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Death of Lord Liverpool: 4 December 1828

The following reports are taken from the Edinburgh Review of December 1828; the Review reproduced reports from other newspapers.

From The Court Circular of Friday

The Earl of Liverpool, we are sorry to state, expired yesterday morning, at his seat at Combe Wood, where his lordship had been staying ever since his removal from town after his dangerous illness. His lordship had been in his usual state of health for some days previous, without any symptoms calculated to excite apprehensions having appeared, and had breakfasted as usual, yesterday morning, when, about half past nine o'clock, the noble earl was attacked with convulsions and spasms; a messenger was immediately dispatched to Mr Sandford, one of his lordship's medical attendants, who resides on the neighbourhood, but, before that gentleman could arrive his Lordship had breathed his last at ten o'clock. The Countess of Liverpool, the Honourable Cecil Jenkinson (brother to his lordship, who had been staying at the residence of his afflicted relative for some time past), and Mr Childs, his lordship's steward, were in the apartment when his lordship expired.

From The Courier

The Earl of Liverpool expired at Combe Wood yesterday between eleven and twelve o'clock. The paralytic attack which took place nearly two years ago was of such a nature that it did not afford the least chance of recovery. It destroyed the powers of the mind, but not so completely as to render his lordship unconscious of the hopelessness of his situation. By him, therefore, death must have been considered as the welcome visit of a friend. He could not desire to live, and he could not fear to die.

We are now to take a view of him as a public man, who for so many years performed so prominent a part in the affairs of this great country. He seemed born to be a statesman. From the beginning of his career, he did not mix in the common-place business of life — he had no relish for those amusements and occupations which other men pursue with such eagerness — he looked upon life as a gift bestowed upon him, with the condition that it should be all devoted to the service of his country. It was all devoted — and his disorder, the effect of his unremitting labours, proved how thoroughly that condition had been fulfilled. His first speech in parliament, at the early age of twenty-two, gave the promise of his future fame. We heard it, and we do not forget the effect it produced upon the House. Maiden speeches are often eloquent, but seldom display any great depth of political knowledge or any powerful grasp of mind. But Lord Liverpool's first speech was the speech of a man who had studied the state of Europe — the relations which each nation bears to other nations — the alliances which their welfare or their safely requires them to make — the checks which it is necessary to establish, in order to curb the overweening ambition of any particular power — and the policy which the dignity of this country required it to pursue at a period of such great and increasing difficulty and importance.

Upon the assassination of Mr Perceval, Lord Liverpool became Prime Minister, in which eminent station he remained till the termination of his political career. What gigantic events filled that space are too well know to render it necessary for us to dwell upon them. That any man, Mr Pitt always excepted, could have been selected more equal to the difficulties of the crisis, we do not believe. He combined, in an extraordinary degree, firmness with moderation. He possessed an eloquence, which, if it did not reach the highest point of excellence, always impressed the hearer with a conviction of the sincerity and patriotism of the speaker.

In debate, he was vehement, but not personal. He did not seem to have in his composition one angry feeling towards his rivals, however wanton their attacks of personal their insults. Sincerity was apparent in every measure he adopted, and in every speech he made. He never refused to others the tribute of applause which he thought they deserved; and his gentlemanly deportment , unruffled by the coarsest personalities against him, had often disarmed his fiercest adversary.

Such was the Earl of Liverpool. If this be the language of panegyric, it is also the language of sincerity. It is the tribute of one who knew him well, and who knew him long, who will maintain that a sounder statesman, a man more thoroughly anxious for the prosperity and honour of the people, a more devoted friend to the constitution of his country, as established in church and state, never existed.

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