he
is not popular with the bulk of our House of Commons supporters, and has not, as [Edward Smith] Stanley perhaps has, that promptitude and talent in debate which by gratifying the eagerness of the moment overcomes any prejudice of partisans in their leader.144
He declined to oppose the disfranchisement of Bletchingley, 20 July 1831, and divided silently for the reform bill’s details when present that summer, being, like Grant, as Tom Macaulay* suspected, ‘idle and ... not very hearty’ on the subject.145
It may also have been because Palmerston was distracted by foreign affairs, since, having produced papers on Belgium, 27 July, he was assailed by questions about the French retaliatory military action following the invasion by the disaffected Dutch of its former possessions, 3, 6, 8 Aug. 1831.146 A petition from the Westminster Union of the Working Classes calling for his removal was presented by Henry Hunt on the 8th, when he ruled out any discussion of the Polish uprising. He persuaded Vyvyan to postpone his hostile motion on France’s intentions, 9, 11 Aug., and, confiding that he reckoned that the Tories viewed the possibility of a European war as their last chance of killing the reform bill, he wrote frantically to Granville, instructing him to ascertain whether the French would reciprocate if the Dutch could be persuaded to withdraw.147 On Croker introducing an unsuccessful motion for papers, with the intention of establishing that the foreign secretary had deceived the House, 12 Aug., Palmerston refused to enter into details and sneeringly dismissed his antagonist with the words, ‘I, for one, do not write in the newspapers’; this put-down was, in fact, of doubtful accuracy, but Littleton privately noted that ‘indifference and contempt were never expressed with more good humour, or in a more gentlemanly manner’.148 Lord Valletort’s question about French naval actions off Portugal ‘fell very flat’, 18 Aug., and, since it failed to elicit any information relating to the continuing negotiations, Vyvyan’s motion, 20 Aug. 1831, ‘led to nothing, Palmerston saying nothing at all’ of any substance.149 Thanking Granville for having obtained the requested reassurances from France, Palmerston commented that ‘our opponents are now obliged to tender us their doleful congratulations upon our fortunate escape from what they looked forward to as a certain piece of luck’.150 He stifled Thomas Peregrine Courtenay’s repeated attempts to request information on Portugal towards the end of the session.
In the summer Palmerston had imagined that the creation of ‘a few peers’ would have secured the passage of the reform bill through the Lords, but by late August 1831 Holland was disappointed to notice that he and Lansdowne were ‘disinclined to any measure vigorous enough to be effectual’, and by the following month the foreign secretary was canvassing his cabinet colleagues on the lengths they were prepared to go in manipulating public opinion as a means of pressurizing the upper House.151 In a letter to Lady Cowper, 8 Oct., he expressed his surprise at the size of the majority against the second reading of the reform bill in the Lords the previous night, but noted that ‘at least it has one good effect, it puts out of the question any idea of making a batch of peers to carry the bill’. Although determined to stand by his fellow ministers, he differed from most of them in believing that the only way to secure its passage was by making enough concessions to obtain sufficient support, as a bill which did not give ‘too great and sudden an increase of power to the democratical influence’ would please ‘the great bulk of the gentry of the country’; on each of the next three days he protested to Grey against Althorp committing him by a prospective pledge to a bill just as extensive in scope as the one which had been lost, since, for all that he approved of the general outline of the measure, he insisted that its more dubious details were still subject to discussion and alteration in cabinet.152 At the urgent request of Melbourne and others not to risk a split in the ministry, he decided against stating this punctilio during the debate on Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. 1831, perhaps because Althorp purposely avoided compromising him directly. On the 14th Grey resentfully denied that such statements of government intent precluded making such changes as were found to be necessary, while Holland privately recorded his qualms about Palmerston’s ‘strange scruples’ and Durham, discerning ‘the cloven foot in Palmerston’s letter very plainly’, called him a ‘thorough anti-reformer’.153 Later that month Palmerston began to attempt to create a consensus for alterations in the reform bill among his more moderate colleagues, including Smith Stanley, who found him ‘very dissatisfied’ especially at the antics of the more extreme members of the government, whose friendly newspapers were ‘identifying ourselves with the radicals and breaking down all our established institutions, etc.’154 By mid-November 1831 he had also opened discussions with Lord Wharncliffe about possible Tory co-operation over certain parts of the bill, one of the first attempts to initiate negotiations with the ‘Waverers’ in the Lords.155 He had thought that ‘the natural disinclination which all ministers must have to so unnecessary a renewal of a laborious attendance’ would prevent the ‘violents’ from carrying their attempt to have Parliament recalled before Christmas, but he was in the minority of three against this (with Grey and the duke of Richmond) in cabinet, 19 Nov.156 He wrote furiously to Melbourne, one of four absentees, the following day that, had time been given to complete his talks
we could not only have improved the measure, but have ensured a majority in the House of Lords for that and all other purposes before Parliament had met. How this is now to be done I hardly see. John Russell is tomorrow three weeks to expound what we call the principles, but what, as we well know from experience, will be all the details, of the bill. From that point all negotiation is over.157
In fact, Palmerston renewed his discussions with Wharncliffe and continued to urge modifications to the bill, though he was so worried by some of the suggested changes, including the proposals to omit the division of counties and to substitute scot and lot for the householder franchise, that he commented, in relation to the opponents to the bill, that ‘we have caught at the letter of their arguments without regarding the spirit’, thus serving only to increase their objections. Despite having his own complex ideas for changing schedules B and D, on which he had done some detailed work, he was willing to agree to Grey’s compromise of the bare minimum of significant changes at a heated cabinet meeting, 30 Nov. 1831.158
