« AnteriorContinuar »
then proceeeds to remark that, though for- | ledge of a subornation having been resorted bearance had hitherto marked her conduct, to ; an assertion, by the bye, which the though she had thus far consoled herself in Princess's Letter does not appear to have her retirement with the consciousness of called for, seeing that it does not charge her innocence, she could now, no longer the Prince with that base and detestable remain silent; that her love for her child act. and for her own honour called upon
To me it appears, therefore, that this complain. Her reasoning was this : if, it report contains no answer at all to the becomes notorious to the whole world, as Letter of the Princess. It says, indeed, it very soon must, that I am not permitted that the Prince has laid the Documents reto see my daughter ; that the Queen and lating to the inquiry of 1806, and also my husband's sisters are not only permite other documents and evidence before the ted to be with her as often as they please, privy council ; but it does not say what but that, 'she even lives amongst them, other documents or what other evidence and is brought up under their eye; if this these were ; and it does not intimatę to her fact become notorious to the whole world, that her challengeto a fresh inquiry has been what must that world think of me? Her or is to be accepted. It informs her, that, conclusion is, that, if she continued to en: after examining all these documents and dure this without complaint, the world this evidence, the intercourse between the must think that the motive for her silence Princess and ber daughter ought to conticould be nothing less than the fear of an nue to be subject to regulation and reinquiry into her conduct and an exposure straint; but it does not say what sort of of some sort of guilt of which she was con regulation ; it does not mark out what scious. This was her reasoning upon the degree of restraint; it does not say whesubject, and you will not, I am sure, he-ther it ought to be a week, or a fortnight, sitate to say, that her reasoning was unde- or any greater or less period, that ought to niably just. Therefore, said she, I claim form the interval of the visits between the permission to see my child, as other mo mother and her child. chers see their children, seeing that I have Again, therefore, I say, that, as te the done no act that ought to deprive me of main point, and, indeed, as to all the that right of nature; and, she adds, if main points, in the Letter of Her Royal there be any doubt upon this point, after Highness, this Report contains no answer the full and clear acquittal which was pro- at all. Yet, without containing an answer nounced in my favour against the calumnies to the Letter, without clearly denying any which my perjured and suborned traducers of its allegations, and without atteinpting had raised against me;, if there remain to controvert any part of its reasoning, the any doubr as to this point, let there be a Report does seem, as Her Royal Highness fresh inquiry or let me not be treated as a says, to cast an aspersion upon her. For, guilty woman, as a mother unworthy of it gives, as the grounds of the opinion that being permitted to have an intercourse the intercourse between her and her daughwith her daughter.
ter ought to be subject to restraint; it Such was the complaint of the Princess gives, as the grounds of this opinion, a of Wales, and what sort of an answer does conclusion drawn from a perusal of the dothe report give to this complaint ? Does cuments and evidence produced to the it deny the allegations with regard to the Privy Council, relating to the conduct of prohibition of an intercourse with her the mother; the inevitable inference to daughter ? Does it deny, that the natural be drawn from which is, that the conduct conclusion to be drawn from that prohibi- of the mother, according to those docution is injurious to the mother's reputation? ments and the evidence, appeared to be not Does it deny, the clear and complete ac- what it ought to have been, and such as quittal of the Princess with regard to the justified, if not called for, that regulation charges that had been brought against her? and restraint which was recommended. Does it deny, that she was traduced by
