I can now tell you, with great pleasure, that your cousin(134) is certainly named lord-lieutenant. I wish you joy. You will be sorry too to hear that your Lord North is much talked of for succeeding him at the board of’ trade. I tell you this with great composure, though today has been a day of amazement. All the world is staring, whispering, and questioning. Lord Holderness has resigned the seals,(135) and they are given to Lord Bute. Which of the two secretaries of state is first minister? the latter or Mr. Pitt? Lord Holderness received the command but yesterday, at two o’clock, till that moment thinking himself extremely well at court; but it seems the King said he was tired of having two secretaries, of which one would do nothing, and t’other could do nothing; he would have a secretary who both could act and would. Pitt had as short a notice of this resolution as the sufferer, and was little better pleased. He is something softened for the present by the offer of cofferer for Jemmy Grenville, which is to be ceded by the Duke of Leeds, who returns to his old post of justice in eyre, from whence Lord Sandys is to be removed, some say to the head of the board of trade. Newcastle, who enjoys this fall of Holderness’s, who had deserted him for Pitt, laments over the former, but seems to have made his terms with the new favourite: if the Bedfords have done so too, will it surprise you? It will me, if Pitt submits to this humiliation; if he does not, I take for granted the Duke of Bedford will have the other seals. The temper with which the new reign has hitherto proceeded, seems a little impeached by this sudden act, and the Earl now stands in the direct light of a minister-, if the House of Commons should cavil at him. Lord Delawar kissed hands to-day for his earldom; the other new peers are to follow on Monday.
There are horrid disturbances about the militia(136) in Northumberland, where the mob have killed an officer and three of the Yorkshire militia, who, in return, fired and shot twenty-one.
Adieu! I shall be impatient to hear some consequences of my first paragraph.
P. S. Saturday.—I forgot to tell you that Lord Hardwicke has written some verses to Lord Lyttelton, upon those the latter made on Lady Egremont.(137) If I had been told that he had put on a bag, and was gone off with Kitty Fisher,(138) I should not have been more astonished.
Poor Lady Gower(139) is dead this morning of a fever in her lying-in. I believe the Bedfords arc very sorry; for there is a new opera(140) this evening.
(134) The Earl of Halifax.
(135) Lord Barrington, in a letter to Mr. Mitchell, of the 23d says, “Our friend Holderness is finally in harbour; he has four thousand a-year for life, with the reversionship of the Cinque-ports, after the Duke of Dorset; which he likes better than having the name of pensioner. I never could myself understand the difference between a pension and a synecure place."-E.