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Townshend Peerage

Volume 70: debated on Monday 26 June 1843

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said, the newspapers had given a speech professing to be delivered in another place by the Earl of Leceister. The hon. Member was reported to have said that he (Lord Brougham) had no authority from the hon. Member's mother for the statement he had made in his place, and that he had it not from her directly, but from Mr. Ridgway agent of the hon. Member's so-called father, and that Mr. Ridgway was a most honest and respectable man. In his own vindication, and to show that he had ample authority for what he had stated, and that it came from the Marchioness Townshend herself, as well as that he had understated it, and that he might have said a good deal more, he would beg to read to their Lordships a letter addressed to him on the morning after the speech to which he referred was made, by Mr. Ridgway, who was justly said by the hon. Member to be a most respectable and honest man. The letter was as follows,—

(Copy) "169, Piccadilly, June 23,1843.
" My Lord—Observing a speech of the Earl of Leicester in the House of Commons last evening, in which he is reported to state that no such communication as that made by your Lordship, on Lady Townshend's behalf, had been authorised by her Ladyship, I feel called on, being the channel through which the communication was made, to state the facts. The Marchioness Townshend called on me in Piccadilly, smarting under the odium which, attached to her Ladyship, in consequence of the proceedings then pending in the House of Lords, and requested me to disabuse your Lordship of the impression that she had been a willing party to the attempt to impose her children on the Townshend family; the real history of the transaction being, that the whole proceeding, commencing with the baptism of the children in 1823, was planned and executed by Mr. Dunn Gardner and Mr. Margetts, and in direct opposition to her wishes; that she was then, and had been always strongly opposed to it, but that her objections were overruled by her father and Mr. Margetts. Three days after the interview, her Ladyship requested me to authorise, beg, and entreat your Lordship, as an act of justice to herself, to make this statement in the House of Lords before the case was closed.
" I have abstained from alluding further to her Ladyship's communication, as your Lordship was of opinion it could not be stated.—
I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient and faithful servant,
"The Right hon. the Lord Brougham."
This was sufficient proof that he (Lord Brougham) had not acted as a volunteer, officiously intermeddling with the family affairs of the parties, when he made the disclosure with respect to these proceedings on the part of the Marchioness, and that she begged it to be made as an act of justice to herself.

Subject at an end.