Saturday, April 29, 2006

NYRB economics

I remember when The New York Review of Books gave birth to itself back in the days when the NYT was brought to its knees by the publishing strike of 1963. I was a subscriber and faithful reader for some years and a sporatic reader in recent decades (when we grew fond of calling it "the New York review of each others' books" for the tendency of a certain class of liberal authors to exchange adulation in its pages). It's a great pleasure to notice that, on the whole, its quality remains high after all these years. The amazing archive of past articles attests to this. To get a feel for its strengths, search "sontag," "arendt," "beckett," and "isaiah berlin." (And, if inclined, you can find evidence of its weaknesses by searching "pastan," "sutcliff," and "leguin," all favaorite authors of mine whom the NYRB shuns.)

This is prelude to my main point. The NYRB for May 11 has a long, unsimplistic, and extremely interesting article on youth demonstrations in France and the global capitalism of this era -- France: The Children's Hour, by William Pfaff (NYRB, Volume 53, Number 8, May 11, 2006). From the title, you'd think the main focus was on events in France, but it's just as much about the current mode of open-market capitalism whose stakeholders are not the societies to which corporations contribute wealth but only shareholders and chief officers.

The trickle-down or rising boats theories are used to justify laissez faire approach to corporate regulation and taxation. It says corporate wealth results in a prosperity in which all have a share. Pfaff and many others note, however, that recent experience in the US has been otherwise. Here, benefits to the wealthy (including shareholders) have been great but the incomes of most Americans have increased little, stagnated, or declined.

Pfaff also points out that this narrow-focused capitalism exists in a global rather than national environment. He says: "The crucial effect of this for society in the advanced countries is that it puts labor into competition with the poorest countries on earth. The Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is one of many arguing that trade liberalization puts downward pressure on skilled as well as unskilled wages."

He wraps up this part of the essay with a useful insight:
We need to note the classical economist David Ricardo's neglected "iron law of wages," which says that in conditions of wage competition and unlimited labor supply, wages will fall to just above subsistence level. This "law" in the past seemed irrelevant since there never before has been unlimited access to labor. Thanks to globalization, that is now in prospect. The consequences have only begun to be felt.

In this perspective, what in France seems a sterile popular defense of an obsolete social and economic order might instead be understood as a premonitory appeal for a humane successor to an economic model that considers labor a commodity and extends price competition for that commodity to the entire world. The apparently reactionary or even Luddite position inspired by French reactions might prove prophetic.

He doesn't mention, though others commonly do, that those at the very bottom of the labor supply system reap benefits from this system. These are the poorest peasants in the backward sections of developing nations (like China) and the marginally-surviving inhabitants of many nations whose populations are almost entirely poor. It's also important to notice that for many of these desparate poor people, these benefits are precarious (cutthroat price competition at the bottom of the industrial pyramid can wipe out export platforms overnight and they are just as vulnerable to policy changes, as when import quotas or duties are altered even a little).

As the IMF frequently points out, frequently quoted on this blog, there's economic justice to be had by careful regulation of the global economy as a whole and all its constituent parts, but great danger in independent action (as in protectionism) to serve the interests of only one nation or constituent part of the system. Pfaff's appeal for a new economic order makes sense only if this new order is adopted across the board.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


A brief update to my brief post on Google's celebration of Miro's birthday (from Diglet):
Google takes down Miro logo art

Artist's family asks Google to take down 'painted' logo

The family of Joan Miro and the Artists Rights Society, a group that represents the Miro family and more than 40,000 visual artists and their estates, asked Google to remove the Miro-esque google logo -- which google put up to celebrate the anniversary of Miro's birthday. Google quickly complied. But the thing that stuck out at me was this little quote:

In September, the Authors Guild sued Google for reproducing works in it's "library project'" that were still under the protection of copyright. In a news release, Authors Guild president Nick Taylor called the project, "a plain and brazen'' violation of copyright law.

"It's not up to Google or anyone other than authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights, to decide whether and how their works will be copied,'' Taylor said.

Maybe Taylor needs to read Title 17 regarding Fair Use again. Google took down the image, but I believe these copyright holders' organizations (that includes MPAA and RIAA) are pushing the boundaries of copyright in order to kill fair use and the public domain. Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute and Stanford Libraries fair use site offer much information and background on the topic of copyright.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Turandot on tap

As I've written before, I like to listen to Låtlista SR Klassiskt, the Swedish public radio station on the web. It plays the kind of classical music I like best: a mix of chamber, vocal, and (not too much) orchestral, mixing familiar with stuff I don't know. One of its main attractions is that it's pleasant but not distracting. I can concentrate -- Muzak as it should be.

Not right now. They're playing stuff from Puccini's Turandot, and what stuff: arias reconfigured for piano (wild glissandos and such), arias that Puccini wrote for solo voice done in choral treatment. Arias as Puccini did write them. All excellent performances. Wonderful! But I do have to work.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Diary of Lady Shelburne - Thomas Coulican Phoenix

In recent posts I've reproduced parts of Lady Shelburne's diary -- as you can see from the listing in the sidebar. I identified the people, places, and events of the diary as best I could, using mainly online sources and an occasional printed one when handy. If I couldn't track something down quickly, I left it alone or made a best guess about it.

I'd like to go back to one of those little mysteries. On November 25, 1768, Sophie wrote: "This morning I had christened, at St. George's Church, a little negro boy of five years old, that was given me by Mr. Richard Wells on Friday last, by the names of Thomas Coulican Phoenix; the latter he had been called after the ship he was brought in. He is pretty and very good humoured, and I hope by proper care will turn out well."

I wonder. Why would Sophie be "given" a little Negro boy? Why would she accept such a gift? Who was Richard Wells? What was the ship he was brought in?

As answers all I have is surmises.

Taking the ship first:

My first find turned out to be a dead end. Not long after the appearance of the biography containing the extracts from Sophie's diary, there appeared a reference to this name, Thomas Coulican Phoenix, in Notes and Queries, a periodical for passionate antiquarians. In March, 1877, one of N&Q's most frequent contributors, A.O.V.P., participated in a discussion thread that had been begun the previous month concerning "Unusual Christian Names."

* It's a digression, which is absolutely in keeping with the ethos of N&Q, to give the beginning of the thread. On a page of the magazine, along with contributions headed "Gloucestershire Provincialism," "Think To It," "Yankee," and "St. Mary's, Newington, Surrey," is one headed "Unusual Christian Names," by J. Charles Fox. He jotted down names from the registers of Youlgreave in Derbyshire saying he was struck by the number of infrequent names he found and adds: "In 1708 William and Mary Castle caused their son to be baptized Windsor, thus making the curious combination of "Windsor Castle." And also: "In 1739 the vicar enters: 'Baptized Charity, the daughter of the Lord knows who.'"

This discussion morphed into one on unusual family names and A.O.V.P. took up this thread in an entry headed Phœnix, writing: "Some time ago there was a correspondence in "N.& Q." as to the origin of the family name Phœnix. The following quotation from Lady Shelburne's diary may therefore perhaps be of interest to some of your readers." He then quotes the diary entry and gives a full citation to the biography. There's nothing more. (The Fitzmaurice biography seems to have been popular in its day since there's another reference to it on the same page, one about an old measure of land, Uncia, Unciata Terræ..) {Source: Notes and Queries, 5th S. VII, Mar-Apr, 1877.}

A second effort was more fruitful. My friend Mitch, who's studying for a PhD in English History at Duke, told me the ship Phoenix appears in The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-ROM (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999). It took me a while to find the time to retrieve and view this source; when I did, I found a whole bunch of slave ships named Phoenix.

