Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

stand this fact, respecting the man in a great coat, to be one of those which inust necessarily give occasion to the most unfavourable interpretations ? which must be credited till decidedly contradicted ? and which if true, deserve the most serious consideration? The unfavourable interpretations which this fact may occasion, doubtless are, that this man was either Sir Sidney Smith, or some other paramour, who was adınitted by me into my house in disguise at midnight, for the accomplishinent of my wicked and adulterous purposes. And is it possible that your Majesty, is it possible that any candid mind can believe this fact, with the unfavourable interpretations which it occasions, on the relation of a servant, who for all that appears, mentions it for the first time, four years after the event took place; and who gives himself, this picture of his honesty and fidelity to a master, whom he has served so long, that he, whose nerves are of so moral a frame, that he starts at seeing a single man sitting at mid-day, in an open drawingroom, on the same sofa, with a married woman, permitted this disguised midnight adulterer, to approach his master's bed, without taking any notice, without making any alarm, without offering any interruption. And why? because (as he expressly states) he did not believe him to be a thief; and

because (as he plainly insinuates) he did believe him : to be an adulterer.

But what makes the manner in which the Com

N

In consequence of this, the Frince called on the Duke of Kent, to say what had been communicated to him, and why he bad for a whole year kept from his knowledge a matter so interesting to the honour of the family,

The Duke of Kent, in a written declaration, stated, that about the end of 1804, he had received a note from the Princess of Wales, stating, that she had got into an unpleasant ale tercation with Sir John and Lady Douglas, about an anonymous letter and a filthy drawing, which they imputed to her Royal Highness. She requested the Duke of Kent to interfere, and prevent its going farther. His Royal Highness ap. plied to Sir Sidney Smith, and through him had an interview with Sir John Douglas ; who seemed convinced that both the anonymous letters and the loose drawing were by the hand of the Princess, and that the design was to provoke Sir John Douglas to a duel with his friend Sir Sidney Smith, by the gross insinuation flung out respecting the latter and Lady Douglas. The Duke of Kent, however, succeeded in prevail. ing on Sir John Douglas to abstain from his purpose of commencing a prosecution, or of stirring farther in the business

į as he was satisfied in his mind of the falsehood of the insinua, tion, and could not be sure that the fabrications were not some gossipping story, in which the Princess had no hand. Sir John, however, spoke with great indignation of the conduct of the Princess, and promised only that he would for the present abstain from farther investigation, but would not give him a promise of preserving silence if he should be farther annoyed. The Duke of Kent concluded with stating, that nothing was communicated to him beyond this fracas, and that having succeeded in stopping it, he did not think it fit to trouble his Royal Highness with a gossipping story that might be entirely founded on the misapprehension of the offended parties.

Sir John and Lady Douglas then made a formal declaration of the whole narrative, as contained in their subsequent affida. vits, before the Duke of York, on the 3d-December, 1803

This declaration was submitted by the Prince to the late Lord Thurlow, who said, that his Royal Highness had no alternative-it was his duty to submit it to the King, as the Royal Succession might be affected if the allegations were true. In the mean time, it was resolved to make farther inquiry, and Mr. Lowten, of the Temple, was directed to take steps accordingly.

The consequence was that William and Sarah Lampert (servants to Sir John Douglas), William Cole, Robert and Sarah Bidgood, and Frances Lloyd made declarations, the whole of which, together with that of Sir Jolin and Lady Douglas, were submitted to his Majesty, who thereupon issued a 'warrant, dated the 29th May 1806, directing Lord Erskine, Lord Gtenville, Earl Spencer, and Lord Ellenborough, to inquire into the truth of the allegations, and to report to him thereon.

THE

PROCEEDINGS,

&c. &c.

REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSIONERS.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,

Your Majesty having been graciously pleased, by an instrument under Your Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, a copy of which is annexed to this Report, to “ authorize, empower, and direct us

to inquire into the truth of certain written declarations, touching the conduct of Her

Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, an " abstract of which had been laid before Your

Majesty, and to examine upon oath such persons as we should see fit, touching and concerning the same, and to report to Your

Majesty the result of such examinations." We have, in dutiful obedience to Your Majesty's cominands, proceeded to examine the several witnesses,

« PoprzedniaDalej »