Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Chap.
IX.

1751. The re

Ihe Regency appointedThe Bedford's turned out
Mr. Pitt's treatment of the Duke of Newcastle
Mr. Pitt's Bill for the Relief of the Chelsea
Pe-njioners.

1 HE death of the Prince of Wales filled the /Opposition with the greatest consternation and consusion* Several thought of making terms with the minister—others of seceding—and some were for remaining with the Princess, and taking the chance of events.

The sirst measure of government was the set'-tlement of a Regency; which was done upon fair and liberal terms. The Princess Dowager was made Regent, and guardian of the minor, as well as of her other children. Being a semale, there was a council of regency appointed, consisting ot the great officers of state, and the Duke of Cumberland was placed at the head of it. This compliment to the Duke, occasioned some invidious speeches in parliament, from gentlemen who were not acquainted with the Duke's real character. Time has shewn that the analogies they osfered in the way of prophecy, had not the least foundation in truth. The Duke, had, in the judgment of these gentlemen, treated the Scots rebels with too much severity. But

[graphic]

ibis was a justifiable severity. And those who had latent designs, forgave not the disappointment.

The debate was upon the clause respecting the council. Mr. Pitt defended the bill; but by something he said concerning the council, Mr. Fox thought he hinted at the Duke of Cumber' land, and began defending the Duke; but Mr. Pitt explained in such terms, that Mr. Fox went away without dividing. The debate being in a committee, the Speaker, (Onflow) made a very able speech against the clause; which he deprecated, as fraught with great and probable evils; he dreaded no improper ambition in the Duke, nothing, he was confident, was sarther from his Royal Highness's heart; but his apprehension was, that the Duke and Princess would not coalesce in measures; and he insinuated in delicate terms, his anxiety upon the misunderstanding which subsisted between the Princess Dowager and the Princess Amelia; and the warm affection between the latter Princess and her brother; This speech gave Mr. Pelham a great deal of uneasiness, and he often mentioned it.

The Regent was not impeded in her just authority, by any harsh conditions; nor were there any limitations of her power introduced, that implied the least suspicion of her integrity or rectitude. 7 he King himself treated her with every mark of respect, attention, and affection. He frequently visited her; and 12,5001. were immediately paid her; and notwithstanding the

K 5; . war.;

[graphic]

war, which quickly followed, demanded greater supplies than the war of any former period, yet 1751. her money was always actually paid; and when the Prince of Wales {George III.) arrived at the age of eighteen, the King ordered him a separate allowance, (over and above what was given to the.Princess J of 40,000!. per annum, from his CiviLList.

The party which had arranged themselves1 under the late Prince of Wales, being now without head, or cement, the Pelhams faw they had an opportunity of encreasing the number of their supporters, by embracing the sugitives, and turning out the Duke of Bedford and his friends, who had never acted cordially with them, not even during the war. In June, 17 51, the Duke of ford's e * Bedford was dismissed from the office of Secretary turned of State, and Lord Sandwich from the post of sirst out- Lord of the Admiralty. Lord Trent bam, (since Marquis of Stafford) from the same board, and some others of his grace's friends, from other offices. These noblemen and gentlemen being joined by those, of the late Prince's party, who had not united with the Pelhams, they formed a fresh opposition ; and though they were not considerable in number, yet they were supposed to be privately countenanced by the Duke of Cumberland, and to have a secret communication with Mr. Fox. Lord Holderneffe succeeded the Duke of Bedford, and Lord Anson was placed at the

Admiralty,
>

The

[graphic]

The session closed in June, and nothing material happened during the summer.

Parliament met again on the 14th of Novem- 17J2 ber, 1751, but there were no debates; and the session closed on the 25th of March, 1752. Five days after the parliament rose, the King went to Hanover. During his Majesty's absence, there was a great deal of intriguing and negotiating, amongst the parties; in all which, Mr. Pitt and the Grenvilles were totally omitted. The encreasing weight and consequence of Mr. Pitt in the House of Commons, excited the jealousy of the principal persons in office, as well as of thole in opposition. He was not ignorant of the clandestine projects of both parties; but he despised them. In one conserence he had with the Duke of Newcastle, he treated that nobleman in such a manner, that if he had not dreaded him, he would have dismissed him, for he still held the post of paymaster. The subject of the conserence was, the measures the King was taking in Germany, to secure the election of a King of the Romans: In which Mr. Pitt told him, he engaged for subsidies without knowing the extent, and for alliances without "knowing the terms. The Duke complained of Mr. Pitt's hauteur, to his considential friend, Mr. Stone, who advised his Grace to overlook it, faying it would he most prudent.

In the succeeding session, which began on the ,7^ nth of January,^ 1753, and ended the 7th of June, in the fame year, Mr. Pitt took no part

in any of the debates.

And.

[graphic]

And he was also totally silent in the next session, which commenced on the 15th of November, 754.T 1753, and closed on the 6th of April, 1754. In 1754 parliament was dissolved. The new parliament met on the 14th of November, 17^4. Mr. Pitt was Hill in his office of paymaster. The next day, (the 15th) as soon Kni'so|tt8as the address was reported, Mr. Pitt moved sor the relief leave to bring in a bill, which will be an ever-: Chelsea ^^"S monument of his humanity. He presacpensioners. ed this motion with a melancholy description of the hardships to which the out pensioners of Chelsea-hospita} were exposed, by the present improper mode of paying their pensions. The poor disabled vettraris, he said, who were entitled to this excellent charity, were cruelly op-, pressed, by a number of wretches, who supplied them with money jn advance. By the present method, the poor man can receive no money,, until he has been twelve months upon the list. This was extremely unjust; because the poor veteran's merit, and claim to the charity, commenced from the moment os his disability in the service. But by this delay of the first payment, He was under the necessity of borrowing money, upon the certisicate of his admission upon the list. He was supplied with a pittance, by one of the people called usurers, who compelled the poor wretch to allow him a most exorbitant interest. The practice continuing a sew years, the pensioner had nothing to subsist on; the whole of his pension being swallowed up in usury. To femedy this grievance, Jhe proposed by his bill,

that

« ПредишнаНапред »