« PoprzedniaDalej »
to afford us information, as to the facts in question. • We thought it beyond all doubt that, in this course of inquiry, many particulars must be learnt which would be necessarily conclusive on the truth or falsehood of these declarations. So many persons must have been witnesses to the appearances of an actually existing preguancy; so many circumstances must have been attendant upon a real delivery; and difficulties so numerous and insurmountable must have been involved in any attempt to account for the infant in question, as the child of another woman, if it had been in fact the child of the Princess; that we entertained a full and confident expectation of arriving at complete proof, either in the affirmative or negative, on this part of the subject.
This expectation was not disappointed. We are happy to declare to Your Majesty our perfect conviction that there is no foundation whatever for believing that the child now with the Princess is the child of Her Royal Highness, or that she was delivered of any child in the year 1802; nor has any thing appeared to us which would warrant the belief that she was pregnant in that year, or at
any other period within the compass of our inquiries.
The indentity of the child, now with the Princess, its parentage, the place and the date of its birth, the time and the circumstances of its being first taken under Her Royal Highness's protection, are all established by such a concurrence both of positive and circumstantial evidence, as can, in our judgment, leave no question on this part of the subject. The child was, beyond all doubt, born in the Brownlow-Street Hospital, on the 11th day of July, 1802, of the body of Sophia Austin, and was first brought to the Princess's House in the month of November following. Neither should we be more warranted in expressing any doubt respecting the alleged pregnancy of the Princess, as stated in the original declarations ;-a fact so fully contradicted, and by so many witnesses, to whom, if true, it must, in various ways have been known, that we cannot think it entitled to the smallest credit. The testimonies on these two points are contained in the annexed depositions and letters. We have not partially abstracted them in this Report lest, by any unintentional omission, we might weaken their effect; but we bumbly offer to Your Majesty this our clear and unanimous judgment upon them, formed on full deliberation, and pronounced without hesitation, on the result of the whole Inquiry.
We do not, bowever, feel ourselves at liberty, much as we should wish it, to close our Report here. Besides the allegations of the pregnancy and delivery of the Princess, those declarations, on the whole of which Your Majesty has been pleased to command us, to inquire and report, contain,
as we have already reinarked, other particulars respecting the conduct of her Royal Highness, such as must, especially considering her exalted rank and station, necessarily give occasion to very unfavourable interpretations. :- From the various depositions and proofs annexed to this Report, particularly from the examinations of Robert : Bidgood, William . Cole, Frances Lloyd, and Mrs. Lisle, Your Majesty will perceive that several strong circumstances of this description have been positively sworn to by witnesses, who cannot, in our judgment, be suispected of any unfavourable bias, and whose veracity, in this respect, we have seen no ground to question.
On the precise bearing and effect of the facts thus appearing, it is not for us to decide ; these we submit to Your Majesty's wisdom : But we conceive it to be our duty to report on this part of the Inquiry, as distinctly as on the former facts : that, as on the one hand, the facts of pregnancy and delivery are to our minds satisfactorily disproved, so on the other hand we think, that the circumstances to which we now refer, particularly those stated to have passed between Her Royal Highness and Captain Manby, must be credited until they shall receive some decisive contradiction; and, if true, are justly entitled to the most serious consideration.
any thing, or even to point out those persons, who might have been called, to prove the little credit which was due to some of the witnesses, from their connection with Sir John and Lady Douglas ; and the absolute falsehood of parts of the evidence, which could have been completely contradicted. Oh! gracious King, I now look for 'that happy moment, when I may be allowed to appear again before your Majesty's eyes, and receive once more the assurance from your Majesty's own 'mouth that I have your gracious protection ; and that you will not discard me from your friendship, of which your Majesty has been so condescending to give me so many marks of kindness; and which must be my only support, and my only consolation, , in this country. I remain with sentiments of the highest esteem, veneration, and unfeigned attachment,
Sire, Your Majesty's most dutiful, submissive, and humble Daughter-in-law and Subject, (Signed)
To the King
Montague-House, Aug. 17th, 1806.
The Princess of Wales desires the Lord Chancellor to present her humble duty to the King, and to lay before His Majesty the accompanying letter and papers. The Princess makes this communication by his Lordship's hands, because it relates to the papers with which she has been furnished through his Lordship, by His Majesty's coinmands.
To the Lord Chancellor.
Aug. 17th, 1806. SIRE, Upon receiving the copy of the Report, made to Your Majesty, by the Commissioners, appointed to inquire into certain Charges against my Conduct, I lost 'no time, in returning to your Majesty, my heartfelt thanks, for your Majesty's goodness in coinmanding that copy to be communicated to
I wanted no adviser, but my own heart, to express my gratitude for the kindness, and protection which I have uniformly received from your Majesty. I needed no caution or reserve, in expressing my confident reliance, that that kindness and protection would not be withdrawn from