Andrew Stone and the Duke of Newcastle
From "The House of Commons, 1754-1790"
by Lewis Bernstein Namier, John Brooke, Great Britain Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964
"SHELBURNE, quoting a clerk in NEWCASTLE's office, said that the Duke
of NEWCASTLE did Andrew STONE's business and STONE the Duke of
NEWCASTLE's. Contemporaries gave STONE the reputation of an intriguer,
but in fact he seems to have had little political ambition."
"... important political decisions by the advice of a small group of
intimate friends, on whom he could cast the blame if anything went
wrong. In 1754 Andrew STONE and William MURRAY (q.v.) were among the
Duke's most trusted and influential advisers, and were mainly
responsible for the decision to choose FOX instead of PITT as leader of
the House of Commons ..."
From "The Grasshopper" in Lombard Street
by John Biddulph Martin, 1892
"Still later Mr. STONE filled the important office of sub-governor to
Prince George, the heir-apparent; and he acted with his usual
From "Memoirs of the Life and Reign of King George the Third"
by John Heneage Jesse, 1867
"... The death of Frederick Prince of Wales completely revolutionised
the fortunes and the social position of his eldest son. The young
Prince had now become Heir-Presumptive to a Crown, the present wearer of
which had entered into his sixty-eighth year. Under these
circumstances, it was only to be expected that the Prime Minister, Mr.
PELHAM; and his brother in blood and power, the Duke of NEWCASTLE,
should have endeavoured to establish a guiding, if not exclusive
influence, over the mind of the future Sovereign. In order to accomplish
this purpose it was necessary, in the first instance, to effect an
almost entire change among those who had the present charge of the
Prince's education. Hitherto he had had for his governor Francis Lord
NORTH, whose chief qualifications for that responsible post would seem
to have been amiability, and good moral conduct. In his room the PELHAMs
obtained the appointment of Simon Lord HARCOURT, a nobleman whom
WALPOLE sarcastically describes as 'a civil sheepish' peer, more in want
of a governor himself than qualified to be the governor of others.
Devoted to the pleasures of the table and of the hunting-field, Lord
HARCOURT is said to have been perfectly satisfied that he had done his
duty, so long as he was unremitting in his exhortations to his royal
pupil to turn out his toes. He was intended, indeed, to be a mere puppet
in the hands of the PELHAMs. 'He is a cipher,' said Lord MANSFIELD to
the Bishop of Norwich; 'he must be a cipher, and was put in to be a
Simultaneously with the removal of Lord NORTH, the services of
AYSCOUGH were also dispensed with; Dr. Thomas HAYTER, Bishop of Norwich,
being appointed in his room. Although we find George the Third, in
after life, speaking in no very complimentary terms of Bishop HAYTER he
was nevertheless a man of sense, learning, and refined breeding.
Moreover, he seems to have discharged the duties of his important
calling with singular zeal and fidelity. Resisting all interference on
the part of the Princess and her friends, he persevered, despite the
frowns of the one and the remonstrances of the latter, in carrying out
the system of discipline which he had prescribed.
The person selected for the post of sub-governor was Andrew STONE, an
elder brother of Dr. George STONE, Archbishop of Armagh. STONE had
formerly been private secretary to the Duke of NEWCASTLE, and was still
the confidant of that nobleman. WALPOLE, at the same time that he admits
his superior abilities, denounces him as having been a morose, proud,
and mercenary man. These charges, however, appear to be altogether
undeserved. Lord WALDEGRAVE has done justice to STONE's integrity, and
his friend, Bishop NEWTON, regrets that his abilities were lost to the
Church. STONE was in fact a fine scholar, and at Oxford, where he had
been the friend and rival of the celebrated Lord MANSFIELD, had
succeeded in carrying off some of the first honours of the University.*
The services of SCOTT were retained as sub-preceptor. Happily, with the
change of preceptors, some improvement seems to have taken place in the
scholarship of the heir to the throne. 'The Bishop of Norwich,' writes
Mr. Philip YORKE to the Lord Chancellor, 'was with the King in his
closet this morning, in relation to the improvements made by his royal
pupils in their studies. He is disposed, as I find by Lord ANSON, to
speak favourably of their application, and of the progress they have
made since they have been under his care.' But, although the change in
the Prince's establishment was undoubtedly for the better, the new
governor and preceptors were unluckily unable to agree among themselves.
