NOTES ON THE PEERAGE.
WE continue and shall continue our running commentary on Lords: we propose a Variorum Edition of the Peerage in usum Populi. The space occupied last, and to be occupied next week, necessarily confines our remarks at present within narrow limits. It will, however, never be too late to illustrate a Peer: and when the great matter of the Pounds, Shillings, and Pence Account with their Lordships is closed, we shall go on with our Notes, and proceed in this and various other ways to effect our grand object --a House of Lords Auctior et Enzendatior.
Duke of Dorset. Charles Germain ; born in 1767.
The Sackrilles of the time of Queen Elizabeth used popularly to be called Pill-Sack—a truly aristocratic cognomen.
Marquis of Drogheda. Charles Moore ; born in 1770.
When an ancestor of this nobleman was made Baron Moore, of Melle- font (1615), Bishop Usher (then Dean) preached a sermon in St. Patrick's Cathedral, on the text, Acts xvii. 2, "THERE WERE MORE NOBLE- MEN THAN THEY WHICH WERE AT THESSALONICA." This is the text oblige that the Archbishop of Canterbury should have been made to preach upon on the 9th October, in St. Paul's Cathedral; the Psalm should have been the 58th.
Earl of TVestnzorland. John Fame; born in 1759.
One of the creations of James the Second. It is a singular fact, that of the ill-Ty-Two peerages conferred by James the First, fourteen only re • main, and two are merged in other families,—Montgomery in Pembroke, and Howard of Charlton in Suffolk.
The first Lord Sandys was so created for his opposition to Walpole : he was called the motion-maker. (A Baroness at present.) Duke and Marquis of Buckingham and Chandos. Richard
Temple Nugent Brydges Chandos Grenville; born in 1776.
This nobleman may be considered the nominal head of a considerable faction. It includes Northumberland, Beverley, Ashburnham, Powis, Prudhoe, Arundel, Delamere, and the Wynns. Had they come into power, the Duke of Buckingham would have been Governor-General.
Marquis of Bristol. Frederick William Hervey ; born in 1769.
We do not point out the Borouglimongering influence in these Notes ; that must be done elsewhere. Lord Bristol makes a little party with Liverpool, Mansfield, Camden : they were joined by Lord Carnarvon, who, for himself and his son Lord Porchester, had golden prospects, after the result of General Gascoyne's motion. Earl Mansfield was to be the Premier of this hopeful party.
Marquis of ELY. John Loftus ; born in 1770. Irish Peerages have proved a most pernicious instrument in the hands of the packers of the House of Lords. An Irish Peerage is a step to the British, but it is one of which very little notice is ever taken. A man is created an Irish Peer for servility, oppression, and bigotry in his own country; and then he is ready for transplanting to this, whenever his services shall be wanted. The misgovernment of Ireland has been a grand means of ruining England. When a man is made a Peer by corruption in Ireland, by corruption lie is glad to take the next step in England. When the Ministry of 1752 wanted to get Boyle, the Irish Speaker-, outof his seat, he was offered by Lord George Sackville a peerage, and apension of 1,5001. tt year. He said, " If I were a Peer, I should think myself no greater than now that I am Mr. Boyle : as for t'other thing, I despise it asImuch as do the person who otters it."—Horace Walpole, Memoirs, vol. ii., p. 247.
Baron Sheffield. George Aug. Fred. Charles Holroyd; born in 1802. Made an Irish Peer in 1781, in return for his having raised at his own expense a regiment of light dragoons (the 22nd), when the combined fleets of France and Spain were riff the coast. In 1781 he was made an English Peer, in return for his support of Mr. Pitt. We may see how a bribe of this sort is distributed and divided, for the sake of keeping a hold upon the subject—
In 1781, Lord Sheffield, Baron of Dunamore.
1783, Lord Sheffield, of Roscommon ; entailing the honour on heirs female.
1802, A British Peerage.
This was the father of the present Earl, and Gibbon's intimate friend.
Earl of Verulanz. James Walter Grimston ; born in 1775.
It is the popular notion that Lord Verulam is descended from the great Lord Bacon ; than which nothing can be more unfounded. They come from a family of Grimstons ; Who of course came in with William the Conqueror,—so says the original patent. Sir Harbottle Grimatone was of this race. We have heard that the present Lord used at Harrow to be called " the Bacon Lord," as the antipodes of his supposed ancestor Lord Bacon.
Earl of Bradford. George Bridgman ; born in 1789.
A descendant of Sir Orlando Bridgman, who lost the Seals in 1672, b e cause he refused to put them to the Toleration Act. His successor was made a Peer in 1794, at the time the Duke of Portland joined Mr. Pitt : he came in with the Alarmists, to share in the crusade against the French. Ten other creations were made at the sametime. The present Lord Brad- ford and Lord Powis are the only two of this batch who remain true to the Pitt principle which elevated them to the Peerage. We judge merely by the vote on the present occasion ; for it is extraordinary how little is known of three parts of these hereditary legislators. Many never attend in the House; very few of them ever open their mouths—to speak ; and are only known through the Game-laws and the Magistracy business of the county, where, by the aid of a few fawning clergymen, and a pair of led-captains, they enjoy a petty sovereignty—as often led as leading.
