Lives of the Queens of England of the House of Hanover, volume 1 (of 2) (2024)

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Title: Lives of the Queens of England of the House of Hanover, volume 1 (of 2)

Author: Dr. Doran

Release date: March 6, 2024 [eBook #73111]

Language: English

Original publication: London: Richard Bentley & Son, 1875

Credits: Susan Skinner and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)









Lives of the Queens of England of the House of Hanover, volume 1 (of 2) (1)

Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty


This New and Revised Edition is Inscribed



Woden, the father of the line of Brunswick—The seven brothers at dice, for a wife—D’Esmiers d’Olbreuse and his daughter Eleanora—Love-passages, and a marriage—A Bishop of Osnabrück—Birth of Sophia Dorothea 1
A ducal household—Elevation in rank of the mother of Sophia Dorothea—Births and deaths—A lover for Sophia—The Bishop of Osnaburgh an imitator of the Grand Monarque—Two successful female adventurers at Osnaburgh 11
Prince Augustus of Wolfenbüttel, the accepted lover of Sophia—Superstition of the Duke of Zell—Intrigues of Madame von Platen—A rival lover—Prince George Louis: makes an offer of marriage to Princess Anne—Policy of the Prince of Orange—Prince George in England: festivities on account of his visit—Execution of Lord Stafford—Illness of Prince Rupert—The Bill of Exclusion,viii and the Duke of York at Holyrood—Probable succession of the House of Brunswick—Prince George recalled—Successful intrigues of Sophia, wife of Ernest—A group for an artist—Ill-fated marriage of Sophia—Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia—‘Goody Palsgrave’—The Electress Sophia, and her intellectual skirmishes 18
Reception of Sophia at the Court of Ernest Augustus—Similar position of Marie Antoinette and Sophia—Misfortune of the abigail Use—Compassionated by the duch*ess of Zell—Intrigues and revenge of Madame von Platen—A new favourite, Mademoiselle Ermengarda von der Schulenburg—A marriage fête, and intended insult to the Princess Sophia—Gross vice of George Louis 33
The House of Hanover ranges itself against France—Ernest Augustus created Elector—Domestic rebellion of his son Maximilian—His accomplice, Count von Moltke, beheaded—The Electors of Germany 43
Count Charles John Königsmark’s roving and adventurous life—The great heiress—An intriguing countess—‘Tom of Ten Thousand’—The murder of Lord John Thynne—The fate of the count’s accomplices—Court influence shelters the guilty count 49
Various accomplishments of Count Philip Christopher Königsmark—The early companion of Sophia Dorothea—Her friendship for him—An interesting interview—Intrigues of Madame von Platen—Foiled in her machinations—A dramatic incident—The unlucky glove—Scandal against the honour of the Princess—A mistressix enraged on discovery of her using rouge—Indiscretion of the Princess—Her visit to Zell—The Elector’s criminal intimacy with Madame von der Schulenburg—William the Norman’s brutality to his wife—The elder Aymon—Brutality of the Austrian Empress to ‘Madame Royale’—Return of Sophia, and reception by her husband 58
The scheming mother foiled—Count Königsmark too garrulous in his cups—An eaves-dropper—A forged note—A mistress’s revenge—Murder of the count—The Countess Aurora Königsmark’s account of her brother’s intimacy with the Princess—Horror of the Princess on hearing of the count’s death—Seizure and escape of Mademoiselle von Knesebeck—A divorce mooted—The Princess’s declaration of her innocence—Decision of the consistorial court—The sages of the law foiled by the Princess—Condemned to captivity in the castle of Ahlden—Decision procured by bribery—Bribery universal in England—The Countess Aurora Königsmark becomes the mistress of Augustus, King of Poland—Her unsuccessful mission to Charles XII.—Exemplary conduct in her latter years—Becomes prioress of the nunnery of Quedlinburg 72
The prison of the captive Sophia Dorothea—Employment of her time—The church of Ahlden repaired by her—Cut off from her children—Sympathy of Ernest Augustus for his daughter-in-law—Her father’s returning affection for her—Opening prospects of the House of Hanover—Lord Macclesfield’s embassy to Hanover, and his right-royal reception—Description of the Electress—Toland’s description of Prince George Louis—Magnificent present to Lord Macclesfield—The Princess Sophia and the English liturgy—Death of the Duke of Zell—Visit of Prince George to his captive mother prevented 95
Marriage of Prince George to Princess Caroline of Anspach, and of his sister to the Crown Prince of Prussia—Honours conferred by Queen Anne on Prince George—Intention to bring over to England thex Princess Sophia—Opposed by Queen Anne—Foundation of the kingdom of Prussia—The establishment of this Protestant kingdom promoted by the Jesuits—The Electress Sophia’s visit to Loo—The law granting taxes on births, deaths, and marriages—Complaint of Queen Anne against the Electress—Tom D’Urfey’s doggrel verses on her—Death of the Electress—Character of her 112
The neglected captive of Ahlden—Unnoticed by her son-in-law, except to secure her property—Madame von der Schulenburg—The Queen of Prussia prohibited from corresponding with her imprisoned mother—The captive betrayed by Count de Bar—Death of Queen Anne—Anxiety felt for the arrival of King George—The Duke of Marlborough’s entry—Funeral of the Queen—Public entry of the King—Adulation of Dr. Young—Madame Kielmansegge, the new royal favourite—Horace Walpole’s account of her—‘A Hanover garland’—Ned Ward, the Tory poet—Expression of the public opinion—The duch*ess of Kendal bribed by Lord Bolingbroke—Bribery and corruption general—Abhorrence of parade by the King 119
Arrival of Caroline, Princess of Wales—The King dines at the Guildhall—Proclamation of the Pretender—Counter-proclamations—Government prosecutions—A mutiny among the troops—Impeachment of the Duke of Ormond of high treason—Punishment of political offenders—Failure of rebellion in Scotland—Punishment for wearing oak-boughs—Riot at the mug-house in Salisbury Court, and its fatal consequences—The Prince of Wales removed from the palace—Dissensions between the King and the Prince—Attempt on the life of King George—Marriage of the King’s illegitimate daughter—The South-Sea Bubble—Birth of Prince William (Duke of Cumberland)—Death of the duch*ess of Zell—Stricter imprisonment of the captive of Ahlden—Her calm death—A new royal favourite, Mrs. Brett—Death of the King—The alleged correspondence of Sophia Dorothea and Königsmark 130xi
Birth of Princess Caroline—Her early married life—Eulogised by the poets—Gaiety of the Court of the Prince and Princess at Leicester House—Beauty of Miss Bellenden—Mrs. Howard, the Prince’s favourite—Intolerable grossness of the Court of George I.—Lord Chesterfield and the Princess—The mad duch*ess—Buckingham House—Rural retreat of the Prince at Richmond; the resort of wit and beauty—Swift’s pungent verses—The fortunes of the young adventurers, Mr. and Mrs. Howard—The Queen at her toilette—Mrs. Clayton, her influence with Queen Caroline—The Prince ruled by his wife—Dr. Arbuthnot and Dean Swift—The Princess’s regard for Newton and Halley—Lord Macclesfield’s fall—His superstition, and that of the Princess—Prince Frederick’s vices—Not permitted to come to England—Severe rebuff to Lord Hardwicke—Dr. Mead—Courage of the Prince and Princess—The Princess’s friendship for Dr. Friend—Swift at Leicester House—Royal visit to ‘Bartlemy Fair’ 153
Death of George I.—Adroitness of Sir Robert Walpole—The first royal reception—Unceremonious treatment of the late King’s will—The coronation—Magnificent dress of Queen Caroline—Mrs. Oldfield, as Anne Boleyn, in ‘Henry VIII.’—The King’s revenue and the Queen’s jointure, the result of Walpole’s exertions—His success—Management of the King by Queen Caroline—Unseemly dialogue between Walpole and Lord Townshend—Gay’s ‘Beggars’ Opera,’ and satire on Walpole—Origin of the opera—Its great success—Gay’s cause espoused by the duch*ess of Queensberry—Her smart reply to a royal message—The tragedy of ‘Frederick, Duke of Brunswick’—The Queen appointed Regent—Prince Frederick becomes chief of the opposition—His silly reflections on the King—Agitation about the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts—The Queen’s ineffectual efforts to gain over Bishop Hoadly—Sir Robert extricates himself—The Church made the scapegoat—Queen Caroline earnest about trifles—Etiquette of the toilette—Fracas between Mr. Howard and the Queen—Modest request of Mrs. Howard—Lord Chesterfield’s description of her 177xii
Violent opposition to the King by Prince Frederick—Readings at Windsor Castle—The Queen’s patronage of Stephen Duck—His melancholy end—Glance at passing events—Precipitate flight of Dr. Nichols—Princess Anne’s determination to get a husband—Louis XV. proposed as a suitor: negotiation broken off—The Prince of Orange’s offer accepted—Ugly and deformed—The King and Queen averse to the union—Dowry settled on the Princess—Anecdote of the duch*ess of Marlborough—Illness of the bridegroom—Ceremonies attendant on the marriage—Mortification of the Queen—The public nuptial chamber—Offence given to the Irish peers—The Queen and Lady Suffolk—Homage paid by the Princess to her deformed husband—Discontent of Prince Frederick—His anxiety not unnatural—Congratulatory addresses by the Lords and Commons—Spirited conduct of the Queen—Lord Chesterfield—Agitations on Walpole’s celebrated Excise scheme—Lord Stair delegated to remonstrate with the Queen—Awkward performance of his mission—Sharply rebuked by the Queen—Details of the interview—The Queen’s success in overcoming the King’s antipathy to Walpole—Comments of the populace—Royal interview with a bishop 200
Retirement of Lady Suffolk—Tact of Queen Caroline—Arrogance of Princess Anne—Private life of the royal family—The Count de Roncy, the French refugee—German predilections of the Queen—A scene at Court—Queen Caroline’s declining health—Ambitious aspirations of Princess Anne—Bishop Hoadly and the see of Winchester—The Queen and the clergy—The Queen appointed Regent—The King and Madame Walmoden—Lord Hervey’s imaginary post-obit diary—The Queen’s farewell interview with Lady Suffolk—Grief made fashionable—The temper of the King on his return—A scene: dramatis personæ, the King, Queen, and Lord Hervey—Lady Deloraine (Pope’s Delia) a royal favourite—An angry scene; between the King and Queen—The King’s opinion of Bishop Hoadly—Dissension between the King and Prince—The royal libertine at Hanover—Court revels—Lady Bolingbroke and the Queen 223xiii
The Queen’s cleverness—Princess Augusta of Saxe Gotha, the selected bride of Prince Frederick—Spirited conduct of Miss Vane, the Prince’s mistress—The King anxious for a matrimonial alliance with the Court of Prussia—Prussian intrigue to prevent this—The Prussian mandats for entrapping recruits—Quarrels and challenge to duel, between King George and the Prussian monarch—The silly duel prevented—Arrival of the bride—The royal lovers—Disgraceful squabbles of the Princes and Princesses—The marriage—Brilliant assemblage in the bridal chamber—Lady Diana Spencer proposed as a match for the Prince—Débût of Mr. Pitt, afterwards Lord Chatham, in the House of Commons—Riot of the footmen at Drury Lane Theatre—Ill-humour exhibited by the Prince towards the Queen 262
The Queen and Walpole govern the kingdom—The bishops reproved by the Queen—Good wishes for the bishops entertained by the King—Anecdote of Bishop Hare—Riots—An infernal machine—Wilson the smuggler and the Porteous mob—General Moyle—Coldness of the Queen for the King—Walpole advises her Majesty—Unworthy conduct of Caroline and vice of her worthless husband—Questionable fidelity of Madame Walmoden—Conduct of the Princess at the Chapel Royal—The Princess and her doll—Pasquinades, &c. on the King—Farewell royal supper at Hanover—Dangerous voyage of the King—Anxiety of the Court about him—Unjust blame thrown on Admiral Wager—The Queen congratulates the King on his escape—The King’s warm reply—Discussions about the Prince’s revenue—Investigation into the affairs of the Porteous mob—The Queen and the Bill for reduction of the National Debt—Vice in high life universal—Represented on the stage, occasions the censorship—Animosity of the Queen and Princess towards Prince Frederick 282
Russian invasion of the Crimea—Announcement of an heir disbelieved by the Queen—The Princess of Wales convened to St. James’s by the Prince in a state of labour—Birth of a Princess—Hamptonxiv Court Palace on this night—The palace in an uproar—Indignation of Caroline—Reception of the Queen by the Prince—Minute particulars afforded her by him—Explanatory notes between the royal family—Message of the King—His severity to the Prince—The Princess Amelia double-sided—Message of Princess Caroline to the Prince—Unseemly conduct of the Prince—The Prince an agreeable ‘rattle’—The Queen’s anger never subsided—The Prince ejected from the palace—The Queen and Lord Carteret—Reconciliation of the royal family attempted—Popularity of the Prince—The Queen’s outspoken opinion of the Prince—An interview between the King, Queen, and Lord Hervey—Bishop Sherlock and the Queen—The King a purchaser of lottery-tickets 316
Indisposition of the Queen—Her anxiety to conceal the cause—Walpole closeted with her—Her illness assumes a grave character—Obliged to retire from the Drawing-room—Affectionate attentions of Princess Caroline—Continued bitter feeling towards the Prince—Discussions of the physicians—The Queen takes leave of the Duke of Cumberland—Parting scene with the King—Interview with Walpole—The Prince denied the palace—Great patience of the Queen—The Archbishop summoned to the palace—Eulogy on the Queen pronounced by the King—His oddities—The Queen’s exemplary conduct—Her death—Terror of Dr. Hulse—Singular conduct of the King—Opposition to Sir R. Walpole—Lord Chesterfield pays court to the Prince’s favourite 339
Whiston patronised by Queen Caroline—His boldness and reproof of the Queen—Vanity of the poet Young punished—Dr. Potter, a high churchman—A benefice missed—Masquerades denounced by the clergy—Anger of the Court—Warburton, a favourite of the Queen—Butler’s ‘Analogy,’ her ordinary companion—Rise of Secker—The Queen’s regard for Dr. Berkeley—Her fondness for witnessing intellectual struggles between Clarke and Leibnitz—Character of Queen Caroline by Lord Chesterfield—The King encouraged in his wickedness by the Queen—General grossness of manners—The King managed by the Queen—Feeling exhibited by the King on sight of her portrait—The duch*ess of Brunswick’s daughters—Standard of morality low—Ridicule of Marlborough by Peterborough—Morality of General Cadogan—Anecdote of Generalxv Webb—Lord Cobham—Dishonourable conduct of Lord Stair—General Hawley and his singular will—Disgraceful state of the prisons, and cruelty to prisoners—Roads bad and ill-lighted—Brutal punishment—Insolent treatment of a British naval officer by the Sultan—Brutality of a mob—Encroachment on Hyde Park by Queen Caroline—Ambitious projects of Princess Anne—Eulogy on the Queen—The children of King George and Queen Caroline—-Verses on the Queen’s death 359
Success of Admiral Vernon—Royal visit to ‘Bartlemy Fair’—Party-spirit runs high about the King and Prince—Lady Pomfret—The mad duch*ess of Buckingham—Anecdote of Lady Sundon—Witty remark of Lady Mary Wortley—Fracas at Kensington Palace—The battle of Dettingen—A precocious child—Marriage of Princess Mary—A new opposition—Prince George—Lady Yarmouth installed at Kensington—Death of Prince Frederick—Conduct of the King on heaving of this event—Bubb Dodington’s extravagant grief—The funeral scant—Conduct of the widowed Princess—Opposition of the Prince to the King not undignified—Jacobite epitaph on the Prince—The Prince’s rebuke for a frivolous jeer on Lady Huntingdon—The Prince’s patronage of literary men—Lady Archibald Hamilton, the Prince’s favourite—The Prince and the Quakers—Anecdote of Prince George—Princely appreciation of Lady Huntingdon 386
Princess Augusta named Regent in the event of a minority—Cause of the Prince’s death—Death of the Prince of Orange—The King’s fondness for the theatre—Allusion to the King’s age—Death of the Queen of Denmark—Her married life unhappy—Suffered from a similar cause with her mother—Rage of Lady Suffolk at a sermon by Whitfield—Lady Huntingdon insulted by her—War in Canada—Daily life of the King—Establishments of the sons of Frederick—Death of the truth-loving Princess Caroline—Deaths of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Anne—Queen Caroline’s rebuke of her—Death of the King—Dr. Porteous’s eulogistic epitaph on him—The King’s personal property—The royal funeral—The burlesque Duke of Newcastle 408xvi
Lady Sarah Lennox, the object of George III.’s early affections—The fair Quaker—Matrimonial commission of Colonel Græme—Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburgh—Her spirited letter to the King of Prussia—Demanded in marriage by George III.—Arrival in England—Her progress to London—Colchester and its candied eringo-root—Entertained by Lord Abercorn—Arrival in London, and reception—Claim of the Irish peeresses advocated by Lord Charlemont—The royal marriage—The first Drawing-room—A comic anecdote—The King and Queen at the Chapel Royal—At the theatre; accidents on the occasion—The coronation—Incidents and anecdotes connected with it—The young Pretender said to have been present—The coronation produced at the theatre 423
The levée—The King goes to parliament—The first night of the opera—Garrick grievously offended—The King and Queen present on the Lord Mayor’s Day—Entertained by Robert Barclay, the Quaker—Banquet at Guildhall to the King and Queen—Popular enthusiasm for Mr. Pitt—Buckingham House purchased by the King for Queen Charlotte—Defoe’s account of it—The Duke of Buckingham’s description of it—West and his pictures—The house demolished by George IV.—First illness of the King—Domestic life of the King and Queen—Royal carriage—Selwyn’s joke on the royal frugality—Prince Charles of Strelitz—Costume—Graceful action of the Queen—Birth of Prince George 462
Scenes, and personal sketches of Queen Charlotte—Her fondness for diamonds—Visit to Mrs. Garrick—Orphan establishment at Bedford founded by the Queen—Her benevolence on the breaking of the Windsor bank—Marriage of Princess Caroline Matilda—Unfounded rumours about the Queen—Hannah Lightfoot—The King’s illness—A Regency recommended by the King—Discussions relative to it—Birth of Prince Frederick—Failing Health of the Duke of Cumberland 479




Das Glänzende ist nicht immer das Bessere.

Kotzebue, Bruder Moritz.


Woden, the father of the line of Brunswick—The seven brothers at dice, fora wife—D’Esmiers d’Olbreuse and his daughter Eleonora—Love-passages,and a marriage—A Bishop of Osnaburgh—Birth of SophiaDorothea.

When George I. ascended the throne of England, theheralds provided him with an ancestry. They pretendedthat his Majesty, who had few god-like virtues of hisown, was descended from that deified hero Woden, whosevirtues, according to the bards, were all of a god-likequality. The two had little in common, save lack of true-heartednesstoward their wives.

The more modest builders of ancestral pride, whoventured to water genealogical trees for all the branches2of Brunswick to bud upon, did not dig deeper for a root,or go farther for a fountain head, than into the Italiansoil of the year 1028. Even then, they found nothingmore or less noble than a certain Azon d’Este, Marquis ofTuscany, who having little of sovereign about him, excepthis will, joined the banner of the Emperor Conrad, andhoped to make a fortune in Germany, either by cuttingthroats, or by subduing hearts whose owners were heiressesof unencumbered lands.

Azon espoused Cunegunda of Guelph, a lady who wasnot only wealthy, but who was the last of her race. Thehousehold was a happy one; and when an heir to itshonours appeared in the person of Guelph d’Este theRobust, the court-poet who foretold brilliant fortunes forhis house failed to see the culminating brilliancy whichawaited it in Britain.

This same Prince ‘Robust,’ when he had come toman’s estate, wooed no maiden heiress as his father haddone, but won the widowed sister-in-law of our greatHarold, Judith, daughter of Baldwin de Lisle, Count ofFlanders, and widow of Tostic, Earl of Kent. He tookher by the hand while she was yet seated under the shadowof her great sorrow, and, looking up at Guelph the Robust,she smiled and was comforted.

Guelph was less satisfactorily provided with wealththan the comely Judith; but Guelph and Judith foundfavour in the eyes of the Emperor Henry IV., who forthwithejected Otho of Saxony from his possessions in Bavaria,and conferred the same, with a long list of rights andappurtenances, on the newly-married couple.

These possessions were lost to the family by therebellion of Guelph’s great-grandson against FrederickBarbarossa. The disinherited prince, however, foundfortune again, by help of a marriage and an English king.He had been previously united to Maud, the daughter of3Henry II., and his royal father-in-law took unweariedpains to find some one who could afford him materialassistance. He succeeded, and Guelph received, fromanother emperor, the gift of the countships of Brunswickand Luneburg. Otho IV. raised them to duchies, andWilliam (Guelph) was the first duke of the united possessions,about the year 1200.

The early dukes were for the most part warlike, buttheir bravery was rather of a rash and excitable characterthan heroically, yet calmly firm. Some of them wereremarkable for their unhappy tempers, and they acquirednames which unpleasantly distinguish them in this respect.Henry was not only called the ‘young,’ from his years,and ‘the black,’ from his swarthiness, but ‘the dog,’because of his snarling propensities. So Magnus, who wassurnamed ‘the collared,’ in allusion to the gold chain whichhung from his bull neck, was also known as the ‘insolent’and the ‘violent,’ from the circ*mstance that he was evereither insufferably haughty or insanely passionate.

The House of Brunswick has, at various times, beendivided into the branches of Brunswick-Luneburg, Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel,Brunswick-Zell, Brunswick-Danneberg,&c. These divisions have arisen from marriages, transfers,and interchanges. The first duke who created a divisionwas Duke Bernard, who, early in the fifteenth century,exchanged with a kinsman his duchy of Brunswick forthat of Luneburg, and so founded the branch which bears,or bore, that double name.

The sixteenth duke, Otho, was the first who is supposedto have brought a blot upon the ducal scutcheon, byhonestly marrying rather according to his heart than hisinterests. His wife was a simple lady of Brunswick, namedMatilda de Campen. It became the common object of allthe dukes of the various Brunswick branches to increase4the importance of a house which had contributed somethingto the imperial greatness of Germany. They endeavouredto accomplish this common object by intermarriages; butthe desired consummation was not achieved until a comparativelyrecent period, when the branch of Brunswick-Luneburgbecame Electors, and subsequently Kings ofHanover, and that of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, SovereignDukes of Brunswick.

The grandfather of our George I., William, Duke ofBrunswick-Luneburg, had seven sons, and all these weredukes, like their father. On the decease of the latter,they affected to discover that if the seven heirs, eachwith his little dukedom, were to marry, the greatness ofthe house would suffer alarming diminution. Theyaccordingly determined that one alone of the brothersshould form a legal matrimonial connection, and that thenaming of the lucky re-founder of the dignity of Brunswickshould be left to chance!

The seven brothers met in the hall of state in theirdeceased father’s mansion, and there threw dice as to whoshould live on in single blessedness, and which shouldgain the prize, not of a wife, but of permission to findone. ‘Double sixes’ were thrown by George, the sixthson. The lady whom he cavalierly wooed and readilywon, was Anne Eleanore, daughter of the Landgraf ofHesse-Darmstadt.

The heir-apparent of this marriage was FrederickErnest Augustus, who, in 1659, married Sophia, thedaughter of Frederick and Elizabeth, the short-livedKing and Queen of Bohemia; the latter the daughter ofJames I. The eldest child of this last marriage wasGeorge Louis, who ultimately became King of GreatBritain.

When Louis XIV. revoked the Edict of Nantes, theFrench Protestants who refused to be converted were5executed or imprisoned. Some found safety, with suffering,in exile; and confiscation made beggars of thousands.When towns, where the Protestants were in the majority,exhibited tardiness in coming over to the king’s way ofthinking, dragoons were ordered thither, and this orderwas of such significance, that when it was made known,the population, to escape massacre, usually professedrecantation of error in a mass. This daily accession ofthousands who made abjuration under the sword, andwalked thence to confession and reception of the Sacramentunder an implied form in which they had no faith,was described to the willingly duped king by the ultra-montanebishops as a miracle as astounding as any inScripture.

Of some few individuals, places at court for themselves,commissions for their sons, or honours whichsometimes little deserved the name, for their daughters,made, if not converts, hypocrites. Far greater was thenumber of the good and faithful servants who left all andfollowed their Master. Alexander D’Esmiers, SeigneurD’Olbreuse, a gallant Protestant gentleman of Poitou,preferred exile and loss of estate to apostacy. When hecrossed the frontier, a banished man, he brought smallworldly wealth with him, but therewith one child, adaughter, who was to him above all wealth; and, touphold his dignity, the memory of being descended fromthe gallant Fulques D’Esmiers, the valiant and courteousLord of Lolbroire.

Father and daughter sojourned for a time beyond thenorthern frontier of the kingdom, having their nativecountry within sight. There they tabernacled in muchsorrow, perplexity, and poverty, but friends ultimatelysupplied them with funds; and M. D’Esmiers, SeigneurD’Olbreuse, found himself in a condition to appear inBrussels without sacrifice of dignity. Into the gay circles6of that gay city he led his daughter Eleanora, who wasmet by warm homage from the gallants, and muchcriticism at the hands of her intimate friends—the ladies.

The sharpest criticism could not deny her beauty;and her wit and accomplishments won for her the respectand homage of those whose allegiance was better worthhaving than that of mere petit* maîtres with theirstereotyped flattery. Eleanora, like the lady in Göthe’stragedy, loved the society and the good opinion of wisem*n, while she hardly thought herself worthy of either.She was a Frenchwoman, and consequently she was notout of love with gaiety. She was the fairest and theliveliest in the train of the brilliant duch*ess of Tarento,and she was following and eclipsing her noble patronessat a ball, when she was first seen by George William,second son of George, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg,and heir to the pocket but sovereign dukedom of Zell.

The heir of Zell became an honest wooer. He whosegallantry had been hitherto remarkable for its dragooningtone, was now more subdued than Cymon in the subduingpresence of Iphigenia. He had hated conversation,because he was incapable of sustaining it; but now lovemade him eloquent. He had abhorred study, and knewlittle of any other language than his own; but now hetook to French vocabularies and dictionaries, and longbefore he had got so far as to ask Eleanora to hear himconjugate the verb aimer ‘to love,’ he applied to her tointerpret the difficult passages he met with in books; andthroughout long summer days the graceful pair mighthave been seen sitting together, book in hand, fully ashappy and twice as hopeful as Paolo and Francesca.

George William was sorely puzzled as to his proceedings.To marriage he could have condescended withalacrity, but unfortunately there was ‘a promise in bar.’With the view common to many co-heirs of the family,7he had entered into an engagement with his brotherErnest Augustus, of Brunswick-Luneburg, and Bishop ofOsnaburgh, never to marry. This concession had beenpurchased at a certain cost, and the end in view was thefurther enlargement of the dominions and influence ofthe House of Brunswick. If George William should notonly succeed to Zell, but should leave the same to alegitimate heir, that was a case which Ernest Augustuswould be disposed to look upon as a grievous wrong. Aprice was paid, therefore, for the promised celibacy of hisbrother, and that brother was now actively engaged inmeditating as to how he might, without disgrace, break apromise, and yet retain the money by which it had beenpurchased. His heart leaped within him as he thoughthow easily the whole matter might be arranged by amorganatic marriage—a marriage, in other words, withthe left hand; an union sanctioned by the church but sofar disallowed by the law that the children of such wedlockwere, in technical terms, infantes nullius, ‘childrenof nobody,’ and could of course succeed to nobody’s inheritance.

George William waited on the Seigneur d’Olbreuse withhis morganatic offer; the poor refugee noble entertained theterms with much complacency, but left his child to determineon a point which involved such serious considerationsfor herself. They were accordingly placed with muchrespect at Eleanora’s feet, but she mused angrily thereon.She would not listen to the offer.

In the meantime, these love-passages of young GeorgeWilliam were productive of much unseemly mirth at Hanover,where the Bishop of Osnaburgh was keeping a not verydecorous court. He was much more of a dragoon than abishop, and indeed his flock were more to be pitied thanhis soldiers. The diocese of Osnaburgh was supplied withbishops by the most curious of rules; the rule was fixed8at the period of the peace which followed the religiouswars of Germany, and this rule was, that as Osnaburghwas very nearly divided as to the number of those whofollowed either church, it should have alternately a Protestantand a Romanist bishop. The result has been thatOsnaburgh has had sad scapegraces for her prelates, butyet, in spite thereof, has maintained a religious respectabilitywhich might be envied by dioceses blessed with twodiverse bishops at once, for ever anathematising the flocksof each other and their shepherds.

The Protestant Prince-Bishop of Osnaburgh mademerry with his ladies at the wooing of his honest andsingle-minded brother, whom he wounded to the uttermostby scornfully speaking of Eleanora d’Olbreuse as the duke’s‘Madame.’ It was a sorry and unmanly joke, for it lackedwit, and insulted a true-hearted woman. But it had theeffect also of arousing a true-hearted man.

George William had now succeeded to the little dukedomof Zell, not indeed without difficulty, for as the ducalchair had become vacant while the next heir was absent,paying homage at Brussels to a lady rather than receivingit from his lieges in Zell, his younger brother, John Frederick,had played his lord-suzeraine a shabby trick, byseating himself in that chair, and fixing the ducal parcel-giltcoronet on his own brows.

George William having toppled down the usurper fromhis ill-earned elevation, and having bought off furthertreason by pensioning the traitor, returned to Brussels witha renewal of his former offer. He added weight theretoby the intimation, that if a morganatic marriage wereconsented to now, he had hopes, by the favour of theemperor, to consolidate it at a subsequent period by alegal public union, whereat Eleanora d’Olbreuse should berecognised duch*ess of Zell, without chance of that proudtitle ever being disputed.


Thereupon a family council was holden. The poorfather thought a morganatic marriage might be enteredupon without ‘derogation;’ au reste, he left all to hisdaughter’s love, filial and otherwise. Eleanora did notdisappoint either sire or suitor by her decision. She madethe first happy by her obedience, her lover by her gentleconcession; and she espoused the ardent duke, with theleft hand, because her father advised it, her lover urgedit, and the council and the suit were agreeable to the lady,who professed to be influenced by them to do that forwhich her own heart was guide and warrant.

The marriage was solemnised in the month of September,1665, the bride being then in the twenty-sixth yearof her age. With her new position, she assumed the nameand style of Lady von Harburg, from an estate of theduke’s so called. The Bishop of Osnaburgh was merrierthan ever at what he styled the mock marriage, and moreunmanly than ever in the coarse jokes he flung at the Ladyof Harburg. But even this marriage was not concludedwithout fresh concessions made by the duke to the bishop,in order to secure to the latter an undivided inheritance ofBrunswick, Hanover, and Zell. His mirth was foundedon the idea that he had provided for himself and his heirs,and left the children of his brother, should any be born,and these survive him, to nourish their left-handed dignityon the smallest possible means. The first heiress to suchdignity, and to much heart-crushing and undeserved sorrow,soon appeared to gladden for a brief season, to saddenfor long and weary years, the hearts of her parents.Sophia Dorothea was born on the 15th of September, 1666.Her birth was hailed with more than ordinary joy in thelittle court of her parents: at that of the bishop it wasproductive of some mirth and a few bad epigrams. Thebishop had taken provident care that neither heir norheiress should affect his succession to what should have10been their own inheritance, and, simply looking uponSophia Dorothea as a child whose existence did notmenace a diminution of the prospective greatness of hishouse, he tolerated the same with an ineffable, graciouscondescension.



A ducal household—Elevation in rank of the mother of Sophia Dorothea—Birthsand deaths—A lover for Sophia—The Bishop of Osnaburgh animitator of the Grand Monarque—Two successful female adventurers atOsnaburgh.

Such a household as the one maintained in sober happinessand freedom from anxiety by the duke and his wifewas a rare sight in German courts. The duke was broadlyridiculed because of his faithful affection for one who wasworthy of all the truth and esteem which a true-hearted wifecould claim. The only fault ever brought by the bitterestof the enemies of the wife of the Duke of Zell againstthat unexceptionable lady was, that she was over-fond ofnominating natives of France to little places in her husband’slittle court. Considering that the Germans, wholooked upon her as an intruder, would not recognise heras having become naturalised by marriage, it is hardly tobe wondered at that she gathered as much of Francearound her as she could assemble in another land.

Three other children were the fruit of this marriage,whose early deaths were deplored as so many calamities.Their mother lived long enough to deplore that SophiaDorothea had survived them. The merits of the motherwon, as they deserved to do, increase of esteem and affectionon the part of the duke. His most natural wish wasto raise her to a rank equal to his own, as far as a merename could make assertion of such equality. It was12thought a wonderful act of condescension on the part ofthe emperor, that he gave his imperial sanction to theelevation of the Lady of Harburg to the rank and title ofCountess of Wilhelmsburg.

The Bishop of Osnaburgh was harder to treat withthan the emperor. He bound down his brother bystringent engagements, solemnly engrossed in lengthyphrases, guarding against all mistake by horribly technicaltautology, to agree that the encircling his wife with thecoronet of a countess bestowed upon her no legal rights,and conferred no shadow of legitimacy, in the eye of thelaw, on the children of the marriage, actual or prospective.For such children, modest yet sufficient provision wassecured; but they were never to dream of claiming cousinshipwith the alleged better-born descendants of Henry theDog, or Magnus the Irascible.

Duke George William, however, was resolved not torest until his wife should also be his duch*ess. He appealedto the Estates of Germany. The Estates thoughtlong and adjourned often before they came to a tardyand reluctant conclusion, by which the boon sought wasat length conceded. The emperor added his consent.The concession made by the Estates, and the sanctionsuperadded by the emperor, were, however, only obtainedupon the military bishop withholding all opposition.

The princely prelate was, in fact, bought off. Againhis muniment-box was unlocked; once more he and hisstaff of lawyers were deep in parchments, and curious inthe geography of territorial maps and plans. The resultof much dry labour and heavy speculation was an agreemententered into by the two brothers. The Duke ofZell contracted that the children of his marriage with thedaughter of the Poitevin seigneur should inherit onlyhis private property, and the empty title of Counts, orCountesses, of Wilhelmsburg. The territory of Zell13with other estates added to the sovereign dukedom wereto pass to the prince-bishop or his heirs. On these termsEleanora of Olbreuse, Lady of Harburg, and Countess ofWilhelmsburg, became duch*ess of Zell.

‘Ah!’ exclaimed the very apostolic bishop to the dissolutedisciples at his court, on the night that the familycompact was made an accomplished fact, ‘my brother’sFrench Madame is not a jot the more his wife for beingduch*ess’—which was true, for married is married,and there is no comparative degree of intensity whichcan be applied to the circ*mstance. ‘But she has adignity the more, and therewith may Madame rest content’—whichwas not true, for no new title could adddignity to a woman like the wife of Duke GeorgeWilliam.

When Sophia Dorothea was but seven years old, shehad for an occasional playfellow in the galleries andgardens of Zell and Calenberg, a handsome lad, Swedishby birth, but German by descent, whose name was PhilipChristopher von Königsmark. He was a few years olderthan Sophia Dorothea (some accounts say ten years older),and he was in Zell for the purpose of education, and hefulfilled the office of page. Many of his vacation hourswere spent with the child of George William, who washis father’s friend. When gossips saw the two handsomechildren, buoyant of spirit, beaming with health,and ignorant of care, playing hand in hand at sportsnatural to their age, those gossips prophesied of futuremarriage. But their speculation had soon no foodwhereon to live, for the young Königsmark was speedilywithdrawn from Zell, and Sophia bloomed on alone, orwith other companions, good, graceful, fair, accomplished,and supremely happy.

But, even daughter as she was of a left-handed marriage,there was hanging to her name a dower sufficiently14costly to dazzle and allure even princely suitors. To oneof these she was betrothed before she was ten years old.The suitor was a soldier and a prince. AugustusFrederick, Crown Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel,was allured by the ‘beaux yeux de la casette’ of thelittle heiress, which contained, after all, only one hundredthousand thalers, fifteen thousand pounds sterling;but an humble dower for a duke’s only daughter. Inthe meantime the affianced lover had to prove himself, byforce of arms, worthy of his lady and her fortune. Tothe siege of Philipsburg, in the year 1676, repaired thechivalrous Augustus of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Hebore himself with a dignity and daring which entitledhim to respect, but a fatal bullet slew him suddenly: abrief notice in a despatch was his soldierly requiem, andwhen the affianced child-bride was solemnly informed bycirc*mstance of Hof-Marshal that her lord was slain andher heart was free, she was too young to be sorry, andtoo unconscious to be glad.

Meanwhile, the two courts of the Bishop of Osnaburghand the Duke of Zell continued to present astriking contrast. The bishop was one of those menwho think themselves nothing unless they are imitatingsome greater man, not in his virtues but his vices.There was one man in Europe whom Ernest Augustusdescribed as a ‘paragon,’ and that distinguished personagewas Louis XIV. The vices, extravagance, the pomposityof the great king, were the dear delights of the littleprince. As Louis neglected his wife, so Ernest Augustusdisregarded his. Fortunately, Sophia, the wife of thelatter, had resources in her mind, which made her considerwith exemplary indifference the faithlessness of herlord.

At this court of Hanover, two sisters, Catherine andElizabeth von Meisenbuch, had, for some time, set the15fashion of a witchery of costume, remarkable for its taste,and sometimes for outraging it. They possessed, too, thegreat talent of Madame de Sillery Genlis, and were inimitablein their ability and success in getting up littlefêtes, at home or abroad, in the salon or al fresco—formaland full-dressed, or rustic and easy—where major-generalswere costumed as agricultural swains, and ladiesof honour as nymphs or dairymaids, with costumes ruralof fashioning, but as resplendent and costly as silkmanand jeweller could make them. At a sort of Masque, inventedby the sisters von Meisenbuch, one appeared asDiana, the other as Bellona, and they captivated allhearts, from those of the prince-bishop and his son tothat of the humblest aspirant in the court circle.

These young ladies came to court to push theirfortunes. They hoped in some way to serve the sovereignbishop; or, failing him, to be agreeable to his heir,George Louis (afterwards George I. of England). Buteven this prince, a little and not an attractive person, tosay nothing of the bishop, seemed for a time a flightabove them. They could wait a new opportunity; foras for defeat in their aspirations, they would not thinkof it. They had the immense power of those persons whoare possessed by one single idea, and who are underirresistible compulsion to carry it out to reality. Theycould not all at once reach the prince-bishop or his heir,and accordingly they directed the full force of theirenchantments at two very unromantic-looking personages,the private tutors of the young princes of Hanover. Theladies were soon mighty at Greek particles, learned in theaorists, fluent on the digamma, and familiar with themysteries of the differential calculus.

Catherine and Elizabeth von Meisenbuch opened anew grammar before their learned pundits, the Herrnvon Busche and von Platen (the latter was of a noble16and ancient house); and truth to tell, the philosopherswere nothing loth to pursue the new study taught bysuch professors. When this educational course had cometo a close, the public recognised at once its aim, quality,and effects, by learning that the sage preceptors hadactually married two of the liveliest and lightest-footedof girls who had ever danced a branle at the balls inBrunswick. The wives, on first appearing in public aftertheir marriage, looked radiant with joy. The tutors woreabout them an air of constraint, as if they thought theworld needed an apology, by way of explaining how twoElders had permitted themselves to be vanquished by abrace of Susannas. Their ideas were evidently confused,but they took courage as people cheerfully laughed, thoughthey may have lost it again on discovering that they hadbeen drawn into matrimony by two gracefully-gracelessnymphs, whose sole object was to use their spouses asstepping-stones to a higher greatness.

There must have been many attendant advantages inconnection with such an object, or the two married philosopherswould hardly have worn the air of contentwhich they put on as soon as they saw the aim of theirestimable wives, and felt the gain thence accruing.

Elizabeth von Meisenbuch, the wife of von Platen,was the true mistress of the situation. Von Platen,principally through her intrigues, had been appointedprime-minister of the sovereign bishop. The time passedby von Platen with his sovereign master afforded himample leisure to talk of his wife, praise her politicalabilities, and over-eulogise her. The prince-bishop felthis curiosity excited to study more nearly this phœnix ofa woman. It was, therefore, the most natural of consequencesthat von Platen should lead his lady to hismaster’s feet, though it perhaps was not so natural thathe should leave her there to ‘improve’ the position thusreached.


The lady lost no time in justifying all that her husbandhad advanced in warranty of her talent, skill, andwillingness to use them for the advantage of the bishopand his dominions; the powerful prelate was enchantedwith her—enchanted with her in every sense. To sumup all, Madame von Platen became the mistress of herhusband’s master; and her sister, who had given herhand to von Busche, gave herself body and soul to thebishop’s son, George Louis. This arrangement seemedin no way to disturb the equanimity of the bishop’swife, the prince’s mother.



Prince Augustus of Wolfenbüttel, the accepted lover of Sophia—Superstitionof the Duke of Zell—Intrigues of Madame von Platen—A rival lover—PrinceGeorge Louis: makes an offer of marriage to Princess Anne—Policyof the Prince of Orange—Prince George in England: festivitieson account of his visit—Execution of Lord Stafford—Illness of PrinceRupert—The Bill of Exclusion, and the Duke of York at Holyrood—Probablesuccession of the House of Brunswick—Prince George recalled—Successfulintrigues of Sophia, wife of Ernest—A group for an artist—Ill-fatedmarriage of Sophia—Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia—‘GoodyPalsgrave’—The Electress Sophia, and her intellectual skirmishes.

While all was loose and lively at the court of the bishop,the daily routine of simple pleasures and duties alonemarked the course of events at the modest court of theDuke of Zell. The monotony of the latter locality was,however, agreeably interrupted by the arrival there of hisSerene Highness Prince Augustus William of Wolfenbüttel.He had just been edified by what he hadwitnessed during his brief sojourn in the episcopal circleof Osnaburgh, where he had seen two ladies exercising adouble influence, Madame von Platen ruling her husbandand his master, while her sister Caroline von Busche wasequally obeyed by her consort and his Highness GeorgeLouis, the bishop’s son.

Prince Augustus of Wolfenbüttel was the brother ofthat early suitor of the little Sophia Dorothea who hadmet a soldier’s death at the siege of Philipsburg. Hewas, like his brother, not so rich in gold pieces as in goodqualities, and was more wealthy in virtues than in acres.19He was a bachelor prince, with a strong inclination to laydown his bachelorship at the feet of a lady who would,by addition of her dowry, increase the greatness andmaterial comforts of both. Not that Augustus of Wolfenbüttelwas mercenary; he was simply prudent. A littleprincely state in Germany costs a great deal to maintain,and when the errant prince went forth in search of a ladywith a dower, his last thought was to offer himself to onewho had no heart or could have no place in his own.If there was some system, a little method, and an air ofbusiness about the passion and principle of the puissantPrince Augustus, something thereof must be laid to thecharge of the times, and a little to the princely matter-of-factgood sense: he is a wise and merciful man who,before he comes to conclusions with a lady on the chapterof matrimony, first weighs prospects, and establishes, asfar as in him lies, a security of sunshine.

Augustus Wolfenbüttel had long suspected that thesun of his future home was to be found at Zell, and in theperson of his young cousin Sophia Dorothea. Even yet,tradition exists among Brunswick maidens as to the love-passagesof this accomplished and handsome young couple.Those passages have been enlarged for the purposes ofromance writers, but divested of all exaggeration thereremains enough to prove, as touching this pair, that theywere well assorted both as to mind and person; thattheir inclinations were towards each other; and that theywere worthy of a better fate than that which fell uponthe honest and warm affection which reigned in the heartsof both.

The love of these cousins was not the less ardent forthe fact of its being partially discouraged. The Duke ofZell looked upon the purpose of Prince Augustus with anunfavourable eye. The simple-minded duke had an unfeignedsuperstitious awe of the new lover; and the idea20of consenting to a match under the circ*mstances as theypresented themselves, seemed to him tantamount to aspecies of sacrilege, outraging the manes and memory ofthe defunct brother. The duke loved his daughter, andthe daughter assuredly loved Augustus of Wolfenbüttel;and, added thereto, the good duch*ess Eleanora was quitedisposed to see the cherished union accomplished, and tobestow her benediction upon the well-favoured pair. Thefather was influenced, however, by his extensive readingin old legendary ballad-lore, metrical and melancholyGerman romances, the commonest incident in which is theinterruption of a marriage ceremony by a spiritual personageprofessing priority of right.

The opposition to the marriage was not, however, allsurmounted when the antagonism of the duke had beensuccessfully overcome. Madame von Platen has the creditof having carried out her opposition to the match to a verysuccessful issue.

It is asserted of this clever lady, that she was the firstwho caused the Bishop of Osnaburgh thoroughly to comprehendthat Sophia Dorothea would form a very desirablematch for his son George Louis. The young lady hadlands settled on her which might as well be added to theterritory of that electoral Hanover of which the prince-bishopwas soon to be the head. Every acre added to thepossessions of the chief of the family would be by so muchan increase of dignity, and little sacrifices were worthmaking to effect great and profitable results. The worthypair, bishop and female prime-minister, immediately proceededto employ every conceivable engine whereby theymight destroy the fortress of the hopes of Sophia Dorotheaand Augustus of Wolfenbüttel. They cared for nothing,save that the hand of the former should be conferredupon the bishop’s eldest son, George Louis, who had aslittle desire to be matched with his cousin, or his cousin21with him, as kinsfolk can have who cordially detest eachother.

George Louis was not shaped for a lover. He wasmean in person and in character. George was braveindeed; to none of the princes of the House of Brunswickcan be denied the possession of bravery. In all the bloodyand useless wars of the period, he had distinguished himselfby his dauntless courage and his cool self-possession.He was not heroic, but he really looked heroic at thehead of his squadron, charging across the battle-field, andcarrying his sword and his fringed and feathered hat intothe very thickest of the fray. He did not fail, it may beadded, in one of the characteristics of bravery, humanityon the field. For a wounded foe he had a thoroughrespect. Out of the field of battle George Louis was anextremely ordinary personage, except in his vices. He wascoarsely minded and coarsely spoken, and his profligacywas so extreme of character—it bore about it so little ofwhat Lord Chesterfield recommended when he said a manmight be gentlemanlike even in his vices—that the bishop,easy as he was both as parent and prelate, and rich as hewas himself in evil example to a son who needed no suchwarrant to plunge headlong into sin—even the bishopfelt uncomfortable for awhile. He thought, however,that marriage would cure profligacy.

George Louis was now in his twenty-second year. Hewas born in 1660, and he had recently acquired increaseof importance from the tact of his sire having succeeded tothe estates, grandeur, and expectations of his predecessor,Duke John Frederick. The latter was on his way toRome, in 1679, a city which he much loved, holding inrespect a good portion of what is taught there. He wasproceeding thither with a view of a little more of pleasureand something therewith of instruction, when a suddenattack of illness carried him off; and his death excited as22much grief in the bishop as it possibly could in one whohad little reverence for the duke, by whose death heprofited largely.

When the bishop (now Duke Ernest Augustus, ofHanover), as a natural consequence of this death, establisheda gayer court at Hanover than had ever yet beenseen there, and had raised George Louis to the rank of a‘Crown Prince’—a title given to many heirs who couldinherit nothing but coronets—the last-named individualbegan to consider speculatively as to what royal lady hemight, with greatest prospect of advantage to himself, makeoffer of his hand.

At this time Charles II. was King in England. TheKing’s brother, James, Duke of York, had a daughter,‘Lady Anne,’ who is better known to us all by her after-titleof ‘good Queen Anne.’ In the year 1680, Georgeof Hanover came over to England with matrimonial viewsrespecting that young princess. He had on his way visitedWilliam of Orange, at the Hague; and when that calculatingprince was made the confidential depository of theviews of George Louis respecting the Princess Anne ofEngland, he listened with much complacency, but is suspectedof having forthwith set on foot the series of intrigueswhich, helped forward by Madame von Platen, ended inthe recall of George from England, and in his haplessmarriage with the more hapless Sophia Dorothea.

George of Hanover left the Hague with the convictionthat he had a friend in William; but William wasno abettor of marriages with the Princess Anne, andleast of all could he wish success to the hereditary princeof Hanover, whose union with one of the heiresses of theBritish throne might, under certain contingencies, miserablymar his own prospects. The Sidney Diary fixes thearrival of George Louis at Greenwich on the 6th ofDecember, 1680. On the 29th of the month, Viscount23Stafford was beheaded on Tower Hill, and at this livelyspectacle George of Hanover was probably present, for onthe 30th of the month he sends a long letter to her SereneHighness, his mother, stating that ‘they cut off thehead of Lord Stafford yesterday, and made no more adoabout it than if they had chopped off the head of apullet.’ In this letter, the writer enters into details ofthe incidents of his reception in England. The tenorof his epistle is, that he remained one whole day atanchor at ‘Grunnwitsch’ (which is his reading of Greenwich)while his secretary, Mr. Beck, went ashore to lookfor a house for him, and find out his uncle Prince Rupert.Scant ceremony was displayed, it would appear, to renderhospitable welcome to such a visitor. Hospitality, however,was not altogether lacking. The zealous Beckfound out ‘Uncle Robert,’ as the prince ungermanisesRupert, and the uncle, having little of his own to offer tohis nephew, straightway announced to Charles II. thecirc*mstance that the princely lover of his niece waslying in the mud off Grunnwitsch. ‘His Majesty,’ saysGeorge Louis, ‘immediately ordered them apartmentsat Writhall’—and he then proceeds to state that he hadnot been there above two hours when Lord Hamiltonarrived to conduct him to the King, who received himmost obligingly. He then adds, ‘Prince Robert had precededme, and was at Court when I saluted King Charles.In making my obeisance to the King, I did not omit togive him the letter of your Serene Highness; after whichhe spoke of your Highness, and said that he “rememberedyou very well.” When he had talked with mesome time, he went to the Queen, and as soon as Iarrived, he made me kiss the hem of her Majesty’s petticoat.The next day I saw the Princess of York (theLady Anne), and I saluted her by kissing her, with theconsent of the King. The day after I went to visit Prince24Robert, who received me in bed, for he has a malady in hisleg, which makes him very often keep his bed. It appearsthat it is so, without any pretext, and he has to takecare of himself. He had not failed of coming to see meone day. All the lords come to see me, sans prétendrela main chez moi’ (probably, rather meaning withoutceremony, without kissing hands, than, as has been suggested,that ‘they came without venturing to shake handswith him’).

Cold and deaf did the Princess Anne remain to thesuit of the Hanoverian wooer. The suit, indeed, was notpressed by any sanction of the lady’s father, who, duringthe three months’ sojourn of George Louis in England,remained in rather secluded state at Holyrood. Neitherwas the suit opposed by James. James was troubled butlittle touching the suitor of his daughter. He had personaltroubles enough of his own wherewith to be concerned,and therewith sundry annoyances.

Among the ‘celebrations’ of the visit of George Louisto this country, was the pomp of the ceremony whichwelcomed him to Cambridge. Never had the groves orstream of Cam been made vocal by the echoes of suchlaudation as was given and taken on this solemnly hilariousoccasion. There was much feasting, which included verymuch drinking, and much expenditure of heavy complimentin very light Latin. George and his trio of followerswere made doctors of law by the scholastic authorities.The honour, however, was hardly more appropriatethan when a similar one was conferred, in afteryears, upon Blucher and the celebrated artillery officer,Gneisenau. ‘Ah!’ exclaimed the veteran leader, ‘theyare going to make me a doctor; but it was Gneisenauthat furnished all the pills.’

That parliament was convened at Oxford wherebythere was, as Evelyn remarks, ‘great expectation of hisRoyal Highness’s cause, as to the succession against which25the house was set,’ and therewith there was, according tothe same diarist, ‘an extraordinary sharp, cold spring,not yet a leaf upon the trees, frost and snow lying whilethe whole nation was in the greatest ferment.’ Such wasthe parliament, and such the spring, when George Louiswas suddenly called home. He was highly interested inthe bill, which was read a first time at that parliament,as also in the ‘expedients’ which were proposed in lieuof such bill, and rejected. The expedients proposedinstead of the Bill of Exclusion in this parliament, werethat the whole government, upon the death of Charles II.,should be vested in a regent, the Princess of Orange, andif she died without issue, then the Princess Anne should beregent. But if James, Duke of York, should have a soneducated a Protestant, then the regency should last nolonger than his minority, and that the regent shouldgovern in the name of the father while he lived; but thatthe father should be obliged to reside five hundred milesfrom the British dominions; and if the duke shouldreturn to these kingdoms, the crown should immediatelydevolve on the regent, and the duke and his adherentsbe deemed guilty of high treason.

Here was matter in which the Hanoverian suitor wasdoubly interested both as man and as lover. Nor was thereanything unnatural or unbecoming in such concern. Thepossible inheritance of such a throne as that of Englandwas not to be contemplated without emotion. An exclusiveProtestant succession made such a heritage possibleto the House of Brunswick, and if ever the headsof that house, before the object of their hopes was realised,ceased to be active for its realisation, it was when assurancewas made doubly sure, and action was unnecessary.

It is not easy to determine what part William ofOrange had in the recall of George Louis from England,but the suddenness of that recall was an object of someadmiring perplexity to a lover, who left a lady who was26by no means inconsolable, and who, two years afterwards,was gaily married at St. James’s to the Prince of Denmark,on the first leisure day between the executions ofRussell and of Sidney.

George Louis, however, obeyed the summons of hissovereign and father, but it was not until his arrival inHanover that he found himself called upon to transferthe prosecution of his matrimonial suit from one objectto another. The riding idea in the mind of Ernest Augustuswas, that however he might have provided tosecure his succession to the dominion of Zell, the marriageof his son with the duke’s only child would add manybroad acres to his possessions in Hanover.

Sophia Dorothea was still little more than a child; butthat very circ*mstance was made use of in order to procurethe postponement of her marriage with Augustus of Wolfenbüttel.The Duke of Zell did not stand in need ofmuch argument from his brother to understand that theunion of the young lovers might more properly be celebratedwhen the bride was sixteen than a year earlier.The duke was ready to accept any reasoning, the objectof which was to enable him to retain his daughter anotheryear at his side.

The sixteenth birthday of Sophia Dorothea hadarrived, and George Louis had made no impression onher heart—the image of the absent Augustus still livedthere; and the whole plot would have failed, but for thesudden, and active, and efficient energy of one whoseemed as if she had allowed matters to proceed to extremity,in order to exhibit the better her own powerswhen she condescended to interfere personally andremedy the ill-success of others by a triumph of her own.That person was Sophia, the wife of Ernest, a lady whorivalled Griselda in one point of her patience—that whichshe felt for her husband’s infidelities. In other respects27she was crafty, philosophical, and free-thinking; but shewas as ambitious as any of her family, and as she hadresolved on the marriage of her son, George Louis, withSophia Dorothea, she at once proceeded to accomplishthat upon which she had resolved.

It had suddenly come to her knowledge that Augustusof Wolfenbüttel had made his reappearance at the Courtof Zell. Coupling the knowledge of this fact with theremembrance that Sophia Dorothea was now sixteenyears of age, and that at such a period her marriage hadbeen fixed, the mother of George Louis addressed herselfat once to the task of putting her son in the place of thefavoured lover. She ordered out the heavy coach andheavier Mecklenburg horses, by which German potentateswere wont to travel stately and leisurely by postsome two centuries ago. It was night when she leftHanover; and although she had not further to travelthan an ordinary train could now accomplish in an hour,it was broad daylight before this match-making andmatch-breaking lady reached the portals of the ducalpalace of Zell.

There was something delightfully primitive in themethod of her proceeding. She did not despise state,except on occasions when serious business was on hand.The present was such an occasion, and she thereforewaited for no usher to marshal her way and announceher coming to the duke. She descended from her ponderouscoach, pushed aside the sleepy sentinel, who appeareddisposed to question her before he made way,and, entering the hall of the mansion, loudly demandedof the few servants who came hurrying to meet her, tobe conducted to the duke. It was intimated to her thathe was then dressing, but that his Highness would soonbe in a condition to descend and wait upon her.

Too impatient to tarry, and too eager to care for28ceremony, she mounted the stairs, bade a groom of thechamber point out to her the door of the duke’s room;and, her order having been obeyed, she forthwith pushedopen the door, entered the apartment, and discovered thedismayed duke in the most negligé of déshabilles. Sheneither made apology nor would receive any; but, intimatingthat she came upon business, at once asked,‘Where is your wife?’ The flurried Duke of Zellpointed through an open door to a capacious bed in theadjacent room, wherein lay the wondering duch*ess, lostin eider-down and deep amazement.

The ‘old Sophia’ could have wished, it would seem,that she had been further off. She was not quite rudeenough to close the door, and so cut off all communicationand listening; but, remembering that the duch*ess ofZell was but very indifferently acquainted with German,she ceased to speak in the language then common to theGerman courts—French—and immediately addressedthe duke in hard Teutonic phrase, which was unintelligibleto the vexed and suspecting duch*ess.

Half undressed, the duke occupied a chair close tohis toilet-table, while the astute wife of Ernest Augustus,seated near him, unfolded a narrative to which he listenedwith every moment an increase of complacency and conviction.The duch*ess Eleanora, from her bed in theadjacent room, could see the actors, but could not comprehendthe dialogue. But, if the narrative was unintelligibleto her, she could understand the drift of theargument, as the names of her daughter and lover werebeing constantly pronounced with that of George Louis.

The case was forcibly put by the mother of George.She showed how union makes strength, how little profitcould arise from a match between Sophia Dorothea andAugustus of Wolfenbüttel, and how advantageous mustbe an union between the heir of Hanover and the heiress29of the domains which her provident father had added toZell, and had bequeathed to his daughter. She spoke ofthe certainty of Ernest Augustus being created arch-standard-bearerof the empire of Germany, and therewithElector of Hanover. She hinted at the possibilityeven of Sophia Dorothea one day sharing with her sonthe throne of Great Britain. The hint was somethingpremature, but the astute lady may have strengthenedher case by reminding her hearer that the crown of Englandwould most probably be reserved only for a Protestantsuccession, and that her son was, if a distant, yetnot a very distant, and certainly a possible heir.

The obsequious Duke of Zell was bewildered by thevisions of greatness presented to his mind by his cleversister-in-law. With ready lack of honesty he consentedto break off the match between Sophia Dorothea and herlover, and to bestow her hand upon the careless princefor whom it was now demanded by his mother. Thelatter returned to Hanover perfectly satisfied with thework of that night and morning.

The same satisfaction was not experienced by theduch*ess Eleanora. When she came to learn the facts,she burst forth in expressions of grief and indignation.The marriage which had now been definitely broken, hadbeen with her an affair of a mother’s heart. It had notbeen less an affair of a young girl’s heart with SophiaDorothea. Duke Anton Ulrich of Wolfenbüttel came inperson to Zell, to ask the fulfilment of the promise of herhand to his son. On learning that the alleged promisehad been broken, he left Zell with the utmost indignation;and romance, at least, says of Königsmark, that hetoo, had left it with a feeling of sorrow that SophiaDorothea was to be sacrificed to such an unworthy personas George Louis. It was a pitiable case! Therewere three persons who were to be rendered irretrievably30wretched, in order, not that any one might be renderedhappy, but that a man without a heart might be madea little more rich in the possession of dirt. The acresof Zell were to bring misery on their heiress, and everyacre was to purchase its season of sorrow.

No entreaty could move the duke.1 In his dignityhe forgot the father: and the prayers and tears of hischild failed to touch the parent, who really loved herwell, but whose affection was dissolved beneath the fieryheat of his ambition. He was singularly ambitious; forthe possible effect of a marriage with George Louis wasmerely to add his own independent duchy of Luneburgto the dominions of Hanover. His daughter, moreover,detested her cousin, and his wife detested her sister-in-law;above all, the newly accepted bridegroom, if hedid not detest, had no shadow, nor affected to have anyshadow of respect, regard, or affection for the pooryoung victim who was to be flung to him with indecentand unnatural disregard of all her feelings as daughterand maiden. Sophia Dorothea’s especial distaste forGeorge Louis was grounded not only in her knowledgeof his character, but also of his want of respect for hermother, of whom he always spoke in contemptuousterms. Sophia Dorothea’s inclinations, her father said,he would never constrain; but when this seemed to giveher some hope of release, her father observed that a gooddaughter’s inclinations were always identical with thoseof her parents. She had a heart to listen to, shethought. She had a father whom she was bound toobey, he said—and said it with terrible iteration. Heraversion is reported to have been so determined that, when31the portrait of her future lord was presented to her, sheflung it against the wall with such violence that the glasswas smashed, and the dismounted diamonds were scatteredover the room.

The matter, however, was urged onward by Sophiaof Hanover; and in formal testimony of the freedom ofinclination with which Sophia Dorothea acted, she wasbrought to address a formal letter to the mother of herproposed husband, expressive of her obedience to thewill of her father, and promissory of the same obedienceto the requirements of her future mother-in-law. It is amere formal document, proving nothing but that it waspenned for the assumed writer by a cold-hearted inventor,and that the heart of the copier, subdued by sickness,was far away from her words. This document is in theBritish Museum. During the time that intervened beforeGeorge Louis arrived at Zell to take his bride to Hanover,Sophia Dorothea seemed to have passed years instead ofweeks. It was only when her mother looked sadly ather that she contrived painfully to smile. She even professeda sort of joyful obedience; but when the bridegroomdismounted at her father’s gate, Sophia Dorotheafainted in her mother’s arms.

After a world of misery and mock wooing, crowdedinto a few months, the hateful and ill-omened marriagetook place at Zell on the 21st of November, 1682. Thebride was sixteen, the bridegroom twenty-two. Of thesplendour which attended the ceremony court historiographerswrote in loyal ecstasy and large folios, describingevery character and dress, every incident and dish, everytableau and trait, with a minuteness almost inconceivable,and a weariness saddening even to think of. They thoughtof everything but the heart of the principal personage inthe ceremony—that of the bride. They could describethe superb lace which veiled it, and prate of its value32and workmanship; but of the worth and woe of the heartwhich beat beneath it, these courtly historians knew nomore than they did of honesty. Their flattery was of thegrossest, but they had no comprehension of ‘the situation.’To them all mortals were but as ballet-dancersand pantomimists; and if they were but bravely dressedand picturesquely grouped, the describers thereof thoughtof nothing beyond. The bride preserved her mournfuldignity on that dark and fierce November day. Traditionsays that there was a storm without as well assorrow within; and that the moaning of the wind andstrange noises in the old castle seemed as if the elementsand the very home of the bride’s youth sympathised withher present and her future destiny.



Reception of Sophia at the Court of Ernest Augustus—Similar position ofMarie Antoinette and Sophia—Misfortune of the abigail Use—Compassionatedby the duch*ess of Zell—Intrigues and revenge of Madame vonPlaten—A new favourite, Mademoiselle Ermengarda von der Schulenburg—Amarriage fête, and intended insult to the Princess Sophia—Grossvice of George Louis.

It is said that a certain becomingness of compliment waspaid to the bride in an order given to Katharine vonBusche to absent herself from the palace when the bridewas brought home. The mistress, it is alleged, deferredher departure till it was too late, and from a windowof Madame von Platen’s bedchamber the sisters witnessedthe sight of George Louis dismounting from his horse,and hastening to help his wife to descend from thecarriage.

Madame von Platen, as she gazed, may have thoughtthat her sister’s influence was over. If she did, Madamevon Busche felt convinced of the contrary. The lattertook her departure, for a season. The other preparedherself to join in the splendid court festivities held inhonour of the event by the command of Ernest Augustus.Sophia Dorothea, subdued by past suffering, was so gentlethat even Madame von Platen would have found it difficultto have felt offended with her sister’s rival.

For a few months after Sophia Dorothea’s husbandhad taken her to Hanover, she experienced, perhaps, a34less degree of unhappiness than was ever her lot subsequently.Her open and gentle nature won the regardeven of Ernest Augustus. That is, he paid her as muchregard as a man so coarsely minded as he was couldfeel for one of such true womanly dignity as his daughter-in-law.

His respect for her, however, may be best appreciatedby the companionship to which he sometimes subjectedher. He more frequently saw her in society with theimmoral Madame von Platen than in the society of hisown wife. Ernest looked gratefully upon her as thepledge of the future union of the two duchies under oneduke. On this account, even if she had possessed lessattractive qualities, he would have held Sophia Dorotheain great esteem. A certain measure of esteem Ernestexperienced for all who had in any way furthered hisscheme. His mistress, Madame von Platen, had alwayspretended to think favourably of the scheme, and admiringlyof the wisdom of the schemer; in return forwhich, Ernest made his mistress’s husband a baron, andafterwards a count. Let us employ the higher dignity.In the beginning, George Louis seemed fairly in love withhis wife; there appeared a promise of increased felicitywhen the first child of this marriage was born at Hanover,on the 30th of October 1683; his father conferred onhim the names of George Augustus, he expressed pleasureat having an heir, and he even added some words ofregard for the mother. The second child of this marriagewas a daughter, born in 1687. She was that SophiaDorothea who subsequently married the King of Prussia.In tending these two children the mother found all thehappiness she ever experienced during her married life.Soon after the birth of the daughter, George Louis openlyneglected and openly exhibited his hatred of his wife.He lost no opportunity of irritating and outraging her,35and she could not even walk through the rooms of thepalace which she called her home without encounteringthe abandoned female favourites of her husband, whosepresence beneath such a roof was the most flagrant ofoutrages. Her very sense of helplessness was a greatgrief to her. All that her own mother could do whenher daughter complained to her of the presence near herof her husband’s mistress, was to advise her to imitate, onthis point, the indifference of her mother-in-law, andmake the best of it!

The Countess von Platen kept greater state in Hanoverthan Sophia Dorothea herself. In her own palatialmansion two dozen servants helped her helplessness.Every morning she had ‘a circle,’ as if she were a royallady holding a court. Her dinners were costly banquets;her ‘evenings’ were renowned for the brilliancy of herfêtes and the reckless fury of gambling. Sophia Dorothea,whose talent for listening and for putting apt and sympatheticquestions when the conversation required it, gaveconsiderable satisfaction to her clever, but somewhatpedantic mother-in-law, failed to at all satisfy the Countessvon Platen. This lady had tried to bring the princessinto something like sympathy with herself, but she foundonly antipathy. She detested Sophia Dorothea accordingly,and she obtained permission to invite her sister,Madame von Busche, to return to Hanover.

The prime mover of the hatred of George Louis forhis consort was the Countess von Platen, and this fact washardly known to George Louis himself. There was onething in which that individual had a fixed belief: hisown sagacity and, it may be added, his own imaginaryindependence of outward influences. He was profoundin some things; but, as frequently happens with personswho fancy themselves deep in all, he was very shallow inmany. It was often impossible to guess his purpose, but36quite as often his thoughts were as clearly discernible asthe pebbles in the bed of a transparent brook. TheCountess von Platen saw through him thoroughly, andshe employed her discernment for the furtherance of herown detestable objects.

Sophia Dorothea had, however, contrived to win thegood opinion of her mother-in-law, and also the warmfavour of Ernest Augustus. The latter took her withhim on a journey he made to Switzerland and Italy. Itwas on this journey that her portrait was taken, at Venice,by Gascar, who, when in England, had painted, amongothers, that of Louise de Querouaille, duch*ess of Portsmouth.This portrait of Sophia Dorothea is still in existencein Germany. The beauty of the lady representedis so remarkable, it is said, as to justify the admirationshe generally excited. This admiration sometimes wentbeyond decent bounds. One French adorer, the celebratedand eccentric Marquis de Lassay, was impudentenough, not only to address declarations of love to her,but subsequently, in his ‘Memoirs,’ to publish his letters.It has not yet occurred to the ever-busy autograph fabricatorson the continent to forge the supposed replies ofthe princess.

After the return of Ernest Augustus and his daughter-in-lawto Hanover, the praise of Sophia Dorothea wasever the theme which hung on the lips of the former,and such eulogy was as poison poured in the ears ofMadame von Platen. She dreaded the loss of her owninfluence over the father of George Louis, and she fanciedshe might preserve it by destroying the happiness of thewife of his son. Her hatred of that poor lady had beenincreased by a circ*mstance with which she could notbe connected, but which nearly concerned the duch*essof Zell.

Ernest Augustus used occasionally to visit Madame37von Platen at her own residence, with more than enoughof publicity. He was more inclined to conversation withher than with his prime-minister, her husband; and shehad wit enough, if not worth, to give warrant for suchpreference. Now and then, however, the ducal sovereignwould repair to pay his homage to the lady withoutprevious notice being forwarded of his coming; and itwas on one of these occasions that, on arriving at themansion, or in the gardens of the mansion of his minister’sspouse, he found, not the lady of the house, who wasabsent, but her bright-eyed, ordinary-featured, and quick-wittedhandmaid, who bore a name which might havebeen given to such an official in Elizabethan plays byFord or Fletcher. Her name was ‘Use.’

Ernest Augustus found the wit of Use much to histaste; and the delighted abigail was perfectly self-possessed,and more brilliant than common in the converse which shesustained for the pleasure of the sovereign, and her ownexpected profit. She had just, it is supposed, come to thepoint of some exquisitely epigrammatic tale, for the princewas laughing with his full heart, and her hand in his, andthe ’tiring maiden was as radiant as successful wit andendeavour could make her, when Madame von Plateninterrupted the sparkling colloquy by her more fierypresence. She affected to be overcome with indignationat the boldness of a menial who dared to make merry witha sovereign duke; and when poor Use had been rudelydismissed from the two presences—the one august and theother angry—the Countess von Platen probably remonstratedwith Ernest Augustus, respectfully or otherwise,upon his deplorable want of dignity and good taste.

Revenge certainly followed, whether remonstrance mayor may not have been offered. Ernest Augustus went tosojourn for a time at one of his rural palaces, and he hadno sooner left his capital than the countess committed the38terrified Use to close imprisonment in the common gaol.The history of little German courts assures us that thisexercise and abuse of power were not at all uncommonwith the ‘favourites’ of German princes. Their word was‘all potential as the duke’s,’ and doubtless the Countessvon Platen’s authority was as good warrant for a Hanoveriangaoler to hold Use in custody as if he had shut upthat maid, who offended by her wit, under the sign manualof Ernest Augustus himself.

Use was kept captive, and very shabbily treated, until theCountess von Platen had resolved as to the further coursewhich should be ultimately adopted towards her. She couldbring no charge against her, save a pretended accusationof lightness of conduct and immorality scandalous toHanoverian decorum. Under this charge she had her oldhandmaid drummed out of the town; and if the elderSophia heard the tap of the drums which accompanied thealleged culprit to the gates, we can only suppose that shewould have expelled the countess to the same music.But, in the first place, the wives of princes were by nomeans so powerful as their favourites; and secondly, thefriend of the philosophical Leibnitz was too much occupiedwith the sage to trouble herself with the affairs which gaveconcern to the Countess von Platen.

Use found herself outside the city walls, friendless,penniless, with a damaged character, and nothing to coverit but the light costume which she had worn in the processof her march of expulsion to the roll of ‘dry drums.’When she had found a refuge, her first course was to applyto Ernest Augustus for redress. The prince, however, wasat once oblivious, ungrateful, and powerless; and, confininghimself to sending to the poor petitioner a paltry eleemosynaryhalf-dozen of gold pieces, he forbade her return toHanover, counselled her to settle elsewhere, and congratulatedher that she had not received even rougher treatment.


Use next made full statement of her case to the duch*essof Zell; and that lady, deeming the case one of peculiarhardship, and the penalty inflicted on a giddy girl toounmeasured for the pardonable offence of amusing an oldprince who encouraged her to the task, after much consideration,due weighing of the statement, and befittinginquiry, took the offender into her own service, and gaveto the exiled Hanoverian a refuge, asylum, and employmentin Zell.

These are but small politics, but they illustrate thenature of things as they then existed at little Germancourts. They had, moreover, no small influence on thehappiness of Sophia Dorothea. The Countess von Platenwas enraged that the mother of that princess should havedared to give a home to one whom she had condemned tobe homeless; and she in consequence is suspected of havingbeen fired with the more satanic zeal to make desolate thehome of the young wife. She adopted the most efficientmeans to arrive at such an end. Her wicked zeal wasstimulated by the undisguised contempt with which SophiaDorothea treated her on all public occasions. She urgedher sister, Madame von Busche, to recover her power overGeorge Louis. Madame von Busche embraced withalacrity the mission with which she was charged, again tothrow such meshes of fascination as she was possessed ofaround the heart of the not over-susceptible prince. ButGeorge Louis stolidly refused to be charmed, and Madamevon Busche gave up the attempt in a sort of offendeddespair. Her sister, like a true genius, fertile in expedients,and prepared for every emergency, bethought herselfof a simple circ*mstance, whereby she hoped to attain herends. She remembered that George Louis, though shorthimself of stature, had a predilection for tall women. Atthe next fête at which he was present at the mansion ofMadame von Platen, he was enchanted by a majestic young40lady, with a name almost as long as her person—it wasErmengarda Melusina von der Schulenburg.

She was more shrewd than witty, this ‘tall mawkin,’as the Electress Sophia once called the lofty Ermengarda;and, as George Louis was neither witty himself, nor muchcared for wit in others, she was the better enabled toestablish herself in the most worthless of hearts. This wasthe work of the countess, who saw in the tender blue eyes,the really fine features, the imposing figure, and the nineteenyears of Ermengarda, means to an end. When thecountess hinted at the distinction that was within reach ofher, the tall beauty is said to have blushed and hesitated,and then to have yielded herself with alacrity to theglittering circ*mstance. She and the prince first met onhis return from a campaign in Hungary. He was at oncesubjected to her magic influences. She was an inimitableflatterer, and in this way she fooled her victim to ‘the verytop of his bent.’ She exquisitely cajoled him, and withexquisite carelessness did he surrender himself to be cajoled.Gradually, by watching his inclinations, anticipating hiswishes, admiring even his coarseness, and lauding it ascandour, she so won upon the lazily excited feelings ofGeorge Louis that he began to think her presence indispensableto his well-being. If he hunted, she was in thefield, the nearest to his saddle-bow. If he went out towalk alone, he invariably fell in with Ermengarda. At thecourt theatre, when he was present, the next conspicuousobject was the towering von der Schulenburg, ‘in all herdiamonds,’ beneath the glare of which, and the blazingimpudence of their wearer, the modest Sophia Dorotheawas almost extinguished. Ermengarda was speedilyestablished at Hanover, as hof-dame, or lady-in-waiting.

Madame von Platen had announced a festival, to becelebrated at her mansion, which was to surpass in splendouranything that had ever been witnessed by the existing41generation. The occasion was the second marriage of hersister, Madame von Busche, who had worried the poorex-tutor of George Louis into the grave, with GeneralWeyhe, a gallant soldier, equal, it would seem, to any featof daring. Whenever the Countess von Platen designedto appear with more than ordinary brilliancy in her ownperson, she was accustomed to indulge in the extravagantluxury of a milk bath; and it was added by the satiricalor the scandalous, that the milk which had just lent softnessto her skin was charitably distributed among the poor ofthe district wherein she occasionally affected to play thecharacter of Dorcas.

The fête and the giver of it were not only to be of asplendour that had never been equalled, but GeorgeLouis had promised to grace it with his presence, andhad even pledged himself to ‘walk a measure’ with theirresistible Ermengarda Melusina von der Schulenburg.Madame von Platen thought that her cup of joy andpride and revenge would be complete and full to thebrim if she could succeed in bringing Sophia Dorotheato the misery of witnessing a spectacle, the only truesignificance of which was, that the faithless George Louispublicly acknowledged the gigantic Ermengarda for his‘favourite.’

More activity was employed to encompass the desiredend than if the aim in view had been one of good purpose.It so far succeeded that Sophia Dorothea intimatedher intention of being present at the festival given by theCountess von Platen; and when the latter lady receivedthe desired and welcome intelligence she was consciousof an enjoyment that seemed to her an antepast of Paradise.

The eventful night at length arrived. The bride hadexchanged rings with the bridegroom, congratulationshad been duly paid, the floor was ready for the dancers,42and nothing lacked but the presence of Sophia Dorothea.There walked the proudly eminent von der Schulenburg,looking blandly down upon George Louis, whoheld her by the hand; and there stood the impatientvon Platen, eager that the wife of that light-o’-lovecavalier should arrive and be crushed by the spectacle.Still she came not; and finally her lady of honour,Fräulein von Knesebeck, arrived, not as her attendant buther representative, with excuses for the non-appearanceof her mistress, whom unfeigned indisposition detainedat her own hearth.

The course of the festival was no longer delayed; init the bride and bridegroom were forgotten, and Georgeand Ermengarda were the hero and heroine of thehour. After that hour no one doubted as to the bademinence achieved by that lady—unworthy daughter ofan ancient and honourable race. So narrowly andsharply observant was the lynx-eyed von Knesebeckof all that passed between her mistress’s husband and thathusband’s mistress, that when she returned to her dutiesof dame d’atours, she unfolded a narrative that inflicted astab in every phrase and tore the heart of the despairinglistener.



The House of Hanover ranges itself against France—Ernest Augustuscreated Elector—Domestic rebellion of his son Maximilian—His accomplice,Count von Moltke, beheaded—The Electors of Germany.

While Sophia Dorothea was daily growing moreunhappy, her father-in-law was growing more ambitiousand the prospects of her husband more brilliant. Theyounger branch of Brunswick was outstripping the elderin dignity, and not merely an electoral but a kinglycrown seemed the prize it was destined to attain.

When Ernest’s elder brother, John Frederick, diedchildless, and left him the principalities of Calemberg andGrubenberg, with Hanover or a ‘residenz,’ he hailed anincrease of influence which he hoped to see heightenedby securing the Duchy of Zell also to his family. Hehad determined that George Louis should succeed toHanover and Zell united. In other words, he establishedprimogeniture, recognised his eldest son as heir to all hisland, and only awarded to his other sons moderateappanages whereby to support a dignity which he consideredsufficiently splendid by the glory which it wouldreceive, by reflection, from the head of the house.

This arrangement by no means suited the views of oneof Ernest’s sons, Maximilian. He had no inclinationwhatever to borrow glory from the better fortune of hisbrother, and was resolved, if it might be, to achievesplendour by his own. He protested loudly against the44accumulation of the family territorial estates upon theeldest heir; claimed his own share; and even raised aspecies of domestic rebellion against his sire, to whichweight, without peril, was given by the alleged adhesionof a couple of confederates, Count von Moltke and a conspiratorof burgher degree.

Ernest Augustus treated ‘Max’ like a rude child. Heput him under arrest in the paternal palace, and confinedthe filial rebel to the mild imprisonment of his own room.Maximilian was as obstinate as either Henry the Dog orMagnus the Violent, and he not only opposed his sire’swishes with respect to the aggrandisem*nt of the familyby the enriching of the heir-apparent, but went counterto him in matters of religion. In after-years he was notonly a good Jacobite, but he also conformed to the faithof the Stuarts, and Maximilian ultimately died, a tolerableRoman Catholic, in the service of the Emperor.

In the meanwhile, his domestic antagonism against hisfather was not productive of much inconvenience to himself.His arrest was soon raised, and he was restored tofreedom, though not to favour or affection. It went harder,however, with his friend and confederate Count vonMoltke, against whom, as nothing could be proved, muchwas invented. An absurd story was coined to the effect,that at the time when Maximilian was opposing hisfather’s projects, Count von Moltke, at a court entertainment,had presented his snuff-box to Ernest Augustus.This illustrious individual having taken therefrom the pungenttribute respectfully offered, presented the same to anItalian greyhound which lay at his feet, who thereonsuddenly sneezed and swiftly died. The count was sentinto close arrest, and the courtly gossips forged the storyto account for the result. The unfortunate von Moltkewas, indeed, as severely punished as though he had beena murderer. He was judged in something of the old45Jedburgh fashion, whereby execution preceded judgment;and the head of Count von Moltke had fallen before mencould well guess why he had forfeited it. The fact wasthat this penalty had been enacted as a vicarious inflictionon Prince Maximilian. The more ignoble plotter wasonly banished, and in the death of a friend and the exileof a follower, Maximilian, it was hoped, would see adouble suggestion from which he would draw a healthyconclusion. This course had its desired effect. The disinheritedheir accepted his ill-fortune with a humour ofthe same quality, and, openly at least, he ceased to be atrouble to his more ambitious than affectionate father.

The next important public circ*mstance was theraising Hanover to an Electorate; and this was noteffected without much bribery and intrigue. In thosewarlike times, when France and the German empirewere in antagonism, the attitude assumed by such a stateas Hanover was matter of interest to the adverse powers.It is said that the last argument which decided theEmperor’s course was a hint from De Groot, the Hanoverianminister, that Ernest Augustus might cast in hislot with France. A prince who had so often well servedthe empire was not to be allowed to assist France forlack of flinging to him the title of Elector. This title wasgranted, but under heavy stipulations. The two Dukesof Hanover and Zell bound themselves, as long as thewar lasted, on the side of the Emperor against theFrench and against the Turks, to pay annually 500,000thalers, to furnish a contingent amounting to 9,000 men,to uphold the claim of the Arch-Duke Charles on theSpanish throne, and at any election of a new Emperor tovote invariably for the eldest heir of the House ofHapsburg. The 19th of December 1692 was the joyfulday on which Ernest Augustus was nominated Electorof Hanover.


The day, however, was anything but one of joy to thebranch of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. That elder branchfelt itself dishonoured by the august dignity which hadbeen conferred upon the younger scion of the family.The elder branch, and the Sacred College with it, affirmedthat the Emperor was invested with no prerogative bywhich he could, of his own spontaneous act, add a ninthElector to the eight already existing. Originally therewere but seven, and the accession of one more to thattime-honoured number was pronounced to be an innovationby which ill-fortune must ensue. Something stillmore deplorable was vaticinated as the terrible consequenceof a step so peremptorily taken by the Emperor,in despite of the other Electors.

It was said by the supporters of the Emperor andHanover that the addition of a ninth and ProtestantElector was the more necessary, that there were onlytwo Electors on the sacred roll who now followed thefaith of the Reformed Church, and that the sincerity ofone, at least, of these was very questionable. Thereformed states of Germany had a right to be properlyrepresented, and the Emperor was worthy of all praisefor respecting this right. With regard to the nomination,it was stated that, though it had been made spontaneouslyby the Emperor, it had been confirmed by the ElectoralCollege—a majority of the number of which had carriedthe election of the Emperor’s candidate.

Now, this last point was the weak point of the Hanoverians;for it was asserted by many adversaries, andnot denied by many supporters, that in such a case asthis no vote of the Electoral College was good unless itwere an unanimous vote. To this objection, stronglyurged by the elder branch of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel,no answer was made, except, indeed, by praising the newElector, of whom it was correctly stated that he had47introduced into his states such a taste for masquerades,operas, and ballets as had never been known before; andthat he had made a merry and a prosperous people of whathad been previously but a dull nation, as regarded bothmanners and commerce. The Emperor only thought ofthe good service which Ernest Augustus had renderedhim in the field, and he stood by the ‘accomplished fact’of which he was the chief author.

The College was to the full as obstinate, and wouldnot recognise any vote tendered by the Elector of Hanover,or of Brunswick, as he was at first called. For nearlysixteen years was this opposition carried on. At length,on the 30th of June 1708, this affair of the ninth electoratewas adjusted, and the three colleges of the empireresolved to admit the Elector of Hanover to sit and votein the Electoral College. In the same month, he wasmade general of the imperial troops, then assembled inthe vicinity of the Upper Rhine.

His original selection by the Emperor had muchreference to his military services. The efforts of LouisXIV. to get possession of the Palatinate, after the death ofthe Palatine Louis, had caused the formation of theGerman Confederacy to resist the aggression of France—anaggression not checked till the day when Marlboroughdefeated Tallard, at Blenheim. Louis was hurried intothe war by his minister, Louvois, who was annoyed byhis interference at home in matters connected withLouvois’s department. It was to make the confederationmore firm and united that Ernest Augustus was created,rather than elected, a ninth Elector. The three ProtestantElectors were those of Saxony, Brandenburg, andHanover; the three Roman Catholic, Bohemia, Bavaria,and the Palatinate; and the three spiritual Electors, thePrince-Archbishops of Metz, Trèves, and Cologne.

The history of the creation of the ninth Electorate48would not be complete without citing what is said inrespect thereof by the author of a pamphlet suppressedby the Hanoverian government, and entitled ‘Impeachmentof the Ministry of Count Munster.’ It is to thiseffect: ‘During the war between Leopold I. and France,at the close of the 17th century, Ernest Augustus, Dukeof Brunswick, and administrator of Osnabrück, father ofGeorge I., had been paid a considerable sum of moneyon condition of aiding the French monarch with tenthousand troops. The Emperor, aware of the engagement,and anxious to prevent the junction of these forceswith the enemy, proposed to create a ninth electorate, infavour of the Duke, provided he brought his levies to theimperial banner. The degrading offer was accepted, andthe envoys of Brunswick-Luneberg received the electoralcap, the symbol of their master’s dishonour, at Vienna, onthe 19th of December 1692. From the opposition of thecollege and princes, Ernest was never more than nominallyan Elector, and even his son’s nomination was with difficultyaccomplished in 1710. It was in connection withthis new dignity that Hanover, a name till then appliedonly to a principal and almost independent city of theDukedom of Brunswick, became known in the list ofEuropean sovereignties.’

But while the Court of Hanover was engaged in theimportant or trivial circ*mstances which have beenalready narrated, a notable individual had been pursuingfortune in various countries of Europe, and had made hisappearance on the scene at Hanover, to play a part in adrama which had a tragical catastrophe—namely, CountKönigsmark.



Count Charles John Königsmark’s roving and adventurous life—The greatheiress—An intriguing countess—‘Tom of Ten Thousand’—Themurder of Lord John Thynne—The fate of the count’s accomplices—Courtinfluence shelters the guilty count.

The circ*mstance of the sojourn of a Count Königsmarkat Zell, during the childhood of Sophia Dorothea,has been before noticed. Originally the family of theKönigsmarks was of the Mark of Brandenburgh, but achief of the family settled in Sweden, and the namecarried lustre with it into more than one country. In thearmy, the cabinet, and the church, the Königsmarks hadrepresentatives of whom they might be proud; andgenerals, statesmen, and prince-bishops, all labouring withglory in their respective departments, sustained the highreputation of this once celebrated name. From theperiod, early in the seventeenth century, that the firstKönigsmark (Count John Christopher) withdrew from theimperial service and joined that of Sweden, the men ofthat house devoted themselves, almost exclusively, to theprofession of arms. This Count John is famous as thesubduer of Prague, in 1648, at the end of the ThirtyYears’ War. Of all the costly booty which he carriedwith him from that city, none has continued to be sowell cared for by the Swedes as the silver book containingthe Mœso-Gothic Gospels of Bishop Ulphilas, stillpreserved with pride at learned Upsal.