Assisted by a rapprochement with France, Palmerston secured an international treaty on Belgium, 15 Nov. 1831, which he described as ‘a great thing done’, and two days later Littleton noted in his diary that ‘his success, through a thousand difficulties and constantly impending war, and other machinations and lies and evil forebodings of party, is a signal triumph’.159 Speaking on the address, he denied that the settlement had been forced on the people of Belgium, 7 Dec. By then, as what Creevey described in a letter to Miss Ord on the 6th as ‘the ringleader of the insurgents’, he was pressing openly for co-operation with the ‘Waverers’, but, although he had assured them that only schedule A and the £10 franchise were regarded as unalterable principles, it transpired that no real concessions were on offer when, at Palmerston’s behest, they met Althorp, Brougham and Grey on the 10th.160 On Russell introducing the revised reform bill, 12 Dec. 1831, he apparently ‘came in late and seemed to go to sleep’.161 Still hankering after alterations, he strongly objected to the future creation of a large group of new peers, an issue on which it was imagined he might resign, at the cabinet’s meeting on 2 Jan. 1832, and thereafter he supported the idea of calling up only the heirs to existing titles, as well as Scottish or Irish lords, and attempted to restart negotiations with Wharncliffe and his friends.162 Greville recorded that month that he and Melbourne were ‘now heartily ashamed of the part they have played about reform. They detest and abhor the whole thing ... and they do not know what to do, whether to stay in and fight this unequal battle or resign’.163 However, for all that it was bad tempered and tardy, his intervention in vindication of the Russian-Dutch loan (in other words, of the payments which, the United Provinces not having quite yet been formally dissolved, Britain was still obliged to make), rescued the government, 26 Jan. 1832.164 Althorp informed his father the following day that ‘Palmerston made a capital speech at last and saved us, for we know that he converted solo enough to account for nearly the whole majority’, which fell as low as 20 in one of the two divisions.165
Granville commented to Holland, 23 Jan. 1832, that ‘I think with you that Palmerston’s foreign politics are essentially good and liberal, but he is constantly apprehensive, not of being duped, but of being thought to be duped by Talleyrand and the French government’.166 The French ambassador was said by Raikes to have ‘got Palmerston in his wily embrace’, and a strikingly lifelike double portrait of them in a cartoon entitled ‘the lame [Talleyrand] leading the blind’ aroused his intense resentment at this time.167 His worries about the parliamentary treatment of his departmental responsibilities were illustrated by the way he anxiously briefed Littleton to assist him in answering Vyvyan’s hostile questioning over the Belgian settlement, 3 Feb.; he again had to respond on this and about a convention with France on the slave trade, 6 Feb.168 He had been restrained by the cabinet from becoming too involved, as the French navy had done, with the military activities of Dom Pedro, on behalf of his daughter Maria, but Courtenay’s motion for information on Portugal, 9 Feb., forced him to defend his active diplomatic interference against the Miguelite regime, a concentrated and protracted policy of attempting to facilitate the return of the legitimate ruler which he nevertheless claimed did not abrogate his principle of non-intervention.169 In response to bellicose questioning from Vyvyan about French military ambitions in Italy, 7, 13 Mar., he calmed fears of a European war; wishing to keep both France and Austria as much as possible out of the vacuum of collapsing Italian states, including the Papacy, he made determined efforts that year to encourage them to establish viable governmental institutions.170 The airing of criticisms by Lord Eliot, who echoed the usual Tory objection that Palmerston was too close to the French, 26 Mar., led him into a lengthy vindication of his policies towards Belgium and Portugal, particularly as having been carried out in accordance with Britain’s overall interests. He ridiculed Dixon’s allegation that he had ‘repeatedly shuffled away’ from his inquiries about compensation due from Brazil to British merchants, 13 Apr., and did enough to prevent his pressing his motion for papers to a division, 16 Apr. 1832.
Since February 1832 Palmerston, still resolutely opposed to peerage creations, had been confident that the reform bill would be read a second time in the Lords and that, with Grey being more reasonable, no amendments ‘which we shall not be prepared to agree to’, would be forced on the government.171 Ministerial differences persisted the following month, with Russell complaining that ‘Palmerston especially had never "given his mind to it" or cared at all about it’, although Durham, of whom Palmerston caustically observed that he ‘would make 70 peers to secure one Member for Gateshead’, was heartened by the fact that ‘even Palmerston had declared he would stand by the franchise’.172 According to Holland’s diary, 3 Apr., he was ‘as usual civil, courteous and fair’ in stating his reservations about the cabinet’s contingency plans in the event of the bill’s defeat, hinting that he would personally, despite having the most to lose financially, prefer resignation to a dissolution or the manufacture of an artificial majority in the Upper House.173 He was disappointed that the government only carried the second reading in the Lords by nine votes, 13 Apr., but, relieved that by its removing speculation about his personal vulnerability his diplomatic hand would be strengthened, he instructed Frederick Lamb, the ambassador at Vienna, to ‘boldly present this division as the Waterloo of parties in England, and as deciding the continuance of the present ministry in office. I hope it may produce an effect upon Metternich’.174 Concerned at the mustering of the Tories, he arranged and hosted another meeting between Grey and Wharncliffe, 28 Apr., when he understood the latter to have promised not to vote for putting off the disfranchisement clauses.175 He therefore felt betrayed when the ‘Waverers’ divided in the majority for Lord Lyndhurst’s wrecking amendment, 7 May, and surprisingly, at the emergency cabinet on the 8th, it was he who called for the immediate creation of up to 50 peers.176 He informed Lamb that, unlike his fellow moderates, he
felt strongly that as we had prevented the making of peers at a time when the king gave Grey the power to do so, if now in consequence of none being made we are defeated, we were to insist upon dissolving the government, we should be accused and with some show of plausibility, of a scheme to defeat the bill and to play false to our colleagues.
