Page images
PDF
EPUB

importance, seeing that the persons," who with respect to the declarations of Cole, made them, were not afterwards examined Bidgood and Fanny Lloyd. They do not upon oath by the Commissioners. Bid come forth with attested, or witnessed, siggood, Cole and Lloyd were old servants of natures, as in the case of the Statement of the Prince, and, it appears that Cole has Sir John and Lady Douglas. The signature been at Carleton House, in performance of of that famous Statement is, as you will his service, ever since the time to which his see, verified by the Duke of Sussex, who information refers. Bidgood appears to signs his name as having seen the paper have been still with the Princess when the signed; a very necessary precaution in 60 Inquiry was going on; but, you will re- momentous a case, but not less necessary mark, that there is an affidavit, produced with regard to the confirmatory declarations by the Princess, shewing, that, while the than with regard to the statement itself. It Inquiry was going on, Bidgood was, upon is a pity that this requisite is wanting to one occasion, at least, in conversation with these documents; because, if they had been Lady Douglas ; and, that, too, at a time regularly witnessed, we should have seen : when he must have well known what that who were the persons engaged in taking them Lady, had been doing with regard to his down, a circumstance of no trifling import, Royal Mistress, because he himself had when we are endeavouring to unravel the been previously examined for the purpose thread of these memorable proceedings. of confirming her Statement.

Carrying all these circumstances along in When

you

have read the defence of the your mind, you will now accompany me Princess, you will want nothing to convince in some remarks touching the declaration you, that the evidence of Bidgood and Cole of Fanny Lloyd. This part of the subject is of no unequivocal description. Indeed, has very much interested the public here, it is quite impossible for you to entertain and will not, I dare say, be uninteresting the smallest doubt as to its character. With to you, a lover of truth and justice as you respect to Fanny Lloyd's declaration there always were, and who always felt a deep are some remarks to be made of very great interest in every thing connected with the interest and importance.

peace, happiness and honour of the country : You will bear in mind, that all the de- of your forefathers. Fanny Lloyd says, in clarations, of which we are speaking, were her declaration, taken at the Temple, and taken, as their title imported, “ for the she afterwards swears nearly to the same

Purpose of confirming the statement made amount before the Four Lords; but, it is " by Lady Douglas.” Cole voluntarily with her declaration that we now have underwent four separate examinations; to do. She says, in her declaration, that Bidgood one, and Fanny Lloyd one, all a Mr. Mills, a Surgeon and Apothecary, at which you will have read in the foregoing Greenwich (a place near Blackheath), being Number. At what place Cole was exainin- in attendance upon her for a cold, asked ed and signed his declaratiquis is not stat- lier if the Prince visited at the Princess's ed in their dates ; but, those of Bidgood house; and, Fanny Lloyd having answered, and Fanny Lloyd are dated at the Temple, that he did not to her knowledge, said that, a place in London where Lawyers and AC- THE PRINCESS WAS CERTAINLY torneys reside; and it is pretty fairly pre- WITH CHILD. Now, mind, this desumed by the Princess, in her defence, that claration is taken down at the Temple, on they were drawn up and signed at Mr. the 12th of May, 1806; (keep the dales conLowten's, who is an Attorney, living in stantly in your eye ;) it is signed at the the Temple, and who, as appears from Temple on that day, but in the presence of one of Cole's declarations, was at Cheltena whom we are not informed. ham with Sir John Douglas to take the de- Luckily for the character of the Princess claration of the two Lamperts,

a new witness was here introduced. Mr. These are very material circumstances Mills was named; and he was to be examinfor you to bear in mind, and it would be ed, of course. He was examined, not at the useful to have it clearly ascertained, who it Temple, indeed, but at the House of the was that actually employed Mr. Lowten. Earl of Moira, and by that nobleman himAt any rate, we see him at Cheltenham self, but, in the presence of Mr. Lowlen, employed in taking declarations with Sir who is a person of some consideration, being, John Douglas," for the purpose of confirm besides an attorney, an officer in the Court " ing the Statement of Lady Douglas;" and of King's Bench. it is at the Temple where we find that the Fanny Lloyd's declaration, confirmatory declarations of Bidgood and Fanny Lloyd of Lady Douglas's Statement, was of great were made. Observe another thing, too, importance, as it went directly to establish

