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" 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 ad
papers submitted to the consideration of " mitted with us lillle 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 lo her rank and slalion, in your " which this business is brought under“ Majesty's Court and Family. Your "their consideration, they do not feel them- “Majesty's confidential servants also beg
" 56 selves called upon to give any opinion as
or leave to subinit to your Majesty, that "to the proceeding itself, or to the model considering that it may be necessary that
" “ of investigation in which it has been your Majesty's Government should poss
thought proper to conduct it. But ad- sess 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"
Wales "portance that these documents, demon66 to have directed his conduct, your Ma- strating the ground on which your Ma“ jesty's confidential servants are anxious" jesty has proceeded, should be preserved " to impress upon your Majesty their con- 6 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." 66 ment and Examinations which were sub“ mitted to him upon this subject. “ CABINET MINUTE, April 21, 1807 “ After the most deliberate consideration,
PRESENT, 66 however, of the evidence which has “ been brought before the Commissioners, « The Lord President
66 The Lord Chancellor The Earl of Bathurst
Viscount Castlereagh " and of the previous examinations, as well “ The Lord Privy Seal Lord Mulgrave
of the answer and observations which “ The Duke of Portland Mr. Secretary Canning so have been submitted to your Majesty
« The Earl of Clatliam Lord Hawkesbury, upon them, they feel it necessary to de- " Your Majesty's Confidential Servants $6 clare their decided concurrence in the " think it necessary to notice, in a separate 56 clear and unaniinous opinion of the Com- " Minute, the request
of Her Royal High6 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 Mac 6: 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- "s naturally to arise out of the present ståte “ 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 you " ascribed, are either salisfactorily contra- Majesty would not expect froin them any
" “ dicted, or rest upon evidence of such a particular advice
respecting it." nature, and which was given under Thus ended the matter at that time. The " such circumstances, as render it, in the Princess was, soon afterwards, received at “ judgment of your Majesty's confidential court with great splendour, and she had "servants, undeserving of credit.-apartments allotted to her in Kensington “ Your Majesty's confidential servants, Palace, which is situated at but about two “therefore, concurring in that part of the miles from St. James's. opinion of
your late servants, as stated Up to this moment the conduct of Per“in their Minute of the 25th January, ceval seems to have been perfectly honour, " that there is no longer any necessity for able. He might possibly have ambitious
your Majesty being advised to decline views froin the beginning. He might posreceiving the Princess into your Royal sibly think that one way to power was presence, humbly submit to your Ma- through the gratitude of the Princess, at
jesty, that it is esseritially necessary, in some distant day; but, in the outset of the * justice to Her Royal Highness, and for 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 i he 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, in: who 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 husbaud 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, wore espe=' palaces, and loaded with mimerous imputa- cially as her defender was now placed on tions. He cleared her of them all, and the highest piunacle of power. restored her to that situation which was the In this light the Princess herself, from object of her prayer.
her last letter to the Priuce, seems to have We are now to view his subsequent viewed the matter; for, she there says, conduct towards her, and herein it is that that she has waited with patience, since he was, as appears to me, wanting in his the establishment of the Regency, to see duty both to the Prince and Princess. He what would be done. I, for my part, and others, had contrived, by one means strongly urged, at the time, the propriety and another, ios suppress THE BOOK, of giving her an establishment suitable to which was ready for publication when he the new rank of her husband, and especially was made minister. But, the Princess the means of enabling her to hold a court. had been received at court, she was inha- This was not listened to. The ministers biting a palace, and the affair was at rest. seem to have thought it best to leave her in There was no blame, therefore, in the comparative obscurity; but, her own spirit suppression; but when the REGENCY and her consciousness of innocence, have came to be established in the person of the defeated their views. Still, however, all Prince; when the busband came to be ex. wight have remained undisturbed, if a free alted to the rank, the power, and spten- intercourse had been permitted between her dour of a King, how could Perceval recon. and her daughter ; and, I am sincerely of cile it with the letter of 16th February, opinion, from a full view of her character 1807, and with the minute of the 21st of and disposition, as exhibited in the whole April in that year, to leave the Princess of of these documents, that, provided no reWales, the wise of the Regent, in her straint had been laid upon the indulgence of former comparatively obscure and penu- her maternal affections, she would, without riqus state ?' 'How caine he to do this'; much repining, have preserved in her magand that, too, at a time when he was so nanimous silence. · But, when she saw her: amply providing for the splendour and self deprived of that indulgence; when she power of the Queen, and was granting the saw her intercourse with her only child was public money for the making of new esta- more and more restrained; when she saw blishments for the maiden sisters of the the likelihood of an approaching total exam Regent?