John Christopher was the father of two sons. OthoWilliam, a marshal of France, a valued friend of CharlesXII., and a gallant servant of the state of Venice, whosegovernment honoured his tomb with an inscription,Semper Victori, was the younger. He was pious as wellas brave, and he enriched German literature with a collectionof very fervid and spiritual hymns. The elder son,Conrad Christopher, was killed in the year 1673, whenfighting on the Dutch and imperial side, at the siege ofBonn. He left four children, three of whom becamefamous. His sons were Charles John, and PhilipChristopher. His daughters were Maria Aurora (motherof the famous Maurice of Saxony) and Amelia Wilhelmina.The latter was fortunate enough to achievehappiness without being celebrated. If she has not beentalked of beyond her own Swedish fireside, she passedthere a life of as calm felicity as she and her husband,Charles von Loewenhaupt, could enjoy when they hadrelations so celebrated, and so troublesome, as CountsCharles John and Philip Christopher, and the CountessMaria Aurora, the ‘favourite’ of Augustus of Poland, andthe only royal concubine, perhaps, who almost deservedas much respect as though she had won greatness by alegitimate process.

It was this Philip Christopher who was for a briefseason the playfellow or companion of Sophia Dorothea,in the young days of both, in the quiet gardens andgalleries of Zell. It is only told of him that, after hisdeparture from Zell, he sojourned with various membersof his family, travelled with them, and returned at intervalsto reside with his mother, Maria Christina, of theGerman family of Wrangel, who unhappily survived longenough to be acquainted with the crimes as well as misfortunesof three of her children.

In the year 1682, Philip Christopher was in England.51The elder brother, who had more than once been avisitor to this country, and a welcome, because a witty,one at the Court of Charles II., had brought his youngerbrother hither, in order (so it was said) to have him instructedmore completely in the tenets of the Protestantreligion, and ultimately to place him at Oxford. In themeantime Charles John lodged Philip with a ‘governor,’at the riding academy, near the Haymarket, of thatMajor Foubert, whose second establishment (where hetaught ‘noble horsemanship’) is still commemorated bythe passage out of Regent Street, which bears the nameof the French Protestant refugee and professor of equestrianism.

The elder brother of these two Königsmarks was asuperb scoundrel. He had led a roving and adventurouslife, and was in England when not more that fifteen yearsof age, in the year 1674. During the next half-dozenyears he had rendered the ladies of the Court of Franceecstatic at his impudence, and had won golden opinionsfrom the ‘marine knights’ of Malta, whom he had accompaniedon a ‘caravane,’ or cruise, against the Turks, whereinhe took hard blows cheerfully, and had well-nigh beendrowned by his impetuous gallantry. At some of thecourts of southern Europe he appeared with an éclat whichmade the men hate and envy him; but nowhere did heproduce more effect than at Madrid, where he appearedat the period of the festivities held to celebrate themarriage of Charles II. with Maria Louisa of Orleans.The marriage of the last-named august pair was followedby the fiercest and the finest bull-fights which had everbeen witnessed in Spain. At one of these Charles Johnmade himself the champion of a lady, fought in her honourin the arena, with the wildest bull of the company, andgot dreadfully mauled for his pains. His horse was slain,and he himself, staggering and faint, and blind with loss52of blood, and with deep wounds, had finally only strengthenough left to pass his sword into the neck of the otherbrute, his antagonist, and to be carried half-dead and quitesenseless out of the arena, amid the approbation of thegentle ladies, who purred applause upon the unconscioushero, like satisfied tigresses.

In 1681, at the age of twenty-two, master of all manlyvices, and ready for any adventure, he was once more inEngland, where he seized the opportunity afforded him bythe times and their events, and hastened to join the expeditionagainst Tangier. On the conclusion of the warm affairat Tangier, he went as an amateur against the Algerines,and without commission inflicted on them and their ‘uncle’(as the word dey implies) as much injury as though hehad been chartered general at the head of a destroyinghost. When he returned to England, he was receivedwith enthusiasm. His handsome face, his long flaxen hair,his stupendous periwig for state occasions, and his ineffableimpudence, made him the delight of the impudent peopleof those impudent times.

Now, of all those people, the supercilious Charles Johncared but for one, and she, there is reason to believe, knewlittle and cared less for this presuming scion of the Houseof Königsmark.

Joscelyn, eleventh Earl of Northumberland, who diedin the year 1670—the last of the male line of his house—leftan only daughter, four years of age, named Elizabeth.Her father’s death made her the possessor—awaiting hermajority—of vast wealth, to which increase was madeby succession to other inheritances. Her widowed mothermarried Ralph Montague, English ambassador in Paris.When the widow of Joscelyn espoused Montague, herdaughter Elizabeth went to reside with the mother ofJoscelyn, Dowager Countess of Northumberland, andco-heiress to the Suffolk estate, destined to be added to53the possessions of the little Elizabeth. She was anintriguing, indelicate, self-willed, and worthless old woman;and with respect to the poor little girl of whom she wasthe unworthy guardian, she made her the subject ofconstant intrigues with men of power who wished forwealth, and with rich men who wished for rank and power.Before the unhappy little heiress had attained the age ofthirteen, her grandmother had bound her in marriage withHenry Cavendish, Earl Ogle. Though the ceremony wasperformed, the parties did not, of course, reside together.The dowager countess and the earl were satisfied that thefortune of the heiress was secured, and they were furthercontent to wait for what might follow.

That which followed was what they least expected—death;the bridegroom died within a year of his unionwith Elizabeth Percy; and this child, wife, and widowwas again at the disposal of her wretched grandmother.The heiress of countless thousands was anything but themistress of herself.

At this period the proprietor of the house and domainof Longleat, in Wiltshire, was that Thomas Thynne, whomDryden has celebrated as the Issachar of his ‘Absalomand Achitophel.’ He was the friend of the Duke ofMonmouth, was spoken of as ‘Tom of Ten Thousand,’ andwas a very unworthy fellow, although the member of aworthy house. Tom’s Ten Thousand virtues were of thatmetal which the Dowager Countess of Northumberlandmost approved; and her grand-daughter had not beenmany months the widow of Lord Ogle, when her preciousguardian united her by private marriage to Thynne. Thenewly-married couple were at once separated. Themarriage was the result of an infamous intrigue betweeninfamous people, some of whom, subsequently to Thynne’sdeath, sued his executors for money which he had boundhimself to pay for services rendered to further the marriage.


When Charles John Königsmark returned to England,in January 1682, all England was talking of the matchwherein a poor child had been sold, although the purchaserhad not yet possession of either his victim or her fortune.The common talk must have had deep influence on thecount, who appears to have been impressed with the ideathat if Thynne were dead, Count Charles John Königsmarkmight succeed to his place and expectations.

On the evening of Sunday, the 12th of February 1682,Thynne was in his coach, from which the Duke ofMonmouth had only just previously alighted, and wasriding along that part of Pall-Mall which abuts uponco*ckspur Street, when the carriage was stopped by threemen on horseback, one of whom discharged a carbine intoit, whereby Tom of Ten Thousand was so desperatelywounded that he died in a few hours.

The persons charged with this murder were chieflydiscovered by means of individuals of ill repute with whomthey associated. By such means were arrested a German,Captain Vratz, Borosky a Pole, and a fellow, half knave,half enthusiast, described as Lieutenant Stern. Vratz hadaccompanied Königsmark to England. They lodgedtogether, first in the Haymarket, next in Rupert Street,and finally in St. Martin’s Lane. Borosky had beenclothed and armed at the count’s expense; and Stern wasemployed as a likely tool to help them in this enterprise.It was proved on the trial, that, after the deed was committed,these men were at the count’s lodgings, that asudden separation took place, and that the count himself,upon some sudden fear, took flight to the water-side;there he lay hid for a while, and then dodged about theriver, in various disguises, in order to elude pursuit, untilhe finally landed at Gravesend, where he was pouncedupon by two expert thief-catchers.

The confession of the accomplices, save Vratz, did not55affect the count. His defence took a high Protestantturn—made allusion to his Protestant ancestors and theirdeeds in behalf of Protestantism, lauded Protestant England,alluded to his younger brother, brought expressly here tobe educated in Protestant principles, and altogether wasexceedingly clever, but in no wise convincing. It wasknown that the King would learn with pleasure that thecount had been acquitted. As this knowledge waspossessed by judges who were removable at the King’spleasure, it had a strong influence; and the arch-murderer,the most cowardly of the infamous company, was acquittedaccordingly. In his case, the verdict, as regarded him,was given in, last. The other three persons were indictedfor the actual commission of the fact, Königsmark asaccessory before the fact, hiring them, and instigating themto the crime. Thrice he had heard the word ‘Guilty’pronounced, and, despite his recklessness, was somewhatmoved when the jury were asked as to their verdictrespecting him. ‘Not Guilty,’ murmured the foreman;and then the noble count, mindful only of himself, andforgetful of the three unhappy men whom he had draggedto death, exclaimed in his unmanly joy, ‘God bless theKing, and this honourable bench!’ The meaner assassinswere flung to the gallows. Vratz went to his fate, likePierre; declared that the murder was the result of amistake, that he had no hand in it, and that as he was agentleman, God would assuredly deal with him as such!This ‘gentleman’ accounted for his presence at themurder as having arisen by his entertaining a quarrelwith Mr. Thynne, whom he was about to challenge, whenthe Pole, mistaking his orders and inclinations, dischargedhis carbine into the carriage, and slew the occupant. Theother two confessed to the murder, as the hired instrumentsof Vratz. Count Charles John repaired to theCourt of France, where he was received in that sort of56gentlemanly fashion which Vratz looked for in Paradise.His sword gleamed in many an action fought in variousbattle-fields of Europe during the next few years, at thehead of a French regiment, of which he was colonel.Finally, in 1686, he was in the service of the Venetians inthe Morea. On the 29th of August he was before Argos,when a sortie was made by the garrison, and in the bloodystruggle which ensued he was mortally wounded. ForThynne’s monument in Westminster Abbey a Latin inscriptionwas prepared, which more than merely hinted thatKönigsmark was the murderer of Tom of Ten Thousand.‘Small, servile, Spratt,’ then Dean of Westminster,would not allow the inscription to be set up; and hisapologists, who advance in his behalf that he would havedone wrong had he allowed a man, cleared by a jury fromthe charge of murder, to be permanently set down in hardrecord of marble as an assassin, have much reason in whatthey advance.

The youthful maid, wife, and widow, Lady Ogle, remainedat Amsterdam (whither she had gone, somepersons said fled), after her marriage with Thynne, untilthe three of his murderers, who had been executed,had expiated their crime, as far as human justice wasconcerned, upon the scaffold. She then returned toEngland; but the young lady did not ‘appear public,’as the phrase went, for six or seven weeks, andwhen she did so, it was found that she had just marriedCharles Seymour, third Duke of Somerset—a match whichmade one of two silly persons and a couple of colossalfortunes.

This red-haired lady died in the fifty-sixth year of herage, A.D. 1722; and the duke, then sixty-four, foundspeedy consolation for his loss in a marriage with theyouthful Lady Charlotte Finch, who was at once his wife,nurse, and secretary. It is said of her, that she one day,57in the course of conversation, tapped her husband familiarlyon the shoulder with her fan; whereupon thatamiable gentleman indignantly cried out: ‘Madam, myfirst wife was a Percy, and she never took such aliberty!’

Königsmark, whose fate was so bound up with that ofSophia Dorothea, left England with his brother, and likehis brother, he led an adventurous and roving life, never betrayingany symptom of the Christian spirit of the religionof the Church of England, of which he first tasted whatlittle could be found in Major Foubert’s riding-school. Aportion of his time was spent at Hamburg with his motherand two sisters. His renown was sufficient for a cavalierwho loved to live splendidly; and when he appeared atthe Court of Hanover, in search of military employment,he was welcomed as cavaliers are who are so comfortablyendowed. In 1688 we first hear of him in the electoralcapital, bearing arms under the Elector and a guest at thetable of George Louis and Sophia Dorothea. This was ayear after the birth of the second and last child of thatill-matched couple.



Various accomplishments of Count Philip Christopher Königsmark—Theearly companion of Sophia Dorothea—Her friendship for him—Aninteresting interview—Intrigues of Madame von Platen—Foiled in hermachinations—A dramatic incident—The unlucky glove—Scandalagainst the honour of the princess—A mistress enraged on discovery ofher using rouge—Indiscretion of the princess—Her visit to Zell—TheElector’s criminal intimacy with Madame von der Schulenburg—Williamthe Norman’s brutality to his wife—The elder Aymon—Brutalityof the Austrian Empress to ‘Madame Royale’—Return ofSophia, and reception by her husband.

The estimation in which Count Philip Christopher vonKönigsmark was held at the Court of Hanover was soonmanifested, by his elevation to the post of Colonel of theGuards. He was the handsomest colonel in the smallelectoral army, and passed for the richest. His household,when thoroughly established, in 1690, consisted ofnine-and-twenty servants; and about half a hundredhorses and mules were stalled in his stables. His way oflife was warrant for the opinion entertained of his wealth,but more flimsy warrant could hardly have existed, forthe depth of a purse is not to be discovered by the mannerof life of him who owns it. He continued withal toenchant every one with whom he came in contact. Thespendthrifts reverenced him, for he was royally extravagant;the few people of taste spoke of him encouragingly,for at an era when little taste was shown, he exhibited muchboth in his dress and his equipages. These were splendid59without being gaudy. The scholars even could speak withand of him without a sneer expressed or reserved, forPhilip Christopher was intellectually endowed, had readmore than most of the mere cavaliers of his day, and hada good memory, with an understanding whose digestivepowers a philosopher might have envied. He spelt, however,and he wrote little better than his grooms. Hewas not less welcome to the soldier than the scholar,for he had had experience in ‘the tented field,’ andhad earned in the ‘imminently deadly breach’ muchreputation, without having been himself, in the slightestdegree, ‘illustriously maimed.’ Königsmark was asdaring in speech as in arms. It is said of him that whenGeorge Louis in crowded court once asked him why hehad quitted the Saxon service, Königsmark replied, ‘Itmoved me to anger to see a prince poison the life andhappiness of his lovable young wife, by his connectionwith an impudent and worthless mistress!’ The wholeaudience gaped with astonishment, and the speech wasreported in many a ball-room. But ball-rooms alsore-echoed with the ringing eulogiums of his gracefulness,and his witty sayings are reported as having been ingeneral circulation; but they have not been strong enoughto travel by the rough paths of time down to these laterdays. He is praised, too, as having been satirical, withoutany samples of his satire having been offered for ouropinion. He was daringly irreligious, for which free-thinkersapplauded him as a man of liberal sentiments,believing little, and fearing less. He was pre-eminentlygay, which, in modern and honest English, means that hewas terribly licentious; and such was the temper of thetimes, that probably he was as popular for this characteristicas for all the other qualities by which he wasdistinguished, put together.

There was nothing remarkable in the fact that he60speedily attracted the notice of Sophia Dorothea. She may,without fault, have remembered with pleasure the companionof her romping youth; and have ‘wished him well andno harm done,’ as Pierre says. He was not a mere stranger;and the two met, just as the husband of Sophia Dorotheahad publicly insulted her by ostentatiously parading hisattachment and his bad taste for women, no more to becompared with her in worth and virtue than Lais withLucretia. Up to this time, the only confidantes of hersecret sorrows were her mother and her faithful vonKnesebeck. She had repulsed the affected sympathy ofthe Countess von Platen; and had concealed her feelings,when her jealousy was stirred by allusions to thecountess’s sister and to Ermengarda von der Schulenburg.The Countess von Platen, mature of age, cast admiringeyes on Königsmark. It is asserted, that the count hadscarcely been made Colonel of the Guards when theCountess von Platen fixed upon him as one of the instrumentsby which she would ruin Sophia Dorothea, andrelieve George Louis of a wife whose virtues were a continualreproach to him.

The princess had been taking some exercise in thegardens of the palace, returning from which she met herlittle son, George Augustus, whom she took from hisattendant, and with him in her arms began to ascend thestairs which led to her apartments. Her good will wasgreater than her strength, and Count Königsmark happenedto see her at the moment when she was exhibitingsymptoms of weakness and irresolution, embarrassed byher burthen, and not knowing how to proceed with it.The count at once, with ready gallantry, not merelyproffered, but gave his aid. He took the youngprince from his mother, ascended the stairs, holding thefuture King of England in his arms, and at the door ofthe apartment of Sophia Dorothea again consigned him to61maternal keeping. They tarried for a few briefmoments at the door, exchanging a few conventionalterms of thanks and civility, when they were seen by theubiquitous von Platen, and out of this simple fact sheis supposed to have gradually worked the subsequentterrible calamity which may be said to have slain bothvictims, for Sophia Dorothea was only for years slowlyaccomplishing death, which fell upon the cavalier sosurely and so swiftly.

This incident was reported to Ernest Augustus (MonSieur, as the countess used to call him) with muchexaggeration of detail, and liberal suggestion not warrantedby the facts. The conduct of the princess wasmildly censured as indiscretion, that of the count asdisloyal impertinence; and, thereto, a mountain of commentseems to have been added, and a misty worldof hints, which annoyed the duke without convincinghim.

Foiled in her first attempt to ruin Sophia Dorothea, vonPlaten addressed herself to the task of cementing strictfriendship with the count; and he, a gallant cavalier,was nothing loth, nought suspecting. Of the termsof this friendly alliance little is known. They wereonly to be judged of by the conduct of the parties whomthat alliance bound. A perfect understanding appearedto have been established between them; and the Countessvon Platen was often heard to rally the count upon thelove-passages in his life, and even upon his alleged admirationof Sophia Dorothea. What was said jokingly, or wasintended to seem as if said jokingly, was soon acceptedby casual hearers as a sober, and a sad as sober, truth.The countess referred often to his visits paid to SophiaDorothea as ‘rendezvous’; but at these, Fräulein vonKnesebeck was (as she subsequently affirmed) presentfrom first to last; and two other ladies-in-waiting, pages,62women, and George Louis’ own servant, Soliman (a Turk),had free and frequent ingress and egress.

This first step having been made, no time was lost inpursuing the object for which it had been accomplished.At one of those splendid masquerades, in which ErnestAugustus especially delighted, Königsmark distinguishedhimself above all the other guests by the variety, as wellas richness, of his costume, and by the sparkling talent withwhich he supported each assumed character. He excited auniversal admiration, and—so it was said by the Countessvon Platen—in none more than in Sophia Dorothea. Thismay have been true, and the poor princess may possiblyhave found some oblivion for her domestic trials inallowing herself to be amused with the exercise of thecount’s dramatic talent. She honestly complimented himon his ability, and on the advantages which the fêtederived from his presence, his talent, and his good-nature.Out of this compliment the countess forged another linkof the chain whereby she intended to bind the princess toa ruin from which she should not escape. At this timethe countess is said to have hated the handsome Königsmarkas much as she had previously admired him. Hehad met her liberal advances with disregard, or had disregardedher after reciprocating them. In either case,the offence was deadly.

The next incident told is more dramatic of character,perhaps, than any of the others. The countess hadengaged the count in conversation in a pavilion of thegardens in the Electoral Palace, when, making theapproach of two gentlemen an excuse for retiring, theywithdrew together. The gentlemen alluded to wereGeorge Louis and the Count von Platen; and theseentering the pavilion which had just been vacated, theformer picked up a glove which had been droppedby the countess. The prince recognised it by the63embroidery, and perhaps by a crest, or some markimpressed upon it, as being a glove belonging to hisconsort. He was musingly examining it, when a servantentered the place, professedly in search of a glove whichthe princess had lost. On some explanation ensuing, itwas subsequently discovered that Madame von Weyhe,the sister of the Countess von Platen, had succeeded inpersuading Prince Maximilian to procure for her thisglove, on pretext that she wished to copy the pattern ofthe embroidery upon it, and that the prince had thoughtlesslydone so, leaving the glove of Madame von Weyhein its place. But this, which might have accounted forits appearance in the pavilion, was not known to GeorgeLouis, who would probably in such case have ceased tothink more of the matter, but that he was obliginglyinformed that Count Königsmark had been before him inthe pavilion where the glove was found; been there,indeed, with the excellent Countess von Platen, whoacknowledged the fact, adding, that no glove was on theground when she was there, and that the one found couldnot have been hers, inasmuch as she never wore Netherlandgloves—as the one in question was—but glovesaltogether of different make and quality. Königsmarkhad been there, and the glove of the Princess SophiaDorothea had been found there, and this German specimenof Mrs. Candour knew nothing beyond.

Thenceforth, George Louis was not merely rude andfaithless to his wife, but cruel in the extreme—thedegrading blow, so it was alleged, following the harshword. The Elector of Hanover was more just than hisrash and worthless son: he disbelieved the insinuationsmade against his daughter-in-law. The Electress wasless reasonable, less merciful, less just, to her son’s wife.She treated her with a coolness which interpreted abelief in the slander uttered against her; and when64Sophia Dorothea expressed a wish to visit her mother,the electoral permission was given with an alacritywhich testified to the pleasure with which the Electressof Hanover would witness the departure of SophiaDorothea from her court.

Sophia Dorothea, as soon as she descended at thegates of her father’s residence, found a mother there,indeed, ready to receive her with the arms of a mother’slove, and to feel that the love was showered upon adaughter worthy of it. Not of like quality were the oldduke’s feelings. Communications had been made to himfrom Hanover, to the effect that his daughter wasobstinate, disobedient, disrespectful to the Elector andElectress, neglectful of her children, and faithless inheart, if not in fact, to their father. The Duke of Zellhad been, as he thought, slow to believe the chargesbrought against his child’s good name, and had appliedto the Elector for some further explanation. But poorErnest Augustus was just then perplexed by anotherdomestic quarrel. His son, the ever troublesome PrinceMaximilian, having long entertained a suspicion that theCountess von Platen’s denial of the light offence laid toher charge, of wearing rouge, was also a playful denial,mischievously proved the fact one day, by not verygallantly ‘flicking’ from his finger a little water in whichpeas had been boiled, and which was then a popularlymischievous test to try the presence of rouge, as, if thelatter were there, the pea-water left an indelible fleckor stain upon it. At this indignity, the Countess vonPlaten was the more enraged as her denial had beendisproved. She rushed to the feet of the Elector, andtold her complaint with an energy as if the whole statewere in peril. The Elector listened, threatened PrinceMaximilian with arrest, and wished his family were aseasy to govern as his electoral dominions. He had65scarcely relieved himself of this particular source oftrouble, by binding Prince Maximilian to his goodbehaviour, when he was applied to by the Duke ofZell on the subject of his daughter. He angrily referredthe duke to three of his ministers, who, he said, wereacquainted with the facts. Now these ministers were themen who had expressly distorted them.

These worthy persons, if report may be trusted,performed their wicked office with as wicked an alacrity.However the result was reached, its existence cannotbe denied, and its consequences were fatal to SophiaDorothea. The Electress Sophia is said to have at lastso thoroughly hated her daughter-in-law, as to haveentered partly into these misrepresentations, whichacquired for her the temporary wrath of her father.But of this enmity of her mother-in-law the youngerSophia does not appear to have suspected anything.Sophia Dorothea, at all events, bore her father’s temporaryaversion with a wondering patience, satisfiedthat ‘time and the hour’ would at length do herjustice.

The duke’s prejudice, however, was rather stubbornof character, and he was guilty of many absurdities toshow, as he thought, that his obstinacy of ill-meritedfeeling against his own child was not ill-founded. Herefused to listen to her own statement of her wrongs, inorder to show how he guarded himself against beingunduly biassed. The mother of the princess remainedher firmest friend and truest champion. If misrepresentationshad shaken her confidence for a moment, itwas only for a moment. She knew the disposition ofSophia Dorothea too well to lend credit to false representationswhich depicted her as a wife, compared withwhom Petruchio’s Katherine would have been thegentlest of Griseldas. As little did she believe—and to66the expression of her disbelief she gave much indignantforce of phrase—as little did she believe in the suggestionsof the ministers of the Elector that the familiarterms which, as they alleged, existed between theElectoral Princess and Count Königsmark were such asdid wrong to her husband George Louis. Those judgesof morality had jumped to the conclusion that youth andgood looks were incompatible with propriety of conduct.

The worst that could have been alleged against SophiaDorothea at this period was, that some letters had passedbetween her and Count Königsmark, and that the latterhad once or twice had private audience of the ElectoralPrincess. Whatever may be thought of such things herein England, and in the present age, they have never beenaccounted of in Germany but as common-place circ*mstances,involving neither blame nor injury. A correspondencebetween two persons of the respective ranksof the Electoral Princess and the count was not anuncommon occurrence; save that it was not often thattwo such persons had either the taste or capacity tomaintain such intercourse. As to an occasional interview,such a favour, granted by ladies of rank to cleverconversational men, was as common an event as anythroughout the empire; and as harmless as the interviewsof Leonora and that very selfish personage, thepoet Tasso. The simple fact appears to have been that,out of a very small imprudence—if imprudence it maybe called—the enemies of Sophia Dorothea contrived torear a structure which should threaten her with ruin.Her exemplary husband, who affected to hold himselfwronged by the alleged course adopted by his consort,had abandoned her, in the worst sense of that word.He had never, in absence, made her hours glad byletters, whose every word is dew to a soul athirst forassurances of even simple esteem. In his own household67his conversation was seldom or never addressed to hiswife; and, when it was, never to enlighten, raise, orcheer her. She may have conversed and correspondedwith Königsmark, but no society then construed suchconversation and correspondence as crimes; and evenhad they approached in this case to a limit which wouldhave merited censure, the last man who should havestooped to pick up a stone to cast at the reputation of hisconsort was that George Louis, whose affected indignationwas expressed from a couch with Mademoiselle von derSchulenburg at his side, and their very old-fashioned(as to look, but not less illegitimate as to fact) baby,playing, in much unconsciousness of her future distinction,between them.

It was because Sophia Dorothea had not been altogethertamely silent touching her own wrongs, that shehad found enemies trumpet-tongued publishing a forgedrecord of her transgressions. When Count von Moltke hadbecome implicated in the little domestic rebellion ofPrince Maximilian, some intimation was conveyed to himthat, if he would contrive, in his defence, to mingle thename of Sophia Dorothea in the details of the trumperyconspiracy, so as to attach suspicion to such name, hisown acquittal would be secured. The count was agallant man, refused to injure an unoffending lady, andwas beheaded; as though he had conspired to overthrowa state, instead of having tried to help a discontentedheir in the disputed settlement of some family accounts.

The contempt of Sophia Dorothea, on discovering towhat lengths the intimacy of George Louis and Ermengardavon der Schulenburg had gone, found bitter andeloquent expression. Where an angry contest was to bemaintained, George Louis could be eloquent too; and inthese domestic quarrels, not only is he said to have beenas coarse as any of his own grooms, but, at least on one68occasion, to have proceeded to blows. His hand was onher throat, and the wife and mother of a King of Englandwould have been strangled by her exasperated lord, hadit not been for the intervention of the courtiers, whorushed in, and, presumedly, prevented murder. To sucha story wide currency was given; and, if not exact to theletter, neither can it be said to be without foundation.

The circ*mstances which led Sophia Dorothea toformally complain of the treatment she experienced ather husband’s hands were these. One evening, afterbeing one of a group in the open air, witnessing aneclipse of the moon, and listening to Leibnitz’s explanations,Sophia Dorothea (attended by Fräulein Knesebeckand Madame Sassdorf) returned towards the castle.The ladies missed their way in the dark, but they foundthemselves at last at the door of a newly-erected building,which Sophia Dorothea entered, despite Frau Sassdorf’sentreaties to the contrary. She equally disregarded thesame lady’s urgent entreaties not to enter a room at theend of the ante-chamber where the ladies were standingtogether. Sophia Dorothea opened the door of the room,and there beheld Mademoiselle von der Schulenburg on acouch; one hand in that of George Louis, who withthe other was rocking a sleeping baby (the futureCountess of Chesterfield) in a cradle.

After the scene of unseemly violence which followed,and after Sophia Dorothea’s recovery from a consequentillness, she made her indignant complaint to her husband’sparents. ‘Old Sophia’ censured her son, and foundfault with Sophia Dorothea’s rashness. Ernest Augustusintimated that all princes had their little weaknesses, andthat it was her duty to condone her husband’s.

This treatment drove Sophia Dorothea to Zell; butthe wrath of her husband and the intrigues of von Platenmade of that residence anything but a refuge. The duke69refused to give permission to his daughter to remainlonger in his palace than was consistent with the limit ofan ordinary visit. She petitioned most urgently, and hermother seconded her prayer with energy as warm, thatfor the present she might make of Zell a temporary home.Her angry father would not listen to the request of eitherpetitioner; on the contrary, he intimated to his daughter,that if she did not return to Hanover by a stated period,she would be permanently separated from her children.On the expression of this threat, she ceased to press forleave to remain longer absent from Hanover; and whenthe day named for her departure arrived, she set out oncemore for the scene of her old miseries, anticipation ofmisery yet greater in her heart, and with nothing tostrengthen her but a mother’s love, and to guide her buta mother’s counsel. Neither was able to save her fromthe ruin under which she was so soon overwhelmed.

Her return had been duly announced to the Court ofHanover, and so much show of outward respect wasvouchsafed her as consisted in a portion of the Electoralfamily repairing to the country residence of Herrnhausento meet her on her way, and accompany her to thecapital. Of this attention, however, she was unaware,or was scornfully unappreciative, and she passed Herrnhausenat as much speed as could then be shown byElectoral post-horses. It is said that her first intentionwas to have stopped at the country mansion, where theElectoral party was waiting to do her honour; that shewas aware of the latter fact, but that she hurried on herway for the reason that she saw the Countess von Platenseated at one of the windows looking on to the road, andthat, rather than encounter her, she offended nearly awhole family, who were more nice touching matters ofetiquette than they were touching matters of morality.The members of this family, in waiting to receive a young70lady, against whom they considered that they were notwithout grounds of complaint, were lost in a sense ofhorror which was farcical, and of indignation at violatedproprieties which must have been as comical to look atas it no doubt was intense. The farcical nature of thescene is to be found in the fact, that these good people,by piling their agony beyond measure, made it ridiculous.There was no warrant for their horror, no cause for theirindignation; and when they all returned to Hanover,following on the track of a young princess, whose contemptof ceremony tended to give them strange suspicionsas to whether she possessed any remnant of virtueat all, these very serene princes and princesses wereas supremely ridiculous as any of the smaller peopleworshipping ceremony in that never-to-be-forgotten cityof Kotzebue’s painting, called Krähwinkel.

When Sophia Dorothea passed by Herrnhausen, regardlessof the company who awaited her there, she leftthe persons of a complicated drama standing in utteramazement on one of the prettiest of theatres. Herrnhausenwas a name given to trim gardens, as well as tothe edifice surrounded by them. At the period of whichwe are treating the grounds were a scene of delight; thefountains tasteful, the basins large, and the water abundant.The maze, or wilderness, was the wonder ofGermany, and the orangery the pride of Europe. Therewas also, what may still be seen in some of the pleasure-groundsof German princes, a perfectly rustic theatre, completein itself, with but little help from any hand but thatof nature. The seats were cut out of the turf, the verdureresembled green velvet, and the chances of rheumatismmust have been many. There was no roof but the sky,and the dressing-rooms of the actors were lofty bowersconstructed near the stage; the whole was adorned witha profusion of gilded statues, and kept continually damp71by an incessant play of spray-scattering water-works. Thegrand tableau of rage in this locality, as Sophia Dorotheapassed unheedingly by, must have been a spectacle worththe contemplating. Perhaps she had passed the morescornfully as George Louis was there, who, of all men,must at this time have been to her the most hateful.



The scheming mother foiled—Count Königsmark too garrulous in his cups—Aneaves-dropper—A forged note—A mistress’s revenge—Murder of thecount—The Countess Aurora Königsmark’s account of her brother’s intimacywith the princess—Horror of the princess on hearing of the count’sdeath—Seizure and escape of Mademoiselle von Knesebeck—A divorcemooted—The princess’s declaration of her innocence—Decision of theconsistorial court—The sages of the law foiled by the princess—Condemnedto captivity in the castle of Ahlden—Decision procured bybribery—Bribery universal in England—The Countess Aurora Königsmarkbecomes the mistress of Augustus, King of Poland—Her unsuccessfulmission to Charles XII.—Exemplary conduct in her latter years—Becomesprioress of the nunnery of Quedlinburg.

With the return of Sophia Dorothea to Hanover, herenemies appear to have commenced more actively theiroperations against her. George Louis was languidlyamusing himself with Ermengarda von der Schulenburgand their little daughter Petronilla Melusina. The Countessvon Platen was in a state of irritability at the presence ofSophia Dorothea and the absence of Königsmark. Thelast-mentioned person had, in his wide-spread adoration,offered a portion of his homage to both the countess andher daughter. The elder lady, while accepting as muchof the incense for herself as was safe to inhale, endeavouredto secure the count as a husband for her daughter. Herfailure only increased her bitterness against the count,and by no means lent less asperity to the sentiment withwhich she viewed Sophia Dorothea. She was, no doubt,73the chief cause, primarily and approximate, of the ruinwhich fell upon both.

It was not merely the absence of Königsmark, whowas on a visit to the riotous court of Augustus of Saxony,which had scared her spirit; the reports which were madeto her of his conversation there gave fierceness to herresentment, and called into existence that desire ofvengeance which she accomplished, but without profitingby the wickedness.

There was no more welcome guest at Dresden thanKönigsmark. An individual, so gallant of bearing, handsomeof feature, easy of principle, and lively of speech, wassure to be warmly welcomed at that dissolute court. Heplayed deeply, and whatever sums he might lose, he neverlost his temper. He drank as deeply as he played, and hethen became as loquacious as Cassio, but more given toslander. He spoke ill of others out of mere thoughtlessness,or at times out of mere vanity. He possessed notwhat Swift calls the ‘lower prudence’ of discretion.His vanity, and the stories to which it prompted him,seemed to amuse and interest the idle and scandalouscourt where he was so welcome a guest.

He kept the illustriously wicked company there in anuninterrupted ecstacy by the tales he told, and the pointhe gave to them, of the chief personages of the Court ofHanover. He retailed anecdotes of the Elector and hisson, George Louis, and warmly-tinted stories of the shamelessmistresses of that exemplary parent, and no lessexemplary child. He did not spare even the ElectressSophia; but she was, after all, too respectable for Königsmarkto be able to make of her a subject of ridicule. Thissubject he found in ladies of smaller virtue and less meritgenerally. But every word he uttered, in sarcastic descriptionof the life, character, and behaviour of thefavourites of the Elector of Hanover and his son, found74its way, with no loss of pungency on the road, to the earsof those persons whom the report was most likely tooffend. His warm advocacy of Sophia Dorothea, expressedat the table of Augustus of Saxony, was only anadditional offence; and George Louis was taught to thinkthat Count Königsmark had no right to ask, with Pierre,‘May not a man wish his friend’s wife well, and no harmdone?’

The count returned to Hanover soon after SophiaDorothea had arrived there, subsequent to her painfulvisit to the little court of her ducal parents at Zell.Königsmark, who had entered the Saxon service, returnedto Hanover to complete the form of withdrawal fromservice in the Hanoverian army. It is alleged that SophiaDorothea, otherwise friendless, entreated him to procureher an asylum, or to protect her in her flight to thecourt of her kinsman, Duke Anton Ulrich, at Wolfenbüttel.The duke is reported to have been willing toreceive her. Other reports state that the princess wasmore than willing to fly with Königsmark to Paris! Outof all such rumours there is this certainty, that on Sunday,the 1st of July 1694 (George Louis being then in Berlin),Königsmark found a letter in pencil on a table in thesitting-room of his house in Hanover. It was to this effect:‘To-night, after ten o’clock, the Princess Sophia Dorotheawill expect Count Königsmark.’ He recognised the handof the princess. All that afternoon he was busy writing.His secretary and servants thought his manner strange.He went out soon after ten, unattended. He was in alight, simple, summer-dress. He went on his way to thepalace, crossed the threshold, and never was seen outsideit again.

The note was a forged document, confessedly bythe Countess von Platen, when confession came too latefor the repair of evil which could not be undone. Nevertheless,75the count, on presenting himself to MademoiselleKnesebeck, the lady of honour to the princess, wasadmitted to the presence of the latter. This indiscreetstep was productive of terrible consequences to all thethree who were present. The count, on being asked toexplain the reason of his seeking an interview with theprincess at an advanced hour of the evening, producedthe note of invitation, which Sophia Dorothea at oncepronounced to be a forgery. Had they then separatedlittle of ill consequence might have followed. The mostdiscreet of the three, and the most perplexed at the‘situation,’ was the lady of honour. The ‘Memoirs’ whichbear her name, and which describe this scene, present tous a woman of some weakness, yet one not wanting indiscernment.

Sophia Dorothea, it would seem, could dwell upon nosubject but that of her domestic troubles, the cruel neglectof her husband, and her desire to find somewhere therefuge from persecution which had been denied to her inher old home at Zell. More dangerous topics could nothave been treated by two such persons. The count, it isaffirmed, was the first to suggest that Paris would afford hersuch a refuge, and that he should be but too happy to bepermitted to give her such protection as she could derivefrom his escort thither. This was probably rather hintedthan suggested; but however that may be, only onecourse should have followed even a distant hint leading toso unwarrantable an end. The interview should havebeen brought to a close. It was still continued, nevertheless,to the annoyance, if not scandal, of the faithfulKnesebeck, whose fears may have received some littlesolace on hearing her mistress reiterate her desire to findat least a temporary home at the court of her cousin, DukeAnton Ulrich of Wolfenbüttel.

While this discussion was proceeding, the Countess76von Platen was by no means idle. She had watched thecount to the bower into which she had sent him by theemployment of a false lure, and she thereupon hastened tothe Elector to communicate what she termed her discovery.Ernest Augustus, albeit waxing old, was by no meansinfirm of judgment. If Königsmark was then in thechamber of his daughter-in-law, he refused to see in thefact anything more serious than its own impropriety.That, however, was crime enough to warrant the arrestwhich the countess solicited. The old Elector yielded toall she asked, except credence of her assurance that SophiaDorothea must be as guilty as Königsmark was presuming.He would consent to nothing further than the arrest ofhim who was guilty of the presumption; and the methodof this arrest he left to the conduct of the countess, whourgently solicited it as a favour, and with solicitation ofsuch earnestness that the old Elector affected to be jealousof the interest she took in such a case, and added playfullythe expression of his opinion, that, angry as she seemedto be with the count, he was too handsome a man to belikely to meet with ill-treatment at her hands.

Armed with this permission, she proceeded to thebody of soldiers or watch for the night, and exhibitingher written warrant for what she demanded, requestedthat a guard might be given to her, for a purpose whichshe would explain to them. Some four or five men of thishousehold body were told off, and these were conductedby her to a large apartment, called the Hall of Knights,through which Königsmark must pass, as he had not yetquitted the princess’s chamber.

They were then informed that their office was to arresta criminal, whose person was described to them, of whosesafe custody the Elector was so desirous that he wouldrather that such criminal should be slain than that he shouldescape. They were accordingly instructed to use their77weapons if he should resist; and as their courage hadbeen heightened by the double bribe of much wine and ashower of gold pieces, they expressed their willingness toexecute her bidding, and only too well showed by theirsubsequent act the sincerity of their expression.

At length Königsmark appeared, coming from theprincess’s apartment. It was now midnight. He enteredthe Ritter Hall, unsuspecting the fate before him. Inthis hall was a huge, square, ponderous stove, looking likea mausoleum, silent and cold. It reached from floor toroof, and, hidden by one of its sides, the guard awaited thecoming of the count. He approached the spot, passed it,was seized from behind, and he immediately drew hissword to defend himself from attack. His enemies gavehim but scant opportunity to assail them in his own defence,and after a few wild passes with his weapon, he was struckdown by the spear, or old-fashioned battle-axe, of oneof the guards, and when he fell there were three woundsin him, out of any one of which life might find passage.

On feeling himself grow faint, he—and in this case,like a true and gallant man—thought of the lady and herreputation. The last words he uttered were, ‘Spare theinnocent princess!’ soon after which he expired; but notbefore, as is reported by those who love to dwell minutelyon subjects of horror, not before the Countess von Platenhad set her foot triumphantly upon his bloody face.

Such is the German detail of this assassination. It isadded, that it gave extreme annoyance to the Elector, towhom it was immediately communicated; that the bodywas forthwith consigned to a secure resting-place, andcovered with lime; and that the whole bloody dramawas enacted without any one being aware of what wasgoing on, save the actors themselves.

In Cramer’s ‘Memoirs of the Countess of Königsmark,’the fate of the count is told upon the alleged evidence of78a so-called eye-witness. It differs in several respects fromother accounts, but is clear and simple in its details. It isto the following effect:—

‘Bernhard Zayer, a native of Heidelberg, in thePalatinate, a wax-image maker and artist in lacquer-work,was engaged by the Electoral Princess to teach her his art.Being, on this account, continually in the princess’sapartment, he had frequently seen Count Königsmarkthere, who looked on while the princess worked. Heonce learned in confidence, from the Electoral Princess’sgroom of the chambers, that the Electoral Prince wasdispleased about the count, and had sworn to break hisneck, which Bernhard revealed to the princess, whoanswered:—“Let them attack Königsmark: he knows howto defend himself.” Some time afterwards there was anopera, but the princess was unwell and kept her bed. Theopera began, and as the count was absent as well as theprincess, first a page and then the hoff-fourier were sentout for intelligence. The hoff-fourier came back running,and whispered to the Electoral Prince, and then to hishighness the Elector. But the Electoral Prince went awayfrom the opera with the hoff-fourier. Now Bernhard sawall this and knew what it meant, and as he knew thecount was with the princess, he left the opera secretly, towarn her; and as he went in at the door, the other doorwas opened, and two masked persons rushed in, oneexclaiming, “So! then I find you!” The count, who wassitting on the bed, with his back to the door by whichthe two entered, started up, and whipped out his sword,saying, “Who can say anything unbecoming of me?” Theprincess, clasping her hands, said “I, a princess, am I notallowed to converse with a gentleman?” But the masks,without listening to reason, slashed and stabbed away atthe count. But he pressed so upon both, that the ElectoralPrince unmasked, and begged for his life, while the hoff-fourier79came behind the count, and run him throughbetween the ribs with his sword, so that he fell, saying,“You are murderers, before God and man, who do mewrong!” But they both of them gave him more wounds,so that he lay as dead. Bernhard, seeing all this, hidhimself behind the door of the other room.’

Bernhard was subsequently sent by the princess to spyout what they would do with Königsmark.

‘When the count was in the vault, he came a little tohimself, and spoke:—“You take a guiltless man’s life.On that I’ll die, but do not let me perish like a dog, in myblood and my sins. Grant me a priest, for my soul’s sake.”Then the Electoral Prince went out, and the fourier remainedalone with him. Then was a strange parson fetched, anda strange executioner, and the fourier fetched a greatchair. And when the count had confessed, he was soweak that three or four of them lifted him into the chair;and there in the prince’s presence was his head laid at hisfeet. And they had tools with them, and they dug ahole in the right corner of the vault, and there they laidhim, and there he must be to be found. When all wasover, this Bernhard slipped away from the castle; andindeed Counsellor Lucius, who was a friend of the princess’s,sent him some of his livery to save him; for they soughthim in all corners, because they had seen him in the roomduring the affray.... And what Bernhard Zayer saw inthe vault, he saw through a crack.’

Clear as this narrative is in its details, it is contradictoryand rests on small basis of truth. The Electoral Princewas undoubtedly absent on the night Königsmark wasmurdered.

The Countess Aurora of Königsmark has left a statementof her brother’s intimacy with the princess, inwhich the innocence of the latter is maintained, but hisimprudence acknowledged. The statement referred to80explains the guilty nature of the intercourse kept upbetween Königsmark and the Countess von Platen. It iswritten in terms of extreme indelicacy. We may addthat the faithful von Knesebeck, on whose character noone ever cast an imputation, in her examination beforethe judges, argued the innocence of her accused mistressupon grounds the nature of which cannot even be alludedto. The princess, it is clear, had urged Königsmark torenew his interrupted intrigue with von Platen, out ofdread that the latter, taking the princess as the causeof the intercourse having been broken off, should work arevenge, which she did not hesitate to menace, upon theprincess herself.

The details of all the stories are marked by great improbability,and they have not been substantiated by thealleged death-bed confessions of the Countess von Platen,and Baumain, one of the guards—the two criminalshaving, without so intending it, confessed to the sameclergyman, a minister named Kramer! Though theseconfessions are spoken of, and are even cited by Germanauthors, their authenticity cannot be warranted. At allevents, there is an English version of the details of thismurder given by Horace Walpole; and as that livelywriter founded his lugubrious details upon authority whichhe deemed could not be gainsaid, they may fairly find aplace, by way of supplement to the foreign version.

‘Königsmark’s vanity,’ says Walpole, ‘the beauty ofthe Electoral Princess, and the neglect under which hefound her, encouraged his presumptions to make hisaddresses to her, not covertly, and she, though believednot to have transgressed her duty, did receive them tooindiscreetly. The old Elector flamed at the insolence ofso stigmatised a pretender, and ordered him to quit hisdominions the next day. This princess, surrounded bywomen too closely connected with her husband and consequently81enemies of the lady they injured, was persuadedby them to suffer the count to kiss her hand, before hisabrupt departure; and he was actually introduced bythem into her bedchamber the next morning before sherose. From that moment he disappeared, nor was itknown what became of him, till on the death of GeorgeI., on his son, the new King’s first journey to Hanover,some alterations in the palace being ordered by him, thebody of Königsmark was discovered under the floor ofthe Electoral Princess’s dressing-room—the count havingprobably been strangled there, the instant he left her,and his body secreted. The discovery was hushed up.George II. (the son of Sophia Dorothea) entrusted thesecret to his wife, Queen Caroline, who told it to myfather; but the King was too tender of the honour of hismother to utter it to his mistress; nor did Lady Suffolkever hear of it, till I informed her of it several yearsafterwards. The disappearance of the count made hismurder suspected, and various reports of the discovery ofhis body have of late years been spread, but not with theauthentic circ*mstances.’

To turn to the German sources of information: weare told by these, that after the departure of Königsmarkfrom the chamber of the princess, she was engaged inarranging her papers, and in securing her jewels, preparatory,as she hoped, to her anticipated removal to the Court ofWolfenbüttel. Königsmark must have been murdered andthe body made away with silently and swiftly, for not adweller in the palace was disturbed by the doing of thisbloody deed. All signs of its having been done had been soeffaced that no trace of it was left to attract notice in theearly morning. On that next morning the count’s servantswere not troubled at his absence; such an occurrence wasnot unusual. When it was prolonged and enquiry becamenecessary, nothing could be learnt of him. Every soul82in the palace was silent, designedly or through ignorance.Rumour, of course, was busy and full of confidence inwhat it put forth. George Louis himself said that thegay count would reappear, perhaps, when least expected.The tremendous secret was faithfully kept by the fewwho knew the truth; and when speculation was busiestas to the count’s whereabout, there was probably no atomof his body left, if it be true that it had been cast into adrain and had been consumed in slack-lime.

The princess was, for a time, kept in ignorance of thecount’s assassination; but she was perplexed by his disappearance,and alarmed when she heard that all hispapers had been seized and conveyed to the Elector forhis examination. Some notes had passed between them:and, innocent as they were, she felt annoyed at thethought that their existence should be known, still morethat they should be perused. To their most innocentexpressions the Countess von Platen, who examinedthem with the Elector, gave a most guilty interpretation;and she so wrought upon Ernest Augustus, that he commissionedno less a person than the Count von Platen tointerrogate the princess on the subject. She did not lackspirit; and when the coarse-minded count began to putcoarse questions to her, as to the degree of intercoursewhich had existed between herself and the count, shespiritedly remarked that he appeared to imagine that hewas examining into the conduct of his own wife; a thrustwhich he repaid by bluntly informing her that whateverintercourse may have existed, it would never be renewed,seeing that sure intelligence had been received of Königsmark’sdeath.

Sophia Dorothea, shocked at this information, and atthe manner in which it was conveyed, had no friend inwhom she could repose confidence but her faithful lady-in-waiting,Fräulein von Knesebeck. The princess couldhave had no more ardent defender than this worthy83attendant. But the assertions made by the latter, infavour of the mistress whom she loved, were not at all tothe taste of the enemies of that mistress, and the speedyresult was, that Fräulein von Knesebeck was arrested andcarried away to the castle of Schartzfeld in the Hartz.She was there kept in confinement many years; but sheultimately escaped so cleverly through the roof, by thehelp of a tiler, or a friend in the likeness of a tiler, thatthe credit of the success of the attempt was given by thegovernor of the gaol to the demons of the adjacentmountains. She subsequently became lady-in-waiting toSophia Dorothea’s daughter.

Sophia Dorothea had now but one immediate earnestwish, namely, to retire from Hanover. Already thesubject of a divorce had been mooted, but the Electorbeing somewhat fearful that a divorce might affect hisson’s succession to his wife’s inheritance, and even obstructthe union of Zell with Hanover, an endeavour was madeto reconcile the antagonistic spouses, and to bury pastdissensions in oblivion.

It was previous to this attempt being entered upon,and perhaps because it was contemplated, that theprincess voluntarily underwent a very solemn ordeal.The ceremony was as public as it could be rendered bythe presence of part of the Electoral family and the greatofficial dignitaries of the church and government. Beforethem Sophia Dorothea partook of the sacrament, andthen made solemn protestation of her innocence, and ofher unspotted faith towards the Electoral Prince, herhusband. At the termination of this ceremony she wasinsulted by an incredulous smile which she saw upon theface of Count von Platen; whereat the natural womanwas moved within her to ask him if his own excellentwife could take the same oath, in attestation of herunbroken faithfulness to him!


The strange essay at reconciliation was marred by anattempt made to induce the Electoral Princess to confessthat she had been guilty of sins of disobedience towardsthe expressed will of her consort. All endeavour in thisdirection was fruitless; and though grave men made it, itshows how very little they comprehended their delicatemission. The princess remained fixed in her desire towithdraw from Hanover; but when she was informed ofthe wound this would be to the feelings of the Elector andElectress, and that George Louis himself was heartilyaverse to it, she began to waver, and applied to herfriends at Zell, among others to Bernstorf, the Hanoverianminister there, asking for counsel in this her great need.

Bernstorf, an ally of the von Platens, secretly advisedher to insist upon leaving Hanover. He assured her,pledging his word for what he said, that she would find ahappy asylum at Zell; that even her father, so longestranged from her, would receive her with open arms;and that in the adoption of such a step alone could shehope for happiness and peace during the remainder of herlife.

She was as untruthfully served by some of the ladiesof her circle, who, while professing friendship and fidelity,were really the spies of her husband and her husband’smistress. They were of that class of women who wereespecially bred for courts and court intrigues, and whosehopes of fortune rested upon their doing credit to theireducation.

As the princess not merely insisted upon quittingHanover, but firmly refused to acknowledge that she hadbeen guilty of any wrong to her most guilty husband, acourse was adopted by her enemies which, they considered,would not merely punish her, but would transfer herpossessions to her consort, without affecting the long projectedunion of Zell, after the duke’s death, with the85territory of Hanover. An accusation of adultery, even ifit could be sustained, of which there was not the shadowof a chance, might, if carried out and followed by adivorce, in some way affect the transfer of a dominion toHanover, which transfer rested partly on the rights of thewife of the Electoral Prince. A divorce might destroy theex-husband’s claims; but he was well-provided withlawyers to watch and guard the case to an ultimateconclusion in his favour.

A Consistorial Court was formed, of a strangely mixedcharacter, for it consisted of four ecclesiastical lawyersand four civil authorities of Hanover and Zell. It hadno other authority to warrant its proceedings than thecommand or sanction of the Elector, and the consent ofthe Duke of Zell, whose ill-feeling towards his childseemed to increase daily. The only charge laid againstthe princess before this anomalous court was one ofincompatibility of temper, added to some little failings ofcharacter; not the most distant allusion to serious guiltwith Königsmark, or any one else, was made. His namewas never once mentioned. Her consent to live again inHanover and let by-gones be by-gones was indignantlyrefused by her. She would never, she protested, liveagain among people who had murdered the only man inthe world who loved her well enough to be a friend toher who was otherwise friendless. Her passionate tearsflowed abundantly; Fräulein von Knesebeck states thatwhenever the mysterious fate of Königsmark was referredto, the princess’s grief was so violent that it might almostlead those who witnessed it to suspect that she took toogreat an interest in the man made away with almost ather chamber-door.

The court affected to attempt an adjustment of thematter; but as the attempt was always based on anotherto drag from the princess a confession of her having,86wittingly or unwittingly, given cause of offence to her husband,she continued firmly to refuse to place her consort inthe right by doing herself and her cause extremest wrong.

In the meantime, during an adjournment of the court,she withdrew to Lauenau. She was prohibited fromrepairing to Zell, but there was no longer any oppositionmade to her leaving the capital of the Electorate. She was,however, strictly prohibited from taking her children withher. Her parting from these was as painful a scene ascan well be imagined, for she is said to have felt that shewould never again be united with them. Her son,George Augustus, was then ten years of age; herdaughter, Sophia, was still younger. The homage ofthese children was rendered to their mother long aftertheir hearts had ceased to pay any to their father beyonda mere conventional respect.

In her temporary retirement at Lauenau, she waspermitted to enjoy very little repose. The friends of theElectoral Prince seem to have been anxious lest she shouldpublish more than was yet known of the details of hisprivate life. This fear alone can account for their anxiety,or professed anxiety, for a reconciliation. The lawyers,singly or in couples, and now and then a leash of themtogether, went down to Lauenau to hold conference withher. They assailed her socially, scripturally, legally;they pointed out how salubrious was the discipline whichsubjected a wife to confess her faults. They read to herwhole chapters from Corinthians, on the duties of marriedladies, and asked her if she could be so obstinate andunorthodox as to disregard the injunctions of St. Paul.Finally, they quoted codes and pandects, to prove that asentence might be pronounced against her under contumacy,and concluded by recommending her to trust tothe mercy of the Crown Prince, if she would but castherself upon his honour.


They were grave men; sage, learned, experiencedmen; crafty, cunning, far-seeing men; in all the circlesof the empire men were not to be found more skilled insurmounting difficulties than these indefatigable men, whowere all foiled by the simplicity and firmness of a merechild. ‘If I am guilty,’ said she, ‘I am unworthy of theprince: if I am innocent, he is unworthy of me!’

Here was a conclusion with which she utterly confoundedthe sages. They could not gainsay it, nor refutethe logic by which it was arrived at, and which gave itforce. They were ‘perplexed in the extreme,’ but neithersocial experience, nor scriptural reading, nor legal knowledgeafforded them weapons wherewith to beat downthe simple defences behind which the princess had entrenchedherself. They tried repeatedly, but tried invain. At the end of every trial she slowly and calmlyenunciated the same reply:—‘If I am guilty I am unworthyof him: if I am innocent, he is unworthy ofme!’

From this text she would not depart; nor could allthe chicanery of all the courts of Germany move her.‘At least,’ said the luminaries of the law, as they tooktheir way homewards, re infecta, ‘at least this womanmay, of a surety, be convicted of obstinacy.’ We alwaysstigmatise as obstinate those whom we cannot convince.It is the only, and the poor, triumph of the vanquished.

This triumph was achieved by the Consistory Court,the members of which, unable to prove the princessguilty of crime, were angry because she would not evenconfess to the commission of a fault; that is, of such afault as should authorise her husband, covered with guilttriple-piled, to separate from her person, yet maintainpresent and future property over her estates.

In point of fact, George Louis did not wish to beseparated from his wife. His counsel, Rath Livius, accused88her, in her husband’s name, of lack of both loveand obedience towards him; of having falsely chargedhim with infidelity, to his parents and her own; and ofhaving repeatedly refused to again live with him; forthis act of disobedience, and for no other reason, he askedthe judgment of the court. Sophia Dorothea’s owncounsellors, Rudolph Thies and Joachin von Bulow, putit to her whether she would return to her husband orabide judgment for disobeying his repeated desire. Nothingcould move her. She despised her husband, andwould never again live under the same roof with him.Her own desire was to live, henceforward, in seclusion—topass the remainder of her unhappy life in peace andhumiliation.

The court came to a decision on the 28th of December,1694. Their judgment was, that as she refused to livewith her husband, she was guilty of desertion, and onthat ground alone a decree of separation, or divorce, wasrecorded. When told that she had a right to appeal, shecontemptuously refused to avail herself of it. The termsof the sentence were extraordinary, for they amountedto a decree of divorce without expressly mentioningthe fact. The judgment, wherein nothing wasjudged, conferred on the prince, George Louis, theright of marrying again, if he should be so minded andcould find a lady willing to be won. It, however, explicitlydebarred his wife from entering into a secondunion. Not a word was written down against her, allegingthat she was criminal. The name of Königsmark wasnot even alluded to. Notwithstanding these facts, andthat the husband was the really guilty party, while theutmost which can be said against the princess was thatshe may have been indiscreet—notwithstanding this, notonly was he declared to be an exceedingly injured individual,but the poor lady, whom he held in his heart’s89hottest hate, was deprived of her property, possession ofwhich was transferred to George Louis, in trust for thechildren; and the princess, endowed with an annual pensionof some eight or ten thousand thalers, was condemnedto close captivity in the castle of Ahlden, near Zell, witha retinue of domestics, whose office was to watch heractions, and a body of armed gaolers, whose only dutywas to keep the captive secure in her bonds.

Sophia Dorothea entered on her imprisonment with acalm, if not with a cheerful heart: certainly with moreplacidity and true joy than George Louis felt, surroundedby his mistresses and all the pomp of the Electoral State.All Germany is said to have been scandalised by thejudgment delivered by the court. The illegality and theincompetency of the court from which it emanated, wereso manifest, that the sentence was looked upon as a merewanton cruelty, carrying with it neither conviction norlawful consequence. So satisfied was the princess’sadvocate on this point that he requested her to give hima letter declaring him non-responsible for having so farrecognised the authority of the court as to have pleadedher cause before it! What is perhaps more singular stillis the doubt which long existed whether this court eversat at all; and whether decree of separation or divorcewas ever pronounced in the cause of Sophia Dorothea ofZell and George Louis, Electoral Prince of Hanover.

Horace Walpole says, on this subject: ‘I am notacquainted with the laws of Germany relative to divorceor separation, nor do I know or suppose that despotismand pride allow the law to insist on much formality whena sovereign has reason or mind to get rid of his wife.Perhaps too much difficulty in untying the Gordian knotof matrimony, thrown in the way of an absolute prince,would be no kindness to the ladies, but might prompthim to use a sharper weapon, like that butchering husband,90our Henry VIII. Sovereigns who narrow or let outthe law of God according to their prejudices and passionsmould their own laws, no doubt, to the standard of theirconvenience. Genealogic purity of blood is the predominantfolly of Germany; and the Code of Maltaseems to have more force in the empire than the TenCommandments. Thence was introduced that mostabsurd evasion of the indissolubility of marriage, espousalswith the left hand, as if the Almighty had restrained hisordinance to one half of a man’s person, and allowed agreater latitude to his left side than to his right, or pronouncedthe former more ignoble than the latter. Theconsciences both of princely and noble persons in Germanyare quieted if the more plebeian side is married toone who would degrade the more illustrious moiety; but,as if the laws of matrimony had no reference to thechildren to be thence propagated, the children of a left-handedalliance are not entitled to inherit. Shocking consequenceof a senseless equivocation, which only satisfiespride, not justice, and is calculated for an acquittal atthe herald’s office, not at the last tribunal.

‘Separated the Princess (Sophia) Dorothea certainlywas, and never admitted even to the nominal honours ofher rank, being thenceforward always styled the duch*essof Halle (Ahlden). Whether divorced is problematic, atleast to me; nor can I pronounce—as, though it was generallybelieved, I am not certain—that George espoused theduch*ess of Kendal (Mdlle. von der Schulenburg) with hisleft hand. But though German casuistry might allow ahusband to take another wife with his left hand becausehis legal wife had suffered her right hand to be kissed bya gallant, even Westphalian or Aulic counsellors couldnot have pronounced that such a momentary adieuconstituted adultery; and, therefore, of a formal divorce Imust doubt; and there I must leave that case of conscience91undecided until future search into the Hanoverian Chanceryshall clear up a point of little real importance.’Coxe, in his Memoirs of Walpole, says, on the otherhand, very decidedly:—‘George I., who never loved hiswife, gave implicit credit to the account of her infidelity,as related by his father; consented to her imprisonment,and obtained from the ecclesiastical consistory a divorce,which was passed on the 20th of December 1694.’

The researches into the Chancery of Hanover, whichWalpole left to posterity, appear to have been made, andthe decree of the Consistorial Court which condemnedSophia Dorothea has been copied and published. Itis quoted in the ‘Life of the Princess,’ published anonymouslyin 1845, and it is inserted below for the benefit ofthose who like to read history by the light of documents.

It has been said that such a decree could only havebeen purchased by rank bribery, which is likely enough;for the courts of Germany were so utterly corrupt thatnothing could equal them in infamy—except the corruptionwhich prevailed in England.

‘In the matrimonial suit of the illustrious PrinceGeorge Louis, Crown Prince of Hanover, against hisconsort, the illustrious Princess Sophia Dorothea, we,constituted president and judges of the MatrimonialCourt of the Electorate and Duchy of Brunswick-Lunenberg,declare and pronounce judgment, afterattempts have been tried and have failed, to settle thematter amicably, and, in accordance with the documentsand verbal declarations of the Princess, and other detailedcirc*mstances, we agree that her continued denial ofmatrimonial duty and cohabitation is well founded, andconsequently that it is to be considered as an intentionaldesertion. In consequence whereof, we consider, sentence,and declare the ties of matrimony to be entirelydissolved and annulled. Since, in similar cases of desertion,92it has been permitted to the innocent party tore-marry, which the other is forbidden, the same judicialpower will be exercised in the present instance in favourof his Serene Highness the Crown Prince.

‘Published in the Consistorial Court at Hanover,December 28th, 1694.

(Signed) Phillip Von Busche.
Francis Eichfeld (Pastor).
Anthony George Hildberg.
Gerhardt Art.
Gustavus Molan.
Bernhard Spilken.
David Rupertus.
H. L. Hattorf.’

The work from which the above document is extractedfurnishes also the following, as a copy of the letter writtenby the princess at the request of the legal conductor ofher case, as ‘security from proceedings in relation to hisconnexion with her affairs:’—

‘As we have now, after being made acquainted withthe sentence, given it proper consideration, and resolvednot to offer any opposition to it, our solicitor must actaccordingly, and is not to act or proceed any further inthis matter. For the rest, we hereby declare that we aregratefully content with the conduct of our aforesaidsolicitor of the Court, Thies, and that by this we free himfrom all responsibility regarding these transactions.

(Signed)‘Sophia Dorothea.

‘Lauenau, December 31, 1694.’

By this last document it would seem that the Hof-RathThies would have denied the competency of thecourt had he been permitted to do so; and that he wasso convinced of its illegality as to require a written93prohibition from asserting the same, and acknowledgmentof exemption from all responsibility, before he would feelsatisfied that he had accomplished his duty towards hisillustrious client.

Long before the case was heard, and four monthsprevious to the publication of the sentence of the ConsistorialCourt, the two brothers, the Elector of Hanoverand the Duke of Zell, had actually agreed by an enactmentthat the unhappy marriage between the cousinsshould be dissolved. The enactment provided for themeans whereby this end was to be achieved, and for thedisposal of the princess during the progress of the case.The anonymous author of the biography of 1845 thenproceeds to state that ‘It was therein specified that herdomestics should take a particular oath, and that theprincess should enjoy an annual income of eight thousandthalers (exclusive of the wages of her household), to beincreased one-half on the death of her father, with afurther increase of six thousand thalers on her attainingthe age of forty years. It was provided that the castle ofAhlden should be her permanent residence, where shewas to remain well guarded. The domain of Wilhelmsburg,near Hamburg, was, at the death of the Duke ofZell, to descend to the prince, son of the Princess SophiaDorothea—the Crown Prince, however, during his ownlife retaining the revenues; but should the grandson diebefore his father, the property would then, on paymentof a stipulated sum, be inherited by the successor in thegovernment of the son of the Elector. By a furtherarrangement, the mother of the princess was to possessWienhausen, with an annual income of twelve thousandthalers, secured on the estates of Schernebeck, Garze,and Bluettingen; the castle at Lunenburg to be allowedas her residence from the commencement of her widowhood.’


Never was so much care taken to secure property onone side, and the person on the other. The contractingparties appear to have been afraid lest the prisoner shouldever have an opportunity of appealing against the wrongof which she was made the victim; and her straitimprisonment was but the effect of that fear. Thatnothing might be neglected to make assurance doublysure, and to deprive her of any help she might hopehereafter to receive at the hands of a father, whose heartmight possibly be made to feel his own injustice and hisdaughter’s sorrows, the Duke of Zell was induced topromise that he would neither see nor hold communicationwith the daughter he had repudiated.

During the so-called trial, at Lauenau, the princessresided in the chief official residence in that place. Atthe close of the inquiry she took a really final leave ofher children—George Augustus and Sophia Dorothea—withbitter tears, which would have been more bitterstill if she had thought that she was never again tolook upon them. She had concluded that she wouldhave liberty to live with her mother in Zell. She hadno idea that her father had already agreed to his brotherthe Elector’s desire that she should be shut up in thecastle of Ahlden. She found herself a state prisoner.

The oath to be taken by her appointed household, orrather by the personal attendants—counts and countessesin waiting and persons of similar rank—was stringent andillustrative of the importance attached to the safe-keepingof the prisoner. It was to the effect ‘that nothing shouldbe wanting to prevent anticipated intrigues; or for theperfect security of the place fixed as a residence for thePrincess Sophia Dorothea, in order to maintain tranquility,and to prevent any opportunity occurring to an enemyfor undertaking or imagining anything which might causea division in the illustrious family.’



The prison of the captive Sophia Dorothea—Employment of her time—Thechurch of Ahlden repaired by her—Cut off from her children—Sympathyof Ernest Augustus for his daughter-in-law—Her father’s returningaffection for her—Opening prospects of the House of Hanover—Lord Macclesfield’sembassy to Hanover, and his right-royal reception—Descriptionof the Electress—Toland’s description of Prince George Louis—Magnificentpresent to Lord Macclesfield—The Princess Sophia and the Englishliturgy—Death of the Duke of Zell—Visit of Prince George to his captivemother prevented.

The castle of Ahlden is situated on the small and sluggishstream, the Aller; and seems to guard, as it once oppressed,the little village sloping at its feet. This edificewas appointed as the prison-place of Sophia Dorothea;and from the territory she acquired a title, that of duch*essof Ahlden. She was mockingly called sovereign lady ofa locality where all were free but herself!

On looking over the list of the household which wasformed for the service, if the phrase be one that may beadmitted, of her captivity, the first thing which strikes usas singular is the presence of ‘three cooks’—a triad of‘ministers of the mouth’ for one poor imprisoned lady!

The singularity vanishes when we find that aroundthis encaged duch*ess there circled a really extensivehousehold, and there lived a world of ceremony, of whichno one was so much the slave as she was. Her captivityin its commencement was decked with a certain sort ofsplendour, about which she, who was its object, cared96by far the least. There was a military governor of thecastle, gentlemen and ladies in waiting—spies all. Amongthe honester servants of the house were a brace of pagesand as many valets, a dozen female domestics, and fourteenfootmen, who had to undergo the intense labour ofdoing very little in a very lengthened space of time. Tosupply the material wants of these, the three cooks, oneconfectioner, a baker, and a butler, were provided. Therewas, besides, a military force, consisting of infantry andartillery. Altogether, there must have been work enoughfor the three cooks.

The forms of a court were long maintained, althoughonly on a small scale. The duch*ess held her little levées,and the local authorities, clergy, and neighbouring nobilityand gentry offered her such respect as could be manifestedby paying her visits on certain appointed days.These visits, however, were always narrowly watched bythe officials, whose office lay in such service and was hidbeneath a show of duty.

The successive governors of the castle were men ofnote, and their presence betokened the importance attachedto the person and safe keeping of the captive.During the first three years of her imprisonment, the postof governor was held by the Hof Grand-Marshal vonBothmar. He was succeeded by the Count Bergest, whoenjoyed his equivocal dignity of gaoler-governor about aquarter of a century. During the concluding years of theimprisonment of Sophia, her seneschal was a relative ofone of her judges, Georg von Busche.

These men behaved to their prisoner with as muchcourtesy as they dared to show; nor was her captivitysevere in anything but the actual deprivation of liberty,and of all intercourse with those she best loved, until afterthe first few years. The escape of Fräulein Knesebeckfrom her place of confinement appears to have given the97husband of Sophia Dorothea an affectionate uneasiness,which he evidenced by giving orders that his wife’s safe-keepingshould be maintained with greater stringency.

From the day of the issuing of that order, she wasnever allowed to walk, even in the garden of the castle,without a guard. She never rode out, or drove throughthe neighbouring woods, without a strong escort. Evenparts of the castle were prohibited from being intrudedupon by her; and so much severity was shown in thisrespect, that when, on one occasion, a fire broke out inthe edifice, to escape from which she must have traverseda gallery which she was forbidden to pass, she stood shortof the proscribed limit, her jewel-box in her arms, andherself in almost speechless terror, but refusing to advancebeyond the prohibited line until permission reached herfrom the proper authority.

On such a prisoner time must have hung especiallyheavy. She had, however, many resources, and everyhour, with her, had its occupation. She was the land-stewardof her little ducal estate, and performed all theduties of that office. She kept a diary of her thoughts aswell as actions; and if this be extant it would be wellworthy of being published. The one which has been putforth as hers is a poor work of fancy by some writerunknown, set in dramatic scenes, and altogether to berejected. Her correspondence, during the period she waspermitted to write, was extensive. Every day she hadinterviews with, and gave instructions to, each of herservants, from the chief of the three cooks downwards.With this, she was personally active in charity. Finally,she was the Lady Bountiful of the district, laying out halfher income in charitable uses for the good of her neighbours,and, as Boniface said of the good lady of Lichfield,‘curing more people in and about the place within ten98years, than the doctors had killed in twenty; and that’s abold word.’

There was a church in the village, which was in ratherruinous condition when her captivity commenced; but thisshe put in thorough repair, decorated it handsomely, presentedit with an organ, and was refused permission toattend there after it had been reopened for publicservice. For her religious consolation a chaplain hadbeen provided, and she was never trusted, even underguard, to join with the villagers in common worship inthe church of the village below. In this respect a somewhatroyal etiquette was observed. The chaplain readprayers to the garrison and household in one room, towhich the princess and her ladies listened rather thantherewith joined, placed as they were in an adjacentroom, where they could hear without being seen.

With no relative was she allowed to hold never sobrief an interview; and at last even her mother was notpermitted to soften by her presence for an hour the rigidand ceremonious captivity of her luckless daughter.Mother and child were allowed to correspond at statedperiods, their letters passing open. The princess herselfwas as much cut off from her own children as if thesehad been dead and entombed. The little prince andprincess were expressly ordered to utterly forget that theyhad a mother—her very name on their lips would havebeen condemned as a grievous fault. The boy, GeorgeAugustus, was in many points of character similar to hisfather, and, accordingly, being commanded to forget hismother, he obstinately bore her in memory; and when hewas told that he would never have an opportunity affordedhim to see her, mentally resolved to make one for himself.

It is but justice to the old Elector to say that in hisadvanced years, when pleasant sins were no longer profitableto him, he gave them up; and when the youngest99of his mistresses had ceased to be attractive, he began tothink such appendages little worth the hanging on to hisElectoral dignity. For, ceasing to love and live with his‘favourites,’ he did not the more respect, or hold closerintercourse with, his wife—a course about which theElectress Sophia troubled herself very little.

Ernest Augustus, when he ceased to be under theinfluence of the disgraced Countess von Platen, began tobe sensible of some sympathy for his daughter-in-law,Sophia. He softened in some degree the rigour of herimprisonment and corresponded with her by letter; acorrespondence which inspired her with hope that herfreedom might result from it. This hope was, however,frustrated by the death of Ernest Augustus, on the 20thof January 1698. From that time the rigour of herimprisonment was increased fourfold.

If the heart of her old father-in-law began to inclinetowards her as he increased in years, it is not to bewondered at that the heart of her aged father meltedtowards her as time began to press heavily upon him.But it was the weakest of hearts allied to the weakest ofminds. In the comfortlessness of his great age he soughtto be comforted by loving her whom he had insanely andunnaturally oppressed—the sole child of his heart andhouse. In his weakness he addressed himself to that toolof Hanover at Zell, the minister Bernstorf; and that individualso terrified the poor old man by details of the illconsequences which might ensue if the wrath of the newElector, George Louis, were aroused by the interferenceof the Duke of Zell in matters which concerned theElector and his wife, that the old man, feeble in mind andbody, yielded, and for a time at least left his daughter toher fate. He thought to compensate for the wrong whichhe inflicted on her under the impulse of his evil genius,Bernstorf, by adding a codicil to his will.


By this codicil he bequeathed to the daughter whomhe had wronged all that it was in his power to leave, injewels, moneys, and lands; but liberty he could not giveher, and so his love could do little more than try tolighten the fetters which he had aided to put on. Butthere was a short-lived joy in store, both for child andparents. The fetters were to be cast aside for a briefseason, and the poor captive was to enjoy an hour ofhome, of love, and of liberty.

The last year of the seventeenth century (1700)brought with it an accession of greatness to the Electoralfamily of Hanover, inasmuch as in that year a bill wasintroduced into parliament, and accepted by that body,which fixed the succession to the crown of England afterthe Princess Anne, and in default of such princess dyingwithout heirs of her own body, in the person of Sophia ofHanover. William III. had been very desirous for theintroduction of this bill; but under various pretexts ithad been deferred, the commonest business being allowedto take precedence of it, until the century had nearlyexpired. The limitations to the royal action, which formeda part of the bill as recommended in the report of thecommittee, were little to the King’s taste; for they notonly affected his employment of foreign troops in England,but shackled his own free and frequent departures fromthe kingdom. It was imagined by many that these limitationswere designed by the leaders in the cabinet, inorder to raise disputes between the two houses, by whichthe bill might be lost. Such is Burnet’s report; and hesarcastically adds thereto, that when much time had beenspent in preliminaries, and it was necessary to come tothe nomination of the person who should be named presumptiveheir next to Queen Anne, the office of doing sowas confided to ‘Sir John Bowles, who was then disorderedin his senses, and soon after quite lost them.’101‘He was,’ says Burnet, ‘set on by the party to be the firstthat should name the Electress-dowager of Brunswick,which seemed done to make it less serious when movedby such a person.’ So that the solemn question of namingthe heir to a throne was entrusted to an idiot, who, by theforms of the house, was appointed chairman of the committeefor the conduct of the bill. Burnet adds, that the‘thing,’ as he calls it, was ‘still put off for many weeks atevery time that it was called for; the motion was entertainedwith coldness, which served to heighten thejealousy; the committee once or twice sat upon it, but allthe members ran out of the house with so much indecencythat the contrivers seemed ashamed of this management;there were seldom fifty or sixty at the committee, yet inconclusion it passed, and was sent up to the Lords.’ Greatopposition was expected from the peers, and many of theirlordships designedly absented themselves from the discussion.The opposition was slight, and confined to theMarquis of Normanby, who spoke, and the Lords Huntingdon,Plymouth, Guildford, and Jefferies, who protested,against the bill. Burnet affirms, that those who wishedwell to the Act were glad to have it passed any way, andso would not examine the limitations that were in it, andwhich they thought might be considered afterwards. ‘Wereckoned it,’ says Burnet, ‘a great point carried that wehad now a law on our side for a Protestant successor.’The law was stoutly protested against by the duch*ess ofSavoy, grand-daughter of Charles I. The protest did nottrouble the King, who despatched the Act to the Electress-dowager,and the Garter to her son, by the hands of theEarl of Macclesfield.

The earl was a fitting bearer of so costly and significanta present. He had been attached to the service of themother of Sophia, and was highly esteemed by the Electress-dowagerherself. The earl had no especial commission102beyond that which enjoined him to deliver the Act, norwas he dignified by any official appellation. He wasneither ambassador, legate, plenipotentiary, nor envoy.He had with him, however, a most splendid suite; whichwas in some respects strangely constituted, for among itsmembers was the famous Toland, whose book in supportof rationality as applied to religion had been publiclyburnt by the hangman, in Ireland.

The welcome to this body of gentlemen was rightroyal. It may be said that the Electoral family hadneither cared for the dignity now rendered probable forthem, nor in any way toiled or intrigued to bring itwithin their grasp; but it is certain that their joy wasgreat when the Earl of Macclesfield appeared on thefrontier of the Electorate with the Act in one hand and theGarter in the other. He and his suite were met therewith a welcome of extraordinary magnificence, betokeningample appreciation of the double gift he brought withhim. He himself seemed elevated by his mission, for hewas in his general deportment little distinguished bycourtly manners or by ceremonious bearing; but it wasobserved that, on this occasion, nothing could have beenmore becoming than the way in which he acquitted himselfof an office which brought a whole family withinview of succession to a royal and powerful throne.

On reaching the confines of the Electorate, the membersof the deputation from England were received bypersonages of the highest official rank, who not onlyescorted them to the capital, but treated them on the waywith a liberality so profuse as to be the wonder of allbeholders. They were not allowed to disburse a farthingfrom their own purses; all they thought fit to order waspaid for by the Electoral government, by whose ordersthey were lodged in the most commodious palace inHanover, where as much homage was paid them as if103each man had been a Kaiser in his own person. TheHanoverian gratitude went so far, that not only were theambassador and suite treated as favoured guests, and thosenot alone of the princess but of the people—the latterbeing commanded to refrain from taking payment fromany of them for any article of refreshment they required—butfor many days all English travellers visiting thecity were made equally free of its caravansaries, and werepermitted to enjoy all that the inns could afford withoutbeing required to pay for the enjoyment.

The delicate treatment of the Electoral governmentextended even to the servants of the earl and his suite.It was thought that to require them to dine upon thefragments of their master’s banquets would be derogatoryto the splendour of the hospitality of the House of Hanoverand an insult to the domestics who followed in thetrain of the earl. The government accordingly disbursedhalf-a-crown a day to each liveried follower, and consideredsuch a ‘composition’ as glorious to the reputationof the Electoral house. The menials were even emancipatedfrom service during the sojourn of the deputationin Hanover, and the Elector’s numerous servants waitedupon the English visitors zealously throughout the day,but with most splendour in the morning; then, they wereto be seen hurrying to the bed-rooms of the differentmembers of the suite, bearing with them silver coffee andtea pots, and other requisites for breakfast, which mealappears to have been lazily indulged in—as if the legationhad been habitually wont to ‘make a night of it’—in bed.And there was a good deal of hard drinking on theseoccasions, but all at the expense of the husband of SophiaDorothea, who, in her castle of Ahlden, was not evenaware of that increase of honour which had fallen uponher consort, and in which she had a right to share.

For those who were, the next day, ill or indolent,104there were the ponderous state coaches to carry themwhithersoever they would go. The most gorgeous of thefêtes given on this occasion was on the evening ofthe day on which the Act was solemnly presented to theElectress-dowager. Hanover, famous as it was for itsballs, had never seen so glorious a Terpsichorean festivalas marked this particular night. At the balls in the oldElector’s time Sophia Dorothea used to shine, first inbeauty and in grace; but now her place was ill suppliedby the not fair and quite graceless Mademoiselle von derSchulenburg. The supper which followed was Olympianin its profusion, wit, and magnificence. This was at atime when to be sober was to be respectable, but when tobe drunk was not to be ungentlemanly. Consequentlywe find Toland, who wrote an account of the achievementsof the day, congratulating himself and readers bystating that, although it was to be expected that in solarge and so jovial a party some would be found evenmore ecstatic than the occasion and the companywarranted, yet that, in truth, the number of those whowere guilty of excess was but small. Even Lord Mohunkept himself sober, and to the end was able to converseas clearly and intelligibly as Lord Saye and Sele, and hisfriend ‘my Lord Tunbridge.’

This day of presentation of the Act, and of thefestival in honour of it, was one of the greatest days whichHanover had ever seen. Speaking of the mother-in-lawof Sophia Dorothea, Toland says:—‘The Electress is three-and-seventyyears old, which she bears so wonderfullywell, that, had I not many vouchers, I should scarce dareventure to relate it. She has ever enjoyed extraordinaryhealth, which keeps her still very vigorous, of a cheerfulcountenance, and a merry disposition. She steps as firmand erect as any young lady, has not one wrinkle in herface, which is still very agreeable, nor one tooth out of105her head, and reads without spectacles, as I have oftenseen her do, letters of a small character, in the dusk ofthe evening. She is as great a writer as our late queen(Mary), and you cannot turn yourself in the palacewithout meeting some monument of her industry, all thechairs of the presence-chamber being wrought with herown hands. The ornaments of the altar in the electoralchapel are all of her work. She bestowed the samefavour on the Protestant abbey, or college, of Lockurn,with a thousand other instances, fitter for your lady toknow than for yourself. She is the most constant andgreatest walker I ever knew, never missing a day, if itproves fair, for one or two hours, and often more, in thefine garden at Herrnhausen. She perfectly tires all thoseof her court who attend her in that exercise but such ashave the honour to be entertained by her in discourse.She has been long admired by all the learned world as awoman of incomparable knowledge in divinity, philosophy,history, and the subjects of all sorts of books, of whichshe has read a prodigious quantity. She speaks fivelanguages so well, that by her accent it might be adispute which of them was her first. They are LowDutch, German, French, Italian, and English, which lastshe speaks as truly and easily as any native; which to meis a matter of amazement, whatever advantages she mighthave in her youth by the conversation of her mother;for though the late king’s (William’s) mother was likewisean Englishwoman, of the same royal family; though hehad been more than once in England before the Revolution;though he was married there, and his courtcontinually full of many of that nation, yet he couldnever conquer his foreign accent. But, indeed, theElectress is so entirely English in her person, in herbehaviour, in her humour, and in all her inclinations,that naturally she could not miss of anything that106peculiarly belongs to our land. She was ever glad to seeEnglishmen, long before the Act of Succession. Sheprofesses to admire our form of government, andunderstands it mighty well, yet she asks so manyquestions about families, customs, laws, and the like, assufficiently demonstrate her profound wisdom andexperience. She has a deep veneration for the Churchof England, without losing affection or charity for anyother sort of Protestants, and appears charmed with themoderate temper of our present bishops and other ofour learned clergy, especially for their approbation of theliberty allowed by law to Protestant Dissenters. She isadored for her goodness among the inhabitants of thecountry, and gains the hearts of all strangers by herunparalleled affability. No distinction is ever made in hercourt concerning the parties into which Englishmen aredivided, and whereof they carry the effects and impressionswith them whithersoever they go, which makesothers sometimes uneasy as well as themselves. There itis enough that you are an Englishman; nor can you everdiscover by your treatment which are better liked, theWhigs or the Tories. These are the instructions given toall the servants, and they take care to execute them withthe utmost exactness. I was the first who had thehonour of kneeling and kissing her hand on account ofthe Act of Succession; and she said, among otherdiscourse, that she was afraid the nation had alreadyrepented their choice of an old woman, but that shehoped none of her posterity would give her any reasonsto grow weary of their dominion. I answered, that theEnglish had too well considered what they did to changetheir minds so soon, and they still remembered they werenever so happy as when they were last under a woman’sgovernment. Since that time, sir,’ adds the courtly butunorthodox Toland to the ‘Minister of State in Holland,’107to whom his letter is addressed, ‘we have a furtherconfirmation of this truth by the glorious administrationof Queen Anne.’

The record would be imperfect if it were not accompaniedby another ‘counterfeit presentment,’ that of herson, Prince George Louis, the husband of Sophia Dorothea.Toland describes him as ‘a proper, middle-sized, well-proportionedman, of a genteel address, and goodappearance;’ but he adds, that his Highness ‘is reserved,and therefore speaks little, but judiciously.’ ‘He is notto be exceeded,’ says Toland, ‘in his zeal against theintended universal monarchy of France, and so is mosthearty for the common cause of Europe,’ for the verygood reason, that therein ‘his own is so necessarilyinvolved.’ Toland adds, that George Louis understoodthe constitution of England better than any ‘foreigner’he had ever met with; a very safe remark, for our constitutionwas ill understood abroad; and even had thetheoretical knowledge of George Louis been ever socorrect, his practice with our constitution betrayed suchignorance that Toland’s assertion may be taken only forwhat it is worth. ‘Though,’ says the writer just named,‘though he be well versed in the art of war, and of invinciblecourage, having often exposed his person to greatdangers in Hungary, in the Morea, on the Rhine, and inFlanders, yet he is naturally of peaceable inclination;which mixture of qualities is agreed, by the experienceof all ages, to make the best and most glorious princes.He is a perfect man of business, exactly regular in theeconomy of his revenues’ (which he never was of thoseof England, seeing that he outran his liberal allowance,and coolly asked the parliament to pay his debts), ‘readsall despatches himself at first hand, writes most of hisown letters, and spends a considerable part of his timeabout such occupations, in his closet, and with his108ministers.’ ‘I hope,’ Toland says, ‘that none of ourcountrymen will be so injudicious as to think his reservednessthe effect of sullenness or pride; nor mistake thatfor state which really proceeds from modesty, caution,and deliberation; for he is very affable to such as accosthim, and expects that others should speak to him first,which is the best information I could have from all abouthim, and I partly know to be true by experience.’...‘As to what I said of his frugality in layingout the public money, I need not give a more particularproof than that all the expenses of his court, as to eating,drinking, fire, candles, and the like, are duly paid everySaturday night; the officers of his army receive theirpay every month, so likewise his envoys in every part ofEurope; and all the officers of his household, with therest that are on the civil list, are cleared off every half-year.’We are then assured that his administration wasequable, mild, and prudent—a triple assertion which hisown life and that of his hardly-used wife flatly denied.Toland, however, will have it that there never existed aprince who was so ardently beloved by his subjects.Hanover itself is said to be without division or faction,and all Hanoverians as being in a condition of ecstasy atthe Solomon-like rectitude and jurisdiction of his verySerene Highness. He describes Madame Kielmanseggeas a woman of sense and wit; and of ‘MademoiselleSchulemberg,’ he says that she is especially worthy of therank she enjoys, and that ‘in the opinion of others, aswell as mine, she is a lady of extraordinary merit!’ OfSophia Dorothea, Toland makes no note whatever.

There only remains to be added, that the legation leftHanover loaded with presents. The earl received theportrait of the Electress, with an Electoral crown indiamonds by way of mounting to the frame. GeorgeLouis bestowed upon him a gold basin and ewer. Gold109medals and snuffboxes were showered among the othermembers. The chaplain, Dr. Sandys, was especiallyhonoured by rich gifts in medals and books. He was thefirst who ever read the service of our Church in thepresence of the Electress. She joined in it with apparentfervour, and admired it generally; but when a hint wasconveyed to her that it might be well were she to introduceit in place of the Calvinistic form used in her chapel,as of the Lutheran in that of the Elector, she shook herhead, with a smile; said that there was no differencebetween the three forms, in essentials, and that episcopacywas merely the established form in England. She thoughtfor the present she would ‘let well alone.’ And it wasdone accordingly!

