Commentary Explorer Results
Commentary for Volume 2, Chapter 12: Latin America and the Catholic Question
Wellington and the Continental Powers, 1824 – 1825:
Wellington was very unhappy with the growing distance between Britain and the Continental Powers. He was highly critical of Canning’s conduct in exacerbating it, and disliked the strident liberalism of the British press. But he also felt that the Continental Powers deserved some of the blame, and reproached Metternich for his conduct at Verona and for employing absolutist arguments which he knew no British government could accept.
In February 1824 he replied to a letter from Metternich at length, agreeing with him in deploring Britain’s isolation, while adding that the world probably suffered as much or even more. He then discussed the disagreements at Troppau and Verona adding,
Observe that I don’t pretend that upon either occasion the Allies were bound to abandon their object to please the councils of this country; but I contended then as I do now, that as it was an object to the Allies upon both occasions to carry this government with them as far as it could go, it would have been wise to conduct these transactions in such a manner as that at least it might not be apparent to the world that we were separated from the Allies; and that the well-meaning people of this country might not have been accustomed to consider that separation as a benefit, not an evil.
Along with these transactions has been carried on a system of calumny respecting the conduct and objects of this country which would have astonished me if I had not lived in the days of the French Revolution … .
‘Thus you will see that it is neither les choses themselves nor les hommes who have transacted them, that have occasioned the mischief; but the mode in which the transactions which have taken place have been carried on, and the pains taken by some to disgust us with the Alliance, and the little pains taken by others to conciliate us towards it …’ (Wellington to Metternich, London, 24 February 1824 WND vol 2 p 221-6).
In a covering note to Henry Wellesley, Wellington added:
We are certainly not upon the most confidential terms with the Allies. But I really think that they should know that even their best friends think that they treat us very ill, and that they can do nothing with us as long as this continues.
I confess that I don’t think the matter will be much improved by an alteration of this conduct; as we are radically defective in our diplomatic headquarters here. But at least the Allies will not be in the wrong; and I shall not have their wrong brought forward in every discussion’. (Wellington to Sir Henry Wellesley, London, 24 February 1824 WND vol 2 p 221).
In May Wellington wrote again warning Metternich that,
There is a growing disinclination in this country to connect in concerns with those of the Alliance to a greater extent than is rendered necessary by the exact terms of our treaties. This sentiment prevails among moderate well-judging men to as great a degree as among political adventurers and fanatics; and you may conceive the degree to which this known disinclination is taken advantage of by the latter in all public discussions. The Allies ought to be aware of these facts, and ought to shape their measures in such a manner as to carry this country with them, which is at least as necessary for their interest and welfare as it is for ours’. (Wellington to Metternich, London, 4 May 1824 WND vol 2 p 260-1).
In December 1824 Wellington told Metternich that he had fought Napoleon for five years for the independence of Spain, and the independence of that country is as important as it ever was. Wellington does not dispute the necessity of the occupation by French troops, nor does he wish it to end a moment too soon for the peace of the country. But affairs of this kind affect the opinions and situations of others, and especially neighbouring countries. (Wellington to Metternich 27 December 1824: WND vol 2 p 380-1 in French, translation from WP 1/808/20 which is not presented as word for word but as a summary).
Wellington was no more an ultra than he was a liberal, although his battles with Canning highlighted his resistance to Britain’s drift towards liberalism.
According to Mrs Arbuthnot ‘The Duke says Metternich always writes ill & tho’ he thinks him certainly a sharp, clever man, he considers him greatly over-rated’. (Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot 20 February 1824 vol 1 p 288). And ‘The Duke told me that Pozzo was the greatest rogue in Europe, that he was bribed by everybody & that, not having a shilling in 1814, he has now £500,000’. (ibid 28 February 1824 vol 1 p 290).
Wellington’s Health, 1824:
The newspapers have, as usual, misrepresented not only my case, of which naturally enough the editor could have known nothing, but the state of my health. The truth is that I met with an accident in the treatment of a derangement in the ear about two years ago, by which the nerves of my head were affected and injured. My stomach became consequently deranged, and although but little remains of the affection of the head, and all the unpleasant symptoms have disappeared, my health is not yet entirely re-established. I don’t feel any inconvenience from the remains of this accident excepting that I don’t sleep at night quite so well as I could wish, and I must add that the act of awaking is always attended by some feeling like a quickened circulation in the head, and a corresponding feel in the stomach. There is nothing like a spasm in the case nor ever has been; and I really believe that time alone and attention to my diet will do me any good’. (Wellington to T. Muloch Esq., StratfieldSaye, 1 October 1825, WND vol 2 p 312-13).