In our period (in and around 1768), there was one that had been constructed in New York in 1759. This ship took slaves from Biafra, Africa, to Kingston, Jamaica, in 1765 and 1768, returning to Liverpool after each voyage. There was another that had been constructed in Salisbury, Massachusetts, in 1753. It sailed in November, 1760, from Liverpool to the Windward Coast of Africa (roughly the modern Ivory Coast). The database entry says the ship was "captured before slaves embarked" and says it's not known who did the capturing. A third Phoenix was constructed in Spain at an unknown date and later registered as a British vessel. It departed Bristol in 1766 to pick up slaves in Biafra and deliver them to Dominica. It never made it back to England, having sunk due to natural causes after departure from Dominica. From the dates of voyage and outcomes, it seems likely that the Phoenix in which the boy came to England was the first (made in New York). It's just possible that he arrived in the second of the two voyages in our period, landing in Liverpool in 1768, but why he wasn't sold off in Kingston is a question that needs answering.

The night after I did this research in The Transatlantic Slave Trade I kept waking up with bad dreams about the fate of the Africans who were captured, sold into slavery, shipped across the ocean, and made to work cane into sugar for the rest of their (presumably short) lives. The database entry for the voyage that may have brought the boy to Liverpool records, laconically as databases do, that 40 of the 400 Africans who were its cargo "died between last port of purchase and first port of disembarkation." Horrible though their deaths certainly were, they may have been fortunate.

Next: Who was Richard Wells?

I thought at first he was a Virginia planter, but this seems far-fetched. More likely, he was an ancestor of Orson Welles, the famous director (movies and theater). Writing about his origins, a biographer says:
I was surprised to discover that Orson Welles, who was not noted for his modesty, had completely hidden the distinction of his liberal forebears on both sides of his family. It was startling to find that his finest American ancestor on his father's side was a Quaker, Richard Wells, from Cottness near Sheffield, Yorkshire.
Our author adds: "Richard Wells's father, Dr. Gideon Wells, was both poet and physician and attended the health of many ruling families of England, including the parents of George Gordon, Lord Byron." Gideon Wells died in 1760 which puts the reach of his life near the bounds of Sophie's diary and makes it plausible that the Shelburne's knew him or of him. When his father died, Richard, the eldest surviving son, was forced to sell the family estate to settle its debts. He then emigrated to America and became a Quaker. In 1773, after our period, he was to become principal officer of the Bank of North America in Philadelphia. {Source: Orson Welles: Rise and Fall of an American Genius, by Charles Higham, St. Martin's Press, 2002. pp. 5, 14, 15.}

Richard Wells was an author of pamphlets, as well as Quaker and banker. He wrote The Middle Line (Philadelphia, 1775) at the height of the crisis leading up to the Declaration of Independence, taking a "line" as the title indicates, between the extreme separatists and the Anglophile conservatives. In fact his politics at this time were practically identical with those of Sophie's husband, Shelburne. He also wrote A Few Political Reflections Submitted to the Consideration of the British Colonies (Philadelphia, 1774) and "To The Freemen of America," (Charleston, South-Carolina Gazette, June, 6, 1774). Wells was later to become a member of the Philadelphia Society for the Abolition of Slavery, and, in all three publications, he combined political rhetoric with arguments against slavery and the slave trade. In 1789 he would petition Congress to enact a "remedy against the gross national iniquity of trafficking in the persons of fellow men." {Source: Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 2, p. 91}

Next: What about the little boy?

Putting together guesses about the ship and Richard Wells, I surmise that Richard Wells came to England in 1768 along with other Americans to confer with Shelburne about the crisis in colonial affairs in America. Their goal would be to resolve differences and avert armed conflict, though both sides must have realized that intransigence had progressed too far on both sides for such a resolution to be easy to achieve. I surmise that he had been able to rescue one of the slaves from the Phoenix; it's possible, even, that he obtained passage from Philadelphia to Liverpool on the Phoenix to become more familiar with the doings of slavers and the trade and that he purchased or was given the boy who had somehow escaped been sold into slavery in Kingston.

If this is true, then he might have brought the rescued slave to Sophie for her to raise in England. I can imagine she would have welcomed the opportunity to make a stand in this way against the evils of slavery and the slave trade and do what she could to make amends.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"You are accusing yourself"

As Sharon Howard points out, the proceedings of the Old Bailey are interesting. I found this while looking for information on the Quaker and Pennsylvanian, Richard Wells. It's the trial of a man accused of stealing from Juliana Penn, one of Lady Shelburne's aunts. Born Juliana Fermor, she married Thomas Penn, a son of the famous William Penn, who had made a fortune in America and returned to England to enjoy it. One source records that the fortune-making was, at best, highly unethical, but that has no bearing on this little tale.

We're often told that eighteenth-century London was "a rough and disorderly age, with mob violence, violent crimes" and the rest {source of quote}, but this case shows quite the opposite. It is the pawnbroker (intended receiver of stolen goods) who takes the thief and accomplice in hand and brings them before the magistrate. And the thief himself is amazingly innocent, not of the crime, but innocent like a child (unhardened, naive, ignorant of the consequences that await him). Read for yourself. I've copied some Hogarthian London at the bottom, followed by a list of Lady Shelburne's family on her mother's side.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 16th October, 1782

DAVID HUGHES, THOMAS DYSON, theft : specified place, theft : receiving stolen goods.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17821016-3

Original Text:

614. DAVID HUGHES was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 28th of September last, one pair of silver wax candlesticks, value 40 s. a silver half pint mug, value 30 s. a silver cream pot, value 20 s. one piece of a broken silver table spoon, value 5 s. two silver handles of a knife case, value 5 s. and one silver foot of a knife case, value 1 s. the goods of Juliana Penn , widow, in her dwelling house . And THOMAS DYSON was indicted for feloniously receiving on the same day the said silver candlesticks, half pint mug, and cream pot, part and parcel of the said goods, knowing them to be stolen .


I am a pawnbroker in Berwick-street: on the 28th of September, about nine in the morning the prisoner Dyson brought to me to pledge, a pair of silver candlesticks, a half pint mug, and a cream pot; he asked me two guineas on them, I agreed to give him the money and a duplicate, he wanted some things out. There being a crest on them, I desired to know where he lived, he said in Poland-street No. 12, I told him I should go with him and see that they were his, he desired to have either the plate or the money, then he said he lived in St. Ann's court; I then immediately sent for a coach to take him to the magistrate, as soon as the coach came he said the plate belonged to his wife who was in the country, and lived in a gentleman's family; I said I should take them to a magistrate's, he said there was a man at the door could give me an account whose they were; the prisoner David Hughes was then standing in the street, as soon as he came out at the door the prisoner Dyson called David, and I took them both to the magistrate's; the prisoner begged I would let him go; he said he was servant to Lady Penn in Spring-Gardens; he said he wanted to raise some money and that all the things belonged to Lady Penn; and said he would carry them home if I would let him go: at the magistrate's he said Dyson came to him at a public house, and it was consulted that they should be brought to his lodgings.


I am servant to Lady Juliana Penn ; I know the prisoner Hughes, he was servant to my Lady, as butler; I know this plate to be Lady Juliana Penn 's property, it used to be kept in a chest in his pantry, the family were not in town at that time; the plate was used but seldom, I cannot tell how long before it had been used; the prisoner had an inventory of the plate when the other servant left the place which was about a fortnight before; I have lived with my Lady a year and a quarter before she went abroad, and a year since; I do not know the prisoner Dyson, I remember seeing him at my Lady's once on the Thursday night, and he was detected with the plate on the Saturday morning with David Hughes .


