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Huskisson
Huskisson
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rency, which was printed and much applauded. When the French government decided upon the issue of assignats he separated himself from this club. About the same time he was introduced, through Dr. John Warner, the chaplain to the embassy, to Lord Gower (subsequently Marquis of Stafford), then British ambassador at Paris, whose private secretary he became. They remained intimate friends all their lives. On 10 Aug. 1792, after the attack on the Tuileries, he was instrumental in enabling its governor, M. de Champcenetz, to make his escape from the populace. On the recall of the embassy in 1792 Huskisson returned to England (see Alger, Englishmen in the French Revolution, p.29; Life of Gouverneur Morris, i.499, 570).

For some time he remained an inmate of Lord Gower's household in England, and thus became well acquainted with Pitt. By the death of his father in 1790 he became entitled to such of the family estates at Oxley in Staffordshire as remained unalienated, but they were neither extensive nor unencumbered, and, finding himself a poor man, he was glad to avail himself of the offer of a new office, created under the Alien Act, for making arrangements with the émigrés. In this employment, for which his knowledge of the French people and language well fitted him, he became acquainted with Canning, and his talents recommended him to Pitt and Dundas. In 1795 he succeeded Sir Evan Nepean, on his promotion to be secretary to the admiralty, in the office of under secretary at war. The business of the office was practically done by Huskisson, Dundas, his chief, being otherwise occupied, and it was he who superintended the arrangements for Sir Charles Grey's expedition to the West Indies. His friendship with Lord Carlisle procured him in 1796 the representation of Morpeth; but, always diffident of his own abilities and conscious that he was no orator, he did not speak in the House of Commons until February 1798. In January 1801 he resigned with Pitt, but at the request of Lord Hobart, the new secretary at war, who was unfamiliar with the work of the office, he remained at his post until the battle of Alexandria (March 1801). An unfounded charge was made at the time that Huskisson made use of his knowledge of official secrets in stockjobbing operations, in which he engaged with Talleyrand (see Colchester, Diary, i. 229; Croker Papers). Meantime, on the death of Dr. Gem in 1800, he inherited an estate at Eastham, Sussex, then occupied by Hayley, the biographer of Cowper, and another in Worcestershire. This rendered his position in public life unembarrassed.

In 1802 he contested Dover, but was beaten by Trevanion and Spencer Smith, the government candidates, and did not re-enter parliament till February 1804, when he was elected for Liskeard. There was a double return, and a petition was presented against him, but he kept his seat. On the recall of Pitt to office (May 1804) he was appointed a secretary to the treasury, but when the 'Talents' administration came in (January 1806) he retired, and went into active opposition. He moved a number of financial resolutions in July 1806, which the chancellor of the exchequer, Lord Henry Petty, was obliged to accept. At the general election in the autumn of 1807 he was again returned for Liskeard; was made secretary to the treasury again in the Duke of Portland's ministry in April 1807; and at the ensuing general election was returned for Harwich, which seat he retained till 1812.

Up to this time Huskisson had rarely engaged in general debate, but had rested content with his reputation as a man of business. In 1808 he took a large share in the rearrangement of the relations between the Bank of England and the treasury, and in 1809 he undertook the reply to Colonel Wardle's motion on public economy. In the same year the Duke of Richmond, the Irish viceroy, was anxious that he should succeed Sir Arthur Wellesley as chief secretary, but his services could not be spared by the English government. Though not personally concerned in the dispute which brought about Canning's resignation in 1809, he resigned with him out of loyalty to his friend, and in his private capacity in parliament remained for some time little noticed. But in 1810 he published his pamphlet on the 'Depreciation of the Currency' which at once met with success and earned him the reputation of being the first financier of the age. In the debates on the Regency Bill he adhered to Canning's views, and in January 1811, when he was sounded about joining the regent's ministry, he rejected the overture. In the following year, if Canning had joined Lord Liverpool, Huskisson would have been chief secretary to the viceroy and chancellor of the Irish exchequer. His adherence to Canning retarded the advance of his public career by many years, and allowed Peel and Robinson, of whom one was his junior and the other much his inferior, to pass him in the race. During this year he became colonial agent for Ceylon. That post, which was worth 4,000l a year, he held till 1823.

At the general election in the autumn of 1812 Huskisson was elected for Chichester. He made several speeches on currency ques-