By C. J. Bertlett (auth.)
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Extra info for Castlereagh
I Castlereagh calculated the degree to which private interests would suffer in the event of Union, and found that approximately £1,500,000 of private property, in the eighteenth-century sense of that phrase, was at stake. There was the cash value of the parliamentary seats to be abolished under his revised scheme, 200 in all, as the British cabinet were insistent that no more than 100 Irish members should be added to Westminster. It would be necessary to compensate both the owners of these seats, and those who had purchased seats in the expectation that the Parliament would last its full term.
Reliable evidence, in any case, is unlikely to be found in such matters, while the distinction between bribery and rewards for services rendered is not always easily drawn. The amount of cash at the government's disposal was limited, and it would appear that apart from compensation for the abolition of seats and offices, and from which the arch-opponent of the Union, Lord Hillsborough, was the chief beneficiary, only some £50,000 was paid out by the government itself, mostly to pay pamphleteers, to seek press support, 1 to buy parliamentary seats for government supporters in the customary way, or as pensions.
There could, of course, be no permanent peace between the Court and Wellesley; the Court was soon trying to provoke the latter's resignation. Wellesley was indifferent to such pin-pricks, as long as he possessed power enough to pursue his policies. His imperial eye roved from the Cape to the Philippines, from Ceylon to Persia, but it rested most often upon the confused affairs of central India. There the Maratha princes intrigued and fought among themselves, creating a state of affairs which Wellesley interpreted as a threat to good order in British India, and as a standing invitation to the French.