Letter – Charles Grey to Robert Wilson – 15 Jan 1824

Document Type: Letter
Date: 15 Jan 1824
Correspondent: Charles Grey
Recipient: Robert Wilson
Archive Source: DUL GRE B D
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      Gov. House/ Devonport. Jan 19 1824

My Dear Wilson

	I received your letter this morning and return the enclosed copy of your letter to Lambton. I had already given him exactly the same opinion on both points, & it is extremely gratifying to me to find that we so completely agree. I have only in addition expressed my regret that we should have suffered <myself> to be drawn into a personal altercation with such a fellow.

      I have an affair of the same kind on my hands with that villain & Madman Beaumont for he is both. I thought I should have heard no more of him after his sending me, previously to his going abroad, a written apology for the most outrageous and unjustifiable conduct of which one Man was ever guilty to another. That I have received this morning a letter from him, which again shows a determination to bring matters to a hostile <issue>, & have sent my answer to Sr. W. Gordon into whose hand I had before put myself. The story is too long to tell, but Gordon is in possession of the whole correspondence, & of everything there has passed, & I have directed him to make you acquainted with it. I certainly feel that he has no claim to be treated as a gentleman, but as his family think proper to deny his insanity, and he is still received in Society, I don't like to take that ground. I have, however, left it entirely to Gordon to act for me as he thinks best, and if he consults you I am sure you will <relate> your regard for my <integrity>, to outweigh that of my honour. The thing I am most anxious to prevent is any alarm to Lady Grey.

      I feel with you fully confident that Lambton's affair will have no further consequence, the good one may follow from it if it teaches him to exert a little more command over himself on similar occasions. I see the correspondence has appeared in the Papers, so I suppose Capt Cochrane & Sir H.Williamson must have considered Mr. Pemberton’s refusal of the <satisfaction> which we had demanded as final. I have not yet heard from Lambton since the day before yesterday, when I received the first communication of this unpleasant affair, & I shall be very curious to hear what occurred to occasion the Publication.

      I think Lady Grey rather better. She desires to be most <readily> remembered to you

      <ever> yours/ Grey
GRE/B60/4/136. Sir Robert Wilson (1777-1849) was MP for Southwark between 1818-31 and a friend of Grey. He was described by Grey as ‘one of the ablest men in Europe’, an opinion not widely shared. Grey spent the winter at Devonport between 1823-6 for the sake of his wife’s health. ‘Radical Jack’ Lambton of County Durham was Grey’s son-in-law. The background to the Lambton affair referred to in this letter was as follows ‘On 7 Jan. 1824 Lambton, who had been ‘bilious and nervous’ lately, got into a furious row with one Thomas Pemberton, a ‘blackguard’ under prosecution for excise fraud, at a meeting of the River Wear commissioners. His friends talked him out of the folly of fighting a duel with such a reprobate.’ D.R.Fisher, ‘LAMBTON, John George (1792-1840)’, in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009

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