The Founders of Canterbury
G. F. Young, Esq., North Bank, Walthamstow. — Reigate, 19th December, 1849
Reigate, 19th December, 1849.
My Dear Young,
—Please to send back directly by post, the copy of my letter to H. Petre. I want it for printing. There is such foul play going on towards the shareholders, that I, being aware of it, must needs open their eyes by stating the facts as they have come to my knowledge. The object of the plot is to smash the Canterbury Association, which, ever since prominent members of that body, such as Lord Lyttelton and Mr. Adderley, became Reformers of Colonial Government, has been hated by Lord Grey. In this hatred, some of our directors, being out-and-out partizans of the Government, and cronies of Hawes—sympathise not a little; and I think that they (certainly Aglionby) have made up their minds to put an end to the Company also. But the first object is to put an end to the Association. Some time ago, I plainly told John Abel Smith of these my suspicions, which have now grown into convictions: but he is not independent enough of the Government to act as his conscience would dictate; and besides, perhaps, he may have been led by page 171that party spirit, which most Englishmen deem a virtue, to sympathise with Lord Grey and his friend Hawes in dislike to the Colonial Reformers of the Canterbury Association. At any rate, he lets the mischief go on, without, so far as I know, protesting against it.
If you mention the subject to Aglionby, he will attribute my suspicions to illness and ill-will to Lord Grey. But if I consulted only the latter, I should not denounce their plan before it shall be carried into execution; I should wait till the iniquity was done, and then add it to the heap of misconduct and unpopularity which must ere long weigh Lord Grey down into private life. At all events, however, 1 have resolved to expose it at once—whether before or after consummation will depend on the pace at which the plot is carried out. I long to put you in possession of my view of the whole case, but am not well enough to leave home on purpose.