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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Secret History of the Court of England, from the Accession of George the Third to the Death of George the Fourth, Volume I (of 2), by Lady Anne Hamilton

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Title: Secret History of the Court of England, from the Accession of George the Third to the Death of George the Fourth, Volume I (of 2)

Including, Among Other Important Matters, Full Particulars of the Mysterious Death of the Princess Charlotte

Author: Lady Anne Hamilton

Release Date: September 29, 2011 [eBook #37570]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SECRET HISTORY OF THE COURT OF ENGLAND, FROM THE ACCESSION OF GEORGE THE THIRD TO THE DEATH OF GEORGE THE FOURTH, VOLUME I (OF 2)***

 

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Note: Project Gutenberg also has Volume II of this work. See http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/37571

 

Transcriber's Note:

Due to an accusation of libel, some pages had to be rewritten and reprinted before the book was bound. Pages 1-24 were not printed and are missing from the original. See the Preface for more information.

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Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been left as in the original. A few typographical errors have been corrected. A complete list as well as other notes can be found after the text.

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[i]

SECRET HISTORY

OF THE

Court of England,

FROM THE ACCESSION OF GEORGE THE THIRD TO THE
DEATH OF GEORGE THE FOURTH;


INCLUDING, AMONG OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS,

FULL PARTICULARS OF THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH

OF THE

PRINCESS CHARLOTTE.

 

By the Right Honorable LADY ANNE HAMILTON,
Sister of His Grace the present Duke of Hamilton and Brandon; and of the
Countess of Dunmore
.

 

"Of meaner vice and villains, sing no more,
But monsters crown'd, and Crime enrobed with Power!
At Vice's high imperial throne begin,
And boldly brand such prodigies of sin;
With pregnant phrase, and strong impartial verse,
The crimes of lords and crimes of kings rehearse!"

 

VOL I.

 

LONDON:
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM HENRY STEVENSON,
13, WELLINGTON STREET, STRAND.
1832.

[ii]


[iii]

"TO THE READER."

The source from whence this Work proceeds will be a sufficient guarantee for the facts it contains. A high sense of duty and honor has prompted these details which have for many years been on the eve of publication. It will be worthy of the perusal of The Great because it will serve as a mirror, and they who do not see themselves, or their actions reflected, will not take offence at the unvarnished Picture—it may afford real benefit to the Statesman and Politician, by the ample testimony it gives, that when Justice is perverted, the most lamentable consequences ensue; and to that class of Society whose station is more humble, it may unfold the designing characters by whom they have so frequently been deceived. They only are competent to detail the scenes and intrigues of a Court, who have been most intimately acquainted with it, and it must at all times be acknowledged, that it is a climate not very conducive to the growth of Virtue, not very frequently the abode of Truth—yet although its atmosphere is so tainted, its giddy crowd is thought enviably happy. The fallacy of such opinions is here set forth to public view, by one who has spent much of her time in the interior of a Court, and whose immediate knowledge of the then passing events, give [iv]ability to narrate them faithfully. Many, very many, facts are here omited, which hereafter shall appear, and there is little doubt, but that some general good may result from an unprejudiced and calm perusal of the subjects subjoined.


[v]

"PREFACE."

How far the law of Libel (as it now stands) may affect is best to be ascertained by a reference to the declaration of Lord Abingdon, in 1779, and inserted, verbatim, at page 69—1st vol. of this "Secret History." The following Pages are intended as a benefit, not to do injury. If the facts could not have been maintained proper methods ought to have been adopted to have caused the most minute enquiry and investigation upon the subject. Many an Arrow has been shot, and innumerable suspicions entertained from what motive, and by whose hand the bow was drawn, yet here all mystery ceases, and an open avowal is made:—Would to Heaven for the honor of human nature that the subjoined documents were falsehoods and calumniations invented for the purpose of maligning character, or for personal resentments—but the unusual corroboration of events, places, times, and persons, will not admit the probability. In the affair of the ever lamented Death of the Princess Charlotte, the three important Letters commencing at page 369, vol. 1st, are of essential importance, and deserve the most grave and deliberate enquiry—for the first time they now appear in print. The subjects connected with the Royal Mother are also of deep interest. The conduct of the English Government towards Napoleon is [vi]introduced, to give a true and impartial view of the reasons which dictated such arbitrary and unjust measures enforced against that Great Man, and which will ever remain a blot upon the British Nation. These unhandsome derelictions from honorable conduct could alone be expressed by those who were well informed upon private subjects. Respect for the illustrious Dead has materially encouraged the inclination to give publicity to scenes, which were as revolting in themselves as they were cruel and most heart-rending to the Victims: throughout the whole, it is quite apparent that certain Persons were obnoxious to the Ruling Authorities, and the sequel will prove, that the extinction of such Persons was resolved upon, let the means and measures to obtain that object be what they might. During this period we find those who had long been opposed in Political sentiments, to all appearance perfectly reconciled, and adhering to that party from whom they might expect the greatest honors and advancement in the State. We need only refer as proofs for this, to the late "Spencer Percival," and "George Canning"—who to obtain preferment joined the confederations formed against an unprotected Princess, and yet who previously had been the most strenuous defenders of the same Lady's cause.—Well may it be observed that Vanity is too powerful,

"The Seals of Office glitter in their eyes,
They leave the truth, and by their falsehoods rise."

[vii]These remarks are not intended as any disparagement to the private characters or virtues of those statesmen whose talent was great and well cultivated, but to establish the position which it is the object of this work to show that Justice has not been fairly and impartially administered when the requirement was in opposition to the Royal wish or the administration.

Within these volumes will also be found urgent remonstrances against the indignities offered to the people of Ireland, whose forebearance has been great, and whose sorrows are without a parallel, and who merit the same regard as England and Scotland.—Much is omited relative to the private conduct of persons who occupy high stations, but should it be needful, it shall be published, and all the correspondence connected therewith. It is true much honor will not be derived from such explanations, but they are forthcoming if requisite.

The generality of readers will not criticise severely upon the diction of these prefatory remarks; they will rather have their attention turned to the truths submitted to them, and the end in view,—that end is for the advancement of the best interests of Society—to unite more closely each member in the bonds of friendship and amity, and to expose the hidden causes which for so long a period have been barriers to concord, unity, and happiness

"MAY GOD DEFEND THE RIGHT."

[viii]


[25]

SECRET HISTORY,

&c. &c.

The secret history of the Court of England, during the last two reigns, will afford the reflecting mind abundant matter for regret and abhorrence. It has, however, been so much the fashion for historians to speak of kings and their ministers in all the fulsome terms of flattery, that the inquirer frequently finds it a matter of great difficulty to arrive at truth. But, fearless of consequences, we will speak of facts as they really occurred, and only hope our readers will accompany us in the recital with feelings, unwarped by party prejudice, and with a determination to judge the actions of kings, lords, and commons, not as beings of a superior order, but as men. Minds thus constituted will have little difficulty in tracing the origin of our present evils, or of perceiving

"How many that command should be COMMANDED!"

We commence with the year

1761,

about which period George the Third was pressed by his ministers to make choice of some royal lady, [26]and demand her in marriage. They urged this under the pretext, that such a connexion was indispensably necessary to give stability to the monarchy, to assist the progressive improvements in morality and religion, and to benefit all artificers, by making a display at court of their ingenious productions. His majesty heard the proposal with an aching heart; and, to many of his ministers, he seemed as if labouring under bodily indisposition. Those persons, however, who were in the immediate confidence of the king, felt no surprise at the distressing change so apparent in the countenance of his majesty, the cause of which may be traced in the following particulars:

The unhappy sovereign, while Prince of Wales, was in the daily habit of passing through St. James' street, and its immediate vicinity. In one of his favourite rides through that part of town, he saw a very engaging young lady, who appeared, by her dress, to be a member of the Society of Friends. The prince was much struck by the delicacy and lovely appearance of this female, and, for several succeeding days, was observed to walk out alone. At length, the passion of his royal highness arrived at such a point, that he felt his happiness depended upon receiving the lady in marriage.

Every individual in his immediate circle, or in the list of the privy council, was very narrowly questioned by the prince, though in an indirect manner, to ascertain who was most to be trusted, that he might secure, honorably, the possession of the object [27]of his ardent wishes. His royal highness, at last, confided his views to his next brother, Edward, Duke of York, and another person, who were the only witnesses to the legal marriage of the Prince of Wales to the before-mentioned lady, Hannah Lightfoot, which took place at Curzon-street Chapel, May Fair, in the year 1759.

This marriage was productive of issue, the particulars of which, however, we pass over for the present, and only look to the results of the union.

Shortly after the prince came to the throne, by the title of George the Third, ministers became suspicious of his marriage with the quakeress. At length, they were informed of the important fact, and immediately determined to annul it. After innumerable schemes how they might best attain this end, and thereby frustrate the king's wishes, they devised the "Royal Marriage Act," by which every prince or princess of the blood might not marry or intermarry with any person of less degree. This act, however, was not passed till thirteen years after George the Third's union with Miss Lightfoot, and therefore it could not render such marriage illegal.

From the moment the ministry became aware of his majesty's alliance to the lady just named, they took possession of their watch-tower, and determined that the new sovereign should henceforth do even as their will dictated; while the unsuspecting mind of George the Third was easily beguiled into their specious devices. In the absence of the king's beloved brother, Edward, Duke of York, (who was [28]then abroad for a short period) his majesty was assured by his ministers that no cognizance would be taken at any time of his late unfortunate amour and marriage; and persuaded him, that the only stability he could give to his throne was demanding the hand of the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburgh Strelitz. Every needful letter and paper for the negotiation was speedily prepared for the king's signature, which, in due course, each received; and thus was the foundation laid for this ill-fated prince's future malady!

Who can reflect upon the blighted first love of this monarch, without experiencing feelings of pity for his early sorrows! With his domestic habits, had he only been allowed to live with the wife of his choice, his reign might have passed in harmony and peace, and the English people now been affluent, happy, and contented. Instead of which, his unfeeling ministers compelled him to marry one of the most selfish, vindictive, and tyrannical women that ever disgraced human nature! At the first sight of the German princess, the king actually shrunk from her gaze; for her countenance was of that cast that too plainly told of the nature of the spirit working within.

On the 18th of September, the king was obliged to subscribe to the formal ceremony of a marriage with the before-named lady, at the palace of St. James. His majesty's brother Edward, who was one of the witnesses to the king's first marriage with Miss Lightfoot, was now also present, and used every endeavour to support his royal brother through the "trying [29]ordeal," not only by first meeting the princess on her entrance into the garden, but also at the altar.

In the mean time, the Earl of Abercorn informed the princess of the previous marriage of the king, and of the then existence of his majesty's wife; and Lord Harcourt advised the princess to well inform herself of the policy of the kingdoms, as a measure for preventing much future disturbance in the country, as well as securing an uninterrupted possession of the throne to her issue. Presuming, therefore, that this German princess had hitherto been an open and ingenuous character, (which are certainly traits very rarely to be found in the mind of a German of her grade) such expositions, intimations, and dark mysteries, were ill calculated to nourish honorable feelings, but would rather operate as a check to their further existence.

To the public eye, the newly-married pair were contented with each other;—alas! it was because each feared an exposure to the nation. The king reproached himself that he had not fearlessly avowed the only wife of his affections; the queen, because she feared an explanation that the king was guilty of bigamy, and thereby her claim, as also that of her progeny, (if she should have any) would be known to be illegitimate. It appears as if the result of these reflections formed a basis for the misery of millions, and added to that number millions then unborn. The secret marriage of the king proved a pivot, on which the destiny of kingdoms was to turn.

[30]At this period of increased anxiety to his majesty, Miss Lightfoot was disposed of during a temporary absence of his brother Edward, and from that time no satisfactory tidings ever reached those most interested in her welfare. The only information that could be obtained was, that a young gentleman, named Axford, was offered a large amount, to be paid on the consummation of his marriage with Miss Lightfoot, which offer he willingly accepted.

The king was greatly distressed to ascertain the fate of his much-beloved and legally-married wife, the quakeress, and entrusted Lord Chatham to go in disguise, and endeavour to trace her abode; but the search proving fruitless, the king was again almost distracted.

Every one in the queen's confidence was expected to make any personal sacrifice of feeling whenever her majesty might require it; and, consequently, new emoluments, honors, and posts of dignity, were continually needful for the preservation of such unnatural friendships. From this period, new creations of peers were enrolled; and, as it became expedient to increase the number of the "privy cabal," the nation was freely called upon, by extra taxation and oppressive burdens of various kinds, to supply the necessary means to support this vile system of bribery and misrule!

We have dwelt upon this important period, because we wish our countrymen to see the origin of our overgrown national debt,—the real cause of England's present wretchedness.

[31]The coronation of their majesties passed over, a few days after their marriage, without any remarkable feature, save that of an additional expense to the nation. The queen generally appeared at ease, though she seized upon every possible occasion to slight all persons from whom she feared any state explanation, which might prove inimical to her wishes. The wily queen thought this would effectually prevent their frequent appearance at court, as well as cause their banishment from the council-chamber.

A bill was passed this year to fix the civil list at the annual sum of EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS, payable out of the consolidated fund, in lieu of the hereditary revenue, settled on the late king.

Another act passed, introduced to parliament by a speech from the throne, for the declared purpose of giving additional security to the independence of the judges. Although there was a law then in force, passed in the reign of William the Third, for continuing the commissions of judges during their good behaviour, they were legally determined on the death of the reigning sovereign. By this act, however, their continuance in office was made independent of the royal demise.

Twelve millions of money were raised by loans this year, and the interest thereon agreed to be paid by an additional duty of three shillings per barrel on all strong beer or ale,—the sinking fund being a collateral security. The imposition of this tax was received by the people as it deserved to be; for every [32]labourer and mechanic severally felt himself insulted by so oppressive an act.

The year

1762

was ushered in by the hoarse clarion of war. England declared against Spain, while France and Spain became opposed to Portugal, on account of her alliance with Great Britain. These hostilities, however, were not of long duration; for preliminaries of peace were signed, before the conclusion of the year, by the English and French plenipotentiaries at Fontainbleau.

By this treaty, the original cause of the war was removed by the cession of Canada to England. This advantage, if advantage it may be called, cost this country eighteen millions of money, besides the loss of three hundred thousand men! Every friend of humanity must shudder at so wanton a sacrifice of life, and so prodigious an expenditure of the public money! But this was only the commencement of the reign of imbecility and Germanism.

On the 12th of August, her majesty was safely delivered of a prince. Court etiquette requires numerous witnesses of the birth of an heir-apparent to the British throne. On this occasion, however, her majesty's extraordinary delicacy dispensed with a strict adherence to the forms of state; for only the Archbishop of Canterbury was allowed to be in the room. But there were more powerful reasons [33]than delicacy for this unusual privacy, which will hereafter appear.

On the 18th of September following, the ceremony of christening the royal infant was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the great council-chamber of his majesty's palace, and the young prince was named George, Augustus, Frederick.

In this year, the city of Havannah surrendered to the English, whose troops were commanded by Lord Albermarle and Admiral Pococke. Nine sail of the line and four frigates were taken in the harbour; three of the line had been previously sunk by the enemy, and two were destroyed on the stocks. The plunder in money and merchandize was supposed to have amounted to three millions sterling, while the sum raised by the land-tax, at four shillings in the pound, from 1756 to 1760 inclusive, also produced ten millions of money! But to what purpose this amount was devoted remained a profound secret to those from whom it was extorted.

In the November of this year, the famous Peter Annet was sentenced by the Court of King's Bench to be imprisoned one month, to stand twice in the pillory within that time, and afterwards to be kept to hard labour in Bridewell for a year. The reader may feel surprised when informed that all the enormity this man had been guilty of consisted in nothing more than writing the truth of the government, which was published in his "Free Inquirer." [34]The unmerited punishment, however, had only this effect: it made him glory in suffering for the cause of liberty and truth.

1763

was a continuation of the misrule which characterized the preceding year.

In May, Lord Bute resigned the office of First Lord of the Treasury, and the conduct of the earl became a question of much astonishment and criticism. He was the foundation-stone of Toryism, in its most arbitrary form; and there cannot be a doubt that his lordship's influence over the state machinery was the key-stone of all the mischiefs and miseries of the nation. It was Lord Bute's opinion, that all things should be made subservient to the queen, and he framed his measures accordingly.

The earl was succeeded by Mr. George Grenville. Little alteration for the better, however, was manifested in the administration, although the characters and principles of the new ministers were supposed to be of a liberal description; but this may possibly be accounted for by the Earls of Halifax and Egremont continuing to be the secretaries of state.

In this memorable year, the celebrated John Wilkes, editor of "The North Briton," was committed to the Tower, for an excellent, though biting, criticism on his majesty's speech to the two houses of parliament. The queen vigorously promoted this unconstitutional and tyrannical act of [35]the new government, which was severely censured by many members of the House of Commons. Among the rest, Mr. Pitt considered the act as an infringement upon the rights of the people; and, although he condemned the libel, he said he would come at the author fairly,—not by an open breach of the constitution, and a contempt of all restraint. Wilkes, however, came off triumphantly, and his victory was hailed with delight by his gratified countrymen.

In the midst of this public agitation, the queen, on the 16th of August, burdened the nation with her second son, Frederick, afterwards created Duke of York, Bishop of Osnaburgh, and many other et ceteras, which produced a good round sum, and, we should think, more than sufficient to support this Right Reverend Father in God, at the age of—eleven months!

Colonel Gréme, who had been chiefly instrumental in bringing about the marriage of the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburgh with the King of England, was this year appointed Master of St. Catherine, near the Tower, an excellent sinecure in the peculiar gift of the queen!

The most important public event on the continent was, the death of Augustus, third King of Poland, and Elector of Saxony, who had lately returned to his electoral dominions, from which he had been banished for six years, in consequence of the war. Immediately after his demise, his eldest son and successor to the electorate declared himself a candidate [36]for the crown of Poland, in which ambition he was supposed to be countenanced by the Court of Vienna; but he fell a victim to the small-pox, a few weeks after his father's death.

During the year

1764,

much public anxiety and disquietude was manifested. Mr. Wilkes again appeared before a public tribunal for publishing opinions not in accordance with the reigning powers. The House of Commons sat so early as seven o'clock in the morning to consider his case, and the speaker actually remained in the chair for twenty hours, so important was the matter considered.

About the end of this year, the king became much indisposed, and exhibited the first signs of that mental aberration, which, in after years, so heavily afflicted him. The nation, in general, supposed this to have arisen from his majesty's anxiety upon the fearful aspect of affairs, which was then of the most gloomy nature, both at home and abroad. Little, indeed, did the multitudes imagine the real cause; little did the private gentleman, the industrious tradesman, the worthy mechanic, or the labourer, think that their sovereign was living in splendid misery, bereft of the dearest object of his solicitude, and compelled to associate with the woman he all but detested!

Nature had not formed George the Third for a [37]king; she had not been profuse to him either in elegance of manners, or capacity of mind; but he seemed more fitted to shine in a domestic circle, where his affections were centred, and in that sphere only. But, with all hereditary monarchies, an incompetent person has the same claim as a man adorned with every requisite and desirable ability!

In this year, Lord Albermarle received TWENTY THOUSAND POUNDS as his share in the Havannah prize-money; while one pound, two shillings, and six-pence was thought sufficient for a corporal, and thirteen shillings and five-pence for a private! How far this disbursement was consistent with equity, we leave every honest member of society to determine.

In December, a most excellent edict was registered in the parliament of Paris, by which the King of France abolished the society of Jesuits for ever.

Early in the year

1765,

the queen was pressingly anxious that her marriage with the king should again be solemnized; and, as the queen was then pregnant, his majesty readily acquiesced in her wishes. Dr. Wilmot, by his majesty's appointment, performed the ceremony at their palace at Kew. The king's brother, Edward, was present upon this occasion also, as he had been on the two former ones.

Under the peculiar distractions of this year, it [38]was supposed, the mind of the sovereign was again disturbed. To prevent a recurrence of such interruptions to the royal authority, a law was passed, empowering his majesty to appoint the queen, or other member of the royal family, assisted by a council, to act as regent of the kingdom. Although his majesty's blank of intellect was but of short duration, it proved of essential injury to the people generally. The tyrannical queen, presuming on the authority of this bill, exercised the most unlimited sway over national affairs. She supplied her own requirements and opinions, in unison with her trusty-bought clan, who made it apparent that these suggestions were offered by the king, and were his settled opinions, upon the most deliberate investigation of all matters and things connected therewith!

During the king's indisposition, he was most passionate in his requests, that the wife of his choice should be brought to him. The queen, judging her influence might be of much consequence to quell the perturbation of her husband's mind, was, agreeably to her own request, admitted to the solitary apartment of the king. It is true he recognised her, but it was followed by extreme expressions of disappointment and disgust! The queen was well acquainted with all subjects connected with his majesty's unfortunate passion and marriage; therefore, she thought it prudent to stifle expressions of anger or sorrow, and, as soon as decency permitted, left the place, resolving thenceforth to manage the helm herself.

[39]On the 31st of October, his majesty's uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, died suddenly at his house in Upper Grosvenor-street, in the forty-fifth year of his age; and on the 28th of December, his majesty's youngest brother, Prince Frederick William, also expired, in the sixteenth year of his age.

On December 1st,

1766,

his majesty's sister, Matilda, was married to the King of Denmark, and the Duke of York was proxy on the occasion. Soon afterwards, his royal highness took leave of his brother, and set out on a projected tour through Germany, and other parts of the continent. The queen was most happy to say "Adieu," and, for the first time, felt something like ease on his account.

The supplies granted for the service of this year, although the people were in the most distressed state, amounted to eight millions, two hundred and seventy-three thousand, two hundred and eighty pounds!

In the year

1767,

the noble-minded and generous Duke of York was married to a descendant of the Stuarts, an amiable and conciliating lady, not only willing, but anxious, to live without the splendour of royal parade, and [40]desirous also of evading the flatteries and falsehoods of a court.

In August, the duke lived very retired in a chateau near Monaco, in Italy, blessed and happy in the society of his wife. She was then advancing in pregnancy, and his solicitude for her was sufficient to have deeply interested a heart less susceptible than her own. Their marriage was kept from public declaration, but we shall refer to the proofs hereafter. In the ensuing month, it was announced that (17th September) the duke "died of a malignant fever," in the twenty-ninth year of his age, and the news was immediately communicated to the King of England. The body was said to be embalmed, (?) and then put on board his majesty's ship Montreal, to be brought to England. His royal highness was interred on the evening of November 3rd, in the royal vault of King Henry the Seventh's Chapel.

The fate of the duke's unfortunate and inconsolable widow, and that of the infant, to whom she soon after gave birth, must be reserved for its appropriate place in this history.

The high price of provisions this year occasioned much distress and discontent, and excited tumults in various parts of the kingdom. Notwithstanding this, ministers attempted to retain every tax that had been imposed during the late war, and appeared perfectly callous to the sufferings of the productive classes. Even the land-tax, of four shillings in the pound, was attempted to be continued, though [41]contrary to all former custom; but the country gentlemen became impatient of this innovation, and contrived to get a bill introduced into the House of Commons, to reduce it to three shillings in the pound. This was carried by a great majority, in spite of all the efforts of the ministry to the contrary! The defeat of the ministers caused a great sensation at the time, as it was the first money-bill in which any ministry had been disappointed since the revolution of 1688! But what can any ministers do against the wishes of a determined people? If the horse knew his own strength, would he submit to the dictation of his rider?

On account of the above bill being thrown out, ministers had considerable difficulty in raising the necessary supplies for the year, which were estimated at eight millions and a half, including, we suppose, secret-service money, which was now in great demand.

The king experienced a fluctuating state of health, sometimes improving, again retrograding, up to the year

1768.

In his speech, in the November of this year, his majesty announced, that much disturbance had been exhibited in some of the colonies, and a disposition manifested to throw aside their dependence upon Great Britain. Owing to this circumstance, a new office was created, under the name of "Secretary of [42]State for the Colonies," and to which the Earl of Hillsborough was appointed.

The Earl of Chatham having resigned, parliament was dissolved. Party spirit running high, the electioneering contests were unusually violent, and serious disorders occurred. Mr. Wilkes was returned for Middlesex; but, being committed to the King's Bench for libels on the government, the mob rescued Wilkes from the soldiers, who were conducting him thither. The military were ordered to fire on the people, and one man, who was singled out and pursued by the soldiers, was shot dead. A coroner's inquest brought this in wilful murder, though the higher authorities not only acquitted the magistrates and soldiers, but actually returned public thanks to them!

At this period, the heart sickens at the relations given of the punishments inflicted on many private soldiers in the guards. They were each allowed only four-pence per day. If they deserted and were re-taken, the poor delinquents suffered the dreadful infliction of five hundred lashes. The victims thus flagellated very seldom escaped with life! In the navy, also, the slightest offence or neglect was punished with inexpressible tortures. This infamous treatment of brave men can only be accounted for by the fact, that officers in the army and navy either bought their situations, or received them as a compensation for some SECRET SERVICE performed for, or by the request of, the queen and her servile ministry. Had officers been promoted from the ranks, [43]for performing real services to their country, they would have then possessed more commiseration for their brothers in arms.

We must here do justice to the character of George the Third from all intentional tyranny. Many a time has this monarch advocated the cause of the productive classes, and as frequently have his ministers, urged on by the queen, defeated his most sanguine wishes, until he found himself a mere cipher in the affairs of state. The king's simplicity of style and unaffected respect for the people would have induced him to despise the gorgeous pageantry of state; he had been happy, indeed, to have been "the real father of his subjects." His majesty well knew that the public good ought to be the sole aim of all governments, and that for this purpose a prince is invested with the regal crown. A king is not to employ his authority, patronage, and riches, merely to gratify his own lusts and ambition; but, if need require it, he ought even to sacrifice his own ease and pleasure for the benefit of his country. We give George the Third credit for holding these sentiments, which, however, only increased his regrets, as he really had no power to act,—that power being in the possession of his queen, and other crafty and designing persons, to whose opinions and determinations he had become a perfect slave! It is to be regretted that he had not sufficient nerve to eject such characters from his councils; for assuredly the nation would have been, to a man, willing to [44]protect him from their vile machinations; but once subdued, he was subdued for ever.

From the birth, a prince is the subject of flattery, and is even caressed for his vicious propensities; nay, his minions never appear before him without a mask, while every artifice that cunning can suggest is practised to deceive him. He is not allowed to mix in general society, and therefore is ignorant of the wants and wishes of the people over whom he is destined to reign. When he becomes a king, his counsellors obtain his signature whenever they desire it; and, as his extravagance increases, so must sums of money, in some way or other, be extorted from his suffering and oppressed subjects. Should his ministers prove ambitious, war is the natural result, and the money of the poor is again in request to furnish means for their own destruction! Whereas, had the prince been associated with the intelligent and respectable classes of society, he might have warded off the evil, and, instead of desolating war, peace might have shed her gentle influence over the land. Another barbarous custom is, the injunction imposed upon royal succession, that they shall not marry only with their equals in birth. But is not this a violation of the most vital interests and solemn engagements to which humanity have subscribed? What unhappiness has not such an unnatural doctrine produced? Quality of blood ought only to be recognized by corresponding nobility of sentiments, principles, and actions. He that is debarred from [45]possessing the object of his virtuous regard is to be pitied, whether he be a king or a peasant; and we can hardly wonder at his sinking into the abyss of carelessness, imbecility, and even madness.

In February,

1769,

the first of those deficiencies in the civil list, which had occurred from time to time, was made known to parliament, by a message in the name of the unhappy king, but who only did as he was ordered by his ministerial cabal. This debt amounted to five hundred thousand pounds, and his majesty was tutored to say, that he relied on the zeal and affection of his faithful Commons to enable him to discharge it! The principal part of this money was expended upon wretches, of the most abandoned description, for services performed against the welfare of England.

The year

1770

proved one of much political interest. The queen was under the necessity of retiring a little from the apparent part she had taken in the affairs of state; nevertheless, she was equally active; but, from policy, did not appear so. Another plan to deceive the people being deemed necessary, invitations for splendid parties were given, in order to [46]assume an appearance of confidence and quietness, which her majesty could not, and did not, possess.

In this year, Lord Chatham publicly avowed his sentiments in these words: "Infuse a portion of health into the constitution, to enable it to bear its infirmities." Previous to making this remark, his lordship, of course, was well acquainted with the causes of the then present distresses of the country, as well as the sources from whence those causes originated. But one generous patriot is not sufficient to put a host of antagonists to flight. The earl's measures were too mild to be heeded by the minions of the queen then in power; his intention being "to persuade and soften, not to irritate and offend." We may infer that, had he been merely a "party man," he would naturally concur in any enterprise likely to create a bustle without risk to himself; but, upon examination, he appears to have loved the cause of independence, and was willing to support it by every personal sacrifice.

About this time, the Duke of Grafton resigned his office of First Lord of the Treasury, in which he was succeeded by that disgrace to his country, Lord North, who then commenced his long and disastrous administration. Dr. Wilmot was a friendly preceptor to this nobleman, while at the university; but it was frequently a matter of regret to the worthy doctor, that his lordship had not imbibed those patriotic principles which he had so strongly endeavoured to inculcate; and he has been known to observe, that Lord North's administration called for [47]the most painful animadversions, inasmuch as he advocated the enaction of laws of the most arbitrary character.

Mr. Wilkes, previous to the meeting of the Commons in January, was not only acquitted, but had damages, to a large amount, awarded him; and the king expressed a desire, that such damages should be paid out of his privy purse. The Earl of Halifax, who signed the warrant for his committal to the Tower in 1763, was finally so disappointed that he offered his resignation, though he afterwards accepted the privy seal.

It was during this year, that the celebrated "Letters of Junius" first appeared. These compositions were distinguished as well by the force and elegance of their style as by the violence of their attacks on individuals. The first of these letters was printed in the "Public Advertiser," of December the 19th, and addressed to the king, animadverting on all the errors of his reign, and speaking of his ministers in terms of equal contempt and abhorrence. An attempt was made to suppress this letter by the strong arm of the law; but the effort proved abortive, as the jury acquitted the printer, who was the person prosecuted. Junius (though under a feigned name) was the most competent person to speak fully upon political subjects. He had long been the bosom friend of the king, and spent all his leisure time at court. No one, therefore, could better judge of the state of public affairs than himself, and his sense of duty to the nation animated him to plead for the [48]long-estranged rights of the people; indeed, upon many occasions, he displayed such an heroic firmness, such an invincible love of truth, and such an unconquerable sense of honor, that he permitted his talents to be exercised freely in the cause of public justice, and subscribed his addenda under an envelope, rather than injure his prince, or leave the interests of his countrymen to the risk of fortuitous circumstances. We know of whom we speak, and therefore feel authorized to assert, that in his character were concentrated the steady friend of the prince as well as of the people.

Numerous disquisitions have been written to prove the identity of Junius; but, in spite of many arguments to the contrary, we recognize him in the person of the Rev. James Wilmot, D.D., Rector of Barton-on-the-Heath, and Aulcester, Warwickshire, and one of his majesty's justices of the peace for that county.

Dr. Wilmot was born in 1720, and, during his stay at the university, became intimately acquainted with Dr. Johnson, Lord Archer, and Lord Plymouth, as well as Lord North, who was then entered at Trinity College. From these gentlemen, the doctor imbibed his political opinions, and was introduced to the first society in the kingdom. At the age of thirty, Dr. Wilmot was confidently entrusted with the most secret affairs of state, and was also the bosom friend of the Prince of Wales, afterwards George the Third, who at that time was under the entire tutorage of Lord Bute. To this nobleman, Dr. Wilmot [49]had an inveterate hatred, for he despised the selfish principles of Toryism. As soon as the Princess of Mecklenburgh (the late Queen Charlotte) arrived in this country in 1761, Dr. Wilmot was introduced, as the especial friend of the king, and this will at once account for his being chosen to perform the second marriage-ceremony of their majesties at Kew palace, as before related.

A circumstance of rather a singular nature occurred to Dr. Wilmot, in the year 1765, inasmuch as it was the immediate cause of the bold and decisive line of conduct which he afterwards adopted. It was simply this: the doctor received an anonymous letter, requesting an interview with the writer in Kensington Gardens. The letter was written in Latin, and sealed, the impression of which was a Medusa's head. The doctor at first paid no attention to it; but during the week he received four similar requests, written by the same hand; and, upon the receipt of the last, Dr. Wilmot provided himself with a brace of pocket pistols, and proceeded to the gardens at the hour appointed. The doctor felt much surprised when he was accosted by—Lord Bute! who immediately suggested that Dr. Wilmot should assist the administration, as her majesty had entire confidence in him! The doctor briefly declined, and very soon afterwards commenced his political career. Thus the German princess always endeavoured to inveigle the friends of the people.

Lord Chatham had been introduced to Dr. Wilmot [50]by the Duke of Cumberland; and it was from these associations with the court and the members of the several administrations, that the doctor became so competent to write his unparalleled "Letters of Junius."

We here subjoin an incontrovertible proof of Dr. Wilmot's being the author of the work alluded to:

hand-writing of Dr. Wilmot

This is a fac-simile of the doctor's hand-writing, and must for ever set at rest the long-disputed question of "Who is the author of Junius?"

The people were really in need of the advocacy of a writer like Junius, for their burdens at this time were of the most grievous magnitude. Although the country was not in danger from foreign enemies, in order to give posts of command, honor, and emolument, to the employed sycophants at court, our navy was increased, nominal situations were provided; while all the means to pay for such services were again ordered to be drawn from the people!

1771

was productive of little else than harassing distresses [51]to the poor labourer and mechanic. At this period, it was not unusual to tear the husband from the wife, and the parent from the child, and immure them within the damp and noisome walls of a prison, to prevent any interposition on the part of the suffering multitudes. Yes, countrymen, such tyranny was practised to ensure the secrecy of truth, and to destroy the wishes of a monarch, who was rendered incompetent to act for himself.

Various struggles were made this year to curb the power of the judges, particularly in cases relating to the liberty of the press, and also to destroy the power vested in the Attorney-General of prosecuting ex-officio, without the intervention of a grand jury, or the forms observed by courts of law in other cases. But the boroughmongers and minions of the queen were too powerful for the liberal party in the House of Commons, and the chains of slavery were, consequently, rivetted afresh.

A question of great importance also occurred this year respecting the privileges of the House of Commons. It had become the practice of newspaper writers to take the liberty, not before ventured upon, of printing the speeches of the members, under their respective names; some of which in the whole, and others in essential parts, were spurious productions, and, in any case, contrary to the standing orders of the House. A complaint on this ground having been made by a member against two of the printers, an order was issued for their attendance, with which they refused to comply; a second order was given [52]with no better success. At length, one of the printers being taken into custody under the authority of the speaker's warrant, he was carried before the celebrated Alderman John Wilkes, who, regarding the caption as illegal, not only discharged the man, but bound him over to prosecute his captor, for assault and false imprisonment. Two more printers, being apprehended and carried before Alderman Wilkes and the Lord Mayor, Crosby, were, in like manner, discharged. The indignation of the House was then directed against the city magistrates, and various measures adopted towards them. The contest finally terminated in favor of the printers, who have ever since continued to publish the proceedings of parliament, and the speeches of the members, without obstacle.

In this year, the marriage of the Duke of Cumberland with Mrs. Horton took place. The king appeared electrified when the matter was communicated to him, and declared that he never would forgive his royal brother's conduct, who, being informed of his majesty's sentiments, thus wrote to him: "Sire, my welfare will ensure your own; you cannot condemn an affair there is a precedent for, even in your own person!"—alluding to his majesty's marriage with Hannah Lightfoot. His majesty was compelled to acknowledge this marriage, from the Duke of Cumberland having made a confidant of Colonel Luttrell, brother of Mrs. Horton, with regard to several important state secrets which had occurred in the years 1759, 1760, 1761, 1762, and 1763.

[53]This Duke of Cumberland also imbibed the family complaint of BIGAMY; for he had been married, about twelve months previous, to a daughter of Dr. Wilmot, who, of course, remonstrated against such unjust treatment. The king solemnly assured Dr. Wilmot that he might rely upon his humanity and honor. The doctor paused, and had the courage to say, in reply, "I have once before relied upon the promises of your majesty! But"—"Hush! hush!" said the king, interrupting him, "I know what you are going to say; but do not disturb me with wills and retrospection of past irreparable injury."

The death of the Earl of Halifax, soon after the close of the session in this year, caused a vacancy; and the Duke of Grafton returned to office, as keeper of the privy seal. His grace was a particular favourite with the queen, but much disliked by the intelligent and reflecting part of the community.

The political atmosphere bore a gloomy aspect at the commencement of

1772,

and petitions from the people were sent to the king and the two houses of parliament, for the repeal of what they believed to be unjust and pernicious laws upon the subject of religious liberty. Several clergymen of the established church prayed to be liberated from their obligation to subscribe to the "Thirty-nine Articles." But it was urged, in opposition to the petitions, that government had an undoubted [54]right to establish and maintain such a system of instruction as the ministers thereof deemed most suitable for the public benefit. But expedience and right are as far asunder, in truth, as is the distance from pole to pole. The policy of the state required some new source from whence to draw means for the secret measures needful for prolonging the existence of its privacy; and it was therefore deemed expedient to keep politics and religion as close together as possible, by enforcing the strictest obedience of all demands made upon the clergy, in such forms and at such times as should best accord with the political system of the queen. In consequence of which, the petitions were rejected by a majority of 217 boroughmongers against 71 real representatives of the people!

An act, passed this session, for "Making more effectual provisions to guard the descendants of the late king, George the Second, from marrying without the approbation of his majesty, his heirs, and successors, first had and obtained," was strenuously opposed by the liberal party in every stage of its progress through both houses. It was generally supposed to have had its origin in the marriage contracted but a few months before by the Duke of Cumberland with Mrs. Horton, relict of Colonel Horton, and daughter of Lord Irnham; and also in a private, though long-suspected, marriage of the Duke of Gloucester to the Countess-dowager of Waldegrave, which the duke at this time openly avowed. But were there not other reasons which [55]operated on the mind of the queen (for the poor king was only a passive instrument in her power) to force this bill into a law? Had she not an eye to her husband's former alliance with the quakeress, and the Duke of York's marriage in Italy? The latter was even more dangerous to her peace than the former; for the duke had married a descendant of the Stuarts!

Lord Chatham made many representations to the king and queen of the improper and injudicious state of the penal laws. He cited an instance of unanswerable disproportion; namely, that, on the 14th of July, two persons were publicly whipped round Covent Garden market, in accordance with the sentence passed upon them; but mark the difference of the crimes for which they were so punished: one was for stealing a bunch of radishes; the other, for debauching his own niece! In vain, however, did this friend of humanity represent the unwise, unjust, and inconsistent tenour of such laws. The king was anxious to alter them immediately; but the queen was decided in her opinion, that they ought to be left entirely to the pleasure and opinion of the judges, well knowing they would not disobey her will upon any point of law, or equity, so called. Thus did the nation languish under the tyrannical usurpation of a German princess, whose disposition and talents were much better calculated to give laws to the brute creation than to interfere with English jurisprudence!

In November of this year, it was announced that [56]the king earnestly desired parliament should take into consideration the state of the East India Company. But the king was ignorant of the subject; though it was true, the queen desired it; because she received vast emoluments from the various situations purchased by individuals under the denomination of cadets, &c. Of course, her majesty's will was tantamount to law.

The Earl of Chatham resolved once more to speak to the queen upon the state of things, and had an audience for that purpose. As an honest man, he very warmly advocated the cause of the nation, and represented the people to be in a high state of excitement, adding, that "if they be repelled, they must be repelled by force!" And to whom ought an unhappy suffering people to have had recourse but to the throne, whose power sanctioned the means used to drain their purses? The queen, however, was still unbending; she not only inveighed against the candour and sentiments of the earl, but requested she might not again be troubled by him upon such subjects! Before retiring, Lord Chatham said, "Your majesty must excuse me if I say, the liberty of the subject is the surest protection to the monarch, and if the prince protects the guilty, instead of punishing them, time will convince him, that he has judged erroneously, and acted imprudently."

The earl retired; but "his labouring breast knew not peace," and he resolved, for the last time, to see the king in private. An interview was requested, and as readily granted. "Well, well," said the king, [57]"I hope no bad news?" "No bad news, your majesty; but I wish to submit to your opinion a few questions." "Quite right, quite right," said the king, "tell me all." The earl did so, and, after his faithful appeal to the king, concluded by saying, "My sovereign will excuse me, but I can no longer be a party to the deceptions pawned upon the people, as I am, and consider myself to be, amenable to God and my conscience!" Would that England had possessed a few more such patriots!

This year will ever be memorable in history as the commencement of that partition of Poland, between three contiguous powers,—Russia, Austria, and Prussia,—which has served as an example and apology for all those shameful violations of public right and justice that have stained the modern annals of Europe. The unfortunate Poles appealed in vain to Great Britain, France, and Spain, and the States-general of Holland, on the atrocious perfidy and injustice of these proceedings. After some unavailable remonstrances, the diet was compelled, at the point of the bayonet, to sign a treaty for the formal cession of the several districts which the three usurpers had fixed upon and guaranteed to each other. The partitioning legitimates also generously made a present of an aristocratic constitution to the suffering Poles.

In the year

1773,

commercial credit was greatly injured by extensive [58]failures in England and Holland. The distress and embarrassment of the mercantile classes were farther augmented by a great diminution in the gold coin, in consequence of wear and fraud,—such loss, by act of parliament, being thrown upon the holders!

At this time, the discontents which had long been manifest in the American colonies broke out into open revolt. The chief source of irritation against the mother country was the impolitic measure of retaining a trifling duty on tea, as an assertion of the right of the British parliament to tax the colonies.

The year

1774

bore a gloomy and arbitrary character, with wars abroad and uneasiness at home. The county of Nottingham omitted to raise their militia in the former year, and in this they were fined two thousand pounds.

Louis the Fifteenth of France died this year of the small-pox, caught from a country girl, introduced to him by Madame du Barré to gratify his sensual desires. He was in the sixty-fourth year of his age, and in the fifty-ninth of his reign. The gross debaucheries into which he had sank, with the despotic measures he had adopted towards the Chamber of Deputies in his latter years, had entirely deprived him of his appellation of the [59]"Well-beloved." Few French sovereigns have left a less-respected memory.

1775

was also a year of disquiet. The City of London addressed the throne, and petitioned against the existing grievances, expressing their strong abhorrence of the measures adopted towards the Americans, justifying their resistance, and beseeching his majesty to dismiss his ministers. The invisible power of the queen, however, prevented their receiving redress, and the ministers were retained, contrary to all petition and remonstrance. Upon these occasions, the king was obliged to submit to any form of expression, dictated by the minister, that minister being under the entire controul of the queen; and though the nation seemed to wear a florid countenance, it was sick at heart. Lord North was a very considerable favourite with her majesty; while his opponents, Messrs. Fox and Burke, were proportionately disliked. The Duke of Grafton now felt tired of his situation, and told the queen that he could no longer continue in office; in consequence of which, the Earl of Dartmouth received the privy seal.

The Americans, in the mean time, were vigorously preparing for what they conceived to be inevitable—a war. Various attempts, notwithstanding, were made by the enlightened and liberal-minded part of the community to prevent ministers from [60]continuing hostilities against them. That noble and persevering patriot, Lord Chatham, raised his warning voice against it. "I wish," said he, "not to lose a day in this urgent, pressing crisis; an hour now lost in allaying ferments in America, may produce YEARS OF CALAMITY! Never will I desert, in any stage of its progress, the conduct of this momentous business. Unless fettered to my bed by the extremity of sickness, I will give it unremitted attention; I will knock at the gates of this sleeping and confounded ministry, and will, if it be possible, rouse them to a sense of their danger. The recall of your army, I urge as necessarily preparatory to the restoration of your peace. By this it will appear that you are disposed to treat amicably and equitably, and to consider, revise, and repeal, if it should be found necessary, as I affirm it will, those violent acts and declarations which have disseminated confusion throughout the empire. Resistance to these acts was necessary, and therefore just; and your vain declaration of the omnipotence of Parliament, and your imperious doctrines of the necessity of submission, will be found equally impotent to convince or enslave America, who feels that tyranny is equally intolerable, whether it be exercised by an individual part of the legislature, or by the collective bodies which compose it!"

How prophetic did this language afterwards prove! Oh! England, how hast thou been cursed by debt and blood through the impotency and villany of thy rulers!

[61]In the year

1776,

the Earl of Harcourt was charged with a breach of privilege; but his services for the queen operated as a sufficient reason for rejecting the matter of complaint.

So expensive did the unjust and disgraceful war with America prove this year, that more than nine millions were supplied for its service! In order to raise this shameful amount, extra taxes were levied on newspapers, deeds, and other matters of public utility. Thus were the industrious and really productive classes imposed upon, and their means exhausted, to gratify the inordinate wishes of a German princess, now entitled to be the cause of their misery and ruin. The queen knew that war required soldiers and sailors, and that these soldiers and sailors must have officers over them, which would afford her an opportunity of selling commissions or of bestowing them upon some of her favourites. So that these things contributed to her majesty's individual wealth and power, what cared she for the increase of the country's burdens!

It is wonderful to reflect upon the means with which individuals in possession of power have contrived, in all ages and in all countries, to controul mankind. From thoughtlessness and the absence of knowledge, the masses of people have been made to contend, with vehemence and courageous enterprise, [62]against their own interests, and for the benefit of those mercenary wretches by whom they have been enslaved! How monstrous it is, that, to gratify the sanguinary feelings of one tyrant, thousands of human beings should go forth to the field of battle as willing sacrifices! Ignorance alone has produced such lamentable results; for a thirst after blood is never so effectually quenched as when it is repressed by the influence of knowledge, which teaches humility, moderation, benevolence, and the practice of every other virtue. In civilized society, there cannot be an equality of property; and, from the dissimilarity in human organization, there cannot be equality in the power and vigour of the mind. All men, however, are entitled to, and ought to enjoy, a perfect equality in civil and political rights. In the absence of this just condition, a nation can only be partially free. The people of such a nation exist under unequal laws, and those persons upon whom injuries are inflicted by the partial operation of those laws are, it must be conceded, the victims of an authority which they cannot controul. Such was, unhappily, the condition of the English people at this period. To prevent truth from having an impartial hearing and explanation, the plans of government were obliged to be of an insincere and unjust character. The consequences were, the debasement of morals, and the prostitution of the happiness and rights of the people. But Power was in the grasp of Tyranny, attended on each side by Pride and Cruelty; while Fear presented an excuse for Silence and Apathy, and left [63]Artifice and Avarice to extend their baneful influence over society. British courage was stifled by arbitrary persecutions, fines, and imprisonment, which threatened to overwhelm all who dared to resist the tide of German despotism. Had unity and resolution been the watch-words of the sons of Britain, what millions of debt might have been prevented! what oceans of blood might have been saved! The iniquitous ministers who dictated war with America should have suffered as traitors to their country, which would have been their fate had not blind ignorance and servility, engendered by priests and tyrants, through the impious frauds of church and state, overwhelmed the better reason of the great mass of mankind! It was, we say, priestcraft and statecraft that kindled this unjustifiable war, in order to lower human nature, and induce men to butcher each other under the most absurd, frivolous, and wicked pretences. Englishmen, at the commencement of the American war, appear to have been no better than wretched captives, without either courage, reason, or virtue, from whom the queen's banditti of gaolers shut out the glorious light of day. There were, however, some few patriots who raised their voices in opposition to the abominable system then in practice, and many generous-hearted men who boldly refused to fight against the justified resistance of the Americans; but the general mass remained inactive, cowardly inactive, against their merciless oppressors. The queen pretended to lament the sad state of affairs, while she did all in her power to continue the misrule!

[64]At the commencement of

1777,

the several states of Europe had their eyes fixed on the contest between this country and the colonies. The French government assisted the Americans with fleets and armies, though they did not enter into the contest publicly. Queen Charlotte still persevered in her designs against America, and bore entire sway over her unfortunate husband. The country, as might be expected, was in a state of great excitement, owing to the adoption of measures inimical to the wishes and well-being of the people. The greater power the throne assumed, the larger amounts were necessarily drawn from the people, to reward fawning courtiers and borough proprietors.

This year, thirteen millions of money were deemed needful for the public service, and the debts of the civil list a second time discharged! At this time, the revenue did not amount to eight millions, and to supply the consequent deficiency, new taxes were again levied upon the people; for ministers carried all their bills, however infamous they might be, by large majorities!

In May, Lord Chatham again addressed the "peers," and called their attention to the necessity of changing the proceedings of government. Although bowed down by age and infirmity, and bearing a crutch in each hand, he delivered his sentiments, with all the ardour of youth, in these words: "I wish the removal of accumulated grievances, and the [65]repeal of every oppressive act which have been passed since the year 1763! I am experienced in spring hopes and vernal promises, but at last will come your equinoctial disappointment."

On another occasion, he said, "I will not join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace! It is necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth! We must dispel the delusions and darkness which envelop it. I am old and weak, and at present unable to say more; but my feelings and indignation were too strong to permit me to say less." Alas! this patriot stood nearly alone. In his opinion, the good of the people was the supreme law; but this was opposed to the sentiments of the hirelings of state and their liberal mistress.

As a last effort, the earl resolved to seek an audience of the queen, and the request was readily complied with. The day previous to his last speech, delivered in the House of Lords, this interview took place. His lordship pressed the queen to relieve the people, and, by every possible means, to mitigate the public burdens. But, though her majesty was gentle in her language, she expressed herself positively and decisively as being adverse to his views; and took the opportunity of reminding him of the secrecy of state affairs. As Lord Chatham had once given his solemn promise never to permit those secrets to transpire, he resolved faithfully to keep his engagement, though their disclosure would have opened the eyes of the public to the disgraceful proceedings of herself and ministers. The noble earl retired [66]from his royal audience in much confusion and agitation of mind; and on the following day, April the 7th, went to the House, and delivered a most energetic speech, which was replied to by the Duke of Richmond. Lord Chatham afterwards made an effort to rise, as if labouring to give expression to some great idea; but, before he could utter a word, pressed his hand on his bosom, and fell down in a convulsive fit. The Duke of Cumberland and Lord Temple caught him in their arms, and removed him into the prince's chamber. Medical assistance being immediately rendered, in a short time his lordship in some measure recovered, and was removed to his favourite villa at Hayes, in Kent. Hopes of his complete restoration to health, however, proved delusive, and on the 10th of May,

1778,

this venerable and noble friend of humanity expired, in the seventieth year of his age.

The news of the earl's death was not disagreeable to the queen; and she thenceforth determined to increase, rather than decrease, her arbitrary measures. Ribbons, stars, and garters, were bestowed upon those who lent their willing aid to support her system of oppression, while thousands were perishing in want to supply the means.

Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, this year, were servile enough to raise regiments at their own expense; but the independent and brave [67]citizens of London, steady to their principles, that the war was unjust, refused to follow so mean an example!

The year

1779

exhibits a miserable period in the history of Ireland. Her manufactures declined, and the people became, consequently, much dissatisfied; but their distresses were, at first, not even noticed by the English parliament. At length, however, an alarm of INVASION took place, and ministers allowed twenty thousand Irish volunteers to carry arms. The ministers, who before had been callous to their distresses, found men in arms were not to be trifled with, and the Irish people obtained a promise of an extension of trade, which satisfied them for the time.

Large sums were again required to meet the expenses of the American war, and, the minister being supported by the queen, every vote for supplies was carried by great majorities; for the year's service alone fifteen millions were thus agreed to. As the family of the king increased, extra sums were also deemed requisite for each of his children; and what amounts could not be raised by taxation were procured by loans,—thus insulting the country, by permitting its expenditure to exceed its means of income to an enormous extent.

Many representations were made to Lord North, that public opinion was opposed to the system pursued by ministers; but he was inflexible, and the generous interpositions of some members of the [68]Upper House proved also unavailing. The independent members of the Commons remonstrated, and Mr. Burke brought forward plans for the reduction of the national expenditure and the diminution of the influence of the crown; but they were finally rejected, though not until violent conflicts had taken place, in which Lord North found himself more than once in the minority.

About this time, Mr. Dunning, a lawyer and an eminent speaker, advocated, in a most sensible manner, the necessity of taking into consideration the affairs of Ireland; but ministers defeated the intended benefit, and substituted a plan of their own, which they had previously promised to Ireland; namely, to permit a free exportation of their woollen manufactures. The unassuming character of that oppressed people never appeared to greater advantage than at this period, as even this resolution was received by them with the warmest testimonies of joy and gratitude.

There cannot be a doubt, that if the Irish had been honestly represented, their honor and ardour would have been proverbial; but they have almost always been neglected and insulted. The queen had taken Lord North's advice, and acquainted herself with the native character of the Irish, by which she became aware that, if that people generally possessed information, they would prove a powerful balance against the unjust system then in force. At this time, there was not an Irishman acquainted with any state secrets; her majesty, therefore, did not [69]fear an explanation from that quarter, or she dare not have so oppressed them.

To provide for the exigencies of state, twelve millions of money, in addition to the former fifteen millions, were required this year; and thus were the sorrows of a suffering people increased, and they themselves forced to forge their own chains of oppression!

Numerous were the prosecutions against the press this year; among the rest, Mr. Parker, printer of "The General Advertiser," was brought before the "House of Hereditaries," for publishing a libel on one of its noble members. That there were a few intelligent and liberal-minded men in the House of Lords at this time, we do not wish to deny. The memorable speech of Lord Abingdon proved his lordship to be one of these, and, as this speech so admirably distinguishes PRIVILEGE from TYRANNY, we hope to be excused for introducing it in our pages. We give it in his lordship's own words:

"My Lords,—Although there is no noble lord more zealously attached to the privileges of this House than I am, yet when I see those privileges interfering with, and destructive of, the rights of the people, there is no one among the people more ready to oppose those privileges than myself. And, my lords, my reason is this: that the privileges of neither house of parliament were ever constitutionally given to either to combat with the rights of the people. They were given, my lords, that each branch of the legislature might defend itself against the encroachments of the other, and to preserve that balance entire, which is essential to the preservation of all.

"This was the designation, this is the use of privilege; and in this unquestionable shape let us apply it. Let us apply it against the encroachments of the crown, and not suffer any lord (if any such there be) who, having clambered up into the house upon the ladder [70]of prerogative, might wish to yield up our privileges to that prerogative. Let us make use of our privileges against the other house of parliament, whenever occasion shall make it necessary, but not against the people. This is the distinction and this the meaning of privilege. The people are under the law, and we are the legislators. If they offend, let them be punished according to law, where we have our remedy. If we are injured in our reputations, the law has provided us with a special remedy. We are entitled to the action of scandalum magnatum,—a privilege peculiar to ourselves. For these reasons, then, my lords, when the noble earl made his motion for the printer to be brought before this House, and when the end of that motion was answered by the author of the paper complained of giving up his name, I was in great hopes that the motion would have been withdrawn. I am sorry it was not; and yet, when I say this, I do not mean to wish that an inquiry into the merits of that paper should not be made. As it stands at present, the noble lord accused therein is the disgrace of this House, and the scandal of government. I therefore trust, for his own honor, for the honor of this House, that that noble lord will not object to, but will himself insist upon, the most rigid inquiry into his conduct.