As well as considerations of public unrest in necessitating reform, he added:
Had we been beat on a clause of the bill, the metropolitan districts, the rating of the ten pounders, the exclusion of the county freeholders living in represented towns or anything of that kind, I should not have agreed to make peers for that; but this proposal was either nothing but a mere preference of arrangement or it was an opinion against disfranchisement. If it was the former, the making it a pitched battle and a defeat of the government was intended for the purpose of compelling the government to resign; if the latter, it attacked a fundamental principle of the bill. In either case we have no longer any power over our own measures in the Lords and must either strengthen ourselves or retire.177
Refusing to apologize for any change in his own opinions in the Commons, 14 May, he justified ministers’ conduct in resigning, the king having chosen this course over the cabinet’s request for peerage creations. He was delighted by the decision made by the Whigs at Brooks’s that night to oppose any reform bill emerging from the putative Wellington government, commenting to Lamb the following day that ‘the debate of last night was the most remarkable expression of public opinion, upon the political conduct of public men, which I ever remember to have witnessed, and that has been the immediate cause of the duke’s failure’.178 Pleased to be back in office, he wrote on the 18th that, not least because of the irresponsibility of the Tories, it was
impossible to disguise from oneself that the events of the last ten days have struck a harder blow at royal and aristocratical power in this country than any thing since the days of Charles I, saving the expulsion of James II, because a ministry and a measure odious to the peers and distasteful to the king have been forced upon both by the House of Commons as backed by the great mass of the nation.179
Thereafter, he grudgingly accepted the bill as the best an essentially conservative reformer could hope for in the way of limiting concessions to democratic demands, and, apart from declining O’Connell’s invitation to back the re-enfranchisement of the Irish 40s. freeholders on 13 June 1832, he made no further speeches on it.180
That month Palmerston, who was given the grand cross of the order of the Bath as a personal mark of favour by William IV, was annoyed by what he considered quite improper press attacks, inspired he suspected by Durham and Ellice, on his employing Tories as diplomats; his approval of Durham to lead a special mission to Russia was partly designed to satisfy the violent Whigs in this respect.181 He had long played down calls for intervention in aid of the Polish rebels and, aware that they had popular support, he agreed to Cutlar Fergusson’s motion for papers and noticeably failed to condemn O’Connell’s scurrilous attack on the tsar for perpetrating atrocities against them, 28 June 1832.182 As he put it, the government ‘beat the Tories handsomely about the Russian-Dutch loan, though they counted upon a victory’, 12 July, but he again had to defend the payments to Russia, 16 July, and it was not until the 20th, when he spoke admirably in defence of his policy of stabilizing Belgium, that he could finally dispose of the question.183 He saw off the disaffected Bulwer’s motion for papers on the German Diet’s Austrian inspired repression of personal and press freedoms, 2 Aug., when, in an important speech, he remarked that ‘constitutional states I consider to be the natural allies of this country’ and, rejecting ‘non-intervention’ as a French word, he reiterated his principal of ‘non-interference by force of arms’ combined with the occasional expedient of ‘interfering by friendly counsel and advice’; to the king, who as elector of Hanover had approved the Diet’s resolutions, Palmerston presented on the 5th what Holland called ‘a long and spirited’ remonstrance in favour of liberal institutions.184 Although, in line with his initially philhellenic policies, he obtained his committee on a loan to guarantee the independence of Greece, 6 Aug., he had by this time realized the necessity of propping up the Ottoman Empire, particularly against Russian and Egyptian aggression.185 He was obliged to remain in London for parliamentary and official business that month and, despite Lady Cowper’s assertion that ‘a person of less sanguine disposition than his would have been quite worn out long ago’ by the still unsettled affairs of Belgium and Portugal, in late September 1832 he was desperate for a holiday, having not had a full week off in nearly two years.186
By the autumn of 1832 Palmerston, still flatteringly called ‘the Romsey dandy’ and also known as ‘Protocol Palmerston’, had earned the nickname ‘Lord Pumicestone’ for his abrasive foreign policy, which in a later age would became characterized as ‘gunboat diplomacy’ and ‘brinkmanship’.187 His former admirer Princess Lieven, who thought him a mule ‘rushing headlong towards liberalism’, denounced him as ‘a poor, small-minded creature, wounded in his vanity, who wants a great warlike demonstration behind which he hopes to conceal his blunders’.188 Yet her intrigue to engineer his replacement by Durham, her latest dupe, spectacularly misfired when he contrived to have her husband recalled two years later, a banishment for which she never forgave him.189 By this time he was again occupied in releasing information to, and even drafting articles for, reliable newspapers; he had explained to Lady Cowper in 1831 that he could ‘impel’ the inclusion of favourable paragraphs but not ‘control’ the appearance of critical ones, but this did not prevent him from joining the fray by assisting the Globe, his preferred vehicle, as a counterweight to the hostility of The Times.190 As Greville later wrote, in a unsympathetic assessment which could equally well refer to this period:
