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A.D. 1766. ROCKINGHAM ADMINISTRATION TURNED OUT. 375
without hearing the party attainted in his defence, or an act to take away a man's private property without compensation; but could Lord Camden, sitting as a Judge, have held such acts to be nullities—hanging for murder the sheriff who assisted at the execution in the one case, or in an action of trespass recognising the property of the original owner in the other? Would not a statute oppressively encroaching on the personal liberty of the colonists, or wantonly interfering with the exercise of their industry, be in all respects as objectionable as a statute enacting that “their deeds and contracts shall be void, unless written upon paper or parchment which has paid a duty to the state?” Nor do I see how our constitutional rights would be at all endangered by acknowledging the undoubted fact, that representation was unknown in this country till the end of the reign of Henry III., and that the Commons did not till long after sit in a separate chamber as an independent branch of the legislature. The assertion that all property and that all classes were represented in England, rather favours George Hardinge's doctrine, “that the Americans were actually represented by the knights of the shire for Kent, because the land in America was all granted by the Crown, to be held in socage of the manor of East Greenwich in that county.” However, our patriot displayed a noble enthusiasm on this occasion, and perhaps one ought to be ashamed of critically weighing the expressions which he used." With the exception of opposing the Declaratory Act, Lord Camden gave the Rockingham administration his cordial support; and he was free from the imputation to which Mr. Pitt was subject, of assisting the Court in getting rid of men who were sincerely anxious to conciliate America. When Lord Northington at last abruptly brought on a crisis, and Mr. Pitt was sent for to form a new administration, Lord Camden was on the Midland Circuit. A communication was
immediately opened between
them; and Lord Camden expressed his willingness to co-operate in any way for the public good. The state of his mind, and the progress of the negotiation, will best be disclosed by the following letters written by him to Mr. T. Walpole, a common friend:—
* Junius, in his first letter, which appeared on the 21st of January, 1769, six years before hostilities commenced, severely reflected on the speeches of Mr. Pitt and Lord Camden in this debate, and accused them of thereby separating the colonies from the mother country:-"Mr. Pitt and Lord Camden were to be the patrons of America, because they were in opposition. Their declaration gave spirit and argument to the colonies; and while,
perhaps, they meant no more than the ruin of a minister, they, in effect, divided one half of the empire from the other.” I cannot agree with this unscrupulous writer in imputing improper motives to them; but I do agree with him in condemning their assertion, “that the authority of the British legislature is not supreme over the colonies in the same sense in which it is supreme over Great Britain.”—See Junius's Letter, 5th October, 1771.
“July 13, 1766. Nottingham. “Dear Sir,
“I thank you for your intelligence, which turns out to be true, as the same post brought me a letter from the Chancellor to the same effect, though more authentic and circumstantial. Mr. P. then is come. May it be prosperous ! But I foresee many difficulties before an administration can be completely settled. You are near the scene of action, and as likely to be entrusted by the great man as any body; or, if not, must of course be so conversant with those who know, as to hear the best intelligence. My old friend, the Co, has taken so much laudable pains to leave his office, that he must, in my opinion, remain. The D. of N., and your friend, the Marquess, must give way: but I do not believe Mr. P. will wish to remove the rest in office, unless, perhaps, they, in a pique, should scorn to hold on under his appointment, which I do not expect. It is an untoward season of the year, every body out of town — and expresses must be sent for concurrence and concert to poor gentlemen who are at their country-houses, without friends or advisers near ; so they must, in some measure, follow the dictates of their own judgment, which may be more likely to mislead than direct. I am unable to conjecture; but if I am not much mistaken, the E. T. will accede.
“I can send you nothing in return for your intelligence, unless I could suppose you could be interested with stories of highwaymen and housebreakers. Perhaps you will not be displeased to hear that I am well and in good spirits—have had much travelling and little business — that one-third of my circuit is over, and that I am, let matters be settled or unsettled, most sincerely yours,
“July 19, 1766. Leicester. “Dear Sir,
“I am arrived late at this place, and find letters from you and Nuthall, pressing me to leave the circuit. I am willing enough to quit this disagreeable employment, but I think I ought not, upon a private intimation, to depart from my post. If you will by letter, or by express if you please, only tell me that Mr. Pitt would wish to see me, I will come to town at a moment's warning. La T. is gone. If Mr. Pitt is not distressed by this refusal, or if he is provoked enough not to feel his distress, I am rather pleased than mortified. Let him fling off the Grenvilles, and save the nation
without them. “Yours ever, &c.
A.D. 1766. HIS LETTERS TO MR. WALPOLE. 377
« - - T. “Dear Sir, July 20, 1766. Leiceste “I have slept since I wrote to you; and having taken the advice of my pillow upon the subject of my coming to town, I remain of the same opinion, that I ought not at this time to quit my station, uncalled and uninvited. If Mr. P. really wants me, I would relieve his delicacy by coming at his request, conveyed to me either by you or Mr. Nuthall; but I suspect the true reason why he has not desired me to come, is because, as things are just now, he does not think it fitting. Sure Mr. P. will not be discouraged a second time by Lord T.'s refusal. . He ought not for his own sake, for it does become him now to satisfy the world that his greatness does not hang on so slight a twig as T. This nation is in a blessed condition if Mr. P. is to take his directions from Stowe. A few days will decide this great affair, and a few days will bring me back of course. In the mean time, if my sooner return should be thought of any consequence, I am within the reach of an express. I was catched at Chatsworth by the D. of Devon and his 2 uncles, and very civilly compelled to lye there; but not one word of politics. “I am, &c.
