Burgoyne congratulates the controversial new prime minister in 1783, assuring him of "a heart devoted to you & your cause"
Revolutionary War-dated ALS signed "J. Burgoyne," three pages on two adjoining sheets, 7.25 x 9.25, Kilmainham, April 19, 1783. Handwritten letter to the Duke of Portland upon his becoming prime minister. In part: "Your first hurry over, I can no longer refuse myself the pleasure of assuring you of the congratulations of a heart devoted to you & your cause. I should shair [sic] my candour to a very absurd extent, if I suffered myself to doubt the dislike with which the accession of your Grace & your great friends to your present situations has been received at the Castle. I wish, for the honour of man, the principal to be innocent of having countenanced the publications & language that have prevailed: the fact is every thing has been said & done by a Party here to deprecate & misrepresent the Coalition, & I apprehend every thing will continue to be done by the same party to excite anew the jealousy & capricious intemperance to which you know this Country prone." In fine condition, with minor loss to the lower right corner of the last page.
Portland had become prime minister of the coalition government on April 2, just a couple weeks before receiving this letter from Burgoyne, who was serving as commander-in-chief in Ireland and a privy councillor. Known as the 'Fox-North Coalition,' this unsuccessful government was terminated by the king within the year, appointing William Pitt the Younger as Portland's replacement. Upon this dismissal of his powerful friends, Burgoyne withdrew into private life.
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