The Times 26 April 1824 reported that: ‘The health of the Duke of Wellington has derived every possible advantage from his use of the Cheltenham waters. His Grace drinks them regularly every morning and rides out every day. He attended a ball last Monday, and was to be present at another on Friday night, given in honour of his Majesty’s birthday. His Grace had not any of his suite, but Lord Apsley is with him’.
Early in June 1824 he reassured Lady Shelley ‘I am in better health than I have been in some time’, but when Creevey ran into him at Ascot a fortnight later he was shocked: ‘I never behold such a spectre as he is become’. (Wellington to Lady Shelley 4 June 1824 Diary of Lady Shelley vol 2 p 120; Creevey to Miss Ord 18 June 1824 Creevey Life and Times p 197).
Longford’s diagnosis of ‘mild cholera’ seems unlikely (Longford Wellington. Pillar of State p 108).
Description of Wellington in 1824:
Wellington’s poor health probably explains the unflattering impression he made upon an American visitor to England, Samuel Griswold Goodrich (the immensely successful writer ‘Peter Parley’), in June 1824:
I think the portraits give a false idea of his personal appearance. He was really a rather small, thin, insignificant looking man, unless you saw him on horseback. His profile was indeed fine, on account of his high Roman nose, but his front face was meager, and the expression cold, almost mean. His legs were too short, a defect which disappeared when he was in the saddle. He then seemed rather stately, and in a military dress, riding always with inimitable ease, he sustained the image of a great general. At other times, I never could discover in his appearance any thing but the features and aspect of an ordinary, and certainly not prepossessing, old man. I say this with great respect for his character, which, as a personification of solid sense, indomitable purpose, steady loyalty, and unflinching devotion to a sense of public duty, I conceive to be one of the finest in British history’ (S. G. Goodrich Recollections of a Lifetime vol 2 p 224-5).
Foreign Affairs: death of Louis XVIII and Canning’s aborted trip to Paris:
Louis XVIII died on 16 September 1824 and was succeeded by Charles X with scarcely a ripple or a murmur – as Mrs Arbuthnot noted (Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot 24 September 1824 vol 1 p 338). This led to a further dispute between Wellington and Canning when the Foreign Secretary proposed to visit Paris to congratulate the new sovereign and Wellington advised against the trip. The dispute became embittered with accusations of duplicity and underhand tactics on both sides. See Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot vol 1 p 341-351 which prints many letters from WND.
Liverpool in the end came out very strongly against the trip unless Metternich was also visiting Paris at the same time, in which case the chance that it would accomplish something substantial would outweigh the disadvantages, which he saw as provoking suspicion and concern among the allies and unpopularity at home. His comments on the last point are interesting:
I am persuaded likewise that the measure of your going would be very unpopular at home. The current of public opinion runs strongly, much too strongly, I think, in favour of our keeping ourselves as separate as possible from the continental powers. You may say that this objection would apply to your going to meet Metternich. I admit it; but in this case there would be real advantages to off set against the popular feeling. (Liverpool to Canning, Walmer Castle, 18 October 1824 WND vol 2 p 325-6).
This suggests both that Liverpool was more independent in his views than Wellington and others sometimes claimed, and that he had reservations about how far Britain had drifted from the other powers.
Idea of sending Hanoverian troops to Portugal:
The Hanoverian government was willing (if not enthusiastic) to provide the troops, but wanted Britain to pay the cost – see Münster to George IV 16 July 1824 WP 1/796/14/4 and Münster to Wellington 29 July 1821 WP 1/796/19.
The decision to send troops to Portugal and its reversal:
Two cabinet minutes, of 2 and 15 July in Letters of King George IV p 80-81, 81-84 set out the thinking behind both decisions, especially that to cancel it.
Reasons for Canning’s opposition:
On 19 July 1824 Canning wrote to Wellington: ‘I verily believe that if we had sent troops, we should have repented doing so very soon; and should have found that the principal use of them was to keep the present ministry, with all its faults, and all its tyrannical dispositions, in power’. (WP 1/796/13 quote provided in e-mail from Christopher Woolgar 12 February 2009).
