HC Deb 13 May 1814 vol 27 cc873-5
Mr. Brogden

reported from the committee of the whole House, to whom it was referred to take into consideration the Prince Regent's most gracious Message of Tuesday last, relating to the Duke of Wellington, the Resolutions which they had directed him to report to the House; and the same were read, as Follow:

"1. That the annual sum of 13,000l. net, be granted to his Majesty out of the Consolidated Fund of Great Britain, to enable his Majesty to grant the said annuity to Field Marshal his grace the Duke of Wellington, and the heirs male of his body respectively who may succeed to the title of Duke of Wellington, in order to support the dignity of the dukedom of Wellington. 2. That it shall be lawful for the Lord High Treasurer, or the Commissioners of the Treasury in Great Britain for the time being; upon application of the said duke, or any of his successors, to advance out of the Consolidated Fund of Great Britain, in lieu of the said annuity, any sum or sums of money not exceeding in the whole the sum of 400,000l. for the purpose of enabling the said duke, or his successors dukes of Wellington, with the approbation of the said Lords Commissioners, to purchase lands, tenements, and her editaments, to be settled to the use of the said duke and his successors, and to support the dignity of the dukedom of Wellington; and, from the time when such sum of 400,000l. or any portion thereof, may be issued, the whole of the said annuity, or part proportionate to the principal sum so issued, shall cease and determine."

Mr. Ward

, expressing his concurrence in this grant, was anxious that it should be laid out in landed property, as the most suitable to the exalted rank of the illustrious officer who was the object of the public gratitude. He hoped, that no part of the sum would be laid out in the erection of a building; but that some domain might be found already fit for the purpose. He inquired what steps had been taken to expend the 90,000l. voted for the family of lord Nelson on landed property? As to the present question, he feared that if the estate to be purchased was not already provided with a mansion fit for the reception of the duke of Wellington, more than the sum now voted, 400,000l. would be necessary for the erection of an edifice suited to such a purpose. If he were not mistaken, even in the time of queen Anne, Blenheim had Cost nearly 500,000l.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

agreed with the hon. gentleman, that the most desirable mode certainly would be to have the grant raid but in landed property. With respect to the last grant, no pains had been spared by the commissioners to find a suitable estate; but such were the difficulties they had met with, that it had been thought the family themselves had better be employed as the agents to find some proper place to be disposed of. He thought it probable, that a mansion might be got without the expence of building. It seemed to be the wish, that the present grant should be final; and therefore there would be an inconvenience in any subsequent arrangement. The hon. gentleman, however, was wrong in the amount of the expence of Blenheim House. He had always understood it cost only 200,000l.

Mr. Ward

observed, that,, according to his recollection, the precise sum which Sarah duchess of Marlborough stated to have been expended upon Blenheim, was 470,000l.

Mr. Rose

said, it appeared from the memoirs of the duchess of Marlborough, that 100,000l. of the grant was expended upon it; and the family themselves paid the remainder; making altogether, he believed, 200,000l.

The Resolution was agreed to, and a Bill ordered accordingly.

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