[ocr errors]

the fact of the alleged pregnancy; but, seems very reluctant to fix the blame of this unfortunately for Miss Lloyd's veracity, omission upon any one. She says, “I Mr. Mills declared to Lord Moira and Mr. “ know not whether it was Lord Moira, or Lowten, that her declaration, as far as re- .66 Mr. Lowten, who should have commulated to him, was "an infamous false- " nicated this circumstance, to his Royal " hood.Now rind, this was on the Highness" (who is stated to have laid 14th of May, 1806, two days only after the declarations before the King): “ but, Miss Lloyd had made her declaration. " she adds, in all fairness, it ought unUpon hearing this from Mr. Mills, Lord “ questionably to have been communicated Moira said (as Mr. Mills states in his affi- " by some one." And so it certainly should; davit) that he supposed there must be soine for Fanny Lloyd's was one of those impormistake, and that Fanny Lloyd must have tant declarations, upon which confessedly meant Mr. Edmeades, who was the part- the inquiry was founded. ner of Mr. Mills, and who, having at the It is my business to fix your attention uprequest of Lord Moira, waited on his Lord on great points, is being impossible for me, ship, at his house, on the 20th of May, in my limited space, to go over the whole of 1806, (mind the dales) declared (as you the case with you, and it being also quite will see by his affidavit) to his Lordship, unnecessary, 'seeing that the documents in the presence of a Mr. Conant, a Police themselves are so full and satisfactory. Magistrate, that the declaration of Fanny One of these great points is, the credibie Lloyd, if he was the person meant by her, lity, which the Four Lords gave to the eviwas wholly false ; for, that he, at no time, dence of Cole and Fanny Lloyd, and the effect had said that the Princess was pregnant, of that credibility. You will perceive, that and that such a thought had never for a the facts of pregnancy and delivery were so single moment, entered his mind. completely disproved, that their Lordships,

Here, then, we see Fanny Lloyd's con- in their REPORT to the King, deelare, in firmatory declaration, or, at least, the only the most explicit and the most forcible important part of it, blown, at once into terms, that the charge was wholly false; the dark regions of malicious invention. that it was utterly destitute of foundation, The whole of the affidavits of Messrs. Bui, they leave a sling in the tail of this Mills and Edmeades; the facts stated by Report. They say, that other particulars, those gentlemen, the place, time, and man- respecting the conduct of her Royal Highner of their being examined, are worthy of ness, must “necessarily give occasion to your most careful attention ; but, at pre- VERY UNFAVOURABLE INTERsent, let us pursue the destination of the PRETATIONS;” and these particulars, declaration of Fanny Lloyd; and, as you they say, rest especially upon the evidence are about to see, our pursuit will soon be of Bidgood and Cole, Fanny Lloyd and at an end. That declaration was taken, Mrs. Lisle ;

say the Lords, you will observe, on the 12th of May, “cannot, in our judgment, be suspected 1806, at the Temple; on the 14th it was " of an unfavourable bias, and whose VEHatly falsified by Mr. Mills; on the 20th it " RACITY, in this respect, we have seen was as flatly falsified by Mr. Edmeades; on no ground lo question." the 29th, as appears from the Report, As to Bidgood, you will see by the deFanny Lloyd's declaration was laid before fence and by his own declarations and dethe King; but, it does NOT appear any positions, whether he was likely to be unwhere, THAT THAT DECLARATION der any unfavourable bias. Mrs. Lisle's WAS ACCOMPANIED BY THE FAL- evidence amounts to little, and of that little SIFICATION FIXED ON IT BY MR. I shall leave you to judge with only this re-. MILLS AND MR. EDMEADES. mark: that, if every married woman in the

As her Royal Highness, in her defence, world were to be liable to be admonished avows, that she dares not trust herself with upon grounds similar to those to be found in any inferences from this proceeding, I can- that evidence, there would not be one, even not be expected to draw any; but, I can- amongst you Quakers, that would escape an not, at any rate refrain from expressing my admonition. If it be faulty in a married deep regret, that this omission should have woman to prefer talking to a man rather taken place; because, if the falsification of than to her attendants ; if it be a fault in a Fanny Lloyd's declaration had accompanied married woman to smile or langh in con-, the declaration itself, the King might, pro- versation with any other man than her husbably, have not issued the commission for band ; if it be a fault in her to endeavour that inquiry, which has led to all this seri- to appear witty or agreeable in the eyes of ous mischief. The Princess, in her defence, lany man except those of her husband; if

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

this be the case, point me out, if you can, 66 Mary Wilson was sworn lo secrecy, and a single brother Broad-brim, who has not " threatened to be turned away if she dia right to complain.