Certain misunderstandings which had occurred between Lord HARCOURT and
the Bishop on the one side, and between STONE and SCOTT on the other,
terminated at length in an open rupture. The Princess not only sided
with the sub-governor and sub-preceptor, but, on her own account,
complained of the Earl and Prelate. The former, she said, avoided her
card-parties; the latter puzzled her sons with logic. The Bishop charged
STONE with being a Jacobite, while STONE, on his part, accused the
Bishop, not only with having habitually treated him in a very slighting
manner, but with having, on one occasion, lain violent hands upon him,
with the design of ejecting him from the royal schoolroom. At length,
formal charges were drawn up by Lord HARCOURT and the Bishop against
STONE, which charges, without any previous communication with the
Princess, were laid before the King (December 6, 1752). STONE, they
insisted, had not only repeatedly drunk the health of the Pretender in
former days, but had also been recently guilty of the glaring
impropriety of permitting the heir to the throne to peruse the
'Revolutions d'Angleterre, by P?re d'Orleans,' a work expressly written
in defence of the unconstitutional measures of James the Second. In the
same sweeping charges of Jacobitism, and of systematic intents to infect
the mind of the heir to the throne with arbitrary principles, were
included the sub-preceptor SCOTT, and the Princess's secretary and
favourite, CRESSET. The latter, by the way, was connected by blood with
the royal family, being related to the King's maternal grandmother,
Eleanor d'EMIERS, wife of George William Duke of ZELL, a lady of the
French family of d'OLBREUSE.
George the Second very properly referred the matter to his
constitutional advisers, by whom, after a due investigation, the charges
were declared to be without foundation. Even the timid and suspicious
old Duke of NEWCASTLE could see no grounds for consternation.
Dissatisfied with this judgment, Lord HARCOURT and the Bishop again
preferred an appeal to the throne for the dismissal of
then-subordinates, and, on its being rejected, adopted the only
alternative that seems to have been left them, namely that of tendering
their resignations, which were unhesitatingly accepted. Some months
afterwards, the conduct of STONE was made the subject of Parliamentary
investigation; the Duke of BEDFORD taking upon himself to move in the
House of Lords an address to the throne, for the production of the
papers connected with the late investigations. This second attack,
however, proved as unsuccessful as the previous one. Only three peers
and one prelate accompanied the Duke below the bar, and accordingly the
motion was negatived without the House coming to a division."
" * STONE was a personal favourite of George the Second, to whom he
had acted as private secretary in Hanover in 1748, during the absence of
the Duke of NEWCASTLE. (COXE's Pelham Administration, vol. i. p. 423.)
At a later period he held the appointments of Treasurer to Queen
Charlotte and Keeper of the State Paper office. He died in December,
1773, at the age of seventy-two.
'Andrew STONE,' writes Bishop NEWTON, 'was a most excellent scholar.
At school and at college he distinguished himself by his compositions;
and the knowledge, not only of Greek and Latin, but of the Hebrew
language, which he had first learned at school, he retained and improved
to the last; and was withal a man of grave deportment, of good temper,
and of tho most consummate prudence and discretion.'
(Bishop NEWTON "Life of Himself, Works", vol. i., p. 134. See also
Lord WALDEGRAVE's "Memoirs", p. 10, and COXE's "Pelham Administration",
vol. i. p. 430, and note.)"
From "Memoirs of the Administration of the Right Honourable Henry Pelham"
by William Coxe, 1829
[The Duke of Newcastle writing from The Hague]
"dear Brother, June 29?July 10, 1748.
