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FIELD MARSHAL GEORGE TOWNSHEND - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 10/04/1767 - HFSID 283912

Before leaving for his post as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he signs a content-rich autograph letter (October 1767), insisting that he be allowed to voice some concerns about Irish policy to King George III.

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GEORGE TOWNSHEND (VISCOUNT, later MARQUES TOWNSHEND)
Before leaving for his post as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he signs a content-rich autograph letter (October 1767), insisting that he be allowed to voice some concerns about Irish policy to King George III.
Autograph Letter signed: "Townshend", 2 pages, 7¼x9 (front and verso). Audley Square, London, 1767 October 4. To "My Dear Sir", in full: "I have just received the honor of your invitation to dine with you on Wednesday. If it be to attend a council as before, may I entreat that it be rather in the morning before court, that should the issue be such as the last, I may have my satisfaction before I take my final leave of my Sovereign, at least to lay before Him, my sentiments on what I foresee will be the consequences of such resolutions & the proceedings to be expected upon it in the Parliament of that country, at the very opening of the Session. Your Lordship will pardon me if I say that I fear you do not fully consider how like your countrymen are to the inhabitants of this country, activated by the same passions, possessed of the same sense of their own consequence, & pursuing the same views, & of course to be governed only by the same means, which you alone apply here. I am sorry to say this, My Lord, but I hope I am the more pardonable, as I have no alliances nor can be supposed to be attached to any party there, but I must apprehend, & both duty & prudence requires me to say as much, that it will be found too late that the first men of application, abilities & service in that country will never submit to be constantly accommodated or rather sacrificed in their just professions to the views of administration in this, and that you will find that what you apprehend to be only a temporary slight to two or three individuals, will be taken up and espoused by the sense of that nation as an injustice to the whole. & it will cost the King infinitely more to adjust this matter & to consolidate the temper of that Parliament, to bring them afterwards to a true disposition to His service than it would to purchase any hard dealing individual in this country, however essential to His Majesty's service. I am sure I need not recur to instances of this kind, to one of your Lordship's knowledge. The state papers you sent me are sufficient, where the Duke of Bedford was obliged to make up at length to a primate who had been playing the Devils, or might have lost the Money Bills, beside an hundred more mortifying questions to Government. His Grace found that Devil there. You will create half a dozen, to have the pleasure of laying them, & what is worse put them upon strong popular, nay National Ground. I am my Dear Lord with great regard your most obedient servant.[signature] Forgive so long a letter for I've the subject at heart & indeed for the King's service, & for the credit of this Administration. George Townshend (1724-1807) was a veteran military officer who served in Britain's continental and colonial wars. He was at the Battle of Culloden (1746), which crushed the second Scottish Jacobite revolt. He succeeded General James Wolfe, slain on the Plains of Abraham, and received the surrender of Quebec City in 1759. Townshend's political influence may have been diminished by his exceptional skill as a caricaturist. He mercilessly lampooned political rivals, including General Wolfe, in humorous political drawings. Elected to Parliament in 1747, he served until made a Viscount in 1767. He became a Marques in 1787. When he wrote this letter, he had just been appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, serving there until 1772. He was not a popular viceroy there, but later historians have credited him with effective and politically adroit administration. Townshend, elevated to general in 1782 and to field marshal in 1796, donated some of his landholdings on Prince Edward Island to Loyalists displaced by the American Revolution. George Townshend should not be confused with Charles Townshend (1725-1767), the English parliamentarian and Chancellor of the Exchequer whose Townshend Revenue Acts so embittered the American colonists. George Townshend also had a son named Charles, who died in the same year as the more famous Charles Townshend, murdered by his own brother while en route to replace his father in the House of Commons. Horizontal mailing folds. Left edge chipped and worn. Soiled and toned at edges. Otherwise, fine condition.

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