Palmerston, the most enigmatical of ministers, who is detested by the corps diplomatique, abhorred in his own office, unpopular in the House of Commons, liked by nobody, abused by everybody, still reigns in his little kingdom of the foreign office, and is impervious to any sense of shame from the obloquy that has been cast upon him, and apparently not troubling himself about the affairs of the government generally, which he leaves it to others to defend and uphold as they best may.191
Nevertheless, he was a colossus of a foreign secretary, who, while sometimes content to work within the confines of the concert of Europe, but also bold enough to nurture the development of constitutional states, was ultimately, like his mentor Canning, governed by considerations of Realpolitik, as encapsulated in his later dictum that ‘we have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow’.192
Palmerston, who realized he had no chance of regaining his seat at Cambridge University and turned down offers from several other constituencies, was eventually satisfied that he had sufficient backing in Hampshire South and was returned as a Liberal for his native county after a contest at the general election of 1832.193 He lost his seat there in 1834, but thereafter sat for Tiverton and held high office almost continuously for the rest of his life, twice serving as prime minister. Talleyrand judged him to be
certainly one of, if not quite the ablest of statesmen I have ever met with in all my official career. He possesses all the aptitude and capacity which most contributes to form such a man in England - extensive and varied information, indefatigable activity, an iron constitution, inexhaustible mental resources and great facility of speech in Parliament. Without being what is called a great debater, his style of eloquence is biting and satirical, his talent lying more in his power of crushing an adversary under the weight of his irony and sarcasm, than of convincing his auditors; and furthermore, he has great social qualities and highly finished manners.194
In his oratory, which was not very evident in his early years at the foreign office, he was certainly more effective than eloquent.195 But in this, as in other respects, his character was full of contradictions: although bred on an ideology of aristocratic paternalism, he was nothing if not a practical politician; although exploiting the growing assertiveness of public opinion, he was never more than a conservative reformer at home; although avowing liberal sentiments abroad, he was always and conspicuously a patriot; and above all, despite being a devilish old roué, even after his marriage to Lady Cowper in 1839, he was the supreme epitome of Victorian pride, respectability and self-assurance.196 Of his death in harness, 18 Oct. 1865, just after the general election of that month and two days before his 81st birthday, Philip Guedalla, in a famous envoi, later wrote ‘... and the last candle of the eighteenth century was out’; and yet undoubtedly more accurate, since by then he was the acclaimed embodiment of the national character, was the Daily Telegraph’s obituary notice of him as ‘the most English minister’.197
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Stephen Farrell
Palmerston’s pprs., some of which are accessible at www.archives.soton.ac.uk/palmerston, form part of the Broadlands mss at Southampton Univ. Lib. These were partly printed in Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer (Lord Dalling), Life of Henry John Temple, Visct. Palmerston, 5 vols. (1870-6) [hereafter cited as Bulwer]; following Dalling’s death, the last three volumes of this work were edited and written by the Hon. Evelyn Ashley, who prepared a revised and enlarged edition, Life and Corresp. of Henry John Temple, Visct. Palmerston, 2 vols. (1879) [hereafter cited as Ashley]. P. Guedalla’s influential but romanticized portrait, Palmerston (1926) and H.C.F. Bell’s workmanlike Lord Palmerston, 2 vols. (1936), were echoed in a number of routine 20th century biographies, to which D. Southgate’s study, ‘The Most English Minister’: The Politics and Policies of Palmerston (1966), was a worthy companion. J. Ridley’s generally reliable Lord Palmerston (1972 edn.) has been superseded by the most recent life, J. Chambers, Palmerston: ‘The People’s Darling’ (2004); while, as a basic introduction, M. Chamberlain, Lord Palmerston (1987) is preferable to P.R. Ziegler, Palmerston (2003). For the first half of his career, the authoritative account is K. Bourne, Palmerston, The Early Years, 1784-1841 (1982), which is much relied on here; as, for his diplomacy, is Sir C. Webster, Foreign Policy of Palmerston, 1830-1841: Britain, the Liberal Movement and the Eastern Question, 2 vols. (1951).
- 1. Not the 11th, as erroneously stated in HP Commons, 1790-1820, v. 348.
- 2. Chambers, 51-52; Ridley, 93; Bourne, 80-82, 115, 181-2, 227.
- 3. Broadlands mss PP/GC/LI/184-5, 192-3; Bourne, 90-92, 96, 103-5, 110-11, 115-19, 122, 142-4, 146, 161, 170-2; M. Partridge, ‘Palmerston and War Office’, ch. 1 in Palmerston Stud. ed. D. Brown and M. Taylor, ii. 1-23.
- 4. Bulwer, i. 145-6; Ashley, i. 86-87, 102-3.
- 5. Bulwer, i. 150; Bourne, 234-5.
- 6. Guedalla, 100-2; Moore Jnl. i. 174; Hatherton diary, 17 Mar. 1836. For his future wife, see Countess of Airlie, Lady Palmerston and her Times, 2 vols. (1922) and F.E. Baily, Love Story of Lady Palmerston (1938).