The prisoners were brought to the office, I searched the pocket of Hughes, and I found a broken spoon, two handles of a knife case and a foot of a knife case.

William Sherman . The broken spoon and the pieces of the handle are my Lady's property.

Court. Have they any mark? - No, I am sure they are her property, because I have seen the pieces of spoons in the case with my Lady's crest on them.

Court. How do you know these are the identical things? - Because there are some of them upon the knife cases at home just like this, these pieces were broken off, and were laid by.


On the 27th of September, Thomas Dyson sent for me to a public house, the ship, and he called for a pint of beer; I went toview a gif image of the original file
See original him, he said he was going to his place the next day the 28th, in the afternoon, and he was very much distressed and he did not know how to get into his place, he wanted to get some things out of pawn, and he asked me if I had any thing of my own to put into pawn, or any thing to help him out to go into his place, and I said no, he said if I could put any thing in pawn for a guinea or that, I should take it up again and have the duplicate; I said I did not know a pawnbroker, he said he knew of one, then I agreed to take him a few things to have the value of that money.

Court. You are accusing yourself, instead of defending yourself.

Prisoner Hughes. Then I went to the pawnbroker's and waited for the duplicate, I thought it was a long while, I went towards the place and found he was taken and stopped; I did not know the consequence.

Court. The consequence is very heavy on you, perhaps beyond what you expect; when men do bad things they do not know what will be the end of it very often.

Prisoner Hughes. If I had known the consequence I would not have gone up; then they stopped me, and I went to Bow-street.


On the Friday night I was with this young man, he desired me to wait for him, he might want to send me of a message; he came to the house about half past seven, he said he was going to Covent-Garden to raise some money from a friend as he was distressed; being a new servant he did not wish to have it known, that he wanted money for cards, and messages, and letters, and the like of that; we parted, and he said if he got money he should not see me, but if he did not, he would bring me some things to pledge; he was very fearful of losing them.

Court. Did you take it to be an honest thing for him to take his Lady's property to pawn? - I did not know it was his Lady's.

Then you took it to be his own? - He told me the next morning that he had these things from a certain person that he kept company with, which were left with her by her sweetheart, and he wished me to pledge them.

Court to Hughes. Where did you live before? - With Lord Frederick Campbell about four months.

HUGHES GUILTY , ( Death .)

DYSON GUILTY , Transportation for fourteen years .

Tried by the First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron EYRE .
source: The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 16th October, 1782
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: f17821016-1

THE WHOLE PROCEEDINGS ON THE KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON; AND ALSO, The Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex; HELD AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On Wednesday the 16th of OCTOBER, 1782, and the following Days;

Being the EIGHTH SESSION in the Mayoralty of The Right Hon. Sir William Plomer , Knt. LORD MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON.

TAKEN IN SHORT HAND BY E. HODGSON, And Published by Authority.



Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor) And Sold by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane, and S. BLADON No. 13, Pater-noster Row.


click to enlarge

Addendum List of Sophie's aunts, uncles, and grandparents on her mother's side:

from: 'Fermor1', a genealogy of the Fermor family

Grandfather: Thomas Fermor, 1st Earl of Pomfret or Pontefract (b 23.03.1697, d 15/08.07.1753)
Grandmother: m. (14.07.1720) Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys (d 17.12.1761, dau of John Jeffreys, 2nd Lord of Wem)

Her mother (Sophia), aunts, and uncles, in birth order:

(A) George Fermor, 2nd Earl of Pomfret (b 25.06.1722, d 09.06.1785)
m. (03.05.1764) Anna Maria Delagard
(B) Henrietta Fermor
m. (1747) John Conyers of Copt Hall
(C) Sophia Fermor (b 29.05.1721, d 07.10.1745)
m. (14.04.1744) John Carteret, Earl Granville (b 22.04.1690, d 02.01.1763)
(D) Charlotte Fermor (d 1813)
m. (09.08.1746) William Finch (d 25.12.1766)
(E) Juliana Fermor
m. (1751) Thomas Penn of Stoke Park
(F) Louisa Fermor
m. Sir Thomas Clayton, Bart
(G) Anne Fermor (bpt 25.05.1733, d 01.03.1769)
m. (15.08.1754) Thomas Dawson, Viscount Cremorne (b 25.02.1725, dsps 01.03.1813)
(H)+ other issue - William (d unm 1714, Captain RN), John (d 1729), Thomas (d young)

Google Klee? Google Kandinsky?

I'm working on a few meaty posts, but haven't had much time to finish any of them. One will be on a little mystery from the Diary of Lady Shelburne. She mentions being given a young boy and having him Christened by Richard Price. I've more information on his name Thomas Coulinan Phoenix, on the man who "gave" him to Sophie, Richard Wells, and on the ship in which he was transported.

In the meantime, here's a cross-posting from my intranet web site at work:

Dennis Hwang creates most of the unusual Google logos you see. Here's the one that's on the site at the moment.

Wikipedia has more information on Google's special logos.

Paul Klee? Or maybe Kandinsky.

Update: It's Joan Miro, born April 20, 1893, duh! Click the logo on the main Google search page to see. {I didn't but Kristine did: Thanks, Kristine!}



Saturday, April 15, 2006

Diary of Lady Shelburne -- The Life of Sophie and William

This is the second blog post summing up the life of Sophia Carteret, Lady Shelburne, from what little can be found out about it in the parts of her diary that have been published and from the very few other sources available for her. As before, my main source is the Fitzmaurice biography: Life of William, Earl of Shelburne, Afterwards First Marquess of Lansdowne, by Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice (London, Macmillan and Co. 1912) 2 Volumes. You'll find links to all the posts on Sophie and her diary in the panel to the right.

I said in the first of these wrap-ups that there were some likenesses between Sophie and the character Belle in Mme. Le Prince de Beaumont's Beauty and the Beast. I said that this Mme., who was Sophie's teacher, gave her aristocratic female pupils life-skills to help them manage the transition by which they passed from their families into the control of a man who was quite frequently a stranger, sometimes one to whom they could feel no immediate attachment, and occasionally one who was unpleasant or even brutal. Mme. knew -- as did they all -- that the society in which they lived did not provide women with many alternatives to marriage. It was possible to survive without the support of a husband -- Mme. herself was doing this -- but not easily. Her girls would have to marry and were likely to have little or no influence over the choice of their husbands.

Shelburne himself showed that he understood the problems women faced in becoming wives. In an autobiographical fragment he wrote about the decision of his newly widowed favorite aunt not to remarry: "When her husband died she had too much experience ever to become a slave again, and she refused two or three of the most respectable marriages Ireland afforded." (He was thinking of the more backward society of the Irish peerage rather than of the England of his day. Hence, his statement shows he was capable of seeing wives as slaves, but not that he felt all wives to be so. He certainly did not treat he own wives as chattel, quite the opposite. The quote comes from Fitzmaurice. v.i, p.13 in the 3 vol edition).

I don't know how Sophie came to be betrothed to Shelburne, but it was likely through the agency of a third party. He admired her father and one of Sophie's aunts might have pointed out to him that she would make an excellent match.

I do know something about his approach to the process of finding a mate. Although his biographer is silent about his courtship of Sophie, he copies out a letter that describes his courtship of a young lady who, seven years after Sophie's death, was expected to be his second wife.

