« PoprzedniaDalej »
how much longer their conversation lasted these Deponents cannot say, as they, these Depo•
Sworn at the Public Office, Hatton Garden, this 27th day of Sept. 1806, before me,
TO THE KING.
SIRE,-I trust your Majesty, who knows my constant affection, loyalty, and duty, and the sure confidence with which I readily repose my honour, my character, my happiness in your Majesty's hands, will not think me guilty of any disrespectful or unduteous impatience, when I thus again address myself to your Royal grace and justice.
It is, Sire, nine weeks to day, since my counsel presented to the Lord High Chancellor my letter to your Majesty, containing my observations in vindication of my honour and iunocence, upon the Report presented to your Majesty by the Commissioners who had been appointed to examine into my conduct. The Lord Chancellor informed my counsel, that the letter should be conveyed to your Majesty on that very day; and further, was pleased, in about a week or ten days afterwards, to communicate to my Solicitor, that your Majesty had read my letter, aud that it had been transmitted to his Lordship with directions that it should be copied for the Commissioners, and that when such copy had been taken, the original should be returned to your Majesty.
Your Majesty's own gracious and royal mind will easily conceive what must have been my state of anxiety and suspence, whilst I have been fondly indulging in the hope, that every day, as it passed, would bring me the happy tidings, that your Majesty was satisfied of my innocence; and convinced of the unfounded malice of my enemies, in every part of their charge. Nine long weeks of daily expectation and suspence have now elapsed, and they have brought me nothing but disappointment. I have remained in total ignorance of what has been done, what is doing, or what is intended upon this subject. Your Majesty's goodness will, therefore, pardon me, if in the step which I now take, I act upon a mistaken conjecture with respect to the fact. But from the Lord Chancellor's communication to my Solicitor, and from the time which had elapsed, I am led to conclude, that your Majesty had directed the copy of my letter to be laid before the Commissioners, requiring their advice upon the subject; and, possibly, their official occupations, and their other duties to the state, may not have, as yet, allowed them the opportunity of attending to it. But your Majesty will permit me to observe, that, however excusable this delay may be on their parts, yet it operates most injuriously upon me; my feelings are severely tortured by the suspence, while my character is sinking in the opinion of the public.
It is known that a Report, though acquitting me of crime, yet imputing matters highly disreputable to my honour, has been made to your Majesty;-that that Report has been communicated to me;-that I have endeavoured to answer it; and that I still remain at the end of nine weeks from the delivery of my answer, unacquainted with the judgment which is formed upon it. May I be permitted to observe from the extreme prejudice which this delay, however to be accounted for by the numerous important occupations of the Commissioners, produces to my honour. The world, in total ignorance of the real state of the facts, begin to infer my guilt from it. I feel myself already sinking in the estimation of your Majesty's subjects, as well as of what remains to me of my own family, into (a state intolerable to a mind conscious of it purity and innocence) a state in which my honour appears at least equivocal, and my virtue is suspected. From this state I humbly entreat your Majesty to perceive, that I can have no hope of being restored, until either your Majesty's favourable opinion shall be graciously notified to the world, by receiving me again into the Royal Presence, or until the full disclosure of the facts shall expose the malice of my accusers, and do away every possible ground for unfavourable inference and conjecture.
The various calamities with which it has pleased God of late to afflict me, I have endeavoured to bear, and I trust I have borne with humble resignation to the Divine will. But H
the effect of this infamous charge, and the delay which has suspended its final termination, by depriving me of the consolation which I should have received from your Majesty's presence and kindness, have given a heavy addition to them all; and surely my bitterest enemies could hardly wish that they should be increased. But on this topic, as possibly not much affecting the justice, though it does the hardship of my case, I forbear to dwell.
Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to recollect, that an occasion of assembling the Royal Family and your subjects, in dutiful and happy commemoration of her Majesty's Birthday, is now near at hand. If the increased occupations which the approach of Parliament may occasion, or any other cause, should prevent the Commissioners from enabling your Majesty to communicate your pleasure to me before that time; the world will infallibly conclude (in their present state of ignorance), that my answer must have proved unsatisfactory, and that the infamous charges have been thought to be but too true.