This is so clear, that I will not suppose persons perjured and suborned ? No: it it possible for any man to entertain a doubt denies none of these; it evades all these upon the subject. If the Report, without poigts; it touches upon no one of them, saying any thing about documents or eviexcept, indeed, that of the perjured and dence, had said, that it was right, that the suborned traducers, and, as to that, it mother should be restricted in her visits to baly says that the Prince himself was not her daughter ;, if it had said this, without the suborner, and that he had no know giving any reason for it, without assigning any cause, the Princess might still have produce fresh inquiry. The resolutions had reason to complain of the hardship; were as follows: but she would have had no ground whereon to found a new complaint of an aspersion Mr. C. JOHNSTONE'S RESOLUTIONS. upon her character. The Report, on the 1.-Resolved, That, from the disputes contrary, by bringing forward the docu- touching the succession to the throne, bitter ments of 1506, and also other documents public animosities, tumultuous contentions, and evidence as the cause of the restraint, long and bloody civil wars, ave, at various certainly called for that reply which the periods of the history of this kingdom, Princess gave in her Letter to the Speaker arisen, causing great misery to the good of the House of Commons. She there people thereof, grief and affliction to the calls for the interference of Parliament; Royal Family, and in some cases exclusion she says that she has not been permitted to of the rightful Heir. That, therefore, know who have been her accusers; that loyalty and affection towards the Sovereign, she has not been allowed to be heard in and a just regard to the happiness of the her defence; and that, while she is told people, call upon every subject of this in this Report, that certain documents and realm, and upon this House more especial. evidence have formed the ground of an ly, to neglect nothing within their power opinion that her intercourse with her to prevent the recurrence of similar calamichild ought to be subject to regulation and ties from a similar cause. ---That it has restraint, she is not suffered to know what been stated to this House by a Member those documents and that evidence are. thereof, who has offered to prove the same Therefore, she throws herself on the wis- by witnesses, at the bar of this House, that, dom and justice of Parliament; she ear- in the year 1806, a Commission was 'issued nestly desires a full investigation of her under His Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, conduct during the whole period of her authorizing and directing the then Lord residence in this country; she says, she Chancellor, Erskine, Earl Spencer, the fears no scrutiny however strict, provided then Secretary of State for the Home Deit be conducted by impartial judges, and in partment, Lord Grenville, the then First a fair and open manner, according to law; Lord of the Treasury, and the then and and she concludes with expressing a wish, present Lord Chief Justice, Ellenborough, which every just man in the world will say to inquire into the truth of certain written ought to be complied with; namely, that declarations, communicated to His Majesty she may be TREATED AS INNOCENT, by His Royal Highness the Prince of or PROVED TO BE GUILTY.
Wales, touching the conduct of Her Royal When this letter was read to the House Highness the Princess of Wales. That of Commons the ministers were asked, the said Commissioners, in pursuance of whether they meant to propose the adop- the said authority and direction, did enter tion of any proceeding upon it, or to enter into an examination of several witnesses, into any explanations. This they declined aud that they delivered to His Majesty a upon the ground, that as a motion was report of such examination, and also of speedily to be proposed by Mr. Cochrane their judgment of the several parts alleged Johnstone, relative to the Princess, it against Her Royal Highness, which Rewould be best to defer all discussion upon port, signed by the four Commissioners the subject till that motion should be made. aforesaid, and dated on the 14th of July, The motion was made, in two days after- 1806, was accompanied with copies of the wards, and a rery long debate took place; declarations, examinations, depositions, and but, the moment Mr. Cochrane Johnstone other documents on which it was founded. rose to make his motion, another motio That it has been stated to this House, was made for putting out all persons in the in manner aforesaid, that the said written gallery and shutting the doors. This accusations against Her Royal Highness measure might be very proper; but I wish expressly asserted, ' That Her Royal Highyou to observe, that Mr. Cochrane John- ness had been pregnant in the year 1802, stone expressed his disapprobation of it. in consequence of an illicit intercourse, and He, at any rate, did not wish to keep se- that she had in the same year been secretly cret any thing that might transpire ; any delivered of a male child, which child bad thing that might be said by any body. In- ever since that period been brought up by deed, as will be seen from his resolutions, Her Royal Highness in her own house, and a copy of which I am now about to insert, under her immediate inspection. That he, like the Princess herself, .wished to the Report further stated that the Commis
