Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

a

Molesworth's interesting volumes deal only with limited period.

It is hoped, therefore, that the following attempt to present in a popular form, concisely but comprehensively, the leading events of English political history from the days of Queen Anne to those of Queen Victoria, will be found in advertising phraseology) to “supply a want." After much consideration, I have cast my materials into the shape of biographies ; because biographies have always a living and personal interest for the reader, and are more likely to be acceptable to the public at large than a continuous narrative would be. Moreover, in this way it is easier to bring out the influence which our great statesmen have exercised on contemporary opinion, and to indicate the extent to which the country is indebted to their services. It may be alleged as an objection that the biographical form compels me to go over the same ground when two or three of the statesmen with whom my pages are occupied, have come in contact with each other, — that the political life of Pitt, for instance, constantly traverses that of Fox; but this I have endeavoured to meet by the introduction in every such case of additional details.

While I am not without hope that these volumes will be accepted as a sufficiently succinct political

[blocks in formation]

history for ordinary purposes, I am aware that to the student their chief value will be as a trustworthy outline or introduction. And, therefore, I would wish to add that I have done my best to secure accuracy of statement, and have furnished tolerably copious lists of the authorities I have principally consulted. I may not have been able to suppress my own political bias, and I have certainly ventured to say a good word for that Whig party and those Whig principles which seem to me nowadays unjustly neglected; but I have honestly sought to write without temper or prejudice, and to estimate the merits of Sir Robert Peel as fairly as those of Charles James Fox.

W. H. DAVENPORT ADAMS.

ANALYTICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS.

The first great Party Leader, 7–His birth, parentage, and education, 9-His

home, 10–Marries Miss Shorter-Succeeds his father-Enters Parliament as Mem-

ber for Castle Rising, 11—Macaulay's opinion of him, 11, 81—His character, 12–

Mr. Lecky quoted, 14—Sir R. Peel, quoted, 15–His early position in the House-

Contrasted with St. John, 16—Mainwaring's opinion of him, 17—Appointed Secre-

tary of War-Godolphin's confidence in him-Concerned in Dr. Sacheverel's

impeachment, 20—Unwillingness to attack the Church, 23— Votes against Schism

Act-Persecuted by opponents, and committed to the Tower—Writes in his own

defence, 27–His captivity the prelude to his rise, 28-His offices on George the

First's Accession, 35—Paymaster of the Forces, 38—Opposes Bill of Attainder

against Oxford --First Lord of Treasury and Chancellor of Exchequer-Conduct

concerning Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, 39—His severe illness - Approves Septen-

nial Act, 41-Protests against foreign rapacity, 46—Quits the Ministry, 47—

Conduct in opposition, 48—Opposes Peerage Bill, 49—Address to the Commons

quoted, 50 --Paymaster of Forces under the Tories—Assists in reconciling the

King and Prince of Wales—Retires to Houghton, 55--Cause of retirement-

The South Sea Company, 56-Conduct after its explosion, 62—His Party re-

turned in 1722–His desire to preserve peace-Baffles the Spanish Policy 67—

Promotes growth of commerce, 70–His Excise Bill, 72—Speech to the

Commons, 76-Resolves on dropping Excise Bill—Popular feeling against it, 80

-Dismissal of his colleagues-Concentrates power in his own hands, 81-Awakens

enmity of Pulteney, 82—and of Carteret, 84–Quarrels with Townshend, 85–His

neglect of literature, 86--Accused of bribery, 90—His strength as a statesman, 91

- His power—Mrs. Oliphant quoted, 94–Conduct on Accession of George the 2nd,

95— Partiality of Queen Caroline to Walpole, 96—Their influence over the King,

98—The Queen's death-Her farewell of Walpole, 104–His fall, 107–His diffi-

culties, 110—Fails to avert war with Spain-Retains office, 112—Lord Stanhope

quoted—Walpole's patriotism, 113—Hostility of Opposition-Walpole's defence,

116—Abandoned by bis colleagues, 118—Loses his majority-His struggle, 119–

[blocks in formation]

His character, 145–His birth, parentage, and education, 151–Enters the army,

and afterwards Parliament, 152–His first speech-personal appearance, 153–

His greatness as an orator, 152—Walpole dismisses him from the army-He

approves of war, 156-Conduct during debate, 157.-Share in proceedings

against Walpole, 158–Attacks Carteret, 159— Bequest to him by the Duchess of

Marlborough—Joins the Pelham party, 165-In favour of war grant, 166—Vice-

Treasurer of Ireland and Paymaster of the Forces, 168—Conduct as Paymaster,

171—Allies with Fox against Newcastle, 177-Forsaken by Fox-Marries Lady

Hester Grenville—His support sought by Newcastle, 178-Speech on the Address,

180— His dismissal, 181–Secretary of State and Leader of Commons in the Devon-

shire Ministry-Carries measure for raising Highland regiments, 183—Endeavours

to save Byng, 184—Joins Newcastle's Ministry as Secretary of State and Leader of

the Commons, 186—His power, 187–His share in the victory of the Heights

of Abraham, 189—Position at the close of George the 2nd's reign, 192-Change

of affairs on Accession of George the 3rd, 193-Whigs begin to desert Pitt, 194—

He resigns, 195—Rewards conferred on him, 197—Addressed by the Corporation

of London, 198— Generous conduct towards the Bute Government, 200—Speaks

against the treaty with Spain and France, 208—Sir W. Pynsent's bequest to him

--His ill-health, and retirement to Hayes, 213–His Colonial policy, 214-His

interview with the Duke of Cumberland, 216– Returns to Parliament-Speech

quoted, 218–His support desired by the Whigs, 221–He yields—His nervous con-

dition-He sells Hayes, 222—Formsa Ministry—Disagrees with Earl Temple-Pitt's

arrogance, 223—Takes Privy Seal, and goes to Upper House as Earl of Chatham,

224—Loses his popularity, 225-Measures introduced by the Chatham Ministry,

227--Retires to Bath, 228—Dissensions in his Cabinet Returns to London, 229

-Condition of the Ministry, 230-Chatham's health-He repurchases Hayes and

retires there-Changes in the Ministry, 231–His resignation, 232–His restora-

tion to health-Returns to pubic life, 234—Divides his support, 235—Opposes

measures which caused war with America, 238—— Introduces a Colonial Bill, 239–

Speeches on the question quoted, 240, 242, 243, 250–His death, 253—Buried in

Westminster Abbey, 254--His greatness, 255.

His birth and education, 262-quoted, 265-His first publication--studies for

the law-Literary labours, 266—Marries Miss Nugent-Her character, 270–

« PreviousContinue »