"But, my lords, to call for a printer, in the case of a libel, when he gives up his author (although a modern procedure) is not founded in law; for in the statute of Westminster, the 1st, chapter 34, it is said, 'None shall report any false and slanderous news or tales of great men, whereby any discord may arise betwixt the king and his people, on pain of imprisonment, until they bring forth the author.' The statutes of the 2d of Richard the Second, chapter 5, and the 14th of the same reign, are to the same effect. It is there enacted, that 'No person shall devise, or tell any false news or lies of any lord, prelate, officer of the government, judge, &c., by which any slander shall happen to their persons, or mischief come to the kingdom, upon pain of being imprisoned; and where any one hath told false news or lies, and cannot produce the author, he shall suffer imprisonment, and be punished by the king's counsel.' Here, then, my lords, two things are clearly pointed out, to wit, the person to be punished, and what the mode of punishment is. The person to be punished is the author, when produced; the mode of punishment is by the king's counsel; so that, in the present case, the printer having given up the author, he is discharged from punishment: and if the privilege of punishment had been in this House, the right is barred by these statutes; for how is the punishment to be had? Not by this House, but by the king's counsel. And, [71]my lords, it cannot be otherwise; for, if it were, the freedom of the press were at an end; and for this purpose was this modern doctrine, to answer modern views, invented,—a doctrine which I should ever stand up in opposition to, if even the right of its exercise were in us. But the right is not in us: it is a jurisdiction too summary for the freedom of our constitution, and incompatible with liberty. It takes away the trial by jury; which king, lords, and commons, have not a right to do. It is to make us accusers, judges, jury, and executioners too, if we please. It is to give us an executive power, to which, in our legislative capacities, we are not entitled. It is to give us a power, which even the executive power itself has not, which the prerogative of the crown dare not assume, which the king himself cannot exercise. My lords, the king cannot touch the hair of any man's head in this country, though he be guilty of high treason, but by means of the law. It is the law that creates the offence; it is a jury that must determine the guilt; it is the law that affixes the punishment; and all other modes of proceeding are ILLEGAL. Why then, my lords, are we to assume to ourselves an executive power, with which even the executive power itself is not entrusted? I am aware, my lords, it will be said that this House, in its capacity of a court of justice, has a right to call for evidence at its bar, and to punish the witness who shall not attend. I admit it, my lords; and I admit it not only as a right belonging to this House, but as a right essential to every court of justice; for, without this right, justice could not be administered. But, my lords, was this House sitting as a court of justice (for we must distinguish between our judicial and our legislative capacities) when Mr. Parker was ordered to be taken into custody, and brought before this House? If so, at whose suit was Mr. Parker to be examined? Where are the records? Where are the papers of appeal? Who is the plaintiff, and who the defendant? There is nothing like it before your lordships; for if there had, and Mr. Parker, in such case, had disobeyed the order of this House, he was not only punishable for his contumacy and contempt, but every magistrate in the kingdom was bound to assist your lordships in having him forthcoming at your lordship's bar. Whereas, as it is, every magistrate in the kingdom is bound, by the law of the land, to release Mr. Parker, if he be taken into custody by the present order of this House. Nothing can be more true, than that in our judicial capacity, we have a right to call for evidence at our bar, and to punish the witness if he does not appear. The whole body of the law supports us in this right. But, under the pretext of [72]privilege, to bring a man by force to the bar, when we have our remedy at law; to accuse, condemn, and punish that man, at the mere arbitrary will and pleasure of this House, not sitting as a court of justice, is tyranny in the abstract. It is against law; it is subversive of the constitution; it is incompetent to this House; and, therefore, my lords, thinking as I do, that this House has no right forcibly to bring any man to its bar, but in the discharge of its proper functions, as a court of judicature, I shall now move your lordships, 'that the body of W. Parker, printer of the General Advertiser, be released from the custody of the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, and that the order for the said Parker, being brought to the bar of this House be now discharged.'

"Before I sit down, I will just observe to your lordships, that I know that precedents may be adduced in contradiction to the doctrine I have laid down. But, my lords, precedents cannot make that legal and constitutional which is, in itself, illegal and unconstitutional. IF THE PRECEDENTS OF THIS REIGN ARE TO BE RECEIVED AS PRECEDENTS IN THE NEXT, THE LORD HAVE MERCY ON THOSE WHO ARE TO COME AFTER US!!!

"There is one observation more I would make, and it is this: I would wish noble lords to consider, how much it lessens the dignity of this House, to agitate privileges which you have not power to enforce. It hurts the constitution of parliament, and, instead of being respected, makes us contemptible. That privilege which you cannot exercise, and of right too, disdain to keep."

If the country had been blessed with a majority of such patriots as Lord Abingdon, what misery had been prevented! what lives had been saved!

Early in the year

1780,

meetings of the populace took place in various parts of the kingdom, and ministers were boldly accused of having prodigally and wastefully spent the public [73]money; while petitions were presented, praying "for a correction of abuses in the public expenditure." Riots in many parts of England were the consequences of unjustly continuing wars and taxation, and several hundred people were killed and wounded by the military; while many others forfeited their lives on the scaffold for daring to raise their arms against tyranny. Lord George Gordon was also committed to the Tower on a charge of high treason; but no jury of his countrymen could be found to consider his undaunted attempt to redress the people's grievances as treasonable, and he was, consequently, honorably acquitted! The influence of her majesty, however, kept a minister in office, though contrary to the sense of the wisest and best part of the community; and a ruinous war was still permitted to drain the blood and money of the many.

War might probably be considered by those in power a legal trade; but was it not continued for the untenable purpose of avarice? We think it was. There did not appear to be any rational hope for reform or retrenchment, while men versed in corruption were so enriched, and had an almost unlimited sway over the councils of the reigning authority. Popular commotion was dreaded; yet the ministers could not be prevailed upon to dispel the cause of anxiety by conciliatory measures,—by a timely redress of grievances, by concession of rights, and by reformation of abuses. If they had done so, they would have given satisfactory evidence that government had no other object in view than faithfully to [74]discharge their duty, by adopting such plans as would really benefit mankind, and furnish means to secure the comfort and happiness of all men.

In the mean time, much distress was imposed upon the unfortunate king, by the increasing and uncontroulable prodigality of some of his children, especially of George. The queen would not hear of any thing to his discredit, and thus what little of family enjoyment remained was ultimately destroyed.

The unrestrained predilection of this youthful prince now became habitual pursuits, and excesses of the most detestable description were not unknown to him. Within the circle of his less nominally illustrious acquaintance, every father dreaded the seduction of his child, if she possessed any personal charms, while the mother feared to lose sight of her daughter, even for a moment. It is not in our power to give an adequate idea of the number of those families whose happiness he ruined; but we well, too well, know the number was infamously great. The country gave him credit for being liberal in political principles, and generously disposed for reform. But little of his real character was then known; his faults, indeed, were named as virtues, and his vices considered as gentlemanly exploits, so that his dissembled appearance was received, by those unacquainted with him, as the sure and incontestable mark of a great and noble soul. But, before our pages are concluded, we fear we must, in duty, prove him a widely-different character! It is true, his acquaintance with political characters was chiefly amongst [75]"the Whigs;" it may also be added that those "Whigs," so particularly intimate with this prince, did not gain much by their connexion with him, but finally became as supine and venal as himself. They determined that, as the heir-apparent, he should not be allowed to suffer any deterioration of greatness, and the principles and practices of so mighty an individual were considered by them to constitute a sufficient patent for continual imitation.

At this period, Mr. Dunning moved his famous resolution to the House, with unbending firmness and uncompromising fidelity. He said, "The influence of the crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished." It was carried by a majority of 233 against 215; but a second resolution, which was to give effect to the first, was lost by a majority of fifty-one votes.

In the year

1781,

William Pitt, the second son of the late Lord Chatham, delivered his first speech in the Commons, in favour of the bill introduced by Mr. Burke, on the subject of reform.

Lord North brought forward the budget on the 7th of March, containing the various items needful for the service of the year. The amount so calculated was twenty-one millions of money!—twelve of which were to be raised by loans, the terms being very high. From this bold imposition upon the public [76]purse and credit, the ministry were much lowered in public opinion.

During this year, the brave General Washington struck that decisive blow which afterwards gave liberty to his countrymen. He kept General Clinton at New York, in constant alarm; and then suddenly appeared before York Town in full force, and obtained a grand victory over Lord Cornwallis, who was there with his army. The American war consequently became more unpopular than ever, and shortly after the meeting of parliament, in March,

1782,

a resolution was moved, and passed without a division, declaring that the House of Commons would consider as enemies to his majesty and the country all who should advise the prosecution of offensive war in North America!

Shortly after, Lord North resigned, and the Marquis of Rockingham was placed at the head of the new administration. Amongst the promotions at this time, was Mr. Dunning! who, at her majesty's request, was created Baron Ashburton, and also Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

A treaty of peace was now entered into with General Washington, and Sir Guy Carleton was deputed to conduct the happy affair.

In the beginning of July, the unexpected death of the Marquis of Rockingham threw the whole cabinet into extreme disorder; and another resignation [77]of ministers took place, on which occasion Mr. Pitt was constituted "Chancellor of the Exchequer," although only twenty-three years of age! Lord Shelburne accepted the office of premier, at the request of the king, which gave great offence to Mr. Fox and the Duke of Portland, who resigned. The country was little benefitted by this change, as the money required for the service of the year was more than twenty-four millions, of which thirteen had to be raised by loans.

In November, the provisional articles of peace were signed at Paris between the Commissioners of England and those of the United States.

The Shelburne party were obliged to retire in

1783,

having, by their arbitrary measures, drawn upon themselves general displeasure throughout the country.

Much surprise was created at the unexpected coalition of Lord North and Mr. Fox, which was the natural result of the pressing case of the prince, to whom the queen had confidentially entrusted his father's breach of the law, in the solemnization of his marriage with herself. The queen, in fact, used the prince's influence to prevail upon Mr. Fox to join Lord North, as he was well informed upon all the circumstances of the king's first marriage. Although the political sentiments of these gentlemen were opposed, it was represented as a safe line of conduct, to ensure the tranquillity of the kingdom. Thus, [78]again, was every portion of truth sacrificed to the WILL of the queen.

This year, the king agreed that the heir-apparent should receive fifty thousand pounds per annum, and sixty thousand pounds to equip him suitably to his dignity. In the mean time, it became a public fact, that the prince had so deeply involved himself in debt as to be mean enough to resort, through the medium of others, to borrow money (of various amounts) of his tradespeople!

Before the conclusion of the year, the Whig and Tory ministry were ejected, to the entire satisfaction of nearly every individual in the nation, who despised such an unholy alliance of opposite principles.

Mr. Pitt was now made "First Lord of the Treasury," which was a change very satisfactory to her majesty, as, from the youth of the new "premier," she augured her likely influence over the political hemisphere to be increased. It was well known that her majesty did not like any of the prince's associates, more especially Messrs. Fox and Sheridan. Mr. Burke was not supposed to be so informed upon all subjects; and, though much in the necessary confidence of the prince, the queen presumed it was chiefly in procuring pecuniary accommodations. It was not until an after period, that the whole truth was stated to her by the prince.

New taxes alone could furnish means for the immense additional annuities now imposed upon the country; and thus were sums for every succeeding year's demand increased.

[79]At this period, the Prince of Wales and his next brother were associated in dissipation of every kind. Their love of gaming was proverbial, and their excess of indulgence in voluptuousness soon exhausted the income allowed them by the country. Their caprices were various, but those of the prince was most strikingly evinced in his abruptly declining his engagements with the celebrated Mrs. Robinson. His usual plan was, when fascinated by the appearance of a new object, to exert every nerve to possess it. Presents, accompanied by the highest eulogiums, and protestations of eternal love and constancy, were always pressed upon the acceptance of the intended victim; and thus, by apparent devotion and unconquerable passion, many were the delusions he practised, and the outrages he committed, upon the unsuspecting virtue of woman.

Had a plebeian committed but one act similar to those in which the prince was so frequently the principal character, his life must have atoned for his fault, and a destitute family, in consequence, been plunged into distraction. But, because the prince was of such high-reputed family, he must, forsooth, be accounted a noble-minded gentleman; and, instead of exposition and punishment, the venal and hired press of the day launched out into the most fulsome eulogiums of his graceful, all-attracting elegance of style and manners, without even speaking of the infamy of his amours, intrigues, and debaucheries! Some writers, alas! are so fearful of speaking the truth, lest they should offend the side they have [80]espoused, or the inclinations and political principles of those by whom they are likely to be read, that they almost persuade themselves there is a sort of impropriety in presenting facts in their proper colours! But is it not beneath the dignity of the press to act in so cowardly a manner?

In the year

1784,

(notwithstanding the dreadfully enormous weight of the "national debt," borrowed by the ministers upon nominal annuities, for which large interest was given) the king was again solicited to assist the prince, in order that his debts might be discharged. This request was refused, and Messrs. Fox and Sheridan advocated the subject to no purpose.

During this year, much public display of talent was made in the House. Mr. Pitt was now fully and entirely in her majesty's "confidence," and he well knew if "the system" were to be continued, war must be carried on, and oppression would increase rather than decrease. While engaged in a private interview with the queen, upon various state subjects, Mr. Pitt submitted his opinion upon the extravagance and improper pursuits of the prince, adding, "I much fear, your majesty, in his delirium of debauchery, some expressions may escape him, to the injury of the crown!" "No," answered the queen, "he is too well aware of the consequences to himself, if that transpired; so on that point I can rely upon [81]him." "Is your majesty aware," said Mr. Pitt, "that at this time the prince is engrossed by a fair beauty? and I believe, from good authority I may say, intends to marry her! He is now so much embarrassed, that, at the suggestion of his trusty friend, Sheridan, he borrows large amounts from a Jew, who resides in town, and gives his bonds for much larger amounts than he receives; by this means, he is actually involved in debt to the amount of above a million of money; and the interest and principal must, some day, be honourably discharged, or else he must never ascend the throne; as the dishonour would cause him eternal disgrace, if not an abdication." Truly, this was a fine picture of England's future monarch!

In the year

1785,

Mr. Pitt caused prosecutions to be issued and enforced to check the rising spirit of the Irish, as they appeared determined to press hard until they received reform in the representation; and, in order to divert the exasperated feelings of the people of England, as he stood deeply pledged to the reformers, "as a man and a minister," to bring in "a bill to amend the representation of the people," he moved, April 18th, for leave to bring it forward for the consideration of the House. His plan was to transfer the right of election from thirty-six rotten boroughs to the counties and principle unrepresented towns, allowing a pecuniary compensation to the owners of the disfranchised boroughs, and to extend the right of voting [82]for knights of the shires to copyholders. This minister suffered his motion to be negatived by 248 against 194! Had there been honesty on the part of the minister towards the people, unfettered by any state secrets, he would have been prepared to meet the numerous opposers; but he found himself unable to serve the cause of liberty and slavery at the same time, and so, to save his word of promise, he did bring in "the bill," when he well knew it was impossible to carry it under the then existing corruptions!

In the farce here played, under the management of that youthful renegade,—Pitt, we have a fair specimen of the way in which the English have been treated. But there is a time rapidly approaching when the supporters of despotism cannot thus delude their countrymen. The whole nest of court sycophants, however, seem determined rather to see England reduced to a state of the most grievous bondage than imagine one of their own ill-gotten acres endangered, or the least of their absurd and exclusive privileges called in question. But are such creatures, their imagined interests, and affected opinions, to triumph over the views of the most virtuous patriots and wisest men of the present age? Forbid it, Justice!

The year

1786

was ushered in under some peculiar circumstances [83]of distress and alarm. The king was evidently declining in health, and strong signs of imbecility were apparent. He positively refused to see the prince upon the subject of his debts, and was otherwise much distracted at the recollection of various impositions upon the public, which might have been avoided, if, in the moment of necessity, he had explained himself fully to the nation, and pressed for an amelioration of all unnatural and uncivilized acts of parliament, detrimental to the peace, welfare, and happiness of the sovereign and the subject.

In July, the prince was so beset with appeals from his numerous creditors, that, partly to silence them, and partly to induce the House to pay his long-standing arrears of borrowed money, he announced his intention to give up his establishment, and, out of his annual income of fifty thousand pounds, to reserve ten thousand, and appropriate forty thousand for the benefit of his creditors.

In the early part of this year, the prince was married to Mrs. Fitzherbert. Messrs. Fox, Sheridan, and Burke were present upon the occasion, as also were some of the relatives of the bride. After the ceremony, Mr. Fox handed them into a carriage, and they drove to Richmond, where they spent some days. In the interim, the queen was made acquainted with the marriage. Her majesty requested an audience with the prince, which was immediately complied with. The queen insisted on being told if the news of his marriage were correct. "Yes, madam," replied he, "and not any force under [84]heaven shall separate us. If his majesty had been as firm in acknowledging his marriage, he might now have enjoyed life, instead of being a misanthrope, as he is. But I beg, further, that my wife be received at court, and proportionately as your majesty receives her, and pays her attention, from this time, so shall I render my attentions to your majesty. The lady I have married is worthy of all homage, and my very confidential friends, with some of my wife's relations, only, witnessed our marriage. Have you not always taught me to consider myself heir to the first sovereignty in the world? where then will exist any risk of obtaining a ready concurrence from the House in my marriage? I hope, madam, a few hours reflection will satisfy you that I have done my duty in following this impulse of my inclinations, and therefore I wait your majesty's commands, feeling assured you would not wish to blast the happiness of your favourite prince." The queen presumed it would prove her best policy to signify her acquiescence to the prince's wishes, and the interview terminated without any further explanation or remonstrance; nevertheless, the substance of the interview was immediately communicated to Mr. Pitt. The extravagant expenditure of the prince, at this period, was so increased, that he frequently promised cent. per cent. for advances of cash!

The Duke of Richmond, this year, proposed to erect fortifications all over England! Monstrous as this attempt to enslave the country must appear, the power of Pitt brought the division of the House of [85]Commons on the bill exactly even, so that the speaker was obliged, by his conscience, to give his casting vote against so traitorous an affair! The establishment of a sinking fund was next brought forward; and, on a surplus of taxes appearing, amounting to NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS, new taxes were levied on the plea of making up this sum ONE MILLION, which, with compound interest, was to be invariably applied to the reduction of the national debt.

In the year

1787,

the queen received the wife of the prince (Mrs. Fitzherbert) in the most courteous manner in public! The mental illness of the king became now apparent to those around him, but it was not spoken of publicly.

In April, Mr. Newnham, member for the city of London, gave notice that he should bring forward a motion, the intent of which was, "To address the king, in order to procure his approbation to relieve the Prince of Wales from all embarrassments of a pecuniary nature," to which he hoped the House would cordially agree. This announcement created much conversation, as well it might; and Mr. Newnham was earnestly solicited to withdraw his motion, lest its results should do injury to the state, and be productive of other inconvenience and mischief. The minister (Pitt) said, "that if Mr. Newnham persevered [86]in pressing his motion upon the notice of the House, he should be driven to make disclosures of circumstances, which otherwise he believed it to be his imperative duty to conceal." Mr. Rolle (member for Devonshire) considered that an investigation of this matter involved many questions of consequence, which would affect both church and state. Messrs. Fox and Sheridan, with some other private acquaintances of the prince, were bold in their language, and replied, that "the prince did not fear any investigation of his conduct; and that respect or indulgence, by an affected tenderness or studied ambiguity, would be disagreeable to the wishes and feelings of his royal highness!"

A few days after this debate, Mr. Fox called the attention of the House to the strange and extraordinary language used by Mr. Rolle, saying, "that he presumed those remarks were made in reference to the base and malicious calumny which had been propagated out of doors by the enemies of the prince, in order to depreciate his character, and injure him in the opinion of the country!" Mr. Rolle replied to this by saying that, "though the marriage could not have been accomplished under the formal sanction of the law, yet if it existed as a fact, it ought to be satisfactorily cleared up, lest the most alarming consequences should be the result." Mr. Fox, in reply, said, "that he not only denied the calumny in question, with respect to the effect of certain existing laws, but he also denied the marriage in toto," adding, "though he well knew the matter was illegal [87]under every form of statute provided, yet he took that opportunity to assert, it never did happen." Mr. Rolle again asked, "Do you, Sir, speak from DIRECT OR INDIRECT AUTHORITY?" Mr. Fox replied, "FROM DIRECT AUTHORITY." The House was now anxious that Mr. Rolle should express his satisfaction; but he positively and determinately refused, "as he wished every member of the House to JUDGE for himself!" Now mark the result. Mr. Sheridan (the bottle-companion of the prince) rose and declared warmly, "that if Mr. Rolle would not be satisfied, or put the matter into some train for his further satisfaction, his opinion was, the House ought to resolve, that it was seditious and disloyal to propagate reports injurious to the prince." But notice Mr. Pitt's reply, who rose, and protested against an attack upon the freedom of speech in that House. Mr. Pitt, indeed, could do no less than stop the inquiry; for if it had proceeded to any greater length, the LEGITIMACY of the prince might have been doubted!!!

The prince again sought advice to shield himself from his various opponents, whose impertinent, yet honest expressions, might prove an alloy to his character, and render void all his pretensions to even common honesty! His royal highness deigned to consult some persons of consequence, but he could not receive any advice equal to his wishes. At length, he saw the queen, and partly explained his difficulties and debts, concluding his remarks by these threatening words: "Unless the king suggests [88]HIS DESIRE for the payment of these debts, I will EXPLAIN all this STATE MYSTERY; and I would receive a shot from a musket, in preference to the galling insults which I well know the kingdoms infer from these shameful arrears." Again the state secrets operated! Again was TRUTH to be hidden in a napkin! The prince retired from the audience; but the queen was no sooner disengaged than Mr. Pitt was announced and introduced. The interview was short, but decisive, and the minister departed on a mission to the prince at Carlton House. There he promised that his royal highness should immediately receive means to discharge his debts, and accordingly, on the very next day, a message was laid before the House, and an address voted to the king, to request him to grant out of the "civil list" the sum of one hundred and sixty-one thousand pounds, to discharge the debts of George, called Prince of Wales, with an additional sum of twenty thousand pounds to finish the repairs of Carlton Palace. When this infamous proposition was made, distress and wretchedness were at an alarming height! But the king was more an object of pity than of blame. Royalty, to him, was a deceitful bauble. Those who beheld it at a distance saw nothing but greatness, splendour, and delight; but, could they have examined it closely, they would have found toil, perplexity, and care, its constant companions.

The king was now fast exchanging the bloom of youth for the languor of age. He knew his duty was to repress calumny and falsehood, and to support [89]innocence and truth; and not only to abstain from doing evil, but to exert himself in every way to do good, by preventing the mischiefs evil counsellors might devise. Yet the state secrets kept him from acting as his heart dictated, and his mind soon lost all its vigour!

The prince, from this time, was sure of the attainment of his wishes, if within the power of the queen to bestow; and, from this conquest, he gave loose rein to the impetuous desires of his wayward inclinations. Splendid fêtes were given, money was lavished upon the most insignificant and indecorous occasions; virtue openly insulted, in every possible shape; and the man, who was expected shortly to reign over the destiny of millions, was frequently exhibited to his friends as an UNPRINCIPLED LIBERTINE, a NOTORIOUS GAMESTER, and an UNGRATEFUL SON! But the rank of royal distinction, and the means he possessed to gratify his lusts (being devoid of all positive integrity upon many points) were sufficient causes of excuse in the estimation of himself and his minions! His graceful bow and ensnaring address led many good-natured people into a belief that he was really an honest man and a gentleman!

From the commencement of the year

1788,

the king's health again declined. His mind appeared full of gloomy apprehensions and forebodings; [90]sometimes he uttered the most incoherent language; then, dissolving in tears, would ask after the health of the several members of his family, and especially of his youngest daughter, to whom he was more particularly attached. This state of aberration was, however, strictly concealed from the public as long as possible by the queen. Here, again, mark her German policy! Fearing she could not much longer conceal the king's indisposition, she determined to consult her favourite minister, and they resolved upon a proposition to give to the queen's care the charge of his majesty's person, presuming that step was finally needful, as by its adoption only could she retain an opportunity of exercising complete controul over her afflicted husband! On the reassembling of parliament, therefore, the project of the queen was brought forward by Pitt, who, possessing a decided majority, passed what resolutions he pleased. He contended, in opposition to Fox, that the Prince of Wales had no more right to the regency than he had! The debates upon this subject were long and warm; but Pitt and the queen finally triumphed. The care of the king's person and the disposition of the royal household was to be committed to her majesty, who would, by this means, be vested with the patronage of four hundred places, amongst which were the great offices of lord-stewart, lord-chamberlain, and master of the horse! These "loaves and fishes" offered the queen a fine opportunity of exercising her tyranny, and further increasing her power!

[91]Let us here digress a little, to reflect upon the enviable state in which her majesty was placed at this period.

Behold, then, the Queen of England, in the enjoyment of health, surrounded with all the luxuries of life, knowing the intricacies of STATE INFAMY, and anxious to hold the reins of government in her own hands, constantly closeted with the minister—ALONE! his years not half so many as those of his royal mistress! See her confiding in his secrecy, submitting her opinions for his decision, and knowing that herself and her family are in his power! The man, who, after this retrospect, pronounces there never was a false step, or a deviation from rectitude, we venture to say is but very little acquainted with humanity! It is also well known to more than one or two individuals, that the Prince of Wales dared to jest with her majesty upon the occasional private interviews she held with this minister; and his royal highness was once seriously sent from her presence, in consequence of a TRIFLING DISCOVERY he made. It therefore seemed the more requisite that the appearance of a rigid decorum must exist at court; consequently, if any lady had been known to violate those bounds, she must be excluded from royal favour, and never again enter the precincts of the palace! Her majesty, it will be perceived from this, knew how to put on the garb of virtue, if she possessed it not! Our love of impartiality, however, obliges us to give an instance contrary to the general edict of the queen. Her majesty was made fully [92]acquainted with Mrs. Fitzherbert's history, and therefore knew that this lady had been left a widow—twice; and that she afterwards accepted the protection of the Marquis Bellois, which intimacy was of considerable duration. Yet, as soon as the prince married her, she was a general visitant at court, and received the most especial and unlimited polite attentions from the queen. Let this example suffice to shew her majesty's scrupulous delicacy!

In March,

1789,

the king was declared convalescent, so as to be able to resume his duties, and defeat those air-drawn schemes of power, which his queen was about to assume.

The insulted sovereign thus freed the people, for a time, from the artful stratagems and devices arising from the charnel house of oppression.

It is certain, that his majesty was free from all violent paroxysms, and generally manifested a quiet and unobtrusive disposition in all things. But then this was the utmost of his improvement. Reason's empire was fatally shook, and the recollection of the past incapacitated him for forming an opinion either upon the present or the future.

The queen, in the mean time, resolved not to be entirely debarred of her prospects of patronage; for, under the specious disguise of kingly authority, her [93]majesty gave appointments and honours to the hirelings around her, and carried "majorities" whenever she pleased.

It was not deemed prudent that the king should open the House in person; therefore, the chancellor delivered the speech in the name of his majesty.

During this session, Mr. Wilberforce pleaded ably for the abolition of West Indian slavery, though to very little advantage.

Some excesses of an unhappy description were practised by the Duke of York; but they were passed over without any public punishment or parental rebuke, although a family of high respectability suffered the loss of their only daughter, a most beautiful and accomplished girl, nearly twenty years of age! She was a victim of the duke's sensuality, and destroyed herself by poison soon afterwards,—such were the extreme sentiments of honor and virtue entertained by her. Some of her family yet live to mourn her loss and regret the privileges of royalty!

In this year a revolution broke out in France, and innumerable lives were lost. The opposite views which Burke and Fox took of this event dissolved the friendship that had so long existed between them.

In February,

1790,

the printer of "The Times" newspaper was fined ONE HUNDRED POUNDS for a libel on the Prince of [94]Wales, and the like sum for a libel on the equally-illustrious seducer, the Duke of York. If a verdict had been given otherwise, royalty would have been humbled!

In this year, also, a most remarkable occurrence transpired. A very respectable clergyman was induced to marry two persons upon an extreme emergency, without their obtaining a license or the publishing of banns. The clergyman was tried at Leicester for this offence, and sentenced to be transported for fourteen years! Many appeals were made, in a quiet and peaceable manner, to the judge. Expostulations upon the disproportion of the punishment were also made by various classes of society; but, alas! the happiness of the subject was destroyed, while the higher authorities remained not only unimpeached, but defended!

During this session, the House was solicited to supply extra sums for the expenditure of the secret service, to which, however, many voices were raised in opposition. The prince and his former friends and companions were now apparently in a state of disunion, as each one appeared dissatisfied with the other.

Mr. Fox proved the most unremitting member of the House in the discharge of his duties, opposing the increase of the national debt, and the imposition of new taxes. The salary of the speaker of the House of Commons, however, was advanced to six thousand pounds, remonstrance proving of no avail.

About this time, the prince and two of his [95]brothers became so embarrassed by their imprudent conduct, that they found it expedient to resort to some measure for the attainment of means to satisfy the clamorous demands of their creditors. Jews and money-brokers were tried, but to no effect; and their last resource seemed to be by obtaining the amount desired upon their respective or joint bonds. Every likely person was solicited to grant the loan; yet, after a long and mortifying attempt, all their endeavours proved fruitless. A large interest was offered, and had the parties been persons of indubitable integrity, many of their countrymen would have gladly lent their money upon such terms; but former inaccuracies paved the way for future misgivings. At length the sum was furnished, from foreign houses chiefly,—the amount of which was ONE MILLION!!! The princes received nearly half a million immediately, and the other portion was to be paid according to the stipulation,—the interest being fixed at six per cent. This interest, however, was not paid upon its becoming due; consequently there was a suspicion of unfair dealing; but of this subject we must treat anon.

A trifling dispute with Spain this year cost the country THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS!

The year

1791

was a period of continual debate and of harassing vexation, both at home and abroad. In the mean [96]while, the prince was engrossed in his pursuits of pleasure, ever searching after variety in every possible shape. Such also were the pursuits of his royal brothers.

It now becomes our painful duty to speak of the FEMALES of this "ILLUSTRIOUS FAMILY."

It is one of the unnatural distinctions of royalty, and which is often fatal to the happiness of society, that their ways are not the ways of the other sons and daughters of humanity. Though royal blood is not of itself considered a barrier against marriage, the very few persons that are eligible to marry a king's daughter, besides the unsurmountable difficulties which religion opposes to such unions, makes them almost amount to absolute exclusion.

It would argue a callous heart not to feel the force of the above reflection, while speaking of the royal daughters of Queen Charlotte. They were at this period in the bloom of youth, in all the glowing exuberance of health, but from the real enjoyment of which the miserable etiquette of regal splendour, and the feigned prudery of their mother, debarred them. In the full meridian of their state, possessing every exterior advantage calculated to excite vulgar envy and admiration, these royal ladies were less blessed, in reality, than the daughters of peasants, who were free to marry the men of their choice. When this secluded state of royalty is considered, the reflecting mind will feel disposed to exercise charity and forbearance; but the subjects of our present notice partook of rather more of [97]female frailty than ought to have been allowed. We have heard, indeed, of the most desperate excesses committed by royal ladies, and are ourselves acquainted with an accoucheur, who officiated under a circumstance of a lamentable kind,—independent of the birth of Captain Garth! Alas! were the crimes of the court of Charlotte but painted in their true colours, how would Virtue blush!—how would Honesty be abashed!—how would Credulity be staggered! The slightest deviation from honor in a tradesman's daughter is generally punished by eternal disgrace! For the present, we must leave these very painful reflections; though we fear truth will compel us to renew the subject.

The revenue was, as usual, unequal to meet the extravagancies of the royal family, and so was added every succeeding year an increase to the already immense "NATIONAL DEBT."

The queen became now much disturbed by the dissatisfaction so generally expressed by all classes of society, and she therefore resolved to give the minister her opinion upon the subject. Mr. Pitt accordingly presented himself, and was received with courteous attention. The queen expressed her fears of an ill ultimatum, unless some plan could be proposed to satisfy the desires of the people. After various propositions were made and rejected, it was deemed prudent to resist any and every motion which might be made in the Commons for reform in the state of the representation, and to rule over the people by force, if found needful.

[98]The House met early in the year

1792,

and the king announced the marriage of his second son, Frederick, with a daughter of the King of Prussia. In March, Mr. Pitt proposed to settle thirty thousand pounds per annum upon their royal highnesses! The Opposition remonstrated, but the motion was finally carried.

Much interest was excited upon the subject of the slave trade; and Mr. Wilberforce urged the abolition of it in very warm and generous language. Mr. Pitt was eloquent on this occasion, and pleaded, most animatedly, in favour of its entire abolition; but the minister was not sincere. A series of resolutions were ultimately agreed upon, and sent up to the Lords for their concurrence.

The Duke of Clarence now commenced his parliamentary career, by violently declaiming against the abolition of slavery and its advocates. This caused it to be delayed, and the guilt of Britain increased.

The queen appeared vexed at this circumstance, as she had imagined such a concession would have given great satisfaction, without decreasing her influence at home.

In a private conversation with an illustrious person, some days after this defeat, Mr. Wilberforce said, "He did not believe the queen or the minister were truly desirous of the abolition of slavery; for, [99]if it had been intended by them to be carried, they would have secured it in the Upper House."

After thus trifling with the wishes of the people, it appeared probable that dissatisfaction might arise amongst the middle classes of society; to provide against which, the establishment of a new police for Westminster was proposed and carried.

The year

1793

commenced with the usual aspects, and power appeared to have had a hardening influence upon the minds of statesmen. The crisis seemed near, that some salutary and healing measure of reform in the state of the representation must be adopted; for it was imprudent any longer to be silent on the subject. Mr. Grey, therefore, moved the question in the House, on the 30th of April, and was supported ably by Mr. Erskine and others; but the minister (Mr. Pitt) repelled the motion, and spoke as warmly for its withdrawal as he had formerly spoken in its defence, and of its necessity. The result was prejudicial to the rights and privileges of free-born men; the motion was dismissed, and a royal proclamation issued against all seditious writings and correspondences,—plainly proving that the crown needed the aid of spies and informers, in order to continue its baneful and injurious influence over a deluded and degraded people! Thus was an attempt to obtain justice defeated by a combination of overbearing tyranny and oppression; and thus [100]was the "state automaton" moved at pleasure by the secret springs of court intrigue and infamy, regulated by the queen! One extreme generally leads to another, and so by degrees the freedom of the constitution was changed to tyrannical fetters, under the assumed title of "improvements in our code of laws," whilst distress continued, and expostulation, as usual, proved fruitless.

Mr. Pitt, at this time, through a private channel, communicated his desire to see Mr. Canning, who of course promptly attended. The premier complimented Mr. Canning on his reputation as a scholar and a speaker, and stated, that, if he concurred in the policy which government was then pursuing, arrangements would be made to bring him into parliament. These few words will briefly explain to future generations the manner of introducing members to parliament by this minister.

Previous to this honourable offer, Mr. Canning belonged to what was then termed "the opposition faction," and among those who were the most violent in their opinions, he had been considered and spoken of as their protégé. But a seat in parliament from the hands of a prime minister, who, however haughty and reserved in his general manners, had perhaps, for that very reason, a peculiar power in fixing himself in the minds of those whom he wished to please, was a tempting offer to a young man, conscious of superior talent, but rendered by his situation in life agreeably alive to such flattering and powerful notice. Our readers will hardly feel surprised, then, at his [101]after vacillating conduct, which we shall have occasion frequently to notice.

The Prince of Wales now veered in his political expressions, and deserted his former acknowledged principles, in obedience to the wishes of the queen. The other male branches of the royal family were revelling in the vortex of voluptuousness; and so expensive were their amours and gallantries, in addition to their gambling transactions, that they were continually involved in debt, and, for momentary relief, borrowed sums of every person willing to run the risk of a loan, or afraid to incur the royal displeasure.

The king was ignorant of the most dishonorable transactions in which his sons were so deeply involved; what he did know was sufficient to make him miserable. Their supplies and income were to an enormous extent; yet his majesty was aware that the Duke of York's horses and carriage were seized, while going down Piccadilly, and his royal highness obliged to walk home!

Declaration of hostilities was announced between Great Britain and France, and the year's supply amounted to TWENTY MILLIONS. To provide this enormous sum, extra taxes were again levied upon the people.

We enter upon the year

1794,

with sorrow and indignation, as it was the commencement [102]of an all-important era in national affairs. The king beheld the critical state of the empire with much sorrow and disquietude. The extravagant and imprudent conduct of his sons also acted as a canker upon his heart. In vain did he endeavour to represent to them, that to be worthy of holding their rank in such a great nation, they ought to lay aside the follies which had so long been practised by them; and as earnestly, yet as vainly, did he press them to retire from the society of voluptuous acquaintances, with whom he too well knew they were so deeply involved, in various ways.

At this period of our history, we are grieved to record the tyrannical acts of government, in apprehending a number of persons on the charge of treason. Some of our readers will, doubtless, recollect the glorious acquittal of Hardy, Tooke, and Thelwall; but there were others, less fortunate. We would rather have been Claudius or Caligula, Nero, Tiberius, or the Christian, blood-stained Constantine, than the man who, in cold blood, could deliberately sign a warrant against those patriotic martyrs, Muir, Skirving, Margarot, Palmer, and Gerald, whose only crime consisted in having supported Mr. Pitt's own original system of reform!

Our readers, at this distance of time, will reflect with amazement and indignation, that on the 8th of February, 1794, the four first-named citizens, without a moment's previous notice, were surprised in their beds by the Newgate ruffians, chained and handcuffed like the vilest felons, and thus conveyed to [103]Woolwich, where they were sent on board a transport ready to receive them. A few hours afterwards, the vessel dropped down the river; but, during the short interval it remained at Woolwich, all communication was cut off between them and their friends! Even the wife of Margarot was denied admission to him! Such were the positive orders of that illiberal and corrupt minister,—Mr. Henry Dundas.

Let us hope that the day is for ever past when men can be thus treated for merely giving vent to their complaints and sufferings. It is the prerogative of affliction to complain, more sacred and natural than any titles or immunities which privileged persons enjoy! And whenever force is employed against argument and reason, though the contest may be unequal, depend upon it that the cause of TRUTH will ULTIMATELY PREVAIL!

At this period, the Prince of Wales was involved in more than SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS, beside bonds and bills, signed by him, to a very enormous amount; and, finding himself unable to procure any further sums, he applied to the queen for assistance in this extremity. Her majesty referred him to his father, and pressed him to yield to any advice which the king might suggest, or any plan he might recommend.

A time was appointed for an interview, and the father and son entered upon these very distressing and dishonorable transactions. After much deliberation, the king observed, "that it was utterly impossible to ask parliament for any relief, as it was [104]all the minister could now do to keep the wheels of state in motion; and, even to do that, it required immense loans to be raised, to make up the deficiency of the year's current expenses." As a last resource, the king proposed that the prince should MARRY, and that a lady of royal birth be selected, as agreeable to the inclinations of the prince as possible. Upon such an event, the minister would, no doubt, furnish means for his liberation, and a sufficient income for the additional expenses attendant upon such an alliance. The prince received the opinion of his father with varied sensations, and requested time to think upon the proposition, when he would announce the result of his cogitations.

Alas! how much are kings to be pitied! If their principles and intentions be virtuous, what difficulties have they to surmount, what sorrows to endure! This was a trying period for George the Third: on the one hand, he saw the impropriety and cruelty of marriage merely for state policy, and more particularly so in the present instance, as he considered the prince's marriage with Mrs. Fitzherbert solemn and binding in the sight of heaven, though certainly in direct opposition to the law of the country, which was in operation at the time it was solemnized. On the other hand, it appeared that a royal marriage was an event that would give great satisfaction to the people, and might, perhaps, reclaim the prince from those considerable errors and obnoxious pursuits in which he was so deeply entangled; for he associated with some of the most unprincipled characters, of [105]whom any person of morality or common decency would certainly have been ashamed.

Here again the gewgaw of royal parade was intended to entrap the admiration of the ignorant. The vain pomp and pageantries of courts and the splendour of fortune have ever been an ignis fatuus to seduce the people to their ruin. They have, alas! too often served as an useful shelter to every excess of folly, every enormity of crime; while the deepest distresses and the most urgent wants have not been allowed as an extenuation for the slightest transgression, though committed to satisfy the craving exigencies of famished nature! Had a private individual acted as this prince was about to do, would he not have become an outcast from his family, and would not the whole world have abandoned him? Yet, although the prince's example was ten thousand times more contagious, all the breaches of faith of which he had been guilty scarcely received the slightest animadversion! But so it was; common interest united even those who were disunited by particular discordances, and the seeming harmony of the royal family may undoubtedly be inferred to have arisen from their equal interest in the success of the piece. Their private differences were apparently lost in the immensity of the SECRETS by which the state chain was rivetted, as if it were by adamant.

We must not suppose his majesty was all this time ignorant of the situation of his nephew, the only child of his brother Edward; so far from that being the case, he had caused him to be brought up [106]privately, and was regular in the discharge of the yearly expenses incurred on his account at Eton. The queen presumed that her children were safely seated, so long as the king's first marriage should be concealed, and therefore did not bestow many thoughts upon the happiness or misery, fortune or misfortune, life or death, of this MUCH-INJURED YOUTH! Does not nature revolt at this barbarity, this secret unfeeling conduct of the queen? What mother could know a similar case, and not afford all the generous tenderness of sympathy to mitigate the losses this orphan had sustained, not only of fortune, but of the fostering care of both his parents?

The complicated wickedness of the court seemed now nearly approaching its climax. Deception had been added to deception, until, to complete the delusion, another victim must necessarily be added, in the person of the Princess Caroline of Brunswick!

After conferences with Mrs. Fitzherbert, the queen, and a few others, closely interested in the affair, had taken place, the prince acquainted his father with his submission to the royal will, and requested to know whom his majesty would recommend for his bride. The king suggested his niece, the daughter of his sister, the Duchess of Brunswick, for whose acceptance he urged the prince to send his miniature, and other formalities, usual on such occasions. The prince, with apparent vivacity, acquiesced; but his majesty thought that his son's language wanted sincerity.

The evening was spent in revelry and debauchery [107]by the prince and his companions, and his royal highness swore "I will marry the Princess of Brunswick, which," said he, "will be no marriage at all, and desert her, of which I will give her timely notice." The miniature was painted flatteringly, and the following letter from the prince accompanied it to his intended wife:

Copy of a letter written to the Princess Caroline of Brunswick, by
George Prince of Wales.

"1794.

"Madam,

"The king my father, whom I highly respect and esteem, has just announced to me that your hand is destined for me. I am obliged, by the imperious force of circumstances to own, that this intelligence has thrown me into despair, and my candour does not allow me to conceal my sentiments from you. I hope that when you are acquainted with them, you will aid me in breaking the ties which would unite us only to render us unhappy; and which will be in your power to oppose, since I am unable to do so. You, Madam, are adored by your parents; I am aware that they have allowed you the liberty of refusing all the princes who have been proposed to you in marriage; refuse me also, I conjure you in the name of pity, to which I know you are no stranger. You do not know me, Madam; you therefore can have no cause to lament my loss. Learn, then, the secret and unhappy situation of the prince whom they wish you [108]to espouse. I cannot love you; I cannot make you happy; my heart has long ceased to be free. She who possesses it is the only woman to whom I could unite myself agreeably to my inclinations. You would find in me a husband who places all his affections upon another. If this secret, which I name to you in confidence, does not cause you to reject me; if ambition, or any other motive of which I am ignorant, cause you to condescend to the arrangements of my family, learn that, as soon as you shall have given an heir to the throne, I will abandon you, never to meet you more in public. I will then attach myself to that lady whom I love, and whom I will not leave. Such is, Madam, my last and irrevocable resolution; if you are the victim of it, you will be a willing victim, and you cannot accuse me of having deceived you.

"I am, Madam,

"With great truth,

"Your's sincerely,

"George P."

After reading this very curious epistle, the reader may presume that the princess was indiscreet in her acceptance of the hand of a prince who so boldly professed himself averse to the union; but the following letters of George the Third to herself and her mother, (the king's sister) which accompanied the one of the prince, will afford some explanation of her conduct:

[109]Copy of a Letter to Caroline, Princess of Brunswick,
from her uncle, George the Third.

1794.

"My dearest Niece Caroline,

"It has afforded me very much pleasure to hear, by the means of my son Frederick of York, that you merit my very best regard. I have no doubt you have frequently heard of my very great and affectionate regard for your dear mother, my sister; and I assure you I love her daughter for her sake. I am well persuaded that my dear niece will not refuse the pressing request of myself and her mother with respect to an alliance with my son George, Prince of Wales, which I earnestly desire may be arranged to take place as speedily as possible. I promise, most solemnly promise, that I will be your friend and father upon every occasion, and I entreat you to comply with this ardent desire of my heart, that my agitated mind may once more be composed.

"I have explained to my sister the probable difficulties which my son George may mention; but they must not have any weight in your mind and conclusions. I beg you not to refuse this pressing petition of your most

"Sincere and affectionate

"Uncle,

"George R."

"P. S. Do not delay a reply an hour longer than can be avoided."

"To Caroline, Princess of Brunswick,"
&c. &c. &c.

[110]Copy of a Letter to the Duchess of Brunswick, from
her Brother, George the Third.

"My Dear Sister,

"I have endeavoured to excite and promote in the mind of my son George a desire to espouse my dear niece Caroline. This, I am aware, he will only consent to as a prudent step, by which his debts may be paid. I will trust to your influence with Caroline that she may not be offended with any thing he pleases to say. He may please to plead that he is already married!—and I fear he will resort to any measures rather than an honorable marriage. But as, in my former letters, I have explained my wishes upon this subject, I therefore need not now repeat them. Tell my dear niece she must never expect to find a mother or friend in the queen; but I will be her friend to my latest breath. Give me your support, my sister, and prevail upon my niece Caroline at all hazards.

"Your's affectionately,

"George R."

A courier was despatched with these preliminaries of a royal marriage, and the prince again sank into the depths of vice. The queen saw her path was rather difficult, and feared for the consequences; but she resolved to exert every thought to devise the surest plan for future safety. Her majesty did not assist the prince to any extent, because her purse was of the greatest utility to her personal safety, and [111]therefore promises were chiefly given to the clamorous and ruined creditors, that, as soon as the prince was MARRIED, all debts would be discharged! The reasons which prompted the parsimony of the queen were obvious to those who knew her plans, though not to the public. She was aware of the slight tenure she held, and the illegality of her marriage; the unaccounted-for death of the king's eldest brother; the uncertainty of the fate of his issue; fears for his future public appeals, and her knowledge of the validity of his claims! Beside all this, the relatives of the legally-married wife of the Duke (Edward) were of more illustrious descent than even the queen herself; and from them she stood in doubt, lest the untimely death of this lady and her husband, the unfortunate Duke of York, as well as the privacy of their offspring, should be brought forward in a public manner, or in any way which might reflect dishonour upon the influence of the crown!

How much has guilt to fear from exposure by TRUTH! Secrecy was the ministerial watch-word then in vogue, and though fallacious and destructive, as experience has demonstrated the principle to be, yet the nation was cajoled by its influence, and even induced indirectly to sanction measures the most desperate and ruinous that imagination can depict!

The hireling part of the press, notwithstanding, strove to eternize this awful and barbarous system, and thus assisted the minister to cherish the growth of Ignorance. Indeed, it is an undeniable fact, that the corruption of government pervaded every branch [112]of Mr. Pitt's administration; but surely this minister must have been sometimes afraid that the people would discover the frauds and impositions practised upon them, and demand satisfaction. Mr. Pitt, indeed, was an apostate, who, at the beginning of his career, stood forth as the CHAMPION OF THE PEOPLE'S RIGHTS; but no sooner had he gained possession of power, than he at once threw off the mask, deserted his benefactors, who had trusted and exalted him, maintained, with all his might, the utmost stretch of the royal prerogative, owned himself the unblushing advocate of influence and corruption, and the decided enemy of the human race! When we reflect on the obduracy, perfidy, and ingratitude of "this pilot that gathered the storm," in whose breast neither shame nor pity seldom found a residence, but as if dead to every noble passion of the soul, he first exhausted the resources of the nation by his imposition of taxes, and then enslaved it by his politics; when we reflect, we say, on the conduct of this man, Sejanus and Rufinus, profligate and cruel as they were, appear angels of light, and we cannot help feeling disgusted with the age that tolerated such a minister! Secure in his parliamentary majorities and the favours of his queen, he imagined the people at large mere nonentities, and set them at defiance, while he must have laughed at their tameness and stupidity! Did he not warmly commend the sentences of proscription, imprisonment, and transportation, passed against his countrymen solely for attempting to procure a reform of [113]grievances, by the very same means which he had himself previously employed? Did he not, when every really-loyal subject in the realm was deploring the disgraces and defeats of the British arms, insult the people with affected serious congratulations on the successes that had been obtained by the allied powers, and the happy change that had taken place in their favour? Yes, reader, these acts may be taken as specimens of the policy of the "heaven-born minister, that weathered the storm," as a certain chancellor once imprudently designated Mr. Pitt.

The courier, bearing the despatches to the Princess of Brunswick, arrived at the court of her father in October, where he delivered his packet, and was entertained with generous and courteous attention. The duke and duchess retired to peruse its contents, which they read with agitation; and Hope and Fear strove tumultuously to gain an ascendency. The king's letter was considered, in a certain degree, explanatory of the follies of the prince, though it did not name any vices; and as it also expressed a confident opinion, that, united to a person of amiability and worth, like the princess, all good would ensue, the parents of the princess were inclined to hope for a favourable result from the alliance. The good opinion of the king, their brother, was an extra inducement to the fond and indulgent parents of Caroline to plead in behalf of her acceptance of this offer; and all must admit their conduct to be natural and affectionate.

The letter of the prince was soon after delivered [114]by the duke to his daughter, accompanied by the remark, "I hope my dear Caroline will one day be the happy queen of a free and happy nation. Retire, my child, and, after thinking seriously, decide prudently." The princess retired, and read the strange epistle written by the prince. She knew not, for some considerable time, what to think, or how to decide. At length, after a few hours of rest and enjoyment, the courier departed. He arrived safely at St. James', and delivered the following reply to the Prince of Wales:

Copy of the Reply to George, Prince of Wales, from
Caroline, Princess of Brunswick.

"My Lord and Cousin,

"I cannot express to your royal highness the feelings of surprise which your letter has afforded me, neither can I rely entirely upon what it contains; because the accompanying letter of the good king, your father, is so very opposite to its meaning. I thought that the ties of relationship which exist between us would have obliged your royal highness to treat with delicacy and honor the princess whom your king destines for you. For my own part, my lord, I know my duty, and I have not the power or the wish to break the laws which are wished to be imposed upon me. I, therefore, have decided upon obeying the wishes of those who have the right to dispose of my person. I submit, at the same time, to the consequences with which your highness threatens me. But, if you could [115]read that heart to which you impart such anguish, you would perhaps have feelings of remorse from this barbarous treatment, in which your royal highness appears to boast. I am now resolved to await from time and our union the just regard I will endeavour to merit; and I trust that your regret for what you have written will, in some measure, avenge the wrongs you have so wantonly committed. Believe me, my lord, that I shall not cease to offer my prayers for the happiness of your royal highness; mine will be perfect if I can contribute to your's.

"I am, for life, your most devoted Cousin,

"Caroline Amelia of Brunswick."

We have given this and the preceding letters solely with a view of forwarding the cause of truth, and shall leave our readers to draw their own inferences as to the propriety or impropriety of the conduct of the parties concerned.

Early in the ensuing year,

1795,

preparations were made, upon a moderate scale, to receive the Princess of Brunswick as the intended wife of the heir-apparent.

The prince was still as dissolute as ever, and associated with the very dregs of society, of both sexes. Yet this same personage was about to be allied, according to the outward usages of the church, [116]to a princess of the most opposite principles and sentiments! Many times has he become the father of innocent victims, who were doomed to perish in a workhouse, or be consigned to a premature grave! How improbable then was it, that his heart would ever feel affection for the issue of an honourable connexion,—if it may be so called in this case,—more particularly when that was the last resource to extricate him from debt and disgrace! Well, indeed, might his companions say, "the princess may hear, in the joyful peal, (after her vows) the surer knell of her happiness." Too well the result proved the truth of their prophetic announcement!

Previous to the arrival of Caroline, it was arranged by the queen that persons of distinction, upon whom her majesty could depend in this instance, should attend her highness, and a selection was made accordingly. The notorious Lady Jersey was one; of her character and intriguing disposition, we need not say more than announce the fact, that her favours had been at the command of the prince for a considerable time. Her disposition was artful and cruel; indeed, unless such qualities had been invested in her ladyship, the queen would not have given her orders in a manner so undisguised and bold. Cruelty and Vice are always inseparable companions.

At length, the princess arrived on these (to her) inhospitable shores. On the 8th of April, the formality of a marriage ceremony took place, at the palace of St. James. The king was particularly attentive to the princess; but not so the queen, who [117]manifested an unbending haughtiness, and sometimes lost sight of etiquette so far, that sarcasm was too evidently visible. The princesses were in too much fear of their mother to bestow any particular attentions on the Princess of Wales, except one of them, who, however, dare not publicly avow her sentiments.

On retiring for the night to Carlton House, the princess was attended only by those invidious characters who had deliberately planned her ruin. Several historians have recorded, that, by some inaccuracy or defect in demeanour, the prince received an unexpected impression unfavourable to her royal highness; but such was not the case. It is true, that the conduct of the prince was any thing but gentlemanly; though of this little notice was taken. Her royal highness resolved to forbear from any unpleasant complainings, as she was now separated from her much-beloved home and friends. She plainly saw the disadvantage of her change; and, in the disappointment of her heart, frequently deplored her cruel destiny. Many times has she been obliged to witness the various favourites of the prince receiving those attentions and enjoying those smiles which ought to have been her's only.

In a conversation with the prince, shortly after their nuptials, (if such an appellation may be used) her royal highness said, "that, after the candour with which I have explained myself, I certainly feel entitled to the respectful attentions of your highness, and I cannot endure the insults I am continually receiving from your mistresses and coarse associates." [118]This gentle remonstrance was repeated by this "all-accomplished gentleman" when he next met his half-drunken companions, and their infamy was heightened by maliciously abusing this much-injured lady.

The prince's yearly income was augmented at his marriage with his cousin to one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds, besides having all his debts discharged.

The princess now seldom saw her husband. His nights were spent in debauchery, and he was frequently carried to bed, totally unconscious of all around him. Gaming supplied his leisure hours, and scenes of immorality were the common routine of each succeeding day. Such were the deportment and character of the man, or monster, who was to be invested with power over millions of brave, generous, and industrious people! It was impossible for such an one to have retained in his confidence a single upright and conscientious person. The soul sickens at the retrospect; but we must pursue the revolting subject.

The king was, at this time, the only friend in whom the Princess of Wales could repose any confidence, and to him she unburdened herself unreservedly. His majesty was much incensed at the indignation heaped upon the daughter of his sister, and, but for the apparent situation of his niece, he would have recommended severer measures than he then thought prudent.

In opposition to all remonstrance and advice, the prince gradually sunk deeper into the vortex of [119]sensuality, and very frequently expressed himself in high hopes that the princess would soon "BE GOT RID OF." He still remained ignorant of the confidence the princess had reposed in her uncle; and well was it for her he was ignorant of it, as his passion was extreme, and rage might have gained such a pre-eminence as to have induced him to add another FOUL DEED to his number.

This fatal year, more than twenty-nine millions were required, eighteen of which were raised by loans! Here may be observed how progressively the "national debt" was incurred, partly for the immoderate extravagance of those who ought to have acted as models for imitation at home, and partly by unjust and destructive wars abroad! until Englishmen became any thing and every thing but a free people. The discontents of the tax-payers were loud and deep; but the ministers heeded them not!

On the 7th of January,

1796,

the Princess of Wales was safely delivered of a daughter, whose birth, in some measure, assuaged the miseries of her forlorn condition. The Duke of Clarence might have very frequently repeated his expressions, delivered in the House of Lords in the preceding June, when he said, "Unless suitable provisions were made for the prince, the Princess of Wales, A LOVELY AND AMIABLE WOMAN, must feel [120]herself torn from her family, (although her mother was the king's sister) removed from all her early connexions," &c. Ah! William Henry, were you prepared to prove this to be a speech in favour of your cousin and sister-in-law? Was it not only for the aggrandizement of your spendthrift brother?

To oblige her majesty, the young princess was named Charlotte. But what a different character did the younger Charlotte prove from the elder! Oh! that so sweet a disposition and so noble a mind should have been crushed in the bud, and that, too, by one nearly allied to her by the ties of nature!

Those more immediately about the person of the Princess of Wales were best capable to form an opinion of her maternal tenderness, and of the prince's negligence. The proofs of affectionate solicitude on the part of the mother, contrasted with the indifference of the father, deserve public explanation. The first time the prince saw his child, his countenance was not in the least illuminated by any ray of pleasure, as he contented himself by merely observing, "It is a fine girl." The princess afterwards acknowledged her disappointment, as she had hoped his heart was not entirely debased, or his sense of virtue altogether lost; but this fond, this very natural, hope was doomed to disappointment, and while this desolate lady was nursing her tenderly-beloved child, the prince was walking and riding out, openly and shamelessly, with Mrs. Fitzherbert and Lady Jersey! Would not the poor cottager have felt abashed to hear of his fellow-labourer's similar [121]conduct, even in the most humble station of life, who must, of necessity, be devoid of ten thousand advantages this personage had derived from birth and education? Yes, doubtless; and he who could so act deserved no other appellation than that of a VOLUPTUOUS BRUTE.

