« ForrigeFortsæt »
tiently or precipitately. To avoid coming to gatived the principal charge of substantive this painful extremity, I have taken every step crime, should have entertained cousiderations of in my power, except that which would abandon matters that amounted to no legal offence, and my character to utter infamy, and my station whieh were adduced, not as substantive charges and life to po uncertain danger, and possibly to in themselves, but as matters in support of the no very distant destruction. With every principal accusation ; That through the presprayer for the lengthened continuance of your sure and weight of their official occupations, Majesty's health and happiness, for every possi- they did not, perhaps could not, bestow that ble blessing which a gracious God ean bestow attention on the case, which, if given to it, must upon the beloved Monarch of a loyal people, have enabled them to detect the villany and and for the continued prosperity of your domi- falsehood of my accusers, and their foul connions, under your Majesty's propitious reigu, Ispiracy against me; and must have preserved remain, your Majesty's most dutiful, loyal, and my character from the weighty imputation which affectionate, but most unhappy and most in- the authority of the Commissioners has, for a jured, daughter-in-law, subject and servant, time, cast upon it; but, above all, that they (Signed)
C. P. should, upon this ex parte examination, without Montague-house, March 5, 1807.
hearing one word that I could unge, have report
ed to your Majesty an opinion on these matters, To the King.
so prejudicial to my honour, and from whien I Sire-Impressed with the deepest sentiments can have no appeal to the laws of the country, of gratitude for the countenance and protection (because the charges, constitutirg no legal of which I have hitherto uniformly received from tence, cannot be made the groupd of a judieial your Majesty, I approach you with a heart us. inquiry ;) These and many other eircunstances dismayed upon this occasion, so awful and mo- conneeted with the length of the Proceeding, mentous to my character, my honour, and my which have eruelly aggravated, to my feelings, happiness. I should indeed, (under charges such the pain necessarily attendant upon this Inquiry, as have now been brought against me,) prove I shall not be able to refrain from stating, and myself undeserving of the continuance of that urging, as matters of serious lamentation at countenance and protection, and altogether un least, if not of well-grounded complaint. bu worthy of the high station, which I hold in your commenting upon any part of the eireumstances, Majesty's illustrious family, if I sought for any which have occurred in the course of this Inquipartiality, for any indulgence, for any thing more ry, whatever observations I may be compelled than what is due to me in justice. My entire to make upon any of them, I trust, I shall never confidence in your Majesty's virtues assures me forget what is due to offeers in high station and that I cannot meet with less. The situation, employment, under your Majesty. No apolowhich I have been so happy as to hold in your gy, therefore, can be required for any reserve Majesty's good opinion and esteem; wy station
in my expressions towards them. But if, in in your Majesty's august family; my life, my ho- vindieating my innocence against the injustice nour, and, through mine, the honour of your and malice of my enemies, I should appear to Majesty's family bave been attacked. Sir Jobn your Majesty not to express myself with all the and Lady Douglas bave attempted to support a warmth and indignation which innocence, so direct and precise eharge, by which they have fonlly calumniated, must feel, your Majesty dared to impute to me, the enormous guilt of will, I trust, not attribute wy forbearance High Treason, committed in the foul crime of to any insensibility to the grievous inAdultery. In this charge, the extravagance of juries I have sustained; byt will graciously be their malice has defeated itself. The Report of pleased to ascribe it to the restraint I have imthe Lords Commissioners, aeting under your posed upon myself, lest in endeavouring to deMajesty's warrant, has most fully cleared me of scribe in just terms the motives, the conduct, that charge. But there remain imputations, the perjury, and all the foul circumstances, which strangely sanctioned and countenanced by that characterize and establish the malice of my aeReport, on which I cannot remain silent, with cusers, I might use language, which, though out incurring the most fatal consequences to my not unjustly applied to them, might be improper honour and character. For it states to your Ma- to be used by me to any body, or unfit to be jesty, that** The cireumstapees detailed against employed by any body, humbly, respectfully, me must be eredited, till they are decisively and dutifully addressing yanr Majesty. -That contradicted." To contradict, with as much a fit opportunity has occured for laying open my decision as the contradiction of an aeeused can heart to your Majesty, perhaps, I shall, here. conveys to expose the injustice and malice of after, have no reason to lament. For more my enemies; to shew the utter impossibility of than two years, I had been informed, that, giving credit to their testimony; and to viydi- upon the presumption of some misconduct in cate my own inpocence, will be the objects, me, my behaviour had been made the subject Sire, of this letter. In the course of my pursu- of investigation, and my neighbours and servants ing these objeets, I shall have much to complain bad been examined concerning it.