"s vulged what she had seen." This, you Fanny Lloyd and Cole are two of the per- will observe, was a most important fact ; sons, whose veracily, in this respect, it ap and these are the very words in which Cole pears, the Four Lords saw no ground to stated it in his declaration, which declaraquestion. With regard to Fanny Lloyd, tion was one of the papers on which the you will bear in mind, that she had posi- Inquiry was founded: Now, then, what tively sworn to the most important face says Fanny Lloyd to this fact? Why, as about the pregnancy; and that Messrs. you will see, at the close of her deposition, Mills and Edmeades had sworn before these she swears, THAT SHE NEVER DID same Lords, that that fact was false. She TELL COLE ANY SUCH THING. swore on the 7th of June, 1506, that Mr. Which of these two witnesses spoke falsely, Mills told her the Princess was with child, it is impossible for me to say, but that one or looked, as if she was with child. The of the two did speak falsely there can be no two gentlemen (there appearing to be a mis- doubt ; indeed, the fact is certain, for the take as to which of the two it was) both two witnesses fatly contradict each other. swear, on the 25th of the same month, And yet, they are both, yes, both, menthat they never did and never could say any tioned as persons, whose veracity the Four such thing to her ; for that such a thought Lords see no grounds to question. You nevercame into their heads. And, yet, as you will please to observe, that the qualification will perceive, the Four Lords, in their re- by the words, “ in this respect," does not port to the King, say, that Fanny Lloyd is apply here, as in the former case; for, the a witness, whose veracily, in this respect, fact here mentioned does not relate to the they see no ground to question. To be sure, pregnancy, or the delivery, but merely to they are here reporting upon the improprie- the improprieties of conduct; so that the ties of conduct, and not upon the pregnan- flat contradiction given by Fanny Lloyd to cy, and they qualify their opinion of the the declaration of Cole appears not to have veracity of the witness, by the words,“ in been, in the opinion of the Four Lords, sufthis respect;" but, as her evidence relative ficient ground to cause the veracity of either to the pregnancy as well as to the impro- of them to be questioned as to the matter to prieties was all contained in the same depo- which, it is clear, that their evidence résition, it was not very easy to regard her as 'lated. Against the opinion of four such a person of veracity in respect to the latter, persons as Lord Erskine, Lord Ellenborough, and not as a person of veracity in respect to Lord Grenville, and Lord Spencer, it is the former. Therefore, it appears to me, not for me to set up mine; and, indeed, that their Lordships must have given more my only object is to draw your particular credit to her oath than to the oath of Mr. attention to the point, to induce you to read Mills, or Mr. Edmeades, and, in that case, with care all the documents referred to, they would, of course, see, no ground to and then to leave you, as a sensible and inquestion her veracity. Be their view upon partial man, far removed from the heated this point, however, what it might, you, atmosphere of our politics and parties, to having all the documents before you will form your own judgment ; always bearing form your own opinion as to Fanny Lloyd's in mind, however, that Cole and Fanny veracity, and you will always bear in mind, Lloyd were two out of the four persons, that she was one of the four persons, whose from whose evidence those particulars cvidence, the Four Lords say, must re- arose, which, as the Four Lords

say, cessarily give occasion to very unfavourable " must necessarily give rise to very uninterpretations."

"favourable interpretations." Mr. Cole was another of the four wit- As the present double Number of my nesses, whose evidence is said, by the Register contains nearly the whole of the Four Lords, to give occasion to these inter- Defence of Her Royal Highness, and as I pretations. Now, observe, then, as to Cole, know you, who are a lover of truth and that he, in his declaration of the 11th of justice, will read the whole of it, I will not January, 1806, positively says, that Fanny trouble you with any further remarks upon Lloyd told him, that, one day, " when the case itself, being well assured, that “ Mary Wilson supposed the Princess to there will not, when you have gone through “ 6 be gone to the Library, she went into the the whole, as you will be enabled to do by 66 bed-room, where she found a man at my next Number, in an attentive manner, " breakfast with the Princess, that there remain in your mind, the smallest doubt, “ was a great to do about it; and that that Her Royal Highness was perfectly in