- 7. Bourne, 182-224.
- 8. ‘... and Mr. Fortescue’ ed. O.S. Hewett, 162.
- 9. Cambridge and Hertford Independent Press, 19, 26 Feb., 11 Mar. 1820; Bourne, 241.
- 10. Broadlands mss PP/GC/WE/55; SLT/2; BR195/12-17, 20-25; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 148; Bourne, 157-8, 232.
- 11. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 148-9; Hants RO, Malmesbury mss 9M73/404; Malmesbury Letters, ii. 537-8.
- 12. The Times, 17 Mar. 1821.
- 13. Lady Palmerston Letters, 79.
- 14. Add. 38194, ff. 78, 80.
- 15. Ibid. f. 83; Broadlands mss PP/GC/LI/190; TE/167.
- 16. Add. 38743, f. 75.
- 17. Gurney diary; Chambers, 88, 91-92.
- 18. Bourne, 135-6; Ashley, i. 88.
- 19. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 151-3; Croker Pprs. i. 230-1.
- 20. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 156-9; Bourne, 172-3, 238-9.
- 21. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 153-5; Bourne, 241-2; The Times, 17, 23 Apr. 1823.
- 22. Broadlands mss PP/SP/A/4.
- 23. Ridley, 105-11; Cobbett’s Rural Rides ed. G.D.H. and M. Cole, 467-70, 483-4.
- 24. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 161-6, 170, 171.
- 25. PP (1825), vii. 1-458; The Times, 25 June 1824.
- 26. Parker, Peel, i. 357.
- 27. PP (1825), viii. 1-845.
- 28. Broadlands mss PP/GC/TE/171.
- 29. Bulwer, i. 158-9, 161, 174-9; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 174-5, 183-6; Arbuthnot Corresp. 78; D. Norton, ‘On Lord Palmerston’s Irish Estates in 1840s’, EHR, cxix (2004), 1255-7.
- 30. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 172; Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV, ii. 249.
- 31. Add. 40381, f. 437; 51659, Whishaw to Holland, 3 Dec.; Cambridge Chron. 9, 16, 30 Dec. 1825; Bulwer, i. 161, 164-6; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 176-7.
- 32. CUL Add. 8339/2, 14, 15, 23, 32, 33, 36, 39, 58, 64; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 177-81; J. W. Clark and T. McK. Hughes, Life and Letters of Sedgwick, i. 268-70, 275-7; Eng. Hist. Docs. xi. 105-8; Broadlands mss, Liverpool to Palmerston, 23 Jan. 1826; Bourne, 242-6.
- 33. CUL Add. 8339/90, 122.
- 34. Bourne, 139-41, 174-5.
- 35. CUL Add. 8339/152, 181, 184, 185; The Times, 14-17 June 1826; Bulwer, i. 166-70, 373; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 181-3.
- 36. Broadlands mss, Palmerston to Liverpool, 31 May 1826; Bulwer, i. 167, 169-72, 374.
- 37. Add. 38301, f. 261; 38568, f. 129; Bulwer, i. 372; Bourne, 139, 248, 250-1.
- 38. Broadlands mss PP/D/25; Bulwer, i. 178-81; Bourne, 249-50; A. Aspinall, ‘Canningite Party’, TRHS (ser. 4), xvii (1934), 215.
- 39. Bourne, 249.
- 40. The Times, 22 Feb. 1827.
- 41. Bourne, 253-64.
- 42. Bulwer, i. 188-9, 374-5; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 187; Canning’s Ministry, 118, 240.
- 43. Bulwer, i. 186-7, 191; Bourne, 175-7; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 189; The Times, 22 June 1827.
- 44. Bulwer, i. 189-92.
- 45. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 419; ii. 129, 135.
- 46. Bulwer, i. 375-7; Bourne, 252-3, 263-5.
- 47. Lady Palmerston Letters, 173; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 190.
- 48. Broadlands mss PP/GMC/17; Bulwer, i. 196-8, 377-8; Geo. IV Letters, iii. 1392; Huskisson Pprs. 227-9.
- 49. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 193-5, 198.
- 50. Ibid. 196-9; A. Aspinall, Politics and the Press, 132, 221; Brougham mss, Palmerston to Brougham, 22 Aug., 1 Sept. 1827; Bourne, 267-8.
- 51. Bulwer, i. 198.
- 52. Ibid. i. 378; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 200.
- 53. Creevey Pprs. ii. 123; Wellington mss WP1/895/22; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 197; Bourne, 177-9.
- 54. Wellington mss WP1/895/15; Lonsdale mss, Croker to Lowther, 11 Aug. ; Bulwer, i. 193-6.
- 55. Bulwer, i. 200-5; Melbourne’s Pprs. 108-9.
- 56. Add. 40862, f. 233; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 204.
- 57. Bulwer, i. 210, 378-9; E. Herries, Mem. of Public Life of Herries, i. 128-30, 162-3, 193-5, 234; ii. 77-86.
- 58. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 159, 162-3.
- 59. Broadlands mss PP/GMC/18; BR23AA/5/1, 5; Powis mss, Palmerston to Clive, 15 Jan. 1828; Bulwer, i. 217-20, 379-80.
- 60. Broadlands mss PP/GMC/24-28; BR23AA/5/2; Add. 38754, ff. 132, 152, 157; Bulwer, i. 380.
