882 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    No 53.

    Hampstead, feb. 9. 1771

    Dear Sir,

    The Tweed arrived at Spithead with all her Passengers alive on feb 1 after having gone thro great Distress & Danger. At one time the Stern Windows with the Shutters were drove in by a great Sea which reached above the Beds in the Cabbin. Happily they contrived to get dead lights1 fixed on the Outside (which had been neglected) before a Second Sea came in; otherwise the Ship must have sunk. My Children lay in wet Cloaths for 4 days together and had nothing to subsist on but chocolate for two days. They have lost a great deal of their Cloths and linnen by the packages being stoved & the Sailors picking up what they could & after destroying it for fear of a discovery. Nor was this all; when they came to the Isle of Wight the Captain would go through the Needles, and a ^fog rising up^ for Want of a Pilot, they were very near getting upon the Rocks, and were saved only by the Vigilance of the first Lieut who spied the Breakers but just time enough to put the Helm about. After which not being able to return over the Bar for want of Tide they lay in great danger for 19 hours firing guns of Distress for great Part of the time. Their Voyage was greatly prolongued by their keeping of the Latitude of Cadiz, where the Captain intended to go in. But not being able to meet with a Ship to advise him of its being peace, he was at length drove to England against his Will. All this has greatly hurt Lady B; she sayes it has undone all she had been doing for a year before. But I hope it is not so, & that rest & air with a little good Weather, which we have not had since she arrived at Hampstead, will set her up again. The Children have bore it very well.2

    You will see in the Papers the Terms of an Accommodation with Spain. This has been a great Disappointment to the opposition who depended upon a War. And accordingly they & their irregular Troops the Writers in the Newspapers are very clamourous about it. Next Wednesday is appointed to consider this in the House of Commons. The Ministry have nothing to fear: they are very strong & have lately been strengthened by Mr Greenville’s Party who have come over, by the Preferment of Lord Suffolk Mr Wedderburne and Mr Whately.3 Soon after Mr Greenville’s death a friend of his told me that they must come over to Administration: for they was no Cheif in the opposition which they could list under; & they knew that Mr Greenville had a better Opinion of Lord North than he had of any of his Colleagues in opposition. Besides the Death of Mr Greenville & the defection of his party the Opposition has had great Losses; Beckford dead, Earls Temple & Shelburn withdrawn from Business, the Bill of Rights Men broke to pieces & abusing one another continually in the papers. It can’t hold long, however difficult it may be to say when ignorant & infatuated people will recover their Senses.

    I beg you will present my Complts to such Friends as I shall not have time to write to.

    & am Sir &c.

    His Excellcy Govr Hutchinson

    L, LbC      BP, 8: 157–159.