clusion from that child, and took into her Alas! We are now to look back to that view the effect which the notoriety of that wonderful event, the choosing of Perceval exclusion must have upon her reputation, for minister by the Regent, the choosing of she found it impossible longer to withhold the author of the letter of 16th February, the statement of her grievances. 1806, to the exclusion of those who had
Even now, even after the writing of her always been called the Prince's Friends. last letter to the Prince; aye, and after the The Prince was certaitily advised by pru- publishing of that letter, all might have dent men, when he took this step ; for he been quietly set at rest, if the Prince had avoided a certain evil at the expense of no found advisers to recommend the acceding certain, and, indeed, of no probable, good to her reasonable request. Such advisers that a change of ministry, would have ef- he did not hnd; and we have the consefected. But, I blame Perceval for keeping quences before his place withouh Jifitating for, or with Upon the Report of the Privy Council to 'But doing, something in behalf of the 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 will only request you, my honest friend, point out the necessity of reading all the first to read the minute of the Gabinet of subjoined documents with great care. 21st of April, 1807, and see who it is sign- Every word vill be found to be of imed by; then to read the defence of the portance, when you come to the perusal Princess together with her letter of the 16th of the Princess's Defence. I shall have of February, 1907, as you will find them great pleasure in publishing and in cirin my next Number; then to read care. culating it through the world; and when fully the Report of the Privy Council of that is done, let her base enemies “ 19th February, 1813, and see who that is " supper with what appetite they may.
.' signed by; and then to pass your judgment upon the conduct of the parties concerned.
I am your faithful friend, This Report of the Privy Council brought forth the Princess's Letter to the Speaker
WM. COBBETT. 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 mi
P. S. In the placing of the documents in nisters a full and complete acknowledgment of the innocence of the Princess; and pages 409 and 410, of the second sheet of that acknowledgment has drawn forth, the present Number, there is a mistake. through the channel of a paper, the pro- They should have come into the next Numperty of a Reverend Divine, who has re- ber. 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 conductors, I say it, while the documents against place will be pointed out in the next Numher have all been puured 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 incontrovertible answer to all, and every one of the by the defence, but, it has been out of charges against her, and ber 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 carefully, by 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 hud, indeed, seen long public eye!
ago, I have no hesitation in saying, that Any ihing so completely base as this there canriot rest, in the mind of any do not recollect to have before witnessed, even in the conduct of the London
man of sound judgment and without un
press ; but, my friend, this nefarious attempt to due bias, the smallest doubt, that all; support injustice will not succeed. In the yes, all the accusations against the Princess present Double Number of my Register I have inserted all the Evidence against the
were false, and the production of a base Princess ; in another Number, next week, and malicious conspiracy against her, the of the same description, I shall insert the object of which was totally to destroy her whole of her defence ; and, thus you will reputation and degrade her for ever from have before you the whole of what has been called THE BOOK. You will then all rank and dignity in the country. This be at no loss to decide upon every point is my sincere and decided opinion; and in relating to this important affair, and upon this opinion I am confident I shall be the conduct of all the parties, who, by joined by every impartial person in the tliese documents, will be brought under
THE REPORT OF THE FOUR LORDS.