- 61. Broadlands mss PP/CAB/1; Bourne, 179.
- 62. Broadlands mss PP/GMC/28; Add. 40395, f. 167; Bourne, 280.
- 63. Bulwer, i. 231; Wellington mss WP1/928/5.
- 64. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 166-7, 177.
- 65. Bulwer, i. 231-5, 239-46.
- 66. Ibid. i. 223-4, 230-1, 238, 246-50; Wellington mss WP1/926/9.
- 67. Ashley, i. 140-1.
- 68. A. Aspinall, ‘Last of the Canningites’, EHR, l (1935), 645.
- 69. Add. 38756, f. 247; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 187; Ellenborough Diary, i. 98, 103-4, 106-7, 109; Greville Mems. i. 208; Bulwer, i. 250; Broadlands mss PP/D/2, ff. 18-25; Ashley, i. 143-6.
- 70. Bulwer, i. 234-5, 253-68; Broughton, Recollections, v. 203-4; Wellington mss WP1/980/29.
- 71. Ellenborough Diary, i. 113, 116; Broughton, iii. 271; Bulwer, i. 272-6, 380-1; Wellington mss WP1/933/10; 935/45; Ward, Letters to ‘Ivy’, 339.
- 72. G.R. Gleig, Personal Reminiscences of Wellington, 41-42.
- 73. Broadlands mss PP/GC/TE/200; Bulwer, i. 277-9; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 205-6; Aspinall, ‘Canningite Party’, 224-6; Bourne, 288, 290.
- 74. Ashley, i. 163; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 190; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 205; Bulwer, i. 268.
- 75. Bulwer, i. 282-7; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 206-7; Broadlands mss BR23AA/5/3; Ashley, i. 164-6.
- 76. Broadlands mss BR23AA/5/4; Bulwer, i. 287-95.
- 77. Broadlands mss PP/D/2, f. 73; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 212, 213.
- 78. Bulwer, i. 299-313; Broadlands mss PP/D/2, ff. 92-93; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 211-19; Bourne, 293-4.
- 79. Bulwer, i. 313-25; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 223-9; Broughton, iii. 300.
- 80. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 230.
- 81. Greville Mems. i. 274, 283; Bourne, 295-6.
- 82. Broadlands mss PP/SP/A/9, 11-17.
- 83. Bulwer, i. 327-33.
- 84. Broadlands mss PP/D/5.
- 85. Ibid. PP/GC/TE/204.
- 86. Ibid. PP/D/5; SP/A/18; Bulwer, i. 333-4, 340-6; Greville Mems. i. 296; Heron, Notes, 178; Guedalla, 139-40.
- 87. Bulwer, i. 334-7.
- 88. Durham CRO, Londonderry mss C83/25; Arbuthnot Corresp. 120; Broadlands mss SP/B/1.
- 89. Cornw. RO, Vyvyan mss, Knatchbull to Vyvyan, 26 Aug., replies, 31 Aug., 7 Sept. 1829.
- 90. Ibid. Vyvyan to Cumberland, 6, 22 Oct. 1829; Broadlands mss BR23AA/5/6; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 232-6; B.T. Bradfield, ‘Sir Richard Vyvyan and Fall of Wellington’s Government’, Univ. of Birmingham Hist. Jnl. xi (1967-8), 148-9.
- 91. Broadlands mss BR23AA/5/8; Bourne, 304-6.
- 92. Bulwer, i. 347-59; Lansdowne mss.
- 93. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 18 Jan., [1 Feb.] 1830.
- 94. Nottingham Univ. Lib. Ossington mss OsC72.
- 95. Add. 56554, f. 65.
- 96. Greville Mems. i. 374; Add. 51786, Holland to Fox, 3 Mar. 1830; Bourne, 307, 309.
- 97. Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary; Grey mss, Howick jnl.; Howard Sisters, 125.
- 98. Letter to Friend in Paris by one of Minority on Lord Palmerston’s Motion (1830); W. Walton, Letter addressed to Visct. Palmerston (1830); Bourne, 307, 667.
- 99. Jekyll Corresp. ed. A. Bourke, 229.
- 100. Bourne, 310-11.
- 101. Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 240.
- 102. Broadlands mss PP/GMC/33; Bulwer, i. 381; Bourne, 312-13; J. Milton-Smith, ‘Earl Grey’s Cabinet and Parliamentary Reform’, HJ, xv (1972), 61.
- 103. Ellenborough Diary, ii. 306, 312, 316; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 373.
- 104. Sir James Graham mss (IHR microfilm XR 80), 1, bdle. 2, Palmerston to Graham, 28 July; Cambridge Chron. 30 July, 6 Aug. 1830; Harewood mss WYL 250/11/60; Airlie, i. 172-4; Milton-Smith, 62; Webster, i. 80.
- 105. Greville Mems. ii. 33, 39.
- 106. Unrepentant Tory ed. R.A. Gaunt, 121, 125; Hatherton mss; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 241.
- 107. Creevey Pprs. ii. 213; Arbuthnot Corresp. 139.
- 108. Hatherton mss; Broadlands mss PP/GMC/34, 35, 38.
- 109. Chatsworth mss, Brougham to Devonshire [21, 30 Sept.]; Agar Ellis diary, 25 Sept., 1 Oct. 1830.
- 110. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 389-90; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 14.