Here's the story as Fitzmaurice tells it:
In 1778 Lord Shelburne had been engaged to be married to Miss Molesworth, but the engagement was broken off. "Your divine Miss Molesworth," Miss Elliot wrote to her brother Hugh Elliot then at Berlin, and once the admirer of the lady, "has surprised the world by breaking off from Lord Shelburne. She dined at his house and sat at the head of the table and was seen to cry all dinner-time. Her aunt, when she came home, asked her what was the matter. She made no answer, but ran upstairs to her own room, and sent Lady Lucan a letter to tell her she found she had an antipathy to Lord Shelburne, and begged she would break off the detested match; which was accordingly done, by showing his Lordship the letter. He was angry, as you will believe, to lose £40,000. and so pretty a wife, but put a good face upon it, and said it was proper the ladies should settle those matters." However the following year a lady was found more faithful than Miss Molesworth. (ii, 37-38)
Fitzmaurice's source is A Memoir of the Right Honourable Hugh Elliot, by Emma Eleanor Elizabeth Hislop Elliot-Murray Kynynmoumd Minto (Countess of Minto). Edmonston and Douglas, 1868, p 146.
Notice that Shelburne's intermediary in the affair is Lady Lucan and that he feels comfortable letting the world know that his procedure for finding a mate is to use her and other such ladies as, in effect, matchmakers. Notice also that the writer, Henrietta Elliot, is not forced to go through with the "detested match" so -- in this case anyway -- an intended bride wasn't forced into a marriage which she did not want. Fitzmaurice evidently feels that Miss Molesworth shouldn't have backed out since he approves the greater fidelity of the young lady who "was found" for Shelburne the next year (this was Louisa Fitzpatrick, the second Lady Shelburne).

Though I've no direct knowledge about Sophie's acquaintance with Shelburne before their marriage, there's evidence that she did not find in him an ardent lover, but rather a stiff, over polite, and somewhat inarticulate young man. As I wrote in the first of these appreciation web posts, he had the reputation of a person who held himself in check. Ridiculed as Malagrida, the Portuguese Jesuit, he was considered to be always playing a role and never revealing his true self. This unflattering depiction is actually supported -- in a way -- by his own admission. He wrote in the autobiographic fragment that he overcame the backwardness of his upbringing by self-transformation but always felt he had to be on his guard. This guardedness is probably what made him seem jesuitical. Shelburne might have been giving a hyperbolic portrait of himself when he summed up the personality of his political mentor, William Pitt the Younger. He wrote of Pitt's single-mindedness and ambition, adding: "He repressed his desires.... He was always acting always made up and never natural, in a perpetual state of exertion, incapable of friendship, or of any act which tended to it, and constantly upon the watch, and never unbent." (Fitzmaurice. i. 77)

There's a bit of evidence in Shelburne's writings that he was not burning with desire for Sophie. He mentions her in a section of the autobiographical fragment in which he's describing her father, but he says nothing about his feelings concerning her or how they responded to one another. Writing about Robert Walpole, he refers to Lord Carteret, one of Walpole's rivals: "I ought to be partial to one of his rivals, if not his principal rival -- the House of Commons apart -- Lord Carteret, whose daughter I afterwards married. He was a fine person, of commanding beauty, the best Greek scholar of the age, overflowing with wit, not so much a diseur de bons mots, like Lord Chesterfield, as a man of true comprehensive ready wit, which at once saw to the bottom, and whose imagination never failed him, and was joined to great natural elegance." (Fitzmaurice, i. 29-30)

But if he was somewhat businesslike in his approach to marriage and not a charming suitor, he had many traits that would have appealed to Sophie. In him, she would find one who valued learning, was open to change and new ways of doing things, and who wanted to do good as well as do well in the world. All in all, it's likely she found that she felt about as many affinities with him as antipathies to him and I'd like to believe she was not forced to marry him against her will.

As I've said, once married, she showed herself well-prepared, both capable of succeeding as wife and comfortable in the role. The diary shows her to have been engaged fully in the expected social occasions both as guest and hostess, to have been an ardent participant in discussions with Shelburne and the intellectuals whom he cultivated (David Hume, Adam Smith, Joseph Priestley, and others), and to have appreciated the responsibilities as well as the comforts and pleasures that come with great wealth.

The diary also suggests that she was attached to Shelburne, when -- on an occasion when she did not accompany him to London, but stayed behind, probably because she was then advanced in pregnancy -- she writes of her quiet life at home, of her rounds in the garden, and of missing him. On his part, Shelburne shows his devotion in a way by keeping close to her when he can (the diary does not show that he ever excluded her from political or intellectual discussions that he held) and by not engaging in extracurricular activities that excluded her: he's never shown to be off hunting, out gambling, or carousing at the club. In an age in which extramarital affairs were common enough, there's no evidence that he had a mistress, or an affair, or even succumbed to invitations from London's notorious crowd of prostitutes.

Horace Walpole, who had no great affection for Shelburne, confirms that his marriage was a companionable one. Here's Shelburne's biographer on this subject:
"I am delighted," Walpole wrote on the 16th of June [1779] to Lady Ossory, the sister-in-law of the future Lady Shelburne, "with the confirmation of Lady Louisa Fitzpatrick's match. My acquaintance with Lord Shelburne is very slight; but two essential points are Gospel, that he is a man of sense, and that he made an excellent husband to a wife far inferior to Lady Louisa in beauty. There is a third, which, though negative, I reckon a capital merit at present: he is not a gamester." (ii, 37)

Though the Shelburne biography does not discuss his feelings when she died, his actions and observations from contemporaries show that he was devastated at her loss. He quickly absented himself from London society and from politics, his own party, and the political contests to which he had devoted so much energy and traveled extensively in Europe with his close friend and supporter Isaac Barré. (On January 27, 1771, Horace Walpole wrote in one of his great gossipy letters, "Lord Huntingdon is going abroad, not like your ladyship [Lady Coke], to see Kings & Queens, but because he has fewer opportunities of seeing them than he had. Lord Shelburne is going too, on the Loss of his wife, & Lord Grantham to Spain.")

Shelburne commissioned a monument to Sophie, a statue depicting her with her two young sons, by an Italian sculptor, Agostino Carlini, which stands in All Saints' church, High Wycombe. You can see a photo of it here.

A final piece of evidence to show his attachment to her and grief at losing her, is, as we've seen, the fact that he waited many years before remarrying.

From what I can tell, Sophie enjoyed her short time as Lady Shelburne. She had a good husband and was both enriched by and herself enriched the social and material environment which was her birthright. Though the connection between Sophie Belle in Beauty and the Beast is somewhat tenuous, it's pretty clear she did share with Belle the joys of a happy marriage.

When I have time I'll write one more appreciation of her to tie up some loose ends and draw this series of web posts to a close.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Diary of Lady Shelburne -- Une belle Ladi Sensée

I thought I'd do a single wrapup post on Sophie and her diary, but find I've too much to say. Here then is a first "appreciation" of the lady. It focuses on her as "Ladi Sensée."

Sophia Carteret, Lady Shelburne, was articulate, well-educated, and apparently comfortable with her place in society and with the responsibilities that accompanied it. Like her husband, she held what we would call liberal ideals. She worried about the plight of the poor and believed that aristocrats should use their wealth and power to benefit those who lacked them. It's likely she agreed with Shelburne's support of free trade, electoral reform, Roman Catholic emacipation, and conciliation with the American colonies.

She was neither frivolous nor arrogant. She read memoirs and works of inspiration and in the diary she reminds herself to beware self-satisfaction.

