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in point of injury to my character, without affording me any substantial benefits, in point of security. But the charges which the Commissioners do sanction by their Report, describing tliem with a mysterious obscurity and indefinite generality, censtitute, as I am told, no legal crime. They are described as “instances of great im. propriety and indecency of behaviour," which must “ occasion the most unfavourable interpretations," and they are reported to your Majesty, and they are stated to be

circumstances which must be credited till they are decisively contradicted.”

From this opinion, this judgment of the Commissioners, bearing so hard upon my character (and that a female character, how delicate, and how easily to be affected by the breath of calumny your Majesty well knows) I can have no appeal; for, as the charges constitute no legal crimes, they cannot be the subjects of any legal trial. I can call for no trial. I can therefore have no appeal: I can look for no acquittal; yet this opivion, or this judgment, from wliich I can have no appeal, has been pronounced against me upon mere ex parte investigation.

This hardship, Sire, I am told to ascribe to the nature of the proceeding under this Warrant or Commission; for bad the Inquiry been entered into before your Majesty's Privy Council, or before any Magistrates authorised by law as such, to inquire inte the existence of treason, the known course of proceeding before that Council, or such Magistrates, the known extent of their jurisdiction over crimes, and not over the proprieties of behaviour, would have preserved me from the possibility of having matters made the subjects of inquiry which had in law no substantive criminal character, and from the extreme hardship of having my' reputation injured by calumny altogether unfounded, but rendered at once more safe to my enemies, and more injurious to me, by being uttered in the course of a proceeding assuming the grave semblance of legal form.' And it is by tie nature of this proceeding (which could alone have countenanced or admitted of this licentious latitude of inquiry, into the proprieties of bebaviour in private life, with which no court, no magistrate, no public law has any authority to interfere), that I have been deprived of the benefit of that entire and unqualified acquittal and discharge from this accusation, to which the utter and proved falsehood of the accusation itself so justly entitled me.

I trust therefore that your Majesty will see that if this proceeding is not one to which, by the known laws of your Majesty's kingdom, I ought to be subject, that it is no cold formal objection which leads me to protest against it.

I am ready to acknowledge, Sire, from the consequences which might arise to the public, from such misconduct as hath been falsely imputed to me, that my honour and virtue are of more importance to the state than those of other women; that my conduct therefore may be fitly subjected, when necessary, to a severer scrutiny. But it cannot follow, because my character is of more importance, that it may therefore be attacked with more impunity. And as I know that this mischief has been pending over my head for more than two years, that private examinations of my neighbours' servants, and of my own, have at times, during that interval, been taken, for the purpose of establishing charges against me, not indeed by the instrumentality of Sir John and Lady Douglas alone, but by the sanction, and in the presence of the Earl of Moira (as your Majesty will perceive by the deposition of Jonathan Partridge, which I subjoin)*; and as I know also, and make appear to your Majesty likewise by the same means, that declarations of persons of unquestionable credit, respecting my conduct, attesting my innocence, and directly falsifying a most important circumstance respecting my supposed pregnancy, mentioned in the declarations on which the Inquiry

See the depositions at the end of this letter.

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was instituted; as I know, I say, that those declarations, so favourable to me, appear, to my infinite prejudice, not to have been communicated to your Majesty when that Inquiry was commanded. And as I know not how soon nor how often proceedings against me may be meditated by my enemies, I take leave to express my humble trust, that before any other proceedings may be had against me (desirable as it may have been thought, that the Inquiry should have been of the nature which has, in this instance, obtained), your Majesty would be graciously pleased to require to be advised whether my guilt, if I were guilty, could not be as effectually discovered and punished, and my honour and innocence, if innocent, be more effectually secured and established by other more known and regular modes of proceeding.

Having therefore, Sire, upon these grave reasons, ventured to submit, 1 trust without offence, these considerations upon the nature of the Commission, and the proceedings under it, I will now proceed to observe upon the Report and the Examinations; and, with your Majesty's permission, I will go through the whole matter, in that course which has been observed by the Report its and which an examination of the im. portant matters that it contains, in the order in which it states them, will naturally suggest.

The Report, after referring to the Commission or Warrant under which their Lord. ships were acting, after stating that they had proceeded to examine the several witnesses, whose depositions they annexed to their Report, proceeds to state the effect of the written declarations, which the Commissioners considered as the essential foundation of the whole proceeding. “ That they were statements which had been laid before his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, respecting the conduct of her Royal Highness the Princess; that these statements not only imputed to her Royal Highness great impropriety and indecency of behaviour, but expressly asserted, partly on the ground of certain alleged declarations from the Princess's own mouth, and partly on the personal observatious of the informants, the following most important facts, viz.--that her Royal Highness had been pregnant in the year 1802, in consequence of an illicit intercourse, and that she had in the same year been secretly delivered of a male child; which child had, ever since that period, been brought up by her Royal Highness in her own house, and under her immediate inspection, These allegations thus made, had, as the Commissioners found, been followed by declarations from other persons, who had not indeed spoken to the important facts of the pregnancy or delivery of her Royal Highness, but had related other particulars, in themselves extremely suspi. cious, and still more so, when connected with the assertions already mentioned. The Report then states, that, in the painful situation in which his Royal Highness was placed by these declarations, they learnt that he had adopted the only course which could, in their judgment, with propriety be followed, when informations such as these had been thus confidently alleged and particularly detailed, and had in some degree been supported by collateral evidence, applying to other points of the same nature (though going to a far less extent), one line could only be pursued."

“ Every sentiment of duty to your Majesty, aud of concern for the public welfare, required that these particulars should uot be withheld from your Majesty, to whom more particularly belonged the cognizance of a matter of state, so nearly touching the honour of your Majesty's Royal Family, and by possibility affecting the succession to your Majesty's crown.”

The Commissioners, therefore, your Majesty observés, going, they must permit me to say, a little out of their way, begin their Report, by expressing a clear and decided opinion, that his Royal Highness was properly advised (for your Majesty will undoubtedly conclude, that upon a subject of this importance his Royal Highness

could not but have acted by the advice of others), in referring this complaint to your Majesty, for the purpose of its undergoing the investigation which has followed. Aud, , unquestionably, if the charge referred to in this Report, as made by Sir Jobn and Lady Douglas, had been presented under circumstances in which any reasonable degree of credit could be given to them, or even if they had not been presented in such a manner, to impeach the credit of the informers, and to bear internal evidence of their own incredibility, I should be the last person who would be disposed to dispute the wisdom of the advice which led to make them the subject of the gravest aud most anxious inquiry. And your Majesty, acting upon a mere abstract of the declarations, which was all, that by the recital of the warrant, appears to bave been laid before your Majesty, undoubtedlý could not but direct an Inquiry concerning my conduct. For though I have not been furnished with that abstract, yet I must presume that it described the criminatory contents of these declarations, much in the same manner, as they are stated in the Report. And the criminatory parts of these declarations, if viewed without reference to those traces of malice and resentment, with which the declarations* of Sir John and Lady Douglas abound; if abstracted from all these circumstances, which shew the extreme improbability of the story, the length of time which my accusers had kept my alleged guilt concealed, the contradictions observable in the declarations of the other witnesses, all which I submit to your Majesty, are to an extent to cast the greatest discredit upon the truth of these declarations ;-abstracted, I say, from these circumstances, the criminatory part of them were uuquestionably such, as to have placed your Majesty under the necessity of directing some Inquiry concerning them. But that those who had an opportunity of reading the long and malevolent narration of Sir John and Lady Douglas, should not have hesitated before they gave any credit to it, is matter of the greatest astonishment to me.

The improbability of the story, would of itself, I should have imagined (unless they believed me to be as insave as Lady Douglas insinuates), have been sufficient to have staggered the belief of any unprejudiced mind. For to believe that story, they were to begin with believing that a person guilty of so foul a crime, so bighly penal, so fatal to her honour, her station, and her life, should gratuitously, and uselessly have confessed it. Such a person under the necessity of conc

ncealing her pregnancy, might have been indispensably obliged to confide her secret with those to whom she was to look for assistance in concealing its consequences. But Lady Douglas, by her own account, was informed by me, of this fact, for no purpose whatever. She makes me, as those who read her declarations cannot fail to have observed, state to her, that she should, on no account, be entrusted with any part of the management by which the birth was to be concealed. They were to believe also, that anxious as I must have been to have coucealed the birth of any such child, I had determined to bring it up in my own house; and what could exceed, as I should imagine, the extent of all human credulity that I had determined to suckle it myself. I That I had laid my plan, if discovered, to have imposed it upon his Royal Highness as his child. Nay, they were to believe, that I had stated, and that Lady Douglas had believed the statement to be true, that I had in fact attempted to suckle it, and only gave up that part of my plan because it made me nervous, and was too much for my health. And, after all this, they were then to believe, that having made Lady Douglas, thus unnecessarily, the confidante of this most important and dangerous secret; having thus put my character, and my life in her hauds, I sought an occasion, wantonly, and without provocation, from the mere fickleness and wilfulness of my own mind, to quarrel with her, to insult her openly and

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violently in, my own house, to endeavour to ruin her reputation; to expose her in infamous and indecent drawings enclosed in letters to her husband. The letters indeed are represented to have beeu anonymous, but, though anonymous, they are stated to have been written with my own hand, so undisguised in penmanship and style, that every one who had the least acquaintance with either could not fail to discover them, and (as if it were through fear, lest it should not be sufficiently plain from whom they came), that I had sealed them with a seal which I had shortly before used on an occasion of writing to her husband. All this they were to believe upon the declaration of a person, who, with all that loyalty and attachment which she expresses to your Majesty, and his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, with all her obligation to the whole Royal Family (to whom she expresses herself to be bound by ties of respectful regard and attachment which nothing can ever break), with all her dread of the mischievous consequences of the country, which might arise from the disputed succession to the Crown, on the pretensions of an illigitimate child of mine, nevertheless continued, after this supposed avowal of my infamy, and my crime, after my supposed acknowledgment of the birth of this child, which was to occasion all this mischief, to preserve, for near a twelvemonth her intimacy and apparent friendship with me. Nay for two years more, after that intimacy had ceased, after that friendship had broken off, my alleged behaviour to her continued still faithful to my secret, and never disclosed it till:(as her declaration states it) “ The Princess* of Wales recommended a fresh torrent of outrage against Sir John; and Sir John discovered that she was attempting to undermine his and Lady Douglas's character.”

Those, then, who had the opportunity of seeing the whole of this narrative, having had their jealousy awakened by these circumstances to the improbability of the story, and to the discredit of the informer, when they came to observe how maliciously every circumstance that imagination could suggest, as most calculated to make a woman contemptible and odious, was scraped and heaped up together in this Narrative, must surely have had their eyes opened to the motives of my accusers, and their minds cautioned against giving too easy a credit to their accusation, when they found my conversation to be represented as most loose and infamous; my mind uninstructed and unwilling to learn ; my language, with regard to your Majesty and the whole of the Royal Family, foully disrespectful and offensive; and all my manners and habits of life most disgusting, I should have flattered myself that I could not have been, in character, so wholly unknowu to them, but that they must have observed a spirit, and a colouring at least in this representation, which must have proved much more against the disposition and character of the informers, and the quality of their information, than against the person who was the object of their charge. But when, in addition to all this, the Declaration states,t that I had, with respect to my unfortunate and calamitous separation from his Royal Highness, stated that I had acknowledged myself to have been the aggressor, from the beginning, and myself alone; and when it further states, that if any other woman had so played and sported with her husband's comfort and popularity, she would have been turned out of his house, or left alone in it, and have deservedly forfeited her place in society; and further still, when, alleging that I had once been desirous of procuring a separation from his Royal Highness, and had pressed former Chancellors to accomplish this purpose, it Hippantly adds, that I " the Chancellor may now, perhaps, be able to grant her request." The malicious object of the whole must surely have been most obvious.

For supposing these facts to have been all true; supposing tliis infamous and libellous

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description of my character had been nothing but a correct and faithful representation of my vices, and my infamy, would it not have been natural to have asked why they were introduced into this Declaration ? What effect would they have had upon the charge of crime, and of adultery, which it was intended to establish? If it was only, in execution of a painful duty, which a sense of loyalty to your Majesty, and obedience to the commands of the Prince of Wales, at length reluctantly drew from them, why all this malicious accompaniment?* “His Royal Highness" indeed they say, “ desired that they would communicate the whole circumstances of their acquaintance with me, from the day they first spoke with me till the present time; a full detail of all that passed during our acquaintance," and " how they became known to me, it appearing to his Royal Highness, from the representation of his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, that his Majesty's dearest interests, and those of this country, were very deeply interested in the question," and that he particularly commanded them to be very circumstantial in their detail, respecting all they might know relative to the child that 1 affected to adopt.

But-from the whole of this it is sufficiently apparent, that the particularity of this detail was required by his Royal Highness, in respect of matters connected with that question, in which the dearest interests of your Majestsy and this country were involved; and not of circumstances which could have no bearing on those interests. If it had been therefore true, as I most solemuly protest it is not, that I had in the confidence of private conversation, so far forgot all sense of decency, loyalty, and gratitude, as to have expressed myself with that disrespect of your Majesty which is imputed to me ;-If I had been what I trust those who have lived with me, or even have partaken of my society, would not confirm, of a mind so uninformed and uncultivated, without education or talents, or without any desire of improving myself, incapable of employment, of a temper so furious and violent, as altogether to form a character, which no one could bear to live with, who had the means of living elsewhere;-What possible progress would all this make towards proving that I was guilty of adultery? These, and such like insinuations, as false as they are malicious, could never have proved crime in me, however manifestly they might display the malice of my accusers.

Must it not, then, have occurred to any one, who had seen the whole of this Nar. rative, if the motive of my accusers was, as they represent it, merely that of good patriots, of attached and loyal subjects, bound, in execution of a painful duty imposed upon them by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, to disclose, in detail, all the facts which could establish my guilt, that these circumstances never would have made a part of their detail ? But on the other hand, if their object was to traduce me; if, falsely, attributed to bis Royal Highness, sentiments which could belong to no generous bosom, but measuring his nature by their own, they thought, vainly and wickedly, to ingratiate themselves with him, by being the instruments of accomplishing my ruin ;-if aiming at depriving me of my rank and station, or of driving me from this country, they determined to bring forward a charge of Treason against mę, which, though they knew in their consciences was false, yet they might hope would serve at least as a cover, and a pretence, for such an imputation upon my character, as, rendering my life intolerable in this country, might drive me to seek a refuge in another ;-if, the better to effectuate this purpose, they had represented all my misfortunes as my faults, and my faults alone, drawn an odious and disgusting picture of me, to extinguish, every sentiment of pity and compassion, which, in the generosity, not only of your Majesty's royal bosom, and of the members of your Royal Family, but of all the inhabitants of your kingdom, might arise to commiserate the unfortunate situation of a stranger, persecuted under a charge

* See Appendix.

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