Obrazy na stronie

One of Robert Bidgood, dated Temple, 4th April, 1806.

One of Sarah Bidgood, dated Temple, 23d April, 1806; and,

One of Frances Lloyd, dated Temple, 12th May, 1806.

The other Papers and Documents which accompanied the Report, are,* 1806. No. 29 May,

1 June,


The King's Warrant or Commis

[blocks in formation]



of Mary Wilson.


of Samuel Roberts.








"dice of my honour," till they were "decidedly
"contradicted;" the means of knowing what it
was, that I must, at least, endeavour to contra-
dict, were withholden from me, a single unne-
cessary hour, I know not, and I will not trust
myself in the attempt to conjecture.On the
11th of August, however, I at length received
from the Lord Chancellor a packet, containing
copies of the Warrant or Commission authorizing
the Inquiry; of the Report; and of the Exami-
nations on which the Report was founded. And
your Majesty will be graciously pleased to recol-
lect, that on the 13th I returned my grateful
thanks to your Majesty, for having ordered these
papers to be sent to me.Your Majesty will
readily imagine that, upon a subject of such im- 7
portance, I could not venture to trust only to my
own advice; and those with whom I advised
suggested, that the written. Declarations, or
Charges, upon which the Inquiry had proceeded,
and which the Commissioners refer to in their
Report, and represent to be the essential foun-
dation of the whole proceeding, did not accom-
pany the Examinations and Report; and also
that the papers themselves were not authenti- 21
cated. I, therefore, ventured to address your
Majesty upon these supposed defects in the com-
munication, and humbly requested that the co-
pies of the papers, which I then returned, might, 23
after being examined and authenticated, be
again transmitted to me; and that I might also 23
be furnished with copies of the written Declara- [ 23
tions, so referred to, in the Report. And my 25
humble thanks are due for your Majesty's gra- 25
cious compliance with my request. On the 29th 27
of August I received, in consequence, the at-
tested copies of those Declarations, and of a
Narrative of His Royal Highness the Duke of
Kent; and a few days after, on the 3rd of Sep-
tember, the attested copies of the Examinations
which were taken before the Commissioners.
The Papers which I have received are as fol-

The Narrative of His Royal Highness the
Duke of Kent, dated 27th of December, 1805.
A Copy of the written Declaration of Sir
John and Lady Douglas, dated December 3,


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

of Thos. Stikeman.

of J. Sicard.

of Charlotte Sander. of Sophia Austin.

13. Letter from Lord Spencer to Lord Gwydir.








from Lord Gwydir to

Lord Spencer.

from Lady Willoughby to Lord Spencer. Extract from Register of Brownlow-street Hospital.

Deposition of Eliz. Gosden.


of Betty Townley.

of Thos. Edmeades. of Samuel G. Mills. of Harriet Fitzge

22. Letter from Lord Spencer to Lord Gwydir.

from Lord Gwydir to

Lord Spencer.

Queries of Lady Willoughby and





[blocks in formation]

A Paper containing the written Declarations, 16 or Examinations, of the persons hereafter enumerated;-The title to these Papers is,

"For the purpose of confirming the State"ment made by Lady Douglas, of the circum"stances mentioned in her Narrative. The fol"lowing Examinations have been taken, and "which have been signed by the several persons "who have been examined."

Two of Sarah Lampert;-one, dated Cheltenham, 8th January, 1806,—and, the other, 29th March, 1806.

One of William Lampert, baker, 114, Cheltenham, apparently of the same date with the last of Sarah Lan pert's.

Four of William Cole, dated respectively, 11th January, 14th January, 30th January, and 23d February, 1806.

[blocks in formation]

Letter from Sir Francis Mill

man to the Lord Chancellor. Deposition of Lord Cholmondeley. The Report.

By the Copy, which I have received, of the Commission, or Warrant, under which the Inquiry has been prosecuted, it appears to be an instrument under your Majesty's Sign Manual, not countersigned, not under any Seal.-It re cites, that an Abstract of certain written Declarations touching my cor duct (without specify. ing by whom those Declarations were made, or the nature of the matters touching which they had been made, or even by whom the Abstract had been prepared), had been laid before your Majesty; into the truth of which it purports to authorize the four noble Peers, who are named in it, to inquire and to examine, upon oath, (To be continued.)

* See Appendix (A).

Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent-Garden.
LONDON: Printed by J. M'Creery, Black Horse-Court, Fleet-street.

VOL. XXIII. No. 13.] LONDON, SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 1813. [Price 1s.


"Heav'n has no curse like love to hatred turn'd,
"Nor Hell a fury like a woman scorn'd."


