ARBUTHNOT, Charles (1767-1850), of Woodford, nr. Kettering, Northants. and Carlton Gardens, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



27 Mar. 1795 - 1796
18 Apr. 1809 - 1812
1812 - 1818
1818 - 25 May 1827
29 Feb. 1828 - 1830
1830 - 12 Feb. 1831

Family and Education

b. 14 Mar. 1767, 3rd s. of John Arbuthnot (d. 1797), inspector gen. of the linen board, of Rockfleet, co. Mayo and 3rd w. Anne, da. of Richard Stone, banker, of London. educ. private sch. at Richmond, Surr. 1774-9; Westminster 1780; Christ Church, Oxf. 1784; grand tour 1788-9. m. (1) 23 Feb. 1799, Marcia Mary Anne (d. 24 May 1806), da. and coh. of William Clapcott Lisle of Upway, Dorset, 2s. 2da.; (2) 31 Jan. 1814, Harriet, da. of Hon. Henry Fane† of Fulbeck, Grantham, Lincs., s.p. d. 18 Aug. 1850.

Offices Held

Precis writer, foreign office 1793-5; sec. of legation, Stockholm 1795-9, charge d’affaires 1795-7; envoy to Wurttemberg 1798; consul and charge d’affaires at Lisbon 1800-1; envoy extraordinary to Sweden 1802-3; under-sec. of state for foreign affairs Nov. 1803-June 1804; envoy extraordinary to the Porte 1804-7; PC 27 June 1804; sec. to treasury Apr. 1809-Feb. 1823; first commr. of woods, forests and land revenues Feb. 1823-Apr. 1827, Feb.-June 1828; chan. of duchy of Lancaster June 1828-Nov. 1830.


When George III died in January 1820 ‘Gosh’ Arbuthnot faced his third general election in less than eight years as patronage secretary in Lord Liverpool’s ministry. His management of the previous two had been undistinguished, and for many aspects of his job, with which he was weary after almost 13 years, he was temperamentally unsuited, as a fretful man who overworked himself. Yet he was widely liked and trusted and, as Liverpool’s right hand man, privy to the inner secrets of government, he fulfilled an important emollient role behind the scenes, where his ‘good sound understanding and dispassionate judgement’ were assets.1 The growing platonic intimacy between his beautiful, strait-laced and opinionated second wife, 26 years his junior, and the unhappily married duke of Wellington, a member of the cabinet, added a fresh dimension to his political role, especially after Lord Londonderry’s* suicide in 1822.2 He drew £4,000 a year, with an official house at 12 Downing Street and a diplomatic pension of £2,000 in abeyance, but his underlying financial situation was a source of anxiety to him. Youthful extravagances, losses incurred on his Turkish embassy in 1807 and the purchase of a 600-acre Northamptonshire farm, which was for many years a drain on his resources, had created potentially ruinous debts, with the four children of his first marriage, born between 1801 and 1804, to be provided for.3

His re-election for Lord St. Germans’s borough in 1820 did not require his presence in Cornwall.4 As for the elections overall, in which he rejected a Whig request for ministerial support for George Lamb* against the radical John Cam Hobhouse* in Westminster, Charles Long* told Lord Lonsdale, 14 Mar., that after setbacks at Great Yarmouth and Ipswich, Arbuthnot ‘looks a little black’; and that day he admitted to Liverpool that he was ‘very uneasy about our returns’: ‘I know that in divisions it scarcely signifies a straw whether we get three or four more or less ... but in point of impression the evil is great’.5 After ‘a bad division’ on the appointment of an additional Scottish baron of exchequer, 15 May, he informed Wellington that he and Liverpool felt that the ministry ‘required strengthening’, though neither was willing to take in leading Whigs.6 Before going to Woodford for Whitsuntide he concluded negotiations with John Herries*, auditor of the civil list, for a loan of £12,295 at five per cent from Nathan Rothschild on the security of the estate; the alternative was ‘ruin’.7 Arbuthnot was an ineffectual debater, who spoke rarely and only on departmental business: he explained and defended various estimates and grants, 16, 21, 30 June.8 On 11 and 12 June he joined Liverpool and Lord Castlereagh (Londonderry) in trying to persuade George IV to waive his demand for an explanation of George Canning’s* speech in praise of Queen Caroline; and a week later, at Liverpool’s request, he communicated to ‘a few country gentlemen, supporters of government’, their intention of resigning if the question of the omission of her name from the liturgy was ‘carried against them in the House of Commons’. ‘Always ... most strenuous against a secret committee’, he hosted a meeting of some members of the cabinet which decided to proceed by a trial and bill of pains and penalties in the Lords, 25 June 1820.9

Arbuthnot was privy to the cabinet’s deliberations of October on how to go on with the measure, which, as he told his friend William Huskisson*, commissioner of woods and forests, he would have liked to ‘get rid of’ after its second reading. He acknowledged that the majority of 28, 5 Nov., was ‘small’, but, like Liverpool and Castlereagh, he was in ‘high spirits’, as he felt that the queen’s guilt had been ‘pronounced much more conclusively than we had ever anticipated’. An audience of the king, who seemed ‘well pleased with his ministers’, 7 Nov., encouraged him; but by the 10th, after the third reading had been carried by only nine votes, he was ‘tired with worry and anxiety’. He was ‘much pleased’ that the bill could now be dropped ‘without any shabbiness’, though his knowledge of the king’s unreliability, Liverpool’s tiredness and the rift with Canning made him fear that ‘the government will not last long’. ‘Worn to death’, he escaped to the country for a few days on 18 Nov.10 In London, 22-30 Nov., he heard of Canning’s impending resignation from the cabinet, which pleased his wife but worried him, and tried to ensure that the ministerial case on the queen’s affair was adequately presented in the press.11 In mid-December 1820 he was at Wellington’s Hampshire seat, Stratfield Saye, with Liverpool and Lord Bathurst, the colonial secretary, to whom he subsequently reported the failure of a bid to persuade Robert Peel* to take office and his own and Castlereagh’s preference for an approach to the Grenvillites.12

Arbuthnot’s confidence in the outcome of the parliamentary attack on ministers’ conduct towards the queen, for which he exerted himself to secure a good attendance, in the early weeks of the 1821 session proved justified.13 His few contributions to debate included a promise to make the army accounts ‘more intelligible’, 25 May, and a defence of the grant for new barracks ‘for the preservation of tranquillity’, which was threatened by the activities of ‘incendiaries, like Hunt and others’, 28 May. He was a ministerial teller in divisions on this subject, 31 May, and those on Sicily and the tobacco duties, 21 June, and the aliens office grant, 29 June. On 13 June he claimed that the abeyance of his pension saved the public £2,000 a year. He voted to consider Catholic relief, 28 Feb.,14 and a month later, at Liverpool’s request, he asked Bloomfield, the king’s confidant, to urge George IV not to commit himself on the question.15 He mustered attendances to thwart the opposition Mountain’s obstructive campaign against the estimates and to reverse the vote to repeal the malt duty, 3 Apr.16 That month he told Bloomfield that if the king insisted on the appointment as a canon of Windsor of Charles Sumner, former tutor to his mistress Lady Conyngham’s son, which Liverpool deplored, ministers would resign. George IV gave way, but at the end of April, after an Easter week in the country, Mrs. Arbuthnot noted that her husband ‘has taken so great a dislike to his office and to public business generally that I do not think he will go on with his present office much longer’.17 He was in the know regarding Liverpool’s anxiety to strengthen the ministry by recruiting Canning, Peel and the Grenvillites. After Peel’s refusal of the board of control and the king’s veto of Canning in early June, he helped Londonderry to rally Wellington, Bathurst, Lord Sidmouth, the home secretary, and Lord Melville, first lord of the admiralty, behind the premier, who, additionally depressed by the recent death of his wife, was contemplating resignation, and to urge him not to destroy the government by trying to force Canning on the king.18 On 4 July, the day after Parliament rose, he told his elder son Charles George James Arbuthnot* that

upon an average we have since January last sat 8 hours 40 minutes each day. That is, for above five months we have sat more than the third of the whole 24 hours ... There never was so stormy a session, or so laborious a one. The agricultural distress is very great, and this has pressed so severely upon our country gentlemen that they have been out of humour and have supported us very ill ... We must make great reductions, civil and military, but don’t talk of this.19