This is puzzling: why would Canning, who had lavished such scorn on the Portuguese liberals and such praise on Palmella only a year before (see main text p 203 and Bagot George Canning and His Friends vol 2 p 183), now condemn the Portuguese government for its ‘tyrannical dispositions’, and not want to preserve it in power, when it was threatened by the ultras? Or did he specifically mean the primacy of Subserra and influence of de Neuville? But surely the presence of British forces would have eclipsed them? All that is clear is that it he was distinctly unfriendly to the Portuguese government, and that this contributed to, if it was not the primary reason, for his reluctance to send troops to Lisbon.
Wellington’s motives in opposing the recognition of Colombia:
A couple of references in a letter from Charles Arbuthnot and in his wife’s journal suggest another, less respectable, ground for opposition. The first claims that Wellington thought that it was ‘against British interests to recognize any one of the states which had not a white government’, which the second has the Duke objecting to ‘a measure which was to force the King of England to receive at his Court a black rascal.’ (Arbuthnot to Bathurst, ‘Private and Confidential’, 11 July 1824, HMC Bathurst p 571; Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot 19 July 1824 vol 1 p 329). These remarks offend modern sensibilities and are most out of character: such crude denigration was unlike Wellington. They are also puzzling, for the new governments of Latin America were at least as race-conscious and dominated by whites as those of Europe. The explanation seems to be that they applied not to Latin America as a whole but specifically to Colombia, and in a context where race was far from irrelevant. Wellington believed, it is not clear why, that the government of Colombia was ‘composed principally of people of colour’. He also believed, this time correctly, that Colombia and Mexico were planning to attack Cuba, and that part of their plan would be to incite a revolt by the 150,000 slaves who made up one third of the population of the island. The Colombians wished to establish a revolutionary government ‘of people of colour’ in Cuba; and while the Mexicans would prefer a government of white Creoles, they did not care much what happened so long as the Spaniards were driven out. And a revolutionary government in Cuba, especially one composed of ‘people of colour’, posed an obvious and immediate threat to Britain’s possessions in the West Indies which were still unsettled after a serious slave revolt in Demerara in 1823. In the event pressure from the United States and, probably, Britain, persuaded the Colombians and Mexicans to drop the plan, and with its demise race ceases to be an issue in Wellington’s opposition to recognition. It had never been central to his concerns, although the connection with slavery does explain why both Britain and the United States were so sensitive about the future of Cuba and were pleased to see it remain in Spanish hands. (Wellington to Canning, 14 November 1824, WND vol 2 p 340-1. For background concerning the threat to Cuba see Temperley Foreign Policy of Canning p 172-177 and Parliamentary Debates n.s. vol 24 24 May 1830 col 1017-1025. I have deliberately used Wellington’s own term ‘people of colour’ to avoid imposing an interpretation of its exact meaning which is not supported by the evidence).
This is not to suggest that Wellington was free of the common prejudices of his age on the subject of race. The subject rarely appears in his correspondence, but see Wellington to the Earl of Carnarvon, 9 January 1826 WND vol 3 p 58-9 where he objects to appointing ‘Mr ____’ to the bench of magistrates because he ‘was born in the East Indies of a native woman, and is, in fact, a half-caste man, and has the appearance of one’.
A far better ground for opposing recognition was that fighting continued in many parts of South America, while even Buenos Ayres, which had the best pretensions to having clearly established its independence, was far from stable. If the struggle was not over, surely the principles of neutrality and non-intervention required that Britain wait? Buried beneath all these arguments lay the fact that Wellington regarded the push to recognize the Latin American republics as another blow in Canning’s attempt to break up the Quintuple Alliance and set Britain at odds with the great European Powers. (Abbot Diary 2 December 1824 vol 3 p 352-3; Arbuthnot to Bathurst, ‘Private and Confidential’, 11 July 1824, HMC Bathurst p 571).
