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Torquay Oct 5th 1823 My Dear Lambton I do not make out from your letter or Sir John’s whether it was before or after his appearance at Capheaton that Beaumont wrote to William. I rather conjecture that it must have been before & in that case it is possible he may have slipped Mr Bird & his Brother, who were in pursuit of him, & proceeded in his journey to London. Mrs Beaumont had been at Capheaton but I do not know what passed in the interview but that she wished to have a copy of his letter to me which Sir John refused. What the object of this request could be I cannot imagine, as from Howick’s letter, who wrote this account to me, I understand that Mrs B. acknowledged either that she already had a copy, or had seen one, what has passed has now been communicated to so many people that I suppose that it must by this time be pretty generally known. The immediate object of Howick’s letter to me was to tell me that Sir d. Smith (the Duke’s agent!!!) had written to him to express an anxious wish that in the event of Beaumont’s seat turning vacant he should offer himself to gain for the County. To this Howick answered that the same prudential reasons which had induced him to withdraw must still continue to influence him; but I do not think his refusal was so decided as to preclude a hope that if pressed by his friends & convinced of the necessity of his coming forward to prevent a contest or the more probable danger of the representation being thrown entirely into the hands of the Tories, he might be induced to recall it. It is clear from this that the Duke is already looking to the enforced vacancy & I think the offer to <stand> which must be considered as coming from him, tho’ I do not think the manner of making it very judicious, a very handsome one. It probably has been dictated in a great measure by kind feeling towards Howick himself, & by a desire of avoiding any contest. But if Howick should positively & finally decline probably the same feelings would not influence the Duke with <respect> to any other person, & he would no doubt be pressed by his own Duty to bring forward a Candidate of their <…….>. Under these circumstances I have written to Howick expressing my firm opinion that he should stand & I hope the rest of our friends will see the advantage of his doing so, as strongly as I do. With respect to Henry, tho’ I am very active to get him into Parliament. I should prefer very much any other seat, & in addition to the danger of an opposition his standing would be likely to provoke & the nature of which I could not encourage I do not think he would be a good candidate, being so young & so little known in the County. However, things may change materially before the general election (& I do not know any means by which Beaumont’s seat can be vacated sooner) & then if it is thought by our kind no better candidate be found & I have not been able in the meantime to find a more certain & quiet post for him, I shall have no objection to his coming forward always under the understanding that he must withdraw if threatened with the expense of a contest. Pray tell Brougham this, as I understand he is to be at Lambton Races, & I had mentioned to him that there was a chance of the County being opened to Henry. We are all as usual. The dullness of our life is not to be described, & I look with melancholy to the prospect before us for the next six months. By Louisa’s account our weather here must be much milder than it has been with you but I doubt whether any difference of climate can make up for so much discomfort, & I am persuaded if she could only have thought so, that Lady G wd have been better at Howick. Yours Affect Grey.