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[366 "commands, most attentively considered" the honour and interests of your Majesty's "the original Charges and Report, the "Illustrious Family, that Her Royal High"Minutes of Evidence, and all the other "ness the Princess of Wales, should be adpapers submitted to the consideration of "mitted with as little delay as possible, your Majesty, on the subject of those" into your Majesty's Royal Presence, and "charges against Her Royal Highness the" that she should be received in a manner "Princess of Wales. -In the stage in "due to her rank and station, in your "which this business is brought under" Majesty's Court and Family.Your "their consideration, they do not feel them"selves called upon to give any opinion as "to the proceeding itself, or to the mode "of investigation in which it has been" "thought proper to conduct it.
"CABINET MINUTE, April 21, 1807.
"The Lord Chancellor The Earl of Bathurst
Mr. Secretary Canning
Majesty's confidential servants also beg "leave to submit to your Majesty, that considering that it may be necessary that your Majesty's Government should possess the means of referring to the state of verting to the advice which is stated by this transaction, it is of the utmost im"His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales portance that these documents, demon"to have directed his conduct, your Ma-"strating the ground on which your Majesty's confidential servants are anxious "jesty has proceeded, should be preserved "to impress upon your Majesty their con- "in safe custody; and that for that pur "viction that His Royal Highness could pose the originals, or authentic copies of "not, under such advice, consistently with" all these papers, should be sealed up and "his public duty, have done otherwise" deposited in the office of your Majesty's "than lay before your Majesty the State-" Principal Secretary of State." "ment and Examinations which were sub"mitted to him upon this subject. "After the most deliberate consideration, "however, of the evidence which has "been brought before the Commissioners, « The Lord President "and of the previous examinations, as well" The Lord Privy Seal as of the answer and observations which "The Duke of Portland "The Earl of Chatham "have been submitted to your Majesty them, they feel it necessary to deupon "Your Majesty's Confidential Servants "clare their decided concurrence in the "think it necessary to notice, in a separate "clear and unanimous opinion of the Com-"Minute, the request of Her Royal High"missioners, confirmed by that of all your "ness the Princess of Wales, that for her "Majesty's late confidential servants, that "inore convenient attendance at your Ma"the two main charges alleged against "jesty's Court, some apartment should be "Her Royal Highness the Princess of "allotted to her in one of the royal palaces; "Wales, of pregnancy and delivery, are" although it appears to your Majesty's "completely disproved; and they further" Confidential Servants that some arrange"submit to your Majesty, their unani-"ment in this respect may be supposed "mous opinion, that all the other particu-" naturally to arise out of the present state "lars of conduct brought in accusation" of this transaction, yet they humbly con"against Her Royal Highness, to which "ceive that this is a subject so purely of a "the character of criminality can be private and domestic nature, that your "ascribed, are either satisfactorily contra- Majesty would not expect from them any "dicted, or rest upon evidence of such a" particular advice respecting it." nature, and which was given under "such circumstances, as render it, in the "judgment of your Majesty's confidential "servants, undeserving of credit. "Your Majesty's confidential servants, "therefore, concurring in that part of the "opinion of your late servants, as stated "in their Minute of the 25th January, "that there is no longer any necessity for "your Majesty being advised to decline receiving the Princess into your Royal presence, humbly submit to your Majesty, that it is essentially necessary, in "justice to Her Royal Highness, and for
Thus ended the matter at that time. The Princess was, soon afterwards, received as court with great splendour, and she had apartments allotted to her in Kensington Palace, which is situated at but about two miles from St. James's.
