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indefinite generality, constitute, as I am told, no legal crime. They are described as "instances of
great impropriety and indecency of behaviour" which must "occasion the most unfavourable interpretations" and they are reported to your Majesty, and they are stated to be, “circumstances which must be credited till they are decisively "contradicted."
From this opinion, this judgment of the Commissioners, bearing so hard upon my character; (and that a female character, how delicate, and how easily to be affected by the breath of calumny your Majesty well knows) I can have no appeal. For, as the charges constitute no legal crimes, they cannot be the subjects of any legal trial. I can call for no trial. I can therefore have no appeal; I can look for no acquittal. Yet this opinion, or this judgment, from which I can have no appeal, has been pronounced against me upon mere er parte investigation.
This hardship, Sire, I am told to ascribe to the nature of the proceeding under this Warrant or Commission; For, had the Inquiry been entered into before your Majesty's Privy Council, or before any magistrates, authorised by law as such, to inquire into the existence of treason, the known course of proceeding before that council, or such magistrates, the known extent of their jurisdiction over crimes, and not over the proprieties of behaviour, would have preserved me from the possibility of having matters made the subjects of inqiury which had in law no substantive criminal
character, and from the extreme hardship of having my reputation injured by calumny altogether unfounded, but rendered at once more safe to my enemies, and more injurious to me, by being uttered, in the course of a proceeding, assuming the grave semblance of legal form. And it is by the nature of this proceeding, (which could alone have countenanced or admitted of this licentious latitude of inquiry, into the proprieties of behaviour in private life, with which no court, no magistrate, no public law has any authority to interfere,) that I have been deprived of the benefit of that entire and unqualified acquittal and discharge from this accusation, to which the utter and proved falsehood of the accusation itself so justly entitled me.
I trust therefore that your Majesty will see that if this proceeding is not one to which, by the known laws of your Majesty's kingdom, I ought to be subject, that it is no cold formal objection which leads me to protest against it.
I am ready to acknowledge, Sire, from the consequences which might arise to the public, from such misconduct as hath been falsely imputed to me, that my honour and virtue are of more importance to the state than those of other women. That my conduct therefore may be fitly subjected, when necessary to a severer scrutiny. But it cannot follow, because my character, is of more importance, that it may therefore be attacked with more impunity. And as I know, that this mischief has been pending over my head for more
than two years, that private examinations of my neighbours' servants, and of my own, have, at times, during that interval, been taken, for the purpose of establishing charges against me, not indeed by the instrumentality of Sir John and Lady Douglas alone, but by the sanction, and in the presence of The Earl of Moira (as your Majesty will perceive by the deposition of Jonathan Partridge which I subjoin ;*) and as I know also, and inake appear to your majesty likewise by the same means, that declarations of persons of unquestionable credit, respecting my conduct, attest, ing my innocence, and directly falsifying a most important circumstance respecting my supposed pregnancy, mentioned in the declarations, on which the Inquiry was instituted; as I know, I say, that those declarations, so favourable to me, appear to my infinite prejudice, not to have been communicated to your Majesty, when that Inquiry was commanded; and as I know not how soon nor how often, proceedings against me may be meditated by my enemies, I take leave to express my humble trust, that, before any other proceedings may be had against me, (desirable as it may have been thought, that the Inquiry should have been of the nature, which has, in this instance, obtained,) your Majesty would be graciously pleas ed to require to be advised, whether my guilt, if I were guilty, could not be as effectually dis
See the depositions at the end of this letter.
coveted and punished, and my honour and inno-. cence, if innocent, be more effectually secured and established by other more known and regular modes of proceeding.
Having therefore, Sire, upon these grave reasons, ventured to submit, I trust without offence, these considerations upon the nature of the Commission, and the proceedings under it, I will now proceed to observe upon the Report, and the Examinations; and, with your Majesty's permission, I will go through the whole matter, in that course which has been observed by the Report itself, and which an examination of the important matters that it contains, in the order in which it, states them, will naturally suggest.
The Report, after referring to the Commission or Warrant under which their Lorships, were act ing, after stating that they had proceeded to exa→ mine the several witnesses, whose depositions, they annexed to their Report, proceeds to state the ef fect of the written declarations, which the Com❤ missioners considered as the essential foundation of the whole proceeding. "That they were state, ments which had been laid before his Royal, Highness the Prince of Wales, respecting the conduct of her Royal Highness the Princess; that these statements, not only imputed to Her Royal Highness, great impropriety and indecency of behavi our, but expressly asserted, partly on, the ground of certain, alleged: declarations from the Princess's own mouth, and partly on the personal observation
of the informants, the following most important facts; viz. that her Royal Highness had been pregnant in the year 1802, in consequence of an illicit intercourse; and that she had in the same year, been secretly delivered of a male child; which child had ever since that period been brought up by her Royal Highness in her own house, and under her immediate inspection. These allegations thus made, had, as the Commissioners found, been followed by declarations 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. The Report then states, that, in the painful situation in which his Royal Highness was placed by these declarations, they learnt that he had adopted the only course which could, in their judgment, with propriety be followed, when informations such as these had been thus confidently alleged and particularly detailed, and had in some degree been supported by collateral evidence, applying to other points of the same nature (though going to a far less extent,) one line could only be pursued."
Every sentiment of duty to your Majesty, and of concern for the public welfare required that these particulars should not be withheld from your Majesty, to whom more particularly belonged the cognizance of a matter of state, so nearly touching the honour of your Majesty's Royal Family, and