(William Wellesley Pole* had reported in mid-May that ministers in the Commons were so worn out that they resembled ‘a set of scarecrows, except Gosh, who is as blooming as ever’.)20 On 21 July 1821 he made clear to Bloomfield the need for the king to show more outward confidence in his ministers and took him to see Wellington, who reinforced this message, with particular stress (which Arbuthnot thought ‘exaggerated’) on Canning’s potential value to the government. At Londonderry’s desire he wrote later that day to Bloomfield to spell out the cabinet’s rooted objection to the king’s intended appointment of Lord Conyngham to an influential household place; and on the 23rd he talked further with Bloomfield on this.21 He had been unable to fulfil his obligation to ‘liquidate each year a certain proportion of the principal’ of the Rothschild loan, and at his desire William Lushington, brother of his treasury colleague, investigated his farm bailiff’s accounts and discovered that, thanks to well meant ‘concealment’, he owed £2,800 more than he had thought; he was ‘overwhelmed with dismay’. Yet Lushington, who carried out his request to reveal the state of affairs to Herries, consoled him with an assurance that the farm was a potentially valuable asset and that it would be folly to sell it.22 After visiting his Northamptonshire neighbour Lord Althorp, a leading Commons Whig, he joined his wife at her parental home in Lincolnshire before making a brief excursion to London. He blamed the ‘folly and cowardice’ of Sir Robert Baker, chief magistrate at Bow Street, for the disorder at the queen’s funeral, and rejoiced in the dismissal of Sir Robert Wilson* from the army for his part in the affair.23 His talks with Liverpool and Londonderry convinced him that the king was determined to ditch the premier on his return from Ireland; but he rebuked John Wilson Croker*, the voluble secretary to the admiralty, for talking ‘of the king’s being dissatisfied and the government in danger’. Back in London from 3 Sept., he conveyed to Liverpool, via Bathurst, Bloomfield’s suggestion that an apology for not having written to the king during the queen’s fatal illness would do good. At Liverpool’s request he prolonged his stay in town to keep his ear to the ground until the king, whose ill humour had ‘evaporated in complaints’, embarked for Hanover, thus depriving himself of a planned visit to Huskisson in Sussex. He reported that Londonderry had ‘told me that I was the greatest slave he knew, for ... mine was interminable slavery’. He escaped to Woodford on the 24th and stayed there for a month, informing his son that although the king remained cool towards Liverpool, he was ‘very confident that the government will not be changed’.24 In London, 24-29 Oct., having discussed the matter with Wellington, he told Liverpool ‘openly’ that while his colleagues would ‘stand by him to the last’ they would not, if the ministry broke up, feel ‘bound to refuse office under some other arrangement merely because Canning was not included’; Liverpool ‘took it all very well’.25 In the second week of November, primed by Londonderry, he persuaded Liverpool to acquiesce in Conyngham’s appointment as lord steward and engineered a ‘reconciliation’ between the premier and the king based on this concession and the decision to offer Canning the government of India and attach the Grenvillites to the ministry. When Huskisson threatened to resign if the Grenvillite Charles Williams Wynn* was given the board of control, which he coveted for himself, Arbuthnot volunteered to go to Edward Littleton’s* Staffordshire home at Teddesley, where Huskisson and Wellington were guests, to try to talk him out of it. He arrived on 20 Nov. and, after consulting Wellington, offered Huskisson the Irish secretaryship or war office if vacancies could be created. Huskisson, who considered Arbuthnot’s mission ‘strangely timed’, would have none of it, and Arbuthnot, peeved with Huskisson’s ‘unreasonable attitude’, returned to London.26 He found that Liverpool and Londonderry had conceived the notion of sending Wellington to Ireland as viceroy and military commander, and offered to go as his chief secretary, being, as his wife recorded, ‘sick to death’ of the treasury. The idea was soon abandoned and Wellington’s brother Lord Wellesley selected as viceroy, with the Protestant Henry Goulburn* as his secretary. Arbuthnot was ‘rather disappointed at not going’, or not being given the chance to refuse; but Wellington explained to Harriet (who did not relish ‘banishment’ to Ireland), that no one had thought ‘he would like to go with any other person, and he distinctly told me that he would not like to go with Lord Wellesley’. In any case, he was pro-Catholic, and the office would have proved ‘quite as disagreeable’ as his present one. Nevertheless Arbuthnot felt aggrieved at Liverpool’s treatment of him and talked to the duke and Londonderry of retiring altogether from public life. Both ‘most anxiously entreated [him] to remain in office’, using arguments which the duke explained to Mrs. Arbuthnot:

After having been involved with those with whom he lives and whose society he likes in all the difficulties of the times, and having been acquainted with everything, and having been himself the most active agent in all their concerns, he would feel himself very uncomfortable at being suddenly not only separated from his friends and all intercourse with them, but from all knowledge of their transactions ... I was convinced that the discomfort which he would necessarily feel at being separated from the business, the anxieties and confidence of his friends, would be doubly felt by you ... I think this has made some impression upon him, and I hope that he will very soon begin to care but little for civil speeches from Lord Liverpool. In respect to Huskisson’s office, which you wished him to endeavour to obtain, I think ... it would be only a little better than to go out of office.

By 1 Dec., apparently influenced by ‘Lord Liverpool’s having been a little civil to him’, he was ‘more reconciled to his fate’, and he agreed to ‘remain in his office, at least for the present’, after being assured that there was ‘every disposition to promote his wishes whenever the opportunity offered’. On 5 Dec. he reported to Liverpool that the Grenvillites, led by the odious marquess (subsequently duke) of Buckingham, were ‘not coming to the government in a very satisfactory temper’ and that Wellington had appeased Huskisson, and told his son that ‘present appearances would lead to the belief that the government is more firmly established than ever’. He ‘returned to the country, having rather recovered his good humour’.27 In London after Christmas, however, he ‘fired’ at Buckingham’s written suggestion to Liverpool that his creature William Fremantle* should be placed at the treasury to assist Londonderry in the management of the Commons. When Londonderry went to Lord Westmorland’s at Apethorpe on 28 Dec. 1821, two days before Arbuthnot arrived, he assured Mrs. Arbuthnot that Buckingham had meant no slight against Charles and that he would not have Fremantle at any price.28

Despite the government’s ‘large majority’ on the address, 5 Feb. 1822, Arbuthnot detected ‘a very unpleasant temper in the House’, with ‘the country gentlemen ... very much for taking off taxes’. Tory backbenchers proved difficult to control, and defeat by 54 votes on admiralty reductions, 1 Mar., prompted Arbuthnot, who coincidentally had been given the unwelcome task of telling Bloomfield that the king wished to ‘get rid of him’, to issue a circular letter requesting attendance to stem ‘the torrent of ... dangerous innovation’ embodied in impending attacks on the joint-postmasterships and the board of control. A copy fell into enemy hands, and on 15 Mar. Lord John Russell raised it in the Commons as a breach of privilege, disingenuously pretending to believe that it must be ‘an atrocious forgery’. Arbuthnot admitted to writing the letter and tried to justify it, the Speaker took his side and the issue was dropped.29 Arbuthnot defended the pension granted to Lady Torrens, 25 Mar., and on the 29th gained grudging approval from Hume for improvements in the method of presenting the commissariat accounts, though he had to give ground over an anomalous item in the barracks grant. He conceded the ‘impropriety’ of the admission fee being demanded of visitors to Westminster Abbey, having been forced to pay himself.30 On 13 May he secured the appointment of a select committee to investigate the cost of Commons printing and stationery. According to his wife, in the course of the investigation he detected Hume in a bid to acquire official stationery at cheap rates for his personal use, which provoked Hume to ‘a fury’. He drew up for Londonderry a memorandum summarizing economies made since 1782 for use against Brougham’s motion on the increased influence of the crown, 24 June, and had Hume’s amendment to the vote for civil contingencies negatived, 22 July 1822.31

Arbuthnot had for some years been receiving letters from one Jennings, a suitor for office, promising to ‘ruin’ public figures with salacious disclosures if he was not satisfied. When he was turned down Jennings sent ‘a vulgar placard’ threatening to accuse Mrs. Arbuthnot of adultery with Wellington (who had only recently bared his soul to her about his loveless marriage). On 3 Aug. Arbuthnot consulted Londonderry, who advised them to ignore the threat, but showed alarming signs, then and in subsequent talks with Mrs. Arbuthnot, of the paranoia which drove him to kill himself on the 12th. Mrs. Arbuthnot was devastated, and thereafter devoted herself to Wellington, who ‘promised to fill the place of the friend I have lost’. Her influence over him increased, as he confided virtually everything to her and Charles.32 Arbuthnot was at Liverpool’s elbow during the subsequent negotiations with Peel, Canning and Huskisson, after offering to resign his own place if it would expedite matters.33 When Canning opted to become foreign secretary and leader of the Commons, Mrs. Arbuthnot, who hated him, wrote to Wellington urging him to speak to Liverpool of her wish for Arbuthnot’s transfer from the treasury. The duke did so, before going to the Congress of Vienna, and reported that he had brought the premier to agree to the principle of considering him ‘as a candidate for some other office of the same value ... in all the arrangements which may come under consideration’. Liverpool said he had thought of appointing him to woods and forests when Huskisson was promoted, for ‘without overloading him with labour he could still ... avail himself of his assistance’ as a confidant, but that the lower salary had seemed a stumbling block.34 In November Arbuthnot was ‘put into a state of the greatest agitation’ by his wife’s canvassing for her friend William Bankes* for a vacancy for Cambridge University against Liverpool’s favoured candidate, and was ‘completely made ill by the idea of Lord Liverpool imagining that he was opposing him’. Explaining to the premier, she ‘seized the opportunity of ... telling him that I was quite sure that Mr. A’s strength was not equal to another session, and entreating him to forward the arrangement for changing his office’.35 In early December 1822, when Liverpool and Canning were trying to effect Nicholas Vansittart’s* replacement at the exchequer by Frederick Robinson*, whose place as president of the board of trade was earmarked for Huskisson, Arbuthnot wrote to the last in a bid to overcome Canning’s objections to making the ‘idle’ Lushington patronage secretary, which might jeopardize his own move to woods and forests. His intention was, ‘with a mind and body more at ease’, to continue his ‘confidential intercourse’ with Liverpool, while Lushington, his ‘nominal’ replacement, was left to ‘slave at the bar’ of the House, under threat of removal if he shirked.36 Later in the month Arbuthnot concerted with Canning to try to reconcile Thomas Wallace I*, vice-president of the board of trade, to being passed over, talked Vansittart into accepting his removal to the duchy of Lancaster, warned Liverpool of Wellington’s grave reservations about Canning’s foreign policy and joined in the difficult but eventually successful effort to persuade Huskisson to drop his ‘perverse and wrong headed’ insistence on immediate admission to the cabinet.37 When at Christmas Peel, now home secretary, claimed woods and forests for his friend William Vesey Fitzgerald*, Liverpool vetoed it and explained why Arbuthnot must have preference:

[He] has been 14 years secretary to the treasury, is nearly worn out by the severe duties and fatigue ... and has long looked to Huskisson’s office as a sort of retirement, but which would keep him still in those confidential relations to me, which are of the utmost importance to my comfort. I would further add that the office of woods is become of peculiar delicacy from the connections which must exist between the discharge of the duties of it and the administration of the king’s private affairs. For such a situation and relation Arbuthnot is particularly qualified.38

On 6 Jan. 1823 Liverpool wrote to Arbuthnot, who was at Belvoir, that Huskisson had given way and the king had ‘most entirely approved’ of his transfer to woods and forests. A recent ‘slight attack of the gout’ confirmed his conviction that he ‘could not have continued’ at the treasury, ‘being worn out by long drudgery’; and to Bathurst (who had commented to Liverpool that he would ‘lose a faithful friend, whose fidelity is very requisite’) he added that ‘it would have been strange for me to have retained the management of the House of Commons, when ... last year I made my continuance a sort of favour to ... Londonderry’.39 But to his and his wife’s ‘astonishment’, two days later he received a letter from Canning informing him that Wallace had refused to serve under Huskisson, that Liverpool felt unable to act ‘harshly’ towards Wallace, an old Christ Church friend, and that the only solution was for Wallace to have woods and forests and Arbuthnot to become vice-president of the board of trade, probably for one session and retaining his house, ‘with a direct and positive understanding’ that whenever the mint (where Wellington’s brother Wellesley Pole was placed) or a similar office could be opened, he should have the choice of that or woods and forests. Canning had meanwhile written to Huskisson urging him to try to reconcile Arbuthnot to ‘the only arrangement by which the very disagreeable event of his retirement can be avoided’. Huskisson thought he could be fobbed off with the treasurership of the navy, held by Robinson as president of the board of trade, if the latter’s move to the exchequer was postponed for a session; he duly wrote to Arbuthnot, hinting at but not specifying this.40 Mrs. Arbuthnot was ‘indignant, but ... not surprised at it in Lord Liverpool, for he never thinks of the feelings of others’:

Mr. Arbuthnot, in his odious post of manager between him and Lord Londonderry and repeatedly as mediator between him and the king, has rendered Lord Liverpool most essential services, for many years has executed the duties of a most arduous and unpleasant office in a manner satisfactory to everyone; and now, at a moment when Lord Liverpool knows that from pecuniary motives it would be inconvenient for him to go out of office, he has not been ashamed to propose to him to accept a situation which will lower him in the public eye and is far, far beneath his just pretensions.

Arbuthnot, who was ill with gout and nausea, agreed ‘after much consideration’ to go to the board of trade under Huskisson as a temporary expedient, ‘in order to prevent the mischief which would arise from Wallace’s retirement’; but he disclosed his hurt feelings to Liverpool and stressed that he had no intention of undertaking the business of the department, in which he would be Huskisson’s ‘cypher’. He wanted it to be ‘generally understood that not having strength or spirits to bear longer the drudgery of the treasury, and it not being possible at the present to provide me with a proper office, it had been an object to preserve me in link with the government, and that ... I was for a time to be vice-president of the board of trade instead of retiring upon my pension’. To Huskisson, who did not think much of this idea, he expressed his ‘astonishment’ and ‘grief’ at having subsequently learned from Canning that Liverpool had vetoed his suggestion of putting Huskisson at the duchy of Lancaster and Vansittart at the board of trade, so enabling Wallace to stay and Arbuthnot to replace Huskisson. This, he wrote, would have

saved me from a blow that has struck me to the ground and has left me no other wish than to pass the remainder of my days away from the annoyances of public life. Mrs. Arbuthnot does not like the idea of my separating myself from those who have been my friends and associates; but were I to consult my own inclinations I would retire upon my pension ... Never were my feelings so cut to pieces ... Lord Liverpool could have commanded my life almost ... I am so sick of everything political and so worn out that no post horse ever more wanted repose.

So ‘indignant’ was he that he postponed his intended journey to London for two days, discussed potential movers and seconders of the address by post and urged Liverpool to review his situation with Wellington and Canning.41 Wellington had already written to Liverpool deploring the ‘degradation’ of Arbuthnot, while Bathurst advised him to ‘think twice’ before agreeing to become a nominal vice-president. In London, Wellington had ‘a long argument’ with Liverpool about the problem, stressing the intensity of Arbuthnot’s disappointment. The duke discarded a notion of his remaining at the treasury without responsibility for the management of the Commons and correctly forecast that he would not want to go as minister to Naples, as Canning suggested. Wellington then met Arbuthnot at Ashridge on his way to London and reported that while Liverpool still considered the vice-presidency a fair appointment for him, he ‘would not press it if ... [his] friends thought it beneath him’. Mrs. Arbuthnot, aware that if he went to London Liverpool and Canning would sweet talk him into submission, got Wellington to persuade him to stay away. The duke wrote to Liverpool ‘urging him to give up the point’, but Arbuthnot also wrote stating that although Wellington, Long and others considered it a humiliation, he was willing to sacrifice himself. Liverpool replied denying any intention to ‘lower’ him and consenting to his going to woods and forests. His pleasure was soon clouded by receipt of a subsequent ‘sore’ letter from the premier which more or less accused him of orchestrating Wellington and others to hound him on the matter. He was ‘so angry’ that his wife and the duke were hard put to ‘pacify him and prevent his going out of office altogether’. They and Bathurst calmed him and, in response to Liverpool’s request, he agreed to bury the hatchet. On 21 Jan. 1823 he found Liverpool ‘in perfect good humour, just as cordial and confidential as ever’; but later that day he told Huskisson:

I really pity Lord Liverpool ... but in truth he has brought the whole upon himself by his gaucherie. He has wounded you and me and Wallace ... I have been in a dreadful state of mind for ten days. I am now feeling better, but I am like the sea after a storm and it will be some time before I can recover from all my agitations.42

The change of office halved his salary, and in January 1823 his wife was given a civil list pension of £1,200. They moved into their new official house in Whitehall Place on 14 Apr. 1823.43

Arbuthnot dealt briefly with details of various estimates, 19 Mar., 18 Apr., 9 June 1823.44 He was a government teller for divisions on 25 Mar., 19, 25 June, 8 July. Though rescued from the drudgery and worry of Commons management, he remained for a while at the centre of affairs and on close terms with Liverpool. In late March he dissuaded Bathurst from complaining to the premier of Canning’s conduct of foreign affairs until Wellington, who was equally vexed with it, had raised the matter. He was ‘very unwell’ in May, but a rest at Woodford restored him sufficiently to enable him to visit the duke of Bedford at Woburn, where he found ‘a whole nest of violent oppositionists’, including Lord Grey. On his return to London, 23 May, he was pestered by Sir William Knighton, the king’s new secretary, to broker his bid for a privy councillorship, but he refused to get involved.45 From 29 July to 12 Aug. 1823 he and Harriet were at Cheltenham, with Wellington. They then toured the Forest of Dean, where Arbuthnot inspected some of the woods ‘under his care’, before staying with Bathurst at Cirencester. They learned from Wellington that in recent discussions over appointing Lord Maryborough (Wellesley Pole) master of the foxhounds, the king had suggested that Arbuthnot, as a man ‘of good sense and judgement’, might replace him in the cabinet. Wellington, who felt that ‘there would be nothing so injurious to Arbuthnot as to be brought into the cabinet by anything that has the appearance of a court intrigue’, played this down and ‘placed the business on a very good footing’ by informing the king that Arbuthnot had been flattered.46 In London for a few days at the end of August, Arbuthnot tried to impress on Liverpool Wellington’s ‘dissatisfaction’ at his isolation in the cabinet and thought he had ‘done good’ by encouraging the premier to improve their relationship. He also poured cold water on Knighton’s attempt to strengthen Canning’s hand by getting him on the right side of the king and reassured the suspicious Peel by ‘giving him good proof that Canning was not making way with the king’. He failed, however, to persuade Wellington, who ‘did not choose to appear the Spaniel’, to see Liverpool to clear the air.47 On 1 Oct. 1823 Arbuthnot was summoned by the king to Windsor, ostensibly to discuss departmental business, but in fact to hear of his and Knighton’s dissatisfaction with Liverpool, whom he believed to be under Canning’s thumb, and his wish to replace him with Wellington. Arbuthnot made it clear that the duke would not conspire against the prime minister, and privately suspected that George would not scruple to try to achieve his object through Canning. He put Wellington in the picture and with him concocted a long letter to Liverpool warning him that the king, influenced by Knighton, bitter over the refusal of his request for a privy councillorship, was seeking to undermine him, and advising him to concede the ‘point to Knighton for the sake of peace and quietness’. This Liverpool would not do, but Arbuthnot urged him to consult the cabinet on the matter and to show ‘confidence and cordiality’ towards Wellington.48 Soon afterwards Liverpool dragged a reluctant Arbuthnot to Walmer Castle to discuss the case of Benjamin Stephenson, surveyor-general of the board of works, whom the king wished to dismiss for ‘impudence’. He eventually succeeded, with Knighton’s aid, in persuading the king to accept Stephenson’s grovelling apology. He became aware that Knighton was contemptuous and suspicious of the king, who in return ‘feared and hated him as a madman hates his keeper’.49 Arbuthnot’s financial affairs were now in crisis, for after further borrowing he owed Rothschild £15,770 and had no means of repaying it beyond selling Woodford. On a hint from Liverpool, he ensured that through Knighton and Wellington the king was made aware of his plight, in the hope that he would buy the estate and sell it back to him when money expected from the death of his first wife’s mother Mrs. Lisle came to him. As it happened, the king gave him £15,000, borrowed on the security of his Hanoverian revenues.50 His cup seemed to run over, for at this time Bathurst and Wellington secured Liverpool’s approval of a plan to offer him the agency of Ceylon, worth about £1,100 a year, which Huskisson had just resigned. Arbuthnot ‘most thankfully’ accepted it, but a difficulty arose when Huskisson alerted Canning and warned that the appointment, coupled with Mrs. Arbuthnot’s pension, was bound to provoke a storm in Parliament. In response to this Bathurst and Liverpool suggested reducing the income to £800 and naming Arbuthnot’s son to the office; but after further consideration Arbuthnot, who had ascertained that he ‘could not when out of office hold the agency together with my pension’, decided to reject it altogether. In doing so he confided to Bathurst that he did not wish ‘to be under any obligation to Canning’, towards whom he did ‘not ... feel very favourably’.51