She was interested in women of power, studied and conversed with authors whom we would call feminists or proto-feminists, and, though there's no evidence that she rebelled against her subordination to her husband, it's likely she held her own nicely in conversation with the clique of philosphers, politicians, and scientists that Shelburne brought together.

She gained her formal education from an educational innovator, Mme. Le Prince de Beaumont. See the 7th Diary Post for a brief introduction to this very interesting Frenchwoman. Le Prince de Baumont condemned the arid practice of lecturing and employed instead a conversational technique to teach her genteel female pupils subjects that were generally reserved for educating boys. To her, Sophie was Ladi Sensée, Lady Sensible, a star pupil, on whom she could rely to help instruct the younger girls and help keep them from becoming -- in her view -- vain, idle, and empty-headed. Despite her emphasis on intellectual pursuits, Mme. Le Prince de Beaumont knew well and from personal experience that an eighteenth-century woman had limited opportunities for independent self-expression. She was careful to instill values that were appropriate in young women who would be subject to arranged marriages and who, on marrying, would have limited or no control over their own property. And she made sure her pupils were prepared to make the most of a situation in which they were too often treated as commodities in a market, business assets, useful in the formation of alliances to extend or recover an aristocratic family's fortunes.

I believe it was Mme. Le Prince de Beaumont's goal to see that Sophie was ready for the transition from unmarried to married life, prepared to accept the responsibilities of wife and mother, and able to sustain her intellectual development as she carried out complex social responsibilities.

Mme. Le Prince de Beaumont was author of Beauty and the Beast -- La Belle et la bête -- or it might be better to say that her version of many similar stories is the one best known and most loved. The "Beauty" of the title, Belle, has an attractiveness beyond pleasing physical appearance. Like Sophie, she is well educated and like Sophie her education helps her -- as liberal educations are supposed to do -- to experience and appreciate the diversity of life and its infinitely diverse creatures. I expect it's for this reason that Belle and Sophie are both more than conventionally sensitive to the needs of others and (I'm guessing about this) its the reason they share a desire to do good rather than be admired.

In La Belle et la bête, when there's a chance that their impoverished father may again attain wealth, Belle's sisters ask him for jewels and dresses and Belle, at first unwilling to ask for anything, eventually requests only a rose. Mme. Le Prince de Baumont uses the story to show how, through her own resourcefulness, intelligence, and goodness of heart, a young lady can first learn to accept a bad bargain and then achieve happiness. Although the happy ending is achieved by the conventional waving of a magic wand, I believe the author, who escaped her own marriage to a brutal husband, is saying that an educated and resourceful young lady has a better chance of a contented life than one who is self-absorbed and has no thought for the future. The likelihood that the beast in whose power you place yourself will turn out to be an ideal prince among men is a very small one, but, I'd like to beleve the author is saying, if you possess education, good taste, an immagination, and a courageous heart, you're better off than if you're just a passive victim.

Sophie's betrothal to Shelburne is not Beauty and the Beast brought to life. Shelburne was not a beast and he did not have many of the character flaws of his aristocratic peers. But there is an element of similarity between him and the Beast. Shelburne wasn't warm and charming. To the contrary, among his political opponents (and even the King), he was known as an indiscriminate flatterer, awkward and uncomfortable in society, inarticulate, insincere, and untrustworthy. In an autobiographic fragment, Shelburne himself tells us that he had a wretched childhood that left him totally unprepared for the life of a wealthy English peer and was saved from the beastly life his relatives enjoyed by the generosity of two kind people, an aunt and a British officer. With their help he transformed himself but he recorded that he continually kept himself guard against the return of the prejudices and brutishness which he learned in his youth. It's likely that this self-consiousness kept him from appearing, or feeling, natural, comfortable, or relaxed in any social occasions and particularly ones where the tension level was high -- as well might have been those occasions when he met with the young lady to whom he was betrothed.

It's entirely possible that his awkwardness and the pretty well-known calumnies of his enemies made him seem not beastial, but at best a risky proposition to 19-year-old Sophie at the time of her betrothal. It's interesting to contemplate the degree to which, if at all, the relationship between Sophie and Shelburne, as it developed over the remaining years of her short life, in any way resembled the plot of La Belle et la bête. I hope to develop this idea further in the next post on this topic.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Over the past few years, security has been a major concern where I work and the number of police persons has grown substantially. In my experience, big influxes of new employees, particularly ones that are underemployed (or in this case whose main job is to watch not carry out work tasks) results in problems, personality conflicts, tensions, and the like. This hasn't happened so far as I can tell. To the contrary the police seem relaxed and easy with each other and with us civilians. There's one who jokes about the sandals I wear between bike rack and office, after removing the bike shoes (which, with their pedal cleats, aren't made for hallway walking). There's one who asks me how many miles I get to the cheeseburger when I show my badge coming into the garage. This morning, too rainy for the bike, one complimented me on the Spitfire and another (at the xray machine) admired the sport coat I'm wearing today. There's one person I work with who tangles with the police over trivialities (or at least one policeman), but my experience is very different.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

truth telling

Malcolm Gladwell has done a fascinating book review in The New Yorker. It uses stories to tell about the ways people tell stories and why they do. It gives us reasons to like the book which is itself about the types of reasons people use. It applies a conventional book-review format to describe the use of conventional structures in everyday conversation. You really have to read the review to appreciate how interesting this is. Nonetheless, here are extracts:
A sociologist offers an anatomy of explanations.

In “Why?” (Princeton; $24.95), the Columbia University scholar Charles Tilly sets out to make sense of our reasons for giving reasons. In the tradition of the legendary sociologist Erving Goffman, Tilly seeks to decode the structure of everyday social interaction, and the result is a book that forces readers to reëxamine everything from the way they talk to their children to the way they argue about politics.

Effective reason-giving ... involves matching the kind of reason we give to the particular role that we happen to be playing at the time a reason is necessary.

Two years ago, a young man named Anthony mugged a woman named Anne on a London street. Anthony was caught and convicted, and a few days before he was sentenced he sat down with Anne for a face-to-face meeting, as an exercise in what is known as “restorative justice.” The meeting was videotaped by a criminal-justice research group, and to watch the video is to get an even deeper sense of the usefulness of Tilly’s thinking.

Anthony starts. He has a shaved head, a tattoo on his neck, and multiple piercings in his eyebrows and ears. Beside him is his partner, Christy, holding their baby boy. “What happened is I had a bad week. Been out of work for a couple of weeks. Had my kneecap broken. . . .

Anne has been listening closely, her husband, Terry, next to her. Now she tells her side of the story. She heard a sound like male laughter. She turned, and felt her purse being pulled away. She saw a man pulling up his hood. She ran after him, feeling like a “complete idiot.” . . .

It was Christy’s turn. She got the call at home. She didn’t know exactly what had happened. She took the baby and walked to the police station, angry and frightened.... I’m in a situation where I can’t do anything to make this better. . . . I just want you to know. The first thing he said to me when he walked in was ‘I apologized.’ And I said, ‘That makes what difference?’ . . .

“If there is anything I can do, please say it,” Anthony says.

“I think most of what you can do is between the two of you, actually,” Anne says to Anthony and Christy. “I think if you can put your lives back together again, then that’s what needs to be done.”

The moderator tells them all to take a break and help themselves to “Metropolitan Police tea and coffee and chocolate biscuits.”

Anne asks Christy how old the baby is, and where they are living. It turns out that their apartment has been condemned. Terry stands up and offers the baby a chocolate biscuit, and the adults experience the kind of moment that adults have in the company of babies, where nothing matters except the child in front of them.

