Brown to Hardinge

Letter of  Resignation, 6 December

My Dear Lord Hardinge.

“I was .. this afternoon waiting [with the enclosed in my hand] until you should be at liberty to receive me in order personally to explain how very far it is from my wish that in thus tendering the resignation of my Office, I should be considered as acting disrespectfully toward your Lordship …

“I have no doubt that many of my friends will blame me for what I have done, and for sacrificing a high and distinguished appointment on a question of mere opinion! If they were merely my own opinions, I might perhaps be disposed to concur with them, and should certainly not adhere to them with the same apparent obstinacy, but when I know they are those which were always entertained and repeatedly expressed by the Great Duke in discussing the same points, I have not only felt that I was entitled to make a stand, but have frequently been surprised that they should have met with so little attention from those who, notwithstandingly professed to venerate his high authority!

“It should be borne in mind moreover that I have been brought up in The Army and have been all my life associated with the Troops p I have seen all he other Armies in Europe but have found another at all to compare to them in point of efficiency and of all the seestial qualities of first rate Troops – That circumstance, however, although it may render one jealous of innovation should not be allowed to exclude reform and improvement and Your Lordship will do me great injustice if you heavenly me ever to have been opposed to such, because I happened to be inimical to the projects of visionaries and wished to preserve the the initiative of measures of improvement in our own hands, to be able to guide their progress to properly and satisfactorily to test their mergers before they are introduced.

“Your Lordship’s views on these points and in respect to the principles of proceedings happen to be so diametrically opposed to mine that I have long foreseen what has now come to pass, and that it would be impossible for us to go on together without great detriment and inconvenience to The Queen’s Service, as well as very great injustice to Your Lordship – for whether right or wrong, Your Adjutant General should undoubtedly be in a position to carry out your plans without hesitation or advance notions of his own.

“I believe it to be quite impossible for two minds constituted as ours are, and with the same anxiety to attain their objects to work on together without jostling by the way, and it is therefore for the better that we should endeavour to approach the end of our journey by different routes. There is no reason however that we should quarrel before we part, and I therefore trust Your Lordship will allow me to consider that we have parted without anger?

I go to Scotland in the morning, but shall be back in a week. – Airery  has my address should you require me before

Yours My dear Lord

Very faithfully

[signed George Brown]