These considerations, Sire, will I trust, in your Majesty's gracious opinion, rescue this address from all imputation of impatience. For, your Majesty's sense of honourable feeling will naturally suggest, how utterly impossible it is that I, conscious of my own innocence, and believing that the malice of my enemies bas beeu completely detected, can, without abandoning all regard to my interests, my happiness, and my honour, possibly be contented to perceive the approach of such utter ruin to my character, and yet wait, with patience, and in silence, till it overwhelms me. I therefore take this liberty of throwing myself again at your Majesty's feet, and entreating and imploring of your Majesty's goodness and justice, in pity for my miseries, which this delay so severely aggravates, and in justice to my innocence and character, to urge the Commissioners to an early communication of their advice.
To save your Majesty and the Commissioners all unnecessary trouble, as well as to obviate all probability of further delay, I have directed a duplicate of this letter to be prepared, and have sent one copy of it through the Lord Chancellor, and another through Colonel Taylor, to your Majesty. I am, Sire, with every sentiment of gratitude and loyalty, Your Majesty's most-affectionate and dutiful Daughter in-law, Servant and Subject,
Mantague House, Dec. 3, 1806.
MINUTE OF THE CABINET, JAN. 25, 1807.
Downing Street, Jan. 25, 1907.
Lord ELLEN BOROUGH,
The LORD CHANCELLOR, Lord Viscount HowICK,
LORD PRIVY SEAL,
Earl of MOIRA,
Lord HENRY PETTY,
Your Majesty's Confidential Servants have given the most diligent and attentive consideration to the matters on which your Majesty has been pleased to require their opinion and advice. They trust your Majesty will not think that any apology is necessary on their part for the delay which has attended their deliberations, on a subject of such extreme importance, and which they have found to be of the greatest difficulty and embarrassment.
They are fully convinced that it never can have been your Majesty's intention to require from them, that they should lay before your Majesty a detailed and circumstantial examination and discussion of the various arguments and allegations contained in the letter submitted to your Majesty, by the Law Advisers of the Princess of Wales. And they beg leave, with all humility, to represent to your Majesty that the laws and constitution of their country have not placed them in a situation in which they can conclusively pronounce on any question of guilt or innocence affecting any
of your Majesty's subjects, much less one of your Majesty's Royal Family. They have indeed, no power or authority whatever to enter on such a course of inquiry as could alone lead to any final results of such a'nature.
The main question on which they had conceived themselves called upon by their duty to submit their advice to your Majesty was this:-Whether the circumstances which had, by your Majesty's commands, been brought before them, were of a nature to induce your Majesty to order any further steps to be taken upon them by your Majesty's Government? And on this point they humbly submit to your Majesty, that the advice which they offered was clear and unequivocal. Your Majesty has since been pleased further to require, that they should submit to your Majesty their opinions as to the answer to be given by your Majesty to the request contained in the Princess's letter, and as to the manner in which that answer should be communicated to her Royal Highness.
They have, therefore, in dutiful obedience to your Majesty's commands, proceeded to reconsider the whole of the subject, in this new view of it; and after much deliberation, they have agreed humbly to recommend to your Majesty the draft of a Message, which if approved by your Majesty, they would humbly suggest your Majesty might send to her Royal Highness through the Lord Chancellor.
Having before humbly submitted to your Majesty their opinion, that the facts of the case did not warrant their advising that any further steps should be taken upon it by your Majesty's Government, they have not thought it necessary to advise your Majesty any longer to decline receiving the Princess into your Royal presence. But the result of the whole case does, in their judgment, render it indispensable that your Majesty should, by a serious admonition, convey to her Royal Highness your Majesty's expectation that her Royal Highness should be more circumspect in her future conduct; and they trust that in the terms in which they have advised that such admonition should be conveyed, your Majesty will not be of opinion, on a full consideration of the evidence and answer, that they can be considered as having at all exceeded the necessity of the case, as arising out of the last reference which your Majesty has been pleased to make to them.