It was much to be regretted at this time, that all the very heavy taxation and increase of debt were said to be in consequence of the "king's great predilection for the lavish expenditures of the royal family, and his anxious determination to continue the disastrous war." Such were not his majesty's desires, but exactly the reverse; though, unfortunately, his opinions were always overruled by the queen.

A formal separation took place this year between the Prince and Princess of Wales, and certainly her royal highness deserved much more general sympathy than she then experienced. The nobility appeared uncertain which side to espouse, and therefore, for want of principle to do that which their consciences said was right, they fell imperceptibly into error; besides which, it was indispensably necessary, that those who wished to stand well with the queen and prince must withdraw from all intimacy with the Princess of Wales!

The immense amount for the supply this year was above THIRTY-EIGHT MILLIONS!—about twenty of which were raised by loans!

In

1797,

the heavy burdens imposed on the people to supply [122]the insatiate thirst for war, and keep a gorgeous appearance at court, reduced the middle classes of people to want and distraction. While the prince and his fawning courtiers were revelling in every obscenity, and glutting themselves with the prospect which still continued, that to-morrow would be more abundant, thousands,—nay, millions,—in England and Ireland were perishing for want of bread! During this unexampled period of sorrow, the conduct of the ministry proved them to be perfectly indifferent to the distresses of the people. Splendid entertainments, at an immense expense, were frequently given, and the lofty halls of palaces rang with the loud shouts of conviviality and profanity! Such recitals may, to some persons, appear incredible, or too highly coloured; but we well know they did occur, though we do not wish to shock the feelings of our readers by entering into the minutiæ of the infamous conduct practised by the Prince of Wales and his courtiers. Well might the prince, in his memorable letter to the princess in the preceding year, say, "Our inclinations are not suited to each other." He was correct; they were not suited; neither did the Princess Caroline ever desire they should be, because General Lee could testify that the prince had more propensities than propriety suggested!

In this most pressing and trying case, when the mind of the Princess of Wales was wrought up to the greatest point of agony, she resolved upon an interview with the queen, when her royal highness told her, that Carlton House could no longer be [123]inhabited by her, as the infamous scenes she was too often obliged to witness were of a description so notoriously abominable, that common decency was grossly outraged! Her majesty supported the right of the prince to choose his own associates, and at the same time stated, as her opinion, that it was very disagreeable to the prince to have her in town at all, and it was proper the princess should remove to some distance agreeable to herself, where the prince might not be under the necessity of meeting her, when he had occasion to spend any time at the palace.

It will readily be presumed, the princess left the presence of the haughty queen with a heart full of disappointment and chagrin. Her royal highness found herself surrounded by persons on whose confidence she could not depend; because every one appeared in awe of the queen. She was also neglected and insulted by the prince, who ought to have been the first to protect her; but the smile of her infant still cheered her gloomy moments.

This was the most disastrous period of the war: the Bank of England stopped payment; mutinies broke out in the army and navy, which were attended by much bloodshed; Ireland was on the verge of rebellion; and the sum required for the year's service amounted to the abominable and increased sum of FORTY-TWO MILLIONS OF MONEY, of which thirty-four millions were raised by loans, and three millions by Exchequer Bills. The premier also proposed to extort seven millions from the people by a new impost, under the name of "the triple assessment!"

[124]The year

1798

presented a continuation of grievances amongst most classes in humble life. Revelry and uproarious riot, however, were ever to be found in the residences of the royal, yet unnatural, husband of the Princess of Wales; and each succeeding year seemed but to improve him in all sorts of infamous engagements. He had at his command some of the most desperate and inhuman characters by which society was ever debased. One in particular, M'Mahon, who would at any time seduce a female from her home, under some specious pretence, in order to take her as a prize to his master, whose favour thereby might be secured!

The intrigues of the Duke of York were also of a most abandoned character; and the other brothers merit some notice in the "Annals of Infamy!" During Frederick's residence in Germany, he contracted habits and indulged in excesses abhorrent to human nature, and we should be spared much deep humiliation, as Englishmen, if we had not occasion to recur again to these sickening facts; but the recording angel of Truth forbids our silence, and we must not, therefore, disobey her mandate.

1799

will be remembered, and reference made to it, as [125]long as humanity can reflect upon the desolations and calamities occasioned by war. The earth, in many quarters, was covered with "killed and wounded," while the money of the tax-payers paid the legal assassins!

In the mean time, the minister at home was racking his brains how new taxes might be levied, to supply the means for the continuation of carnage. Property, liberty,—nay, even life itself, were deemed toys in the hands of Mr. Pitt, whose passions seemed to centre in rapine, enmity, and ambition. His heart was steeled against the cry of the widow and the plaintive sigh of the destitute orphan. The queen's account in the day of retribution must also be rather enormous, for the minister acted in concert with her in this complicated trickery. Mr. Pitt and the queen seemed to think their only part consisted in draining the resources of the people to their last ability, and in refusing all overtures of peace, whatever offers might be made.

This year, France made proposals of peace with these kingdoms, which were refused, and war, desolating war, with all its attendant and consequent horrors, still reared its "gory banners" over the principal part of the world!

We will leave the contemplation of this heart-rending subject, and turn to another, scarcely less revolting to humanity,—the conduct of the Prince of Wales,—whose court was generally filled with a host of harlots. His royal highness was anxious to get rid of the princess (his wife) entirely, and most [126]heartily did the queen concur in his wishes. The difficult part of the task was, the consideration and organization of those measures most likely to promote the desired end. The Princess of Wales' letters, addressed to her family in Brunswick, had many times been opened, and, not unfrequently, even suppressed! So that her persecutions were now commenced.

The princess was too open and ingenuous in character to obtain the queen's approbation, and therefore, after the several repulses which she had received from her majesty, Caroline was justly incensed at her uncalled-for unprovoked haughtiness, and overbearing manners. The unsuspecting nature of the Princess of Wales, however, prevented her from being aware of the infamous snares laid for her destruction at this period. Her royal highness has many times been heard to say, "Had I been suspicious, pray what should I not have feared? The queen, from the first time I saw her, frowned upon me, and very little I said or did pleased her; so I never thought I was an object of any consequence to her majesty." These were the reasonings of native, unsophisticated feelings, and well would it have been for the queen if her heart had been equally open, and her language equally candid.

The year

1800

was a continuation of dissension and discord, both [127]at home and abroad. Twice in this year the king's life was attempted; once in Hyde Park, and again, on the same evening, at Drury-lane Theatre; the first being by a ball cartridge, and the latter by a pistol. In the court, the same lavish display as formerly was continued, and the royal means were not curtailed. It was said, that the king declined having more than one course served up, but this was merely nominal; indeed, if it were as stated, the country did not benefit much by the change, as the allowances to royalty were, in many instances, very much increased, instead of being decreased.

Such was the scarcity of provisions this year, that the generality of the population existed upon a scanty portion of potatoes during the twenty-four hours. Bread was not within the power of the poor to obtain, as the quartern loaf, mixed with all sorts of deleterious ingredients, sold for twenty-one pence!

This year was rendered of immortal memory by the union of Ireland with England, which was effected by a profuse distribution of money and titles. Oh! disgrace to the Irish nation, ye servile few, who could sell your country for selfish ends! To yield up "name and fame," and all that is dear to honesty, for the sake of an "empty sound!"

The amounts required for this and the last year were nearly the same as for 1798.

In the early part of the year

1801,

it was announced that the king had taken a severe cold, [128]while hunting, and, in consequence, was not able to visit the several concerts to which he had previously given the promise of his attendance and patronage; but his indisposition was mental, not bodily. His majesty was so exceedingly distressed at the base and unworthy conduct of his son to his niece, the Princess of Wales, that he said frequently, "It is more than a father can bear!" Many times would he order his horse to be brought, and, requesting his attendants not to follow him, pursue his way towards Blackheath, where the princess then resided, sympathizing with her sorrows, and, more especially, in the intended removal of her child; for even at this early period, when the Princess Charlotte was but four years of age, the queen would signify her commands that the child should pass some days with her, either in London or Windsor, whichever happened to be most convenient to her majesty.

Notwithstanding the extreme scarcity of money and the high price of food, the queen and the younger branches of her family continued to give their splendid entertainments, as expense was the last consideration with the royal brood, when it was known the country supplied the means. Oh! John Bull, thy gullibility has, for above half a century, been more than proverbial!

On the 29th of October, the king opened the house in person, and announced the conclusion of war. Parliament then adjourned till after the Christmas recess. England now exhibited the effects of an eight years' war; the national debt had been DOUBLED, and internal distress had become general; [129]the poor were in a state bordering on starvation, and commerce had the prospect of every foreign port being shut against it; while the supplies required for the year amounted to nearly FORTY MILLIONS.

The year

1802

was ushered in under the greatest embarrassments. The vitals of the people were nearly destroyed by the enormous taxation they had endured for so many years, and it was doubtless owing to the intolerable load they had sustained, and still expected to have forced upon them, that independent sentiments were proclaimed. They had a right to condemn the usurping power of the queen, for producing all their troubles.

The recess having terminated, the House met. The chancellor came forward to shew that the sovereign's pecuniary affairs were very much in arrear. After introducing his plan of finance, he was obliged to inform the House that certain taxes had been mortgaged by Mr. Pitt, (who had now resigned) for which the present minister must provide. To defray this expense, very heavy additional duties were imposed on beer, malt, hops, &c. A considerable addition was also made to the assessed taxes, and upon imports and exports. At this period, the whole of the "funded debt," including the loans of the present year, amounted to five hundred and forty [130]millions, and the interest was annually seventeen millions sterling!

On the 7th of May, Mr. Nichol moved that an address be presented to his majesty, thanking him for the removal of Mr. Pitt from his councils, when Lord Belgrave rose, and moved an amendment, expressive of the high approbation of that House respecting the character and conduct of the late minister and his colleagues! In the face of all opposition, Lord Belgrave's amendment was carried by more than four to one, as also a second motion, by Sir H. Mildmay, "that the thanks of the House be given to the Right Hon. Mr. Pitt." This was assurance in perfection! These discussions only seemed to increase Mr. Pitt's popularity, and on the occasion of his next birth-day, Earl Spencer, late first lord of the Admiralty, gave as a toast to the company, "the pilot that weathered the storm," instead of "the pilot who gathered the storm!"

In the latter part of this year, much fear was excited, lest hostilities should again arise between France and England, on account of the ascendency of Buonaparte.

At the commencement of the year

1803,

the unhappy king, by the desire of his overbearing wife, directed a message to the House, recommending "the embarrassed state of the Prince of Wales [131]to their attention," and, in consequence, sixty thousand pounds annually were further settled upon his royal highness, to continue for three years and a half. This sum, however, was not half sufficient to meet his lavish engagements; and therefore Mr. Calcraft had the hardihood to move, that "means be granted to enable the prince to resume his state and dignity!" But this inconsistent and insulting motion was "too bad," and, in defiance of even the boroughmongers, was negatived.

The supplies voted for the public service this year amounted to above FIFTY-SIX MILLIONS! We really wonder of what materials Englishmen were composed to allow such iniquitous grants.

Ministers again declared war with France, and men and money were in no inconsiderable request. The French Consul possessed himself of Hanover, and threatened an invasion of England, which frightened ministers to put the country in a state of defence. But was not this a political ruse?

Mr. Addington was not so popular as his predecessor in the capacity of minister; he had not so much hardihood as Mr. Pitt, and was not calculated to endure the load of obloquy which he received, as he considered himself free from the charge of having destroyed the prospects of his country by the immense debt then contracted; for that was the arrangement of Mr. Pitt. Mr. Addington was merely a tool in the hands of others.

Those who knew the intricate and perplexed state of affairs within the court were only able to judge [132]how long Mr. Addington's ministry would continue, and also, WHY it was brought into action. Alas! not merely or intentionally to satisfy the liberal politicians, or to change any part of the long misrule of the former minister. Widely opposite were the motives which proved the main-spring to the meditated result. The queen again intended to press the king for an increase of income, to a serious amount, for her favourite spendthrift, and she asked the minister how it might be best attained. The plan was therefore concerted, and as Pitt dared not so soon again ask for further advances, a new minister might be induced to do it, if shielded by the royal message.

If such conduct were not juggling and acting with the most abominable treachery and hypocrisy, we must for ever give up our claim to the possession of one iota of common understanding. As we proceed, we will explain to the gentle or indignant reader, whichever he may be, in what way our enormous "national debt," as it is called, was contracted, when we have no doubt that he will be as incensed as ourselves, and will be ready to exclaim, "Was this the policy pursued by that paragon of her sex, Queen Charlotte?—she who was at all times revered for her piety, and admired for her inexpressible and unspotted virtue!" Yes, reader, the very same; the only difference is, you have formerly beheld her in borrowed plumes,—we present her in her own!

Let us here recur to the consideration of the treatment, exercised against the Princess of Wales by her abominable husband and his vindictive [133]mother. We formerly alluded to some confidential communications made by her to his majesty. The suspicious and mean characters then placed about her person reported to the queen every interview which the king had with his daughter-in-law, and maliciously, represented the imprudence of such an intimacy. From this time, the Prince of Wales professed to believe his father was improperly interested in the cause of the princess, and spies were placed in various situations, to give notice of all visits the princess received and paid. Notwithstanding, the plotters' most ardent wishes were disappointed, and they could not fix upon any action, which they were able to prove, to affect her honour or virtue. In the mean time, Caroline's only child was removed from her, without the enjoyment of whose endearing society life was a mere blank.

In proportion as the prince was applauded, and the queen supported him, so was the princess abused and insulted. With respect to pecuniary affairs, every honest and upright person saw the strange disproportion in the incomes of the several members of the family; for the princess, who had to keep an entirely distinct and separate establishment at her sole expense, was allowed no more than twenty-two thousand pounds per annum, while the other members, who were chiefly expensive to the king, had their salaries granted without reference to this subject. Yet it was expected that the etiquette of rank should be maintained, and with an equal ostentatious display as if means were proportionately provided to [134]defray such expenses. Although living upon the establishment of the king, the queen's real independent income was fifty-eight thousand pounds a year! Ought we not to ask why the princess was thus neglected and shamefully insulted?—left in debt, and in extreme perplexity of circumstances, for which the family must ever be considered mean and unjust? How was her royal highness to act in such a trying case? If she had retired to private life, her enemies would have pronounced her an improper person to retain the high station which she had formerly occupied. If appearances were to be maintained, and royal splendour continued, she must mix with certain society, and debt be the inevitable consequence. The princess felt there were points, beyond which a virtuous, insulted female could not shew forbearance; and she, therefore, resolved no longer to endure the galling yoke of oppression, without farther explanation.

We now proceed to the year

1804,

which commenced amidst much political dissension at home, and preparations for increasing desolation abroad.

His majesty's health now became very indifferent, and, in February, an official bulletin announced his malady. It was reported to be a very slight attack; though we are sorry to say it was, to the king, [135]productive of great pain and agitation of mind by the misrule of the queen, and the improprieties of his family! Little did the nation at large imagine that the family of the sovereign (to whose individual income they had so promptly and munificently contributed) were the causes of his acute anxieties! His sons were deeply embarrassed by PLAY, their female connexions chiefly of the most abandoned character, and their engagements in the world, generally speaking, far beyond their powers to discharge. His daughters were also composed of the FRAILTIES of human nature. Born and educated in a court, under the severe tuition of their mother, they believed themselves of superior worth. The pleasures and enjoyments of life were ever waiting for their acquiescence, and their exercise on horseback, attended by certain persons, occupying certain stations in life, afforded them a variety of opportunities for conversation, in which the softest subjects met the ear!

At this period also, the king's already-distracted mind was farther embittered by what he considered the loss of virtue in one of his daughters; and the agony he endured, lest the circumstance should transpire to the public, would defy any language to depict.

After calmness, in some measure, was restored to his majesty's wounded feelings, his health gradually improved, and, on the 29th of March, he was declared to be convalescent.

On the resignation of Mr. Addington, Mr. Pitt again assumed the reins of government, and [136]appointed his protégé, Mr. Canning, treasurer of the navy. Why do not the many biographers of this political character explain the reason, if every thing were fair and straightforward, of his quitting office in 1801, because the Catholic question was forbidden to be mentioned, and returning to it in 1804, under an express stipulation that no member of the government should agitate it contrary to the royal inclination? Was the promise that had been given only binding for three years? Was Mr. Canning's secession from office a trick? Was his return to it a sacrifice,—a sacrifice of honour and principle,—to the miserable gratification of obtaining power? Alas! the public had little to thank Mr. Canning for; but they knew not, at that time, his love of place and pension.

In October, it was said the king and prince were reconciled; but the substance of that reconciliation was not made known to the nation. The queen had resolved to oblige her favourite son, and promote his wishes, by finally relieving him from any farther engagements with the princess, his wife; though of the various abominable schemes then in action, the king was kept entirely ignorant.

In this year, the health of Mr. Pitt began to fail; his ardour seemed cooled, and he experienced short intervals of extreme debility and pain.

In the year

1805,

certain existing evils rendered it needful and [137]expedient, in the opinion of the ministry, that the English nation should fear an invasion from Buonaparte. We will say WHY they deemed it necessary. Because the burdens of the poor were already immense, and it was requisite to give an excuse for stripping thousands of families of their scanty apparel, their few mean and simple articles of furniture, and their humble home, for the purpose of enabling the "hydra-headed monster" of corruption to pursue his unlimited course over this insulted nation! And what could be better to effect this object than alarming the country with the fear of an invasion? The diabolical scheme too fatally succeeded!

In order to strengthen the power of the queen at this period, Mr. Pitt renewed his connexion with Mr. Addington, who was raised to the peerage by the title of Viscount Sidmouth, and succeeded the Duke of Portland as president of the council.

The minister, Mr. Pitt, cool as he was on many iniquitous subjects, could not avoid feeling pangs of remorse at the continual impositions he was compelled by the queen to make (in various shapes) upon the people. His unbending pride, however, would not permit him to name his uneasiness to her majesty, as he well knew her inflexible temper and disposition would not permit her to receive any opinion in preference to her own. He soon resigned his earthly vexation upon this point, as he became so indisposed as not to be able to attend his political affairs, and was obliged to seek for repose in retirement from active life.

[138]At the commencement of the year

1806,

parliament was opened by commission; but the usual address was omitted, on account of the absence of the minister, who, as before stated, was then seriously indisposed.

On the 23rd of January, Mr. Pitt expired, in the forty-seventh year of his age. He was said to have died insolvent. Be this as it may, forty thousand pounds were voted as a plea to discharge his debts, as well as means to defray the expenses of his funeral! Probably this was the best laid-out money of the ministry for some time past. If the occasion had occurred twenty years before, what an immense saving it had produced the country!

The public life of Mr. Pitt will afford no room for praise to the faithful and just historian. When the errors and praises of his biographers shall have lost their force, future generations will behold his character in its native colours. He must then appear either in the light of an ungrateful hypocrite, or submit to the only alternative of being reckoned a man of contracted mind. Even in private life, he was not more amiable nor exemplary. The ministerial system which he had laid down pervaded the internal economy of all his actions. He appeared to imagine true dignity consisted in a coolness and reserve, (probably acquired from his queen) that banished every suitor from his presence; nor did he ever suffer [139]a case of distress, however just or pressing the claims might be, to divert him from the routine of office, or to extort the least relief or comfort from himself. Negligent and careless in his domestic concerns, he never permitted a single ray of generosity to burst forth to animate the general frost of his character. He retained his natural sullenness and reserve; even in the best moments of convivial mirth, he never displayed a flexibility of disposition, or an openness to conviction. Often as he was obliged to submit to the decrees of necessity, whereon he imagined his continuance in office depended, yet he never had the candour to acknowledge the weakness of any measure, originating in himself, that brought on that necessity. But what a departure was this from the principles of his illustrious ancestor, the Earl of Chatham, who would never crouch to the authority of any sovereign or cabinet, when militating against his own more enlightened judgment. He resisted bribery, and generally succeeded in his views, or, if baffled, resigned his office. The son of this nobleman, however, pursued far different maxims, and pertinaciously clung to the douceurs and infamy of office; for infamous it most certainly was, to practice measures his own sentiments condemned. Never did man accede to power on more just or noble principles, and never did man forsake those principles with less reserve. He forgot all obligations, and at a happy crisis, when he might have availed himself of the occasion of honorably fulfilling them, in advancing the liberty and happiness of the country, he [140]was eternally launching out into vapid and unmeaning encomiums on the boasted excellencies of the British constitution, instead of adhering to his solemn contract, of exerting all his influence and abilities to reform its blemishes. With all the failings of this minister, his caution and plausibility were admirably calculated to entrap the confidence of the landed and monied interest, and he turned it to the best account, labouring with all his zeal to inculcate a belief of the flourishing state of the national finances, enforcing every circumstance tending to confirm this belief, and concealing every truth that would serve to diminish or destroy it. Will not such a man, then, be regarded by posterity as a time-server and an apostate?

After the death of Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox joined the ministry; and, at the same time, Lord Sidmouth continued a member of the cabinet! But Mr. Fox did not retain his situation long. His health soon after declined, and he died on the 13th of September following.

Of this great statesman, we may say, "take him for all in all, we ne'er shall look upon his like again." He was an unbending patriot; possessed of great political ability, and loved, as well as advocated, the cause of LIBERTY. Light and shade, however, were mixed in Mr. Fox's picture. He permitted private friendship, in one instance, to over-balance his public duty. We refer to the language used by him in the House of Commons, in April, 1787, which must have been against his conscience. He there denied [141]the marriage between the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Fitzherbert, when, in fact, he assisted at that very marriage; but, because he had engaged secrecy to the prince, he thought proper to utter a direct falsehood rather than break his promise upon the subject!

Mr. Pitt's death was an unpleasant consequence to the usurping queen, and perhaps impelled the ardour of her determination to get her favourite son's divorce from his injured wife settled as soon as possible. The scheme for this purpose, which seemed most practicable, was the obtaining some document as evidence against the moral character of the princess. By the queen's express desire, therefore, Lady Douglas had removed her abode, nearly six years previously, close to Blackheath, and was purposely employed to invent some dishonourable report against the princess.

The Princess of Wales accidentally and innocently (on her part) became acquainted with this lady, and from that period no pains were spared, on the part of Lady Douglas and her husband, to increase that acquaintance, until their diabolical object should be attained. The most assiduous attentions and extravagant pains were used to entrap the generous mind of the princess; but as the object in view proved of a very difficult nature, so did the means for its accomplishment become equally numerous. This intimacy commenced in 1801, and terminated in 1804; and during that period did these base designing slanderers and ungrateful guests, by secret application, obtain an opportunity to vilify, outrage, and insult [142]the princess, in connexion with nearly every branch of the royal family, who were too closely united in one general interest not to assist each other.

The only patriotic members, the Dukes of Kent and Sussex, appeared much wrought upon by the specious and abominable fabrication brought forward by these unprincipled, time-serving, and heartless enemies of Caroline. Although their statements and depositions were taken so fully, and examined so closely,—although the prince pursued the subject with such unfeeling barbarity,—yet the princess was acquitted, most honourably acquitted. Indeed, to any rational inquirer, the wickedness of the Douglas statement was, beyond doubt, most palpable. It was full of improbabilities, of contradictions, and absurdities, which well merited punishment. Had a similar insult or a flagrant transgression been offered to the royal family in the person of any other than the Princess of Wales, would not the whole royal phalanx, headed by the queen, have arisen in defence of their illustrious and virtuous house? Nay, would not the insulting falsehoods and infamous assertions have been proved treasonable? Yes, undoubtedly; but, because the injured Princess of Wales was the INTENDED VICTIM OF A CONSPIRACY, although so gloriously acquitted, yet no prosecution of her traducers followed; neither did any branch of the royal family exemplify one pleasurable feeling upon the conclusion of this disgracefully-iniquitous business! Their chagrin was much more evident!

As if in this year a deluge of sadness and sorrow, [143]in addition to all other trials and injuries, were to fall upon the persecuted Caroline, she had to suffer the heavy and irreparable loss of her father, William, Duke of Brunswick, at the memorable battle of Jena, October 14th, in the seventy-first year of his age.

The character of the venerable Duke of Brunswick is beyond praise; "his NAME shall be his monument!" If at any period the Princess of Wales needed the kind and soothing balm of friendship, it was at this trying juncture. Her friends were few in number, and their friendship was of an evanescent description. They sometimes professed their readiness to serve her, and eulogised her greatness of mind and talent; yet, when brought to the point by public opinion and inquiry, they very generally expressed their sentiments equivocally, or with some portion of hesitation calculated to injure, rather than benefit, the cause they professed to serve. Mr. Canning and Mr. Whitbread were two of these particular kind of friends, as our after history will abundantly testify.

How wretched must have been the Princess Charlotte at this period, who was nearly deprived of all communication with her affectionate mother, and without one friend to whom she could freely speak of her sorrows and anxious wishes!

The year

1807

commenced with selfish men in office, who contrived [144]selfish measures for the continued purposes of corruption.

The king now became very imbecile; and the queen and the Prince of Wales intimidated him from acting honourably towards the Princess of Wales, as he had so committed himself by his fatal act of BIGAMY. As his mind became proportionately depressed by the perplexities of his situation, so did his conduct become more influenced as they desired it; until, at length, he proved a mere automaton, to be moved at their pleasure!

In any case of vital importance to character, delay is dangerous; because it causes suspicion, suspicion begets mistrust, and so on do these injurious sentiments proceed, until, ere the time of trial arrives, the injured party has suffered unjustly in a two-fold way. Thus it was in the case of the unfortunate Caroline. To oblige the queen, his majesty postponed seeing his daughter-in-law as long as it suited the views of the designers against her happiness.

From the active part which Mr. Perceval had taken in defence of the princess, especially in his book, which made much noise in the world at this time, the queen thought it prudent to advise his being accommodated with office. She made her will known to the prince, who was very happy to concur in the suggestion, but only feared an obstacle in Mr. Perceval's rigid virtue. This, however, was not insurmountable, and Mr. Perceval was made "Chancellor of the Exchequer;" Mr. Canning, "Secretary [145]for Foreign Affairs;" and Lord Castlereagh, "Secretary for the Department of War and the Colonies." Thus were two of the former advocates of the Princess of Wales enlisted under the banners of her most deadly enemies! As to the honor they derived from their base desertion of the cause of innocence, we leave our readers to judge.

The Prince of Wales, at this juncture, made no secret of his diabolical intentions; for we well know that he has frequently raised the goblet to his lips, and drank "TO THE SPEEDY DAMNATION OF THE PRINCESS." It was very perceptible that the royal party were well aware of the injustice practised towards the princess; but, charity being a virtue of little worth in their ideas, they resolved to carry their plans into execution, no matter at what cost.

The least the late friends of the princess could do was, to remain silent; but human beings can articulate sounds, and be oppositely communicative with their optical faculties. An individual, who accepts place amongst those whom he formerly professed to despise, renders himself an object of suspicion, if not of detestation.

For the present, we abstain from further remarks upon these two late principal friends of the persecuted Princess of Wales.

Upon hearing of the Duke of Brunswick's death, the king could do no less than solicit the duchess, his sister, to visit England. As the country around her was in a deplorable state, and feeling desirous to see her daughter, she determined to accept the [146]invitation, and arrived at the house of the Princess of Wales, at Blackheath, on the 7th of July, in one of her royal highness' carriages.

The injured Caroline was so overpowered at this interview as to cause the duchess much serious disquiet; for she plainly saw that her daughter had great cause for sorrow, the particulars of which she was yet ignorant. The princess afterwards appeared soothed; and this short interview, cheered by a fond mother's presence, proved a solace to her lacerated heart.

The king went from Windsor to see his sister, and the queen also from St. James' Palace; the Princess Charlotte, and several other members of the family, paid their respects to the duchess.

Thus, though common or decent attention was refused the daughter, while mourning over her early misfortunes and recent losses, yet, when her mother arrived, some little regard must be paid to etiquette, although the daughter was to receive the visiters. But so it was. Poor Queen Charlotte, how hard it was for her to vouchsafe or condescend to let fall one smile upon Caroline!

After the opportunity this visit afforded the Princess Charlotte, the mother and daughter were of necessity explicit, and they mourned over the seeming hard destiny each was doomed to experience.

During the remainder of this year, the king became more and more incapacitated for business of any sort; he could not even distinguish any object by either its colour or size, and was led from one [147]place to another as if in the last stage of blindness. The long-continued distractions of his mind, and the anxiety yet remaining, caused his rational moments to be most gloomy. His favourite daughter was incurably diseased with a scrofulous disorder, from which she suffered dreadfully, and nature seemed fast declining. Throughout the whole of his family, the poor monarch had but little gratification, as every individual composing it was separately under her majesty's controul. To have contradicted her order or command would have been attended with no very pleasant consequences. Her look was sufficient to frighten every one into obedience!

We now enter upon the year

1808,

in which the session of parliament was opened by commission, on the 21st of January, the king's indisposition preventing him from going in person.

At this period, a very strong sensation was excited against the continuance of the pension list. The productive classes ascertained, in a very correct way, how the fruits of their industry were devoured. In consequence of which, they felt themselves imposed upon in the highest degree; but resolved to try rational entreaty and petition ere they resorted to acts of violence. The number of these dissatisfied classes, in every large town, was immensely great, and they only needed system to obtain, by their SIMPLE [148]PETITION, what they so much desired; but the authorities knew the incapacitated state of the sufferers, in the absence of that system, and therefore very ungenerously refused their appeal.

In March, the City of London (John Ansley, mayor) petitioned both Houses for parliamentary reform, and the abolition of sinecure places and pensions; but they received the expense attendant upon their exertions for their reward, and the mortification of the ministers' apathy for their satisfaction. Popular indignation, however, is not so easily allayed; for, though extreme appearances may for a time be concealed, they will eventually break forth with ten-fold force. The public reasoned upon a rational ground, and was fully aware that their strength was spent to support enemies. Their resolve to petition for freedom was the dictate of an unerring and fixed principle, ever inherent in the breast of man. The blandishments of folly, and the encouragement given to imposition, have rendered the industrious and honest citizen a prey to the lordlings of arbitrary power; and so long as he can assist to supply means whereby their cravings may be satisfied, so long do they seem to suppose he lives to a sufficient purpose. Under these circumstances, the oppressed classes were perfectly justified in making a stand against farther innovation; and also in resisting the intolerable injustice in force against them. Still the administration continued inexorable to the pressing prayers and miserable condition of the people. The political disease, however, was rapidly advancing to a crisis.

[149]Similar distress and dissatisfaction existed at the commencement of the year

1809:

provisions were dear, and labour scarce; yet an additional sum was required for the state, to uphold its secret machinations, and pervert the ends of justice.

It will be remembered that, in this year, the celebrated Mrs. Mary Ann Clark, formerly a mistress of the Duke of York, appeared at the bar of the House of Commons, as evidence against him. Mr. Wardle, with an intrepidity worthy of the cause in which he was engaged, took upon himself the awful responsibility of preferring those serious charges against the duke, which it were unnecessary for us here to repeat. The public officers of the king volunteered their services to rescue his royal highness from public odium by denominating the proceeding as a conspiracy! In spite, however, of every artifice which a knowledge of the law enables bad men to practice to defeat the ends of justice, there were exposed to public view scenes of the grossest corruption, of the most abandoned profligacy, of the most degrading meanness, and of the most consummate hypocrisy. The contagion had reached every department of the state; nor was the church exempted from its baneful influence. It was fully proved that, not only subordinate situations, but even deaneries and bishoprics (which had been supposed to be the rewards of piety [150]and learning) were applied for to his royal highness, through the intervention of his mistress! A great majority of the boroughmongers, of course, acquitted the duke from these charges, and talked of voting an address of thanks to him for the manner in which he discharged his official duties. Fortunately, however, the mode of investigation adopted enabled every man in the kingdom to judge for himself. Englishmen, for once, spoke out, and the duke was compelled to resign. This step on the part of the illustrious debauchee prevented further exposure, and saved him from the severe and heavy weight of being voted out of office, and degraded! Behold, then, reader, what the principles of Pitt achieved! That minister always persuaded the male branches of the family, that the queen's protection (through the medium of the minister) would prove at all times a sufficient retreat and asylum, in case of complaint or refractory sensation of the people at their frequent derelictions from duty and honor.

The fluctuations of the public funds was an opportune chance for speculation, and the queen's love of money induced her to turn her sources of information to the best account; she therefore acted in concert with her broker, and immediately, upon any rise taking place, she "sold out," and when gloom overspread the market, she "bought in." By this speculation alone, the Duke of Kent acknowledged that his mother realized four hundred thousand pounds! At the same period, her majesty had another excellent speculation in hand; namely, the profits [151]arising from the sale of cadetships for the East Indies. Dr. Randolph and Lady Jersey were the chief managers of these affairs, though her majesty received the largest portion of the spoil. Dr. Randolph himself acknowledged, that the queen had realized seventy thousand pounds upon this traffic alone! In one transaction with a candidate for a cadetship, an enormous premium was required, and the applicant was very much incensed, as it appeared to him to be nothing less than a bold imposition. He expostulated; but Dr. Randolph made short of the affair by refusing any further communication upon the subject. For once, Dr. Randolph forgot his own interest, as also the public character and safety of his royal mistress. The gentleman, shortly afterwards, was visiting a friend in Paris, when the conversation turned upon the English constitution, and the immense revenues of the kingdom. The friend spoke in raptures upon the liberal feelings and generous provisions exercised and provided towards, and for all, aspirants to honor. At length, the visiter could no longer conceal his mortification and chagrin, and he candidly explained every particular of his correspondence with Dr. Randolph, in which her majesty's name was as freely introduced as the doctor's. The astonishment and surprise of his friend were great indeed, and he recommended him to publish the whole affair in France, and circulate it through the surrounding kingdoms. A printer was sought for, who required a certain time to determine the risk he should run in the undertaking; this was accordingly granted, and the parties separated. As soon as the [152]person intended to be employed found the consequence attached to it, he communicated the important information to a solicitor, of some eminence, in London, to whom he had formerly been known. The affair was subsequently made known to the queen's youngest son, and by him the queen was fully acquainted with the probability of public exposure. An overwhelming infamy she well knew would be inseparably attached to it. Her majesty had been accustomed to deception, but hitherto she had not feared detection; but the moment of her fancied security was the moment most likely to prove fatal to her existence as a queen.

The Duke of Kent was unremitting in his exertions to obtain a settlement of this nefarious affair, and twenty thousand pounds were actually paid for the correspondence, and two thousand pounds given by the queen (through the medium of the duke) to the person who effected the settlement of the business, under the provision "that that business might never transpire to the public." His royal highness was too well aware of the general disposition of the queen, and her avaricious character, not to affect satisfaction at the high price her majesty paid for silencing this unpleasant affair. It may be inferred, that if the queen had committed herself by such flagrant acts of injustice as these, there might be many more dishonourable transactions of a minor description, occurring nearly at the same period. Yes, the inference is correct, for her majesty was truly born and bred a German!

We will relate another instance of Queen [153]Charlotte's ungenerous conduct. She had the superintendence of the education of her daughters, as far as related to the choice of their preceptors. Her majesty appointed a very clever and scientific gentleman, who resided in London, to teach herself and the six princesses—geography, astronomy, arithmetic, and the nature of the funds. Besides which, he was asked, as a favour, to settle the very deranged accounts of the princesses. This accomplished and worthy gentleman also held of Princess Elizabeth a bond for ten thousand pounds. After dancing attendance upon these illustrious individuals for twenty-six years, without receiving any remuneration, though he had frequently pressed for payment of his long-standing account, he again solicited a settlement with the queen; but, as he only received abuse of an unmeasured description for his pains, he determined to maintain himself and his large family out of the profits of his private scholars, leaving the royal debt as a provision for his children after him. His expenses were considerable in attending the royal family, as he was always obliged to go full dressed in a bag and silk stockings, to hire carriages to go down to Windsor, to live at an inn, and to sleep there, if they chose to take lessons the two following days, by which he was also often obliged to neglect and disoblige his private scholars. For all this attendance, he received no remuneration whatever; and Queen Charlotte had the heart to say, "I think you have had remuneration sufficient by your youngest son receiving a pension of eighty pounds a year for teaching [154]the younger princesses only writing!" The preceptor, however, still claimed his remuneration, and was, at last, referred to the lawyers, who required him to produce proofs of every lesson he gave, the day and the hour, for twenty-six years! To their astonishment, he produced his diary, and such clear accounts, that there was no contradicting them. But as lawyers are never at a loss how to gain their ends, they next required him to declare, upon oath, the name of each particular servant that had let him in during the twenty-six years! This he could not do; and her majesty, not to be behind the lawyers, advised they should plead the statute of limitation! The lawyers, however, persuaded her most excellent majesty that such a proceeding would be against her interest. After being harassed about in this manner for a considerable time, the old, care-worn, broken-hearted master was most injuriously persuaded to suffer the business to be decided by one arbitrator only, instead of trusting to the laws of his country. The poor old gentleman never held up his head afterwards, but always used to say he should leave all his family beggars, which, alas! proved too true. He shortly after died at his house in Manchester-street. He was a very worthy and an exceedingly clever man. On one occasion, Mr. Pitt sent for him to solve some difficulty in the finances of the country, for which none of the ministers could account. He instantly set them all right by showing that such an error was possible to occur, though it very seldom did occur.

[155]Besides the claims upon Queen Charlotte, the worthy preceptor had a bill against the Princess Charlotte for eight hundred pounds. On applying to the Prince of Wales for this money, he refused to pay it, and referred him to the king, who was then quite deranged! The Princess of Wales knew all these particulars, and told her daughter, the Princess Charlotte, the desperate state of the poor man's family. Her royal highness spoke to her uncle, the Duke of York, about it, who persuaded her that the venerable master was an old rogue, who had robbed the princesses and all the family, and her royal highness chose to believe him. That he was a scientific man, his books and valuable mathematical instruments bore ample testimony. These were sold after his death for eight thousand pounds, which went to discharge his debts.

Many other instances might be recorded to prove the unfeeling and barbarous behaviour of the queen; but this alone must be sufficient to convince our readers how totally unfit her majesty was to reign over a free people.

In the September of this year, Lord Castlereagh sent a challenge to Mr. Canning, which was accepted; but the effects of the duel were not very serious, though it subsequently led to the resignation of both. It is hardly worth while, perhaps, to recur to this now-forgotten, and always, as far as the public were concerned, insignificant business. Lord Castlereagh acted as a vain and high-spirited man, who fancied his confidence betrayed, his abilities called in question, [156]and, like an Irishman, saw but a short vista between an offence and a duel. Mr. Canning, equally high-spirited, felt that he had got into a disagreeable business, and that the fairest escape from it would be to fight his way out. Lord Castlereagh's conduct, when we think of a sober and wise statesman, is ridiculous. Mr. Canning's, when we picture to ourselves a high-minded and frank-hearted gentleman, in spite of the plausibility of explanations, is displeasing.

The wretched policy of this year required fifty-four millions of money to support it.

1810

was ushered in under distressing and unsatisfactory circumstances. The royal family were divided amongst themselves, and every branch seemed to have a separate interest. Under these circumstances, it was not a matter of surprise that truth was now and then elicited; for it is a veritable saying, that "when rogues fall out, honest men are gainers."

The king was at this time labouring under a severe attack of mental aberration: the situation of the country, his children, and his own peculiar sorrows, made impressions on his mind of the most grievous description.

In a former work of our's, called "The Authentic Records of the Court of England," we gave an account of the extraordinary and mysterious murder of one Sellis, a servant of the Duke of Cumberland, which occurred this year. In that account, we did [157]what we conceived to be our duty as historians,—we spoke the TRUTH! The truth, however, it appears, is not always to be spoken; for his royal highness instantly commenced a persecution against us for a "malicious libel." We say persecution, because almost every person is aware, that filing a criminal information against an individual can be done only with a view of preventing the exposure of truth, which, though such procedure be according to English law, cannot be reconciled with the original intention of law, namely—to do justice both to the libelled and the libeller! In America, no such monstrosities disgrace the statute-book; for there, if any person be accused of scandalum magnatum, and can prove the truth of what he has stated, he is honorably acquitted. Yet as we are not in America, but in England,—the boasted land of liberty,—we must, forsooth, be seized as criminals, merely because we wish to institute an inquiry into the circumstances of the murder of an individual, whose assassin, or assassins, have hitherto escaped the slippery hands of justice! We are no cowards in regimentals, nor did we make our statement with a view of slandering the royal pensioner. We would have willingly contended with his royal highness in a court of law, if he had had the courage to have met us on fair grounds. At the time we write this, we know not what the judgment of Lord Tenterden,—we beg his lordship's pardon, we should have said the court,—may be; but, whatever the punishment awarded, we hope to meet it with that fortitude which never fails to uphold a [158]man "conscious of doing no wrong!" If the Duke of Cumberland, however, imagines he can intimidate us from speaking the truth OUT OF COURT, he has mistaken us. We are not, as we said in our first work, to be prevented from doing whatever we conceive to be our duty. Though it may not be in our power to prove who was the murderer, the very suspicious circumstances attending the death of poor Sellis fully warrant renewed inquiry.

Passing over the various reports in circulation at the time of the murder, we proceed to notice the very contradictory evidence brought forward at the inquest. That we may not be accused of partiality, we take the report of this judicial proceeding from that Tory organ, "The Morning Post," which, it will be observed, deals out its abuse with no unsparing hand on the poor murdered man, whom it calls by the charitable appellation of villain, and sundry other hard names, which had better suited the well-known characters of other persons, who acted a prominent part in this foul business. After a few unmeaning preliminaries had been performed,

"Mr. Adams addressed the jury, and informed them of the violent attack that had been made upon the Duke of Cumberland; and that there was very little doubt but it was done by the deceased. He stated, the circumstances had been fully investigated by the privy council on Thursday, and that the depositions of the numerous witnesses had been taken before Mr. Justice Read, which he should read to them; after which the witnesses would be called before them, and the depositions would also be read to them, when they would have an opportunity of altering or enlarging, and the jury could put any question to them they thought fit."

In this address, some of the privileges of royalty [159]are explained. Because the murder had been committed in a palace, the privy council must examine the witnesses before they may be allowed to meet the jury, and their depositions taken by a justice, under the influence of the suspected party. The coroner may then tell the jury that there was very little doubt of the deceased person having attempted his master's life, and afterwards cutting his own throat to avoid detection. Merciful heaven! can this be called an impartial administration of justice? Are such careful proceedings ever adopted in the case of a poor man? To be sure, the jury were told they might ask any question they thought fit; but is it to be supposed that, after the INQUIRIES they had undergone, the witnesses would let slip any thing likely to criminate themselves or their royal master?

"The first affidavit that was read was that of his royal highness the Duke of Cumberland, which stated, that about half-past two o'clock on Thursday morning he received two violent blows and cuts on his head; the first impression upon his mind was, that a bat had got into the room, and was beating about his head; but he was soon convinced to the contrary by receiving a third blow. He then jumped out of bed, when he received several more blows; from the glimmering light afforded from a dull lamp in the fire-place, and the motion of the instrument that inflicted the wounds, they appeared like flashes of lightning before his eyes. He made for a door near the head of his bed, leading to a small room, to which the assassin followed him, and cut him across his thighs. His royal highness not being able to find his alarm-bell, which there is no doubt the villain had concealed, called with a loud voice for Neale (his valet in waiting) several times, who came to his assistance; and Neale, together with his royal highness, alarmed the house."

The blows of the assassin must have indeed been [160]slight to resemble "a bat beating about the head of his royal highness;" but we cannot understand how the cut of a sword can bear any similarity to the beating of a little animal, like a bat! Poor Sellis, however, was but a little man, and his weak arm might be still more enfeebled by the consciousness of his ingratitude in attacking so kind and liberal a master! Sellis had been the duke's page, or valet, for more than five years, in daily, nay, almost hourly, personal communication with him; and it must, therefore, appear very strange, if Sellis was really the assassin, that his master did not recognise him! If the room was so dark that the duke could not see the person attacking him, it is singular that the assassin could see to strike his royal highness, as he did by "cutting him across his thighs, after he was out of bed!" As the supposed murderer followed the duke, who thought it best to take to his heels, we think his royal highness should have stated whether he meant his thighs in front or behind; but, of course, an examination of the scars would soon set this matter at rest! They would, no doubt, be found behind, as it is unreasonable to suppose that, in a dark room, the pursuer could have cut at the pursued in front. The Duke of Cumberland is a field-marshal, and a BRAVER man, IT IS SAID, never entered the FIELD; but in a dark room, with a man little more than half his weight, it would have been cowardly to fight, particularly as his royal highness might, IF HE HAD SO WISHED, have taken the weapon out of Sellis' hand, and broken it about his [161]head. No! no! the Duke of Cumberland knew what was due to his honour better than to take so mean an advantage of a weak adversary, and therefore coolly endeavoured to ring his bell, that a more suitable antagonist might be procured in his valet Neale!

"Cornelius Neale, sworn.—He said he was valet to the Duke of Cumberland, and that he was in close waiting upon his royal highness on Wednesday night, and slept in a bed in a room adjoining the duke's bed-room. A little before three o'clock, he heard the duke calling out, 'Neale, Neale, I am murdered, and the murderer is in my bed-room!' He went immediately to his royal highness, and found him bleeding from his wounds. The duke told him the door the assassin had gone out at; he armed himself with a poker, and asked if he should pursue him. The duke replied 'no,' but to remain with him. After moving a few paces, he stepped upon a sword; and, although in the dark, he was convinced it was covered with blood; it proved to be the duke's own regimental sword. The duke and witness then went to alarm the house, and got a light from the porter. The duke was afraid the murderer was still in his bed-room. His royal highness was obliged to lean upon him from the loss of blood, and he gave directions that no person should be let out of the house. They called up the witness' wife, who is the housekeeper, and told her to call Sellis. He then returned with the duke to his bed-room. At that time the duke was very faint from the great loss of blood. Upon examining the premises they found, in a second adjoining small room, a pair of slippers with the name of Sellis on them, and a dark lantern. The key of the closet was in the inside of the lock, and, to his knowledge, the key had not been in that state for ten years. He had reason to believe the wounds of the duke had been given by a sword. Sellis took out the duke's regimentals some time since, and put them by again, but left out the sword upon a sofa for two or three days. It is the same sword which he trod upon, and it was in a bloody state.

"The foreman of the jury, (Mr. Place, of Charing Cross) asked the witness if he thought the deceased had any reason to be dissatisfied with the duke. He replied, on the contrary, he thought Sellis had more reason to be satisfied than any other of the servants; his royal highness had stood godfather for one of his children, the [162]Princess Augusta godmother. The duke had shown him very particular favour by giving him apartments for his wife and family, with coals and candles.

"A juryman asked him if he ever heard the deceased complain of the duke. The witness asked if he was obliged to answer that question. The coroner informed him he must. He then stated that about two or three years since the duke advanced their board wages from 10s. 6d. a week to 14s., but at the same time took off 3s. 6d., allowed for travelling. After this regulation was adopted, a paper was drawn up by the steward for the servants to sign, expressing their satisfaction at the regulation, which the deceased refused to sign, and said, 'he'd be d—d if he did, and none but blackguards would sign it.' The steward told him the duke said he must sign it, or his wife and family must quit the apartments he had given them, as the rest of the servants had signed it. He had never heard the deceased complain since. Within the last year, the duke and royal family had been extremely kind to him. He had never given him an angry word, although he had often made use of very bad language to him; if he did, he never answered him. The deceased was of a very malicious disposition. He would never be contradicted, if he began a subject, for which reason he never wished to have any conversation with him. He frequently quarrelled with Mr. Paulet, one of the duke's servants, and fought with the steward at Kew. Lately the deceased had a bad cold, and the duke was so very kind towards him in consequence, that he took him inside the carriage to Windsor. Sellis dressed the duke on Wednesday night. He had no doubt but Sellis intended that he should be charged with being the murderer, to get him out of the way."

This Neale's evidence ought to be received with great caution. He slept in the next room to the duke, and when called upon for his assistance, stated his wish to pursue the murderer with a poker; but was prevented by his master's "fear of being left alone!" In this courageous offer of Neale, however, he trampled upon a sword, which, although in total darkness, he was CONVINCED was COVERED WITH BLOOD!! We have no intention to dispute Neale's [163]knowledge of this, or that "it was his master's own regimental sword!" There have been so many wonderful people who could see AS WELL IN THE DARK AS IN THE LIGHT, and describe the minutest particulars of an article as well with their EYES SHUT AS OPEN, that we ought not to be surprised at any thing! Notwithstanding, many persons WERE SURPRISED at the sagacity of Neale, not only in this, but in many other particulars. If the duke, "covered with gore, accompanied this servant to alarm the house," the traces of blood on the doors, &c., leading to Sellis' room, might be very naturally accounted for! They, however, thought it better not to call Sellis THEMSELVES, but sent Neale's wife to do it!!! Although the duke pointed out to his confidential man the door through which the villain had ESCAPED, his royal highness "felt afraid the murderer was STILL in his bed-room," which we have no reason to doubt! "A pair of slippers were left in an adjoining room, with the name of Sellis upon them." That Sellis left them there, however, is rather IMPROBABLE; because it is natural to suppose he would, if HE had been the murderer, have gone to his master's room WITHOUT SLIPPERS, or shoes of any kind, to make as little noise as possible. This circumstance, we are inclined to think, was a planned affair, though badly executed; for we know that these slippers were placed the wrong way,—a fact which will be hereafter proved. Through the whole of Neale's evidence, not a word was said to show that Sellis had the least motive for murdering either [164]the duke or himself. On the contrary, "Sellis had every thing to expect from his master's living."

In concluding our remarks upon Neale's evidence, we point the attention of our readers to the last sentence: "He had no doubt but Sellis intended that he (Neale) should be charged with being the murderer, to get him out of the way!" Now, as there was not the slightest evidence to bear Neale out in this malicious assertion, we think, FOR HIS OWN SAKE, he had much better have kept the expression to himself. Some of our readers may not be aware of the cause Sellis had given this fellow-servant to hate him; but the following letter, addressed to B. C. Stephenson, Esq., written by Sellis a few months before his death, will elucidate this matter a little:

"St. James', July 9th, 1809.

"Sir,—I am extremely anxious to know his royal highness' decision concerning the evidence produced before you against Mr. Neale, and I beg you, Sir, to have the goodness to relieve me from this most disagreeable suspense. If I may, Sir, judge from appearance, either his royal highness is not acquainted with what has been proved, or his royal highness has entirely forgiven him. Should the former be the case, Sir, I hope you will have the goodness to acquaint his royal highness to the full extent of the roguery of this man; and here it may be necessary to say, that the witnesses you have examined are all of them ready to take their oaths in a court of justice, and there to assert what they have already said before you. But, Sir, should his royal highness have forgiven him, then I must be under the most disagreeable necessity to beg his royal highness to have the goodness to dispose of me as his royal highness may think proper, so that I may not have the mortification to live and act in the same room with a man I have convicted as a rogue, and with whom no human being is able to live on friendly terms. Had it been his royal highness' pleasure to have had this business in a court of justice, the man would have been transported at least for seven years; and what I am going to communicate to you now is, I believe, [165]transportation for life. I have been told, Sir, that Mr. Neale cheats his royal highness in every thing he buys; in two different articles I have already ascertained this to be a fact; on the toothpicks he gains fifty per cent., by charging eighteen pence for that for which he only pays one shilling, and on the soap he charges two shillings for that which he pays eighteen pence, and should his royal highness wish me to proceed with these discoveries, it will be found that the dishonesty of this man has no bounds! The evidence you have taken, Sir, and what I have communicated to Major Thornton, with which also you must be acquainted, you must be satisfied, that this man is as great a villain as ever existed; NO OATH OR PROMISE IS BINDING WITH HIM; and he relates alike that which he must have sworn to keep sacred in his bosom, as he will a most trifling thing; and slanders and THREATENS WITH PUBLIC EXPOSURE AND LARGE DAMAGES HIS BENEFACTOR and only maker of his fortune, just as he would one of his own stamp. Sir, to serve his royal highness, I have always thought it as my greatest honour, and to serve him in any situation that his royal highness may be pleased to place me, shall always be the greatest pride of my life; but no longer can I live with this monster. I have, Sir, served his royal highness for nearly twelve years, and would rather forego all my wishes and pretensions, and beseech his royal highness to allow me permission to look out for another place. To your goodness I trust, Sir, that you will lay my case before his royal highness, and acquaint me with his royal highness' pleasure.

"I have the honour to be, Sir,

"Your most obedient and most humble servant,

"J. SELLIS."

"B. C. Stephenson, Esq."

In this letter, enough is set forth to make us receive the evidence of Neale with caution, if not to render him unworthy of belief altogether. Why the Duke of Cumberland retained Neale in his service after his peculating tricks had been discovered, and after the THREAT he held out against his royal master, we must leave our readers to discover.

"The jury proceeded to examine the bed-room of the royal duke, which they found in a most distressing and horrible state. It [166]could not be discovered what his royal highness' nightcap was made of, it being completely soaked in blood; the first blow given his royal highness was providentially prevented from proving fatal, from the duke wearing a padded ribbon bandage round his cap, and a tassel, which came in contact with the sword; the bed-clothes generally were blooded; the paper of the room, the prints and paintings, the door at the head of the bed (through which his royal highness endeavoured to make his escape) was cut with the sword at the time the villain was cutting at the duke, and the dark assassin must have followed his royal highness to the door of an anti-room, which was also spotted with blood."

Supposing Sellis to be the villain here meant, the wretched means he took to accomplish the end in view were so inadequate, that it were quite impossible for him to have done all the bloody work so minutely related, from the position in which the parties were placed. The duke was in a modern high bed, his head well protected with "a padded ribbon bandage," the only vital part of him that was above the bed-clothes, and the curtains drawn around him. Sellis was not taller than the level of the bed-clothes, and yet he chose a SWORD to attack his recumbent master!!! In a contest so unequal, the duke might have annihilated Sellis in a minute.

"The jury then proceeded to the room where the corpse of the deceased villain remained. They found it with the whole of the body (except the head and feet) covered with blood; the razor which did the deed in a bloody state. The deceased's neckcloth was cut through in several places. The drawers, wash-hand basin-stand, and the basin, were also bloody."

To some people, such a state of the room may appear any thing but convincing of the guilt of Sellis; yet, to such sensible men as were on the [167]jury, all confirmed the verdict afterwards recorded. Sellis, from his neckcloth having been "cut through in several places," blood being sprinkled in all parts of the room, and an appearance of some one having WASHED THEIR HANDS IN THE BASIN, MUST have been his own murderer, and consequently the assassin of the Duke of Cumberland!

"After the examination of the rooms, the jury proceeded to the investigation of the witnesses.

"Thomas Jones, a surgeon and apothecary, of the Strand, said he had attended the Duke of Cumberland's household since the year 1803. He knew the deceased well. He never saw him in a low or desponding way. The last time he had seen him was on Monday evening; he observed he was not very well, from a cold. He had seen him on the Sunday previous, when he was very anxious for the state of his child, having lately lost one. On Tuesday the child got better. He observed nothing particular about him for six weeks past, when he complained of a pain in his chest. He never complained to him of harsh treatment from the duke. He attended him four or five years since for a pain in his chest, which he said was brought on by riding on horseback. He understood he lived very happy with his wife. His wife told him it was of no use his sending physic for the pain in his chest, for he would not take it. He never observed any symptoms of derangement in him."

It will here be perceived, that Sellis was neither deranged, nor had the slightest cause for attempting his own life, or that of his master. Is it not singular, that Mr. Jones mentioned nothing about the wound in Sellis' throat, or the methodical position in which the murdered man was found? Was he permitted to examine the body? If he was not, dark suspicion must ever attend upon those who refused any medical man such a privilege; and if he did view it, why not have given his opinion of the matter? [168]But this affords another proof of the unfairness of the proceedings on this inquest.