On 6 Jan. 1824 Arbuthnot obeyed Liverpool’s summons to town, fancying that he was to be offered the governorship of Madras (which he would ‘certainly refuse’), only to discover that he had been dragged ‘in the depth of winter 200 miles’ to ‘gossip ... about the present state of affairs’.52 He was a teller for the majority on the Franco-Spanish war, 17 Feb., and, in his only reported contribution to debate that session, 30 Mar., admitted that John Nash was responsible for the derided new church in Langham Place, but praised his other work in Regent Street. Combining his role as intermediary between Liverpool and Wellington with his efforts to curb Canning’s influence in the cabinet, he spoke on the matter to Liverpool during the dispute over Canning’s wish to recognize the South American republics in March and encouraged Bathurst to support Wellington in the cabinet; he did the same in May.53 ‘Another anonymous letter’ accusing Harriet of adultery with Wellington, who believed it came from Greville the diarist, ‘greatly annoyed’ them, and she agreed with the duke that ‘in public we will not talk much together, but go on just the same in private’. A ‘carbuncle on his eyebrow, which ... caused him dreadful pain’, put Arbuthnot out of action for a week in June.54 Thinking that ‘of late’ Liverpool ‘rather abstained from talking with me’ on confidential cabinet matters, he chose in July to write to inform the premier that Wellington ‘never would consent to the recognition of any of the new states, except upon British interests’. He subsequently discussed this with Bathurst, but the duke’s dissatisfaction was common knowledge by the end of the month.55 His tour of inspection of crown lands in August took him to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, where he stayed at Nash’s castle, and to Delamere Forest in Cheshire. A month after his return he told Huskisson that ‘everywhere the farmers were in good spirits and were prospering’, and expressed relief that Canning’s visit to Ireland had not created ‘difficulties’.56 Mrs. Arbuthnot noted at this time that ‘the difference of opinion between’ Liverpool and Arbuthnot ‘upon political subjects, since Lord Liverpool has thrown himself so completely into Mr. Canning’s hands, has ... had the effect of completely estranging them from each other’:

Arbuthnot was a good deal annoyed at this estrangement, not from any personal friendship or affection for Lord Liverpool (he is not a man to excite such feelings) but he had been connected with him so many years he could not feel anything but good will towards him and ... began to fear that his motives in opposing Lord Liverpool’s measures had been misunderstood and that Lord Liverpool might be feeling jealousy of the superior influence of the duke of Wellington.

The duke assured her that the premier, having ‘changed his politics’, ‘could not possibly complain’ of Arbuthnot, who was ‘not of a calibre to be considered merely as a blind follower of Lord Liverpool’, and advised that he should ‘take no notice of Lord Liverpool’s change, go on just the same, and he was certain ... that the moment Lord Liverpool got into any scrape or difficulty he would send for Mr. A. exactly the same as if he had not treated him with neglect’. Arbuthnot went on ‘a farming tour’ of Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland in October.57 In late November Wellington consulted him on the king’s recent letter to Peel stating his determination never to concede Catholic relief and desire that it should no longer be an open question in cabinet. Arbuthnot ‘strongly urged the necessity’ of informing Liverpool, who knew nothing of it. This advice was followed and ‘answered perfectly’, as Liverpool agreed to ignore the letter.58 In London, 6 Dec., Mrs. Arbuthnot recorded that Liverpool had ‘quite resumed their old habits of confidential intercourse’. Arbuthnot tried to convince the premier of Wellington’s wish to ‘uphold and support him’, and later in the month sounded other cabinet ministers to ascertain that they took the duke’s side in the current wrangle about the recognition of South American independent states. However, he had to restrain his wife, fearing that her hatred of Canning and ‘influence with the duke’ might drive the latter to resign, for he considered it ‘of vital importance ... that the duke should remain in the cabinet and control as much as possible’ Canning’s excesses. On 29 Dec. 1824 he sent Liverpool a detailed report of Wellington’s Christmas Day audience of the king, who had expressed ‘great ... irritation’ about the recognition of the South American states and government policy towards Spain. He warned that it could not be assumed that ‘the opposition, if the king should in extremity resort to them, would in all things run counter to his pleasure’, for ‘in the outset at least ... they would be very accommodating to retain their power’.59

Arbuthnot reported to Liverpool, 28 Jan., the Russian ambassador’s complaints of Canning’s disregard of diplomatic niceties, and ‘got into a great rage’, 7 Feb. 1825, when Knighton sounded him on the possibility of effecting a clandestine alliance between Canning and Wellington, who was also ‘uncommonly angry’ when told.60 He defaulted on a call of the House, 28 Feb., but attended and was excused, 1 Mar., before voting for Catholic relief. On 17 Mar. he found the king in ‘very good humour’ when he went to Windsor to show him ‘the plans for improving the parks’; he introduced three relevant bills, 29 Mar.61 His wife noted that so far that session he had never been at the House ‘later than ten o’clock, and many nights has not gone at all’. He received from the crown the ‘pleasant windfall’ of ‘a small property that belonged to a namesake of his at Weymouth who died without a will and without heirs’, which was supposed to be worth ‘2 or £3,000’. A ‘bilious attack’ confined him to bed and delayed his departure to the country for Easter. By the time he returned to London on 17 Apr. he was ‘much better’, though ‘still weak and complaining’.62 He was forced to retreat to Woodford for ‘more country air’ four days later; and from there he wrote to Wellington urging him to resist in cabinet the ‘hasty and sudden innovations in trade’, especially touching the corn laws, being promoted by Huskisson, ‘one of the most dangerous men that ever was admitted into our councils’.63 ‘Still a great invalid’ on his return to London, 30 Apr., on 6 May he found Liverpool inclined to resign if the cabinet dispute about how to handle the Catholic question was not settled to his satisfaction. He tried to effect a compromise in talks with Liverpool, Wellington, Peel and Knighton, before returning to Woodford on 9 May. Three days later he commented on and suggested improvements to the memorandum which Wellington intended to submit to the king if Liverpool did resign, though he thought it vital to prevent this if only to stop Canning turning to the Whigs. Next day he wrote to Liverpool imploring him not to destroy the ministry; and when he got back to London, ‘much better’, he continued his efforts to resolve the crisis, ‘seeing alternately’ Liverpool, Wellington, Bathurst and Knighton on 21 May. Canning subsequently gave way and Peel agreed to remain in office.64 As trustees of the Deccan prize money, Arbuthnot and Wellington were annoyed by the failure of the treasury to support them ‘properly’ when they were accused by opposition in the Commons, 1, 5 July 1825, of ‘delay, of insolence’ and of ‘jobbing’ for Arbuthnot’s elder son.65 More illness forced him to abandon a planned continental tour, and he spent most of the summer recuperating at Woodford. Liverpool asked him to go to London on 20 Sept. in advance of the cabinet meeting which decided to postpone the dissolution until next year.66 In October he inspected crown property in the New Forest and, alerted by Long, persuaded the king to back down in a minor ‘dispute’ with Wellington over the new gates at Hyde Park Corner.67 On 16 Dec. 1825 he was summoned to town to join in ministerial talks on how to deal with the banking crisis. At the turn of the year he suspected ‘a trick’ in Canning’s proposal to send Wellington to Russia to convey George IV’s condolences on the death of Tsar Alexander, imagining that Canning, aware that Liverpool was near the end of his rope, sought to ‘have beau jeu and the whole course clear’ while the duke was out of the way.68