The Government of Colombia:
The origin of Wellington’s idea that the government of Colombia was dominated by ‘people of colour’ is obscure, but it seems clear that South American liberals were at least as racist as British conservatives. Bolivar wrote in 1825: ‘my sister, who is quite capable, writes me that Caracas is uninhabitable because of the excesses and threats of dominance by the people of colour’. And he feared that Venezuela would become a pardocracia (mulatto republic). However other sources say that Bolivar was personally free of such prejudice, while confirming that the upper classes were generally very conscious of their blood and descent. There is the story of Manuel Carlos Pier, the son of a mulatto woman who rose to be a leading general and even a rival of Bolivar, but was then driven to rebellion and executed – one of the judges was ‘an unmixed Negro, Colonel Judas T. Pinango’. (Marcus Garvey website www.Marcusgarvey.com accessed 12 February 2009). The last point suggests that some ‘people of colour’, in Wellington’s phrase, did hold high office (i.e. that Pier was not an isolated exception), but that Wellington’s belief that they dominated the government was nonetheless greatly exaggerated.
Wellington and the King, July 1824:
It is clear that Wellington had privately briefed the King on the discussion in cabinet over the commercial treaty with Buenos Ayres, and that this helped convince the King to consent. On 23 July HM wrote to Wellington: ‘You have acted in this, as indeed you do in everything, perfect’. And ‘You may rely on my silence; I shall watch my opportunities and never say one word of my feelings or intentions respecting you. You are my friend, and the only person I completely rely upon in the cabinet’. (George IV to Wellington 23 July 1824 WP 1/796/15; Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot 25 July 1824 vol 1 p 329-30 explains how the King sent to Wellington for advice and Wellington’s response).
Sidmouth resigned from Cabinet in late November 1824 citing the difficulty of attending meetings when he lived in the country. (Sidmouth to Liverpool 26 November 1824 Letters of George IV p 95-6). According to Hobhouse (Diary p 111-12) he was influenced by the fear that the government might fall apart on the Spanish American or some other question, and that he might be asked to take a more active part in a conservative rump government, and shrank from the prospect (he was 77).
According to Colchester Liverpool did not even inform the Cabinet of Sidmouth’s retirement and Bathurst was taken aback by the news (Abbot Diary vol 3 p 653 6 December 1824).
The Recognition of Colombia and Mexico in December 1824:
See also Canning’s memorandum to the cabinet of 30 November 1824 making the case for recognition at great length. Its last paragraph reads:
Let us remember, then, that peace, however desirable, and however cherished by us, cannot last for ever. Sooner or later we shall probably have to contend with the combined maritime power of France and of the United States. The disposition of the New States is at present highly favourable to England. If we take advantage of that disposition, we may establish through our influence with them a fair counterpoise to that combined maritime power. Let us not, then, throw the present golden opportunity away, which, once lost, may never be recovered. (WND vol 2 p 354-8).
So Canning saw strategic as well as commercial potential in Spanish America and believed that early recognition would somehow bind them permanently to Britain rather than the USA (but how?).
The King and the Recognition of Mexico and Colombia in December 1824:
There is a puzzle here. Liverpool saw the King on 16 December and immediately wrote to Wellington that the King wanted to see him before deciding. No mention is made of the King wanting to see any other ministers. (Liverpool to Wellington 16 December 1824 WND vol 2 p 368). Mrs Arbuthnot agrees with this: Liverpool saw the King, who then saw Wellington, who advised HM to yield but keep watch on Canning (Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot 18 December 1824 vol 1 p 367-8). The King’s stiff letter to Liverpool is dated 17 December (WND vol 2 p 368-9). So far, so good. But Aspinall quotes a letter from Canning to Mrs Canning, dated 19 December, giving a circumstantial account of how the King saw the ministers individually, specifically mentioning Bathurst, Westmorland, Peel and Robinson and including the interesting detail that Bathurst was ‘for Mexico, but against Colombia’ (quoted by Aspinall in ‘The Cabinet Council’ p 220-1). This must be accepted despite the oddness of it not being mentioned in WND or by Mrs Arbuthnot.
Wellington evidently helped to draft the King’s reply: see George IV to Wellington 17 December 1824 WP 1/807/15 and rough draft in WP 1/807/16.
See also Arbuthnot to Liverpool 29 December 1824 (Correspondence of Charles Arbuthnot p 70-2) reporting Wellington’s recent visit to Windsor.