In the year 1705 the war was raging which France wascarrying on for the purpose of extending her limits andinfluence, and which England and her allies had enteredinto in order to resist such aggression and restore thatterribly oscillating matter—the balance of Europeanpower. The Duke of Marlborough had, at the prayer ofthe Dutch States, left the banks of the Moselle, in orderto help Holland, menaced on the side of Liège by astrong French force. Our great duke left GeneralD’Aubach at Trèves to secure the magazines which theEnglish and Dutch had laid up there; but upon theapproach of Marshal Villars, D’Aubach destroyed themagazines and abandoned Trèves, of which the Frenchimmediately took possession. This put an end to all theschemes which had been laid for attacking France on theside of the Moselle, where her frontiers were but weak,and carried her confederates back to Flanders, where, asthe old-fashioned chronicler, Salmon, remarks, ‘theyyearly threw away thousands of brave fellows againststone walls.’ Thereupon, Hanover became menaced.On this, Horace Walpole has something in point:


‘As the genuine wife was always detained in herhusband’s power, he seems not to have wholly dissolvedtheir union; for on the approach of the French armytowards Hanover, during Queen Anne’s reign, the duch*essof Halle (Ahlden) was sent home to her father andmother, who doted on their only child, and did retain herfor a whole year, and did implore, though in vain, thatshe might continue to reside with them.’ On the returnof ‘the genuine wife’ to captivity some of the old restrictionswere taken off. There was no prohibition ofintercourse with the parents; for the Duke of Zell hadresolved on proceeding to visit his daughter, but onlydeferred his visit until the conclusion of a grand hunt inwhich he was anxious to take part. He went; andbetween fatigue, exposure to inclement weather, andneglect on his return, he became seriously ill, rapidly grewworse, died on the 28th of August 1705, and by his deathgave the domains of a dukedom to Hanover and deprivedhis daughter of a newly-acquired friend.

The death of the Duke of Zell was followed by honourto Bernstorf. George Louis appointed him to the post ofprime-minister of Hanover, and at the same time madehim a count. The death of the father of Sophia Dorotheawas, however, followed by consequences more fatal thanthose just named. The severity of the imprisonment of theprincess was much aggravated; and though she was permittedto have an occasional interview with her mother, allapplication to be allowed to see her two children wassternly refused—and this refusal, as the poor prisoner usedto remark, was the bitterest portion of her misery.

It was of her son that George Louis used to say, inlater years, ‘Il est fougueux, mais il a du cœur’—hot-headedbut not heartless. George Augustus manifestedthis disposition very early in life. He was on oneoccasion hunting in the neighbourhood of Luisberg, not111many miles from the scene of his mother’s imprisonment,when he made a sudden resolution to visit her, regardlessof the strict prohibition against such a course laid on himby his father and the Hanoverian government. Layingspurs to his horse, he galloped at full speed from thefield, and in the direction of Ahlden. His astonishedsuite, seeing the direction which he was following at sofurious a rate, immediately suspected his design andbecame legally determined to frustrate it. They leftpursuing the stag and took to chasing the prince. Theheir-apparent led them far away over field and furrow,to the great detriment of the wind and persons of hispursuers; and he would have distanced the whole bodyof flying huntsmen, but that his steed was less fleet thanthose of two officers of the Electoral household, who keptclose to the fugitive, and at last came up with him on theskirts of a wood adjacent to Ahlden. With mingledcourtesy and firmness they represented to him that hecould not be permitted to go further in a direction whichwas forbidden, as by so doing he would not only betreating the paternal command with contempt, but wouldbe making them accomplices in his crime of disobedience.George Augustus, vexed and chafed, argued the matterwith them, appealed to their affections and feelings, andendeavoured to convince them both as men and asministers, as human beings and as mere official red-tapists,that he was authorised to continue his route to Ahldenby every law, earthly or divine.

The red-tapists, however, acknowledged no law undersuch circ*mstances but that of their Electoral lord andmaster, and that law they would not permit to be broken.Laying hold of the bridle of the prince’s steed, theyturned its head homewards and rode away with GeorgeAugustus in a state of full discontent and strict arrest.



Marriage of Prince George to Princess Caroline of Anspach, and of his sisterto the Crown Prince of Prussia—Honours conferred by Queen Anne onPrince George—Intention to bring over to England the Princess Sophia—Opposedby Queen Anne—Foundation of the kingdom of Prussia—Theestablishment of this Protestant kingdom promoted by the Jesuits—TheElectress Sophia’s visit to Loo—The law granting taxes on births,deaths, and marriages—Complaint of Queen Anne against the Electress—TomD’Urfey’s doggrel verses on her—Death of the Electress—Characterof her.

The Elector, meditating on this sudden development ofthe domestic affections of his son, resolved to aid suchdevelopment, not by giving him access to his mother,but by bestowing on him the hand of a consort. Carolineof Anspach was a very accomplished young lady,owing to the careful education which she received at thehands of the best-loved child of Sophia Charlotte, Electressof Brandenburg, and the first, but short-lived,Queen of Prussia. If the instructress was able, the pupilwas apt. She was quick, enquiring, intelligent, andstudious. Her application was great, her perseveranceunwearied, and her memory excellent. She learnedquickly and retained largely, seldom forgetting anythingworth remembrance; and was an equally good judge ofbooks and individuals. Her perception of character has,perhaps, never been surpassed. She had no inclinationfor trivial subjects, nor affection for trivial people. Shehad a heart and mind only for philosophers and philosophy;113but she was not the less a lively girl, or the morea pedant on that account. She delighted in lively conversation,and could admirably lead or direct it. Herknowledge of languages was equal to that of Sophia ofHanover, of whom she was also the equal in wit andin repartee. But therewith she was more tender, moregentle, more generous.

The marriage of George Augustus, Electoral Princeof Brunswick-Hanover, with Caroline, daughter of JohnFrederick, Margrave of Anspach, was solemnised in theyear 1705. The wife of George Augustus was of thesame age as her husband. She had had the misfortuneto lose her father when she was yet extremely young,and had been brought up at the Court of Berlin underthe guardianship of Sophia Charlotte, the consort ofFrederick of Prussia.

The sister of George Augustus, the only daughter ofSophia Dorothea, and bearing the same baptismal namesas her mother, was also married during the captivity ofthe latter. Three remarkable Englishmen were presentat the marriage of the daughter of Sophia Dorothea withthe Prince Royal of Prussia. These were Lord Halifax,Sir John Vanbrugh, and Joseph Addison. Queen Anne,who had restored Halifax to a favour from which he hadfallen, entrusted him to carry the bill for the naturalisationof the Electoral family and for the better securityof the Protestant line of succession, and also the Orderof the Garter for the Electoral Prince. On this mission,Addison was the invited companion of the patron whomhe so choicely flattered. Vanbrugh was present in hisofficial character of Clarencieux King-at-Arms, and performedthe ceremony of investiture. The little Court ofHanover was joyfully splendid on this doubly festiveoccasion. The nuptials were celebrated with more accompanyinggladness than ever followed them. The114pomp was something uncommon in its way, and the bridemust have been wearied of being married long before thestupendous solemnity had at length reached its slowly-arrived-atconclusion. She became Queen of Prussiain 1712.

Honours now fell thick upon the Electoral family, butSophia Dorothea was not permitted to have any sharetherein. In 1706, Queen Anne created her son, GeorgeAugustus, Baron of Tewkesbury, Viscount Northallerton,Earl of Milford Haven, Marquis and Duke of Cambridge.With these honours it was also decreed that he shouldenjoy full precedence over the entire peerage.

There was a strong party in England whose mostearnest desire it was that the Electress Sophia, in whoseperson the succession to the crown of Great Britain wassettled, should repair to London—not permanently toreside there, but in order that during a brief visit shemight receive the homage of the Protestant party. Shewas, however, reluctant to move from her books, philosophy,and cards, until she could be summoned as Queen.Failing here, an attempt was made to bring over GeorgeLouis, who was nothing loth to come; but the idea of a visitfrom him was to poor Queen Anne the uttermost abomination.Her Majesty had some grounds for her dislike toa visit from her old wooer. She was nervously in terror ofa monster popular demonstration. Such a demonstrationwas publicly talked of; and the enemies of the house ofStuart, by way of instruction and warning to the Queen,whose Jacobite bearing towards her brother was matterof notoriety, had determined, in the event of George Louisvisiting England, to give him an escort into London thatshould amount to the very significant number of some fortyor fifty thousand men.

The journal of the lord-keeper, Cowper, states theofficial answer of the princess to all the invitations which115had been agitated by the Hanoverian Tories during theyear 1704 and the succeeding summer. ‘At the Queen’sCabinet Council, Sunday, the 11th of November 1705,foreign letters read in her Majesty’s presence, the substanceremarkable, that at Hanover was a person, agent to thediscontented party here, to invite over the Princess Sophiaand the Electoral Prince (afterwards George II.) intoEngland, assuring them that a party here was ready topropose it. That the Princess Sophia had caused the sameperson to be acquainted, “that she judged the messagecame from such as were enemies to her family; that shewould never hearken to such a proposal but when it camefrom the Queen of England herself;” and withal she haddiscouraged the attempt so much that it was believednothing more could be said in it.’

Sophia, who was naturally reluctant to come to Englandupon a mere popular or partisan invitation, wouldgladly have come on the bidding of the Queen. This wasnever given. In one year the Queen sent a request to theElectress to aid her in promoting the peace of Europe,and a present to her god-daughter Anne, the first child ofGeorge Augustus and Caroline of Anspach. Earl Riverscarried both letter and present. The letter was acknowledgedwith cold courtesy by the Electress, in a communicationto the Earl of Strafford, secretary of state. The communicationbears date the 11th of November 1711; and,after saying that the gift is infinitely esteemed, the Electressadds—‘I would not, however, give my parchment for it,since that will be an everlasting monument in the archivesof Hanover, and the present for the little princess will go,when she is grown up, into another family.’

Early in 1714 Anne addressed a powerful remonstranceto the aged Electress, complaining that ever sincethe Act of Succession had been settled, there had been aconstant agitation, the object of which was to bring over116a prince of the Hanoverian house to reside in England,even during the writer’s life. She accuses the Electress ofhaving come, though perhaps tardily, into this sentiment,which had its origin in political pretensions, and she adds,that if persevered in, it may end in consequences dangerousto the succession itself, ‘which is not secure any otherways than as the princess who actually wears the crownmaintains her authority and prerogative.’

Her Majesty addressed a second letter to GeorgeAugustus, as Duke of Cambridge, expressing her thoughtswith respect to the design he had of coming into her kingdom.‘I should tell you,’ she says, ‘nothing can be moredangerous to the tranquillity of my dominions, and theright of succession in your line, and consequently mostdisagreeable to me.’

The proud Dowager-Electress had declared that ‘shecared not when she died, if on her tomb could be recordedthat she was Queen of Great Britain and Ireland.’ Thesewords are said to have given great offence to Queen Anne.

There is evidence that the last letters of Anne hadsomething to do with the death of the Electress. Theyhad hardly been received and read, when her health,which had been for some time failing, grew worse. Sherallied, however, for a time, and was able to takeexercise, but the blow had been given from which shenever recovered.

Molyneux, an agent of the Duke of Marlborough atHanover, says he was on his way to the country palaceof the Electress, when he was suddenly informed thatshe had been seized with mortal illness in one of thegarden-walks.

‘I ran up there, and found her fast expiring in thearms of the poor Electoral Princess (Caroline, afterwardsQueen of George II.) and amidst the tears of a greatmany of her servants, who endeavoured in vain to help117her. I can give you no account of her illness, but that Ibelieve the chagrin of those villainous letters I sent youlast post has been in a great measure the cause of it.The Rheingravine who has been with her these fifteenyears has told me she never knew anything make so deepan impression on her as the affair of the prince’s journey,which I am sure she had to the last degree at heart, andshe has done me the honour to tell me so twenty times.In the midst of this, however, these letters arrived, andthese, I verily believe, have broken her heart and broughther with sorrow to the grave. The letters were deliveredon Wednesday, at seven.

‘When I came to court she was at cards, but was sofull of these letters that she got up and ordered me tofollow her into the garden, where she gave them to meto read, and walked, and spoke a great deal in relation tothem. I believe she walked three hours that night. Thenext morning, which was Thursday, I heard that she wasout of order, and on going immediately to court, sheordered me to be called into her bed-chamber. She gaveme the letters I sent you to copy; she bade me sendthem next post, and bring them afterwards to her to court.This was on Friday. In the morning, on Friday, theytold me she was very well, but seemed much chagrined.She was dressed, and dined with the Elector as usual. Atfour, she did me the honour to send to town for someother copies of the same letters; and then she was stillperfectly well. She walked and talked very heartily inthe orangery. After that, about six, she went out to walkin the garden, and was still very well. A shower of raincame, and as she was walking pretty fast to get to shelter,they told her she was walking a little too fast. Sheanswered, “I believe I do,” and dropped down on sayingthese words, which were her last. They raised her up,118chafed her with spirits, tried to bleed her; but it was allin vain, and when I came up, she was as dead as if she hadbeen four days so.’2 Such was the end, on the 10th ofJune 1714, of a very remarkable woman.



The neglected captive of Ahlden—Unnoticed by her son-in-law, except tosecure her property—Madame von Schulenburg—The Queen of Prussiaprohibited from corresponding with her imprisoned mother—The captivebetrayed by Count de Bar—Death of Queen Anne—Anxiety felt for thearrival of King George—The Duke of Marlborough’s entry—Funeral ofthe Queen—Public entry of the King—Adulation of Dr. Young—MadameKielmansegge, the new royal favourite—Horace Walpole’s accountof her—‘A Hanover garland’—Ned Ward, the Tory poet—Expressionof the public opinion—The duch*ess of Kendal bribed by LordBolingbroke—Bribery and corruption general—Abhorrence of parade bythe King.

During marriage festivals and court fêtes held to celebratesome step in greatness, Sophia Dorothea continued tovegetate in Ahlden. She was politically dead; and evenin the domestic occurrences of her family, events in whicha mother might be gracefully allowed to have a part, sheenjoyed no share. The marriages of her children andthe births of their children were not officially communicatedto her. She was left to learn them through chance or thecourtesy of individuals.

Her daughter was now the second Queen of Prussia,but the King cared not to exercise his influence in behalfof his unfortunate mother-in-law. Not that he wasunconcerned with respect to her. His consort was heiressto property over which her mother had control, andFrederick was not tranquil of mind until this propertyhad been secured as the indisputable inheritance of his120wife. He was earnest enough in his correspondence withSophia Dorothea until this consummation was arrived at;and when he held the writings which secured the successionof certain portions of the property of the duch*ess onhis consort, he ceased to trouble himself further with anyquestion connected with the unfortunate prisoner; except,indeed, that he forbade his wife to hold any further intercoursewith her mother, by letter or otherwise.

Few and trivial are the incidents told of her longcaptivity. The latter had been embittered, in 1703, bythe knowledge that Mademoiselle von der Schulenburgwas the mother of another daughter, Margaret Gertrude,of whom the Elector was the father. This child was tenyears younger than her sister, Petronilla Melusina, whosubsequently figured at the Court of George II. asCountess of Walsingham, and who was the uncared-forwife of Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield.

Previous to the prohibition laid on his wife by theKing of Prussia, an epistolary intercourse had beenprivately maintained between Sophia Dorothea and herdaughter. Such intercourse had never received theKing’s sanction; and when it came to his knowledge, atthe period of the settlement of part of the maternalproperty on the daughter, he peremptorily ordered itscessation. It had been maintained chiefly by means of aChevalier de Bar; Ludwig, a privy-councillor at Berlin;Frederick, a page of the Queen’s; and a bailiff of thecastle of Ahlden. There were too many confederates ina matter so simple, and the whole of them betrayed thepoor lady, for whom they professed to act. The mostimportant agent was the chevalier: in him the duch*essconfided longest, and in his want of faith she was thelast to believe. He had introduced himself to her bysending her presents of snuff, no unusual present to alady in those days—though it is pretended that these121gifts bore a peculiar signification, known only to the donorand the recipient. They probably had less meaning thanthe presents forwarded to the prisoner by her daughter,consisting now of her portrait, another time of a watch,or some other trinket, which served to pass a letter withit, in which were filial injunctions to the poor mother tobe patient and resigned, and to put no trust in the Countde Bar.

The prisoner did not heed the counsel, but continuedto confide in a man who was prodigal of promise, andtraitorous of performance. Her hopes were fixed uponescaping, but they were foiled by the watchfulness ofnoble spies, who exultingly told her that her husbandwas a king. And it is asserted that she might have beena recognised queen if she would but have confessed thatshe had failed in obedience towards her husband. It iscertain that a renewed, but it may not have been anhonest, attempt at reconciliation was made just previousto the accession of George I., but the old reply fell fromthe prisoner’s lips:—‘If I am guilty, I am not worthy ofhim: if I am innocent, he is not worthy of me.’

The death of the Electress Sophia, in 1714, was followedvery shortly after by the demise of Queen Anne.This event had taken all parties somewhat by surprise.They stood face to face, as it were, over the dying Queen.The Jacobites were longing for her to name her brotheras her successor, whom they would have proclaimed atonce at the head of the army. The Hanoverian partywere feverish with fears and anticipations; but they hadthe regency dressed up and ready in the back ground,and Secretary Craggs, booted and spurred, was makingsuch haste as could then be made on his road to Hanover,to summon King George. The Jacobite portion of thecabinet was individually bold in resolving what ought tobe done, but they were, bodily, afraid of the responsibility122of doing it. Each man of each faction had hisking’s name ready upon his lips, awaiting only that thelethargy of the Queen should be succeeded by irretrievabledeath to give it joyful utterance. Anne diedon the 1st of August 1714; the Jacobites drew a breathof hesitation; and in the meantime the active Whigsinstantly proclaimed King George, gave Addison themission of announcing the demise of one sovereign toanother, who was that sovereign’s successor, and left theJacobites to their vexation and their threatened redress.

Lord Berkley was sent with the fleet to OrangePolder, in Holland, there to bring over the new King;but Craggs had not only taken a very long time to carryhis invitation to the monarch, but the husband of Sophia,when he received it, showed no hot haste to take advantagethereof. The Earl of Dorset was despatched overto press his immediate coming, on the ground of theaffectionate impatience of his new subjects. The Kingwas no more moved thereby than he was by the firstannouncement of Lord Clarendon, the English ambassador,at Hanover. On the night of the 5th of Augustthat envoy had received an express, announcing thedemise of the Queen. At two o’clock in the morninghe hastened with what he supposed the joyful intelligenceto Herrnhausen, and caused George Louis to be aroused,that he might be the first to salute him as King. Thenew monarch yawned, expressed himself vexed, and wentto sleep again as calmly as any serene highness. In themorning some one delicately hinted, as if to encouragethe husband of Sophia Dorothea in staying where he was,that the presbyterian party in England was a dangerousregicidal party. ‘Not so,’ said George, who seemedto be satisfied that there was no peril in the new greatness;‘not so; I have nothing to fear from the king-killers;they are all on my side.’ But still he tarried;123one day decreeing the abolition of the excise, the nextordering, like King Arthur in Fielding’s tragedy, all theinsolvent debtors to be released from prison. While thusengaged, London was busy with various pleasant occupations.

On the 3rd of August the late Queen was opened; andon the following day her bowels were buried, with as muchceremony as they deserved, in Westminster Abbey. Theday subsequent to this ceremony, the Duke of Marlborough,who had been in voluntary exile abroad, andwhose office in command of the imperial armies had beenheld for a short time, and not discreditably, by GeorgeLouis, made a triumphant entry into London. Thetriumph, however, was marred by the sudden breakingdown of his coach at Temple-Bar—an accident ominousof his not again rising to power. The Lords and Commonsthen sent renewed assurances of loyalty to Hanover,and renewed prayers that the lord there would doff hiselectoral cap, and come and try his kingly crown. Toquicken this, the lower house, on the 10th, voted himthe same revenues the late Queen had enjoyed—exceptingthose arising from the Duchy of Cornwall, whichwere, by law, invested in the Prince of Wales. On the13th Craggs arrived in town to herald the King’s coming;and on the 14th the Hanoverian party were delighted tohear that on the Pretender repairing from Lorraine toVersailles, to implore of Louis to acknowledge him publiclyas king, the French monarch had pleaded, in bar,his engagements with the House of Hanover, and thatthereon the Pretender had returned dispirited to Lorraine.On the 24th of the month the late Queen’s body wasprivately buried in Westminster Abbey, by order of hersuccessor, who appeared to have a dread of finding theold lady of his young love yet upon the earth. Thisorder was followed by another, which ejected from their124places many officials who had hoped to retain them—andchief of these was Bolingbroke. London then becameexcited at hearing that the King had arrived at theHague on the 5th of September. It was calculated that thenearer he got to his kingdom the more accelerated wouldbe his speed; but George was not to be hurried. MadameKielmansegge, who shared what was called his regardwith Mademoiselle von der Schulenburg, had been retardedin her departure from Hanover by the heavinessof her debts. The daughter of the Countess von Platenwould not have been worthy of her mother had shesuffered herself to be long detained by such a trifle. She,accordingly, gave her creditors the slip, set off to Holland,and was received with a heavy sort of delight bythe King. The exemplary couple tarried above a weekat the Hague; and, on the 16th of September George andhis retinue set sail for England. Between that day and theday of his arrival at Greenwich, the heads of the Regencywere busy in issuing decrees:—now it was for theprohibition of fireworks on the day of his Majesty’s entry;next against the admission of unprivileged carriages intoGreenwich Park on the King’s arrival; and, lastly, onepromising one hundred thousand pounds to any loyal subjectwho might be lucky enough to catch the Pretender inEngland, and who would bring him a prisoner to London.

On the 18th of September the King landed at Greenwich;and on the two following days, while he sojournedthere, he was waited on by various officials, who went smilingto the foot of the throne, and came away frowning at thecold treatment they received there. They who thoughtthemselves the most secure endured the most disgracefulfalls, especially the Duke of Ormond, who, as captain-general,had been three parts inclined to proclaim the Pretender.He repaired in gorgeous array to do homage to KingGeorge; but the King would only receive his staff of office,125and would not see the ex-bearer of it; who returned homewith one dignity the less, and for George one enemy themore.

The public entry into London on the 20th was splendid,and so was the court holden at St. James’s on thefollowing day. A lively incident, however, marked theproceedings of this first court. Colonel Chudleigh, in thecrowd, branded Mr. Allworth, M.P. for New Windsor, asa Jacobite; whereupon they both left the palace, went ina coach to Marylebone Fields, and there fought a duel,in which Mr. Allworth was killed on the spot. This wasthe first libation of blood offered to the King.

No poet affected to deplore the decease of Anne withsuch profundity of jingling grief as Young. He had notthen achieved a name, and he was eagerly desirous to buildup a fortune. His threnodia on the death of Queen Anne isa fine piece of measured maudlin; but the author appearsto have bethought himself, before he had expended halfhis stock of sorrows, that there would be more profit inwelcoming a living than bewailing a defunct monarch.Accordingly, wiping up his tears, and arraying his face inthe blandest of smiles, he addressed himself to the doubletask of recording the reception of George and registeringhis merits. He first, however, apologetically states, as hiswarrant for turning from weeping for Anne to cheeringfor George, that all the sorrow in the world cannot reversedoom, that groans cannot ‘unlock th’ inexorable tomb’;that a fond indulgence of woe is sad folly, for, from sucha course, he exclaims, with a fine eye to a poet’s profit—

What fruit can rise or what advantage flow!

So, turning his face from the tomb of Anne to the throneof George, he grandiosely waves his hat, and thus hesings:—


Welcome great stranger to Britannia’s throne!

Nor let thy country think thee all her own.

Of thy delay how oft did we complain!

Our hope reach’d out and met thee on the main.

With pray’r we smooth the billows for thy feet,

With ardent wishes fill thy swelling sheet;

And when thy foot took place on Albion’s shore,

We, bending, bless’d the Gods and ask’d no more!

What hand but thine should conquer and compose,

Join those whom interest joins, and chase our foes,

Repel the daring youth’s presumptuous aim,

And by his rival’s greatness give him fame?

Now, in some foreign court he may sit down,

And quit without a blush the British crown;

Secure his honour, though he lose his store,

And take a lucky moment to be poor.

This sneer at the Pretender is as contemptible as theflattery of George is gross; and the picture of an entirenation on its knees, blessing Olympus, and bidding thegods to restrain all further gifts, is as magnificent amixture of bombast and blasphemy as ever was made upby venal poet. But here is more of it:—

Nor think, great sir, now first at this late hour,

In Britain’s favour you exert your power;

To us, far back in time, I joy to trace

The numerous tokens of your princely grace;

Whether you chose to thunder on the Rhine,

Inspire grave councils, or in courts to shine,

In the more scenes your genius was display’d

The greater debt was on Britannia laid:

They all conspired this mighty man to raise,

And your new subjects proudly share the praise.

Such is the record of a rhymer: Walpole, in plainand truthful prose, tells a very different story. He informsus that the London mob were highly diverted at the importationby the King of his uncommon seraglio of uglywomen. ‘They were food,’ he says, ‘for all the venomof the Jacobites,’ and so far from Britain thanking him forcoming himself, or for bringing with him these numeroustokens of his princely grace, ‘nothing could be grosser127than the ribaldry vomited out in lampoons, libels, andevery channel of abuse, against the sovereign and the newcourt, and chanted even in their hearing about the publicstreets.’ Mademoiselle von Schulemberg (sic) was createdduch*ess of Kendal. ‘The younger Mademoiselle vonSchulemberg, who came over with her, and was createdCountess of Walsingham, passed for her niece, but was solike the King, that it is not very credible that the duch*ess,who had affected to pass for cruel, had waited for the left-handedmarriage.’ Lady Walsingham, as previously said,was afterwards married to the celebrated Philip Stanhope,Earl of Chesterfield.

To the duch*ess of Kendal—George (who was soshocked at the infidelity of which his wife was alleged tobe guilty) was to the mistress as inconstant as to the wifehe had been untrue. He set aside the former, to put inher place Madame Kielmansegge, called, like her mother,Countess von Platen. On the death of her husband, in1721, he raised her to the rank of Countess of Leinster inIreland, Countess of Darlington and Baroness of Brentfordin England. Coxe says of her, that her power over theKing was not equal to that of the duch*ess of Kendal, buther character for rapacity was not inferior. Horace Walpolehas graphically portrayed Lady Darlington in thefollowing passage:—

‘Lady Darlington, whom I saw at my mother’s in myinfancy, and whom I remember by being terrified at herenormous figure, was as corpulent and ample as the duch*esswas long and emaciated. The fierce black eyes, large, androlling beneath two lofty arched eyebrows, two acres ofcheeks spread with crimson, an ocean of neck that overflowed,and was not distinguished from, the lower part ofher body, and no part restrained by stays—no wonder thata child dreaded such an ogress.’

The mob had a strong Tory leaven at this time, and128among the multitude circulated a mass of broadsides andballads, of so openly a seditious character that thepower of the law was stringently applied to suppress theevil. Before the year was out half the provincial townsin England were infected with seditious sentimentsagainst the Whig government, which had brought in aKing whose way of life was a scandal to them. This feelingof contempt for both King and government was wideas well as deep; and it was so craftily made use of by theleaders of public opinion, that, before George had beenthree months upon the throne, the ‘High-church rabble,’as the Tory party was called, in various country townswere violent in their proceedings against the government;and at Axminster, in Devonshire, shouted for thePretender, and drank his health as King of England.The conduct of George to his wife, Sophia Dorothea, wasas satirically dealt with, in the way of censure, as any ofhis delinquencies, and his character as a husband was notforgotten in the yearly tumults of his time, which brokeout on every recurring anniversary of Queen Anne’s birthday(April the 23rd) to the end of his reign.

If the new King was dissatisfied with his new subjects,he liked as little the manners of England. ‘Thisis a strange country,’ said his Majesty; ‘the first morningafter my arrival at St. James’s, I looked out of thewindow, and saw a park, with walks, a canal, and soforth, which they told me were mine. The next day,Lord Chetwynd, the ranger of my park, sent me a finebrace of carp out of my canal, and I was told that Imust give five guineas to Lord Chetwynd’s servant, forbringing me my own carp, out of my own canal, in myown park!’

The monarch’s mistresses loved as much to receivemoney as the King himself loved little to part from it.The duch*ess of Kendal’s rapacity has been mentioned:129one instance of it is mentioned by Coxe, on the authority ofSir Robert Walpole, to the effect that ‘the restoration ofLord Bolingbroke was the work of the duch*ess of Kendal.He gained the duch*ess by a present of eleven thousandpounds, and obtained a promise to use her influence overthe King for the purpose of forwarding his complete restoration.’Horace Walpole states that the duch*ess wasno friend of Sir Robert, and wished to make Lord Bolingbrokeminister in his room. The rapacious mistress wasjealous of Sir Robert’s credit with the monarch. Monarchand minister transacted business through the medium ofindifferent Latin; the King not being able to speakEnglish, and Sir Robert, like a country gentleman ofEngland, knowing nothing of either German or French.‘It was much talked of,’ says the lively writer of the‘Reminiscences of the Courts of the first two Georges,’‘that Sir Robert, detecting one of the Hanoverian ministersin some trick or falsehood before the King’s face,had the firmness to say to the German, “Mentiris impudentissime!”The good-humoured monarch onlylaughed, as he often did when Sir Robert complained tohim of his Hanoverians selling places, nor would be persuadedthat it was not the practice of the English court.’The singularity of this complaint is, that it was made bya minister who was notorious for complacently saying,that ‘Every man in the House of Commons had his price.’



Arrival of Caroline, Princess of Wales—The King dines at the Guildhall—Proclamationof the Pretender—Counter-proclamations—Governmentprosecutions—A mutiny among the troops—Impeachment of the Dukeof Ormond of high treason—Punishment of political offenders—Failureof rebellion in Scotland—Punishment for wearing oak-boughs—Riot atthe mug-house in Salisbury Court, and its fatal consequences—ThePrince of Wales removed from the palace—Dissensions between theKing and the Prince—Attempt on the life of King George—Marriageof the King’s illegitimate daughter—The South-Sea Bubble—Birth ofPrince William, the butcher of Culloden—Death of the duch*ess of Zell—Stricterimprisonment of the captive of Ahlden—Her calm death—Anew royal favourite, Mrs. Brett—Death of the King.

While Sophia Dorothea continued to linger in her prison,her husband and son, with the mistresses of the formerand the wife of the latter, were enjoying the advantagesand anxieties which surround a throne. The wife of thePrince of Wales, Caroline, arrived at Margate on the 13thof October. She was accompanied by her two eldestdaughters, Anne and Amelia. Mother and children restedduring one day in the town where they had landed, slept onenight at Rochester, and arrived at St. James’s on the 15th.The royal coronation took place in Westminster Abbeyon the 20th of the same month. Amid the pomp of theoccasion, no one appears to have thought of her whoshould have been Queen-consort. There was muchsplendour and some calamity, for as the procession wassweeping by, several people were killed by the fall ofscaffolding in the Palace Yard. The new King entered131the Abbey amid the cheers and screams of an excitedmultitude.

Three days after, the monarch, with the Prince andPrincess of Wales, dined with the Lord Mayor and corporationin the Guildhall, London, and there George performedthe first grateful service to his people, by placinga thousand guineas in the hands of the sheriffs, for therelief of the wretched debtors then immured in the neighbouringhorrible prisons of Newgate and the Fleet.

Within a month, the general festivities were a littlemarred by the proclamation of the Pretender, dated fromLorraine, wherein he laid claim to the throne whichGeorge was declared to have usurped. At this periodthe Duke of Lorraine was a sovereign prince, maintainingan envoy at our court; but the latter was ordered towithdraw from the country immediately after the arrivalof the ‘Lorraine proclamation’ by the French mail.Already George I. began to feel that on the throne hewas destined to enjoy less quiet than his consort in herprison.

The counter-proclamations made in this country,chiefly on account of the Jacobite riots at Oxford andsome other places, were made up of nonsense and malignity,and were well calculated to make a good cause wearthe semblance of a bad one. They decreed, or announced,thanksgiving on the 20th of January, for the accessionof the House of Hanover; and, to show what a portionof the people had to be thankful for, they ordered arigorous execution of the laws against papists, non-jurors,and dissenters generally, who were assumed to be, as amatter of course, disaffected to the reigning house.

After some of the first troubles of his reign had beengot over, the King visited Hanover, where he invested hisbrother, the Duke of York, and Prince Frederick with theOrder of the Garter. He even partook of the pleasures of132the chase in the woods around Ahlden; but except orderinga more stringent rule for the safe-keeping of his consort,he took no further notice of Sophia Dorothea. He returnedto London on the 18th of January 1716–17, and on thatday week, hearing that the episcopal clergy of Scotlandcontinued to refuse to pray for him, he issued a decree,which compelled many to fly the country or otherwiseabscond. The English clergy experienced even harshertreatment for less offence. I may mention, as an instance,the case of the Rev. Laurence Howell, who, for writing apamphlet called ‘The State of Schism in the Church of Englandtruly stated,’ was stripped of his gown by the executioner,fined 500l., imprisoned three years, and was sentencedto be twice publicly whipped by the hangman!

On the first absence of the King from England, thePrince of Wales was appointed regent, but he was neverentrusted with that high office a second time. ‘It is probable,’says Walpole, ‘that the son discovered too muchfondness for acting the king, as that the father conceiveda jealousy of his having done so. Sure it is, that on theKing’s return, great divisions arose in the court, and theWhigs were divided—some devoting themselves to thewearer of the crown and others to the expectant.’ Sothat, in the second year of his reign, the King not only heldhis wife in prison, but his son and heir was banished fromhis presence.

Passing over the record of public events, the nextinteresting fact connected with the private life of thefaithless husband of Sophia Dorothea was the marriage ofhis illegitimate daughter Charlotte with Lord ViscountHowe. The bride’s mother was Charlotte Sophia, daughterof the Countess von Platen; and Charlotte Sophia wasdecently married to Baron Kielmansegge, Master of theHorse to George I. In 1719, at the time of the abovemarriage, the baroness was a widow. George I. himself133gave away the bride as the baroness’s niece. ‘The King,’says Walpole, ‘was indisputably her father; and the firstchild born of this union was named George, after the King.’The Princess Amelia, daughter of George II., ‘treatedLady Howe’s daughter, “Mistress Howe,” as a princess ofthe blood-royal, and presented her with a ring, containinga small portrait of George I., with a crown in diamonds.’The best result of this marriage was, that the famousAdmiral Howe was one of the sons born of it, and that wasthe only benefit which the country derived from the viciousconduct of George I. If the marriage of the child of onemistress tended to mortify the vanity of another, as is saidto have been the case with Von der Schulenburg, KingGeorge found a way to pacify her. That lady was alreadyduch*ess of Munster, in Ireland, and the King, in April1719, created her a baroness, countess, and duch*ess of GreatBritain, by the name, style, and title of Baroness of Glastonbury,Countess of Feversham, and duch*ess of Kendal;and this done, the King soon after embarked at Gravesendfor Hanover.

The year 1720 saw King George more upon the Continentthan at home, where indeed universal misery reigned,in consequence of the bursting of the great South SeaBubble, which had promised such golden solidity—whichended in such disappointment and ruin, and for furtheringwhich the duch*ess of Kendal and her daughter receivedbribes of 10,000l. each. In April of the following year,William Augustus was born at Leicester House. Thedaughter of Sophia Dorothea was his godmother; herhusband and the Duke of York were the godfathers. Thisson of George Augustus and Caroline of Anspach, Princeand Princess of Wales, was afterwards famous as the Dukeof Cumberland.

On the 17th of January 1721, the royal family went intomourning, and this was the only domestic incident of the134reign in which Sophia Dorothea was allowed to participate.With her, the mourning was not a mere formality; it wasnot assumed, but was a testimony offered, in sign of hersorrow, for the death of her mother, Eleanora, duch*ess ofZell. The duch*ess had seen little of her daughter forsome time previous to her death, but she bequeathed to heras much of her private property as she had power todispose of by will.

Sophia Dorothea had now a considerable amount offunds placed to her credit in the bank of Amsterdam. Ofthe incidents of her captivity nothing whatever is known,save that it was most rigidly maintained. She was forgottenby the world, because unseen, and they who kepther in prison were as silent about her as the keepers of theMan in the Iron Mask were about that mysterious objectof their solicitude. Where little is known there is littleto be told. The captive bore her restraint with a patiencewhich even her daughter must have admired; but she wasnot without hopes of escaping from a thraldom from whichit was clear she could never be released by the voluntaryact of those who kept her in an undeserved custody. Itis believed that her funds at Amsterdam were intended byher to be disposed of in the purchase of aid to secure herescape; but it is added that her agents betrayed her,embezzled her property, and by revealing for what purposethey were her agents, brought upon her a closer arrestthan any under which she had hitherto suffered. Romancehas made some additions to these items of intelligence—items,great portions of which rest only on conjecture.The undoubted fact that much of the property which sheinherited was to pass to her children rendered the deathof a mother a consummation to be desired by (it was said)so indifferent a son and daughter as the Prince of Walesand the Queen of Prussia. The interest held by herhusband was of a similar description, and the fatal consequences135that might follow were not unprovided for bythe friends of the prisoner. ‘It is known,’ says Walpole,‘that in Queen Anne’s time there was much noise aboutFrench prophets. A female of that vocation (for we knowfrom Scripture that the gift of prophecy is not limited toone gender) warned George I. to take care of his wife, ashe would not survive her a year. That oracle was probablydictated to the French Deborah by the Duke andduch*ess of Zell, who might be apprehensive that theduch*ess of Kendal might be tempted to remove entirelythe obstacle to her conscientious union with their son-in-law.Most Germans are superstitious, even such as havefew other impressions of religion. George gave suchcredit to the denunciation, that, on the eve of his lastdeparture, he took leave of his son and the Princess ofWales with tears, telling them he should never see themmore. It was certainly his own approaching end thatmelted him, not the thought of quitting for ever two personsthat he hated.’

The poor princess, ‘Queen of Great Britain,’ as thosewho loved her were wont to call her, had been longin declining health, born of declining hopes; and yet sheendured all things with patience, contenting herself in herlast moments with reasserting her innocence, commendingherself to God, naming her children, and pardoning heroppressors. On the 2nd of November 1726, after muchhope, not only deferred but crushed out; after much disappointmentof expectations, built on the promises of falsefriends; and after marked but gradual decrease of health,Sophia Dorothea became suddenly and dangerously ill.She lost all consciousness, and on the 13th of the monthshe lay dead on her bed in the castle of Ahlden.

The news soon reached Hanover, where the authorities,with a feeling of becomingness, ordered a generalmourning as for the death of a queen in the land. As136soon as this decent step was known in England, theKing was vulgar in his wrath. He sent peremptoryorders to Hanover to do away immediately with all signsof mourning, and the officials, if not the public, went intoordinary, or holiday, gear.

At the Court of Berlin, the daughter of SophiaDorothea, the King, and consequently all the Prussianfashionable world, assumed the deepest mourning, as fora Queen of England so nearly allied to the Queen ofPrussia. The King of Great Britain took this naturalcirc*mstance for an insult; but he was obliged to bear,albeit with blaspheming impatience, what he could notresent. The simple royal order for the funeral was thatthe duch*ess of Ahlden should be buried in a grave dugfor her on the banks of the Aller. The soil was duginto, over and over again, but the water rushed in andmocked the attempts of the workmen. Meanwhile, thebody of Sophia Dorothea lay in a plain leaden coffin inthe castle and no one knew what to do with it, for fearof offending the King. After several weeks had passed,a few strong men carried it down to a cellar, and, coveringit over with a cart-load or two of sand, left it tillfurther gracious orders should arrive from over thewater.

At the end of six months there was a stir in theroyal stud stables at Zell. Four of the King’s horses weretaken thence and were ridden over to Ahlden. The chiefof the men in charge there showed the royal order bywhich he was commissioned to take up the body frombeneath the heap of sand and carry it back to Zell. Andthis was to be done without any ceremony whatever.

Accordingly, at midnight the coffin was draggedfrom under the sand, hoisted into a suitable vehicle, andit was unceremoniously jolted over the rough roads tillit reached the chief church in the old ducal city of Zell.137The necessary workpeople were ready. They carriedthe plain leaden coffin down to the vault below, andwithout any circ*mstance of prayer or outward respect,they cast it into a corner; and there it still lies, withouteven a name on the rough lead to indicate whose sadburthen of life is deposited within.

Her royal husband in England simply notified in theLondon Gazette that a duch*ess of Ahlden had died ather residence on the date above named; but he did notadd that he had thereby lost a wife, or his children losta mother. No intimation was given of the relationshipshe held towards him or them. The qualityof his affection was illustrated by his explosionof rage when he heard that his daughter, withthe Court of Prussia, had gone into mourning for thedeath of her mother. The husband of Sophia Dorotheabecame of gayer humour than usual after her death.After receiving intelligence of that event, the royalwidower went to see the Italian comedians in the Haymarketact ‘Il Mercante Prodigo,’ or ‘Harlequin ProdigalMerchant.’ He liked this sort of entertainment sowell, that, a few nights later, he commanded the performanceof ‘Pantalone, Barone di Sloffenburgo,’ at theKing’s Theatre. On Christmas Eve, the newspapers recordedthe fact that Prince Waldeck (who had come overwith despatches in November) had taken leave of hisMajesty and had returned to Hanover. Therewith seemedto have come the end of a long, and dark, and mournfulhistory.

In the list of the persons of note and distinction inGreat Britain and Ireland, and of the Foreign Princeswho died in the year 1726—published in the Daily Postin January 1727, no record was made of the demise ofSophia Dorothea. On the other hand, there is an entryof a bereavement by which her husband, the King, had138been afflicted, in the same mouth of November, namely,in the death of ‘Mr. Mahomet, valet de chambre to hisMajesty.’

A story was current that Sophia Dorothea, on herdeath-bed, had summoned her husband, the King, tomeet her at the great judgment seat of Heaven within ayear. This summons was conveyed in a letter addressedby her to him, but it was not delivered to the King tillafter he had, in nervous restlessness, set out for Hanover.

On the night of the 2nd of June 1727, little HoraceWalpole, then ten years old, was conducted by the King’sillegitimate daughter, Petronilla Melusina (Lady Walsingham)to the King himself, to kiss the royal hand as his Majestypassed on his way to sup (for the last time, as it proved)with Petronilla’s mother (the former von der Schulenburg,now duch*ess of Kendal) the King’s old mistress.This presentation had been accorded to the prayer of thefirst minister’s wife, Horace Walpole’s mother.

On the following day, the 3rd of June, the King left England.On the night of that day week he died at Osnaburgh,aged sixty-seven years and thirteen days. The King hadlanded at Vaer, in Holland, on the 7th, and he travelledthence to Utrecht, by land, escorted by the Guards tothe frontiers of Holland. On Friday, the 9th, he reachedDalden, at twelve at night, when he was apparently inexcellent health. He partook of supper largely, andwith appetite, eating, among other things, part of amelon, a fruit which has killed more than one emperorof Germany. At three the next morning he resumed hisjourney. According to the story to which allusion hasjust been made, the letter of Sophia Dorothea was thengiven to him. He read it, appeared shocked, and becameill. He was probably moved by something more thanmere sentiment, for he had not travelled two hours whenhe was attacked by violent abdominal pains. He hurried139on to Linden, where dinner awaited him; but, being ableto eat nothing, he was immediately bled, and other remediesmade use of. Anxious to reach Hanover, he orderedthe journey to be continued with all speed. He fell intoa lethargic doze in the carriage, and so continued, leaningon a gentleman in waiting who was with him in thecarriage. To this attendant he feebly announced inFrench, ‘I am a dead man.’ He reached the episcopalpalace at Osnaburgh at ten that night; was again bled inthe arm and foot, but ineffectually; his lethargy increased,and he died about midnight.

The King’s mistress, the duch*ess of Kendal, who hadgone thither to meet him, tore her hair, beat her breast,and uttered loud cries of despair at this bereavement.She repaired to Brunswick and shut herself up, for threemonths, as the most afflicted of widows. Subsequently,she returned to her house near Isleworth. A raven wasthe last pet of this lady; and the familiarity of the twogave rise to the popular legend that George had promisedto visit his old mistress, after death, if such circ*mstancewere allowed, and that he was keeping hisword in the shape of the much caressed bird in sables.

Even in her estrangement from her husband, SophiaDorothea never uttered a word of complaint against him.She never failed to exhibit either mildness or dignity inher captivity: on the contrary, she manifested both; andCoxe says of her, in his ‘Memoirs of Walpole,’ that, ‘onreceiving the sacrament once every week, she neveromitted making the most solemn asseverations that shewas not guilty of the crime laid to her charge.’ Herson (George II.) had a double fault in his father’s eyes,namely, his popularity, and, at one time, his love for hismother—whom he loved, we are told, as much as hehated his father. A pleasant household, a sorry hearth;mistresses resting their rouged cheeks on the monarch’s140bosom, a wife in prison, and a son hating her oppressor,and loving, but not redressing, the oppressed. HadSophia Dorothea survived her consort, her son, it is said,had determined to bring her over to England and proclaimher Queen-dowager. Lady Suffolk, the snubbedmistress of that son, expressed to Horace Walpole hersurprise on going (in the morning after the intelligence ofthe death of George I. had reached England) to the newQueen, ‘at seeing, hung up in the Queen’s dressing-room,a whole-length of a lady in royal robes; and, inthe bed-chamber, a half-length of the same person, neitherof which Lady Suffolk had ever seen before. The princehad kept them concealed, not daring to produce themduring the life of his father. The whole-length he probablysent to Hanover. The half-length I have frequentlyseen in the library of the Princess Amelia, who told me itwas the property of her grandmother. She bequeathed it,with other pictures of her family, to her nephew, theLandgrave of Hesse.’

If George II. never in his later days named his mother,it was because the enemies of the dynasty pretended totrace in the features of the second George a likeness toCount Königsmark, his mother’s gallant cavalier! TheWhigs had denied the legitimacy of the son of James II.,and the Tories embraced with eagerness an opportunity todeny that of the heir of Brunswick.

The son of Sophia Dorothea was the pupil of hisgrandmother, Sophia of Hanover; and his boyhood didlittle credit to the system, or the acknowledged goodsense of his instructress.

When the Earl of Macclesfield was at Hanover, in theyear 1700, bearing with him that Act of Succession whichsecured a throne for the husband and son of SophiaDorothea, that son, George Augustus, was not yet out ofhis ‘teens.’ He was of that age at which a prince is141considered wise enough to rule kingdoms, but is yetincapable of governing himself. At that time he wassaid to ‘give the greatest hopes of himself that we, or anypeople on earth, could desire.’ He was not of proudstature, indeed—and Alexander was not six feet high;but Toland asserts, what is very hard to believe, thatGeorge possessed a winning countenance, and a manlyaspect and deportment. In later years, he was rigid offeature, and walked as a man does who is stiff in thejoints. He was, in the days of his youth, a graceful andeasy speaker; that is, his phrases were well constructed,and he expressed them with facility. His complexionwas fair, and his hair a light brown. Like his father, hespoke Latin fluently; and English much better than hisfather, but with a decided foreign accent, like Williamof Orange. As the utmost care was taken, according toToland, to furnish him with such other accomplishmentsas are fit for a gentleman and a prince, it is a pity thathe made so unprofitable a use of so desirable a provision.He was tolerably well-versed in history, but history tohim was not philosophy teaching by example; for though,in his earlier years, panegyrists said of him, not only thathis inclinations were virtuous, but that he was ‘whollyfree from all vice,’ his life, subsequently, could not be socharacterised, and the later practice marred the fair precedent.But let Toland limn the object of his love.

‘These acquired parts,’ he says, ‘with a generous dispositionand a virtuous inclination, will deservedly renderhim the darling of our people, and probably grace theEnglish throne with a most knowing prince.’ In thepopular sense of the term, the last words cannot bedenied; and yet he never knew how to obtain, or caredhow to merit, his people’s love. ‘He learns English withinexpressible facility, and has not only learned of hisgrandmother to have a real esteem for Englishmen, but142he likewise entertains a high notion of the wisdom, goodness,and power of the English government, concerningwhich I heard him, to my great satisfaction, ask severalpertinent questions, and such as betokened no mean orcommon observation. I was surprised to find he understoodso much of our affairs already; but his greatvivacity will not let him be ignorant of anything. Thereis nothing more to be wished,’ says Toland, ‘but that hebe proof against the temptations which accompany greatness,and defended from the poisonous infection offlatterers, who are the greatest bane of society, and commonlyoccasion the ruin of princes, if not in their lives,yet, at least, in their fame and reputation.’ It was underthe temptations alluded to that George Augustus madeshipwreck of his fame. His history, however, will betraced more fully hereafter. At present we will onlyconsider the career and character of his sister.

The daughter of Sophia Dorothea, some years youngerthan her brother, was a promising girl when the Act ofSuccession opened a throne to her father, but not to hermother. She had in her youth sweetness of manners,fairness of features, and a soft and winning voice. Herfair brown hair, as in her mother’s case, heightened thegrace and charms of a fair complexion; and her blueeyes were the admiration of the poets, and the inspirationeven of those whom the gods had not made poetical.Her features, taken singly, were not without defect; butthe expression which pervaded them was a good substitutefor purely unintellectual beauty. The ElectressSophia was, if not her governess, the superintendent of hergovernesses; and the training, rigid and formal, failed inthe development that was most to be desired. ‘In mindingher discourse to others,’ says Toland, ‘and by what shewas pleased to say to myself, she appears to have a morethan ordinary share of good sense and wit. The whole143town and court commend the easiness of her manners,and the evenness of her disposition; but, above all her otherqualities, they highly extol her good humour, which is themost valuable endowment of either sex, and the foundationof most other virtues. Upon the whole, considering herpersonal merit and the dignity of her family, I heartilywish and hope to see her some day Queen of Sweden.’This hearty wish was not to be realised. The youngerSophia Dorothea became the wife of a brute and the motherof a hero. The old paternal Seigneurie of ‘D’Olbreuse,dans le pays D’Aulnis,’ was raised to the dignity of aCountship in 1729. It became the property of SophiaDorothea’s children, George II., King of England, andSophia, Queen of Prussia. They, with some propriety—butprobably under constraint of the law of France—madeit over to the nearest French relative of EleanoraD’Olbreuse, Sophia Dorothea’s mother—Alexandre Prevostde Gayemont.

This would seem to be the end of a sad history. Butthe persecution of Sophia Dorothea did not terminatewith her life.

A hundred and seven years after Sophia Dorotheahad ended that unhappy life, her unhappy story wasrevived, and her memory was now made to suffer undercalumny that had not been thought of in her life-time.

In the year 1833 a Swede, named Propst Wisselgren,contributed to No. 33 of the ‘Magazin für die Literaturdes Auslandes’ the copy of an alleged love-letter, theoriginal of which existed, it was said, in Sophia Dorothea’shand-writing, in the archives of the Count de la Gardie.

In the year 1836 Cramer, in his ‘Denkwürdigkeitender Gräfin Maria Aurora von Königsmark,’ referred tothis letter, and expressed his disbelief in its genuinenessand authenticity.

Until 1847 the memory of Sophia Dorothea was left144unassailed by any further attempt against it. In thatyear, however, further alleged autograph letters, not onlyof hers, but also others said to be written by Königsmark,appeared in the ‘Literarische Blätter für Unterhaltung.’They were preceded by an introduction and explanationsby the Swedish writer Palmblad, who had selected them,it was stated, from more than a hundred which werethen in the possession of Count Stephen de la Gardie, ofLöberod, in Schonen.

How did these alleged autograph letters find theirway into Sweden?

They had previously been kept, we are gravely told,in a drawer in Oefiwedskloster, by the widowed CountessAmelia Ramel (a Löwenhaupt by birth), at whose death,in 1810, they came into the possession of her son, aCount de la Gardie. Löberod was acquired by a CountJacob Gustus de la Gardie in 1817.

But how did the Lady Amelia Ramel become theholder of these extraordinary documents?

The answer is: As the descendant of General Karlvon Löwenhaupt, who had married Amelia, one of thetwo sisters of Königsmark. This lady is stated to havemade over this mass of letters to her children, with thisobservation: Here are the letters captured again(wiedererobert) at great peril, which cost a brother hislife and a king’s mother her freedom.

Captured, seized, recovered at great peril! When?where? by whom? from whom?

No reply; not the smallest particle of evidence isgiven on these important points. If they were obtainedunder circ*mstances of great danger, it must have beenfrom some one who considered them of great importance,but who must have allowed himself to be plundered ofthem with great indifference. No one ever heard of the145robbery or capture, nor of the means by which it waseffected.

In 1838 one letter saw the light. In 1847 severalwere published in Germany and Sweden. To all enquiry,no other answer has been made than that the letters hadexisted since 1810 in the keeping of the persons abovenamed; that they had come down from Amelia Königsmark,who had wedded with a Löwenhaupt; that theywere genuine letters, and that they conclusively provedthe guilt of Sophia Dorothea and Count Königsmark.

Sophia Dorothea, it must be remembered, never hadthe guilt implied laid to her charge. The name of Königsmarkwas never once uttered at her trial—if it may so becalled. She was punished for alleged disobedience to, anddesertion of, her husband. She retained so much of thecharacter of a wife that she was not allowed to marryagain. She remained till her death the wife of a King ofEngland, with whom she would hold no association. Herhusband kept her for more than thirty years a stateprisoner. How could this cruelty be better justified thanby blasting her character and memory for ever—longafter all parties were far beyond questioning? Howcould this dire penalty be inflicted, after death, moreeasily than by preparing a correspondence between thetwo personages, which might be kept in a cloisterdrawer till it could be produced to serve its infamouspurpose?

The persons who held these papers in later years mayhave conscientiously believed in their genuineness. Ofthe contemporaries of Sophia Dorothea, the Countess vonPlaten and even Bernstorf are said to have been able toimitate the handwriting of Sophia Dorothea. We do notinsinuate that they were willing to forge these letters.But some one probably did so. Königsmark’s lettersmay indeed be genuine; but it does not follow that they146were addressed to the wife of him who was afterwardsGeorge I. Without name, date, or address, they mightserve to calumniate any other lady of Sophia Dorothea’stime.

Of the letters themselves, Palmblad, who inspectedthe precious collection, states in his ‘Aurora Königsmark,’or rather in an appendix to the first part of that historicalromance, that they consist of several hundreds, of whichtwo-thirds are by Königsmark, the other third by SophiaDorothea, and that in print they would fill a stoutvolume.

Those of the princess are in an elegant, somewhatflowing hand, and, with rare exception, correct in expression.They are on fine, gilt-edged paper. Königsmark’sletters are, we are told, on coarse, thick paper, whichhardly agreed with his fine gentlemanly style in everything.They are legibly written, but the spelling is thatof an ignorant school-boy.

In some portions, cyphers, numbers, or disguisednames were used, the interpretation of which was easilygot at, as would be the case if the letters were forgedand were intended to be easily understood a century afterthe events had happened to which they referred.

Very few of the letters—none of importance—haveany address on them. They have strayed from theirenvelopes, says Palmblad; but envelopes were not thenin use. Letters were folded and the address written onthe blank outside folding. Some few, according to Palmblad,have external directions and are sealed withKönigsmark’s private seal—a heart within the motto, ‘Cosifosse il vostro dentre il mio’ (so may be yours withinmine!). The post-mark is on some. One of them isdirected, ‘Pour la personne connue.’ Palmblad suggeststhat it was originally enclosed within one ‘to the Confidant.’Several are addressed to ‘Mademoiselle La147Frole de Knesebeck.’ The latter name is occasionally spelt‘Qnesbegk.’ A nearly complete (and very convenient)absence of dates defies all attempts to place this correspondencein anything like chronological order. Conjecturally,the experts suggest that the dates extend from1688 to 1693, inclusive—six years.

When it is remembered that the princess and Königsmarkwere closely watched, in order, if possible, to makea case out against them, and that the two friends knewthey were surrounded by spies, the idea of their sendingletters through the post, and of such letters being preservedinstead of destroyed, seems folly too absurd forserious belief.

‘The contents of these letters,’ Palmblad informs us,‘consist, for the most part, of mutual assurances of loveand everlasting fidelity; of complaints over separation andof the constraint put on them by the secret relationsexisting between them; of plans for privately meeting, orexpressed hopes of a coming uninterrupted life together;of accounts of their occupations, pleasures, and theirconversational intercourse with others; mixed up withjealous reproaches, and subsequent apologies for makingthem. When both pass an evening at court festivals,where the princess is unable to bestow a tender glance ora stolen word on her beloved, or has spoken or walkedwith another cavalier, then Königsmark addresses to heran epistle full of complaints at her coquetry, and her ‘airsconnus.’ With the same mistrust does the princess noticeevery step of her (supposed) adorer. Nevertheless, no twopersons so tenderly loved one another as Königsmark hisLeonisse—the fond pseudonym of the princess.’

As far as the above description goes, any fairly practisedhand might have invented the whole series of letters.

Even Professor Palmblad does not venture to guesswhen the correspondence began. His assertion that148Königsmark was at Hanover, in the military service ofthat state, in 1685, is disproved by the painstaking authorof ‘Die Herzogin von Ahlden,’ who finds Königsmarksettled there not till 1688. Palmblad, with his earlierdate, points laughingly to the birth of Sophia Dorothea’sdaughter, in 1687; and asks if the Prussian royal family,into which that daughter married, has in its veins theblood of Guelph or of Königsmark. In like easy manner,regardless of chronology, the Jacobites in England used tospeak of the son of George I. as ‘Young Königsmark!’

When Königsmark was absent campaigning, theprincess, says Palmblad, sent him her portrait, and hereturned a gift of his own portrait, painted expressly forher in Brussels. Whereupon, Palmblad says, ‘the princessforwarded to him her diary.’ This has not yet beenfound or forged, but Palmblad has no doubt as to thenature of its contents. The whole story is founded onletters which the least scrupulous of autograph dealerswould hesitate to warrant.

What follows is to be read with the remembrancethat the plotters against Sophia Dorothea never lost sightof her or of the count. They could not make a stepwithout being observed by spies, employed by principalswho wished to destroy both the princess and Königsmark.Through the very eye-holes of the tapestried figures in thepalace human eyes peered, in search of evidence to workthe ruin of those two friends. Not finding it, Königsmarkwas secretly murdered, and Sophia Dorothea shut up forthe remainder of her life, on no other charge than that ofdeserting her husband’s society and refusing to returnto it.

This is Palmblad’s story: ‘During Königsmark’spresence at court, he was generally admitted to theprincess by her confidant, after midnight, and he sometimesremained four-and-twenty hours with her. He had149previously declared himself indisposed and under medicalregimen as an excuse for appearing to keep within doors.Aye,’ adds Palmblad, bolder grown, ‘the princess herselfglided secretly at night into Königsmark’s quarters’(which were at some distance from the palace). ‘She speaksin the most fervid expressions of her love, her ‘ardeur,’ anddeclares herself ready to sacrifice for him her reputation,and to accompany him to the remotest corner of theworld! Königsmark hesitates; his fortune is not secure,his position uncertain, and he must first seek glory andriches in war: but her prayers detain him in Hanover.’

These two persons could have said this and more toone another in complete or comparative safety. Towrite such things down, and to preserve what was written,was madness, fatal to life and honour if discovered. Butif these, and much worse, were not written down by someone, how could Sophia Dorothea be made infamous forever in the eyes of posterity?

One can only judge of the bushel by the sample;and of the whole correspondence, which is now in thelibrary of the University of Lund, by the fragmentaryextracts which have been made public. If two persons,knowing they were watched, and their letters detained,could write such fiercely ardent assurances of mutuallove, express such utter contempt for the consequencesof discovery, and explain to one another how they weretracked and betrayed, they must have been hopelesslyinsane. An enemy would bend invention to such courseas the one best calculated to destroy those against whomit was directed. But there is one point which seemsconclusive against the genuineness of this correspondence.There are passages in the alleged letters of Königsmarkto the princess which no man, however devoid of everymanly quality, would write to a woman whom he loved—wouldwrite to any woman at all. These passages150not even the most utterly and irretrievably abandoned ofwomen would be able to read without sense of insult andoutrage even to such soiled and shattered womanhoodas hers. A man writing such things, supposing they wereintelligible to the person addressed, would in that person’seyes be loathsome and execrable for ever.

Of course it is a horrible thought that any one couldbe sufficiently wicked and cruel to forge letters with theidea of slaying reputations by the forgery. But thiswickedness and this cruelty were not uncommon. Scoresupon scores of letters have been forged in France alonein order to destroy the reputation of Sir Isaac Newton.As a mere matter of profitable business, the manufactoryof forged letters, simply for the market, isin the greatest possible activity. A letter by any one,written at any time, eagerly demanded, is sure to besupplied after a while. Letters, with other purpose inview than mere profit—intended to turn up in long afteryears, in order to fasten a calumny on some victim—arealso not uncommon. One instance may be cited in thecase of the multitudinous forged letters of Shelley. Thelate Mr. Moxon published a volume of Shelley letters; andsoon after he withdrew the volume, on discovery thatevery one of these letters was a forgery. Stray letters ofShelley, however, continued to come into the market.Letters to his wife of the most confidential nature, containingvile aspersions against his father, were bought asgenuine by Sir Percy Shelley, the poet’s son. These,too, were discovered to be forgeries and were destroyed.One of these precious epistles, addressed to Byron, andbearing Shelley’s signature, contained an assertion againstthe fidelity of ‘Harriet.’ Whoever bought it paid sixguineas for a calumny against a dead and defencelesswoman, to which was appended the forged signature ofher dead and defenceless husband. Till something more151is known of the history of the alleged correspondence betweenSophia Dorothea and Königsmark—of which correspondencenothing was known to the world till morethan a century after her death—let us put against it herown assertions of her innocence. It is only a woman’sword; but it was asserted on solemn occasions, and itmay surely be accepted against the letters which were notput forth till long after she, too, was dead and defenceless,who, when living, was not charged with the guiltwhich this mysterious correspondence would cast heavilyupon her.

Sophia Dorothea, from the time her husband ascendedthe throne of Great Britain, was, in a sort of lovingsorrow, called by the few left to love her—the Queen.She was indeed an uncrowned Queen of England. Aslittle really of a queen as Caroline of Brunswick in afteryears. But her true place, nevertheless, is among them.Her blood—the blood of the French Protestant, SeigneurD’Olbreuse—has doubly asserted itself. Through the sonof Sophia Dorothea and his descendants, it flows in the veinsof that honoured lady, the Queen of Great Britain andEmpress of India. Through the daughter of SophiaDorothea, it is inherited by the Emperor of Germany;and the inheritance was enriched and strengthened whenthe Princess Royal of England became the wife of theCrown Prince of Prussia, the heir of the German Empire.



Da seufzt sie, da presst sie das Herz—es war

Ja Lieb und Glück nur geträumet.



Birth of Princess Caroline—Her early married life—Eulogised by the poets—Gaietyof the Court of the Prince and Princess at Leicester House—Beautyof Miss Bellenden—Mrs. Howard, the Prince’s favourite—Intolerablegrossness of the Court of George the First—Lord Chesterfield andthe Princess—The mad duch*ess—Buckingham House—Rural retreat ofthe Prince at Richmond; the resort of wit and beauty—Swift’s pungentverses—The fortunes of the young adventurers, Mr. and Mrs. Howard—TheQueen at her toilette—Mrs. Clayton, her influence with QueenCaroline—The Prince ruled by his wife—Dr. Arbuthnot and DeanSwift—The Princess’s regard for Newton and Halley—Lord Macclesfield’sfall—His superstition, and that of the Princess—Prince Frederick’svices—Not permitted to come to England—Severe rebuff to Lord Hardwicke—Dr.Mead—Courage of the Prince and Princess—The Princess’sfriendship for Dr. Friend—Swift at Leicester House—Royal visit to‘Bartlemy Fair.’

Caroline Wilhelmina Dorothea was the daughter ofJohn Frederick, Marquis of Brandenburg Anspach, and ofEleanor Erdmuth Louisa, his second wife, daughter ofJohn George, Duke of Saxe Eisenach. She was born in1683, and married the Electoral Prince of Hanover,afterwards George II., in the year 1705. Her motherhaving re-married, after her father’s death, whenCaroline was very young, the latter left the court of herstep-father, George IV., Elector of Saxony, for that of her154guardian, Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg, afterwardsKing of Prussia. The Electress of Brandenburg was thedaughter of Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and sister ofGeorge I. The young Caroline was considered fortunatein being placed under the care of a lady, who, it wassaid at the time, would assuredly give her a ‘tincture ofher own politeness.’

Notice has already been taken of the suitors who earlyoffered themselves for the hand of the youthful princess;and for what excellent reason she selected the son ofSophia Dorothea. It was said, when she came to sharethe throne of England with her husband, that Heavenhad especially reserved her in order to make GreatBritain happy. Her early married life was one of somegaiety, if not of felicity; and Baron Pilnitz says in hisMemoir, that when the Electoral family of Hanover wascalled to the throne of this country, she showed morecool carelessness for the additional grandeur than any ofthe family, whose outward indifference was a matter ofadmiration, in the old sense of that word, to all whobeheld it. The Princess Caroline, according to thebaron, particularly demonstrated that she was thoroughlysatisfied in her mind that she could be happy without acrown, and that ‘both her father-in-law and her husbandwere already kings in her eyes, because they highlydeserved that title.’ Of her conduct during the periodshe was Princess of Wales, the same writer says that shefavoured neither political party, and was equally esteemedby each. This, however, is somewhat beside thetruth.

The poets were as much concerned with the Princessof Wales as the politicians. Some abused, and someadored her. Addison, in 1714, assured her that theMuse waited on her person, and that she herself was

Born to strengthen and to grace our isle.


The same writer could not contemplate the daughterof Caroline, but that his prophetic eye professed to—

Already see the illustrious youths complain,

And future monarchs doom’d to sigh in vain.

Frederick (Duke of Gloucester), the elder and lessloved son of Caroline, was not yet in England, but herfavourite boy, William, was at her side; and of himAddison said, that he had ‘the mother’s sweetness andthe father’s fire.’ The poet went on, less to prophesythan to speculate with a ‘perhaps’ on the future destinyof William of Cumberland; and it was well he put in thesaving word, for nothing could be less like fact than the‘fortune’ alluded to in the following lines:—

For thee, perhaps, even now of kingly race,

Some dawning beauty blooms in every grace.

Some Caroline, to Heaven’s dictates true,

Who, while the sceptred rivals vainly sue,

Thy inborn worth with conscious eyes shall see,

And slight th’ imperial diadem for thee.

Of the princess herself, he says more truly, thatshe—

with graceful ease

And native majesty is form’d to please.

And he adds, that the stage, growing refined, will drawits finished heroines from her, who was herself known tobe ‘skill’d in the labours of the deathless muse.’ Inshort, Parnassus was made to echo with eulogies of orepigrams upon this royal lady. George I., for yearstogether, never addressed a word to the Prince of Wales,but the princess would compel him, as Count Broglie, theFrench ambassador writes, to answer the remarks whichshe addressed to him when she encountered him ‘inpublic.’ ‘But even then,’ says the count, ‘he only speaksto her on these occasions for the sake of decorum.’She-devil was the appellation commonly employed by156the amiable King to designate his high-spirited daughter-in-law.

The Prince and Princess of Wales, on withdrawingfrom St. James’s, established their court in ‘LeicesterFields.’ Of this court, Walpole draws a pleasant picture.It must have been a far livelier locality than that of theKing, whose ministers were the older Whig politicians.‘The most promising,’ says Walpole, ‘of the young lordsand gentlemen of that party, and the prettiest andliveliest of the young ladies, formed the new court of thePrince and Princess of Wales. The apartment of thebedchamber-women in waiting became the fashionableevening rendezvous of the most distinguished wits andbeauties: Lord Chesterfield, Lord Stanhope, Lord Scarborough,Carr (Lord Hervey), elder brother of the moreknown John Lord Hervey, and reckoned to have superiorparts; General (at that time only Colonel) CharlesChurchill, and others, not necessary to mention, wereconstant attendants; Miss Lepell, afterwards LadyHervey, my mother, Lady Walpole, Mrs. Selwyn, motherof the famous George, and herself of much vivacity, andpretty; Mrs. Howard, and, above all, for universaladmiration, Miss Bellenden, one of the maids of honour.Her face and person were charming; lively she wasalmost to étourderie; and so agreeable she was, that Inever heard her mentioned afterwards by one of hercontemporaries who did not prefer her as the mostperfect creature they ever knew.’

To this pleasant party in this pleasant resort, thePrince of Wales often came—his chief attraction being,not the wit or worth of the party, but the mere beauty ofone of the party forming it. This was Miss Bellenden,who, on the other hand, saw nothing in the fair-hairedand little prince that could attract her admiration. The157prince was never famous for much delicacy either ofexpression or sentiment, but he could exhibit a species ofwit in its way. He had probably been contemplating theengraving of the visit of Jupiter to the nymph Danae ina shower of gold, when he took to pouring the guineasfrom his purse in Miss Bellenden’s presence. He seemedto her, if we may judge by the comment she made uponhis conduct, much more like a villainous little bashawoffering to purchase a Circassian slave; and on oneoccasion, as he went on counting the glittering coin, sheexclaimed, ‘Sir, I cannot bear it; if you count yourmoney any more I will go out of the room.’ She dideven better, by marrying the man of her heart, ColonelJohn Campbell—a step at which the prince, when itcame to his knowledge, affected to be extremely indignant;and never forgave her for an offence, which indeedwas no offence and required no forgiveness. The prince,like that young Duke of Orleans who thought he wouldsuffer in reputation if he had not a ‘favourite’ in histrain, let his regard stop at Mrs. Howard, another of hiswife’s bedchamber-women, who was but too happy toreceive such regard, and to return it with all requiredattachment and service.

The Princess of Wales, during the reign of her father-in-law,maintained a brilliant court, and presided over agay round of pleasures. In this career she gained thatwhich she sought after—popularity. What she did frompolicy, her husband the prince did from taste; and theencouragement and promotion of pleasure were followedby the one as a means to an end, by the other for the sakeof the pleasure itself. Every morning there was adrawing-room at the princess’s, and twice a week thesame splendid reunion in her apartments, at night. Thisgave the fashion to a very wide circle; crowded158assemblies, balls, masquerades, and ridottos became the‘rage;’ and from the fatigues incident thereto, thevotaries of fashion found relaxation in plays and operas.

Quiet people were struck by the change which hadcome over court circles since the days of ‘Queen Anne,who had always been decent, chaste, and formal.’ Thechange indeed was great, but diverse of aspect. Thus thecourt of pleasure at which Caroline reigned supreme wasa court where decency was respected; respected, at least,as much as it well could be at a time when no superabundanceof respect for decency was exhibited in anyquarter. Still, there was not the intolerable grossness inthe house of the prince which was to be met with in thevery presence of his sire. Lord Chesterfield said of thatsire that ‘he had nothing bad in him as a man,’ and yethe records of him that he had no respect for women—butsome liking, it may be added, for those who had littleprinciple and much fat. ‘He brought over with him,’says Chesterfield, ‘two considerable samples of his badtaste and good stomach—the duch*ess of Kendal and theCountess of Darlington; leaving at Hanover, because shehappened to be a Papist, the Countess von Platen, whoseweight and circumference was little inferior to theirs.These standards of his Majesty’s tastes made all thoseladies who aspired to his favour, and who were near thestatutable size, strain and swell themselves, like the frogsin the fable, to rival the bulk and dignity of the ox.Some succeeded and others burst.’ If the house of theson was not the abode of all the virtues, it at least wasnot the stye wherein wallowed his father. Upon thechange of fashion, Chesterfield writes to Bubb Dodington,in 1716, the year when Caroline began to be looked upto as the arbitress of fashion:—‘As for the gay part of thetown, you would find it much more flourishing than whenyou left it. Balls, assemblies, and masquerades have159taken the place of dull, formal, visiting days, and thewomen are much more agreeable trifles than they weredesigned. Puns are extremely in vogue, and the licensevery great. The variation of three or four letters in aword breaks no squares, insomuch that an indifferentpunster may make a very good figure in the bestcompanies.’ The gaiety at the town residence of theprince and princess did not, however, accompany them toRichmond Lodge. There Caroline enjoyed the quietbeauties of her pretty retreat, which was, however,shared with her husband’s favourite, ‘Mrs. Howard.’

‘Leicester Fields’ was, nevertheless, not always sucha bower of bliss as Walpole has described it, fromhearsay. If the prince and ladies were on very pleasantterms, the princess and the ladies were sometimes atloggerheads, with as little regard for bienséance as if theyhad been very vulgar people; indeed, they often wereexceedingly vulgar people themselves.

It was with Lord Chesterfield that Caroline WilhelminaDorothea was most frequently at very disgraceful issue.Lord Chesterfield was one of the prince’s court, and hewas possessed of an uncontrollable inclination to turn theprincess into ridicule. Of course she was made acquaintedwith this propensity of the refined Chesterfieldby some amiable friend, who had the regard whichfriends, with less judgment than what they call amiability,generally have for one’s failings.

Caroline, perhaps half afraid of the peer, whom sheheld to be a more annoying joker than a genuine wit,took a middle course by way of correcting Chesterfield.It was not the course which a woman of dignity andrefinement would have adopted; but it must be rememberedthat, at the period in question, the princesswas anxious to keep as many friends around her husbandas she could muster. She consequently told Lord160Chesterfield, half in jest and half in earnest, that he hadbetter not provoke her, for though he had a wittier, hehad not so bitter a tongue as she had, and any outlay ofhis wit, at her cost, she was determined to pay, in herway, with an exorbitant addition of interest upon thedebt he made her incur.

The noble lord had, among the other qualifications ofthe fine gentleman of the period, an alacrity in lying.He would gravely assure the princess that her royalhighness was in error; that he could never presume tomimic her; and thereupon he would only watch for aturn of her head to find an opportunity for repeating theoffence which he had protested could not possibly be laidto his charge.

Caroline was correct in asserting that she had a bittertongue. It was under control, indeed; but when shegave it unrestricted freedom, its eloquence was not wellsavoured. Indeed her mind was far less refined than hasbeen generally imagined. Many circ*mstances might becited in proof of this assertion; but perhaps none ismore satisfactory, or conclusive rather, than the fact thatshe was the correspondent of the duch*ess of Orleans,whose gross epistles can be patiently read only by grosslyinclined persons; but which, nevertheless, tell so muchthat is really worth knowing that students of historyread, blush, and are delighted.

The Prince of Wales, dissatisfied with his residences,entered into negotiations for the purchase of BuckinghamHouse. That mansion was then occupied by the Dowager-duch*essof Buckingham, she whose mother was CatherineSedley, and whose father was James II. She was themad duch*ess, who always went into mourning and shutup Buckingham House on the anniversary of the death ofher grandfather, Charles I. The duch*ess thus writes ofthe negotiation, in a letter to Mrs. Howard:—

‘If their royal highnesses will have everything stand161as it is, furniture and pictures, I will have 3,000l. perannum. Both run hazard of being spoiled; and the last,to be sure, will be all to be new bought, whenever myson is of age. The quantity the rooms take cannot bewell furnished under 10,000l. But if their highnesseswill permit all the pictures to be removed, and buy thefurniture as it will be valued by different people, thehouse shall go at 2,000l. If the prince or princess prefermuch the buying outright, under 60,000l. it will notbe parted with as it now stands; and all his Majesty’srevenue cannot purchase a place so fit for them, nor forless a sum. The princess asked me at the drawing-room ifI would not sell my fine house. I answered her, smiling,that I was under no necessity to part with it; yet, whenwhat I thought was the value of it should be offered,perhaps my prudence might overcome my inclination.’

At the period when Caroline expressed some inclinationto possess this residence, on the site of the oldmulberry garden, there was a mulberry garden at Chelsea,the owner of which was a Mrs. Gale. In these gardenssome very rich and beautiful satin was made, from Englishsilkworms, for the Princess of Wales, who took anextraordinary interest in the success of ‘the native worm.’The experiments, however, patronised as they were byCaroline, did not promise a realisation of sufficient profitto warrant their being pursued any further.

The town residence of the prince and princess lacked,of course, the real charms, the quieter pleasures, of thelodge at Richmond. The estate on which the latter wasbuilt formed part of the forfeited property of the JacobiteDuke of Ormond.

The prince and princess kept a court at Richmond,which must have been one of the most pleasant resortsat which royalty has ever presided over fashion, wit, andtalent. At this court the young (John) Lord Hervey was162a frequent visitor, at a time when his mother, Lady Bristol,was in waiting on the princess, and his brother, LordCarr Hervey, held the post of groom of the bedchamberto the prince. Of the personages at this ‘young court,’the right honourable John Wilson Croker thus speaks:—

‘At this period Pope and his literary friends werein great favour at this “young court,” of which, in additionto the handsome and clever princess herself, Mrs.Howard, Mrs. Selwyn, Miss Howe, Miss Bellenden, andMiss Lepell, with Lords Chesterfield, Bathurst, Scarborough,and Hervey, were the chief ornaments. Aboveall, for beauty and wit, were Miss Bellenden and MissLepell, who seem to have treated Pope, and been in returntreated by him, with a familiarity that appearsstrange in our more decorous days. These young ladiesprobably considered him as no more than what AaronHill described him—

Tuneful Alexis, on the Thames’ fair side,

The ladies’ plaything and the Muse’s pride.’

Mr. Croker notices that Miss Lepell was called Mrs.according to the fashion of the time. It was the customso to designate every single lady who was old enough tobe married.

Upon Richmond Lodge Swift showered some of hismost pungent verses. He was there more than oncewhen it was the scene of the ‘young court.’ Of theseoccasions he sang, after the princess had become Queen,to the following tune:—

Here went the Dean, when he’s to seek,

To sponge a breakfast once a week,

To cry the bread was stale, and mutter

Complaints against the royal butter.

But now I fear it will be said,

No butter sticks upon his bread.

We soon shall find him full of spleen,

For want of tattling to the Queen;


Stunning her royal ears with talking;

His rev’rence and her highness walking.

Whilst saucy Charlotte,3 like a stroller,

Sits mounted on the garden roller.

A goodly sight to see her ride,

With ancient Mirmont at her side.

In velvet cap his head is warm,

His hat, for shame, beneath his arm.

Other poets were occasionally more audacious than Swiftin appropriating domestic incidents in the princess’s familyfor their subjects. Early in 1723 one of them thus addressesan expected member of that family:—

Promis’d blessing of the year,

Fairest blossom of the Spring,

Thy fond mother’s wish;—appear!

Haste to hear the linnets sing!

Haste to breathe the vernal air,

Come to see the primrose blow;

Nature doth her lap prepare,

Nature thinks thy coming slow.

Glad the people, quickly smile

Darling native of our isle.

The gentle Princess Mary (subsequently the unhappyPrincess of Hesse) cannot be said to have kept the linnetsor the primroses waiting, the birth of this fourth daughterof the Prince and Princess of Wales having takenplace on the 22nd of February 1723.

During a large portion of the married life of GeorgeAugustus and Caroline, each was supposed to be underthe influence of a woman, whose real influence was, however,overrated, and whose importance, if great, wassolely so because of the undue value attached to herimaginary influence. Both those persons were of the‘young court,’ at Leicester House and Richmond Lodge.

The women in question were Mrs. Howard, the prince’s‘favourite,’ and Mrs. Clayton, bedchamber-woman, likeMrs. Howard, to Caroline. The first lady was the daughter164of a Knight of the Bath, Sir Henry Hobart. Earlyin life she married Mr. Howard, ‘the younger brother ofmore than one Earl of Suffolk, to which title he at lastsucceeded himself, and left a son by her, who was thelast earl of that branch.’ The young couple were butslenderly dowered; the lady had little, and her husbandless. The court of Queen Anne did not hold out to themany promise of improving their fortune, and accordinglythey looked around for a locality where they might notonly discern the promise, but hope for its realisation.Their views rested upon Hanover and ‘the rising sun’there; and thither, accordingly, they took their way; andthere they found a welcome at the hands of the old ElectressSophia, with scanty civility at those of her grandson,the Electoral Prince.

At this time, the fortunes of the young adventurerswere so low, and their aspirations so high, that they wereunable to give a dinner to the Hanoverian minister, tillMrs. Howard found the means by cutting off a verybeautiful head of hair and selling it. If she did this inorder that she might not incur a debt, she deserves somedegree of praise, for a habit of prompt payment was nota fashion of the time. The sacrifice probably sufficed;for it was the era of full-bottomed wigs, which cost twentyor thirty guineas, and Mrs. Howard’s hair, to be appliedto the purpose named, may have brought her a dozenpounds, with which a very recherché dinner might havebeen given, at the period, to even the most gastronomicof Hanoverian ministers, and half-a-dozen secretaries oflegation to boot.

The fortune sought for was seized, although it camebut in a questionable shape. After the lapse of somelittle time, the lady had made sufficient impression on thehitherto cold Prince George Augustus to induce him, onthe accession of his father to the crown of England, to165appoint her one of the bedchamber-women to his wife,Caroline, Princess of Wales.

When Mrs. Howard had won what was called the‘regard’ of the prince, she separated from her husband.He, it is true, had little regard for, and merited no regardfrom, his wife; but he was resolved that she shouldattain not even a bad eminence unless he profited by it.He was a wretched, heartless, drunken, gambling profligate;too coarse, even, for the coarse fine gentlemen ofthe day. When he found himself deserted by his wife,therefore, and discovered that she had established herresidence in the household of the prince, he went downto the palace, raised an uproar in the courtyard, beforethe guards and other persons present, and made vociferousdemands for the restoration to him of a wife whomhe really did not want. He was thrust out of the quadranglewithout much ceremony, but he was not to besilenced. He even appears to have interested the Archbishopof Canterbury in the matter. The prelate affectedto look upon the princess as the protectress of her bedchamber-womanand the cause of the latter living separatefrom her husband, to whom he recommended, byletter, that she should be restored. Walpole says, further,that the archbishop delivered an epistle from Mr. Howardhimself, addressed through the Princess Caroline to hiswife, and that the princess ‘had the malicious pleasureof delivering the letter to her rival.’

Mrs. Howard continued to reside under the roof ofthis strangely-assorted household. There was no scandalexcited thereby at the period, and she was safe from conjugalimportunity, whether at St. James’s Palace orLeicester House. ‘The case was altered,’ says Walpole,‘when, on the arrival of summer, their royal highnesseswere to remove to Richmond. Being only woman of thebedchamber, etiquette did not allow Mrs. Howard the166entrée of the coach with the princess. She apprehendedthat Mr. Howard might seize her upon the road. Tobaffle such an attempt, her friends, John, Duke of Argyle,and his brother, the Earl of Islay, called for her in thecoach of one of them, by eight o’clock in the morning ofthe day by noon of which the prince and princess wereto remove, and lodged her safely in their house at Richmond.’It would appear, that after this period theservant of Caroline and the favourite of George Augustusceased to be molested by her husband; and, althoughthere be no proof of that gentleman having been ‘boughtoff,’ he was of such character, tastes, and principles, thathe cannot be thought to have been of too nice an honourto allow of his agreeing to terms of peace for pecuniary‘consideration.’

George thought his show of regard for Mrs. Howardwould stand for proof that he was not ‘led’ by his wife.The regard wore an outwardly Platonic aspect, and dailyat the same hour the royal admirer resorted to the apartmentof the lady, where an hour or two was spent in‘small talk’ and conversation of a generally uninterestingcharacter.

It is very illustrative of the peculiar character ofGeorge Augustus, that his periodical visits, every eveningat nine, were regulated with such dull punctuality ‘thathe frequently walked about his chamber for ten minutes,with his watch in his hand, if the stated minute was notarrived.’

Walpole also notices the more positive vexations Mrs.Howard received when Caroline became Queen, whosehead she used to dress, until she acquired the title ofCountess of Suffolk. The Queen, it is said, delighted insubjecting her to such servile offices, though always apologisingto her good Howard. ‘Often,’ says Walpole,‘her Majesty had more complete triumph. It happened167more than once that the King, coming into the roomwhile the Queen was dressing, has snatched off the handkerchief,and turning rudely to Mrs. Howard, has cried,‘Because you have an ugly neck yourself, you hide theQueen’s.’

One other instance may be cited here of Caroline’sdislike of her good Howard. ‘The Queen had an obscurewindow at St. James’s that looked into a darkpassage, lighted only by a single lamp at night, whichlooked upon Mrs. Howard’s apartment. Lord Chesterfield,one Twelfth Night at court, had won so large a sumof money that he thought it not prudent to carry it homein the dark, and deposited it with the mistress. Thencethe Queen inferred great intimacy, and thenceforwardsLord Chesterfield could obtain no favour from court;and, finding himself desperate, went into opposition.’ Butthis is anticipating events. Let us speak of the other bedchamber-womanof the Princess of Wales and subsequentlyof Queen Caroline, also a woman of considerablenote in the quiet and princely circle at Leicester House,and the more brilliant réunions at St. James’s and Kensington.She was a woman of fairer reputation, of greaterability, and of worse temper than Mrs. Howard. Hermaiden name was Dyves, her condition was of a humblecharacter, but her marriage with Sir Robert Clayton, aclerk in the Treasury, gave her importance and position,and opportunity to improve both. Her husband, in additionto his Treasury clerkship, was one of the managersof the Marlborough estates in the duke’s absence, andthis brought his wife to the knowledge and patronage ofthe duch*ess. The only favour ever asked by the latterof the House of Hanover was a post for her friend Mrs.Clayton, who soon afterwards was appointed one of thebedchamber-women to Caroline, Princess of Wales.

Mrs. Clayton has been as diversely painted by Lord168Hervey and Horace Walpole as Chesterfield himself. Itis not to be disputed, however, that she was a woman ofmany accomplishments; of not so many as her flatterersascribe to her, but of more than were conceded to her byher enemies. The same may be said of her allegedvirtues. Walpole describes her as a corrupt, pompoussimpleton, and Lord Hervey as a woman of great intelligenceand rather ill-regulated temper, the latter preventingher from concealing her thoughts, let them be whatthey might. The noble lord intimates, rather thanasserts, that she was more resigned than desirous to liveat court, for the dirty company of which she was toogood, but whom she had the honesty to hate but not thehypocrisy to tell them they were good. Hervey adds,that she did good, for the mere luxury which the exerciseof the virtue had in itself. Others describe her as corruptas the meanest courtier that ever lived by bribes. Shewould take jewels with both hands, and wear them withoutshame, though they were the fees of offices performedto serve others and enrich herself. The duch*ess of Marlboroughwas ashamed of her protegée in this respect, ifthere be truth in the story of her grace being indignantat seeing Mrs. Clayton wearing gems which she knewwere the price of services rendered by her. Lady WortleyMontague apologises for her by the smart remark, thatpeople would not know where wine was sold if thevendor did not hang out a bush.

Of another fact there is no dispute—the intense hatredwith which Mrs. Howard and Mrs. Clayton regarded eachother. The former was calm, cool, cutting, and contemptuous,but never unlady-like, always self-possessed andsevere. The latter was hot, eager, and for ever renderingher position untenable for want of temper, and thereforelack of argument to maintain it. Mrs. Clayton, doubtless,possessed more influence with the Queen than her opponent169with the King, but the influence has been vastly overrated.Caroline only allowed it in small matters, andexercised in small ways. Mrs. Clayton was, in somerespects, only her authorised representative, or the mediumbetween her and the objects whom she delighted torelieve or to honour. The lady had some influence inbringing about introductions, in directing the Queen’snotice to works of merit, or to petitions for relief; but onsubjects of much higher importance Caroline would notsubmit to influence from the same quarter. On seriousquestions she had a better judgment of her own than shecould be supplied with by the women of the bedchamber.The great power held by Mrs. Clayton was, that with herrested to decide whether the prayer of a petitioner shouldor should not reach the eye of Caroline. No wonder,then, that she was flattered, and that her good offices wereasked for with showers of praise and compliment to herself,by favour-seekers of every conceivable class. Peersof every degree, and their wives, bishops and poor curates,philosophers well-to-do, and authors in shreds and patches;sages and sciolists; inventors, speculators, and a mob of‘beggars’ which cannot be classed, sought to approachCaroline through Mrs. Clayton’s office, and humbly waitedMrs. Clayton’s leisure, while they profusely flattered herin order to tempt her to be active in their behalf.

