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arrangement;' but the peculiar relations of Lord Sidmouth to the late administration, the number of his friends, his supposed anxiety for peace, and his personal influence with the king, suggested the necessity of such an alliance. No single party could stand alone. A coalition was inevitable; and Lord Sidmouth, being estranged personally from Mr. Pitt's followers, was naturally led to associate himself with Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox; while the latter, being distasteful to the king, was glad to coöperate with the leader of the king's friends. It was a coalition between men as widely opposed in political sentiments and connections as Mr. Fox and Lord North had been three-and-twenty years before ; but it escaped the reproaches to which that more celebrated coalition had fallen a victim.
The signal failures of Mr. Pitt's war administration, and the weariness of the nation under constantly increasing taxation, afforded to the Whigs — who had consistently urged a more pacific policy — an opportunity of recovering some portion of their former influence and popularity. Their brief reign was signalized by the abolition of the slavetrade, and other wise and useful measures.
But they had not the confidence of the king; 8 they failed even to conciliate the Prince of Wales; they mismanaged the
i Lord Holland says: “ The disunited rump of Mr. Pitt's ministry were no party, whereas Lord Sidmouth's friends, though few, formed a compact body; and if the leaders were inferior in talents to those of other political parties, their subalterns were more respectable than the clerks and secretaries of Mr. Pitt's and Lord Melville's school."- Mem. of Whig Party, i. 209.
2 Life of Lord Sidmouth, ii. 423.
8 " The king and his household were, from the beginning and throughout, hostile to the ministry.”- Lord Illinls Vem., ii. 68.
4 The prince, a letter to Lord Moira, Varch 30th, 1807, said:-"From the hour of Fox's death,- that friend, towards whom and in whom my attachment was unbounded, - it is known that my earnest wish was to retire from further concern and interference in public affairs.” At the same time he complained of neglect on the part of the Grenville ministry," hav. ing been neither consulted nor considered in any one important instance;" and on the fall of that ministry, whom he had generally desired to support
The Tories re
elections ;' they were weakened by the death of Mr. Fox;' they were unsuccessful in their negotiations for peace; 8 and fell easily before the king's displeasure and the intrigues of their opponents.
It was now evident that the party which Mr. Pitt had raised to such greatness was not to be cast down by his death. li had been disorganized by the loss instated, of its eminent leader, and by the estrangement of his immediate followers from Lord Sidmouth and the king's friends. It possessed no statesmen of commanding talents to inspire its disheartened members with confidence; and there were jealousies and rivalries among its ablest states
But the king was its active and vigilant patron, and aided it with all the influence of the crown; while the warcries of " The Church in danger,” and “ No popery,” were sufficient to rally all the forces of the party. Even those ministers who favored the Catholic claims were content to profit by the appeals of Mr. Perceval and his friends to the fanaticism of the people. Such appeals had, on other occasions, been a favorite device of the Tories. They had even assumed the church to be in danger on the accession of George I., as a pretence for inviting a popish pretender to the throne. Mr. Pitt had fallen before the same prejudice in 1801 ; and in 1807, the Duke of Portland and Mr. Perceval proved its efficacy in restoring strength and union to
he" determined to resume his original purpose, sincerely prepared, in his own mind, on the death of poor Fox, to cease to be a party man." This resolution he communicated to the king.- Lord Colchester's Diary, ii. 115; Lord Holland's Mem., ii. 68-72, 244.—“In his letters to Earl Grey, immediately after the death of Mr. Fox, there is no trace of such feelings."Life and Opinions of Earl Grey, 116.
1 Lord Holland's Mem., ii. 93.-" The king who throughout his reign had furnished every treasury with 12,0001. to defray election expenses on a dissolution, withheld that unconstitutional assistance from the administration of 1806."- Ibid., 94.
2 Lord Holland says: "Had Lord Grenville in the new arrangements (after Mr. Fox s death) sought for strength in the opposite party, had he consulted the wishes of the Court, rather than his own principles and consistency, he would have conciliated the king, fixed himself permanently in office, and divested every party in the state of the means of annoying him in Parliament."- Mem. of Whig Party, ii. 50.
3 Ann. Reg., 1806, ch. ix., stated by Lord Holland to bave been written by Mr. Allen; Parl. Papers relating to the negotiation with France, 1806; Hans. Deb., 1st Ser., viii. 305, Jan. 5, 1807, &c.; Life and Opinions of Earl Grey, 126-138.
Supra, Vol. I. 94, et seg.