And for of, in the substance of the Proceeding itself, and some time I had received mysterious and indis. much in the manner of conduetipg it. That any tiuct intimations, that some great mischief of these charges should ever have been enter was meditated towards me. And, in all the tained upon testimony so little worthy of belief, cireumstances of my very peculiar situation, it which betrayed, in every sentence, the malice will not be thought strange, that however conin which it originated; that, evep if they were scious I was, that I þad no just cause of fear, I entertained at all, Your Majesty shoulă bave should yet feel some uneasiness on this account. been advised to pass by the ordinary legal modes With surprise certainly because the first tidings of Inquiry into such higla crimes, and to refer were of a kind to excite surprise), but without them to a Commission, open to all the objection, alarm, I received the intelligence, that, for some whieh I shall have to state to sạch a mode of In reason, a formal investigation of some parts of quiry ; that the Commissionero, after having new my conduct had been advised, and had actually taken place. His Royal Highness the Duke of " be questioned;" and their infamous stories and Kent, on the 7th of June, announced it to me. insinuations against me, to be " such as deserve He announced to me, the Princess of Wales, in “ the most serious consideration, and as must be the first communication made to me, with re- “ credited till decisively contradicted. The spect to this proceeding, the near approach of Inquiry, after I thus had notice of it, continned two attorneys (one of them, I since find, the so for above* two months. I venture not to com licitor employed by Sir John Douglas), claiming plain, as if it had been unnecessarily protracted. to enter my dwelling, with a warrant, to take The important duties and official avocations of away one half of my household, for immediate the Noble Lords, appointed to carry it on, may examination upon a charge against myself. Of naturally account for and excuse some delay. the nature of that charge I was then uninformed. But however excusable it may have been, your It now appears, it was the charge of High Trea- Majesty will easily conceive the pain and anxson, committed in the infamous crime of adul-iety which this interval of suspense has occatery. His Royal Highness, I am sure, will do sioned; and your Majesty will not be surprised me the justice to represent to your Majesty, that if I further represent, that I have found a great I betrayed no fear, that I manifested no symp- aggravation of my painful sufferings, in the detonis of conscious guilt, that I sought no excuses lay which occurred in communicating the Report to prepare, or to tutor, my servants for the ex- to me. For though it is dated on the 14th July, anzination which they were to undergo. The I did not receive it, notwithstanding your Mac only request which I made to His Royal Highness jesty's gracious commands, till the 11th of Au. was, that he would have the goodness to remain gust. It was due unquestionably to your Mawith me till my servants were gone; that he jesty, that the result of an Inquiry, commanded might bear witness, that I had no conversation by your Majesty, upon advice which had been with them before they went. In truth, Sire, my offered, touching matters of the highest import, anxieties, under a knowledge that some serious shonld be first and immediately communicated mischief was planning against me, and while I to you. The respect and honour due to the was ignorant of its quality and extent, had been Prince of Wales, the interest which he must ne o great that I could not but rejoice at an event, cessarily have taken in this Inquiry, combined which seemed to promise me an early opportu- to make it indisputably fit that the result should nity of ascertaining what the malice of my ene- be forthwith also stated to His Royal Highness. mies intended against me. It has not been, I complain uot, therefore, that it was too early indeed, without impatience the most painful, communicated to any one; I complain only (and that I have passed the interval, which has since I complain most seriously, for I felt it most se. elapsed. When once it was not only known to verely), of the delay in its communication to me, but to the world (for it was known to the me. ---Rumour had informed the world, that world), that Inquiry of the gravest nature had the Report had been early communicated to your been instituted into my conduct, I looked to the Majesty and to His Royal Highness. I did not conclusion with all the eagerness that could be receive the benefit intended for me by your Ma. long to an absolute conviction, that my innocence jesty's gracions command, till a month after the and my honour, to the disgrace and confusion of Report was signed. But the same rumour had my accusers, would be established; and that the represented me, to my infinite prejudice, as in groundless malice and injustice of the whole possession of the Report during that month; and cliarge would be manifested to the world, as the malice of those, who wished to stain my ho. widely as the calomny had been circulated. I nonr, has not failed to suggest all that malice knew that the result of an ex parte inquiry, from could inter, from its remaining in that possession its very nature, could not, unless it fully asserted so long unnoticed. May I be permitted to say, my entire innocence, be in any degree just that if the Report acquits me, my innocence