Caroline not only ruled her husband without his beingaware of it, but could laugh at him heartily, without hurtinghis feelings by allowing him to be conscious of it.Hereafter mention may be made of the sensitiveness ofthe court to satire; but before the death of George I.,it seems to have been enjoyed—at least by Caroline, Princessof Wales—more than it was subsequently by thesame illustrious lady when Queen of England. Dr.Arbuthnot, at the period alluded to, had occasion towrite to Swift. The doctor had been publishing, by subscription,170his ‘Tables of Ancient Coins,’ and was gainingvery few modern specimens by his work. The dean, onthe other hand, was then reaping a harvest of profit andpopularity by his ‘Gulliver’s Travels’—that book ofwhich the puzzled Bishop of Ferns said, on coming tothe last page, that, all things considered, he did notbelieve a word of it!

Arbuthnot, writing to Swift on the subject of the twoworks, says (November 8, 1726) that his book had beenout about a month, but that he had not yet got his subscribers’names. ‘I will make over,’ he says, ‘all myprofits to you for the property of “Gulliver’s Travels,”which, I believe, will have as great a run as JohnBunyan. Gulliver is a happy man, that, at his age, canwrite such a book.’ Arbuthnot subsequently relates, thatwhen he last saw the Princess of Wales ‘she was readingGulliver, and was just come to the passage of the hobblingprince, which she laughed at.’ The laugh was at the costof her husband, whom Swift represented in the satire aswalking with one high and low heel, in allusion to theprince’s supposed vacillation between the Whigs andTories.

The princess, however, had more regard, at all times,for sages than she had for satirists. It was at the requestof Caroline that Newton drew up an abstract of a treatiseon Ancient Chronology, first published in France, andsubsequently in England. Her regard for Halley datesfrom an earlier period than Newton’s death or Caroline’saccession. She had, in 1721, pressed Halley to becomethe tutor of her favourite son, the Duke of Cumberland;but the great perfector of the theory of the moon’smotion was then too busy with his syzygies to betroubled with teaching the humanities to little princes.It was for the same reason that Halley resigned his postof secretary to the Royal Society.


This question of the education of the children of thePrince and Princess of Wales was one much discussed,and not without bitterness, by the disputants on bothsides. In the same year that the Princess of Walesdesired to secure Halley as the instructor of William ofCumberland (1721) George I. made an earl of thatThomas Parker who, from an attorney’s office, hadsteadily risen through the various grades of the law, hadbeen entrusted with high commissions, and finally becameLord Chancellor. George I., on his accession, made himBaron of Macclesfield, and in 1721 raised him to the rankof earl. He paid for the honour by supporting theKing against the Prince and Princess of Wales. Thelatter claimed an exclusive right of direction in theeducation of their children. Lord Macclesfield declaredthat, by law, they had no right at all to control theeducation of their offspring. Neither prince nor princessever forgave him for this. They waited for the hour ofrepaying it; and the time soon came. The first ‘BrunswickChancellor’ became notorious for his malpractices—sellingplaces and trafficking with the funds of the suitors.His enemies resolved to impeach him. This resolutionoriginated at Leicester House, and was carried out withsuch effect that the chancellor was condemned to pay afine of 30,000l. George I., knowing that the son whomhe hated was the cause of so grave, but just, a consequence,promised to repay to the ex-chancellor theamount of the fine which Lord Macclesfield had himselfpaid, a few days after the sentence, by the mortgage ofa valuable estate. The King, however, was rather slowin acquitting himself of his promise. He forwarded oneinstalment of 1,000l., but he paid no more, death superveningand preventing the further performance of apromise only made to annoy his son and his son’s wife.

In one respect Lord Macclesfield and the Princess of172Wales resembled each other—in entertaining a curiousfeeling of superstition. It will be seen, hereafter, howcertain Caroline felt that she should die on a Wednesday,and for what reasons. So, like her, but with moreaccuracy, the fallen Macclesfield pointed out the day forhis decease. In his disgrace he had devoted himself toscience and religion. He was, however, distracted by amalady which was aggravated by grief, if not remorse.Dr. Pearce, his constant friend, called on him one dayand found him very ill. Lord Macclesfield said: ‘Mymother died of the same disorder on the eighth day, andso shall I.’ On the eighth day this prophecy was fulfilled;and the Leicester House party were fully avenged.

The feelings of both prince and princess were forever in excess. Thus both appear to have entertained astrong sentiment of aversion against their eldest child,Frederick. Caroline did not bring him with her to thiscountry when she herself first came over to take up herresidence here. Frederick was born at Hanover, on the20th of January 1707. He was early instructed in theEnglish language; but he disliked study of every descriptionand made but little progress in this particularbranch. As a child, he was remarkable for his spitefulnessand cunning. He was yet a youth when he dranklike any German baron of old, played as deeply as hedrank, and entered heart and soul into other vices, whichnot only corrupted both, but his body also. His tutorwas scandalised by his conduct, and complained of itgrievously. Caroline was, at that time, given to findexcuses for conduct with which she did not care to beso far troubled as to censure it; and she remarked thatthe escapades complained of were mere page’s tricks.‘Would to Heaven they were no more!’ exclaimedthe worthy governor; ‘but in truth they are tricks ofgrooms and scoundrels.’ The Prince spared his friends173as little as his foes, and his heart was as vicious as hishead was weak.

Caroline had little affection for this child, whom shewould have willingly defrauded of his birthright. Atone time she appears to have been inclined to secure theElectorate of Hanover for William, and to allow Frederickto succeed to the English throne. At another time shewas as desirous, it is believed, of advancing William tothe crown of England and making over the Electorate toFrederick. How far these intrigues were carried on ishardly known, but that they existed is matter of notoriety.The law presented a barrier which could not, however, bebroken down; but, nevertheless, Lord Chesterfield, in hischaracter of the princess, intimated that she was busywith this project throughout her life.

Frederick was not permitted to come to Englandduring any period of the time that his parents werePrince and Princess of Wales. An English title or twomay be said to have been flung to him across the water.Thus, in 1717, he was called rather than created Duke ofGloucester. The Garter was sent to him the following year.In 1726 he became Duke of Edinburgh. He never occupieda place in the hearts of either his father or mother.

It is but fair to the character of the Princess of Walesto say that, severe as was the feeling entertained byherself against Lord Macclesfield—a feeling shared in byher consort—neither of them ever after entertained any illfeeling against Philip Yorke, subsequently Lord ChancellorHardwicke, who defended his friend Lord Macclesfield,with great fearlessness, at the period of his celebratedtrial. Only once, in after life, did George II. visit LordHardwicke with a severe rebuff. The learned lord wasavaricious, discouraging to those who sought to rise intheir profession, and caring only for the advancement ofhis own relations. He was once seeking for a place for a174distant relation, when the husband of Caroline exclaimed,‘You are always asking favours, and I observe that it isinvariably in behalf of some one of your family or kinsmen.’We shall hereafter find Caroline making allusionsto ‘Judge Gripus’ as a character in a play, but it was aname given to Lord Hardwicke, on account of his ‘meanness.’This feeling was shared by his wife. Theexpensively embroidered velvet purse in which the greatseal was carried was renewed every year during LordHardwicke’s time. Each year, Lady Hardwicke orderedthat the velvet should be of the length of one of her staterooms at Wimpole. In course of time the prudent ladyobtained enough to tapestry the room with the legalvelvet, and to make curtains and hangings for a state bedwhich stood in the apartment. Well might Pope havesaid of these:—

Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life?

Look but on Gripus and on Gripus’ wife.

But this is again anticipating the events of history.Let us go back to 1721, when Caroline and her husbandexercised a courage which caused great admiration in thesaloons of Leicester House and a doubtful sort of applausethroughout the country. Lady Mary WortleyMontague had just reported the successful results of inoculationfor the small-pox, which she had witnessed atConstantinople. Dr. Mead was ordered by the prince toinoculate six criminals who had been condemned todeath, but whose lives were spared for this experiment.It succeeded admirably, and the patients were more satisfiedby the result of the experiment than any one besides.In the year following, Caroline allowed Dr. Mead to inoculateher two daughters, and the doctor ultimatelybecame physician-in-ordinary to her husband.

The medical appointments made by Caroline and her175husband certainly had a political motive. Thus, thePrincess of Wales persuaded her husband to name Freindhis physician-in-ordinary just after the latter had beenliberated from the Tower, where he had suffered incarcerationfor daring to defend Atterbury in the House ofCommons when the bishop was accused of being guiltyof treason. Caroline always had a high esteem for Freind,independently of his political opinions, and one of herfirst acts, on ceasing to be Princess of Wales, was to makeFreind physician to the Queen.

It is said by Swift that the Princess of Wales sent forhim to Leicester Fields no less than nine times before hewould obey the reiterated summons. When he did appearbefore Caroline, he roughly remarked that he understoodshe liked to see odd persons; that she had latelyinspected a wild boy from Germany, and that now shehad the opportunity of seeing a wild parson from Ireland.Swift declares that the court in Leicester Fields was veryanxious to settle him in England, but it may be doubtedwhether the anxiety was very sincere. Swift’s declarationthat he had no anxiety to be patronised by the Princessof Wales was probably as little sincere. The patronagesometimes exercised there was mercilessly sneered at bySwift. Thus Caroline had expressed a desire to dohonour to Gay; but when the post offered was only thatof a gentleman usher to the little Princess Caroline, Swiftwas bitterly satirical on the Princess of Wales supposingthat the poet Gay would be willing to act as a sort ofmale nurse to a little girl of two years of age.

The Prince of Wales was occasionally as cavalierlytreated by the ladies as the princess by the men. Oneof the maids of honour of Caroline, the well-known MissBellenden, would boldly stand before him with her armsfolded, and when asked why she did so, would toss herpretty head, and laughingly exclaim that she did so, not176because she was cold, but that she chose to stand withher arms folded. When her own niece became maid ofhonour to Queen Caroline, and audacious Miss Bellendenwas a grave married lady, she instructively warned heryoung relative not to be so imprudent a maid of honouras her aunt had been before her.

But strange things were done by princes and princessesin those days, as well as by those who waited onthem. For instance, in 1725, it is reported by MissDyves, maid of honour to the Princess Amelia, daughterof the Princess of Wales, that ‘the Prince, and everybodybut myself, went last Friday to Bartholomew Fair. Itwas a fine day, so he went by water; and I, being afraid,did not go; after the fair, they supped at the King’sArms, and came home about four o’clock in the morning.’An heir-apparent, and part of his family and consort,going by water from Richmond to ‘Bartlemy Fair,’supping at a tavern, staying out all night, and returninghome not long before honest men breakfasted, was notcalculated to make royalty respectable.



Death of George the First—Adroitness of Sir Robert Walpole—The firstroyal reception—Unceremonious treatment of the late King’s will—Thecoronation—Magnificent dress of Queen Caroline—Mrs. Oldfield, asAnne Boleyn, in ‘Henry VIII.’—The King’s revenue and the Queen’sjointure, the result of Walpole’s exertions—His success—Management ofthe King by Queen Caroline—Unseemly dialogue between Walpole andLord Townshend—Gay’s ‘Beggars’ Opera,’ and satire on Walpole—Originof the opera—Its great success—Gay’s cause espoused by theduch*ess of Queensberry—Her smart reply to a royal message—Thetragedy of ‘Frederick, Duke of Brunswick’—The Queen appointed Regent—PrinceFrederick becomes chief of the opposition—His silly reflectionson the King—Agitation about the repeal of the Corporation and TestActs—The Queen’s ineffectual efforts to gain over Bishop Hoadly—SirRobert extricates himself—The Church made the scapegoat—QueenCaroline earnest about trifles—Etiquette of the toilette—Fracas betweenMr. Howard and the Queen—Modest request of Mrs. Howard—LordChesterfield’s description of her.

Sir Robert Walpole was sojourning at Chelsea, andthinking of nothing less than of the demise of a king,when news was brought him, by a messenger from LordTownshend, at three o’clock in the afternoon of the 14th ofJune 1727, that his late most sacred Majesty was thenlying dead in the Westphalian palace of his serene highnessthe Bishop of Osnaburgh. Sir Robert immediatelyhurried to Richmond, in order to be the first to dohomage to the new sovereigns, George and Caroline.George accepted the homage with much complacency,and on being asked by Sir Robert as to the person whomthe King would select to draw up the usual address to178the privy council, George II. mentioned the speaker ofthe House of Commons, Sir Spencer Compton.

This was a civil way of telling Sir Robert that hisservices as prime-minister were no longer required. Hewas not pleased at being supplanted, but neither was hewrathfully little-minded against his successor—a successorso incompetent for his task that he was obliged tohave recourse to Sir Robert to assist him in drawing upthe address above alluded to. Sir Robert rendered theassistance with much heartiness, but was not the lessdetermined, if possible, to retain his office, in spite of thepersonal dislike of the King, and of that of the Queen,whom he had offended, when she was Princess of Wales,by speaking of her as ‘that fat beast, the prince’s wife.’Sir Robert could easily make poor Sir Spencer communicativewith regard to his future intentions. The latterwas a stiff, gossiping, soft-hearted creature, and mightvery well have taken for his motto the words of Parmenoin the play of Terence:—‘Plenus rimarum sum.’ Heintimated that on first meeting parliament he should proposean allowance of 60,000l. per annum to be made tothe Queen. ‘I will make it 40,000l. more,’ said SirRobert, subsequently, through a second party, to QueenCaroline, ‘if my office of minister be secured to me.’Caroline was delighted at the idea, intimated that SirRobert might be sure ‘the fat beast’ had friendly feelingstowards him, and then hastening to the King, over whoseweaker intellect her more masculine mind held rule, explainedto her royal husband that as Compton consideredWalpole the fittest man to be—what he had so long beenwith efficiency—prime-minister, it would be a foolish actto nominate Compton himself to the office. The Kingacquiesced, Sir Spencer was made president of the council,and Sir Robert not only persuaded parliament, withoutdifficulty, to settle one hundred thousand a year on179the Queen, but he also persuaded the august trustees ofthe people’s money to add the entire revenue of the civillist, about one hundred and thirty thousand pounds ayear, to the annual sum of seven hundred thousandpounds, which had been settled as proper revenue for aking. Sir Robert had thus the wit to bribe King andQueen, out of the funds of the people, and we cannot besurprised that their Majesties looked upon him and his astrue allies. Indeed Caroline did not wait for the successof the measure in order to show her confidence in Walpole.Their Majesties had removed from Richmond totheir temporary palace in Leicester Fields, on the veryevening of their receiving notice of their accession to thecrown; and the next day all the nobility and gentry intown crowded to kiss their hands. ‘My mother,’ saysHorace Walpole, ‘among the rest, who, Sir SpencerCompton’s designation and not his evaporation beingknown, could not make her way between the scornfulbacks and elbows of her late devotees, nor could approachnearer to the Queen than the third or fourth row; butno sooner was she descried by her Majesty than the Queensaid aloud: “There I am sure I see a friend!” Thetorrent divided and shrank to either side, “and as I cameaway,” said my mother, “I might have walked over theirheads, had I pleased.”’

George I. had drawn up a will which he coollythought his successor would respect. Perhaps he rememberedthat his son believed in ghosts and vampires,and would fulfil a dead man’s will out of mere terror ofa dead man’s visitation. But George Augustus had nosuch fear, nor any such respect, as that noticed above.

At the first council held by George II., Dr. Wake,Archbishop of Canterbury, in whose hands George I. haddeposited his last will and testament, produced that preciousinstrument, placed it before the King, and composed180himself to hear the instructions of the deceased parentrecited by his heir. The new King, however, put thepaper in his pocket, walked out of the room, neveruttered a word more upon the subject, and general rumoursubsequently proclaimed that the royal will had beendropped into the fire by the testator’s son.

That testator, however, had been a destroyer of willshimself. He had burnt that of the poor old Duke ofZell, and he had treated in like manner the last will ofSophia Dorothea. The latter document favoured bothhis children more than he approved, and the King, whocould do no wrong, committed a felonious act, which for acommon criminal would have purchased a halter. Beinggiven to this sort of iniquity himself, he naturally thoughtill of the heir whom he looked upon as bound to respectthe will of his father. To bind him the more securely tosuch observance, he left two duplicates of his will; oneof which was deposited with the Duke of Wolfenbüttel,the other with another German prince, whose name hasnot been revealed, and both were given up by the depositaries,for fee and reward duly paid for the service.The copies were destroyed in the same way as the original.What instruction was set down in this documenthas never been ascertained. Walpole speaks of a reportedlegacy of forty thousand pounds to the King’ssurviving mistress, the duch*ess of Kendal, and of a subsequentcompromise made with the husband of theduch*ess’s ‘niece’ and heiress, Lady Walsingham—a compromisewhich followed upon a threatened action at law.Something similar is said to have taken place with theKing of Prussia, to whose wife, the daughter of George I.,the latter monarch was reported to have bequeathed aconsiderable legacy.

However this may be, the surprise of the council andthe consternation of the primate were excessive. The181latter dignitary was the last man, however, who couldwith propriety have blamed a fellow-man for acting contraryto what was expected of him. He himself hadbeen the warmest advocate of religious toleration, untilhe reached the primacy and had an opportunity for theexercise of a little harshness towards dissenters. Thelatter were as much astonished at their ex-advocateas the latter was astounded by the act of the King.

We will not further allude to the coronation of Georgeand Caroline than by saying that, on the occasion in question,these Sovereigns displayed a gorgeousness of tasteof a somewhat barbarous quality. The coronation wasthe most splendid which had been seen for years. George,despite his low stature and fair hair, which heightenedthe weakness of his expression at this period, was said tobe on this occasion ‘every inch a king.’ He enjoyedthe splendour of the scene and of himself, and thoughtit cheaply purchased at the cost of much fatigue.

Caroline was not inferior to her lord. It is true thatof crown jewels she had none, save a pearl necklace, thesolitary spoil left of all the gems, ‘rich and rare,’ whichhad belonged to Queen Anne, and which had, for themost part, been distributed by the late King among hisfavourites of every degree. Caroline wore on the occasionof her crowning, not only the pearl necklace ofQueen Anne, but ‘she had on her head and shouldersall the pearls and necklaces which she could borrow fromthe ladies of quality at one end of the town, and on herpetticoat all the diamonds she could hire of the Jews andjewellers at the other; so,’ adds Lord Hervey, fromwhom this detail is taken, ‘the appearance and the truthof her finery was a mixture of magnificence and meanness,not unlike the éclat of royalty in many other particulars,when it comes to be nicely examined and its sourcestraced to what money hires and flattery lends.’


The Queen dressed for the grand ceremony in aprivate room at Westminster. Early in the morningshe put on ‘an undress’ at St. James’s, of which we aretold that ‘everything was new.’ She was carried acrossSt. James’s Park privately in a chair, bearing no distinctivemark upon it, and preceded, at a short distance, bythe Lord Chancellor and Mrs. Howard, both of whomwere in ‘hack sedans.’ She was dressed by that lady.Mrs. Herbert, another bed-chamber woman, would fainhave shared in the honour, but as she was herself in fulldress for the ceremony, she was pronounced incapable ofattiring her who was to be the heroine of it. At theconclusion of the august affair the Queen unrobed in anadjacent apartment, and, as in the morning, was smuggledback to St. James’s in a private chair.

Magnificent as Caroline was in borrowed finery at hercoronation, she was excelled in point of show by Mrs.Oldfield, on the stage at Drury Lane. The theatre wasclosed on the night of the real event—the governmenthad no idea then of dividing a multitude; but the managementexpended a thousand pounds in getting up thepageant of the crowning of Anne Boleyn, at the close of‘Henry VIII.’ In this piece, Booth made Henry theprincipal character, and Cibber’s Wolsey sank to asecond-rate part. The pageant, however, was so attractive,that it was often played, detached from the piece,at the conclusion of a comedy or any other play.Caroline went more than once with her royal consort towitness this representation, an honour which was refusedto the more vulgar show, which had but indifferentsuccess, at Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields.

The King’s revenue, as settled upon him by the Whigparliament, was larger than any of our Kings had beforeenjoyed. Caroline’s jointure, 100,000l. a year, withSomerset House and Richmond Lodge, was double that183which had been granted previously to any Queen. Thissuccess had been so notoriously the result of Walpole’sexertions, that the husband of Caroline, who dealt invery strong terms, began to look complacently on the‘rogue and rascal,’ thought his brother Horace bearable,in spite of his being, as George used to call him, ‘scoundrel,’‘fool,’ and ‘dirty buffoon,’ and he even felt lessaverse than usual to the two secretaries of state ofWalpole’s administration, the Duke of Newcastle, the‘impertinent fool,’ whom he had threatened at thechristening of William, Duke of Cumberland, and LordTownshend, whom he was wont to designate as a ‘cholericblockhead.’ The issue of the affair was, that of Walpole’scabinet no one went out but the minister’s son-in-law,Lord Malpas, roughly ejected from the Mastership of theRobes, and ‘Stinking Yonge,’ as the King used elegantlyto designate Sir William, who was turned out of theCommission of Treasury, and whose sole little failingswere, that he was ‘pitiful, corrupt, contemptible, and agreat liar,’ though, as Lord Hervey says, ‘rather a meanthan a vicious one,’ which does not seem to mend thematter, and which is a distinction without a difference.After all, Sir William only dived to come up fresh again.And Lord Malpas performed the same feat.

Henceforth, it was understood by every lady, saysLord Hervey, ‘that Sir Robert was the Queen’s minister;that whoever he favoured she distinguished, and whoevershe distinguished the King employed.’ The Queen ruled,without seeming to rule. She was mistress by power ofsuggestion. A word from her in public, addressed tothe King, generally earned for her a rebuke. Her consortso pertinaciously declared that he was independent,and that she never meddled with public business of anykind, that every one, even the early dupes of the assertion,ceased at last to put any faith in it. Caroline ‘not184only meddled with business, but directed everythingwhich came under that name, either at home or abroad.’It is too much, perhaps, to say that her power was unrivalledand unbounded, but it was doubtless great, andpurchased at great cost. That she could induce herhusband to employ a man whom he had not yet learnedto like was in itself no small proof of her power, consideringthe peculiarly obstinate disposition of themonarch.

Her recommendation of Walpole was not based, it isbelieved, upon any very exalted motives. Walpole himself,in his official connections with the Sovereign, wascertainly likely to take every advantage of the opportunityto create favourable convictions of his ability.Caroline, in praising his ability to the King, suggestedthat Sir Robert was rich enough to be honest, and hadso little private business of his own that he had all themore leisure to devote to that of the King. ‘New leecheswould be not the less hungry;’ and with this very indifferentsort of testimony to her favourite’s worth, Carolinesecured a servant for the King and a minister for herself.

The tact of the Queen was so admirable that thehusband, who followed her counsel in all things, nevereven himself suspected but that he was leading her.This was the very triumph of the Queen’s art, and thecrowning proof of the simplicity and silliness of the King.It is said that he sneered at Charles I. for being governedby his wife; at Charles II. for being governed by hismistresses; at James led by priests; at William dupedby men; at Queen Anne deceived by her favourites; andat his father, who allowed himself to be ruled by anyone who could approach him. And he finished hiscatalogue of scorn by proudly asking, ‘Who governsnow?’ The courtiers probably smiled behind theirjaunty hats. The wits, and some of them were courtiers185too, answered the query more roughly, and they remarked,in rugged rhyme and bad grammar—

You may strut, dapper George, but ’twill all be in vain;

We know ’tis Queen Caroline, not you that reign—

You govern no more than Don Philip of Spain.

Then if you would have us fall down and adore you,

Lock up your fat spouse, as your dad did before you.

The two were otherwise described by other poetasters,as—

So strutting a king and so prating a queen.

It is a fact, at which we need not be surprised, thatthe most cutting satires against the King, as led by hiswife, were from the pens of female writers—or said tobe so. And this is likely enough; for in no quarter isthere so much contempt for a man who leans upon,rather than supports, his wife. The court certainlyoffered good opportunity for the satirists to make merrywith. At the court of Caroline, it must be confessed,there was not much female delicacy, and still less manlydignity—even in the presence of the Queen herself.Thus we hear, for instance, of Caroline, one evening, atWindsor, asking Sir Robert Walpole and Lord Townshendwhere they had dined that day? My lord replied thathe had dined with Lord and Lady Trevor, an agedcouple, and the lady remarkable for her more thanordinary plainness. Whereupon Sir Robert, with considerablelatitude of expression, intimated, jokingly, thathis friend was paying political court to the lord, in orderto veil a court of another kind addressed to the lady.Lord Townshend, not understanding raillery on such atopic, grew angry, and in defending himself against thecharge of seducing old Lady Trevor, was not contentwith employing phrases of honest indignation alone, butused illustrations that no ‘lord’ would ever think of186using before a lady. Caroline grew uneasy, not at thegrowing indelicacy of phrase, but at the angry feelingsof the Peachum and Lockit of the court; and ‘to preventLord Townshend’s replying, or the thing being pushedany further, only laughed, and began immediately totalk on some other subject.’4

The mention of the heroes in Gay’s opera serves toremind me that, in 1729, the influence of the Queen wasagain exerted to lead the King to do what he had nothimself dreamed of doing.

Sir Robert Walpole must have been more ‘thin-skinned’than he is usually believed to have been, if hecould really have felt wounded, as it would appear wasthe case, by the alleged satire of the ‘Beggars’ Opera.’The public would seem to have been the authors of suchsatire rather than Gay, for they made application ofmany passages, to which the writer of them probablyattached no personal meaning.

The origin of the piece was certainly not political. Itwas a mere Newgate pastoral put into an operatic form,and intended to ridicule, what it succeeded in overthrowingfor a season, the newly introduced Italian Opera.The piece had been refused by Cibber, and was acceptedby Rich, who brought it out at Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, onthe 29th of January 1728, with such success, that it wassaid of it, that it made Gay rich, and Rich gay. Walkerwas the Macheath, and Miss Fenton, afterwards duch*essof Bolton, the Polly—a character in which she was notapproached by either of her three immediate successors,Miss Warren, Miss Cantrell, or sweet Kitty Clive.Johnson says of the piece that it was plainly writtenonly to divert—without any moral purpose, and thereforenot likely to do good. This is the truth, no doubt;187and if Gay put in a few strong passages just previous torepresentation, it was the public application which gavethem double force. Perhaps the application would havebeen stronger if Quin had originally played, as wasintended, the part of Macheath. To step from Macbethto the highwayman might have had a political significationgiven to it; and indeed Quin did play, and sing, thecaptain one night for his benefit—-just as another greattragedian, Young, did, within our own recollection.However, never had piece such success. It was playedat every theatre in the kingdom, and every audience wasas keenly alive for passages which could be appliedagainst the court and government as they were for mereridicule against the Italian Opera.

Caroline herself was probably not opposed to themorale of the piece. Her own chairmen were suspectedof being in league with highwaymen, and probably were;but on their being arrested and dismissed from herservice by the master of her household, who suspectedtheir guilt, she was indignant at the liberty taken andinsisted on their being restored. She had no objectionto be safely carried by suspected confederates of highwaymen.

The poverty of ‘Polly’ could not render it exemptfrom being made the scapegoat for the ‘Beggars’ Opera,’in which Walpole, from whom Gay could not obtain aplace, was said to be ‘shown-up,’ night after night, as athief and the friend of thieves. The ‘Beggars’ Opera’ hada run before its satire was felt by him against whom itwas chiefly directed. ‘Polly’ is very stupid and notsatirical, but it was a favourite with the author. Thelatter, therefore, was especially annoyed at receiving aninjunction from the lord chamberlain’s office, obtained atthe request of Sir Robert, whereby the representation of‘Polly’ was forbidden in every theatre. The poet determined188to shame his enemies by printing the piece with asmart political supplement annexed.

Gay was the ‘spoiled child’ of the Duke and duch*essof Queensberry. They espoused his cause; and theduch*ess was especially active, urgent, and successful inprocuring subscriptions—compelling them, by gentleviolence, even from the most reluctant. This zeal forthe vexed poet went so far that the duch*ess solicitedsubscriptions even in the Queen’s apartment and in theroyal drawing-room. There was something pleasant inmaking even the courtiers subscribe towards the circulatingof a piece which royalty, through its official, hadprohibited from being acted. The zealous duch*ess wasthus busy with three or four gentlemen, in one corner ofthe room, when the King came upon them and enquiredthe nature of her business. ‘It is a matter of humanityand charity,’ said her grace, ‘and I do not despair butthat your Majesty will contribute to it.’ The Monarchdisappointed Gay’s patroness in this respect, but heexhibited no symptom whatever of displeasure, and lefther to her levying occupation. Subsequently, however,in the Queen’s apartment, the subject was talked overbetween the royal pair, and not till then did George perceivethat the conduct of the duch*ess was so impertinentthat it was necessary to forbid her appearing again, atleast for the present, at court.

The King’s vice-chamberlain, Mr. Stanhope, wasdespatched with a verbal message to this effect. Themanner and the matter equally enraged Gay’s patroness,and she delivered a note of acknowledgment to the vice-chamberlain,in which she stated that she was both surprisedand gratified at the royal and agreeable commandto stay away from court, seeing that she had never gonethere but for her own diversion, and also from a desire ofshowing some civility to the King and Queen! The lively189lady further intimated, that perhaps it was as well thatthey who dared to speak, or even think, truth, should bekept away from a court where it was unpalatable; althoughshe had thought that in supporting truth and innocencein the palace, she was paying the very highest complimentpossible to both their Majesties.

When the note was completed, the writer gave it toMr. Stanhope to read. The stiff vice-chamberlain feltrather shocked at the tone, and politely advised the duch*essto think better of the matter, and write another note. Hergrace consented, but the second edition was so more highlyspiced, and so more pungent than the first, that the officerpreferred taking the latter, which he must have placedbefore King and Queen with a sort of decent horror,appropriate to a functionary of his polite vocation. Theduch*ess lost the royal favour, and the duke, her husband,lost his posts.

After all, it seems singular, that while so stupid a pieceas ‘Polly’ was prohibited, the representation of the ‘Beggars’Opera’ still went on. The alleged offence was thus seeminglypermitted, while visitation was made on an unoffendingpiece; and subscriptions for the printing of that piecewere asked for, as we have seen, by the duch*ess ofQueensberry, in the very apartments of the Sovereign, whois said to have been most offended at the poet’s allegedpresumption.

Other poets and the players advanced in the good willof Caroline and her house by producing pieces complimentaryto the Brunswick family. Thus Rich, who hadoffended the royal family by getting up the ‘Beggars’ Opera,’in January 1728, produced Mrs. Haywood’s tragedy of‘Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lunenberg,’ in March 1729.The authoress dedicated her play to Frederick, Prince ofWales, and her object in writing it was to represent oneof the ancestors of his royal highness as raised to the190imperial throne in consequence of his virtues. It may bea question whether Caroline, or her husband, or son, couldapprove of a subject which exhibited the Brunswickmonarch falling under the dagger of an assassin. Howeverthis may be, the public was indifferent to the piece and itsobject; and, after being represented three times, it disappearedfor ever and left the stage to be again occupiedby the ‘Beggars’ Opera:’ Peachum—Walpole, Lockit—Townshend,and Mat o’ the Mint, type of easy financiers,who gaily bid the public ‘stand and deliver!’

On the first occasion on which George I. left Englandto visit Hanover, he appointed the Prince of Wales regentof the kingdom during his absence. The prince, in spiteof his limited powers—he was unable to act on thesmallest point without the sanction of ministers—contrivedto gain considerable and well-deserved popularity.George never again allowed him to hold the same honourableoffice; and the son and father hated each otherever after. In the May of this year, that son, now King,quitted England in order to visit the Electorate, but he didnot appoint Frederick, Prince of Wales, as regent during hisabsence. He delegated that office to the Queen, and mostprobably by the Queen’s advice. Frederick had not beenlong in London before the opposition party made him, ifnot their chief, at least their rallying point. The princehated his father heartily and openly, and he had as littleregard for his mother. When application was made toparliament to pay some alleged deficiencies in the civil list,Frederick was particularly severe on the extravagance ofhis sire and the method adopted to remedy it. He talkedloudly of what he would have done in a similar extremity,or rather of how he would never have allowed himself tofall into so extreme a difficulty. He was doubly in thewrong; ‘in the first place, for saying what he ought only191to have thought; and, in the next, for not thinking whathe ought not to have said.’ It was not likely, even if theKing had been so disposed, that the Queen would haveconsented to an arrangement which would have materiallydiminished her own consequence. She was accordinglyinvested with the office of regent; and she performed itsduties with a grace and an efficiency which caused universalcongratulation that the post had not been confided to other,and necessarily weaker, hands. She had Sir Robert Walpoleat her side to aid her with his counsel; and thepresence of the baronet’s enemy, Lord Townshend, withthe King had no effect in damaging the power effectivelyadministered by Caroline and her great minister.

It was not merely during the absence of the King inHanover that Caroline may be said to have ruled inEngland. The year 1730 affords us an illustration on thispoint.

The dissenters, who had originally consented to theTest and Corporation Acts, upon a most unselfish ground—forthey sacrificed their own interest in order that theRomanists might be prevented from being admitted toplaces of power and trust—now demanded the repeal ofthose Acts. The request perplexed the crown and ministry,especially when an election was pending. To promise thedissenters (and it was more especially the Presbyterianswho moved in this matter) relief would be to deprive thecrown of the votes of churchmen; and to reject the petitionwould be to set every dissenter against the governmentand its candidates. Sir Robert Walpole, in his perplexity,looked around for a good genius to rescue him from thedilemma in which he was placed. He paused, on consideringHoadly, Bishop of Salisbury. The bishop was thevery deus ex machinâ most needed, but he had beenshabbily treated on matters of preferment; and Walpole,192who had face for most things, had not the face to ask helpfrom a man whom he had ill-treated. The Queen steppedin and levelled the difficulty.

Caroline sent for Hoadly to come to her at Kensington.She received the prelate with affability, and overwhelmedhim with flattery, compliments on his ability, and gratefulexpressions touching his zeal and the value of his servicesin the King’s cause. She had now, she said, a furtherservice to ask at his hands; and, of course, it was onewhich demanded of him no sacrifice of opinion or consistency:the Queen would have been the last person toask such a thing of the reverend prelate! The service wasthis. The dissenters required the repeal of the Test andCorporation Acts. The government did not dispute theirright to have such a concession made to them, but it didfeel that the moment was inconvenient; and, therefore,Bishop Hoadly, for whom the whole body of dissentersentertained the most profound respect, was solicited tomake this opinion known to them, and to induce them todefer their petition to a more favourable opportunity.

The Queen supported her request by such close andcogent arguments, flattered the bishop so adroitly, anddrew such a picture of the possibly deplorable results ofan attempt to force the repeal of the Acts alluded to at thepresent moment, that Hoadly may be excused if he beganto think that the stability of the House of Hanoverdepended on the course he should take in this conjuncture.He was not, however, to be cajoled out of his opinions orhis independence; he pronounced the restrictive Actsunreasonable politically, and profane theologically. Headded, that, as a friend to religious and civil liberty, hewould vote for the repeal whenever and by whomsoeverproposed. He should stultify himself if he did otherwise.All that was in his ‘little power,’ consistent with his honourand reputation, he would, nevertheless, willingly do. If193he could be clearly convinced that the present momentwas unpropitious for pressing the demand, and perilous tothe stability of the government, he would not fail to urgeupon the dissenters to postpone presenting their petitionuntil the coming of a more favourable opportunity.

The out-of-door world no sooner heard of this interviewbetween the Queen and the prelate, than a report arosethat her Majesty had succeeded in convincing the rightreverend father that the claims of the dissenters wereunreasonable, and that the bishop, as a consequence ofsuch conviction, would henceforth oppose them resolutely.

Hoadly became alarmed, for such a report damaged allparties. He was very anxious to maintain a characterfor consistency, and at the same time not to lose his littleremnant of interest at court. He tried in vain to get apromise from Sir Robert, that, if the dissenters would deferpreferring their claim until the meeting of a new parliament,it should then meet with the government support.Sir Robert was too wary to make such a promise, althoughhe hinted his conviction of the reasonableness of the claim,and that it would be supported when so preferred. Butthe bishop, in his turn, was too cautious to allow himselfto be caught by so flimsy an encouragement; and he was admittedto several subsequent consultations with the Queen;but, clever as she was, she could not move the bishop.Hoadly was resolved that the dissenters should know,that if he thought they might with propriety defer theirpetition, he would uphold its prayer whenever presented.

In the mean time, Sir Robert extricated himself andthe government cleverly. Caroline doubtless enjoyed thisexercise of his ability as well as its results. The dissenters,organising an agitation, had established a central committeein London, all the members of which were bound to SirRobert; ‘all monied men, and scriveners, and chosen byhis contrivance. They spoke only to be prompted, and194acted only as he guided.’5 This committee had a solemnlyfarcical meeting with the administration, to hold a consultationin the matter. Sir Robert and the speakers confinedthemselves to the unseasonableness, but commended thereasonableness, of the petition. ‘My lord president lookedwise, was dull, took snuff, and said nothing. Lord Harrington(the Mr. Stanhope who had waited on the duch*essof Queensberry) took the same silent, passive part. TheLord-Chancellor (King) and the Duke of Newcastle haddone better had they followed that example too; butboth spoke very plentifully, and were both equally unintelligible;the one (King) from having lost his understanding,and the other from never having had any.’6

The committee, after this interview, came to the resolution,that if a petition were presented to parliament nowin favour of the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts,‘there was no prospect of success.’ This resolution savedthe administration from the storm threatened by the Presbyterianparty. That party considered itself betrayed byits own delegates, the Queen and Sir Robert were wellsatisfied with the result, and the bishop was looked uponby the dissenters as having supported their cause too little,and by the Queen’s cabinet as having supported it too much.

In this case it may, perhaps, be fairly asserted that theQueen and the minister, while they punished the dissenters,caused the blame to fall upon the church. Their chiefargument was, that the opposition of the clergy would bea source of the greatest embarrassment to the administration.It had long been the fashion to make the churchsuffer, at least in reputation, on every occasion whenopportunity offered, and without any thought as to whetherthe establishment deserved it or not. It was in politicsprecisely as it was in Sir John Vanbrugh’s comedy of the‘Provoked Wife.’ It will be remembered that, in that195dramatic mirror, which represents nature as objects areseen reflected in flawed glass, when the tailor enters witha bundle, the elegant Lord Rake exclaims, ‘Let me seewhat’s in that bundle!’ ‘An’t please you,’ says the tailor,‘it is the doctor of the parish’s gown.’ ‘The doctor’sgown!’ cries my lord; and then, turning to Sir John Brute,he exultingly enquires, or requires, ‘Hark you, knight;you won’t stick at abusing the clergy, will you?’ ‘No!’shouts Brute, ‘I’m drunk, and I’ll abuse anything!’ ‘Then,’says Lord Rake, ‘you shall wear this gown whilst youcharge the watch; that though the blows fall upon you,the scandal may light upon the church!’ ‘A generousdesign, by all the Gods!’ is the ecstatic consent of thePantheistic Brute—and it is one to which Amen! has beencried by many of the Brute family since first it was utteredby their illustrious predecessor.

Meanwhile, Caroline could be as earnest and interestedupon trifles as she was upon questions of political importance.She loved both to plague and to talk about Mrs.Howard.

That the Queen was not more courteous to this ladythan their respective positions demanded there is abundantevidence. In a very early period of the reign Mrs.Howard was required, as bedchamber-woman, to presenta basin for the Queen to wash her hands in, and to performthe service kneeling. The etiquette was, for thebasin and ewer to be set on the Queen’s table by a pageof the back stairs: the office of the bedchamber-womanwas then to take both, pour out the water, set it beforethe Queen, and remain kneeling while her Majestywashed, of which refreshing ceremony the kneeling attendantwas the only one who dared be the ocularwitness.

This service of genuflexion remained in courtly fashiontill the death of Queen Charlotte. In the mean time,196Mrs. Howard was by no means disposed to render it toQueen Caroline. The scene which ensued was highlyamusing. On the service being demanded, said Carolineto Lord Hervey, ‘Mrs. Howard proceeded to tell me,with her little fierce eyes, and cheeks as red as yourcoat, that, positively, she would not do it; to which Imade her no answer then in anger, but calmly, as Iwould have said to a naughty child:—“Yes, my dearHoward, I am sure you will. I know you will. Go, go;fie for shame! Go, my good Howard; we will talk ofthis another time.” Mrs. Howard did come round; and Itold her,’ said Caroline, ‘I knew we should be goodfriends again; but could not help adding, in a little moreserious voice, that I owned, of all my servants, I hadleast expected, as I had least deserved it, such treatmentfrom her; when she knew I had held her up at a timewhen it was in my power, if I had pleased, any hour ofthe day, to let her drop through my fingers, thus——.’

Caroline’s own account of the fracas between Mrs.Howard and her husband is too characteristic to bepassed over. The curious in such matters will find it infull detail in ‘Lord Hervey’s Memoirs.’ In this place itwill suffice to say, that, according to Lord Hervey, Mr.Howard had a personal interview with the Queen.Caroline described the circ*mstances of it with greatgraphic power. At this interview he had said that hewould take his wife out of her Majesty’s coach if he mether in it. Caroline told him to ‘Do it, if he dare;though,’ she added, ‘I was horribly afraid of him (for wewere tête à tête) all the time I was thus playing the bully.What added to my fear on this occasion,’ said the Queen,‘was, that as I knew him to be so brutal, as well as alittle mad, and seldom quite sober, so that I did notthink it impossible but that he might throw me out ofwindow (for it was in this very room our interview was,197and that sash then open, as it is now); but as soon as Igot near the door, and thought myself safe from beingthrown out of the window, I resumed my grand tone ofQueen, and said I would be glad to see who would dareto open my coach-door and take out one of my servants;knowing all the time that he might do so if he would,and that he could have his wife and I the affront. ThenI told him that my resolution was positively, neither toforce his wife to go to him if she had no mind to it, norto keep her if she had. He then said he would complainto the King; upon which I again assumed my high tone,and said the King had nothing to do with my servants;and, for that reason, he might save himself the trouble,as I was sure the King would give him no answer butthat it was none of his business to concern himself withmy family; and after a good deal more conversation ofthis sort (I standing close to the door all the while to giveme courage), Mr. Howard and I bade one another goodmorning, and he withdrew.’

Caroline proceeded to call Lord Trevor ‘an old fool’for coming to her with thanks from Mrs. Howard, andsuggestions that the Queen should give 1,200l. a-year tothe husband for the consent of the latter to his wife’sbeing retained in the Queen’s household. Caroline repliedto this suggestion with as high a tone as she couldhave used when addressing herself to Mr. Howard; butwith a coarseness of spirit and sentiment which hardlybecame a queen, although they do not appear to havebeen considered unbecoming in a queen at that time. ‘Ithought,’ said Caroline, ‘I had done full enough, andthat it was a little too much, not only to keep the King’s“guenipes” (trollops) under my roof, but to pay themtoo. I pleaded poverty to my good Lord Trevor, andsaid I would do anything to keep so good a servant asMrs. Howard about me; but that for the 1,200l. a-year,198I really could not afford it.’ The King used to makepresents to the Queen of fine Hanoverian horses, not thatshe might be gratified, but that he might, when he wantedthem, have horses maintained out of her purse. So hegave her a bedchamber-woman in Mrs. Howard; butCaroline would not have her on the same terms as thehorses, and the 1,200l. a-year were probably paid—-not bythe King, after all, but by the people.

Lord Chesterfield describes the figure of Mrs. Howardas being above the middle size and well-shaped, with aface more pleasing than beautiful.7 She was remarkablefor the extreme fairness and fineness of her hair. ‘Herarms were square and lean, that is, ugly. Her countenancewas an undecided one, and announced neithergood nor ill nature, neither sense nor the want of it,neither vivacity nor dulness.’ It is difficult to understandhow such a face could be ‘pleasing;’ and thefollowing is the characteristic of a common-place person.‘She had good natural sense, not without art, but in herconversation dwelt tediously upon details and minuties.’Of the man whom she had, when very young, hastilymarried for love, and heartily hated at leisure, Chesterfieldsays, ‘he was sour, dull, and sullen.’ The samewriter sets it down as equally unaccountable that thelady should have loved such a man, or that the manshould ever have loved anybody. The noble lord is alsoof opinion that only a Platonic friendship reigned betweenthe King and the favourite; and that it was as innocentas that which was said to have existed between himselfand Miss Bellenden.

Very early during the intercourse, ‘the busy andspeculative politicians of the antechambers, who kneweverything, but knew everything wrong,’ imagined thatthe lady’s influence must be all-powerful, seeing that her199admirer paid to her the homage of devoting to her thebest hours of his day. She did not reject solicitations,we are told, because she was unwilling to have it supposedthat she was without power. She neither rejected solicitationsnor bound herself by promises, but hinted atdifficulties; and, in short, as Chesterfield well expressesit, she used ‘all that trite cant of those who with powerwill not, and of those who without power cannot, grantthe requested favours.’ So far from being able to makepeers, she was not even successful in a well-meant attemptto procure a place of 200l. a-year ‘for John Gay, a verypoor and honest man, and no bad poet, only because hewas a poet, which the King considered as a mechanic.’Mrs. Howard had little influence, either in the house ofthe Prince, or, when she became Countess of Suffolk, inthat of the King. Caroline, we are told, ‘had taken goodcare that Lady Suffolk’s apartment should not lead topower and favour; and from time to time made her feelher inferiority by hindering the King from going to herroom for three or four days, representing it as the seat ofa political faction.’



Violent opposition to the King by Prince Frederick—Readings at WindsorCastle—The Queen’s patronage of Stephen Duck—His melancholy end—Glanceat passing events—Precipitate flight of Dr. Nichols—PrincessAnne’s determination to get a husband—Louis XV. proposed as a suitor;negotiation broken off—The Prince of Orange’s offer accepted—Ugly anddeformed—The King and Queen averse to the union—Dowry settled onthe Princess—Anecdote of the duch*ess of Marlborough—Illness of thebridegroom—Ceremonies attendant on the marriage—Mortification ofthe Queen—The public nuptial chamber—Offence given to the Irishpeers—The Queen and Lady Suffolk—Homage paid by the Princess toher deformed husband—Discontent of Prince Frederick—His anxietynot unnatural—Congratulatory addresses by the Lords and Commons—Spiritedconduct of the Queen—Lord Chesterfield—Agitations on Walpole’scelebrated Excise Scheme—Lord Stair delegated to remonstratewith the Queen—Awkward performance of his mission—Sharply rebukedby the Queen—Details of the interview—The Queen’s success in overcomingthe King’s antipathy to Walpole—Comments of the populace—Royalinterview with a bishop.

The social happiness of Caroline began now to be affectedby the conduct of her son Frederick, Prince of Wales.Since his arrival in England, in 1728, he had been butcoolly entertained by his parents, who refused to pay thedebts he had accumulated in Hanover previous to hisleaving the Electorate. He was soon in the arms of theopposition; and the court had no more violent an enemy,political or personal, than this prince.

His conduct, however—and some portion of it wasfar from being unprovoked—did not prevent the courtfrom entering into some social enjoyments of a harmlessand not over-amusing nature. Among these may be201reckoned the ‘readings’ at Windsor Castle. These readingsconsisted of the poetry, or verses rather, of thatStephen Duck, the thresher, whose rhymes Swift has ridiculedin lines as weak as any which ever fell from thepen of Duck. The latter was a Wiltshire labourer, whosupported, or tried to support, a family upon the modestwages of four-and-sixpence a week. In his leisure hours,whenever those could have occurred, he cultivated poetry;and two of his pieces, ‘The Shunamite’ and ‘TheThresher’s Labour,’ were publicly read in the drawing-roomat Windsor Castle, in 1730, by Lord Macclesfield.Caroline procured for the poet the office of yeoman ofthe guard, and afterwards made him keeper of her grotto,Merlin’s Cave, at Richmond. This last act, and thepatronage and pounds which Caroline wasted upon thewayward and worthless savage, show that Swift’s epigramupon the busts in the hermitage at Richmond was notbased upon truth—

Louis, the living learned fed,

And raised the scientific head.

Our frugal Queen, to save her meat,

Exalts the heads that cannot eat.

Swift’s anger against the Queen, who once promisedhim some medals, but who never kept her word, andfrom whom he had hoped, perhaps, for a patronage whichhe failed to acquire, was further illustrated about thistime in a fiercely satirical poem, in which he says:—

May Caroline continue long—

For ever fair and young—in song.

What, though the royal carcase must,

Squeez’d in a coffin, turn to dust?

Those elements her name compose,

Like atoms, are exempt from blows.

And, in allusion to the princesses and their prospects,he adds, that Caroline ‘hath graces of her own:’—


Three Graces by Lucina brought her,

Just three, and ev’ry Grace a daughter.

Here many a king his heart and crown

Shall at their snowy feet lay down;

In royal robes they come by dozens

To court their English-German cousins:

Besides a pair of princely babies

That, five years hence, will both be Hebes.

The royal patronage of Duck ultimately raised him tothe church, and made of him Vicar of Kew. But it failedto bring to the thresher substantial happiness. He hadlittle enjoyment in the station to which he was elevated;and, weary of the restraints it imposed on him, he ultimatelyescaped from them by drowning himself.

Of the Graces who were the daughters of Caroline,the marriage of one began now to be canvassed. Meanwhile,there was much food for mere talk in commonpassing events at home. The courtiers had to expresssympathy at their Majesties’ being upset in their carriage,when travelling only from Kew to London. Then theson of a Stuart had just died in London. He was thatDuke of Cleveland who was the eldest son of Charles II.and Barbara Villiers. In the year 1731 died two far moreremarkable people. On the 8th of April ‘Mrs. ElizabethCromwell, daughter of Richard Cromwell, the Protector,and grand-daughter of Oliver Cromwell, died at her housein Bedford Row, in the eighty-second year of her age.’In the same month passed away a man whose writingsas much amused Caroline as they have done commonerpeople—Defoe. He had a not much superior intellectualtraining to that of Stephen Duck, but he was ‘one of thebest English writers that ever had so mean an education.’The deaths in the same year of the eccentric and profligateDuke of Wharton, and of the relict of that Dukeof Monmouth who lost his head for rebellion againstJames II., gave further subject of conversation in thecourt circle; where, if it was understood that death was203inevitable and necessary, no one could understand whathad induced Dr. Nichols, of Trinity College, Cambridge,to steal books from the libraries in that university town.The court was highly merry at the precipitate flight ofthe doctor, after he was found out; but there was doublethe mirth the next year at the awkwardness of the Emperorof Germany, who, happening to fire at a stag,chanced to shoot Prince Schwartzenberg, his master ofthe horse. But we turn from these matters to those ofwooing and marriage.

In the year 1733 the proud and eldest daughter ofCaroline, she who had expressed her vexation at havingbrothers, who stood between her and the succession tothe crown—a crown, to wear which for a day, she averredshe would willingly die when the day was over—in theyear above named, the Princess Anne had reached themature age of twenty-four, and her hand yet remaineddisengaged. Neither crown nor suitor had yet beenplaced at her disposal. A suitor with a crown was once,however, very nearly on the point of fulfilling the greatobject of her ambition, and that when she was not morethan sixteen years of age. The lover proposed was noless a potentate than Louis XV., and he would haveoffered her a seat on a throne, which, proud as shewas, she might have accepted without much condescension.

It is said that the proposal to unite Louis XV. and thePrincess Anne originated with the French minister, theDuke de Bourbon, and that the project was entertainedwith much favour and complacency, until it suddenlyoccurred to some one that if the princess became queenin France, she would be expected to conform to the religionof France. This, it was urged, could not be thoughtof by a family which was a reigning family only by virtueof its pre-eminent Protestantism. It does not seem to204have occurred to any one that when Maria Henriettaespoused Charles I., she had not been even asked tobecome a professed member of the Church of England,and that we might have asked for the same toleration inFrance for the daughter of Caroline as had been givenin England to the daughter of the ‘Grand Henri.’ Howeverthis may be, the affair was not pursued to its end,and Caroline could not say to her daughter, as Stanislassaid to his on the morning he received an offer for herfrom the young King Louis:—‘Bon jour! ma fille: vousêtes Reine de France!

Anne was unlucky. She lived moodily on for somehalf-dozen years, and, nothing more advantageous offering,she looked good-naturedly on one of the ugliest princes inEurope. But then he happened to be a sovereign princein his way. This was the Prince of Orange, who resembledAlexander the Great only in having a wry neck anda halt in his gait. But he also had other deformities fromwhich the Macedonian was free.

George and Caroline were equally indisposed to acceptthe prince for a son-in-law, and the parental disinclinationwas expressed in words to the effect that neither King norQueen would force the feelings of their daughter, whomthey left free to accept or reject the misshapen suitor whoaspired to the plump hand and proud person of thePrincess Anne.

The lady thought of her increasing years; that loverswere not to be found on every bush, especially sovereignlovers; and, remembering that there were Princesses ofEngland before her who had contrived to live in muchstate and a certain degree of happiness as Princesses ofOrange, she declared her intention of following the samecourse, and compelling her ambition to stoop to the samemodest fortune.

The Queen was well aware that her daughter knew205nothing more of the prince than what she could collectfrom his counterfeit presentments limned by flatteringartists; and Caroline suggested that she should not be tooready to accept a lover whom she had not seen. Theprincess was resolute in her determination to take him atonce, ‘for better, for worse.’ Her royal father was somewhatimpatient and chafed by such pertinacity, andexclaimed that the prince was the ugliest man in Holland,and he could not more terribly describe him. ‘I do notcare,’ said she, ‘how ugly he may be. If he were a Dutchbaboon I would marry him.’ ‘Nay, then, have your way,’said George, in his strong Westphalian accent, which wasalways rougher and stronger when he was vexed; ‘haveyour way: you will find baboon enough, I promise you!’

Could the aspiring Prince of Orange only have heardhow amiably he was spoken of en famille by his futurerelations, he would perhaps have been less ambitious ofcompleting the alliance. Happily these family secretswere not revealed until long after he could be consciousof them, and accordingly his honest proposals wereaccepted with ostentatious respect and ill-covered ridicule.

The marriage of the princess royal could not be concludedwithout an application to parliament. To bothhouses a civil intimation was made of the proposed unionof the Princess Anne and the Prince of Orange. In thisintimation the King graciously mentioned that he promisedhimself the concurrence and assistance of the Commons toenable him to give such a portion with his eldest daughteras should be suitable to the occasion. The Commons’committee promised to do all that the King and Queencould expect from them, and they therefore came to theresolution to sell lands in the island of St. Christopherto the amount of 80,000l., and to make over that sum tothe King, as the dowry of his eldest daughter. Theresolution made part of a bill of which it was only one of206the items, and the members in the house affected to bescandalised that the dowry of a Princess of England shouldbe ‘lumped in’ among a mass of miscellaneous items—charitiesto individuals, grants to old churches, and sumsawarded for less dignified purposes. But the bill passedas it stood, and Caroline, who only a few days before hadsent a thousand pounds to the provost of Queen’s College,Oxford, for the rebuilding and adorning of that college,was especially glad to find a dowry for her daughter, inwhatever company it might come, provided only it was notout of her own purse.

The news of the securing of the dowry hastened thecoming of the bridegroom. On the 7th of November 1732he arrived at Greenwich, and thence proceeded to SomersetHouse. His intended wife, when she heard of his arrival, wasin no hurry to meet him, but went on at her harpsichord,surrounded by a number of opera-people. The Queenspoke of him as ‘that animal!’ The nuptials were tohave been speedily solemnised, but the lover fell grievouslysick. When the poor ‘groom’ fell sick, not one of theroyal family condescended to visit him, and though hehimself maintained a dignified silence on this insultingconduct, his suite, who could not imitate their master’sindifference, made comment thereupon loud and frequentenough. They got nothing by it, save being called Dutchboobies. The princess royal exhibited no outward manifestationeither of consciousness or sympathy. Sheappeared precisely the same under all contingencies; andwhether the lover were in or out of England, in life or outof it, seemed to this strong-minded lady to be one andthe same thing.

There was no one whom the postponement of themarriage more annoyed than it did the duch*ess of Marlborough.She was then residing in Marlborough House,which had been built some five-and-twenty years previously207by Wren. That architect was employed, not because hewas preferred, but that Vanbrugh might be vexed. Theground, in which had formerly been kept the birds andfowls ultimately destined to pass through the kitchen tothe royal table, had been leased to the duch*ess by QueenAnne, and the expenses of building amounted to nearlyfifty thousand pounds. The duch*ess both experiencedand caused considerable mortifications here. She used tospeak of the King in the adjacent palace as her ‘neighbourGeorge.’ The entrance to the house, from Pall Mall, was,as it still is, a crooked and inconvenient one. To remedythis defect, she intended to purchase some houses ‘in thePriory,’ as the locality was called, for the purpose ofpulling them down and constructing a more commodiousentry to the mansion; but Sir Robert Walpole, with nomore dignified motive than spite, secured the houses andground, and erected buildings on the latter, which, as now,completely blocked in the front of the duch*ess’s mansion.She was subjected to a more temporary, but as inconvenient,blockade when the preparations for the weddingof the imperious Anne and her ugly husband were goingon. Among other preparations a boarded gallery, throughwhich the nuptial procession was to pass, was built upclose against the duch*ess’s windows, completely darkeningher rooms. As the boards remained there during thepostponement of the ceremony, the duch*ess used to lookat them with the remark, ‘I wish the princess would obligeme by taking away her orange chest!’

But the sick bridegroom took long to mend; and itwas not till the following January that he was even sufficientlyconvalescent to journey by easy stages to Bath,and there drink in health at the fashionable pump. Amonth’s attendance there restored him to something likehealth; and in February his serene highness was gravelydisporting himself at Oxford, exchanging compliments and208eating dinners with the sages and scholars at that seat oflearning. Another month was allowed to pass, and then,on the 24th of March 1733, the royal marriage wassolemnised ‘in the French Chapel,’ St. James’s, by theBishop of London.

The ceremony was as theatrical and coarse as suchthings used to be in those days. The prince must havelooked very much as M. Potier used to look in Riquet àla Houppe, before his transformation from deformity toperfection. He was attired in a ‘cloth of gold suit;’ andGeorge and Caroline may be pardoned if they smiled atthe ‘baboon’ whom they were about to accept for theirson-in-law. The bride was ‘in virgin robes of silvertissue, having a train six yards long, which was supportedby ten dukes’ and earls’ daughters, all of whom wereattired in robes of silver tissue.’

Nature will assert its claims in spite of pride or expediency;and accordingly it was observed that, after thebridegroom had arrived, and the marriage processionbegan to move through the temporarily constructedgallery, blazing with light, and glittering with bright gemsand brighter eyes, the bride herself seemed slightlytouched, and Caroline especially grave and anxious in herdeportment. She appeared, for the first time, to feel thather daughter was about to make a great sacrifice, and herconsequent anxiety was probably increased by the convictionthat it was too late to save her daughter fromimpending fate. The King himself, who had never beenin the eager condition of the seigneur in the song, who soperemptorily exclaims—

De ma fille Isabelle

Sois l’époux à l’instant—

manifested more impassibility than ever. Finally, theknot was tied under a salvo of artillery and a world of sighs.


The ceremony took place in the evening, and at midnightthe royal family supped in public. It was a joyousfestival, and not before two in the morning did the jadedmarried couple retire to the bower prepared for them,where they had to endure the further nuisance of sitting upin bed, in rich undresses, while the court and nobility,‘fresh’ from an exhilarating supper and strong wines,defiled before them, making pleasant remarks the while, as‘fine gentlemen’ used to make who had been born in ourAugustan age.

Caroline felt compassion for her daughter, but sherestrained her feelings until her eye fell upon the bridegroom.In his silver tissue night-dress, his light peruque,his ugliness, and his deformity, he struck her as the impersonationof a monster. His ill figure was so ill-dressed,that, looked at from behind, he appeared to have no head,and seen from before, he appeared as if he had neitherneck nor legs.8 The Queen was wonderfully moved atthe sight—moved with pity for her daughter, and withindignation at her husband. The portion of the ceremonywhich used to be the merriest was by far the most mournful,at least so far as the Queen’s participation therein wasconcerned. She fairly cried with mingled vexation, disappointment,and disgust. She could not even revert tothe subject, for days after, without crying, and yet laughingtoo, as the oddity of the bridegroom’s ugliness cameacross her mind.

The married couple were assuredly a strangely assortedpair. The bride, indeed, was not without common-placecharms. In common with a dairy-maid the princess hada lively clear look and a very fair complexion. Likemany a dairy-maid, too, of the time, she was very muchmarked with the small-pox. She was also ill-made, andinclined to become as obese as her royal mother. But210then the bridegroom! All writers dealing with the subjectagree that his ugliness was something extraordinary. Noone doubts that he was deformed; but Hervey adds sometraits that are revolting. His serene highness did not,like the gods, distil a celestial ichor. He appears, however,not to have been void of sense or good feeling; for when,at the period of his arrival, he was received with veryscanty honours and cold ceremony—was made to feel thathe was nothing in himself, and could only become anythinghere by marrying an English princess; whenGeorge, if not Caroline, ‘snubbed’ the courtiers whocrowded his apartments at Somerset House; and when,in short, the prince of 12,000l. a year was made to feelthat but little value was set upon him—he bore it all insilence, or as if he did not perceive it. Let us hope thatgallantry for the lady induced the princely Quasimodothus to act. It was almost more than she deserved; forwhile the people were ready to believe that the alliancewas entered into the better to strengthen the Protestantsuccession, Anne herself was immediately moved theretoby fear, if she were left single, of ultimately depending fora provision upon her brother Frederick.

Lord Hervey was the master of the ceremonies on thisserio-comic occasion. According to his table of precedence,the Irish peers were to walk in the procession afterthe entire body of the peerage of Great Britain. Thiswas putting the highest Irish peer beneath the lowestbaron in Britain. The Hibernian lords claimed to walkimmediately after the English and Scotch peers of theirown degree. It was the most modest claim ever madeby that august body; but, modest as it was, the arrogantpeers of Great Britain threatened, if the claim wereallowed, to absent themselves from the ceremony altogether!The case was represented to Caroline, and shetook the side of right and common sense; but when she211was told that to allow the Irish claim would be to banishevery British peer from the solemn ceremony, she was weakenough to give way. Lord Hervey, in his programmefor the occasion, omitted to make any mention of thepeers of Ireland at all—thus leaving them to walk wherethey could. On being remonstrated with, he said that ifthe Irish lords were not satisfied he would keep all thefinery standing, and they might walk through it in anyorder of precedency they liked on the day after thewedding. One lord grievously complained of the omissionof the illustrious Hibernian body from the programme.Lord Hervey excused himself by remarking, that as theIrish house of peers was then sitting in Dublin, he neverthought, being an Englishman, of the august members ofthat assembly being in two places at once.

The claim was probably disallowed because Irelandwas not then in union with England, as Scotland was.On no other ground could the claim have been refused;and Caroline saw that even that ground was not a verygood one whereon to rest a denial. As it was, theIrish peers felt like poor relations, neither invited to norprohibited from the joyous doings, but with a thoroughconviction that, to use a popular phrase, their room wasdeemed preferable to their company.

During the week following the marriage, Frederick,Prince of Wales, was employed, after a fashion whichsuited his tastes extremely well, in escorting his brother-in-lawto witness the sights of London. It then appearsto have suddenly struck the government that it would beas well to make an Englishman of the bridegroom, andthat that consummation could not be too quickly arrivedat. Accordingly, a bill for naturalising the prince wasbrought in and read three times on the same day. It, ofcourse, passed unanimously, and the prince received theintelligence of his having been converted into a Briton212with a phlegm which showed that he had not altogetherceased to be a Dutchman.

He was much more pleasurably excited in the Aprilof the following year, when he heard that the King hadsent a written message to the Commons, intimating thathe had settled five thousand a year on the princess royal,and desiring that they would enable him to make thegrant for the life of the princess, as it would otherwisedetermine on his Majesty’s death. The Commons compliedwith this message, and the Prince of Orange wasinfinitely more delighted with this Act than with thatwhich bestowed on him the legal rights of an Englishman.

This pleasant little arrangement having been concluded,the prince and princess set out for Holland, fromSt. James’s, on the 10th of April 1734; and in July ofthe same year the princess was again in England, not atall to the satisfaction of her sire, and but very scantily tothe delight of her mother. The young lady, however,was determined to remain; and it was not till Novemberthat she once more returned to her home behind thedykes. The Queen was not sorry to part with her, forjust then she was deep in the fracas connected with thedismissal of her husband’s ‘favourite,’ Lady Suffolk, fromher office of mistress of the robes to her Majesty, an officein which she was succeeded by the more worthy Countessof Tankerville. The King had the less time to be troubledwith thought about ‘that old deaf woman,’ as he veryungallantly used to call his ancient ‘favourite,’ as he, too,was deeply engaged in protesting against the ElectorPalatine, who had been very vigorously protesting againstthe right of the King, as Elector of Hanover, to bear thetitle of arch-treasurer of the empire.

The commiseration which the Queen had felt for herdaughter was shared by the sister of the latter, the213Princess Amelia, who declared that nothing on earthcould have induced her to wed with such a man as thePrince of Orange. Her declaration was accepted for asmuch as it was worth. The gentle Princess Caroline, onthe other hand, thought that her sister, under the circ*mstances,had acted wisely, and that, had she been so placed,she would have acted in like manner. Nor did the conductof the bride give the world any reason to think thatshe stood in need of pity. She appeared to adore the‘monster,’ who, it must be confessed, exhibited no particularregard for his spouse. The homage she paid himwas perfect. ‘She made prodigious court to him,’ saysLord Hervey, ‘addressed everything she said to him, andapplauded everything he said to anybody else.’

Perhaps the pride of the princess would not permit adoubt to be thrown upon her supreme happiness. Herbrother Frederick strove to mar it by raising a quarrel, ona slight, but immensely absurd, foundation. He reproachedher for the double fault of presuming to be married beforehim, and of accepting a settlement from her father whenhe had none. He was ingenious in finding fault; butthere may have been a touch of satire in this, for Annewas known to have been as groundlessly angry with herbrother for a circ*mstance which he could not very wellhelp, namely, his own birth, whereby the princess royalceased to be next heir to the crown.

The prince, however, was not much addicted to showingrespect to anybody, least of all to his mother. Itwas because of this miserable want of respect for theQueen that the King, in an interview forced on him by hisson, refused to settle a fixed annuity upon him—at leasttill he had manifested a more praiseworthy conduct towardsthe Queen.

The anxiety of Frederick on this occasion was notunnatural, for he was deeply in debt, and of the 100,000l.214granted to the prince by parliament out of the civil list,the King allowed him only 36,000l. The remainder wasappropriated by the King, who doubtless made his son’sconduct the rule of his liberality, measuring his suppliesto the prince according as the latter was well or ill behaved.It was a degrading position enough, and thedegradation was heightened by the silent contempt withwhich the King passed over his son’s application to bepermitted to join in active service. Throughout thesefirst family quarrels, the Queen preserved a great impartiality,with some leaning, perhaps, towards serving herson. Nothing, however, came of it; and, for the moment,Frederick was fain to be content with doing thehonours of the metropolis to his ungraceful brother-in-law.

The congratulatory addresses which were presented onthe occasion of the marriage had a mordantly satiricaltone about them. It is wonderful how George and Caroline,whose unpopularity was increasing at this time, continuedto preserve their equanimity at hearing praisesrung on the name and services of ‘Orange’—the name ofa prince who had become King of England by renderingthe questionable service to his father-in-law of turninghim off the throne.

The address of the Lords to the Queen, especially congratulatingthe mother on the marriage of her daughter,was rendered painful instead of pleasant by its beingpresented, that is spoken, to her by Lord Chesterfield.Caroline had never seen this peer since the time he wasdismissed from her husband’s household, when she wasPrincess of Wales. He had not been presented at courtsince the accession of the present Sovereign, and theQueen was therefore resolved to treat as an utter strangerthe man who had been impertinent enough to declare hedesigned that the step he took should be considered as a215compliment to the Queen. The latter abhorred him,nevertheless, for his present attempt to turn the complimentaddressed to her by the Lords into a joke. Before heappeared, Caroline intimated her determination not to letthe peer’s cool impertinence awe or disconcert her. Hereally did find what she declared he should, that ‘itwas as little in his power for his presence to embarrass heras for his raillery behind her back to pique her, or hisconsummate skill in politics to distress the King or hisministers.’9

The Queen acted up to this resolution. She receivedLords Chesterfield, Scarborough, and Hardwicke, thebearers of the address, in her bedchamber, no one elsebeing present but her children and Lord Hervey, whostood behind her chair. The last-named nobleman, indescribing the scene, says: ‘Lord Chesterfield’s speechwas well written and well got by heart, and yet deliveredwith a faltering voice, a face as white as a sheet, andevery limb trembling with concern. The Queen’s answerwas quiet and natural, and delivered with the same easethat she would have spoken to the most indifferent personin her circle.’

Caroline, however, had more serious matters to attendto during this year than affairs of marriage. Of thesewe will now briefly speak.

Sir Robert Walpole’s celebrated Excise scheme wasprolific in raising political agitations and exciting bothpolitical and personal passions. The Peers were, strangelyenough, even more resolute against the measure than theCommons; or perhaps it would be more correct to say,that a portion of them took advantage of the popularfeeling to further thereby their own particular interestsand especial objects.

It is again illustrative of the power and influence of216Caroline, and of the esteem in which she was held, thata body of the peers delegated Lord Stair to proceed tothe Queen, at Kensington, and remonstrate with her uponthe unconstitutional and destructive measure, as theydesignated the Excise project.

Lord Stair was a bold man and was accustomed tomeet and contend with sovereigns. He had no doubt ofbeing able to turn Caroline to his purpose. But neverdid delegate perform his mission so awkwardly. Hethought to awaken the Queen’s indignation against Walpoleby imparting to her the valuable admonitory knowledgethat she was ruled by that subtle statesman. Hefancied he improved his position by informing her thatWalpole was universally hated, that he was no gentleman,and that he was as ill-looking as he was ill-inclined.He even forgot his mission, save when he spoke of fidelityto his constituents, by going into purely personal matters,railing at the minister whose very shoe-buckles he hadkissed in order to be appointed vice-admiral of Scotland,when the Duke of Queensberry was ejected from thatpost, and accusing Walpole of being manifestly untrueto the trust which he held, seeing that whenever therewas an office to dispose of, he invariably preferredgiving it to the Campbells rather than to him—Stair.To the Campbells!—he reiterated, as if the very namewere enough to rouse Caroline against Walpole. To theCampbells! who tried to rule England by means of theKing’s mistress; opposed to governing it by means ofthe King’s wife.

Caroline heard him with decent and civil patienceuntil he had gone through his list of private grievances,and began to meddle with matters personal to herself andthe royal hearth. She then burst forth, and was superbin her rebuke—superb in its matter and manner—superbin her dignity and in the severity with which she217crushed Lord Stair beneath her fiery sarcasms and herwithering contempt. She ridiculed his assertions offidelity, and told him he had become traitor to his owncountry and the betrayer of his own constituents. Shemocked his complacent assurances that his object was notpersonal, but patriotic. She professed her intense abhorrenceof having the private dissensions of noblemenripped open in her presence, and bade him learn bettermanners than to speak, as he had done, of ‘the King’sservants to the King’s wife.’

‘My conscience,’ said Lord Stair.

‘Don’t talk to me of your conscience, my lord,’ saidCaroline, ‘or I shall faint.’ The conversation was inFrench, and the Queen’s precise words were, ‘Ne meparlez point de conscience, milord; vous me faitesévanouir.’

The Scottish lord was sadly beaten down, and confessedhis disgraceful defeat by requesting her Majesty tobe good enough to keep what had passed at the interviewas a secret. He added, in French, ‘Madame, le Roi esttrompé et vous êtes trahie’—‘The King is deceived andyou are betrayed.’ He had previously alluded to LordsBolingbroke and Carteret, as men worthy indeed to betrusted, and who had the honour and glory of the kingdomat heart. These names, with such testimonial attachedto them, especially excited the royal indignation.‘Bolingbroke and Carteret!’ exclaimed Caroline. ‘Youmay tell them from me, if you will, that they are menof no parts; that they are said to be two of the greatestliars in any country; and that my observation and experienceconfirm what is said of them.’10

Stair reiterated his request that the incidents of theprivate interview should not be further spoken of.Caroline consented; and she must have felt some contempt218for him as he also promised that he would keepthem secret, giving knowledge thereof to no man.

‘Well?’ said Carteret, enquiringly, as he met withLord Stair after this notable interview with Caroline.

‘Well!’ exclaimed Lord Stair, ‘I have staggeredher!’ A pigmy might as well have boasted of havingstaggered Thalestris and Hippolyta.

A short time subsequently Lord Hervey was with theQueen, in her apartment, purveying to her, as he waswont to do, the floating news of the day. Among otherthings, he told her of an incident in a debate in parliamentupon the army supplies. In the course of thediscussion, Carteret had observed that, at the periodwhen Cardinal Mazarin was ruining France by his oppressivemeasures, a great man sought an audience of theQueen (Anne of Austria, mother of the young KingLouis XIV.), and after explaining to her the perils ofthe times, ended with the remark that she was maintaininga man at the helm who deserved to be rowing inthe galleys.

Caroline immediately knew that Lord Stair hadrevealed what he had petitioned her to keep secret; andfeeling that she was thereby exonerated from observingfurther silence, her Majesty took the opportunity to ‘outwith it all,’ as she said in not less choice French: ‘J’aipris la première occasion d’égosiller tout.’

Reverting to Carteret’s illustration she observed thatthe ‘great man’ noticed by him was Condé, a man whonever had a word to say against Mazarin as long as thecardinal fed a rapacity which could never be satisfied.This was, in some degree, Stair’s position with regard toWalpole. ‘Condé, in his interview with the Queen ofFrance,’ observed the well-read Queen of England, ‘hadfor his object to impose upon her and France, by endeavouringto persuade her that his private resentments219were only a consequence of his zeal for the publicservice.’

Lord Hervey, very gallantly and courtier-like, expressedhis wish that her Majesty could have been in thehouse to let the senate know her wisdom; or that shecould have been concealed there, to have had the opportunityof saying, with Agrippine—

Derrière une voile, invisible, et présente,

Je fus de ce grand corps l’âme toute puissante.

The quotation, perhaps, could not have been altogetherapplicable, but as Lord Hervey quoted it, and ‘my lord’was a man of wit, it is doubtless as well-placed as witcould make it. The Queen, at all events, took it as acompliment, laughed, and declared, that often when shewas with these impatient fellows, ever ready with theirunreasonable remonstrances, she was tempted herself tosay, with Agrippine, that she was—

Fille, femme, et mère de vos maîtres;

a quotation less applicable even than the former, but inwhich Lord Hervey detected such abundance of wit thathe went into a sort of ecstasy of delight at the Queen’sjudgment, humour, knowledge, and ability.

When the Excise bill was for the first time broughtbefore the house, the debate lasted till one in the morning.Lord Hervey, during the evening, wrote an accountof its progress to the King and Queen; and when herepaired to the palace at the conclusion of the discussion,the King kept him in the Queen’s bed-chamber, talkingover the scene, till three o’clock in the morning, andnever for a moment remembered that the hungry intelligencerhad not dined since the yesterday.

When the clamour against the bill rose to such a pitchthat all England, the army included, seemed ready torise against it, Walpole offered himself as a personal220sacrifice, if the service and interests of the King would bepromoted by his surrender of office and power. It isagain illustrative of the influence of Caroline that thisoffer was made to her and not to the King. He was intruth the Queen’s minister; and nobly she stood by him.When Walpole made the offer in question, Caroline declaredthat she would not be so mean, so cowardly, or soungrateful as to abandon him; and she infused the samespirit into the King. The latter had intended, from thefirst, to reign and govern, and be effectively his ownminister; but Caroline so wrought upon him that hethought he had of himself reached the conviction that itwas necessary for him to trust in a minister, and thatWalpole was the fittest man for such an office. And sohe grew to love the very man whom he had been wontto hold in his heart’s extremest hate. He would evenoccasionally speak of him as a ‘noble fellow,’ and, withtears in his eyes, would listen to an account of somecourageous stand Walpole had made in the house againstthe enemies of the government, and he would add thewhile a running commentary of sobs.

The Queen’s greatest triumph was this overcoming ofher husband’s personal hatred for Walpole. It couldnot have been an achievement easy to be accomplished.But her art in effecting such achievements was supreme,and she alone could turn to her own purpose the capricesof a hot-headed man, of whom it has been said, that hewas of iron obstinacy, but that he was unlike iron in this,that the hotter he became the more impossible it was tobend him. Caroline found him pliant when she foundhim cool. But then, too, he was most wary, and it wasnecessary so to act as to cause every turn which shecompelled him to make appear to himself as if it werethe result of his own unbiassed volition.

Supremely able as Caroline was, she could not, however,221always conceal her emotion. Thus, at this veryperiod of the agitation of the Excise bill, on being told,at one of her evening drawing-rooms, of the difficultiesand dangers which beset the path of the government, sheburst into tears, became unusually excited, and finallyaffecting, and perhaps feeling, headache and vapours, shebroke up her quadrille party, and betrayed in her outwardmanner an apparent conviction of impendingcalamity. She evinced the same weakness on being told,on a subsequent evening, that Walpole was in a majorityof only seventeen. Such a small majority she felt was adefeat; and, on this occasion, she again burst into tears,and for the first time expressed a fear that the courtmust give way! The sovereign was, at the same time, asstrong within her as the woman; and when she heard ofthe subordinate holders of government posts votingagainst the minister or declining to vote with him, shebitterly denounced them, exclaiming, that they whor*fused to march with their leader were as guilty as theywho openly deserted, and that both merited condignpunishment.11

The King on this occasion was as excited as his consort,but he manifested his feelings in a different way.He made Lord Hervey repeat the names of those whothwarted the views of the crown, and he grunted forthan angry commentary at each name. ‘Lord JohnCavendish,’ began Hervey. ‘A fool!’ snorted the King.‘Lord Charles Cavendish.’ ‘Half mad!’ ‘Sir WilliamLowther.’ ‘A whimsical fellow!’ ‘Sir Thomas Prendergast.’‘An Irish blockhead!’ ‘Lord Tyrconnel.’‘A puppy,’ said George, ‘who never votes twice on thesame side!’

On the other hand, the populace made their commenton the proceedings of the court. It was rendered in a222highly popular way, and with much significancy. In thecity of London, for instance, the mob hung in effigy SirRobert Walpole and a fat woman. The male figure wasduly ticketed. The female effigy was well understood tomean the Queen.

Her power would, after all, not have followed in itsfall that of Walpole. Lord Hervey remarks, that had heretired, Caroline would have placed before the King thenames of a new ministry, and that the administrationwould not have hung together a moment after it hadoutlived her liking.

In the meantime her indefatigability was great. Atthe suggestion, it is supposed, of Walpole, she sent forthe Bishop of Salisbury, Dr. Hoadly, who repaired tothe interview with his weak person and stately independence,if one may so speak, upheld by his ‘crutchedstick.’ His power must have been considered very great,and so must his caprice; for he was frequently sent for byCaroline, remonstrated with for supposed rebellion, orurged to exert all his good offices in support of thecrown. It is difficult to believe that the lengthy speechesreported by Hervey were actually delivered by Queenand bishop. There is nothing longer in Livy, and we arenot told that any one took them down. Substantially,however, they may be true. The Queen was insinuating,complimentary, suggestive, and audacious; the bishop allduty, submission, and promise—as far as his consistencyand principles could be engaged. But, after all, the immensemountain of anxiety and stratagem was reared invain, for Walpole withdrew his bill, and Caroline feltthat England was but nominally a monarchy.



Retirement of Lady Suffolk—Tact of Queen Caroline—Arrogance ofPrincess Anne—Private life of the royal family—The Count de Roncy,the French refugee—German predilections of the Queen—A scene atcourt—Queen Caroline’s declining health—Ambitious aspirations ofPrincess Anne—Bishop Hoadly and the see of Winchester—TheQueen and the clergy—The Queen appointed Regent—The King andMadame Walmoden—Lord Hervey’s imaginary post-obit diary—TheQueen’s farewell interview with Lady Suffolk—Grief made fashionable—Thetemper of the King on his return—A scene: dramatis personæ,the King, Queen, and Lord Hervey—Lady Deloraine (Pope’s Delia) aroyal favourite—An angry scene between the King and Queen—TheKing’s opinion of Bishop Hoadly—Dissension between the King andPrince—The royal libertine at Hanover—Court revels—Lady Bolingbrokeand the Queen.

The year 1734 was marked by the retirement from courtof the lady whom it was the fashion to call the Queen’srival. Mrs. Howard, on becoming Countess of Suffolk,by the accession of her husband to the earldom in 1731,had been raised to the office of mistress of the robes tothe Queen. Her husband died two years subsequently;and, shortly after, the King’s widowed favourite wassought in marriage by another suitor.

Her departure from court was doubtless principallycaused by this new prospect of a happier life. It mayhave been accelerated by other circ*mstances. LordChesterfield, angry with the Queen for forgetting to exerther promised influence for him in obtaining some favour,applied to Lady Suffolk, and informed the Queen of thecourse he had taken. Caroline thereon told the King thatshe had had some petition to present on Lord Chesterfield’s224behalf, but that as he had entrusted it to Lady Suffolk’spresenting, her own influence would probably be unavailing.The King, fired at the implied affront to hisconsort, treated his old mistress, now nearly half a centuryin years, with such severity that she begged to be permittedto withdraw. Lady Suffolk brought her long careerat court to a close in this year, previous to her marriagewith the Honourable George Berkeley, younger son ofthe second Earl of Berkeley. He was Master of St. Catherine’sin the Tower, and had served in two parliamentsas member for Dover. Horace Walpole, who knew LadySuffolk intimately when she was residing at Marble Hill,Twickenham, and he at Strawberry Hill, says of her, thatshe was what may be summed up in the word ‘lady-like.’She was of a good height, well made, extremely fair, withthe finest light-brown hair, was remarkably genteel, andwas always dressed with taste and simplicity. He adds,‘for her face was regular and agreeable rather than beautiful,and those charms she retained, with little diminution,to her death, at the age of seventy-nine’ (in July 1767).He does not speak highly of her mental qualifications,but states that she was grave, and mild of character, hada strict love of truth, and was rather apt to be circ*mstantialupon trifles. The years of her life, after herwithdrawal from court, were passed in a decent, dignified,and ‘respectable’ manner, and won for her a considerationwhich her earlier career had certainly not merited.

The Queen’s influence was even stronger than thefavourite’s credit. ‘Except a barony, a red riband, anda good place for her brother, Sir John Hobart, Earl ofBuckinghamshire, Lady Suffolk could succeed but in verysubordinate recommendations. Her own acquisitionswere so moderate, that, besides Marble Hill, which costthe King ten or twelve thousand pounds, her complaisancehad not been too dearly purchased. She left the court225with an income so little to be envied, that though aneconomist and not expensive, by the lapse of some annuitieson lives not so prolonged as her own, she foundherself straitened, and, besides Marble Hill, did not atmost leave twenty thousand pounds to her family. Onquitting court, she married Mr. George Berkeley, andoutlived him.’12

It is not certain how far Caroline’s influence was exercisedin the removal of Lady Suffolk, whom the Queen,according to some authors, requested to continue sometime longer in her office of mistress of the robes. Nor isit important to ascertain. Caroline had higher duties toperform. She continued to serve her husband well, andshe showed her opinion of her son, the Prince of Wales,by her conduct to him on more than one occasion. Thus,on New Year’s Day the prince attended his royal sire’slevée, not with any idea of paying his father the slightestmeasure of respect, but, suspecting that the King wouldnot speak to him, to show the people with what contemptthe homage of a dutiful son was met by a stern parent.When Caroline heard of the design, she simply persuadedthe King to address his son kindly in public. This advicewas followed, and the filial plot accordingly failed.

The Queen was as resolute in supporting the Kingagainst being driven into settling a permanent incomeupon the prince. She spoke of the latter as an extravagantand unprincipled fool, only less ignorant than thosewho were idiots enough to give opinions upon what theycould not understand. ‘He costs the King 50,000l.a-year, and till he is married that may really be called areasonable allowance.’ She stigmatised him as a ‘poorcreature,’ easily led away, but not naturally bad-hearted.His seducers she treated as knaves, fools, and monsters.To the suggestion that a fixed allowance, even if it should226be less than what the King paid out for him every year,would be better than the present plan, Caroline onlyreplied that the King thought otherwise; and so thematter rested.

The tact of the Queen was further displayed in thecourse adopted by her on an occasion of some delicacy.Lord Stair had been deprived of his regiment for attemptingto bring in a law whereby the commissions of officersshould be secured to them for life. The King said hewould not allow him to keep by favour what he hadendeavoured to keep by force. Thereupon Lord Stairaddressed a private letter to the Queen, through her lord-chamberlain,stuffed with prophetic warnings against themachinations of France and the designs of Walpole.

Caroline, on becoming acquainted with the contentsof the epistle, rated her chamberlain soundly, and badehim take it instantly to Sir Robert Walpole, with a requestto the latter to lay it before the King. She thus ‘verydexterously avoided the danger of concealing such aletter from the King, or giving Sir Robert Walpole anycause of jealousy from showing it.’ His Majesty verysententiously observed upon the letter, that Lord Stair‘was a puppy for writing it, and the lord-chamberlain afool for bringing it.’ The good chamberlain was a foolfor other reasons also. He had no more rational powerthan a vegetable, and his solitary political sentiment wasto this effect, and wrapped up in very bad English: ‘Ihate the French, and I hope as we shall beat the French.’13

The times were growing warlike, and it was on theoccasion of the Prince of Orange going to the camp ofPrince Eugene that the Princess Anne returned to England.She was as arrogant and as boldly spoken as ever.In the latter respect she manifested much of the spirit ofher mother. During her stay at court, the news of the227surrender of Philipsburg reached this country. Herhighness’s remark thereon, in especial reference to herroyal father, is worth quoting. It was addressed to LordHervey, who was leading the princess to her own apartmentafter the drawing-room. ‘Was there ever anythingso unaccountable,’ said she, shrugging up her shoulders,‘as the temper of papa? He has been snapping andsnubbing every mortal for this week, because he began tothink Philipsburg would be taken; and this very day,that he actually hears it is taken, he is in as good humouras I ever saw him in in my life. To tell you the truth,’she added, in French, ‘I find that so whimsical, and(between ourselves) so utterly foolish, that I am moreenraged by his good, than I was before by his bad,humour.’

‘Perhaps,’ answered Lord Hervey, ‘he may be aboutPhilipsburg as David was about the child, who, whilst itwas sick, fasted, lay upon the earth, and covered himselfwith ashes, but the moment it was dead, got up, shavedhis beard, and drank wine.’ ‘It may be like David,’said the princess royal, ‘but I am sure it is not likeSolomon.’