The Lord Chancellor has the honour to present his most humble duty to the Princess of Wales, and to transmit to her Royal Highness the accompanying Message from the King; which her Royal Highness will observe, he has his Majesty's commands to communicate to her Royal Highness.
The Lord Chancellor would have done himself the honour to have waited personally upon her Royal Highness, and have delivered it himself; but he considered the sending it sealed, as more respectful and acceptable to her Royal Highness. The Lord Chancellor received the original paper from the King yesterday, and made the copy now sent in his own hand. January Twenty-eighth, 1807.
To her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales.
The King having referred to his confidential Servants the proceeding and papers relative to the written declarations, which had been before his Majesty, respecting the conduct of the Princess of Wales, has been apprised by them, that after the fullest consideration of the examinations taken on the subject, and of the observations and affidavits brought forward by the Princess of Wales's legal advisers, they agree in the opinions submitted to his Majestý in the original Report of the four Lords, by whom his Majesty directed that the matter should in the first instance be inquired into; and that, in the present stage of the business, upon a mature and deliberate view of this most important subject in all its parts and bearings, it is their opinion, that the facts of this case do not warrant their advising that any further step:
should be taken in the business by his Majesty's Government, or any other proceedings instituted npou it, except such only as his Majesty's law servants may, on reference to them,, think fit to recommend, for the prosecution of Lady Douglas, on those parts of her depositions which may appear to them to be justly liable thereto.
In this situation, his Majesty is advised, that it is no longer necessary for him to decline. receiving the Princess of Wales into his Royal Presence.
The King sees, with great satisfaction, the agreement of his confidential servants, in the decided opinion expressed by the four Lords, upon the falsehood of the accusations of pregnancy and delivery, brought forward against the Princess by Lady Douglas.
On the other matters produced in the course of the Inquiry, the King is advised that none of the facts or allegations stated in preliminary examinations, carried on in the absence of the parties interested, can be considered as Tegally, or conclusively, established. But in those examinations, and even in the answer drawn in the name of the Princess by her legal advisers, there have appeared circumstances of conduct on the part of the Princess, which his Majesty never could regard but with serious concern. The elevated rank which the Princess holds in this country, and the relation in which she stands to his Majesty aud the Royal Family, must always deeply involve both the interests of the State, and the personal feelings of his Majesty, in the propriety and correctness of her conduct. And his Majesty cannot therefore forbear to express in the conclusion of the business, his desire and expectation, that such a conduct may in future be observed by the Princess, as may fully justify those marks of paternal regard and affection, which the King always wishes to shew to every part of his Royal family.
His Majesty has directed that this message should be transmitted to the Princess of Wales, by his Lord Chancellor, and that copies of the proceedings, which had taken place on the subject, should also be communicated to his dearly beloved son the Prince of Wales.
Montague House, Jan. 29th, 1807. SIRE, I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of the paper, which, by your Majesty's direction, was yesterday transmitted to me, by the Lord Chancellor, and to express the unfeigned happiness, which I have derived from one part of it. I mean that, which informs me that your Majesty's confidential servants have, at length, thought proper to communicate to your Majesty, their advice," that it is no longer necessary for your Majesty to decline receiving me into your Royal presence." And I, therefore, humbly hope, that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to receive, with favour, the communication of my intention to avail myself, with your Majesty's permission, of that advice, for the purpose of waiting upon your Majesty en Monday next, if that day should not be inconvenient; when I hope again to have the happiness of throwing myself, in filial duty and affection, at your Majesty's feet. 1:505
Your Majesty will easily conceive, that I reluctantly name so distant a day as Monday, but I do not feel myself sufficiently recovered from the measles, to venture upon so long a drive at an earlier day. Feeling, however, very anxious, to receive again, as soon as possible, that blessing, of which I have been so long deprived, if that day should happen to be, in any degree, inconvenient, I humbly entreat, and implore, your Majesty's most gracious and paternal goodness, to name some other day, as early as possible, for that purpose-I am, &c. C. P.
