temporized to the last, and in February, 1748,
on the resignation of the Earl
, he escaped from the embarrassments of American affairs by taking the seals for the Northern Department.
Those of the Southern
, which included the colonies, were intrusted to the Duke
The new secretary was ‘a man of inflexible honesty and good — will to his country,’ ‘untainted by duplicity or timidity.’
His abilities were not brilliant; but his inheritance of the rank and fortune of his elder brother gave him political consideration.
In 1744, he had entered the Pelham ministry as First Lord
of the Admiralty
, bringing with him to that board George Grenville
and the Earl
In that station his orders to Warren
contributed essentially to the conquest of Louisburg
Thus his attention was drawn to the New World as the scene of his own glory.
In the last war he had cherished ‘the darling project’ of conquering Canada
, and ‘the great and practicable views for America
’ were said by Pitt
to have ‘sprung from him alone.’
Proud of his knowledge of trade, and accustomed to speak readily on almost every subject, he entered without distrust on the administration of a continent.
Of the two dukes, who, at this epoch of the culminating power of the aristocracy, guided the external policy of England
, each hastened the independence of America
, who was childless, depended on office for all his pleasure;—Bedford, though sometimes fond of place, was too proud to covet it always.
had no passion but business, which he conducted in a fretful hurry, and never finished;—the graver Bedford
, though fond of ‘theatricals and jollity,’1