It was hardly the time for Solomons. Lord ChancellorKing was a man of the people, who, by talent,integrity, and perseverance, rose to the highest rank towhich a lawyer can work his way. He lost his popularityalmost as soon as he acquired the seals, and these he wasultimately compelled, from growing imbecility of mind,to resign. He was the most dilatory in rendering judgmentsof all our chancellors, and would never willinglyhave decided a question, for fear he should decide it incorrectly.This characteristic, joined to the fact of his havingpublished a history of the Apostles’ Creed, extorted fromCaroline the smart saying, that ‘He was just in the lawwhat he had formerly been in the Gospel, making creeds228upon the one without any steady belief, and judgmentsin the other without any settled opinion. But the misfortunefor the public is,’ said Caroline, ‘that though theycould reject his silly creeds, they are forced often to submitto his silly judgments.’

The court private life of the sovereigns at this timewas as dull as can well be imagined. There were twopersons who shared in this life, and who were very miserablypaid for their trouble. These were the Count deRoncy and his sister. They were French Protestants,who, for conscience’ sake, had surrendered their all inFrance and taken refuge in England. The count wascreated Earl of Lifford in Ireland. His sister, LadyCharlotte de Roncy, was governess to the younger childrenof George II. Every night in the country, andthrice a week when the King and Queen were in town,this couple passed an hour or two with the King andQueen before they retired to bed. During this time ‘theKing walked about, and talked to the brother of armies,or to the sister of genealogies, while the Queen knottedand yawned, till from yawning she came to nodding, andfrom nodding to snoring.’14

This amiable pair, who had lived in England duringfour reigns, were in fact hard-worked, ill-paid court-drudges;too ill-paid, even, to appear decently clad; anespecial reproach upon Caroline, as the lady was thegoverness of her children. But they were not harderworked, in one respect, than Caroline herself, who passedseven or eight hours tête-à-tête with the King every day,‘generally saying what she did not think,’ says LordHervey, ‘and forced, like a spider, to spin out of her ownbowels all the conversation with which the fly was taken.’The King could bear neither reading nor being read to.But, for the sake of power, though it is not to be supposed229that affection had not some part in influencing Carolineto undergo such heavy trial, she endured that willingly,and indeed much more than that.

At all events, she had some respect for her husband;but she despised the son, who, in spite of her opinion ofthe natural goodness of his heart, was mean and mendacious.The prince, moreover, was weaker of understandingand more obstinate of temper than his father. Thelatter hated him, and because of that hatred, his brother,the Duke of Cumberland, was promoted to public employment.His sisters betrayed him. Had Caroline nothad a contempt for him, she would have influenced theKing to a very different line of conduct.

It was said of Frederick, that, from his German education,he was more of a German than an Englishman.But the bias alluded to was not stronger in him than itwas in his mother.

Caroline was so much more of a German than of anEnglishwoman, that when the interests of Germany wereconcerned she was always ready to sacrifice the interestsof England. Her daughter Anne would have had Europedeluged in blood for the mere sake of increasing her own andher husband’s importance. In a general war she thoughthe would come to the surface. Caroline was disinclined togo to war for the empire only because she feared that,in the end, there might be war in England, with theEnglish crown for the stake.

There was at this time in London a dull and proudimperial envoy, named Count Kiuski. He was haughtyand impertinent in his manner of demanding succour, ashis master was in requiring it, from the Dutch. Carolinerallied him on this one day, as he was riding by the sideof her carriage at a stag-hunt. She used a very homelyand not a very nice illustration to show the absurdity oflosing an end by foolishly neglecting the proper means.230‘If a handkerchief lay before me,’ said she, ‘and I felt Ihad a dirty nose, my good Count Kiuski, do you think Ishould beckon the handkerchief to come to me, or stoopto take it up?’15

Political matters were not neglected at these hunting-parties.Lord Hervey, ‘her child, her pupil, and hercharge,’ who constantly rode by the side of her carriage,on a hunter which she had given him, and which couldnot have been of much use to him if he never quittedthe side of his mistress, used to discuss politics whileothers followed the stag. The Queen, who was fourteenyears older than he, used to say, ‘It is well I am so old,or I should be talked of because of this creature!’And indeed the intercourse was constant and familiar.He was always with her when she took breakfast, whichshe usually did alone, and was her chief friend and companionwhen the King was absent. Such familiarity gavehim considerable freedom, which the Queen jokinglycalled impertinence, and said that he indulged in that andin contradicting her because he knew that she could notlive without him.

It was at a hunting-party that Lord Hervey endeavouredto convince her that for England to go to war forthe purpose of serving the empire would be a disastrouscourse to take. He could not convince her in a longconversation, and thereupon, the chase being over, he satdown and penned a political pamphlet, which he called aletter, which was ‘as long as a “President’s Message,” andwhich he forwarded to the Queen.’ If Caroline was notto be persuaded by it, she at least thought none the worseof the writer, who had spared no argument to supportthe cause in which he boldly pleaded.

We have another home-scene depicted by LordHervey, which at once shows us an illustration of parental231affection and parental indifference. The Princess Anne,after a world of delay, had reluctantly left St. James’sfor Holland, where her husband awaited her, and whithershe went for her confinement. The last thing she thoughtof was the success of the opera and the triumph of Handel.She recommended both to the charge of Lord Hervey, andthen went on her way to Harwich, sobbing. When shehad reached Colchester she, upon receiving some lettersfrom her husband stating his inability to be at the Hagueso soon as he expected, started suddenly for Kensington.

In the meantime, in the palace at the latter place LordHervey found the Queen and the gentle Princess Carolinesitting together, drinking chocolate, shedding tears, andsobbing, all at the absence of the imperious Lady Anne.The trio had just succeeded in banishing melancholy remembrancesby launching into cheerful conversation, whenthe gallery door was suddenly opened, and the Queenrose, exclaiming, ‘The King here already!’ When, however,she saw that, instead of the King, it was only thePrince of Wales, and ‘detesting the exchange of the sonfor the daughter, she burst out anew into tears, and criedout, “Oh, God! this is too much!”’ She was only relievedby the entry of the King, who, perceiving but not speakingto his son, took the Queen by the hand and led herout to walk.

This ‘cut direct,’ by affecting to be unconscious of thepresence of the obnoxious person, was a habit with theKing. ‘Whenever the prince was in a room with him,’says Lord Hervey, ‘it put one in mind of stories that onehas heard of ghosts which appear to part of the companyand were invisible to the rest; and in this manner, whereverthe prince stood, though the King passed him everso often, or ever so near, it always seemed as if the Kingthought the prince filled a void space.’

On the following day, the 22nd of October, the Princess232Anne suddenly appeared before her parents. Theythought her at Harwich, or on the seas, the wind beingfair. Tears and kisses were her welcome from her mother,and smiles and an embrace formed the greeting from herfather. The return was ill-advised, but the Queen, witha growing conviction of decaying health, could not bedispleased at seeing again her first child.

The health of Caroline was undoubtedly at this timemuch impaired, but the King allowed her scant respitefrom labour on that account. Thus on the 29th of thismonth, although the Queen was labouring under cold,cough, and symptoms of fever, in addition to having beenweakened by loss of blood, a process she had recentlyundergone twice, the King not only brought her fromKensington to London for the birthday, but forced herto go with him to the opera to hear the inimitableFarinelli. He himself thought so little of illness, or likedso little to be thought ill, that he would rise from a sickcouch to proceed to hold a levée, which was no soonerconcluded than he would immediately betake himself tobed again. His affection for the Queen was not so greatbut that he compelled the same sacrifices from her; andon the occasion of this birthday, at the morning drawing-room,she found herself so near swooning, that she wasobliged to send her chamberlain to the King, begging himto retire, ‘for she was unable to stand any longer.’ Notwithstandingwhich, we are told by Lord Hervey, that‘at night he brought her into a still greater crowd at theball, and there kept her till eleven o’clock.’

Sir Robert Walpole frequently, and never moreurgently than at this time, impressed upon her the necessityof being careful of her own health. He addressedher as though she had been Queen Regnant of England—asshe certainly was governing sovereign—and he describedto her in such pathetic terms the dangers which233England would, and Europe might, incur, if any fatalaccident deprived her of life, and the King were to fallunder the influence of any other woman, that the poorQueen, complaining and coughing, with head heavy, andaching eyes half closed with pain, cheeks flushed, pulsequick, spirits low, and breathing oppressed, burst intotears, alarmed at the picture, and with every dispositionto do her utmost for the benefit of her health and thewell-being of the body politic.

It was the opinion of Caroline, that in case of herdemise the King would undoubtedly marry again, and shehad often advised him to take such a step. She affected,however, to believe that a second wife would not be ableto influence him to act contrary to the system whichhe had adopted through the influence of herself andWalpole.

It was during the sojourn of the Princess Anne inEngland that she heard the details of the withdrawal ofLady Suffolk from court. Everybody appeared to berejoiced at that lady’s downfall, but most of all thePrincess Anne. The King thought that of all the childrenof himself and Caroline, Anne loved him best. Thisdutiful daughter, however, despised him, and treated himas an insufferable bore, who always required novelty inconversation from others, but never told anything new ofhis own. In allusion to the withdrawal of Lady Suffolkfrom court, this amiable child remarked, ‘I wish with allmy heart he would take somebody else, that Mammamight be a little relieved from the occasion of seeinghim for ever in her room!’

In November the Princess Anne once more proceededto Harwich, put to sea, and was so annoyed by the usualinconveniences that she compelled the captain to land heragain. She declared that she should not be well enoughfor ten days to go once more aboard. This caused great234confusion. Her father, and indeed the Queen also, insistedon her repairing to Holland by way of Calais, as herhusband had thoughtfully suggested. She was compelledto pass through London, much to the King’s annoyance,but he declared that she should not stop, but proceed atonce over London Bridge to Dover. He added, that sheshould never again come to England in the same conditionof health. His threat was partly founded on theexpense, her visit having cost him 20,000l. Her reluctanceto proceed to her husband’s native country was founded,it has been suggested, on her own ambitious ideas. Herbrothers were unmarried, and she was anxious, it isthought, that her own child should be English born, as itwould stand in the line of inheritance to the throne.However this may be, the Queen saw the false step thedaughter had already taken, and insisted on the wishesof her husband, the prince, being attended to; and sothe poor foiled Anne went home to become a mother, verymuch against her will.

The Princess Amelia observed to Mrs. Clayton, theQueen’s bedchamber-woman, that her brother, PrinceFrederick, would have been displeased if the accouchementof the princess had taken place in England. To this, Mrs.Clayton, as Lord Hervey observes, very justly remarked,‘I cannot imagine, madam, how it can affect the prince atall where she lies in; since with regard to those who wishmore of your royal highness’s family on the throne, it isno matter whether she be brought to bed here or inHolland, or of a son or a daughter, or whether she hasany child at all; and with regard to those who wish allyour family well, for your sake, madam, as well as ourown, we shall be very glad to take any of you in yourturn, but none of you out of it.’

But the Queen had other business this year wherewithto occupy her besides royal marriages, or filial indispositions.235In some of these matters her sincerity is sadlycalled in question. Here is an instance.

In 1734 the Bishop of Winchester was stricken withapoplexy, and Lord Hervey was no sooner aware of thatsignificant fact—it was a mortal attack—than he wroteto Hoadly at Salisbury, urging him in the strongest termsto make application to be promoted from Sarum to thealmost vacant see.

This promotion had been promised him by the King,Queen, and Walpole, all of whom joined in blandly reprovingthe bishop for being silent when Durham wasvacant, whereby alone he lost that golden appointment.He had served government so well, and yet had contrivedto maintain most of his usual popularity with the public,that he had been told to look upon Winchester as hisown, whenever an opening occurred.

Hoadly was simple enough to believe that the Queenand Walpole were really sincere. He addressed a letterto the King through his ‘two ears’—the Queen andWalpole; and he wrote as if he were sure of being promoted,according to engagement, while at the same timehe acted as if he were sure of nothing.

Caroline called the bishop’s letter indelicate, hasty,ill-timed, and such like; but Hoadly so well obeyed theinstructions given to him that there was no room forescape, and he received the appointment. When he wentto kiss hands upon his elevation, the King was the onlyone who behaved with common honesty. He, and Carolinetoo, disliked the man, whom the latter affected adelight to honour, for the reason that his respect forroyalty was not so great as to blind him to popular rights,which he supported with much earnestness. On hisreception by the King, the latter treated him with disgracefulincivility, exactly in accordance with his feelings.Caroline did violence to hers, and gave him honeyed words,236and showered congratulations upon him, and pelted him,as it were, with compliments and candied courtesy. Asfor Sir Robert Walpole, who hated Hoadly as much ashis royal mistress and her consort did together, he tookthe new Bishop of Winchester aside, and, warmly pressinghis hand, assured him without a blush that his translationfrom Sarum to Winchester was entirely owing to themediation of himself, Sir Robert. It was a daring assertion,and Sir Robert would have hardly ventured uponmaking it had he known the share Lord Hervey had hadin this little ecclesiastical intrigue. Hoadly was notdeluded by Walpole, but he was the perfect dupe of theQueen.

Lord Mahon,16 in speaking of Caroline, says that ‘hercharacter was without a blemish.’ Compared with manyaround her, perhaps it was; but if the face had not spotsit had ‘patches,’ which looked very much like them. Onthis matter, the noble lord appears to admit that somedoubt may exist, and he subsequently adds: ‘But nodoubt can exist as to her discerning and most praiseworthypatronage of worth and learning in the Church. Themost able and pious men were everywhere sought andpreferred, and the episcopal bench was graced by suchmen as Hare, Sherlock, and Butler.’ Of course, QueenCaroline’s dislike of Hoadly may be set down as foundedupon that prelate’s alleged want of orthodoxy. It hasbeen noticed in another page, that, according to Walpole,the Queen had rather weakened than enlightened herfaith by her study of divinity, and that her Majesty herself‘was at best not orthodox.’ Her countenance of the ‘less-believing’clergy is said, upon the same authority, to havebeen the effect of the influence of Lady Sundon, who‘espoused the heterodox clergy.’

Lord Mahon also says that the Queen was distinguished237for charity towards those whom she accounted her enemies.She could nurse her rage, however, a good while to keepit warm. Witness her feeling manifested against thatdaughter of Lord Portland who married Mr. Godolphin.Her hatred of this lady was irreconcileable, nor was theKing’s of a more Christian quality. That lady’s sole offence,however, was her acceptance of the office ‘of governessto their daughter in the late reign, without their consent,at the time they had been turned out of St. James’s, andthe education of their children, who were kept there,taken from them.’17 For this offence the King and Queenwere very unwilling to confer a peerage and pension onGodolphin in 1735, when he resigned his office of groomof the stole in the royal household. The peerage andpension were, nevertheless, ultimately conferred at theearnest solicitation of Walpole, and with great ill-humouron the part of the King.

Even Walpole, with all his power and influence, wasnot at this time so powerful and influential but that whenhe was crossed in parliament he suffered for it at court.Thus, when the Crown lost several supporters in the houseby adverse decisions on election petitions, the King wasannoyed, and the Queen gave expression to her own angeron the occasion. It was rare indeed that she ever spokeher dissatisfaction of Sir Robert; but on the occasion inquestion she is reported as having said that Sir RobertWalpole either neglected these things, and judged itenough to think they were trifles, though in government,and especially in this country, nothing was a trifle, ‘or,perhaps,’ she said, ‘there is some mismanagement I knownothing of, or some circ*mstances we are none of usacquainted with; but, whatever it is, to me these thingsseem very ill-conducted.’18

The Queen really thought that Walpole was on the238point of having outlived his ability and his powers toapply it for the benefit of herself and husband. Sheobserved him melancholy, and set it down that he wasmourning over his own difficulties and failures. WhenCaroline, however, was told that Sir Robert was not insorrow because of the difficulties of government, butsimply because his mistress, Miss Skerret, was dangerouslyill of a pleuritic fever, the ‘unblemished Queen’ was glad!She rejoiced that politics had nothing to do with his grief,and she was extremely well pleased to find that the prime-ministerwas as immoral as men of greater and lessdignity. And then she took to satirising both the prime-ministerand the lady of his homage. She laughed at himfor believing in the attachment of a woman whose motivesmust be mercenary, and who could not possibly see anyattraction in such a man but through the meshes of hispurse. ‘She must be a clever gentlewoman,’ said Caroline,‘to have made him believe that she cares for him on anyother score; and to show you what fools we all are onsome point or other, she has certainly told him some finestory or other of her love, and her passion, and that poorman, with his burly body, swollen legs, and villainousstomach (“avec ce gros corps, jambes enflés, et ce vilainventre”) believes her!—ah, what is human nature?’ Onthis rhapsody Lord Hervey makes a comment in thespirit of Burns’ verse—

Would but some god the giftie gi’e us,

To see ourselves as ithers see us—

and it was excellent opportunity for such comment.‘While she was saying this,’ remarks the noble lord, ‘shelittle reflected in what degree she herself possessed all theimpediments and antidotes to love she had been enumerating,and that, “Ah, what is human nature?” was asapplicable to her own blindness as to his.’


She certainly illustrated in her own person her assertionthat in government nothing was a trifle. Thus,when what was called the Scotch Election Petition wasbefore parliament and threatening to give some troubleto the ministerial side, her anxiety till the question wasdecided favourably to the Crown side, and her affected indifferenceafter the victory, were both marked and striking.On the morning before the petition was presented, prayingthe House of Lords to take into consideration certainalleged illegalities in the recent election of sixteen representativepeers of Scotland—a petition which the houseultimately dismissed—the anxiety of Caroline was sogreat ‘to know what was said, thought, or done, orexpected on this occasion, that she sent for Lord Herveywhile she was in bed; and because it was contrary to thequeenly etiquette to admit a man to her bedside whileshe was in it, she kept him talking upon one side of thedoor, which was just upon her bed, while she conversedwith him on the other for two hours together, and thensent him to the King’s side to repeat to his Majesty all hehad related to her.’19 By the King’s side is meant, not hisMajesty’s side of the royal couch, but the side of thepalace wherein he had his separate apartments.

It was soon after this period (1735), that the Kingset out for Hanover, much against the inclination of hisministers, who dreaded lest he should be drawn in toconclude some engagement, when abroad, adverse to thewelfare of England. His departure, however, was witnessedby Caroline with much resignation. It gave herinfinitely more power and more pleasure; for, as regent,she had no superior to consult or guide, and in her husband’sabsence she had not the task of amusing a manwho was growing as little amusable as Louis XIV. waswhen Madame de Maintenon complained of her terrible240toil in that way. His prospective absence of even half ayear’s duration did not alarm Caroline, for it released herfrom receiving the daily sallies of a temper that, let it becharged by what hand it would, used always to dischargeits hottest fire, on some pretence or other, upon her!

The Queen’s enjoyment, however, was somewhatdashed by information conveyed to her by that very husband,and by which she learned that the royal reprobate,having become smitten by the attractions of a youngmarried German lady, named Walmoden, had had therascality to induce her to leave her husband—a coursewhich she had readily adopted for the small considerationof a thousand ducats.

This Madame Walmoden brings us back to the timesof Sophia Dorothea. Elizabeth, sister of the Countessvon Platen who brought about the catastrophe in whichKönigsmark perished and Sophia Dorothea was ruined,was married, first to von Busch, and secondly to vonWeyhe (or Weyke). By this second marriage she hada daughter, who became the wife of General von Wendt.These von Wendts had a daughter also, who married HerrWalmoden. It was this last lady whom the son of SophiaDorothea lured from her husband, and whom he ultimatelyraised to the dignity of Countess of Yarmouth.

Not the smallest incident which marked the progressof this infamous connection was concealed by the husbandfrom his wife. He wrote at length minute details of theperson of the new mistress, for whom he bespoke thelove of his own wife!

Lord Hervey thinks that the pride of the Queen wasmuch more hurt than her affections on this occasion;which is not improbable, for the reasoning public, towhom the affair soon became known, at once concludedthat the rise of the new mistress would be attended withthe downfall of the influence of Caroline.


The latter, however, knew well how to maintain herinfluence, let who would be the object of the impurehomage of her exceedingly worthless husband. To theletters which he addressed to her with particular unction,she replied with an unction quite as rich in quality andprofuse in degree. Pure and dignified as she might seemin discoursing with divines, listening to philosophers, receivingthe metrical tributes of poets, or cavilling withscholars, she had no objection to descend from Olympusand find relaxation in wallowing in Epicurus’ stye. Nordid she thus condescend merely to suit a purpose and togain an end. Her letters, encouraging her husband inhis amours with women at Hanover, were coarse enoughto have called up a blush on the cheek of one of Congreve’swaiting-maids. They have the poor excuse tiedto them of having been written for the purpose of securingher own power. The same apology does not apply tothe correspondence with the dirty duch*ess of Orleans.Caroline appears to have indulged in the details of thatcorrespondence for the sake of the mere pleasure itself.And yet she has been called a woman without blemish!

The King’s letters to her are said to have extended tosixty, and never to less than forty, pages. They werefilled, says Lord Hervey, ‘with an hourly account of everythinghe saw, heard, thought, or did, and crammed withminute trifling circ*mstances, not only unworthy of a manto write, but even of a woman to read; most of which Isaw, and almost all of them I heard reported by SirRobert Walpole, to whose perusal few were not committed,and many passages were transmitted to him bythe King’s own order; who used to tag several paragraphswith “Montrez ceci et consultez ladessus le groshomme.” Among many extraordinary things and expressionsthese letters contained was one in which hedesired the Queen to contrive, if she could, that the242Prince of Modena, who was to come at the latter end ofthe year to England, might bring his wife with him.’She was the younger daughter of the Regent Duke ofOrleans. The reason which the King gave to his wife forthe request which he had made with respect to this ladywas, that he had understood the latter was by no meansparticular as to what quarter or person she receivedhomage from, and he had the greatest inclination imaginableto pay his addresses to a daughter of the late Regentof France. ‘Un plaisir,’ he said—for this German husbandwrote even to his German wife in French—‘queje suis sûr, ma chère Caroline, vous serez bien aise de meprocurer, quand je vous dis combien je le souhaite!’ IfWycherley had placed such an incident as this in a comedy,he would have been censured as offending equally againstmodesty and probability.

In the summer of this year, Lord Hervey was absentfor a while from attendance on his royal mistress; but wemay perhaps learn from one of his letters, addressed toher while he was resting in the country from his lightlabours, the nature of his office and the way in whichCaroline was served. The narrative is given by the writeras part of an imaginary post-obit diary, in which hedescribes himself as having died on the day he left her,and as having been repeatedly buried in the various dullcountry houses by whose proprietors he was hospitablyreceived. He thus proceeds:—

‘But whilst my body, madam, was thus disposed of,my spirit (as when alive) was still hovering, though invisible,round your Majesty, anxious for your welfare, andwatching to do you any little service that lay within mypower.

‘On Monday, whilst you walked, my shade still turnedon the side of the sun to guard you from its beams.

‘On Tuesday morning, at breakfast, I brushed away a243fly that had escaped Teed’s observation’ (Teed was one ofthe Queen’s attendants) ‘and was just going to be thetaster of your chocolate.

‘On Wednesday, in the afternoon, I took off thechillness of some strawberry-water your Majesty wasgoing to drink as you came in hot from walking; and atnight I hunted a bat out of your bedchamber, and shut asash just as you fell asleep, which your Majesty had alittle indiscreetly ordered Mrs. Purcel to leave open.

‘On Thursday, in the drawing-room, I took the formsand voices of several of my acquaintances, made strangefaces, put myself into awkward postures, and talked agood deal of nonsense, whilst your Majesty entertained mevery gravely, recommended me very graciously, and laughedat me internally very heartily.

‘On Friday, being post-day, I proposed to get thebest pen in the other world for your Majesty’s use, andslip it invisibly into your standish just as Mr. Shaw wasbringing it into your gallery for you to write; and accordinglyI went to Voiture, and desired him to hand mehis pen; but when I told him for whom it was designed,he only laughed at me for a blockhead, and asked me if Ihad been at court for four years to so little purpose asnot to know that your Majesty had a much better of yourown.

‘On Saturday I went on the shaft of your Majesty’schaise to Richmond; as you walked there I went beforeyou, and with an invisible wand I brushed the dew andthe worms out of your path all the way, and several timesuncrumpled your Majesty’s stocking.

‘Sunday.—This very day, at chapel, I did your Majestysome service, by tearing six leaves out of the parson’ssermon and shortening his discourse six minutes.’

While these imaginary services were being renderedby the visionary Lord Hervey to the Queen, realities more244serious and not less amusing were claiming the attentionof Caroline and her consort.

In return for the information communicated by theKing to the Queen on the subject of Madame Walmodenand her charms, Caroline had to inform her husband ofthe marriage we have spoken of between Lady Suffolkand Mr. George Berkeley. The royal ex-lover noticedthe communication in his reply in a coarse way, and expressedhis entire satisfaction at being rid of the lady, andat the lady’s disposal of herself.

When Caroline informed her vice-chamberlain, LordHervey, of the report of this marriage, his alleged disbeliefof the report made her peevish with him, andinduced her to call him an ‘obstinate devil,’ who wouldnot believe merely improbable facts to be truths. Carolinethen railed at Lady Suffolk in good set terms as a sayerand doer of silly things, entirely unworthy of the reputationshe had with some people of being the sayer and doerof wise ones.

It was on this occasion that Caroline herself describedto Lord Hervey the farewell interview she had had withLady Suffolk. The ex-mistress took a sentimental viewof her position, and lamented to the wife that she, themistress, was no longer so kindly treated as formerly bythe husband. ‘I told her,’ said the Queen, ‘in reply, thatshe and I were not of an age to think of these sort ofthings in such a romantic way, and said, “My good LadySuffolk, you are the best servant in the world; and, as Ishould be most extremely sorry to lose you, pray take aweek to consider of this business, and give me your wordnot to read any romances in that time, and then I daresay you will lay aside all thoughts of doing what, believeme, you will repent, and what I am very sure I shall bevery sorry for.”’20 It was at one of these conversations245with Lord Hervey that the Queen told him that LadySuffolk ‘had had 2,000l. a year constantly from the Kingwhilst he was prince, and 3,200l. ever since he was King;besides several little dabs of money both before and sincehe came to the crown.’

A letter of Lady Pomfret’s will serve to show us notonly a picture of the Queen at this time, but an illustrationof feeling in a fine lady.

Lady Pomfret, writing to Lady Sundon, in 1735, says:‘All I can say of Kensington is, that it is just the same asit was, only pared as close as the bishop does the sacrament.My Lord Pomfret and I were the greatest strangersthere; no secretary of state, no chamberlain or vice-chamberlain,but Lord Robert, and he just in the samecoat, the same spot of ground, and the same words inhis mouth that he had when I left there. Mrs. Meadowsin the window at work; but, though half an hour aftertwo, the Queen was not quite dressed, so that I had thehonour of seeing her before she came out of her littleblue room, where I was graciously received, and acquaintedher Majesty, to her great sorrow, how ill you had been;and then, to alleviate that sorrow, I informed her howmuch Sundon was altered for the better, and that it lookedlike a castle. From thence we proceeded to a very shortdrawing-room, where the Queen joked much with myLord Pomfret about Barbadoes. The two ladies of thebedchamber and the governess are yet on so bad a foot,that upon the latter coming into the room to dine withLady Bristol, the others went away, though just going tosit down, and strangers in the place.’

The writer of this letter soon after lost a son, theHonourable Thomas Fermor. It was a severely felt loss;so severe that some weeks elapsed before the disconsolatemother was able, as she says, ‘to enjoy the kind andobliging concern’ expressed by the Queen’s bedchamber-woman246in her late misfortune. Christianity itself, as thischarming mother averred, would have authorised her inlamenting such a calamity during the remainder of herlife; but then, oh joy! her maternal lamentation was putan end to and Rachel was comforted, and all because—‘Itwas impossible for any behaviour to be more graciousthan that of the Queen on this occasion, who made itquite fashionable to be concerned’ at the death of LadyPomfret’s son.

But there were more bustling scenes at Kensingtonthan such as those described by this fashionably sorrowinglady and the sympathising sovereign.

On Sunday, the 26th of October, the Queen and hercourt had just left the little chapel in the palace of Kensington,when intimation was given to her Majesty thatthe King, who had left Hanover on the previous Wednesday,was approaching the gate. Caroline, at the head ofher ladies and the gentlemen of her suite, hastened downto receive him; and, as he alighted from his ponderouscoach, she took his hand and kissed it. This ceremonyperformed by the regent, a very unceremonious, hearty,and honest kiss was impressed on his lips by the wife.The King endured the latter without emotion, and then,taking the Queen-regent by the fingers, he led her upstairsin a very stately and formal manner. In the gallerythere was a grand presentation, at which his Majesty exhibitedmuch ill-humour, and conversed with everybodybut the Queen.

His ill-humour arose from various sources. He hadheated himself by rapid and continual travelling, wherebyhe had brought on an attack of a complaint to which hewas subject, which made him very ill at ease, and whichis irritating enough to break down the patience of themost patient of people.

On ordinary occasions of his return from Hanover247his most sacred Majesty was generally of as sour dispositionas man so little heroic could well be. He loved theElectorate better than he did his kingdom, and would notallow that there was anything in the latter which couldnot be found in Hanover of a superior quality. Therewas no exception to this: men, women, artists, philosophers,actors, citizens, the virtues, the sciences, and thewits, the country, its natural beauties and productions,the courage of the men and the attractions of the women—allof these in England seemed to him worthless. InHanover they assumed the guise of perfection.

This time he returned to his ‘old’ wife laden with afresh sorrow—the memory of a new favourite. He hadleft his heart with the insinuating Walmoden, and hebrought to his superb Caroline nothing but a tribute ofill-humour and spite. He hated more than ever thechange from an Electorate where he was so delightfullydespotic, to a country where he was only chief magistrate,and where the people, through their representatives, kepta very sharp watch upon him in the execution of hisduties. He was accordingly as coarse and evil-disposedtowards the circle of his court as he was to her who wasthe centre of it. He, too, was like one of those pantomimepotentates who are for ever in King Cambyses’ vein, andwho sweep through the scene in a whirlwind of farcicallyfurious words and of violent acts, or of threats almost asbad as if the menaces had been actually realised. It wasobserved that his behaviour to Caroline had never been solittle tinged with outward respect as now. She bore hisill-humour with admirable patience; and her quiet enduranceonly the more provoked the petulance of the littleand worthless King.

He was not only ill-tempered with the mistress of thepalace, but was made, or chose to think himself, especiallyangry at trifling improvements which Caroline had carried248into effect in the suburban palace during the temporaryabsence of its master. The improvements consistedchiefly in removing some worthless pictures and indifferentstatues and placing master-pieces in their stead. TheKing would have all restored to the condition it was inwhen he had last left the palace; and he treated LordHervey as a fool for venturing to defend the Queen’s tasteand the changes which had followed the exercise of it.‘I suppose,’ said the dignified King to the courteous vice-chamberlain,‘I suppose you assisted the Queen with yourfine advice when she was pulling my house to pieces, andspoiling all my furniture. Thank God! at least she hasleft the walls standing!’

Lord Hervey asked if he would not allow the twoVandykes which the Queen had substituted for ‘two signposts,’to remain. George pettishly answered, that hedidn’t care whether they were changed or no; ‘but,’ headded, ‘for the picture with the dirty frame over the door,and the three nasty little children, I will have them takenaway, and the old ones restored. I will have it done, too,to-morrow morning, before I go to London, or else I knowit will not be done at all.’

Lord Hervey next enquired if his Majesty would alsohave ‘his gigantic fat Venus restored too?’ The Kingreplied that he would, for he liked his fat Venus betterthan anything which had been put in its place. Uponthis Lord Hervey says he fell to thinking ‘that if hisMajesty had liked his fat Venus as well as he used to do,there would have been none of these disputations.’

By a night’s calm repose the ill-humour of theSovereign was not dispersed. On the following morningwe meet with the insufferable little man in the gallery,where the Queen and her daughters were taking chocolate;her son, the Duke of Cumberland, standing by. Heonly stayed five minutes, but in that short time the husband249and father contrived to wound the feelings of hiswife and children. ‘He snubbed the Queen, who wasdrinking chocolate, for being always stuffing; the PrincessAmelia for not hearing him; the Princess Caroline forbeing grown fat; the Duke of Cumberland for standingawkwardly; and then he carried the Queen out to walk,to be re-snubbed in the garden.’21

Sir Robert Walpole told his friend Hervey that he haddone his utmost to prepare the Queen for this change inthe King’s feelings and actions towards her. He remindedher that her personal attractions were not what they hadbeen, and he counselled her to depend more upon herintellectual superiority than ever. The virtuous manadvised her to secure the good temper of the King bythrowing certain ladies in his way of an evening. SirRobert mentioned, among others, Lady Tankerville, ‘avery safe fool, who would give the King some amusem*ntwithout giving her Majesty any trouble.’ Lady Deloraine,the Delia from whose rage Pope bade his readers dreadslander and poison, had already attracted the royal notice,and the King liked to play cards with her in his daughter’sapartments. This lady, who had the loosest tongue of theleast modest women about the court, was characterised byWalpole as likely to exercise a dangerous influence overthe King. If Caroline would retain her power, he insinuated,she must select her husband’s favourites, throughwhom she might still reign supreme.

Caroline is said to have taken this advice in good part.There would be difficulty in believing that it ever wasgiven did we not know that the Queen herself could joke,not very delicately, in full court, on her position as awoman not first in her husband’s regard. Sir Robertwould comment on these jokes in the same locality, andwith increase of coarseness. The Queen, however, though250she affected to laugh, was both hurt and displeased—hurtby the joke and displeased with the joker, of whomSwift has said, that—

By favour and fortune fastidiously blest,

He was loud in his laugh and was coarse in his jest.

In spite of the King’s increased ill-temper towards theQueen, and in spite of what Sir Robert Walpole thoughtand said upon that delicate subject, Lord Hervey maintainsthat at this very time the King’s heart, as affectedtowards the Queen, was not less warm than his temper.The facts which are detailed by the gentle official immediatelyafter he has made this assertion go strongly todisprove the latter. The detail involves a rather longextract; but its interest, and the elaborate minuteness withwhich this picture of a royal interior is painted, willdoubtless be considered ample excuse for reproducing thepassages. Lord Hervey was eye and ear-witness of whathe here so well describes:—

‘About nine o’clock every night the King used toreturn to the Queen’s apartment from that of hisdaughter’s, where, from the time of Lady Suffolk’s disgrace,he used to pass those evenings he did not go to theopera or play at quadrille, constraining them, tiring himself,and talking a little indecently to Lady Deloraine, whowas always of the party.

‘At his return to the Queen’s side, the Queen usedoften to send for Lord Hervey to entertain them till theyretired, which was generally at eleven. One eveningamong the rest, as soon as Lord Hervey came into theroom, the Queen, who was knotting, while the Kingwalked backwards and forwards, began jocosely to attackLord Hervey upon an answer just published to a book ofhis friend Bishop Hoadly’s on the Sacrament, in whichthe bishop was very ill-treated; but before she had251uttered half what she had a mind to say, the King interruptedher, and told her she always loved talking ofsuch nonsense, and things she knew nothing of; adding,that if it were not for such foolish people loving to talkof these things when they were written, the fools whowrote upon them would never think of publishing theirnonsense, and disturbing the government with impertinentdisputes that nobody of any sense ever troubled himselfabout. The Queen bowed, and said, “Sir, I only did itto let Lord Hervey know that his friend’s book had notmet with that general approbation he had pretended.” “Apretty fellow for a friend!” said the King, turning to LordHervey. “Pray what is it that charms you in him? Hispretty limping gait?” And then he acted the bishop’s lameness,and entered upon some unpleasant defects which it isnot necessary to repeat. The stomachs of the listeners musthave been strong, if they experienced no qualm at the toographic and nasty detail. “Or is it,” continued the King,“his great honesty that charms your lordship? His asking athing of me for one man, and when he came to have it inhis own power to bestow, refusing the Queen to give itto the very man for whom he had asked it? Or do youadmire his conscience, that makes him now put out abook that, till he was Bishop of Winchester, for fear hisconscience might hurt his preferment, he kept locked upin his chest? Is his conscience so much improved beyondwhat it was when he was Bishop of Bangor, orHereford, or Salisbury—for this book, I fear, was writtenso long ago—or is it that he would not risk losing a shillinga year more whilst there was anything better to begot than what he had? I cannot help saying, that if theBishop of Winchester is your friend, you have a greatpuppy, and a very dull fellow, and a great rascal, foryour friend. It is a very pretty thing for such scoundrels,when they are raised by favour above their deserts, to be252talking and writing their stuff, to give trouble to thegovernment which has showed them that favour; andvery modest for a canting, hypocritical knave to be cryingthat the kingdom of Christ is not of this world at thesame time that he, as Christ’s ambassador, receives 6,000l.or 7,000l. a year. But he is just the same thing in theChurch that he is in the government, and as ready toreceive the best pay for preaching the Bible, though hedoes not believe a word of it, as he is to take favour fromthe Crown, though, by his republican spirit and doctrine,he would be glad to abolish its power.”’

There is something melancholily suggestive in thushearing the temporal head of a Church accusing of rankinfidelity a man whom he had raised to be an overseerand bishop of souls in that very Church. If Georgeknew that Hoadly did not believe in Scripture, he wasinfinitely worse than the prelate for the simple fact of hishaving made him a prelate, or having translated himfrom one diocese to another of more importance andmore value. But, to resume:—

‘During the whole time the King was speaking, theQueen, by smiling and nodding in proper places, endeavouredall she could, but in vain, to make her court, byseeming to approve everything he said.’ Lord Herveythen attempted to give a pleasant turn to the conversationby remarking on prelates who were more dociletowards government than Hoadly, and who, for beingdull branches of episcopacy, and ignorant piecers of orthodoxy,were none the less good and quiet subjects.From the persons of the Church the vice-chamberlaingot to the fabric, and then descanted to the Queen uponthe newly restored bronze gates in Henry VII.’s Chapel.This excited the King’s ire anew. ‘My lord,’ said he,‘you are always putting some of these fine things in theQueen’s head, and then I am to be plagued with a thousand253plans and workmen.’ He grew sarcastic, too, on theQueen’s grotto in Richmond Gardens, which was knownas Merlin’s Cave, from a statue of the great enchantertherein; and in which there was a collection of books,over which Stephen Duck, thresher, poet, and parson, hadbeen constituted librarian. The Craftsman paper hadattacked this plaything of the Queen, and her husbandwas delighted at the annoyance caused to her by suchan attack.

The poor Queen probably thought she had succeededin cleverly changing the topic of conversation by referringto and expressing disapproval of the expensive habit ofgiving vails to the servants of the house at which a personhas been visiting. She remarked that she had found itno inconsiderable expense during the past summer tovisit her friends even in town. ‘That is your own fault,’growled the King; ‘for my father, when he went topeople’s houses in town, never was fool enough to giveaway his money.’ The Queen pleaded that she only gavewhat her chamberlain, Lord Grantham, informed her wasusual; whereupon poor Lord Grantham came in for his fullshare of censure. The Queen, said her consort, ‘was alwaysasking some fool or another what she was to do, andthat none but a fool would ask another fool’s advice.’

The vice-chamberlain gently hinted that liberalitywould be expected from a Queen on such occasions as hervisits at the houses of her subjects. ‘Then let her stayat home, as I do,’ said the King. ‘You do not see merunning into every puppy’s house to see his new chairsand stools.’ And then, turning to the Queen, he added:‘Nor is it for you to be running your nose everywhere,and to be trotting about the town, to every fellow thatwill give you some bread and butter, like an old girl wholoves to go abroad, no matter where, or whether it beproper or no.’ The Queen coloured, and knotted a good254deal faster during this speech than before; whilst thetears came into her eyes, but she said not one word.

Such is the description of Lord Hervey, and it showsCaroline in a favourable light. The vice-chamberlainstruck in for her, by observing that her Majesty could notsee private collections of pictures without going to theowners’ houses, and honouring them by her presence.‘Supposing,’ said the King, ‘she had a curiosity to see atavern, would it be fit for her to satisfy it? and yet theinnkeeper would be very glad to see her.’ The vice-chamberlaindid not fail to see that this was a most illogicalremark, and he very well observed, in reply, that,‘if the innkeepers were used to be well received by herMajesty in her palace, he should think that the Queen’sseeing them at their own houses would give no additionalscandal.’ As George found himself foiled by this observation,he felt only the more displeasure, and he gavevent to the last by bursting forth into a torrent of German,which sounded like abuse, and during the outpouring ofwhich ‘the Queen made not one word of reply, butknotted on till she tangled her thread, then snuffed thecandles that stood on the table before her, and snuffedone of them out. Upon which the King, in English,began a new dissertation upon her Majesty, and took herawkwardness for his text.’22

Unmoved as Caroline appeared at this degradingscene, she felt it acutely; but she did not wish that othersshould be aware of her feelings under such a visitation.Lord Hervey was aware of this; and when, on the followingmorning, she remarked that he had looked at herthe evening before as if he thought she had been goingto cry, the courtier protested that he had neither donethe one nor thought the other, but had expressly directedhis eyes on another object, lest if they met hers, the255comicality of the scene should have set both of themlaughing.

And such scenes were of constant occurrence. TheKing extracted something unpleasant from his very pleasures,just as acids may be produced from sugar. Sometimeshe fell into a difficulty during the process. Thus,on one occasion, when the party were again assembled fortheir usual delightful evening, the Queen had mentionedthe name of a person whose father, she said, was knownto the King. It was at the time when his Majesty wasmost bitterly incensed against his eldest son. Carolinewas on better terms with Frederick; but, as she remarked,they each knew the other too well to love or trust oneanother. Well, the King hearing father and son alludedto, observed, that ‘one very often sees fathers and sonsvery little alike; a wise father has very often a fool forhis son. One sees a father a very brave man, and his sona scoundrel; a father very honest, and his son a greatknave; a father a man of truth, and his son a great liar;in short, a father that has all sorts of good qualities, anda son who is good for nothing.’23 The Queen and allpresent betrayed, by their countenances, that they comprehendedthe historical parallel; whereupon the Kingattempted, as he thought, to make it less flagrantly applicable,by running the comparison in another sense.‘Sometimes,’ he said, ‘the case was just the reverse, andthat very disagreeable fathers had very agreeable menfor their sons.’ In this case, the King, as Lord Herveysuggests, was thinking of his own father, as in the formerone he had been thinking of his son.

But how he drew what was sour from the sweetestof his pleasures is shown from his remarks after havingbeen to the theatre to see Shakspeare’s ‘Henry IV.’He was tolerably well pleased with all the actors, save256the ‘Prince of Wales.’ He had never seen, he said, soawkward a fellow and so mean a looking scoundrel inhis life. Everybody, says Lord Hervey, who hated theactual Prince of Wales thought of him as the King hereexpressed himself of the player; ‘but all very properlypretended to understand his Majesty literally, joined inthe censure, and abused the theatrical Prince of Walesfor a quarter of an hour together.’

It may be here noticed that Shakspeare owed some ofhis reputation, at this time, to the dissensions whichexisted between the King and his son. Had it, at least,not been for this circ*mstance, it is not likely thatthe play of ‘Henry IV.’ would have been so oftenrepresented as it was at the three theatres—Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields,Covent Garden, and Drury Lane. Everyauditor knew how to make special application of the complainingsand sorrowings of a royal sire over a somewhatprofligate son; or of the unfilial speeches and hypocriticalassurance of a princely heir, flung at his Sovereign andimpatient sire. The house in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields hadthe reputation of being the Tory house; and the Princeof Wales there was probably represented as a propergentleman; not out of love to him, but rather out ofcontempt to the father. It was not a house whichreceived the favour of either Caroline or her consort.The new pieces there ran too strongly against the despoticrule of kings—the only sort of rule for which George atall cared, and the lack of which made him constantlyabusive of England, her institutions, parliament, andpublic men. It is difficult to say what the real opinion ofCaroline was upon this matter, for at divers times we findher uttering opposite sentiments. She could be as abusiveagainst free institutions and civil and religious rights asever her husband was. She has been heard to declarethat sovereignty was worth little where it was merely257nominal, and that to be king or queen in a country wherepeople governed through their parliament was to wear acrown and to exercise none of the prerogatives which areordinarily attached to it. At other times she woulddeclare that the real glory of England was the result ofher free institutions; the people were industrious andenterprising because they were free, and knew that theirproperty was secure from any attack on the part of princeor government. They consequently regarded their sovereignwith more affection than a despotic monarch couldbe regarded by a slavish people; and she added, that shewould not have cared to share a throne in England, if thepeople by whom it was surrounded had been slaves withouta will of their own, or without a heart that throbbedat the name of liberty. The King never had but oneopinion on the subject, and therefore the theatre at Lincoln’s-Inn-Fieldswas for ever resounding with clap-traps againstdespotism, and that in presence of an audience of whomFrederick, Prince of Wales, was chief, and Bolingbrokeled the applause.

But even Drury Lane could be as democratic as Lincoln’sInn. Thus, in the very year of which we aretreating, Lillo brought out his ‘Christian Hero’ at DruryLane, and the audience had as little difficulty to apply theparts to living potentates as they had reluctance to applaudto the echo passages like the following against despoticrulers:—

Despotic power, that root of bitterness,

That tree of death that spreads its baleful arms

Almost from pole to pole, beneath whose cursed shade

No good thing thrives, and every ill finds shelter,

Had found no time for its detested growth

But for the follies and the crimes of men.

But ‘Drury’ did not often offend in this guise, andeven George and Caroline might have gone to see ‘JuniusBrutus,’ and have been amused. The Queen, who well258knew the corruption of the senate, might have smiledas Mills, in Brutus, with gravity declared that thesenators—

Have heaped no wealth, though hoary grown in honours,

and George might have silently assented to the reply ofCibber, Jun., in ‘Messala,’ that—

On crowns they trample with superior pride;

They haughtily affect the pomp of princes.

The Queen’s vice-chamberlain asserts that the King’sheart still beat for Caroline as warmly as his temper didagainst her. This assertion is not proved, but the contrary,by the facts. These facts were of so painful anature to the Queen that she did not like to speak ofthem, even to Sir Robert Walpole. One of them is aprecious instance of the conjugal warmth of heart pledgedfor by Lord Hervey.

The night before the King had last left Hanover forEngland he supped gaily, in company with MadameWalmoden and her friends, who were not so nice as tothink that the woman who had deserted her husband fora King who betrayed his consort had at all lost caste bysuch conduct. Towards the close of the banquet, thefrail lady, all wreathed in mingled tears and smiles, rose,and gave as a toast, or sentiment, the ‘next 29th of May.’On that day the old libertine had promised to be again atthe feet of his new concubine; and as this was known tothe select and delicate company, they drank the ‘toast’amid shouts of loyalty and congratulations.

The knowledge of this fact gave more pain to Carolinethan all the royal fits of ill-humour together. The painwas increased by the King’s conduct at home. It hadbeen his custom of a morning, at St. James’s, to tarry inthe Queen’s rooms until after he had, from behind the259blinds, seen the guard relieved in the court-yard below:this took place about eleven o’clock. This year he ceasedto visit the Queen or to watch the soldiers; but by nineo’clock in the morning he was seated at his desk, writinglengthy epistles to Madame Walmoden, in reply to theequally long letters from the lady, who received anddespatched a missive every post.

‘He wants to go to Hanover, does he?’ asked SirRobert Walpole of Lord Hervey; ‘and to be there by the29th of May. Well, he shan’t go for all that.’

Domestic griefs could not depress the Queen’s wit.An illustration of this is afforded by her remark on theTriple Alliance. ‘It always put her in mind,’ she said, ‘ofthe South Sea scheme, which the parties concerned enteredinto, not without knowing the cheat, but hoping to makeadvantage of it, everybody designing, when he had madehis own fortune, to be the first in scrambling out of it,and each thinking himself wise enough to be able to leavehis fellow-adventurers in the lurch.’

It has been well observed that the King’s good humourwas now as insulting to her Majesty as his bad. Whenhe was in the former rare vein, he exhibited it by entertainingthe Queen with accounts of her rival, and themany pleasures which he and that lady had enjoyedtogether. He appears at Hanover to have been as extravagantin the entertainments which he gave as hisgrandfather, Ernest Augustus. Some of these courtrevels he caused to be painted on canvas; the ladiesrepresented therein were all portraits of the actual revellers.Several of such pictures were brought over to England,and five of them were hung up in the Queen’s dressing-room.Occasionally, of an evening, the King would takea candle from the Queen’s table, and go from picture topicture, with Lord Hervey, telling him its history, explainingthe joyous incidents, naming the persons represented,260and detailing all that had been said or done on the particularoccasion before them. ‘During which lecture,’ says thevice-chamberlain himself, ‘Lord Hervey, while peepingover his Majesty’s shoulders at those pictures, wasshrugging up his own, and now and then stealing a look,to make faces at the Queen, who, a little angry, a littlepeevish, and a little tired at her husband’s absurdity, anda little entertained with his lordship’s grimaces, used to sitand knot in a corner of the room, sometimes yawning, andsometimes smiling, and equally afraid of betraying thosesigns, either of her lassitude or mirth.’

In the course of the year which we have now reached,Queen Caroline communicated to Lord Hervey a fact,which is not so much evidence of her Majesty’s common-sense,as of the presumption and immorality of those whogave Caroline little credit for having even the sense whichis so qualified. Lord Bolingbroke had married theMarchioness de Villette, niece of Madame de Maintenon,about the year 1716. The union, however, was not onlykept secret for many years, but when Bolingbroke wasunder attainder, and a sum of 52,000l. belonging to hiswife was in the hands of Decker, the banker, LadyBolingbroke swore that she was not married to him, andso obtained possession of a sum which, being hers, washer husband’s, and which being her husband’s, who wasattainted as a traitor, was forfeit to the Crown. However,as some of it went through the hands of poor SophiaDorothea’s rival, the easy duch*ess of Kendal, and herrapacious niece, Lady Walsingham, the matter was notenquired into. Subsequently Lady Bolingbroke attemptedto excuse her husband’s alleged dealings with the Pretender,by asserting that he entered into them solely for thepurpose of serving the Court of London. ‘That was, inshort,’ said Caroline to Lord Hervey, ‘to betray thePretender; for though Madame de Villette softened the261word, she did not soften the thing, which I own,’ continuedthe Queen, ‘was a speech which had so much impudenceand villainy mixed up in it, that I could never bear him orher from that hour, and could hardly hinder myself fromsaying to her—“And pray, madam, what security can theKing have that my Lord Bolingbroke does not desire tocome here with the same honest desire that he went toRome? or that he swears that he is no longer a Jacobite,with any more truth than you have sworn you are not hiswife?”’ The only wonder is, considering Caroline’svivacious character, that she restrained herself from givingexpression to her thoughts. She was eminently fond of‘speaking daggers’ to those who merited such a gladiatorialvisitation.



The Queen’s cleverness—Princess Augusta of Saxe Gotha, the selected brideof Prince Frederick—Spirited conduct of Miss Vane, the Prince’s mistress—TheKing anxious for a matrimonial alliance with the Court of Prussia—Prussianintrigue to prevent this—The Prussian mandats for entrappingrecruits—Quarrel, and challenge to duel, between King George andthe Prussian monarch—The silly duel prevented—Arrival of the bride—Theroyal lovers—Disgraceful squabbles of the Princes and Princesses—Themarriage—Brilliant assemblage in the bridal chamber—Lady DianaSpencer proposed as a match for the Prince—Débût of Mr. Pitt, afterwardsLord Chatham, in the House of Commons—Riot of the footmenat Drury Lane Theatre—Ill-humour exhibited by the Prince towardsthe Queen.

The Queen never exhibited her cleverness in a clearer lightthan when, in 1735, she got over the expected difficultyarising from a threatened parliamentary address to thethrone for the marriage and settlement of the Prince ofWales. She ‘crushed’ it, to use the term employed byLord Hervey, by gaining the King’s consent—no difficultmatter—to tell the prince that it was his royal sire’s intentionto marry him forthwith. The King had no princessin view for him; but was ready to sanction any choicehe might think proper to make, and the sooner the better.As if the thing were already settled, the Queen, on herside, talked publicly of the coming marriage of the heir-apparent;but not a word was breathed as to the personof the bride. Caroline, moreover, to give the matter agreater air of reality, purchased clothes for the wedding ofher son with the yet ‘invisible lady,’ and sent perpetually263to jewellers to get presents for the ideal future Princessof Wales.

The lady, however, was not a merely visionary bride.It was during the absence of the King in Hanover that itwas delicately contrived for him to see a marriageableprincess—Augusta of Saxe Gotha. He approved of whathe saw, and wrote home to the Queen, bidding her toprepare her son for the bridal.

Caroline communicated the order to Frederick, whor*ceived it with due resignation. His mother, who hadgreat respect for outward observances, counselled him tobegin his preparations for marriage by sending away hisostentatiously maintained favourite, Miss Vane. Frederickpleased his mother by dismissing Miss Vane, and thenpleased himself by raising to the vacant bad eminenceLady Archibald Hamilton, a woman of thirty-five years ofa*ge and the mother of ten children. The prince visitedher at her husband’s house, where he was as well receivedby the master as by the mistress. He saw her constantlyat her sister’s, rode out with her, walked with her dailyfor hours in St. James’s Park, ‘and, whenever she was atthe drawing-room (which was pretty frequently), hisbehaviour was so remarkable that his nose and her earwere inseparable, whilst, without discontinuing, he wouldtalk to her as if he had rather been relating than conversing,from the time he came into the room to themoment he left it, and then seemed to be rather interruptedthan to have finished.’24

The first request made by Lady Archibald to her royallover was, that he would not be satisfied with putting awayMiss Vane; but that he would send her out of the country.The prince did not hesitate a moment; he sent a royalmessage, wherein he was guilty of an act of which no manwould be guilty to the woman whom he had loved. The264message was taken by Lord Baltimore, who bore proposals,offering an annuity of 1,600l. a year to the lady, on conditionthat she would proceed to the continent, and give upthe little son which owed to her the disgrace of his birth,but to whom both she and the prince were most affectionatelyattached. The alternative was starvation in England.

Miss Vane had an old admirer, to whom she sent in thehour of adversity, and who was the more happy to aid herin her extremity as, by so doing, he would not only havesome claim on her gratitude, but that he could, to theutmost of his heart’s desire, annoy the prince, whom heintensely despised.

Lord Hervey sat down, and imagining himself for thenonce in the place of Miss Vane, he wrote a letter in thatlady’s name. The supposed writer softly reproved thefickle prince, reminded him of the fond old times ere loveyet had expired, resigned herself to the necessity of sacrificingher own interests to that of England, and thenrunning over the sacrifices which a foolish woman mustever make—of character, friends, family, and peace of mind—forthe fool or knave whom she loves with more irregularitythan wisdom, she burst forth into a tone of indignationat the mingled meanness and cruelty of which she was nowmade the object, and finally refused to leave either Englandor her child, spurning the money offered by the father,and preferring any fate which might come, provided shewere not banished from the presence and the love of herboy.

Frederick was simple enough to exhibit this letter tohis mother, sisters, and friends, observing at the same timethat it was far too clever a production to come from thehand of Miss Vane, and that he would not give her afarthing until she had revealed the name of the ‘rascal’who had written it. The author was popularly set downas being Mr. Pulteney.


On the other hand, Miss Vane published the prince’soffer to her, and therewith her own letter in reply. Theworld was unanimous in condemning him as mean andcruel. Not a soul ever thought of finding fault with himas immoral. At length a compromise was effected. Theprince explained away the cruel terms of his own epistle,and Miss Vane withdrew what was painful to him in hers.The pension of 1,600l. a year was settled on her, with whichshe retired to a mansion in Grosvenor Street, her little sonaccompanying her. But the anxiety she had undergonehad so seriously affected her health that she was very soonafter compelled to proceed to Bath. The waters were nothealing waters for her. She died in that city, on the 11thof March 1736, having had one felicity reserved for her inher decline, the inexpressible one of seeing her little sondie before her. ‘The Queen and the Princess Caroline,’says Lord Hervey, ‘thought the prince more afflicted forthe loss of this child than they had ever seen him on anyoccasion, or thought him capable of being.’

One of the most cherished projects of George the Secondwas the union by marriage of two of his own children withtwo of the children of the King of Prussia. Such analliance would have bound more intimately the descendantsof Sophia Dorothea through her son and daughter. Thedouble marriage was proposed to the King of Prussia, inthe name of the King of England, by Sir Charles Hotham,minister-plenipotentiary. George proposed that his eldestson, Frederick, should marry the eldest daughter of theKing of Prussia, and that his second daughter should marrythe same King’s eldest son. To these terms the Prussianmonarch would not agree, objecting that if he gave hiseldest daughter to the Prince of Wales, he must have theeldest, and not the second, daughter of George and Carolinefor the Prince of Prussia. Caroline would have agreed tothese terms; but George would not yield: the proposed266intermarriages were broken off, and the two courts wereestranged for years.

The Prussian princess, Frederica Wilhelmina, has publishedthe memoirs of her life and times; and Ranke,quoting them in his ‘History of the House of Brandenburgh,’enters largely into the matrimonial question, whichwas involved in mazes of diplomacy. Into the latter it isnot necessary to enter; but to those who would know theactual causes of the failure of these proposed royal marriagesthe following passage from Ranke’s work will notbe without interest:—

‘Whatever be their exaggerations and errors, thememoirs of the Princess Frederica Wilhelmina must alwaysbe considered as one of the most remarkable records ofthe state of the Prussian court of that period. From theseit is evident that neither she herself, nor the Queen, hadthe least idea of the grounds which made the King reluctantto give an immediate consent to the proposals. Theysaw in him a domestic tyrant, severe only towards hisfamily, and weak to indifferent persons. The hearts onboth sides became filled with bitterness and aversion. TheCrown Prince, too, who was still of an age when youngmen are obnoxious to the influence of a clever elder sister,was infected with these sentiments. With a view to promoteher marriage, he suffered himself to be induced todraw up in secret a formal declaration that he would givehis hand to no other than an English princess. On theother hand, it is inconceivable to what measures the otherparty had recourse, in order to keep the King steady tohis resolution. Seckendorf had entirely won over GeneralGrumbkoo, the King’s daily and confidential companion,to his side; both of them kept up a correspondence of arevolting nature with Reichenbach, the Prussian residentin London. This Reichenbach, who boasts somewhere ofhis indifference to outward honours, and who was, at all267events, chiefly deficient in an inward sense of honour, notonly kept up a direct correspondence with Seckendorf, inwhich he informed him of all that was passing in Englandin relation to the marriage, and assured the Austrian agentthat he might reckon on him as on himself; but, what isfar worse, he allowed Grumbkoo to dictate to him what hewas to write to the King, and composed his despatchesaccording to his directions. It is hardly conceivable thatthese letters should not have been destroyed; they were,however, found among Grumbkoo’s papers at his death.Reichenbach, who played a subordinate part, but whor*garded himself as the third party to this conspiracy,furnished on his side facts and arguments which were tobe urged orally to the King, in support of his statements.Their system was to represent to the King that the onlypurpose of England was to reduce Prussia to the conditionof a province, and to turn a party around him that mightfetter and control all his actions; representations to whichFrederick William was already disposed to lend an ear.He wished to avoid having an English daughter-in-lawbecause he feared he should be no longer master in his ownhouse; perhaps she would think herself of more importancethan he; he should die, inch by inch, of vexation. Oncomparing these intrigues, carried on on either side of theKing, we must admit that the former—those in his ownfamily—were the more excusable, since their sole objectwas the accomplishment of those marriages, upon the meresuspicion of which the King broke out into acts of violencewhich terrified his family and his kingdom and astonishedEurope. The designs of the other party were far moreserious; their purpose was to bind Prussia in every pointto the existing system, and to keep her aloof from England.Of this the King had no idea; he received without suspicionwhatever Reichenbach wrote or Grumbkoo reportedto him.’


The mutual friends, whose interest it was to keepPrussia and England wide apart, laboured with a zealworthy of a better cause, and not only broke the proposedmarriages, but made enemies of the two Kings. A disputewas built up between them touching Mecklenburgh; andPrussian press-gangs and recruiting parties crossed into theHanoverian territory, and carried off or inveigled theKing of England’s Electoral subjects into the military serviceof Prussia. This was the most outrageous insult thatcould have been devised against the English monarch, andit was the most cruel that could be inflicted upon theinhabitants of the Electorate.

The King of Prussia was not nice of his means forentrapping men, nor careful on whose territory he seizedthem, provided only they were obtained. The districtstouching on the Prussian frontier were kept in a constantstate of alarm, and border frays were as frequent and asfatal as they were on England and Scotland’s neutralground, which derived its name from an oblique applicationof etymology, and was so called because neither country’sfaction hesitated to commit murder or robbery upon it.I have seen in the inns near these frontiers some strangememorials of these old times. Those I allude to are inthe shape of mandats, or directions, issued by the authorities,and they are kept framed and glazed, old curiosities,like the ancient way-bill at the Swan at York, whichannounces a new fast coach travelling to London, Godwilling, in a week. These mandats, which were verycommon in Hanover when Frederick, after refusing theEnglish alliance, took to sending his Werbers, or recruiters,to lay hold of such of the people as were likely to makegood tall soldiers, were to this effect: they enjoined all thedwellers near the frontiers to be provided with arms andammunition; the militia to hold themselves ready againstany surprise; the arms to be examined every Sunday by269the proper authorities; watch and ward to be maintainedday and night; patrols to be active; and it was ordered,that, the instant any strange soldiers were seen approaching,the alarm-bells should be sounded and preparations bemade for repelling force by force. The Prussian Werbers,as they were called, were wont sometimes to do theirspiriting in shape so questionable that the most anti-belligerenttravellers and the most unwarlike and well-intentionedbodies were liable to be fired upon if theircharacters were not at once explained and understood.These were times when Hanoverians, who stood in fear ofPrussia, never lay down in bed but with arms at theirside; times when young peasants who, influenced by softattractions, stole by night from one village to another topay their devoirs to bright eyes waking to receive them,walked through perils, love in their hearts, and a musketon their shoulders. The enrollers of Frederick, and indeedthose of his great son after him, cast a chill shadow of fearover every age, sex, and station of life.

In the meantime the two Kings reviled each other ascoarsely as any two dragoons in their respective services.The quarrel was nursed until it was proposed to be settled,not by diplomacy, but by a duel. When this was firstsuggested, the place, but not the time, of meeting, wasimmediately agreed upon. The territory of Hildesheimwas to be the spot whereon were to meet in deadly combattwo monarchs—two fathers, who could not quietlyarrange a marriage between their sons and daughters. Itreally seemed as if the blood of Sophia Dorothea of Zellwas ever to be fatal to peace and averse from connubialfelicity.

The son of Sophia Dorothea selected Brigadier-GeneralSutton for his second. Her son-in-law (it willbe remembered that he had married that unhappy lady’sdaughter) conferred a similar honour on Colonel Derschein.270His English Majesty was to proceed to the designated arenafrom Hanover; Frederick was to make his way thitherfrom Saltzdhal, near Brunswick. The two Kings of Brentfordcould not have looked more ridiculous than thesetwo. They would, undoubtedly, have crossed weapons,had it not been for the strong common sense of a Prussiandiplomatist, named Borck. ‘It is quite right and exceedinglydignified,’ said Borck one day, to his master, whenthe latter was foaming with rage against George theSecond, and expressing an eager desire for fixing a nearday whereon to settle their quarrel—‘it is most fittingand seemly, since your Majesty will not marry with England,to cut the throat, if possible, of the English monarch;but your faithful servant would still advise your Majestynot to be over-hasty in fixing the day: ill-luck mightcome of it.’ On being urged to show how this might be,he remarked—‘Your gracious Majesty has lately beenill, is now far from well, and might, by naming an earlyday for voidance of this quarrel, be unable to keep theappointment.’ ‘We would name another,’ said the King.‘And in the meantime,’ observed Borck, ‘all Europegenerally, and George of England in particular, would besmiling, laughing, commenting on, and ridiculing the Kingwho failed to appear where he had promised to bepresent with his sword. Your Majesty must not exposeyour sacred person and character to such a catastropheas this: settle nothing till there is certainty that thepledge will be kept; and, in the meantime, defer namingthe day of battle for a fortnight.’

The advice of Borck was followed, and of coursethe fight never ‘came off.’ The ministers of both governmentsexerted themselves to save their respectivemasters from rendering themselves supremely, andperhaps sanguinarily, ridiculous—for the blood of bothwould not have washed out the absurdity of the thing.271Choler abated, common-sense came up to the surface,assumed the supremacy, and saved a couple of foolishkings from slaying or mangling each other. George,however, was resolved, and that for more reasons than itis necessary to specify, that a wife must be found for hisheir-apparent; and it was Caroline who directed him tolook at the princesses in the small and despotic court ofSaxe Gotha. Walpole was the more anxious that thePrince of Wales should be fittingly matched, as a reporthad reached him that Frederick had accepted an offerfrom the duch*ess of Marlborough of a hundred thousandpounds and the hand of her favourite grand-daughter,Lady Diana Spencer. The marriage, it was said, was tocome off privately, at the duch*ess’s lodge in RichmondPark.

Lord Delawar, who was sent to demand the hand ofthe Princess Augusta from her brother, the Duke of SaxeGotha, was long, lank, awkward, and unpolished. Therewas no fear here of the catastrophe which followed onthe introduction to Francesca da Rimini of the handsomeenvoy whom she mistook for her bridegroom, and withwhom she fell in love as soon as she beheld him.

Walpole, writing from King’s College on the 2nd ofMay 1736, says: ‘I believe the princess will have morebeauties bestowed upon her by the occasional poets thaneven a painter would afford her. They will cook up a newPandora, and in the bottom of the box enclose Hope—thatall they have said is true. A great many, out of excessof good breeding, who have heard that it was rude totalk Latin before women, proposed complimenting her inEnglish; which she will be much the better for. Idoubt most of them, instead of fearing their compositionsshould not be understood, should fear they should; theywish they don’t know what to be read by they don’tknow who.’


When the King despatched some half dozen lords ofhis council to propose to the prince that he shouldespouse the youthful Princess Augusta, he replied, with atone of mingled duty and indifference, something likeCaptain Absolute in the play, that ‘whoever his Majestythought a proper match for his son would be agreeableto him.’

The match was straightway resolved upon; and as theyoung lady knew little of French and less of English, itwas suggested to her mother that a few lessons in bothlanguages would not be thrown away. The duch*ess ofSaxe Gotha, however, was wiser in her own conceit thanher officious counsellors; and remembering that theHanoverian family had been a score of years, and more,upon the throne of England, she very naturally concludedthat the people all spoke or understood German, and thatit would really be needlessly troubling the child to makeher learn two languages, to acquire a knowledge of whichwould not be worth the pains spent upon the labour.

When princesses then espoused heirs to thrones theywere treated but with very scanty ceremony. Their ownfeelings were allowed to exercise very little influence inthe matter; there was no pleasant wooing time; thebridegroom did not even give himself the trouble to seekthe bride—he does not always do so, even now; andwhen the bride married the deputy who was despatched toespouse her by proxy, she knew as little of the principalas she did of his representative. But the blooming youngPrincess of Saxe Gotha submitted joyfully to custom andthe chance of becoming Queen of England. She waswilling to come and win what the Prince of Wales, hadnot dignity made him ungallant, should have gone andlaid at her feet and besought her to accept. Accordingly,the royal yacht, William and Mary, destined to carrymany a less noble freight before its career was completed,273bore the bride to our shores. When Lord Delawarhanded the bride ashore at Greenwich, on the 25th of April1736, she excited general admiration by her fresh air,good humour, and tasteful dress. It was St. George’sday; no inauspicious day whereon landing should bemade in England by the young girl of seventeen, whowas to be the mother of the first king born and bred inEngland since the birthday of James II.

The royal bride was conducted to the Queen’s housein the park, where, as my fair readers, and indeed allreaders with equal good sense and a proper idea of thefitness of things, will naturally conclude that all the royalfamily had assembled to welcome, with more thanordinary warmth, one who came among them undercirc*mstances of more than ordinary interest. But thetruth is that there was no one to give her welcome butsolemn officers of state and criticising ladies-in-waiting.The people were there of course, and the princess had nocause to complain of any lack of warmth on their part.For want of better company, she spent half an hour withthe English commonalty; and as she sat in the balconyoverlooking the park, the gallant mob shouted themselveshoarse in her praise, and did her all homage until thetardy lover arrived, whose own peculiar homage heshould have been in a little more lover-like haste to pay.However, Frederick came at last, and he came alone.The King, Queen, duke, and princesses sent ‘their compliments,and hoped she was well!’ They could not havesent or said less had she been Griselda, fresh from hernative cottage and about to become the bride of theprince without their consent and altogether without theirwill. But the day was Sunday, and perhaps those distinguishedpersonages were reluctant to indulge in toomuch expansion of feeling on the sacred day.

On the following day, Monday, Greenwich was as much274alive as it used to be on a fine fair-day: for the princessdined in public, and all the world was there to see her.That is to say, she and the prince dined together in anapartment the windows of which were thrown open ‘tooblige the curiosity of the people;’ and it is only to behoped that the springs of the period were not such inclementseasons as those generally known by the name ofspring to us. The people having stared their fill, and theprincess having banqueted as comfortably as she couldunder such circ*mstances, the Prince of Wales took herdown to the water, led her into a gaily decorated barge,and slowly up the river went the lovers—with hornsplaying, streamers flying, and under a fusillade from oldstocks of old guns, the modest artillery of colliers andOther craft anxious to render to the pair the usual noisyhonours of the way. They returned to Greenwich in likemanner, similarly honoured, and there, having supped inpublic, the prince kissed her hand, took his leave, andpromised to return upon the morrow.

On the Tuesday the already enamoured Frederickthought better of his engagement, and tarried at hometill the princess arrived there. She had left Greenwichin one of the royal carriages, from which she alighted atLambeth, where, taking boat, she crossed to Whitehall.Here one of Queen Caroline’s state chairs was awaitingher, and in it she was borne, by two stout carriers, plumpas Cupids but more vigorous, to St. James’s Palace. Thereception here was magnificent and tasteful. On thearrival of the bride, the bridegroom, already there toreceive her, took her by the hand as she stepped out ofthe chair, softly checked the motion she made to kneelto him and kiss his hand, and, drawing her to him,gallantly impressed a kiss—nay two, for the record isvery precise on this matter—upon her lips. All confusionand happiness, the illustrious couple ascended the staircase275hand in hand. The prince led her into the presenceof a splendid and numerous court, first introducing her tothe King, who would not suffer her to kneel, but, puttinghis arm around her, sainted her on each cheek. QueenCaroline greeted as warmly the bride of her eldest son;and the Duke of Cumberland and the princesses congratulatedher on her arrival in terms of warm affection.

The King, who had been irritably impatient for thearrival of the bride, and had declared that the ceremonyshould take place without him if it were not speedilyconcluded, was softened by the behaviour of the youthfulprincess on her first appearing in his presence. ‘Shethrew herself all along on the floor, first at the King’sand then at the Queen’s feet.’25 This prostration wasknown to be so acceptable a homage to his Majesty’spride, that, joined to the propriety of her whole behaviouron this occasion, it gave the spectators great prejudice infavour of her understanding.

The poor young princess, who came into England unaccompaniedby a single female friend, behaved with apropriety and ease which won the admiration of Walpoleand the sneers of old ladies who criticised her. Her self-possession,joined as it was with modesty, showed thatshe was ‘well-bred.’ She was not irreproachable ofshape or carriage, but she was fair, youthful, and sensible—muchmore sensible than the bridegroom, whoquarrelled with his brothers and sisters, in her very presence,upon the right of sitting down and being waitedon in such presence!

The squabbles between the brothers and sisters touchingetiquette show the extreme littleness of the minds ofthose who engaged in them. The prince would have hadthem, on the occasion of their dining with himself andbride the day before the wedding, be satisfied with stools276instead of chairs, and consent to being served with somethingless than the measure of respect shown to him andthe bride. To meet this, they refused to enter the dining-roomtill the stools were taken away and chairs substituted.They then were waited upon by their own servants,who had orders to imitate the servants of thePrince of Wales in every ceremony used at table. Laterin the evening, when coffee was brought round by theprince’s servants, his visitors declined to take any, out offear that their brother’s domestics might have had instructionsto inflict ‘some disgrace (had they accepted of any)in the manner of giving it!’

On the day of the arrival of the bride at St. James’s,after a dinner of some state, and after some rearrangementof costume, the ceremony of marriage was performed,under a running salute from artillery, which toldto the metropolis the progress made in the nuptial solemnity.The bride ‘was in her hair,’ and wore a crownwith one bar, as Princess of Wales, a profusion of diamondsadding lustre to a youthful bearing that could have donewithout it. Over her white robe she wore a mantle ofcrimson velvet, bordered with row upon row of ermine.Her train was supported by four ‘maids,’ three of whomwere daughters of dukes. They were Lady CarolineLennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond; Lady CarolineFitzroy, daughter of the Duke of Grafton; LadyCaroline Cavendish, daughter of the Duke of Devonshire,—andwith the three bridesmaids who bore the nameof the Queen was one who bore that of her whom theKing had looked upon as really Queen of England—ofSophia, his mother. This fourth lady was Lady SophiaFermor, daughter of the Earl of Pomfret. Excepting themantle, the ‘maids’ were dressed precisely similar to the‘bride’ whom they surrounded and served. They wereall in ‘virgin habits of silver.’ Each bridesmaid wore277diamonds of the value of from twenty to thirty thousandpounds.

The Duke of Cumberland performed the office offather to the bride, and they were ushered to the altarby the Duke of Grafton and Lord Hervey, the lord andvice-chamberlains of the household. The Countess ofEffingham and the other ladies of the household left theQueen’s side to swell the following of the bride. TheLord Bishop of London, Dean of the Chapel Royal,officiated on this occasion; and when he pronounced thetwo before him to have become as one, voices in harmonyarose within, the trumpets blazoned forth their editionof the event, the drums rolled a deafening peal, a clashof instruments followed, and above all boomed the thunderof the cannon in the park, telling in a million echoes ofthe conclusion of the irrevocable compact. A little ceremonyfollowed in the King’s drawing-room, which wasin itself appropriate, and which seemed to have heart init. On the assembling there of the entire bridal party,the newly-married couple went, once more hand inhand, and kneeling before the King and his consort, whowere seated at the upper end of the room, the lattersolemnly gave their blessing to their children and badethem be happy.

A royally joyous supper succeeded, at half-past ten,where healths were drunk and a frolicsome sort of spiritmaintained, as was common in those somewhat ‘common’times. And then followed a sacred portion ofthe ceremony, which is now considered as being morehonoured in the breach than the observance. The bridewas conducted processionally to her sleeping apartment;while the prince was helped to disrobe by his royal sire,and his brother the duke. The latter aided in divestinghim of some of his heavy finery, and the King verygravely ‘did his royal highness, the prince, the honour278to put on his shirt.’ All this must have been consideredmore than nuisance enough by the parties on whom it wasinflicted by way of honour, but the newly-married victimsof that day had much more to endure.

When intimation had been duly made that theprincess had been undressed and re-dressed by her maids,and was seated in the bed ready to receive all customaryand suitable honour, the King and Queen entered thechamber. The former was attired in a dress of goldbrocade, turned up with silk, embroidered with largeflowers in silver and colours, with a waistcoat of thesame, and buttons and star dazzling with diamonds.Caroline was in ‘a plain yellow silk, robed and facedwith pearls, diamonds, and other jewels, of immensevalue. The Dukes of Newcastle, Grafton, and St. Albans,the Earl of Albemarle, Colonel Pelham, and many othernoblemen, were in gold brocades of from three to fivehundred pounds a suit. The Duke of Marlborough wasin a white velvet and gold brocaded tissue. The waistcoatswere universally brocades with large flowers. Itwas observed,’ continues the court historiographer, ‘mostof the rich clothes were of the manufactures of England,and in honour of our own artists. The few which wereFrench did not come up to those in goodness, richness,or fancy, as was seen by the clothes worn by the royalfamily, which were all of the British manufacture. Thecuffs of the sleeves were universally deep and open, thewaists long, and the plaits more sticking out than ever.The ladies were principally in brocades of gold andsilver, and wore their sleeves much lower than had beendone for some time.’

When all these finely dressed people were assembled,and the bride was sitting upright in bed, in a dress ofsuperb lace, the princely bridegroom entered, ‘in a nightgownof silver stuff and cap of the finest lace.’ He must279have looked like a facetious prince in a Christmas extravaganza.However, he took his place by the side of thebride; and while both sat ‘bolt upright’ in bed, the‘quality’ generally were admitted to see the sight, andto smile at the edifying remarks made by the King andother members of the royal family who surrounded thecouch.

The record of this happy event would hardly be completewere we to omit to notice that it was made theoccasion of a remarkable débût in the House of Commons.An address congratulatory of the marriage was moved byMr. Lyttelton, and the motion was seconded by Mr. Pitt,subsequently the first Earl of Chatham, who then madehis first speech in parliament. The speech made byLyttelton was squeaking and smart. That of CornetPitt, as he was called, was so favourable to the virtues ofthe son, and, by implication, so insulting to the person ofthe father, that it laid the foundation of the lasting enmityof George against Pitt—an enmity the malevolence ofwhich was first manifested by depriving Pitt of hiscornetcy. The poets were, of course, as polite as thesenators, and epithalamia rained upon the happy pair inshowers of highly complimentary and very indifferentverse. The lines of Whitehead, the laureate, were tolerablygood, for a laureate, and the following among themhave been cited ‘as containing a wish which succeedingevents fully gratified.’

Such was the age, so calm the earth’s repose,

When Maro sung and a new Pollio rose.

Oh! from such omens may again succeed

Some glorious youth to grace the nuptial bed;

Some future Scipio, good as well as great,

Some young Marcellus with a better fate:

Some infant Frederick, or some George, to grace

The rising records of the Brunswick race.

If these set ringing the most harmonious of the280echoes which Parnassus could raise on the occasion, theother metrical essays must have been wretched thingsindeed. But the Muse at that time was not a refinedmuse. If a laureate would only find rhyme, decencyand logic were gladly dispensed with.

The prince was very zealous and painstaking in introducinghis bride to the people. For this purpose theywere often together at the theatre. On one of theseoccasions the princess must have had but an indifferentidea of the civilisation of the people over whom she fairlyexpected one day to reign as queen-consort. The occasionalluded to was on the 3rd of May 1736, when great numbersof footmen assembled, with weapons, in a tumultuousmanner, broke open the doors of Drury Lane Theatre,and fighting their way to the stage-doors, which theyforced open, they prevented the Riot Act being read byColonel de Veal, who nevertheless arrested some of theringleaders and committed them to Newgate. In thistumult, founded on an imaginary grievance that the footmenhad been illegally excluded from the gallery, towhich they claimed to go gratis, many persons wereseverely wounded, and the terrified audience hastily separated;the prince and princess, with a large number ofpersons of distinction, retiring when the tumult was atit* highest. The Princess of Wales had never witnesseda popular tumult before; and, though this was ridiculousin character, it was serious enough of aspect to disgusther with that part of ‘the majesty of the people’ whichwas covered with plush.

The King, in spite of Sir Robert Walpole’s threat,proceeded to Hanover in the month of May. Before hequitted England he sent word to his son that, whereverthe Queen Regent resided, there would be apartments forthe Prince and Princess of Wales. Frederick looked uponthis measure in its true light, namely, as making him a281sort of prisoner, and preventing the possibility of twoseparate courts in the King’s absence. The prince determinedto disobey his father and thwart his mother. Whenthe Queen removed from one residence to another, hefeigned preparations to follow her, and then feigned obstructionsto them. He pleaded an illness of the princesswhich did not exist, and was surprised that his medicalmen declined to back up his lie by another of their own.The Queen on her side, feigning anxious interest in herdaughter-in-law, visited her in her imaginary illness; butthe patient, who was first said to be suffering from measles,then from a rash, and finally was declared to be reallyindisposed with a cold, was kept in a darkened room, andwas otherwise so trained to deceive that Caroline left thebed-side as wise as when she went to it. In this conducttowards his mother Frederick was chiefly influenced byhis ill-humour at the Queen’s being appointed regent.When she opened the commission at Kensington, whichshe always did as soon as she received intelligence ofthe landing of the King in Holland, Frederick wouldnot attend the council, but contrived to reach the palacejust after the members had concluded their business.



The Queen and Walpole govern the kingdom—The bishops reproved by theQueen—Good wishes for the bishops entertained by the King—Anecdoteof Bishop Hare—Riots—An infernal machine—Wilson the smuggler andthe Porteous mob—General Moyle—Coldness of the Queen for the King—Walpoleadvises her Majesty—Unworthy conduct of Caroline andvice of her worthless husband—Questionable fidelity of Madame Walmoden—Conductof the Princess at the Chapel Royal—The Princessand her doll—Pasquinades, &c. on the King—Farewell royal supper atHanover—Dangerous voyage of the King—Anxiety of the Court abouthim—Unjust blame thrown on Admiral Wager—The Queen congratulatesthe King on his escape—The King’s warm reply—Discussionsabout the Prince’s revenue—Investigation into the affairs of the Porteousmob—The Queen and the Bill for reduction of the National Debt—Vicein high life universal—Represented on the stage, occasions the censorship—Animosityof the Queen and Princesses towards Prince Frederick.

Though the King delegated all royal power to the Queen,as regent during his absence, he exercised his kinglyoffice when in Hanover by signing commissions for officers.The Queen would not consent that objectionshould be taken to this course followed by her husband,or that any representation should be made to him on thesubject. Such acts, indeed, did not interfere with hergreat power as regent—a power which she wielded inunion with Walpole. These two persons governed thekingdom according to their own councils; but the minister,nevertheless, placed every conclusion at which heand the Queen had arrived before the cabinet council,by the obsequious members of which the conclusions,whatever they were, were sanctioned, and the necessary283documents signed. Thus Walpole, by the side of theQueen, acted as independently as if he had been King;but of his acts he managed to make the cabinet sharewith him the responsibility.

The office exercised by the Queen was far from beinga sinecure or exempt from great anxieties; but it washardly more onerous than that which she exercisedduring the King’s residence in England. Her chieftroubles, she was wont to say, were derived from thebishops.

If Caroline could not speak so harshly of the prelates,generally or individually, as her husband, she could reprovethem, when occasion offered, with singular asperity.We may see an instance of this in the case of the episcopalopposition to the Mortmain and to the Quakers’Relief Bills; but especially to the latter. This particularbill had for its object to render more easy the recoveryof tithes from Quakers; the latter did not ask for exemption,but for less oppression in the method of levying.The court wished that the bill should pass into law.Sherlock, now Bishop of Salisbury, wrote a pamphletagainst it; and the prelates generally, led by Gibson,Bishop of London, stirred up all the dioceses in the kingdomto oppose it, with a cry of The Church in danger.Sir Robert Walpole represented to the Queen that all thebishops were blameable; but that the chief blame restedupon Sherlock, whose opposition was described as beingas little to be justified in point of understanding andpolicy as in integrity and gratitude. Sir Robert declaredthat he was at once the dupe and the willing follower ofthe Bishop of London, and that both were guilty ofendeavouring to disturb the quiet of the kingdom.

The first time Dr. Sherlock appeared at court afterthis the Queen chid him extremely, and asked him if hewas not ashamed to be overreached in this manner by284the Bishop of London. She accused him of being asecond time the dupe of the latter prelate, who wascharged with having misled him in a matter concerningthe advancement of Dr. Rundle to an episcopal see.‘How,’ she asked him, ‘could he be blind and weakenough to be running his nose into another’s dirt again!’As for the King, he spoke of the prelates on this occasion‘with his usual softness.’ They were, according tothe hereditary defender of the faith, ‘a parcel of black,canting, hypocritical rascals.’ They were ‘silly,’ ‘impertinent’fellows, presuming to dictate to the Crown; asif it were not the duty of a bishop to exercise this boldnesswhen emergency warranted and occasion suited.

Both bills were passed in the Commons. The MortmainBill (to prevent the further alienation of lands bywill in mortmain) passed the Lords; but the Quakers’Relief Bill was lost there by a majority of two.

The Queen was far from desiring that the bishopsshould be so treated as to make them in settled antagonismwith the Crown. She one day ventured to saysomething in this spirit to the King. It was at a timewhen he was peevishly impatient to get away to Hanover,to the society of Madame Walmoden, and to the youngson born there since his departure. He is reported tohave exclaimed to Caroline, when she was gently urginga more courteous treatment of the bishops—‘I am sickto death of all this foolish stuff, and wish, with all myheart, that the devil may take all your bishops, and thedevil take your minister, and the devil take the parliament,and the devil take the whole island, provided Ican get out of it and go to Hanover.’26

What Caroline meant by moderation of behaviourtowards the bishops it is hard to understand; for whenDrs. Sherlock and Hare complained to her that, in spite285of their loyalty to the Crown they were nightly treatedwith great coarseness and indignity by lords closely connectedwith the court, Caroline spoke immediately, in theharsh tone and strong terms ordinarily employed by herconsort, and said, that she could more easily excuse LordHervey, who was chiefly complained of as speakingsharply against them in parliament—‘I can easier excusehim,’ exclaimed her Majesty, ‘for throwing some of theBishop of London’s dirt upon you than I can excuse allyou other fools (who love the Bishop of London no betterthan he does) for taking the Bishop of London’s dirtupon yourselves.’ She claimed a right to chide the prelatessoundly, upon the ground that she loved themdeeply; and she made very liberal use of the privilegeshe claimed. Bishop Hare, in replying, called Lord Hinton,one of Lord Hervey’s imitators, his ‘ape.’ TheQueen told this to Lord Hervey, who answered, that hisape, if he came to know that such a term had been appliedto him, would certainly knock down the Queen’s‘baboon.’ Caroline, with a childish spirit of mischief,communicated to Hare what she had done, and what hervice-chancellor had said upon it. The terrified prelateimmediately broke the third commandment, exclaiming,‘Good God! madam, what have you done! As for LordHervey, he will satisfy himself, perhaps, with playing hiswit off upon me, and calling me Old Baboon; but for myLord Hinton, who has no wit, he will knock me down.’The vice-chamberlain, who reports the scene, says—‘Thistallied so ridiculously with what Lord Hervey had said tothe Queen that she burst into a fit of laughter, whichlasted some minutes before she could speak; and thenshe told the bishop, “That is just, my good lord, whatLord Hervey did do, and what he said the ape woulddo.”’ The Queen, however, promised that no harmshould come to the prelate.


No inconsiderable amount of harm, however, wasinflicted on many of the prelates, including Hare himself.Walpole was disposed to translate him when an advantageousopportunity offered; but Hervey showed himgood reason for preferring pliant Potter, then of Oxford.Gibson, the Bishop of London, had been looking to beremoved to Canterbury whenever Dr. Wake’s deaththere should cause a vacancy. He expected, however,that, in accordance with his wish, Sherlock would succeedhim in London. The Queen was disposed to sanctionthe arrangement; but she was frightened out of itby Walpole and Hervey. She accordingly advised Sherlock‘to go down to his diocese and live quietly; to letthe spirit he had raised so foolishly against him here subside;and to reproach himself only if he had failed, orshould fail, of what he wished should be done and shehad wished to do for him.’