Baron Ellenborough. Edward Law ; born in 1790.
Of the existing Peers, the families of twenty-seven have been raised immediately from the Law. Of the extinct titles the number is propor- tionate.
Earl of Bathurst. Henry Bathurst ; born in 1762.
We perceive that it is made a matter of boast with the eulogizers of
things as they are, that the younger sons of nobility are Commoners. infusion nfusion of noble blood among the people is said to be a fortunate thing for the commonwealth. Metaphors are used, and we hear of pure sources and fertilizing streams of noble blood. The honour may be great, but is it very expensive. These Commoners are left too poor to live ex- cept from the national purse ; and in order to provide for them in the most commodious manner possible, the Public Offices, the Army, the Navy, and the Colonies are sacrificed to their imbecility. It were better that an Earldom could be cut into six, if only the estates were similarly divided. A few thousands are, however, left to each younger son, that the head of the family may be maintained as a prince, while the public are to pay for the honour of considering the Lord Georges, and the Hon. the Augustus Fredericks, as nominal Commoners.
Earl of Eldon. John Scott; born in 1751.
Lord Eldon is said in Sir E. Brydges' edition of Collins, to be the son of a merchant of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is utterly impossible to descend lower in heraldry than a merchant; had he been a coal-porter, he would still have been a merchant. We are only surprised that they did not take him to the Conqueror.
Baron Crewe. John Crewe.
Fuller observes of an ancestor of Lord Crewe, Sir Randal Crewe, Lord Chief Justice, that he had a virtuous wife ; which is " very essential to the integrity of a married Judge, lest what Westminster Hall doth con- clude, Westminster bed-chamber doth revoke."
Baron Redesdale. John Thomas Freeman Mitford ; born in 1805.
Son of the late Lord Redesdale, Chancellor, created in 1802, Solicitor- General in 1793, Attorney-General 1797 ;—a bigoted lawyer, who had no other idea than the one which lies hid under the word precedent. His uncle was William Alitford, the historian of Greece ; whose work is an elaborate historical libel on popular power. Its maxims are, that though an aristo- cracy may do wrong, they can never do worse than the people ; and that the most odious of yokes is that which a democracy imposes. This is one of the great reasons why Mitford's elaborate, but at the same time super- ficial work, has been adopted at the Universities, and in all places of edu- cation, where the aristocracy, or its creatures the dignified clergy, have sway. Thus are the sources of knowledge poisoned.
Earl GREY. Charles Grey ; born in 1764.
The number of peerages created under this name is very curious.
Grey of Codnor (in Abeyance) ; Grey of Glendale (represented in Tankerville); Grey of Groby (in Stamford) ; Grey of Powis (claimed, but not decided : in Abeyance) ; Grey of Rolleston (Extinct) ; Grey of Rotherfield (Attainted) ; Grey of Rugemont (Forfeited) ; • Grey of Ruthyn (Present Marchioness of Hastings) ; Grey of Shirland (in Grey of Wilton); Grey of Werke (Extinct) •
Grey of Wilton (in E. Wilton) ; The only rivals in number to the Greys are the Rewards. Of them there are or were—
Howard of Howard (in Abeyance) ; Howard of Castle Rising (in Norwich, D. of Gordon) ; Howard of Charlton (in Andover); Howard of Effingham; Howard of Enrich (Extinct) ; Howard of Marnhill (Extinct) ; Howard of Morpeth (in Carlisle) ; Howard de Walden.
Baron Grantham. Thomas Phillip Weddell; born. in 178).
Lord Grantham is a brother of Lord Goderich; the house is divided . against itself. Lord Grantham is a connexion of the late Lord Castle. reagh. He was set up. as rival of the Bedford interest in Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire. He is, or was rather, the colonel of the Yorkshire Hussars, a yeomanry regiment of some reputation.
Viscount Beresford. William Carr Beresford.
This family ought to cut a figure next week, if we can trace the ramifi- cations of the Aristocracy into Ireland. The inefficient character now at the head of it, owes his fortune, as well as the rest of them, to Lord Castle- reagh's gratitude for their services in 1797, and at the Union. This grati- tude shows its head in almost every lucrative department in Ireland.
Viscount Combermere. Stapylton Cott on
Sir Stapylton used, in India, to be called Sir Simpleton Cotton not from any aptness in the name, but simply because ill-natured people are fond of alliteration. He is said to take his legislative as well as military orders from his Commander in Chief, the Duke of Wellington.
Lord Bexley. Nicholas Vansittart ; born in 1766.
When a man is tried and found incompetent to perform the business of the Nation, he quits office, and is elevated to the Peerage ; which means, that a man who cannot perform legislative duties in a responsible situa- tion, is immediately removed to another position where he is called upon for legislative wisdom, and that in an irresponsible situation. What was there in Nicholas Vansittart which would qualify him for the perform- ance of the duties of an irresponsible legislator ?