“He’s a good baby,” Christy says. A convention. One kind of reason is never really enough.

If you view the tape of the Anthony-Anne exchange, it’s not hard to see why. Sherman said that when the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales watched it at home one night he wept.

Addendum: Lately I've been to imagine how it was for the 17th century scientists who questioned the authority of church, of the schoolmen, of the ancient philosophers; who tried to distinguish between superstition and fact, between logical inferences from observation that are wrong and ones that are right. They had to take into account what Tilly writes about. In the inheritance of received knowledge of their time, they tried to identify conventionally accepted explanations, explanations that had strong emotional appeal and limited factual basis, and code-based explanations - ones that seemed to conform to pre-established formulas and sets of rules. They tried to establish a new basis for establishing cause and effect, one based on observation and experimentation unbiased by wishful thinking, giving what we would call technical accounts expressed in plain unornamented language, and establishing authority by exposing hypotheses to examination by groups of peers for review and judgement. It was all new and not easy work. Tilly says, in effect, that the authority they established (the process for establishing scientific facts) is not specially privileged. All the ways people have for determining what matters have value. I'm not sure what to think of this.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

where does all the oil money go?

In a recent speech, the IMF's Saleh M. Nsouli says, first of all that the amount Americans spend on fuels is a lot less than they spend on imported goods (such as all that clothing made in China and sold by Wal-Mart); second, that oil revenues have nonethless grown astronomically over the past few years and are likely to continue to grow (don't look for a return of the old $1.90-a-gallon gas); and third, that the oil-rich nations have been buying lots of US Treasuries to help us cover our outrageous deficits (and to earn a nice, safe, return on the investment).

Sooner or later, as is true with China and other Asian nations with which we have big trade deficits and which buy Treasuries with some of the dollars they rake in, the oil nations are likely to decide that the US is not the best place to park their money. A sudden shift away from US investments could be catastrophic all around. A gradual one might not be so unstabilizing in the global sense.

Regardless, the outlook for the US is probably -- at best -- one of higher interest rates and slower growth.

What's needed, in order to reduce global imbalances and avoid a world-wide economic meltdown, is the same litany of actions as we've heard before: The US -- its government and its people -- must decrease spending and -- its people anyway -- increase saving. The rest of the developed world plus the oil nations and the emerging economies in Asia should save less and spend more. Asian export nations, particularly China, must stop giving artificial support to their currencies. The European Union must stimulate its economies. The developing nations must reform themselves so they can again attract foreign investment. And the oil nations must spread their wealth around, judiciously, both within and outside their borders.

Here's one of the interesting graphs that accompany the speech, plus the citation and some extracts:

United States’ Bilateral Trade Deficit (in percent of U.S. GDP)

Obviously, the US continues to buy more from than it sells to these trading partners -- more and more each year.

Petrodollar Recycling And Global Imbalances
Presentation by Saleh M. Nsouli1
Director, Offices in Europe
International Monetary Fund
At the CESifo's International Spring Conference
Berlin, March 23-24, 2006

The surge in oil prices in recent years has been taking place in an environment of rising global imbalances. Starting around 1996, a large current account deficit in the United States has been matched by surpluses primarily in other advanced economies and in emerging Asia, and has been accompanied by corresponding shifts in net foreign asset positions. To promote adjustment, policy advice has focused mainly on the need to promote savings in the United States and to foster expenditure in Asia, while moving to more flexible exchange rates arrangements. The impact of these recommendations has been limited so far, and large imbalances persist.

The doubling of oil prices during 2002-05 has made the group of oil-exporting countries a major player on the global current account imbalances scene. The increase in oil prices has shifted large additional sums of money from oil-consuming to oil-producing countries. How oil exporters "recycle" this revenue becomes a crucial issue, not only in determining the economic development of their countries in the future, but also in affecting the orderly narrowing of the global imbalances.

Oil exporters are close to becoming more important than Asia in the holding of net savings outside the United States. While Asia's current account surplus is projected to have risen to US$341 billion in 2005 (equivalent to 47 percent of the United States' current account deficit), that of oil exporters is projected to have reached US$296 billion (equivalent to 41 percent of the United States' current account deficit).

According to IMF projections, oil exporters' current account surplus would amount to 46 percent of the U.S. deficit in 2006, while the figure for Asia would drop to 41 percent.

An assessment of oil futures markets suggests that a considerable proportion of the recent shock should be permanent in nature. The rise in value of oil exporters' petroleum reserves since 1999 would imply a US$850 billion increase in their permanent income.

Oil exporters have not been the main "actors" affecting the United States' large and growing current account deficit. Growing net imports from Asia, and in particular China, have played the most significant role in explaining the overall expansion of the U.S. trade deficit, which has risen from some 2 percent of GDP in 1996 to over 7 percent in 2005.

What are oil exporters doing with the extra oil revenue? Given the large government share in the oil sector in most oil-exporting countries, and thus in oil revenue, the deployment of the additional oil income is mainly the decision of governments.

oil exporters have turned into large buyers of goods from Asia, a region where they also sell the bulk of their oil.

A large share of the oil revenue is being held as investment abroad.

Oil exporters' preference for investing their petrodollars in the United States has alleviated pressures on the cost of funds from high oil price-driven outflows of dollars.

This may have kept U.S. long-term interest rates low, even as the U.S Federal Reserve has hiked its short-term rate to rein in inflation. This may have contributed to bolstering consumer spending and growth in the United States, softening the impact of higher oil prices on the industrialized world as a whole. According to latest IMF projections, more expensive energy will have only a modest impact on global growth, which, owing to various factors, should drop to 4.8 percent in 2006, from 5.1 percent in 2005.

[Oil exporters have begun to shift investments away from dollar assets and] may switch part of their investments away from dollar assets faster if interest differentials become less favorable or if they fear capital losses from potential exchange rate movements.

The bottom line remains: adjustment is necessary in current account-deficit and current account-surplus countries, including the increasingly important oil-exporting countries, if the global imbalances are to be reduced. The rising global imbalances suggest that the steps taken thus far are insufficient and that the world economy remains subject to serious risks of a disorderly adjustment.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Diary of Lady Shelburne - 11th Post

This is the eleventh blog post from the diary of Lady Shelburne. There are links to the others in the right-hand panel. As before, the entries come from the Fitzmaurice biography: Life of William, Earl of Shelburne, Afterwards First Marquess of Lansdowne, by Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice (London, Macmillan and Co. 1912) 2 Volumes.

Fitzmaurice introduces this entry, which turns out to be the last one he includes in the biography:
It has been seen that at the time when Shelburne resigned the Secretaryship of State the Ministry had determined to prosecute Wilkes, who on his return from France and surrender to his outlawry had been arrested on April 27th, 1768, and imprisoned. On June 8th, however, Lord Mansfield declared the outlawry void, but sentenced Wilkes to fine and imprisonment for his original offence in publishing No. 45 of the North Briton and the Essay on Woman. On May l0th Wilkes was elected for Middlesex. He was expelled from the House of Commons on February 3rd, 1769, but reelected for Middlesex on the 16th of the same month. On the 7th his election was declared void, and himself declared incapable of being elected into the Parliament then sitting. On March 16th he was again elected, the candidate against him being Mr. Dingley. On March 17th his election was again declared void, and a new election ordered. On April 13th he was victorious over Colonel Luttrell, who on the 15th was, however, seated as member or Middlesex by the House of Commons.