I have been extremely concerned, that your long absence from London
made it immaterial for me to give you a particular account of every
thing that has passed since my arrival in Holland, as I could not expect
an answer in any reasonable time; and my letters must have been very
imperfect, as they would have referred to the accounts sent to the duke
of BEDFORD and Mr. STONE, which accounts you could not have received. I
will, therefore, now, notwithstanding the great hurry I am in, give you
the best account I can, of every thing that has passed."
"My letter to Mr. STONE from the Hague, and the short letter I wrote
to you, will have given you a pretty good notion how I found things
"Every body here, by all that I can judge, is as much for coming
immediately to a general pacification, as you can be at London. You will
not be surprised, that whatever regard is shewn to me, from character
or reputation, is shewn to Mr. STONE,* from their knowledge of him. The
king, and every body, shews him the greatest distinction, as the king
expressed himself to me upon his subject, with the greatest regard and
approbation; so that hitherto every thing is as well as possible, and I
do not see the least appearance of its being otherwise. ..."
" * Andrew STONE, who is mentioned in this correspondence, in such
terms of friendship and confidence, was a native of Winchester, and born
on the 5th of February, 1702. He acquired the first rudiments of
learning, at Hyde-abbey School, Winchester, then under the direction of
Mr. TITTLE. He was, in 1717, placed on the Royal foundation at
Westminster; and, in 1722, was admitted a student of Christ-church, in
the University of Oxford. He was distinguished for his classical
proficiency; and was well versed in the different branches of polite
literature and science. During his residence at college, he formed an
intimate connection with Dr., afterwards bishop NEWTON, and Mr. MURRAY,
afterwards earl of MANSFIELD, both of whom were also students of
Christ-church, and by whom he was highly esteemed. He was first
introduced to the duke of NEWCASTLE, by Dr. BARNARD, then rector of
Esher, and afterwards successively bishop of Raphoe and Deny, who had
espoused his sister.
His sedate deportment, sound discretion, accurate judgment, suavity
of manners, and extensive knowledge, added to the elegance and
perspicuity of his compositions, were strong recommendations to the
favour of the duke of NEWCASTLE, by whom he was appointed his private
secretary. In this capacity, by his assiduity and attention, he rose
rapidly in the esteem of his noble patron; and was admitted to the most
intimate degree of trust and confidence. He was, about this period
appointed under-secretary of state, in order to give consequence to his
attendance on the king, by whom he was highly favoured. Of the great
affection with which the noble secretary regarded Mr. STONE, numerous
instances will appear in these pages; and, until the close of his life,
he was considered rather as a friend and coadjutor, than as a dependent.
He was equally respected by Mr. PELHAM; and, like the lord chancellor,
frequently acted as a mediator, in reconciling the differences between
the two brothers.
It affords a striking proof of Mr. STONE's discretion, that, though
highly distinguished by the king, and generally respected by all the
members of government, he never excited the slightest degree of that
official jealousy, which the duke of NEWCASTLE occasionally manifested,
towards those with whom he was politically connected. On the contrary,
both in his private concerns, and in affairs of state, the duke of
NEWCASTLE invariably recurred to Mr. STONE, for advice and assistance;
and derived essential advantage from his prudent suggestions and
We shall hereafter find Mr. STONE filling the important office of
sub-governor to Prince George, the heir apparent; and he acted with his
usual discretion, in a post surrounded with peculiar difficulties. He
was also appointed keeper of the State-Paper-office; and, on the death
of George the Second, he owed, to the kindness of the new sovereign, the
place of treasurer to the queen.
After passing through a long political career, with singular felicity
and general estimation, he died in December 1773, at the age of
seventy-two. By his wife, Miss MAUVILLION, whom he espoused in 1743, he
left no issue; his only son dying before him, at the age of twelve.
(For these communications I am principally indebted to Charles
ARBUTHNOT, esq., Mr. STONE's grand-nephew, and to his niece, Mrs. Sarah