,

a

a

nocent of every charge preferred against more especially as the Report and the her; not only of every charge of criminality, Depositions must necessarily find their way but also of every charge of indecency or to the knowledge of so many persons. It impropriety or indiscretion of conduct; and was impossible, that, when so many I am further assured, that you will agree persons were examined, the purport of with me, that the.e are comparatively very the accusations should remain a secret. few married, women, though living hap. Indeed it was very well known; and, it pily with their husbands, whose conduct is also rery well known, that it gave would bear such a scrutiny as that which rise to very serious doubts and unfavourthe conduct of this calumniated Lady has able impressions. Was it not, then, very been compelled to undergo. Tried and re

Tried and re hard upon the accused party, that the actried and tried again and again; rummaged cusation should have been received and reand sifted and bolted as it has been, through corded, and reported upon by a tribunal, statements and declarations and depositions whose incompetence on her side was such and minutes and debates and pamphlets as not to constitute perjury any thing that and paragraphs, it comes out at last with might be sworn falsely against her ? Such, out any thing sticking to it, which the most however, now appears to have been the modest and happy married woman in the fact; and upon that fact I shall not, for I world might not own without a blush; and, am sure it is quite unnecessary, offer you after having carefully read and impartially any further observation of mine, being weighed every word of these documents, I convinced that you will want no one to asmost solemnly declare, that, if I had a sist you in forming a correct opinion with daughter twenty years married, I should respect to it. think myself a happy and a fortunate father, Sir John Douglas, however, has preif as little could be said against her conduct sented a petition to the House of Commons, as has been proved against the conduct of on behalf of himself and of Charlotte, his the Princess of Wales.

wife, praying the House to put them in a You will naturally be anxious to know, situation to re-swear all that they have whether any measure, and what, has been before sworn. That the prayer of this adopted by the ministry, the parliament, petition could not be granted, they knew or the people, in consequence of the dis- very well. However, as the petition was closure, which has now, fortunately for the upon the Table of the House, Mr. Cocacause of truth, taken place. By the mi- RANE JOHNSTONE, one of the members, nistry no measure has, as yet, been adopted. upon the ground, that, while it so lay, In parliament there have been some move- without any opinion of the House proments, but, hitherty, without producing nounced upon it, it scemed to receive some any measure of a decided character. A degree of countenance from the House, motion has been brought forward by Mr. moved, on the 24th instant, the following Whitbread for the prosecution of Sir John resolution : “ That the petition of Sir John and Lady Douglas for perjury; but was “ Douglas, in behalf of himself and of given up, upon its appearing, that they Charlotte his wife, is regarded by this could not be so prosecuted, having given " House as an audacious effort, to give, their oaths before persons, acting in a capac" in the eyes of the nation, the colour of cily which did not make it perjury for any

" truth to falsehoods before sworn 10, one to swear falsely before them. Of this, during the prosecution of a foul and deas you will perceive, the Princess complains testable attempt against the peace and in her defence. And, surely, it was very “happiness, the honour and life of Her hard for her to have her conduct tried, to Royal Highness the Princess of Wales." have evidence touching her honour and her This motion, upon the ground of there life, taken down before a tribunal, whose being no documents regularly before the competence did not excend far enough to House, whereon to ground such a resolu. allow of false swearers being prosecuted for tion, was got rid of by a motion to ad. perjury. This should have been thought journ; but, during the debate that took of before the warrant was issued; for, it place, it was avowed on all hands, that seems to me, that the harduess of the case the opinion which the resolution expressed. is without a parallel. If the oaths had was perfectly just. Not a single man was been taken before the Privy Council, or found in the House to attempt to justify, before magistrates, a prosecution for per- to excuse, or to palliate the conduct of the jury might have followed; and, it is to be petitioners; and, therefore, the effect of greatly lamented, that this most important the motion of Mr. CocHRANE JOHNSTONE circumstance was not attended to in time; upon the public mind has been just the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]

a rash

same as it would have been if the motion doubt, that, though acquitted upon all had been carried by an unanimous vote of capital points, she was still an immoral the House.

