Patriotism, Fame, and Death, 1743-1750
This chapter discusses the later years of Aaron Hill from 1743 to 1750. Hill's retirement to Plaistow revived his interest in public affairs. He became filled with a deep sense of unease at the domestic and international crises that faced Britain during the 1740s. In 1747, dismayed by the fate of the allied troops in Flanders, Hill tried to use Lord Chesterfield, the Secretary of State, as a conduit for his idea on subjects ‘sometimes commercial, sometimes military’ — including treatment of dysentery among the troops. For Hill, writing became a substitute for action. Nearly all of his original works in this decade engaged to varying degrees with national and international politics. Hill's depression on his personal affairs spilled over into gloomy pronouncements on Britain. These works tackle the dangers of faction and self-interest in government and nation, and the demise of patriotism.
Keywords: Aaron Hill, Plaistow, public affairs, Britain, Flanders, Lord Chesterfield, patriotism