"Ann Neale, the housekeeper, said she was called up at about three o'clock on Thursday morning by her husband; at the same time she heard the duke saying, 'I am murdered.' She got up with all possible speed, and saw the duke bleeding very much in the valet's room: she went with several others to the door of the deceased, to call him; she found it fastened on the inside, and no answer was given to their calls. She and other servants went to another door, which opened to his room; as they approached the door, they heard a noise, as if a man was gargling water in his throat. The porter entered first, and he exclaimed, 'Good God! Mr. Sellis has cut his throat.' He was a very obstinate and quarrelsome man. He would not bear contradiction, not even from the duke. His royal highness and Princess Augusta stood (by proxy) to his last child. The duke was very partial to him, and allowed his family to sleep in the house. His royal highness allowed him to ride in his carriage with him, when travelling, since his illness. The Princess Elizabeth gave his wife two pieces of muslin lately. The Princess Augusta made her a present of several articles of value. The principal acquaintance the deceased had was a Mr. Greville, a servant to the Duke of Cambridge, and Mr. and Mrs. Dupree, wax-chandlers. About three weeks since, he told her Mrs. Marsh, the housekeeper to the Royal Cockpit, was dead, and that he should speak to the duke to give the place to his wife; and if he did not succeed with Lord Dartmouth for that, he should apply to him to get his wife a sinecure, as he had asked his royal highness to get him a messenger's place, but he supposed the duke did not like to part with him. She asked him about a week since if he had succeeded. And he replied, he had not yet. He and his family were in so much favour, that every court-day, when the queen came to dress at the duke's apartments for the drawing-room, Sellis' wife and children were had down for the queen and princess to see them. On the last drawing-room the child the princess stood for was had into the queen's private apartments. A special privilege was granted to Sellis of a bell being permitted to be put up, to ring him to the duke from his family's apartments. The deceased would quarrel with people sooner than give up a point."

This woman's description of the door of Sellis' [169]room being fastened inside was, doubtless, thought to be a very clever affair. Guilt, however, generally betrays itself; for, instead of bursting open the door so secured, "she, and other servants, went to another door, which opened to his room," and which door WAS NOT FASTENED INSIDE! Now would not the first impulse of every person, unconscious of crime, in such a peculiar situation as this woman was placed, have rather suggested the breaking open of Sellis' door than going round to another? If both doors had been secured, the thing would have appeared a little more consistent.

"Benjamin Smith, porter to the Duke of Cumberland, said, that about a quarter before three o'clock, he was called up by the duke and Neale, who said his royal highness had been murdered. He got up, armed himself with a sword, and then called to the soldiers on guard not to suffer any person to go out of the house. He then went to call the deceased, but receiving no answer, he went to his family's apartments, and called through the key-hole. A child answered he was sleeping at the duke's. He then, with several of his fellow-servants, went to Sellis' apartments again, when, on hearing the noise in his throat, he supposed somebody else was murdered in the house. When he first saw the duke, he was covered with blood, and Neale said the duke was murdered. There had not been any quarrel between any of the servants and Sellis, to his knowledge."

This was the porter described by the last witness as having exclaimed, "Good God! Mr. Sellis has cut his throat!" There is, however, a little difference between his own statement and that of Mrs. Neale; such as his going "to his family's apartments" after "receiving no answer from Sellis," and then "returning to Sellis' apartment, when, on hearing the noise in his throat, he supposed somebody else [170]was murdered!" If this man thought that Sellis cut his own throat, as stated by Mrs. Neale, what did he mean by saying, "he supposed SOMEBODY ELSE WAS MURDERED?" Do not the porter's own words imply, that Sellis had been murdered, and not that he had murdered himself? Yet the jury saw no discrepancy in the evidence!!!

"Matthew Henry Grasham, a servant of the duke's, said he armed himself with pistols upon his being called up. He was not able to find his way to Sellis' apartments by the REGULAR door, but found his way to another, when he and his two fellow-servants were afraid to enter the room on account of the groans and noise in the throat of the deceased, although he had two pistols, and another had a sword. He had been so much frightened ever since, that he had not been able to visit the room where the body lay. He considered Sellis a civil, well-behaved man. He seldom heard Neale and Sellis speak together; did not suppose he ever heard them exchange ten words together. The last time the duke went to Windsor, he took Sellis inside the coach, because he would not expose him to the morning air. He never observed Sellis to be low spirited; he did not appear so well lately as in general, in consequence of his having a cold."

This witness, it appears, although terribly alarmed, was unable to find out the regular door to Sellis' apartments, but found his way to another, more difficult of access. Now, without denying the truth of this statement, it seems rather singular that he should not have gone the way he knew best; but, from his cowardly nature, he probably followed Mrs. Neale, who appeared to know the EASIEST WAY OF GAINING ADMITTANCE TO THE CHAMBER OF HORROR. Grasham also added his testimony to almost all the other witnesses as to the amiable character of the murdered Sellis, as well as proving his perfect sanity.

[171]"Mr. Jackson, a surgeon.—He had examined the body of the deceased; he found the windpipe completely divided; he had seen larger wounds done by a man's own hands; the arteries on both sides were completely separated; he had no doubt but they were done by a razor, or sharp instrument; the wound was five or six inches wide, and an inch and a half deep. He had no other wound in his body, and had no doubt but his throat being cut was the cause of his death."

This was the only medical gentleman allowed to give evidence as to the state of the murdered man's wounds. We are totally unacquainted with Mr. Jackson, and cannot, therefore, be actuated by any malice towards him; neither do we wish to accuse him with interested motives when he made the above statement. But Justice asks, why was not the opinion of six medical men, at least, recorded on this very momentous head? We will, however, tell the reader why. One or two other professional persons DID examine the body of poor Sellis, and, if they had been ALLOWED TO GIVE THEIR OPINION, would assuredly have convinced every honest man of the IMPOSSIBILITY of Sellis being HIS OWN MURDERER. One of these, Dr. Carpue, has frequently been heard to say, that "the head of Sellis was nearly severed from his body, and that EVEN THE JOINT WAS CUT THROUGH!!!" Dr. Carpue has also stated, that "no man could have the power to hold an instrument in his hand to cut ONE-EIGHTH of the depth of the wound in the throat of Sellis!"

"Sergeant Creighton, of the Coldstream regiment of Foot Guards, said, in consequence of the alarm of the duke being murdered, he went with several men into the house; when they came to the deceased's room, the servants were afraid to go in on account of the [172]noise; he in consequence took the candle from them. He found the deceased dead, with his throat cut, and a razor about two yards from the bed; the deceased was quite dead, but not cold; the blood was then running and frothing out of his neck. He did not appear to have struggled with any person, but had his hands quite straight down by his side. The deceased had on pantaloons and stockings."

Notwithstanding part of this man's evidence was suppressed, we have here sufficient to prove that Sellis was not his own murderer. No man, after cutting his head nearly off, could possibly throw a razor "TWO YARDS FROM HIS BED!"[172:A] A man, in the agonies of death, would rather have grasped the deadly instrument in his hand; for this circumstance has almost always been observed in those persons committing suicide. Further than this, however, the witness states, "he did not appear to have struggled with any person, but had his HANDS QUITE STRAIGHT DOWN BY HIS SIDE." Every man, who will not abjectly resign his reason, cannot deny that such a position of the hands was contrary to the NATURAL STRUGGLES OF A DYING MAN, and that it was quite impossible for Sellis to have so SYSTEMATICALLY LAID OUT HIS OWN BODY! But the suppressed evidence of this sergeant, which afterwards appeared in "The News," fully proved that the first impression [173]of the duke's servants was, that Sellis had been murdered, and not that he had murdered himself! For Creighton says,

"On entering the house, accompanied by another sergeant, and two or three soldiers, he met two servants, who told him that the Duke of Cumberland had been wounded and that Sellis was murdered!"

This witness also corroborated some other important points, for instance:

"On the floor before the bed lay a white neckerchief, cut in several places. On the opposite side of the room was a wash-hand basin, with some water in it, which looked as if some person had been washing blood in it! The curtains were sprinkled with blood, as well as several parts of the room; at that time it was broad day-light."

When we ask why the "Morning Post" thought it prudent to omit this and much other important evidence, we could give the because; but our readers will easily understand it!

"James Ball, a footman, said, upon the alarm being given, he inquired of a female servant what was the matter. She informed him the duke was murdered. He went down to the porter with all possible speed, who desired him to call Sellis, which he did, but could not gain admittance; he went to the other door, when he saw the deceased with his throat cut on his bed; the sight was so shocking, he drew back and almost fainted. His wife since told him he ate a hearty supper, shook hands with her, and bid her good night at parting. He never quarrelled with the deceased. He understood the origin of the quarrel between Sellis and Neale was Neale's taking a newspaper out of Sellis' hand. The duke was particularly partial to Sellis, and behaved better to him, he thought, than to any other servant. Sellis and Neale were obliged frequently to be in the same room together, but he never observed any thing particular between them. Sellis was a very sober man. If he was not at the duke's apartments upon his business, he was sure to be found with his family. The duke continued his kindness to the last. He had [174]heard Sellis say he could never be friendly with a man (meaning Neale) who had treated him as he had done. Sellis used some years since to ride in the carriage with the duke, but since a box has been made to the carriage he was ordered by the duke to ride there. He objected to that, saying it shook him very much."

This servant, like most of the others, was ordered to call Sellis, and his evidence, in this particular, seems merely a REHEARSAL of the rest. The corroboration which Ball here gave of the excellent character of Sellis had been sufficient, one would think, for any jury to have acquitted the poor fellow of any participation in the attempt upon the duke, or with being his own murderer. In Ball's evidence, also, the dislike which Sellis entertained towards Neale is again set forth, and which, in our opinion, goes far to prove the occasion of it, which we have before explained. Neale, in his evidence, attempted to turn this dislike to his own advantage, by charging Sellis with the attack upon his master, and with endeavouring to fix the crime upon him (Neale) out of revenge! "A guilty conscience needs no accuser,"—a saying perhaps never better exemplified!

"Thomas Creedy, a private in the Coldstream Regiment of Guards, who was on duty, and the first man who entered the room of Sellis. The servant being afraid, he trembled so much that he let the candle fall, but he caught it up, and prevented it from going out. After seeing Sellis' throat cut, and hearing robbers were in the house, he looked under the bed. He did not see a coat in the room, (which is very small) although there was a blue one belonging to Sellis, with blood on the left cuff, and blood on the side. He observed a wash-hand basin with blood on the sides, and blood in some water. The deceased did not appear to have struggled with any one; his head was against his watch at the head of the bed."

This was one of the soldiers who accompanied [175]Sergeant Creighton; but whether the sergeant or this man was the "first who entered the room of Sellis," is not exactly clear. Creighton, in his evidence, says "IT WAS BROAD DAY-LIGHT," and, therefore, why CANDLES were required is rather difficult to comprehend! Yet, notwithstanding the smallness of the room, "he did not see a coat, although (as he himself confidently states) there was a blue one, belonging to Sellis." How could this witness know it belonged to Sellis, whom he probably never saw alive? As to "blood being on the left cuff and on the side," what proof did he adduce of this, for he himself never saw the coat at all? He, however, observed a wash-hand basin, in the very suspicious state described by other witnesses, and gave the additional evidence of Sellis' head being "against his watch at the head of the bed;" indeed, the poor man's head only HUNG BY A SMALL PIECE OF SKIN, and his murderers had therefore placed it in that position to keep it from falling off altogether! Is it not monstrous, then, that men could be found so lost to honor as to record a verdict of felo de se?

"John Probert and John Windsor, two privates in the Guards, said they were on duty opposite the duke's house at the time of the alarm, and were positive no person went out of the house after the alarm was given."

The evidence of these men merely shew, that Sellis was murdered by some one belonging to the house, which we see no reason to dispute.

"Thomas Strickland, under butler to his Royal Highness the [176]Duke of Cumberland, said he saw the deceased in the duke's bed-room about ten minutes before eleven o'clock on Wednesday night; he was surprised at seeing him there, supposing him to be in close waiting upon the duke. The deceased appeared to have a shirt in his hand; he looked very earnest at him, but had a smile on his countenance. He went to take a cupfull of light drink for the duke to take in the night, which it was his duty to do. He never heard Sellis speak disrespectfully of the duke."

No satisfactory reason is here given why this man should have felt surprised at seeing Sellis in the bed-room of his master; for Sellis was there only in the performance of his duty, which the witness acknowledged. How ardently have those connected with this black affair endeavoured to fix the odium upon the murdered man! Yet how futile, to all reasonable men, must appear their observations! Sellis, with a "shirt in one hand," and "a cup of light drink" in the other, in the Duke of Cumberland's bed-room, ought not to have created surprise in any one, knowing the peculiar situation which Sellis filled in the household of his royal highness! Did Strickland really feel surprised, or was he anxious to say so? But, it will be observed, that even this witness confessed "he never heard Sellis speak disrespectfully of the duke." Can it, then, be believed, he was guilty of the attack upon his royal master?

"Sarah Varley, housemaid to the Duke of Cumberland, said she put two bolsters into the closet in the second anti-little room adjoining on Wednesday night, they being only put upon his royal highness' bed for ornament in the day-time; there was no lantern in the closet at the time she put them there, and the dark lantern found in the closet is like one she had seen on the deceased's dressing table. There was no sword or scabbard when she put the bolster there."

[177]The dark lantern, sword, &c., were not in the closet when this woman went there to put away the bolsters. Well, what of that? Might they not have been put there afterwards? As to "the dark lantern found in the closet being like one she had seen on the deceased's dressing table," proves nothing against Sellis, even if this lady had positively sworn to its being the same. It were very easy to place a lantern in Sellis' room, and afterwards remove it to the aforesaid closet! But we have little doubt that more than one dark lantern might have been found on premises where so many secret deeds had been done! To have made this matter better evidence, why did not some kind friend write the name of Sellis on the lantern, similar to the plan adopted with the slippers? Such a scheme might have brought the very scrupulous jury to their verdict three hours sooner, at least!

"James Paulet, a valet to the duke, first saw his royal highness in his room with Neale holding him up. The duke told him he was murdered, and the murderers must be in his room. The witness replied, he was afraid they should be all murdered, on seeing all the doors opened. The duke insisted they should both stay with him. His royal highness repeatedly called for Sellis. In a short time after, some person called at the door that Sellis was found murdered. The duke appeared very anxious for the safety of Sellis, and as soon as Surgeon Home had dressed his wounds, he sent him to attend to Sellis. Mr. Home soon returned, and said there was no doubt but that the man had killed himself. Sellis cautioned him not to be friends with Neale. He complained to him of the duke's making him ride in a dickey, as it shook him much, and riding backwards made him ill. Sellis, however, had the carriage altered to go easier, without asking the duke's leave, at Windsor, and he had appeared content with it ever since. Sellis often talked about leaving the duke's service, saying, he could not remain in the family if Neale did. He urged him to the contrary, reminding him how kind the duke was to him and his family."

[178]The duke's anxiety for the services of his faithful valet, Sellis, manifested itself by his royal highness repeatedly calling for him. "Some person called at the door that Sellis was found murdered,"—another proof that the first impression of the servants was the true one! Indeed, TRUTH is ever uppermost in the mind; but ARTIFICE requires time to mature its plans. We are sure that our readers WILL ADMIRE, with us, the "ANXIETY of his royal highness for the SAFETY of Sellis;" for, as soon as his wounds were dressed, the duke sent HIS OWN SURGEON to attend Sellis! Where shall we look for greater CARE or CONDESCENSION than this? How truly fortunate was the duke in being blessed with so expeditious and so penetrating a surgeon! "Mr. Home soon returned, and said there was no doubt that the man had killed himself!" Oh, talented man! who could perceive, at a glance, that "the man had killed himself!" Dr. Carpue must never more pretend to a knowledge of surgery, when his opinion can be set aside by a single glance of a man of such eminence in his profession as Mr. Home! As to the joint in his neck being cut through, Mr. Home easily accounted for. What! a man cut his own head off, and wash his hands afterwards! The further testimony of Paulet only proves the dislike which Sellis entertained for Neale, and the caution he gave to all the other servants to avoid him.

"The widow of the deceased was examined. Her appearance and evidence excited the greatest compassion and interest; it tended to prove he was a good husband, not embarrassed in his circumstances, and that he had parted with her in the usual way, without any suspicion on her part of what he had in contemplation."

[179]Well, even this admission of the substance of the poor woman's evidence is sufficient to throw discredit upon the jury, who, "after deliberating for upwards of an hour, returned a verdict of felo de se." As Mrs. Neale's evidence, however, "excited the greatest compassion and interest," "The Post," acting impartially, ought to have printed it at length, as tending to prove how little the interest of Sellis was involved in his master's murder, and how wholly unprepared the poor woman must have been to find her husband accused of committing such a deed. For instance:

"She never heard him complain of the treatment he received from his royal highness; but, on the contrary, was highly gratified by the kindness he and other branches of the royal family had shewed him, particularly the present of muslin which witness had received from the queen, and Princess Augusta, standing godmother to his child. He was not embarrassed in his circumstances, for she did not know of any debt he owed, but one to the apothecary. Since the birth of their last child, about eight months ago, he never spent an evening out, but was always with his family, when not employed with the duke. He belonged to no club or society. During his illness, he was sometimes giddy, but never took the medicines that were prescribed him by the surgeon, saying that regular living was the best medicine. He sometimes talked of leaving the duke's service, on account of his disputes with Neale; but she remonstrated with him on his imprudence in entertaining such a wish, when they had a good house and plenty of coals and candles allowed them. The subject was not mentioned within the last two years. After supper on Wednesday, he mixed a glass of brandy and water, which he made her drink, as she was troubled with spasms in the stomach. He partook of a little of it, shook hands, and wished her a good night, and she never saw him more cheerful. He took some clean linen away with him, and said he would bring home the dirty linen on the following morning. She said he was a tender father and an affectionate husband."

[180]Let every unbiassed individual read this, and then judge of the monstrous and unnatural verdict returned by the jury! Some further statements were given to us by a gentleman who received the communication, a few years back, from Mrs. Sellis herself:

"The heart-broken widow said, that she had been brought up from a child in the service of the Princess Augusta, and that he had been many years in that of the Duke of Cumberland. Their marriage had, therefore, taken place under the special sanction of their royal master and mistress. They had one child, a daughter, to whom the princess condescended to stand godmother, and it was the practice of the parents, on the return of every birth-day, to present the child in her best array to her royal godmother, who always distinguished her by some little present as a token of recognition. The birth-day of the child was a few days after the death of the father; and the widow represents the conversation which occurred between her and her husband on the evening of his death as consisting, among other things, in consultations as to the cap and dress in which the child should be presented to the princess; so little did he appear to have in view the event which followed. He was accustomed to spend all the time not required on his attendance on his master with her, to whom he was in the habit of communicating every little incident in which he was concerned that he thought might be interesting to her. On the night in question, he was just as usual, nothing in his conversation or manner betokening the least agitation, much less the contemplation of the murder of his master, on whose favour, as she says, their whole hopes for subsistence and comfort depended. According to her account, he was habitually civil, sober, frugal in his little expenses, and attentive to his duties. His wife and his child appeared the whole world to him; and the poor woman declared, that when he parted from her, but a few hours before the dreadful catastrophe occurred, the committal of a wrong towards the duke appeared as improbable a proceeding from him as the destruction of her and her child. In fact, the one was involved in the other; for when these circumstances came to our knowledge a few years ago, she represented herself as in temporary want and distress."

It was, however, thought PRUDENT to pension Mrs. [181]Sellis and her mother, who offered her remarks very freely about this mysterious transaction. They were both privately sent out of the country, (it is believed to Germany) but, with all our efforts, we have not been able to ascertain where they now reside, as their evidence had much assisted us in proving the statements made in our work, entitled "The Authentic Records," &c.

The public appeared much dissatisfied with the verdict of the jury, and one or two publications spoke rather openly regarding the impropriety and suspicious nature of the whole proceeding, throwing out some dark insinuations against the royal duke. In order to counteract this, Sir Everard Home, the extraordinary man whose perceptive faculties are described on the inquest by the name of Mr. Home, published the following declaration relative to it:

"Much pains having been taken to involve in mystery the MURDER of Sellis, the late servant of his royal highness the Duke of Cumberland, I feel it a public duty to record the circumstances respecting it that came within my own observation, which I could not do while the propagators of such reports were before a public tribunal.

"I visited the Duke of Cumberland upon his being wounded, and found my way from the great hall to his apartment by the traces of blood which were left on the passages and staircase. I found him on the bed, still bleeding, his shirt deluged with blood, and the coloured drapery, above the pillow, sprinkled with blood from a wounded artery, which puts on an appearance that cannot be mistaken by those who have seen it. This could not have happened had not the head been lying on the pillow when it was wounded. The night ribbon, which was wadded, the cap, scalp, and skull were obliquely divided, so that the pulsation of the arteries of the brain were distinguished. While dressing this and the other wounds, report was brought that Sellis was wounded, if not MURDERED. His royal highness desired me to go to him, as I had declared his royal highness [182]out of immediate danger. A second report came, that Sellis was dead. I went to his apartment, found the body lying on his side on the bed, without his coat and neckcloth, the throat cut so effectually that he could not have survived above a minute or two. The length and direction of the wound were such as left NO DOUBT of its being given by his own hand. Any struggle would have made it irregular. He had not even changed his position; his hands lay as they do in a person who has fainted; they had no marks of violence upon them; his coat hung upon a chair, out of the reach of blood from the bed; the sleeve, from the shoulder to the wrist, was sprinkled with blood, quite dry, evidently from a wounded artery; and from such kind of sprinkling, the arm of the assassin of the Duke of Cumberland could not escape!

"In returning to the duke, I found the doors of all the state apartments had marks of bloody fingers on them. The Duke of Cumberland, after being wounded, could not have gone any where but to the outer doors and back again, since the traces of blood were confined to the passages from the one to the other."

"EVERARD HOME."

We regret, with Sir Everard Home, that "so much pains should have been taken to involve in mystery the murder of Sellis," but such pains were taken in the PALACE, AND NOT BY THE PUBLIC! Sir Everard's description of the matter, however, is only calculated to involve it in still greater mystery and contradiction! For instance, "he found the body lying on his side on the bed, the throat so effectually cut that he could not have survived above a minute or two!" How a man could cut his throat so effectually, when lying on his side, for "HE HAD NOT EVEN CHANGED HIS POSITION," is rather a puzzling matter to people of common sense! yet Sir Everard says, "the length and direction of the wound were such as left NO DOUBT OF ITS BEING GIVEN BY HIS OWN HAND!" In a conversation we had with Mr. Place, the foreman of [183]the jury, a few weeks since, that gentleman informed us "the man lived TWENTY MINUTES after his throat was cut!!!" We do not mean to say that Mr. Place's knowledge of this matter is to be put in competition with that of Sir Everard Home; but Mr. Place urged this circumstance to us as confirmatory of Sellis having murdered himself. It is, therefore, very extraordinary that Sir Everard Home did not set the talented foreman right upon this all-important point, as it might have been the means of producing a widely-different verdict! With regard to "the hands having no marks of violence upon them," we can only say that such an account is contrary to the report of other persons who saw them as well as Mr. Home; for both his hands and wrists BORE EVIDENT MARKS OF VIOLENCE! The desire which Sir Everard manifests, in this account, to bring proof against Sellis for an attempt to assassinate his master has more of zeal than prudence in it; for, in speaking of the blood said to be found upon Sellis' coat, the learned doctor asserts it to be "just such kind of sprinkling, the arm of the assassin of the duke could not escape!" How ridiculous must such an observation as this appear to any man, possessed of common understanding! Sellis was reported to have used a SWORD in this pretended attempt upon his master's life, the length of which and the position of the duke would render it next to impossible for any blood of the duke's to reach him! The worthy knight further says, when speaking of the matters in Sellis' room, "his coat hung upon a chair, out of the reach [184]of blood from the bed;" but several witnesses upon the inquest stated that "blood was found all over the room, and the hand-basin appeared as if some person had been washing blood in it." What is the reason, then, why blood might not have been sprinkled upon the coat of the murdered man as well as "upon the curtains, on several parts of the floor, and over the wash-basin?" Why did Sir Everard Home omit to mention these important particulars in his attempt to explain away the "mystery of the murder of Sellis?" His description of the dreadful wounds of his royal master are also rather at variance with the idea the duke himself gave of them, "THE BEATING OF A BAT ABOUT HIS HEAD!!" The skilful surgeon concludes his statement by saying, "The Duke of Cumberland, after being wounded, could not have gone any where but to the outer doors and back again, since the traces of blood were confined to the passages from the one to the other;" when it will be observed in Neale's evidence, that "the duke and witness went to alarm the house, and got a light from the porter!!!" Now we may naturally suppose the porter slept at some distance from the duke, and therefore either Sir Everard Home or Neale must have made a slight mistake in this particular; for we cannot accuse two such veritable personages with intentionally contradicting each other!!


Having now carefully and dispassionately examined all the evidence brought forward to prove Sellis an [185]assassin and a suicide, we proceed to lay before our readers a few particulars tending to confirm an opposite opinion.

Mr. Jew, then in the household of the duke, and who probably is now alive, (information of which fact might be ascertained by application to the King of Belgium) was inclined to give his deposition upon this subject, in the following terms, alleging, as his reason, the very severe pangs of conscience he endured, through the secrecy he had manifested upon this most serious affair.

DEPOSITION.

"I was in the duke's household in May, 1810; and on the evening of the 31st, I attended his royal highness to the opera;—this was the evening previous to Sellis' death. That night it was my turn to undress his royal highness. On our arriving at St. James', I found Sellis had retired for the night, as he had to prepare his master's apparel, &c., and to accompany him on a journey early in the morning.

"I slept that night in my usual room; but Neale, another valet to the duke, slept in an apartment very slightly divided from that occupied by his royal highness. A few days previous to this date, I was commanded by my master to lay a sword upon one of the sofas in his bed-chamber, and I did so. After undressing his royal highness, I retired to bed. I had not long been asleep, when I was disturbed by Neale, who told me to get up immediately, as my master the duke was nearly murdered! I lost no time, and very soon [186]entered his royal highness' bed-room. His royal highness was then standing nearly in the middle of the chamber, apparently quite cool and composed, his shirt was bloody, and he commanded me to fetch Sir Henry Halford, saying, 'I am severely wounded.' The sword, which a few days before I had laid upon the sofa, was then lying on the floor, and was very bloody. I went with all possible haste for Sir Henry, and soon returned with him. I stood by when the wounds were examined, none of which were of a serious nature or appearance. That in his hand was the most considerable.

"During this period, which was nearly two hours, neither Neale nor Sellis had been in the duke's room, which appeared to me a very unaccountable circumstance. At length, when all the bustle of dressing the wounds (which were very inconsiderable) was over, and the room arranged, the duke said, 'Call Sellis!' I went to Sellis' door, and, upon opening it, the most horrific scene presented itself: Sellis was lying perfectly straight in the bed, the head raised up against the head-board, and nearly severed from the body; his hands were lying quite straight on each side of him, and upon examination I saw him weltering in blood, it having covered the under part of the body. He had on his shirt, his waistcoat, and his stockings; the inside of his hands were perfectly clean, but on the outside were smears of blood. His watch was hanging up over his head, wound up. His coat was carefully folded inside out, and laid over the back of a chair. A razor, covered with blood, was [187]lying at a distance from his body, but too far off to have been used by himself, or to have been thrown there by him in such a mutilated condition, as it was very apparent death must have been immediate after such an act.

"The wash-basin was in the stand, but was HALF FULL OF BLOODY WATER! Upon examining Sellis' cravat, it was found to be cut. The padding which he usually wore was covered with silk and quilted; but, what was most remarkable, both THE PADDING AND THE CRAVAT WERE CUT, as if some person had made an attempt to cut the throat with the cravat on; then, finding the woollen or cotton stuffing to impede the razor, took it off, in order more readily to effect the purpose.

"During the time the duke's wounds were being dressed, the deponent believes Neale was absent, in obedience to arrangement, and was employed in laying Sellis' body in the form in which it was discovered, as it was an utter impossibility that a self-murderer could have so disposed of himself.

"Deponent further observes, that Lord Ellenborough undertook to manage this affair, by arranging the proceedings for the inquest; and also that every witness was previously examined by him; also, that the FIRST JURY, being unanimously dissatisfied with the evidence adduced, as they were not permitted to see the body in an undressed state, positively refused to return a verdict, in consequence of which, they were dismissed, and a SECOND jury summoned and empannelled, to whom, severally, a special [188]messenger had been sent, requesting their attendance, and each one of whom was directly or indirectly connected with the court, or the government. That, on both inquests, the deponent had been omitted, and had not been called for to give his evidence, though it must have been known, from his personal attendance and situation upon the occasion, that he must necessarily have been a most material witness. The second jury returned a verdict against Sellis, and his body was immediately put into a shell, and conveyed away a certain distance for interment. The duke was privately removed from St. James' Palace to Carlton House, where his royal highness manifested an impatience of manner, and a perturbed state of mind, evidently arising from a conscience ill at ease. But, in a short time, he appeared to recover his usual spirits, and being hurt but in a very trifling degree, he went out daily in a sedan chair to Lord Ellenborough's and Sir William Phipps', although the daily journals were lamenting his very bad state of health, and also enlarging, with a considerable expression of sorrow, upon the magnitude of his wounds, and the fears entertained for his recovery!"

The further deposition of this attendant is of an important character, and claims particular consideration. He says,

"I was applied to by some noblemen shortly after this dreadful business, and very strongly did they [189]solicit me to make a full disclosure of all the improper transactions to which I might have been made a party upon this solemn subject. I declined many times, but at length conceded, under a binding engagement that I should not be left destitute of comforts or abridged of my liberty; and, under special engagements to preserve me from such results, I have given my deposition."

(Signed) "JEW."

The fact of two juries being summoned has been acknowledged by the coroner, in his affidavit before the Court of King's Bench in April last. The affidavit of this gentleman, however, contains so many errors, that we here introduce an exposition of it, as given by the talented D. Wakefield, esq., in shewing cause against the rule being made absolute in the case of "Cumberland v. Phillips."

"Mr. Wakefield said it would be in the recollection of the court, that this was a rule obtained by Sir Charles Wetherell, for a libel contained in a publication relating to his royal highness the Duke of Cumberland. He would not read the alleged libel in detail now, but confine himself first to the affidavit of Samuel Thomas Adams, the coroner who had held the inquest on Sellis. It was necessary that he should read the affidavit, as he had to offer several remarks upon it."

The learned counsel then read the affidavit, as follows:

In the King's Bench.

"Samuel Thomas Adams of No 9 Davis street Berkeley square in the County of Middlesex solicitor maketh oath and saith that he hath seen a certain book or publication entitled "The Authentic [190]Records of the Court of England for the last Seventy Years" purporting to be published in London by J. Phillips 334 Strand 1832 and that in the said book or publication are contained the following statements or passages which this deponent has read that is to say—"

[Here the deponent, lawyer-like, set out the whole of the pretended libel, as published in the "Authentic Records," for the purpose of putting us to all the expense and trouble possible.]

"And this deponent further saith that he was coroner for the verge of the King's Palace at St. James's in the month of June one thousand eight hundred and ten before whom the inquest on the body of Joseph Sellis referred to in the aforesaid passages extracted from the said book or publication was held and that it is not true as stated in the aforesaid passages that Lord Ellenborough undertook to manage the affair by arranging the proceedings upon the said inquest or that every witness or as this deponent believes any witness was previously examined by the said Lord Ellenborough or that the first jury for the reasons in the aforesaid passages alleged or for any other reasons refused to return a verdict in consequence of which they were dismissed and a second jury summoned and empannelled to whom severally a special messenger had been sent requesting their attendance and each of whom was directly or indirectly connected with the court or the government. And this deponent further saith that it is not true that any person was omitted as a witness whose evidence was known or could be suspected to be material but on the contrary this deponent saith that when the death of the said Joseph Sellis was notified to him he as such coroner as aforesaid was required to hold an inquest on the body of the said Joseph Sellis and that it being required by a statute passed in the twenty-third year of Henry the Eighth chapter twelve that in case of death happening in any of the king's palaces or houses where his majesty should then happen to be and in respect of which death an inquest should be necessary that the jury on such inquest should be composed of twelve or more of the yeoman officers of the king's household to be returned in the manner therein particularly mentioned he this deponent in the first instance issued as such coroner as aforesaid an order that a jury should be summoned composed of the said yeoman officers of the king's household pursuant to the directions of the said statute. But [191]this deponent saith that believing it to be important that the cause and circumstances of the death of the said Joseph Sellis should be investigated in the most public and impartial manner he took upon himself the responsibility of not complying with the strict letter of such statute as aforesaid and countermanded the first order as aforesaid for summoning such jury in conformity to the said statute and instead thereof directed a jury to be summoned consisting of persons not being yeomen officers of the king's household but living at a distance from and totally unconnected with the palace of St. James's And this deponent further saith that thereupon his agent as this deponent has been informed and believes took the summoning officer to Francis Place of Charing Cross man's mercer and that the said Francis Place then mentioned to the agent of this deponent the names of many persons fit and eligible to compose such jury and out of such persons so summoned by the officer as aforesaid an impartial jury was formed of which jury the said Francis Place was foreman And this deponent saith that before such jury so summoned and duly sworn he as coroner proceeded on the first day of June one thousand eight hundred and ten to hold an inquest on the body of the said Joseph Sellis And this deponent further saith that the court which under other circumstances would have been a close one he this deponent directed to be thrown open to the public and all persons without distinction And this deponent believes the same was done and that all persons without distinction were admitted into such court amongst whom were many reporters for the newspapers who attended for the purpose of taking and did take notes of the proceedings and of the depositions of the witnesses examined upon such inquest And this deponent further saith that at the commencement of the said inquest the several informations on oath of the principal witnesses taken on that and the preceding day by John Reid Esquire the then chief magistrate of the police were read over and handed to the said jury to enable them the better to examine such witnesses respectively and such witnesses were respectively resworn before this deponent as coroner and permitted to make any addition to their evidence so given before the magistrate as aforesaid and that each and every of such witnesses had full opportunities of making any addition to such testimony which they thought proper And this deponent further saith that all the circumstances of the case as far as they could be collected were carefully and impartially scrutinized by the said jury and that all the evidence which could be collected and brought forward and that every person was called before the said jury and examined as a witness and no person was omitted [192]to be called and examined who would have been or who it could be supposed would have been a material witness And this deponent further saith that in the course of the inquiry the said jury proceeded to the apartment where the body of the said Joseph Sellis had been first discovered and was then lying and did then carefully view examine and inspect the body of the said Joseph Sellis and all the other circumstances deemed by them necessary to be examined into and ascertained in any way touching the death of the said Joseph Sellis And this deponent further saith that he locked the doors of the apartment in which the body of the said Joseph Sellis was found and did not permit the same to be inspected nor the state and position of the said body to be disturbed, from the first discovery of such body in the aforesaid apartment until the same was inspected by the said jury And this deponent further saith that on the conclusion of the investigation the said jury immediately and unanimously returned a verdict that the said Joseph Sellis voluntarily and feloniously as a felo de se murdered himself And this deponent further saith that the proceedings upon the said inquest were in all respects regular except as to the jury not consisting of the yeoman officers of the king's household and that such proceedings were themselves conducted in the most fair open and impartial manner and that the verdict so found by the jury as aforesaid was a just true and honest verdict and that there is not the smallest ground for supposing or alleging any thing to the contrary thereof[192:A]

"SAML. THOS. ADAMS."

"Sworn in Court the eighteenth
day of April 1832—By the Court."

"The first remark he had to submit to the court in this case was, that a person who applied for an extraordinary remedy by criminal information, must deny all the charges contained in the libel. The rank of the illustrious individual in this case made no difference with respect to that point. Now the court would find, by the affidavit of Mr. Adams, the coroner, that one of the main parts of this alleged libel, so far from being contradicted, was SUBSTANTIATED,—he alluded to the fact of there having been TWO JURIES summoned [193]to inquire into the circumstances relating to the death of Sellis. He did not mean to say that that fact formed any justification for the publication of the libel; but the fact itself was certainly extremely important, and Mr. Adams' affidavit contained the reasons why the mode pointed out by the act of parliament for summoning juries in such cases had been departed from. The fact of there having been two juries summoned was no doubt sufficient to induce any person to believe that there was some reason for that proceeding, which was not apparent on the face of it. Mr. Adams had described the manner in which the jury were summoned. He said he sent the summoning officer to Mr. Place, man's mercer, of Charing-cross; but Mr. Place was not the coroner for the verge of the King's Palace, and had no authority to act. He would leave it to the court to form their own opinion, whether or not this departure from the usual course was or was not for the purpose of obtaining an IMPARTIAL TRIAL. The affidavit showed that Mr. Adams had flown in the face of the act of parliament, and the statement in the Authentic Records, that there had been a second inquest, was CORROBORATED by that affidavit. Mr. Adams had referred to the act of parliament, as being that of the 23rd of Henry VIII., whereas it was that of the 33rd of Henry VIII.: that was no doubt a trifling circumstance, but it tended to show the manner in which Mr. Adams performed the duties of his office. Mr. Adams had stated that summonses had been drawn up for summoning TWO JURIES, but those for summoning the FIRST were not used; but the reason he gave was most unsatisfactory. He had no right to send to Mr. Place, and Mr. Place had no right to act as coroner; and he (Mr. Wakefield) submitted that the court ought to require an affidavit from Mr. Place to corroborate what Mr. Adams had stated. He believed it would not be difficult to show that the inquest might be quashed, as being illegal; and it certainly might have been quashed if Sellis had had any goods, which would have been subject to an extent at the suit of the crown. At all events, Mr. Adams might have been prosecuted for a breach of duty. There was another point which, though of a trifling nature, he would take the liberty of adverting to, in order to show that the inquest was illegal. By the 28 Henry VIII. c. 12, the jury in cases of this description were to be summoned from the verge of the court. Now this applied to the court sitting at Whitehall; but at the time in question the court was sitting at St. James'. The summoning, therefore, was clearly not good, and the jury, consisting of Mr. Place's junta, could not legally hold an inquest on the body of Sellis."

[194]Four other mistakes, also, in the coroner's affidavit were pointed out by Mr. Place himself in a letter to the public.

1. Mr. Adams says, "he issued an order to summon a jury of persons of the king's household, but that he rescinded the order, and summoned a jury of persons who lived at a distance, and were wholly unconnected with St. James' Palace." Mr. Adams must by these words mean that he summoned a jury from the only place to which his power extended; namely, "the verge of the court,"—a small space, and from amongst the few tradesmen who resided within its limits. I never before heard that he had issued any order to summon a jury of persons of the king's household.

2. Mr. Adams says, that his "summoning officer applied to Francis Place, of Charing Cross, for the names of persons who were eligible to compose a jury, and that out of such persons an impartial jury, of which Francis Place was the foreman, assembled on the 1st of June, 1810." Mr. Adams probably speaks from memory, and is, therefore, incorrect. He might, to be sure, have instructed his officer to apply to me; but, if he did, it was a STRANGE PROCEEDING. The officer was in the habit of summoning juries within the verge, and must have known much better than I did who were eligible. The jurors could not have been indicated by me, since, of seventeen who formed the inquest, five were wholly unknown to me, either by name or person; and amongst the seven who did not attend, there were probably others who were also unknown to me. The number of persons liable to be summoned is so small, that it has been sometimes difficult to constitute an inquest, and there is no room either for choice or selection.

3. Mr. Adams says, "the depositions of the witnesses were taken by John Read, the then chief police magistrate, and were read to the witnesses, who were severally asked if they had any thing to add to them." This, if left as Mr. Adams has put it, would imply negligence on the part of an inquest which was more than usually diligent and precise. The depositions were read, but not one of them was taken as the evidence of a witness. Every person who appeared as a witness was carefully and particularly examined, and the order in which the evidence was taken, and the words used, differ from the depositions; the evidence is also much longer than the depositions. Both are before me. The inquest examined seven material witnesses, who had not made depositions before Mr. Read.

[195]4. Mr. Adams says "the jury immediately and unanimously returned a verdict that the deceased, Joseph Sellis, voluntarily and feloniously murdered himself." The jury of seventeen persons were every one convinced that Sellis had destroyed himself, yet two of them did not concur in the verdict,—one, because he could not believe that a sane man ever put an end to his own existence; and another, because he could not satisfy himself whether or no Sellis was sane or insane.

FRANCIS PLACE.

Charing Cross, April 19, 1832.

The very morning this letter was published, we called on Mr. Place, who repeated the substance of it to us, adding that Sir Charles Wetherell had sent a person to him for his affidavit, which he REFUSED in a letter to the learned knight, condemning the whole proceeding of criminal information. Mr. Place read a copy of this letter to us, and promised he would publish it if ever a sufficient reason presented itself. It was an admirable composition, and did credit to the liberality of the writer's opinions.

As to the affidavits of the Duke of Cumberland and Neale, they contain nothing but what other people in similar situations would say,—they deny all knowledge of Sellis' murder, and of unnatural conduct. Whoever thought of requiring them to criminate themselves? But affidavits, from interested persons are not worth much. The notorious Bishop of Clogher, for instance, exculpated himself in a criminal information by an affidavit, and the result was, the man who published the truth of that wretch groaned in a jail!!! Sir Charles, therefore, had no occasion to boast of the Duke of Cumberland's charitable mode of proceeding against us by criminal [196]information, instead of commencing an ex-officio action; for in neither of these modes of procedure does the truth or falsehood of the charge form an object of consideration. We are, therefore, prevented by the Duke of Cumberland and his adherents from proving the truth of the statements we made in "The Authentic Records" in a court of law; but where resides the power that shall rob us of the glorious LIBERTY OF THE PRESS? We are the strenuous advocates of the right to promulgate TRUTH,—of the right to scrutinize public actions and public men,—of the right to expose vice, and castigate mischievous follies, even though they may be found in a palace! The free exercise of this invaluable privilege should always be conceded to the HISTORIAN, or where will posterity look for impartial information? In this character only did we publish what we believed, and still believe, to be the truth in our former work of "The Authentic Records," and which we have considerably enlarged upon in our present undertaking, merely for the purpose of fulfilling our sacred duty, and not with the idea of slandering any man! If the Duke of Cumberland had proved our statement false, we would have freely acknowledged our error, as every man ought to do who seeks fairly and honorably to sustain a noble function in the purity of its existence. We know there are writers who seek, not to enlighten, but to debase; not to find amusement, but to administer poison; not to impart information, either political, moral, or literary, but to indulge in obscenity,—to rake up forgotten falsehoods, [197]and disseminate imputed calumnies! To such, the sanctuary of private life is no longer inviolable; the feelings of the domestic circle are no longer sacred; retirement affords no protection, and virtue interposes no defence, to their sordid inroads. Upon offences like these, we would invoke the fiercest penalties of the law. The interests of society demand it, and the rights of individuals claim it! But our strictures and exposures are of a widely-different character,—not if they were false,—but because their TRUTH must be apparent to every unbiassed individual in this mighty empire! With this conviction alone we stated them, and even Sir Charles Wetherell himself said we "seemed to have no other motive in stating them only for the purpose of stating them!" We are not disposed to comment upon this part of the learned counsel's speech, as it proves all we want to prove regarding our motives.


This year was not less remarkable for the king's family sorrows than for public grievances. His majesty was nearly childish and blind. The queen dreaded the ascendency of the popular voice in favour of the Princess of Wales, and the Princess Charlotte exhibited a resolute spirit, which it was feared would end to the unhappiness of the puissant queen. The Princess Amelia suffered under indescribable sorrows, both bodily and mental, which ultimately terminated her earthly career on the 2nd of November.

Many representations were made to the public of [198]the numerous visits made to the Princess Amelia by the king, and their affecting final interview. We believe we may, with truth, say those representations were erroneous; for the king's malady was of too serious a nature to admit of any new excitement, and the peculiar regard he entertained for this daughter would not allow his hearing of her sufferings in any shape, without feeling the most acute pain.

The Prince of Wales also still pursued the most dissipated rounds of pleasure, making his very name hateful to every virtuous ear. The house of royalty, indeed, seemed divided against itself.

General historians say that the year

1811

was not marked by any very particular events of much interest, either to kings or kingdoms; yet we must differ from them in this opinion, inasmuch as, at its commencement, the Prince of Wales was appointed Regent, and the king's person confided to the care of the queen, conjointly with archbishops, lords, and other adherents of her majesty.

The session was opened on the 12th of February; and the speech, delivered by commission, in the name of the regent, expressed unfeigned sorrow at the king's malady, by which the exercise of the royal authority had devolved upon his royal highness. It also congratulated parliament and the country on [199]the success of his majesty's arms, by land and sea, and did not forget to beg for further SUPPLIES,—so much required.

Let us here inquire the cause that prevented the amiable regent from opening the session in person. Had his mistresses detained him too late in the morning? or had they played a designed part with him, to prove their superior domination? or had he been in his most privately-retired apartments, conversing with a few of the male favourites of his household in ITALIAN? If either of these do not give the true reason of his absence, we may be sure to ascertain it upon inquiry of the vintner or faro-table keeper. Here the different degrees of morality, contrived by custom and keeping the people in ignorance, are well illustrated!

The queen was much at Windsor at this period, she being obliged, by etiquette, to hear the bulletins issued by the physicians concerning his majesty's health, or her affection for the afflicted king would not have produced so great a sacrifice on her part.

In this year, the disgraced Duke of York was restored to his former post of commander-in-chief; although, but a short period before, he was found guilty of being privy to, if not actually and personally, disposing of situations in the army, by which traffic, very large amounts had been realized by one of his royal highness' mistresses.

The money required for this year's supply amounted to fifty-six millions! The distress in all the manufacturing districts, notwithstanding, was of [200]the heaviest nature; while, instead of ministers devising means to relieve the starving poor, oppressive enactments were substituted.

Let it not here be supposed that we are condemning any constitutional enactment of government. We only wish to see the interests of the poor a little more regarded, instead of laws being made solely with a view of aggrandizing the wealthy, whose eyes already stand out with fatness. Is it not evident that the men at this period in power were resolved to continue their system of corrupt administration, in despite of all remonstrance and opposition? A long course of oppression had apparently hardened them, and so far steeled their hearts against the petitions of the suffering nation, that they actually seemed to delight in increasing the heavy burdens which already preyed upon the vitals of the community.

Our readers may probably be aware that the visits of the Princess Charlotte to her mother were always "few and far between;" but at this period, the interviews became so uncertain and restricted, that they could not be satisfactory either to the mother or the daughter. Some of the attendants always remained in the apartment with them, by the regent's command, to witness the conversation. For some time, the princess contrived to write privately to her mother, and obtained a confidential messenger to deliver her communications. This was ultimately suspected, and, after a close scrutiny, unfortunately discovered, and immediately forbidden. Her royal highness was [201]now in her fifteenth year, in good health, and possessing much natural and mental activity. It was not very probable, therefore, that the society of FORMAL LADIES, every way disproportionate to herself in years and taste, could be very agreeable to her, more especially when she knew that these very ladies were bitter enemies to her adored mother. If the Princess Charlotte had been allowed to associate with natural and suitable companions, the very decisive feature of her character would have rendered her the brightest ornament of society; but this was not permitted, and England has great cause to mourn that she was not more valued by her father and grandmother.

The elegant and accomplished Dr. Nott was now selected for the Princess Charlotte's preceptor, and he ardently exerted himself to improve the mind of his royal pupil. The very superior personal, as well as mental, qualifications of the reverend gentleman, however, soon rendered him an object of peculiar interest to the youthful princess. The ardency of her affections and the determinate character of her mind were well known to her royal relatives. They, therefore, viewed this new connexion with considerable uneasiness, and soon had occasion to suspect that her royal highness had manifested too much solicitude for the interest of her friend and tutor!

The Duke of York first communicated his suspicions on this subject to the regent, and the prince immediately went to Windsor (where the queen then was) to inform her majesty of his fears, and to [202]consult what would be the most proper and effectual measures to take. Her majesty was highly incensed at the information, and very indignantly answered, "My family connexions will prove my entire ruin." Her majesty, accompanied by the prince, drove off directly for London, and the Princess Charlotte was commanded to meet her grandmother in her chamber. With her usual independent readiness, the princess obeyed the summons, and was ushered into the presence of the haughty queen.

After some considerable period of silence, her majesty began to ask what particular services Dr. Nott had rendered, or what very superior attractions he possessed, to engage the attentions of her royal highness in such an unusual degree, as was now well known to be the case. Her royal highness rose up, and in a tone of voice, not very agreeable to the queen, said, "If your majesty supposes you can subdue me as you have done my mother, the Princess of Wales, you will find yourself deceived. The Reverend Mr. Nott has shown me more attentions, and contributed more to my happiness in my gloomy seclusion, than any person ever did, except my mother, and I ought to be grateful to him, and I WILL, whether it pleases your majesty or not!" The queen saw her purpose was defeated in the attempt to intimidate her grand-daughter, and therefore, in a milder manner, said, "You must, my dear, recollect, I am anxious for your honour and happiness; you are born to occupy the highest station in the world, and I wish you to do so becoming the proud [203]character of your royal father, who is the most distinguished prince in Europe." The queen had scarcely concluded her sentence, when her royal highness burst forth, in the most violent manner, and with an undismayed gesture, said, "Does your majesty think I am always to be under your subjection? Can I believe my royal father so great and good, when I have so long witnessed his unremitted unkindness to my neglected mother? Neither do I receive much attention from the prince; and my uncle of York is always preaching to me about virtue and submission, and your majesty well knows he does not practise either! Mr. Nott practises every amiability which he enjoins, and I esteem him exceedingly more than I do any other gentleman!" The queen was quite vexed at the unbending disposition manifested by the princess, and desired her to retire, and reflect upon the improper conduct of which she had been guilty, and, by humility and contrition, to make a suitable atonement.

While walking out of the room, the princess appeared in deep thought, and more tranquil; her majesty, imagining it to be the result of her own advice, said, "The Princess Charlotte will never want a friend if she abide by her grandmother's instructions, and properly maintain her dignity of birth." Her royal highness returned to her former situation before the queen, and exclaimed, "What does your majesty mean?" "I mean," replied the queen, "that you must not condescend to favour persons in low life with your confidence or particular respect; they [204]will take advantage of it, and finally make you the tool to accomplish their vile purposes." "Does your majesty apply these remarks to the Rev. Mr. Nott?" hastily replied the princess. "I do," said the queen. "Then hear me, your majesty; I glory in my regard for Mr. Nott. His virtues are above all praise, and he merits infinitely more than I have to give; but I resolve, from this moment, to give him all the worldly goods I can; and your majesty knows that, by law, I can make a will, though I am but little more than fifteen; and my library, jewels, and other valuables, are at my own disposal! I will now, without delay, make my will in his favour, and no earthly power shall prevent me. I am sorry your majesty prefers vicious and wicked characters, with splendid titles, to virtuous and amiable persons, destitute of such empty sounds!" The princess left the room, and the queen was more disturbed than before the interview.

The regent was soon made acquainted with the result, and recommended that no further notice should be taken of the matter, hoping that the princess would change her intention upon a more deliberate survey of the subject. But in this opinion, or hope, his royal highness was disappointed; for the princess that day signed a deed, whereby she gave positively to her friend and preceptor, Dr. Nott, her library, jewels, and all private property belonging to her, and delivered this instrument into his hand, saying, "I hope you will receive this small token as a pledge of my sincere regard for your character, [205]and high estimation of your many virtues. When I am able to give you greater testimonies of my friendship, they shall not be withheld." We need hardly say that the divine was delighted at the great attention and unexpected generosity of her royal highness. He was more; for his heart was subdued and affected.

A considerable period elapsed after this circumstance, when the queen was resolved to recover the deed at all hazards, as she feared, if the validity of such an instrument were ever acknowledged, royalty would suffer much in the estimation of the public. All the queen's deceptive plans, therefore, were tried; but failed. The prince, at length, offered a large amount as a remuneration, and finally persuaded the doctor to give up the deed! Of course a good living was also presented to him, on his retiring from the situation in which he had so long enjoyed the smile and favour of his royal pupil.

The Princess Charlotte was mortified, beyond expression, at this unexpected conduct on the part of her father and grandmother, and was not very sparing in her expressions of dislike towards them. Mr. Perceval (who was then premier) was requested by the prince to see her royal highness, and to suggest any terms of reconciliation between the princess and the queen; but he could not succeed. "What, Sir!" said her royal highness, "would you desire me to appear what I am not, and to meet her majesty as if I believed her to be my sincere friend, when I know I am hated for my dear mother's sake? No, [206]Sir! I cannot do as you desire; but I will endeavour to meet her majesty at all needful opportunities with as much gentleness of manners as I can assume. What indignities has not the queen offered to my persecuted mother? You well know, Sir, they have been unmerited, and if her majesty insults the Princess of Wales again in my presence, I shall say, 'your majesty should regulate your family affairs better, and teach lessons of virtue to your daughters, before you traduce the characters of other ladies!' You, Sir, are the regent's minister, and in his confidence, so I may venture to give you my candid opinion, and I do not consider that, by doing so, I exceed the bounds of propriety. Will you, therefore, oblige me by announcing to the prince, my father, that I am unalterably devoted in heart to my mother, and while I wish to be a dutiful child to my father, I must not even be that at the expense of principle and honourable sentiments. My grandfather always had my respect and pity."

It is scarcely necessary to say, that Mr. Perceval retired with evident symptoms of disappointment and chagrin. He immediately communicated the result of his interview to the regent and the queen, who declined making any further remonstrance, lest the princess should imagine they feared her, or were at all intimidated by her bold decisions.

In this year, Lord Sidmouth moved to bring in a bill to alter the "Toleration Act." His lordship stated, that this bill was calculated to serve the interests of religion, and promote the prosperity of the [207]Church of England! But Lord Sidmouth, for once, was disappointed. The sensation excited throughout the country was of an unprecedented description; for, within forty-eight hours, no less than three hundred and thirty-six petitions against it were poured into the House of Lords! and the House was presented, on the second reading, with five hundred more! It was consequently abandoned.

The supplies voted for the public and private services were FIFTY-SIX MILLIONS!

At the close of this year, the poor were perishing for want; yet the court became more splendid than ever! The ill-fated sovereign was as imbecile and as weak as an infant, and his representative a profligate ruler. What a condition for England!

War still raged at the commencement of

1812.

We will not, however, record the scenes of devastation and horror consequent from it; neither will we eulogize Lord Wellington for the victories he obtained. Much rather would we shed a tear at the remembrance of the slaughtered victims to kingly or ministerial ambition. Who that believes in the immortality of the soul can think of these horrid engagements without shuddering at the immense and inexpressible accountability of the destroyer? It would be utterly impossible to give an idea of the number of WIDOWS and ORPHANS who have had to mourn the [208]consequences of splendid victories, as a wholesale murdering of soldiers are denominated. How many ducal coronets have been purchased at the expense of human existence! Rather should our brows never be encircled than at such an unnatural price!

On the 13th of February, the restrictions formerly in force against the prince regent terminated; and, properly speaking, it may be declared, he then assumed the kingly power. One hundred thousand pounds were voted for him, professedly to meet the expenses attendant upon his assumption of the regal authority.

This was a moment of triumph to the queen, and the sequel will prove that her majesty took especial care to turn it to her own account. The Duke of York was fully reinstated as "Commander-in-Chief," and, therefore, ready ways and means presented themselves to her majesty. The regent engaged that the queen should have the continued sanction of his name and interest, in all the various ways she might require. Accordingly, it was soon arranged, that her majesty should receive an additional sum of ten thousand pounds per annum FOR THE CARE OF HER ROYAL HUSBAND'S PERSON!

We cannot pass by this shameful insult to the nation without making an observation upon so unnatural an act. If the queen were the kind and affectionate wife she had so very frequently been represented to be, could she have allowed herself to receive an immense payment for merely doing her duty? But a more selfish woman, and a more unfeeling wife, never [209]disgraced humanity, as this wicked acceptance of the public money fully testifies.

An additional nine thousand pounds annually were also granted to each of the princesses, whilst places and pensions were proportionally multiplied. In the case of Colonel M'Mahon, upon whom a private secretaryship had been conferred, much very unpleasant altercation took place in the House of Commons; but bribery effected that which argument proved to be wrong. It was a well-known fact, indeed, that this individual was nothing more than a pander to the regent's lust, to which infamous engagements and practices we shall hereafter refer.