woman ; an opinion, too, which I will The public feeling, which was before fairly avow, was neither removed nor strong on the side of the injured Princess, shaken by her public reception at court and has now received the sanction of the con- her restoration to apartments in one of the viclion of her perfect innocence; and, Royal Palaces; acts which, without being which is well worthy of remark, this con. over-suspicious, I might, and indeed, I viction has been produced, in general, by the did, ascribe to mere prudence, which must reading of the Evidence only; for, there is have dictated to the whole of the Royal not, up to this hour, one person out of fifty Family to use all the means in their power thousand in the kingdom, who has read the to cause a veil to be drawn for ever over Defence, contained in the letter of the 2d of the whole transaction. I was, moreover, Oct., the greater part of which I now pub- influenced in the forming of this opinion lish in this Double Number. What, then, by the total silence of the Princess herself; must be the feelings of the people, when time for, one must have actual experience of and circumstances shall have enabled them forbearance and magnanimity like hers, to read and well reflect on that Defence before one can possibly believe in their exand the Affidavits in support of it?

istence. If I viewed the inatter in this Another thing worthy of remark, is, light, how must others, with less opporthat those news-papers, which, upon the tunity of getting at the truth, have viewed appearance of Her Royal Highness's Letter it? Certainly in a light less advantageous to the Prince, and upon that of the far to the Princess, who, it appears to me, better letter which she addressed to the must have had very faithless advisers; or, Speaker of the House of Commons; those she could not, for so long a time, have news-papers, which called her a misguided remained silent. woman, an unfortunate woman,

The fact which first led me to suppose, that I woman, who taunted her with the evidence had formed a wrong opinion upon this point, i

was informed of about eighteen months ago. It of Cole, Bidgood, and Fanny Lloyd, and was this; that a certain Noble Earl, well known who menaced her with a new Inquiry; to be much attached to the Prince, had expendthose same news-papers, perceiving the ed, through the hands of a gentleman, some hununiversal cry excited by their baseness, THE BOOK. What could this be for? What

dreds of pounds in purchasing up a stray copy of accompanied with a disclosure of all the could be the motive? From that time I began dark machinations of her vindictive ene- to think, that the Princess was not so very mies, have, all of a sudden, turned round, guilty; and, when, soon afterwards, Mr. Pero and, while they have become her panyge author of the Book; when he, who was now

ceval, who was well known to have been the rists, have fallen, in the most violent become the prime Minister of the Prince, and manner, upon Sir John and Lady Douglas; who had been chosen to that office to the exjust as if the conduct of these persons were

clusion of the Prince's old friends; when, in not now what it always had been known open parliament, he explicitly declared, the Printo be! You will be shocked to hear of that had been preferred against her, I could no

cess to be perfectly innocent of all the charges such a perversion of that noble instrument, longer doubt of her perfect innocence; and, the Press ; but, my friend, you must be from that hour, as the pages of my Register will here, and be acquainted with the means show, I did all in my little power to inculcate

the same opinion on my readers. made use of to move that instrument; you When the Prince was addressed by the City must see the working of the secret wheels, of London upon his being constituted Regent, I before you can have a sufficient horror of the thought that the Princess ought to have been cause of so apparently unaccountable an effect. addressed too. I think so still;

and, if she bad,

at that time, been placed in a situation to hold á For my own part, I confess, that, frith

court, THE BOOK would still, in all human out any molive whatever to bias my judg. probability, have slept in quiet. The want of ment, 1, for a long while, for several wisdom in the advisers of the Prince and the years, thought the Princess guilty to some

sense and courage of the Princess have combined.

to order it otherwise; and, I should be a very considerable extent. The very existence of

great hypocrite if I were now to atfect to be sorry a commission to inquire into her conduct for it. The disclosure will do great good in many was sufficient to produce that impression ways, while to the nation at large, and especially

in my mind; and this, added to the tales to the calumniated Princess, it is impossible i and anecdotes which were circulated with leave you to the perusal of the Princess's defence,

that it should do any harm. With this remark I. an industry and in a way, of which you, well satisfied, that you will need nothing wore who live in a happy ignorance of the crafty to enable you to form a correct judgment upon intrigues of this scene," cannot form the every part of this memorable transaction. most distant idea, had left me in little Botley, 26 Mar. 1813.

I remain your faithful friend,

WM. COBBLTT,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »