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After this, Mr. Grattan went to his party; they pressed him to form one of the Government, and were dissatisfied at his declining office. They did not wish that he should be one of them, and not incur any responsibility; nor did they like to keep in Sir John Parnell : so that he did not succeed without some difficulty; for as he observed, “ I had to defend Sir John Parnell as well as myself, --one from going out of office, and the other from coming in. I thought it better, however, to patch up the business, and not be the instrument of breaking off; for I had got the GREAT MEASURE, and the next thing was to get THE MEN.
The party accordingly acquiesced; and though they were very desirous of turning out the person who had opposed them, they yielded to Mr. Grattan's interference, and Sir John Parnell was allowed to remain in office. The following letters confirm the foregoing statement. The difficulty which Mr. Grattan alludes to, in his letter to Mr. M'Can, had been got over. Mr. Pitt had
, satisfied himself as to his own objection respecting Lord Westmoreland; Lord Fitzwilliam was satisfied that he had full powers as to the Catholic question, and in a conference afterwards with Edmund Burke on the subject, he said to him,
I would not have taken office under you unless I knew that that was to be done”-namely, the concession of the Catholic question. On the whole of this transaction let posterity decide, and let them pronounce their verdict on the case of Ireland and the conduct of Mr. Pitt.
MR. GRATTAN TO MR. MʻCAN.
27th October, 1794. MY DEAR M'CAN; - Had I any thing to write, I should have written. At present, all I can say is, that nothing is determined at present. Mr. Pitt don't agree to those extensive powers which we were taught to believe
CHAP. VI.] LETTER OF LORD FITZWILLIAM. 179 the Duke of Portland had. However, I should not be surprised if it were settled well at last, and that Lord Fitzwilliam went over; nor yet would the contrary surprise me. This week will decide.
Desire them not to write from Tinnehinch, for I hope to leave this on Monday, or Tuesday next.
Yours most sincerely,
H. GRATTAN. In reference to the “extensive powers” alluded to in this letter, Mr. Grattan wrote to Mr. Pitt, saying, that he conceived there was a mistake as to the immediate appointment of Lord Fitzwilliam, and to his powers in Ireland ; and he wished extremely that the Duke of Portland and Mr. Pitt would have a conference upon the subject; the
; result of which was the removal of the difficulty, as appears from the subjoined letter. LORD FITZWILLIAM TO MR. GRATTAN.
30th October, 1794. DEAR GRATTAN ;-When the Duke of Portland reported to the Cabinet this morning my acceptance of the Lieutenancy of Ireland (the result of your decision) it met with a hearty approbation. I trust to the sincerity of it, and feel no diffidence of receiving an honourable support from this side the water.
I write this from Lord Milton's, who is taking care of a gouty toe, to be the better able to undertake the duties of a Lord-lieutenant's secretary, which, complying with my request, he is to undertake; but being confined to his drawing-room, is no impediment to a slight introduction to business. If you think of calling upon him to ask after his health, perhaps it might be not unadvisable to get Sir John Parnell to do as much. Conversation might turn upon subjects that necessarily they must hereafter frequently converse together upon. Believe me, with sincere esteem and regard, truly yours, Monday night.
WENTWORTH FITZWILLIAM. However, after this arrangement had been made with Lord Fitzwilliam, Mr. Pitt threw obstacles in the way ;—first, as regarded Lord Westmoreland and his friends; then he added
another, namely, delay. Various excuses were made for not swearing in Lord Fitzwilliam :the King at one moment was said to be ill; at another moment was at Weymouth, and could not come to London. The appointment not taking place, and Mr. Grattan being informed that some objectionable measures were in progress, he went to the Duke of Portland, and informed him of what he had heard. The Duke expressed his surprise, and stated that he knew nothing of such appointments. While they were in conference an official box was brought in, and on opening it the list of the appointments (the jobs*) that Mr. Grattan complained of were there found. The Duke said to Mr. Grattan,“ They are scandalous, but you may depend on it not one of those papers will ever see His Majesty.” However, in a little time after, every one of the appointments appeared in the Gazette. Such was the honesty of Mr. Pitt's ministry !—such the faith observed towards Ireland !!
This circumstance must naturally have opened Mr. Grattan's eyes, and he began to fear that things were not likely to terminate so well as was expected; and this it was that induced him to act afterwards with more promptitude and decision. In fact, the Duke of Portland was a weak man; he certainly had done some good things in Ireland, though with what exact view many men doubted ;t but he was really afraid of Mr. Pitt, and had not courage to put a direct question to him ;-thus the party were deceived, and Mr. Pitt's artful and insincere policy completely succeeded.
* One of these appointments was that of Mr. Cooke, whose conduct in 1798 and 1800, showed Mr. Grattan's foresight in making the objection.
+ See the letters of Lord Shelburne to the Duke of Portland in reference to the question of a Union, Appendix to Vol. I.
CHAP. VI.] THE KING'S LEVEE.
181 At length His Majesty came to London on the 10th of December, to swear in Lord Fitzwilliam. Mr. Grattan attended his levee, and was well received. The King was very civil, and spoke to him so much, as to attract particular attention ; and the day after, Lord Loughborough waited upon him and complimented him on the reception he met with. Mr. Burke, who had gone to Court to thank His Majesty for his pension, called also on Mr. Grattan, and congratulated him on the prospect of success. He was in mourning, looked very ill, and was very melancholy-talked a good deal about the loss of his son said that the pension would be of very little use to him—that it came too late to contribute to his comfort, as he had lost the person for whom alone he would have desired it-he was sorry he had accepted it, but he was so pressed by the King that he could not refuse it." Both these individuals conceived that the question as to the Catholics was concluded, and, in fact, carried.
Lord Fitzwilliam arrives in Ireland, January, 1795—Joy of the people
--Addresses from Protestants and Catholics—His reply-Speech to the Irish Parliament-Mr. Grattan moves the address to the KingEdmund Burke's remark—Mr. Grattan proposes a grant of 200,000l. to raise 40,000 seamen-Sir Lawrence Parsons as to the principles and intentions of the Whig party-Reduction in the national expensesMr. Grattan obtains leave to bring in the Catholic bill —Lord Fitzwilliam is recalled-Sir Lawrence Parsons moves a short money bill — Alarming state of the country in consequence of Lord Fitzwilliam's recall— Vote of approbation of his conduct by the House of Commons - Private history of the intrigues of the Beresford party with Mr. PittProceedings as to Messrs. Beresford, Cooke, Wolfe, and Toler—Letters of Lord Fitzwilliam and the Duke of Portland, respecting Mr. Beresford—Treacherous conduct of Mr. Pitt-Fatal consequences- Mr. Grattan's opinion thereon- Letters of Mr. Forbes, Lord Loughborough, and Mr. Burke-Proceedings in the British ParliamentProtest of Lords Ponsonby and Fitzwilliam-Letters of Lord Fitzwilliam and Lord Milton.
On the 4th of January, 1795, Lord Fitzwilliam arrived in Ireland: he was received with joy by all classes of people, and addresses of congratulation were presented to him from the principal towns and counties throughout Ireland. The Protestant dissenters welcomed him as the friend of civil and religious liberty—the inheritor of the virtues of his illustrious relation, the late Marquis of Rockingham; the Roman Catholics hailed him as the harbinger of peace, to whom was reserved the glory of completing the benevolent wishes of the father of his people for the union of all his subjects, and they prayed for the abolition of all religious distinctions. In his answers to these addresses, Lord Fitzwilliam stated the principle of his government, and what party was to uphold them,-so as to remove all doubts as to his inten