On the 11th of May, as Mr. Perceval was entering the lobby of the House of Commons, he received a shot in his left breast, and, after staggering a few paces, fell down and expired. The assassin was tried on the 15th and executed on the 18th of the same month. He defended his conduct on the ground of having received much injury from the government, who had denied redress of his grievances, and, therefore, thought he had only done an act of justice in taking away the life of a member of so callous an administration.

Agreeably to the regent's message, fifty thousand pounds were voted for the use of Mr. Perceval's family, and two thousand annually to be paid to his widow. In case of her demise, however, the same amount was to be continued annually to such male descendant as might at that time be the heir, for the term of his life.

[210]Let us here inquire into the services which Mr. Perceval had rendered his country to warrant ministers in this lavish expenditure upon his family, one of whom now frequently intrudes his crude notions in the House of Commons. Mr. Perceval had been for a long period the pretended friend of the ill-fated Princess of Wales. "The Book" which he arranged, and which had been printed, but not published, in 1807, giving the particulars of the "Delicate Investigation," improperly so called, was bought up in 1809, and as much as fifteen hundred pounds GIVEN for a single copy. The rancour and malice of the unprincipled enemies and calumniators of the open-hearted Princess of Wales had been much exposed by Mr. Perceval, and by his apparent generous and manly defence in her royal highness' favour, the storm materially abated. After a long period, she was again received at court, and acknowledged innocent of the charges preferred by her assailants. Apartments were given to her at Kensington Palace, and it appeared very probable that her wishes would finally be completed, in the restoration of her beloved daughter to her society. But mark the ensuing change. Mr. Perceval was chosen by the regent to assist in his councils; and as no man can serve two causes at the same time, Mr. Perceval deserted the princess, and became the servile minister of the prince! Surely there must be something supernatural in the smile of royalty, when, in some instances, principle and conscience have fallen subdued before it! We know for an incontrovertible fact, that [211]but a few months before Mr. Perceval's acceptance of office, he delivered his sentiments concerning the Princess of Wales to a particular friend, in these words: "I am decidedly friendly to the Princess of Wales, because I am well satisfied and assured her royal highness is a much-injured lady. I am also convinced her mother-in-law had conceived an inveterate dislike to her before she arrived in this country, on account of the objections preferred by the prince against any connexion, except that which his royal highness had already formed. From these unhappy circumstances, I am obliged to believe, that the sufferings of her highness are unmerited on her part, and very much increased by the dictatorial behaviour of her majesty." At another interview with the same person, the following question was put, unreservedly, to Mr. Perceval: "Do you, Sir, think her royal highness has been deserving of the persecutions she has endured, by any deviation from virtue and propriety?" "I do not think the princess guilty," earnestly rejoined Mr. Perceval, "and I am fully satisfied, in my own mind, that if there had not existed ungenerous intentions on the part of the royal family, the affair would long since have sunk into silence. There is a gaiety and levity about her royal highness which is not usual with the English ladies generally; but, with all the exterior frivolity of the princess, when she chooses to be lively, I would prefer her infinitely to the professedly-modest and apparently-reserved of the sex in high life. I believe the princess to be playful, and incautiously witty, in [212]her deportment; but I prefer that to secret intrigue and infamous practices."

We leave our readers to judge whether this simple declaration was not honourable to the princess, and whether it does not correspond with every speech delivered by this gentleman in his public and private defence of her royal highness. Humanity, however, is weak, and the ingratiating attentions of the prince were too powerful to be resisted by Mr. Perceval. At his royal command, Virtue, Goodness, and Truth, assumed the garb of Vice, Infamy, and Falsehood. "Oh, blasting privilege of sovereignty! The bare scent of thy perfume spreads desolation to society; changes man, the noblest of God's works, into a monster; and the consequences of thy unnatural existence will most probably produce the engine to be used for thine own destruction!"

Shortly after the untimely death of Mr. Perceval, Lord Liverpool was appointed first lord of the Treasury; Mr. Nicholas Vansittart, chancellor of the Exchequer; and Lord Sidmouth, secretary of state for the home department.

On the 17th of June, Mr. Vansittart brought forward his budget,—the amount of the supplies required being more than sixty-two millions. Certainly this was not a very exhilarating or agreeable prospect to the nation of the retrenchments intended by the new ministry; but notwithstanding the divisions on the subject, it finally received the sanction of parliament. Had it not been for the corrupt state of the representation, can we suppose it possible that [213]such a sum would have been permitted to be drawn from the starving multitudes, when there existed such pecuniary distress in the manufacturing and commercial districts, unequalled in former years?

The new parliament met for business on the 30th of November, and one of its first acts was, to grant the sum of one hundred thousand pounds to Lord Wellington for the part he had taken in legal slaughter!

It may, with propriety, be submitted here, how large a grant would have been made to any man who should have presented a plan for the comfortable and honourable maintenance of the perishing millions? We fear any patriot, who had dared to press such a scheme would have soon been consigned to a damp and dreary dungeon, charged with disaffection to the monarch, or commanded, under certain protection, to set sail for another country; and, if permitted to reach the destined shore, there to be received and treated as one of the most infamous of the human race! But in these days, the will of the regent, supported by the queen, was supreme law. There was not one who ventured to insult his dignity by speaking to him TRUTH!—not one dared to stem the torrent of his royal displeasure! It is true that, when Lord Liverpool first entered office, he once hinted to his royal master the general voice of dissatisfaction which the people expressed; but the imperious regent commanded silence upon all such subjects, and desired Lord Liverpool never again to meet his highness, unless under a positive resolve not even to [214]give the most distant hint at matters so very disagreeable to the royal ear, and which were of no considerable importance! His lordship proved himself wanting in fortitude to set an example to courtiers, and the principle of his mind was, consequently, bartered for the pleasure of being the slave of a haughty prince, who had "relinquished Justice, and abandoned Mercy!"

We must here refer to a most interesting circumstance with respect to the Princess of Wales. Her royal highness was well aware of the bonds, still in existence, given by the Princes George, Frederick, and William, to the firm of Perigoux and Co., of Paris, which were to the amount of several hundred thousand pounds, as we have before named; and, in an open and friendly conversation with Messrs. Whitbread and Perceval, the princess said, "The regent and the royal dukes engaged in those bonds are perfectly aware they deserve severe exposure. Their action was not only wicked, but their intention also; as every person in any way acquainted with their concerns must be sure they undertook to pay more than their means would ever permit, seeing how deeply the country was in debt, and that the revenue did not then meet the annual amount required. And," emphatically added the princess, "if the world did but know of the LIVES SACRIFICED in this affair, to preserve the good reputation of these princely brothers, I suppose royalty would not gain much in the estimation of good people by the exposure!"

[215]The substance of this conversation soon afterwards transpired to the Prince of Wales. There cannot be a doubt that his royal highness was afraid, but he resolved not to appear so; and from that period, he and the queen were the unalterable and bitterest enemies of the princess, both publicly and privately. So, then, for the simple expression of truth, to those who were already in possession of the whole affair, was an injured princess to be pursued by the hounds of destruction until her capture should be accomplished. The prince sought an immediate divorce; but as the former attempts on this ground, in the year 1806, had failed, there appeared great difficulty in the attainment of his object. The former charges and gross calumnies were declared false, and Lady Douglas had been shunned by all good and strictly-honourable society; for, except where she was received in compliment to the queen, her invitations were, indeed, but very few. The old story was again resorted to, and as Mr. Perceval was now no more, a bold attempt was resolved on, as the last resource, to obtain the desired end.

Mr. Whitbread communicated to the Princess of Wales the scheme then forming against her honour, and that the ministry were favourable to the wishes of the regent. Her royal highness stood amazed at this unexpected information. "What!" said the princess, "is not the Prince of Wales satisfied with the former abuses he has poured upon me? Is he so abandoned, being heir-apparent, as to risk his life, or engage the vengeful disposition of the nation, in [216]the punishment due to the crimes he has committed against me? If the generous English people were informed of half the sufferings I have endured since my arrival in this country, they would never be induced to yield obedience to the commands of a prince whose virtues are not the least balance to his VICES! But," continued her royal highness, "I will go down to Windsor, and request an interview with the queen." Mr. Whitbread remonstrated, and at last the princess consented to write, and ask an audience. A courier was despatched with it, and the verbal reply of her majesty was, "She would see the Princess of Wales, provided her royal highness was at Windsor Castle by eight o'clock in the evening."

Not a moment was to be lost; the carriage was announced in a few minutes, and the princess, attended by only one lady, entered it. "Drive quickly," said her royal highness. It was only half-past seven when the princess was announced. Her royal highness was received in courtly style and unbending manner by her majesty, who, in her usual way, inquired "the cause which gives me the pleasure of a visit, so very unexpectedly, from the Princess of Wales?"

"Madam," answered her royal highness, "I am quite sensible of your surprise at my hasty request and appearance; but as I am tired of hearing the false reports in such general circulation in the court, I am resolved to ask your majesty in person, if I am likely to experience any renewal of those bitter persecutions which, in former years, were agitated to [217]my horror and surprise. I am well aware the regent would not enter upon such a business, unless he had your majesty's sanction and countenance, as well as assistance. Is it because Mr. Perceval is dead, that your majesty thinks me so unprotected as to fall immediately a prey to my base enemies?—if so, your majesty will be in the wrong; for although Mr. Perceval forsook my interest when he engaged himself in confidence to the regent, my husband, I never shall forget the gratitude I owe him for former benefits, and his letters speak volumes of truths, which it was entirely impossible for him to name or attest, unless his mind had been duly influenced by the solid foundation upon which his opinion was fixed."

Her majesty appeared vexed and astonished; then, assuming that hauteur for which she was so remarkable, said, "I do not know, princess, that I am under any necessity to answer your question, as it seems to me improper to do so. The prince regent has an unquestionable right to choose his ministers and counsellors, and also to engage their attentions and services for any purpose his royal highness may please,(?) and therefore I decline to answer any interrogatory upon the subject. Your royal highness must be aware this interview and conversation is very unpleasant to me, and I hope, in future, you will not put me to the very disagreeable task of refusing you an audience, or of permitting one, under similar circumstances. I must, therefore, desire your royal [218]highness will take some refreshment in the adjoining room, and I wish you a very good evening."

It hardly need be told that the insulted Caroline did not stay to partake of the proffered hospitality of this German princess. To be injured by the son, and insulted by the mother, was as much as human feeling could endure, and the princess reached her home in a state of mind little short of distraction. On the following morning, one of the royal dukes called upon the princess, and told her, he was informed of her journey to Windsor by an express from his mother, and also stated his opinion that no measures of an unpleasant nature were in agitation. The princess hastily answered, "Do you think I was not fully satisfied of the regent's intention upon the subject before I resolved to visit the queen? You forget, prince, that I am an injured lady. You know I was brought into this country to afford money to pay my intended husband's enormous debts, and to give him means to live in the greatest splendour with his numerous mistresses! I am deprived of the society of my only child! Injurious reports are circulated and received against my honour, and I am not even permitted to exonerate myself from these vile and slanderous imputations, because I am injured by the reigning authority."

The royal duke said, "I beg, my dear cousin, you will not permit the harsh and unfeeling conduct of the queen to operate on your mind. We all know she is revengeful in the extreme, but she always [219]favours George in every thing; and, from her very bitter conduct to you, we are well assured George is meditating some new scheme against you. One thing I promise you: I will abide by you, even presuming any thing disreputable is proved; and I only beg you will give me your private confidence, that I may be prepared for the worst."

Her royal highness, hastily rising, said, "Sir, if you intended to insult me, I feel it such; but if, from unguarded or not well-considered language, you have so very improperly expressed yourself, then I am not captious to place any ungenerous meaning upon your words! If my rectitude did not rise higher in the scale of truth and uprightness than that of your family, including both sexes, I should not have ventured the close and determinate inspection into my conduct at the will or command of my avowed foes! If it were not for my child's sake, I would satisfy you all that I am privy to TRANSACTIONS which one day or another will be punished with the vengeance of heaven, and which I solemnly believe to be my duty to explain, though it may even cause 'the cloud-capp'd towers and gorgeous palaces' to fall into one general heap of ruins!"

The duke was almost petrified with the language and manner of the princess, and strongly urged the necessity of silence upon any and all of the unfortunate or dishonourable transactions in which the family had been engaged, observing, "Your own welfare depends upon their's, and that is a [220]consideration of positive importance, which I hope your royal highness will justly appreciate!"

This suggestion of the cowardly duke produced the opposite effect to that which was intended; the princess declared that the mean sentiments of the queen had also found way into the minds of her sons, and instead of proving their royal descent by greatness of mind and action, they condescended to suggest self-preservation and self-enjoyments in preference to an open avowal of truth, and an honourable meeting with an enemy. "And," hastily said her royal highness, "is this, Sir, a specimen of the character of the English royal family? What would my ever dear and lamented father have thought of such principles and opinions? Doubtless, he would rather have followed his daughter to the tomb, and have seen her remains deposited with his ancestors, than have had her associated with persons who could sacrifice HONOUR for mean and paltry conveniences. Your royal highness must be well assured, that I am not a stranger to the unfounded and most abominable assertions or suggestions issued against my child's legitimacy; certainly, if I am only the Princess of Wales nominally, then my daughter bears a surreptitious title, and if either of us is considered as an obstacle to the interests of the nation, why are not the assertions upon that point made in an honourable and open manner. You well know, Sir, that I would sacrifice any thing and every thing for the happiness and future prosperity of my child; but I must be fully convinced, that my destruction of [221]rights or enjoyments of privileges would not produce the entire annihilation of her's also. I must be made to understand that the mother and child have separate interests, and that insults received by one are not dishonourable to the other. I have also another powerful objection to keep silence upon these heart-rending and distracting subjects, which is, Charlotte's deep-rooted aversion to those persons who have insulted me most. This feeling assures my mind that I ought not to shrink from any avowal of truth which I may in justice to this generous nation be called upon to make, and nothing less than my child's safety shall keep me from making a disclosure of the unmerited and most incomparable wicked conduct manifested towards me. If I find that likely to operate against my daughter's happiness, I will forbear; but not upon any other ground."

The determined manner of her royal highness fully satisfied the abashed duke that the sentiments thus boldly expressed were the unalterable principles entertained by the princess, and would only gather energy and force by opposition and remonstrance; he therefore very soon afterwards took his leave, and gave the outline of the conversation to his august mother, BY WHOSE EXPRESS WISH THE INTERVIEW HAD TAKEN PLACE.

The queen was posed by the firmness her royal highness had displayed; and, in reply to the communication, said, "I will not be disappointed by this seeming boldness; the princess shall feel my POWER. She shall see Charlotte still less; the [222]restrictions shall be enforced with greater severity, and she shall repent of her stupidity. Does the Princess of Wales imagine that I am to submit to her opinions upon my conduct, or to her abuse of any of my family? My only fear is that the daughter will prove AS UNBENDING AND AS DETERMINATELY RESOLUTE as the mother is, and I am therefore resolved to separate them as much as possible."

The result proved the queen's indignation and resentful disposition; as, immediately, a council was held upon the subject, and her majesty was positive in her instructions, that the restrictions between the Princess of Wales and her daughter should be more rigidly enforced.

At the commencement of the year

1813,

the princess found her situation more irksome than ever; and she resolved, therefore, to inform the prince regent of the hardships of her case, soliciting his royal highness to inform himself of all or any part of her behaviour or demeanour, to which the queen had made such heavy objections. The following is an exact copy of the letter of her royal highness to the prince:

27th Jan., 1813.

"Sir,

"On the 14th of this month, I transmitted to the hand of your royal highness a letter relative to [223]the cruelty and injustice of my situation, in reference to my beloved child's separation from me, the most heart-rending point upon which you could so severely afflict me. Why does your royal highness refuse to answer my simple, but honest and honourable inquiry? What have I not endured since the moment I became your princess and wife? Heaven only knows, and heaven only can avenge my wrongs. It is now more than seventeen years since I gave birth to your lovely daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales, at which time I did most certainly hope and also believe, that her royal father's affectionate recollections of her mother would not only revive, but be exemplified. Yet to this time, your royal highness has not evinced one spark of regard to the consort you vowed 'to love and cherish.'

"More than this, my lord and husband, you permit her majesty to usurp such extreme authority over me, and insult me in every possible way. Why, my lord, I ask, do you allow these indignities to be imposed upon your cousin and wife, (so called) the mother of the heiress to the throne of these united kingdoms? If I had deserved such treatment, I should most naturally have avoided all scrutiny; but, that I have endeavoured to obtain all possible investigation into my conduct, I need only refer to my several correspondencies with your august father, your brother of York, privy council, &c. &c.

"I cannot conclude without saying, if you refuse [224]me justice, I will leave indisputable proofs to this insulted nation that its generosity has been abused, though, at the same time, I would save you yourself from IGNOMINY at the hazard of my liberty. To the queen, I never will bow. Her majesty WAS, IS, and EVER WILL BE, A TYRANT to those she may imagine obstacles in her path. Perhaps her majesty presumes I am not an object of material consequence; but time will develop all these things. If this letter meet not with your royal approbation, I can only regret it, and waiting your reply,

"I am, ever,

"Your faithful and devoted

"CAROLINE."

"P.S. I entreat your royal highness to inform yourself of every part of my conduct which may at any time have been esteemed derogatory; and, while I beg this favour, I trust your royal highness will never again submit to the unprincipled, slanderous, and abominable aspersions cast upon my character. Let me suggest, my lord, that TRUTH MUST PREVAIL, SOONER OR LATER. After the most deliberate, careful, and scrutinizing investigations, I only beg to be punished with the most extreme rigour, if I am found GUILTY; but if free from guilt, I ought to say, I have an indisputable right to be ACKNOWLEDGED SO!"

"To his Royal Highness,
the Prince Regent."

[225]This letter was not noticed when the commissioners sat on the 23rd of February; and Lord Liverpool never even mentioned it when communicating with the princess, or when he had the private interview with her royal highness, by the regent's request.

We should not act with justice or honour if we neglected to state this omission; because the letter reflected much credit upon the princess, and ought to have been the first read when the council assembled. The result of this new inquiry, however, was what the vindictive queen intended it should be; for the almost-distracted Princess of Wales was refused the natural privilege of intercourse with her only daughter!

In the mean time, every opportunity was gladly embraced to detract the character of the princess. Base inuendos and malicious remarks were incessantly poured forth against her, until her life became one continued scene of sorrow and abuse, caused by those from whom she ought to have experienced protection. Under these imputations, the princess again appealed, by an address to the Speaker of the House of Commons; and, after many inquiries and replies, the subject was dismissed with an acknowledgment, that "Her royal highness is declared free from all imputation."

We must not here forget to mention, that Mr. C. Johnstone submitted a motion, on the 5th of March, "to request the prince regent will permit the copy of a certain report, made in 1806, to be laid before the House;" but Lord Castlereagh opposed it, as [226]being unnecessary, and the document was consequently refused.

Notwithstanding the disgust manifested by every honest Englishman at the base conduct of Sir John and Lady Douglas, when they preferred their abominable charge against the character of the Princess of Wales in the year 1806, they had the hardihood to present a petition to the House this year to re-swear to the truth of their former depositions concerning the conduct of the Princess of Wales! No proceedings, of course, took place in consequence of this attempt still to propagate their calumnies; but a motion was made by Mr. C. Johnstone, a few days afterwards in the House of Commons, "That the petition of Sir John and Lady Douglas ought to be regarded as an audacious attempt to give a colour of truth, in the eyes of the nation, to evidence which they had delivered touching the conduct of her royal highness the Princess of Wales, and which evidence was a foul and detestable endeavour to bring the life and honour of her royal highness into danger and suspicion." This resolution, however, could not be passed, in consequence of the House not being in possession of the evidence, which was refused, as we have just stated, by Lord Castlereagh; but many members expressed their agreement with the sentiments of the resolution.

What was the real reason for not prosecuting Sir John and Lady Douglas, after the House had rejected their petition with such indignation, on the motion of Mr. Johnstone, it is not very easy to [227]divine; that alleged by Lord Castlereagh is most certainly not a satisfactory one. It has been often insinuated, that if the conspiracy against the life and honour of the Princess of Wales did not originate with her royal relatives, it was certainly fostered and brought to maturity by persons connected with the queen and the prince regent; and the evidence of Bidgood and Cole very much favours that opinion. If the Douglases, and Bidgood and Cole, were the "suborned traducers," to which her royal highness alluded in one of her letters to the prince about this time, the impunity with which the knight and his lady were suffered to continue at large cannot excite surprise. This impunity, the report that Bidgood had received a pension of one hundred and fifty pounds a year, and the direct interference of the Prince of Wales in promoting the inquiry, and in entering his caveat to prevent the princess being received at court, have thrown a suspicious veil around this part of the proceedings, which will not be very soon removed.

On the 23rd of March, the Princess of Wales had to bear another severe stroke of fortune, in the death of her mother, the Duchess of Brunswick, who was interred with much funeral pomp, at Windsor, on the 31st. This melancholy event, following so closely after her late persecutions, was as much as the princess could endure; and had it not been for the sympathetic attentions of one confidant, her royal highness would, no doubt, have sunk under her immense load of sorrow.

[228]In July and August, the princess devoted the greater portion of her time to correspondence with the prince, her husband. Very many of the letters could not, we think, have met the eye of the regent, or answers must have been sent, if only in common courtesy, as the prince knew his honour, and also that of his family, were at stake. We have transcripts of all these letters; but shall content ourselves with only introducing the last she wrote to his royal highness previous to her going abroad. The following is a literal copy of it:

"23rd of Aug., 1813.

"Sir,

"I have waited, with most anxious feelings, to receive an acknowledgment of the safe receipt of several important communications which I addressed to you as 'private and confidential.' To this hour I have not received a reply, and I therefore take up my pen for the last time upon this most disagreeable business. To you it is well known, that the good king, your father, has invariably treated me with the most profound respect, and proper attention; and his majesty would have done me more essential service long since, had it not been for the oath he gave to Lord Chatham, to preserve from all public investigation the connexion formed in 1759 with the Quakeress.

"I am aware, Sir, that you may say I intrude myself upon your royal notice very frequently; but I think and feel it to be my indispensable duty and privilege. I have lately had an interview with [229]Lord Liverpool; but his lordship cannot serve your royal highness and the persecuted Princess of Wales. I, therefore, shall not submit myself to any further interviews with his lordship, by my own request. As I intend this letter as a final appeal and explanation to your royal highness, I beg to ask your forbearance and lenity on account of its length and detail.

"Your royal highness has not forgotten how strangely I was allured from my father's court to receive your hand in marriage (the letters of 1794 bear me witness). You cannot have forgotten the kind reception of the king, your father, on my arrival in the metropolis of this empire, and the sarcastic manners of the queen. Two days had scarcely passed after our marriage, when you commanded me to receive Lady Jersey upon all occasions, although your royal highness was too well acquainted with the deep-laid schemes formed by her majesty against me, which were to be put into execution by Lady Jersey; and when I most humbly requested of you, that I might be secluded from all society rather than endure that which was so hateful to me, your royal highness cannot have forgotten the inhuman reply you made me, 'The Princess of Brunswick has answered every purpose I desired, inasmuch as my debts are to be settled, and my income augmented, and I will provide an heir to the throne more worthy of popular regard than any descendant of my father's family could ever prove.' These, Sir, were words [230]of so heavy and doubtful a character, that from that moment I never forgot them; and from the hour in which my Charlotte was born, I have feared for her health and happiness. How your royal highness could thus insult me, you can best imagine.

"Another most material grievance imposed upon me was, your unnatural remark to Lady Jersey, in my presence, 'that you thought the king TOO FOND of the Princess of Wales; and if her royal highness had any children, his majesty would no doubt be the FATHER, INSTEAD OF THE GRANDFATHER.' Lady Jersey's reply will never be effaced from my memory, while reason holds her empire: 'Yes, my prince, and you deserve it, if ever you notice the Princess of Wales again in the character of a husband or lover.' Your royal highness may remember I instantly left the room, more deeply insulted and wounded than language can describe. From that time, I was aware of my cruel fate, and I did deeply deplore the necessity which had forced me from the much-loved scenes of my infancy and youthful years.

"The very remarkable request of Mr. Pitt, in 1800, for a private interview with me, was another cause for disquiet to my mind; but I acceded immediately, and he accordingly was admitted. The object of that minister's visit was to solicit my silence upon the subject of the bondholders, whose fate had caused so great an interest in several countries, and whose families had been the victims [231]of their ready acquiescense to the wishes of the royal princes. 'But' said Mr. Pitt, 'these affairs are of as much consequence to your royal highness as they are to the other members of the royal family; and if matters of this kind are to be canvassed publicly, your royal highness may rest assured that ere long your family will not be permitted to occupy the exalted rank and station they now enjoy. I therefore most earnestly recommend that your royal highness does not name these subjects to any of the anti-ministerial party, who are not at present in possession of the circumstances.' I do not doubt but Mr. Pitt laid the whole of this conversation before your royal highness, and he must have noticed the very cool and guarded reception I gave him. To have behaved openly to Mr. Pitt was impossible, as I knew too well his avowed hostile feelings against me. But a few days had elapsed after this interview, when I had the pleasure of seeing the good king. I now take the liberty of laying before your royal highness the substance of our conversation. 'My dear daughter,' said his majesty, 'I hear Pitt has paid you a confidential visit,' 'Yes, Sire, he has,' I replied. 'What was the object of it?' 'Upon the subject of the bondholders, your majesty.' 'I hope you made no rash promise?' said the king; 'None, Sire.' 'Why could not Pitt have called upon you at a more suitable hour, Caroline?' 'I do not know, Sire; but I plainly saw Mr. Pitt did not think much etiquette was necessary to the Princess of Wales, as he well knew [232]it was my dinner hour; and yet I was determined not to refuse myself, as I was perfectly sure the whole of the affair would be reported to the queen.' 'Caroline, my niece,' said the king, 'do not, pray do not, fear Pitt, or any of my family. I will put you in possession of some affairs which will soon silence them all; and before the end of this week I will send you a small parcel of important papers, by the hand of a trusty messenger.'

"Your royal father most scrupulously kept his word, and enclosed me the PROOFS he had named, and promised to send. Many times since then have I informed your royal highness that I was in confidence upon those subjects; but you have never condescended to acknowledge those communications, or expressed one sentiment of obligation for the strict silence I have observed. I have been restrained only from the most ARDENT AND PARENTAL AFFECTION TO MY LOVELY DAUGHTER, or long ere this I would have proclaimed the extent of the wrongs I have endured from some of the illegal and unjust impositions practised upon me and the British nation. Your royal highness knew at the moment you met me at the altar in the palace, that you were already the affianced husband of Mrs. Fitzherbert, and you were well aware that if my uncle, the king, had known of that former circumstance, he would have prevented the left-handed marriage taking place. In this his majesty was deceived, and I have been the [233]victim of your intentional imposition. It has generally been supposed by your royal highness' family connexions, that there was some impropriety or defect by which you received an unfavourable opinion of me in the early part of our fatal marriage; and, in my presence, your royal highness has insulted me by such insinuations, though you well know I was not the OFFENDER, but the OFFENDED!!! Up to this period, I have buried your royal highness' UNNATURAL CONDUCT to me in my own bosom; but if I am to be so injured, and if my character is to be so vilified, I shall EXPLAIN MYSELF TO THE NATION, and think I am performing an imperative duty. Your royal highness cannot have forgotten the outrage you committed by entering my chamber at Montague House, and your denial of it to the queen, your mother, for the avowed purpose of traducing my honour. Had I not then been restrained from explanation upon those base designs, by an unalterable love to my child, I should have exposed the infamous conduct you manifested towards me.

"I name these things, Sir, to prove to you the inviolable honour I have observed, in despite of all the insults and provocations I have received from your royal highness and the queen, and also from the creatures employed to ruin me in the estimation of this generous English nation. A time will come when the secrets of my life will [234]be PUBLISHED TO THE WORLD; then let the unprejudiced judge.

"I remain, Sir,

"Your royal highness' most

"Faithful wife and cousin,

"Caroline P."

"To his Royal Highness,
the Prince Regent."

It is more than probable that the confidentially-private and notorious secretary (M'Mahon) was the receiver of these appeals and documents, who, possessing the most unbounded assurance in the ability of his royal master's coadjutors to carry any plan into execution, or to prevent vexatious trouble to any extent, suppressed them at the moment when they might have proved of the greatest consequence to her royal highness. We cannot wonder at this, when we take into account the character of this private secretary, who dared to violate the rights of friendship, and break through the most sacred ties of conjugal affection, treating the honourable engagements of persons in general as matters of minor consequence! Were this depraved man now an inhabitant of the earth, we would ask him if his recollection could furnish the number of inroads he had made upon the abodes of innocence and beauty, to gratify his royal patron. We could ourselves name several instances; but one will suffice, which we copy from the manuscript of a friend, and the substance of which has been before published.

[235]The private secretary of the prince (M'Mahon) was accustomed to retire for recreation to Bath, at certain periods. At the time to which we now advert, he was travelling to that city, and, at Marlborough, a respectable and venerable gentleman, accompanied by two young ladies, took their seats in the stage coach. The courtier was not wanting in attentions, and, in reply to his numerous questions, he soon received the information, "that the gentleman was a poor clergyman, residing near Marlborough; that the two young ladies were his daughters, whom he then was accompanying to visit a relation at Bath." M'Mahon's polished manners, added to the fixed determination of sacrificing these ladies to his royal master's desires, had the hoped-for effect, and the deluded party was anxious to cultivate further acquaintance with the stranger. Two days after their arrival, the intriguing secretary wrote and despatched the following letter to the prince:

"(Most Private.)

"Bath, Sunday Evening.

"Sir,—Ever alive to the obtaining possession of any object which may contribute to your royal pleasures, I hasten to inform your royal highness, that chance has thrown me into the company of two most lovely girls, the daughters of an indigent curate, and who, from their apparent simplicity and ignorance of the world, may be soon brought to comply with the wishes of your royal highness. I shall immediately devise some plan by which they may be induced to visit the metropolis, and the remainder of my task will then not be difficult of execution. The prize is too valuable to be lost sight of; the elder of the girls bears some resemblance in her form and make to Hillisberg, although it is evident that the whole fullness of her growth has not yet developed itself. The younger is more of a languishing beauty; but, from the knowledge which I [236]possess of your royal taste, the elder will be the object of your choice.

"I have the honour to remain, &c. &c.

"JOHN M'MAHON."

"To his Royal Highness the
Prince Regent, &c. &c."

The intimacy at Bath was cultivated. M'Mahon promised to intercede for the interest of the worthy clergyman, and afterwards engaged to ensure him promotion.

In the midst of explanations, promises, and engagements, M'Mahon was summoned to town by the royal order. Ere he departed, he promised, instantly upon seeing the prince, to lay their case before him, and dwelt in vivid terms upon the effects of such a representation. Within the ensuing fortnight, the clergyman received a letter from him, announcing "that a vicarage was vacant, in the gift of the crown, to which he should receive the presentation." M'Mahon again visited Bath, and recommended the clergyman and family to take up their abode in the metropolis. For this purpose, he had engaged apartments in the house of Mrs. General Hamilton, in Gloucester-place, to which they soon resorted. In the mean time, M'Mahon informed the clergyman that his induction would shortly take place, and that, in the interim, he must employ himself in the most agreeable manner, as also his daughters, in such amusements as the town afforded. Mrs. Hamilton was also pleased to say she would be their conductor and companion upon all occasions. The lady just named was a gay, [237]though unsuspected, character. Shortly after this period, at an evening party, M'Mahon introduced Colonel Fox, "a gentleman," he said, "allied to the noblest families, and of an immense fortune."

If our readers should here inquire, who was Colonel Fox? we answer,—the Prince of Wales.

We hasten to the conclusion of this most infamous history. The deceived clergyman was informed that he must proceed to a village in Leicestershire, where his induction would instantly take place; and he, therefore, hastily took leave of his daughters, with an assurance that they were in the best society. Indeed, Mrs. Hamilton had evinced such interest and apparent solicitude in their happiness, that his heart was relieved from any doubts for their safety. This amiable father took leave of his children in the most affectionate manner; but little did he imagine that embrace would be the last he should ever receive from them,—yet so it proved. A short time after, early in the day, M'Mahon called upon Mrs. General Hamilton, expressing the necessity of her seeing her solicitor upon some affairs relative to the estate of her deceased husband.

The carriage was ordered, and the secretary promised to remain with the younger, while the elder sister accompanied Mrs. Hamilton. "We will first drive to Taylor's, in Bond-street," said Mrs. Hamilton, "he has some commissions to execute for me," and accordingly they were set down there.

The obsequious shoe-maker requested them to walk into the drawing-room, which they did; and in [238]a few minutes Mrs. Hamilton said, "I will now step down, and transact my business with Taylor." In a short time she returned, saying, "How truly fortunate we are; Colonel Fox has just entered the shop, and, being informed you are here, has solicited permission to keep you company until I return from my solicitor's; you cannot refuse the request;" and then, without waiting a reply, she left the room. The pretended Colonel Fox entered; he professed eternal love and unalterable constancy; and, within one hour, this lovely, but most unfortunate, female was added to the infamously-swelled list of the prince's debaucheries and cruel seductions. The younger sister still lives—a melancholy proof of outraged and insulted honour.

We have given this detail to satisfy the scrupulous portion of society, that the prince merited a thousand-fold more exposure and execration than he ever received.

At this period, Mr. Whitbread was very pressing with the Princess of Wales, advising her to make a tour upon the continent, in order to divert her mind from the provocations she was so frequently called upon to endure. Upon one occasion, he urged the subject with considerable warmth, and his great earnestness surprised her royal highness. With her usual readiness, she said, "I feel sure Mr. Whitbread does not intend any thing disagreeable in these remarks; but, Sir, are you aware that Mr. Canning has been pressing the same opinion upon my notice? and I do not comprehend why this suggestion is made [239]by you also. If I go away, shall I not leave my beloved child exposed to the determinate will and caprice of the queen, and others, who, doubtless, will vex her as much as possible? Are you, Sir, requested to represent this to me, or is it your private opinion?" Mr. Whitbread replied, "It is my personal opinion, and solely to provide against any unhappy effects arising from the queen's displeasure, which," he added, "I well know is unbounded."

On the 27th of May, the princess went to the Opera House. It was her first appearance in public since her triumphant acquittal. Her royal highness was received with considerable acclamations, while even her enemies were compelled to acknowledge "the dignity, delicacy, and feeling, pre-eminently displayed in her behaviour."

On the 30th, the regent gave a grand supper and ball, but the princess was not invited.

The supplies required for the service of this year amounted to upwards of one hundred and twenty millions!

Endless vexations and anxieties attended the Princess of Wales up to the year

1814;

but the public voice cheered her to the ultimate defeat of her base enemies.

The transactions of this year do not reflect much credit upon certain mis-named illustrious individuals, [240]and can never fail to excite contempt in the minds of the British people. The Douglas party were promised rewards, which they could not obtain, except in a less degree, as it was alleged they had failed in a principal part of their unworthy undertaking; namely, the degradation of the princess, by a full and unlimited verdict against her royal highness, agreeable to the charges they had preferred.

The disappointed queen was indignant, beyond bounds, at the honourable acquittal of the Princess of Wales. "What!" said her majesty, "am I for ever to be disappointed by the adroit talents of the princess, whose very name I hate! It must not be. If she be recognised as an unblemished character, I am well satisfied the odium of the whole proceeding will fall upon me; and rather would I prefer death than suffer her royal highness to triumph over me!"

Lord Castlereagh was then consulted by the queen, and he engaged to do his utmost against the princess; and the regent again suggested the idea of her going abroad, when steps, more effectual, might be taken to ruin her character. Lord Castlereagh, therefore, the next day informed the princess, by a note, "that for the present time all interviews with the Princess Charlotte must cease."

On the 7th of January, the Princess of Wales gave an entertainment at Montague House, where a select party was invited, in honour of the Princess Charlotte's birth-day, who had now attained her eighteenth year.

An unexpected event, about this period, gave the [241]Princess Charlotte an interview with her mother for nearly two hours, in which these affectionate relatives enjoyed an undisturbed conversation. The Princess Charlotte was very explicit in her communications to her dear mother on the severity of the queen, during the time she had lately spent with her majesty at Windsor; and, among other observations, remarked, "Her majesty is a tyrant to all around her. If you walk out with the queen," continued the charming and noble princess, "you are sure to be told your pace is disagreeable,—either too quick or too slow. If you feel pleasure in seeing any sweet pretty plant, and express admiration of its several beautiful colours, and its various delicate appearances, you are sure to be told, such observations prove your want of taste and judgment. Indeed, my dear mother, I like anybody better than my disagreeable grandmother, and I can never permit myself to remain with her so long again. When I am at the castle, I am seldom allowed to see my grandfather, the king; and, when I do, he scarcely looks at me, and seems extremely unhappy. When my royal father goes to the castle, he is always with the queen alone, and very rarely pays a visit to the king." Such was the ingenuousness of the Princess Charlotte. She would immediately speak the truth, and defy all results, rather than act with dissimulation to please or conciliate any one. This was the longest interview which was to fall to the lot of these high-spirited and generous-minded personages. Alas! their destiny might have been pourtrayed by the pen [242]of cruelty, and traced in characters of blood! At parting, the princess most tenderly embraced her mother, and that parent for the moment forgot all her sorrows. But what was her agitation, when her ONLY HOPE was saying, "Farewell!" Agonizing—beyond all expression—agonizing! We must sympathize with such sorrows, and admit the propriety of the remark of the Princess of Wales at this separation, "My life has already been too long, since it has been one continued scene of misfortune!"

The prince regent now paid a visit to the Duke of Rutland, for the avowed purpose of standing sponsor to the young marquis, the duke's son and heir. The preparations for the reception and accommodation of his royal highness were upon the most magnificent scale, which, we are sorry to relate, were little else than thrown away. In the evening, the sparkling goblet was so freely emptied by the royal guest, that he was obliged to be carried to the chamber prepared for him. Do not imagine, gentle reader, that we are disposed to dwell ill-naturedly on the mischances of this luckless night; but the prince was unfortunate, and committed such sins and transgressions in this ducal apartment, and IN the bed prepared for him, that, at a very early hour, his carriage was ordered, and his royal highness was on the road to London! The domestics at Belvoir Castle were left to relate this very disagreeable incident, and testify that the means required for the purification of their master's premises were of no common quality!

However facetiously we may have spoken of this [243]"untoward occurrence," yet we recoil with disgust and indignation from such scenes. How revolting is the reflection that this was the prince invested with kingly authority, and to whom so many millions of intelligent beings were looking for the redress of their grievances, and the amelioration of their many miseries!

The king's indisposition increased in the early part of this year, and the over-bearing tyranny of the queen consequently knew no bounds. In May, she addressed several notes to the Princess of Wales to forbid her appearance at the drawing-room, to which her royal highness replied very spiritedly. Some of these letters were afterwards published, but several were suppressed. It was at this time that the prince expressed his unalterable determination "never again to meet the princess, either in public or private," and the queen was the person who communicated his royal highness' unmanly vow to the princess.

About three weeks after this announcement, some illustrious foreigners, who were formerly intimate with the family of the princess, paid her royal highness a visit; and, on the ensuing day, they received her royal highness' invitation to dine with her on that day se'nnight. It was accepted with pleasure; but, only about an hour previous to the appointed time for dinner, an apology was sent, asking pardon for the delay, which was said to be unavoidable, as the impediments arose from the COMMANDS OF THE REGENT, which had only been communicated to them [244]a few hours before! Upon Mr. Canning's next visit to the princess, he explained the reason of this shameful conduct, by saying, "that Colonel M'Mahon desired, as a compliment, they would dine at Carlton House that day, and expressed an apology for the shortness of the invitation, as the regent had some days before given him his instructions to invite them, but that he (the colonel) had FORGOTTEN IT IN THE HURRY OF BUSINESS. Now," added Mr. Canning, "I know this story to be an invention; for it was only on the very morning of the day appointed by your royal highness that a brother of the regent heard of their intended visit, and informed him of it; and the prince then commanded M'Mahon to invite the party to dine at Carlton House, which they could not refuse, as etiquette would forbid their accepting any engagement in preference to that of the regent." Was there ever a more artful and vindictive piece of business concocted? How worthy was the master of such a scheming servant as M'Mahon!

In June, the allied sovereigns arrived in London, and fêtes and festivals followed in close succession. New honours were conferred upon several persons, who had been leaders in the late war. Lord Wellington was created Marquis of Douro and Duke of Wellington. To support this new dignity, four hundred thousand pounds were granted to him by the boroughmongering majority!

In consequence of the queen's edict, the Princess of Wales was excluded from the drawing rooms, held [245]in honour of the illustrious guests; and this extra piece of persecuting malice sufficiently attested the littleness of the minds of her too powerful enemies.

Under these trying circumstances, Mr. Canning and Mr. Whitbread again urged their advice, that it would be better for all parties if the princess absented herself for a period, as the queen was so severe to the Princess Charlotte, in consequence of her regard for her mother. This consideration was enough for the fond parent. "Yes," said her royal highness, "for the sake of my child, I will leave England; I feel assured that my afflicted father-in-law, the king, cannot long survive; he is falling very gradually. But the crisis may be sudden; in that case, you know my situation; and what has been refused to the Princess of Wales cannot, I presume, be refused to the Queen of England! In making this reference, I merely and only mean, that I have hitherto been treated with the most unmerited severity, and the greatest injustice; this, I hope, will not be permitted in the event of my being queen. I name this to satisfy you, as my friends, that whenever I can return to this country with safety to my child, and honour to my few zealous friends, I shall not lose one moment in answering the summons."

On the 4th of June, Lord Castlereagh moved in the committee of the House, that fifty thousand pounds be annually paid to her royal highness the Princess of Wales. Mr. Whitbread offered some very correct and spirited remarks upon the subject, [246]and the motion was agreed to. The princess, in the most generous manner, wrote to the Speaker on the 5th, declining to receive more than thirty-five thousand, adding, as a reason for this, her dislike to increase the already heavy burdens imposed upon the nation.

The ill-natured manner in which this most honourable act was received is best explained in the words of Lord Castlereagh, who, on the 8th, called the attention of the House to the letter of the princess, and concluded by saying, "It is not my duty to vote the public money to a subject who is not inclined to receive it." Her royal highness certainly was not much indebted to Lord Castlereagh for his very elegant and noble mention of her name, thus made; and the most dim-sighted person might have easily seen that "if the vessel came safe to shore," a marquisate would be the reward of the pilot.

The Princess of Wales at length requested leave of the ministers to go abroad. This was very readily granted; and, after some arrangements for correspondence, her royal highness prepared to depart. A very short interview was permitted with the child of her hopes and affections, while even that was attended by the ladies in waiting. They separated then—TO MEET NO MORE IN THIS WORLD!

It was during this affecting interview that her royal highness committed some letters of importance to the care of her noble-minded daughter; and, as it appeared impossible for any private conversation to pass between them, a letter accompanied [247]the others, addressed to the Princess Charlotte by her afflicted mother, of which the following is a transcript:

"Copy of a letter to my dear Charlotte, Princess of Wales.

"1814, June 7th.

"My dearest Child,

"I deposit to your keeping a small parcel, of letters for my much-esteemed friend, Lady *******. I well know her generous disposition will cause her to endure a vast load of sorrow on my account, and, from these documents, the nation may one day be bold. I must tell you, my dearest child, that in conformity to my father and mother's opinion, I became the wife (so called) of your father. Well do I remember the time when my dear father, the Duke of Brunswick, entered my library, (holding in his hand a letter) saying, 'Caroline, my love, I desire you will give your attention to the request of your most excellent uncle, the King of England, and, without any demur, engage to marry your cousin George. He is undoubtedly the most elegant man and the most ACCOMPLISHED GENTLEMAN in Europe. Very unfortunately, this prince has been captivated by the many beautiful ladies surrounding the court; but although he may have committed himself in formal engagements, yet the prince is the most ready, desirous, and expectant supplicant for your hand!' I started, and exclaimed, 'What, my dear sire?' The sequel, however, is sufficient. I came to England. [248]I was received heroically by the people, flatteringly by the persons deputed to attend me, and sarcastically by the queen, my aunt; but most pleasantly by the king, my uncle, and the prince, my destined husband. After my marriage with the prince, your father, I soon had occasion to regret my change of situation. However, I strove to conceal my disappointment and chagrin, and appeared as lively as if I had no cause for regret. Speedily after my marriage, I was informed that the prince was not my legal husband; that, some time previous to our marriage, he had been united to Mrs. Fitzherbert, and therefore our engagement was null and void! I opened the sorrows of my heart to the good king. 'Ah! Ah!' said his majesty, 'I will befriend you, but my family will prove my ruin. They care not for any thing beside their own ease, and they, sooner or later, will lose the crown by such improper conduct. The disposition of my son George is unrelenting; but I will tell you, my dear niece, that you may subdue his public injurious mention of your character, if you make use of proper means. My son is so lascivious, that if you would attempt to hide his defects, they would speedily become more apparent.' In the course of conversation, his majesty informed me of the untimely end of his brother Edward, and also of the MARRIAGE and ISSUE of that brother, who, he stated, had been educated for the church; and also, that he had frequently seen him during his residence at Eton with no small degree of affection and regret, and had even appointed [249]interviews with the individual under whose care he was placed, to adopt plans for his welfare. I confess, my dear Charlotte, I was quite unprepared for this exposition, and I answered with much warmth, 'Does your majesty mean to say, that his royal highness left issue which has never been acknowledged?' 'I do, indeed,' replied the king, 'and though the affair has been hitherto kept from the public, yet I fancy it will, one day or another, be made known.' My dear Charlotte will conceive how much I felt upon these singular explanations. I long to tell you more upon the subject, but as our confidential messenger is waiting, I must conclude by subscribing myself

Your very affectionate mother,

Caroline."

The persecuted wife of the heir-apparent now prepared to leave England. Her royal highness went to Worthing on the 2nd of August, and on the 9th embarked for the Continent, with a heart heavily charged with the most poignant feelings.

The evening of her departure was spent in rioting and drunkenness by the inhabitants of Carlton House, as they had now attained a portion of their dishonourable object, and, in a great measure, relied upon final success. The entertainments given at this period by the "unparalleled prince" were of the most dazzling and costly description. The massive services of richly-chased gold, and the viands served upon them, in addition to every luxurious appendage, [250]were daily superseded by others, still more rare and expensive than the preceding ones. Hundreds of thousands were thus lavished on useless pomp, while, perhaps, a poor tradesman, who had received the honour of an order by command of the prince, and had borrowed the larger portion of the means to enable him to execute it, solicited, in the most humble manner, a portion of his debt; but, alas! solicited in vain; and, after daring to press his destitute and ruined condition several times, is probably forbidden ever to ask for the settlement again, but to wait the royal pleasure. His impatient creditors, in the interim, arrest him; he is carried to a prison, and, in the agony of his soul, commits suicide. Many a wife and family of children have thus been reduced to a workhouse, and the greater number of them afterwards thrown upon the town! But—these are some of the privileges of royalty!

The reminiscences of the queen were sometimes rather painful; and, shortly after she had driven her daughter-in-law from the country, symptoms of melancholy were observed. Her physicians, therefore, recommended a change of air; and, in order to amuse her majesty, it was proposed that she should repair to Brighton for a short time, accompanied by the princesses.

The Princess Charlotte, after the departure of her much-beloved mother, appeared very unhappy, and, from that time, saw her father and grandmother as seldom as possible. They well knew she was favourable to her mother's cause, in opposition to their's, [251]not only from the very great affection which she naturally felt for her mother, but also from the numberless proofs she had observed of the honourable motives by which the conduct of the Princess of Wales had been influenced. To these might be added the opinion of the virtuous part of the nation upon the subject, and the very great respect at all times paid to her royal highness by those persons who were independent of the royal family and the government.

Upon her majesty's return to Windsor, she found the king something improved in natural spirits, but desirous not to be troubled with unnecessary visiters. This slight improvement was, however, but of short duration; for, in a few days afterwards, this distressingly-afflicted sovereign relapsed into insensibility, and frequently became very boisterous in his conduct.

The amount required for this year's service was upwards of one hundred and sixteen millions, twenty-seven of which were raised by loans.

The year

1815

commenced under numerous public and private difficulties. The regent found himself in a very unpleasant situation, being under a necessity of increasing the number of the various orders of knighthood, in order to preserve himself a sufficiency of adherents. A strange concatenation of events had [252]also placed the rest of the royal family in an uneasy position. The Duke of Kent, some considerable time before, entered into a positive engagement with a foreign princess, by solemnly promising her marriage; yet, upon requesting his mother's approbation of the choice he had made, how great was his surprise and indignation to find that she would not listen to it! But, hastily snatching up the letter a second time, she said, "It is impossible such things can be permitted; we need money too much in our own family to squander it upon these miserably-poor connexions." This indignant lady quite forgot, or did not wish to remember, her own origin, and the great wealth she had brought to this country. Ere this self-important personage had said so much, she should have called to mind the many noble acts by which she had been distinguished above all other royal ladies, and ought to have reflected, how many thousands had suffered privations and want to permit her royal self and family to live in splendour, and how many had been privately disposed of to satisfy her inordinate ambition and insatiable thirst for power!

Her majesty had also another mortification to endure in the marriage of her hopeful son, the Duke of Cumberland, with the Princess of Salms. Lord Castlereagh, always happy to take from the people, had the audacity to propose an additional grant to the Duke of Cumberland upon his alliance with a lady so congenial to the taste and talents of his royal highness! The House of Commons, however, opposed this grant, and several members made the [253]most severe, though just, remarks upon the character of Ernest Augustus on this occasion.

"Mr. R. Gordon rose, and declared that he could not reconcile it to his sense of duty to allow this motion to pass with a silent vote against it. He was astonished at the observation of the noble lord (Castlereagh) who brought forward this motion last night, that he did not apprehend any opposition, while he agreed with the noble lord that it must be painful to hear any reflections upon the character of the individual referred to, or any comments whatever at all likely to depreciate the consequence of the illustrious family to whom that individual belonged. But ministers alone were to blame in dragging the Duke of Cumberland before that House. If any reflections were thrown out against that individual, it was the fault of ministers in forcing him upon the consideration of that House. After what had NOTORIOUSLY PASSED WITH RESPECT TO THIS INDIVIDUAL, and his connexions,—after the RUMOURS that were afloat upon the subject,—he could not, by any means, concur with the noble lord, that this was not to be regarded as a PERSONAL question!"

"Mr. Bennet said, the Duke of Cumberland, of all the branches of the royal family, was the only one who could come to that House, and make an application for money, which he should feel compelled to oppose! He appealed to every person in the committee, whether they did not hear, out of that House, every individual in the country express ONE UNIFORM FEELING with respect to that personage,—a feeling decidedly averse from any disposition to concur in such a grant as was now proposed. It was impossible even to go to what was called fashionable society, without hearing the same feeling of disrespect expressed!!!"

"Lord Nugent disapproved of the grant proposed, with reference to the time in which, to the manner in which, and to the person for whom, the grant was proposed. He differed with his honourable friend who spoke first in the debate, not in his vote, but in that he did not admit public rumour to influence his vote. For his own part, he voted mainly on evidence which could come before the House only by public rumour,—public rumour uncontradicted and unencountered!!!"

"Lord A. Hamilton thought the House was called upon to consider the merits of the individual before it assented to this proposition, unless it were assumed that, upon the marriage of any branch of the [254]royal family, the House was bound to grant an additional allowance, without any consideration of the nature of the marriage, which was a proposition too preposterous to be maintained! The intimation, too, which he understood to be authentic, that it was the intention of the Duke of Cumberland not to reside in this country, furnished another argument against the present measure; nay, it was stated that the grant was brought forward upon the settled condition that his royal highness should fix his residence ELSEWHERE!"

"Mr. Methuen contended that the House ought to shew, by its vote that night, that it was not inattentive to the morals of the country, and that therefore he should oppose the grant, not from the slightest personal motives, but merely in the conscientious discharge of what he conceived to be his duty."

"Sir H. Montgomery said, that when the present bill was first brought into the House, he voted for it, because he thought the proposed sum was no more than what was necessary; but, from what he had heard since, he almost fancied he had done something very wrong! In the present case, however, he really saw nothing which would warrant the House in putting such a stigma upon his royal highness as would be conveyed by refusing the grant!"

The House of Commons DID REFUSE THE GRANT, though only by a small majority. But this majority was sufficient, according to Sir H. Montgomery, one of his royal highness' admirers, to cast a STIGMA on the Duke of Cumberland!

As soon as the Princess of Wales was known to have left Brunswick, and while proceeding to Geneva, persons were despatched from the British Court to watch all the movements and pursuits of her royal highness, and to report accordingly, through agents appointed for the mean purpose. Our country's money was used upon this base business with no sparing hand. Mr. Whitbread, being perfectly aware that these secret contrivances were put into execution, felt more in fear of some evil result to the [255]princess than if she had remained in England. He, as well as many others, knew that assassination was of very frequent occurrence in Italy, and more than once expressed himself anxious to see the princess safely landed again on our shores. But this was not permitted; for, on the 6th of July, this patriot committed suicide, while in a state of mental aberration. He fell a sacrifice to the intensity of his feelings upon several most important subjects.

As a man of firm principles, Mr. Whitbread was justly entitled to the praise of his countrymen. He never allowed himself to be bribed into dishonourable actions; and we cannot, therefore, attribute his unhappy end to the stings of conscience. The man whose life, or a principal portion of it, has been spent in furthering the wily schemes and treacherous plans of others may, very probably, in the midst of enjoying the reward of his villanous conduct, be struck by memory's faithful reflection, and, afraid of exposure, prefer instant death; but the patriot who loves his country, and has largely contributed to the defence of justice and liberty, finding his exertions of no available use, and sick at heart at the insults levied against the oppressed, may be driven by despair to rush into the presence of his Maker by his own act. This latter case, no doubt, applies to the patriot whose untimely end we are now lamenting. It was Mr. Whitbread's glory to be an Englishman,—it is his country's boast that he used his energies for her general benefit. He actively and fearlessly investigated the cause and nature [256]of abuses, was the ready advocate of the oppressed, and the liberal friend of all mankind!

The amount required for the service of this year was one hundred and sixteen millions, which was obtained from the heavily-taxed people, earned by the sweat of their brow, and consequently by robbing their starving families of comforts!

From such oppressive exactions, the present domineering Tory Aristocracy has reared its unblushing and hydra head. It was engendered in Deception, brought forth by Infamy, nursed by Indolence, educated by Sovereign Power, and has long lived the life of an Impostor—daring and hardy! We venture to predict, however, that its reign is drawing to a close; for the eyes of the whole nation are now fixed upon it, and its excrescences are discovered! Yes, the monster has outwitted itself, and from its seat will speedily shoot forth the TREE OF LIBERTY. May its fruits prove healing to nations! Merit will then be rewarded, Industry recompensed, Commerce revive, and Tranquillity reign in society. Kings will learn to do justice, sanguinary laws will be abolished; and thus the millennium of Peace and Joy will be established on a basis illustrious and impregnable!

At the commencement of the year

1816,

the intended marriage of the Princess Charlotte of [257]Wales with Prince Leopold of Saxe Cobourg was announced, which had received the sanction of the regent. This intended union appeared to us, for many reasons, highly improper, and too closely allied to the circumstances of George the Third. We knew, for a considerable period before this announcement, that Leopold had been paying the most devoted attentions to a lady of great merit and accomplishments; and, also, that marriage had been promised. We likewise did not believe the prince was a Protestant from conviction, if he professed so to be; and feared that, if finally the husband of the princess, he would only be a convert to our "established religion" from convenience, but really and in truth, by inclination and education, a Catholic. We do not name the religious sentiments of the prince as any degradation or disqualification to his character as a man or as a prince, but simply to shew that his principles prohibited his entrance, by marriage, into the English royal family; for the royal marriage act expressly declares "such marriages shall be null and void."

While staying at the city of Augsburgh, in the early part of this year, we heard various reports upon the subject in question, and the paper of the day having met our eye, what were our feelings when we read the annexed paragraph!

"Augsburgh, January 10th.