“I am much concerned to find that Mr. Pitt's illness hangs upon him so long, and the wishes of the public by that means disturbed. He must set his hand to the plough, for the nation cannot be dallied with any longer. La T.’s wild conduct, though Mr. P. is grievously wounded by it, may, for aught I know, turn out to be a favourable circumstance to reconcile him more to the present ministry, and of which corps he must form, as he always intended, this our administration. Indeed this inclination is one of the principal grounds of difference between the two brothers. La T. having closely connected
himself with that set of men whom he opposed so inveterately, I
have heard very authentically from the Stowe quarter, that one of the chief points upon which they broke was upon the promotion of L* G., and recommended by La T. to be Secretary of State, under the colour of enlarging the bottom, and reconciling all parties. That since he asked nothing for his brother G., he had a right to insist upon this promotion. The other, on the contrary, put a flat negative upon all that connexion. Ld T. was very willing to go hand in hand with Mr. P. pari passu, as he called it, but would acknowledge no superiority or control. This was continually and repeatedly inculcated, not to say injudiciously, if he really intended to unite, because such declarations beforehand must create an incurable jealousy, and sow disunion in the very moment of reconciliation. He taxes Mr. P. with private ingratitude, and is offended that two or three days elapsed before he was sent for. This is public talk at his Lordship's table, and therefore requires no secrecy. There are now, or will be in a few days at Stowe, the two Dukes of B. and M., with their ladies, Sir J. Amherst, and the royal guests. Therefore La T. is declared not the head of that party, for that is an honour he must never expect, but a proselyte received amongst them. Let not Mr. P. be alarmed at this formidable gathering of great men. The King and the whole nation are on the other side. I hope to be in town next Wednesday. In the mean time, believe me, &c.,
When he arrived in town, on the conclusion of the circuit, he found the whimsical arrangement nearly completed,—according to which Mr. Pitt, becoming a Peer, was to be Lord Privy Seal and Prime Minister, the Duke of Grafton was to be First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Northington was to be President of the Council, Sir Charles Saunders was to be First Lord of the Admiralty, and Lord Shelburne and General Conway were to be Secretaries of State. The Great Seal was offered to Lord Camden, and, without hesitation, he accepted it, stipulating only (as he reasonably might), that on giving up a lucrative situation, which he held during good behaviour, he should have a retired allowance of 1500l. a year, and the reversion of a tellership for his son." Although there were strange and discordant elements in the new Cabinet into which he was to enter, he reasonably supposed that he must be secure under the auspices of that great man who had formed it, and who had himself, through life, been the devoted friend of liberty.
Believing that the Lord Privy Seal would reduce into insignificance the Heads of the Treasury and of the Admiralty, and the Secretaries of State, he anticipated, with certainty, the speedy conciliation of America, the increased humiliation of the House of Bourbon, and the return of tranquillity at home, by the abandonment of the unconstitutional policy which had marked the measures of Government since the commencement of the present reign. He thought that Pitt's second administration was to be as prosperous as the first,-if, from its pacific tendency, it should be less brilliant. For himself,
° In a letter to the Duke of Grafton, dated 1st Aug. 1766, he says —“The favours I am to request from your Grace's despatch are as follows:–
“1. My patent for the salary.
“2, Patent for 1500l. a year upon the Irish establishment, in case my office should deter
mine before the tellership drops.
A.D. 1766. APPOINTED LORD CHANCELLOR. 379
he calculated that, with such a chief, the political functions of his office would require little time, and cause little anxiety, so that, concurring in the measures of a powerful as well as liberal Government, he might chiefly devote himself to the discharge of his judicial duties, and to the improvement of our jurisprudence.
At a council held at St. James's on the 30th of July, 1766, Lord Camden received the Great Seal from his Majesty with the title of Lord Chancellor.
CHAPTER CXLIV. *
CONTINUATION OF THE LIFE OF LORD CAMDEN TILL HE BECAME AN EX-CHANCELLOR,
LORD CAMDEN's appointment to the woolsack gave almost universal satisfaction; P and he had more doubts than any one else as to his own sufficiency. He deemed it lucky that he had July 30, the long vacation to refresh his recollection of * Equity, and to get up the cases which had recently been decided in the Court of Chancery, while he had been a common law Judge.
He held sittings before Michaelmas Term in Lincoln's Inn Hall, and on the 6th of November, the first day of the term, after a grand procession from his house in Lincoln's Inn Fields to Westminster Hall, he was there installed in his office with all the usual solemnities."
P Lord Shelburne, in a letter to Mr. Pitt, dated 10th July, 1766, says, in a “P.S. You must permit me to add how happy lam in the choice of a Chancellor—and murmurs only come from the ultra-Tories.”
* “30th July, 1766. Robert Earl of Northington, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, having delivered the Great Seal to the King, at his Palace of St. James's, on Wednesday, the 30th day of July, 1766, his Majesty, the same day, delivered it to Charles Lord Camden, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, with the title of Lord High Chancellor of Great
*Britain; who was then sworn into the said office before his Majesty in Council. His Lordship sat in Lincoln's Inn Hall during the Seals before Michaelmas Term; and on Monday, the 6th day of November, being the first day of Michaelmas Term, went in state from his house in Lincoln's Inn Fields to Westminster Hall, accompanied by the Earl of Northington, Lord President of the Council, the Duke of Grafton, First Lord of the Treasury, the Earl of Bristol, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Earl of Shelburne, and the Right Honourable Henry Seymour Conway, two of