- 111. Bulwer, i. 381-2; Broadlands mss PP/GMC/36-40; Add. 51599A, Palmerston to Holland, 12 Oct.; Hatherton mss, same to Holland, 12 Oct. 1830; Bourne, 319-23.
- 112. Ashley, i. 212; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 242-7.
- 113. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 393; Parker, ii. 165; Bulwer, i. 382-3; Broadlands mss PP/GMC/42; Hatherton mss, Littleton to Wellesley, 20 Dec. 1830.
- 114. Powis mss, ‘mem.’ [Nov. 1830]; Ellenborough Diary, ii. 418; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 397-8.
- 115. Bulwer, i. 383; Broughton, iv. 60; Agar Ellis diary, 12, 13 Nov.; Fitzwilliam mss, Althorp to Milton, 15 Nov. 1830; Bourne, 324-7.
- 116. Croker Pprs. ii. 74.
- 117. Bulwer, i. 383; Walpole, Russell, i. 160; G. M. Trevelyan, Lord Grey of Reform Bill, 379.
- 118. Grey mss, Durham to Grey, 4 Oct.; Powis mss, Holmes to Powis [c.17 Nov.]; Hatherton mss, Palmerston to Littleton, 17 Nov. 1830; Le Marchant, Althorp, 260; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 248; Bourne, 328-9.
- 119. P. Ziegler, Melbourne, 119; Webster, i. 19-22; Aspinall, ‘Last of the Canningites’, 659, 663, 668-9.
- 120. Ridley, 210-11; Autobiographic Recollections of George Pryme ed. A. Bayne, 177.
- 121. Croker Pprs. ii. 80.
- 122. Bucks. RO, Fremantle mss D/FR/139/14/73; Three Diaries, 2-3.
- 123. Bulwer, ii. 17.
- 124. Greville Mems. ii. 88-89; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 248.
- 125. E.A. Smith, Lord Grey, 262, 279-81; Webster, i. 31-35; Bourne, 499-501; Lambton mss (History of Parliament Aspinall transcripts), Graham to Durham, 31 Jan. 1831; Three Diaries, 91.
- 126. Bulwer, ii. 130; Webster, i. 58-60, 64, 72; Sir E. Hertslet, Recollections of Old Foreign Office, 24-25, 34-35; Sir J. Tilley and S. Gaselee, Foreign Office, 50-60, 63-69; Bourne, 415-26, 430-4, 438-9, 441, 445, 449.
- 127. Lieven Letters, 276; Lieven-Palmerston Corresp. 24; Bourne, 330-1.
- 128. Webster, i. 91-92, 104-18; Bourne, 332-4.
- 129. Webster, i. 42-43, 57; ii. 782-3.
- 130. Greville Mems. ii. 118.
- 131. Webster, i. 119-30. See also J.A. Betley, Belgium and Poland in International Relations, 1830-1831.
- 132. Three Diaries, 54; Baring Jnls. i. 81; TNA, Granville mss 30/29.
- 133. Bulwer, ii. 45, 48; Milton-Smith, 67.
- 134. O. Williams, Life and Letters of Rickman, 275; Three Diaries, 63; Broughton, iv. 90; N. Gash, Politics in Age of Peel, 13-14.
- 135. Russell Letters, ii. 327-8; St. Deiniol’s Lib. Glynne-Gladstone mss 197, T. to J. Gladstone, 25 Mar.; Agar Ellis diary, 25 Mar. 1831.
- 136. Grey mss; Trevelyan, 301; Milton-Smith, 67; Bourne, 505-6.
- 137. Ashley, i. 258-9; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 248-9; Cambridge Chron. 29 Apr., 6, 13 May 1831; Bourne, 508-10.
- 138. Add. 51600, Palmerston to Lady Holland [8 May]; 51680, Russell to same [?3 May]; Glynne-Gladstone mss 198, T. to J. Gladstone, 7, 10 May 1831.
- 139. Grey mss, Palmerston to Grey, 14 May, reply [15 May], Althorp to Durham [29 May 1830]; Trevelyan, 301-2.
- 140. Milton-Smith, 67; Three Diaries, 98.
- 141. Arbuthnot Corresp. 146; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 425-6; Creevey’s Life and Times, 345-6; Lieven Letters, 305.
- 142. Russell Letters, ii. 350; Hatherton diary, 30 June 1831.
- 143. Bourne, 509-10, 534-5.
- 144. Granville mss.
- 145. Macaulay Letters, ii. 91.
- 146. Webster, i. 132, 137-9.
- 147. Ibid. i. 139; Bulwer, ii. 98, 102-3, 120.
- 148. Surr. Hist. Cent. Goulburn mss Acc. 304/67B, Goulburn to wife [12 Aug.]; Hatherton diary, 12 Aug. 1831; Bulwer, ii. 18-21; Bourne, 480.
- 149. Greville Mems. ii. 186; Three Diaries, 120.
- 150. Bulwer, ii. 120.
- 151. Hatherton diary, 18 July; Herts. Archives, Panshanger mss, Palmerston to Melbourne, 3 Sept. 1831; Milton-Smith, 68; Holland House Diaries, 43.
- 152. Broadlands mss BR23AA/5/9; PP/GC/GR/2355-7; Trevelyan, 313-14.
- 153. Ziegler, 147; Holland House Diaries, 66, 69; Add. 76373, Althorp to Grey, 9 Oct.; Grey mss, Durham to same [11 Oct.], Grey to Palmerston, 14 Oct. 1831.