"The Gazette of this city contains the following article, from Vienna, of January 3rd: 'Yesterday was celebrated, in the Cathedral Church of St. Stephen, in the presence of the reigning Duke of Saxe [258]Cobourg, the MARRIAGE of his brother, Prince Leopold, with the young and beautiful Countess of Cohaky, according to the rites of the Catholic church.'"

In contemplating this circumstance, every honest man must view the conduct of Leopold with indignation. Example is generally considered preferable to precept, and Leopold embraced this opportunity of shewing himself a convert to such doctrine. George the Third committed BIGAMY; his son George did the same; and the remaining Hope of England was destined to be a victim to similar wickedness!

After some formal correspondence, the regent sent a message to both houses of parliament, on the 14th of March, to announce the marriage contract of his daughter, the Princess Charlotte, with his serene highness the Prince Leopold of Saxe Cobourg. Sixty thousand pounds were voted to the illustrious couple, annually; and, in case of her royal highness' demise, FIFTY THOUSAND POUNDS PER ANNUM were to be paid to the PRINCE for his life. Sixty thousand pounds were also granted for their outfit.

Well may foreigners exclaim, "How generous are the great English people!" Alas! it was not the act of the people; but the absolute will of Imbecility, Ignorance, and Impudence, which we shall have further occasion to illustrate.

We must now refer our readers to the former expectation of marriage between the Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Orange. That union was much desired by the regent, because the Prince of Orange [259]had promised unrelenting opposition to the Princess of Wales. As soon as the Princess Charlotte, however, became aware of this, she determinately refused to see the prince again; and we well know that the Duchess of Oldenburgh took every possible opportunity to press Prince Leopold upon her notice. Up to the moment of the marriage, the Princess Charlotte did not hear or know a single word about the former serious engagement of her affianced husband, except the mean and paltry report, that "he had been very voluptuous in his gratifications, and was then desirous of bidding an eternal adieu to those who had formerly led him astray!" On the other hand, Charlotte was tired of the overbearing and indiscriminate conduct of her grandmother, the queen; and therefore resolved to free herself from such restraint.

Previous to the marriage, Prince Leopold solemnly promised to fulfil every iota of the Princess Charlotte's wish, with respect to her abused and insulted mother; and further engaged, that he never would permit or allow himself to be made a party, directly or indirectly, to injure the Princess of Wales, or to prevent any correspondence between the daughter and mother, of which her royal highness the Princess Charlotte might approve. But of what signification were the promises of such a faithless man!

The former marriage of the prince was not considered by the queen a sufficient impediment to his union with her grand-daughter; and she used her [260]utmost ability to suppress any representation contrary to the interest of his serene highness. "The Augsburgh Gazettes" were, therefore, bought up at an immense expense, to save the character of this prince from public animadversion, and consequent contempt and hatred.

On the 21st of February, Prince Leopold arrived at the Clarendon Hotel. Lord Castlereagh waited upon his serene highness, and, on the following day, Sir B. Bloomfield arrived from Brighton, with the regent's command to invite the prince to the Pavilion.

Early on the ensuing morning, the prince and Sir B. Bloomfield left town for Brighton; and his serene highness was received with as much warmth and friendship by the regent as if he had been an old acquaintance, or an especial friend in iniquity!

On the 27th, the queen, accompanied by the Princess Charlotte and two of the princesses, arrived at the Pavilion, from Windsor Castle; the interview was short between Leopold and his intended bride. The family resolved that the marriage should take place as soon as possible. The royal ladies returned to Windsor, and the prince remained at Brighton with the regent.

At the time such immense sums were voted for this intended marriage and outfit, large means were also required for the support of our expensive establishments at home, which ought to have prevented any squandering of money upon foreigners, [261]for we could never consider Prince Leopold as one of the royal family of England.

Mr. Vansittart, however, was very eloquent, in his way, in setting forth "the great, the incomparably great" station occupied by this country amongst the nations of the earth! In truth, we will tell the precise state of our then greatness. Our jails were crowded with farmers and the best of our tradesmen; our streets and roads swarmed with beggars, nearly dying from filth and want; agriculture languished, and commerce was paralyzed!

After some delay, caused by circumstances not very honourable to Prince Leopold, the marriage took place on the 2nd of May; and a very general report obtained credit that Prince Leopold pronounced his responses very tremulously, scarcely articulating his portion of the ceremony. This could hardly be wondered at, as he well knew the sacrifice of honour he was then making, and the inconstancy of his former sacred vows!

We pass over the time between the marriage and when the Princess Charlotte was declared enceinte. This occurred twice; but, after one disappointment, the accouchement was expected with all the ardour of English anticipation.

The princess had generally expressed her opinion, that mankind, in reason, policy, philosophy, and religion, were all of one great family; and hence arose her extreme aversion to the pomp and magnificence of the court. Indeed, the princess shewed herself very frequently to the public, and was so [262]free and gracious in her manners, that she appeared in a natural English character, far opposed to the German pompous style.

A circumstance of no inferior import occurred at this period, which gave suspicion to the inquiring spirit of the liberal part of the English nation. This was—the return to office of George Canning! By the Tories, the event was regarded as a last resource; by the Whigs, his accession, under royal favour, was considered a token of victory. Each party was positively assured of an undeviating principle in this gentleman's character; but each one had to learn that the opinion was erroneous.

In this year, died two individuals, who had formerly been the bosom companions of royalty. One of these, Mrs. Jordan, expired on the 5th of July, near Paris, and was buried in the cemetery of St. Cloud; her body was put into a thin shell, stained black, with no ornament whatever. Mrs. Jordan had lived in Paris for some time in great privacy and poverty, under the assumed name of Mrs. James. Is not the newly-created Earl of Munster, and one or two other great personages, the issue of this unfortunate lady's singular engagement with the prince of some great nation? The other character was Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the favourite companion and devoted servant of the Prince of Wales. Let his scanty means of subsistence be remembered whenever the name of the prince regent is mentioned. Yes, reader, the man who had devoted his highly-improved and naturally-eloquent abilities to [263]the cause of this regent was permitted to die in the course of an arrest!

The sorrows and disappointments which Mrs. Jordan underwent in this world were of the most agonizing description. Oh! why is it tolerated that royalty should be allowed to exercise the prerogative of inflicting the deepest wounds without the possibility of the injured party ever receiving redress? Is it not contrary to all laws, both human and divine, to suppose "the king can do no wrong?" If a prince commit an act of injustice, ought he not to be equally amenable with the peasant to the laws of his country? We think so, and hope to see the day when the whole world will acknowledge its justness, and act upon its principle.

Upon the retrospect of Mr. Sheridan's life, we are forcibly struck by the ingratitude practised towards him by his royal master. The vices he had contracted were the results of his acquaintance with this "all-accomplished prince," and during the period of his successive debaucheries with him, he frequently added his name to notes of hand, upon sight, or at a longer date, for the prince's extravagancies, or to meet any demand that might be required upon a run of ill luck at the gaming-table. Even the debt for which he was arrested was contracted under the last-mentioned circumstances, and had been paid by a note given solely for the regent's use by this unfortunate courtier. As soon as the country became informed of the unkindness Sheridan had experienced, they saw the character of the prince in its true light, [264]forming their opinions from FACTS only, and not from the sophistical meaning given to his actions by the absolute prince himself, or by the parasites in his service. Honest men could not help grieving at the reflection, that the money produced by their labour, and even at the expense of depriving their families of comforts, was being squandered away at gambling-tables, upon unworthy characters, and in unwarrantable undertakings. The indignation caused by the base treatment of Mrs. Jordan and Sheridan manifested itself in several publications of the day, and many facts were elicited relative to these two unfortunate individuals; indeed, there was scarcely a subject in the realm, at all acquainted with their shameful desertion, who did not indulge in some bold expression of disgust and abhorrence at the disgraceful conduct of certain illustrious individuals, as being the causes of their multiplied sorrows and sufferings.

There was a time when monarchs and peers would have lived on the meanest food, merely sufficient to sustain human nature, in order to discharge the debts of a faithful servant; and it is well known, that, to reduce the pressure of taxation or impost upon the poorer classes of society, a certain sovereign even pawned his jewels! But, alas! this reign and regency did not present such an endearing feature to the nation; on the contrary, "the regent of blessed memory" would rather have pawned his subjects than have relaxed in his extravagant pleasures!

The marriage of the Princess Mary with her cousin [265]the Duke of Gloucester took place in July, and gave "general satisfaction;" though his royal highness never benefitted the people in any other way than honouring them by accepting their bounty!

About this time, a considerable sensation was produced by the re-appearance of Mrs. Fitzherbert in the gay circles of fashion. The public journals noticed such an unexpected circumstance with timid expression, and professed that delicacy prevented any explanatory remarks! Ignorance and Avarice were more probably the obstacles in the way; but it would have better become writers, who pretended to patriotism and independence of character, to have stated unhesitatingly what they did know of the intentions of the royal plotters; they certainly might have paid a fine, or endured some imprisonment for speaking the truth; yet he who faulters when his country's weal is at stake is unworthy the name of—- Briton!

The regent appeared now more determined than ever to procure a divorce from the Princess of Wales, and the means how this might be accomplished were put in active preparation. All the ungenerous and mean expedients hitherto used had been unavailing to produce the desired end. Spies had not succeeded, and a bolder invention had therefore become necessary. At the various courts connected with the "Holy Alliance," the princess had received very little attention; but in every circle where her royal highness appeared, which was uninfluenced by [266]the crown, she was received rapturously, and treated most respectfully.

Previous to the conclusion of this year, a naval captain was offered ten thousand pounds if he could, by any stratagem, obtain PROOF of adulterous intercourse between the princess and any person of rank whatever. The personage who made this offer is NOW ALIVE, and if this statement of simple truth meet his eye, surely the blush of shame will die his hardened cheek.

The Baron Ompteda was also employed in this foul and diabolical plot, and, as a reward for his services, he has received a sufficiency from the hard-earned money of the tax-payers of this kingdom. We suggest that it had been quite in character to have presented the same in a purse, with "THE REWARD OF VILLANY" inscribed upon it.

We will here lay before our readers a plain statement of facts, relative to the persecutions which the unfortunate Princess of Wales endured abroad, and which is extracted from an original letter now in our possession:

"For some days past, there have been inserted in several of the papers various pretended extracts of letters from Milan, Munich, and other places, respecting the Princess of Wales, and giving a most erroneous statement of an affair that occurred some months since in her royal highness' family. You may depend upon the following, as being an authentic narrative of the transaction alluded to. An [267]Hanoverian baron was observed to follow the princess' route wherever she went. He was always received by her royal highness with the attentions due to his rank. On the princess' return to Milan from her long voyage, the baron was still there, and paid his respects to her royal highness as usual; but reports having come to the ears of her household, that the baron had made use of expressions in society highly injurious to her royal highness, one of the gentlemen in her suite, an English officer, sent the baron a challenge, and this conveyed, in terms too plain and unequivocal to be misconstrued, that he accused him of 'a most infamous and unmanly return for the kindnesses he had received from her royal highness,' and called upon him to 'meet him at eight o'clock the next morning at Bartassima, (half way between Milan and Como) there to answer for this sacred charge against his honour as a gentleman and a man, who had ever received the most marked hospitality at the hands of the princess, and who had committed the greatest act of hostility against the very first of virtues.'

"This challenge was delivered to the baron by the hands of the Baron Cavalotti, a friend of the English officer. The answer to this direct challenge was an attempt to explain away the charge imputed to him; but an acceptance of the challenge, claiming his right to the choice of weapons, and saying that he would fight in Switzerland, but that his intended second was absent; in two days he would send him to settle the time and place.

[268]"Just at this period, a discharged servant of her royal highness wrote a letter to the chief magistrate of Como, saying that his conscience touched him, and that he was desirous of making a confession of the part he had acted in a treacherous confederacy with the Hanoverian, in whose pay he had been for the preceding ten months, to disclose to him every transaction of the household, to procure false keys to her royal highness' apartments and drawers, &c. &c. This was made known to her royal highness. She treated all that he could have obtained by such insidious means with contempt; and actually took the footman, who had thus acted as a spy upon her actions, again into her service, on his imploring her pardon; but another accomplice was delivered over to the police, to be tried and punished.

"The very next day after this discovery, her royal highness gave a grand entertainment, at which the Governor of Milan and all the principal nobility were present. When the princess communicated the whole affair to the governor, he expressed his indignation at the scandalous conduct, and having learnt that a challenge had passed from one of her gentlemen to the baron, said that certainly that person was unworthy to be treated as a gentleman. The Hanoverian knew nothing of all this; but, according to his promise, sent Count Cantenogh, one of the chamberlains to the Austrian Emperor, to Como, who, having met the British officer, said he was not much acquainted with the Hanoverian who had requested him to be his second in an affair of honour; that he [269]was anxious to have the matter fully investigated; and trusted that, if the baron should prove his innocence of the language imputed to him, the British officer would be satisfied that he had acted hastily. But, in case he was not satisfied, he was further instructed to say, that the baron wished the meeting to be in Germany, on the confines of France, instead of Switzerland, and time could not be convenient to him sooner than three weeks, a month, or more, from that time, as he had to go to Hanover to settle his affairs in the interim. The Englishman then related to Count Cantenogh the disclosures that had been made the day before, and submitted to him whether such behaviour did not render his principal unworthy the support of a man of honour, or to be met as a gentleman. The count declared that he could not be the second of such a person; that he must justify himself from this infamous charge, or choose another friend. With this, the count returned to Milan, and a message was soon after delivered to her royal highness, from the governor, to say that the Hanoverian baron had received orders to quit the Austrian dominions, which he had accordingly done.

"This curious affair made a considerable noise at the time, which was the beginning of November last, and is, we suppose, the foundation of the stories which have lately been circulated and misrepresented."

"In the summer of 1815, another wicked secret plot was formed against the princess, the origin of which it is not difficult to guess. The princess was [270]narrowly watched, and attempts were made to seduce her people; but only one, Piqueur Crade, was so weak as to yield, and to promise Baron O** to conduct him into the apartments of the princess by means of false keys. The plot was, however, discovered, and the piqueur turned away. The man wrote to the Chevalier Tommassia, confessed that he had let himself be seduced by Baron O** to betray his mistress, and begged for mercy. The princess thought it proper to acquaint the governor, Count Sawrau, with this event, and Baron O** was forced to leave the dominions of his Majesty the Emperor. Hownham, the princess' private secretary, challenged the baron, but the latter has hitherto put it off. Since this affair, the princess is very cautious, particularly towards Englishmen whom she does not know; but she conceals herself from nobody, only she will not be the object of calumny, and of a shameful espionage, of which she has already been the victim. What has happened gives ground to fear still greater enormities.

"An event, which took place at Genoa, has more the appearance of an attempt at assassination than robbery. Some armed men penetrated, during the night, into the house of the princess, and almost into her bed-chamber. An alarm being given, one of the servants fired upon these people, and pursued them, but in vain. It is not yet discovered what were their intentions. But let a veil cover all this. Her first master of the horse, Schiavini, has kept a circumstantial account of her journey to the Holy Land. [271]The princess went from Genoa to the island of Elba, thence to Sicily and Barbary, then to Palestine. She visited Jerusalem, Athens, &c., and was every where received with the honours due to her rank.

"By the assistance of several literati, she obtained a collection of valuable antiquities, for which object she spared no expense. Wherever the princess appeared, she left behind her grateful recollections by her beneficence. At Tunis, she obtained the freedom of several slaves. The princess is now employed in writing the history of her life, which she will make public when the time comes.

"By this, she will throw great light on many facts which are now involved in obscurity."

We need hardly offer a remark upon the vindictive measures, so fully set forth in this narrative, exercised against the unfortunate Princess of Wales. It will not be difficult for our readers to recognize the REAL INSTIGATORS of the many annoyances she endured; their names will be handed down to future generations as the "Oppressors of Innocence," while the finger of Scorn will mark the spot where lies their "SORDID DUST."

The calamitous situation of the nation at this time became truly appalling. Subscriptions were entered into for the purpose of relieving the distresses of the poor, and her majesty's name was put down for the insignificant sum of three hundred pounds! If we were to be prolix in our account of this German lady's discretionary liberality, the details, we fear, [272]would not interest our readers. She was only liberal when her own interest was at stake!

Early in

1817,

the queen became indisposed, so much so as to cause alarm amongst her partisans for the issue. It was deemed expedient that the prince regent, who was then at Brighton, should be informed of the circumstance, and the Duke of York set off in the night to convey the intelligence to him. Why a courier could not have been forwarded, we do not pretend to say; but deception and mystery always attended the royal movements. Shortly afterwards, however, her majesty was declared convalescent, and the family were gratified by her recovery, being well assured that her assistance would be of the most essential consequence to the completion of the regent's wishes in the intended divorce.

In February, the "Habeas Corpus Act" was suspended, and, upon suspicion only, were Mr. Evans and his son seized and committed to prison on a charge of treason. They observed at the time, with great truth, "Poor devoted England! she cannot be called our country, but our grave!" This was confirmed by Lord Sidmouth, who rendered his every service in this disgraceful business, and was at all imaginable pains to prove, that his master, the regent, was the "Vicegerent of heaven, and had all power upon earth."

[273]The country was now elated by the information that the Princess Charlotte was likely to give an heir to the throne; because the people hoped that her progeny would prove more worthy of a crown than some of the sons of her austere grandmother. Upon this amiable princess, indeed, the English people had long placed their hopes, and they lived in anxious expectation to see the then existing tyranny superseded by a better form of government, under her auspices. In the mean time, every member of the royal family appeared more interested for the health of the queen than for the Princess Charlotte. Her majesty had experienced several relapses; but, after each attack, when she appeared in public, no symptoms of previous indisposition were visible.

Lords Liverpool, Castlereagh, and Sidmouth, and the accommodating George Canning, were now the arbiters of the fates of nations; their will was no sooner expressed than it passed into a law; and, while revelling at the festive board with their puissant prince, the country was writhing in the most pitiable condition. Even bread and water were not always within the poor man's grasp, and the starved peasantry of Ireland, in open defiance of military power, were living by stealing and eating raw potatoes, to enable them to eke out their most miserable existence! Under this humiliating condition, their rights and liberties were suspended, and it was made "treason and sedition" to murmur or complain.

When the tyrannical King John oppressed his subjects, and endeavoured to usurp despotic power, [274]the barons assembled around him, and, unsheathing their swords, swore, "The laws of England shall not be changed!" But the days of chivalry were past! Lord Castlereagh was now our dictator, and a standing army of one hundred and forty thousand men, to enforce his vile and unconstitutional measures, destroyed even the chance of emancipation. We may add, in the words of our immortal bard, that his lordship was a man,

"Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil!"

The galling distresses of the people, at this period of national calamity and misrule, drove them to the commission of violent acts, and the diligence of well-chosen officers and prosecutors, with the partiality of judges, supplied the defect of evidence needful for punishment. The law was actually made a snare, while vice received encouragement and rewards, when on the side of the oppressors. This was not solely confined to the higher tribunals, but was also apparent in almost every inferior court. Indeed, Lord Sidmouth sent a circular letter to all lieutenants of counties, recommending even "justices of the peace to hold to bail persons publishing alleged libels!!!" The whole ministry proved themselves to be uninfluenced by the dictates of equity, or those principles of moderation which distinguished some of our noble ancestors. Power was every thing with Castlereagh and his associates, assisted by the MITRED HEADS of the "established church," who were ever his [275]zealous friends in the cause of tyranny! Be it, then, our duty to tear the mask of hypocrisy aside, and exhibit the deformity of Power, more especially when disguised under the specious form of PIETY. He who can assume the sanctity of a SAINT, and perform the deeds of a RUFFIAN, will not be spared in our explanations of TRUTH! The title of "Right Reverend Father in God" shall not cause us to be dismayed, if, by their reverend works, they prove themselves to be the children of the devil! We are not what pretended pious people term INFIDELS; but we detest to see the tools of power endeavour to subdue the nation in the garb of godliness, insulting the poor with orders for "general fasts," while they themselves are indulging in the most riotous excesses!

We must now, as honest and fearless historians, record the most cold-blooded and horrible CRIME that was ever perpetrated in this or any other Christian country!

"'Tis a strange truth. O monstrous act!
'Twill out, 'twill out!—I hold my peace, sir? no:
No, I will speak as liberal as the air!"

We are almost ready to murmur at Providence for permitting some of the assassins to escape from this world without meeting the punishment they merited. One or two, however, still remain to pollute the earth, and upon whom we yet hope to see justice administered!

Every honest heart was full of bitterness and [276]anguish, when it was announced, "The Princess Charlotte is DEAD!" The heavy-tolling bell, the silence of the streets, and the mute astonishment of all who met and parted, exhibited signs of unfeigned sorrow. In an unexpected moment, the hopes of this great nation were brought to nought! Her royal highness was England's star of promise,—the beacon which it was expected would light the traveller to escape the quicksands of destruction!

On the 5th of November, at nine in the evening, this exemplary princess was safely delivered of a male child, said to be still born; and although pronounced at that time, by her accoucheur, to be doing extremely well, yet, at half-past two on the morning of the 6th, her royal highness expired! Sir Richard Croft announced to Prince Leopold the heart-rending intelligence; and a messenger was instantly sent to the prince regent (to whom a former communication of fearful import had been made) and also to the queen at Bath. All the royal family then in England hastened to London, report said, "nearly destroyed with grief."

Special messengers were also despatched with the melancholy information to the Duke of Kent, who was at Brussels, and to the Duke of Cambridge, at Hanover; but the MOTHER of the late princess was entirely neglected. Etiquette and respect were attended to in the cases which least required notice, and omitted in the situation which really demanded, in common decency and justice, the most prompt consideration.

[277]The prince regent arrived at Carlton House at four o'clock on the fatal morning, and was informed by Lord Bathurst and the Duke of York of the event. The regent had been, for ten or twelve days, sojourning with the Marquis, or Marchioness, of Hertford, at their seat near Sudbury. In contradiction to several either servile or ignorant historians, we fearlessly say that it was not unexpected news to his royal ear! In the course of the ensuing day, a letter was written and delivered to Dr. Sir Richard Croft, announcing the prince regent's offer of thanks for the attention paid to the Princess Charlotte, and assuring the doctor that the prince was fully satisfied with his skill and superior merit; concluding with these words: "As it is the will of Divine Providence, his royal highness is in duty bound to submit to the decree—of heaven."

Prince Leopold was not so hasty in returning his thanks for the attentions of Dr. Croft, though much better able to judge of the matter than the regent; for he was many miles off, and could not personally know any thing of the matter.

Notwithstanding the professed deep sorrow and grief of the prince regent, however, we can announce that his royal highness did not permit himself to relax in any pursuit of pleasure, except that of openly exhibiting himself; for, on the ensuing evening, we ourselves were not very distant from Carlton House, and can testify to this fact. He and his brother of York were not in very great anguish upon the occasion; they pledged each other in quick [278]succession, until the circumstance which had caused their meeting was entirely forgotten by them. "I drink to the safety of the regent," said the duke, "and I to the safety of York," retorted the prince. These remarks created irritability, and the prince very warmly replied, to an interrogation of his brother, "What would you think if the ghost of Edward Augustus stood at your elbow?"

How very different was the report issued to the world! The daily papers stated that "the extreme sorrow of the regent had produced an unusual sensation of pain in the head of his royal highness." We were not surprised at this announcement; though we had hoped to have heard the royal heart was affected upon a review of his past enormities!

We regret to say, that when the Princess Charlotte was in daily expectation of her accouchement, she was not soothed by the attentions of any of her female relatives. It is true they had not, by any former acts of kindness, given her occasion to expect it; but the disrespect shewn to her royal highness was chiefly owing to the affection for, and defence of, her persecuted mother, which, though perfectly natural and praiseworthy, displeased certain high and powerful personages. The queen (that boasted paragon of goodness!) was one hundred and eight miles distant, and the hearts of all the family seemed as if estranged from virtuous and honourable feelings. Her majesty, with the Princess Elizabeth, left Windsor Castle for Bath, on the morning of the 3rd of October, for the avowed purpose of drinking [279]the waters. On the 27th of the same month, the prince regent, accompanied by Sir B. Bloomfield, left London for the seat of the Marquis of Hertford, at Sudbury, in Suffolk. The Duke of Clarence was also absent. It is true that the cabinet ministers, whose presence was required by precedent and state necessity, were in waiting; but how far their services could be agreeable or beneficial to a young female in such a situation, we are at a loss to discover. Alas! that parent who ought to have been present, and who would most joyfully have flown on the wings of maternal affection, was denied the privilege. But while the daughter was struggling in the agonies of a cruel death, the mother was a wanderer in a foreign land, and beset with snares laid for her destruction also!

During the pregnancy of the Princess Charlotte, the prince, her husband, was chiefly her companion. Her choice of an accoucheur fell upon Dr. Sir Richard Croft, as he was considered the most able and skilful man in his profession. The ladies in attendance upon her royal highness were unfit to render advice or assistance upon any emergency, as neither of them had been a mother. The princess, when in an advanced state of pregnancy, was kept low, and scarcely allowed animal food, or wine, to both of which she had previously been accustomed. Between the fifth and seventh months, her royal highness was bled several times, and still kept upon very low diet. Claremont, the place chosen for the eventful period, was sixteen miles from town, [280]and when any pressing occasion required the attendance of a surgeon or physician from London, the distance caused a considerable delay. Her royal highness' confinement was expected to take place about the end of October, and the period between that time and the final issue was strongly marked by symptoms of approaching labour. Her royal highness was in extreme pain for more than forty-eight hours, yet each bulletin declared, "The princess is doing extremely well." At half-past twelve, A.M. her royal highness became uneasy and very restless; she exhibited much difficulty of breathing, and at half-past two—EXPIRED!

The substance of this detail found its way into the daily journals, and excited, as it was naturally calculated to do, much remark and inquiry. The generally-received opinion was, that the lamented heiress to the crown had been wantonly suffered to perish, from the folly of etiquette, or some other unnatural and unexplained cause. We, however, are not bound to surrender our judgment to a journalist, or to subscribe to the opinion of any man less acquainted with a particular subject than ourselves; and, upon this melancholy and tragical event, therefore, we shall dare to give utterance to TRUTH. In doing so, we beg to state that we are not influenced by personal resentment, but, in the discharge of our task, are determined only to award "honour where honour is due."

The labour of the princess was commenced under extreme debility; and, at an early period, it [281]appeared very probable that surgical assistance would be finally requisite; yet no provision was made for such assistance! The bulletin of Wednesday morning, eight o'clock, signed by the attending practitioners, was rather doubtfully expressed. The second bulletin, at ten in the evening, was confidently affirmative of the well-doing of the royal patient. Dr. Sims affixed his signature to these bulletins, but he had not seen her royal highness since the first pang she had experienced. How this gentleman could allow his name to be thus affixed to a declaration, of the truth of which he was totally ignorant, we know not; but it was said, by the time-serving press, "that Dr. Sims being unknown to the princess, his appearance in her chamber might have alarmed her." The folly of this excuse is best exposed by supposing that if, at this trying moment, Dr. Croft had been ill, and unfit to attend the princess, would she have been left to perish for lack of assistance? We think not; for this would have given too plain an idea of the expectations of certain parties. The public papers announced that the letter summoning Dr. Sims to Claremont was written on Tuesday morning, yet he did not arrive until Wednesday morning at three o'clock. It was further stated, that the nurse discovered the dreadful change in her royal highness by the difficulty manifested in swallowing her gruel, and that she was so alarmed by this appearance of spasm, that she immediately called the faculty out of their beds, as well as Prince Leopold. Another journalist stated a contrary case. But we know that, [282]although some beverage was administered to the princess, it was NOT GRUEL; for her royal highness had a great aversion to gruel, and could never be prevailed on to take it. Soon after her royal highness took the liquid, she was afflicted in a most unusual way, though only for a short time. The low state of muscular strength, to which the princess had gradually been reduced, certainly required greater nourishment than was given to her; and in this professional treatment, therefore, the accoucheur acted unwisely as well as unskilfully, to say the least of it. That most eminent practitioner, Dr. Thynne, made it an invariable rule, after a protracted birth, to revive the mother, by giving a tea-spoonful of egg, beat up with wine, from time to time. The symptoms of not being able to swallow, and the convulsive action of the body, were plainly indicative of a dying patient; but the real cause of the patient's dying was then a mystery, except to two or three individuals.

The public journals of the day called loudly upon the gentlemen who attended the Princess Charlotte, as her accoucheurs, to give all facility for an investigation of their whole mode of treatment, adding, that "if they be conscious that they have acquitted themselves well, they will have no objection to an investigation of their conduct, and cannot consider themselves placed in a worse situation than the captain of a king's ship, who, in the event of the loss of his vessel, is obliged to undergo a trial by court martial." To this and similar appeals, the ministers promptly [283]replied, "that it was impossible, after the prince regent had been pleased to express his approbation and award his thanks, as it would seem to reflect upon the prince, who alone was endowed with the sovereign power to act in the case." This royal cant-phraseology, however, failed to lull suspicion; for the attending circumstances were of a nature too horrible to be buried in oblivion! If all had been correct, why refuse inquiry, particularly when it was solicited by nine-tenths of the nation?

The queen left Bath on Saturday, the 8th of November, and arrived at Windsor in the evening. The next day, the prince regent went from Carlton House to Windsor to see the queen; but the privacy of the visit did not permit it to be of long duration. We are able to give the particulars of this interview.

Her majesty's mind had been disturbed by the receipt of a letter, from a medical gentleman, upon the subject of the untimely death of the Princess Charlotte. No time was to be lost. The prince was requested immediately to see his royal mother; and, on his arrival, her majesty presented him with the letter, the contents of which proved, beyond doubt, that the writer had been an eye-witness to some particular events connected with the dissolution of the much-lamented and tenderly-beloved princess.

The letter commenced with the most respectful dedication to royalty, and prayed for an extra extension of candour and patience by her majesty, while the facts of which it was composed were examined and duly considered. The writer then proceeded,—"I [284]am perfectly satisfied your majesty could not be personally aware of the case, because of the distance your majesty then was from Claremont; but I submit it to your majesty's good feeling and judgment, if the particulars attendant upon this most lamentable loss ought not immediately to be most strictly inquired into. Refusal to do this, or to permit it being done, will only aggravate the matter, instead of setting the question at rest for ever. The public well know that all was not as it ought to have been,—that something had been neglected or imprudently attempted, that ought to have received a widely-different attention. As a proof that I do not intrude my remarks and remonstrances improperly, or without information upon the nicest points of the case, I will give reasons for my dissatisfaction. From the first moment Sir Richard Croft was placed in attendance upon her royal highness, there was no reason to anticipate or fear any unhappy results. The natural appearances were unequivocally satisfactory. Previous to the delivery, the infant was not supposed to be dead. It was quite unnecessary and unnatural to inform the princess that the child was still-born; such a communication is very seldom made to any female at such a moment. Camphor julaps are very seldom administered to a healthy patient, or where the stomach is sound, immediately after delivery, as the effect would generally be to produce irritation, sickness, and convulsion. Dr. Croft ought not to have retired to bed, presuming that her royal highness was so indisposed as to cause her incessant moaning, [285]which was really the case. More than this, your majesty, about noon of the Wednesday, Dr. Croft said, 'I believe the princess might very quickly be delivered by having recourse to an operation; but I dare not perform it without the presence and sanction of her royal father, the prince regent.' I hope (continued the writer) that your majesty will see this plain statement in its own character, and that you will save all future disclosures of an unpleasant nature, by your timely recommendation of the subject to the prince regent, your son. Your majesty may believe I am induced by vindictive motives to offer these remarks; but that would prove an incorrect opinion; and unless your majesty causes a very prompt inquiry to be permitted upon the facts of this case, I fear yourself and family will finally have cause to regret the delay."

The prince was much displeased that any subject should have dared to take such a liberty as to speak or write an unpleasant TRUTH to any of his noble family,—more especially to the queen. It was an unpardonable transgression; yet, as the gentleman had given his name and address, it was a very delicate affair. The queen had so often witnessed the prostration of the multitudes of fashion's votaries, that she imagined much might be accomplished by commanding an interview, and subduing the voice of inquiry and truth by the splendour of pageantry, and the intoxicating smile of royalty. By her majesty's command, therefore, an interview took place. With her general air of confidence, the queen said, "I [286]presume, Sir, you are the author of this letter?" "I am, please your majesty." "And what," said the queen, "am I to understand from such an unaccountable appeal to me and my family?" "I beg your majesty's pardon personally, as well as previously by letter, but I deemed it my duty to inform your majesty of my information upon the subject in question, and I am very sorry if your majesty does not think it necessary to have the most prudent means used to satisfy the public inquiry." The queen was very gracious, and smiling, said, "I will name your good intentions to the prince regent, and I will not forget them myself; but I can satisfy you, that your opinions upon the subject of your communication to me are incorrect." The gentleman rose, and was about to retire; but the queen had not attained her object. Her majesty, therefore, hastily said, "I trust you are convinced of the impropriety of your former opinions?" "No, please your majesty, I never can change my opinions upon this subject until I lose my principles, and I trust sincerely that I shall never endure such an humiliation while I retain my reason. But," added the gentleman, "your majesty must be well assured that I am acquainted with the greater portion of your family; yea, very intimately acquainted, not indecorously so, but in the discharge of my professional engagements. Your majesty well knows that I saw the lamented Princess Charlotte just before the unhappy event, and also am not ignorant of the constitution of your majesty's daughters. I therefore am bold to assert, that the death of her [287]royal highness was not, and is not to be, naturally accounted for! It is true, that I am not known to the world in the capacity of accoucheur to your family; but your majesty knows, I have been your trusty and confidential servant upon more occasions than one; and I am now resolved to relinquish the royal favour, if it must be purchased at such an unknown expense."

The queen retired, and so did the heart-stricken gentleman; but their ruminations and consequent determinations were very dissimilar. Her majesty was endeavouring to evade explanation; the gentleman, meditating upon the most prudent plan for adoption to put a period to the agitated feelings of the public.

The reader may imagine that this professional person had been previously selected to render his services to some members of this illustrious family, which was actually the case. He had travelled more than twenty miles in the royal carriage, and had performed the most delicate offices. He knew royalty was not exempt from frailty, and that rank did not preserve its possessors from the commission of crime. Denial of this would prove abortive, for the gentleman LIVES, and would, if called upon, assert the same even at the expense of life. He does not fear the interdiction of a crowned head! neither would he shrink under "a special commission." He wields the two-edged sword of truth, and therefore defies the strong arm of power. He has seen enough of the wily snares of courtiers, and has retired from the [288]unhallowed association with feelings of disgust, contempt, and detestation. The adulation of the parasites of royalty is odious to his ear; and, to save the increasing stings of an offended conscience, he is now publicly explicit upon this hateful subject. Despising secrecy and infamy, he openly avows enmity to such characters as are leagued against the peace and happiness of society; and their intentions to perpetuate their unjust, partial, and devastating system, must be checked by the information of those persons who are privy to the cause, as well as to the effects, of their overgrown power.

The day after this unpleasant interview, the queen paid a visit to the king; and, as nearly two months had elapsed since her majesty visited her husband, it was productive of great anxiety on the part of the royal sufferer. The daily papers stated that "his majesty was much improved, and very tranquil, in consequence of the queen having paid him a visit." Does not this neglect of the poor afflicted king reflect disgrace upon her majesty? The wife who forgets her duty to the man she has espoused is undeserving the respect of society. Who was Queen Charlotte, that the eyes of the public should be blinded, or their tongues mute, upon this apathy and unfeeling demeanour to the king, her husband, who had raised her from comparative poverty to affluence and greatness? Had similar inattention been manifested by the wife of a peasant, her neighbour's reproach would not have been wanting; but every one seemed afraid of impugning the character of [289]a queen, so celebrated for amiability and virtue! A few days after the interment of the Princess Charlotte and her infant, the queen again went off for the city of Bath! and we assert, without fear of contradiction, that her majesty's eye was never observed to be dim upon this most melancholy occasion. Let the world judge if such unfeeling deportment agreed with her majesty's reported sorrow.

On the 19th of November, the Princess Charlotte and her infant were consigned to the tomb. The Dukes of York and Clarence were supporters to the chief mourner, Prince Leopold; and, after the ostentatious parade of funeral pomp, they retired without much appearance of sorrow. It was said that a king, or prince invested with royal power, could not attend the ceremony, or join in the cavalcade of a funeral. The regent, therefore, was not present at the closing scene of his child's hard destiny. But royalty has many privileges; distinct from the common herd of mankind. It must not, for instance, reside in the same habitation with a corpse, lest its delicately-refined nerves should sustain injury, or be excited to an extreme point of agony!

The body of the unfortunate Charlotte was reported to have been embalmed, but the heart only was extracted; THE INTESTINES WERE NOT REMOVED! This was an unprecedented circumstance, as upon all former occasions this barbarous custom had been permitted. The surgeon who accompanied Prince Leopold from Germany was solicited to say why this form had been omitted; and his suspicious reply [290]was, "Neither now, nor at any future time, shall any power on earth induce me to speak one word upon the subject." He was then requested to give into the hand of Prince Leopold a sealed letter upon the subject; this he also positively refused to do, adding, at the same time, "the prince would not receive it." Very shortly afterwards, a letter was conveyed into the prince's hand, offering "to communicate certain facts relative to the demise of the late princess, his consort, if he pleased to express his willingness to receive the same." His serene highness never paid attention to that letter.

It was said, at the time of her royal highness' death, that Prince Leopold was so angry with the nurse (Mrs. Griffiths) that he turned her out of the house, without permitting her to stay to attend the funeral. One thing, however, is certain, that she has several sons in different public offices. To one of these, her favourite, she said, (when labouring under the effects of a dreadful illness she had shortly after the princess' death) "I have never kept but one HORRID SECRET from you, which has always weighed upon my mind; but I cannot communicate it, unless I am sure of death the next minute!"

This Mrs. Griffiths certainly knows more about the death of her late royal mistress than she has yet thought proper to communicate; though, in one of her moments of compunction, she confessed to a friend of our's, that the Princess Charlotte had actually been POISONED, and related the way in which she found it out. Mrs. Griffiths stated, that, "after [291]giving her royal highness some BROTH (not gruel) she became dreadfully convulsed; and, being struck with the peculiarity of the circumstance, she examined the cup from which her royal highness had drank. To her astonishment, she there perceived a dark red sediment, upon tasting which, HER TONGUE BECAME BLISTERED!!!" Mrs. Griffiths immediately asked Dr. Croft what he had administered to the princess; but she received no satisfactory answer. A few hours after this, however, the doctor said sufficient to prove that the princess had been MURDERED! As Mrs. Griffiths is now alive, we challenge her to deny this statement, if incorrect.

The lamented princess was treated most cruelly by all around her, and one of the higher household asserted, that he believed her royal highness was left "two hours in the agonies of death, without any person going near her!" Mrs. Lewis, her waiting woman, has denied this statement; but it is well known, that Mrs. Lewis was placed as a spy about her royal highness even from her infancy.

The last time the prince regent was at Claremont, not long before the princess' confinement, a most respectable gentleman heard him say, "A child of the Princess Charlotte shall never sit upon the throne." Did not this speak volumes as to her intended destruction? Surely no one can doubt, after these disclosures, that the Princess Charlotte fell a victim to a vile conspiracy.

The murder of the Princess Charlotte proved the signal for letting loose the hounds of destruction [292]upon her heart-broken mother. On the morning of the second day after her majesty's return to Bath, a lady had a private audience with her. The object of the interview was, to offer the services of her husband (an officer in the navy) in the impeachment and intended destruction of the honour of the Princess of Wales. "What situation does the person occupy?" said the queen. "He is a lieutenant, please your majesty." "What would be deemed a sufficient recompense for his attentions?" said her majesty. "Your majesty's good opinion is all my husband aspires to," said the lady; and, after a few unmeaning expressions of civility, she retired. Lord Liverpool was consulted, and gave his opinion that the person in question could not be implicitly relied on; and a messenger was therefore sent to the gentleman, according to the address left by his wife, declining the offered service; and stating that "her majesty had no unkind or ungenerous feelings towards the Princess of Wales, and had quite misunderstood the offer, having supposed it to be made under very opposite circumstances." The lady was recommended to the queen's notice by Lord Castlereagh, though doubts were entertained whether the lieutenant might be trusted, as he was believed to be anti-ministerial.

We here relate another fact, relative to the Princess of Wales' persecutors:—A certain personage sought for an interview with an individual whom we will disguise under the name of Captain Rock. "Well," said his royal highness to the captain, "I [293]wish to engage your services; you are well acquainted with Italy; we expect the Princess of Wales will be at Pisa in about three months, and as you have served us before, we suppose you will have no objection to do so again; you shall not want for cash." The offer was accepted, and his royal highness wrote this offer upon paper, and a sum was advanced on the evening of the same day. This mean slave of power departed; but, before following the instructions of his royal employer, went off to London, and communicated to Lord Castlereagh his mission, requiring five hundred pounds more, declaring the written promise should strictly be enforced, as he had been a loser by his former services. The amount demanded was given. "I assure you, my lord," said the captain, "I will execute my commission well; but I must also be paid well." Lord Castlereagh assented, and this unmanly spy took his leave of England to wait the expected arrival of the princess at Pisa.

These proceedings against her royal highness soon manifested themselves in a commission being appointed at Milan; and rumours were circulated in this country that her conduct was at variance with propriety.

Mr. Leech, a Chancery barrister of some eminence, and who was subsequently elevated to the situation of Vice-Chancellor, and is now Master of the Rolls; Mr. Cook, also a barrister, and a writer of great eminence on the subject of bankruptcy; Mr. Powell, a gentleman of private fortune and [294]connected with the court; a Colonel Brown, the impropriety of whose conduct met with general disapprobation; and Lord Stewart, the cowardly lordling who had repeatedly vilified the character of the princess, and had even personally insulted her, were selected as the individuals proper to conduct an inquiry into the character and conduct of her royal highness, during her residence on the Continent. To Milan they repaired. A person by the name of Vimercati was selected as the Italian agent. Colonel Brown was stationed to assist him. Salaries were of course attached to their respective offices, and each individual had his post assigned him. Vimercati was invested with the greater part of the management of this affair, and the nature of his conduct and proceedings cannot but excite mingled feelings of surprise and horror.

By this commission, witnesses were first obtained, then examined, and re-examined; exorbitant prices were offered to them for their testimony, and threats were made to those who shewed, or pretended to shew, any dislike subsequently to appear to verify their statements. Rastelli, afterwards a witness, was employed as courier, and to him was delegated the all-powerful argument of a long purse. Dumont, while in the hands of this commission, carried on a correspondence with her sister, (who was still in the queen's service) through the medium of Baron D'Ompteda, (the villain we mentioned a few pages back) for the purpose of obtaining information from her majesty's servants. And Omati was paid by [295]D'Ompteda for stealing papers, for the use of the commission, from his master, who was her majesty's professional agent at Milan. These are facts proved by witnesses whose characters are irreproachable, and whose evidence is as well written as parole.

The year

1818

was a dark and troubled period,—a period of great private distress,—so that the minds of men were bent with more acerbity than usual upon the redress of public grievances. The country, borne down by debt, harassed by taxation, which had no longer for its excuse a monopoly of commerce, looked naturally enough to the source from which these calamities had flowed. They found the theory and the practice of the constitution at variance, and hearing they had a right to be taxed by their representatives, they thought it hard and unjust that over the great majority of those who taxed them they had no controul. Retrenchment and economy were what they required. They considered parliamentary reform would be the means of producing economy and retrenchment. Public meetings in favour of parliamentary reform were, therefore, held, resolutions in favour of it passed, and petitions in favour of it presented to the two houses of parliament; the energies of a free people were roused, and great excitement prevailed. When a country is thus agitated, a minister must resist with vigour, or yield [296]with grace. Unjust and violent demands should be met with resistance; but sober and legitimate requests, with concession. When weakly opposed, they are obtained by immediate violence; successfully refused, they are put off for a day, or postponed for a week or a year; but they are not got rid of. Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Canning, however, were vain enough to think otherwise.

Parliament was opened by commission in January. The speech referred to the continued indisposition of his majesty, and the death of the Princess Charlotte; but without promising an inquiry into the cause of her untimely end! An address was voted in the Commons' House, according to custom, though Sir Samuel Romilly was not wanting in his expressions of severe opposition to the course ministers were pursuing. He stated, "that the despotic conduct of the ministry had produced in the minds of the people a determination to withstand any further infringement upon their rights and privileges."

Totally regardless of the sufferings of an over-burdened people, however, and during the very heavy and calamitous sorrows of the middle and lower classes, the chancellor of the Exchequer had the effrontery to move "that one million of money be raised for the purpose of supplying the deficiency of places of worship belonging to the establishment, by building new churches and chapels of ease, where the increase of population rendered it needful." How applicable are the words of Tartuffe to the advocates of this measure! "With one [297]hand, I have encouraged spies, suborned perjury, and committed murders; and with the other, built churches,—but not with my own money!" The bill passed, and an extra "plume of worldly-mindedness" was consequently placed in the cap of hypocrisy! Oh! that the pure religion of our Saviour should be thus perverted! His kingdom was not of this world, neither did he luxuriate in the "good things" of the earth. Did he wear lawn sleeves and a mitre? Did he loll in gaudy carriages, and look down with supercilious contempt on his poorer brethren? Did he require theatres for his churches, or perfumed divines to preach his gospel? Did he interfere with political matters, and exert his energies to enslave the people? We leave these questions to be answered by those locusts of the land, commonly called bishops of the established church; at the same time we call upon them to reflect, whether, if hereafter they should feel inclined to recall the opportunity of conciliating the respect of the country, they will not have the misfortune of finding it much too late!

If our readers were to look over the singular parliamentary proceedings at this gloomy period of our history, they would be forcibly struck with the littleness, servility, and the utter want of intellectual calibre, so fully set forth in the characters of those who conducted the solemn mockery of legislation. The most unjust and arbitrary laws were put in force, and the public money allowed to be squandered, without the least inquiry. As a proof of this last remark, we need only mention the fact of ninety [298]thousand pounds being voted for the department of the "Master of the Horse," who kept thirty saddle and twenty-eight carriage horses for the use of his majesty, yet the king had never been out of the castle for more than seven years! This disgraceful squandering of money was carried on, too, when honest citizens and affectionate fathers were incapable of providing bread for themselves and families! Indeed, Lord Liverpool seemed resolved to push the country to its utmost verge, by proposing and sanctioning every expensive outlay. He was, with Lords Castlereagh and Sidmouth, the author of many plans to perplex, impoverish, and subdue the people, in which plans the bishops most zealously assisted. Every contrivance that had the sanction of the queen was sure to be well-managed, till Justice herself was set at open defiance.

Our readers will recollect our former statements respecting the Princess Charlotte, and we think the circumstance we are now about to relate will not operate against the proofs we have adduced concerning her untimely end.

Dr. Sir Richard Croft, the accoucheur of that lamented princess, had been engaged to attend the lady of the Rev. Dr. Thackeray, at her house, 86, Wimpole-street, Cavendish-square. Sir Richard went there on Monday, the 9th of February, and remained in attendance until Thursday morning, at eleven o'clock, when, finding his continued presence unnecessary, he went out for a short time to fulfil his other engagements. An apartment on the floor [299]above that occupied by Mrs. Thackeray was appointed for the residence of Sir Richard. In this chamber, there were two pistols belonging to Dr. Thackeray, hanging within the reach of Dr. Croft. Sir Richard retired to bed at half-past twelve, and about one, Dr. Thackeray heard a noise, apparently proceeding from the room occupied by Dr. Croft, and sent a female servant to ascertain the cause; she returned, saying, "the doctor is in bed, and I conceive him to be asleep." A short time after, a similar noise was heard, and the servant was sent again. She rapped at the door, but received no answer. This circumstance created alarm; in consequence of which, the door of his apartment was broken open. Here an awful spectacle presented itself. The body of Sir Richard was lying on the bed, shockingly mangled, his hands extended over his breast, and a pistol in each hand. One of the pistols had been loaded with slugs, the other with ball. Both were discharged, and the head of the unfortunate gentleman was literally blown to pieces.

On the inquest, Doctors Latham and Baillie, and Mr. Finch, proved that the deceased had, since the death of the Princess Charlotte, laboured under mental distress. He had frequently been heard to say, that "this lamentable occurrence weighs heavily on my mind, and I shall never get over it." Mr. Finch said, he was well aware that the deceased had been labouring under derangement of intellect for a considerable time past; and he should not have reposed confidence or trust in him on any [300]occasion since the lamented catastrophe alluded to. The jury returned a verdict, "that the deceased destroyed himself while in a fit of temporary derangement."

During the inquest, the newspaper reporters were denied admission, which circumstance gave rise to various rumours of a suspicious tendency. This was certainly an unconstitutional act; but we will, as honest historians, speak candidly upon the subject. Delicacy to surviving friends must not prevent our detail of facts.

It will appear evident, then, that Sir Richard had not been perfectly sane since the ever-to-be-regretted fatal event at Claremont. Was it not therefore astonishing, that his professional as well as other friends, who were suspicious, if not fully aware, of the doctor's derangement, should have been silent upon this important point, and have allowed Sir Richard to continue in the exercise of his professional practice? Did they not, by such silence, contribute to the peril of females in the most trying moment of nature's sorrow? The disinterested reader will, doubtless, join us in our expressions of indignation at such wanton and cruel conduct.

The letter written to Sir Richard, by order of the prince, proves nothing but the folly of those who advised it. That letter was not calculated to remove any of those suspicions respecting the untimely death of the Princess Charlotte, which rolled like heavy clouds over the intelligent minds of the greater portion of the nation; neither was it likely to hush [301]the spirit of inquiry, because its details were evidently meant to prevent any special explanation. The Marquis of Hertford, chamberlain to the regent, well knew, at this period, how to estimate medicinal cause and effect!

Presuming my Lord Bloomfield to have been an actor in "the tragedy," we cannot help thinking that his reward was more than adequate to the services performed. His pension of twelve hundred pounds per annum was dated December, 1817. What extraordinary benefits had he rendered to this oppressed nation to merit such an income? We ought also to mention, that, after this period, we find his lordship named as "envoy and minister-plenipotentiary in Sweden," for which he received the annual sum of four thousand, nine hundred pounds, and, as colonel of artillery, one thousand and three pounds, making in all the enormous annual sum of seven thousand, one hundred, and three pounds!

These remarks are not intended to wound the feelings of private families; but are made with a view to urge a strict investigation into the cause of the Princess Charlotte's death. We are well aware that many great persons have reason to fear the result of such an inquiry, yet the injured ought to have justice administered, even at the "eleventh hour," if it cannot sooner be obtained. Many a murderer has been executed twenty, or even thirty, years after the commission of his crime!

Though at this time ministers had a parliament almost entirely devoted to their wishes, there were a [302]few members of it who vigorously opposed unjust measures, and they could not always carry their plans into execution. The amount solicited for the Duke of Clarence upon his intended marriage with the Princess of Saxe Meiningen is a proof of this; for, although the regent sent a message to the House to accomplish this object, it was at first refused, and the duke did not gain his point till a considerable time afterwards.

In this year, the Duke of Kent was united to a sister of Prince Leopold.

In September, while most requisite to her party, the queen was taken ill. Bulletin followed upon bulletin, and the disorder was reported to increase. Some of the public papers announced, that her majesty had expressed an ardent desire to witness a reconciliation between the Prince and Princess of Wales, as she imagined her dissolution was now near at hand. The report, however, was as false as it was unlikely; for, only a month before this period, spies had been despatched to obtain witnesses, of any description, against the honour of the princess, by which means her enemies hoped to accomplish their most ardent desires. Queen Charlotte's conscience was not of a penetrable nature as her bitter enmity to the Princess of Wales continued even to her death!

With her majesty, it had ever been an invariable maxim, that "might constitutes right;" but the reflections of her mind, while surveying the probability of a speedy dissolution, must have been of a [303]complexion too dreary to be faithfully pictured. She,—who had been the arbitress of the fates of nations, whose commands none dared dispute or disobey, and at whose frown numberless sycophants and dependents trembled,—was now about to face the dread enemy of mankind! The proud heart of Queen Charlotte must have been humbled at the thought of meeting HER Judge, who is said to be "no distinguisher of persons."

During her indisposition, the queen seemed much impressed with the idea that she should recover, and it was not till the 2nd of November that the physicians deemed it requisite to acquaint the queen of her danger. The intelligence was given in the most delicate manner possible; yet her majesty exhibited considerable alarm at the information. It was pressingly hinted by the princesses to their mother, that the sacrament ought to be administered; but the queen positively refused the "holy rite," saying, "It is of no use, as I am unable to take it." One of the princesses immediately said, "You do not mean to say that you murdered the Princess Charlotte?" "No," faintly answered the queen, "but I connived at it!" We pledge ourselves to the truth of this statement, however incredible it may appear to those who have considered Queen Charlotte as "a pattern to her sex." When the general servility of the press to royalty is taken into consideration, it is hardly to be wondered at that people are misinformed as to the real characters of kings and queens. Take the following false and [304]most inconsistent eulogium, copied from the "Atlas" newspaper, as an example of this time-serving violation of truth:

"Queen Charlotte's constant attendance on the king, and her GRIEF FOR THE LOSS OF HER GRAND-DAUGHTER, gained ground on her constitution; and her majesty expired at Kew, on the 17th of November, 1818. In all the relations of a wife and mother, the conduct of the queen had been EXEMPLARY. Pious, without bigotry; virtuous, but not austere; serious, yet capable of the most perfect enjoyment of innocent pleasure; unostentatious, economical, adorned with all domestic virtues, and not without the charities of human nature, the queen had lived respected, and she died full of years and honour, regretted by her subjects, and most by those who knew her best. If her talents were not shining, nor her virtues extraordinary, she never employed the first in faction, nor bartered the second for power. She was occasionally accused of political interference, by contemporary jealousy; but history will acquit her of the charge. She was a strict moralist, though her conduct to one part of her family (the heroic Caroline, we suppose) was perhaps more RIGOROUS than JUST. Her proudest drawing-room was the hearth of her home. Her brightest gems were her children, (heaven save the mark!) and her greatest ambition to set an example of MATRONLY VIRTUE and feminine dignity to the ladies of her adopted country!"

We should absolutely blush for the writer of this paragraph, did we think that he really meant his panegyric to be taken literally. For the sake of common honesty, however, we will not suppose he so intended it; he must be some severe critic who adopted this style as the keenest kind of wit, for

"Praise undeserved is satire in disguise!"

The august remains of this royal lady were, on the 2nd of December, deposited in the vault prepared for their reception, with all the parade [305]usual on such expensive occasions. We will not detain our readers by describing the funeral pomp, though we cannot avoid noticing that the body was not opened, but immediately enclosed in prepared wrappers, and very speedily deposited in the first coffin, which was a leaden one. Indeed, her majesty was not in a fit state to undergo the usual formalities of embalming, &c. Her body was literally a moving mass of corruption.

Let us now sum up the mortal train of evils which were so generously nourished "by the departed," for virtues she had none. The power of royalty may intimidate the irresolute, astonish the uninformed, or bribe the villain; but, as we do not claim affinity with either of these characters, we honestly avow, that her majesty did not deserve the title "of blessed memory." At the commencement of her alliance with the much-to-be-pitied George the Third, she took every advantage of his weakness, and actually directed the helm of government alone, which untoward circumstance England has abundant cause to remember!

The next brother to the king, (Edward) whom we have before mentioned, was most unexpectedly and unaccountably sent abroad, notwithstanding his being next in succession. His royal highness' marriage with a descendant of the Stuarts, though strictly legal, was never acknowledged by Queen Charlotte, and his only child, soon after its birth, was thrown upon the compassionate attention of strangers. As there is something so horrible relative to the death [306]of this amiable duke and duchess, and something so heartless and cruel in the treatment to which their only son has been subjected, we are induced, for the sake of truth and justice, to lay a brief statement of the matter before our readers.