Having been unable to resist the desire to submit my own remarks to the reader at considerable length, I have been compelled to adopt the measure of publishing a third Double Number next week, when I shall close the publication of THE BOOK, and shall, at the same time, have sufficient room to prefix the further remarks that I have to make upon this important subject.




and with which, it appears, her moderation would have been contented. Indeed, when you take an impartial view of the case up to the close of her Letter of the 16th of February; 1807, you will be at a loss to say which feeling is strongest in your bosom: that of admiration of her moderation and magnanimity; or, of indignation against the wretches who had manifestly conspired, with the most deliberate malice, against her reputation and even against her life.

Exalted as the parties concerned are in rank, important as every thing must be which is so closely connected with their character and honour; yet, such is the abi




My dear Friend,

Letter V.

In my last Letter I gave you a brief history of THE BOOK, and showed you, as clearly as I was able, what effects it had produced as to political changes in the government. I, at the same time, laid before you all the depositions against Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, together with the beginning of her defence. The remaining part of that defence I continue to this Letter; and, when you have read it, together with Her Royal Highness's Letter to the King of the 16th of February, 1807, you will have the whole of the case before you.

So satisfactory to my mind is that defence; so completely does it do away every charge against her honour; so quickly does it dissipate, in my view of it, every doubt that could have been raised in the mind of any rational man, that I am utterly at a loss to find words to express my astonishment, that His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, should have found advisers, weak enough (for I will forbear to apply to them any harsh epithet) to recommend the raising of any obstacle to the giving of the injured Princess those external marks of complete acquittal, which she so justly demanded,

with which this defence was conducted, that, merely as a specimen of excellence in this sort of productions, it will, I am persuaded, live and be admired, long after the cause of it shall have become of no interest to the world. I hated Perceval when living; I hate his memory now that he is dead; because I regard him as having been a bitter enemy of the liberties of my country. But, I should tacitly belie my conviction, I should commit an act of violence on my own mind, were I to abstain from expressing my admiration of this defence, as doing equal honour to the heart and to the talents of its author; who, from the first page to the last, shines, not only as a wise counsellor, an able and zealous advocate, but as an ardent, a steady, and disinterested friend; and, really, I look upon it as a fortunate circumstance for the character of the country, that, while England had produced wretches so vile as to conspire against the life of an innocent and friendless woman, England also furnished the man able and willing to be her protector.

This defence being, in all its parts, so complete, I should not trouble you with any observations of my own on any part of the evidence or proceedings, and should merely give you my reasons for believing, that the conduct of the Princess, up to this very hour, has been such as to merit full approbation; but, as endeavours are still making, in some of the detestable news. papers in London, to give the air of truth to the refuted calumnies of the Douglases

and others, I think it right to point out for your special notice some few of the circumstances of the case.

There is an observation, made by some persons, in these words: "There, surely, must be something in all this. How "could such a story as that of Lady Doug"las have been all invented?" This is a very absurd way of reasoning; for, if one part of a story be hatched, why not the whole? It is not the practice either of courts of justice or of individuals to give credit to any part of a story, upon the principal facts of which the narrator has been fully proved to have spoken wilfully false. If any man were to tell you, that I had defrauded him of a ten pound note, and that, upon the same occasion, I had been guilty of blasphemy, would you, when you had seen the former clearly disproved, attach any credit to the latter? Would the man, who could invent the former charge, scruple to invent the latter also? Would that malice, which proved the mother of the one, be insufficient for the producing of the other? The consistency of the different parts of a story, all coming from the same person, or from a set of conspirators, argues little in support of its credibility; for, if one sits down to invent, especially when there is an abundance of time, it is entirely one's own fault if the several parts of the story do not agree. You do not read Romances and Plays; but, if you did, you would not set any part of them down for realities, because all the parts corresponded with each other. They are fabulous, they are the work of invention, from the beginning to the end; and so, it appears to me, were all the minor circumstances, related by the Douglases and others, tending to corroborate the main facts, and to render complete and successful the great plot of this disgraceful drama. The main allegations having been proved to be false, and none of the rest having been proved to be true, we must necessarily, in common justice to the accused, regard the whole as a mass of falsehoods.

We see, that, from 1801 to 1804, there was an intercourse of friendship existing between Sir John and Lady Douglas and the Princess; and, it is not, till after the former are discarded by the latter that the accusations appear to have been hatched; or, at least, to have assumed any thing of a systematic form. Soon after this, we find Sir John Douglas receiving, as his wife says, anonymous letters, containing lewd drawings, exhibiting Lady Douglas as committing adultery with Sir Sydney Smith; and: of these she says, the Princess of Wales was the author. This fact of the authorship is clearly disproved by the most satisfactory of evidence, positive as well as circumstantial. And, now, mark; this fact being proved to be false, what other conclusion can we draw from its having been advanced, than that the Douglases wrote the letters themselves to themselves with a design of imputing them to her Royal Highness, and thus to furnish themselves with some excuse for the treachery, to say the very least of it, of Lady Douglas? For, you will observe, that, upon the supposition of all the alle gations of Lady Douglas being true, nothing could clear her of the charge of perfidiousness to the person, who, in the warmth of her friendship and the plenitude of her confidence, had committed to her breast secrets affecting her life.

