|General Henry Seymour Conway|
Walpole Lewis Library
On accepting the post he could have had no idea that Cumberland would die a few months later and leave the newly formed ministry substantially weakened. The failure of the new administration to attract additional support among leading politicians forced Conway into a more active role, especially since the great matter of the next Parliamentary session would be the government's response to the surprising riots in the American colonies over the recently imposed Stamp tax.
Eventually, Conway would take the lead for the ministry in guiding the repeal of the Stamp Act through the House of Commons. Coincidentally, Conway had been one of the few in the House who had opposed the passage of the Stamp tax in the previous session.
History has not regarded General Conway's political abilities very highly but even Edmund Burke, who became critical of Conway in the years after the fall of the Rockingham administration, gave Conway high praise for his role during the Stamp Act crisis. Burke described the scene after the vote for repeal.
When at length you had determined in their favor, and your doors thrown open showed them the figure of their deliverer [Conway] in the well earned triumph of his important victory, from the whole of that great multitude there arose an involuntary burst of gratitude and transport. They jumped upon him like children on a long absent father. They clung about him as captives about their redeemer. All England, all America joined in his applause.