"I went in the morning to the manège," Lady Shelburne writes in her Diary on Thursday, March 16th, [1769] "though I had some apprehension of being molested by the Mob, it being the day of the Brentford election, when Mr. Dingley was to offer himself as a candidate to oppose Mr. Wilkes; however it was all very quiet."
Friday. I heard that Mr. Dingley, who went on the part of Administration to offer himself to represent he County of Middlesex in Parliament, in opposition to Mr. Wilkes, was received with great decency by his party when he appear'd on the hustings at Brentford; but it is most likely their dislike might be restrained by the speeches of Mr. Townshend and Mr. Sawbridge, recommending quiet and good order. Mr. Dingley, however, could get nobody to propose him, and being very suspicious of some violence, withdrew under the protection of two sheriffs, and return'd to London by two o'clock to report his ill success and the reelection of Mr. Wilkes.

April 11th. Ryle came in and told me that there was a great mob before the Palace at St. James; who were very riotous, and insulted the merchants who were gone to the King with an address. We therefore congratulated ourselves on being to spend the day out of town, and when my Lord was ready, Lady Jane, he and I, and dear little Monna all set out for Wycombe, where I had the pleasure of finding my dear little boy safely arrived the day before. The servants, who came down from London after us, told us that Sir Fletcher Norton had been obliged to read the Riot Act from the window over the arch of the palace, and that they had dispersed soon after.

Thursday Morning, April 13th. We breakfasted at Mr. Anson's, who gave a breakfast and concert to Mrs. Montagu, to which she very obligingly invited us. We called upon her and went together, and saw a very fine house, built and ornamented by Mr. Stuart. The company were Count Bruhl, Lord Egremont, Mr. and Mrs. Harris and their daughter, Mrs. Vesey, Mrs. Dunbar, Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Scott, a M. de Vibre, M. de Maltête a President de Parlement, who came over expressly to see a Riot, but was deterred from going to Brentford by the French Ambassador, and condemned to pass this memorable morning in the calmer scene of Mr. Anson's house and entertainment. From hence I went with my Lord to return his visits, as I was apprehensive I might meet with some Mob that it would have been disagreeable to pass thro' in a chair. I must here say that this was the day when Mr. Luttrell offered himself to oppose Mr. Wilkes. As he was going out of town by Hyde Park Corner with some gentlemen who attended him, he was pelted by the Mob, and some of his company who were riding first were a little disconcerted and stop'd, which stop'd him who was following, and one of the mob took hold of the bridle of his horse. Capt. Luttrell, however, gave him a blow with the end of his whip, and disengaging himself gallop'd away to Holland House, where his friends and he breakfasted with Mr. Fox, and from thence proceeded to Brentford, accompanied by several gentlemen. Mr. Wilkes was returned Member for Middlesex, but Mr. Luttrell had 296 votes. Captain Roche withdrew, and Mr. Whitaker, who had also proposed himself, had 5 votes.

Friday. This day they declared Mr. Wilkes incapable of sitting in the House of Commons, and the day after, Mr. Luttrell was declared member for Middlesex, and took his seat in the House of Commons. There have been some meetings of freeholders at Mile End, and it is said they mean to draw up a petition to the King to dissolve the Parliament; however, no steps are yet taken.

[The biographer writes:]

The excitement, of which the meetings described by Lady Shelburne were the sign, grew daily stronger. Grafton trembled before the storm, but George III remained undaunted and determined to get rid of Grafton.

It has already been seen how the King on his accession abandoned the Whigs, and setting up a standard of his own, had made his Court a Cave of Adullam to which every country squire with an hereditary hatred of revolution principles, and every Jacobite sufficiently clear-sighted to recognize the hopelessness of the Stuart cause, eagerly gathered himself and his friends. Prerogative was pitted against the privilege of Parliament by the act of the King himself, and both looked round for allies.

Outside the limits of the Court and of the aristocracy lay the rising power of the Middle Classes. The party able to gain their support was certain of ultimate success.

"I sell here,"said Matthew Boulton to those who,like Shelburne, visited his works, "what the world desires to have, Power."

Notes on people, places, and events mentioned in this post.

Wilkes. Shelburne believed that the character flaws of Wilkes undermined the popular cause they both adhered to. The story of the Wilkes mobs of 1768 is told well in The Complete Newgate Calendar, Volume IV: JOHN WILKES, ESQ., M.P., Whose Arrest and Conviction for writing Seditious and Blasphemous Pamphlets led to Riots in London in 1768, which concludes, huffily:
The outrages of the populace were too many to be enumerated; several innocent people were killed and numbers wounded. They broke windows without number, destroyed furniture, and even insulted Royalty.

The metropolis, as well as various other parts of the kingdom, had not been so convulsed with riots and partial insurrections since the Civil Wars as during the short time of Wilkes's popularity.

These disgraceful tumults, and the lenity or, as some would have it, the timidity of Government, spread disaffection into all classes of mechanics, who, thinking the time at hand when they might exact what wages they pleased, and perhaps beyond their masters' profits, struck work.
You might conclude that Wilkes relished these outrages, but he claimed otherwise. The summation of Peter D. G. Thomas's article in the DNB says it well:
Posterity has been reluctant to accept that Wilkes, a womanizer and blasphemer, and a man with a cynical sense of humour, could have possessed genuine political principles, a verdict seemingly confirmed by such stories as his comment to George III that he had never been a Wilkite, and his rebuke to an elderly woman who called out ‘Wilkes and liberty’ on seeing him in the street: ‘Be quiet, you old fool. That's all over long ago’ (Bleackley, 376). Nor did his overnight conversion in 1782 from radical to courtier do his reputation any good, even though he received no reward in honour or office. That last twist to his career is irrelevant to his earlier political record. For two decades Wilkes fought for ‘liberty’, whether freedom from arbitrary arrest, the rights of voters, or the freedom of the press to criticize government and report parliament. He suffered exile, financial ruin, and imprisonment for his principles, and by a combination of political courage and tactical skill won notable victories over government. He thereby earned respect from Lord North. In a debate of 27 November 1775 the prime minister declared that one Wilkes was enough, ‘though, he said, to do him justice, it was not easy to find many such’ (Almon, 3.214–30). After Wilkes British politics would never be the same again: his career permanently widened the political dimension beyond the closed world of Westminster, Whitehall, and Windsor.

Lord Mansfield. He was at this time chief justice of the court of King's Bench. Wikipedia says: "He supported Lord Camden's decision against general warrants, and reversed the outlawry of John Wilkes. He was always ready to protect the rights of conscience, whether they were claimed by Dissenters or Catholics."

No. 45 of the North Briton. Shelburne did not believe the warrant for Wilkes' arrest to have been legal. In fact, Shelburne disagreed so frequently with other members of the cabinet that he had threatened to resign at the time. (i. 195) The Cambridge History of English and American Literature has a brief account of Wilkes and this publication.

Essay on Woman. This was an obscene poem, written by Wilkes' friend Potter, as a parody of Alexander Pope's Essay on Man. It was impious and libelous as well as vicious in its treatment of women. Wilkes was prosecuted for printing and publishing it. The sequence of events is described well at this site.

Middlesex. Middlesex is a county in the south-east by Surrey, Essex, Hertfordshire, and Buckinghamshire.

Mr. Dingley. This was Charles Dingley, a timber merchant and inventor of a new kind of sawmill. The Guildhall Library holds a satirical print showing him sawing through the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights.

Colonel Luttrell. This was Henry Lawes Luttrell.

The Manège. A Manège is a riding academy.

The hustings at Brentford. Hustings refers to the platform used for nomination of candidates and candidates' speeches in parliamentary elections.