Having thus prepared the way; having provided themselves with an excuse though a very unsatisfactory one, for the divulging of secrets, which they could not in any case, and under any degree of provocation, divulge without subjecting themselves to the charge of perfidy, they appear to have set themselves to work to get a way opened for their information to the Prince of Wales; and, at last, in December, 1805, they draw up and sign their STATEMENT in order to its being laid before him.

If this Statement was believed, as it appears to have been, by His Royal Highness's advisers; for, my respect for the person, whom I obey as my sovereign, will permit Indeed, it is impossible for any man, me to speak, in this case, only of his adwhen he has read the whole of the docu-visers. If this statement was believed by ments, to entertain the smallest doubt of the them, there can be no doubt of the proinnocence of the Princess as to every thingpriety, and, indeed, of the absolute newhich has been alleged against her; but, it appears to me to be very essential for us to inquire, how these infamous charges came to be made. And, here, I think, we shall find all the marks of a deliberate and settled conspiracy against her, originating, to all outward appearance, with the Doug


cessity, of submitting the matter to the consideration of the King. Different men see the same thing in a different light; and, for my part, I am convinced, that if my own sister had laid such a statement before me, relative to the conduct of even suspected wife, I should, at once, have treated it as a tissue of abominable false

hoods; the reasons for which I will now give you.

The Statement of Lady Douglas, as well as her deposition, clearly shew, that her making of it originated in revenge. There are those, who, roused in the way of suspicion, by a view of the whole affair, are inclined to ascribe the accusation to another origin, and to suppose, that the Douglases went to live at Blackheath for the express purpose of carrying on a conspiracy against the Princess. But, an impartial examination of the several parts of the proceeding rejects this opinion; and, it is manifest that the charges had their origin in the revenge of this woman. Therefore, if her statement had been laid before me, as an adviser of the Prince, I should, without going into the utter improbability of the story itself, have said, that a woman, in whose bosom the passion of revenge was so strong as to goad her on to take away the life of another woman, after months and years for cooling and reflecting; I should have said, that a woman, in whose bosom the passion of revenge was so strong as this, was a person not to be believed in any thing that she might say with regard to the object of that revenge.

it is manifest, that, in making the communication to the Prince, she could not be actuated by motives of duty and of loyalty; and, seeing her declaration thus bottomed in falsehood; seeing it thus ushered in by a flagrant though hypocritical lie; I should, if I had been an adviser of the Prince, said, that nothing flowing from such a source is to be believed, or paid the smallest attention to.

Then, as to what she says about the licentious behaviour of the Princess, and her disrespectful language towards the King, the Queen, and the Royal Family, I should have observed, that, though the informant pretends to have been shocked at the indecencies and immoralities of all this, and though people were obliged to send their daughters out of the room to prevent them from hearing the language of the Princess, the informant continued to be intimate with her, and even to court her acquaintance, for years after she was the eye and ear wit ness of these indecencies; and, what is singular enough, one ground of her pretended complaints against the Princess, is, her children were not admitted, upon a particular occasion, to that, as she paints it, scene of open indecency and debauchery, Montague House! Upon a view of all these circumstances, could I have believed, that she had seen any thing to shock her in the behaviour of the Princess? Could I have believed a word of her story; and could I have refrained from advising the Prince, not to believe a word of that story?

Upon her own showing, I should have seen in Lady Douglas a traitor to her friend from motives of revenge; I should have seen in her a hypocritical pretender to loyalty and patriotism; and should have seen part of her revenge arising from her children not being admitted where she herself had been shocked at the constant indecencies of the scene, and where other persons had sent away their children from