The King’s attempt to revive the South American Question in early 1825:
This caused furious rows in cabinet, with Liverpool implying that foreign ambassadors (i.e. the ‘Cottage coterie’) were behind it, and Wellington was placed in a difficult position from which he extracted himself with some skill. See Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot vol 1 p 372-5. The wider significance of the incident may be that it marks a step in the King’s move towards Canning (on the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ principle – see ibid p 373. See also WND vol 2 p 401-404 and Letters of King George IV vol 3 p 98-100.) This was the occasion which Canning’s admirers present as an attempt by the ‘Cottage coterie’ to force him from office, which he defeated by threatening to go down to the Commons and expose their intrigue to the public. But this is evidently a distinctly distorted view – as if the King or Wellington or anyone else was in any position to force Canning out of office without bringing down the government.
Wellington on Canning and South America in 1828:
In April 1828 the diplomat George William Chad made notes of a conversation with Wellington in which the Duke reflected on Canning and the question of Latin America:
It is surprising what a deal of mischief that man (Canning) did in a short time – he was brilliant and clever, but he had no common sense, & the little he had seemed all to have deserted him latterly …. these South American States. See what a condition they are in. At Mexico the Vice President has headed a Rebellion, & is to be tried for high Treason – At Buenos Ayres, one of the Ministers speculates in Privateers; arms, & fits them out at his own adventure, & won’t let the War end, because Peace would knock up his Piracy. In Columbia there is the Grand Convention wanting to throw over Bolivar, but Bolivar won’t be thrown over without a fight, & if they succeed against him there is an end of Columbia. … Then all these Powers are nests of Pirates – we are obliged to have Convoys for all our Vessels, & to keep up a high establishment of Troops in the West Indies, because they tamper with the Negroes, &this is what Canning called calling a New World into Existence! (Chad The Conversations of the Duke of Wellington with George William Chad p 11-12).
The connection between Bolivar and O’Connell:
Peel to Liverpool ‘Private and Confidential’ Whitehall 30 December 1824 printed in Parker Peel vol 1 p 356-7 ‘The King says see sees much inconsistency in prosecuting O’Connell, and afterwards recognizing Bolivar. The Duke of Wellington wrote from Windsor that the King would make a communication to me on the subject. His (the King’s) view was that you cannot do both. Prosecute O’Connell, and do not treat with Colombia. However, the King has not written to me, and I am glad of it’. (See Wellington to Peel 26 December 1824 WND vol 2 p 377 – a good account of the King’s point and 30 December ibid p 384-6 for Wellington’s agreement).
There are several versions of O’Connell’s remark: MacDonagh Hereditary Bondsman p 215 ‘if the people of Ireland “were driven mad by persecution, he wished that a new Bolivar may be found”.’ Peel to Wellington 29 December 1824 WND vol 2 p 383-4 quotes another version on Goulburn’s authority: ‘“If Parliament will not attend to the Roman Catholic claims, I hope that some Bolivar will arise to vindicate their rights”.’
The Prosecution of O’Connell:
O’Connell was apparently prosecuted for ‘using seditious language’. Peel told Liverpool when the prosecution failed: ‘I believe the Grand Jury to have been a respectable one, and I see no ground for questioning their motives. Probably the evidence given to them was imperfect’. (Parker Peel vol 1 p 367).
Wellington’s fear of civil war or another rising in Ireland:
Wellington to Canning 12 June 1824 WND vol 2 p 277-78: ‘Then considering what is passing in Ireland, and what all expect will occur in that country before long, the bad with hope, the good with apprehension and dread, we must take care not to give additional examples in these times of the encouragement of insurrection …’
Lord Clancarty told Wellington a few weeks later, ‘this country is in a far worse state of disaffection than immediately prior to the Rebellion of 1798 …’ (Clancarty to Wellington 16 July 1824 WND vol 2 p 290-2). And Wellington wrote to Peel in November, ‘If we can’t get rid of the Catholic Association, we must look to a civil war in Ireland sooner or later. Although all concerns of that description are matters of risk and doubt, I should think there could be none of the military result. But should we be better situated afterwards? I think not. We should find the same enemies blasting the prosperity of the country, and ready to take advantage of the weakness of this country at any moment to do us all the harm in their power’ (Wellington to Peel, Apethorpe, 3 November 1824 WND vol 2 p 330-1). A few weeks later he was just as gloomy: ‘we are in that happy state in Ireland that it depends upon the prudence and discretion of the leaders of the Roman Catholic Association whether we shall have a rebellion there or not within the next six months’ (Wellington to Peel, Apethorpe, 30 December 1824 p 384-6).