en Aud I had taught myself most firmly to believe, titled me to receive from those, to whom your that it was utterly impossible that any opinion Majesty's commands had been given, an inimewhich could, in the smallest degree, work a pre- diate notification of the fact that it did acquit jndice to my honour and character, could ever be me. That if it condemned me, the weight of expressed in any terms, by any persons, in a such a sentence should not have been left to set. Report upon a solemn formal Inquiry, and more tle in any mind, inuch less upon your Majesty's, especially to your Majesty, without my having for a month, before I could even begin to presome notice and some opportunity of being pare an answer, which, when begun, conld not heard. And I was convinced that, if the pro- speedily be concluded; and that, if the Report ceeding allowed me, before an opinion was ex- could be represented as both acquitting and conpressed, the ordinary means which accused per- demning me, the reasons, which suggested the sons bave, of vindicating their honour and their propriety of an early communication in each of innocence, my honour and my innocence must, the former cases, combined to make it proper in any opinion which could then be expressed, aud necessary in the latter. And why all con. be fully vindicated and effectually established. sideration of my feelings was thus cruelly neg., What tben, Sire, must liave been my astonish- lected; why was I kept upon the rack, during ment and my dismay, when I saw, that notwith all this time, ignorant of the result of a charge, standing the principal accusation was found to which affected my honour and my life; and why, be utterly false, yet some of the witnesses to especially in a case where such grave matters those charges which were brought in support of were to continue to be “ credited, to the preju. the principal accusation, witnesses whom any person, interested to have protected my cha- * The time that the Inquiry was pending, after racter, would easily have shewn, out of their this notice of it, is here confounded with the own mouths, to be utterly upworthy of credit, time which elapsed before the Report was com. and confederates in foul conspiracy with my false municated to her Royal Highness. The Inquiry accusers, are reported to be * free from all sus. itselt only lasted to the 14th or 16th of July, “picion of unfavourable bias;” their veracity, which is but between five and six weeks from the “ in the judgment of the Commissioners, not to 7th of June,
« dice of ny bonour," till they were “decidedly One of Robert Bidgood, dated Temple, 4th “ contradicted;" the means of kuowing what it April, 1806. was, that I must, at least, endeavour to contra- One of Sarah Bidgood, dated Temple, 230 dict, were withlolden from me, a single unne April, 1806 ; and, cessary hour, I know not, and I will not trust One of Frances Lloyd, dated Temple, 12th myself in the attempt to conjecture. On the May, 1806. 11th of August, however, I at length received The other Papers and Documents which ac. from the Lord Chancellor a packet, containing companied the Report, are,* copies of the Warrant or Commission anthorizing
1806. No. the Inquiry; of the Report ; and of the Exami- | 29 May, 1. The King's Warrant or Commisnations on which the Report was founded. And
sion. your Majesty will be graciously pleased to recol. 1 June, 2. Deposition of Lady Douglas. lect, that on the 13th I returned my grateful
of Sir John Douglas. thanks to your Majesty, for having ordered these 6
of Robert Bidgood. papers to be sent to me. Your Majesty will 6
of W. Cole. readily imagine that, upon a subject of such im.
of Frances Lloyd. portance, I could not venture to trust only to my
of Mary Wilson. own advice; and those with whom I advised
of Samuel Roberts. suggested, that the written, Declarations, or
of Thos. Stikeruan. Charges, upon which the Inquiry had proceeded,
of J. Sicard. and which the Commissioners refer to in their 7
of Charlotte Sander. Report, and represent to be the essential foun
of Sophia Austin. dation of the whole proceeding, did not accom- | 20
13. Letter from Lord Spencer to pany the Examinations and Report; and also
Lord Gwydir. that the papers themselves were not authenti. 21
from Lord Gwydir to cated. I, therefore, ventured to address your
Lord Spencer. Majesty upon these supposed defects in the com- 21
from Lady Willoughby munication, and lumbly requested that the co
to Lord Spencer. pies of the papers, which I then returned, might, 23 16. Extract from Register of Brownafter being examined and authenticated," bé
low-street Hospital. again transmitted to me; and that I might also | 23 17. Deposition of Eliz. Gosden. be furnished with copies of the written Declara- | 23
of Betty Townley. tions, so referred to, in the Report. And my 25
of Thos. Edmeades. bumble thanks are due for your Majesty's gra 25
of Samuel G. Mills. cious compliance with my request. On the 29th 27
of Harriet Fitzgeof August I received, in consequence, the at
rald. tested copies of those Declarations, and of a 1 July, 22. Letter from Lord Spencer to Narrative of His Royal Highness the Duke of
Lord Gwydir. Kent; and a few days after, on the 3rd of Sep 3
from Lord Gwydir to tember, the attested copies of the Examinations
Lord Spencer. which were taken before the Commissioners, 3 24. Queries of Lady Willoughby and The Papers which I have received are as fol
25. Further Deposition of R. BidThe Narrative of His Royal Highness the
good. Duke of Kent, dated 27th of December, 1805.
