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WHEREAS Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Thomas Lord Erskine, our Chancellor, has this day laid before us an Abstract of certain written Declarations touching the conduct of Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales : We do hereby authorize, empower, and direct, the said Thomas Lord Erskine, our Chancellor; our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin and Councillor George John Earl Spencer, one of our principal Secretaries of State ; our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor William Wyndham Lord Grenville, First Commissioner of our Treasury; and our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor Edward Lord Ellenborough, our Chief Justice to hold pleas before ourself, to inquire into the truth of the same, and to examine upon oath such persons as they shall see fit touching and concerning the same, and to report to us the result of such examinations.
Given at our Castle of Windsor, on the twenty
ninth day of May, in the forty-sixth year of our reign.
A true Cupy,
The Deposition of Charlotte Lady Douglas.
I THINK I first became acquainted with the Princess of Wales in 1801. Sir John Douglas had a house at Blackheath. One day in November, 1801, the snow was lying on the ground, the Princess and a lady, who I believe was Miss Heyman, came on foot and walked several times before the door. Lady Stewart was with me, and said she thought the Princess wanted something, and that I ought to go to her. I went to her; she said she did not want any thing, but she would walk in; that I'had a very pretty little girl. She came in, and stayed some time. About a fortnight after, Sir John Douglas and I received an invitation to go to Montague House. After that 'I was very frequently at Montague House, and dined there; the Princess dined frequently with us. Aboat May or June, 1802, the Princess first talked with me about her own conduct. Sir Sidney Smith, who had been Sir John's friend for more than twenty years, came to England about November, 1801, and came to live in our house. I understood that the Princess knew Sir Siddey Smith before she was Princess of Wales. The Princess saw Sir Sidney Smith as frequently as ourselves. We were usually kept at Montague House later than the rest of the party; often till three or four o'clock in the morning. I never observed any impropriety of conduct between Sir Sidney Smith and the Princess. I made the Princess a visit at Montague House in March 1802, for about a fortnight. She desired me come there because Miss Garth was ill. In May or June following the Princess came to my house alone; she said she came to tell me something that had happened to her, and desired me to guess. I guessed several things, and at last I said I
could not guess any thing more. She then said that she was pregnant, and that the child had come to life. I don't know whether she said on that day, or a few days before, that she was at breakfast at Lady Willoughby's, that the milk flowed up to her breast, and came through her gown; that she threw a napkin over herself, and went with Lady Willoughby into her room and adjusted herself, to prevent its being observed. She never told me who was the father of the child. She said she hoped it would be a boy. She said that if it was discovered, she would give the Prince of Wales the credit of being the father, for she had slept two nights at Carlton House within the year. I said that I should go abroad to my Mother. The Princess said that she should inanage it very well; and if things came to the worst, she would give the Prince the credit of it. While I was at Montague House in March, I was with the child, and one day I said that I was very sick, and the Princess desired Mrs. Sander to get me a saline draught. She then said that she was very sick herself, and that she would take a saline draught too. I observed that she could not want one, and I looked at her. The Princess said, Yes I do; what do you look at me for, with your wicked eyes ? you are always finding me out. Mrs. Sander looked very much distressed; she gave us a saline draughteach. This was the first time that I had any suspicion of her being with child. The Princess never said who was the father. When she first told me she was with child, I rather suspected that Sir Sidney was the father, but only because the Princess was very partial to him, I never knew that he was with her alone. We had constant intercourse with the Princess, from the time when I was at Montague House till the end of October. After that she had first communicated to me that she was with child, she frequently spoke upon the subject. She was bled twice dur, ing the time. She recommended to me to be bled too, and said that it made you have a better time. Mr. Edmeades bled her. She said one of the days that Mr. Edmeades bled her, that she had a violent heat in her blood, and that Mr. Edmeades should bleed her. I told the Princess I was very anxious how she would manage to be brought to bed without its being known; that I hoped she had a safe person.
She said yes, she should have a person from abroad; that she had a great horror of having any man about her on such an occasion. She said, “I am confident in my own plans, and I wish you would not speak with me on that subject again.” She said, " I shall tell every thing to Sander.” I think this was on the day on which she told ine of what had happened at Lady Willoughby's. That Sander was a very good woman, and might be trusted, and that she must be with her at the laboúr; that she would send Miss Gouch to Brunswick; and Miss Millfield was too young to be trusted, and must be sent out of the way. I was brought to bed on the 23rd of July, 1802; the Princess insisted on being present;
I deterinined that she should not, but I meant to avoid it without offending her. On the day on which I was brought to bed, she came to my house, and insisted on coming in ; Dr. Mackie, who attended nie, locked the door, and said she should not come in; but there was another door on the opposite side of the room, which was not locked, and she came in at that door, and was present during the time of the labour, and took the child as soon as it was born, and said that she was very glad that she had seen the whole of it. The Princess's pregnancy appeared to me to be very visible; she wore a cushion behind, and she made Mrs. Sander make one for me. During my lying in the Princess came one day with Mrs. Fitzgerald; she sent Mrs. Eitzgerald away, and took a chair and sat by my bedside. She said, “You will hear of my taking children in baskets, but you wont take any notice of it; I shall have them brought by a poor woman in a basket; I shall do it as a cover to have my own brought to me in that way," or, " that is the way in which I must have my own brought when I have it.” Very soon after this, two children, who were twins, were brought by a poor woman in a basket. The Princess took them and had them carried up into her room, and the Princess washed them herself. The Princess told me this herself The father, a few days afterwards, came and insisted upon having the children, and they were given to him. The Princess afterwards said to me, You see I took the children, and it answered very well; the father had got them back, and she could not blame him; that she should take other children, and should have quite a nursery. I. saw the Princess on a Sunday, either the 30th or 31st of October, 1802, walking before her door. She was dressed so as to conceal her pregnancy; she had a long cloak, and a very great muff. She had just returned from Greenwich Church; she looked very ill, and I thought must be very near her time. About a week, or nine or ten days after this, I received a note from the Princess, to desire that I would not come to Montague House, for they were apprehensive that the children she had taken had had the measles in their clothes, and that she was afraid my child might take it. When the Princess came to see me during my lying in, she told me that when she should be brought to bed, she wished I would not come to her for some time, for she might be confused in seeing me. About the end of December, I went to Gloucestershire, and stayed there about a month. When I returned, which was in January, I went to Montague House, and was let in. The Princess was packing up something in a black box. Upon the sofa a child was lying, covered with a piece of red cloth. The Princess got up and