sioners first examined on oath the principal sioners to have taken them in their capacity informants, Sir John Douglas and Charlotte of Justices of the Peace) possess a legal his wife, who both positively swore, the character; but that no legal decision has former to his having observed the fact of the yet been made upon any of the important pregnancy of Her Royal Highness, and the facts stated in these depositions and examiother to all the important particulars contain- nations, and that it has not yet been legally ed in her former declaration, and before re- decided that the fact positively sworn to, ferred to,' and that the Report added, that of Her Royal Highness having been delithe examinations are annexed to the Report, vered of a male child in the year 1802, is and are circumstantial and positive.- not true. That in any claim to the sucThat the Commissioners, after the above cession to the Throne, which, by possibistatements, proceeded in their said Report lity, at least, may hereafter be set up, by to state to His Majesty that they thought it any aspiring personage possessed of great their duty to examine other witnesses as to power, the circumstantial and positive evithe facts in question, and that they stated, dence of Sir John Douglas, and of Chare as the result of such farther examination, lotte his wife, if again called for, would
their perfect conviction that there is no still retain all its legal character and foundation whatever for believing that the weight, while it might happen, that the child now with the Princess is the child of evidence on the other side might, from Her Royal Highness, or that she was deli- death or other causes, be found deficient; vered of any child in 1802, or that she and that there can be no doubt that if it was pregnant in that year, and that the should hereafter be made to appear, that Commissioners added, • That this was their the facts sworn to by Lady Douglas are true, clear and unanimous judgment, formed and if the identity of the male child so upon full deliberation, and pronounced born should be proved, he would be the without hesitation, on the result of the legal heir to the throne, notwithstanding whole inquiry. That the Noble Lords any assertions, or any proofs, relating to the composing the Commission aforesaid had alleged illicit intercourse of Her Royal not, and could not, in that capacity, have Highness the Princess of Wales.-That, any legal power to pronounce a judgment therefore, the honour of Her Royal Highor decision in the case; that the matter of ness the Princess of Wales, the sacred right charge submitted to them as a subject of in. of the Princess Charlotte of Wales, the quiry amounted to a charge of high treason, safety of the throne, and the tranquillity of a crime known to the laws, and, therefore, the country, do all unite, in a most impetriable only in a known Court of Justice; rious call on this House, to institute now, that if, as Justices of the Peace, (a charac- while the witnesses on both sides are still ter belonging to them as Privy Councillors), living, and while all the charges are capathey were competent to receive informations ble of being clearly established, or clearly and take examinations regarding the con- disproved, an ample and impartial investiduct of Her Royal Highness, they had no gation of all the allegations, facts, and cirlegal power in that capacity, nor in any cumstances appertaining to this most imporother capacity that could be given to them, tant subject of inquiry. to pronounce an acquittal or a condemna. II.-RESOLVED, That an humble address tion upon the charge referred to them; for be presented to His - Royal Highness the that, to admit them to have been competent Prince Regent, requesting that His Royal to acquit, is to admit them competent to Highness will be graciously pleased to have found guilty, and this would be to order, that a copy of a Report made to His admit their competence to have sent Her Majesty on the 14th day of July, 1806, by Royal Highness to an ignominious death, in the then Lord Chancellor, Erskine, Eart virtue of a decision founded on selected ex Spencer, Lord Grenville, and Lord Chief parte evidence, taken before a secret tribunal. Justice Ellenborough, touching the conduct
-That the whole Report, as far as it of Her Royal Highness the Princess of relates to the judgment of the Commission- Wales, be laid before the House, together ers, (if the making of it be not an unlawful with the copies of the following written act), is, at least, of no legal validity, and, documents annexed to the Report, namely, in the eye of the law, leaves the question The Narrative of His Royal Highness of the guilt or innocence of Her Royal the Duke of Kent, dated the 27th of DecemHighness where the Commissioners first ber, 1805. found it; that the depositions and exami- Two written Declarations, or Examinanations upon oath (supposing the Commis- tions, of Sarah Lampert; one dated Chel
tenham, 8th of January, 1806, and the other Deposition of Sir Francis Milman, dated the 29th of March, 1806.