Historians have either been treacherous or ignorant of the circumstances connected with the case of this Duke of York, who was the second son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and next brother of George the Third. Most writers have represented "that he died in consequence of a malignant fever," as we have before mentioned; but one historian ventured to assert that "Edward, Duke of York, was ASSASSINATED in September, 1767, near Monaco, in Italy!" This statement, we are sorry to say, is but too true, which caused the book containing it to be bought up at an immense expense. The unhappy widow of his royal highness was then far advanced in pregnancy, and very shortly after this melancholy, and (to her) irreparable loss, she came over to England, and took up her residence at Haverford West, in South Wales. At this place, her royal highness gave birth to a son, whose baptism was duly entered in the register of St. Thomas' parish. What afterwards became of this illustrious lady, however, is not known; but her infant was, shortly after its birth, conveyed to London, and placed, by George the Third, under the immediate care and protection of a tradesman and his wife, by whom he was represented to be their own son. This tradesman, [307]although only twenty-seven years of age, enjoyed the particular confidence of his majesty, and has been known to walk with the king by the hour, in the gardens adjoining Buckingham House, conversing with all the familiarity of an old acquaintance or an especial friend, and who at all times could command an interview with his majesty, or with the ministers. When about twelve years old, this ill-fated offspring of the duke was placed at Eton, upon which occasion his majesty took especial notice of the youth, and was in the habit of conversing very freely with him. He had not been long at Eton when his majesty allowed him to go with his reputed father to see the hounds throw off at Taplow Heath; a chaise was ordered for this purpose, and they arrived just before the deer were let out. Upon their alighting, the king rode up to them, and expressed his very great satisfaction at the appearance of the youth; and, after asking many questions relative to the arrangements made for him at school, said, "Well, my little fellow, do you be a good boy, and you shall never want friends. Good bye, good bye; the deer will soon be out!" His majesty then rode back to his attendants. Whenever George the Third passed through Eton, it was his invariable practice either to speak to, or inquire after, this youth, in whose welfare he ever appeared deeply interested. From Eton, he was removed to college; and after this period, vexations of an unpleasant nature were experienced by this orphan: his income was too limited, and unkindness and illiberality were too [308]frequently his portion; even during severe indisposition, he was permitted to languish without being supplied with sufficient means to procure the needful restoratives. His life now became little else than one continued scene of unhappiness; his associates at the university were well acquainted with these facts, and appeared deeply interested in his welfare, regretting that the mind and talent of such an amiable and promising youth should be enervated by the severity or inattention of his connexions. But as he had been severely rebuked for making a complaint, and offering a remonstrance, he resolved to suffer in "silent sorrow," much to the injury of his mental enjoyments. During a vacation, and previous to his removal from college, a dispute arose amongst the members of his reputed father's family upon the subject of religion. The debate at length assumed a formidable appearance, and bigotry plainly supplied the place of sound reasoning. The family separated in the evening, each displeased with the other, and all, except one individual, at issue with the royal protégé. Early in the ensuing morning, this dissentient member of the family requested the favour of an interview with the illustrious youth, and remarked, that the occurrence was not a matter of surprise, as the very peculiar circumstances connected with the reputed father of the young gentleman were of a most serious description. "To what do you allude?" said the youth. "You ought to know," answered this honourable friend, "that you have no right to submit to insult here. You are the highest [309]person in this house, and are, by your rank, entitled to the greatest respect from every one. Your pretended father forgets his duty and his engagements, when he permits you to be treated with disrespect; and if his majesty knew these circumstances, your abode would soon be changed; and your profession would be abandoned. The king never would allow an indignity to be offered to you in any way, much less by the person into whose care he has so confidingly entrusted you." "What!" said the young prince, "am I not the son of Mr. ******? but, if I am, why should his majesty take so much interest in my case?" "No," answered his informant, "you are not the son of Mr. ******. But ask no more; my life might probably pay for my explanation!" From this period, the subject of our memoir was treated with the greatest unkindness and personal indignity by almost every member of his reputed father's family. Indeed, the imperious behaviour of the elder branches was such as could not be passed over in silence; in consequence of which, the high-spirited and noble victim was sent back to college for the remainder of the vacation, with little more in his purse than would defray the expenses of the journey; but the command was peremptory! After remaining some time in utter destitution, the royal protégé wrote to request an early supply of cash, naming for what purposes. This appeal was considered as the effect of extravagance and profligacy, and, instead of being properly complied with, was answered with acrimony, every thing the reverse of [310]parental feeling. Under these heart-rending circumstances, did this ill-fated son of Prince Edward labour for nearly four years at the university,—not daring to make any further appeals to the austere, impatient, and arbitrary person, to whose care the king had so fully, though secretly, entrusted him. At length, however, a severe illness was the consequence; and censure, in no very measured terms, was heaped upon the unfeeling character who had so cruelly immolated a promising and worthy young gentleman, and who, he well knew, was of the most illustrious descent. Those who were acquainted with the particulars of the case were most incensed against such heartless conduct. Mr. ****** had undertaken the important charge of seeing this protégé able to realize the ardent wish of his majesty, either as a legal or clerical character, and thereby, in some degree, provided for. But, while his majesty's nephew was refused means to live respectably, and excluded from all youthful amusements, the real sons of his reputed father were allowed all the pleasures and enjoyments of life. At his final removal from college, this ill-treated prince represented to his unfeeling guardian that he should take greater pleasure in pursuing legal to clerical engagements; but his wishes in this, as in most other matters, were totally disregarded, and the church was destined, by arbitrary will, to be his profession. He, therefore, at the proper age, was compelled to take orders, and enter upon a profession he had not chosen. As the home of his reputed father was scarcely to be [311]endured, a curacy was eagerly accepted, and the son of the Duke of York, the nephew of George the Third, was transformed into "a clergyman of the church of England!!!" Here he toiled in an obscure village, scarcely receiving sufficient means to discharge the small demands required for his maintenance!

Shortly after this, the principal of the living died insolvent, and the little remuneration due to the curate could not be obtained. In this distressing state of affairs, the persecuted prince could obtain no settlement from his guardian; yet from comparative nothingness, this man was raised to affluence, and was then living in much style, keeping his carriage and horses, inhabiting a mansion of very superior description, and the whole of his family enjoying every superfluity of life. He, however, on whose sole account this sumptuous appearance was bestowed, was "eating the bread of Carefulness, and reposing upon the couch of Sorrow!" We need not enter more fully into the case of this unfortunate, but worthy, descendant of Prince Edward, than say, that, from the commencement of his studies to a very recent period, he has been the victim of Power! His sufferings and his sorrows have been too great for language to describe; and, but for the blessings of a fine constitution, he must have fallen under them. But, if he be called upon in a suitable manner, we doubt not that he has yet preserved to him sufficient of his natural courage, though in his [312]65th year, to make "False Accusation blush, and Tyranny tremble at Patience!"

We claim the attention of our readers while we offer PROOF that our assertions are founded upon the glorious principle of TRUTH. We have ourselves, to elucidate this matter, examined all the registers of the various parishes in Carnarvonshire and Carmarthenshire, and found every register complete from 1760, until we came to that of St. Thomas, Haverford West, at which place we could not find a single register before the year 1776. To substantiate this fact, we subjoin the following certificate of the parish clerk:

"Haverford West,

"Parish of St. Thomas.

"There are no registers in the possession of the present rector of the above parish, prior to the year 1776.

(Signed) "Joseph Lloyd Morgan,

"Parish Clerk."

"13th Sept., 1831."

Here, then, is a BLANK for which no apology can be received,—no obsequious profession of sorrow or regret can compensate. We presume to declare that if the parish registers throughout the whole of the United Kingdoms be investigated, a similar defect will not be found. We are, therefore, justified in supposing that this defect arose solely and entirely from concerted measures, to keep the subject of our [313]memoir from ever having it in his power to bring legal proof of his noble descent.

The time will probably arrive when we may be permitted to enter more fully into this atrocious business, and then we shall not spare the "Oppressors of Innocence," for truth is bold, and not always to be defied! It would have been better for such oppressors to have never seen the light than to have gained their wicked purposes by such an unmanly sacrifice of the rights of nature. Every individual ought to feel interested in the full and fair explanation of this chicanery; for if such misdeeds are suffered to remain unpunished, a safeguard is offered to future tyrants! Startling facts like these speak volumes, and any honest and upright member of the community will not need more than their simple avowal to rouse his indignation. Such encroachments on the rights of individuals call aloud for retributive justice, and we trust the call will not long be made in vain. Surely there is yet sufficient virtue left amongst us to prevent this once great nation from being sacrificed to the fluctuating interests or wayward prejudices of ministers, or even of a monarch! It is high time to shake off all lethargy! This, as well as many other subjects, which we have exposed,—deserve,—nay, DEMAND,—parliamentary investigation. Hitherto, some dreadful infatuation seems to have presided over the councils of this country. Insatiable ambition has caused all the horrors imposed upon the United Kingdoms, and has plunged a professedly free and great people [314]into debt and disgrace. Indolence now, therefore, is only comparable with the conduct of a prodigal, who has wasted his estate without reflection, and then has not the courage to examine his accounts; far be this from Britons!


From this digression, we return to the consideration of Queen Charlotte's character. The open and virtuous conduct of the Earl of Chatham, and his rebuffs from the queen in consequence thereof affords another proof of the domination which her majesty endeavoured to exercise over all advisers of the crown. The imbecility of the king, owing to circumstances formerly noticed by us, as well as the horrors of a ruinous war, must also be ascribed to the dictatorial conduct of Queen Charlotte. The unjustifiable hatred her majesty imbibed against the Princess of Wales, and the consequent unfeeling demeanour she exhibited to that victim, would of itself be sufficient to refute the praises of her minions, and stamp her name with everlasting infamy. But many other convincing proofs are upon record. Her majesty well knew that the country was bending under an enormous load of debt, which encumbered its inhabitants; she knew of their sufferings and complaints; but the appealing voices of reason and supplication were never deemed worthy of her attention. What traits of "matronly" goodness or natural affection did she exhibit for the Princess Charlotte, when advancing to the hour of her peril? And what proofs have we of "her grief for the loss [315]of her grand-daughter" so satirically ascribed, by the writer quoted a few pages back, to be one of the causes of her majesty's last illness? Alas! her majesty's abject, though horrible, confession on her death-bed, relative to this unfortunate princess, too fatally corroborated the infamy of her general conduct! We need not proceed farther with her majesty's character; this, this unnatural act is enough to chill the blood in the veins of every human being!

At this time, very little was said of the afflicted king; indeed the bulletins assumed such a sameness of expression, that the country thought there was not satisfactory evidence to prove the sovereign was really alive. His majesty's disorder did not require that close and solitary confinement so arbitrarily imposed upon him. If he had been a private gentleman, associated with an affectionate wife and dutiful children, would he not have frequently been persuaded to take an airing in an open carriage? But how infinitely superior were the facilities attendant upon the situation of the king than could possibly be possessed by any private gentleman! His majesty had long been languishing, and was, at the commencement of

 

1819,

insensible to all around him. Death was evidently making rapid strides, and yet the bulletins continued of the same general expression.

At this time, we had the honour of being personally [316]acquainted with one of the king's sons, whose integrity has ever been considered unimpeachable, both in his public and private character. The information we received relative to the KING'S DEATH came directly from his royal highness.

It will be remembered, that much doubt prevailed upon the reality of the king's existence, and numerous bets were entered into upon the subject by persons in the higher circles. Notwithstanding this, on the 25th of January, the Earl of Liverpool introduced a motion to the House of Lords for the purpose of nominating the Duke of York to the office of "guardian to the king," as, in consequence of the demise of her majesty, that trust had become vacant. Much altercation ensued. The duke's former delinquencies had not been forgotten, and the country was tired with the subjection they then endured from the IMPOSING privileges of royalty. But, in despite of all opposition and remonstrance, the care of the king's person was committed to the Duke of York, for which his royal highness had the unblushing effrontery to receive TEN THOUSAND POUNDS A YEAR FOR VISITING HIS DYING FATHER TWICE A WEEK!!! What an unprecedented example of avarice and undutifulness was here manifested by a son to his parent, who would have travelled the same distance any time to have gratified his passions! Oh, Shame! where is thy blush? Oh, Infamy, art thou not now detected? A few weeks after this motion had received the approbation of the agents of corruption, the long-afflicted and disappointed [317]George the Third DIED! but the event was carefully concealed from the public. Prayers were still read in churches for his recovery, though the bishops knew they were mocking heaven, by praying for the life of one who was already dead! Ye sticklers for upholding the present impious system of church government, what say ye to this? Could Infamy and Blasphemy go any farther? And yet those at the head of this system are still allowed to insult the country by proposing general fasts to people already starving, as well as impiously accusing the Almighty with spreading distress and pestilence over the land which they themselves have laid waste by their rapacity and worldly-mindedness! While the clergy were praying for the life of the deceased king to be preserved, the apartments formerly in the occupation of his majesty were kept in the same state as when the monarch was alive, and the royal body, after being embalmed, was placed in a leaden coffin of needful substance. Our royal informant went on to state, that these impositions were practised upon the public to give time for selecting proper persons to be despatched to Milan, or elsewhere, to gain intelligence what the Princess of Wales intended upon the demise of the king, as, in that event occurring, her royal highness would become queen consort.

Notwithstanding all this cunning and trickery, her royal highness was informed of the death of her father-in-law many months before it became publicly known. A junior branch of the royal family wrote [318]to her, "The king is now dead, but this event will not be made known to the nation till certain arrangements are made, on behalf of the prince regent, to degrade you; and either keep you abroad for the remainder of your life, void of your title as Queen of England, and with other restrictions, or to obtain witnesses, and, giving you the form of a trial, insult and destroy you!" Her royal highness, however, was precluded from acting upon this information by her correspondent, who enjoined her to the strictest secrecy till the event should be made known to her by the ministers of the crown.

In the mean time, every opportunity to suppress unpleasant inquiries or investigations upon subjects connected with royalty and the time-serving ministry were carefully embraced. That unparalleled junto, Liverpool, Castlereagh, Sidmouth, and others of the same profession, not forgetting our dear venerable Lord Eldon and the pious bishops, were well aware of George the Third's death, at the time it happened. They had, indeed, been expecting it for some time; yet these were the persons who assisted to deceive the public mind, and prevent the straightforward acknowledgment of TRUTH! The evidence we have adduced of this fact is so palpable and strong, that he who can resist its force must be strangely void of perception, or else have made a previous resolve not to suffer himself to be the subject of conviction.

In the early part of May, several persons were introduced at court, and received the royal smile, on [319]being appointed to investigate the private conduct of the Princess of Wales. Their purses were also amply supplied by the royal command, and if further sums were found needful, they received letters of credit upon the principal banking houses named in the route they had to take. If any person in the common ranks of life gives away that which is not his to give, he renders himself liable to transportation; but it is said, a "king can do no wrong!" The most disreputable of society were solicited to give information against the Princess of Wales, either with regard to any public or private intelligence they might have received; the most liberal offers were also made to remunerate the persons so inquired of. After an immense expense, information, though of a doubtful character, against the princess was obtained, ONLY BY PURCHASE; and various were the despatches sent over to this country, and answered by the ministerial plotters, who exerted all their energies to bring the business to a consummation.

During such disreputable transactions, the princess knew the real cause of all the attempts to insult and degrade her character; and she, therefore, without delay, advised with her legal friends what steps were most proper to take. Alas! the princess was doomed only to receive fresh insults; delay followed delay; excuses of the most palliative description were used, instead of sound advice and positive opinion, and it appeared as if every hand were raised against her! Indeed, the perplexed and mortifying situation of the princess was attended with such [320]dangerous consequences, that, had she not been a most courageous woman, and supported by her innocence, she must have sank under her fears. Driven into exile, abandoned by the ministry, deserted by her friends, through the bribery of her enemies, attacked by her nearest relations, the only resource she had left was in committing her person, her sceptre, her crown, and her honour, to the care of the representatives of the British people. For our own parts, we cannot forget that when she was accused before parliament on a former occasion, the whole nation was melted into tears, or inflamed with rage; and, except those princes and their minions, who should have felt for her the most, there was found but one heart, one will, and one voice, on the subject throughout the kingdoms! Nor can it have escaped the observation of our countrymen, that all those persons, originally employed in bringing to trial this illustrious and virtuous woman, have been munificently rewarded; while those who advocated her cause, and stood between her and the axe uplifted for her destruction, have experienced nothing but the blackest calumny and detraction.

Lord Moira, the author of the first investigation, was made Marquis of Hastings, and Governor-General of India. This individual, however, desired his right hand might be amputated immediately after his decease, as an expiatory judgment against himself, in having signed dishonourable deeds to injure the happiness of the princess. Conant, the poor Marlborough-street magistrate, who procured the attested [321]evidence for impeachment, was created Sir Nathaniel, with an increase of a thousand pounds a year, as chief of all the police offices. The Douglases were all either elevated to wealth, office, or rank. The Jerseys stood in the sunshine of the court; and the Rev. Mr. Bates, then editor of the "Herald," and her bitterest enemy, was created a baronet, and promoted high in the church! Such was the fortune of her accusers; but how different was that of her supporters!

In June, the Chancellor of the Exchequer submitted his plan of finance. It proved that the revenue was reduced eighteen millions, to meet which, extra loans were proposed to be raised and new taxes enforced. In doing this, the Speaker of the House of Commons, in the address to the regent, said, "In adopting this course, his majesty's faithful Commons do not conceal from themselves that they are calling upon the nation for a great exertion; but, well knowing that honour, character, and independence have at all times been the first and dearest objects of the hearts of Englishmen, we feel assured that there is no difficulty that the country would not encounter, and no pressure to which it would not cheerfully submit, to enable us to maintain pure and unimpaired that which has never yet been shaken or sullied,—our public credit, and our national good faith." Now let us ask the reason why an extra immense burden of taxation was to be levied upon the people. The queen was acknowledged to be dead, and certainly could not be chargeable to the [322]nation by her personal expenditure or allowance. The king was also dead, though his income was received as usual! as well as the Duke of York's ten thousand pounds for attending him!!! Royal and ministerial extravagance likewise caused the useless outlay of twenty thousand, five hundred pounds, for SNUFF-BOXES, besides twelve hundred guineas as presents to three German barons. The gift of an axe or a halter would have better accorded with the financial state of the empire!

The prince regent closed the session in person on the 13th of July; and, at the conclusion of his speech, adverted to the seditious spirit (what sensible man could feel surprised at it?) which was evident in the manufacturing districts, and avowed a firm determination to employ the powers provided by law for its suppression, instead of promising the people redress of grievances!

In Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, and Stockport, the meetings of the inhabitants now became very numerous, while all means were taken by the local authorities to provoke general confusion.

On the 16th of August, the MEMORABLE MEETING at Manchester took place, for the purpose of petitioning for a reform in the representation. The assembly consisted of from sixty to one hundred thousand persons, who conducted themselves in the most peaceable manner. The assembled multitude, however, were suddenly surprised by the arrival of the Manchester yeomanry cavalry; to which were afterwards added a regiment of the Cheshire yeomanry, [323]and a regiment of huzzars,—the outlets being occupied by other military detachments. The unarmed thousands were now driven one upon another, and many were killed and wounded, while others were ridden over by the horses. The number ascertained to have been killed were eight men, two women, and one child; but the wounded were about six hundred! How well the words of a celebrated author apply to this diabolical proceeding: "A kingdom for a stage, princes to act, and to behold the grand effect; but at their heels, leashed in like hounds, may not sword, famine, fire, crouch for employment?" Numerous imprisonments followed, and many poor families were consequently deprived of support.

Historians are at issue whether or not the riot act was read before the scene of carnage commenced, as it is unconstitutional to send a military force to act before so doing. We, however, confidently assert IT WAS NOT READ in the hearing of any of the populace, neither was it at all likely that the soldiers could have come so suddenly and unexpectedly upon the multitudes, unless by previous order and arrangement. Further than this, an hour ought to have transpired after such reading before a soldier or civil officer could be authorised to interfere in dispersing the meeting. As a proof of the corresponding features of this unexampled and murderous business, a letter was written by the pious Lord Sidmouth, in the name of the regent, to the Earl of Derby, presenting thanks for the vigorous and able conduct of the magistracy and military of Manchester on the [324]16th. Thus were the lives and liberties of the open-hearted population of these kingdoms allowed to be at the controul of an impotent and heartless statesman; for it appeared that the regent was not at hand to have given his assent to this unparalleled piece of barefaced audacity. Lord Sidmouth should have been more careful of dates, as the "royal dandy" was at that time taking a little pleasure near the Isle of Wight. But the following particulars will explain the systematic plan of this cold-blooded massacre:

Mr. H. N. Bell, before this period, was confidentially employed at the office of the secretary of state, in the capacity of genealogist, under the immediate controul of Lord Sidmouth. Some considerable period before the melancholy butchery, he was engaged to proceed to Manchester, in company with two other persons, for the avowed purpose of inflaming the public mind against the ministry. He went, and the result was as his patron and employer, Lord Sidmouth, desired it. Mr. Bell and his associates expressed to the people of Manchester, that they need not remain in their then starving condition, if, in an orderly and peaceable manner, they were to assemble on some convenient spot, and unanimously resolve to petition for a reform, so much needed, in the representation. These tools of the secretary of state told the famishing multitudes, that if they pleased to enjoy happiness and plenty, together with civil liberty, they had now an opportunity of accomplishing their most earnest wishes. Under their influence, clubs and unions were soon formed, [325]and public notices were ultimately given, that a general meeting would take place on the 16th of August.

These preliminary arrangements being completed, the soldiery had instructions to be ready. The result was as before stated; and Mr. Bell and his accomplices returned to London as soon as their object was attained. The Duke of York acted a prominent part in this plot, from his military facilities; but the besotted prince was persuaded to get out of the way until the affair should be concluded.

Mr. Bell proved very useful in the office of the secretary, and as he had once forfeited his own good opinion, by lending himself to the diabolical plot just mentioned, he made no further scruple, but became a passive engine, directed in his actions by the command of ministers and state empirics. Lord Sidmouth was dissatisfied with the Manchester business; he had hoped that many more might have been brought to suffer the extreme penalty of the law, thereby affording an awful example to deter others from daring to question the excellency of the government under which they lived, and the generous disposition of the governors. We are aware that some people attributed this affair to the magistracy; but they would not have dared to interfere in such a manner as they did, unless sanctioned and supported by the higher powers. The cause of a selfish, cruel, and despotic ministry, required the assistance of corresponding heartless servants, and they obtained it. Lord Castlereagh, however, threw out many insinuations [326]that the Manchester plot was a very bold and desperate undertaking; but the pious doctor "laid the flattering unction to his soul of its expediency," believing some such infamous procedure needful to rivet the iron sceptre of despotism. How well does the repentant language of a certain wicked king apply here!

"My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder!—
That cannot be, since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder!
*       *       *       *       *
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law!"

This has proved but too true, as well in the Manchester affair as in many other diabolical state proceedings. The little value, indeed, which the ministers of this period entertained for human life ought never to be pardoned. Property, if seized or lost, may be restored; or if not, man may enjoy a thousand delightful pleasures of existence without riches. The sun shines as warmly on the poor as on the rich; the gale of health breathes its balsam into the cottage casement on the heath no less sweetly and salubriously than in the portals of the palace. But can the lords of this world, who think so little of the lives of their inferiors in wealth, with all their boasted power, relume the light of the eye once dimmed by the shades of death? "Accursed despots!" as a talented author well observes, "shew the world your [327]authority for taking away that which ye never gave, and cannot give; for undoing the work of God, and extinguishing the lamp of life which was illuminated with a ray from heaven! Where is your CHARTER TO PRIVILEGE MURDER?" All the gold of Ophir, all the gems of Golconda, cannot buy a single life, nor pay for its loss,—it is above all price. Yet when we take a view of the proceedings of Lord Sidmouth's junto, we are led to believe any thing of more value than human life. Crimes which had very little moral evil, if any, and which, therefore, could not incur the vengeance of a just and merciful God, were unceremoniously punished with death by this minister. Men, for instance, were liable to be shot for meeting peaceably together and making speeches, though proceeding from the purest and most virtuous principles, from the most enlarged benevolence, from wisdom and unaffected patriotism; or for such speeches as might proceed from mere warmth of temper, neither intending nor accomplishing any mischief. Was not such the case in that horrible affair which we have just related? But despots are ever frightened at their own shadows; they tremble and become offended at the least alarm, and nothing but the blood of the accused can expiate the offence. It is, however, from such savage acts of barbarity that the Goddess of Liberty is aroused; it is from the tyranny of her jailors that she eventually makes a progress irresistible, and carries with her fires destined to consume the throne of every despot that cannot bear the light! Various motions have been made [328]since that accursed day to bring the surviving actors in the Manchester tragedy to condign punishment. Amongst the foremost in this laudable endeavour stands Mr. Hunt; but his efforts have hitherto proved unavailing. Although we disapprove of the general conduct of the member for Preston, the meed of praise ought not to be withheld from him for the admirable speech he delivered, relative to this subject, in March, 1832, as follows:

"Mr. Hunt said the grossest misrepresentations had been made in parliament respecting that occurrence; and he felt that it was a matter deeply to be regretted, that there was not in the House of Commons, at the time, some person who had witnessed the transaction, and who could put the House in possession of the real facts. There was a hope, however, that the present government would grant an inquiry for which he was about to apply, in conformity with the prayer of the petitions which he had just presented, and with the desire of his constituents. He proceeded to detail the circumstances under which the meeting of the Manchester reformers, at which he presided, took place. He described the horrible scene which ensued upon the dispersion of the meeting by an unprovoked and unresisted charge of the yeomanry cavalry. The House would have some notion of the violence and cruelty of the military from this fact, that when a number of men, women, and children had crowded into a small court, from which there was no thoroughfare, one of the yeomanry drove them out, whilst another struck at each of them with his sabre, as they came out. The number of persons killed on that day amounted to fifteen, while the maimed and wounded were no fewer than four hundred and twenty-four. It was true that it might be said that some of these did not suffer from the sabres of the yeomanry, but a very large proportion, he would take on himself to say, were wounded in that manner; and, at all events, it was quite certain, that no accident whatever would have occurred but for the outrageous attack that had been made on the peaceable multitude. Nor was it men alone that suffered. Women were cut down also. And were these men to be called soldiers? Was this their way of showing their high courage and their honour by cutting down [329]inoffensive females? He would ask any man of humanity in that House, whether such disgraceful acts ought to be passed by unnoticed and unpunished, merely because it could be said that twelve years had elapsed since the transaction had taken place? But another excuse that perhaps might be made was, that the meeting was an illegal one. In answer to that, however, he would take on himself to say, that in his opinion, and in the opinion of those who constituted the meeting, they were as legally, aye, and as meritoriously assembled, as that House was assembled; and for as useful a purpose. No one was insulted—no tumult took place—no symptoms of riot were evinced; and yet was it for a moment to be said, that in such a country as this, where there was a continual boast of the omnipotence of justice, such things were to be passed over without notice and without censure? He could assure the House, that if this inquiry was not granted, there would be thousands of hearts rankling dissatisfied and discontented, and which could never be set at ease till justice was awarded. The petitioners, in whose name he was speaking, recollected that Earl Grey, and many of his colleagues, expressed, at the time of this outrage, a desire for an investigation into the matter. And how was that inquiry then resisted? First, by the production of official documents, emanating from the guilty party themselves; and next, by allusion to the trial at York; and the cry that the courts of justice were open to those who had any complaint to make. But the courts of justice were not open; for the relations of those that were killed had gone to those courts of justice, and even there all retribution had been denied them in the most cruel and indifferent manner! Nor was this all. All sorts of calumnious statements were allowed to be made in the House of Commons as to the conduct of the mob, by paid spies of the government. The general presumption was, that it was the intention of the Manchester meeting, had it not been interrupted, to pass resolutions similar to those passed at Smithfield, declaratory that without a reform in parliament, taxes ought not to be paid; and he believed that that presumption was the main reason why he had been found guilty. But now, what an alteration had taken place! It was only the other day that 150,000 persons had met at Birmingham, and actually made a declaration to the same effect; and yet they were not cut down—the yeomanry had not been called out to act against them. This motion for a select committee had, in a manner, become absolutely necessary; for when he had moved for the correspondence that had taken place between Lord Sidmouth (then the secretary of state) and the lord lieutenant of the county, that correspondence had been [330]refused; and, therefore, he had no other course to pursue than to ask for a committee for general inquiry into the whole question. Some part of Lord Sidmouth's correspondence, however, was before the public; for he had in his hand that letter of his lordship's in which he, in the name of the prince regent, thanked the magistracy for the way in which they had acted—yes, actually thanked them for having directed the execution of these COLD-BLOODED MURDERS,—by which name he must call those deeds, and by which name they were ever designated in that part of the country where they had been committed. The consequence of this letter was, that the parties, so far from shrinking abashed as they ought, actually gloried in the share they had taken in the transaction; and, in particular, he might mention that an Irishman of the name of Meagher, who was the trumpeter on that occasion, had boasted, when he returned to Ireland, that he had in one day spilled more Saxon blood than had ever been spilled by any one of his countrymen before! The real truth of the matter was, in spite of the false colouring that interested parties had endeavoured to put on it, that the meeting at Manchester was neither more nor less than a reform meeting, that every thing was going on peaceably, that not even so much as a pane of glass was broken, and though the government took the trouble to send Messrs. Oliver and Castles among the people to corrupt them, they were not able to succeed in their virtuous endeavours. As to his own personal feeling on the subject, he was quite willing to remember that twelve years had elapsed, and in that recollection to drown the memory of all he had himself suffered in consequence of the transactions of that day. It was enough for him, when he recollected the object of that meeting, to see the noble lord introduce such a measure of reform as he had never expected to see any government in this country introduce; and which, though it did not go the length that he could have desired, fully admitted the allegation, that the present House of Commons was not chosen by the people,—the allegation on which he had all along built his own proposition of reform. This, he repeated, was quite enough to wipe away any personal resentment that he might ever have felt. But if not—if he still were vindictive—what revenge might he not find in the events that had since taken place! Who was the prime minister of that day? The Earl of Liverpool! And where was the Earl of Liverpool? Who were the principal officers of state of that day? Lord Sidmouth, Mr. Canning, and Lord Castlereagh! Of these, Lord Sidmouth alone remained; and where was Mr. Canning? Where Lord Castlereagh, and how did he go out of the world? A remarkable [331]fact it was, that two years afterwards, on the very anniversary of that fatal 16th of August, while he was lying in prison, the very first letter that he opened detailed to him the end of that minister. Who was the reigning prince of that day?—George the Fourth—where was he? They had all gone to answer for their deeds at a tribunal where no jury could be packed, where no evidence could be stifled, and where unerring justice would be meted out to them! To carry this further, if it needed it, he might mention that two of those very yeomanry committed suicide on the very anniversary of the 16th of August, and many were now to be seen walking about the streets of Manchester, objects of a horrid pity. He would not say that all this was a just judgment on these participators in the murders of Manchester: but one might almost fancy, that though a House of Commons could not be found to deal out impartial justice, there was still a wise Providence over all, which, by its interference, had taken care not to let the guilty escape; and, as a climax to the whole, he hoped to live to see the day when the noble lord who yet lived should be brought to the bar of justice for having sent Castles, and Edwards, and Oliver, as spies, for the purpose of instigating the peaceful people to revolt. Nor was this all. Other retribution had taken place; the government of that day and its friends had not only countenanced this destruction of the people for the sake of shewing their enmity to reform, but had actually undertaken a continental war with the same objects in view; and yet now those very persons saw a reform taking place in spite of themselves, and had even been condemned unsuccessfully to battle its progress night after night in that House. He would say this too, that if this committee of inquiry should be refused, and if he should live a few years longer, he did not doubt that he should see the day arrive when a much heavier retaliation, in another way, would take place. He himself desired no such thing; but was it in the character of human nature that persons who had been so deeply injured should sit down quiet and satisfied, when every thing in the shape of redress was denied them? But he trusted that the government would not refuse this motion for inquiry; should, however, such a refusal be given, he should feel it to be his duty to bring the question again and again before the country, as often as the forms of the House would allow. In making his proposition to the House, he had not provided himself with a seconder; but, after what had taken place, he would call on the noble Chancellor of the Exchequer to second the motion. The noble lord had, twelve years ago, pretty freely expressed his opinion as to the transaction; and, he presumed, that that opinion had not been [332]altered by the lapse of time. The laws of England and of every country had always been unanimous in expressing their abhorrence of the crime of murder; and it was because he charged those parties with being guilty of a deliberate and cold-blooded murder that he demanded an inquiry, in the name of justice and retribution."

We offer no apology for introducing this eloquent and manly appeal in behalf of long-delayed justice. The popularity or unpopularity of Mr. Hunt forms no consideration in our minds; nay, even if the Duke of Cumberland himself (much as we loathe his character!) had been its author, it should still have found a place in our volume. How the ministers could reconcile it with their duty, both to God and man, to refuse the inquiry, we are at a loss to determine, particularly as each of them formerly expressed a desire for it! It is really astonishing with what different eyes men see things when in office and when toiling to get in!

In the October of this year, the Princess of Wales removed to Marseilles, weary of the attempts to traduce and insult her character by hirelings from the English court. A friend of our's had the pleasure of enjoying her royal highness' confidence at this period, and, after her removal to Marseilles, the persecuted Caroline made the following observations: "What could I do, when I found such base attempts made to destroy my reputation by the most disreputable characters? I left Milan, and I have carefully preserved a journal of each day's history, which, upon perusal, will do much more than merely satisfy the nation, to which my heart so fondly clings." "I [333]wished," added the princess, "very ardently to have gone to England in the early part of this year, and I had resolved to do so; but my legal advisers prevented me, expressing their opinion that they should see me first." It is a fact that the interview with Mr. Brougham, so much desired in April, 1819, was not granted until a later period in 1820! Might not an earlier arrangement than this very probably have put the enemy to flight? The princess was not ignorant of the demise of the king, as we have before stated; and the source from which her royal highness received that information was too worthy of reliance to be doubted. Yet, being bound in honour to conceal the information and informant, both were kept in profound silence. It was generally supposed, however, that this event had taken place, because no man, afflicted as his majesty was said to be, could possibly exist for any lengthened period. But in the then art of governing, there were frequently many circumstances which were highly necessary to be concealed from the knowledge of the people. That precious trio, Sidmouth, Castlereagh, and Canning, environed the throne, and their dictatorial will was soon converted into law. Under their auspices, the already enormous standing army was still increased; while, like the tyrannical son of Philip, when he reprimanded Aristotle for publishing his discoveries, they whispered to their myrmidons, "Let us diffuse darkness round the land. Let the people be kept in a brutal state. Let their conduct, when assembled, be riotous and irrational as ignorance and our spies [334]can make it, that they may be brought into discredit, and deemed unfit for the management of their own affairs. Let power be rendered dangerous in their hands, that it may continue unmolested in our own. Let them not taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge, lest they become as wise as ourselves!" Such were the political sentiments of those at the head of affairs at this period;—how successfully they acted upon them is too well known.

The session opened in November, and never did ministers commit themselves more than by the speech then put into the mouth of the regent. It contained little else than vindictive sentiments, breathing vengeance on all who dared oppose the "powers that be," but seemed utterly forgetful of this good advice, "It is the sovereign's duty to ease with mercy's oil the sufferer's heart."

The infamous and notorious "Six Acts" were introduced this session by "the Oppressors," the principal object of which was to impose further restrictions on the freedom of the press. This plan was considered likely to be the most successful, as well as the most insidious, mode of abolishing the few liberties remaining to Englishmen. Ministers thus thought to leave the FORM of our dearest safeguard untouched, and so gradually annihilate its ESSENCE. The voracious worm eats out the kernel completely, while the husk continues fair to the eye, and apparently entire. The husbandman would crush the insect, if it commenced the attack on the external tegument; but it carries on the work of [335]destruction with efficacy and safety, while it corrodes the unseen fruit, and spares the outside shell. At this despotic period, the press was erected as a battery by the people to defend the almost vanquished citadel of their liberty; but, by these acts, Castlereagh, instead of attacking this citadel, opened the dams, locks, and flood-gates, so that the waters might secretly undermine its foundation, when he hoped to see it fall ingloriously into the hands of its enemies. While these base deeds were being accomplished, no thoughts were bestowed upon the people's wretchedness, which stood in dread array against ministerial imbecility. Indeed, the servile papers in the pay of government not only stoutly denied that such distress existed, but made the grossest attempts to impose on the public credulity. Let any one read such papers of the period we are speaking, if the employment be not too nauseous, and they will there see KNOWN FACTS, if they militated against the credit of the voluptuous regent, or his government, either DOUBTED or DENIED; uncertain victories extolled beyond all resemblance to truth; and defeats, in the highest degree disgraceful and injurious, artfully extenuated. Notwithstanding all this effrontery and falsehood, the "Six Acts" were still thought necessary to gag that which corruption and bribery could not render quite inefficient in the cause of truth. While contemplating such acts of tyranny, we are led to exclaim with Cato, when seeking out the little barren spot of Utica, "Wherever there is a regard for LIBERTY, JUSTICE, [336]and HUMANITY, there will we gladly take up our abode; for there we shall find a country and a home!"

The extraordinary events that occurred in the year

1820

are so closely interwoven with the weal and wo of the British people, that it may be considered as one of the most serious periods in English history.

On the 15th of January, the Duke of Kent became indisposed with a severe cold. On the 17th of the same month, it was reported, "that his royal highness' illness had assumed most alarming symptoms;" and Sir David Dundas went off expressly to Sidmouth to attend his royal highness. The duke's disorder increased, and at half-past one, P. M., January 23rd, this prince was deprived of his mortal existence, in the fifty-third year of his age. But a few days before, his royal highness was in good health, and in the prime of life! The public will one day be made acquainted with the particulars of the REAL CAUSE of his death. At present, we shall only observe, that his royal highness was too virtuous to be allowed to live long in a vicious court!

The public journals dwelt with much force upon the kind attentions and tender offices performed by the duchess, which, if true, were only what every good wife ought to have done. Who can be nearer to a wife than her husband? and what lady of feeling [337]and integrity would not blush to be negligent in the best services and the most unwearied attentions to the ordained partner of her life? Royalty, however, has so many and such peculiar privileges, that what is considered wonderous grace with them is merely thought common decency in the vulgar part of Adam's offspring.

About this time, the king's health was stated to be "very much on the decline," (hypocrisy!) and the journals announced "that George the Third expired without a struggle, on the 29th of January, in the eighty-second year of his age, and the sixtieth of his reign." But we have the gratification of setting history right in this particular. Of course, the letters and notices of this intelligence were immediately forwarded by the appointed messengers to the several foreign courts. It would be unnecessary for us here to offer any remark upon the character of George the Third, as we have previously noticed the origin of that unhappy disease which so lamentably afflicted him during the latter years of his truly unfortunate life. His majesty bequeathed a sum of money to each of his sons; but George the Fourth thought proper to withhold the Duke of Sussex's portion. This unjust act was the primary cause of the quarrel between these royal brothers, which lasted till the death of George the Fourth. But, as "kings can do no wrong," little was thought of his majesty's dishonesty. Monarchs are aware of their privileges, and have, therefore, in many instances, not scrupled to commit the most heinous crimes. His late [338]majesty was one of this kind, and yet he was called "His most gracious, religious, and benevolent majesty!" What a profanation of terms were these!

As a necessary preliminary to a new reign, George the Fourth was proclaimed in London on the 31st of the same month.

In February, a pretended mysterious political plot was publicly adverted to, by the name of "The Cato-street Conspiracy." It was said that information having been received at Bow-street, that a meeting of armed persons was to be held at a house in Cato-street, Mary-la-bonne, and, as the magistrates feared something serious would be the result, they forwarded a formidable body of their officers to the place. On the arrival of these persons, they found the number of men amounted to thirty, armed with guns, swords, daggers, and other weapons, and appeared ready to leave the place, which was a hayloft at the top of the house. The officers demanded an entrance, which was refused. Captain Fitzclarence then arrived, with a party of the guards, and a scene of much violence ensued. Some of the party were taken to Bow-street, which was lined with soldiers. The result proved serious to a police officer, named Smythers, who was stabbed in the affray, which produced his death; and it was sworn, that Arthur Thistlewood inflicted the wound.

This heart-rending tragedy was generally thought to have been produced by government spies; indeed, several newspapers stated as much at the time. We, however, KNOW such to have been the case, and [339]that the characters of "blood-hounds" were but too well performed. Our bosoms swell with indignation at the recollection of such monstrous plots against the lives and liberties of our countrymen, and we regret that the plotters did not fall into their own snares.

On the morning after this lamentable occurrence, a "Gazette Extraordinary" was issued, signed "Sidmouth," offering one thousand pounds for the detection of Arthur Thistlewood, who stood charged with the crime of high treason. The reward had the desired effect, as he was soon apprehended. Three of his companions were afterwards taken, and FIVE MARTYRS, in all, suffered as traitors on the 1st of May.

Let us not, in common with hirelings, talk of the "wisdom of ministers," and the "bravery of the guards," combined with the several loathsome execrations on artificers and agriculturists; but let us inquire, is there no resemblance to be observed between this conspiracy and the Manchester massacre? The intelligent reader will not find the similarity difficult to trace.

The queen's return to England being now expected, Mr. Canning resigned his place in the cabinet as president of the Board of Controul, and retired to the Continent. One of his biographers says, "His conduct on this occasion, according to universal consent, was marked by the most perfect correctness and delicacy of feeling." Perhaps it might be so considered by some people; but to us it does appear that a man of sound public principles, of high and [340]honourable private feelings, had no middle course to take at this juncture. Either the Queen of England was GUILTY, or she was the MOST PERSECUTED AND AGGRIEVED OF WOMEN. Will any one say that, in the first instance, it was the duty of a minister of high station to desert the painful, but responsible, situation in which he stood, from any feeling of esteem or attachment to an individual so unworthy? In the other case, if Queen Caroline, as almost every body believed, and as Mr. Brougham solemnly swore he believed, was INNOCENT, was there any circumstance or consideration upon earth,—the wreck of ambition, the loss of fortune, or the fear of even death itself,—which should have induced an English gentleman, a man of honour, a man who had the feelings of a man, to leave a FEMALE, whom he called "FRIEND," beneath the weight of so awful an oppression? To us, we must confess, Mr. Canning's conduct on this occasion appears one of the greatest blots we are acquainted with upon his public and private character, the almost unequivocal proof of a mind unused to the habit of taking sound and elevated views of the human action. Mr. Canning had, during a long career,—a career continued through nearly thirty years,—been the forward and unflinching opponent of popular principles and concessions. He had never once shrunk from abridging the liberties of the subject; he had never once shown trepidation at any extraordinary powers demanded by the crown. With his arms folded, and his looks erect, he had sanctioned, without scruple, [341]the severest laws against the press; he had advocated the arbitrary imprisonment of the free citizen; he had eulogized the forcible repression of public meetings; and he had constantly declared himself the determined enemy of parliamentary reform. The only subject on which he professed liberal opinions (the Catholic question) was precisely that subject to which the great bulk of the community was indisposed. Such had been the career, such was the character, of Mr. Canning up to the time of his cowardly desertion of the injured Caroline, Queen of England!

Her majesty was now daily expected to land upon our shores; and powerful as was the arm of tyranny, her arrival was much feared by her husband and his ministers.

We have before mentioned that the queen desired several times, most particularly, to see Mr. Brougham. It is true that various places for meeting had been appointed; but some apology or other was invariably made by the learned gentleman. Her majesty finally wrote that she should be at St. Omers on a certain day, on her way to England, in the metropolis of which she was resolved to arrive as soon as possible. Her majesty had previously appointed Mr. Brougham her attorney-general, desiring he would choose a solicitor to act with him, and he named Mr. Denman. One excuse for not attending to his appointment with the queen, Mr. Brougham ascribed to his electioneering business in Westmoreland; and another was, Mrs. Brougham's being in a [342]situation too delicate for him to leave her. Such excuses ought not to have prevented Mr. Brougham's giving his attention to the important business of the queen; indeed, he was once within four leagues of her majesty's abode, with a CERTAIN LETTER in his pocket from the highest authorities; but Mr. Brougham did not venture to lay it before the queen, nor did he seek for an interview. The commission thus entrusted to this learned gentleman was the same which Lord Hutchinson undertook some time afterwards.

The queen felt very indignant at Mr. Brougham's so repeatedly declining his engagements, and wrote to Lord Liverpool to request his lordship would send a frigate to convey her to England. Fearing, however, that this might be against the state projects then in contemplation, the queen, by the same post, wrote to her former friend and lady in waiting, Lady Anne Hamilton, to repair to her immediately at St. Omers, and attend her in her former capacity; and also, to Alderman Wood, that if Lord Liverpool refused or delayed to send a frigate, the Alderman would hire a vessel for the purpose of bringing her to this country immediately.

Little time was lost in obeying these commands of the Queen of England. In the mean time, Mr. Brougham wrote to her majesty, requesting leave to meet her at Calais; to which the queen replied, she should choose to see him at the inn at St. Omers. Shortly after the arrival of her majesty's lady in waiting and the alderman, Mr. Brougham was [343]announced, and informed her majesty that he was accompanied by Lord Hutchinson, (now Lord Donoughmore) the KING'S PARTICULAR FRIEND, who was the bearer of a message to her majesty from the king, and asked leave when he might have the honour of introducing him to her majesty. "No, no, Mr. Brougham, (said the queen) no conversations for me; he must put it in writing, if you please; we are at war at present." "But, madam, it is impossible that so many scraps of different conversations can be properly arranged." "Then, I don't see Lord Hutchinson," said the queen. "Madam, if you insist upon it, it shall be done; and when will your majesty be pleased to receive it?" "To-morrow morning you may bring it me; and so good evening to you, as I suppose you are fatigued with your journey."

The next morning, Mr. Brougham arrived with Lord Hutchinson's letter, which the queen opened and read in Mr. Brougham's presence; in the conclusion of that letter, her majesty was earnestly entreated to wait the return of a courier from Paris. "Paris! Paris!" said the queen, "what have I to do with Paris?" Mr. Brougham, in much confusion, said, "Your majesty MUST HAVE MISTAKEN; it must mean Calais; my friend is too honourable to mean any thing of that kind, or to do any thing wrong." "No, no, Mr. Brougham; Paris, Paris! Look there!" pointing the sentence out to him. Then added the queen, "You will come and dine with me to-day." "May not I bring Lord Hutchinson with [344]me, please your majesty?" "Certainly not." "But I hope you will see Lord Hutchinson?" "Yes; let him come directly." The queen then assembled her whole household, and received his lordship in the midst of a formal circle, talked upon indifferent subjects for about a quarter of an hour; then rose, and, gracefully courtesying, left the room. Most of the household followed; and Mr. Brougham, with his friend, Lord Hutchinson, did not remain long behind. Mr. Brougham afterwards returned; but appeared exceedingly disconcerted. Lady Hamilton was present, and tried to draw him into conversation upon various subjects; but he answered, rather abruptly, "You and the alderman are leading the queen to her destruction." The lady replied, that was a mistake; she did not interfere in political affairs. Mr. Brougham begged pardon, and the subject was ended by the queen entering the room to dinner. The dinner passed off very well; her majesty appeared in good spirits, as did Mr. Brougham. It was the queen's general practice not to sit long after dinner; she, therefore, soon retired with her lady; and the gentlemen adjourned to the drawing-room to await the serving of coffee. By her majesty's orders, her maids were waiting with her travelling dress, with the carriages all ready in the court-yard, in the first of which her majesty immediately seated herself, as also Lady Hamilton and Alderman Wood. The moment before her majesty drove out of the yard, she desired her maître d'hôtel to inform Mr. Brougham "that the queen would drink coffee with him in [345]London;" yet five minutes had not elapsed from leaving the dinner-table to her driving out from the inn, as fast as four post-horses could convey her. This was the only time her majesty was ever known to show fear; but, at the appearance of any horseman, she became very much agitated from the supposition that she should be detained in France, under a PRETENCE of not having a correct passport, the want of horses, or some such trivial excuse. The queen was aware that the King of England had, not long before, placed Louis the Eighteenth upon the throne of France; therefore he could not object to any proposition her husband thought proper to require. Her majesty also KNEW that a courier had been despatched to Paris, and that that courier was one of Mr. Brougham's brothers! Mr. Brougham himself actually joined with Lord Hutchinson in trying to persuade her majesty to remain in France till the return of the courier. The queen's active and intelligent mind saw every thing at a glance, and she acted with the promptitude of her character. Alderman Wood proposed that her majesty should rest that night at D'Estaing's fine hotel at Calais, instead of sleeping on board a common packet, which would not sail till the morning. "No, no," said the queen, "drive straight to the shore;" and out she got like a girl of fifteen, and was in the packet before any one else. "There," said her majesty, "now I can breathe freely—now I am protected by English laws." The queen was hardly seated, when Alderman Wood presented her with a note from Mr. [346]Brougham, entreating her majesty to return, if only for the night, to D'Estaing's, and promising that no harm should happen to her. "No, no," replied the queen, "I am safe here, and I WILL NOT TRUST HIM;" and then threw a mattress in the middle of her cabin, with some blankets, and slept there all night. In the morning, when her majesty was about to land at Dover, she seemed a little intimidated, in consequence of the dense multitude through which she had to pass. Her majesty's fears, however, were entirely groundless, as she soon found the hearts of Britons were friendly to her cause, though they exemplified it rather roughly; for her feet were never permitted to touch the ground from the time her majesty left the vessel till her arrival at the inn, which she availed herself of with feelings of the most gratifying description, at the sympathy manifested in the cause of persecuted virtue.

As soon as her majesty could procure horses, she set forward to Canterbury, where she was received with similar acclamations. The populace insisted upon drawing her majesty out of the town, and then would not suffer the horses to be put to without her personal entreaties. Thousands of blessings were poured on her head, without one dissenting voice; and in this manner did her majesty proceed all the way to London.

The queen took up her abode at 77, South Audley-street, until another more suitable residence could be provided for her. The family of Alderman Wood, who previously inhabited this house, left it [347]immediately after receiving intelligence that her majesty would make a temporary use of it, and they occupied apartments at Flagdon's hotel.

On the ensuing day, several of the nobility and members of the House of Commons called to inquire after her majesty's health. On the ninth of this month, her majesty removed from South Audley-street to 32, Portman-square, the residence of the Right Honourable Lady Anne Hamilton, by whom the queen was attended. Her ladyship's servants were continued, and her majesty was much pleased with the respectful and generous attentions rendered.

On the 16th, the queen received an address from the common council of the city of London, to which she returned an answer, so feelingly expressed, as to excite the sympathy and admiration of all present.

On the afternoon of the sixth day of the queen's entry into London, a message was delivered from the king to both houses of parliament, communicating certain reports and papers respecting the queen's misconduct while abroad. On the following Thursday, a committee was appointed in the House of Lords; but the queen transmitted a communication to the House of Commons, protesting against the reference of her accusations to a SECRET TRIBUNAL, and soliciting an open investigation of her conduct.

Thus was commenced a prosecution in principle and object every way calculated to rouse the generous and constitutional feelings of the nation; and the effects were without a parallel in the history of all countries! Could a more outrageous insult [348]possibly have been offered to her dignity, to the honour of her husband the king, or to the morality and decency of the community at large?

Up to this time, Prince Leopold had not tendered his respects to her majesty; yet he was the widowed husband of the queen's only and dearly-beloved daughter! His serene highness had been raised from a state of comparative poverty and obscurity to be honoured with the hand of England's favourite princess, from whose future reign was expected a revival of commerce and an addition of glory. Though this prince was enjoying an annual income of FIFTY THOUSAND POUNDS from the country; though he had town and country residences, of great extent and magnificent appearance; though he abounded with horses and carriages; yet not one offer did he make of any of these superfluous matters to the mother of his departed wife, by whose means he had become possessed of them all! Gratitude, however, is generally esteemed a virtue, and therefore a German prince could not be supposed to know any thing about it.

About this period, her majesty received numerous communications, tending to prove the infamous proceedings against her to have been adopted without reference to honour or principle, and to warn her from falling into the snares of her mercenary and vindictive enemies. We lay before our readers the following, as sufficient to establish this fact.

"An officer of the frigate which took her majesty [349](when Princess of Wales) to the Continent averred, in the presence of three unimpeachable witnesses, that a very few days before her majesty's embarkation, Captain King, while sitting at breakfast in his cabin with the surgeon of the frigate, received a letter from a brother of the prince regent, which he read aloud, in the presence of the said surgeon, as follows:

"Dear King,

"You are going to be ordered to take the Princess of Wales to the Continent. If you don't commit adultery with her, you are a damned fool! You have my consent for it, and I can assure you that you have that of MY BROTHER, THE REGENT.

"Your's,

(Signed) ********.

"The officer who made the above statement and declaration is a most CREDITABLE PERSON, and the witnesses are all in this country."

"London, May 7th, 1820.

"Furnished to supply the queen with PROOF that the royal duke in question is leagued against her, in accordance with the WISHES OF THE KING!"

"Private Document.

"Captain King's agent is Mr. Stillwell, 22, Arundel-street, Strand, London; and the surgeon, [350]who was present during the period the royal duke's letter was read, is James Hall. The witnesses were—Mr. Freshfield, 3, Tokenhouse-yard; Mr. Holmes, 3, Lyon's-inn; and Mr. Stokoe, 2, Lancaster-court; as also before Barry O'Meara.

(Signed) "Barry E. O'Meara."

On the 24th of June, a deputation of the House of Commons was appointed to wait upon her majesty with the resolutions adopted by the House on Thursday, the 22nd. They arrived at a quarter past one o'clock. Mr. Wilberforce and Mr. S. Wortley occupied the first carriage. At their appearance, strong symptoms of displeasure were indicated. They were then introduced to the queen, Mr. Brougham standing at her majesty's right hand, and Mr. Denman at her left. They severally knelt and kissed her majesty's hand. Mr. Wilberforce then read the resolutions, and her majesty replied to them. On their departure, Mr. Brougham accompanied the deputation to the door; and, after they had taken their seats in the carriages, Mr. Brougham returned to shake hands with them, although the multitudes assembled outside hissed them exceedingly.

Her majesty's answer to the before-mentioned resolutions was superior to the tricks of her enemies. In it the queen refused terms of conciliation, unless they accorded with her duty to her own character, to the king, and to the nation! "A sense of what is due to my character and sex," said the queen, "forbids me to refer minutely to the REAL CAUSE of [351]our domestic differences!" Indeed, her majesty's reply was an appeal to those principles of public justice, which should be alike the safeguard of the highest and the humblest individuals. Mr. Wilberforce exposed himself to much censure upon the part he had taken in the House; and, as he so unhesitatingly hinted at the awful contents of the "Green Bag," he said, "by suppressing her own feelings, the queen would endear herself to the country." We suppose Mr. Wilberforce meant, that, by suppressing her own feelings of honour, she would gratify the honour of the country; and, by again quitting it, demonstrate her gratitude for its unshaken loyalty; but the queen was firm in her resolve to claim justice, whether it was given or withheld.

In considering these base endeavours to injure innocence, in order to raise the noble character of a voluptuous prince, we cannot help remarking that Power was the only weapon of the vitiated monarch, while Right and Justice formed the shield of the oppressed Queen of England! Indeed, every man, glowing with the sincere love of his country, and actuated by that honourable affection for its welfare, which takes a lively and zealous interest in passing events, must have considered such proceedings against her majesty fraught with inevitable evil. If her innocence, according to the prayers of millions of her subjects, should be made manifest, the public indignation would be sure to be roused, and probably prove resentful. The evidence was known to be of a description on which no magistrate would [352]convict a common pickpocket, and therefore if the legislature should even be induced to consider her majesty guilty of the charges preferred against her, public opinion would certainly refuse to ratify the sentence, and turn with disgust from those promulgating it. In either case, those venerable tribunals, consecrated by our forefathers, must lose that beautiful, that honourable, that unbought, homage which a free people have ever been proud to pay them. No Englishman, we say, accustomed to reverence, with a prejudice almost sacred, the constitution of a parliament, majestic even in its errors and infirmities, could contemplate, without pain, the possibility,—nay, the almost certainty,—that the hour was not far distant when the whole nation would look with cold indifference, or gloomy distrust, on the acts of a senate, their generous obedience to which (though it had been accompanied with suffering, and followed by privation) had been "the admiration of the whole world."