Up to this moment the conduct of Perceval seems to have been perfectly honourable. He might possibly have ambitious views from the beginning. He might possibly think that one way to power was through the gratitude of the Princess, at some distant day; but, in the outset of the business, he could hardly have entertained
an idea of things taking the sudden turn | Princess; and, it was his failing to do that they took in the month of March, 1807: this, which has, step by step, finally led indeed, it was impossible; for how was he, to the present disclosure. He had, inwho had written the Princess's defence, deed, done much for the Princess; he had and so clearly seen her innocence, to fore-cleared her of every imputation; he had see, or to suppose it possible, that any restored her to the court; he had replaced obstacles would be opposed to her reception, her in a palace; but, her husband being even after an admonition had been given now exalted, her non-exaltation operated her? Up to this period, therefore, the with regard to her character in nearly the conduct of Perceval appears to have been same way as her exclusion from court had truly honourable; he had proved himself formerly operated. Therefore she had a to be a wise adviser, and a most able and new ground of complaint; the imputation zealous advocate. He found the Princess against her honour was revived, not in banished from the court and the royal words, but in the want of acts, more espepalaces, and loaded with numerous imputa- cially as her defender was now placed on tions. He cleared her of them all, and the highest pinnacle of power. restored her to that situation which was the object of her prayer.
We are now to view his subsequent conduct towards her, and herein it is that he was, as appears to me, wanting in his duty both to the Prince and Princess. He and others, had contrived, by one means and another, to suppress THE BOOK, which was ready for publication when he Iwas made minister. But, the Princess had been received at court, she was inhabiting a palace, and the affair was at rest. There was no blame, therefore, in the suppression; but when the REGENCY came to be established in the person of the Prince; when the husband came to be alted to the rank, the power, and splendour of a King, how could Perceval reconcile it with the letter of 16th February, 1807, and with the minute of the 21st of April in that year, to leave the Princess of Wales, the wife of the Regent, in her former comparatively obscure and penurious state? How came he to do this; and that, too, at a time when he was so amply providing for the splendour and power of the Queen, and was granting the public money for the making of new establishments for the maiden sisters of the Regent?
In this light the Princess herself, from her last letter to the Prince, seems to have viewed the matter; for, she there says, that she has waited with patience, since the establishment of the Regency, to see what would be done. I, for my part, strongly urged, at the time, the propriety of giving her an establishment suitable to the new rank of her husband, and especially the means of enabling her to hold a court. This was not listened to. The ministers seem to have thought it best to leave her in comparative obscurity; but, her own spirit and her consciousness of innocence, have defeated their views. Still, however, all ex-might have remained undisturbed, if a free intercourse had been permitted between her and her daughter; and, I am sincerely of opinion, from a full view of her character and disposition, as exhibited in the whole of these documents, that, provided no restraint had been laid upon the indulgence of her maternal affections, she would, without much repining, have preserved in her magnanimous silence. But, when she saw herself deprived of that indulgence; when she saw her intercourse with her only child was more and more restrained; when she saw the likelihood of an approaching total exclusion from that child, and took into her view the effect which the notoriety of that exclusion must have upon her reputation, she found it impossible longer to withhold the statement of her grievances.
Alas! We are now to look back to that wonderful event, the choosing of Perceval for minister by the Regent, the choosing of the author of the letter of 16th February, 1806, to the exclusion of those who had always been called the Prince's Friends. The Prince was certainly advised by prudent men, when he took this step; for he avoided a certain evil at the expense of no certain, and, indeed, of no probable, good that a change of ministry would have effected. But, I blame Perceval for keeping his place without stipulating for, or without doing, something in behalf of the
Even now, even after the writing of her last letter to the Prince; aye, and after the publishing of that letter, all might have been quietly set at rest, if the Prince had found advisers to recommend the acceding to her reasonable request. Such advisers he did not find; and we have the consequences before us.
Upon the Report of the Privy Council to the Prince dated on the 19th of February,
1813, I will not make any comment; and,
In the mean while I must beg leave to point out the necessity of reading all the subjoined documents with great care. Every word will be found to be of importance, when you come to the perusal of the Princess's Defence. I shall have great pleasure in publishing and in circulating it through the world; and when that is done, let her base enemies "
I am your faithful friend,
P. S. In the placing of the documents in pages 409 and 410, of the second sheet of the present Number, there is a mistake. They should have come into the next Number.
