Tuesday, 18 August 2015

18th August 1815: Francis Raynes is called to meet the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Charles Arbuthnot

Francis Raynes' persistence in the pursuit of a reward seemed, at last, to have paid off. His memoir relates the events that led to an important meeting that took place on Friday 18th August 1815:
“Who waits the reward of services, must ever deprecate the danger of delay,” and perceiving my cause had suffered too much from this already, I resolved to make one more effort, and again addressed myself to Lord Sidmouth. Some little time after, I received the following note from the Secretary of the Treasury:-- 
Mr. Arbuthnot presents his compliments to Captain Raynes, and would be glad to see him, if he would call upon him at the Treasury, on Friday, about One o’clock.
Treasury, 16th August, 1815. 
On calling, I was informed by Mr. Arbuthnot, he sent for me by desire of Lords Liverpool and Sidmouth, to assure me their Lordships were fully sensible of the services I had rendered, and that they regretted an opportunity had not occurred of rewarding them. Finding I was still destined to receive nothing but compliment, and that I had been sent for only to hear repeated, what I had so often before been assured of, and that I still had to wait an indefinite time for what I had, on the outset of the business, been led to expect would be immediate, I could not help shewing my astonishment and vexation. Perceiving which, Mr. Arbuthnot observed I did not seem satisfied; but assured me, as all appointments went through his hands, I might rely on an opportunity not escaping his notice, and being made known to the head of the Government: but, added Mr. Arbuthnot, “you are not, perhaps, aware, Captain Raynes, that a rule exists which prevents any person obtaining an appointment under the Government, after the age of forty-five.” My reply was, “I am not thirty-nine;” and feeling myself mortified and irritated at the remark, after the length of time I had been waiting, I said I could not help calling to mind the words of Sir Thomas Maitland, that if I did not get something at first, I never might. I have been thus minute in relating the particulars of this interview, as, some time afterwards, on mentioning that Mr. Arbuthnot told me appointments were not to be given to any body more than forty-five years old, I was told by the Duke of Montrose, he did not say so; and it has, likewise, been made the grounds of much displeasure against me, in another quarter, from the unfortunate repetition of the words of Sir Thomas Maitland...

This is from Raynes (1817, pp.165-167).

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