9 December 2014

The 'Irresistible Torrent of Eloquence': Pitt's assistance in Lord Mahon's escape from his father

Philip Henry, 4th Earl Stanhope (early 19th century)

On April 4th, 1800, Philip Henry Stanhope, then Lord Mahon, wrote from Chevening to his half-sister Lady Hester Stanhope. Then aged just 19, he was worried that his father Charles, Lord Stanhope would soon learn that he was going to “throw myself on the protection of Mr P[itt].” [1] This was significant, because for many years the 3rd Lord Stanhope and Mr. Pitt had been estranged. They had fallen out over the French Revolution, and their widely divergent political views. The last thing Lord Stanhope wanted was his eldest son to ally himself with Pitt. Growing up, Philip Henry Stanhope was educated at home - at Chevening Estate near Sevenoaks, Kent - instead of being sent abroad or to Europe as was the case during his father's education.

Lord Stanhope was a highly intelligent yet eccentric man, and his three daughters from his first marriage had hitherto flown the nest in order to escape him. His eldest son Mahon was also aligning himself with Pitt. Mahon went as far as calling Pitt his 'Protector.' In the spring of 1800, Mahon wrote to his sister Lady Hester that he was unable “to describe how kind & how generous it is in the “Irresistible Torrent of Eloquence” [Mr Pitt] to take so great an interest in my Welfare and Happiness. I hope by my Conduct & Principles to evince myself worthy of such a Protector; for, as long as Life remains, as long as I continue to exist, as long as one drop of blood flows in my veins & animates my right arm, so long will I continue in steady & determined opposition to Jacobin Principles, Principles which were the origin of this most just & necessary War, Principles which have plunged France into that State of Anarchy & Confusion which have precipitated it into scenes of Rapine & of Violence of Disorder & of Bloodshed, unprecedented & unparalleled in the History of the World, Principles finally of which no words are strong & energetic enough to express my Detestation & Abhorrence.” [2]

Lord Mahon appealed to his sister for help, describing his situation at Chevening as 'bondage,' and desiring to be freed from his father's house. Yet Mahon was fearful that his father would soon suspect something and have his movements closely watched. He was determined to do every thing that the Irresistible Torrent of Eloquence [Pitt] judged proper, and above all, he wanted out of what he referred to as 'Papa’s Power' [3]. 

Needless to say, Lady Hester Stanhope was deeply concerned about her brother. She wrote to her uncle, Mr. Pitt, from Burton Pynsent on April 10, 1800. She was then staying with her maternal grandmother, the Dowager Countess of Chatham, in Somersetshire. In the letter, Lady Hester expressed her anxiety over Mahon's situation, and enclosed a letter from him to Pitt. [4] She also lovingly described her grandmother, writing "GMama is so unlike all old people I have ever seen, for she enters into every thing with more more quickness than half the world not a quarter her age. She is all goodness to me & I am extremely comfortable here.” [5] She hoped that Pitt could help Mahon to be freed from his father's estate.

As a result, Pitt did intervene, and Mahon left Chevening. The consequence of this was that Mahon was permanently estranged from his father, the 3rd Earl Stanhope. When Mahon later married Lord Carrington's [Robert Smith] daughter, knowing that Pitt would be present, Stanhope did not attend the wedding. The two men later got into legal battles which I intend to explore in more detail in a later post. 

Sadly, all of the 3rd Lord Stanhope's children fell out with their father. It was always permanent. Interestingly, they all sided with Mr. Pitt, viewing him as their 'Protector' when their biological father did not provide for them. 

As a postscript, about a month after Pitt's death, on February 26, 1806, Mahon wrote to Pitt's private secretary, W.D. Adams, to enquire whether Pitt's court swords were preserved. [6] He asked Adams where they were, and that his younger brother Charles Stanhope told him that George Rose meant to preserve the swords for the boys. Mahon was apparently to have Pitt's Court Sword. I wonder whatever happened to the sword, and whether it remains at Chevening to this day?


1. Lord Mahon to his half-sister, Lady Hester Stanhope. April 4, 1800. Dacres Adams MSS: BL Add Ms 89036/2/4: Letters between members of the Stanhope family, f. 92. 

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Lady Hester Stanhope to Mr. Pitt. April 10, 1800. Dacres Adams MSS: BL Add Ms 89036/2/4, f. 93.

5. Ibid.

6. Lord Mahon to W.D. Adams. February 26, 1806. Dacres Adams MSS: BL Add Ms 89036/2/4, f. 100.


  1. So for a faster yet safer movie torrent download experience, you are advised to look for the file with a large number of seeders. unblock omegle.com

  2. What you do with it makes it illicit or lawful. It's dependent upon you to ensure you do attempt to utilize advancements legitimately and morally. how to torrent safely 2017

  3. On a P2P network it is commonplace to download relatively small files such as a single song for example. Alternatively, the bit torrent movies technology is usually utilized when the file size is large

  4. Just pure brilliance from you here. I have never expected something less than this from you and you have not disappointed me at all. I suppose you will keep the quality work going on. thebestvpn

  5. Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. There tend to be not many people who can certainly write not so simple posts that artistically. Continue the nice writing best vpn

  6. I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. yggtorrent

  7. It's more productive than different types of downloading since such huge numbers of associations can be made immediately making it the most proficient method for offering documents on your PC to other people. https://luckyshiner.com/rarbg-mirror-proxy-list/

  8. adobe acrobat pro crack Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks

  9. thanks for your post i have found the information that i want on your blog its such a nice theme .
    thanks for your infomative post .
    Free Full Pro Keys for Windows & Mac software

    Full Pro Keys

  10. Touch torrent likewise utilizes customer side programming, for example, BitLord or the standard programming on the official bit torrent site. MultiDwell

  11. Then again, the spot torrent innovation is generally used when the document size is bigger; as on account of a film or a full CD. https://moviden.com

  12. Presonus Studio One Pro Crack is a feature-rich application that provides a variety of tools and tools that support and enhance the creation of music or tracks.

    Presonus Studio One Pro Crack

  13. I am very happy to found your amazing blog. You did an excellent job.
    Latest Version

  14. Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing... stream torrent videos

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this great blog.Very inspiring and helpful too.Hope you continue to share more of your ideas.I will definitely love to read. Private Ultrasound Scan London