Mr. Townshend. This was James Townshend, who at this time was an MP for West Looe in Cornwall, also Alderman of a Bishopsgate Ward, in London. Later in 1769 he would be elected Sheriff of London. Fitzgerald says he was "a man of great resolution and firmness," who could match the pride and tenacity of aristocrats but also show be friendly and courteous to people of lower social ranks. He was a long-standing friend of Shelburne's (see the third, ninth, and tenth posts of the Diary of Lady Shelburne. Fitzgerald tells this story about him: "On one occasion it is said that a highway robbery having been committed in his neighbourhood, he disguised himself as a countryman, set out in search of the offender, and much to the astonishment of the latter, overpowered and apprehended him." (i. 461. which gives Walpole, iii. 284. as reference). In 1772 Townshend defeated Wiles in an election for Lord Mayor of London. A Wilkes mob attached the celebration ball and Townshend, says Fitzgerald, was only with difficulty restrained from sallying out with drawn sword. (i. 462)

Mr. Sawbridge. At this time Mayor of London.

Ryle has not been identified.

Lady Jane. Lady Jane Tollemache, a cousin of Sophie's, daughter of her aunt, Lady Grace Carteret.

Dear little Monna. Seems to be a pet name. OED says Monna derives from manna meaning spiritual nourishment.

Wycombe. This was a secondary Shelburne estate, Bowood being the main one. Apparently, her "dear little boy" (second son William) was being raised here. See Diary of Lady Shelburne 5th Post

My dear little boy. Second son, William. See Diary of Lady Shelburne 10th Post.

Sir Fletcher Norton. Sir Fletcher Norton was a politician

The Riot Act. The Riot Act was "An act for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies, and for the more speedy and effectual punishing the rioters." Wikipedia says: "The Riot Act (1 Geo. 1, c. 5) of 1714 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain introduced to allow the local authorities to declare a group of more than twelve people to be unlawfully assembled, and thus have to disperse or face punitive action." As Sophie indicates, it could be difficult for magistrates to make this public declaration.

Mr. Anson's. This was Thomas Anson of Shugborough, who inherited wealth and property a few years earlier from his elder brother George Anson, 1st Baron Anson. The inheritance included a mansion on St. James' Square (see "fine house" below).

Mrs. Montagu. This was Elizabeth Montagu, universally known as "Queen of the Blue Stockings." Wikipedia describes her: "British social reformer, patron of the arts, hostess, literary critic, and writer who helped organize and lead the bluestocking society." Of her, Hannah More wrote: "She is not only the finest genius, but the finest lady I ever saw; she lives in the highest style of magnificence; her apartments and table are in the most splendid taste." She, like Thomas Anson, commissioned a house by James Stuart. At the time Sophie wrote, her book, the Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear, Compared with the Greek and French Dramatic Poets. With some remarks Upon the Misrepresentation of Mons. De Volatire, was being published. Published anonymously, it was the first book on Shakespeare by a woman.

A very fine house, built and ornamented by Mr. Stuart. There's a full history of this mansion on the English Heritage web page, which says Thomas Anson,
a bachelor of sixty-six and a man of taste ... undertook a rebuilding which embodied the more delicate, self-conscious and matured taste of the 1760's. ... The architect chosen was James Stuart, whose Antiquities of Athens, making familiar the details if not the spirit of ancient Greek architecture, had appeared in the year of Lord Anson's death, and who was presumably acquainted with Thomas Anson through their membership of the Society of Dilettanti.... The old house was pulled down in the summer of 1763 and the new house was probably occupied by the end of 1766. ... by April 1768 [actually 1769] Lady Shelburne could note in her diary that she had attended a 'breakfast and concert' in honour of Mrs. Montagu, another of Stuart's patrons, at Mr. Anson's, 'a very fine house, built and ornamented by Mr. Stuart'. ... Lady Shelburne's good opinion of the house was doubtless fully shared by its architect, who had told Anson while it was building that it was 'a topic of much conversation among the Connoisseurs in Architecture'. Stuart's pleasure in the contemplation of his own skill found outlet in the flattering references to the house by the author of the anonymous Critical Observations on the Buildings and Improvements of London of 1771 if, as seems probable, the author was Stuart himself.

Count Bruhl. Count Bruhl was prime minister to Augustus King of Poland, and Elector of Saxony (this according to the editor of Walpole's letters, note 716, vol 2).

Lord Egremont. Lord Egremont was a politician who served in the Bute ministry with Shelburne in the early 1760's.

Mr. and Mrs. Harris. She was sister to General Conway, a politician and one of Horace Walpole's correspondents.

Mrs. Vesey. This was Elizabeth Vesey, like Mrs. Montagu a prominent Blue Stocking hostess. The article on Mrs. Montague in the Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21) says: 'Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu was one of a bright company of brilliant women; and, in spite of rivals, she reigned supreme for fifty years as the chosen hostess of the intellectual society of London. Mrs. Vesey, for a time, was a prominent rival, because, as wife of Agmondesham Vesey, a member of “The Club,” she came forward as the special hostess of that select company.' (Volume X. The Age of Johnson. Chap. XI. Letter-Writers. Sec. 12. "Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu as a literary hostess.") Horace Walpole says Mrs. Vesey was very sophisticated (Letter 86 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, Jan, 15, 1775. page 124).

Mrs. Dunbar. Alas, not identified.

Mrs. Carter. Horace Walpole writes of a Mrs. Elizabeth Carter whom his editor says wrote "a translation of Count Algarotti's Newtonianismo per Le Dame, under the title of Sir Isaac Newton'S Philosophy explained for the Use of the Ladies; in six Dialogues of Light and Colours (1739). (Source: Note 470, Letters, Vol 4, Letter 241 To The Rev. William Mason. page 307.)

Mrs. Scott. Not identified.

M. de Vibre. Not identified.

M. de Maltête a President de Parlement. Sophie might mean René-Nicolas de Maupeou who was "Premier président du parlement de Paris et Chancelier, 15 septembre 1768 - 24 août 1774," according to this site. Under Louis XV, he attempted to reassert a disintegrating royal control over French politics and the French economy. Voltaire applauded his work but in general it proved to be very unpopular. See Politics and the Parlement of Paris Under Louis XV, 1754-1774 by Julian Swann, p321, and Birth of the Leviathan: Building States and Regimes in Medieval and Early Modern Europe by Thomas Ertman, p. 143 (I found these using Google Book Search). Wikipedia has an article on this man.

Holland House. The focus point for the Whig opposition at this time, Holland House was the mansion of Lord Holland in Kensington (now part of London).

Mr. Fox. This was the politician Charles James Fox. The son of one of the most prominent members of the Whig opposition, he was at this time only 21 years old and had only just taken his seat in Parliament for Midhurst, a family pocket borough. Ambitious, well-connected, and articulate, he quickly rose to a leadership position within the opposition party (or rather within the loose coalition of opposition interests). He and Shelburne had very similar views but were as often opponents as allies. This site tells his story well.

Captain Roche. Not identified.

Mr. Whitaker. Not identified.

Grafton. See Diary of Lady Shelburne 10th Post.

Had made his Court a Cave of Adullam. This is a biblical reference to a place of refuge where a hodge podge of adherents gather round a leader. Adullam is located in modern-day Israel. The place has many caves which might have been the actual one. The Book of Samuel (1 Samuel 22) says that David, fleeing from Saul, hid in the "cave of Adullam, and while there gathered discontented men around him.

Matthew Boulton. Matthew Boulton was a prime mover in the industrial revolution. See Diary of Lady Shelburne 4th Post.