Three months after [receiving the letter from Lord Sidmouth], hearing of the vacancy of a situation in the customs, and not willing to let my age become an additional difficulty in the way of remuneration, I immediately made application to the Secretary of the Treasury, and then, after waiting a considerable time longer, I once more addressed myself to the Duke of Montrose, and, likewise, to Mr. Arbuthnot.
Fenton, 5th of January, 1816.
I had the honor to address you a letter, dated 10th November, on the subject of a remuneration for my past services. I should not have taken such a liberty, had I not considered myself as having been referred to you by His Majesty’s Government. Not being honoured by a reply, I am led to infer that what I have suggested is unsuitable.
I would not be thought troublesome or obtrusive, but, at the expiration of three years, it is natural I should wish the suspense I have been kept in terminated.
It would, Sir, be a great relief to me, to be informed what my prospects from the Government are, and when, if ever, I may expect a realisation of them; for is, after such a lapse of time, a remuneration for acknowledged services, rendered, to use my Lord Sidmouth’s own expression, “at a very important period,” cannot be found in a country like this, all reasonable, all rational hope ought to cease. I have been compelled to throw up my commission, from feelings every one must understand, who knows the derision unfulfilled expectations ever excite; and very many other inconveniences I have been subjected to, which might have been avoided, had I not been led to expect, from Sir Thomas Maitland himself, an immediate acknowledgement.
I am aware, Sir, that letter from individuals to men in exalted situations, are frequently thrown aside, as being too trivial to merit a reply: this I never found to be the case, when my services were required: and I trust my letters will not be classed with this description only when the reward of those services is the subject of them. I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient humble Servant,
The Right Hon. Charles Arbuthnot, &c. &c.
Fenton, 5th January, 1816.
MY LORD DUKE,
I regret I am again compelled to renew a subject which cannot be as unpleasant to your Grace, as it is painful to me; and I did flatter myself such circumstances might have arisen, as would have precluded me every again troubling your Grace on so worn out a theme. You have, my Lord, informed me, that you are acquainted with the existing difficulty of my remuneration being obtained. My knowledge of it, so far as to enable me to form some idea of its probable duration, would materially conduce to my interest; domestic reasons making it necessary I should not let pass an opportunity of forming a permanent establishment, unless I have a certainty very shortly of obtaining the reward for my services, but which, a much longer delay in the accomplishment, will render it of little importance to me.
I do not, my Lord, means to fatigue you with a recapitulations of what I have so often urged. Your Grace is well acquainted with all the leading features of my case, as well as with the neglect I have experienced. Neglect I must call it, for, at the end of three years, I find myself but where Sir Thomas Maitland left me, save that I have in my possession many expression of favorable wishes. Can credulity go so far as to believe a country like this, after such a lapse of time, has nothing to bestow on acknowledged services, but favorable intentions? My services, at the time were thought of no ordinary nature, or I should not have been honoured by the marked attention I received from your Grace, in the camp at Manchester, at a period which Lord Sidmouth himself acknowledges was an important one, and which will long be remembered as critical by every inhabitant of that part of the country.
I cannot, my Lord, help owning that may mind is sore and irritated by the treatment I have received. I do not wish to give up expectations; but the folly of much longer entertaining them, can only be equalled by resigning them, without justifying myself to the world for every having formed them.
I have the honor to be,
With the utmost respect,
Your Grace’s most obedient and humble Serv.
His Grace the Duke of Montrose, K. G. &c.