26. Deposition of Sir Frs. MiHman A Copy of the written Declaration of Sir S
of Mrs. Lisle. John and Lady Douglas, dated December 3,
28. Letter from Sir Francis Mill. 1805.
map to the Lord Chancellor. A Paper containing the written Declarations, 16 29. Deposition of Lord Cholipondeor Examinations, of the persons hereafter enu
ley. merated ; -The title to these Papers is,
14 30. The Report. “ For the purpose of confirming the State- By the Copy, which I have received, of the “ ment made by Lady Douglas, of the circum- Commission, or Warrant, under which the In« stances mentioned in her Narrative. The fol- quiry has been prosecuted, it appears to be an “ lowing Examinations have been taken, and instrument under your Majesty's Sign Manual, " which have been signed by the several persons not countersigned, oot under any Seal.-It re. " who have been examined."
cites, that an Abstract of certain written DeTwo of Sarah Lampert ;-one, dated Chelten- clarations touching my cor.dact (without specify. bam, 8th January, 1806,and,' the other, 29th ing by whom those Declarations were made, or March, 1806.
the nature of the matters touchivg which they One of William Lampert, baker, 114, Chel- had been made, or even by whom the Abstract tenham, apparently of the same date with the had been prepared), had been laid before your last of Sarah Ladipert's.
Majesty ; into the truth of which it purports to Four of William Cole, dated respectively, 11th authorize the tour noble Peers, who are named January, 14th January, 30th January, and 230 in it, to inquisc and to examine, upon oathi, February, 1806.
(To be continued.) See Appendix (B).
* See Appendix (A).
Published by R, BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent-Garden.
LONDON: Printed by J. M'Creery, Black Horse-Court, Fleet-street.
Vol. XXIII. No. 13.] LONDON, SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 1813. [Price 1s.
“ Heav'n has no curse like love to hatred turn'd,
and with which, it appears, her moderation Having been unable to resist the desire would have been contented. Indeed, when
you take an impartial view of the case up to submit my own remarks to the reader to the close of her Letter of the 16th of at considerable length, I have been con- February; 1807, you will be at a loss to say pelled to adopt the measure of publishing a which feeling is strongest in your bosom:
that of admiration of her moderation and third Double Number net week, when I
magnanimity; or, of indignation against shall close the publication of THE BOOK, the wretches who had manifestly conspired, and shall, at the same time, have sufficient with the most deliberate malice, against room to prefix the further remarks that I
her reputation and even against her life.
Exalted as the parties concerned are in have to make upon this important subject. rank, important as every thing must be
which is so closely connected with their TO JAMES PAUL,
character and honour; yet, such is the abiOF BURSLEDON, IN Lower Dublin Town-lity with which this defence was conducted,
SHIP, IN PHILADELPHIA CóUNTY, IN THE that, merely as a specimen of excellence in STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA; ON MATTERS
this sort of productions, it will, I am perRELATING TO Her Royal HIGHNESS THE suaded, live and be admired, long after the PRINCESS OF WALES.
cause of it shall have become of no interest
to the world. I hated Perceval when live Letter V.
ing; I hate his memory now that he is My dear Friend,
dead; because I regard him as having been In my last Letter I gave you a brief his a bitter enemy of the liberties of my countory of THE BOOK, and showed you, as try. But, I should tacitly belie my convicclearly as I was able, what effects it had tion, I should commit an act of violence on produced as to political changes in the go- my own mind, were I to abstain from exvernment, 1, at the same tiine, laid before pressing my admiration of this defence, as you all the depositions against Her Royal doing equal honour to the heart and to the Highness the Princess of Wales, together talents of its author; who, from the first with the beginning of her defence. The page to the last, shines, not only as a wise remaining part of that defence I conti-counsellor, an able and zealous advocate, nue to this Letter; and, when you have but as an ardent, a steady, and disinterested read it, together with Her Royal Highness's friend; and, really, I look upon it as a forLetter to the King of the 16th of February, tunate circumstance for the character of the 1807, you will have the whole of the case country, that, while England had produced
wretches so vile as to conspire against the So satisfactory to my mind is that de. life of an innocent and friendless woman, sence; so completely does it do away every England also furnished the man able and charge against her honour; so quickly does willing to be her protector. it dissipate, in my view of it, every doubt This defence being, in all its parts, so that could have been raised in the mind of complete, I should not trouble you with any rational man, that I am uiterly at a any observations of my own on any part of loss to find words to express my astonish- the evidence or proceedings, and should ment, that His Royal Highness, the Prince merely give you my reasons for believing, of Wales, should have found advisers, weak that the conduct of the Princess,, up to this enough (for I will forbear to apply to them very hour, has been such as to merit full any harsh epithet) to recommend the raising approbation; but, as endeavours are still of any obstacle to the giving of the injured making, in some of the detestable news. Princess those external marks of complete papers in London, to give the air of truth acquittal, which she so justly demanded, to the refuted calumnies of the Douglases
and others, I think it right to point out for We see, that, from 1801 to 1804, there your special notice some few of the circum- was an intercourse of friendship existing stances of the case.