Then, I should have observed, that she sets out with a self-evident falsehood; for she asserts, that it was a sense of duty; the fear of seeing spurious issue on the throne, her loyalty, her gratitude towards her Sovereign and the Royal family; she asserts, that it is this sense of duty, which has wrung the awful secret from her, and induced her to be guilty of a most atrocious breach of confidence. But, with this sense of duty in her mind; with all this loyalty and gratitude in her heart; and with this patriotic fear of seeing spurious issue on the throne, she keeps the secret locked up in her breast from 1802 to 1805. Was that to be believed? If she really were under the influence of the motives, which she pretends to have been under when she made the state-a ment; how came that influence to have had no weight at an earlier period?If such had really been her motives in making the communication, the year 1802 was the time for making it, when she first was told of the pregnancy, or, at any rate, when she saw the child, especially as that child was a male, and, of course, the heir to the throne; and when she reflected, moreover, that she might die, and that, from the death of herself or other persons, the impossibility of preventing the danger she feared might soon arrive. Therefore,

fear of their being corrupted. But, besides all this, I must have believed Her Royal Highness to have been wholly bereft of her senses before I could believe, or give the smallest degree of credit to, the story, of her accuser. For could I believe, that any woman in her senses, though the most; profligate of her sex, would have imparted the facts of pregnancy and delivery to another, without any possible motive, and afterwards behave to that other in a way the best calculated in the world to provoke that other to a disclosure of those facts? I can suppose it possible, and barely possible,

that there may be found in the world a married woman in common life, so very shameless, being in a state of separation from her husband in consequence of no fault of her own; I can suppose it barely possible, that such a woman, so situated, might, out of a mere inclination to communicate a secret, or to shew that she was not without a paramour, tell a confidant that she was with child, and, I will even go so far as to suppose it possible, that there may be found one in the whole world, in such a place as St. Giles's or Billingsgate, to go up to a man, and proclaim her crime in words, while she put her hand to the depository of the half-matured fruit of that crime. It is not without begging pardon of every thing bearing the name and form of woman, that I venture upon this supposition. What then must have been my conclusion upon hearing conduct like this attributed to a Princess of Wales, whose crime, in this case, went to take away her life, and who, according to the showing of Lady Douglas herself, could have no possible motive in making known to her the fact of that crime?

sire to rescue the character of the Princess from any future danger, which, from the death of witnesses, or from other causes, might arise out of the charges preferred by Lady Douglas. Willing as I am to go along with you in this supposition, I must, nevertheless say, that the means they adopted were not the best calculated in the world to arrive at so amiable and desirable an end.

These advisers did not, it appears, recommend to His Royal Highness to lay the statement of the Douglases before the King at once, and unaccompanied with any corroboratory evidence. That statement, as appears from its date, was made on the 3rd of December, 1805; and it appears, that it, or rather an abstract of it, was not laid before the King till the 29th of May, 1806. In the mean while, the advisers of the Prince of Wales appear to have recommended, the obtaining of other statements, from different persons, relating to the conduct of Her Royal Highness; and, as you will have seen, there were obtained the written Declarations of Sarah Lampert, William Lampert, William Cole, Robert Bidgood, Sarah Bidgood, and Frances Lloyd, which were also laid before the King, together with the Statement of the Douglases. And, it is with great pain that I perceive these papers to have been said, in their title, to be "For the pur

pose of confirming the Statement made by Lady Douglas." I perceive this with pain, because it admits of the interpretation, that the advisers of the Prince wished to see that horrible Statement confirmed, while, you will agree with me, that they ought to have been anxiously desirous to see it wholly refuted. If the object of the advisers of the Prince was to rescue the character of the Princess from all future danger, to which, from the death of witnesses, or other causes, this Statement might be thought to expose it, they took, as I said before, means not well adapted to their end. This error (not to call it by any other name) it was, which produced all the disagreeable consequences that followed.

Away, I should have said, if I had been an adviser of the Prince, with this mass of atrocious falsehoods; these overflowings of black-hearted revenge; these self-evident proofs of a foul and detestable conspiracy against life and honour. I should have said, that, knowing the Princess to be in her senses, it was impos. sible for me to believe, that she would first make known her pregnancy and delivery to Lady Douglas without any motive; that she would so contrive her delivery as to have it take place in her own house, surrounded as she was by the servants of the Prince; and that, having brought the child into the world, she would even attempt to suckle it herself, and actually do it for some time; I should have said, that it was impossible for me, or for any man in his senses, to believe this for one single moment. And, therefore, I should have advised His Royal Highness not to give, by any act of his, the smallest countenance to so incredible, so malicious, so detestable a charge, made against an unprotected woman, not to say, that, though separated from his bed, that woman was still his wife. While you observe, however that the The two Lamperts were, it appears, old advice given to His Royal Highness, upon servants of Sir John Douglas, and, it also this occasion, was precisely the opposite of appears, that Sir John himself was the perthat, which, as I have said, I should have son, who went from London to Chelten given, you will not, in fairness to those ham, in Gloucestershire, to take down their who gave that advice, fail to suppose, that declarations. These two declarations do they might possibly be actuated by a de-not, however, appear to have been of any Ꮞ

We must now take a look at the source of these confirmatory declarations, and of the time and manner of their being communicated to the King, and upon which communication his warrant was founded.

« PoprzedniaDalej »