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He supports the Rockingham administration.
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.
"July 13. 1766. Nottingham.
"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 Cr 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,
• Junius, in his first letter, which appeared on the 21st of January, 1769, six years before hostilities commenced, severely reflected on the s;iceches 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 eflect, 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 nut supreme over the colonics in the same sense in which it is supreme over Great Britain."— See Juniut's Letter 5th October, 1771.
they, m a pique, should scorn to hold on under his appoint- CHAP, ment, which I do not expect. It is an untoward season of CXLIItthe 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.
"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. Ld 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.
"Your's ever, &c.
"July 20. 1766. Leicester.
"I have slept since I wrote to you, and having taken the advice of my pillow upon the subject of my coming to town, Vol. v. s
CHAP. 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.
"Warwick, July 24. 1766.
"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. Ld T.'s wild conduct, though Mr. P. is grievously wounded by it, may, for ought 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. Ld 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 Ld G., and recommended by Ld 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. LdT. was Chap very willing to go hand in hand with Mr. P. pari passu, as cxxl11he 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 before hand 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. Amhurst and the royal guests. Therefore Ld 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 meantime,
"Believe me, &c. Camden."
When he arrived in town, on the conclusion of the circuit, Lord he found the whimsical arrangement nearly completed, — ac- ^^JjJ, cording to which Mr. Pitt, becoming a Peer, was to be Lord accept the Privy Seal and Prime Minister, the Duke of Grafton was to Grcat SeaK 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 1500/. a year, and the reversion of a tellership for his son.* Although
* 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: "I. My patent for the salary.
"2. Patent for 1500/. a year upon the Irish establishment, in case my office should determine before the tellership drops "3, Patent for tellership for my son.
"4. The equipage money: Lord Northington tells mo it is 2000/. This, I believe, is ordered by a warrant from the Treasury to the Exchequer."
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, 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.