An. Regis Duke of Grafton

v6:158

It was not difficult to foresee that the late unexpected conduct of the Duke of Grafton would occasion, at least, one remove among the great offices of State. It was, however, accompanied with some which were not publickly thought of. Whether the unhappy state of American affairs had disgusted the Earl of Dartmouth with the office of conducting them, or that Government imagined a more austere and inflexible character, with their natural concomitant — a determinate conduct, were necessary to restore peace and order; however it was, that nobleman now quitted the American Secretaryship, and received the Privy Seal, which had been held by the Duke of Grafton.

The arduous task of conducting the American Department was reposed in Lord George Sackville Germaine. The principal attachment of that noble Lord had been to Mr˙ Grenville, After Mr˙ Grenville' s death, indeed, he continued for some time firm on his former ground; and did not join in that defection from the minority which immediately followed that event. But he began at length to slaken in opposition. He fell in with Administration in the proceedings against the East-India Company in 1773; and took a full and decided part in all the coercive measures which had been pursued against the Americans, during the present troubles. His connections with Mr˙ Grenville probably made him support with more zeal and steadiness the highest claims of parliamentary authority; and as he was generally esteemed a man of business, and an able debater, he was sought for at a time when the extraordinary powers in the same line upon the other side seemed, notwithstanding the superiority of numbers, not a little to distress Administration. It will not be conceived that this appointment strengthened the hope or increased the satisfaction of those who held the opinion that conciliatory measures could only bring the present troubles to a speedy and happy conclusion.

At the same time, the Earl of Rochford having retired from publick business, was succeeded as Secretary of State for the Southern Department, by Lord Weymouth who had continued out of employment since his resignation on the affair of Falkland Island. And a few days after, Lord Lytleltan, who had been distinguished at the opening of the session by the severity of his strictures upon Administration, was called to the Privy Council, and appointed Chief Justice in Eyre, beyond Trent. Lord Pelham was also appointed to the great Wardrobe, and Lord Ashburnham, Keeper of the Stole. — An˙ Regis.