3d of July, 1806. One of Mr. Lampert, baker, Chelten- Deposition of Mr. Lisle, dated 3d July, ham, same date with the last.
1806. Four of William Cole, dated 11th Janu- Letter from Sir Francis Milman to the ary, 11th January, 30th January, and 23d Lord Chancellor, dated 4th July, 1806. February, 1806.
Deposition of Lord Cholmondeley, dated One of Robert Bidgood, dated Temple, 6th July, 1806. 4th April, 1806.
One of Sarah Bidgood, dated Temple, The debate upon these resolutions appears 23d April, 1806.
to have been of great length; but as the One of Frances Lloyd, dated Temple, galleries were shut, a mere sketch of it has 12th May, 1806.
gone forth to the world. That sketch, The King's Warrant for bolding the however, (which I have inserted below) Commission, daied the 29th May, 1806. will shew, that, in whatever degree the
Deposition of Lady Douglas, dated the different speakers might vary in their opi. 1st of June, 1806.
nions as to other points, they were all Deposition of Sir John Douglas, dated perfectly of accord, that there existed no the 1st of June, 1806.
grounds of charge against the mother who Depositiou of Robert Bidgood, dated the was restricted in her visits to her only 6th of June, 1806.
child. The Honourable mover of the rez Deposition of William Cole, dated the solutions said there may exist doubus, as to 6th June, 1806.
the innocence of the Princess; if not at this Deposition of Frances Lloyd, dated the time, there may hereafter exist doubts with 7th of June, 1806.
regard to that innocence ; and, therefore, Deposition of Mary Wilson, dated the while all the witnesses are alive, while ali 7th of June, 1806.
the testimony is forth coming, while all the Deposition of Samuel Roberts, dated the means of proof are at hand, let us inquire, 7th of June, 1806.
and for ever put an end to these doubts, Deposition of Thomas Hikeman, dated and to the possibility of doubí. No, no, the 7th of June, 1806,
no, said the ministers, the innocence of Deposition of J. Picard, dated the 7th of the Princess is so clearly established; all June, 1806.
the charges against her su manifestly void of Deposition of Sophia Austin, dated the foundation, that inquiry is not only not ne7th of June, 1806.
cessary, but that to inquire would be doing Letter from Lord Spencer to Lord Gwy. injustice to the Princess, by seeming to allow dir, 20th of June, 1806.
that there are persons in the world who still Letter from Lord Gwydir to Lord Spen- entertain a doubt of her innocence. cer, 20th of June, 1806.
MR. COCHRANE JOHNSTONE might well Letter from Lady Willoughby to Lord say that the day on which he made his Spencer, 21st of June, 1806.
motion was a proud day for him. It was Extracts from the Register of Brownlow- so, but it was a still prouder day for the street Hospital, dated 23d of June, 1806. Princess of Wales, who, at the end of
Deposition of Elizabeth Gosden, dated seven years of calumny, of base parasitical 23d of June, 1806.
slander, heard herselt pronounced innocent Deposition of Betty Townley, dated 25th and her traducers pronounced perjured, of June, 1806.
and that, too, by the chosen ministers, by Deposition of Thomas Edmonds, dated the confidential Servants, by the advisers 25th of June, 1806.
of the Prince her husband. Deposition of Samuel G. Mills, dated This discussion in the House of Com 25th of June, 1806.
mons has, in the minds of all men of com. Deposition of Hamit Fitzgerald, dated mou sense, settled the question. There 27th of June, 1806.
are still some persons to throw out insinua. Letter from Lord Spencer to Lord Gwy- tions against Her Royal Highness; but these dir, dated 1st of July, 1806.
are so notoriously the panders of mean Letter from Lord Gwydir to Lord Spen- batred, cowardly malice, despicable imcer, dated 3d July, 1806.