Arbuthnot quizzed Knighton on this, 12 Jan. 1826, but would have nothing to do with his bid to be made vice-chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. During Wellington’s absence he contrived a personal ‘rapprochement’ with Canning by offering to ‘see whether he could do anything to make’ Liverpool ‘more reasonable’ in his quarrel with the Bank. Canning even gave him first refusal of the treasurership of the navy at £3,000 a year; but he declined it because neither he nor Harriet could ‘bear to go and live at the end of the Strand’ in Somerset Place. While she was ‘glad’ that Arbuthnot was ‘well with Mr. Canning, for it makes his position in the government much more agreeable’, she thought he ‘must only take care not to be drawn into any of his dirty jobs’.69 On 21 Mar. he introduced the enabling bill for Nash’s improvements to the Charing Cross area, which he saw through the House that session.70 In May 1826 Liverpool ‘begged’ him to explain to the irate Wellington that the batch of new peers had been selected by Canning, but the duke would not be mollified.71 At the general election the following month he came in again for St. Germans. Soon afterwards he warned Herries, the secretary to the treasury, that the king was ‘very much annoyed at hearing it was the intention of the government to assist the duke of York’, having gleaned this from Knighton, whom he had earlier been deputed to inform that ministers must proceed more slowly with the refurbishment of Buckingham House as there was no more money. The Arbuthnots toured Durham and the Lake District in August, returning south via Liverpool, Chester and the Forest of Dean.72

In mid-December 1826, when the new Parliament had opened, Liverpool spoke ‘seriously’ to Arbuthnot of his weariness with office and Canning’s ‘perpetual notes’ on every subject under the sun, but assured him that he would not do ‘anything rash’. Arbuthnot ‘urged with the greatest earnestness the necessity of his not quitting his post just now as it must infallibly cause the greatest confusion’. Liverpool showed him Robinson’s letter pleading to be removed from the exchequer and got him to reconcile Wellington to the decision to give the vacant blue ribbon to the Whig duke of Devonshire. At the close of the year Arbuthnot suggested to Peel the notion of his replacing Robinson.73 On the death of the duke of York, 5 Jan. 1827, acting without Wellington’s knowledge, he warned Liverpool, Peel and Bathurst of the king’s ‘preposterous’ idea of making himself commander-in-chief, in violation of his promise to the duke.74 He voted for Catholic relief, 6 Mar. In the aftermath of Liverpool’s incapacitating stroke, 17 Feb., he exerted himself to thwart the ‘frightful danger’ of Canning’s bid for the premiership, telling Knighton that ‘as for office I personally care not a straw, or rather it would be a comfort to me to be in private life’. Mrs. Arbuthnot, noting that all they had to lose was their house, as their joint pensions would keep them comfortable in retirement, flattered herself that they were ‘perfectly disinterested’ in ‘expressing our wishes’ for Wellington to be prime minister; but the duke told her in mid-March that he was ‘vexed’ by Arbuthnot’s activities, which, especially to Knighton, bore ‘the appearance of an intrigue’. Arbuthnot, who told Peel that he saw ‘no way of safety except through you and the duke’, was ‘by chance’ instrumental in the promotion of talks between Canning and the latter, 3 Apr.; but his efforts to dish Canning failed and, despite his pro-Catholic views, he went out with Wellington, telling a curious John Evelyn Denison*, who met him on his way to resign, that the business had ‘no more to do with the Catholic question than your hat’.75 Anxious that Wellington ‘should be justified and set right with the world’, he was keen to use his old contacts with the press to counter attacks on the duke in government organs. He considered his resignation of the army command an unnecessary and ‘unfortunate act’. ‘Being very poor’, he was anxious to know the identity of his successor at woods and forests (it was Lord Carlisle) and ‘whether I am to leave my furniture or take it with me’. He warned Huskisson, who joined Canning’s ministry, that there were many unpleasant ‘secrets’ concerning the cost of the Buckingham House improvements. Knighton’s suggestion that he could go to Ireland as Wellington’s secretary if the duke went there as the king’s personal choice as viceroy was not taken seriously. At the end of May he vacated his seat, presumably to enable him to draw his pension; he was out of Parliament for nine months.76 He considered it vital to keep the old Tories out of office altogether and was pleased when Wellington had a friendly meeting (which he had helped to promote) with the king in late July. He gathered that George ‘gives his strongest support to Canning’ but ‘loathes the Whigs’, who seemed to dominate the ministry, and anticipated a complete break-up if Canning’s health failed.77 After the death of Canning, ‘a victim to the worst regulated ambition’, he pressed Peel to stand firm with Wellington against feelers from the new Goderich ministry, of which he was contemptuous:

We should strain every nerve to keep together, and rather ... remain out of office to the end of our days than consent to compromise one single atom of those principles which induced us to retire. I am personally so indifferent about office that I may carry this further than others ... All my thoughts and anxieties are directed at the duke. I am aware that he will be placed in a great difficulty if the army is offered to him; but I shall be in perfect despair if he accepts.

Arbuthnot, who believed that the king hated Wellington and Peel, was ‘very much annoyed’ when Wellington did take the command, but while Harriet had a blazing row with the duke, he merely ‘let him know I did not like the way he took it’, although it would be ‘salvation for the army’. Wellington’s response was measured and ‘perfect’, but Arbuthnot confided to Peel that it was ‘more painful than I can express to have had this difference of opinion’. The rift was temporary, as Wellington kept his political distance from the feeble administration.78

Arbuthnot, whose younger brother Alexander, bishop of Killaloe, died ‘of apoplexy’ in January 1828, was ‘of the greatest use’ to Wellington as adviser and go-between in the formation of his ministry that month.79 However, he was deeply disappointed with his own share of the spoils. At the king’s personal request Wellington offered him woods and forests again. He had grown to dislike it, but would have accepted it if coupled with a seat in the cabinet, which he considered his due as one of the duke’s ‘private cabinet when we were all out together’. Wellington argued that he could not include in the cabinet any man ‘who did not speak in Parliament’ and that the office was ‘not properly a cabinet one’, although Carlisle and William Sturges Bourne*, its holder under Goderich, had both enjoyed that privilege. Arbuthnot, who complained of the promotion of men ‘all my juniors’, notably Herries, since Liverpool’s stroke, refused to take the place without the cabinet and so ‘return to office degraded in my own eyes and exposed to the sneers and remarks of everyone’. When Wellington got ‘dreadfully annoyed and complained of being abandoned in his difficulties by his only confidential friend’, he gave way; but as Harriet, who shared his distress, noted, he was ‘very much out of humour, as he thinks it ill treatment after his long service and when such rif raf are in the cabinet, and he protests he will only stay in until the end of the session and then quit the government if he is not put into a cabinet office’.80 Lord Lowther*, who had wanted the post for himself, denounced Arbuthnot as ‘a miserable creature’. An arrangement for him to come in for Lord Hertford’s borough of Aldeburgh fell through, and he was returned for St. Ives on the Hawkins interest.81 On 24 Mar. he said in the House that he had nothing to hide from the inquiry into expenditure on the royal palaces. He voted for Catholic relief, 12 May, and was glad to see the back of the Huskissonites on their resignation that month.82 In the consequent reshuffle he was moved from the ‘hated’ woods and forests to the duchy of Lancaster, a ‘very agreeable’ change, as his wife saw it, even though he remained outside the cabinet. She believed, with some justification, that in his time at woods and forests he had significantly improved Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Birdcage Walk.83 He resisted the opposition motion for inquiry into the royal palaces costs, 23 June 1828, but claimed that as first commissioner he had always been keen to open the accounts to public scrutiny.

He was painfully aware that he was losing his position at the centre of affairs, as he told Harriet, 13 July 1828:

I must settle for some course of regular study for the summer. I will strive my utmost to emerge from the background in which I am, for it does annoy me ... It would be very unkind and unfair to be angry with the duke, for ... it is my own fault. Had I exerted myself in Parliament I should not have been so left behind by others ... it does not the less mortify me ... it is very painful to me never to be consulted, and never to be mixed up in everything, as I used to be ... I fear that the effort at my age is beyond mortal power, but I will make the attempt.84

At the end of July he was told by Herries, master of the mint, that Peel, the home secretary, felt it was essential to settle the Catholic question. Wellington made him privy to his deliberations with Peel and others, and on his own initiative he hinted to Bathurst that concession was in the offing, though Althorp got quite the contrary impression from him during a visit ‘on farming pursuits’. Wellington completed his cabinet memorandum detailing his plans for a settlement of the question at Woodford, 22-25 Oct.; and a month later Arbuthnot told Wellington’s brother Lord Cowley that he ‘looked with confidence to the duke upon this subject as upon all others’, and that ‘were it not for him, the means at this moment do not exist of having a strong government’.85 Mrs. Lisle died on 26 Nov. 1828, and by her will Arbuthnot’s four children were well provided for, while his elder son inherited her estate at Winterbourne, Dorset. This Arbuthnot eventually sold, after protracted negotiations, for £22,000, which was far less than he had hoped for. He borrowed from his son in order to buy back the large portion of Woodford which he had been forced to sell and to liquidate other outstanding debts, having insured his life for £10,000 and, with Harriet’s agreement, transferred the policy bonus from her to his son. He had bought a plot on the Carlton House site on which he had a house built, and while it was under construction he occupied ‘a new home in Whitehall Place’.86