Why Liverpool and Peel were inclined to resign:
Liverpool and Peel were brought to the verge of resignation not by what actually happened, but by what they had expected to happen, and by the atmosphere at the time. For example on 1 April, well before the Commons votes, Liverpool wrote to Wellington
Nothing need be determined until after the 19th, the day appointed for the second reading, but my own impression is that the majority on that day will be so considerable as to leave no doubt as to the opinion of the House of Commons for a fixed and settled opinion. We may still be able by a small majority to throw the bill out in the House of Lords; but this will be in the nature of an expiring effort, and it remains to be considered how far such a proceeding would or would not be expedient.
The more I reflect upon the question, the more impossible it appears to me that I should be a party to the new system, much less the instrument of carrying it into effect’.
[And if Peel resigns, how can I fairly replace him when I mean to quit too within weeks?]
(Liverpool to Wellington 1 April 1824 WND vol 2 p 435).
There are important letters re Liverpool and Peel’s intention to resign in HMC Bathurst p 579-85 and Correspondence of Charles Arbuthnot p 74-8.
Canning backs down:
According to Henry Hobhouse: ‘It is surmised that his Grace had hinted to Mr Canning in a private conversation that this odium wd. fall more heavily on him from his having dissolved former Cabinets of wch. he was a member’. (Diary 24 May 1825).
Timing of the election:
Machin sets out the case for an election in 1825 cogently: ‘In June 1825 Parliament was approaching the end of its sixth session. If allowed to last for another session it would be the first parliament since the Septennial Act to run for its whole legal period. A dissolution was therefore expected in 1825. General prosperity, tranquility in Ireland, and the popularity of the ministry made the time most suitable’. (Machin Catholic Question p 65). This slightly over-eggs the pudding: the previous election was in early 1820 so waiting until 1826 was not really pushing the limit compared to1812-1818; but it shows that the natural presumption would have been to go to the polls in 1825.
Not all champions of the Protestant cause agreed with Wellington. See Wellington to the Duke of York 22 September 1825 (WND vol 2 p 501-3), and Wellington to Clancarty 14 November 1825 (ibid. p 562-65). (The Duke of York’s letter, dated 21 September 1825 is WP 1/827/25; Eldon’s (expressing uncertainty) is WP 1/827/4).
Croker told Lord Hertford that Wellington said that we ‘are well aware that a Protestant Government could not be formed, nor could a Catholic one. In short all that can be done is to get over this crisis, and by-the-bye look at the question at large, and with great deliberation’. (Croker to Lord Hertford 22 September 1825 Croker Papers vol 1 p 281-2).
Wellington’s health in 1825 and his trip to France:
Wellington’s health was much better in 1825 than in the previous year. In May during the political crisis he had a return to giddiness, but Halford assured him that it was of no consequence and in the months which followed he regained his vigour (Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot 21 May and 6 July 1825 vol 1 p 399 and 407). He visited the Netherlands and France in July and August and Lady Granville told her sister that he ‘is looking better than I have for ages seen him, thin, but so much more health and strength in his look and complexion’. At dinner he was ‘very merry and jolly with me’, evidently delighted to pick up their friendship – for she had been in Holland and France since the spring of 1824 as her husband had been ambassador first to one and then the other (Harriet, Lady Granville to Lady G. Morpeth n.d. and 18 July 1825 Letters of Harriet, Countess of Granville vol 1 p 350, 351). He also went shooting with Charles X who had succeeded his brother the previous year, and when he returned to England Wellington boasted to Croker that
there never was seen such a day’s shooting as he had had with the King of France – they killed up to 1700 head to 4 guns; the King, the Daupin, the Duke, and the Captain of the Guard. The King walked like a tiger and shot amazingly well. The Duke killed 280 pieces to his own share, I cannot say to his own gun, for he had ten guns and ten Swiss soldiers to load team – his shoulder was all contused, and his hand and fingers cut, and he says the force of practice was so great that latterly he could not miss a shot. (Croker to Lord Hertford 22 September 1825 Croker Papers vol 1 p 281-2).
© Rory Muir