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THE correspondence contained in this volume relates to the period from the peace of Aix-laChapelle to the death of George II. I have inserted in the course of the volume notices of the events which led to the resignation by the Duke of Bedford of the office of Secretary of State, and of the intrigues and cabals which, after several turns of fortune, produced in 1757 the junction of Newcastle and Pitt. Some remarks in illustration of the character of the Duke of Bedford, and of the times in which he lived, have been reserved for this place.
Since the first volume was published, my attention has been called to a passage in Lord Mahon's instructive work, on the History of England from the peace of Utrecht, relating to the Duke of Bedford's acceptance of the office of Secretary of State at the commencement of the year 1748. The passage is as follows:
"It was Newcastle's desire that the vacant post might be filled by Lord Sandwich; but a superior cabal in the
cabinet bestowed it upon the Duke of Bedford, a coldhearted, hot-headed man, more distinguished by rank and fortune than by either talent or virtue. Sandwich, however, succeeded Bedford as head of the Admiralty, and was likewise despatched as plenipotentiary to Aix-laChapelle."
The first remark I have to make upon this passage is, that, from want of information, Lord Mahon totally misapprehends the nature of the change which took place in the ministry. The Duke of Bedford was not the rival, but the friend and patron, of Lord Sandwich: it was his wish to see Lord Sandwich Secretary of State. But Lord Sandwich was considered by Mr. Pelham, the Prime Minister, as a partisan of war; and he was personally disagreeable to the King, on account of a speech in the House of Lords regarding Hanover. In order to solve the difficulty, Lord Anson proposed that the Duke of Bedford should take the Seals, and Lord Sandwich be placed at the head of the Board of Admiralty. This was a change which Lord Sandwich wished, and to which the Duke of Bedford consented, chiefly out of regard to his friend. Mr. Pelham was satisfied, and he found in effect that the Duke of Bedford was more inclined to peace than Lord Sandwich. To call the King and the Prime Minister, together with a majority of the ministers of the Crown, "a superior