between Sir John and Lady Douglas and There is an observation, made by some the Priucess; and, it is not, till after persons, in these words: “ There, surely, the former are discarded by the latter that * must be something in all this. How the accusations appear to have been hatched; “ could such a story as that of Lady Doug or, at least, to have assumed any thing of a “ las have been all invented ?'' This is a systematic form. Soon after this, we find very absurd way of reasoning; for, if one Sir John Douglas receiving, as his wife says, þarl of a story be hatched, why not the anonymous letters, containing lewd draw whole ! It is not the practice either of ings, exhibiting Lady Douglas as committing courts of justice or of individuals to give adultery with Sir Sydney Smith; and of credit to any part of a story, upon the prin- these she says, the Princess of Wales was cipal facts of which the narrator has been the author. This fact of the authorship is fully proved to have spoken wilfally false. clearly disproved by the most satisfactory If any man were to tell you, that I had de- of evidence, positive as well as circumstanfrauded him of a ten pound note, and that, tial. And, now, mark; this fact being upon the same occasion, I had been guilty proved to be false, what other conclusion of blasphemy, would you, when you had can we draw from its having been advanced, seen the former clearly disproved, attach than that the Douglases wrote the letters any credit to the latter? Would the man, themselves to themselves with a design of who could invent the former charge, scruple imputing them to her Royal Highness, and to invent the latter also ? Would that ma- thus to furnish themselves with some excuse lice, which proved the mother of the one, be for the treachery, to say the very least of it, insufficient for the producing of the other ? of Lady Douglas ? For, you will observe, The consistency of the different parts of a that, upon the supposition of all the alle story, all coming from the same person, or gations of Lady Douglas being true, nofrom a set of conspirators, argues little in thing could clear her of the charge of persupport of its credibility; for, if one sits fidiousness to the person, who, in the down to invent, especially when there is warmth of her friendship and the plenitude an aburidance of time, it is entirely one's of her confidence, had committed to her own fault if the several parts of the story breast secrets affecting her life. do not agree. You do not read Romances Having thus prepared the way; havand Plays; but, if you did, you would not ing provided themselves with an excuse set any part of them down for realities, be though a very unsatisfactory one, for the cause all the parts corresponded with each divulging of secrets, which they could other. They are fabulous, they are the not in any case, and under any degree of work of invention, from the beginning to provocation, divulge without subjecting the end; and so, it appears to me, were all themselves to the charge of perfidy, they the minor circumstances, related by the appear to have set themselves to work to Douglases and others, tending to corrobo- get a way opened for their information to rate the main facts, and to render complete the Prince of Wales ; and, at last, in Deand successful the great plot of this dis- cember, 1805, they draw up and sign their graceful drama. The main allegations have STATEMENT in order to its being laid ing been proved to be false, and none of the before him. rest having been proved to be true, we must If this statement was believed, as it apnecessarily, in common justice to the ac- pears to have been, by His Royal Highness's cused, regard the whole as a mass of false advisers; for, my respect for the person, hoods.
whom I obey as my sovereign, will permit Indeed, it is impossible for any man, me to speak, in this case, only of his adwhen he has read the whole of the docu- visers. If this statement was believed by ments, to entertain the smallest doubt of the them, there can be no doubt of the proinnocence of the Princess as to every thing priety, and, indeed, of the absolute newhich has been alleged against her ; but, it cessity, of submitting the matter to the appears to me to be very essential for us to consideration of the King. Different men inquire, how these infamous charges came see the same thing in a different light to be made. And, here, I think, we shall and, for my part, I am convinced, that if find all the marks of a deliberate and my own sister had laid such a statement be. settled conspiracy against her, originating, fore me, relative to the conduct of even a to all outward appearance, with the Doug. suspected wife, I should, at once, have lases.
treated it as a tissue of abominable false