Arbuthnot, who advised Peel not to renew the finance committee and, primed by Althorp, to speak temperately about the Catholic Association, ‘scolded’ his wife for indulging Wellington’s depression at the tone of the Lords debate on the address, 8 Feb. 1829. Two weeks later he told his son that the proposal for Catholic emancipation ‘creates a great storm; but until that shall have been settled there was no chance of tranquillity for the empire, and the duke by universal consent was the only man to settle it’. Althorp and the opposition whip Lord Duncannon* sounded him as to the terms of the bill to disfranchise Irish 40s. freeholders in February, and he was party to further consultations, involving Peel, which resolved the problem in March. He was the go-between with Wellington on the Whigs’ wish to have official men who opposed emancipation sacked. He was ‘not well’ at this time, but attended to vote for the measure, 6, 30 Mar. He fancied that after it had passed the Ultras would remain alienated and the king ‘pick a quarrel’ with ministers, turn them out and ‘take the Canningites’; but his wife considered this to be nonsense.87 In the House, 28 Apr., he told Hume that the additional postage levied outside the City would be abolished. On 25 May he defended Nash against charges of fraud in connection with the Buckingham House project and the sale of Carlton House plots. Having gathered from Lady Tankerville, 8 Apr., that Grey was ‘anxious for some of his friends’, including Lord Rosslyn, to join the ministry, Arbuthnot a week later talked with Duncannon, who suggested that ‘there were many persons in the ... Lords and Commons who, if the Grey party became connected with the government, would join’. He explained to Peel that he had been

anxious to prevent Lord Grey’s party from rejoining the Whigs because it would make a most formidable opposition in case any of our old friends should continue to stand aloof, because Lord Grey and his friends behaved well to us when we went out, because (as I believe) the taking of one or two of them would be sufficient to effect our object and ... because I feel strongly that the violent and bitter Tories would be kept in better order if it were made evident that we had not to depend solely upon them.

At the end of May he rebuked Lord Londonderry for abusing Wellington for recruiting Rosslyn and James Scarlett*, of which he greatly approved.88 In mid-June, ‘plagued with boils on his shoulder’, he had ‘some political conversation’ with Althorp, who hinted that the way to secure Whig support was to give cabinet office to one of their leading Commons men and make Brougham master of the rolls. Mrs. Arbuthnot was ‘quite out of patience’ with him for ‘being humbugged by such stuff’. At the end of the month both Ellenborough and Bathurst, members of the cabinet, impressed on him the ‘necessity’ of strengthening the government ‘by a further junction with the Whigs’; but Wellington remained determined not to sanction a formal alliance with the party and was prepared only to accommodate individuals as opportunities occurred.89 In October 1829 Arbuthnot was visited by his county neighbour Sir Charles Knightley†, ‘one of the starving agriculturists’ with ‘£20,000 a year’, whose economic displeasure with the government he reported to Wellington as a symptom of the susceptibility of the ‘discontented’ to the anti-ministerial feeling being whipped up by the Ultras. A month later he told his son that while ‘when Parliament meets we shall have a powerful combination of Ultra Tories, Canningites and Whigs against us’, he expected the government to survive, despite the king’s ‘unfair’ conduct in egging on the Ultras.90

The Arbuthnots moved into their new London home on 27 Jan. 1830. Before he went to the House for the debate on the address, 4 Feb., Mrs. Arbuthnot ‘tried ... to prevail upon him to speak if anything exaggerated upon distress was said’, as he had ‘more experience and knowledge upon these subjects than all the other members of the government put together’; he remained silent.91 He was named to the select committee on the East India Company, 9 Feb. He again defended Nash, 2, 29 Mar.; gave an explanation of delays in paying the Deccan prize money, 22 Mar.; said it had been out of his power at woods and forests to authorize the opening of a public passage from Waterloo Place into St. James’s Park, 29 Mar., 3 May; spoke at uncharacteristic length against inquiry into crown lands revenues, 30 Mar., and denied that the northern roads bill was a job, 4 June. He had from the start of the session ‘urged and reurged upon the duke ... the necessity ... of meeting the expectations of the country by an entire revision of our system of taxation’; he favoured a ‘modified property tax’ to allow remission of those ‘which are felt to press upon industry’. To Peel, who agreed with him, he wrote, 16 Feb.:

I know the looks of the ... Commons. The Ultra Tories will never ... give us votes ... The Canning party will only support us when they feel they have been previously committed to our line of conduct. The Whigs are behaving most shabbily, and none so shabbily as my own friend Lord Althorp. With compliments in their mouths they will try to destroy us because they see that they are not to be taken in as a body. Our own friends have many of them committed themselves against us upon the subject of some of the taxes; and if we are obdurate I firmly believe that with three hostile parties we should have behind us nearly empty benches ... I want ... to stay in with honour or to go out without disgrace ... If I were out of office tomorrow, and if we all went together, it would be the greatest personal relief to me; but it would break my heart to see this government destroyed.92

At the end of March he irritated Wellington by trying on his own initiative to appease the duke of Gloucester, who was aggrieved at not having been given command of the Guards. He was inclined to blame the patronage secretary Joseph Planta* for the government’s ‘shameful’ defeat on the Bathurst and Dundas pensions, 5 Apr.93 Yet a week later he informed Cowley that despite Peel’s ‘terrible difficulties’ in the Commons, the ministry was ‘now considered to be quite secure’, though he complained of ‘the fatigue’ of having to ‘listen for weeks and weeks together to the dullest of speeches’ in the House, where ‘everybody is now a talker’. He wrote the report of the East India select committee, a tiresome task which made him reflect that he had been ‘out of my senses’ when he agreed to do it; but he was flattered to have it praised by Hume and Spring Rice, though he gathered that the Company directors considered it unfair, assuming the influence of Huskisson, which he denied.94 As the general election precipitated by the death of George IV loomed in July, he, his wife and Peel, whom he had primed beforehand, urgently pressed Wellington to strengthen the ministry in the Commons. His own preference was for Grey, Althorp and Brougham rather than the Huskissonites; both groups had already sounded him.95 He was obliged to go to Devon for his election for Ashburton on the Clinton interest. He dined by invitation at Windsor on the king’s birthday, 21 Aug. 1830.96

A fortnight later he told Sir Henry Hardinge* that he was willing to surrender his office in order to help facilitate a strengthening of the ministry; and a week before going to Lord Salisbury’s at Childwall, near Liverpool, to attend the opening of the railway to Manchester, he reported to Wellington and Peel renewed ‘fishing’ from the Huskissonite John Stuart Wortley* and his father Lord Wharncliffe, and the readiness of the Irish secretary Lord Francis Leveson Gower to resign his seat if required for a reconstruction of the government.97 He and Harriet were in Wellington’s carriage when the clumsy Huskisson was fatally run over by a locomotive, 15 Sept: ‘his wretched wife’s screams, and his groans will never be from my ears’, he told his son. Two days later he informed Peel that Huskisson’s death had ‘removed great difficulties’, for Salisbury and others had assured him that ‘many Tories are well disposed who would have gone at once into opposition if an overture had been made to Huskisson, but that to others of that party there ... would be no objection’. He advised Peel to be ‘prepared with some proposition’ for strengthening the government before he met the duke.98 After visiting St. Helens to view the ‘famous manufactory of plate glass’, the Arbuthnots made their way south, staying en route with Peel at Drayton, 22-25 Sept., when Arbuthnot joined in the talks with Wellington, Lord Aberdeen, the foreign secretary, Goulburn, chancellor of the exchequer, and Holmes which ended in a decision to make an offer to Lord Palmerston*. This failed, but Arbuthnot and his wife pressed the duke to try again.99 At the duke of Rutland’s at Cheveley, 17-20 Oct., Arbuthnot had a ‘curious conversation’ with Greville, who observed that Wellington ‘had nobody to tell him the truth’ about the dead wood in his cabinet:

He owned it was so, but said that he never concealed from him disagreeable truths - on the contrary, told him everything, and assured me that at any time he would tell the duke anything that I thought he ought to know ... he began to talk of Peel, lamenting that there was nothing like intimate confidence between the duke and him ... [and] his reserve ... [and] indisposition to encourage other men in the ... Commons, or to suffer the transaction of business to pass through any hands but his own.100

Arbuthnot, who on 29 Oct. sent Wellington a memorandum suggesting terms for a renewal of the East India Company’s charter, placed his office at the duke’s disposal, but Wellington ‘deprecated it most extremely’. After the failure of another approach to Palmerston, 30 Oct., Peel got Wellington to ask Arbuthnot to see if the renegade Whig John Calcraft* was willing to retire from the pay office. On 1 Nov., the day before Parliament met, the Huskissonite Littleton informed him that a commitment to ‘moderate parliamentary reform’ by Wellington would immediately win over Palmerston and the Grants and the Whigs Sir James Graham* and Smith Stanley. Arbuthnot passed this on, but the duke would not have it. On 5 Nov., reporting to Peel Littleton’s confirmation the previous evening that ‘the door was now shut against junction’, Arbuthnot commented:

If one looked solely to personal comfort, the sooner the coup de grace were given the better, but it is very galling to be defeated, and with an Ultra Liberal government in France, what a prospect for England, if we are now to have the convulsion of a change here ... The Whigs are pledged to do so much, that they could only stand by doing far more than would be safe. Were it not for this stumbling block of reform ... I should now at this last hour earnestly pray that a junction with talents in speaking could be made.101

In the House that day he presented a constituency petition for the abolition of slavery and, in response to reform petitions, said that ministers would resign if they lost the confidence of the Commons. On 8 Nov. he made more excuses for delays in the Deccan business. On 14 Nov. 1830 he advised Peel on the composition of the finance committee.102 Next day he was in the ministerial minority in the division on the opposition motion for inquiry into the civil list, which led to Wellington’s and his own resignation. He was named to the select committee.