On the 6th of July, Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, usher, of the black rod, waited upon her majesty with a copy of the "Bill of Pains and Penalties" against her, presented the previous day to the House of Lords, and which was forwarded by order of their lordships. Her majesty went into the room where the deputation were waiting, and received a copy of this bill with great calmness. Upon an examination of the abominable instrument, her majesty said, "Yes, the queen who had a sufficient sense of honour and goodness to refuse the base offer of fifty thousand pounds a-year of the public money, to spend it [353]when, where, how, and with whom she pleased, in banquetings, feastings, and excesses, providing it were in a foreign country, and not at home, has sufficient resolution to await the result of every investigation power can suggest." Like another Cleopatra, our insulted queen might have played "the wanton" with impunity; her imperial bark might have displayed its purple streamers, swelled with the softest Cyprian breezes. It might have sailed triumphantly down the Adriatic, to meet some highly-favoured lover! Yes, by desire of the king, her husband, the queen was requested to accept any terms beside those of a legitimate character. But her majesty preserved her usual firmness and serenity of mind during the unequalled proceedings instituted against her, and frequently repeated the unequivocal expression, "Time will furnish sufficient proof of my innocence."

On the 5th of August, the queen took possession of Brandenburgh House, formerly the residence of the Margravine of Anspatch, situated near the Thames, and in the parish of Hammersmith. Her majesty left Lady Hamilton's house at four o'clock, attended by her ladyship, and accompanied by Dr. Lushington, in an entirely new and elegant open carriage, drawn by four beautiful bay horses. They drove off amidst united shouts of applause from the assembled people.

Will future generations believe the historian's tale, that a queen,—yes, a brave and virtuous Queen of England too!—was refused a house and a home by [354]the sovereign, her husband? That she, who was lured from her princely home, arrived in the centre of England, and was denied a resting place by the king and his ministers! In consequence of which, she was necessitated to take up her abode in the mansion of a late lord mayor for the space of three days, and then to accept the use of the house of her lady in waiting for nearly two months; while there were palaces totally unoccupied, and even mouldering into decay for want of being inhabited! This statement will, doubtless, appear overdrawn to future generations; but there are thousands now living who can testify to its accuracy. Ministers, indeed, entered into compact with Deception, and so glaringly committed their sentiments and characters, that, to preserve their own pretended consistency, they would have even uncrowned the king himself! A feverish sensation now pervaded the whole public mind, and from the highest to the lowest, the case of the queen was one universal theme of conversation.

On the 6th of August, her royal highness the Duchess of York died. Up to a very late hour of the day on which this occurred, no official communication had been made to the queen; but, in consequence of the event, her majesty requested to postpone several addresses which she had previously appointed to receive.

On the 7th, the queen sent a letter to the king, but it was returned from Windsor unopened, with a communication that "Such a letter addressed to the king cannot be received by his majesty, unless it [355]passes through the hands of his minister." Why, after the refusal to receive this letter, should the princess be blamed for permitting its contents to be published? If the king were under obligations of such a description as to incapacitate him from exercising his own judgment, and giving his own opinion, was he fit to administer the laws, or ought he to have sanctioned the appeal of miscreants who sought their own, and not their country's, good? Let us consider the delays attending this letter. It was sent to Windsor, directed expressly for the king, accompanied with a note, written by the queen, to Sir B. Bloomfield, desiring it might be immediately delivered into the king's hand. Sir B. Bloomfield was absent, and Sir W. Keppell, as the next in command, received it, and forwarded the same to Sir B. Bloomfield, at Carlton House, immediately, who returned the letter on the 8th to her majesty, saying, "I have received the king's commands and general instructions, that any communications which may be made should pass through the hands of his majesty's government." The queen immediately despatched a letter to Lord Liverpool, enclosing the one she had addressed to the king, by the hands of a messenger, in which her majesty desired the earl to present it. Lord Liverpool was then at Coombe Wood, and wrote in reply, that he would "lose no time in laying it before his majesty." Up to the 11th, no reply had been received; and the queen wrote to Lord Liverpool again, to know if further communication were needful. Lord Liverpool replied, that he had not [356]received the king's commands upon the subject, and therefore could not give any positive answer relative to it. How does this strange and incomprehensible conduct appear to any unbiassed Englishman? Was the king, who ought to be the dispenser of the laws, to be free from imputation, when he thus exposed his unrelenting temper and unbending determination, wherever his private inclinations were concerned? We dare avow, if that letter could have been answered, it would; but its contents were unanswerable! "Aye," said the hireling Castlereagh, "it is no matter what the conduct of the Princess of Wales has been; it is the king's desire that he may no more be obliged to recognise her in her former character of Princess of Wales." Oh! most sapient speech of a most sapient lord; truly this was a bold doctrine to broach, that kings have a right divine to subdue, injure, oppress, and govern wrong!

We pass by the number of addresses presented to her majesty at this period, and also the not-to-be-mistaken expression of public opinion against the projector of her injuries. Were they not concocted by the authority of the monarch, her husband? Was it not by his divine decree that his consort's name was erased from the liturgy? Did he not send down to parliament that message which denounced his queen a criminal? Yet, after all this, Lord Liverpool said, "The king has no personal feeling upon the subject." Very true, his majesty could not have any personal feeling towards the queen; his royal feelings had always been confined to the libidinous [357]and the most obnoxious of society! Had he been a worthy and upright plaintiff against the most unfortunate of defendants, would he have scrupled to have shewn himself in his regal chair upon the continued debates arising from this most important question; and would not a sense of greatness and virtue, had he possessed either, after hearing the infamous statements of false witnesses, have influenced him to decline further proceedings, though his pride might have withheld an acknowledgment of error? This line of honest conduct was not followed, and we are therefore obliged to brand him as one of the most despicable and mean of the human race!

During the disgraceful proceedings against the queen, such was the public feeling in her favour, that the peers actually feared for their personal safety in going to and returning from the House. This threatened danger was, as might be expected, properly guarded against by the military, who poured into London and its environs in vast numbers. The agitated state of the public mind probably was never more decidedly expressed than on the 19th of August, the day on which the trial commenced. At a very early hour in the morning, workmen were employed in forming double rows of strong timber from St. Margaret's church to the King's Bench office on the one side, and from the upper extremity of Abingdon-street on the other, so as to enclose the whole area in front of the House of Lords. This was done to form a passage to the House, which was devoted exclusively for the carriages of the peers, to and from the principal entrance. Within this extensive [358]area, a large body of constables were stationed, under the controul of the high bailiff and high constable, who were in attendance before seven o'clock. A very strong body of foot-guards were also posted in the King's Bench office, the Record office, and in the other apartments, near or fronting the street. Westminster Hall was likewise appropriated to the accommodation of the military. All the leading passages from St. Margaret's church into Parliament-street were closed securely by strong partitions of timber. The police-hulk and the gun-boats defended the river side of Westminster, and the civil and military arrangements presented an effectual barrier on the opposite side. At nine o'clock, a troop of life-guards rode into the palace yard, and formed in line in front of the principal gate of Westminster Hall; they were shortly afterwards followed by a detachment of the foot-guards, who were formed under the piazzas of the House of Lords, where they piled their arms. Patrols of life-guards were then thrown forward, in the direction of Abingdon-street, who occasionally formed near the king's entrance, and at intervals paraded.

At half-past nine, a body of the Surrey horse-patrol rode over Westminster-bridge, and for a short time paraded Parliament-street, Whitehall, and Charing-cross; they afterwards drew up near the barrier at St. Margaret's church. The peers began to arrive shortly afterwards; the lord chancellor was in the House before eight o'clock. The other ministers were equally early in their attendance.

At a quarter before ten, an universal cheering from [359]a countless multitude, in the direction of Charing-cross, announced to the anxious spectators that the queen was approaching. Her majesty, attended by Lady Anne Hamilton, had come early from Brandenburgh-house to the residence of Lady Francis, St. James' Square, and from thence they departed for the House of Lords, in a new state carriage, drawn by six bay horses. As they passed Carlton Palace, the Admiralty, and other such places, the sentinels presented arms; but, at the Treasury, this mark of honour was omitted.

When the queen arrived at the House, the military stationed in the front immediately presented arms. Her majesty was received at the door by Sir T. Tyrwhitt and Mr. Brougham; and the queen, with her lady in waiting, proceeded to an apartment prepared for their reception. Shortly afterwards, her majesty, accompanied as before, entered the House by the passage leading from the robing-room, which is situated on the right of the throne.

During this initiatory part of the trial, and until nearly four o'clock, her majesty was attended by Lord Archibald Hamilton and his sister Lady Anne, who stood close to the queen all the time.

Upon returning from the House in the same state in which her majesty arrived, she was greeted by the most enthusiastic acclamations and shouts of applause from every class of society, who were apparently desirous to outvie each other in testimonies of homage to their ill-fated and insulted queen.

Each succeeding day of the pretended trial, her [360]majesty met with a similar reception; and, during the whole period, addresses were lavishly poured in upon her, signed by so many persons, and testifying such ardent regard and devotion, that every moment of time was necessarily occupied with their reception and acknowledgment. Thus, though the queen was insulted by the king and the majority of the peers, it must have afforded great consolation to her wounded feelings, while witnessing the enthusiasm and devotion manifested in her cause by all the really honourable of the community. We say really honourable, because her persecutors were either actuated by "filthy lucre," or by a desire to recommend themselves, in some way or another, to the favour of the king and his ministers.

To justify these remarks, we here present our readers with a list of those time-serving creatures who voted against the queen, with the annual amounts they were then draining from the country:

The Duke of York,[360:A] with immense patronage, nearly 100,000l.; and the Duke of Clarence, 38,500l.; but we must not suppose her majesty's BROTHERS voted through interest; their virtuous minds could not tolerate her iniquities!!!

[361]Dukes.—Wellington, 65,741l., including the interest of 700,000l., which he received to purchase estates; Northumberland, possessing immense patronage and family interest; Newcastle, 19,700l.; Rutland, 3,500l.; Beaufort, 48,600l.; and Manchester, 16,380l.

Marquises.—Conyngham(!) 3,600l., but the exact sum his wife received, we have not been able to ascertain; Thomond, 13,400l.; Headfort, 4,200l.; Anglesea, 11,000l.; Northampton, 1,000l.; Camden, 4,150l.; Exeter, 6,900l.; Cornwallis, 15,813l.; Buckingham, 5,816l.; Lothian, 4,900l.; Queensberry, great family interest; and Winchester, 3,200l.

Earls.—Limerick, 2,500l.; Ross, governor of an Irish county; Donoughmore, 4,377l.; Belmore, 1,660l.; Mayo, 15,200l.; Longford, 7,369l.; Mount Cashel, 1,000l.; Kingston, 6,400l.; St. Germains, brother-in-law to Lord Hardwicke, who received 7,700l.; Brownlow, 4,400l.; Whitworth, 6,000l.; Verulam, 2,700l.; Cathcart, 27,600l.; Mulgrave, 11,051l.; Lonsdale, 14,352l.; Orford, 6,700l.; Manvers, 4,759l.; Nelson, 15,025l.; Powis, 700l.; Liverpool, 33,450l.; Digby, 6,700l.; Mount Edgecumbe, 400l.; Strange, 13,988l.; Abergavenny, 3,072l.; Aylesbury, 6,300l.; Bathurst, 15,423l.; Chatham, 13,550l.; Harcourt, 4,200l.; Warwick, 6,519l.; Portsmouth, non compos mentis; Macclesfield, 3,000l.; Aylesford, 6,450l.; Coventry, 700l.; Abingdon, 2,000l.; Shaftesbury, 6,421l.; Cardigan, 1,282l.; Balcarras, 46,050l.; Winchelsea, 6,000l.; Stamford, 4,500l.; Bridgewater, 13,700l.; Home, 2,800l.; and Huntingdon, 200l. We must not here omit Lord Eldon, whose vote would have been against her majesty if it had been required; his income amounted to 50,400l., with immense patronage.

Viscounts.—Exmouth, 10,450l.; Lake, 7,300l.; Sidmouth, 17,025l.; Melville, 18,776l.; Curzon, 2,400l.; Sydney, 11,426l.; Falmouth, 3,578l.; and Hereford, 1,200l.

Archbishops.—Canterbury, 41,800l.; Tuam, 28,000l.; both with immense patronage.

Bishops.—Cork, 6,400l., besides patronage; Llandaff, 1,540l., with twenty-six livings in his gift; Peterborough, 4,140l., with an archdeaconry, six prebends, and thirteen livings in his gift; he had also a pension granted him by the king's sign manual, in [362]1804, of 514l.-4,654l.; Gloucester, 3,200l., twenty-four livings, besides other patronage, in his gift; Chester, 4,700l., with six prebends and thirty livings in his gift; he has also a son in the secret department in India, 2,000l., and another a collector in India, 2,500l., as well as sons in the church with benefices to the amount of 2,750l.-11,950l.; Ely, 21,340l., and the patronage of one hundred and eight livings; St. Asaph, 6,000l., his son has two livings in the church, 1000l., and he has ninety livings in his gift,—7,000l.; St. David's, 6,260l., besides one hundred livings, prebends, and precentorships in his gift; he has also a relation in the church, with two livings, 1,000l.-7,260l.; Worcester, 9,590l., besides the patronage of one archdeaconry and twenty-one livings; London, 10,200l., with ninety-five livings, twenty-eight prebends, and precentorships in his gift.

Lords.—Prudhoe, 700l.; Harris, 3,800l.; Meldrum, of the Gordon family, who annually devour about 30,000l.; Hill, 9,800l.; Combermere, 13,500l.; Hopetoun, 15,600l.; Gambier, 6,800l.; Manners, 21,500l.; Ailsa, expectant; Lauderdale, 36,600l.; Sheffield, 3,000l.; Redesdale, 5,500l.; St. Helens, 1,000l.; Northwick, 1,500l.; Bolton, 4,000l.; Bayning, 1,000l.; Carrington, 1,900l.; Dunstanville, 1,500l.; Rous, motive unknown; Courtown, 9,800l.; Galloway, 9,845l.; Stuart, 15,000; Douglas, 2,500l.; Grenville, 4,000l.; Suffield, brother-in-law to the notorious Castlereagh,—need we say more to point out his motive for voting against the queen? Montagu, 3,500l.; Gordon, 20,990l.; Somers, 2,000l.; Rodney, 6,123l.; Middleton, 700l.; Napier, 4,572l.; Gray, 200l., with great family interest; Colville, 4,600l.; Saltoun, 3,644l.; Forbes, 8,400l.; Lord Privy Seal, 3,000l.; and Lord President, 4,000.

Notwithstanding this phalanx of corruption being arrayed against one virtuous female, after an unexampled multiplication of abuse and perjury, on the fifty-first day of the proceedings, the infamous bill was LOST, and, with it, the pretensions to uprightness and manly feeling of every one who had voted for it! What was the dreadful, the overwhelming, responsibility of those who had ventured to prosecute, [363]of all others, a great, a noble, a glorious woman, (we speak unhesitatingly, for we speak from the EVIDENCE OF HER OWN PUBLIC ACTS) by a "Bill of Pains and Penalties," which was so far from being a part of our common law, that that was necessarily sacrificed in order to give effect to this? The mock trial was supported by the evidence of witnesses who, day after day, perjured themselves for the sake of wealth, and by the ingratitude of discarded servants, treacherous domestics, and cowardly calumniators; evidence, not only stained with the infamy of their own perfidy to their generous benefactress, but polluted with the licentious and gross obscenity of their own debased instincts, for we cannot call their cunning by any other name. This, Englishmen! was the poison, this the vast and sweeping flood of iniquity, which was permitted by the government to disseminate itself into the minds of the young, and to inundate the morals of the whole country! A great moral evil was thus done; but the antidote luckily went with it. The same press, upon which the absurd, foolish, and dangerous imbecility of incompetent and unmanly ministers imposed the reluctant office of becoming the channel for the deluge of Italian evidence, also conducted the refreshing streams of national sympathy and public opinion! The public sustained their own honour in upholding that of Caroline, Queen of England! When that public beheld her intelligent eyes, beaming with mind and heroism; when they heard of her pure beneficence, holy in its principle, as it was unbounded in [364]its sphere; when they felt her glowing affection for a devoted people; when they observed her, scorning alike the weakness of her sex and the luxury of her station,—actuated solely by the mighty energies of her own masculine sense and powerful understanding,—braving fatigue and danger, traversing the plains and mountains of Asia, the sands and deserts of Africa; and contemplating the living tomb of ancient liberty in modern Greece; when they heard of this dauntless woman sailing over foreign seas with a soul of courage as buoyant and as mighty as the waves that bore her; but, above all, when they knew of her refusing the glittering trappings and the splendid price of infamous security, to face inveterate, persecuting, and inflexible enemies, even on their own ground, and surrounded by their own strength and power, they felt confident that such a woman must be at once a favourite of heaven, a great queen, and a blessing to the people, who fervently offered up their prayers for her safety and her triumph! It will readily be supposed, then, with what joy the result of this important and unprecedented investigation filled the hearts of thousands, which manifested itself by shouts of exultation from the centre of the metropolis, and was re-echoed from the remotest corners of the land, by the unbought voices of a brave and generous people, who considered the unjust proceedings alike "derogatory to the dignity of the crown and the best interests of the nation."

From the very commencement of the queen's [365]persecution, her majesty's counsellors appeared more in the capacity of MEDIATORS in the cause of guilt than as stern, unbending, and uncompromising champions of honour and truth! In one of Mr. Brougham's speeches, he declared the queen had no intention to recriminate; but Mr. Brougham cannot, even at this distance of time, have forgotten that, when her majesty had an interview with him after this public assertion on his part, she declared herself INSULTED by such a remark, as her case demanded all the assistance it could possibly obtain from every legal quarter. Another peculiar trait of defection was conspicuously displayed during this extraordinary trial. The letter we gave a few pages back, written by an illustrious personage to the captain of the vessel in which the princess went in the memorable year 1814, offering him a reward to procure any evidence of improper conduct on the part of her royal highness, was submitted to Mr. Brougham, and shortly afterwards, at the supper table of the queen, he said aloud, that he HAD SHEWN THAT LETTER TO THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE COURT; and when remonstrated with for such extraordinary conduct, his only reply was, "Oh, it will do very well;" and soon after left the room. This and many other singular acts of the learned gentleman will seem surprising to his admirers. Such suspicious conduct, indeed, is hardly to be accounted for; but we could not dispute the evidence of our own senses!

At this period, a lady of her majesty's household received a note from a young person, stating the [366]writer to be in possession of some papers of GREAT CONSEQUENCE TO THE QUEEN, which she wished to deliver to her majesty. A gentleman was sent to the writer of the note, and her information to him was, in substance, as follows:

That certain property, of a large amount, had been bequeathed to her; but that for many years she had been deprived of all interest arising from it. That Dr. Sir Richard Croft, accoucheur to her late royal highness, the Princess Charlotte, was an attendant witness to the will of her mother, by whom the property had been willed,—her father having engaged, upon his return from abroad, to put his daughter in possession of her rightful claims, proving her descent, &c. That, during her unprotected state, her guardian had caused her to sign bonds to an enormous amount; and, in consequence, she had been deprived of her liberty for nearly twelve months. As Dr. Sir Richard Croft was her principal witness and friend, she frequently consulted him on different points of her affairs, and also gave him several private letters for his inspection; but these letters not being returned to her when she applied for them, she reproached the doctor with his inattention to her interests. In consequence of this, Dr. Croft called upon her, and promised to send the letters back the next day. The doctor accordingly sent her a packet; but, upon examination, she found them to be, not the letters alluded to, but letters of VAST IMPORTANCE, from the HIGHEST PERSONAGES [367]in the kingdom, and elucidating the most momentous subjects. Some time after, she sealed them up, and sent a servant back with them, giving him strict injunctions to deliver them ONLY into Sir Richard's hand. While the servant was gone, the doctor called upon her, and, IN GREAT AGITATION, inquired if she had received any other letters back besides her own. She replied she had, and said, "Doctor, what have you done?" He walked about the room for some time, and then said, abruptly, "I suppose you have read the letters?" She replied, "I have read enough to make me very uncomfortable." After some further remarks, he observed, "I am the most wretched man alive!" He then said he would communicate to her all the circumstances. Sir Richard commenced his observations by stating, that he was not the perpetrator of the deed, but had been made the instrument of others, which the letters proved. He then alluded, by name, to a NOBLEMAN; and said the circumstance was first discovered by the NURSE'S observing that a sediment was left at the bottom of the cup in which the Princess Charlotte took her last beverage, and that Mrs. Griffiths directly charged the doctor with being privy to the act. He examined the contents of the cup, and was struck with horror at finding that it was the SAME DESCRIPTION OF MEDICINE WHICH HAD BEEN OBTAINED FROM HIS HOUSE, A FEW DAYS PREVIOUS, BY THE NOBLEMAN BEFORE ALLUDED TO!!! However, he endeavoured to persuade the nurse that she was mistaken; "but," [368]said the doctor, "the more I endeavoured to persuade her, the more culpable, no doubt I appeared to her."

Sir Richard said he was farther strengthened in his suspicions of the said nobleman by a conversation he had had a few days before with his lordship, who said, "If any thing should happen to the princess,—IF SHE WERE TO DIE,—it would be a melancholy event; yet I consider it would, in some considerable degree, be productive of good to the nation at large." Dr. Croft asked him how he could say so. "Because," said the nobleman, "every body knows her disposition sufficiently to be convinced, that she will ever be blind to her mother's most unequalled conduct; and I think any man, burdened with such a wife, would be justified in using ANY MEANS in seeking to get rid of her! Were it my case, the friend who would be the means of, or assist in, releasing me from her shackles, I should consider would do no more than one man ought to do for another so circumstanced." Dr. Croft then said, he went to this nobleman directly after the death of the princess, and charged him with committing the crime. He at first denied it; but at length said, "It was better for one to suffer than that the whole country should be put into a state of confusion, which would have been the case if the princess had lived," and then alluded to the Princess of Wales coming into this country. The nobleman exonerated himself from the deed; but said "It was managed by persons immediately about the doctor's person." [369]At this part of the narrative, the doctor became very much agitated, and the lady said, "Good God! who did do it?" To which question he replied, "The hand that wrote that letter without a name, in conjunction with one of the attendants on the nurse!" The lady further stated, that the doctor said, "Certain ladies are depending upon me for my services as accoucheur, and I will not extend life beyond my attendance upon them." This conversation took place just after the death of the Princess Charlotte.

Before Dr. Croft left the lady, she informed him of her anxiety to return the letters as soon as she discovered their importance, and mentioned that the servant was then gone with them. Sir Richard quickly exclaimed, "You bid him not leave them?" and inquired what directions had been given to the servant. Having been informed, he said, "Don't send them again; keep them until I come and fetch them, and that will be to-morrow, if possible." But the lady never saw him afterwards, and consequently retained the letters.

The gentleman then received exact copies of all the letters before alluded to. We here present our readers with three of the most important, which will substantiate some of our former statements.

COPY OF A LETTER FROM SIR B. BLOOMFIELD
TO DR. SIR RICHARD CROFT.

"My dear Croft,

"I am commanded by his royal highness to convey [370]to you his solicitude for your health and happiness; and I am to inform you, that the aid of so faithful a friend as yourself is indispensable. It is by her majesty's command I write this to you.

"We have intelligence by the 20th ult. that the Princess of Wales is to take a road favourable to the accomplishment of our long-desired wishes; that we may keep pace with her, there is no one upon whose fidelity we can more fully rely than you yourself.

"A few months relaxation from the duties of your profession will banish all gloomy ideas, and secure the favour of her majesty.

"Come, my boy, throw physic to the dogs, and be the bearer of the happy intelligence of a divorce, to render ourselves still more deserving the confidence of our beloved master, whose peace and happiness we are bound in duty to secure by every means in our power.

"Remember this: the road to fortune is short; and let me see you to-day at three o'clock, without fail, in my bureau.

"Yours faithfully,"

**********.

"Carlton House,
"Monday, 9th November, 1817."

[371]COPY OF A LETTER FROM DR. CROFT TO HIS ROYAL
HIGHNESS THE PRINCE REGENT.

"The gracious assurance of his royal highness for my happiness was this day conveyed to me, by the desire of her most gracious majesty.

"The many former favours and kindnesses bestowed by my royal benefactor is retained in my mind with the deepest sense of gratitude.

"That I regret, with heartfelt grief, the invisible power that determined my inevitable misery, and marks the hand that gave the blow to my eternal peace. Could no other arm inflict the wound than he who, in happier moments, indulged me with the most apparent unfeigned friendship? That I shall not, to my latest breath, cease to complain of such injustice, heaped upon me in the eyes of the world, and before the nation, who at my hands have lost their dearest hopes.

"My conscious innocence is the only right I plead to a just and Almighty God! That I consider this deed of so foul a nature as to stamp with ignominy, not only its perpetrators, but the throne itself, now to be obtained by the death of its own offspring, and that death enforced by the Queen of England, whose inveterate hatred is fully [372]exemplified, by heaping wrongs upon the unfortunate partner of your once happy choice, who now only impedes your union to another.

"To remove now this only remaining obstacle, I am called upon by the ministers. With a view of tranquillizing my mind, every restitution is offered me. But, no doubt, many will be found amongst them, who can, without a pang, enjoy the reward of such services—as her majesty will most liberally recompense.

"It has ever been my highest ambition to fulfil the arduous duty of my situation; to be rewarded by upright encomiums; and to merit, as a subject and a servant, the approbation of my most gracious benefactor, as conveyed to me on the 9th of this month by Sir B. Bloomfield, would have been a sufficient recompense to me under any circumstances of life.

"I can, therefore, only assure his royal highness, with unfeigned sincerity, that I should feel happy upon any occasion to forfeit my life for his peace and happiness; nor can I more fully evince the same than by assuring his royal highness, that this melancholy circumstance shall be eternally buried in my mind.

(Signed) "Richard Croft."

"November 10th, 1817."

[373]COPY OF A LETTER FROM QUEEN CHARLOTTE TO
DR. CROFT.

"We are sensible how much it were to be desired that the obligations provided for could have been traced without the necessity of our writing. But we are yet more sensible how much it is our duty to promote the happiness of our most dear and most beloved son, who so justly deserves the efforts which we make for him. Whatever price will cost our tender love, we shall at least have the comfort, in the melancholy circumstance of this juncture, which our kingdom most justly laments with us, to give to our subjects a successor more worthy of the possession of our crown, either partly or wholly, than the detested daughter of our dearest brother, who, by her conduct, has brought disgrace upon our royal house, and whom now we will, for us, and our descendants, without difference of the substance of blood and quality, that she shall at all events be estranged from us and our line for ever. To this end, we believe the method concerted by our faithful friends at Trieste is the most effectual to ensure it, not by divorce; be it by whatever means which may seem effectual to our friends, to whom [374]we grant full power in every thing, as if we ourselves were present, to obtain the conclusion we so much desire; and whosoever shall accomplish the same shall be placed in the immediate degree with any peer of our kingdom, with fifty thousand pounds, which we guarantee to our worthy friend, Sir Richard Croft, on whom we can rely in every thing,—his services being considered unavoidable on this occasion. And for the better security of all, we promise the bearer hereof, being in every part furnished with sufficient power to write, sign, and secure, by letter or any other obligation, in our name, and which is to be delivered to Sir Richard Croft before his departure from London,—reminding him of his own engagements to the secrecy of this also,—whereunto we put our name, this 12th day of November, 1817.

"Let him be faithful unto death.

(Signed) "C. R."

Who can peruse these letters, and the particulars with which they are accompanied, without being shocked at the dark and horrible crime proved to have been committed, as well as those deep-laid plans of persecution against an innocent woman, which they unblushingly state to have had their origin in the basest of motives,—to gratify the vindictive feelings [375]of her heartless and abandoned husband! It must appear surprising to honourable minds that these atrocities did not find some one acquainted with them of sufficient virtue and nerve to drag their abettors to justice. But, alas! those who possessed the greatest facilities for this purpose were too fond of place, pension, or profit, to discharge such a duty. Queen Caroline, at this period, resolved to ask for a public investigation of the causes and attendant circumstances of the death of her daughter, and expressed her determination to do so in the presence of several noblemen. Her majesty considered these and other important letters to be amply sufficient to prove that the Princess Charlotte's death was premeditated, and procured unfairly. Her majesty also knew that, in 1817, a most respectable resident of Claremont publicly declared that the regent had said, "No heir of the Princess Charlotte shall ever sit upon the throne of England!" The queen was likewise personally assured of the truths contained in the letter signed "C. R." dated 12th of November; for the infamous Baron Ompteda, in conjunction with another similar character, had been watching all her movements for a length of time, and they were actually waiting her arrival at Trieste, at the time before named, while every one knew they had a coadjutor in England, in the person of Souza Count Funshall!!!

Her majesty was also well acquainted with the scheme of the king or his ministers, that the former or the latter, or both conjointly, had caused a work [376]to be published in Paris, the object of which was "to set aside the succession of the Princess Charlotte and her heirs, (under the plea of the illegality of her father's marriage) and to supply the defect by the Duke of York!" Lord Moira offered very handsome terms to an author, of some celebrity, to write "Comments in favour of this book;" but he declined, and wrote explanatory of the crimes of the queen and her family. This work, however, was bought up by the English court for seven thousand pounds! In this book of comments was given a fair and impartial statement of the murder of Sellis, and, upon its appearance, a certain duke thought it "wisest and best" to go out of this country! Why the duke resolved to seek safety in flight is best known to himself and those in his immediate confidence; but to uninterested and impartial observers, such a step was not calculated to exonerate the duke's character. This took place at a very early period after the murder had been committed in the palace of St. James, and all the witnesses were then ready again to depose upon the subject, as well as those persons who had not been permitted to give their evidence at the inquest. Another examination of the body of Sellis might have been demanded, though doubtless in a more public manner than before, as it was not supposed to be past exhumation! The people reasoned sensibly, when they said, "The duke certainly knows something of this awful affair, or else he would cause the strictest inquiry, rather than suffer such a stain upon his royal name and [377]character, which are materially injured in public opinion by the royal duke's refusal to do so, and his sudden determination to go abroad." The duke, however, did go abroad, and did not return until inquiry had, apparently, ceased.

Such were the remarks of Caroline, Queen of England, upon these serious subjects, of which she felt herself competent to say more than any other subject in the realm. The secret conduct of the government was not unknown to her majesty, and her sufferings, she was well aware, had their origin in STATE TRICK; while fawning courtiers, to keep their places, had sacrificed truth, justice, and honour. "Then," said the queen, "can I wonder at any plan or plans they may invent to accomplish the wish of my husband? No; I am aware of many, very many, foul attempts to insult, degrade, and destroy me! I cannot forget the embassy of Lord Stewart, the base conduct of that most unprincipled man, Colonel Brown, and other unworthy characters, who, to obtain the favour of the reigning prince, my husband, condescended to say and do any and every thing prejudicial to my character, and injurious to my dignity, as the legitimate princess of the British nation; and for what purpose is this extraordinary conduct pursued? Only to gratify revengeful inclinations, and prevent my full exposures of those odious crimes, by which the honour of the family is and will ever be attainted! But," added her majesty, "the untimely, unaccountable death of my Charlotte is, indeed, heavy upon my heart! [378]I remember, as if it were only yesterday, her infant smile when first I pressed her to my bosom; and I must always feel unutterable anguish, when I reflect upon the hardships she was obliged to endure at our cruel separation! Was it not more than human nature was able to endure, first to be insulted and deceived by a husband, then to be deprived of an only and lovely child, whose fondness equalled her royal father's cruelty? Well may I say, my Charlotte's death ought to be explained, and the bloodthirsty aiders in the scheme punished as they really merit. Who are these proud, yet base, tyrants,—who, after destroying the child, still continue their plans to destroy her mother also? Are they not the sycophants of a voluptuous monarch, whose despotic influence has for a long period destroyed the liberties and subverted the rights of the people, over whom he has exercised such uncontrouled and unconstitutional power? And what is the MORAL character of these state hirelings, (continued the queen) who neither act with judgment, or speak with ability, but who go to court to bow, and cringe, and fawn? Alas! is it not disgraceful in the extreme?—are they not found debasing themselves in the most infamous and unnatural manner? From youth, have not even some of the late queen's sons been immoral and profane? Was not one of them invited to dinner, by a gentleman of the first rank, during his stay in the West Indies, and did he not so conduct himself before one of the gentleman's daughters, that his royal highness was under the necessity of [379]making a precipitate retreat? Yet this outrage upon decency was only noticed by one fearless historian! And amongst the courtiers, where is morality to be found? Yet these individuals are the judges, as well as the jury, and are even empowered to assault, insult, and reproach the consort of the first magistrate, their sovereign the king! But he is in their power; guilt has deprived my lord and husband of all ability to set the perfidious parasites at defiance! If this were not the case, would his proud heart have allowed him to be insulted by my Lord Bloomfield, or Sir W. Knighton? No; the answer must be obvious. Yet such was actually the fact, as all the private friends of his majesty can testify. My honour is indeed insulted, and yet I am denied redress. I suspected what my fate would be when so much equivocation was resorted to during my journey to this country. I was not treated as any English subject, however poor and defenceless, ought to expect; far otherwise, indeed. I waited some months to see Mr. Brougham, and was disappointed from time to time, until I determined to return to England in despite of all obstacles. I reached St. Omers on the 1st of June; Mr. Brougham did not arrive until the evening of the 3rd; he was accompanied by his brother and Lord Hutchinson; and I judged from their conversation, that my only safety was to be found in the English capital. Propositions were made me, of the most infamous description; and, afterwards, Lord Hutchinson and Mr. Brougham said, 'they understood the outline of those propositions originated [380]with myself.' How those gentlemen could indulge such an opinion for one moment, I leave the world to judge. If it had been my intention to receive fifty thousand pounds per annum to remain abroad, UNQUEENED, I should have reserved my several establishments and suite. I was requested to delay my journey until despatches could be received; but my impatience to set my foot once more on British ground prevented my acquiescence. I had been in England a very short time, when I was most credibly informed the cause for soliciting that delay; namely, that this government had required the French authorities to station the military in Calais, at the command of the English consul, for the express purpose of seizing my person, previous to my embarkation! What would not have been my fate, if I once had been in the grasp of the Holy Alliance!! This fact will satisfy the English people, that the most wicked plans were organized for my destruction. The inhabitants of Carlton House were all petrified upon my arrival, having been assured that I never should again see England, and that my legal adviser had supported the plan of my remaining abroad, and had expressed his opinion that I should accept the offer. It is also a solemn fact that, at that period, a PROCESS OF DIVORCE, in the Consistory Court in Hanover, was rapidly advancing, under the direction of Count Munster; and, as the king is there an arbitrary sovereign, the regal will would not have found any obstacle. When the day of retribution shall arrive, may God have mercy [381]upon Lords Liverpool, Castlereagh, and their vile associates,—even as they wished to have compassion upon their insulted and basely-treated queen! Had I followed my first opinion after these unhandsome transactions, I should have changed my counsel; but I did not know where to apply for others, as I too soon found I was intended to be sacrificed, either privately or publicly. Devotion in public characters is seldom found to be unequivocally sincere in times of great trouble and disappointment! What is a defenceless woman, though a queen, opposed to a despotic and powerful king? Alas! but subject to the rude ebullition of pampered greatness, and a mark at which the finger of scorn may point. Well may I say—

"Would I had never trod the English earth,
Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!
Ye have angels' faces; but heaven knows your hearts.
What will become of me now, wretched lady?
I am the most unhappy woman living.
No friend, no hope, no kindred, weep for me;
Almost no grave allowed me! Like the lily,
That once was mistress of the field, and flourished,
I'll hang my head, and perish!"

A very few weeks after making these remarks, her majesty, in correspondence with a friend, wrote as follows:

"I grow weary of my existence. I am annoyed upon every occasion. I am actually kept without means to discharge my honourable engagements. Lord Liverpool returns the most sarcastic replies (if [382]such they may be called) to my notes of interrogation upon these unhandsome and unfair delays, as if I were an object of inferior grade to himself. I think I have sufficient perception to convince me what the point is to which the ministers are now lending their ready aid, which is nothing less than to FORCE ME TO RETURN ABROAD! This they never shall accomplish, so long as my life is at all safe; and in vain does Mr. Wilde press upon my notice the propriety of such a step."

Illuminations and other rejoicings were manifested by the people at the queen's acquittal; but the state of her majesty's affairs, as explained in the above extract, were such as to preclude her receiving that pleasure which her majesty had otherwise experienced at such testimonies of the affectionate loyalty of the British people.

We must now proceed to the year

1821,

in which pains and penalties supplied the place of kindness, and the sword upheld the law! while men who opposed every liberal opinion hovered around the throne of this mighty empire. In the hardness of their hearts, they justified inhumanity, and delighted to hear the clank of the chains of slavery. They flattered but to deceive, and hid from their master the miseries of his subjects! This was base [383]grovelling submission to the royal will, and not REAL LOYALTY; for loyalty does not consist in a slavish obedience to the will of a tyrannical chief magistrate, but in a firm and faithful adherence to the law and constitution of the community of which we are members. The disingenuity of Lord Liverpool and his coadjutors, however, who were impelled by high church and high tory principles, wished to limit this comprehensive principle, which takes in the whole of the constitution, and therefore tends to the conservation of it all in its full integrity, to the person of the king, because they knew he would favour their own purposes as well as the extension of power and prerogative,—the largesses of which they hoped to share in reward for their sycophantic zeal, and their mean, selfish, perfidious adulation. With such views, the king's ministers represented every spirited effort in favour of the people's rights as originating in disloyalty. The best friends to the English constitution, in its purity, were held up to the detestation of his majesty, as being disaffected to his person. Every stratagem was used to delude the unthinking part of the people into a belief that their only way of displaying loyalty was to display a most servile obsequiousness to the caprices of the reigning prince, and to oppose every popular measure. The ministers themselves approached him in the most unmanly language of submission, worthier to have been received by the Great Mogul or the Chinese emperor than the chief magistrate of a professedly free people. In short, George the Fourth only wished to be [384]feared, not loved. The servile ministry fed this passion, though they would have done the same for a Stuart, had one been in power. It was not the man they worshipped, but the power he possessed to add to their own dignity and wealth! Let us not here be misunderstood. We are willing to award honour to the person of a man invested with kingly power, provided his deeds are in accordance with his duty, though not otherwise. A good king should be regarded with true and sincere affection; but we ought not to pay any man, reigning over a free country, so ill a compliment as to treat him like a despot, ruling over a land of slaves. We must, therefore, reprobate that false, selfish, adulatory loyalty, which, seeking nothing but its own base ends, and feeling no real attachment either to the person or the office of the king, contributes nevertheless, by its example, to diffuse a servile, abject temper, highly injurious to the spirit of freedom.

Though "the bill" was now ingloriously abandoned by Lord Liverpool, the queen received but little benefit. Her majesty was even refused means to discharge debts unavoidably contracted for the bare support of her table and her household. As a proof of the economical style of her living, we witnessed one evening a party of friends sitting down to supper with her majesty, when a chicken at the top and another at the bottom of the table were the only dishes set before the company. What a contrast this would have presented to the loaded tables, groaning under the luxurious display of provisions for [385]gluttony, in the king's several residences, where variety succeeded variety, and where even the veriest menial lived more sumptuously than his master's consort!

On the 5th of May, the Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte expired at St. Helena, having endured captivity, under the most unfavourable circumstances, and with a constitutional disease, more than six years and a half. As we shall have occasion, in our second volume, to speak of this illustrious man and his cruel treatment by our government, it would be unnecessary to say more in this place than merely give an outline of his extraordinary career. Napoleon was born at Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, August 15, 1769; and was, consequently, fifty-two years of age, wanting three months, when he died. He was the eldest son of a lawyer, of Italian descent, and his family had pretensions to ancestry of high birth and station in Italy. He was educated in the royal military school; and first attracted notice when, as an officer of engineers, he assisted in the bombardment of Toulon in 1793; next signalized himself by repressing an infuriated mob of Parisians in 1795, which caused his promotion to the command of the army of Italy; was made first consul in 1799; elected emperor in 1804; "exchanged" the sceptre of France and Italy for that of Elba (so it was expressed in the treaty of Fontainbleau) on the 11th of April, 1814; landed at Cannes, in Provence, on the 1st of March, 1815; entered Paris triumphantly, at the head of the French army, a few days afterwards; fought the last fatal battle of [386]Waterloo on the 18th of June in the same year; abdicated in favour of his son; threw himself upon the generosity of the English, through promises made to him by Lord Castlereagh; was landed at St. Helena on the 18th of October, 1815; and died as before stated, a victim to the arbitrary treatment of our government, which we shall presently prove.

Leopold now (in July) called upon her majesty, for the first time since her return to this country. His serene highness was announced and ushered into the presence of the mother of his late consort. The queen appeared exceedingly agitated, though her majesty did not urge one word of complaint or inquiry at the delay of the prince's visit. Previous to the departure of Leopold, the queen appeared much embarrassed and affected, and, addressing the prince, said, "Do you not think that the death of my Charlotte was too sudden to be naturally accounted for? and do you think it not very likely that she died unfairly?" The prince replied, "I also have my fears; but I do not possess any PROOF of it." He then said, "My suspicions were further excited by the EXCESSIVE JOY the royal family shewed at her death; for the Regent and the Duke of York got DRUNK upon the occasion." These, we pledge ourselves, were his highness' OWN WORDS, verbatim et literatim.

About this time, when the coronation was expected to take place in a few days, her majesty, in writing to one of her firmest friends, said,

"I do not foresee any happy result likely to ensue from my attempting to get into the Abbey; for [387]my own part, I do not think it a prudent step. My enemies hold the reins of power, and most of my professed friends appear rather shy; so I fear the advice I have received upon the subject. Alderman Wood intends to go in his civic capacity, which, to me, is very unaccountable indeed; for certainly, if I ever required the assistance and presence of my real friends, it is most probable I shall need both at such a period. I can unbosom myself to you, for I know you to be my real friend; believe me, I do not assure myself that I have another in the whole world! To you alone can I speak freely upon the death of my child and her infant, and I dare tell you, I yet hope to see the guilty murderers brought to condign punishment. I say, with Shakespeare,

"'Blood will have blood!
Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak,
To bring forth the secret man of blood.'

"Such is my earnest hope; may it yet prove true in the case of my lovely departed daughter. While her remains are dwelling in the gloomy vault of death, her father and his associates are revelling in the most abominable debauchery, endeavouring to wash that,—THE FOUL STAIN, THE ETERNAL [388]STAIN,—from their remembrance. Still I live in expectation that the dark deed will be avenged, and the perpetrators meet with their just reward.

"The deep-rolling tide of my enemies' success against me will find a mighty barrier, when all shall be explained, in the simple and unaffected language of truth. Weak and presumptuous as my Lord Liverpool is, I did not believe he would dare to promise one thing, and act the reverse before the world. I did think he was too anxious to retain A NAME for honour, if he merited it not; but I am deceived, and very probably not for the last time. You will sympathize with me; I labour under the pressure of many heavy misfortunes, and also under the provocation of great and accumulated injustice. Yes, and though so unfortunate, I am scarcely at liberty to lament my cruel destiny. These things frequently hang heavy, very heavy, upon my heart; and I sometimes reflect, with inexpressible astonishment, upon the nerve with which I still bear up under the trying burden. For more than fourteen years I have been a victim to perjury and conspiracy; my enemies were in ambush in the shade, but they aimed at me poisoned arrows; they watched, most eagerly watched, for the moment in which they might destroy me, [389]without its being known who drew the bow, or who shot the shaft. You, my friend, know that I delight in disseminating happiness. My bliss is to diffuse bliss around me; I do not wish misery to be known within the circle of my influence. I covet not the glory arising from the carnage of battle, which fills the grave with untimely dead, or covers the earth with mutilated forms. I wish you distinctly to understand me upon these several subjects. I have not any personal feelings against the king, in my own case. I do assuredly pity his majesty, that he should allow himself to be a tool in the hands of a wicked ministry; but my cause for sorrow is, that he should leave this world without exposing the base schemes formed against the SUCCESSION and LIFE of his royal daughter. If his majesty will make restitution upon this point, my anxieties would be in some degree relieved, although nothing on this side the grave will ever make any atonement for the loss of such an amiable and well-formed mind. Well indeed may his majesty be afraid to be left alone; well may he discharge all persons from naming the departed child he ought to have protected; at this I do not wonder, for guilt produces terror and dismay.

[390]"I cannot conclude this without adverting again to the pecuniary difficulties I have to endure. For nearly eight years, I have given up fifteen thousand pounds per annum out of the annuity allowed me by parliament. This amounts now to above one hundred thousand pounds; yet, notwithstanding this, I am refused means to live in a respectable style, to say nothing of regal state. All the royal family have had their debts paid, and the Duke of Clarence received his arrears. The chancellor of the Exchequer promised I should receive an outfit, if the prosecution against me failed. It did fail; but I have received no outfit at all,—not even the value of one shilling,—so that, of necessity, I am involved in debt to the amount of thirty thousand pounds. How differently was the late Queen Charlotte situated; and, since her demise, more than twenty thousand pounds per annum have been paid in pensions to her numerous and already wealthy household! while I am incapable to acknowledge my real sentiments to those who have been generous to me, even at the expense of being unjust to themselves, unless I do it from borrowed resources.

"You will not feel surprised at these remarks. Alas! I wish it were not in my power to make [391]more serious ones; but I will await, with firmness, the coronation.

"Believe me ever,

"Your faithful and grateful friend,

"C. R."

Nearly at the same time, the following letter was forwarded to the same friend of the queen, by a professional gentleman, who had for some time been employed to arrange some of her majesty's affairs:

"You may indeed rest assured that no consideration shall induce me to give up 'The Documents' I hold, relative to the queen and her lost, though lamented, daughter, unless you require me to return them to her majesty, or to entrust them into your own care. For, as I obtained them from no other motive than to serve the queen, so I will certainly retain them and use them in this noble cause, without regard to any personal consideration, or convenience, until that object be fully accomplished; and feeling (as you do) the very great importance of such proofs, I will defy all the power of the enemy to dispute the matter with me. Yet, at the same time, I am very candid to acknowledge, that it is my confident opinion every effort will be used to [392]suppress all testimony which may have a tendency to bring THE FAMILY into disgrace. With whom to trust this business, I am at a loss to determine, as it would no doubt be considered rather a ticklish affair. I have thought of Dr. Lushington; but, as you are better acquainted with this learned gentleman's sentiments and opinions upon her majesty's case than I am, I beg to submit the suggestion for your serious deliberation. No time ought to be lost; every thing that CAN be done OUGHT to be done, without delay. The queen is placed in the most serious situation. You ought not to forget, for one moment, that her enemy is her sovereign; and such is the utter absence of principle manifested to this illustrious lady since her left-handed marriage with the son of George the Third, that every person must fear for her safety, unless their hearts are hard as adamant, and themselves actors in the villanous tragedy.

"I give my opinion thus boldly, because I know your fidelity to the queen to be unshaken, even amidst all the rude and unmanly clamours raised against her friends by the agents of her tyrannical husband. This is, and ought to be, your satisfactory reflection,—that you have been faithful to this innocent and persecuted queen, from principle [393]alone. 'Honourable minds will yield honourable meed,' and to such you are justly entitled. To-morrow evening, I intend to give you further intelligence, as I am now going out for the purpose of meeting an especial enemy of her majesty, by whose rancour I may judge the course intended.

"I have the honour to be,"

&c. &c. &c. ******.

Continuation from the same to the same, two days after the foregoing.

"I am sorry to say my fears were not groundless, as I learn, from the first authority, that the king has changed his opinion, and the queen will not be allowed to enter the Abbey. The seat provided is otherwise disposed of. If her majesty's attorney and solicitor generals would now, without any loss of time, press 'The Documents' upon the notice of the ministers, either by petition or remonstrance, I think the ceremony would be postponed, and justice be finally administered to the queen. But if they delay this, they may assure themselves the cause of their royal mistress will be lost for ever. Her majesty's proofs are too astounding to be passed over in silence; they [394]would forcibly arouse the guilty, and SUCH FACTS at SUCH A TIME ought to be instantly published. I should not express myself with such ardour upon these solemn points, if I had not made myself most minutely acquainted with every bearing of the subject; and I give you my decisive legal opinion, that 'The Documents' in question contain a simple statement of facts, which no judge, however instructed, and no jury, however selected, or packed, could refute. If, however, fear should get the better of duty, I do not doubt sooner or later the country will have cause to repent the apathy of those individuals who were most competent to do, or cause justice to be done to this shamefully injured queen.

"I have not entered upon these opinions from interested views, and I am well convinced your motives do not savour of such baseness; but as disinterestedness is a scarce virtue, and so little cultivated in this boasted land of liberty, I warn you to avoid the ensnaring inquiries of those by whom you may most probably be assailed.

"I also must remind you that, at the present moment, her majesty is watched in all directions. Major Williams is employed by the government to be a spy upon all occasions, and drove his [395]carriage with four grey horses to Epsom last races, and remained upon the ground until the queen drove away. At this time, he occupied an elegantly furnished house in Sackville-street. P. Macqueen, M. P., a protégé of Lord Liverpool's, was doubtless the person who arranged the business with the premier. If this be considered dubious information, I will forward you PROOFS which will set the matter at rest.

"I scarcely need tell you that the case of her majesty is one unprecedented in history, and unheard of in the world. The king and his ministers have resolved upon her destruction, and if the royal sufferer be not destroyed by the first plans of attempt, I indeed fear she will fall a victim to similar plans, which, I doubt not, are in a forward stage of preparation against her; and how can the queen escape from the grasp of such powerful and dishonourable assailants? All their former arrangements and stratagems, to which they subscribed, failed, decidedly failed; but the malignity which instigated those plans will, without any question, furnish materials for new charges, and supply the needful reserve to complete the destruction of a lady, whose talents are envied, whose knowledge of affairs in general is deemed [396]too great, and whose information upon FAMILY SECRETS render her an enemy to be feared.

"I see in this mysterious persecution against the queen, the intended annihilation of the rights and privileges of the nation at large; and I, therefore, protest against the innovation. I argue, that which was unconstitutional and unprincipled in William the Third is equally dangerous and unconstitutional in George the Fourth! If such unprecedented injustice be allowed in the case of her majesty, where must we look for an impartial administration of justice? and how may we reasonably expect that violence will not be offered, if other means fail, to accomplish the intended mischief? In case of indisposition, what may not occur! May not the life of her majesty be in the greatest jeopardy, and may not a few hours terminate her mortal existence? These are questions of vital importance; they do not only materially affect the queen, but, through the same medium, they most seriously relate to every individual of the community; and, if the constitution is not to be entirely destroyed, the queen must be honourably saved from the overpowering grasp of her relentless oppressors. Her majesty reminds me of the words of Seneca: 'She is [397]struggling with the storms of Adversity, and rising superior to the frowns of Persecution; this is a spectacle that even the gods themselves may look down upon with envy.'

"I verily believe that bold and energetic measures might set this question at rest for ever, but time lost is lost for ever; and, in my opinion, retribution can only slumber for a short period. I beg and entreat you not to be subdued or deterred by the arrogance of inconsistent power. The nation is insulted, the independence of the country is insulted; its morality and patience have been outraged!

"What could I not add to this page of sorrow, this blot upon our land? But I have acted openly and honourably to you in this unparalleled case, and have, in so acting, only done my duty.

"Excuse haste, and allow me the honour to remain

"Your most obedient and respectful servant,

******.

"July 12th."

Such are the recorded sentiments of a professional gentleman, who volunteered his services to the queen at this period of anxious expectation. He [398]hailed, or affected to hail, the appearance of the star of liberty, whose genial rays should dispel the gloom of the desolating power of her enemies. But, alas! how soon were such opinions changed by the gilded wand of ministerial power! Pension reconciled too many to silence upon these all-important subjects; even he, who wrote thus boldly in defence of an injured queen and her murdered daughter, shortly afterwards acted the very reverse of his duty for the sake of paltry gain! But, independent of the lavish means which ministers then possessed of bribing those who felt inclined to bring these criminal matters before a public tribunal, an unmanly fear of punishment, as well as an obsequiousness to the king and some of his particular friends, operated on the dastardly minds of pretended patriots and lovers of justice. There is also an habitual indolence which prevents many from concerning themselves with any thing but that which immediately affects their pecuniary interest. Such persons would not dare to inquire into the actions of a sovereign, however infamous they might be, for fear of suffering a fine or imprisonment for their temerity. The legal punishments attending the expression of discontent against the king are so severe, and the ill-grounded terrors of them so artfully disseminated, that, rather than incur the least danger, they would submit to the most unjust and tyrannical government. They would even be content to live under the Grand Seignior, so long as they might eat, drink, and sleep in peace! Had the lamented Princess [399]Charlotte been the daughter of a cottager, the mysterious circumstances attending her death would have demanded the most public investigation. But, because a powerful prince had expressed his SATISFACTION at the treatment she received, it was deemed impertinent, if not treasonable, for any other individual to express a wish for further inquiry! Yet such is the effect of political artifice, under the management of court sycophants, that the middle ranks of people are taught to believe, that they ought not to trouble themselves with matters that occur in palaces; that a certain set of men come into the world like demigods, possessed of right, power, and intellectual abilities, to rule the earth without controul; and that free inquiry and manly remonstrance are the sin of sedition! Thus many people are actually terrified, through fear of losing their wealth, their liberty, or their life, into silence upon subjects which they ought, in duty to their God, under the principles of justice, fearlessly to expose. "Better pay our taxes patiently, and remain quiet about state crimes," say they, "than, by daring to investigate public measures, or the conduct of great men, risk a prison or a gibbet!" But let us hope that such disgraceful sentiments are not now to be found in the breast of any Englishman, however humble his condition. Our noble ancestors were famed for seeing justice administered, as well to the poor as to the rich. If, therefore, we suffer personal fear to conquer duty, we are traitors to posterity, as well as cowardly deserting a trust which they who [400]confided it are prevented by death from guarding or withdrawing. We know that this justice has been lamentably neglected, though we do not yet despair of seeing it overtake the guilty, however lofty their station may be in society.


FOOTNOTES:

[172:A]When the inquest was held, the razor was found on some drawers in the room; but it was placed there by a Bow-street officer, by mistake,—at least, so it was reported. We, however, consider even the very partial evidence published in the "Morning Post" quite sufficient to prove that poor Sellis had nothing to do with the razor himself. Some one else must have thrown it "two yards from the bed." The murdered man could not possibly have so exerted himself after the infliction of such a severe wound!

[192:A]Whatever our readers may think of this jumble of words, we assure them it is verbatim from the ORIGINAL affidavit, which is WITHOUT POINTS, as lawyers consider such matters unnecessary.

[360:A]The Duke of Sussex excused himself from taking part in the proceedings against the queen on the plea of being so nearly related to her majesty. When this was stated in the House of Lords, the Duke of York said, "My lords, I have as much reason, and, heaven knows, I would as anxiously desire as my royal relative to absent myself from these proceedings; but when I have a DUTY imposed upon me, of such magnitude as the present, I should be ashamed to offer such an EXCUSE!" It is astonishing how any man, who had outraged virtue and violated HIS DUTY in a thousand ways, could, unblushingly, thus insult the English nation!


END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

Printed by W. H. Stevenson, 5, Whiskin Street, Clerkenwell.


TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

Pages ii and viii are blank in the original.

The following corrections have been made to the text:

Page i: Of meaner vice and villains[original has villians]

Page iii: climate not very conducive[original has condusive]

Page 51: the forms observed[original has oberved] by courts

Page 99: result was prejudicial[original has prejudical] to the rights

Page 110: I have endeavoured to excite[original has exite]

Page 131: French Consul possessed[original has possesed] himself

Page 204: "I do," said the queen.[original has comma]

Page 209: voted for the use of Mr. Perceval's[original has Peceval's] family

Page 212: this was not a very exhilarating[original has exhilirating] or agreeable

Page 249: "[quotation mark missing in original]Your very affectionate mother

Page 249: "[quotation mark missing in original]CAROLINE."

Page 257: such marriages shall be null and void.[period missing in original]

Page 261: Charlotte was declared enceinte[original has enciente]

Page 299: awful spectacle presented itself.[period missing in original]

Page 316: duke's[original has dukes] former delinquencies

Page 329: where[original has were] there was a continual boast

Page 361: Edgecumbe,[original has semi-colon] 400l.

Page 362: with two livings, 1,000l.[original has extraneous comma]-7,260l.

Page 366: [original has extraneous quotation mark]That certain property, of a large amount

 

 


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