During the absence of the King, in 1736, in Hanover,the Queen Regent had but an uneasy time of it at home.First, there were corn riots in the west, which werecaused by the attempts of the people to prevent the exportationof corn, and which could only be suppressed byaid of the military. Next, there were labour riots in themetropolis in consequence of the market being overstockedby Irish labourers, who offered to work at lowerrates than the English; and which also the bayonet alonewas able to suppress. Thirdly, the coasts were infestedby smugglers, whom the prospect of the hangman couldnot deter from their exciting vocation, and who notonly killed revenue officers in very pretty battles, butwere heartily assisted by the country people, who lookedupon the contrabandists as most gallant and useful gentlemen.Much sedition was mixed up with the confusionwhich arose from these tumultuary proceedings: forwherever the people were opposed in their inclinations,287they immediately took to cursing the Queen especially;not, however, sparing the King, nor forgetting, in theirstreet ovations, to invoke blessings upon James III. Itwas, indeed, the fashion for every aggrieved person tospeak of George II., in his character of Elector of Hanover,as ‘a foreign prince.’ When this was done by anonjuring clergyman named Dixon, who exploded aninnocent infernal machine in Westminster Hall (to thegreat terror of judges and lawyers), which scatteredpapers over the hall denouncing various acts of parliament—firstthat against the sale of gin in unlicensedplaces, then the act for building Westminster Bridge,the one to suppress smuggling, and that which enabled‘a foreign prince’ to borrow 600,000l. of money sacredlyappropriated to the payment of our debts—the LordChancellor and the Chief Justice were so affrighted thatthey called the escapade ‘a treason.’ Caroline summoneda council thereon, and, having at last secured the half-madand destitute offender, they consigned him to rot ina gaol; although, as Lord Hervey says, ‘the lawyersshould have sent him to Bedlam, and would have senthim to Tyburn.’

The popular fury was sometimes so excited that itwas found necessary, as in the Michaelmas of this year,to double the guards who had the care of her sacredMajesty at Kensington. The populace had determinedupon being drunk, when, where, and how they liked.The government had resolved that they should not getdrunk upon gin at any but licensed places; and thereuponthe majesty of the people became so furious thateven the person of Caroline was hardly considered safein her own palace.

Nor were riots confined only to England. A formidableone broke out in Edinburgh, based upon admirationfor a smuggler named Wilson, who had cleverly robbed288a revenue officer, as well as defrauded the revenue. Themob thought it hard that the poor fellow should behanged for such little foibles as these; and though theycould not rescue him from the gallows, they raised adesperate tumult as he was swung from it. The townguard fired upon the rioters, by order of their captain,Porteous, and several individuals were slain. The captainwas tried for this alleged unlawful slaying, and was condemnedto die; but Caroline, who admired promptnessof character, stayed the execution by sending down areprieve. The result is well known; the mob brokeopen the prison, and inflicted Lynch law upon the captain,hanging him in the market-place, amid a shower of cursesand jeers against Caroline and her reprieve.

The indignation of the Queen Regent was almostuncontrollable. She was especially indignant againstGeneral Moyle, commander of the troops, who had refusedto interfere to suppress the riot. He was tolerablywell justified in his refusal; for the magistrates of Edinburgh,ever ready to invoke assistance, were addicted tobetray them who rendered it to the gallows if the riotwas suppressed by shedding the blood of the rioters. Hisconduct on this occasion was further regulated by ordersfrom his commander-in-chief. Caroline had no regardfor any of the considerations which governed the discreetgeneral; and, in the vexation of her chafed spirit, she declaredthat Moyle deserved to be shot by order of acourt-martial. It was with great difficulty that herministers and friends succeeded in softening the asperityof her temper. Even Sir Robert Walpole, who joined inrepresenting that it were better to hold Moyle harmless,maintained in private that the general was fool, knave, orcoward. Lord Hervey says that the Queen resented theconduct of the Scotch on this occasion, as showing ‘atendency to shake off all government; and I believe was289a little more irritated, from considering it in some degreeas a personal affront to her, who had sent down CaptainPorteous’s reprieve; and had she been told half whatwas reported to have been said of her by the Scotch mobon this occasion, no one could think that she had notample cause to be provoked.’

To return to the domestic affairs of Caroline: it is tobe observed that the Queen had not seen the King leaveEngland, with indifference. She was aware that he waschiefly attracted to Hanover by the unblushing rival who,on his departure thence, had drunk, amid smiles andtears, to his speedy return. His departure, therefore,something affected her proud spirit, and she was for aseason depressed. But business acted upon her as a tonic,and she was occupied and happy, yet not without herhours of trial and vexation, until the time approached forthe King’s return.

Bitter, however, were her feelings when she foundthat return protracted beyond the usual period. For theKing to be absent on his birthday was a most unusualoccurrence, and Caroline felt that the rival must havesome power indeed who could thus restrain him from indulgencein old habits. She was, however, as proud asshe was pained. She began to grow cool in her ceremonyand attentions to the King. She abridged the ordinarylength of her letters to him, and the usual four dozenpages were shortened into some seven or eight. Herimmediate friends, who were aware of this circ*mstance,saw at once that her well-known judgment and prudencewere now in default. They knew that to attempt to insinuatereproach to the King would arouse his anger, andnot awaken his sleeping tenderness. They feared lest herpower over him should become altogether extinct, andthat his Majesty would soon as little regard his wife byforce of habit as he had long ceased to do by readiness of290inclination. It was Walpole’s conviction that the King’srespect for her was too firmly based to be ever shaken.Faithless himself, he reverenced the fidelity and sinceritywhich he knew were in her; and if she could not rule bythe heart, it was certain that she might still continuesupreme by the head—by her superior intellect. Still,the minister recognised the delicacy and danger of themoment, and, in an interview with Caroline, he made itthe subject of as extraordinary a discussion as was everheld between minister and royal mistress—between manand woman. Walpole reminded her of faded charms andgrowing years, and he expatiated on the impossibility ofher ever being able to establish supremacy in the King’sregard by power of her personal attractions! It is a traitof her character worth noticing, that she listened to theseunwelcome, but almost unwarrantably expressed, truthswith immoveable patience. But Walpole did not stophere. He urged her to resume her long letters to theKing, and to address him in terms of humility, submissiveness,duty, and tender affection; and he set the climaxon what one might almost be authorised to consider hisimpudence, by recommending her to invite the King tobring Madame Walmoden with him to England. At thiscounsel the tears did spring into the eyes of Caroline.The softened feeling, however, only maintained itself fora moment. It was soon forgotten in her desire to recoveror retain her power. She promised to obey the ministerin all he had enjoined upon her; but Walpole, well ashe knew her, very excusably conjectured that there muststill be enough of the mere woman in her, to induce herto refuse to perform what she had promised to accomplish.He was, however, mistaken. It is true, indeed, that herheart recoiled at what the head had resolved, but shemaintained her resolution. She conversed calmly withWalpole on the best means of carrying it out. But the291minister put no trust in her assertions until such a letteras he had recommended had actually been despatched byher to the King. She rallied Walpole on his doubts ofher, but praised him for his abominable counsel. It wasthis commendation which alarmed him. He could believein her reproof; but he affirmed that he was always afraidwhen Caroline ‘daubed.’ However, he was now obligedto believe, for the Queen spoke calmly of the coming ofher rival, allotted rooms for her reception, devised plansand projects for rendering her comfortable, and evenexpressed her willingness to take her into her own service!Walpole opposed this, but she cited the case ofLady Suffolk. Upon which the minister observed, withinfinite moral discrimination, that there was a differencebetween the King’s making a mistress of the Queen’sservant, and making a Queen’s servant of his mistress.The people might reasonably look upon the first as avery natural condition of things, while the popular virtuemight feel itself outraged at the second. Caroline saidnothing, but wrote certainly the most singular letter thatever wife wrote to a husband. It was replied to by aletter also the most singular that ever husband addressedto a wife.27 The King’s epistle was full of admiration athis consort’s amiable conduct, and of descriptions of herrival’s bodily and mental features. He extolled thevirtues of his wife, and then expressed a wish that hecould be as virtuous as she! ‘But,’ wrote he, in veryelegant French, ‘you know my passions, my dear Caroline;you know my weaknesses; there is nothing in my hearthidden from you; and would to God,’ exclaimed themendacious, blaspheming libertine, ‘would to God thatyou could correct me with the same facility with whichyou apprehend me! Would to God that I could imitate292you as well as I admire you, and that I could learn ofyou all the virtues which you make me see, feel, andlove!’

The Queen, then, had not only to look after the affairsof the kingdom in the monarch’s absence, but to assisthim with her advice for the better management of hislove-affairs in Hanover. With all Madame Walmoden’saffected fidelity towards him, he had good grounds forsuspecting that his interest in her was shared by lessnoble rivals. The senile dupe was perplexed in theextreme. One rival named as being on too familiarterms with the lady was a Captain von der Schulenburg,a relation of the duch*ess of Kendal. There was a littledrama enacted by all three parties, as complicated as aSpanish comedy, and full of love-passages, rope-ladders,and lying. The closing scene exhibits the lady indignantin asserting her innocence, and the wretched monarchtoo happy to put faith in her assertions. When leftalone, however, he addressed a letter to his wife, askingher what she thought of the matter, and requesting herto consult Walpole, as a man ‘who has more experiencein these sort of matters, my dear Caroline, than yourself,and who in the present affair must necessarily be lessprejudiced than I am!’ There never was an epithet ofobloquy which this miserable fellow flung at his fellowmen which might not have been more appropriatelyapplied to himself.

Caroline, doubtless, gave the counsel that was expectedfrom her; and then, having settled to the best of herability this very delicate affair, she was called upon tointerfere in a matter more serious. The young Princessof Wales had scandalised the whole royal family by takingthe sacrament at the German Lutheran chapel. Seriousremonstrance was made to her on the subject; but theyoung lady shed tears, and pleaded her conscience. Religious293liberty, however, was not a thing to be thoughtof, and she must take the sacrament according to theforms prescribed by the Church of England. She resistedthe compulsion, until it was intimated to her that if shepersisted in the course on which she had entered, therewas a possibility that she might be sent back to SaxeGotha. Upon that hint she at once joined the Church ofEngland. She had no more hesitation than a Lutheranor Catholic German princess who marries into the Czar’sfamily has of at once accepting all which the GreekChurch enjoins, and which the lady neither cares for norcomprehends.

Nor was this the only church matter connected withthe princess which gave trouble to the Queen. Thecase of conscience was followed by a case of courtesy, orrather, perhaps, of the want of it. The Queen attendeddivine service regularly in the chapel in KensingtonPalace, and set a good example of being early in herattendance, which was not followed by the Prince andPrincess of Wales, when they also were in residence atthe palace. It was the bad habit of the latter, doubtlessat the instigation of her husband, not to enter the chapeltill after the service had commenced and the Queen wasengaged in her devotions. The princess had then, inorder to get to the seat allotted to her, to pass by theQueen—a large woman in a small pew! The scene wasunbecoming in the extreme; for the princess passed infront of her Majesty, between her and the prayer-book,and there was much confusion and unseemliness in consequence.When this had been repeated a few times,the Queen ordered Sir William Toby, the princess’schamberlain, to introduce his royal mistress by anotherdoor than that by which the Queen entered, whereby herroyal highness might pass to her place without indecorouslyincommoding her Majesty. The prince would294not allow this to be done, and he only so far compromisedthe matter, by ordering the princess, whenever she foundthe Queen at chapel before herself, not to enter at all, butto return to the palace.

Caroline, offended as she was with her son, would notallow him to pretend that she was as difficult to livewith as his father, and so concealed her anger. LordHervey so well knew that the prince wished to renderthe Queen unpopular, that he counselled his royal mistressnot to let her son enjoy a grievance that he couldtrade upon. Lord Hervey said, ‘he could wish that ifthe prince was to sit down in her lap, that she would onlysay she hoped he found it easy.’

For the princess the Queen had nothing but a feelingwhich partook mostly of a compassionate regard. Sheknew her to be really harmless, and thought her verydull company; which, for a woman of Caroline’s intellectand power of conversation, she undoubtedly was.The woman of cultivated mind yawned wearily at thetruisms of the common-place young lady, and made anassertion with respect to her which bespoke a mind morecoarse than cultivated. ‘Poor creature!’ said Caroline, ofher young daughter-in-law; ‘were she to spit in my face,I should only pity her for being under such a fool’s direction,and wipe it off.’ The fool, of course, was thespeaker’s son. The young wife, it must be confessed,was something childish in her ways. Nothing pleasedher better than to play half through the day with a large,jointed doll. This she would dress and undress, andnurse and fondle at the windows of Kensington Palace,to the amusem*nt and wonder, rather than to the edification,of the servants in the palace and the sentinelsbeneath the windows. The Princess Caroline almostforgot her gentle character in chiding her sister-in-law,and desiring her ‘not to stand at the window during295these operations on her baby.’ The Princess Carolinedid not found her reproach upon the impropriety of theaction, but upon that of allowing it to be witnessed byothers. The lower people, she said, thought everythingridiculous that was not customary, and the thing woulddraw a mob about her, and make la canaille talk disagreeably!

The act showed the childishness of her character atthat time; a childishness on which her husband improvedby getting her to apply, through the Queen, for the King’sconsent to allow her to place Lady Archibald Hamiltonupon her household. Frederick informed his young wifeof the position in which the world said the lady stood withregard to him; but he assured her that it was all false.Augusta believed, or affected to believe, or was perhapsindifferent; and Lady Archibald was made lady of thebedchamber, privy purse, and mistress of the robes to theprincess, with a salary of nine hundred pounds a-year.

While the ladies of the court discussed the subject ofthe King, his wife, his favourite, and the favourite of theprince, and seriously canvassed the expediency of bringingMadame Walmoden to England, there were somewho entertained an idea that it would be well if the Sovereignhimself could be kept out of it. The people tookto commiserating Caroline, and many censured her husbandfor his infidelity, while others only reproved him becausethat faithlessness was made profitable to foreignersand not to fairer frailty at home. In the meantime,his double taste for his Electorate and the ladies therewas caricatured in various ways. Pasquinades intimatedthat his Hanoverian Majesty would condescend to visithis British dominions at a future stated period. A lame,blind, and aged horse, with a saddle, and a pillion behindit, was sent to wander through the streets, with an inscriptionon the forehead, which begged that nobody296would stop him, as he was ‘the King’s Hanoverian equipage,going to fetch his Majesty and his —— to England.’The most stinging satire of all was boldly affixed to thewalls of St. James’s Palace, and was to this effect: ‘Lostor strayed, out of this house, a man who has left a wifeand six children on the parish. Whoever will give anytidings of him to the churchwardens of St. James’s parish,so as he may be got again, shall receive four shillingsand sixpence reward. N.B. This reward will not be increased,nobody judging him to deserve a crown.’

The King himself was rather gratified than otherwisewith satires which imputed to him a gallantry (as it iserroneously called) of disposition. He was only vexedwhen censure was gravely directed against him whichhad reference to the incompatibility of his pursuits withhis position, his age, and his infirmities. He preferredbeing reproved as profligate, rather than being consideredpast the period when profligacy would be venial.

Previous to his return to England, he expressed awish to the Queen that she would remove from Kensingtonto St. James’s, on the ground that it would be betterfor her health, and she would be easier of access to theministers. The road between London and the suburbanlocality, which may now be said to be a part of it, was atthe period alluded to in so wretched a condition, thatKensington Palace was more remote from the metropolisthan Windsor Castle is now. Caroline understood herhusband too well to obey. She continued, as regent, tolive in retirement, and this affectation of disregard for theoutward splendour of her office was not unfavourablylooked upon by the King.

The Queen’s rule of conduct was not, however, thatwhich best pleased her son. Frederick declared his intentionof leaving the suburban palace for London. Carolinewas vexed at the announcement of an intention which297amounted, in other words, to the setting up of a rivalcourt; particularly after the orders which had been communicatedfrom the King to the Prince of Wales, throughthe Duke of Grafton. Frederick wrote a note in reply,like that of his mother’s, in French, in which he intimatedhis willingness to remain at Kensington as long as theQueen Regent made it her residence. The note was probablywritten for the prince by Lord Chesterfield. Carolineinflicted considerable annoyance on her son by refusingto consider him as the author of the note; which,by the way, Lord Hervey thought might have been writtenby ‘young Pitt,’ but certainly not by Lord Chesterfield.The note itself is only quoted from memory by LordHervey, who says that Lord Chesterfield would havewritten better French, as well as with more turnsand points. It closely resembles the character of LordChesterfield’s letters in French, which were never sopurely French but there could be detected in themphrases which were mere translations of English idioms;and it was precisely because of such a fault that Carolinehad suspected that the note was written by an Englishmanborn. The fact remains to be noticed that, in spiteof the promise made by the prince to remain at Kensington,he really removed to London; but, as his suitewas left in the suburbs, he considered that his pledgewas honourably maintained.

Frederick’s conduct seems to have arisen from a fearof its being supposed that he was governed by others.Had it been the Queen’s interest to rule him by lettinghim suppose that he was free from the influence of others,she would have done it as readily and as easily as in thecase of the King. The Queen considered him so far unambitiousthat he did not long for his father’s death; butLord Hervey showed her that if he did not, the creditorswho had lent him money, payable with interest at the298King’s decease, were less delicate in this matter; andthat the demise of the King might be so profitable tomany as to make the monarch’s speedy death a consummationdevoutly to be wished. The life of the Sovereignwas thus put in present peril, and Lord Hervey suggestedto the Queen that it would be well were a bill broughtinto parliament, making it a capital offence for any manto lend money for a premium at the King’s death. ‘To besure,’ replied the Queen, ‘it ought to be so; and pray talka little with Sir Robert Walpole about it.’ Meanwhile,Frederick Prince of Wales exhibited a liberality whichcharmed the public generally, rather than his creditorsin particular, by forwarding 500l. to the Lord Mayor forthe purpose of releasing poor freemen of the City fromprison. The act placed the prince in strong contrastwith his father, who had been squandering large sums inGermany.

The King’s departure from Hanover for England tookplace in the night of the 7th to the 8th of December,after one of those brilliant and festive farewell supperswhich were now given on such occasions by the Circe orthe Cynthia of the hour. Wine and tears, no doubt, flowedabundantly; but, as soon as the scene could be decentlybrought to an end, the royal lover departed, and arrivedon the 11th at Helvoetsluys. His daughter Anne waslying sick, almost to death, at the Hague, where her lifehad with difficulty been purchased by the sacrifice of thatof the little daughter she had borne. The King, however,had not leisure for the demonstration of any parental affection,and he hurried on without even enquiring after thecondition of his child. Matter-of-fact people are usuallytender, and, if not tender, courteously decent people.The King was a matter-of-fact person enough, but evenin this he acted like those highly refined and sentimental299persons in whom affection is ever on their lips and venomin their hearts.

The wind was fair, and all London was in expectation,but without eagerness, of seeing once more theirgaillard of a King, with his grave look, among them.But the wind veered, and a hurricane blew from thewest with such violence that every one concluded, if theKing had embarked, he must necessarily have gone down,and the royal convoy of ships perished with him. Betswere laid upon the event, and speculation was busy inevery corner. The excitement was naturally great, forthe country had never been in such uncertainty abouttheir monarch. Wagers increased. Walpole began todiscuss the prospects of the royal family, the probableconduct of the possible new sovereign, the little regardhe would have for his mother, the faithless guardian hewould be over his brother and sisters, and the bully anddupe he would prove, by turns, of all with whom hecame in contact. Lord Hervey and Queen Caroline discussedthe same delicate question; and the latter, fancyingthat her son already assumed, in public and in herpresence, the swagger of a new greatness, and that hewas bidding for popularity, would not listen to LordHervey’s assurances that she would be able to rule himas easily as she had done his father. She ridiculed hisconduct, called him fool and ass, and averred that whilethe thought of some things he did ‘made her feel sick,’the idea of the popularity of Fritz made her ‘vomit.’As hour was added to hour, amid all this speculation andtrouble, and ‘still Cæsar came not,’ reports of loss of lifeat sea became rife. At Harwich, guns had been heardat night booming over the waters; people had come tothe conclusion that they were guns of distress fired fromthe royal fleet—the funeral dirge of itself and the monarch.300Communication of this gratifying conclusion wasmade to Caroline. Prince Frederick kindly prepared herfor the worst; Lord Hervey added the expression of hisfears that that worst was not very far off; and the PrincessCaroline began meditating upon the hatred of her brother‘for mamma,’ and the little chance there would be of herobtaining a liberal provision from the new king. TheQueen was more concerned than she chose to acknowledge;but when gloomy uncertainty was at its highest, acourier, whose life had been risked, with those of theship’s crew with whom he came over, in order to informCaroline that her consort had not risked his own, wasflung ashore ‘miraculously’ at Yarmouth; whence hasteningto St. James’s, he relieved all apprehensions andcrushed all expiring hopes, by the announcement thathis Majesty had never embarked at all, and was still atHelvoetsluys, awaiting fine weather and favouring gales.

The fine weather came, and the wind was fair forbringing the royal wanderer home. It remained so justlong enough to induce all the King’s anxious subjects toconclude that he had embarked, and then wind andweather became more tempestuous and adverse thanthey were before. And now people set aside speculation,and confessed to a conviction that his Majesty lived onlyin history. During the former season of doubt, Carolinehad solaced herself, or wiled away her time, by reading‘Rollin’ and affecting to make light of all the gloomyreports which were made in her hearing. There wasnow, however, more cause for alarm. By ones, andtwos, and fours, the ships which had left Helvoetsluyswith the King were flung upon the English coast, orsucceeded in making separate harbours in a miserablywrecked condition. All the intelligence they broughtwas, that his Majesty had embarked, that they had setsail in company, that an awful hurricane had arisen, that301Sir Charles Wager had made signal for every vessel toprovide for its own safety, and that the last seen of theroyal yacht was that she was tacking, and they only hopedthat his Majesty might have succeeded in getting back toHelvoetsluys. Some in England echoed that loyallyexpressed hope; others only desired that the danger intimatedby it might have been wrought out to its full end.

Christmas-day at St. James’s was the very gloomiestof festive times, and the evening was solemnly spent inround games of cards. The Queen, indeed, did not knowof the disasters which had happened to the royal fleet;but there was uncertainty enough touching the fate of herroyal husband to make even the reading of Rollin appearmore decent than playing at basset and cribbage. Meanwhile,the ministers and court officials stood round theroyal table, and discoursed on trivial subjects, while theirthoughts were directed towards their storm-tost master.On the following morning, Sir Robert Walpole informedher Majesty of the real and graver aspect of affairs. Theheart of the tender woman at once melted; and Carolineburst into tears, unrestrainedly. The household of theheir-apparent, on the other hand, began to wear anaspect as though the wished-for inheritance had at lastfallen upon it.

The day was Sunday, and the Queen resolved uponattending chapel as usual. Lord Hervey thought herweak in determining to sit up to be stared at. He had noidea that a higher motive might influence a wife in dreaduncertainty as to the fate of her husband. Caroline, it istrue, was not influenced by any such high motive. Shesimply did not wish that people should conclude, fromher absence, that the Sovereign had perished; and shewould neglect no duty belonging to her position tillshe was relieved from it by law. She accordingly appearedat chapel as usual; and in the very midst of the302service a letter was delivered to her from the King, inwhich the much-vexed monarch told her how he had setsail, how the fleet had been scattered, how he had beendriven back to Helvoetsluys after beating about for sometwenty hours, and how it was all the fault of Sir CharlesWager, who had hurried him on board, on assurance ofwind and tide being favourable, and of there being no timeto be lost.

The joy of Caroline was honest and unfeigned. Shedeclared that her heart had been heavier that day thanever it had been before; that she was still, indeed, anxioustouching the fate of one whose life was so precious, notmerely to his family, but to all Europe; and that, but forthe impatience and indiscretion of Sir Charles Wager,the past great peril would never have been incurred.

The admiral was entirely blameless. The King haddeliberately misrepresented the circ*mstances. It wasthe royal impatience which had caused all the subsequentperil. The Sovereign, weary of waiting for a wind, declaredthat if the admiral would not sail, he would go overin a packet-boat. Sir Charles maintained he could not.‘Be the weather what it may,’ said the King, ‘I am notafraid.’ ‘I am,’ was the laconic remark of the seaman.George remarked that he ‘wanted to see a storm, andwould sooner be twelve hours in one than be shut up fortwenty-four hours more at Helvoetsluys.’ ‘Twelve hoursin a storm!’ cried Sir Charles; ‘four hours would do yourbusiness for you.’ The admiral would not sail till thewind was fair; and he remarked to the King that althoughhis Majesty could compel him to go, ‘I,’ said Sir Charles,‘can make you come back again.’ The storm whicharose after they did set sail was most terrific in character,and the escape of the voyagers was of the narrowest.The run back to the Dutch coast was not effected withoutdifficulty. On landing, Sir Charles observed, ‘Sir, you303wished to see a storm; how does your Majesty like it?’‘So well,’ said the King, ‘that I never wish to see another.’The admiral remarked, in one of his private letters, givinga description of the event, ‘that his Majesty was at presentas tame as any about him;’ ‘an epithet,’ says Lord Hervey,‘that his Majesty, had he known it, would, I fancy, haveliked, next to the storm, the least of anything that happenedto him.’

‘How is the wind for the King?’ was the popularquery at the time of this voyage; and the popular answerwas, ‘Like the nation—against him.’ And when menwho disliked him because of his vices or of their politicalhopes remarked that the Sovereign had been saved fromdrowning, they generally added the comment that ‘it wasGod’s mercy, and a thousand pities!’ The anxiety ofCaroline for the King’s safety had, no doubt, been verygreat—so great, that in it she had forgotten sympathy forher daughter in her hour of trial. Lord Hervey will notallow that the Queen had any worthier motive for heranxiety than her apprehension ‘of her son’s ascendingthe throne, as there were no lengths she did not think himcapable of going to pursue and ruin her.’

She comforted herself by declaring that, had the worsthappened, she still would have retained Lord Hervey inher service, and have given him an apartment in herjointure house, (old) Somerset House. She added, too,that she would have gone down on her knees to begSir Robert Walpole to continue to serve the son as hehad done the father. All this is not so self-denying as itseems. In retaining Lord Hervey, whom her son hated,she was securing one of her highest pleasures; and bykeeping Sir Robert in the service of the prince, she wouldhave governed the latter as she had done his father.

Gross as the King was in his acts, he was choice andrefined, when he chose, in his letters. The epistle which304he wrote, in reply to the congratulations of the Queen onhis safety, is elegant, touching, warm, and apparentlysincere. ‘In spite of all the danger I have incurred inthis tempest, my dear Caroline, and notwithstanding all Ihave suffered, having been ill to an excess which I thoughtthe human body could not bear, I assure you that I wouldexpose myself to it again and again to have the pleasureof hearing the testimonies of your affection with whichmy position inspired you. This affection which youtestify for me, this friendship, this fidelity, the inexhaustiblegoodness which you show for me, and theindulgence which you have for all my weaknesses, are somany obligations, which I can never sufficiently recompense,can never sufficiently merit, but which I also cannever forget.’ The original French runs more prettilythan this, and adapts itself well to the phrases whichpraised the Queen’s charms and attractions with all theardour of youthful swain for blushing nymph. The Queenshowed the letter to Walpole and Hervey, with theremark that she was reasonably pleased with, but notunreasonably proud of, it. The gentlemen came to theconclusion that the master whom they served was themost incomprehensible master to whom service was everrendered. He was a mere old cajoler, deceiving thewoman whom he affected to praise, and only praisingher because she let him have an unconstrained course invice while she enjoyed one in power.

At length, after a detention of five weeks at Helvoetsluys,the King arrived at Lowestoft. The Queen receivedinformation of his coming at four o’clock in themorning, after a sleepless night, caused by illness bothof mind and body. When Walpole repaired to her atnine, she was still in bed; and the good Princess Carolinewas at her side, trying to read her to sleep. Walpolewaited until her Majesty had taken some repose; andmeanwhile the Prince of Wales and the Princess Amelia305(who was distrusted by her brother and by her mother,because she affected to serve each while she betrayedboth) entered into a gossiping sort of conference with himin the antechamber. The prince was all praise, theminister all counsel. Walpole perhaps felt that the heir-apparent,who boasted that, when he appeared in public,the people shouted, ‘Crown him! Crown him!’ wasengaging him to lead the first administration under a newreign. The recent prospect of such a reign being near athand had been a source of deep alarm to Caroline, andalso of distaste. She would have infinitely preferred thatFrederick should have been disinherited, and his brotherWilliam advanced to his position as heir-apparent.

The King arrived in town on the 15th of January 1737.He came in sovereign good humour; greeted all kindly, waswarmly received, and was never tired of expatiating onthe admirable qualities of his consort. An observer,indifferently instructed, would not have thought that thiscontemptible personage had a mistress, who was the objectof more ardent homage than he ever paid to that wifewhom he declared to be superior to all the women in theworld. He was fervent in his eulogy of her, not only toherself but to Sir Robert Walpole; and indeed was onlypeevish with those who presumed to enquire after hishealth. The storm had something shaken him, and hewas not able to open parliament in person; but nothingmore sorely chafed him than an air of solicitude andenquiry after his condition by loyal servitors—who gotnothing for their pains but the appellation of ‘puppies.’He soon, however, had more serious provocation to contendwith.

The friends of the Prince of Wales compelled him,little reluctant, to bring the question of his income beforeparliament. The threat to take this step alarmed Walpole,by whose advice a message was sent from the King, and306delivered by the lords of the council to the prince,whereby the proposal was made to settle upon him the50,000l. a-year which he now received in monthlypayments at the King’s pleasure, and also to settle ajointure, the amount of which was not named, upon theprincess.

Both their Majesties were unwilling to make thisproposition; but Walpole assured them that the submittingit to the prince would place his royal highness in considerabledifficulty. If he accepted it, the King wouldget credit for generosity; and if he rejected it, the princewould incur the blame of undutifulness and ingratitude.

The offer was made, but it was neither accepted norrefused. The prince expressed great gratitude, butdeclared his inability to decide, as the conduct of themeasure was in the hands of others, and he could notprevent them from bringing the consideration of it beforeparliament. The prince’s friends, and indeed othersbesides his friends, saw clearly enough that the King offeredno boon. His Majesty simply proposed to settle uponhis son an annual income, amounting to only half of whatparliament had granted on the understanding of its beingallotted to the prince. The King and Queen maintainedwith equal energy, and not always in the most delicatemanner, that the parliament had no more right to interferewith the appropriation of this money than that body hadwith the allowances made by any father to his son. Therage of the Queen was more unrestrained than that of herhusband; and she was especially indignant against Walpolefor having counselled that an offer should be made whichhad failed in its object, and had not prevented the matterbeing brought before parliament.

The making of it, however, had doubtless some influenceupon the members, and helped in a small way toincrease the majority in favour of the government. The307excitement in the court circle was very great when anaddress to the King was moved for by Pulteney, suggestingthe desirableness of the prince’s income being increased.The consequent debate was one of considerableinterest, and was skilfully maintained by the respectiveadversaries. The prince’s advocates were broadly accusedof lying; and Caroline, at all times and seasons, in herdressing-room with Lord Hervey, and in the drawing-roomwith a crowded circle around her, openly and coarselystigmatised her son as a liar and his friends as ‘nasty’Whigs. Great was her joy when, by a majority of 234to 204, the motion for the address was defeated. Therewas even congratulation that the victory had cost the Kingso little in bribes—only 900l., in divisions of 500l. to onemember and 400l. to another. And even this sum wasnot positive purchase-money of votes for this especialoccasion; but money promised to be paid at the end ofthe session for general service, and only advanced nowbecause of the present particular and well-appreciatedassistance rendered.

Let us do the prince the justice to say, that, in askingthat his income might be doubled, he did not ask that themoney should be drawn from the public purse. WhenBubb Dodington first advised him to apply to parliamentfor a grant, his answer was spirited enough. ‘The peoplehave done quite enough for my family already, and Iwould rather beg my bread from door to door than be acharge to them.’ What he asked for was, that out of hisfather’s civil list of nearly a million sterling per annum,he might be provided with a more decent revenue than abeggarly fifty thousand a-year, paid at his father’s pleasure.Pulteney’s motion was denounced by ministers asan infraction of the King’s prerogative. Well, Frederickcould not get the cash he coveted from the King, and hewould not take it from the public. Bubb Dodington had308advised him to apply to parliament, and he rewardedBubb for the hint by easing him occasionally of a fewthousands at play. He exulted in winning. ‘I have justnicked Dodington,’ said he on one occasion, ‘out of 5,000l.,and Bubb has no chance of ever getting it again!’

The battle, however, was not yet concluded. Theprince’s party resolved to make the same motion in theLords which had been made in the Commons. The Kingand Queen meanwhile considered that they were releasedfrom their engagement, whereby the prince’s revenue wasto be placed entirely in his own power. They were alsoanxious to eject their son from St. James’s. Good counsel,nevertheless, prevailed over them to some extent, andthey did not proceed to any of the extremities threatenedby them. In the meantime, the scene within the palacewas one to make a very stoic sigh. The son had dailyintercourse with one or both of his parents. He led theQueen by the hand to dinner, and she could have stabbedhim on the way; for her wrath was more bitter thanever against him, for the reason that he had introducedher name, through his friends, in the parliamentary debate,in a way which she considered must compromise herreputation with the people of England. He had himselfdeclared to the councillors who had brought him theterms of the King’s offer, that he had frequently appliedthrough the Queen for an interview with the King, atwhich an amicable arrangement of their differences mightbe made; but that she had prevented such an interview,by neglecting to make the prince’s wishes known to hisfather. This story was repeated by the prince’s friends inparliament, and Caroline called heaven and earth to witnessthat her son had grossly and deliberately lied. Inthis temper the two often sat down to dinner at the sametable. As for the King, although Frederick attended theroyal levées, and stood near his royal sire, the latter309never affected to behold or to consider him as present,and he invariably spoke of him as a brainless, impertinentpuppy and scoundrel.28

The motion for the address to the King, praying himto confer a jointure on the princess, and to settle 100,000l.a-year out of the civil list on the prince, was broughtbefore the House of Peers by Lord Carteret. That noblemanso well served his royal client that, before bringingforward the motion, he made an apology to the Queen,declaring that office had been forced on him. The exercisethereof was a decided failure. The Lords rejected themotion, on a division of 103 to 40, the minority makingstrong protest against the division of the House, and invery remarkable language. The latter did not troubletheir Majesties, and this settling of the question helpedto restore Walpole to the royal favour, from which he hadtemporarily fallen.

There was another public affair which gave the Queenas much perplexity as any of her domestic troubles. Thiswas the investigation into the matter of the Porteous riotat Edinburgh, with the object of punishing those whowere most to blame. It is not necessary to detail thismatter at any length, or indeed further than the Queenwas personally connected with it. She was exceedinglydesirous that it should be decided on its merits, and thatit should not be made a national matter of. On thisaccount, she was especially angry with the Duke ofNewcastle, on whom she laid the blame of having veryunnecessarily dragged up to London such respectablemen as the Scotch judges; and she asked him ‘What thedevil he meant by it?’ While the affair was still pending,but after the judges had been permitted to go backagain, the Queen remarked to Lord Hervey, ‘she should310be glad to know the truth, but believed she should nevercome at it—whether the Scotch judges had been reallyto blame or not in the trial of Captain Porteous: for,between you and the Bishop of Salisbury’ (Sherlock),said she, ‘who each of you convinced me by turns, I amas much in the dark as if I knew nothing at all of thematter. He comes and tells me that they are all as blackas devils; you, that they are as white as snow; andwhoever speaks last, I believe. I am like that judge youtalk of so often in the play (Gripus,29 I think you callhim), who, after one side had spoken, begged t’othersmight hold their tongue, for fear of puzzling what wasclear to him. I am Queen Gripus; and since the more Ihear the more I am puzzled, I am resolved I will hear nomore about it; but let them be in the right or the wrong,I own to you I am glad they are gone.’

The city of Edinburgh was ultimately punished bythe deposition of its provost, Mr. Wilson, who was declaredincapable of ever serving his Majesty, and by theimposition of a fine of two thousand pounds sterling. The‘mulct’ was to go to the ‘cook-maid widow of CaptainPorteous, and make her, with most unconjugal joy, blessthe hour in which her husband was hanged.’30

The conduct of Caroline, when Sir John Bernardproposed to reduce the interest on the National Debtfrom four to three per cent., again presents her to us ina very unfavourable light. Not only the Queen, but theKing also was most energetically opposed to the passingof the bill. People conjectured that their Majesties werelarge fundholders, and were reluctant to lose a quarter ofthe income thence arising, for the good of the nation.The bill was ultimately thrown out, chiefly through theopposition of Walpole. By this decision, the House311stultified its own previously accorded permission (by 220to 157) for the introduction of the bill. Horace Walpole,the brother of Sir Robert, was one of those who votedfirst for and then against the bill—or first against andthen for his brother. We must once more draw fromLord Hervey’s graphic pages to show what followed atcourt upon such a course:—‘Horace Walpole, though hisbrother made him vote against the three per cent., did itwith so ill a grace, and talked against his own conduct sostrongly and so frequently to the Queen, that her Majestyheld him at present in little more esteem or favour thanthe Duke of Newcastle. She told him that because hehad some practice in treaties, and was employed inforeign affairs, he began to think he understood everythingbetter than anybody else; and that it was reallyquite new his setting himself up to understand therevenue, money matters, and the House of Commonsbetter than his brother! “Oh, what are you all but arope of sand, that would crumble away in little grains,one after another, if it was not for him?” And wheneverHorace had been with her, speaking on these subjects,besides telling Lord Hervey, when he came to seeher, how like an opinionative fool Horace had talkedbefore them, she used to complain of his silly laughhurting her ears, and his dirty body offending her nose,as if she had never had the two senses of hearing andsmelling, in all her acquaintance with poor Horace, till hehad talked for three per cent. Sometimes she used tocough and pretend to retch with talking of his dirt; andwould often bid Lord Hervey open the window to purifythe room of the stink Horace had left behind him, andcall the pages to burn sweets to get it out of the hangings.She told Lord Hervey she believed Horace hada hand in the “Craftsman,” for that once, warmed in312disputing on this three-per-cent. affair, he had more thanhinted to her that he guessed her reason for being sozealous against this scheme was her having money in thestocks.’

When such coarseness was common at court, we neednot be surprised that dramatic authors, whose office it isto hold the mirror up to nature, should have attemptedto make some reflection thereon, or to take licensetherefrom, and give additional coarseness to the stage.Walpole’s virtuous indignation was excited at this liberty—aliberty taken only because people in his station, andfar above his station, by their vices and coarseness, justifiedthe license. It was this vice, and not the vices ofdramatic authors, which first fettered the drama andestablished a censorship. The latter was set up, not becausethe stage was wicked, but in order that it shouldnot satirise the wickedness of those in high station. TheQueen was exceedingly delighted to see a gag put uponboth Thalia and Melpomene.

The vice was hideous. They who care to stir theoffensive mass will find proof enough of this hideousnessin the account given by Lady Deloraine, the wife of Mr.Windham, of the King’s courtship of her, and his consequenttemporary oblivion of Madame Walmoden. Thisnew rival of the Queen, a charming doll of thirty-five yearsof age, was wooed by the King in a strain which the stagewould hardly have reproduced; and his suit was commentedupon by the lady, in common conversation withlords and ladies, with an unctuousness of phrase, a licentiousnessof manner, and a coolness of calculation such aswould have disgraced the most immodest of women.This coarseness of sentiment and expression was equallycommon. When it was said that Lord Carteret waswriting a history of his times, and that noble author himself313alleged that he was engaged in ‘giving fame to theQueen,’ the latter, one morning, noticed the alleged factto Lord Hervey. The King was present, and his Majestyremarked:—‘I dare say he will paint you in fine colours,the dirty liar.’ ‘Why not?’ asked Caroline; ‘good thingscome out of dirt sometimes. I have ate very goodasparagus raised out of dung?’ When it was said thatnot only Lord Carteret, but that Lords Bolingbroke andChesterfield were also engaged in writing the history oftheir times, the Queen critically anticipated ‘that all thethree histories would be three heaps of lies; but lies ofvery different kinds: she said Bolingbroke’s would be greatlies; Chesterfield’s little lies; and Carteret’s lies of bothsorts.’31 It may be added, that where there were vice andcoarseness there was little respect for justice or for independenceof conduct. The placeman who voted accordingto his conscience, when he found his conscience in antagonismagainst the court, was invariably removed from hisplace.

In concluding this chapter, it may be stated that whenFrederick was about to bring forward the question of hisrevenue, the Queen would fain have had an interview withthe son she alternately despised and feared, to persuadehim against pursuing this measure—the carrying out ofwhich she dreaded as prejudicial to the King’s health inhis present enfeebled state. Caroline, however, would notsee her son, for the reason, as the mother alleged, that hewas such an incorrigible liar that he was capable of makingany mendacious report of the interview, even of her designingto murder him. She had, in an interview with him,at the time of the agitation connected with the Excise bill,been compelled to place the Princess Caroline, concealed,within hearing, that she might be a witness in case of the314prince, her brother, misrepresenting what had really takenplace.

When the King learned the prince’s intentions, he tookthe matter much more coolly than the Queen. Severalmessengers, however, passed between the principal parties,but nothing was done in the way of turning the princefrom his purpose. It was an innocent purpose enough,indeed, as he represented it. The parliament had entrustedto the King a certain annual sum for the prince’s use.The King and Queen did not so understand it, and hesimply applied to parliament to solicit that august body toput an interpretation on its own act.

The supposed debilitated condition of the King’s healthgave increased hopes to the prince’s party. The Queen,therefore, induced him to hold levées and appear morefrequently in public. His improvement in health andgood humour was a matter of disappointment to thosewho wished him dying, and feared to see him growpopular.

The animosity of the Queen and her daughter, Caroline,against the Prince of Wales was ferocious.32 Themother cursed the day on which she had borne the sonwho was for ever destroying her peace, and would end,she said, by destroying her life. There was no opprobriousepithet which she did not cast at him; and they whosurrounded the Queen and princess had the honour ofdaily hearing them hope that God would strike the sonand brother dead with apoplexy. Such enmity seemsincredible. The gentle Princess Caroline’s gentlest namefor her brother was ‘that nauseous beast;’ and in runningover the catalogue of crimes of which she declared himcapable, if not actually guilty, she did not hesitate to say315that he was capable of murdering even those whom hecaressed. Never was family circle so cursed by dissensionas this royal circle; in which the parents hated the son,the son the parents; the parents deceived one another, thehusband betrayed the wife, the wife deluded the husband,the children were at mutual antagonism, and truth was astranger to all.



Russian invasion of the Crimea—Announcement of an heir disbelieved bythe Queen—Princess of Wales conveyed to St. James’s by the Prince ina state of labour—Birth of a Princess—Hampton Court Palace on thisnight—The palace in an uproar—Indignation of Caroline—Reception ofthe Queen by the Prince—Minute particulars afforded her by him—Explanatorynotes between the royal family—Message of the King—Hisseverity to the Prince—The Princess Amelia double-sided—Message ofPrincess Caroline to the Prince—Unseemly conduct of the Prince—ThePrince an agreeable ‘rattle’—The Queen’s anger never subsided—ThePrince ejected from the palace—The Queen and Lord Carteret—Reconciliationof the royal family attempted—Popularity of the Prince—TheQueen’s outspoken opinion of the Prince—An interview between theKing, Queen, and Lord Hervey—Bishop Sherlock and the Queen—TheKing a purchaser of lottery-tickets.

The parliament, having passed a Land-tax bill of twoshillings in the pound, exempted the Prince of Walesfrom contributing even the usual sixpence in the poundon his civil-list revenue, and settled a dowry on his wifeof 50,000l. per annum, peremptorily rejected Sir JohnBernard’s motion for decreasing the taxation whichweighed most heavily on the poor.33 The public foundmatter for much speculation in these circ*mstances, andthey alternately discussed them with the subject of theaggressive ambition of Russia. The latter power wasthen invading the Crimea with two armies under Munichand Lasci. The occupier of the Muscovite throne stoopedto mendacity to veil the real object of the war; and therewere Russian officers not ashamed to be assassins—murdering317the wounded foe whom they found lyinghelpless on their path.34

The interest in all home and foreign matters, however,was speedily lost in that which the public took inthe matter, which soon presented itself, of the accessionof an heir in the direct hereditary line of Brunswick.

The prospect of the birth of a lineal heir to thethrone ought to have been one of general joy in a familywhose own possession of the crown was contested by thedisinherited heir of the Stuart line. The prospect, however,brought no joy with it on the present occasion. Itwas not till within a month of the time for the eventthat the Prince of Wales officially announced to hisfather, on the best possible authority, the probability ofthe event itself. Caroline appears at once to have disbelievedthe announcement. She was so desirous of thesuccession falling to her second son, William, that shemade no scruple of expressing her disbelief of what, tomost other observers, was apparent enough. Shequestioned the princess herself, with more closeness thaneven the position of a mother-in-law could justify; but forevery query the well-trained Augusta had one stereotypedreply—‘I don’t know.’ Caroline, on her side,resolved to be better instructed. ‘I will positively bepresent,’ she exclaimed, ‘when the promised event takesplace;’ adding, with her usual broadness of illustration,‘It can’t be got through as soon as one can blow one’snose; and I am resolved to be satisfied that the child ishers.’

These suspicions, of which the Queen made no secret,were of course well known to her son. He was offendedby them; offended, too, at a peremptory order thatthe birth of the expected heir should take place in318Hampton Court Palace; and he was, moreover, stirredup by his political friends to exhibit his own independence,and to oppose the royal wish, in order to showthat he had a proper spirit of freedom.

Accordingly, twice he brought the princess to London,and twice returned with her to Hampton Court. Eachtime the journey had been undertaken on symptoms ofindisposition coming on, which, however, passed away.At length one evening, the prince and princess, afterdining in public with the King and Queen, took leave ofthem for the night, and withdrew to their apartments.Up to this hour the princess had appeared to be in herordinary health. Tokens of supervening change came on,and the prince at once prepared for action. The night(the 31st of July) was now considerably advanced, andthe Princess of Wales, who had been hitherto eager toobey her husband’s wishes in all things, was now too illto do anything but pray against them. He would notlisten to such petitions. He ordered his ‘coach’ to begot ready and brought round to a side entrance of thepalace. The lights in the apartment were in the meantimeextinguished. He consigned his wife to the strongarms of Desnoyers, the dancing-master, and Bloodworth,an attendant, who dragged, rather than carried, her downstairs. In the meantime, the poor lady, whose life wasin very present peril, and sufferings extreme, prayedearnestly to be permitted to remain where she was.Subsequently she protested to the Queen that all thathad been done had taken place at her own expressdesire! However this may be, the prince answered herprayers and moans by calling on her to have courage;upbraiding her for her folly; and assuring her, with avery manly complacency, that it was nothing, and wouldsoon be over! At length the coach was reached. Itwas the usually capacious vehicle of the time, and into it319got not only the prince and princess, but Lady ArchibaldHamilton and two female attendants. Vriad, who wasnot only a valet-de-chambre, but a surgeon and accoucheur,mounted the box. Bloodworth, the dancing-master, andtwo or three more, got up behind. The prince enjoinedthe strictest silence on such of his household as remainedat Hampton Court, and therewith the coach set off,at a gallop, not for the prince’s own residence at Kew,but for St. James’s Palace, which was at twice thedistance.

At the palace nothing was prepared for them. Therewas not a couch ready for the exhausted lady, who hadmore than once on the road been, as it seemed, upon thepoint of expiring; not even a bed was ready for her tolie down and repose upon. No sheets were to be foundin the whole palace—or at least in that part over whichthe prince had any authority. For lack of them,Frederick and Lady Hamilton aired a couple of tablecloths,and these did the service required of them.

In the meantime, notice had been sent to severalofficers of state, and to the more necessary assistants required,to be present at the imminent event. Most ofthe great officers were out of the way. In lieu of themarrived the Lord President, Wilmington, and the LordPrivy Seal, Godolphin. In their presence was born adaughter, whom Lord Hervey designated as ‘a little rat’and described as being ‘no bigger than a tooth-pickcase.’

Perhaps it was the confusion which reigned beforeand at her birth which had some influence on her intellectsin after life. She was an extremely pretty child,not without some mental qualifications; but she becameremarkable for making observations which inflicted painand embarrassment on those to whom they were addressed.In after years, she also became the mother of that Caroline320of Brunswick who herself made confusion worse confoundedin the family into which she was received as amember—that Caroline whom we recollect as the consortof George IV. and the protectress of Baron Bergami.

At Hampton Court, the King and Queen, concludingthat their dear son and heir had, with his consort,relieved his illustrious parents of his undesired presencefor the night, thought of nothing so little as of that sonhaving taken it into his head to perform a trick whichmight have been fittingly accompanied by the ‘Beggars’Opera’ chorus of ‘Hurrah for the Road!’

No comedy has such a scene as that enacted at HamptonCourt on this night. While the prince was carryingoff the princess, despite all her agonising entreaties, therest of the royal family were quietly amusing themselvesin another part of the palace, unconscious of what waspassing. The King and the Princess Amelia were atcommerce below-stairs; the Queen, in another apartment,was at quadrille; and the Princess Caroline and LordHervey were soberly playing at cribbage. They separatedat ten, and were all in bed by eleven, perfectly ignorantof what had been going on so near them.

At a little before two o’clock in the morning, Mrs.Tichborne entered the royal bedchamber, when the Queen,waking in alarm, asked her if the palace was on fire.The faithful servant intimated that the prince had justsent word that her royal highness was on the point ofbecoming a mother. A courier had just arrived, in fact,with the intelligence. The Queen leaped out of bed andcalled for her ‘morning gown,’ wherein to hurry to theroom of her daughter-in-law. When Tichborne intimatedthat she would need a coach as well as a gown, for thather royal highness had been carried off to St. James’s,the Queen’s astonishment and indignation were equallygreat. On the news being communicated to the King,321his surprise and wrath were not less than the Queen’s, buthe did not fail to blame his consort as well as his son.She had allowed herself to be outwitted, he said; a falsechild would despoil her own offspring of their rights; andthis was the end of all her boasted care and managementfor the interests of her son William! He hoped thatAnne would come from Holland and scold her. ‘Youdeserve,’ he exclaimed, ‘anything she can say to you.’The Queen answered little, lest it should impede her inher haste to reach London. In half an hour she had leftthe palace accompanied by her two daughters, and attendedby two ladies and three noblemen. The partyreached St. James’s by four o’clock.

As they ascended the staircase, Lord Hervey invitedher Majesty to take chocolate in his apartments after shehad visited the princess. The Queen replied to the invitation‘with a wink,’ and a significant intimation that shecertainly would refuse to accept of any refreshment atthe hands of her son. One would almost suppose thatshe expected to be poisoned by him.

The prince, attired, according to the hour, in nightgownand cap, met his august mother as she approachedhis apartments, and kissed her hand and cheek, accordingto the mode of his country and times. He then enteredgarrulously into details that would have shocked the delicacyof a monthly nurse; but, as Caroline remarked, sheknew a good many of them to be ‘lies.’ She was coldand reserved to the prince; but when she approached thebedside of the princess, she spoke to her gently andkindly—womanly, in short; and concluded by expressinga fear that her royal highness had suffered extremely, anda hope that she was doing well. The lady so sympathisinglyaddressed, answered, somewhat flippantly, that shehad scarcely suffered anything, and that the matter inquestion was almost nothing at all. Caroline transferred322her sympathy from the young mother to her new-bornchild. The latter was put into the Queen’s arms. Shelooked upon it silently for a moment, and then exclaimedin French, her ordinary language, ‘May the good Godbless you, poor little creature! here you are arrived in amost disagreeable world.’ The wish failed, but the assertionwas true. The ‘poor little creature’ was cursedwith a long tenure of life, during which she saw her husbanddeprived of his inheritance, heard of his violentdeath, and participated in family sorrow, heavy and undeserved.

After pitying the daughter thus born, and commiseratingthe mother who bore her, Caroline was condemnedto listen to the too minute details of the journey andits incidents, made by her son. She turned from theseto shower her indignation upon those who had aidedin the flight, and without whose succour the flight itselfcould hardly have been accomplished. She directed herindignation by turns upon all; but she let it descend withpeculiar heaviness upon Lady Archibald Hamilton, andmade it all the more pungent by the comment, that, consideringLady Archibald’s mature age, and her havingbeen the mother of ten children, she had years enough,and experience enough, and offspring enough, to havetaught her better things and greater wisdom. To allthese winged words, the lady attacked answered no furtherthan by turning to the prince, and repeating, ‘Yousee, sir!’ as though she would intimate that she haddone all she could to turn him from the evil of his ways,and had gained only unmerited reproach for the exerciseof a virtue, which, in this case, was likely to be its ownand its only reward!

The prince was again inclined to become gossipingand offensive in his details, but his royal mother cut himshort by bidding him get to bed; and with this message323by way of farewell, she left the room, descended the staircase,crossed the court on foot, and proceeded to LordHervey’s apartments, where there awaited her gossipmore welcome and very superior chocolate.

Over their ‘cups,’ right merry were the Queen andher gallant vice-chamberlain at the extreme folly of theroyal son. They were too merry for Caroline to be indignant,further than her indignation could be shown bydesignating her son by the very rudest possible of names,and showing her contempt for all who had helped him inthe night’s escapade. She acknowledged her belief thatno foul play had taken place, chiefly because the childwas a daughter. This circ*mstance was in itself no proofof the genuineness of the little lady, for if Frederick hadbeen desirous of setting aside his brother William, hismother’s favourite, from all hope of succeeding to thethrone, the birth of a daughter was quite as sufficient forthe purpose as that of a son.35 The Queen comforted herselfby remarking that, at all events, the trouble she hadtaken that night was not gratuitous. It would at least, asshe delicately remarked, be a ‘good grimace for thepublic,’ who would contrast her parental anxiety with themarital cruelty and the filial undutifulness of the Princeof Wales.

While this genial pair were thus enjoying their chocolateand gossip, the two princesses, and two or three ofthe noblemen in attendance, were doing the same in anadjoining apartment. Meanwhile Walpole had arrived,and had been closeted with the prince, who again had thesupreme felicity of narrating to the unwilling listener allthe incidents of the journey, in telling which he, in fact,gave to the minister the opportunity which Gyges wasafforded by Candaules, or something very like it, and for324which Frederick merited, if not the fate of the heathenhusband, at least the next severe penalty short of it.

The sun was up long before the royal and illustriousparty dispersed. The busy children of industry, who sawthe Queen and her equipage sweep by them along theWestern Road, must have been perplexed with attemptsat guessing at the causes of her Majesty being so earlyabroad, in so wayworn a guise. The last thing theycould then have conjectured was the adventure of the night—thescene at Hampton Court, the flight of the son withhis wife, the pursuit of the royal mother with her twodaughters, the occurrence at St. James’s—or, indeed,any of the incidents of the stirring drama that had beenplayed out.

From the hour when royalty had been suddenlyaroused to that at which the Queen arrived at HamptonCourt Palace—eight in the morning, George II.had troubled himself as little with conjecturing as hissubjects. When the Queen detailed to him all that hadpassed, he poured out the usual amount of paternal wrath,and of the usual quality. He never was nice of epithet,and least of all when he had any to bestow upon his son.It was not spared now, and what was most liberally givenwas most bitter of quality.

Meanwhile, both prince and princess addressed totheir Majesties explanatory notes in French, which explainednothing, and which, as far as regards the prince’snotes, were in poor French and worse spelling. Everything,of course, had been done for the best; and the soleregret of the younger couple was, that they had somehow,they could not guess how or wherefore, incurred thedispleasure of the King and Queen. To be restored tothe good opinion of the latter was, of course, the oneobject of the involuntary offenders’ lives. In short, theyhad had their way; and, having enjoyed that exquisite325felicity, they were not reluctant to pretend that they wereextremely penitent for what had passed.

The displeasure of Caroline and her consort at theunfeeling conduct of Frederick was made known to thelatter neither in a sudden nor an undignified way. Itwas not till the 10th of September that it may be said tohave been officially conveyed to the prince. On thatday the King and Queen sent a message to him fromHampton Court, by the Dukes of Grafton and Richmondand the Earl of Pembroke, who faithfully acquitted themselvesof their unwelcome commission at St. James’s.The message was to the effect, that ‘the whole tenor ofthe prince’s conduct for a considerable time had been soentirely void of all real duty, that their Majesties had longhad reason to be highly offended with him; and, until hewithdrew his regard and confidence from those by whoseinstigation and advice he was directed and encouragedin his unwarrantable behaviour to his Majesty and theQueen, and until he should return to his duty, he shouldnot reside in a palace belonging to the King, which hisMajesty would not suffer to be made the resort of thosewho, under the appearance of an attachment to the prince,fomented the divisions which he had made in his family,and thereby weakened the common interest of the whole.’Their Majesties further made known their pleasure that‘the prince should leave St. James’s, with all his family,when it could be done without prejudice or inconvenienceto the princess.’ His Majesty added, that ‘he should, forthe present, leave the care of his grand-daughter until aproper time called upon him to consider of her education.’In consequence of this message, the prince removedto Kew on the 14th of September.

The King and Queen now not only treated their sonwith extraordinary severity, and spoke of him in thecoarsest possible language, but they treated in like manner326all who were suspected of aiding and counselling him.Their wrath was especially directed against Lord Carteret,who had at first deceived them. That noble lord censured,in their hearing, a course of conduct in the princewhich he had himself suggested, and, in the hearing ofthe heir-apparent, never failed to praise. When theirMajesties discovered this double-dealing, and that anattempt was being made to convince the people that inthe matter of the birth of the princess royal, the Queenalone was to blame for all the disagreeable incidents attendingit, their anger was extreme. The feeling forLord Carteret was shown when Lord Hervey one dayspoke of him with some commiseration—his son havingrun away from school, and there being no intelligence ofhim, except that he had formed a very improper marriage.‘Why do you pity him?’ said the King to LordHervey: ‘I think it is a very just punishment, that, whilehe is acting the villainous part he does in debauching theminds of other people’s children, he should feel a littlewhat it is to have an undutiful puppy of a son himself!’

Fierce, indeed, was the family feud, and undignifiedas fierce. The Princess Amelia is said to have taken asdouble-sided a line of conduct as Lord Carteret himself;for which she incurred the ill-will of both parties. Theprince declared not only that he never would trust heragain, but that, should he ever be reconciled with theKing and Queen, his first care should be to inform themthat she had never said so much harm of him to them asshe had of them to him. The Princess Caroline was themore fierce partisan of the mother whom she loved,from the fact that she saw how her brother was endeavouringto direct the public feeling against the Queen.She was, however, as little dignified in her fierceness asthe rest of her family. On one occasion, as Desnoyers,the dancing-master, had concluded his lesson to the young327princesses, and was about to return to the prince, whomade of him a constant companion, the Princess Carolinebade him inform his patron, if the latter should ever askhim what was thought of his conduct by her, that it washer opinion that he and all who were with him, exceptthe Princess of Wales, deserved hanging. Desnoyersdelivered the message, with the assurances of respect givenby one who acquits himself of a disagreeable commission toone whom he regards. ‘How did the prince take it?’asked Caroline, when next Desnoyers appeared at HamptonCourt. ‘Well, madam,’ said the dancing-master, ‘hefirst spat in the fire, and then observed, “Ah, ah! Desnoyers;you know the way of that Caroline. Thatis just like her. She is always like that!”’ ‘Well, M.Desnoyers,’ remarked the princess, ‘when next you seehim again, tell him that I think his observation is asfoolish as his conduct.’

The exception made by the Princess Caroline of thePrincess of Wales, in the censure distributed by theformer, was not undeserved. She was the mere tool ofher husband, who made no confidante of her, had not yetappreciated her, but kept her in the most complete ignoranceof all that was happening around her, and much ofwhich immediately concerned her. He used to speak ofthe office of wife in the very coarsest terms; and did notscruple to declare that he would not be such a fool as hisfather was, who allowed himself to be ruled and deceivedby his consort.

In the meantime, he treated his mother with mingledcontempt and hypocrisy. When, nine days after thebirth of the little Princess Augusta, the Queen and hertwo daughters again visited the Princess of Wales, theprince, who met her at the door of the bedchamber,never uttered a single word during the period his motherremained in the room.


He was as silent to his sisters; but he was ‘the agreeable“rattle”’ with the members of the royal suite. TheQueen remained an hour; and when she remarked thatshe was afraid she was troublesome, no word fell fromthe prince or princess to persuade her to the contrary.When the royal carriage had arrived to conduct heraway, her son led her downstairs, and at the coach door,‘to make the mob believe that he was never wanting inany respect, he kneeled down in the dirty street, andkissed her hand. As soon as this operation was over, heput her Majesty into the coach, and then returned to thesteps of his own door, leaving his sisters to get throughthe dirt and the mob, by themselves, as they could. Nordid there come to the Queen any message, either fromthe prince or princess, to thank her afterwards for thetrouble she had taken, or for the honour she had donethem in this visit.’ This was the last time the mother andson met in this world. Horace Walpole well observes ofthe scene that it must have caused the Queen’s indignationto shrink into mere contempt.

The Queen’s wrath never subsided beyond a coldexpression of forgiveness to the prince when she was onher death-bed; but she resolutely refused to see himwhen that solemn hour arrived, a few months subsequently.She was blamed for this; but her contemptwas too deeply rooted to allow her to act otherwise toone who had done all he could to embitter the peace ofhis father. She sent to him, it is said, her blessing andpardon; ‘but conceiving the extreme distress it wouldlay on the King, should he thus be forced to forgive soimpenitent a son, or to banish him if once recalled, sheheroically preferred a meritorious husband to a worthlesschild.’36

Had the prince been sincere in his expressions when329addressing either of his parents by letter after the deliveryof his wife, it is not impossible but that a reconciliationmight have followed. His studied disrespect towardsthe Queen was, however, too strongly marked toallow of this conclusion to the quarrel. He invariablyomitted to speak of her as ‘your Majesty;’ Madam, andyou, were the simple and familiar terms employed by him.Indeed, he more than once told her that he consideredthat the Prince of Wales took precedence of the Queen-consort;at which Caroline would contemptuously laugh,and assure her ‘dear Fritz’ that he need not press thepoint, for even if she were to die, the King could notmarry him!

It was for mere annoyance’ sake that he declared, atthe end of August, after the christening of his daughter,that she should not be called the ‘Princess Augusta,’ butthe ‘Lady Augusta,’ according to the old English fashion.At the same time he declared that she should be styled‘Your Royal Highness,’ although such style had neverbeen used towards his own sisters before their father’saccession to the crown.

It will hardly be thought necessary to go through thedocumentary history of what passed between the Sovereignsand their son before he was finally ejected from St.James’s Palace. Wrong as he was in his quarrel, ‘Fritz’kept a better temper, though with as bitter a spirit ashis parents. On the 13th of September, the day beforethat fixed on for the prince’s departure, ‘the Queen, atbreakfast, every now and then repeated, I hope in God Ishall never see him again; and the King, among manyother paternal douceurs in his valediction to his son,said: Thank God! to-morrow night the puppy will beout of my house.’ The Queen thought her son wouldrather like, than otherwise, to be made a martyr of; butit was represented to her, that however much it might330have suited him to be made one politically, there wasmore disgrace to him personally in the present expulsionthan he would like to digest. The King maintained thathis son had not sense of his own to find this out; andthat as he listened only to boobies, fools, and madmen,he was not likely to have his case truly represented tohim. And then the King ran through the list of his son’shousehold; and Lord Carnarvon was set down as beingas coxcombical and irate a fool as his master; LordTownshend, for a proud, surly booby; Lord North, as apoor creature; Lord Baltimore, as a trimmer; and‘Johnny Lumley’ (the brother of Lord Scarborough),as, if nothing else, at least ‘a stuttering puppy.’ Such, itis said, were the followers of a prince, of whom his royalmother remarked, that he was ‘a mean fool’ and ‘apoor-spirited beast.’

While this dissension was at its hottest, the Queen fellill of the gout. She was so unwell, so weary of being inbed, and so desirous of chatting with Lord Hervey, thatshe now for the first time broke through the court etiquette,which would not admit a man, save the Sovereign,into the royal bed-chamber. The noble lord was withher there during the whole day of each day that her confinementlasted. She was too old, she said, to have thehonour of being talked of for it; and so, to suit herhumour, the old ceremony was dispensed with. LordHervey sate by her bed-side, gossiped the live-long day;and on one occasion, when the Prince of Wales sent LordNorth with a message of enquiry after her health, heamused the Queen by turning the message into very slipshodverse, the point of which is at once obscure and ill-natured,but which seems to imply that the prince wouldhave been well content had the gout, instead of being inher foot, attacked her stomach.

The prince had been guilty of no such indecency as331this; but there was no lack of provocation to make himcommit himself. When he was turned out of St. James’s,he was not permitted to take with him a single article offurniture. The royal excuse was, that the furniture hadbeen purchased, on the prince’s marriage, at the King’scost, and was his Majesty’s property. It was suggestedthat sheets ought not to be considered as furniture; andthat the prince and princess could not be expected tocarry away their dirty linen in baskets. ‘Why not?’asked the King; ‘it is good enough for them!’

Such were the petty circ*mstances with which Carolineand her consort troubled themselves at the period inquestion. They at once hurt their own dignity andmade their son look ridiculous. The great partisan ofthe latter (Lord Baltimore) did not rescue his master fromridicule by comparing his conduct to that of the heroicCharles XII. of Sweden. But the comparison was one tobe expected from a man whom the King had declared tobe, in a great degree, a booby, and, in a trifling degree,mad.

As soon as the prince had established himself at Kew,he was waited on by Lord Carteret, Sir William Wyndham,and Mr. Pulteney. The King could not concealhis anger under an affected contempt of these persons orof their master. He endeavoured to satisfy himself byabusing the latter, and by remarking that ‘they wouldsoon be tired of the puppy, who was, moreover, ascoundrel and a fool; and who would talk more fiddle-faddleto them in a day than any old woman talks in aweek.’

The prince continued to address letters both to theKing and Queen, full of affected concern, expressed inrather impertinent phrases. The princess addressed others,in which she sought to justify her husband’s conduct;but as in all these notes there was a studied disrespect of332Caroline, the King would neither consent to grant anaudience to the offenders, nor would the Queen interfereto induce him to relent.

The Queen, indeed, did not scruple to visit with herdispleasure all those courtiers who showed themselvesinclined to bring about a reconciliation; and yet shemanifested some leaning towards Lord Carteret, the chiefa*gent of her son. This disposition alarmed Walpole, whotook upon himself to remind her that her minister couldserve her purpose better than her son’s, and that it wasof the utmost importance that she should conquer in thisstrife. ‘Is your son to be bought?’ said Walpole. ‘Ifyou will buy him, I will get him cheaper than Carteret.’Caroline answered only with ‘a flood of grace, goodwords, favour, and professions’ of having full confidencein her own minister—that is, Walpole himself—who hadserved her so long and so faithfully.

A trait of Caroline’s character may here be mentioned,as indicative of how she could help to build up her ownreputation for shrewdness by using the materials ofothers. Sir Robert Walpole, in conversation with LordHervey, gave him some account of an interview he hadhad with the Queen. The last-named gentleman believedall the great minister had told him, because the Queenherself had, in speaking of the subject to Lord Hervey,used the precise terms now employed by Walpole. Thesubject was the lukewarmness of some of the noblemenabout court to serve the King: the expression used was—‘Peoplewho keep hounds must not hang every onethat runs a little slower than the rest, provided, in themain, they will go with the pack; one must not expectthem all to run just alike and to be equally good.’ Herveytold Walpole of the use made by the Queen of thisphrase, and Sir Robert naturally enough remarked, ‘Hewas always glad when he heard she repeated as her own333any notion he had endeavoured to infuse, because it wasa sign what he had laboured had taken place.’

Meanwhile the prince was of himself doing little thatcould tend to anything else than widen the breach alreadyexisting between him and his family. He spoke aloudof what he would do when he came to be King. His intentions,as reported by Caroline, were that she, whenshe was Queen-dowager, should be ‘fleeced, flayed, andminced.’ The Princess Amelia was to be kept in strictconfinement; the Princess Caroline left to starve; of thelittle princesses, Mary and Louisa, then about fourteenand thirteen years of age, he made no mention; and ofhis brother, the Duke of Cumberland, he always spoke‘with great affectation of kindness.’

Despite this imprudent conduct, endeavours continuedto be made by the prince and his friends, in order tobring about the reconciliation which nobody seemed verysincere in desiring. The Duke of Newcastle had imploredthe Princess Amelia, ‘For God’s sake!’ to do her utmost‘to persuade the Queen to make things up with theprince before this affair was pushed to an extremitywhich might make the wound incurable.’ The Queen issaid to have been exceedingly displeased with the Dukeof Newcastle for thus interfering in the matter. ThePrincess of Wales, however, continued to write hurriedand apparently earnest notes to the Queen, thanking herfor her kindness in standing godmother to her daughter,treating her with ‘Your Majesty,’ and especially defendingher own husband, while affecting to deplore that hisconduct, misrepresented, had incurred the displeasure oftheir Majesties. ‘I am deeply afflicted,’ so runs a note ofthe 17th of September, ‘at the manner in which theprince’s conduct has been represented to your Majesties,especially with regard to the two journeys which wemade from Hampton Court to London the week previous334to my confinement. I dare assure your Majesties, thatthe medical man and midwife were then of opinion thatI should not be confined before the month of September,and that the indisposition of which I complained wasnothing more than the cholic. And besides, madam, is itcredible, that if I had gone twice to London with thedesign and in the expectation of being confined there, Ishould have returned to Hampton Court? I flatter myselfthat time and the good offices of your Majesty willbring about a happy change in a situation of affairs, themore deplorable for me inasmuch as I am the innocentcause of it,’ &c.

This letter, delivered as the King and Queen weregoing to chapel, was sent by the latter to Walpole, whor*paired to the royal closet in the chapel, where Carolineasked him what he thought of this last performance?The answer was very much to the purpose. Sir Robertsaid, he detected ‘you lie, you lie, you lie, from one endof it to the other.’ Caroline agreed that the lie was flungat her by the writer.

There was as much discussion touching the reply whichshould be sent to this grievously offending note as if ithad been a protocol of the very first importance. Onewas for having it smart, another formal, another so shapedthat it should kindly treat the princess as blameless, andput an end to further correspondence, with some generalwishes as to the future conduct of ‘Fritz.’ This wasdone, and the letter was despatched. What effect it hadupon the conduct of the person alluded to may be discernedin the fact that when, on Thursday, the 22nd ofSeptember, the prince and princess received at CarltonHouse the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London, withan address of congratulation on the birth of the PrincessAugusta, the lords of the prince’s present council distributedto everybody in the room copies of the King’s message335to the prince, ordering him to quit St. James’s, andcontaining reflections against all persons who might evenvisit the prince. The lords, particularly the Duke ofMarlborough and Lords Chesterfield and Carteret, deploredthe oppression under which the Prince of Walesstruggled. His highness also spoke to the citizens in termscalculated—certainly intended—to win their favour.

He did not acquire all the popular favour he expected.Thus, when, during the repairs of Carlton House, he occupiedthe residence of the Duke of Norfolk, in St. James’sSquare—a residence which the duke and duch*ess refusedto let to him, until they had obtained the sanction of theKing and Queen—‘he reduced the number of his inferiorservants, which made him many enemies among the lowersort of people.’ He also diminished his stud, and ‘farmedall his tables, even that of the princess and himself.’ Inother words, his tables were supplied by a cook at somuch per head.

His position was one, however, which was sure toprocure for him a degree of popularity, irrespective ofhis real merits. The latter, however, were not great nornumerous, and even his own officers considered theirinterests far before those of him they served—or deserted.At the theatre, however, he was the popular hero of thehour, and when once, on being present at the representationof ‘Cato,’37 the words—

When vice prevails and impious men bear sway,

The post of honour is a private station—

were received with loud huzzas, the prince joined in theapplause, to show how he appreciated, and perhaps applied,the lines.

Although the King’s alleged oppression towards hisson was publicly canvassed by the latter, the prince and336his followers invariably named the Queen as the trueauthor of it. The latter, in commenting on this filialcourse, constantly sacrificed her dignity. ‘My dearlord,’ said Caroline, once, to Lord Hervey, ‘I will give ityou under my hand, if you have any fear of my relapsing,that my dear first-born is the greatest ass, and thegreatest liar, and the greatest canaille, and the greatestbeast, in the whole world, and that I most heartily wishhe was out of it!’ The King continued to treat him inmuch the same strain, adding, courteously, that he hadoften asked the Queen if the beast were his son. ‘TheQueen was a great while,’ said he, ‘before her maternalaffection would give him up for a fool, and yet I told herso before he had been acting as if he had no commonsense.’ While so hard upon the conduct of their son, anentry from Lord Hervey’s diary will show us what wastheir own: the King’s with regard to decency, theQueen’s with respect to truth.

Whilst the Queen was talking one morning touchingGeorge I.’s will and other family matters, with LordHervey, ‘the King opened her door at the furtherend of the gallery; upon which the Queen chid LordHervey for coming so late, saying, that she had severalthings to say to him, and that he was always so long incoming, after he was sent for, that she never had anytime to talk with him. To which Lord Hervey replied,that it was not his fault, for that he always came themoment he was called; that he wished, with all hisheart, the King had more love, or Lady Deloraine morewit, that he might have more time with her Majesty; butthat he thought it very hard that he should be snubbedand reproved because the King was old and LadyDeloraine a fool. This made the Queen laugh; and theKing asking, when he came up to her, what it was at, shesaid it was at a conversation Lord Hervey was reporting337between the prince and Mr. Lyttelton, on his being madesecretary. The King desired him to repeat it. LordHervey got out of the difficulty as he best could. Whenthe Queen and my lord next met, she said: “I think I wasone with you for your impertinence.” To which LordHervey replied, “The next time you serve me so, madam,perhaps I may be even with you, and desire yourMajesty to repeat as well as report.”’38

It may be noticed here, that both Frederick and theQueen’s party published copies of the French correspondencewhich had passed between the two branches ofthe family at feud, and that in the translations appendedto the letters, each party was equally unscrupulous ingiving such turns to the phrases as should serve only oneside, and injure the adverse faction. Bishop Sherlock,who set the good fashion of residing much within hisown diocese, once ventured to give an opinion upon theprince’s conduct, which at least served to show that theprelate was not a very finished courtier. Bishops whor*side within their dioceses, and trouble themselves littlewith what takes place beyond it, seldom are. The bishopsaid that the prince had lacked able counsellors, had weaklyplayed his game into the King’s hands, and made ablunder which he would never retrieve. This remarkprovoked Caroline to say—‘I hope, my lord, this is notthe way you intend to speak your disapprobation of myson’s measures anywhere else; for your saying that, byhis conduct lately, he has played his game into the King’shands, one would imagine you thought the game hadbeen before in his own; and though he has made hisgame still worse than it was, I am far from thinkingit ever was a good one, or that he had ever much chanceto win.’

Caroline, and indeed her consort also, conjectured338that the public voice and opinion were expressed infavour of the occupants of the throne from the fact, thatthe birthday drawing-room of the 30th of October wasthe most splendid and crowded which had ever beenknown since the King’s accession. That King himselfprobably little cared whether he were popular or not.He was at this time buying hundreds of lottery-tickets,out of the secret-service money, and making presents ofthem to Madame Walmoden. A few fell, perhaps, tothe share of Lady Deloraine: ‘He’ll give her a couple oftickets,’ said Walpole, ‘and think her generously used.’His Majesty would have rejoiced if he could have dividedso easily his double possession of England and Hanover.He had long entertained a wish to give the Electorate tohis second son, William of Cumberland, and entertaineda very erroneous idea that the English parliament couldassist him in altering the law of succession in the Electorate.Caroline had, perhaps, not a much more correctlyformed idea. She had a conviction, however, touchingher son, which was probably better founded. ‘I knew,’she said, ‘he would sell not only his reversion in theElectorate, but even in this kingdom, if the Pretenderwould give him five or six hundred thousand pounds inpresent; but, thank God! he has neither right nor powerto sell his family—though his folly and his knavery maysometimes distress them.’39



Indisposition of the Queen—Her anxiety to conceal the cause—Walpolecloseted with her—Her illness assumes a grave character—Obliged toretire from the Drawing-room—Affectionate attentions of Princess Caroline—Continuedbitter feeling towards the Prince—Discussions of thephysicians—Queen takes leave of the Duke of Cumberland—Partingscene with the King—Interview with Walpole—The Prince denied thepalace—Great patience of the Queen—The Archbishop summoned to thepalace—Eulogy on the Queen pronounced by the King—His oddities—TheQueen’s exemplary conduct—Her death—Terror of Dr. Hulse—Singularconduct of the King—Opposition to Sir R. Walpole—LordChesterfield pays court to the Prince’s favourite.

After the birth of the Princess Louisa, on the 12th ofDecember, 1724, Caroline, then Princess of Wales, wasmore than ordinarily indisposed. Her indisposition wasof such a nature that, though she had made no allusionto it herself, her husband spoke to her on the subject.The princess avoided entering upon a discussion, andsought to satisfy the prince by remarking that her indispositionwas nothing more than what was common toher health, position, and circ*mstances. For some years,although the symptoms were neglected, the disease wasnot aggravated. At length more serious indications wereso perceptible to George, who was now King, that he didnot conceal his opinion that she was suffering from rupture.This opinion she combated with great energy, forshe had a rooted aversion to its being supposed that shewas afflicted with any complaint. She feared lest thefact, being known, might lose her some of her husband’s340regard, or lead people to think that with personal infirmityher power over him had been weakened. TheKing again and again urged her to acknowledge that shesuffered from the complaint he had named, and to havemedical advice on the subject. Again and again sherefused, and each time with renewed expressions of displeasure;until at last, the King, contenting himself withexpressing a hope that she would not have to repent ofher obstinacy, made her a promise never to allude to thesubject again without her consent. The secret, however,was necessarily known to others also; and we can onlywonder that, being so known, more active and effectivemeasures were not taken to remedy an evil which, in ourdays, at least, formidable as it may appear in name, is sosuccessfully treated as almost to deserve no more seriousappellation than a mere inconvenience.

Under an appearance of, at least, fair health, QueenCaroline may be said to have been gradually decaying foryears. Her pride and her courage would not, however,allow of this being seen; and when she rose, as was hercustom, to curtsey to the King, not even George himselfwas aware of the pain the effort cost her. Sir RobertWalpole was long aware that she suffered greatly fromsome secret malady, and it was not till after a long periodof observation that he succeeded in discovering herMajesty’s secret. He was often closeted with her, arrangingbusiness that they were afterwards to nominallytransact in presence of the King, and to settle, as heimagined, according to his will and pleasure. It was onsome such occasion that Sir Robert made the discoveryin question. The minister’s wife had just died; she wasabout the same age as Caroline, and the Queen put tothe minister such close, physical questions, and advertedso frequently to the subject of rupture, of which SirRobert’s wife did not die, that the minister at once came341to the conclusion that her Majesty was herself sufferingfrom that complaint.40 This was the case: but the factwas only known to the King himself, her German nurse(Mrs. Mailborne), and one other person. A curiousscene often occurred in her dressing-room and the adjoiningapartment. During the process of the morningtoilette, prayers were read in the outer room by herMajesty’s chaplain, the latter kneeling the while beneaththe painting of a nude Venus—which, as Dr. Madox, aroyal chaplain on service, once observed, was a ‘veryproper altar-piece.’ On these occasions, Walpole tells usthat, ‘to prevent all suspicion, her Majesty would frequentlystand some minutes in her shift, talking to herladies, and, though labouring with so dangerous a complaint,she made it so invariable a rule never to refuse adesire of the King, that every morning, at Richmond, shewalked several miles with him; and more than once,when she had the gout in her foot, she dipped her wholeleg in cold water to be ready to attend him. The pain,her bulk, and the exercise, threw her into such fits ofperspiration as routed the gout; but those exertionshastened the crisis of her distemper.’

In the summer of 1737 she suffered so seriously,that at length, on the 26th of August, a report spread overthe town that the Queen was dead.41 The whole city atonce assumed a guise of mourning—gay summer orcheerful autumn dresses were withdrawn from the shopwindows, and nothing was to be seen in their place but‘sables.’ The report, however, was unfounded. HerMajesty had been ill, but one of her violent remedies hadrestored her for the moment. She was thereby enabledto walk about Hampton Court with the King; but shewas not equal to the task of coming to London on the29th of the same month, when her grand-daughter342Augusta was christened, and King, Queen, and duch*essof Saxe Gotha stood sponsors, by their proxies, to thefuture mother of a future Queen of England.

At length, in November 1737, the crisis above alludedto occurred, and Caroline’s illness soon assumed a verygrave character. Her danger, of which she was wellaware, did not cause her to lose her presence of mind,nor her dignity, nor to sacrifice any characteristic of herdisposition or reigning passion.

It was on Wednesday morning, the 9th of November,that the Queen was seized with the illness which ultimatelyproved fatal to her. She was distressed with violent internalpains, which Daffy’s Elixir, administered to her byDr. Tessier, could not allay. The violence of the attackcompelled her to return to bed early in the morning; buther courage was great and the King’s pity small, andconsequently she rose, after resting for some hours, inorder to preside at the usual Wednesday’s drawing-room.The King had great dislike to see her absent from thisceremony; without her, he used to say, there was neithergrace, gaiety, nor dignity; and, accordingly, she went tothis last duty with the spirit of a wounded knight whor*turns to the field and dies in harness. She was notable long to endure the fatigue. Lord Hervey was sostruck by her appearance of weakness and suffering, thathe urged her, with friendly peremptoriness, to retire froma scene for which she was evidently unfitted. The Queenacknowledged her inability to continue any longer in theroom, but she could not well break up the assemblywithout the King, who was in another part of the room,discussing the mirth and merits of the last uproariousburlesque extravaganza, ‘The Dragon of Wantley.’ AllLondon was then flocking to Covent Garden to hearLampe’s music and Carey’s light nonsense; and Ryan’sHamlet was not half so much cared for as Reinhold’s343Dragon, nor Mrs. Vincent’s Ophelia so much esteemed asthe Margery and Mauxalinda of the two Misses Young.

At length, his Majesty having been informed of theQueen’s serious indisposition, and her desire to withdraw,took her by the hand to lead her away, roughly noticing,at the same time, that she had ‘passed over’ theduch*ess of Norfolk. Caroline immediately repaired herfault by addressing a few condescending words to that oldwell-wisher of her family. They were the last words sheever uttered on the public scene of her grandeur. Allthat followed was the undressing after the great dramawas over.

In the evening Lord Hervey again saw her. He hadbeen dining with the French ambassador, and he returnedfrom the dinner at an hour at which people now dressbefore they go to such a ceremony. He was again at thepalace by seven o’clock. His duty authorised him, andhis inclination prompted him, to see the Queen. He foundher suffering from increase of internal pains, violent sickness,and progressive weakness. Cordials and various calmingremedies were prescribed, and while they were beingprepared, a little ‘usquebaugh’ was administered to her;but neither whisky, nor cordials, nor calming draughtscould be retained. Her pains increased, and therewithher strength diminished. She was throughout this dayand night affectionately attended by the Princess Caroline,who was herself in extremely weak health, but who wouldnot leave her mother’s bedside till two o’clock in themorning. The King then relieved her, after his fashion,which brought relief to no one. He did not sit up towatch the sufferer, but, in his morning gown, lay outsidethe bed, by the Queen’s side. Her restlessness was verygreat, but the King did not leave her space enough evento turn in bed; and he was so uncomfortable that he waskept awake and ill-tempered throughout the night.


On the following day the Queen was bled, but withoutproducing any good effect. Her illness visibly increased,and George was as visibly affected by it. Not so muchso, however, as not to be concerned about matters ofdress. With the sight of the Queen’s suffering before hiseyes, he remembered that he had to meet the foreignministers that day, and he was exceedingly particular indirecting the pages to see that new ruffles were sewn tohis old shirt-sleeves, whereby he might wear a decent airin the eyes of the representatives of foreign majesty. ThePrincess Caroline continued to exhibit unabated sympathyfor the mother who had perhaps loved her better thanany other of her daughters. The princess was in tearsand suffering throughout the day, and almost needed asmuch care as the royal patient herself; especially afterlosing much blood by the sudden breaking of one of thesmall vessels in the nose. It was on this day that, to aidBroxholm, who had hitherto prescribed for the Queen,Sir Hans Sloane and Dr. Hulse were called in. Theyprescribed for an obstinate internal obstruction whichcould not be overcome; and applied blisters to the legs—aremedy for which both King and Queen had a sovereignand silly disgust.

On the 11th, the quiet of the palace was disturbed bya message from the Prince of Wales, making enquiry afterthe condition of his mother. His declared filial affectionroused the King to a pitch of almost ungovernable fury.The royal father flung at the son every missile in his well-storedvocabulary of abuse. There really seemed somethingdevilish in this spirit at such a time. In truth,however, the King had good ground for knowing that theassurances of the prince were based upon the most patenthypocrisy. The spirit of the dying Queen was nothingless fierce and bitter against the prince and his adherents—that345‘Cartouche gang,’ as she was wont to designate them.There was no touch of mercy in her, as regarded herfeelings or expressions towards him; and her epithets werenot less degrading to the utterer and to the object againstwhom they were directed, than the King’s. She beggedher husband to keep her son from her presence. She hadno faith, she said, in his assertions of concern, respect, orsympathy. She knew he would approach her with anassumption of grief; would listen dutifully, as it mightseem, to her laments; would ‘blubber like a calf’ at hercondition; and laugh at her outright as soon as he hadleft her presence.

It seems infinitely strange that it was not until the 12thof the month that the King hinted to the Queen the proprietyof her physicians knowing that she was sufferingfrom rupture. Caroline listened to the suggestion withaversion and displeasure; she earnestly entreated thatwhat had hitherto been kept secret should remain so.The King apparently acquiesced, but there is little doubtof his having communicated a knowledge of the fact toRanby, the surgeon, who was now in attendance. Whenthe Queen next complained of violent internal pain, Ranbyapproached her, and she directed his hand to the spotwhere she said she suffered most. Like the skilful manthat he was, Ranby contrived at the same moment to satisfyhimself as to the existence of the more serious complaint;and having done so, went up to the King, and spoke tohim in a subdued tone of voice. The Queen immediatelysuspected what had taken place, and, ill as she was, sherailed at Ranby for a ‘blockhead.’ The surgeon, however,made no mystery of the matter; but declared, on thecontrary, that there was no time to be lost, and that activetreatment must at once be resorted to. The discovery ofthe real malady which was threatening the Queen’s life,346and which would not have been perilous had it not beenso strangely neglected, cost Caroline the only tears sheshed throughout her trying illness.

Shipton and the able and octogenarian Bussier werenow called in to confer with the other medical men. Itwas at first proposed to operate with the knife; but ultimatelyit was agreed that an attempt should be made toreduce the tumour by less extreme means. The Queenbore the necessary treatment patiently. Her chief watcherand nurse was still the gentle Princess Caroline. Thelatter, however, became so ill, that the medical men insistedon bleeding her. She would not keep her room, but laydressed on a couch in an apartment next to that in whichlay her dying mother. Lord Hervey, when tired withwatching—and his post was one of extreme fatigue andanxiety—slept on a mattress, at the foot of the couch ofthe Princess Caroline. The King retired to his own bed,and on this night the Princess Amelia waited on her mother.

