Pitt Versus Fox: Father & Son, 1735-1806

Pitt Versus Fox: Father & Son, 1735-1806

Pitt Versus Fox: Father & Son, 1735-1806

Pitt Versus Fox: Father & Son, 1735-1806

Excerpt

0NE day in May, 1744, London society was all agog. The Duke of Richmond's daughter, Lady Caroline Lennox, had eloped with Henry Fox--a commoner! True, the young couple's first call had been made upon an obliging cleric, who had not asked too many questions and had married them off in a trice. This admittedly lessened the scandal, but it did not remove it, for the blood royal flowed in the veins of the Duke of Richmond, though not, of course, wholly unmixed with more common fluid. The Duke could rightly claim the gay and wily Stuart monarch, Charles II, as his grandfather; his grandmother, on the other hand, was no queen but that beautiful French girl, Louise de Kéroualle, later to become Duchess of Portsmouth in reward for her services to the King. Still, the English aristocracy of the eighteenth century were not as a rule over-nice on questions of legitimacy. ' Non - j'aurai - des - maîtresses ', was the answer George II gave to his consort, when Queen Caroline on her death-bed told him to remarry; but with understanding magnanimity she brushed this demur aside with an ' Ah! mon Dieu! cela n'empêche pas .' Then again, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, whose beauty has been immortalised by Reynolds, shared her house on terms of the closest friendship with Lady Elizabeth Foster, whom she knew to be her husband's mistress and the mother of two children by him. No, the Duke of Richmond's circle did not regard the slight left-handedness of his descent as a slur on his royal birth, and the powerful Duke of Newcastle, who as Secretary of State really had enough on his hands with current international tangles, ran up and down in a great to-do to air his distress at 'this most unfortunate affair', until his colleague, the ever-cheerful and bibulous Lord Carteret, took the wind out of his sails by remarking, 'I thought our fleets or our armies were beat, or Mons betrayed into the hands of the French. At last it came out that Harry Fox was married, which I knew before'.

Henry Fox, the hero of the romantic adventure, was already . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.