Even the Dissenters, swayed by their intolerant sentiments against the Catholics, often preferred the Court and High Church candidates to the friends of religious liberty. Nor did the Whigs generally gain popular support. The crown and the great Tory nobles prevailed against them in the counties ; and more democratic candidates found favor in the populous towns.2 The Whigs were again routed; but they had gained
strength, as an opposition, by their brief restoration The Whigs in opposition, to power. They were no longer a proscribed 1807-1811.
party, without hope of royal favor and public confidence. If not yet formidable in divisions against the government, their opinions were received with tolerance; and much popular support, hitherto latent, was gradually disclosed. This was especially apparent in Scotland. The impeachment of Lord Melville, the idol of the Scottish Tories, had been a severe blow to that party ; and the unwonted spectacle of their opponents actually wielding, once more the power and patronage of the state, convinced them,” – to use the words of Lord Cockburn, “ that they were not absolutely immortal.” 3 Their political power, indeed, was not materially diminished; but their spirit was tempered, and they learned to respect, with decent moderation, the rights of the minority. Lord Melville was replaced in the administration of the affairs of Scotland by his son, Mr. Robert Dundas, who, with less talents than his father,
1 King's Speech, 1715; Parl. Hist., vii. 222. Romilly's Life, ii. 192.
brought to the office of leader of a dominant party much good sense and moderation.1
Younger men of the Whig party were now rising into notice, in literature and at the Scottish bar. Brougham, Francis Horner, Jeffrey, Sydney Smith, Cockburn and Murray, were destined to play a conspicuous part in the politics and literature of their age; and were already beginning to exercise an important influence upon the hopes and interests of their party. Among their most signal services was the establishment of the Edinburgh Review, — a journal distinguished for the combination of the highest literary merit with enlarged views of political philosophy far in advance of its age, and an earnest, but temperate zeal for public liberty, which had been nearly trodden out of the literature of the country.
The Whigs had become, once more, a great and powerful party. Abandoned a few years before by many men of the highest rank and influence, they had gradually recovered the principal Whig families. They were represented by several statesmen of commanding talents; and their numbers had been largely recruited since 1793. But they were not well led or organized ; and were without concert and discipline. When Lord Howick was removed to the House of Lords by the death of his father, the rival claims of Mr. Whitbread and Lord Henry Petty brought forward Mr. Ponsonby, an Irishman, as leader of a party with whom he had little acquaintance or connection. In 1809, they were further divided, by the embarrassing inquiry into the conduct of the Duke of York. And for several years, there was little 1 Lord Cockburn's Mem., 229, 230. 2 The first number of this journal was published in October, 1802. 8 Cockburn's Mem. of Jeffrey, i. 286; Lady Holland's Lite of Sydney Smith, i. 59, et seq.; Cockburn's Mem. 166.
4 Lord Holland's Mem., 236-242. Lord H. says: “Mr. Windham, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Tierney, and Mr. T. Grenville, were from very different but obvious causes disqualified” for the lead. Ibid., 237.- Life and Opinious of Earl Grey, 174-189.
Ibid., 223-227, 239.
agreement between the aristocratic Whigs who followed Earl
Perceval were formed upon the narrowest Tory
king and his friends. Concessions to Catholics were resisted as dangerous to the church.2 Repression and coercion were their specifics for insuring the safety of the state: the correction of abuses and the amendment of the laws were resisted as innovations.8 On the death of Mr. Perceval, the last hopes of the Whigs,
founded upon the favor of the Prince Regent, were pool's adminIntration,
extinguished ; * and the Tory rule was continued 1812.
as securely as ever, under Lord Liverpool; but the basis of this adıninistration was wider and more liberal. The removal of Catholic disabilities was henceforth to be an open question. Every member of the government was free to speak and vote independently upon this important measure ; 5 and the divisions to which such a constitution of the cabinet gave rise, eventually led to the dissolution of the Tory party. The domestic policy of this administration was hard and repressive. It carried out, as far as was
1 Ibid., 336-338; Court and Cabinets of Geo. IV., i. 131.
2 Mr. Perceval said: "I could not conceive a time or any change of cir cumstances which could render further concession to the Catholics consist. ent with the safety of the State."- lins. Deb., 1st Ser., xxi. 663.
3 e. g. Mr. Bankes' Offices in Reversion bills, 1809 and 1810; Sir S Romilly's Criminal Law bills, 1810, 1811; Earl Grey's Life and Opinions 202-206.
4 Supra, Vol. I. 109.
5 It was announced by Lord Castlereagh “ that the present government would not, as a government, resist discussion or concession"... " and that every member of the government would be free to act upon his own individual sentiments." - Lord Colchester's Diary, 10th June, 1812, ii. 387.
"Lord Sidmouth, Lord Liverpool, and Lord Eldon, would resist inquiry, meaning to resist concession; but Lord Harrowby, Lord Melville, Lord Bathurst, and Lord Mulgrave, would concede all. Vansittart would go pedetentim." — Ibid., 103.
8 See Chap. X.