This Report of the Privy Council brought forth the Princess's Letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons. That Letter would probably have produced the effect that has since been produced; but, the motion of Mr. Cochrane Johnstone did it more speedily. That motion drew from the ministers a full and compiele acknowledgment of the innocence of the Princess; and that acknowledgment has drawn forth, through the channel of a paper, the property of a Reverend Divine, who has re- The Printer has also erred in supcently been made a Baronet, a publication of the Depositions AGAINST the Princess; posing and noting that those documents do but, with shame for my country, with not make part of THE BOOK. They do shame for the English press; and with in- make part of the Book, and their proper dignation inexpressible against its conducplace will be pointed out in the next Numtors, I say it, while the documents against her have all been poured forth in hasty suc- ber.I hope I shall be excused for sendcession, her defence; her able, her satis-ing forth the accusation unaccompanied factory, her convincing, her incontroverti- by the defence, but, it has been out of ble answer to all, and every one of the charges against her, and her exposure of my power to avoid it. Yet, I think it my the injustice and malice and baseness of her duty to state here, that, after a careful enemies, have been these same prints; the prints attached to both perusal of the whole of the Book, great the political factions, been kept from the part of which I had, indeed, seen long ago, I have no hesitation in saying, that public eye! there cannot rest, in the mind of any man of sound judgment and without undue bias, the smallest doubt, that all; yes, all the accusations against the Princess I were false, and the production of a base and malicious conspiracy against her, the object of which was totally to destroy her reputation and degrade her for ever from all rank and dignity in the country. This is my sincere and decided opinion; and in this opinion I am confident I shall be joined by every impartial person in the kingdom.
Any thing so completely base as this I do not recollect to have before witnessed, even in the conduct of the London press; but, my friend, this nefarious attempt to support injustice will not succeed. In the present Double Number of my Register have inserted all the Evidence against the Princess; in another Number, next week, of the same description, I shall insert the whole of her defence; and, thus you will have before you the whole of what has been called THE BOOK. You will then be at no loss to decide upon every point relating to this important affair, and upon the conduct of all the parties, who, by these documents, will be brought under your view.
THE REPORT OF THE FOUR LOrds.
Considering it as a matter which, on every aecount, demanded the most immediate investigation, your Majesty had thought fit to commit into our hands the duty of ascertaining, in the May it please your Majesty,-Your Majesty first instance, what degree of credit was due to having been graciously pleased, by an instru- the informations, and thereby enabling your ment under your Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, Majesty to decide what further conduct to adopt a copy of which is annexed to this Report, to concerning them.On this review therefore "authorize, empower, and direct us to inquire of the matters thus alleged, and of the course "into the truth of certain written declarations, hitherto pursued upon them, we deemed it pro"touching the conduct of Her Royal Highness per, in the first place, to examine those persons "the Princess of Wales, an abstract of which in whose declarations the occasion for this In"had been laid before your Majesty, and to ex- quiry had originated. Because if they, on be. "amine upon oath such persons as we should see ing examined upon oath, had retracted or va"fit, touching and concerning the same, and to ried their assertions, all necessity for further report to Your Majesty the result of such exa- investigation might possibly have been preminations," "We have, in dutiful obedience to cluded.We accordingly first examined on Your Majesty's commands, proceeded to examine oath the principal informants, Sir John Douglas, the several witnesses, the copies of whose depo- and Charlotte his wife; who both positively sitions we have hereunto annexed; and, in fur- swore, the former to his having observed the ther execution of the said commands we now fact of the pregnancy of Her Royal Highness, most respectfully submit to Your Majesty the re- and the latter to all the important particulars port of these examinations as it has appeared to contained in her former declaration, and above us: But we beg leave at the same time humbly referred to. Their examinations are annexed to to refer Your Majesty, for more complete infor- this Report, and are circumstantial and positive. mation, to the examinations themselves, in or- -The most material of those allegations, into the der to correct any error of judgment, into which truth of which we had been directed to inquire, bewe may have unintentionally fallen, with respect ing thus far supported by the oath of the parties to any part of this business. On a reference to from whom they had proceeded, we then felt it the above-mentioned declarations, as the neces- our duty to follow up the Inquiry by the examisary foundation of all our proceedings, we found nation of such other persons as we judged best that they consisted in certain statements, which able to afford us information, as to the facts in had been laid before His Royal Highness the question. We thought it beyond all doubt Prince of Wales, respecting the conduct of Her that, in this course of inquiry, many particulars Royal Highness the Princess. That these state- must be learnt which would be necessarily conments, not only imputed to Her Royal Highness clusive on the truth or falsehood of these degreat impropriety and indecency of behaviour, clarations. So many persons must have been but expressly asserted, partly on the ground of witnesses to the appearances of an actually existcertain alleged declarations from the Princess's ing pregnancy; so many circumstances must own mouth, and partly on the personal observa- have been attendant upon a real delivery; and tion of the informants, the following most im- difficulties so numerous and insurmountable portant facts; viz. That Her Royal Highness had must have been involved in any attempt to ac been pregnant in the year 1802, in conse- count for the infant in question, as the child of quence of an illicit intercourse, and that she another woman, if it had been in fact the child had in the same year been secretly deli- of the Princess; that we entertained a full and vered of a male child, which child had ever confident expectation of arriving at complete since that period been brought up by Her Roy-proof, either in the affirmative or negative, on al Highness, in her own house, and under her immediate inspection.These allegations thus made, had, as we found, been followed by decla rations 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 suspicious, and still more so when connected with the assertions already mentioned.