The following day, Sunday, the 13th, was a day ofmuch solemnity. The medical men announced that thewound from which the Queen suffered had begun tomortify, and that death must speedily supervene. Thedanger was made known to all; and of all, Caroline exhibitedthe least concern. She took a solemn and dignifiedleave of her children, always excepting the Prince of Wales.Her parting with her favourite son, the young Duke ofCumberland, was touching, and showed the depth of herlove for him. Considering her avowed partiality, therewas some show of justice in her concluding counsel to himthat, should his brother Frederick ever be King, he shouldnever seek to mortify him, but simply try to manifest asuperiority over him only by good actions and merit. Shespoke kindly to her daughter Amelia, but much more thankindly to the gentle Caroline, to whose care she consignedher two youngest daughters, Louisa and Mary. She347appears to have felt as little inclination to see her daughterAnne, as she had to see her son Frederick. Indeed, intimationhad been given to the Prince of Orange to theeffect that not only was the company of the princess notrequired, but that should she feel disposed to leave Hollandfor St. James’s, he was to restrain her, by power of hismarital authority.

The parting scene with the King was one of mingleddignity and farce, touching incident and crapulousness.Caroline took from her finger a ruby ring, and put it on afinger of the King. She tenderly declared that whatevergreatness or happiness had fallen to her share, she hadowed it all to him; adding, with something very like profanityand general unseemliness, that naked she had cometo him and naked she would depart from him; for that allshe had was his, and she had so disposed of her own thathe should be her heir. The singular man to whom she thusaddressed herself acted singularly; and, for that matter, soalso did his dying consort. Among her last recommendationsmade on this day, was one enjoining him to marry.The King, overcome, or seemingly overcome, at the ideaof being a widower, burst into a flood of tears. TheQueen renewed her injunctions that after her decease heshould take a second wife. He sobbed aloud; but amidhis sobbing he suggested an opinion that he thought that,rather than take another wife, he would maintain a mistressor two. ‘Eh, mon Dieu!’ exclaimed Caroline, ‘the onedoes not prevent the other! Cela n’empêche pas!

A dying wife might have shown more decency, but shecould hardly have been more complaisant. Accordingly,when, after the above dignified scene had been brought toa close, the Queen fell into a profound sleep, George kissedher unconscious cheeks a hundred times over, expressed anopinion that she would never wake to recognition again,and gave evidence, by his words and actions, how deeply348he really regarded the dying woman before him. It happened,however, that she did wake to consciousness again;and then, with his usual inconsistency of temper, he snubbedas much as he soothed her, yet without any deliberateintention of being unkind. She expressed her convictionthat she should survive till the Wednesday. It was herpeculiar day, she said. She had been born on a Wednesday,was married on a Wednesday, first became a motheron a Wednesday, was crowned on a Wednesday, and shewas convinced she should die on a Wednesday.

Her expressed indifference as to seeing Walpole is instrong contrast with the serious way in which she did holdconverse with him on his being admitted to a partinginterview. Her feeling of mental superiority over theKing was exhibited in her dying recommendation to theminister to be careful of the Sovereign. This recommendationbeing made in the Sovereign’s presence was butlittle relished by the minister, who feared that such abequest, with the Queen no longer alive to afford himprotection, might ultimately work his own downfall.George, however, was rather grateful than angry at theQueen’s commission to Walpole, and subsequently remindedhim with grave good-humour, that he, the minister,required no protection, inasmuch as the Queen had ratherconsigned the King to the protection of the minister; and‘his kindness to the minister seemed to increase for theQueen’s sake.’

The day which opened with a sort of despair, closedwith a faint prospect of hope. The surgeons declared thatthe mortification had not progressed; and Lord Herveydoes not scruple to infer that it had never begun, and thatthe medical men employed were, like most of their colleagues,profoundly ignorant of that with which theyprofessed to be most deeply acquainted. The fairerprospect was made known to the Queen, in order to349encourage her, but Caroline was not to be deceived. Attwenty-five, she remarked, she might have dragged throughit, but at fifty-five it was not to be thought of. She stillsuperstitiously looked to the Wednesday as the term ofher career.

All access to the palace had been denied alike to thePrince of Wales and to those who frequented his court;but in the confusion which reigned at St. James’s somemembers of the prince’s family, or following, did penetrateto the rooms adjacent to that in which lay the royal sufferer,under pretence of an anxiety to learn the condition of herhealth. Caroline knew of this vicinity, called them‘ravens’ waiting to see the breath depart from her body,and insisted that they should not be allowed to approach hernearer. Ample evidence exists that the conduct of thePrince of Wales was most unseemly at this solemn juncture.‘We shall have good news soon,’ he was heard to say, atCarlton House: ‘we shall have good news soon; she can’thold out much longer!’ There were people who wereslow to believe that a son could exult at the idea of thedeath of his mother. These persons questioned his‘favourite,’ Lady Archibald Hamilton, as to the actualconduct and language adopted by him; and at such questionsthe mature mistress would significantly smile, asshe discreetly answered: ‘Oh, he is very decent!’

The prospect of the Queen’s recovery was quite illusoryand short-lived. She grew so rapidly worse, that even thevoices of those around her appeared to disturb her; and anotice was pinned to the curtain of her bed, enjoining allpresent to speak only in the lowest possible tones. Herpatience, however, was very great: she took all that wasoffered to her, however strong her own distaste; and whenoperations were proposed to her, she submitted at once,on assurance from the King that he sanctioned what themedical men proposed. She did not lose her sprightly350humour even when under the knife; and she once remarkedto Ranby, when she was thus at his mercy, that she daredsay he was half sorry it was not his own old wife he wasthus cutting about. But the flesh will quiver where thepincers tear; and even from Caroline terrible anguishwould now and then extort a groan. She bade the surgeons,nevertheless, not to heed her silly complaints, but todo their duty irrespective of her grumbling.

All this time there does not appear to have been theslightest idea in the mind either of the sufferer or of thoseabout her that it would be well were Caroline enabled tomake her peace with God. The matter, however, didoccupy the public thought; and public opinion pressed sostrongly, that, rather than offend it, Walpole himself recommendedthat a priest should be sent for. The recommendationwas made to the Princess Amelia, and in theobese minister’s usual coarse fashion. ‘It will be quite aswell,’ he said, ‘that the farce should be played. TheArchbishop of Canterbury (Potter) would perform itdecently; and the princess might bid him to be as shortas she liked. It would do the Queen neither harm norgood; and it would satisfy all the fools who called thematheists, if they affected to be as great fools as they whocalled them so!’

Dr. Potter accordingly was summoned. He attendedmorning and evening. The King, to show his estimationof the person and his sacred office, invariably kept out ofhis wife’s apartment while the archbishop was present.What passed is not known; but it is clear that the primate,if he prayed with the Queen, never administered the sacramentto her. Was this caused by her irreconcilable hatredagainst her son?

It is said that her Majesty’s mistress of the robes, LadySundon, had influenced the Queen to countenance nonebut the heterodox clergy. Her conduct in her last moments351was consequently watched with mingled anxiety and curiosityby more than those who surrounded her. The publicgenerally were desirous of being enlightened on the subject.The public soon learned, indirectly at least, that the archbishophad not administered to the Queen the solemn rite.On the last time of his issuing from the royal bedchamber,he was assailed by the courtiers with questions like this:—‘Mylord, has the Queen received?’ All the answer givenby the primate was, ‘Gentlemen, her Majesty is in a mostheavenly frame of mind.’ This was an oracular sort ofresponse; and it may be said that if the Queen was in aheavenly frame of mind, she must have been at peace withher son, as well as with all men, and therefore in a conditionto receive the administration of the rite with profitand thankfulness. It was known, moreover, that theQueen was not at peace with her son, and that she had not‘received;’ she, therefore, could not have been, as thearchbishop described her, ‘in a most heavenly frame ofmind.’ All that the public knew of her practical pietywas, that the Queen had been accustomed, or said she hadbeen accustomed, to read a portion of Butler’s ‘Analogy’every morning at breakfast. It was of this book thatBishop Hoadly remarked, that he could never even lookat it without getting a head-ache.

Meanwhile, the King, who kept close in the palace,not stirring abroad, and assembling around him a circleof hearers, expatiated at immense length upon the virtuesand excellences of the companion who was on the eve ofdeparture from him. There was no known or discoverablegood quality which he did not acknowledge in her;not only the qualities which dignify woman, but thosewhich elevate men. With the courage and intellectualstrength of the latter, she had the beauty and virtue ofthe former. He never tired of this theme, told it overagain and again, and ever at an interminable length. The352most singular item in his monster dissertation was his coolassurance to his children and friends that she was theonly woman in the world who suited him for a wife; andthat, if she had not been his wife, he would rather havehad her for his mistress than any other woman he hadever seen or heard of.

This was the highest possible praise such a husbandcould bestow; and he doubtless loved his wife as well asa husband, so trained, could love a consort. His ownsharp words to her, even in her illness, were no proof tothe contrary; and amid tokens of his uncouth tenderness,observing her restless from pain, and yet desirous of sleep,he would exclaim, ‘How the devil can you expect tosleep when you never lie still a moment?’ This wasmeant for affection; so, too, was the remark made to herone morning when, on entering her room, he saw hergazing, as invalids are wont to gaze, idly on vacancy,‘with lack-lustre eye.’ He roughly desired her to ceasestaring in that disagreeable way, which made her look,he said, with refined gallantry, just like a calf with itsthroat cut!

His praise of her, as Lord Hervey acutely suggested,had much of self-eulogy in view; and when he laudedher excellent sense, it had especial reference to that exemplificationof it when she was wise enough to accepthim for a husband. He wearied all hearers with the longstories which he recounted both of Caroline and himself,as he sat at night, with his feet on a stool, pouring outprosily his never-ending narrative. The Princess Ameliaused to endeavour to escape from the tediousness oflistening by pretending to be asleep, and to avenge herselffor being compelled to listen by gross abuse of herroyal father when he left the room—calling him old fool,liar, coward, and a driveller, of whose stories she wasmost heartily sick.

And so matters went on, progressively worse, until353Sunday the 20th—the last day which Caroline was permittedto see upon earth. The circ*mstances attending theQueen’s death were not without a certain dignity. ‘Howlong can this last?’ said she to her physician, Tessier. ‘Itwill not be long,’ was the reply, ‘before your Majesty willbe relieved from this suffering.’ ‘The sooner the better,’said Caroline. And then she began to pray aloud: andher prayer was not a formal one, fixed in her memory byrepeating it from the Book of Common Prayer, but a spontaneousand extemporary effusion, so eloquent, so appropriate,and so touching, that all the listeners were struck withadmiration at this last effort of a mind ever remarkable forits vigour and ability. She herself manifested great anxietyto depart in a manner becoming a great Queen; and asher last moment approached, her anxiety in this respectappeared to increase. She requested to be raised in bed,and asked all present to kneel and offer up a prayer inher behalf. While this was going on she grew graduallyfainter; but, at her desire, water was sprinkled upon her,so that she might revive, and listen to, or join in, thepetitions which her family (all but her eldest son, whowas not present) put up to Heaven in her behalf.‘Louder!’ she murmured more than once, as some oneread or prayed, ‘Louder, that I may hear.’ Her requestwas complied with; and then one of her children repeatedaudibly the Lord’s Prayer. In this Caroline joined, repeatingthe words as distinctly as failing nature wouldallow her. The prayer was just concluded when shelooked fixedly for a moment at those who stood weepingaround her, and then uttered a long-drawn ‘So——!’It was her last word. As it fell from her lips the dial onthe chimney-piece struck eleven. She calmly waved herhand—a farewell to all present and to the world; andthen tranquilly composing herself upon her bed, shebreathed a sigh, and so expired. Thus died Caroline;354and few Queens of England have passed away to theiraccount with more of mingled dignity and indecorum.

On Thursday, the 15th of November 1757, Sir RobertWalpole wrote as follows to his brother Horace: ‘TheQueen was taken ill last Wednesday.... It was explicitlydeclared and universally believed to be gout in thestomach.... The case was thought so desperate that SirHans Sloane and Dr. Hulse were on Friday sent for,who totally despaired. Necessity at last discovered andrevealed a secret which had been totally concealedand unknown. The Queen had a rupture which isnow known not to have been a new accident.... Butwill it ever be believed that a life of this importanceshould be lost, or run thus near, by concealing humaninfirmities?’

To these accounts of the Queen’s illness it may beadded that Nichols, in his ‘Reminiscences,’ says that Dr.Sands suggested that a cure might be effected by injectingwarm water, and that Dr. Hulse approved of the remedyand method. It was applied, with no one present but themedical men just named; and though it signally failed,they pronounced it as having succeeded. Their terrorwas great; and when they passed through the outerapartments, where the Duke of Newcastle congratulatinglyhugged Hulse, on his having saved the Queen’s life, thedoctor struggled with all his might to get away, lest heshould be questioned upon a matter which involved,perhaps, more serious consequences than he could, in hisbewilderment, then accurately calculate.

The Princess Caroline, as soon as the Queen hadapparently passed away, put a looking-glass to her lips,and finding it unsullied by any breath, calmly remarked,‘’Tis over!’ and thenceforward ceased to weep as she haddone while her mother was dying. The King kissed theface and hands of his departed consort with unaffected355fervour. His conduct continued to be as singular as ever.He was superstitious and afraid of ghosts; and it was remarkedon this occasion, that he would have people withhim in his bedroom, as if their presence could have savedhim from the visitation of a spirit. In private, the sole subjectof his conversation was ‘Caroline.’ He loved to narratethe whole history of her early life and his own: theirwooing and their wedding, their joys and vexations. Inthese conversations he introduced something about everyperson with whom he had ever been in anything like closeconnection. It was observed, however, that he neveronce mentioned the name of his mother, Sophia Dorothea,or in any way alluded to her. He purposely avoided thesubject; but he frequently named the father of Sophia,the Duke of Zell, who, he said, was so desirous of seeinghis grandson grow up into an upright man, that the dukedeclared he would shoot him if George Augustus shouldprove a dishonest one!

Amid all these anecdotes, and tales, and reminiscences,and praises, there was a constant flow of tears shed forher who was gone. They seemed, however, to come andgo at pleasure; for in the very height of his mourning anddepth of his sorrow, he happened to see Horace, thebrother of Sir Robert Walpole, who was weeping forfashion’s sake, but in so grotesque a manner, that whenthe King beheld it, he ceased to cry, and burst into a roarof laughter.

Lord Hervey foretold that his grief would not be of alasting quality; and, in some degree, he was correct. Itmust be confessed, however, that the King never ceasedto respect the memory of his wife. Walpole only thoughtof how George might be ruled now that the Queen wasgone, and he speedily fixed upon a plan. He had beenaccustomed, he said, to side with the mother against themistress. He would now, he added, side with the mistress356against the children. He it was, who proposed thatMadame Walmoden should now be brought to England;and, in a revoltingly coarse observation to the PrincessCaroline, he recommended her, if she would have anyinfluence with her father, to surround him with women,and govern him through them!

But other parties had been on the watch to lay holdof the power which had now fallen from the hand of thedead Caroline.

The dissension in the royal family, which was causedby the conduct of the Prince of Wales at the period ofthe birth of his eldest daughter, Augusta, was, of course,turned to political account. It was made even of moreaccount in that way when the condition of Carolinebecame known. Lord Chesterfield, writing to Mr. Lytteltonfrom Bath, on the 12th of November 1737, says: ‘AsI suppose the Queen will be dead or out of danger beforeyou receive this, my advice to his royal highness (ofWales) will come full late; but in all events it is myopinion he cannot take too many and too respectfulmeasures towards the Queen, if alive, and towards theKing, if she is dead; but then that respect should beabsolutely personal, and care should be taken that theministers shall not have the least share of it.’

At the time when Caroline’s indignation had beenaroused by the course adopted by the prince, when hiswife was brought from Hampton Court to St. James’s forher confinement, his royal highness had made a statementto Sir Robert Walpole and Lord Harrington, whichthey were subsequently required to put down in writingas corroborative evidence of what the prince had said tothe Queen. In reference to the inditers of these ‘minutesof conversation,’ Lord Chesterfield advises that the disrespectwhich he recommends the prince to exhibit towardsthe ministry shall be more marked ‘if in the357course of these transactions the two evidences should besent to, or of themselves presume to approach the prince;in which case (says the writer) he ought to show thempersonal resentment; and if they bring any message fromthe King or Queen which he cannot refuse receiving, heshould ask for it in writing, and give his answer inwriting; alleging publicly for his reason, that he cannotventure anything with people who have grossly both betrayedand misrepresented private conversation.’42

Through the anticipated natural death of the Queen,the opposition hoped to effect the political death ofWalpole. ‘In case the Queen dies,’ writes Chesterfield,‘I think Walpole should be looked upon as gone too,whether he be really so or no, which will be the mostlikely way to weaken him; for if he be supposed toinherit the Queen’s power over the King it will in somedegree give it him; and if the opposition are wise, insteadof treating with him, they should attack him most vigorouslyand personally, as a person who has lost his chiefsupport. Which is indeed true; for though he mayhave more power with the King than any other body,yet he will never have that kind of power which he hadby her means; and he will not even dare to mentionmany things to the King which he could without difficultyhave brought about by her means. Pray presentmy most humble duty to his royal highness,’ concludesthe writer, ‘and tell him that upon principles of personalduty and respect to the King and Queen (if alive), hecannot go too far; as, on the other hand, with relationto the ministers, after what has passed he cannot carryhis dignity too high.’ The same strain is continued in asecond letter, wherein it is stated with respect to theanticipated death of the Queen: ‘It is most certain thatSir Robert must be in the utmost distress, and can never358hope to govern the King as the Queen governed him;’and he adds, in a postscript: ‘We have a prospect of theClaude Lorraine kind before us, while Sir Robert’s hasall the horrors of Salvator Rosa. If the prince wouldplay the rising sun, he would gild it finely; if not, hewill be under a cloud, which he will never be able hereafterto shine through.’ Finally, exclaims the eagerwriter: ‘Instil this into the Woman’—meaning by thelatter the Prince of Wales’s ‘favourite,’ Lady ArchibaldHamilton, who ‘had filled,’ says Lord Mahon, ‘thewhole of his little court with her kindred.’ According toHorace Walpole, ‘whenever Sir William Stanhope metanybody at Carlton House whom he did not know, healways said, “your humble servant, Mr. or Mrs. Hamilton.”’

A fortnight after Chesterfield contemptuously callsLady Archibald ‘the Woman,’ he begins to see the possibilityof her rising to the possession of political influence,and he says to Mr. Lyttelton: ‘Pray, when you see LadyArchibald, assure her of my respects, and tell her thatI would trouble her with a letter myself, to have acknowledgedher goodness to me, if I could have expressedthose acknowledgments to my own satisfaction; but notbeing able to do that, I only desire she would be persuadedthat my sentiments with regard to her are whatthey ought to be.’43 In such wise did great men counseland intrigue for the sake of a little pre-eminence, whichnever yet purchased or brought with it the boon ofhappiness.



Whiston patronised by Queen Caroline—His boldness and reproof of theQueen—Vanity of the poet Young punished—Dr. Potter, a high churchman—Abenefice missed—Masquerades denounced by the clergy—Angerof the Court—Warburton, a favourite of the Queen—Butler’s ‘Analogy,’her ordinary companion—Rise of Secker—The Queen’s regard for Dr.Berkeley—Her fondness for witnessing intellectual struggles betweenClarke and Leibnitz—Character of Queen Caroline by Lord Chesterfield—TheKing encouraged in his wickedness by the Queen—General grossnessof manners—The King managed by the Queen—Feeling exhibitedby the King on sight of her portrait—The duch*ess of Brunswick’sdaughters—Standard of morality low—Ridicule of Marlborough by Peterborough—Moralityof General Cadogan—Anecdote of General Webb—LordCobham—Dishonourable conduct of Lord Stair—General Hawleyand his singular will—Disgraceful state of the prisons, and cruelty toprisoners—Roads bad and ill-lighted—Brutal punishment—Insolenttreatment of a British naval officer by the Sultan—Brutality of a mob—Encroachmenton Hyde Park by Queen Caroline—Ambitious projects ofPrincess Anne—Eulogy on the Queen—The children of King Georgeand Queen Caroline—Verses on the Queen’s death.

Much has been said, and many opposite conclusionsdrawn, as to the religious character of Caroline. In ourdays, such a woman would not be allowed to wear thereputation of being religious. In her days, she may withmore justice have been considered so. And yet she wasfar below a standard of much elevation. When we hearher boasting—or rather asserting, as convinced of thefact—that ‘she had made it the business of her life todischarge her duty to God and man in the best mannershe was able,’ we have no very favourable picture of her360humility; though at the same time we may acquit her ofhypocrisy.

Her patronage of the well-meaning but mischievous,the learned but unwise Whiston is quite sufficient tocondemn her in the opinion of many people. Here wasa man who had not yet, indeed, left the Church ofEngland for the Baptist community, because the Athanasiancreed was an offence to him, but he had pronouncedPrince Eugène to be the man foretold in the Apocalypseas the destroyer of the Turkish Empire, had declaredthat the children of Joseph and Mary were the naturalbrothers and sisters of Christ, set up a heresy in his‘Primitive Christianity Revived,’ made open profession ofArianism, boldly made religious prophecies which werefalsified as soon as made, and, more innocently, translated‘Josephus,’ and tried to discover the longitude.Caroline showed her admiration of heterodox Whistonby conferring on him a pension of fifty pounds a-year;and as she had a regard for the mad scholar, she paidhim with her own hand, and had him as a frequentvisitor at the palace. The King was more guarded inhis patronage of Whiston, and one day said to him, asKing, Queen, and preacher were walking together in HamptonCourt Gardens, that his opinions against Athanasianismmight certainly be true, but perhaps it wouldhave been better if he had kept them to himself. NowWhiston was remarkable for his wit and his fearlessness,and looking straight in the face of the man who wasKing by right of the Reformation, and who was thetemporal head of the Church and, ex-officio, Defender ofthe Faith, he said: ‘If Luther had followed such advice,I should like to know where your Majesty would havebeen at the present moment.’ ‘Well, Mr. Whiston,’ saidCaroline, ‘you are, as I have heard it said you were, avery free speaker. Are you bold enough to tell me my361faults?’ ‘Certainly,’ was Whiston’s reply. ‘There aremany people who come every year from the country toLondon upon business. Their chief, loyal, and naturaldesire is to see their King and Queen. This desire theycan nowhere so conveniently gratify as at the ChapelRoyal. But what they see there does not edify them.They behold your Majesty talking, during nearly thewhole time of service, with the King—and talking loudly.This scandalises them; they go into the country withfalse impressions, spread false reports, and effect no littlemischief.’ The Queen pleaded that the King would talkto her, acknowledged that it was wrong, promised amendment,and asked what was the next fault he descriedin her. ‘Nay, madam,’ said he, ‘it will be time enoughto go to the second when your Majesty has corrected thefirst.’

What Caroline said of her consort was true enough.At chapel, the King, when not sleeping, would be talking.Dr. Young thought, by power of his preaching, tokeep him awake; but the King, on finding that the newchaplain was not giving him what he loved, ‘a short,good sermon,’ soon began to exhibit signs of somnolency.Young exerted himself in vain; and when his Majesty atlength broke forth with a snore, the poet-preacher felthis vanity so wounded that he burst into tears. WhereKings and Queens so behaved, no wonder that youngensigns flirted openly with maids of honour, and thatLady Wortley Montague should have reason to write tothe Countess of Bute: ‘I confess I remember to havedressed for St. James’s Chapel with the same thoughtsyour daughters will have at the opera.’

It is not likely that Archbishop Potter was sent forby Caroline herself in her last illness, for she liked theprelate as little as Whiston himself did. But Potter, thefirst of scholars, in spite of the sneers of academical Parr,362was, although a staunch Whig, and esteemed by Carolineand her consort for his sermon preached before them attheir coronation, yet a very high churchman, one whoput the throne infinitely below the altar, and thoughtkings very far indeed below priests. This last opinion,however, was very much modified when the haughty prelate,son of a Wakefield linendraper, had to petition fora favour. His practice, certainly, was not perfect, for hedisinherited one son, who married a dowerless maidenout of pure love, and he left his fortune to the other, whowas a profligate and squandered it.

But even Caroline could not but respect Potter forhis jealousy with regard to the worthily supplying ofchurch benefices. Just after the Queen had congratulatedhim on being elected to the highest position in theChurch of England, Potter called on a clerical relative, toannounce to him the intention of his kinsman to conferon him a valuable living. The archbishop unfortunatelyfound his reverend cousin busily engaged at skittles, andthe prelate came upon him just as the apostolic playerwas aiming at the centre pin, with the remark, ‘Now fora shy at the head of the Church!’ He missed his pin,and also lost his preferment. Neither of their Majesties,however, thought Potter justified in withholding a beneficeon such slight grounds of offence. Neither Georgenor Caroline approved of clergymen of any rank inveighingagainst amusem*nts. I may cite, as a case in point,the anger with which the King, in his heart, visitedGibson, Bishop of London, for denouncing masquerades,and for getting up an episcopal address to the throne,praying ‘for the entire abolition of such pernicious diversions.’The son of Sophia Dorothea was especially fondof masquerades, and his indignation was great at hearingthem denounced by Gibson. This boldness shut thelatter out from all chance of succeeding to Canterbury.363Caroline looked with some favour, however, on thiszealous and upright prelate; and her minister, Walpole,did nothing to obstruct the exercise of his great ecclesiasticalpower. ‘Gibson is a pope!’ once exclaimed oneof the low church courtiers of Caroline’s coterie. ‘True!’was Walpole’s reply, ‘and a very good pope too!’

It must be confessed, nevertheless, that the churchand religion were equally in a deplorable state justprevious to the demise of Caroline. That ingenious andlearned Northumbrian, Edward Grey, published anonymously,the year before the Queen’s death, a work upon‘The Miserable and Distracted State of Religion in Englandupon the Downfall of the Church Established.’ Awork, however, published the same year, and which muchmore interested the Queen, was Warburton’s famous‘Alliance between Church and State.’ This book broughtagain into public notice its author, that William Warburton,the son of a Newark attorney, who himself had beenlawyer and usher, had denounced Pope as an incapablepoet, and had sunk into temporary oblivion in his Lincolnshirerectory at Brant Broughton. But his ‘Alliancebetween Church and State’ brought him to the notice ofQueen Caroline, to whom his book and his name wereintroduced by Dr. Hare, the Bishop of Chichester. Carolineliked the book and desired to see the author; but her lastfatal illness was upon her before he could be introduced,and Warburton had to write many books and wait manyyears before he found a patron in Murray (Lord Mansfield)who could help him to preferment.

Queen Caroline made of Butler’s ‘Analogy of Religion,Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course ofNature’ a sort of light-reading book, which was the ordinarycompanion of her breakfast-table. Caroline may haveliked to dip into such profound fountains; but I doubtwhether she often looked into the ‘Analogy,’ as it was not364published till 1736, when her malady was increasing, andher power to study a work so abstruse must have beenmuch diminished. Still she admired the learned divine,who was the son of a Wantage shopkeeper, and who wasoriginally a Presbyterian Dissenter—a community forwhich German Protestant princes and princesses havealways entertained a considerable regard. Carolinedid not merely admire Butler because high churchmenlooked upon him, even after his ordination, as half adissenter; she had admired his Rolls Sermons, and whenSecker, another ex-Presbyterian whom Butler had inducedto enter the church, introduced and recommended him toQueen Caroline, she immediately appointed him clerk ofthe closet. It could have been very little before this, thatSecker himself—who had been a Presbyterian, a doctor, asort of sentimental vagabond on the Continent, and a free-thinkerto boot—had been, after due probation and regularprogress, appointed rector of St. James’s. Walpole declaresthat Secker owed this preferment to the favour of theQueen, and Secker’s biographers cannot prove much tothe contrary. At the period of Caroline’s death he wasBishop of Bristol, and that high dignity he is also said tohave owed to the friendship of Caroline. I wish it wereonly as true, that when the Prince of Wales was at enmitywith the King and Queen, and used to attend St. James’sChurch, his place of residence being at Norfolk House, inthe adjacent square—I wish, I say, it were true that Seckeronce preached to the prince on the text, ‘Honour thyfather and mother.’ The tale, however, is apocryphal;but it is true that the prince himself, at the period of thefamily quarrel, was startled, on entering the church, athearing Mr. Bonny, the clerk in orders, rather pointedlybeginning the service with, ‘I will arise, and go to myfather, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned,’ &c.

But, perhaps, of all the members of the church, Caroline365felt regard for none more than for Berkeley. He hadbeen an active divine long, indeed, before the Queenvisited him with her favour. His progress had beenchecked by his sermons in favour of passive obedienceand non-resistance—sermons which were considered notso much inculcating loyalty to Brunswick as denouncingthe revolution which opened to that house the way to thethrone. Berkeley had also incurred no little public wrathby destroying the letters which Swift’s Vanessa had bequeathedto his care, with a sum of money for the expresspurpose of their being published. But, on the otherhand, he had manifested in various ways the true spirit ofa Christian and a philosopher, and had earned immortalhonour by his noble attempt to convert the Americansavages to Christianity. But it was his ‘Minute Philosopher’—hiscelebrated work, the object of which was torefute scepticism, that gained for him the distinction ofthe approval of Caroline. The expression of such approvalis warrant for the Queen’s sincerity in the cause of truereligion. So delighted was the Queen with this work, thatshe procured for its author his nomination to the Bishopricof Cloyne. Never was reward more nobly earned, moreworthily bestowed, or more gracefully conferred. It didhonour alike to the Queen and to Berkeley; and it raisedthe hopes of those who were ready to almost despair ofChristianity itself, when they saw that Religion yet had itsgreat champions to uphold her cause, and that, howeverindifferent the King might be to the merits of suchchampions, the Queen herself was ever eager to acknowledgetheir services and to recompense them largely asthey merited.

In controversial works, however, Caroline alwaysdelighted. She had no greater joy in this way thansetting Clarke and Leibnitz at intellectual struggle, watchingthe turns of the contest with interest, suggesting,366amending, adding, or diminishing, and advising everywell-laid blow, by whichever antagonist it was delivered.It may be asked, Was there not in all this rather more loveof intellectual than of religious pursuits? The readermust judge.

Caroline loved the broad English comedy of her time,and saw no harm in the very broadest. She was especiallyfond of the ‘Queen of Comedy,’ Mrs. Oldfield,but affected to be a little shocked at the way in whichshe was living with General Churchill. One day, whenMrs. Oldfield had been reading at Windsor, and waswalking on the terrace with the court, the Queen said toher, ‘I hear, Mrs. Oldfield, that you and the General aremarried.’ ‘Madam,’ answered the actress, playing hervery best, ‘the General keeps his own secrets.’ AfterMrs. Oldfield’s death, the Queen bought her collection ofplays for a hundred and twenty guineas.

Lord Chesterfield says of Caroline, in his lively way,that ‘she was a woman of lively, pretty parts.’ Shemerits, however, a better epitaph and a more sagaciouschronicler. ‘Her death,’ adds the noble roué, ‘wasregretted by none but the King. She died meditatingprojects which must have ended either in her own ruin orthat of the country.’ Dismissing, for the present, the lastpart of this paragraph, we will say that Caroline wasmourned by more than by the King; but by none sodeeply, so deservedly, so naturally as by him. He hadnot, out of affection for her, been less selfish or less viciousthan his inclinations induced him to be. He was faithlessto her, but he never ceased to respect her; and in thosedays a husband of whom nothing worse could be saidwas rather exemplary of conduct than otherwise. It wasa sort of decorum by no means common. One couldhave almost thought him uxorious; for he not only allowedhimself to be directed in all important matters requiring367judgment and discretion by the guidance of her moreenlightened mind, but he never drew a picture of beautyand propriety in woman but all the hearers felt that theoriginal of the picture was the Queen herself. It isstrange, setting aside more grave considerations for therule of conduct, that, with such a wife, he should havehampered himself with ‘favourites.’ These he neitherloved nor respected. A transitory liking and the evilfashion of the day had something to do with it; andbesides, he had a certain feeling of attachment for womenwho were obsequious and serviceable. These he couldrule, but his wife ruled him. Nor could the women becompared. Sir Robert Walpole, an unexceptionablewitness in this case, asserts that the King loved his wife’slittle finger better than he did Lady Suffolk’s whole body.For that reason it was that Walpole himself so respectfullykissed the small, plump, and graceful hand of the Queenrather than propitiate the good-will of the favourite.

Caroline shared the vices in which her husband indulged,by favouring the indulgence. She was not themore excusable for this because Archdeacon Blackburnand other churchmen praised her for encouragingthe King in his wickedness. Her ground of action wasnot founded on virtuous principle. She sanctioned, naypromoted, the vicious way of life followed by her consortmerely that she might exercise more power politicallyand personally. She depreciated her own worthand attractions in order to heighten those of the favouriteswhom the King most affected, and by way of apologisingfor his being attracted from her to them. Actually, shehad as little regard for married faith as the King himself.The Queen regarded his doings with such complacencyas to give rise to a belief that she had nevercared for the King, and was therefore jealouslessly indifferentas to the disgraceful tenor of his life. An allusion368was once made in her presence, when the Duke ofGrafton was by, to her having in former times not beenunaffected by the suit of a German prince. ‘G—d,madam,’ said the duke, in the fashionable blasphemousstyle of the period, ‘I should like to see the man youcould love!’ ‘See him?’ said the Queen, laughingly; ‘doyou not then think that I love the King?’ ‘G—d, madam,’exclaimed the ostentatious blasphemer, ‘I only wish Iwere King of France, and I would soon be sure whetheryou did or did not.’

Caroline has been laughed at for her patronage ofsuch a poet as Duck. She had wit enough to see themerit of Gay. On her accession she offered him thehonourable post of gentleman-usher to the PrincessLouisa—a sinecure worth 200l. a-year, and a stepping-stoneto other preferment; Gay peremptorily and scornfullydeclined the offer. Accordingly, Cibber was preferredto Gay for the post of laureate. Caroline hadalways been kind to this ‘tetchy’ poet. In 1724, whenGay’s play, ‘The Captives,’ had failed on the stage, sheinvited him to read it at Leicester House. On beingushered into the august company, Gay, nervous from longwaiting, tragedy in hand, bashful and blundering, fellover a stool, thereby threw down a screen, and set hisillustrious audience in a comical sort of confusion, amidwhich the kind-hearted princess did her best to put Gayat ease in his perplexities.

The King—to return to that royal widower—indubitablymourned over his loss, and regarded with some rag,as it were, of the dignity of affection her memory, andthat with a tearful respect. He was for ever talking ofher, even to his mistress; and Lady Yarmouth (asMadame Walmoden was called), as well as others, had tolisten to the well-conned roll of her queenly virtues, andto the royal conjectures as to what the advice of Caroline369would have been in certain supervening contingencies.There was something noble in his remark, on orderingthe payment to be continued of all salaries to her officersand servants, and all her benefactions to benevolent institutions,that, if possible, nobody should suffer by her deathbut himself. We almost pity the wretched but imbecile oldman too, when we see him bursting into tears at thesight of Walpole, and confessing to him, with a helplessshaking of the hands, that he had lost the rock of hissupport, his warmest friend, his wisest counsellor, andthat henceforth he must be dreary, disconsolate, and succourless,utterly ignorant whither to turn for succour orfor sympathy.

This feeling never entirely deserted him; albeit, hecontinued to find much consolation where he had donebetter not to have sought it. Still, the old memory wouldnot entirely fade, the old fire would not entirely bequenched. ‘I hear,’ said he, once to Baron Brinkman,as he lay sleepless, at early morn, on his couch, ‘I hearyou have a portrait of my wife, which was a present fromher to you, and that it is a better likeness than any I havegot. Let me look at it.’ The portrait was brought, andso placed before the King that he could contemplate itleisurely at his ease. ‘It is like her,’ he murmured.‘Place it nearer me and leave me till I ring.’ For twowhole hours the baron remained in attendance in an adjoiningroom, before he was again summoned to hismaster’s presence. At the end of that time, he enteredthe King’s bedroom, on being called. George looked upat him, with eyes full of tears, and muttered, pointing tothe portrait: ‘Take it away; take it away! I neveryet saw the woman worthy to buckle her shoe.’ Andthen he arose, and went and breakfasted with Lady Yarmouth.

A score of years after Caroline’s death, he continued370to speak of her only with emotion. His vanity, however,disposed him to be considered gallant to the last. In1755, being at Hanover, he was waited upon by theduch*ess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and all her unmarrieddaughters. The provident and maternal duch*esshad an object, and she was not very far from accomplishingit. The King considered all these young ladies withthe speculative look both of a connoisseur and an amateur.He was especially struck by the beauty of the eldest, andhe lost no time in proposing her as a match to his grandsonand heir-apparent, George, Prince of Wales, thenin his minority. The prince, at the prompting of hismother, very peremptorily declined the honour whichhad been submitted for his acceptance, and the youngprincess, her mother, and King George were all alikeprofoundly indignant. ‘Oh!’ exclaimed the latter withardent eagerness, to Lord Waldegrave, ‘oh, that I werebut a score of years younger, this young lady should notthen have been exposed to the indignity of being refusedby the Prince of Wales, for I would then myself havemade her Queen of England!’ That is to say, that if theyoung Princess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel could only havebeen introduced to him while he was sitting under theshadow of the great sorrow which had fallen upon himby the death of Caroline, he would have found solace forhis grief by offering her his hand. However, it was nowtoo late, and the gay old monarch, taking his amber-headedcane, feebly picked his way to Lady Yarmouthand a game at ombre.

Lord Chesterfield allowed Caroline some degree offemale knowledge. If by this he would infer that shehad only a portion of the knowledge which was commonlypossessed by the ladies her contemporaries, hislordship does her great injustice. Few women of hertime were so well instructed; and she was not the less371well-taught for being in a great degree self-taught. Shemay have been but superficially endowed in matters oftheology and in ancient history; but, what compensatedat least for the latter, she was well acquainted with whatmore immediately concerned her, the history of her owntimes. Lord Chesterfield further remarks, that Carolinewould have been an agreeable woman in social life if shehad not aimed at being a great one in public life. Thiswould imply that she had doubly failed, where, in truth,she had doubly succeeded. She was agreeable in thecircle of social, and she not merely aimed at, but achieved,greatness in public life. She was as great a queen asqueen could become in England under the circ*mstancesin which she was placed. Without any constitutionalright, she ruled the country with such wisdom that herright always seemed to rest on a constitutional basis. Therewas that in her, that, had her destiny taken her to Russiainstead of England, she would have been as Catherinewas in all but her uncleanness; not that, in purity ofmind, she was very superior to Catherine the Unclean.

The following paragraph in Lord Chesterfield’s characterof Caroline is less to be contested than others inwhich the noble author has essayed to pourtray theQueen. ‘She professed wit, instead of concealing it;and valued herself on her skill in simulation and dissimulation,by which she made herself many enemies, and not onefriend, even among the women the nearest to her person.’It may very well be doubted, however, whether anysovereign ever had a ‘friend’ in the true acceptation ofthat term. It is much if they acquire an associate whoseinterest or inclination it is to be faithful; but such a personis not a friend.

Lord Chesterfield seems to warm against her as heproceeds in his picture. ‘Cunning and perfidy,’ he says,‘were the means she made use of in business, as all372women do for want of a better.’ This blow is dealt atone poor woman merely for the purpose of smiting all.Caroline, no doubt, was full of art, and on the stage ofpublic life was a mere, but most accomplished, actress.It must be remembered, too, that she was surrounded bycunning and perfidious people. Society was never sounprincipled as it was during her time; and yet, amid itsunutterable corruption, all women were not crafty andtreacherous. There were some noble exceptions; butthese did not lie much in the way of the deaf and dissoluteearl’s acquaintance.

‘She had a dangerous ambition,’ continues the sameauthor, ‘for it was attended with courage, and, if she hadlived much longer, might have proved fatal either to herselfor the constitution.’ It is courage like Caroline’swhich plucks peril from ambition, but does not indeedmake the latter less dangerous to the people; which is,perhaps, what Chesterfield means. With respect to theQueen’s religion, he says: ‘After puzzling herself inall the whimsies and fantastical speculations of differentsects, she fixed herself ultimately in Deism, believing in afuture state.’ In this he merely repeats a story, which,probably, originated with those whose views on churchquestions were of a ‘higher’ tendency than those of herMajesty. And after repeating others, he contradicts himself;for he has no sooner stated that the Queen was notan agreeable woman, because she aimed at being a greatone, than he adds, ‘Upon the whole, the agreeablewoman was liked by most people—but the Queen wasneither esteemed, beloved, nor trusted by anybody butthe King.’ At least, she was not despised by everybody;and that, considering the times in which she lived, andthe discordant parties over whom she really reigned, isno slight commendation. It is a praise which cannot beawarded to the King.


Let us add, that not only has Chesterfield said ofCaroline that she settled down to Deism, ‘believing in afuture state,’ but he has said the same, and in preciselythe same terms, of Pope and—upon Pope’s authority—ofAtterbury, Bishop of Rochester. Here is at least a doubleand, perhaps, as we should hope, a triple error.

The popular standard of morality was deplorably lowthroughout the reigns of the first two Georges. Marlboroughwas ridiculed for the unwavering fidelity andaffection which he manifested towards his wife. Therewere few husbands like him, at the time, in eitherrespect. He was satirised for being superior to almostirresistible temptations; he was laughed at for havingprayers in his camp—for turning reverently to God beforehe turned fiercely against his foes; the epigrammatists wereparticularly severe against him because he was honestenough to pay his debts and live within his income. But‘his meanness?’ Well, his meanness might rather becalled prudence; and if his censurers had nourished inthemselves something of the same quality, it would havebeen the better for themselves and their contemporaries,and, indeed, none the worse for their descendants. Oneof the alleged instances of Marlborough’s meanness iscited, in his having once played at whist with DeanJones, at which he left off the winner of sixpence. Thedean delayed to pay the stake, and the duke asked for it,stating that he wanted the sixpence for a chair to gohome in. It seems to me that the meanness rested withthe rich dean in not paying, and not with the millionaireduke in requiring to be paid.

No man ever spoke more disparagingly of Marlboroughthan his enemy, Lord Peterborough, though even he didjustice to Marlborough’s abilities; but Lord Peterboroughwas especially severe on the duke’s love of money. Thelatter spent wisely, the former squandered profusely, and374cheated his heirs. The duke in the Bath-rooms, dunninga dean for sixpence, is not so degrading a picture asPeterborough, in the Bath market, cheapening commodities,and walking about in his blue ribbon and star,with a fowl in his hand and a cabbage or a cauliflowerunder either arm. Peterborough was lewd and sensual,vain, passionate, and inconstant, a mocker of Christianity,and a remorseless transgressor of the laws of God andman. He was superior to Marlborough only in onething—in spelling. A poor boast. Compare the duke,leading a well-regulated life, and walking daily with hisGod, to Peterborough, whose only approaches to religionconsisted in his once going to hear Penn preach, becausehe ‘liked to be civil to all religions,’ and in his saying ofFenelon that he was a delicious creature, but dangerous,because acquaintance with him was apt to make menpious!

Marlborough’s favourite general, Cadogan, was oneof the ornaments of the court of George and Carolinedown to 1726. They had reason to regard him, for hewas a staunch Whig, although, as a diplomatist, he perilledwhat he was commissioned to preserve. His moralityis evidenced in his remark made when some one enquired,on the committal of Atterbury to the Tower for Jacobitedealings, what should be done with the bishop? ‘Donewith him!’ roared Cadogan; ‘throw him to the lions!’ Atterbury,on hearing of this meek suggestion, burst out withan explosion of alliterative fierceness, and denounced theearl to Pope ‘as a bold, bad, blundering, blustering,bloody bully!’ The episcopal sense of forgiveness wason a par with the sentiment of mercy which influencedthe bosom of the soldier.

But Marlborough’s social, severe, and domestic virtueswere not asked for in the commanders of following years.Thus Macartney, despite the blood upon his hand, stained375in the duel between the Duke of Hamilton and LordMohun, was made colonel of the twenty-first regimentsix years previous to the Queen’s death. General Webb,who died two years previously, was thought nothing theworse for his thrasonic propensity, and was for everboasting of his courage, and alluding to the four woundshe had received in the battle of Wynendael. ‘My deargeneral,’ said the Duke of Argyle, on one of these occasions,‘I wish you had received a fifth—in your tongue;for then everybody else would have talked of your deeds!’

Still more unfavourably shines another of the generalsof this reign. Lord Cobham did not lack bravery, buthe owed most of his celebrity to Pope. He did not carehow wicked a man was, provided only he were a gentlemanin his vices; and he was guilty of an act whichMarlborough would have contemplated with horror—namely,tried hard to make infidels of two promisingyoung gentlemen—Gilbert West, and George, subsequentlyLord, Lyttelton.

Marlborough, too, was superior in morality to Blakeney,that brave soldier and admirable dancer of Irish jigs;but who was so addicted to amiable excesses, of whichcourt and courtiers thought little at this liberal period,that he drank punch till he was paralysed. And surelyit was better, like Marlborough, to play for sixpences,than, like Wade, to build up and throw down fortunes,night after night, at the gaming-table. But there was amore celebrated general at the court of the second Georgethan the road-constructing Wade. John Dalrymple, Earlof Stair, was one of those men in high station whose actstend to the weal or woe of inferior men who imitatethem. Stair was for ever gaily allowing his expenditureto exceed his income. His sense of honour was not sokeen but that he would go in disguise among the Jacobites,profess to be of them, and betray their confidence. And376yet even Lord Stair could act with honest independence.He voted against Walpole’s Excise scheme, in 1733,although he knew that such a vote would cost him allhis honours. He was accordingly turned out from hispost of lord high admiral for Scotland. Caroline wasangry at his vote, yet sorry for its consequences. ‘Why,’said she to him, ‘why were you so silly as to thwartWalpole’s views?’ ‘Because, madam,’ was the reply,‘I wished you and your family better than to supportsuch a project.’ Stair merits, too, a word of commendationfor his protesting against the merciless conduct ofthe government with respect to the captive Jacobites;and, like Marlborough, he was of praiseworthy conductin private life, zealous for Presbyterianism, yet tolerantof all other denominations, and, by his intense attachmentto a Protestant succession, one of the most valuable supportersof the throne of George and Caroline. Both themen were consistent; but equal praise cannot be awardedto another good soldier of the period. The Duke ofArgyle, when out of office, declared that a standingarmy, in time of peace, was ever fatal either to princeor nation; subsequently, when in office, he as deliberatelymaintained that a standing army never had in any countrythe chief hand in destroying the liberties of the state.This sort of disgraceful versatility marked his entirepolitical career; and it is further said of him that he‘was meanly ambitious of emolument as a politician, andcontemptibly mercenary as a patron.’ He had, however,one rare and by no means unimportant virtue. ‘Thestrictest economy was enforced in his household, and histradesmen were punctually paid once a month.’ Thisvirtue was quite enough to purchase sneers for him inthe cabinet of King George and the court of QueenCaroline.

In the last year of the reign of that King died General377Hawley, whose severity to his soldiers acquired for himin the ranks the title of lord chief justice. An extractfrom his will may serve to show that the ‘lord chiefjustice’ had little in him of the Christian soldier. ‘Idirect and order that, as there’s now a peace, and I maydie the common way, my carcase may be put anywhere,’tis equal to me; but I will have no more expense orridiculous show than if a poor soldier, who is as good aman, were to be buried from the hospital. The priest, Iconclude, will have his fee—let the puppy take it. Paythe carpenter for the carcase-box. I give to my sister5,000l. As to my other relations, I have none who want,and as I never was married, I have no heirs; I have,therefore, long since taken it into my head to adopt oneson and heir, after the manner of the Romans; who Ihereafter name, &c.... I have written all this,’ he adds,‘with my own hand, and this I do because I hate allpriests of all professions, and have the worst opinion ofall members of the bar.’

Having glanced at these social traits of men who wereamong the foremost of those who were above the rankof mere courtiers around the throne of the husband ofCaroline, let us quit the palace, and seek for othersamples of the people and the times in the prisons, theprivate houses, and the public streets.

With regard to the prisons, it is easier to tell than toconceive the horrors even of the debtors’ prisons of thosedays. Out of them, curiously enough, arose the colonisationof the state of Georgia. General Oglethorpe havingheard that a friend named Castle, an architect by profession,had died in consequence of the hardships inflictedon him in the Fleet Prison, instituted an enquiry, by whichdiscovery was made of some most iniquitous proceedings.The unfortunate debtors, unable to pay their fees to thegaolers, who had no salary and lived upon what they378could extort from the prisoners and their friends, weresubjected to torture, chains, and starvation. The authoritiesof the prison were prosecuted, and penalties of fineand imprisonment laid upon them. A better result wasa parliamentary grant, with a public subscription andprivate donations, whereby Oglethorpe was enabled tofound a colony of liberated insolvents in Georgia. Halfof the settlers were either insolvent simply because theirricher and extravagant debtors neglected to pay theirbills; the other half were the victims of their ownextravagance.

Bad roads and ill-lighted ways are said to be proofsof indifferent civilisation when they are to be found inthe neighbourhood of great cities. If this be so, thencivilisation was not greatly advanced among us, in thisrespect, a century and a quarter ago. Thus we read thaton the 21st of November 1730, ‘the King and Queen,coming from Kew Green to St. James’s, were overturnedin their coach, near Lord Peterborough’s, at Parson’sGreen, about six in the evening, the wind having blownout the flambeaux, so that the coachman could not seehis way. But their Majesties received no hurt, nor thetwo ladies who were in the coach with them.’

If here was want of civilisation, there was positive barbarityin other matters. For instance, here is a paragraphfrom the news of the day, under date of the 10th ofJune 1731. ‘Joseph Crook, alias Sir Peter Stranger,stood in the pillory at Charing Cross, for forging a deed;and after he had stood an hour, a chair was brought tothe pillory scaffold, in which he was placed, and thehangman with a pruning-knife cut off both his ears, andwith a pair of scissors slit both his nostrils, all which hebore with much patience; but when his right nostril wasseared with a hot iron, the pain was so violent he could379not bear it; whereupon his left nostril was not seared,but he was carried bleeding to a neighbouring tavern,where he was as merry at dinner with his friends, after asurgeon had dressed his wounds, as if nothing of thekind had happened. He was afterwards imprisoned forlife in the King’s Bench, and the issues and profits of hislands were confiscated for his life, according to hissentence.’

It was the period when savage punishment was veryarbitrarily administered; and shortly after Sir Peter wasmangled, without detriment to his gaiety, at CharingCross, the gallant Captain Petre had very nearly gothanged at Constantinople. That gallant sailor andnotable courtier had entertained our ambassador, LordKinneal, on board his ship, and honoured him, on leavingthe vessel at nine o’clock at night, with a salute of fifteenguns. The Sultan happened to have gone to bed, andwas aroused from his early slumbers by the report. Hewas so enraged, that he ordered the captain to be seized,bastinadoed, and hanged; and so little were King Georgeand Queen Caroline, and England to boot, thought of inTurkey at that day, that it was with the greatest difficultythat the British ambassador could prevail on the Sultanto pardon the offender. The court laughed at the incident.Cromwell would have avenged the affront.

But we must not fancy that we were much less savagein idea or action at home. There was one John Waller,in 1732, who stood in the pillory in Seven Dials, forfalsely swearing against persons whom he accused ashighway robbers. The culprit was dreadfully peltedduring the hour he stood exposed; but at the end of thattime the mob tore him down and trampled him to death.Whether this, too, was considered a laughable matter atcourt is not so certain. Even if so, the courtiers were380soon made serious by the universal sickness which prevailedin London in the beginning of the year 1732.Headache and fever were the common symptoms; veryfew escaped, and a vast number died. In the last weekof January, not less than fifteen hundred perished of theepidemic within the bills of mortality. There had notbeen so severe a visitation since the period of the plague.But our wonder may cease that headache and fever prevailed,when we recollect that gin was being sold, contraryto law, in not less than eight thousand different places inthe metropolis, and that drunkenness was not the vice ofthe lower orders only.

It has been truly said of Queen Caroline that, with allher opportunities, she never abused the power which sheheld over the King’s mind, by employing it for the promotionof her own friends and favourites. This, however,is but negative, or questionable praise. There is,too, an anecdote extant, the tendency of which is to showthat she was somewhat given to the enjoyment of uncontrolledlyexercising the power she had attained forher personal purposes. She had prepared plans forenclosing St. James’s Park, shutting out the public, andkeeping it for the exclusive pleasure of herself and theroyal family. It was by mere chance, when she hadmatured her plans, that she asked a nobleman connectedwith the Board which then attended to what our Boardof Woods and Forests neglects, what the carrying out ofsuch a plan might cost. ‘Madam,’ said the witty andright-seeing functionary, ‘such a plan might cost threecrowns.’ Caroline was as ready of wit as he, and notonly understood the hint, but showed she could apply it,by abandoning her intention.

And yet, she doubtless did so with regret, for gardensand their arrangement were her especial delight; and she381did succeed in taking a portion of Hyde Park from thepublic, and throwing the same into Kensington Gardens.The Queen thought she compensated for depriving thepublic of land by giving them more water. There was arivulet which ran through the park; and this she converted,by help from Hampstead streams and landdrainage near at hand, into what is so magniloquentlystyled the Serpentine river. It is not a river, nor is itserpentine, except by a slight twist of the imagination.

This Queen was equally busy with her gardens atRichmond and at Kew. The King used to praise her foreffecting great wonders at little cost; but she contrivedto squeeze contributions from the ministry, of which themonarch knew nothing. She had a fondness, too, ratherthan a taste, for garden architecture, and was given tobuild grottoes and crowd them with statues. The drolljuxtaposition into which she brought the counterfeit presentmentsof defunct sages, warriors, and heroes causedmuch amusem*nt to the beholders generally.

There was one child of George and Caroline moreespecially anxious than any other to afford her widowedfather consolation on the death of the Queen. Thatchild was the haughty Anne, Princess of Orange. Shehad strong, but most unreasonable, hopes of succeedingto the influence which had so long been enjoyed by herroyal mother; and she came over in hot haste fromHolland, on the plea of benefiting her health, which wasthen in a precarious state. The King, however, wasquite a match for his ambitious and presuming child, andperemptorily rejected her proffered condolence. Thiswas done with such prompt decision, that the princesswas compelled to return to Holland immediately. TheKing would not allow her, it is said, to pass a secondnight in the metropolis. He probably remembered her382squabbles with his father’s ‘favourite,’ Miss Brett; andthe disconsolate man was not desirous of having hispeace disturbed by the renewal of similar scenes with hisown ‘favourite,’ Lady Yarmouth.

Of all the eulogies passed upon Caroline, few were soprofuse in their laudation as that contained in a sermonpreached before the council at Boston, in America, by theRev. Samuel Mather. There was not a virtue knownwhich the transatlantic chaplain did not attribute to her.As woman, the minister pronounced her perfect; asqueen, she was that and sublime to boot. As regent,she possessed, for the time, the King’s wisdom added toher own. Good Mr. Mather, too, is warrant for the soundnessof her faith; and he applied to her the words inJudith: ‘There was none that gave her an ill word, forshe feared God greatly.’

William III. is recorded as having said of his consort,Mary, that if he could believe any mortal was born withoutthe contagion of sin, he would believe it of thequeen. Upon citing which passage, the Bostonian exclaims:‘And oh, gracious Caroline, thy respected consortwas ready to make the same observation of thee; sopure, so chaste, so religious wast thou, and so in all goodthings exemplary, amidst the excesses of a magnificentcourt, and in an age of luxury and wantonness!’ And hethus proceeds: ‘The pious Queen was constant at hersecret devotions; and she loved the habitation of God’shouse; and from regard to the divine institutions, withdelight and steadiness attended on them. And as sheesteemed and practised every duty of piety towards theAlmighty, so she detested and frowned on every personand thing that made but an appearance of what waswicked and impious. As she performed every dutyincumbent on her towards her beloved subjects, so she383deeply reverenced the King; and while his Majestyhonours her and will grieve for her to his last moments,her royal offspring rise up and call her blessed.’

‘Seven are the children,’ said the preacher, ‘whichshe has left behind her. These, like the noble RomanCornelia, she took to be her chief ornaments. Accordingly,it was both her care and her pleasure to improvetheir minds and form their manners, that so they mighthereafter prove blessings to the nation and the world.What a lovely, heavenly sight must it have been to beholdthe majestic royal matron, with her faithful andobsequious offspring around her! So the planetary orbsabout the sun gravitate towards it, keep their properdistance from it, and receive from it the measures oflight and influence respectively belonging to them. Suchwas—oh, fatal grief!—such was the late most excellentQueen.’

The issue of the marriage of Caroline and George II.comprised four sons and five daughters—namely, FrederickLouis, Prince of Wales, born January 20, 1706;Anne, Princess of Orange, born October 22, 1708; AmeliaSophia, born June 10, 1711; Caroline Elizabeth, bornMay 31, 1713; William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland,born April 15, 1721; the Princess Mary, born February22, 1723; the Princess Louisa, born December 7, 1724.All these survived the Queen. There was also a princeborn in November 1716, who did not survive his birth;and George William, Duke of Gloucester, born November2, 1717, who died in February of the year following.

At the funeral of Caroline, which was called ‘decentlyprivate,’ but which was, in truth, marked by much splendourand ceremony, not the King, but the PrincessAmelia, acted as chief mourner; and the anthem,‘The Ways of Zion do mourn,’ was ‘set to Musick by384Mr. Handell.’ Of all the verses poured out on the occasionof her death, two specimens are subjoined. Theyshow how the Queen was respectively dealt with by theDemocritus and Heracl*tus of her subjects:—

Here lies, lamented by the poor and great—

(Prop of the Church, and glory of the State)—

A woman, late a mighty monarch’s queen,

Above all flattery, and above all spleen;

Loved by the good, and hated by the evil,

Pursued, now dead, by satire and the devil.

With steadfast zeal (which kindled in her youth)

A foe to bigotry, a friend to truth;

Too generous for the lust of lawless rule,

Nor Persecution’s nor Oppression’s tool:

In Locke’s, in Clarke’s, in Hoadley’s paths she trod,

Nor fear’d to follow where they follow’d God.

To all obliging and to all sincere,

Wise to choose friendships, firm to persevere.

Free without rudeness; great without disdain;

An hypocrite in nought but hiding pain.

To courts she taught the rules of just expence,

Join’d with economy, magnificence;

Attention to a kingdom’s vast affairs,

Attention to the meanest mortal’s cares;

Profusion might consume, or avarice hoard,

’Twas hers to feed, unknown, the scanty board.

Thus, of each human excellence possess’d,

With as few faults as e’er attend the best;

Dear to her lord, to all her children dear,

And (to the last her thought, her conscience clear)

Forgiving all, forgiven and approved,

To peaceful worlds her peaceful soul removed.

The above panegyric was drawn up as a reply to anepitaph of another character, which was then in circulation,from the pen of a writer who contemplated his subjectin another point of view. It was to this effect:—

Here lies unpitied, both by Church and State,

The subject of their flattery and hate;

Flatter’d by those on whom her favours flow’d,

Hated for favours impiously bestow’d;

Who aim’d the Church by Churchmen to betray,

And hoped to share in arbitrary sway.


In Tindal’s and in Hoadley’s paths she trod,

An hypocrite in all but disbelief in God.

Promoted luxury, encouraged vice,

Herself a sordid slave to avarice.

True friendship’s tender love ne’er touch’d her heart,

Falsehood appear’d in vice disguised by art.

Fawning and haughty; when familiar, rude;

And never civil seem’d but to delude.

Inquisitive in trifling, mean affairs,

Heedless of public good or orphan’s tears;

To her own offspring mercy she denied,

And, unforgiving, unforgiven died.



Success of Admiral Vernon—Royal visit to ‘Bartlemy Fair’—Party-spiritruns high about the King and Prince—Lady Pomfret—The mad duch*essof Buckingham—Anecdote of Lady Sundon—Witty remark of LadyMary Wortley—Fracas at Kensington Palace—The battle of Dettingen—Aprecocious child—Marriage of Princess Mary—A new opposition—PrinceGeorge—Lady Yarmouth installed at Kensington—Death ofPrince Frederick—Conduct of the King on hearing of this event—BubbDodington’s extravagant grief—The funeral scant—Conduct of thewidowed Princess—Opposition of the Prince to the King not undignified—Jacobiteepitaph on the Prince—The Prince’s rebuke for frivolousjeer on Lady Huntingdon—The Prince’s patronage of literary men—LadyArchibald Hamilton, the Prince’s favourite—The Prince and theQuakers—Anecdote of Prince George—Princely appreciation of LadyHuntingdon.

The era of peace ended with Caroline. Walpole endeavouredto prolong the era, but Spanish aggressionsagainst the English flag in South America drove theministry into a war. The success of Vernon at PortoBello rendered the war highly popular. The public enthusiasmwas sustained by Anson, but it was materiallylowered by our defeat at Carthagena, which prepared theway for the downfall of the minister of Caroline. Numerousand powerful were the opponents of Walpole, andno section of them exhibited more fierceness or betterorganisation than that of which the elder son of Carolinewas the founder and great captain.

Frederick, however, was versatile enough to be ableto devote as much time to pleasure as to politics.


As the roué Duke of Orleans, when regent, and indeedbefore he exercised that responsible office, was given tostroll with his witty but graceless followers, and a bandof graceful but witless ladies, through the fairs of St.Laurent and St. Germain, tarrying there till midnight to seeand hear the drolleries of ‘Punch’ and the plays of thepuppets, so the princes of the royal blood of Englandcondescended, with much alacrity, to perambulate BartholomewFair, and to enjoy the delicate amusem*ntsthen and there provided. An anonymous writer, somethirty years ago, inserted in the ‘New European Magazine,’from an older publication, an account of a royalvisit, in 1740, to the ancient revels of St. Bartholomew.In this amusing record we are told, that ‘the multitudebehind was impelled violently forwards, and a broad blazeof red light, issuing from a score of flambeaux, streamedinto the air. Several voices were loudly shouting, ‘Roomthere for Prince Frederick! make way for the Prince!’and there was that long sweep heard to pass over theground which indicates the approach of a grand and ceremonioustrain. Presently the pressure became muchgreater, the voices louder, the light stronger, and, as thetrain came onward, it might be seen that it consisted,firstly of a party of yeomen of the guards clearing theway; then several more of them bearing flambeaux, andflanking the procession; while in the midst of all appeareda tall, fair, and handsome young man, having somethingof a plump foreign visage, seemingly about four-and-thirtyyears of age, dressed in a ruby-coloured frock-coat, veryrichly guarded with gold lace, and having his long flowinghair curiously curled over his forehead and at thesides, and finished with a very large bag and courtlyqueue behind. The air of dignity with which he walked;the blue ribbon and star-and-garter with which he was decorated;the small, three-cornered, silk court-hat which he388wore while all around him were uncovered; the numeroussuite, as well of gentlemen as of guards, which marshalledhim along; the obsequious attention of a short stoutperson who, by his flourishing manner, seemed to be aplayer: all these particulars indicated that the amiableFrederick, Prince of Wales, was visiting Bartholomew Fairby torchlight, and that Manager Rich was introducing hisroyal guest to all the amusem*nts of the place. Howeverstrange,’ adds the author, ‘this circ*mstance may appearto the present generation, yet it is nevertheless strictlytrue; for about 1740, when the revels of Smithfield wereextended to three weeks and a month, it was not consideredderogatory to persons of the first rank and fashionto partake in the broad humour and theatrical entertainmentsof the place.’

In the following year the divisions between the Kingand the prince made party-spirit run high, and he whofollowed the sire very unceremoniously denounced theson. To such a one there was a court at St. James’s, butnone at Carlton House. Walpole tells a story whichillustrates at once this feeling and the sort of wit possessedby the courtiers of the day. ‘Somebody who belongedto the Prince of Wales said he was going to court. Itwas objected, that he ought to say “going to CarltonHouse;” that the only court is where the King resides.Lady Pomfret, with her paltry air of learning and absurdity,said, “Oh, Lord! is there no court in England butthe King’s? sure, there are many more! There is theCourt of Chancery, the Court of Exchequer, the Court ofKing’s Bench, &c.” Don’t you love her? Lord Lincolndoes her daughter.’ Lord Lincoln, the nephew of theDuke of Newcastle, the minister, was a frequenter of St.James’s, and, says Horace, ‘not only his uncle-duke, buteven Majesty is fallen in love with him. He talkedto the King at his levée without being spoken to. That389was always thought high treason, but I don’t know howthe gruff gentleman liked it.’ The gruff gentleman wasthe King, and the phrase paints him at a stroke, like oneof Cruikshank’s lines, by which not only is a figure drawn,but expression given to it.

The prince’s party, combined with other opponents,effected the overthrow of Caroline’s favourite minister,Walpole, in 1742. The succeeding cabinet, at the headof which was Lord Wilmington, did not very materiallydiffer in principles and measures from that of their predecessors.In the same year died Caroline’s otherfavourite, Lady Sundon, mistress of the robes.

‘Lord Sundon is in great grief,’ says Walpole. ‘I amsurprised, for she has had fits of madness ever since herambition met such a check by the death of the Queen.She had great power with her, though the Queen affectedto despise her; but had unluckily told her, or fallen intoher power by, some secret. I was saying to Lady Pomfret,“To be sure she is dead very rich.” She repliedwith some warmth, “She never took money.” When Icame home I mentioned this to Sir Robert. “No,” saidhe, “but she took jewels. Lord Pomfret’s place of masterof the horse to the Queen was bought of her for a pairof diamond ear-rings, of fourteen hundred pounds value.”One day that she wore them at a visit at old Marlbro’s,as soon as she was gone, the duch*ess said to Lady MaryWortley, “How can that woman have the impudence togo about in that bribe?” “Madam,” said Lady Mary,“how would you have people know where wine is to besold unless there is a sign hung out?” Sir Robert toldme that in the enthusiasm of her vanity, Lady Sundonhad proposed to him to unite with her and govern thekingdom together: he bowed, begged her patronage, but,he said, he thought nobody fit to govern the kingdom butthe King and Queen.’ That King, unsustained by his390consort, appears to have become anxious to be reconciledwith his son the Prince of Wales, at this time, when reportsof a Stuart rebellion began to be rife, and when theatricalaudiences applied passages in plays, in a favourablesense to the prince. The reconciliation was effected; butit was clumsily contrived, and was coldly and awkwardlyconcluded. An agent from the King induced the princeto open the way by writing to his father. This was astep which the prince was reluctant to take, and whichhe only took at last with the worst possible grace. Theletter reached the King late at night, and on reading ithe appointed the following day for the reception ofFrederick, who, with five gentlemen of his court, repairedto St. James’s, where he was received by ‘the gruff gentleman’in the drawing-room. The yielding sire simplyasked him, ‘How does the princess do? I hope she iswell.’ The dutiful son answered the query, kissed thepaternal hand, and respectfully, as far as outward demonstrationcould evidence it, took his leave. He did notdepart, however, until he had distinguished those courtierspresent whom he held to be his friends by speaking tothem; the rest he passed coldly by. As the reconciliationwas accounted of as an accomplished fact, and as theKing had condescended to speak a word or two to some ofthe most intimate friends of his son; and finally, as the entireroyal family went together to the duch*ess of Norfolk’s,where ‘the streets were illuminated and bonfired;’ therewas a great passing to and fro of courtiers of either factionbetween St. James’s and Carlton House. Secker,who went to the latter residence with Benson, Bishop ofGloucester, to pay his respects, says that the prince andprincess were civil to both of them.

The reconciliation was worth an additional fifty thousandpounds a-year to the prince, so that obedience to afather could hardly be more munificently rewarded.391‘He will have money now,’ says Walpole, ‘to tune upGlover, and Thomson, and Dodsley again:—

Et spes et ratio studiorum in Cæsare tantum.’

There was much outward show of gladness at thiscourt, pageants and ‘reviews to gladden the heart ofDavid and triumphs of Absalom,’ as Walpole styles hisMajesty and the heir-apparent. The latter, with theprincess, went ‘in great parade through the city and thedust to dine at Greenwich. They took water at theTower, and trumpeting away to Grace Tosier’s—

Like Cimon, triumphed over land and wave.’

In another direction, there were some lively proceedings,which would have amused Caroline herself. Tranquiland dull as Kensington Palace looks, its apartmentswere occasionally the scene of more rude than royalfracas. Thus we are told of one of the daughters of theKing pulling a chair from under the Countess Deloraine,just as that not too exemplary lady was about to sit downto cards. His Majesty laughed at the lady’s tumble, atwhich she was so doubly pained, that, watching for revengeand opportunity, she contrived to give the Sovereignjust such another fall. The sacred person of the Kingwas considerably bruised, and the trick procured nothingmore for the countess than exclusion from court, whereher place of favour was exclusively occupied by MadameWalmoden, Countess of Yarmouth.

We often hear of the wits of one era being the butts ofthe next, and without wit enough left to escape the shaftslet fly at them. Walpole thus describes a drawing-roomheld at St. James’s, to which some courtiers resorted inthe dresses they had worn under Queen Anne. ‘Therewere so many new faces,’ says Horace, ‘that I scarceknew where I was; I should have taken it for CarltonHouse, or my Lady Mayoress’s visiting day, only the392people did not seem enough at home, but rather asadmitted to see the King dine in public. It is quiteridiculous to see the number of old ladies, who, fromhaving been wives of patriots, have not been dressed thesetwenty years; out they come with all the accoutrementsthat were in use in Queen Anne’s days. Then the joy andawkward jollity of them is inexpressible; they titter, and,wherever you meet them, are always going to court,and looking at their watches an hour before the time. Imet several at the birth-day, and they were dressed in allthe colours of the rainbow; they seem to have said tothemselves twenty years ago: “Well; if I ever do goto court again, I will have a pink and silver, or a blueand silver,” and they kept their resolutions.’

The English people had now been long looking towardsthat great battle-field of Europe, Flanders, minglingmemories of past triumphs with hopes of future victories.George II. went heartily into the cause of Maria Theresa,when the French sought to deprive her of her imperialinheritance. In the campaign which ensued was foughtthat battle of Dettingen which Lord Stair so nearly lost,where George behaved so bravely, mounted or a-foot,and where the Scots Greys enacted their bloody andtriumphant duel with the gens-d’arme of France.

Meanwhile, Frederick was unemployed. When theKing and the Duke of Cumberland proceeded to the armyin Flanders, a regency was formed, of which Walpolesays, ‘I think the prince might have been of it when LordGower is. I don’t think the latter more Jacobite than hisroyal highness.’

When the King and the duke returned from theirtriumphs on the Continent, the former younger for hisachievements, the latter older by the gout and an accompanyinglimp, London gave them a reception worthyof the most renowned of heroes. In proportion as the393King saw himself popular with the citizens did he cooltowards the Prince of Wales. The latter, with his twosisters, stood on the stairs of St. James’s Palace to receivethe chief hero; but though the princess was only confinedthe day before, and Prince George lay ill of the small-pox,the King passed by his son without offering him aword or otherwise noticing him. This rendered the Kingunpopular, without turning the popular affection towardsthe elder son of Caroline. Nor was that son deserving ofsuch affection. His heart had few sympathies for England,nor was he elated by her victories or made sad by herdefeats. On the contrary, in 1745, when the news arrivedin England of the ‘tristis gloria,’ the illustrious disaster atFontenoy, which made so many hearts in England desolate,Frederick went to the theatre in the evening, andtwo days after, he wrote a French ballad, ‘Bacchic, Anacreontic,and Erotic,’ addressed to those ladies with whomhe was going to act in Congreve’s masque, ‘The Judgmentof Paris.’ It was full of praise of late and deep drinking,of intercourse with the fair, of stoical contempt for misfortune,of expressed indifference whether Europe had oneor many tyrants, and of a pococurantism for all thingsand forms except his chère Sylvie, by whom he wasgood-naturedly supposed to mean his wife. But thissolitary civility cannot induce us to change our self-gratulationat the fact that a man with such a heart wasnot permitted to ascend the throne of Great Britain. Inthe year after he wrote the ballad alluded to, he created anew opposition against the crown, by the counsels of LordBath, ‘who got him from Lord Granville: the latter and hisfaction acted with the court.’ Of the princess, Walpolesays, ‘I firmly believe, by all her quiet sense, she will turnout a Caroline.’

In this year, 1743, died that favourite of George I.who more than any other woman had enjoyed in his394household and heart the place which should have belongedto his wife Sophia Dorothea. Mademoiselle von derSchulenburg, of the days of the Electorate, died duch*essof Kendal by favour of the King of England, and Princessof Eberstein by favour of the Emperor of Germany. Shedied at the age of eighty-five, immensely rich. Her wealthwas inherited by her so-called ‘niece,’ Lady Walsingham,who married Lord Chesterfield. ‘But I believe,’ saysWalpole, ‘that he will get nothing by the duch*ess’sdeath—but his wife. She lived in the house with theduch*ess, where he had played away all his credit.’

George loved to hear his Dettingen glories eulogisedin annual odes sung before him. But, brave as he was,he had not much cause for boasting. The Dettingenlaurels were changed into cypress at Fontenoy by theDuke of Cumberland in 1744, whose suppression of theScottish rebellion in 1745 gained for him more credit thanhe deserved. The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, by which ourContinental war was concluded in 1748, gave peace toEngland, but little or no glory.

The intervening years were years of interest to someof the children of Caroline. Thus, in June 1746, thePrince of Hesse came over to England to marry the seconddaughter of Caroline, the Princess Mary. He was royallyentertained; but on one occasion met with an accidentwhich Walpole calls ‘a most ridiculous tumble t’othernight at the opera. They had not pegged up his boxtight after the ridotto, and down he came on all fours.George Selwyn says he carried it off with an unembarrassedcountenance.’

In a year Mary was glad to escape from the brutalityof her husband and repair to England, under pretext ofbeing obliged to drink the Bath waters. She was an especialfavourite with her brother, the Duke of Cumberland,and with the Princess Caroline.


The result of this marriage gave little trouble to theKing. He was much more annoyed when the Prince ofWales formally declared a new opposition (in 1747),which was never to subside till he was on the throne.‘He began it pretty handsomely, the other day,’ saysWalpole, ‘with 143 to 184, which has frightened theministry like a bomb. This new party wants nothingbut heads; though not having any,’ says Horace, wittily,‘to be sure the struggle is fairer.’ It was led by LordBaltimore, a man with ‘a good deal of jumbled knowledge.’The spirit of the father certainly dwelt in someof his children. The King, we are told, sent Steinberg,on one occasion, to examine the prince’s children in theirlearning. The boy, Prince Edward, acquitted himselfwell in his Latin grammar, but Steinberg told him that itwould please his Majesty and profit the prince, if thelatter would attend more to attain proficiency in the Germanlanguage. ‘German, German!’ said the boy; ‘any dullchild can learn that!’ The prince, as he said it, ‘squinted’at the baron, and the baron was doubtless but littleflattered by the remark or the look of the boy. TheKing was probably as surprised and as little pleased tohear the remark as he was a few months later to discoverthat the Prince of Wales and the Jacobite party hadunited in a combined parliamentary opposition againstthe government. However, Prince Edward’s remark andthe Prince of Wales’s opposition did not prevent the Kingfrom conferring the Order of the Garter on the littlePrince George in 1749. The youthful knight, afterwardsKing of England, was carried in his father’s arms to thedoor of the King’s closet. There the Duke of Dorsetreceived him, and carried him to the King. The boythen commenced a speech, which had been taught him byhis tutor, Ayscough, Dean of Bristol. His father nosooner heard the oration commenced, than he interrupted396its progress by a vehement ‘No, no!’ The boy, embarrassed,stopped short; then, after a moment of hesitation,recommenced his complimentary harangue; but, with theopening words, again came the prohibitory ‘No, no!’ fromthe prince, and thus was the eloquence of the youngchevalier rudely silenced.

But it was not only the peace of the King, his verypalaces were put in peril at this time. The installation ofLady Yarmouth at Kensington, after the fracas occasionedby Lady Deloraine, had nearly resulted in the destructionof the palace. Lady Yarmouth resided in the room whichhad been occupied by Lady Suffolk, who disregardeddamp, and cared nothing for the crop of fungi raised by itin her room. Not so Lady Yarmouth, at least after shehad contracted an ague. She then kept up such a firethat the woodwork caught, and destruction to the edificewas near upon following. There were vacant chambersenough, and sufficiently comfortable; but the King wouldnot allow them to be inhabited, even by his favourite.‘The King hoards all he can,’ writes Walpole, ‘and haslocked up half the palace since the Queen’s death; so hedoes at St. James’s; and I believe would put the roomsout at interest if he could get a closet a-year for them.’

The division which had again sprung up between sireand son daily widened until death relieved the former of hispermanent source of vexation. This event took place in1751. Some few years previous to that period, the Princeof Wales, when playing at tennis or cricket, at Cliefden,received a blow from a ball, which gave him some pain,but of which he thought little. It was neglected; and oneresult of such neglect was a permanent weakness of thelungs. In the early part of this year he had suffered frompleurisy, but had recovered—at least, partially recovered.A previous fall from his horse had rendered him morethan usually delicate. Early in March he had been in397attendance at the House of Lords on occasion of the King,his father, giving his royal sanction to some bills. Thisdone, the prince returned, much heated, in a chair withthe windows down, to Carlton House. He changed hisdress, put on light, unaired clothing, and, as if that had notbeen perilous enough, he had the madness, after hurryingto Kew and walking about the gardens there in veryinclement weather, to lie down for three hours after hisreturn to Carlton House, upon a couch in a very coldroom which opened upon the gardens. Lord Egmontalluded to the danger of such a course; the prince laughedat the thought. He was as obstinate as his father, towhom Sir Robert Walpole once observed, on finding himequally intractable during a fit of illness, ‘Sir, do youknow what your father died of? Of thinking he couldnot die.’ The prince removed to Leicester House. Heridiculed good counsel, and before the next morning his lifewas in danger. He rallied, and during one of his hours ofleast suffering he sent for his eldest son, and, embracinghim with tenderness, remarked, ‘Come, George, let us begood friends while we are permitted to be so.’ Threephysicians, with Wilmot and Hawkins, the surgeons, werein constant attendance upon him, and, curiously enough,their united wisdom pronounced that the prince was outof danger only the day before he died. Then came arelapse, an eruption of the skin, a marked difficulty ofbreathing, and an increase of cough. Still he was notconsidered in danger. Some members of his family wereat cards in the adjacent room, and Desnoyers, the celebrateddancing-master, who, like St. Leon, was as good aviolinist as he was a dancer, was playing the violin at theprince’s bedside, when the latter was seized with a violentfit of coughing. When this had ceased, Wilmot expresseda hope that his royal patient would be better, and wouldpass a quiet night. Hawkins detected symptoms which398he thought of great gravity. The cough returned withincreased violence, and Frederick, placing his hand uponhis stomach, murmured feebly, ‘Je sens la mort!’ (‘Ifeel death!’). Desnoyers held him up, and feeling himshiver, exclaimed, ‘The prince is going!’ At that momentthe Princess of Wales was at the foot of the bed: shecaught up a candle, rushed to the head of the bed, and,bending down over her husband’s face, she saw that hewas dead.

So ended the wayward life of the elder son of Caroline;so terminated the married life of him, which began so gailywhen he was gliding about the crowd in his nuptial chamber,in a gown and night-cap of silver tissue. The burstingof an imposthume between the pericardium and diaphragm,the matter of which fell upon the lungs, suddenlykilled him whom the heralds called ‘high and mightyprince,’ and the heir to a throne lay dead in the arms of aFrench fiddler. Les extrêmes se touchent!—though Desnoyers,be it said, was quite as honest a man as his master.

Intelligence of the death of his son was immediatelyconveyed to George II., by Lord North. The King wasat Kensington, and when the messenger stood at hisside and communicated in a whisper the doleful news,his Majesty was looking over a card-table at which theplayers were the Princess Amelia, the duch*ess of Dorset,the Duke of Grafton, and the Countess of Yarmouth. Heturned to the messenger, and merely remarked in a lowvoice, ‘Dead, is he? Why, they told me he was better;’and then going round to his mistress, the Countess of Yarmouth,he very calmly observed to her, ‘Countess, Fredis gone!’ And that was all the sorrow expressed by afather at the loss of a first-born boy, who had outlived hisfather’s love. The King, however, sent kind messages tothe widow, who exhibited on the occasion much courageand sense.


As the prince died without priestly aid, so was hisfuneral unattended by a single bishop to do him honour orpay him respect. With the exception of Frederick’s ownhousehold and the lords appointed to hold the pall, ‘therewas not present one English lord, not one bishop, and onlyone Irish peer (Limerick), two sons of dukes, one baron’sson, and two privy councillors.’ It was not that want ofrespect was intentional, but that no due notice was issuedfrom any office as to the arrangement of the funeral. Thebody was carried from the House of Lords to WestminsterAbbey, but without a canopy, and the funeral service wasperformed, undignified by either anthem or organ.

But the prince’s friend, Bubb Dodington, poured outa sufficient quantity of expressed grief to serve the entirenation, and make up for all lack of ceremony or of sorrowelsewhere. In a letter to Mann, he swore that the princewas the delight, ornament, and expectation of the world.In losing him the wretched had lost their refuge, balm,and shelter. Art, science, and grace had to deplore theloss of a patron, and in that loss a remedy for the ills ofsociety had perished also! ‘Bubb de Tristibus’ goes onto say, that he had lost more than any other man by thedeath of the prince, seeing that his highness had condescendedto stoop to him, and be his own familiar friend.Bubb protested that if he ever allowed the wounds of hisgrief to heal he should be for ever infamous, and finallyrunning a-muck with his figures of speech, he declares—‘Ishould be unworthy of all consolation if I was not inconsolable.’This is the spirit of a partisan; but, on the otherside, the spirit of party was never exhibited in a moremalignantly petty aspect than on the occasion of the deathof the prince. The gentlemen of his bedchamber wereordered to be in attendance near the body, from ten in themorning till the conclusion of the funeral. The government,however, would order them no refreshment, and the400Board of Green Cloth would provide them with none, withoutsuch order. Even though princes die, il faut que toutle monde vive; and accordingly these poor gentlemen sentto a neighbouring tavern and gave orders for a cold dinnerto be furnished them. The authorities were too tardilyashamed of thus insulting faithful servants of rank anddistinction, and commanded the necessary refreshments tobe provided. They were accepted, but the tavern dinnerwas paid for and given to the poor.

The widowed Augusta, who had throughout her marriedlife exhibited much mental superiority, with greatkindness of disposition, and that under circ*mstances ofgreat difficulty, and sometimes of a character to inflictvexation on the calmest nature, remained in the room bythe side of the corpse of her husband for full four hours,unwilling to believe in the assurances given her that he wasreally dead. She was then the mother of eight children,expecting to be shortly the mother of a ninth, and she wasbrought reluctantly to acknowledge that their father wasno more. It was six in the morning before her attendantscould persuade her to retire to bed; but she rose again ateight, and then, with less thought for her grief than anxietyfor the honour of him whose death was the cause of it, sheproceeded to the prince’s room and burned the whole ofhis private papers. By this action the world lost somerare supplementary chapters to a Chronique Scandaleuse.

The death of Frederick disconcerted all the measuresof intriguing men, and brought about a great change inthe councils of the court as of the factions opposed to thecourt. ‘The death of our prince,’ wrote Whitfield, ‘hasafflicted you. It has given me a shock; but the Lordreigneth, and that is my comfort.’ The duch*ess of Somerset,writing to Dr. Doddridge, says on the same subject:‘Providence seems to have directed the blow where wethought ourselves the most secure; for among the many401schemes of hopes and fears which people were laying downto themselves, this was never mentioned as a supposableevent. The harmony which appears to subsist betweenhis Majesty and the Princess of Wales is the best supportfor the spirits of the nation under their present concernand astonishment. He died in the forty-fifth year of hisage, and is generally allowed to have been a prince ofamiable and generous disposition, of elegant manners, andof considerable talents.’

The opposition which the prince had maintainedagainst the government of the father who had provokedhim to it was not undignified. Unlike his sire, he did not‘hate both bainting and boetry;’ and painters and poetswere welcome at his court, as were philosophers and statesmen.It was only required that they should be adverseto Walpole. Among them were the able and urbane wits,Chesterfield and Carteret, Pulteney and Sir William Wyndham;the aspiring young men, Pitt, Lyttelton, and theGrenvilles: Swift, Pope, and Thomson lent their namesand pens to the prince’s service; while astute and fieryBolingbroke aimed to govern in the circle where he affectedto serve.

All the reflections made upon the death of the princewere not so simple of quality as those of the duch*ess ofSomerset. Horace Walpole cites a preacher at MayfairChapel, who ‘improved’ the occasion after this not verysatisfactory or conclusive fashion: ‘He had no great parts,but he had great virtues—indeed, they degenerated intovices. He was very generous; but I hear his generosityhas ruined a great many people; and then, his condescensionwas such that he kept very bad company.’ Not lessknown, and yet claiming a place here, is the smart Jacobiteepitaph, so little flattering to the dead, that had all Spartanepitaphs been as little laudatory, the Ephori would have402never issued a decree entirely prohibiting them. It wasto this effect:

Here lies Fred,

Who was alive and is dead!

Had it been his father,

I had much rather.

Had it been his brother,

Still better than another.

Had it been his sister,

No one could have missed her.

Had it been the whole generation,

Still better for the nation:

But since ’tis only Fred,

Who was alive and is dead,

There is no more to be said.

I have not mentioned among those who were the frequentersof his court the name of Lady Huntingdon. Frederickhad the good sense to appreciate Lady Huntingdon, andhe did not despise her because of a little misdirected enthusiasm.On missing her from his circle, he enquired of the gay,but subsequently the godly, Lady Charlotte Edwin, whereLady Huntingdon could be, that he no longer saw her at hiscourt. ‘Oh, I dare say,’ exclaimed the unconcerned LadyCharlotte—‘I dare say she is praying with her beggars!’Frederick had the good sense and the courage to turnsharply round upon her, and say: ‘Lady Charlotte, whenI am dying I think I shall be happy to seize the skirt ofLady Huntingdon’s mantle to lift me up to Heaven.’ Thisphrase was not forgotten when the adapter of Cibber’s‘Nonjuror’ turned that play into the ‘Hypocrite,’ and,introducing the fanatic Mawworm, put into his mouth asentiment uttered for the sake of the laugh which it neverfailed to raise, but which originated, in sober sadness, withFrederick, Prince of Wales.