Considering it as a matter which, on every account, demanded the most immediate, investi, gation, your Majesty bad thought fit to comniit
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 Šigu Manual, Majesty to decide what further conduct to arlopt a copy of which is annexed to this Report, to concerning them.-On this review therefore “ anthorize, 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“tonching 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, tonching 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 liave, in dutiful obedience to cluded. - We accordingly first examined on Your Majesty's commands, proceeded to examine oath the principal informants, Sir John Donglas, the several witnesses, the copies of whose depo- and Charlotte' his wife ; who both positively sitions we have hereunto annexed; and, in furo swore, the former to his having observed the ther execution of tlre said commands we now fact of the pregnancy of Iler 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 amesed to to refer Your Majesty, for more complete infor- this Report, and are circumstantial and positive. mation, to the examinations themselves, in or. -Tliemost 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 respecting thus far supported by the oatli 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 ceriain 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 inqniry, 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 de great 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 tión 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 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 this part of the subject. This expectation immediate inspection. These allegations thus was not disappointed. We are happy to declare made, had, as we found, been followed by decla. to your Majesty our perfect conviction that there rations from other persons, who bad not indeed is no foundation whatever for believing that the spoken to the important facts of the pregnancy child now with the Princess is the child of or delivery of Her Royal Highness, but had Her Royal Highvess, or that she was delivered related other particulars, in themselves ex- of any child in the year 1802 ; nor has any thing, tremely suspicious, and still more so when con appeared to us which would warrant the belief nected with the assertions already mentioned that she was pregnant in that year, or at any
In the painful situation, in which His Royal | other period within the compass of our inquiries. Higliness 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 judgnient, 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 circumstautial evidegree supported by collateral evidence, apply. dence, as can, in our judgment, leave no ques. ing to other points of the same nature (though tion on this part of the subject. That child was, going to a far less extent,) ene 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 bé Princess's house in the month of November fol. withheld from your Majesty, to whom more par- lowing. Neither should we be more warranted ticularly belonged the cognizance of a natter of in expressing any doubt respecting the alleged State, so nearly touching the honour of your pregnancy of the Princess, as stated in the origiMajesty's Royal Family, and, by possibility, nal declarationsma fact so fully contradicted, affecting the Succession of your Majesty's crown. and by so many witnesses, to whom, if trne, it
-Your Majesty had been pleased, on your must, in various ways have been known, tliat we part, to view the subject in the same light cannot think it entitled to the smallest credit.
The testimonies on these two points are con. | loved Councillor Edward Lord Ellenborough, tained in the annexed depositions and letters. Our Clief Justice, to hold pleas before our self, We have not partially abstracted thrm in this to inquire into the truth of the same, and to ex. Report, lest, by any unintentional omission, we amine, upon oath, such persons as they shall might weaken their effect; but we humbly offer see fit touching and concerning the same, and to to your Majesty this our clear and ananimous report to us the result of such examinations.judgment upon them, formed on full deliberation, Given at our Castle of Windsor, on the 29th day and pronounced without hesitation on the result of May, in the 46th year of our Reign. G. R. of the whole Inquiry We do not however A true Copý, J. Becket. 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 Prin
DEPOSITIONS ACCOMPANYING THE REPORT. céss those declarations, on the whole of which (No. 2.)-Copy of the Deposition of Charlotte Lady your Majesty has been pleased to comunand us to