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.
-In the painful situation, in which His Royal Highness was placed, by these communications, -The identity of the child, now with the we learnt that His Royal Highness had adopted Princess, its parentage, the place and the date the only course which could, in our judgment, of its birth, the time and the circumstances of with propriety be followed. When informations its being first taken under Her Royal Highness's such as these, had been thus confidently alleged, protection, are all established by such a concurand particularly detailed, and had been in some rence both of positive and circumstantial evidegree supported by collateral evidence, apply- dence, as can, in our judgment, leave no quesing to other points of the same nature (though tion on this part of the subject. That child was, going to a far less extent,) one line only could beyond all doubt, born in the Brownlow-street be pursued. Every sentiment of duty to your Hospital, on the 11th day of July, 1802, of the Majesty, and of concern for the public welfare, body of Sophia Austin, and was first brought to the required that these particulars should not be Princess's house in the month of November folwithheld from your Majesty, to whom more par-lowing. Neither should we be more warranted ticularly 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 of your Majesty's crown,
Your Majesty had been pleased, on your part, to view the subject in the same light,
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.
loved Councillor Edward Lord Ellenborough,
DEPOSITIONS ACCOMPANYING THE REPORT. (No. 2.)—Copy of 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 that 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
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 humbly 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 however 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 remarked, 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 judg-pretty little girl. She came in and staid some ment, be suspected 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 Ma. jesty'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.We cannot close this Report, without humbly assuring your Majesty, that it was, on every account, our anxious wish to have executed this delicate trust with as little publicity as the nature of the case would possibly allow; and we entreat your Majesty's permission to express our full persuasion, that if this wish has been disappointed, the failure is not imputable to any thing unnecessarily said or done by us.All which is most humbly submitted to your Majesty.
(Signed) ERSKINE, GRENVILLE,
SPENCER, ELLENBOROUGH. July 14th, 1806.—A true Copy, J. Becket.
time. About a fortnight after Sir J. D. and I received an invitation to go to Montague house; after that I was very frequently at Montaguehouse, and dined there. The Princess dined frequently with us. About May or June, 1802, the Princess first talked to me about her own conduct. Sir S. Smith, who had been Sir John's friend for more than twenty years, came to Eng. land about November, 1801, and came to live in our house. I understood the Princess knew Sir Sydney Smith before she was Princess of Wales. The Princess saw Sir S. Smith as frequently as ourselves. We were usually kept at Montaguehouse 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 S. Smith and the Princess. I made the Princess a visit at Montague-house in March, 1802, for about a fortnight. She desired me to 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 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 she should manage 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 child, and one day I said 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 draft too. I observ. ed, that she could not want one, and I looked at The Princess said, yes, I do. What do
(No. 1.)-Copy of His Majesty's Commission. GEORGE R. 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 well-beloved Cousin and Councillor George John Earl Spencer, one of our Principal Secretaries of State, our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor W. Windham, Lord Grenville, First Commissioner of our Treasury, and our right trusty and well-beher.