Arbuthnot, who believed that Wellington’s declaration of 2 Nov. 1830 against all reform had ‘ruined his government’, but that an ‘additional cause’ of the collapse, ‘very important but little known’, was Peel’s stated and ‘fixed determination not to continue in office beyond ... Christmas’, was active in helping to organize the Tory opposition in the last weeks of the year. He sat on the Charles Street committee, made suggestions for managing the press and took charge of the ‘general fund’ for elections. Lord Lyndhurst, the late lord chancellor, very unfairly told Wellington’s nephew that Arbuthnot, like ‘an interested parasite ... near a weak king’, had ‘done the [Wellington] government immense harm, by constantly puffing up the duke with false notions of his power and popularity’.103 In late November he rushed to Woodford with his son, two servants and four soldiers to organize its defence against machine breakers and incendiaries, keeping in touch with the home secretary on the state of affairs and disposition of troops.104 Not sure whether drawing his pension would disqualify him from sitting in Parliament, he took legal advice and decided in the interim to stay away from the House, asking Peel in mid-December 1830 to defend Harriet’s pension if it was attacked. He concluded the resumé of his services which he sent to Peel for this purpose with the observation:

My career ... is entirely of my own making. I had no family interest to press me forward. As well as I could I have worked laboriously ... I am poorer now than when I entered public life, and I have at least the consolation of knowing that I did not grasp at favours when I might have had them and that I never betrayed the unlimited confidence which was placed in me.

He continued to fret over the possibility of his wife’s pension being taken away, the more so when in early January 1831 the Speaker ruled him ineligible to sit. He retired from Parliament on 12 Feb. 1831, noting bitterly that Lord Clinton was to return a supporter of the Grey ministry, for which he hoped Wellington would ‘turn him out’ of his bedchamber post ‘if ever he has the opportunity’. He told Harriet: ‘I am trying to reconcile myself to having ended my public career by redoubled interest in my farm, and by reading. I should have cared for nothing if I could but have kept my seat, and as I know I was well with the people of Ashburton it sadly vexes me to be forced to retire’.105

Arbuthnot, who regarded the Grey ministry’s reform bill as ‘nothing but wickedness and atrocity’ and the beginning of ruinous revolution, remained very active in the attempts of the Tory opposition to resist it. He was involved in the decision to use Planta’s Charles Street house as an official headquarters, which presaged the formation of the Carlton Club.106 He went to Dorset to work for Lord Ashley* in the by-election of autumn 1831.107 His administration of the meagre Conservative election fund landed him in ‘a very awkward predicament’ in June 1832, when it emerged that more had been paid out than received. Threatened disclosure in the courts of his unauthorized payment of £200 to the dubious journalist George McEntagart from the general fund in September 1831 worried him sick in the winter of 1833-4, but he was spared by a settlement by arbitration.108 He was ‘broken hearted’ at the collapse of the Conservatives’ failure to form a ministry in May 1832.109 On 7 May 1833 the government set up an inquiry into the office of woods and forests and allowed the radical Whittle Harvey to move on the select committee a resolution of censure on Arbuthnot, whose defence was that he had only carried out Liverpool’s orders in advancing money for building the duke of York’s house.110 His anxiety about the pensions persisted until 1834, when a motion for inquiry into the pension list, during the debate on which Harriet’s award was attacked, was defeated by eight votes (18 Feb.) and further radical bids to have the matter investigated were decisively crushed (5 May). ‘It is great satisfaction to me that it is over’, he told his son.111 That summer the Arbuthnots celebrated Wellington’s installation as chancellor of Oxford University, but a few weeks later, 2 Aug. 1834, Harriet died with awful suddenness from cholera.112 Arbuthnot, crushed and desolate, was rescued from a nervous breakdown by Wellington, with whom he lived at Apsley House, Stratfield Saye and Walmer Castle for the rest of his days, having made over Woodford to his elder son and let his Carlton Terrace house.113 As Wellington’s leash-holder, he still had a political role, seeking to ease the often strained relations between the duke and Peel, of whose lack of party management skills he was critical. He continued to correspond with Peel and undertook some electoral business in 1841. While he stayed ‘on the best of terms’ with Peel to the end, he blamed him for deceiving and destroying the Conservative party by repealing the corn laws.114 He outlived Peel by seven weeks, dying ‘without convulsion or pain’ at Apsley House after a gradual decline in August 1850. Wellington was deeply affected by this ‘great and irreparable loss’.115 By his brief will, made a fortnight after Harriet’s death, he had left all his property to his elder son, as ‘an act of justice which I owe to him’, having already provided for his three other children. His personalty was sworn under £5,000, but the entry in the estate duty register was later marked ‘insolvent’.116 Greville summed him up as a man of ‘good sense and liberality’ who, though without ‘shining parts’, occupied a place at the centre of political affairs for most of his adult life on the strength of his loyalty and discretion.117