- 154. Broadlands mss PP/GC/DE/61; RI/11; Sir James Graham mss 1, bdle. 7, Smith Stanley to Graham, 27 Oct. 1831.
- 155. Broadlands mss BR23AA/5/17; Greville Mems. ii. 214-5; Bourne, 514-15.
- 156. Broadlands mss BR23AA/5/10; Bourne, 515-16.
- 157. Melbourne’s Pprs. 140-2.
- 158. Wellington mss WP1/1202/13; Broadlands mss PP/HA/D/5; BR23AA/5/20, 21; Milton-Smith, 71; Bourne, 516-17.
- 159. Webster, i. 145; Hatherton diary.
- 160. Creevey mss; Holland House Diaries, 98; Wellington mss WP1/1204/19, 21.
- 161. Croker Pprs. ii. 141.
- 162. Holland House Diaries, 108, 113; Three Diaries, 178; Trevelyan, 331; Bourne, 518-19.
- 163. Greville Mems. ii. 234.
- 164. Holland House Diaries, 119; Three Diaries, 185, 197; Hatherton diary.
- 165. Add. 75941.
- 166. Add. 51604.
- 167. Raikes Jnl. i. 9; M.D. George, Cat. of Pol. and Personal Satires, xi. 16937; Talleyrand Mems. ed. duc de Broglie (1891), iv. 191-2.
- 168. Hatherton diary, 2, 3 Feb. 1832.
- 169. Webster, i. 237-51; R. Bullen, ‘Party Politics and Foreign Policy’, BIHR, li (1978), 37-41.
- 170. Webster, i. 200-20; A. J. Reinerman, ‘An Unnatural "Natural Alliance": Metternich, Palmerston and Reform of Papal States’, International Hist. Rev. x (1988), 541-58.
- 171. Add. 60463, f. 20; Three Diaries, 202; Greville Mems. ii. 256-9.
- 172. Three Diaries, 205; Add. 60463, ff. 36, 44; Broughton, iv. 198.
- 173. Holland House Diaries, 167-8.
- 174. Add. 60463, f. 67; Three Diaries, 205; Bourne, 351-2, 520.
- 175. Add. 51599A, Palmerston to Holland, 20 Apr.; Sheffield Archives, Wharncliffe mss, ‘mem.’ 28 Apr. 1832; Holland House Diaries, 172; Bourne, 520.
- 176. Three Diaries, 242; Greville Mems. ii. 293.
- 177. Add. 60463, f. 92; Milton-Smith, 72.
- 178. Parker, Graham, i. 143; Add. 60463, f. 105.
- 179. Lady Palmerston Letters, 190; Add. 60463, f. 107.
- 180. Bourne, 522.
- 181. Devon RO, Earl Fortescue mss 1262M/FC 88; Lady Palmerston Letters, 194; Three Diaries, 275, 277.
- 182. Add. 60463, f. 134; Webster, i. 181-91; Bourne, 352-7.
- 183. Add. 60463, f. 139; 51644, Jeffrey to Lady Holland [20 July 1832].
- 184. Webster, i. 225-36; ii. 799-800; Bourne, 367-72; Castle Howard mss, Holland to Carlisle, 6 Aug. 1832.
- 185. Webster, i. 82, 87, 257-89; Bourne, 374-8; M. Vereté, ‘Palmerston and Levant Crisis, 1832’, JMH, xxiv (1952), 143-51.
- 186. Add. 60463, ff. 153, 192; Lady Palmerston Letters, 199, 200; Webster, i. 152-76, 248-53.
- 187. Jekyll Corresp. 302, 307; Chambers, 88, 137.
- 188. Lieven-Palmerston Corresp. 43; Lieven Letters, 332; Webster, i. 197.
- 189. Webster, i. 191-9, 320-32; Bourne, 359-65.
- 190. Add. 47355, f. 187; Webster, i. 45-52; Aspinall, Politics and the Press, 191-2, 238, 241; Bourne, 476-91.
- 191. Greville Mems. iv. 138.
- 192. Webster, i. 3, 55, 76, 81-82; ii. 780-1, 784-95; Bourne, 386-7, 404-6, 523-4, 621-2, 624-8, 631; Oxford DNB; S. M. Lee, ‘Palmerston and Canning’, ch. 1 in Palmerston Stud. i. 7-11.
- 193. Broadlands mss BR195/30-43, 55; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 252-4; The Times, 9, 15 Oct., 12 Nov., 20, 21 Dec. 1832; Bourne, 535-8; D. Brown, ‘Palmerston, S. Hants and Electoral Politics’, Hants Pprs. xxvi (2003), 6-17.
- 194. Talleyrand Mems. iii. 281.
- 195. [J. Grant], Random Recollections of Commons (1837), 226; Lord Teignmouth, Reminiscences of Many Years, ii. 214; Bourne, 502; J.S. Meisel, ‘Palmerston as Public Speaker’, ch. 3 in Palmerston Stud. i. 48-51.
- 196. DNB; Webster, i. 55-57; ii. 793; Chamberlain, 1-3; D. Brown, Palmerston and Politics of Foreign Policy, 4-13.
- 197. The Times, 19 Oct. 1865; Guedalla, 9, 93-94, 459; Southgate, pp. xxviii, 566.