Douglas. inquire and report, coiitain, as we have already I think I first becaine acquainted with the remarked, other particulars respecting the con- Princess of Wales in 1801. Sir John Douglas had duct of Her Royal Higliness, such as must, espe- a house at Blackbeath. One day, in November cially considering her exalted rank and station, 1801, the snow was lying on the ground. The necessarily give occasion to very unfavourable Princess and a Lady, who, I believe, was Miss interpretations. From the various depositions | Heyman, came on foot, and walked several and proofs annexed to this Report, particularly times before the door. Lady Stewart was with from the examinations of Robert Bidgood, Wil- me, and said, she thought that the Princess liam Cole, Frances Lloyd, and Mrs. Lisle, your wanted something, and that I ought to go to her, Majesty will perceive that several strong circum- I went to her. She said, she did not want any stances of this description have been positively thing, but she would walk in; that I had a very 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 time. About a fortuight after Sir J. D. and I whose veracity, in this respect, we have seen no
received an invitation to go to Montague house; ground to question. On the precise bearing after that I was very frequently at Montagueand effect of the facts thus appearing, it is not house, and dined there. The Princess dined for us to decide; these we submit to your Ma. frequently with us. About May or June, 1802, jesty's wisdom ; but we conceive it to be our the Princess first talked to me about her own duty to report on this part of the Inquiry as dis- conduct. Sir S. Smithi, who had been Sir John's tinctly as on the former facts: that, as on the friend for more than twenty years, came to Eng. one hand, the facts of pregnancy atd delivery and about November, 1801, and came to live in are to our minds satisfactorily disproved, so on our house. I understood the Princess knew Sir the other hand we think that the circumstances Sydney Smith before she was Princess of Wales. to which we now refer, particularly those stated The Princess saw Sir S. Smith as frequently as to liave passed between Her Royal Highness and onrselves. We were usually kept at Montague. Captain Manby, must be credited until they konse later than the rest of the party, often tilt three shall receive some decisive contradiction; and, or four o'clock in the morning. I never observed if true, are justly entitled to the most serious any impropriety of conduct between Sir S. Smith consideration. We cannot close this Report, and the Princess. I made the Princess a visit at without humbly assuring your Majesty, that Montague-house in March, 1802, for about a it was, on every account, our anxions wish to fortnight. She desired me to conie there, be have executed this delicate trust with as little cause Miss Garth was ill. In May or June fofpublicity as the nature of the case would possibly lowing, the Princess came to my house alope : allow; and we entreat your Majesty's permission she said she came to tell me something that had to express our full persuasion, that if this wish happened to her, and desired me to guess. I has been disappointed, the failure is not imput guessed several things, and at last I said, I could able to any thing unnecessarily said or done by vot guess any thing more. She then said she was
-All which is most humbly submitted to pregnant, and that the child had come to life. I your Majesty.
don't know whether she said on that day or a few (Signed) ERSKINE, GRENVILLE,
days before, that she was at breakfast at Lady SPENCER, ELLENBOROUGH.
Willoughby's, that the milk tlowed up to her
breast and came throngh her gown; that she July 14th, 1806.-A true Copy, J. Becket, threw a wapkin over herself, and went with Lady
Willoughby, into her room, and adjusted herself to prevent. its being observed. Sne never told
me who was the father of the child. She said APPENDIX. (A.)
she hoped it would be a boy. She said, that if (No. 1.)-Copy of His Majesty's Commission, it was discovered, she would give the Prince of
GEORGE R.--Whereas, our right trusty and Wales the credit of being the father, for she had well-beloved Conncillor, Thomas Lord Erskine, slept two niglits at Carlton-louse within the year, our Chancellor, has this day laid before us an I said that I should go abroad to my mother. Abstract of certain written declarations touching The Princess said she should manage it very the conduct of her Royal Highness the Priucess well, and if things came to the worst, she would of Wales, we do hereby authorize, empower, il give the Prince the credit of it. While I was at and direct the said Thomas Lord Érskive, our Montague-house, in Marçlı, I was with child, and
I Chancellor, our right trusty and well-beloved one day I said I was very sick, and the Princess Cousin and Councillor George John Earl Spen- desired Mrs. Sander to get me a saline draught. cer, one of our Principal Secretaries of State, She then said that she was very siek tierself, and our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor W. that she wunld take a saline draft too. I observ. Windham, Lord Grenville, First Comnissioner of ed, that she could not want one, and I looked at OH Treasury, and our right trusty and well-be- iber. The Princess said, yes I do. What do