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Ibid. 69, 72-76; Arbuthnot Corresp. p. iv; P.S.M. Arbuthnot, Mems. Arbuthnots, 226.
  • 2. Smith, 56-66; Arbuthnot Corresp. pp. x-xii; Shelley Diary, ii. 101, 103-4, 130; Life of Campbell, i. 505.
  • 3. Smith, 32-37; Arbuthnot Corresp. pp. xiv-xv.
  • 4. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 7.
  • 5. Ibid. i. 10; Lonsdale mss; Add. 38458, f. 321.
  • 6. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 18-19.
  • 7. Add. 57370, ff. 19, 27.
  • 8. The Times, 22 June, 1 July 1822.
  • 9. Hatherton diary, 19 June [1820]; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 25.
  • 10. Add. 38742, ff. 58, 77, 99, 103, 113, 117, 119, 127, 129, 135; Arbuthnot Corresp. 15, 16; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 49-53.
  • 11. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 54-56; HMC Bathurst, 489; Harewood mss HAR/GC/26, Canning to wife, 20 Dec. 1820.
  • 12. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 59-60; HMC Bathurst, 490-1.
  • 13. Rutland mss (History of Parliament Aspinall transcripts), Arbuthnot to Rutland, 16 Jan.; BL, Herries mss, same to Herries [Jan. 1821]; HLRO, Hist. Coll. 379, Grey Bennet diary, 7.
  • 14. In Arbuthnot Corresp. p. ix, Aspinall unaccountably states that he ‘never’ voted in this sense between 1814 and 1828.
  • 15. Geo. IV Letters, ii. 908.
  • 16. Rutland mss, Arbuthnot to Rutland, 7, 24 Mar. 1821; Merthyr Mawr mss L/204/5.
  • 17. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 86-89.
  • 18. Arbuthnot Corresp. 19; C. Yonge, Lord Liverpool, iii. 146; Wellington Despatches, i. 176; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 89-91, 92, 94, 96-101; Add. 38370, f. 57.
  • 19. Aberdeen Univ Lib. Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/4; Arbuthnot Corresp. 20.
  • 20. Bagot mss, Wellesley Pole to Bagot, 17 May 1821.
  • 21. Arbuthnot Corresp. 21; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 109-12; Add. 38289, f. 267; 38290, f. 229; 38370, f. 25; HMC Bathurst, 504; Hobhouse Diary, 69.
  • 22. Add. 57370, f. 29; Herries mss, Lushington to Herries, 6 Aug.; Cent. Kent. Stud. Harris mss U624 C67/120, same to Harris, 7 Aug. 1821.
  • 23. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 113-16.
  • 24. Add. 38742, ff. 266-74; Croker Pprs. i. 208; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 116-22; Arbuthnot Corresp. 23, 24; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/5.
  • 25. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 123-4; Wellington mss WP1/683/7.
  • 26. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 124-7; Hatherton diary, 20 Nov. [1821]; Add. 38743, f. 30.
  • 27. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 128-9; Wellington mss, Wellington to Mrs. Arbuthnot, 27 Nov., 1 Dec. 1821; Add. 38290. f. 119; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/6.
  • 28. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 132-4.
  • 29. Suff. RO (Ipswich), Barne mss 359/95/1-3; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 142, 146, 149, 151-2; ii. 449.
  • 30. The Times, 23 Apr. 1822.
  • 31. Ibid. 14 May, 23 July 1822; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 166; Add. 38761, ff. 24, 37; J.E. Cookson, Lord Liverpool’s Administration, 345.
  • 32. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 176-85.
  • 33. Ibid. i. 185-6; Arbuthnot Corresp. 27-29; Add. 38290, f. 233; 38575, f. 32; Devon RO, Sidmouth mss, Arbuthnot to Sidmouth, 3 Sept. 1822; Hobhouse Diary, 95; HMC Bathurst, 532.
  • 34. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 191-3; Wellington mss, Wellington to Mrs. Arbuthnot, 14, 16 Sept. 1822.
  • 35. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 196.
  • 36. Add. 38743, f. 263.
  • 37. Arbuthnot Corresp. 32; Add. 38291, ff. 209, 233, 236, 237, 241, 264, 272; 38743, ff. 266, 289; Wellington mss, Wellington to Mrs. Arbuthnot, 26, 29 Dec. 1822.
  • 38. Add. 40304, f. 100.
  • 39. Arbuthnot Corresp. 34; Add. 38291, f. 307; 38744, f. 14; HMC Bathurst, 537; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 200-1.
  • 40. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 201; Add. 38744, ff. 21, 28; Arbuthnot Corresp. 35, 37.
  • 41. Arbuthnot Corresp. 36, 38, 40; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 204; Add. 38575, f. 86; 38744, ff. 35, 47; Huskisson Pprs. 158-60.
  • 42. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 202, 204-5; Arbuthnot Corresp. 41-43; Add. 38291, f. 366; 38292, ff. 1, 156, 160; 38744, f. 55; Wellington mss, Wellington to Mrs. Arbuthnot, 16 Jan. 1823; Smith, 83-84.
  • 43. Arbuthnot Corresp. 193; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 226.
  • 44. The Times, 20 Mar., 10 June 1823.
  • 45. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 220, 223, 228, 235-7.
  • 46. Ibid. i. 247-55; Wellington mss, Wellington to Mrs. Arbuthnot, 20 Aug. 1823.
  • 47. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 255-6; HMC Bathurst, 542-3; Wellington mss, Wellington to Mrs. Arbuthnot, 5 Sept. 1823.
  • 48. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 261-4; Arbuthnot Corresp. 44-46; Wellington mss, Wellington to Mrs. Arbuthnot, 12, 13 Oct. 1823.
  • 49. Arbuthnot Corresp. 47-51; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 267-71.
  • 50. Arbuthnot Corresp. 52; Herries mss, memo. [3 Dec. 1823]; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 276-7; ii. 447-8; Geo. IV Letters, iii. 1116, 1117, 1119, 1120.
  • 51. HMC Bathurst, 552-5, 557-8; Huskisson Pprs. 169-74; Add. 38745, ff. 141, 143, 160; Arbuthnot Corresp. 58; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 277-8.
  • 52. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 279-80.
  • 53. Ibid. i. 284-5, 294-5, 308-9; HMC Bathurst, 565; Smith, 87-90.
  • 54. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 300-1, 324.
  • 55. HMC Bathurst, 571; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 328-9; Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV, ii. 105, 109.
  • 56. Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/7; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 331-5; Add. 38746, f. 26.
  • 57. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 338-40, 342, 353.
  • 58. Ibid. i. 375-8; Wellington Despatches, ii. 345-7; Parker, Peel, i. 350-1.
  • 59. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 364, 366-7, 369-70; Arbuthnot Corresp. 63.
  • 60. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 373.
  • 61. The Times, 30 Mar. 1825.
  • 62. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 382-3, 386, 387-8.
  • 63. Ibid. i. 389-90; Arbuthot Corresp. 67.
  • 64. Arbuthnot Corresp. 67-69; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 392-401; HMC Bathurst, 582.
  • 65. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 404-5; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Morpeth, 5 July 1825.
  • 66. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 409-14; Arbuthnot Corresp. 7; Add. 40381, f. 267.
  • 67. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 417-19; Arbuthnot Corresp. 71, 72.
  • 68. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 426-33.
  • 69. Ibid. ii. 3, 13, 17-18.
  • 70. Geo. IV Letters, iii. 1233; The Times, 2, 13 May 1826.
  • 71. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 27, 29, 31.
  • 72. Add. 40340, f. 89; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 32-33, 41-43, 45-46.
  • 73. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 65-67, 69; Arbuthnot Corresp. 79; Geo. IV Letters, iii. 1274.
  • 74. Add. 40340, ff. 116, 120, 124, 128, 129; HMC Bathurst, 619-21, 625-9; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 71-72, 74-75, 77-78.
  • 75. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 81-107; Geo. IV Letters, iii. 1291, 1304; HMC Bathurst, 631; Add. 40340, ff. 131, 135; Canning’s Ministry, 74; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Denison diary, 12 Apr. [1827].
  • 76. Add. 40340, f. 140; A. Aspinall, Politics and the Press, 326-7; Canning’s Ministry, 177, 178, 192, 229, 231; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 112-13.
  • 77. Canning’s Ministry, 340, 363, 367; Parker, i. 491-2; HMC Bathurst, 637-41; Geo. IV Letters, iii. 1370; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/9; Add. 57370, ff. 40, 43, 45, 47, 48; Arbuthnot Corresp. 83; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 131-3.
  • 78. Add. 40340, ff. 165-98; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/11; Arbuthnot Corresp. 86-91; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 137-43.
  • 79. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 157-60; Arbuthnot Corresp. 97-105; Add. 38754, f. 105; 40340, f. 205; HMC Bathurst, 652-3; Ellenborough Diary, i. 21; Wellington mss WP1/915/17; Arbuthnot mss, Hardinge to Mrs. Arbuthnot, 24 Jan. 1828.
  • 80. Parker, ii. 30; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 160-1; Wellington mss WP1/914/14; 915/41.
  • 81. Buckingham, ii. 363; Durham CRO, Londonderry mss D/Lo/C (15); Lonsdale mss, Lowther to Lonsdale, 19, 24, 26 Jan. [Feb.], replies, 23, 25 Jan., 1 Feb. 1828.
  • 82. Ellenborough Diary, i. 73, 103.
  • 83. Wellington mss WP1/980/30; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 191; Smith, 96-98.
  • 84. Arbuthnot Corresp. 107.
  • 85. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 200-2, 206-7, 213-14, 216-17. 221-4; HMC Bathurst, 655-6; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle [c. Oct. 1828]; Arbuthnot Corresp. 108-111.
  • 86. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 224, 233; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/13-16; Smith, 39-40.
  • 87. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 238, 242, 250, 255; Arbuthnot Corresp. 118; Add. 40340, f. 212; Shelley Diary, ii. 192; Add. 76369, Althorp to Brougham, 10 Mar. 1829.
  • 88. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 267, 278; Add. 40340, f. 213; Ellenborough Diary, ii. 59.
  • 89. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 285-6, 293.
  • 90. Ibid. ii. 310-11; Wellington mss WP1/1051/13; Arbuthnot Corresp. 128.
  • 91. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 327, 331; Shelley Diary, ii. 197.
  • 92. Add. 40340, ff. 218, 220; Arbuthnot Corresp. 131.
  • 93. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 347-8; Add. 40340, f. 221.
  • 94. Derby mss 920 Der (14), 116/5, Arbuthnot to Smith Stanley, 2, 19, 28 June 1830; Add. 38758, f. 190.
  • 95. Arbuthnot Corresp. 134; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 372-3; Broughton, Recollections, iv. 37; Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 19 July [1830]; Add. 40340, ff. 223, 226, 228.
  • 96. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 376, 382.
  • 97. Add. 40340, ff. 230-4; Ellenborough Diary, ii. 360.
  • 98. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 385-6; Arbuthnot Corresp. 137; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/17, 18; Add. 40340, f. 236.
  • 99. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 388-9; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/21.
  • 100. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 391; Greville Mems. i. 363-5.
  • 101. Wellington mss WP1/1147/17; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 395, 398; Hatherton mss, Littleton to R. Wellesley, 20 Dec. 1830; Add. 40340, f. 240; Parker, ii. 163-6, 167.
  • 102. Add. 40340. f. 246.
  • 103. Three Diaries, pp. xiv, xlvii, lix, 23-24, 27, 35; Parker, ii. 171-2; Add. 40340, f. 250; 57370, ff. 59, 62, 66; Hatherton mss Littleton to Wellesley, 5 Dec. 1830
  • 104. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 406; Add. 51835, Arbuthnot to Holland, 5 Dec. 1830; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/22-25; 3029/3/2/2.
  • 105. Add. 40340, ff. 252, 254; 57370, ff. 57, 59, 62, 69; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 412; Arbuthnot mss 3029/1/2/27; 3029/2/1/25; Arbuthnot Corresp. 142.
  • 106. Three Diaries, 56-57, 71-72, 93; Add. 40340, f. 256.
  • 107. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 428.
  • 108. Three Diaries, pp. xlviii-lii, lxii, lxiv; Add. 57370, f. 87.
  • 109. Arbuthnot Corresp. 165; Three Diaries, 268-9.
  • 110. Smith, 144-5; Arbuthnot Corresp. 181.
  • 111. Smith, 145; Arbuthnot Corresp. 192-4, 197, 198, 201.
  • 112. Smith, 152; Greville Mems. iii. 66-67; Raikes Jnl. i. 271; Creevey Pprs. ii. 286.
  • 113. Arbuthnot Corresp. pp. vxi-xvii; Smith, 152.
  • 114. Smith, 155-8; Wellington Pol. Corresp. ii. 1138; Arbuthnot Corresp. 207, 211, 215, 220, 224, 226, 228, 230, 236, 238, 239, 244; Add. 40340, 40341, 40484.
  • 115. A Great Man’s Friendships ed. Lady Burghclere, 65, 68, 70, 73-74; Greville Mems. vi. 254.
  • 116. PROB 11/2123/868; IR26/1860/889.
  • 117. Greville Mems. vi. 254-5.