Earl of Limerick. Edmund Henry Pery ; born in 1758:
It would be very curious to consider how many species of JOBBING there
i be which lead to peerages. Borough jobbing is the surest road ; but there are also jobbing in loans, jobbing in Protestantism, jobbing in alarm, jobbing in votes independent of borough interest; there are county and town jobs ; nay, even blood is jobbed in—many a man has been ex- ecuted that his prosecutor might wear a coronet—in Ireland : then the step across the Channel is easy.
Baron Tenterden. Charles Abbott ; born in 1762. Lord Gifford. Robert Francis Gifford ; born in 1817. Baron Wynford. William Draper Best. Baron Eldon. John Scott ; born in 1751.
Baron ERSKINE. David Montagu Erskine. .
If it required any strong argument to prove the wisdom and almost necessity of creating Peers for Life only, it would be found in the mere enumeration of these names. Lord Tenterden himself, actually and literally at one time a barber's boy (he talks of springing from the middle classes), and having now a cousin a butler in the family of Sir Trayton Drake, though he may be a tolerably good judge and a decent lawyer—what is there in him, or his son that they and their posterity should go down as legislators, honoured, titled, and pensioned ? Lord Gifford's progeny has already begun theline of poverty : the country must " set apart in honour from the womb" the son of an ex-attorney, who was mistaken for a clever man and a lawyer, and made Attorney-General, and (who himself, per- haps, had he not been titled and pensioned, might have followed some respectable profession. Ellenborough had abundant time to dignify the peerage with, wealth. What the future Lords Eldon and Best are likely to be, we seek not to inquire : one at least will stand in no need of a pen- sion, whatever else he may require. It lets down the name of Erskine sadly, to see the Whigs, in imitation of the Tories, thrusting the orator's descendants into every gap. When will the reign of APTITUDE arrive ?
Earl of Chatham. John Pitt ; born in 1757.
Another name which is an argument against hereditary peerage. Is there any reason, because the first Lord Chatham was an illustrious ora- tor, that the second should command the Walcheren expedition ?—an expedition of which the hopelessness, absurdity, and lamentable issue, none but such a general could have contrived to aggravate. This is the most mischievous appointment he has held, but not the most expensive.
Viscount Stranyford. Baron KING.
Earl of Ashburnham. Earl of Glengall. Baron BRAYBROOK E.
Earl of Mount-Edgecumbe.
Earl of MUNSTER. Earl of Lauderdale. Earl of MULGRAVE. Marquis of Londonderry. Baron Grenville.
These are the names of Ammon-Peers; they are not the aristocrats among the literati, but the literati among the aristocrats. Out of so large a body of educated and wealthy individuals, it is surprising that a greater number have not in some shape or other given their thoughts to the world. Drnorr is gone, or his name would have illuminated the whole House—that House in which he could not raise his voice, and which if he did not despise, he hated.
• Besides the above names, it may perhaps be fair to reckon two eldest sons, who will probably be Peers in their turn :
Porchester, son of Lord Carnarron ;
Mahon, son of Lord Stanhope. To these may be added Lord Leveson Gower.
There are few very illustrious names here, but still their pursuits are creditable, more especially when we consider how little reputable are the occupations of others ; and if there are not many illustrious, there are several writers among them far above mediocrity. Lord Strangford is, or was, a very pretty poetical translator. Lord Dover is an acute and indus- trious inquirer into moot historical questions. Lord Mulgrave is the author of some volumes of fiction, showing a good deal of knowledge of life and character. Munster and Londonderry are military memoir writers : the latter is said not to write his own books. Lauderdale is an ingenious political economist. Lord King is the author of a good Life of Locke, full of new matter. Lord Braybrooke's name is known as the editor of some Pepysian MSS. from the Library of Magdalen College, Cambridge, of which his brother is Master. Lord Ashburnham is the author of a curious Memoir of his ancestor, who assisted the escape of Charles the First. Lord Mount-Edgecumbe has written a charming little book of his Recollections of the King's Theatre : his reminiscences of the Opera and its prima donnas are of a far more gratifying kind than those of many other noble lords. Lord Grenville is not only a patron of literature, but is the author of some late pamphlets, more especially one
on the expulsion of Locke from Oxford. Lord Glengall is the author of some clever farces, one of which we have often laughed over, and hope to do again,—The Irish Tutor. Lords Porchester and Leveson Gower are poets. Lord Mahon has chosen the laborious path of historical erudition.
The list of noble authors might be increased : but we have taken in all of any note. We see no reason to include Lord Calthorpe because he has written several Tracts for the Society.
IERRATA.—The difficulty attending the printing and correcting of tables occa- sioned in last week's Spectator the following among several less important errors. In the List of Peers whose eldest sons have attained the age of twenty-one years, the eldest son of Baron Stafford is given to the Marquis of Stafford, and Lord Stourton's son supplies his place; Lord Suffolk is omitted, and his son given to Lord Stourton. Among the Scotch Peers, Lord Morton is made a British Peer, instead of Lord Belhaven.]