potence, and of every thing that is vile in Query to Lady Willoughby, and Answer, man, aye, in the meanest of mankind, that dated 8d of July, 1806,
no one pays the smallest attention to what Farther Depositions of Robert Bidgood, they say, dated 3d of July, 1806,
Whether the parliament may think it
meet to adopt any proceeding upon the sub- of Labrador. Talk of LIBELS, indeed! ject; whether they may think it right, in What libels has she not had to endure ? the way of address or otherwise, to inter- A month has not passed over our heads fere in behalf of the Princess, I cannot since the writers in the Courier and Times pretend to say, and they are a body far too newspapers poured forth libels against her, wise for me to presume to offer them any which no private person would have sul thing in the way of advice; but, I have no fered to pass without prosecution. They scruple to say, that I think it a fit occasion called her rash, foolish, and with an inso. for the people, assembled in a constitutional lent affectation of compassion, pointed her manner, to prove, by some solemn decla: out as seduced and unfortunate. In short, ration of their sentiments, that they still they spoke of her in terms the most con. retain that love of justice and that hatred temptuous, they affected to pity her for of false accusation, which were formerly having been so weak as to call for fresh inprominent features in the character of Eng- quiry into her conduct, which conduct they Jishmen. As to the precise way in which had the impudence unequivocally to describe they ought to do this, it is not for me to point as indecent to the last degree. Seven years out; but, the way will not be difficult of these calumuies she has had to endure, to discover by men of proper feeling and of and, to her immortal honour be it spoken, just minds. It is now seven years since she has relied upon her inuocence for the these calumnies were first circulated against support of her character, and has, in no the Princess of Wales; and, now, that instance, resorted to the assistance of the they are all shewn to have been false, now, law. She has wisely relied upon the uever. that we are fully able to estimate all her failing power of truth; she has relied also sufferings and her long forbearance, it (and I hope, for the sake of the character of would be a shame indeed, if there were the couutry, she will not here be deceived) pone to be found amongst us to shew that upon the good sense and love of justice of we feel for her as we ought. The people the people of England. have not, indeed, the power to punish her Besides the justice due to the Princess, traducers; they have not the power to re- we ought to consider the light in which we place her in Carlton House; they have not as a nation, shall appear, in this instance, the power to give her admission to her in the eyes of the world. It will not be daughter; but they have the power to shew forgotten with what addresses, what to all the world, and to that daughter in speeches, what exhibitions, what acclamaparticular, that they are lovers of Justice, tions of joy this lady was received upon her and that they hold in abhorrence, false arrival in England. The world will not accusers, cowardly and malicious calumni- forget the praises we then bestowed upon ators.
her, and even the gratitude we expressed In the case of the Princess of Wales there at her having condescended to become inis every thing to excite a feeling in her strumental in the happiness of ourselves favour. In the first place, we see that it and our posterity: and, the world will was owing to no fault of hers that her hus- not fail to remark, that the commencement band's palace was no longer ber place of of the calumnies against her, that the perabode. `In the next place we see false and juries by which she was traduced took infamous accusations trumped up against place in a very few months after her father her, and the tongue of calumny let loose, was killed, and his successors bereft of while she was destitute of all the means of their dominions !
I will not impute even defence, having by her counsellors, been to perjured wretches the baseness of choosprevented from making public the refuta- ing such a time for the making of their attion of charges, the substance of which tack; but the fact, as to the time, is as I charges, unaccompanied with any answer, have stated it; and most assuredly the bad gone forth to the world. Lastly, we change produced by the events here spoken see her denied the sight of her daughter of, in the circumstances of her family, except once in a fortnight, while even the must have great weight in the mind of eveadvisers of the Prince declare her to be in- ry considerate person. The more destitute nocent and her traducers to be perjured. she is of the means of protection from any Such is briefly the state of her case, and other quarter, the stronger is her claim on say, for the whole nation to remain silent, the people of England; and I cannot help for no part of the people to give utterance repeating my opinion, that if the occasion to any leeling for her would justify the opi- be suffered to pass without some testimony Rion, that Englishmen have less sensibility of public feeling in her favour, it will be a than the half-frozen inhabitants of the coast great and lasting reproach to this nation,