To the King.
Windsor Castle, January 29th, 1807.
The King has this moment received the Princess of Wales's letter, in which she intimates her intention of coming to Windsor on Monday next; and his Majesty, wishing not to put the Princess to the inconvenience of coming to this place, so immediately after her illness, hastens to acquaint her, that he shall prefer to receive her in London, upon a day subsequent to the ensuing week, which will also better suit his Majesty, and of which he will not fail to apprize the Princess.
To the Princess of Wales.
Windsor Castle, February 10, 1807.
As the Princess of Wales may have been led to expect, from the King's letter to her, that he would fix an early day for seeing her, his Majesty thinks it right to acquaint her, that the Prince of Wales, upon receiving the several documents, which the King directed his Cabinet to transmit to him, made a formal communication to him, of his intention to put them into the hands of his Lawyers; accompanied by a request, that his Majesty would suspend any further steps in the business, until the Prince of Wales should be enabled to submit to him, the statement which he proposed to make. The King therefore considers it incumbent upon him to defer naming a day to the Princess of Wales, until the further result of the Prince's iutention shall have been made known to him.
To the Princess of Wales.,
Montague-House, February 12th, 1807.
SIRE, I received yesterday, and with inexpressible pain, your Majesty's last communica. tion. The duty of stating, in a representation to your Majesty, the various grounds upon which I feel the hardship of my case, and upon which I confidently think that, upon a review of it, your Majesty will be disposed to recal your last determination, is a duty I owe to myself: and I cannot forbear, at the moment when I acknowledge your Majesty's letter, to annɔuuce to your Majesty, that I propose to execute that duty without delay.
After having suffered the punishment of banishment from your Majesty's presence, for seven months, pending an Inquiry, which your Majesty had directed into my conduct, affecting both my life and my honour; after that Inquiry had, at length, terminated in the advice of your Majesty's confidential and sworn servants, that there was no longer any reason for your Majesty's declining to receive me; if after your Majesty's gracious communication, which led me to rest assured that your Majesty would appoint an early day to receive me ;—if after all this, by a renewed application on the part of the Prince of Wales, upon whose communication the first Inquiry had been directed, I now find that that punishment, which has been inflicted, pending a seven months Inquiry before the determination, should, contrary to the opinion of your Majesty's servants, be continued after that determination, to await the result of some new proceeding, to be suggested by the lawyers of the Prince of Wales; it is impossible that I can fail to assert to your Majesty, with the effect due to truth, that I am, in the consciousness of my innocence, and with a strong sense of my unmerited sufferings, your Majesty's most dutiful, and most affectionate, but much injured Subject and Daughter-in-law,
To the King.
SIRE,-By my short letter to your Majesty of the 12th instant, in answer to your Majesty's communication of the 10th, I notified my intention of representing to your Majesty the various grounds, on which I felt the hardship of my case; and, a review of which, I confidently hoped, would dispose your Majesty to recal your determination to adjourn, to an indefinite period, my reception into your Royal presence; a determination, which, in addition to all the other pain which it brought along with it, affected me with the disappointment of hopes, which I had fondly cherished, with the most perfect confidence, because they rested on your Majesty's gracious assurance.
Independently, however, of that communication from your Majesty, I should have felt myself bound to have troubled your Majesty with much of the contents of the present letter.
Upon the receipt of the paper, which, by your Majesty's commands, was transmitted to me by the Lord Chancellor, on the 28th of last month, and which communicated to me the joyful intelligence, that your Majesty was "advised, that it was no longer necessary for you to decline receiving me into your Royal presence," I conceived myself necessarily called upon to send an immediate answer to so much of it as respected that intelligence. I could not wait the time, which it would have required, to state those observations, which it was impossible for me to refrain from making, at some period, upon the other important particulars which