The character of Caroline’s son was full of contradictions.He had low tastes, but he also possessedthose of a gentleman and a prince. When the ‘Rambler’first appeared, he so enjoyed its stately wisdom that he403sought after the author, in order to serve him if he neededservice. His method of ‘serving’ an author was not merelip compliment. Pope, indeed, might be satisfied withreceiving from him a complimentary visit at Twickenham.The poet there was on equal terms with the prince; andwhen the latter asked how it was that the author whohurled his shafts against kings could be so friendly towardsthe son of a king, Pope somewhat pertly answered, thathe who dreaded the lion might safely enough fondle thecub. But Frederick could really be princely to authors;and what is even more, he could do a good action gracefully,an immense point where there is a good action to bedone. Thus to Tindal he sent a gold medal worth fortyguineas; and to dry and dusty Glover, for whose ‘Leonidas’he had much respect, he sent a note for 500l. when thepoet was in difficulties. This handsome gift, too, was sentunasked. The son of song was honoured and not humiliatedby the gift. It does not matter whether Lyttelton,or any one else, taught him to be the patron of literatureand literary men; it is to his credit that he recognisedthem, acknowledged their services, and saw them withpleasure at his little court, often giving them precedenceover those whose greatness was the mere result of theaccident of birth.

The prince not only protected poets but he wooed theMuses. Those shy ladies, however, loved him none thebetter for being a benefactor to their acknowledged children.The rhymes of Frederick were generally devoted tothe ecstatic praises of his wife. The matter was good, butthe manner was execrable. The lady deserved all thatwas said, but her virtues merited a more gracefully skilfuleulogist. The reasoning was perfect, but the rhymeshalted abominably. But how could it be otherwise?Apollo himself would not stoop to inspire a writer who,while piling up poetical compliments above the head of his404blameless wife, was paying adoration, at all events not lesssincere, to most worthless ladies of the court? Theapparently exemplary father within the circle of home,where presided a beautiful mother over a bright youngfamily, was a wretched libertine outside of that circle. Hissin was great, and his taste of the vilest. His ‘favourites’had nothing of youth, beauty, or intellect to distinguishthem, or to serve for the poor apology of infidelity. LadyArchibald Hamilton was plain and in years when sheenjoyed her bad pre-eminence. Miss Vane was impudent,and a maid of honour by office; nothing else: whileLady Middlesex was ‘short and dark, like a cold winter’sday,’ and as yellow as a November morning. Notwithstandingthis, he played the father and husband well. Heloved to have his children with him, always appeared mosthappy when in the bosom of his family, left them withregret, and met them again with smiles, kisses, and tears.He walked the streets unattended, to the great delight ofthe people; was the presiding Apollo at great festivals,conferred the prizes at rowings and racings, and talkedfamiliarly with Thames fishermen on the mysteries oftheir craft. He would enter the cottages of the poor,listen with patience to their twice-told tales, and partakewith relish of the humble fare presented to him. So didthe old soldier find in him a ready listener to the story ofhis campaigns and the subject of his petitions; and neverdid the illustriously maimed appeal to him in vain. Hewas a man to be loved in spite of all his vices. He wouldhave been adored had his virtues been more, or more real.But his virtue was too often—like his love for popular andparliamentary liberty—rather affected than real; and at allevents, not to be relied upon.

When a deputation of Quakers waited on the princeto solicit him to support by himself and friends a clauseof the Tything bill in their favour, he replied: ‘As I405am a friend to liberty in general, and to toleration in particular,I wish you may meet with all proper favour; but,for myself, I never gave my vote in parliament; and toinfluence my friends or direct my servants in theirs doesnot become my station. To leave them entirely to theirown consciences and understandings is a rule I havehitherto prescribed to myself, and purpose through life toobserve.’ Andrew Pitt, who was at the head of thedeputation, replied: ‘May it please the Prince of Wales,I am greatly affected with thy excellent notions of liberty,and am more pleased with the answer thou hast given usthan if thou hadst granted our request.’ But the answerwas not a sincere one, and the parliamentary friends andservants of the prince were expected to hold their consciencesat his direction. Once Lord Doneraile venturedto disregard this influence; upon which the princeobserved: ‘Does he think that I will support him unlesshe will do as I would have him? Does he not considerthat whoever may be my ministers, I must be king?’Of such a man Walpole’s remark was not far wide oftruth when he said that Frederick resembled the BlackPrince only in one circ*mstance—in dying before hisfather!

He certainly exhibited little of the chivalrous spiritof the Black Prince. In 1745, vexed at not being promotedto the command of the army raised to crush therebellion, and especially annoyed that it was given to hisbrother, the Duke of Cumberland, who had less vanityand more courage, he ridiculed all the strategic dispositionsof the authorities; and when Carlisle was beingbesieged by the rebels, a representation in paste of thecitadel was served up at his table, at dessert, which, atthe head of the maids of honour, he bombarded withsugar-plums.

The young Prince George, afterwards George III.,406‘behaved excessively well on his father’s death.’ Thewords are Walpole’s; and he establishes his attestation byrecording, that when he was informed of his father’sdecease, he turned pale and laid his hand on his breast.Upon which his reverend tutor, Ayscough, said, verymuch like a simpleton, and not at all like a divine, ‘I amafraid, sir, you are not well.’ ‘I feel,’ said the boy,‘something here, just as I did when I saw the twoworkmen fall from the scaffold at Kew.’ It was not thespeech of a boy of parts, nor an epitaph deeply filial insentiment on the death of a parent; but one can see thatthe young prince was conscious of some painful grief,though he hardly knew how to dress his sensations inequivalent words.

Another son of Frederick, Edward, Duke of York,was ‘a very plain boy, with strange loose eyes, but wasmuch the favourite. He is a sayer of things,’ remarksWalpole. Nine years after his father’s death, PrinceEdward had occasion to pay as warm a compliment toLady Huntingdon as ever had been paid her by hisfather. The occasion was a visit to the Magdalen, in1760. A large party accompanied Prince Edward fromNorthumberland House to the evening service. Theywere rather wits than worshippers; for among them wereHorace Walpole, Colonel Brudenell, and Lord Hertford,with Lords Huntingdon and Dartmouth to keep the witswithin decent limits. The ladies were all gay in silks,satins, and rose-coloured taffeta; there were the LadyNorthumberland herself, Ladies Chesterfield, Carlisle,Dartmouth, and Hertford, Lady Fanny Shirley, LadySelina Hastings, Lady Gertrude Hotham, and Lady Maryco*ke. Lord Hertford, at the head of the governors, metthe prince and his brilliant suite at the doors, and conductedhim to a sort of throne in front of the altar. Theclergyman, who preached an eloquent and impressive407sermon from Luke xix. 20, was, not many years after,dragged from Newgate to Tyburn, and there ignominiouslyhung. Some one in the company sneeringly observedthat Dr. Dodd had preached a very Methodistical sort ofsermon. ‘You are fastidious indeed,’ said Prince Edwardto the objector: ‘I thought it excellent, and suitable toseason and place; and in so thinking, I have the honourof being of the same opinion as Lady Huntingdon here,and I rather fancy that she is better versed in theologythan any of us.’ This was true, and it was gracefullysaid. The prince, moreover, backed his opinion byleaving a fifty-pound note in the plate.



Princess Augusta named Regent in the event of a minority—Cause of thePrince’s death—Death of the Prince of Orange—The King’s fondnessfor the theatre—Allusion to the King’s age—Death of the Queen ofDenmark—Her married life unhappy—Suffered from a similar causewith her mother—Rage of Lady Suffolk at a sermon by Whitfield—LadyHuntingdon insulted by her—War in Canada—Daily life of theKing—Establishments of the sons of Frederick—Death of the truth-lovingPrincess Caroline—Deaths of Princess Elizabeth and PrincessAnne—Queen Caroline’s rebuke of her—Death of the King—Dr. Porteous’seulogistic epitaph on him—The King’s personal property—Theroyal funeral—The burlesque Duke of Newcastle.

The last nine years of the reign of the consort of Carolinewere of a very varied character. The earliest of hisacts after the death of Frederick was one of whichCaroline would certainly not have approved. In case ofhis demise before the next heir to the throne should beof age, he, with consent of parliament, named the widowof Frederick as regent of the kingdom. This appointmentgave great umbrage to the favourite son of Caroline,William, Duke of Cumberland, and it was one to whichCaroline herself would never have consented.

But George now cared little for what the opinions ofCaroline might have been; and the remainder of his dayswas spent amid death, gaiety, and politics. The year inwhich Frederick died was marked by the decease of thehusband of Caroline’s eldest daughter, of whose plainness,wooing, and marriage I have previously spoken. ThePrince of Orange died on the 11th of October 1751.409He had not improved in beauty since his marriage, but,increasingly ugly as he became, his wife became alsoincreasingly jealous of him. Importunate, however, asthe jealousy was, it had the merit of being founded onhonest and healthy affection.

The immediate cause of the prince’s death was animposthume in the head. Although his health had beenindifferent, his death was rather sudden and unexpected.Lord Holdernesse was sent over from England by theKing, Walpole says, ‘to learn rather than to teach,’ butcertainly with letters of condolence to Caroline’s widoweddaughter. She is said to have received the paternal sympathyand advice in the most haughty and insultingmanner. She was proud, perhaps, of being made thegouvernante of her son; and she probably rememberedthe peremptory rejection by her father of the interestedsympathy she herself had offered him on the decease ofher mother, to whose credit she had hoped to succeed atSt. James’s.

But George himself had little sympathy to spare, andfelt no immoderate grief for the death of either son orson-in-law. On the 6th of November 1751, within amonth of the prince’s death, and not very many after thatof his son and heir to the throne, George was at DruryLane Theatre. The entertainment, played for his especialpleasure, consisted of Farquhar’s ‘Beaux Stratagem’ andFielding’s ‘Intriguing Chambermaid.’ In the former,the King was exceedingly fond of the ‘Foigard’ of Yatesand the ‘Cherry’ of Miss Minors. In the latter piece, Mrs.Clive played her original part of ‘Lettice,’ a part in whichshe had then delighted the town—a town which couldbe delighted with such parts—for now seventeen years.Walpole thus relates an incident of the night. He iswriting to Sir Horace Mann, from Arlington Street, underthe date of the 22nd of November 1751: ‘A certain King,410that, whatever airs you may give yourself, you are not at alllike, was last week at the play. The intriguing chambermaidin the farce says to the old gentleman, ‘You arevillainously old; you are sixty-six; you can’t have theimpudence to think of living above two years.’ The oldgentleman in the stage-box turned about in a passion, andsaid, “This is d—d stuff!”’

George was right in his criticism, but rather coarsethan king-like in expressing it. Walpole too, it may benoticed, misquotes what his friend Mrs. Clive said in hercharacter of Lettice, and he misquotes evidently for thepurpose of making the story more pointed against theKing, who was as sensitive upon the point of age asLouis XIV. himself. Lettice does not say to Oldcastle‘you are villainously old.’ She merely states the threeobstacles to Oldcastle marrying her young mistress. ‘Inthe first place your great age; you are at least somesixty-six. Then there is, in the second place, yourterrible ungenteel air; and thirdly, that horrible face ofyours, which it is impossible for any one to see withoutbeing frightened.’ She does, however, add a phrasewhich must have sounded harshly on the ear of a sensitiveand sexagenarian King; though not more so than onthat of any other auditor of the same age. ‘I think youcould not have the conscience to live above a year or ayear and a half at most.’ The royal criticism, then, wascorrect, however roughly expressed.

In the same year, 1751, died another of the childrenof George and Caroline—Louisa, Queen of Denmark.She had only reached her twenty-seventh year, and hadbeen eight years married. Her mother loved her, andthe nation admired her for her grace, amiability, andtalents. Her career, in many respects, resembled that ofher mother. She was married to a king who kept amistress in order that the world should think he was411independent of all influence on the part of his wife. Shewas basely treated by this king; but not a word of complaintagainst him entered into the letters which thisspirited and sensible woman addressed to her relations.Indeed, she had said at the time of her marriage that, ifshe should become unhappy, her family should neverknow anything about it. She died, in the flower of herage, a terrible death, as Walpole calls it, and after anoperation which lasted an hour. The cause of it wasthe neglect of a slight rupture, occasioned by stoopingsuddenly when enceinte, the injury resulting from whichshe imprudently and foolishly concealed. This is all themore strange, as her mother, on her death-bed, said toher: ‘Louisa, remember I die by being giddy and obstinate,in having kept my disorder a secret.’ Her farewellletter to her father and family, a most touching address,and the similitude of her fate to that of her mother,sensibly affected the almost dried-up heart of the King.‘This has been a fatal year to my family,’ groaned theson of Sophia Dorothea. ‘I lost my eldest son, but I wasglad of it. Then the Prince of Orange died, and lefteverything in confusion. Poor little Edward has beencut open for an imposthume in his side; and now theQueen of Denmark is gone! I know I did not love mychildren when they were young; I hated to have themcoming into the room; but now I love them as well asmost fathers.’

The Countess of Suffolk (the servant of Caroline andthe mistress of Caroline’s husband) was among the fewpersons whom the eloquence and fervour of Whitfieldfailed to touch. When this latter was chaplain to LadyHuntingdon, and in the habit of preaching in the drawing-roomof that excellent and exemplary woman, there wasan eager desire to be among the privileged to be admittedto hear him. This privilege was solicited of Lady412Huntingdon by Lady Rockingham, for the King’s ex-favourite,Lady Suffolk. The patroness of Whitfield thoughtof Magdalen repentant, and expressed her readiness towelcome her, an additional sheep to an increasing flock.The beauty came, and Whitfield preached neither morenor less earnestly, unconscious of her presence. Sosearching, however, was his sermon, and so readily couldthe enraged fair one apply its terrible truths to herself,that it was only with difficulty she could sit it out withapparent calm. Inwardly, she felt that she had beenthe especial object at which her assailant had flung hissharpest arrows. Accordingly, when Whitfield had retired,the exquisite fury, chafed but not repentant, turnedupon the meditative Lady Huntingdon, and well nighannihilated her with the torrent and power of her invective.Her sister-in-law, Lady Betty Germain, imploredher to be silent; but only the more unreservedly did sheempty the vials of her wrath upon the saintly lady ofthe house, who was lost in astonishment, anger, andconfusion. Old Lady Bertie and the Dowager duch*essof Ancaster rose to her rescue; and, by right of theirrelationship with the lady whom the King delighted tohonour, required her to be silent or civil. It was all invain: the irritated fair one maintained that she had beenbrought there to be pilloried by the preacher; and shefinally swept out of the room, leaving behind her anassembly in various attitudes of wonder and alarm; somefairly deafened by the thundering echoes of her expressedwrath, others at a loss to decide whether Lady Huntingdonhad or had not directed the arrows of the preacher,and all most charmingly unconscious that, be that as itmight, the lady was only smarting because she had rubbedagainst a sermon bristling with the most stinging truths.

Whitfield made note of those of the royal householdwho repaired to the services over which he presided in413Lady Huntingdon’s house. In 1752, when he saw regularlyattending among his congregation one of QueenCaroline’s ex-ladies, Mrs. Grinfield, he writes thereupon:‘One of Cæsar’s household hath been lately awakened byher ladyship’s instrumentality, and I hope others willmeet with the like blessing.’

In 1755 England and France were at issue touchingtheir possessions in Canada. The dispute resulted in awar; and the war brought with it the temporary loss ofthe Electorate of Hanover to England, and much additionaldisgrace; which last was not wiped out till thegreat Pitt was at the helm, and by his spirited administrationhelped England to triumph in every quarter ofthe globe. Amid misfortune or victory, however, theKing, as outwardly ‘impassible’ as ever, took also lessactive share in public events than he did of old; and helived with the regularity of a man who has a regard forhis health. Every night, at nine o’clock, he sat down tocards. The party generally consisted of his two daughters,the Princesses Amelia and Caroline, two or three of thelate Queen’s ladies, and as many of the gentlemen of thehousehold—whose presence there was a proof of theSovereign’s personal esteem for them. Had none otherbeen present, the party would have been one on whichremark would not be called for. But at the same tablewith the children of good Queen Caroline was seatedtheir father’s mistress, the naturalised German BaronessWalmoden—Countess of Yarmouth. George II. had noidea that the presence of such a woman was an outragecommitted upon his own children. Every Saturday, insummer, he carried those ladies, but without his daughters,to Richmond. They went in coaches-and-six, in themiddle of the day, with the heavy horse-guards kickingup the dust before them—dined, walked an hour in thegarden, returned in the same dusty parade; and his414Majesty fancied himself the most gallant and lively princein Europe.44

He had leisure, however, to think of the establishmentof the sons of Frederick; and in 1756 George II.sent a message to his grandson, now Prince of Wales,whereby he offered him 40,000l. a-year and apartmentsat Kensington and St. James’s. The prince accepted theallowance, but declined the residence, on the ground thatseparation from his mother would be painful to her.When this plea was made, the prince, as Dodington remarksin his diary, did not live with his mother, eitherin town or country. The prince’s brother Edward, afterwardscreated Duke of York, was furnished with a modestrevenue of 5,000l. a-year. The young prince is said tohave been not insensible to the attractions of Lady Essex,daughter of Sir Charles Williams. ‘The prince,’ saysWalpole, ‘has got his liberty, and seems extremely disposedto use it, and has great life and good humour. Shehas already made a ball for him. Sir Richard Lytteltonwas so wise as to make her a visit, and advise her notto meddle with politics; that the Princess (Dowager ofWales) would conclude that it was a plan laid for bringingtogether Prince Edward and Mr. Fox. As Mr. Foxwas not just the person my Lady Essex was thinking ofbringing together with Prince Edward, she replied, verycleverly, “And, my dear Sir Richard, let me advise younot to meddle with politics neither.”’

From the attempt to establish the Prince of Walesunder his own superintendence, the King was called tomourn over the death of another child.

The truth-loving Caroline Elizabeth was unreservedlybeloved by her parents, was worthy of the affection, andrepaid it by an ardent attachment. She was fair, good,accomplished, and unhappy. The cause of her unhappiness415may be perhaps more than guessed at in thecirc*mstance of her retiring from the world on the deathof Lord Hervey. The sentiment with which he had, forthe sake of vanity or ambition, inspired her was developedinto a sort of motherly love for his children, forwhom she exhibited great and constant regard. Therewithshe was conscious of but one strong desire—adesire to die. For many years previous to her deceaseshe lived in her father’s palace, literally ‘cloistered up,’inaccessible to nearly all, yet with active sympathy forthe poor and suffering classes in the metropolis.

Walpole, speaking of the death of the Princess Caroline,the third daughter of George II., says: ‘Though herstate of health had been so dangerous for years, and herabsolute confinement for many of them, her disorder was,in a manner, new and sudden, and her death unexpectedby herself, though earnestly her wish. Her goodnesswas constant and uniform, her generosity immense, hercharities most extensive; in short, I, no royalist, couldbe lavish in her praise. What will divert you is that theDuke of Norfolk’s and Lord Northumberland’s upperservants have asked leave to put themselves in mourning,not out of regard for this admirable princess, but to bemore sur le bon ton. I told the duch*ess I supposed theywould expect her to mourn hereafter for their relations.’

The princess died in December 1757, and early inthe following year the King was seized with a serious fitof illness, which terminated in a severe attack of gout,‘which had never been at court above twice in his reign,’says Walpole, and the appearance of which was consideredas giving the royal sufferer a chance of five orsix years more of life. But it was not to be so; for theold royal lion in the Tower had just expired, and peoplewho could ‘put that and that together’ could not butpronounce oraculary that the royal man would follow the416royal brute. ‘Nay,’ says Lord Chesterfield to his son,‘this extravagancy was believed by many above people.’The fine gentleman means that it was believed by manyof his own class.

It was not the old King, however, who was first tobe summoned from the royal circle by the InevitableAngel. A young princess passed away before the moreaged Sovereign. Walpole has a word or two to say uponthe death of the Princess Elizabeth, the second daughterof Frederick, Prince of Wales, who died in the Septemberof this year. The immediate cause of death was an inflammation,which carried her off in two days. ‘Her figure,’he says, ‘was so very unfortunate that it would havebeen difficult for her to be happy; but her parts and applicationwere extraordinary. I saw her act in “Cato”at eight years old (when she could not stand alone, butwas forced to lean against the side-scene), better than anyof her brothers and sisters. She had been so unhealthythat, at that age, she had not been taught to read,but had learned the part of Lucia by hearing the othersstudy their parts. She went to her father and mother,and begged she might act. They put her off as gentlyas they could; she desired leave to repeat her part, andwhen she did, it was with so much sense, that there wasno denying her.’

Before George’s hour had yet come, another childwas to precede the aged father to the tomb. In 1759Anne, the eldest and least loved of the daughters of Caroline,died in Holland. At the period of her birth, the 9thof October 1709, her godmother, Queen Anne, was occupyingthe throne of England; her grandfather, George,was Elector of Hanover; Sophia Dorothea was languishingin the castle of Ahlden, and her father and motherbore the title of Electoral Prince and Princess. She wasborn at Hanover; and was five years old when, with her417sister, Amelia Sophia, who was two years younger, hermother, the Princess Caroline, afterwards Queen, arrived inthis country on the 15th of October 1714. She early exhibiteda haughty and imperious disposition; possessedvery little feeling for, and exercised very little gentlenesstowards, those who even rendered her a willing service.Queen Caroline sharply corrected this last defect. Shediscovered that the princess was accustomed to make oneof her ladies-in-waiting stand by her bedside every night,and read aloud to her till she fell asleep. On one occasionthe princess kept her lady standing so long, thatshe at last fainted from sheer fatigue. On the followingnight, when Queen Caroline had retired to rest, she sentfor her offending daughter, and requested her to readaloud to her for a while. The princess was about to takea chair, but the Queen said she could hear her better ifshe read standing. Anne obeyed, and read till fatiguemade her pause. ‘Go on,’ said the Queen; ‘it entertainsme.’ Anne went on, sulkily and wearily; till, increasinglyweary, she once more paused for rest and looked roundfor a seat. ‘Continue, continue,’ said the Queen, ‘I amnot yet tired of listening.’ Anne burst into tears withvexation, and confessed that she was tired both of standingand reading, and was ready to sink with fatigue. ‘If youfeel so faint from one evening of such employment, whatmust your attendants feel, upon whom you force the samediscipline night after night? Be less selfish, my child,in future, and do not indulge in luxuries purchased atthe cost of weariness and ill-health to others.’ Anne didnot profit by the lesson; and few people were warmlyattached to the proud and egotistical lady.

The princess spent nearly twenty years in England,and a little more than a quarter of a century in Holland;the last seven years of that period she was a widow. Herlast thoughts were for the aggrandisem*nt of her family;418and, when she was battling with death, she rallied herstrength in order to sign the contract of marriage betweenher daughter and the Prince Nassau Walberg, andto write a letter to the States General, requesting them tosanction the match. Having accomplished this, theeldest daughter of Caroline laid down the pen, and calmlyawaited the death which was not long in coming.

It remains for us now only to speak of the demise of thehusband of Caroline. On the night of Friday, the 25th ofOctober 1760, the King retired to rest at an early hour, andwell in health. At six (next morning) he drank his usualcup of chocolate, walked to the window, looked out uponKensington Gardens, and made some observation upon thedirection of the wind, which had lately delayed the mailsfrom Holland, and which kept from him intelligence whichhe was anxious to receive, and which he was saved thepain of hearing. George had said to the page-in-waitingthat he would take a turn in the garden; and he was onhis way thither, at seven o’clock, when the attendantheard the sound of a fall. He entered the room throughwhich the King was passing on his way to the garden,and he found George II. lying on the ground, witha wound on the right side of his face, caused by strikingit in his fall against the side of a bureau. He couldonly say, ‘Send for Amelia,’ and then, gasping forbreath, died. Whilst the sick, almost deaf, and purblinddaughter of the King was sent for, the message beingthat her father wished to speak to her, the servantscarried the body to the bed from which the King had solately risen. They had not time to close the eyes, whenthe princess entered the room. Before they could informher of the unexpected catastrophe, she had advancedto the bedside: she stooped over him, fancyingthat he was speaking to her, and that she could not hearhis words. The poor lady was sensibly shocked; but419she did not lose her presence of mind. She despatchedmessengers for surgeons and wrote to the Prince ofWales. The medical men were speedily in attendance;but he was beyond mortal help, and they could only concludethat the King had died of the rupture of somevessel of the heart, as he had for years been subject topalpitation of that organ. Dr. Beilby Porteous, in hispanegyrising epitaph on the monarch, considers his deathas having been appropriate and necessary. He had accomplishedall for which he had been commissioned byHeaven, and had received all the rewards in return whichHeaven could give to man on earth:—

No further blessing could on earth be given,

The next degree of happiness—was Heaven.

George II. died possessed of considerable personalproperty. Of this he bequeathed 50,000l. between theDuke of Cumberland and the Princesses Amelia andMary. The share received by his daughters did not equalwhat he left to his last ‘favourite’—Lady Yarmouth.The legacy to that German lady, of whom he used towrite to Queen Caroline from Hanover, ‘You mustlove the Walmoden, for she loves me,’ consisted of acabinet and ‘contents,’ valued, it is said, at 11,000l.His son, the Duke of Cumberland, further receivedfrom him a bequest of 130,000l., placed on mortgagesnot immediately recoverable. The testator hadoriginally bequeathed twice that amount to his son;but he revoked half, on the ground of the expensesof the war. He describes him as the best son thatever lived, and declares that he had never givenhim cause to be offended: ‘A pretty strong comment,’as Horace Walpole remarks, when detailingthe incidents of the King’s decease, ‘on the affairof Klosterseven.’ The King’s jewels were worth,420according to Lady Suffolk, 150,000l.: of the best ofthem, which he kept in Hanover, he made crownjewels; the remainder, with some cabinets, were leftto the duke. ‘Two days before the King died,’ saysWalpole, ‘it happened oddly to my Lady Suffolk. Shewent to make a visit at Kensington, not knowing of thereview. She found herself hemmed in by coaches, andwas close to him whom she had not seen for so manyyears, and to my Lady Yarmouth; but they did notknow her. It struck her, and has made her sensible tohis death.’

Intelligence of the King’s decease was sent, as beforesaid, to the Prince of Wales, by the Princess Amelia.The heir-apparent, however, received earlier intimation ofthe fact through a German valet-de-chambre, at Kensington.The latter despatched a note, which bore a privatemark previously agreed upon, and which reached theheir to so much greatness as he was out riding. Heknew what had happened by the sign. ‘Without surpriseor emotion, without dropping a word that indicatedwhat had happened, he said his horse was lame, andturned back to Kew. At dismounting he said to thegroom: “I have said this horse was lame; I forbid youto say to the contrary.”’ If this story of Walpole’s betrue, the longest reign in England started from a lie.

In the meantime there was the old King to bury, andhe was consigned to the tomb with a ceremony whichhas been graphically pictured by Horace Walpole. Hedescribes himself as attending the funeral, not as amourner, but as ‘a rag of quality,’ in which characterhe walked, as affording him the best means of seeing theshow. He pronounced it a noble sight, and he appearsto have enjoyed it extremely. ‘The Prince’s chamber,hung with purple, and a quantity of silver lamps, thecoffin under a canopy of purple velvet, and six vast421chandeliers of silver, on high stands, had a very goodeffect. The procession, through a line of foot-guards,every seventh man bearing a torch—the horse-guardslining the outsides—their officers, with drawn sabres andcrape sashes, on horseback—the drums muffled—thefifes—bells tolling—and minute guns—all this was verysolemn.’ There was, however, something more exquisitestill in the estimation of this very unsentimental rag ofquality. ‘The charm,’ he says, ‘the charm was theentrance to the Abbey, where we were received by thedean and chapter in rich robes, the choir and almonersbearing torches; the whole Abbey so illuminated thatone saw it to greater advantage than by day; the tombs,long aisles, and fretted roof all appearing distinctly, andwith the happiest chiaro oscuro. There wanted nothingbut incense and little chapels here and there, with priestssaying mass for the repose of the defunct; yet one couldnot complain of its not being Catholic enough. I hadbeen in dread of being coupled with some boy of tenyears old; but the heralds were not very accurate, and Iwalked with George Grenville, taller and older, to keepme in countenance. When we came to the chapel ofHenry VII. all solemnity and decorum ceased; no orderwas observed, people sat or stood where they could orwould; the yeomen of the guard were crying out forhelp, oppressed by the immense weight of the coffin;the bishop read sadly, and blundered in the prayers. Thefine chapter, Man that is born of a woman, was chanted,not read; and the anthem, besides being immeasurablytedious, would have served as well for a nuptial. Thereal serious part was the figure of the Duke of Cumberland,heightened by a thousand melancholy circ*mstances.He had a dark-brown adonis, with a cloak of black cloth,and a train of five yards. Attending the funeral of afather could not be pleasant; his leg extremely bad, yet422forced to stand upon it near two hours; his face bloatedand disturbed with his late paralytic stroke, which hasaffected, too, one of his eyes; and placed over the mouthof the vault, into which, in all probability, he must himselfsoon descend; think how unpleasant a situation. Hebore it all with a firm and unaffected countenance. Thisgrave scene was fully contrasted by the burlesque Dukeof Newcastle. He fell into a fit of crying the moment hecame into the chapel, and flung himself back into a stall,the archbishop hovering over him with a smelling-bottle;but in two minutes his curiosity got the better of hishypocrisy, and he ran about the chapel with his glass, tospy who was or who was not there, spying with one handand mopping his eyes with the other. Then returnedthe fear of catching cold; and the Duke of Cumberland,who was sinking with heat, felt himself weighed down,and turning round, found it was the Duke of Newcastlestanding upon his train to avoid the chill of the marble.It was very theatrical to look down into the vault, wherethe coffin lay attended by mourners with lights. Clavering,the groom of the chamber, refused to sit up with thebody, and was dismissed by the King’s order.’

Speaking of the last year of the life of George II.,Walpole remarks, with a truth that cannot be gainsaid:‘It was glorious and triumphant beyond example; andhis death was most felicitous to himself, being without apang, without tasting a reverse, and when his sight andhearing were so nearly extinguished that any prolongationcould but have swelled to calamities.’




Lady Sarah Lennox, the object of George the Third’s early affections—Thefair Quaker—Matrimonial commission of Colonel Græme—PrincessCharlotte of Mecklenburgh—Her spirited letter to the King of Prussia—Demandedin marriage by George the Third—Arrival in England—Herprogress to London—Colchester and its candied eringo-root—Entertainedby Lord Abercorn—Arrival in London, and reception—Claimof the Irish Peeresses advocated by Lord Charlemont—The Royalmarriage—The first drawing-room—A comic anecdote—-The King andQueen at the Chapel Royal—At the theatre; accidents on the occasion—Thecoronation—Incidents and anecdotes connected with it—Theyoung Pretender said to have been present—The coronation producedat the theatre.

The eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, was yetyoung when his grandfather began to consider the questionof his marriage; and, it is said, had designed to forma union between him and a princess of the royal familyof Prussia. The design, if ever formed, entirely failed;and while those most anxious for the Protestant successionwere occupied in naming princesses worthy toespouse an heir to a throne, that heir himself is said tohave fixed his young affections on an English lady, whosevirtues and beauty might have made her eligible had notthe accident of her not being a foreigner barred her way424to the throne. This lady was Lady Sarah Lennox; anda vast amount of gossip was expended upon her and theyoung prince by those busy persons whose chief occupationconsists in arranging the affairs of others. It isimpossible to say how far this young couple were engaged;but the fact, as surmised, rendered the friends ofthe prince, now George III., more anxious than ever tosee him provided with a fair partner on the throne.

George III. had first been ‘smitten’ by seeing LadySarah Lennox making hay in a field close to the highroad in Kensington. She was charming in feature,figure, and expression; but her great beauty, accordingto Henry Fox, was ‘a peculiarity of countenance thatmade her at the same time different from, and prettierthan, any other girl I ever saw.’ At a private court ball,the young King said to Lady Susan Strangways: ‘Therewill be no coronation until there is a Queen, and I thinkyour friend is the fittest person for it; tell her so fromme.’ Subsequently, the enamoured monarch had anopportunity of asking Lady Sarah if she had received themessage confided to Lady Susan. On the young ladyreplying in the affirmative, and on her being asked whatshe thought of it, her answer was: ‘Nothing, sir!’ Herfriends, however, thought a good deal of it. As LadySarah was once entering the presence chamber, LadyBarrington gently pulled the skirt of her dress, and said:‘Let me go in before you; for you will never haveanother opportunity of seeing my beautiful back.’ LadyBarrington was famed for the beauty of her shoulders.Lady Sarah, too, had thought more about the King’smessage than she had confessed to the King himself.

When the news reached her that the young Sovereignwas about to marry a ‘Princess of Mecklenburgh,’ shewrote to Lady Susan: ‘Does not your choler rise athearing this. I shall take care to show that I am not425mortified to anybody; but if it is true that one can vexanybody with a cold, reserved manner, he shall have it,I promise him.’ Anon, the writer thinks she only likedhim a little, and the ‘disappointment affected her onlyfor an hour or two.’ Ultimately, she remarks: ‘If hewere to change his mind again (which can’t be, tho’), andnot give a very, very good reason for his conduct, I wouldnot have him. We are to act a play and have a littleball, to show that we are not so melancholy quite!’And thus the disappointment was ostensibly got over.

Walpole has described the lady who first raised atender feeling in the breast of George in very graphicterms: ‘There was a play at Holland House, acted bychildren; not all children, for Lady Sarah Lennox’ (subsequentlyLady Sarah Napier) ‘and Lady Susan Strangwaysplayed the women. It was ‘Jane Shore.’ CharlesFox was Hastings. The two girls were delightful, andacted with so much nature that they appeared the verythings they represented. Lady Sarah was more beautifulthan you can conceive; and her very awkwardness gavean air of truth to the sham of the part, and the antiquityof the time, kept up by her dress, which was taken outof Montfaucon. Lady Susan was dressed from JaneSeymour. I was more struck with the last scene betweenthe two women than ever I was when I have seen it on thestage. When Lady Sarah was in white, with her hairabout her ears, and on the ground, no Magdalen of Correggiowas half so lovely and expressive.’

But there is a pretty romance extant, based, as evenromances may be, upon some foundation of reality; and,according to the narrators thereof, it is said that theKing, when yet only Prince of Wales, had been attractedby the charms of a young Quakeress, named Lightfoot(of the vicinity of St. James’s Market), long before hehad felt subdued by the more brilliant beauty of Lady426Sarah Lennox. The romance has been recounted circ*mstantiallyenough by its authors and editors; and, ifthese are to be trusted, the young prince was soenamoured that, finding his peace of mind and happinessdepended on his being united to the gentle Hannah, hemade a confidant of his brother, Edward, Duke of York,and another person, who has never had the honour ofbeing named, and in their presence a marriage was contractedprivately at Curzon Street Chapel, Mayfair, inthe year 1759!

A few years previous to this time, Mayfair had beenthe favourite locality for the celebration of hurried marriages,particularly at ‘Keith’s Chapel,’ which was withinten yards of ‘Curzon Chapel.’ The Reverend AlexanderKeith kept open altar during the usual office hours fromten till four, and married parties for the small fee of aguinea, license included. Parties requiring to be unitedat other hours paid extra. The Reverend Alexander sooutraged the law that he was publicly excommunicatedin 1742; for which he as publicly excommunicated theexcommunicators in return. Seven years before Georgeis said to have married Hannah Lightfoot at CurzonChapel, James, the fourth Duke of Hamilton, was marriedat ‘Keith’s’ to the youngest of the beautiful MissesGunning—‘with a ring of the bed-curtain,’ says HoraceWalpole, ‘and at half an hour after twelve at night.’

The rest of the pretty romance touching George andHannah is rather lumbering in its construction. Themarried lovers are said to have kept a little household oftheir own, and round the hearth thereof we are furthertold that there were not wanting successive young faces,adding to its happiness. But there came the momentwhen the dream was to disappear and the sleeper toawaken. We are told by the retailers of the story thatHannah Lightfoot was privately disposed of—not by427bowl, prison, or dagger, but by espousing her to a gentleStrephon named Axford, who, for a pecuniary consideration,took Hannah to wife, and asked no impertinentquestions. They lived, at least Hannah did, for a time,in Harper Street, Red Lion Square. The story is an indifferentone, but it has been so often alluded to thatsome notice of it seemed necessary in this place.

Something more than rumour asserts that the youngKing was attracted by the stately grace of ElizabethSpencer, Countess of Pembroke, who is described as aliving picture of majestic modesty. In after years, theKing looked on the mother of the Napiers, and on theabove-named countess, with a certain loving interest. Inthe intervals of his attacks of insanity, it is said that heused to dwell with impassioned accents on the formerbeauty of the majestic countess.

The King’s mother had been most averse to the Prussianconnection. Mr. Fox, afterwards Lord Holland, issaid to have done his best to further a union with asubject. The Princess-dowager of Wales and Lord Butewould have selected a princess of Saxe Gotha; but itwas whispered that there was a constitutional infirmityin that family which rendered an alliance with it in noway desirable. Besides, George II. said he had hadenough of that family already. A Colonel Græme wasthen despatched to Germany, and rumour invested himwith the commission to visit the German courts, and if hecould find among them a princess who was faultless inform, feature, and character, of sound health and highlyaccomplished, he was to report accordingly. ColonelGræme, love’s military messenger, happened to fall in atPyrmont with the Princess-dowager of Strelitz and hertwo daughters. At the gay baths and salutary springs ofPyrmont very little etiquette was observed, even in thosevery ceremonious times, and great people went about428less in masquerade and less strait-laced than they werewont to do at home, in the circle of their own courts.In this sort of negligé there was a charm which favouredthe development of character, and under its influence thescrutinising colonel soon vicariously fell in love with theyoung Princess Charlotte, and at once made the reportwhich led to the royal marriage that ensued.

There were persons who denied that this littleromantic drama was ever played at all; but as thecolonel was subsequently appointed to the mastership ofSt. Catherine’s Hospital, the prettiest bit of prefermentpossessed by a Queen-consort, other persons looked uponthe appointment as the due acknowledgment of a princessgrateful for favours received.

But, after all, the young King is positively declared tohave chosen for himself. The King of Prussia at thattime was a man much addicted to disregard therights of his contemporaries, and among other outragescommitted by his army, was the invasion, and almostdesolating, of the little dominion of MecklenburghStrelitz, the ducal possession of the Princess Charlotte’sbrother. This act inspired, it is said, the lady last-namedto pen a letter to the monarch, which was as full of spiritas of logic, and not likely to have been written by soyoung a lady. The letter, however, was sufficiently spiritedand conclusive to win reputation for the alleged writer.Its great charm was its simple and touching truthfulness,and the letter, whether forwarded to George by the Prussianking, or laid before him by his mother the princess-dowager,is said to have had such an influence on hismind, as to at once inspire him with feelings of admirationfor the writer. After praising it, the King exclaimedto Lord Hertford: ‘This is the lady whom I shall selectfor my consort—here are lasting beauties—the man whohas any mind may feast and not be satisfied. If the disposition429of the princess but equals her refined sense, Ishall be the happiest man, as I hope, with my people’sconcurrence, to be the greatest monarch in Europe.’

The lady on whom this eulogy was uttered wasCharlotte Sophia, the younger of the two daughters ofCharles Louis, Duke of Mirow, by Albertina Elizabeth, aprincess of the ducal house of Saxe Hilburghausen. TheDuke of Mirow was the second son of the Duke ofMecklenburgh Strelitz, and was a lieutenant-general inthe service of the Emperor of Germany when CharlotteSophia was born, at Mirow, on the 16th of May 1744.Four sons and one other daughter were the issue of thismarriage. The eldest son ultimately became Duke ofMecklenburgh Strelitz, and to the last-named place thePrincess Charlotte Sophia (or Charlotte, as she was commonlycalled) and her family removed in 1751, on thedeath of the Duke Charles Louis.

At seven years of age she had for her instructress thatverse-writing Madame de Grabow, whom the Germansfondly and foolishly compared with Sappho. The postof instructress was shared by many partners; but, finally,to the poetess succeeded a philosopher, Dr. Gentzner,who, from the time of his undertaking the office of tutorto that of the marriage of his ‘serene’ pupil, imparted tothe latter a varied wisdom and knowledge, made up ofLutheran divinity, natural history, and mineralogy,Charlotte not only cultivated these branches of educationwith success, but others also. She was a very fairlinguist, spoke French perhaps better than German, aswas the fashion of her time and country, could conversein Italian, and knew something of English. Otheraccounts say that she did not begin to learn French tillshe knew she was to leave Mecklenburgh. Her styleof drawing was above that of an ordinary amateur; shedanced like a lady, and played like an artist. Better430than all, she was a woman of good sense, she had thegood fortune to be early taught the great truths ofreligion, and she had the good taste to shape her courseby their requirements. She was not without faults, andshe had a will of her own. In short, she was a woman;a woman of sense and spirit, but occasionally makingmistakes like any of her sisters.

The letter which she is said to have addressed to theKing of Prussia, and the alleged writing of which is saidto have won for her a crown, has been often printed;but, well known as it is, it cannot well be omitted frompages professing to give, however imperfectly, as in thepresent case, some record of the supposed writer’s life:no one, however, will readily believe that a girl of sixteenwas the actual author of such a document as the following:‘May it please your Majesty ... I am at aloss whether I should congratulate or condole with youon your late victory over Marshal Daun, Nov. 3, 1760,since the same success which has covered you with laurelshas overspread the country of Mecklenburgh with desolation.I know, Sire, that it seems unbecoming my sex,in this age of vicious refinement, to feel for one’s country,to lament the horrors of war, or wish for the return ofpeace. I know you may think it more properly myprovince to study the arts of pleasing, or to inspectsubjects of a more domestic nature; but, howeverunbecoming it may be in me, I cannot resist the desireof interceding for this unhappy people.

‘It was but a very few years ago that this territorywore the most pleasing appearance; the country wascultivated, the peasants looked cheerful, and the townsabounded with riches and festivity. What an alterationat present from such a charming scene! I am not expertat description, nor can my fancy add any horrors to thepicture; but, sure, even conquerors themselves would431weep at the hideous prospects now before me. Thewhole country, my dear country, lies one frightful waste,presenting only objects to excite terror, pity, and despair.The business of the husbandman and the shepherd arequite discontinued. The husbandman and the shepherdare become soldiers themselves, and help to ravage thesoil they formerly cultivated. The towns are inhabitedonly by old men, old women, and children; perhaps hereand there a warrior, by wounds or loss of limbs renderedunfit for service, left at his door; his little children hanground him, ask a history of every wound, and growthemselves soldiers before they find strength for thefield. But this were nothing, did we not feel the alternateinsolence of either army, as it happens to advance orretreat in pursuing the operations of the campaign.It is impossible to express the confusion even those whocall themselves our friends create; even those from whomwe might expect redress oppress with new calamities.From your justice, therefore, it is we hope relief. To youeven women and children may complain, whose humanitystoops to the meanest petition, and whose power is capableof repressing the greatest injustice.’

The very reputation of having written this letterwon for its supposed author the crown of a Queen-consort.The members of the privy council, to whomthe royal intention was first communicated, thought italmost a misalliance for a King of Great Britain, France,and Ireland to wed with a lady of such poor estate asthe younger daughter of a very poor German prince.Had they been ethnologists, they might have auguredwell of a union between Saxon King and Sclavonic lady.The Sclave blood runs pure in Mecklenburgh.

It was on the 8th of July 1761 that the Kingannounced to his council, in due and ordinary form, thathaving nothing so much at heart as the welfare and432happiness of his people, and that to render the samestable and permanent to posterity being the first objectof his reign, he had ever since his accession to the throneturned his thoughts to the choice of a princess with whomhe might find the solace of matrimony and the comfortsof domestic life; he had to announce to them, therefore,with great satisfaction, that, after the most mature reflectionand fullest information, he had come to a resolutionto demand in marriage the Princess Charlotte of MecklenburghStrelitz, a princess distinguished by everyamiable virtue and elegant endowment, whose illustriousline had continually shown the firmest zeal for theProtestant religion, and a particular attachment to hisMajesty’s family. Lord Hardwicke, who had been fixedupon by the King as his representative commissioned togo to Strelitz, and ask the hand of the Princess CharlotteSophia in marriage, owed his appointment and hissubsequent nomination as master of the buckhounds tohis Majesty, to the circ*mstance that at the King’saccession he had been almost the only nobleman whohad not solicited some favour from the Crown. He wasso charmed with his mission that everything appeared tohim couleur de rose, and not only was he enraptured with‘the most amiable young princess he ever saw,’ but, as headds in a letter to his friend, Mr. Mitchel, gratified at thereception he had met with at the court of Strelitz,appearing as he did ‘upon such an errand,’ and happy tofind that ‘the great honour the King has done this familyis seen in its proper light.’ The business, as he remarks,was not a difficult one. There were no thorns in his rosypath. The little court, he tells us, exerted its utmostabilities to make a figure suitable for this occasion, and,in the envoy’s opinion, they acquitted themselves notonly with magnificence and splendour, but with greattaste and propriety. His lordship completed the treaty433of marriage on the 15th of August. His testimony touchingthe bride runs as follows:—‘Our Queen that is to be hasseen very little of the world; but her very good sense,vivacity, and cheerfulness, I dare say, will recommendher to the King, and make her the darling of the Britishnation. She is no regular beauty; but she is of a verypretty size, has a charming complexion, very pretty eyes,and finely made. In short, she is a very fine girl.’

Mrs. Stuart, daughter-in-law of Lord Bute, left thefollowing note of the early life of the princess, and of themarriage-by-proxy ceremony, derived from the Queenherself:—

‘Her Majesty described her life at Mecklenburgh asone of extreme retirement. She dressed only en robe dechambre, except on Sundays, on which day she put onher best gown, and after service, which was very long,took an airing in a coach-and-six, attended by guards andall the state she could muster. She had not “dined” attable at the period I am speaking of. One morning hereldest brother, of whom she seems to have stood in greatawe, came to her room in company with the duch*ess, hermother.... In a few minutes the folding doorsflew open to the saloon, which she saw splendidly illuminated;and then appeared a table, two cushions, andeverything prepared for a wedding. Her brother thengave her his hand, and, leading her in, used his favouriteexpression—“Allons, ne faites pas l’enfant, tu vas êtreReine d’Angleterre.” Mr. Drummond then advanced.They knelt down. The ceremony, whatever it was,proceeded. She was laid on the sofa, upon which he laidhis foot; and they all embraced her, calling her “LaReine.”’

‘La Reine’ was not such ‘a very fine girl’ as not tobe startled by the superior beauty of the two principalladies who were sent to escort her to London. When the434Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburgh first looked upon thebrilliant duch*esses of Ancaster and Hamilton, she couldnot help exclaiming, with a sentiment apparently of self-humility,‘Are all the women in England as beautiful asyou are?’

The convoying fleet sent to conduct the princess toEngland was commanded by the great Lord Anson. TheTripoline ambassador could not but admire the honourpaid by his Majesty in sending so high an officer—‘thefirst eunuch,’ as the Mahometan called him—to escort thebride to her new home.’

When the marriage treaty had been formally concluded,after some delay caused by the death of the mother ofthe princess, the little city of Strelitz became briefly madwith joy and exultation. There were illuminations,balls, fireworks, and artillery; and for two days stupendousstate banquets followed each other, and said muchfor the digestion of those who enjoyed them. On the17th of August the princess left Strelitz, accompanied byher brother, the grand duke, and in four days arrivedat Stade amid demonstrations of great delight on the partof the population, ever grateful for an excitement andespecially so for one afforded them by a young Queen—asthe bride elect was already considered. On the 22ndshe embarked at Cuxhaven amid a salute from the wholefleet. For more than a week she was as disrespectfullytossed and tumbled about by the rough sea, over whichher path lay, as the Hero of New Zealand buffeting thewaves to meet her dusky Leander. During the voyagea wave washed a sailor from the deck, and he perishedin the surging waters. At the end of the voyage thebride was, rather unnecessarily informed of the calamity.She had been undisturbed by any cry of ‘Man overboard!’

The royal yacht which bore the youthful bride was435surrounded by the squadron forming the convoy; andacross as boisterous a sea as ever tried a ship or perplexeda sailor the bride was carried in discomfort but safety,till, on the evening of Sunday, the 6th of September, thefleet and its precious freight arrived off Harwich. It wasSunday evening, and the fact was not known in Londontill Monday morning. The report of the ‘Queen’ havingbeen seen off the coast of Sussex on Saturday was current,but there was great uncertainty as to where shewas, whether she had landed, or when she would be intown. ‘Last night, at ten o’clock,’ says Walpole onTuesday morning, ‘it was neither certain where shelanded nor when she would be in town. I forgivehistory for knowing nothing, when so public an event asthe arrival of a new Queen is a mystery even at this verymoment in St. James’s Street. This messenger whobrought the letter yesterday morning, said she arrived athalf an hour after four, at Harwich. This was immediatelytranslated into landing, and notified in thosewords to the ministers. Six hours afterwards it provedno such thing, and that she was only in Harwich Road;and they recollected that half an hour after four happenstwice in twenty-four hours, and the letter did not specifywhich of the twices it was. Well, the bride’s-maids whippedon their virginity; the New Road and the parks werethronged; the guns were choking with impatience to gooff; and Sir James Lowther, who was to pledge hisMajesty, was actually married to Lady Mary Stuart.Five, six, seven, eight o’clock came, and no Queen.’

The lady so impatiently looked for remained on boardthe yacht throughout the Sunday night. Storm-tost asshe had been, she had borne the voyage well, and had‘been sick but half an hour, singing and playing on theharpsichord all the voyage, and been cheerful the wholetime.’


On Monday she landed, but not till after dinner, andthen was received in the ancient town by the authorities,and with all the usual ceremonies which it is the curse ofvery great people to be fated to encounter. Had theyoung King been a really gallant monarch he wouldhave met his bride on the sea-shore; but etiquette doesnot allow of sovereigns being gallant, and the princesswas welcomed by no higher dignitary than a mayor. Inthe afternoon she journeyed leisurely on to Colchester,where she was entertained at the house of a loyal privateindividual, Mr. Enew. Here Captain Birt served herwith coffee, and Lieutenant John Seaber waited on herwith tea; this service being concluded, an inhabitant ofthe town presented her with a box of candied eringo-root.This presentation is always made, it would seem, toroyalty when the latter honours Colchester with a passingvisit. The old town is, or was, proud of its peculiarproduction, ‘candied eringo-root.’ On the occasion inquestion the presenter learnedly detailed the qualities ofthe root; and the young princess looked as interested asshe could while she was told that the eringium was ofthe Pentandria Digynia class, that it had general andpartial corollæ, and that its root was attenuant and deobstruent,and was therefore esteemed a good hepatic,uterine, and nephritic. Its whole virtue, it was added, consistsin its external or cortical part. There was a goodopportunity to draw a comparison between the root andthe bride, to the advantage of the latter, had the exhibitorbeen so minded; but the opportunity was allowed topass, and the owner of the eringo failed to allude to thefact that the beauty in the royal features was surpassedby the virtue indwelling in her heart.

The royal visitor learned all that could well be toldher, during her brief stay, of the historical incidentsconnected with the place, and having taken tea and coffee437from the hands of veteran warriors, and candied eringofrom Mr. Green, and information touching the visits ofQueen Mary and Elizabeth from the clergy and others,the Princess Charlotte, or Queen Charlotte, as she wasalready called, continued her journey, and by gentlestages arrived at Lord Abercorn’s house at Witham,‘’twixt the gloaming and the murk,’ at a quarter pastseven. The host himself was ‘most tranquilly in town;’and the mansion was described as ‘the palace of silence.’The new arrivals, however, soon raised noise enoughwithin its walls; for notwithstanding the dinner beforelanding, some refreshment taken at Harwich, and thetea, coffee, and candied eringo-root at Colchester, therewas still supper to be provided for the tired Queen andher escort. The first course of the supper consisted of amixture of fowl and fish, ‘leverets, partridges, carp, andsoles, brought by express from Colchester, just timeenough for supper.’ There were besides many madedishes, and an abundance of the choicest fruits that couldbe procured. The Queen supped in public, one of thepenalties which royalty used to pay to the people. Thatis, she sat at table with open doors, at which allcomers were allowed to congregate to witness the nottoo edifying spectacle of a young bride feeding. Thisexploit was accomplished by her Majesty, while LordHardwicke and the gallant Lord Anson stood on eitherside of the royal chair, and to the satisfaction of bothactress and spectators.

The Queen slept that night at Witham, and the nextday went slowly and satisfiedly on as far as ancient Romford,where she alighted at the house of a Mr. Dalton, awine-merchant. In this asylum she remained about anhour, until the arrival of the royal servants and carriagesfrom London which were to meet her. The servantshaving commenced their office with their new mistress438by serving her with coffee, the Queen entered the royalcarriage, in which she was accompanied by the duch*essesof Ancaster and Hamilton. As it is stated by the recordersof the incidents of that day that her Majesty wasattired ‘entirely in the English taste,’ it may be worthadding, to show what that taste was, that ‘she worea fly-cap with rich lace lappets, a stomacher ornamentedwith diamonds, and a gold brocade suit of clothes with awhite ground.’ Thus decked out, the Queen, precededby three carriages containing ladies from Mecklenburghand lords from St. James’s, was conveyed through linesof people, militia, and horse and foot guards to London.‘She was much amused,’ says Mrs. Stuart, ‘at the crowdsof people assembled to see her, and bowed as she passed.She was hideously dressed in a blue satin quilted jesuit,which came up to her chin and down to her waist, herhair twisted up into knots called a tête de mouton, and thestrangest little blue coif at the top. She had a greatjewel like a Sevigné, and earrings like those now worn,with many drops, a present from the Empress of Russia,who knew of her marriage before she did herself.’ Sheentered the capital by the suburb of Mile End, which fordirt and misery could hardly be equalled by anything atMirow and Strelitz. Having passed through Whitechapel,which must have given her no very high idea of the civilisationof the British people, she passed on westward, andproceeding by the longest route, continued along OxfordStreet to Hyde Park, and finally reached the garden-gateof St. James’s at three in the afternoon. Before she leftRomford, one of the English ladies in attendance recommendedher to ‘curl her toupée; she said she thought itlooked as well as that of any of the ladies sent to fetchher; if the King bid her she would wear a periwig;otherwise she would remain as she was.’

‘Just as they entered Constitution Hill one of the ladies439said to the other, looking at her watch, “We shall hardlyhave time to dress for the wedding.” “Wedding!” saidthe Queen. “Yes, Madam, it is to be at twelve.” Uponthis she fainted. Lady Effingham, who had a bottle oflavender water in her hand, threw it in her face.’ Thetravelling bride had, up to this time, exhibited much self-possessionand gaiety of spirit throughout the journey,and it was not till she came in sight of the palace thather courage seemed to fail her. Then, for the first time,‘she grew frightened and grew pale. The duch*ess ofHamilton smiled; the princess said, “My dear duch*ess,you may laugh, you have been married twice; but it’sno joke to me.”’

Walpole, writing at ‘twenty minutes past three in theafternoon, not in the middle of the night,’ says: ‘MadamCharlotte is this instant arrived; the noise of the coaches,chaise, horsem*n, mob, that have been to see her passthrough the parks, is so prodigious that I cannot distinguishthe guns.’

When the royal carriage stopped at the garden-gatethe bride’s lips trembled, and she looked paler than ever,but she stepped out with spirit, assisted by the Duke ofDevonshire, lord-chamberlain. Before her stood theKing surrounded by his court. A crimson cushion waslaid for her to kneel upon, and (Mrs. Stuart tells us) mistakingthe hideous old Duke of Grafton for him, as thecushion inclined that way, she was very near prostratingherself before the duke; but the King caught her in hisarms first, and all but carried her upstairs, forbidding anyone to enter.

Walpole says of her that she looked sensible, cheerful,and remarkably genteel. He does not say she waspretty, and it must be confessed that she was ratherplain; too plain to create a favourable impression upon ayouthful monarch, whose heart, even if the story of the440Quakeress be a fiction, was certainly pre-occupied by theimage of a lady, who, nevertheless, figured that nightamong the bride’s-maids—namely, Lady Sarah Lennox.‘An involuntary expression of the King’s countenance,’says Mr. Galt, ‘revealed what was passing within, but itwas a passing cloud—the generous feelings of the monarchwere interested; and the tenderness with which he thenceforwardtreated Queen Charlotte was uninterrupted untilthe moment of their final separation.’ This probably comesmuch nearer to the truth than the assertion of Lady AnneHamilton, who says: ‘At the first sight of the Germanprincess, the King actually shrunk from her gaze, for hercountenance was of that cast that too plainly told of thenature of the spirit working within.’ Lord Hardwicke issaid to have sent to his wife an unfavourable descriptionof the Queen’s features, which Lady Hardwicke readaloud to her friends. It is added that George III., onhearing of it, was greatly offended.

The King, as before mentioned, led his bride into thepalace, where she dined with him, his mother the princess-dowager,and that Princess Augusta who was togive a future queen to England, in the person ofCaroline of Brunswick. After dinner, when the bride’s-maidsand the court were introduced to her, she said,‘Mon Dieu, il y en a tant, il y en a tant!’ She kissedthe princesses with manifest pleasure, but was so prettilyreluctant to offer her own hand to be kissed, that thePrincess Augusta, for once doing a graceful thing gracefully,was forced to take her hand and give it to those whowere to kiss it, which was prettily humble and good.This act set the Queen talking and laughing, at whichsome severe critics declared that the illustrious lady’sface seemed all mouth. Northcote subsequently declaredthat Queen Charlotte’s plainness was not a vulgar, but anelegant, plainness. The artist saw another grace in her.441As he looked at Reynolds’s portrait of her, fan in hand,Northcote, remembering the sitting, exclaimed, ‘Lord,how she held that fan!’

It is singular that although the question touching precedency,in the proper position of Irish peers on Englishstate occasions, had been settled in the reign of George II.,it was renewed on the occasion of the marriage of QueenCharlotte with increased vigour. The question, indeed,now rather regarded the peeresses than the peers. TheIrish ladies of that rank claimed a right to walk in themarriage procession immediately after English peeressesof their own degree. The impudent wits of the daydeclared that the Irish ladies would be out of theirvocation at weddings, and that their proper place was atfunerals, where they might professionally howl. The rudetaunt was made in mere thoughtlessness, but it stirred thehigh-spirited Hibernian ladies to action. They deputedLord Charlemont to proceed to the court of St. James’s,and not only prefer but establish their claim. The gallantchampion of dames fulfilled his office with alacrity, andcrowned it with success. The royal bride herself waswritten to, but she, of course, could only express herwillingness to see as many fair and friendly faces abouther as possible; and she referred the applicants to customand the lord-chamberlain. The reference was not favourableto the claimants, and Lord Charlemont boldly wentto the King himself. The good-natured young monarchwas as warm in praise of Irish beauty as if he was aboutto marry one, but he protested that he had no authority,and that Lord Charlemont must address his claim to theprivy council. When that august body received theladies’ advocate, they required of him to set down hisspecific claim in writing, so that the heralds, those learnedand useful gentlemen, might comprehend what wasasked, and do solemn justice to rank and precedency on442this exceedingly solemn occasion. Lord Charlemontknew nothing of the heralds’ shibboleth, but he found afriend who could and did help him in his need, in LordEgmont. By the two a paper was hurriedly drawn up inproper form, and submitted to the council. The collectivewisdom of the latter pronounced the claim to be good,and that Irish peeresses might walk in the royal marriageprocession immediately after English peeresses of theirown rank, if invited to do so. The verdict was notworth much, but it satisfied the claimants. If the wholeIrish peerage, the female portion of it at least, was not atthe wedding, it was fairly represented, and when LordCharlemont returned to Dublin, the ladies welcomed himas cordially as the nymphs in the bridal of Triermain didthe wandering Arthur. They showered on him flowersof gratitude, and their dignity was well content to feelassured that they might all have gone to the wedding ifthey had only been invited.

At seven o’clock the nobility began to flock down tothe scene of the marriage in the royal chapel. The nightwas sultry, but fine. At nine, and not at twelve, theceremony was performed by the Lord Archbishop ofCanterbury; and perhaps the most beautiful portion ofthe spectacle was that afforded by the bride’s-maids,among whom Lady Sarah Lennox, Lady CarolineRussel, and Lady Elizabeth Keppel were distinguishedfor their pre-eminent attractions. During the wholeceremony, it is said that the royal bridegroom’s eyeswere kept fixed on Lady Sarah especially. That theQueen could not have been so perfectly unpossessed ofattractive features as some writers have declared her, maybe gathered from a remark of Walpole’s, who was present,and who, after praising the beauty of the bride’s-maids,and that of a couple of duch*esses, says: ‘Except a prettyLady Sunderland, and a most perfect beauty, an Irish443Miss Smith, I don’t think the Queen saw much else todiscourage her.’ The general impression was different.What this was may be understood by a passage in a letteraddressed to Mrs. Montagu’s brother, the Rev. WilliamRobertson, by a friend, in October 1761: ‘The Queenseems to me to behave with equal propriety and civility;though the common people are quite exasperated at hernot being handsome, and the people at court laugh at hercourtesies.’

All the royal family were present at the nuptials. TheKing’s brother, Edward, Duke of York, was at his side;and this alleged witness of the King’s alleged previousmarriage with Hannah Lightfoot, says Lady AnneHamilton, ‘used every endeavour to support his royalbrother through the trying ordeal, not only by first meetingthe princess in her entrance into the garden, but alsoat the altar.’

The Queen was in white and silver. ‘An endlessmantle of violet-coloured velvet,’ says Walpole, ‘linedwith crimson, and which, attempted to be fastened on hershoulder by a bunch of large pearls, dragged itself andalmost the rest of her clothes half-way down herwaist.’

After the ceremony their Majesties occupied twostate chairs on the same side of the altar, under a canopy.The mother of the monarch occupied a similar chair ofstate on the opposite side; the other members of theroyal family were seated on stools, while benches weregiven to the foreign ministers to rest upon. At half-pastten the proceedings came to a close, and the return of themarriage procession from the chapel was announced bythundering salutes from the artillery of the park and theTower. ‘Can it be possible,’ said the humble bride, ‘thatI am worthy of such honours?’

Walpole says of the royal bride that she did nothing444but with good humour and cheerfulness. ‘She talks agood deal,’ says the same writer, ‘is easy, civil, and notdisconcerted.’ While the august company waited forsupper, she sat down, sung, and played; conversed withthe King, Duke of Cumberland, and Duke of York, inGerman and French. She was reported to have been asconversant with the last as any native, but Walpole onlysays of it that ‘her French is tolerable.’ The supperwas in fact a banquet of great splendour and correspondingweariness. ‘They did not get to bed till two;’ bywhich time the bride, who had made a weary journeythrough the heat and dust, and had been awake since thedawn, must have been sadly jaded. ‘Nothing but aGerman constitution,’ said Mrs. Scott, ‘could have undergoneit.’ The same lady says:—‘She did not arrive inLondon till three o’clock, and besides the fatigue of thejourney, with the consequences of the flutter she couldnot avoid being in, she was to dress for her wedding, bemarried, have a drawing-room, and undergo the ceremonyof receiving company after she and the King were inbed, and all the night after her journey and solong a voyage.’ There are no old fashioned nuptial ceremoniesto record and to smile at. Walpole alludes to acivil war and campaign on the question of the bedchamber.‘Everybody is excluded but the minister; even the lordsof the bedchamber, cabinet councillors, and foreignministers; but it has given such offence that I don’tknow whether Lord Huntingdon must not be the scapegoat.’

On the 9th of September the Queen held her firstdrawing-room. ‘Everybody was presented to her, butshe spoke to nobody, as she could not know a soul. Thecrowd was much less than at a birthday; the magnificencevery little more. The King looked very handsome, andtalked to her with great good humour. It does not445promise as if these two would be the two most unhappypersons in England from this event.’

In contrast with this account of an eye-witness standsthe deposition of Lady Anne Hamilton, a passage fromwhose suppressed book may be cited rather than credited.It reflects, however, much of the popular opinion of thatand a far later period. ‘In the meantime,’ writes thelady just named, ‘the Earl of Abercorn informed theprincess of the previous marriage of the King, and of theexistence of his Majesty’s wife; and Lord Hardwickeadvised the princess to well inform herself of the policy ofthe kingdom, as a measure for preventing much futuredisturbance in the country, as well as securing anuninterrupted possession of the throne to her issue. Presuming,therefore, that the German princess had hithertobeen an open and ingenuous character, such expositions,intimations, and dark mysteries were ill-calculated tonourish honourable feelings, but would rather operate asa check to their further existence. To the public eye thenewly married pair were contented with each other;alas! it was because each feared an exposure to thenation. The King reproached himself that he had notfearlessly avowed the only wife of his affections; theQueen, because she feared an explanation that the Kingwas guilty of bigamy, and thereby her claim, as also thatof her progeny (if she should have any), would be knownto be illegitimate. It appears as if the result of thosereflections formed a basis for the misery of millions, andadded to that number millions yet unborn.’

This probably is solemn nonsense, as it is certainlyindifferent English. We get back to comic truth, atleast, in an anecdote told by Cumberland, of BubbDodington, who, ‘when he paid his court at St. James’sto her Majesty, upon her nuptials, approached to kiss herhand, decked in an embroidered suit of silk, with lilac446waistcoat and breeches, the latter of which, in the act ofkneeling down, forgot their duty, and broke loose fromtheir moorings in a very indecorous and uncourtlymanner.’ As for the forsaken Ariadne, Lady SarahLennox was very soon united to Sir Charles Bunbury;and subsequently to Colonel George Napier, bywhom she became mother of ‘the Napiers’, one ofwhom used to speak sneeringly of George IV. as his‘cousin.’ Lady Sarah’s old royal lover never made anysecret of his admiration of her. The last time he was everat the play with Queen Charlotte, he remarked to her, ofone of the most accomplished of actresses, ‘Miss Popeis still like Lady Sarah!’

Between the wedding drawing-room and the coronationthe King and Queen appeared twice in public, onceat their devotions and once at the play. On bothoccasions there were crowds of followers, and some disappointment.At the chapel-royal, the preacher, theRev. Mr. Schultz, made no allusion to the august couple,but simply confined himself to a practical illustration ofhis text, ‘Provide things honest in the sight of all men.’It was a text from the application of which a youngsovereign couple might learn much that was valuable,without being preached at. But the crowd, who went tostare, and not to pray, would have been better pleased tohave heard them lectured, and to have seen how theylooked under the infliction. The King had expresslyforbidden all laudation of himself from the pulpit, butthe Rev. Dr. Wilson, and Mason the poet, disobeyedthe injunction, and, getting nothing by their praise, joinedthe patriotic side in politics immediately. At the play,to which the King and Queen went on the day afterattending church, to witness Garrick, who was advertisedto play Bayes, in the ‘Rehearsal,’ the King was inroars of laughter at Garrick’s comic acting; which even447made the Queen smile, to whom, however, such a play asthe ‘Rehearsal’ and such a part as Bayes must have beentotally incomprehensible, and defying explanation. Noroyal state was displayed on this occasion, but there werethe penalties which are sometimes paid by a too eagercuriosity. The way from the palace to the theatre wasso beset by a violently loyal mob that there was difficultyin getting the royal chairs through the unwelcome pressure.The accidents were many, and some were fatal. Theyoung married couple did not accomplish their first partyof pleasure, shared with the public, but at the expense ofthree or four lives of persons trampled to death amongthe crowd that had assembled to view their portion of thesight.

The St. ‘James’s Chronicle’ thus reports the scene whichtook place on the occasion of the royal visit to DruryLane, on Friday, the 11th of September: ‘Last night,about a quarter after six, their Majesties the King andQueen, with most of the royal family, went to DruryLane playhouse to see the “Rehearsal.” Their Majestieswent in chairs, and the rest of the royal family in coaches,attended by the horse-guards. His Majesty was precededby the Duke of Devonshire, his lord-chamberlain,and the Honourable Mr. Finch, his vice-chamberlain;and her Majesty was preceded by the Duke of Manchester,her lord-chamberlain, and Lord Cantalupe, her vice-chamberlain,the Earl of Harcourt, her master of thehorse, and by the duch*ess of Ancaster and the Countessof Effingham. It is almost inconceivable, the crowds ofpeople that waited in the streets, quite from St. James’sto the playhouse, to see their Majesties. Never was seenso brilliant a train, the ladies being mostly dressed in theclothes and jewels they wore at the royal marriage. Thehouse was quite full before the doors were open, so thatout of the vast multitude that waited the opening of the448doors, not a hundred got in; the house being previouslyfilled, to the great disappointment and fatigue of manythousands; and we may venture to say that there werepeople enough to have filled fifty such houses. Therewas a prodigious deal of mischief done at the doors ofthe house; several genteel women, who were imprudentenough to attempt to get in, had their clothes, caps,aprons, handkerchiefs, all torn off them. It is said a girlwas killed, and a man so trampled on that there are nohopes of his recovery.’

Among the congratulatory addresses presented to theQueen, on the occasion of her marriage, there was nonewhich caused so much remark as that presented by theladies of St. Albans. They complained that custom haddeprived them of the pleasure of joining in the addresspresented by the gentlemen of the borough, and thatthey were therefore compelled to act independently.They profited by the occasion to express a hope that theexample set by the King and Queen would be speedilyand widely followed. The holy state of matrimony, theSt. Albans ladies assured her Majesty, had fallen so lowas to be sneered at and disregarded by gentlemen. Theyfurther declared that if the best riches of a nation consistedin the amount of population, they were the bestcitizens who did their utmost to increase that amount: tofurther which end the ladies of St. Albans expressed aloyal degree of willingness, with sundry logical reasoningswhich made even the grave Charlotte smile.

It is unnecessary perhaps to enter detailedly upon theprogramme of the royal coronation. All coronations verymuch resemble each other; they only vary in some oftheir incidents. That of George and Charlotte had well-nighbeen delayed by the sudden and unexpected strikeof the workmen at Westminster Hall. These handicraftsmenhad been accustomed to take toll of the public449admitted to see the preparations; but soldiers on guard,perceiving the profit to be derived from such a course,allowed no one to enter at all but after payment of anadmission fee sufficiently large to gratify their cupidity.The plunderers of the public thereupon fell out, and theworkmen struck because they had been deprived of anopportunity of robbing curious citizens. The dispute wassettled by a compromise; an increase of wages was madeto the workmen, and the military continued to levy withgreat success upon the purses of civilians, as before.

Nothing further remained to impede the completionof the preparations for the spectacle; but by anotherstrike, a portion, at least, of the public ran the risk of notseeing the spectacle at all. The chairmen and drivers ofhired vehicles had talked so largely of their scale of pricesfor the Coronation Day, that the authorities threatened tointerfere and establish a tariff; whereupon the chairmenand their brethren solemnly announced that not a hiredvehicle of any description should ply in the streets at allon the day in question; and that if there were a sightworth seeing, the full-dressed public might get to it howthey could: they should not ride to it. Thereupon, greatwas the despair of a very large and interested class.Appeals, almost affectionate in expression, were made tothe offended chairmen who led the revolt, and they wereentreated to trust to the generous feelings of their patrons,willing to be their very humble servants, for one day.The amiable creatures at last yielded, when it was perfectlyunderstood that the liberal sentiment of riders wasto be computed at the rate of a guinea for a ride fromthe West-end to the point nearest the Abbey which thechairmen could reach. Not many could penetrate beyondCharing Cross, where the bewildered fares were set downamid the mob and the mud, to work their way throughboth as best they might.


One class of extortionate robbers only succeeded inmaking unwarrantable gain without interference on thepart of the authorities, or appeal on that of the public.The class in question consisted of the Dean and Chapterof Westminster, who exacted five guineas a foot as therent or hire of the space for the erection of scaffoldingfor seats. This caused the tariff of places to be of socostly a nature, that, willing as the public were to payliberally for a great show, the seats were but scantilyoccupied.

The popular eagerness which existed, especially to seethe young Queen, was well illustrated in the person of amarried lady, for whom not only was a front room taken,from the window of which she might see the processionpass, but a bedroom also engaged, and a medical man inattendance; the lady’s condition of health rendering itprobable that both might be required before the spectaclehad concluded.

Much had been said of the Queen’s beauty, but tothat her Majesty had really little pretension. The publicnear enough to distinguish her features were the moredisappointed, from the fact that the portrait of a verypretty woman had been in all the print-shops as a likenessof the young Queen. The publisher, however, hadselected an old engraving of a young beauty, and erasingthe name on the plate, issued the portrait as that of theroyal consort of his Majesty George III. Many wereindignant at the trick, but few were more amused by itthan her Majesty herself.

As illustrative of the crowds assembled, even on placeswhence but little could be seen, it may be mentioned thatthe assemblage on Westminster Bridge (which was no‘coign of vantage,’ for the platform on which the processionpassed could hardly be discovered from it) was soimmense as to give rise to a report, which long prevailed,451that the structure of the bridge itself had been injured bythis superincumbent dead weight.

The multitude was enthusiastic enough, but it was nota kindly endowed multitude. The mob was ferocious inits joys in those days. Of the lives lost, one at least wasso lost by a murderous act of the populace. A respectableman in the throng dropped some papers, and hestooped to recover them from the ground. The contemporaryrecorders of the events of the day detail,without comment, how the mob held this unfortunateman forcibly down till they had trampled him to death!The people must have their little amusem*nts.

It was, perhaps, hardly the fault of the people thatthese amusem*nts were so savage in character. Thepeople themselves were treated as savages. Even on thisday of universal jubilee they were treated as if the greatoccasion were foreign to them and to their feelings; anda press-gang, strong enough to defy attack, was not theleast remarkable group which appeared this day amongthe free Britons over whom George and Charlotte expressedthemselves proud to reign. Such a ‘gang’ didnot do its work in a delicate way, and a score or two ofloyal and tipsy people, who had joyously left their homesto make a day of it, found themselves at night, batteredand bleeding, on board a ‘Tender,’ torn from theirfamilies, and condemned to ‘serve the King’ upon thehigh seas.

The interior of the Abbey displayed, so says the‘St. James’s Chronicle,’ the finest exhibition of genteelpeople that the world ever saw. That was satisfactory.The Countess of Northampton carried three hundredthousand pounds’ worth of diamonds upon her, and otherladies dropped rubies and other precious stones fromtheir dresses in quantity sufficient to have made thefortune of any single finder. The day, too, did not pass452without its ominous aspect. As the King was movingwith the crown on his head, the great diamond in theupper portion of it fell to the ground, and was not foundagain without some trouble.

Perhaps the prettiest, though not the most gorgeousportion of the show, was the procession of the Princess-dowagerof Wales from the House of Lords to theAbbey. The King’s mother was led by the hand of heryoung son, William Henry. These and all the otherpersons in this picturesque group were attired in dressesof white and silver; and the spectators had the goodsense to admire the corresponding good taste. Theprincess wore a short silk train, and was consequentlyrelieved from the nuisance of being pulled back by train-bearers.Her long hair flowed over her shoulders inhanging curls, and the only ornament upon her headwas a simple wreath of diamonds. She was the bestdressed and perhaps not the least happy of the personspresent.

The usual ceremonies followed. The Westminsterboys sang ‘Vivat Regina’ on the entry of the Queen intothe Abbey, and ‘Vivat Rex’ as soon as the King appeared.The illustrious couple engaged for a time in private devotions,were presented to the people, and the divine blessinghaving been invoked upon them, they sat to hear a sermonof just a quarter of an hour in length, from Drummond,Bishop of Salisbury. The text was sermon in itself. Itwas from I Kings, x. 9: ‘Because the Lord loved Israelfor ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgmentand justice.’ The episcopal comment was not a bad one;but when the prelate talked, as he did, of our constitutionbeing founded upon the principles of purity and freedom,and justly poised between the extremes of power andliberty, his sentiment was but poorly illustrated by thepresence of that press-gang without, with whom was much453power over a people who, in such a presence, enjoyed noliberty.

Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, placed the crownson the heads of the Sovereigns, and did not get kissed inreturn, as was formerly the custom, at least on the part ofa newly crowned king. But perhaps the prettiest incidenttook place when the King was about to partake, with theQueen, of the Sacrament. He desired that he might firstput aside his crown, and appear humbly at the table ofthe Lord. There was no precedent for such a case, andall the prelates present were somewhat puzzled, lest theymight commit themselves. Ultimately, and wisely, theyexpressed an opinion that, despite the lack of authorisingprecedent, the King’s wishes might be complied with. Asimilar wish was expressed by Queen Charlotte; but thiscould not so readily be fulfilled. It was found that thelittle crown fixed on the Queen’s head was so fastened, tokeep it from falling, that there would be some trouble ingetting it off without the assistance of the Queen’s dressers.This was dispensed with, and the crown was worn by theQueen; but the King declared that in this case it was tobe considered simply as part of her dress, and not as indicatingany power or greatness residing in a personhumbly kneeling in the presence of God.

The remainder of the ceremonial was long and tedious,and it was quite dusk before the procession returned to theHall. In the meantime, the champion’s horse was champinghis bit with great impatience, as became a horse ofhis dignity. This gallant grey charger was no other thanthat which bore the sacred majesty of George II. throughthe dangers of the great and bloody day at Dettingen. Theveteran steed was now to be the leader in the equestrianspectacle at the banquet of that monarch’s successor.

Although there was ample time for the completion ofeverything necessary to the coronation of George and454Charlotte, the earl-marshal forgot some very indispensableitems; among others, the sword of state, the state-banquetchairs for the King and Queen, and the canopy. It waslucky that the crown had not been forgotten too. As itwas, they had to borrow the ceremonial sword of theLord Mayor, and workmen built a canopy amid thescenic splendours of Westminster Hall. These mistakesdelayed the procession till noon.

It was dark when the procession returned to the Hall;and as the illuminating of the latter was deferred till theKing and Queen had taken their places, the cortège hadvery much the appearance of a funeral procession, nothingbeing discernible but the plumes of the Knights of the Bath,which seemed the hearse. There were less dignified incidentsthan these in the course of the day’s proceedings; theleast dignified was an awkward rencounter between theQueen herself and the Duke of Newcastle, behind the scenes.Walpole says that ‘some of the procession were dressedover night, slept in arm chairs, and were waked if theytumbled on their heads.’ Noticing some of the ladiespresent, the same writer adds: ‘I carried my LadyTownshend, Lady Hertford, Lady Anne Conolly, myLady Hervey, and Mrs. Clive to my deputy’s house atthe gate of Westminster Hall. My Lady Townshend saidshe should be very glad to see a coronation, as she neverhad seen one. “Why,” said I, “madam, you walked atthe last.” “Yes, child,” said she, “but I saw nothing ofit. I only looked to see who looked at me.” Theduch*ess of Queensberry walked; her affectation thatday was to do nothing preposterous. Lord Chesterfieldwas not present either in Abbey or Hall; for, as he saidof the ceremony, he was “not alive enough to march,nor dead enough to walk at it.”’

The scene in the banqueting-hall is further describedby Grey and also by Walpole. Grey says of the scene in455Westminster Hall: ‘The instant the Queen’s canopy enteredfire was given to all the lustres at once by trains ofprepared flax that reached from one to the other. Tome it seemed an interval of not half a minute before thewhole was in a blaze of splendour ... and the mostmagnificent spectacle ever beheld remained. The King,bowing to the lords as he passed, with his crown on hishead and the sceptre and orb in his hands, took his placewith great majesty and grace. So did the Queen, withher crown, sceptre, and rod. Then supper was servedon gold plate. The Earl Talbot, Duke of Bedford, andEarl of Effingham, in their robes, all three on horseback,prancing and curvetting like the hobby-horses in the“Rehearsal,” ushered in the courses to the foot of thehautpas. Between the courses the champion performedhis part with applause.’ ‘All the wines of Bordeaux,’Walpole writes to George Montagu, ‘and all the fumes ofIrish brains cannot make a town so drunk as a royalwedding and a coronation. I am going to let Londoncool, and will not venture into it again this fortnight.Oh, the buzz, the prattle, the crowds, the noise, the hurry!Nay, people are so little come to their senses, that, thoughthe coronation was but the day before yesterday, theDuke of Devonshire had forty messages yesterday, desiringadmissions for a ball that they fancied was to be at courtlast night. People had sat up a night and a day, and yetwanted to see a dance! If I was to entitle ages, I wouldcall this “the century of crowds.” For the coronation, ifa puppet-show could be worth a million, that is. Themultitudes, balconies, guards, and processions madePalace Yard the liveliest spectacle in the world: the ballwas most glorious. The blaze of lights, the richness andvariety of habits, the ceremonial, the bunches of peersand peeresses, frequent and full, were as awful as apageant can be; and yet, for the King’s sake and my456own, I never wish to see another; nor am impatient tohave my Lord Effingham’s promise fulfilled. The Kingcomplained that so few precedents were kept of theirproceedings. Lord Effingham vowed the earl-marshal’soffice had been strangely neglected, but he had takensuch care for the future that the next coronation wouldbe regulated in the most exact manner imaginable. Thenumber of peers and peeresses present was not verygreat; some of the latter, with no excuse in the world,appeared in Lord Lincoln’s gallery, and even walkedabout the hall indecently in the intervals of the procession.My Lady Harrington, covered with all the diamondsshe could borrow, hire, or seize, and with the air of Roxana,was the finest figure at a distance. She complained toGeorge Selwyn that she was to walk with Lady Portsmouth,who would have a wig and a stick. “Pho!” saidhe, “you will only look as if you were taken up by theconstable.” She told this everywhere, thinking that thereflection was on my Lady Portsmouth! Lady Pembrokealone, at the head of the countesses, was the picture ofmajestic modesty. The duch*ess of Richmond as pretty asnature and dress, with no pains of her own, could makeher. Lady Spencer, Lady Sutherland, and Lady Northampton,very pretty figures. Lady Kildare, still beautyitself, if not a little too large. The ancient peeresses wereby no means the worst party. Lady Westmoreland stillhandsome, and with more dignity than all. The duch*ess ofQueensberry looked well, though her locks are milk-white.Lady Albemarle very genteel; nay, the middle age hadsome good representatives in Lady Holdernesse, LadyRochford, and Lady Strafford, the perfectest little figureof all. My Lady Suffolk ordered her robes, and I dressedpart of her head, as I made some of my Lord Hertford’sdress, for you know no profession comes amiss to me,from a tribune of the people to a habit-maker. Do not457imagine that there were not figures as excellent on theother side. Old Exeter, who told the King he was thehandsomest man she ever saw; old Effingham, and LadySay and Sele, with her hair powdered and her tresses black,were an excellent contrast to the handsome. Lord B.put on rouge upon his wife and the duch*ess of Bedfordin the Painted Chamber; the duch*ess of Queensberrytold me of the latter, that she looked like an orangepeach, half red and half yellow. The coronets of thepeers and their robes disguised them strangely. It requiredall the beauty of the Dukes of Richmond andMarlborough to make them noticed. One there was,though of another species, the noblest figure I ever saw,the high constable of Scotland, Lord Errol: as one sawhim in a space capable of containing him, one admiredhim. At the wedding, dressed in tissue, he looked likeone of the giants at Guildhall, new gilt. It added tothe energy of his person that one considered him asacting so considerable a part in that very hall where afew years ago one saw his father, Lord Kilmarnock, condemnedto the block. The champion acted his partadmirably, and dashed down his gauntlet with prouddefiance. His associates, Lord Effingham, Lord Talbot,and the Duke of Bedford, were woeful. Lord Talbotpiqued himself on backing his horse down the Hall, andnot turning its rump towards the King; but he hadtaken such pains to dress it to that duty that it enteredbackwards; and at his retreat, the spectators clapped—aterrible indecorum, but suitable to such BartholomewFair doings. He had twenty démêlés, and came off nonecreditably. He had taken away the table of the Knightsof the Bath, and was forced to admit two in their oldplace, and dine the other at the Court of Requests. SirWilliam Stanhope said, “We are ill-treated, for some of usare gentlemen.” Beckford told the earl it was hard to458refuse a table to the City of London, whom it would costten thousand pounds to banquet the King, and that hislordship would repent it if they had not a table in thehall; they had. To the barons of the Cinque Ports, whomade the same complaint, he said, “If you come to meas lord-steward, I tell you it is impossible; if as LordTalbot, I am a match for any of you;” and then he saidto Lord Bute, “If I were a minister, thus would I talk toFrance, to Spain, to the Dutch; none of your half-measures.”’

With all the solemnity, there was some riot. A passagefrom a letter written by one James Heming (quotedin ‘Notes and Queries,’ 2nd S., V. II., p. 109) says: ‘Ourfriend Harry, who was upon the scaffold at the return ofthe procession, closed in with the rear; at the expense ofhalf a guinea was admitted into the Hall; got brimful of hisMajesty’s claret, and in the universal plunder, brought offthe glass her Majesty drank in, which is placed in the beaufetas a valuable curiosity.’ There was long a tradition current,that among the spectators at the great ceremony in theHall was no less a person than the Young Pretender, whowas said to have been there incognito, and not withoutsome hope of seeing the gauntlet, defiantly thrown downby the champion, taken up by some bold adherent of hiscause. Indeed, it is further reported that preparationhad been made for such an attempt, but that (fortunately)it accidentally failed. The Pretender, so runs the legend,was recognised by a nobleman, who, standing near him,whispered in his ear that he was the last person anybodywould expect to find there. ‘I am here simplyout of curiosity,’ was the answer of the wanderer; ‘butI assure you that the man who is the object of all thispomp and magnificence is the person in the world whomI least envy.’ To complete the chain of reports, itmay be further noticed that Charles Edward was said to459have abjured Romanism, in the new church in the Strand,in the year 1754.

The night after the coronation there was an unusuallygrand ball at court. The Queen’s bride’s-maids danced inthe white bodiced coats they had worn at the wedding.The Duke of Ancaster was resplendent in the dress whichthe King had worn the whole of the day before at thecoronation, and which he had graciously ordered to bepresented to the duke, whose wife was the Queen’s mistressof the robes! The King and Queen retired at eleveno’clock; not an early hour for the period.

There was great gaiety in town generally at thisperiod. The young Queen announced that she wouldattend the opera once a week—that seemed dissipationenough for her, who had been educated with some strictnessin the quietest and smallest of German courts. Theweekly attendance of royalty is thus commented upon byWalpole: ‘It is a fresh disaster to our box, where wehave lived so harmoniously for three years. We can getno alternative but that over Miss Chudleigh’s; and LordStrafford and Lady Mary co*ke will not subscribe unlesswe can. The Duke of Devonshire and I are negotiatingwith all our art to keep our party together. The crowdsat the opera and play when the King and Queen go area little greater than what I remember. The late royaltieswent to the Haymarket when it was the fashion to frequentthe other opera in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields. LordChesterfield one night came into the latter, and was askedif he had been at the other house? “Yes,” said he,“but there was nobody but the King and Queen; and asI thought they might be talking business, I came away.”’

The theatres, of course, adopted the usual fashion ofreproducing the ceremony of the coronation on the stage.Garrick, considering that he was a man of taste, displayedgreat tastelessness in his conduct on this occasion. After460‘Henry VIII.,’ in which Bensley played the King,Havard acted Wolsey, and Yates—what was so longplayed as a comic part—Gardiner, and in which Mrs.Pritchard played the Queen, and Mrs. Yates Anne Boleyn,a strange representation of the ceremonial was presentedto the public. Garrick, it is said, knowing that Richwould spare no expense in producing the spectacle at theother house, and fearing the cost of competition with aman than whom the stage never again saw one so cleverin getting up scenic effects till it possessed Farley, contentedhimself with the old, mean, and dirty dresseswhich had figured in the stage coronation of George II.and Caroline. The most curious incident of Garrick’sshow was, that by throwing down the wall behind thestage, he really opened the latter into Drury Lane itself,where a monster bonfire was burning and a mob huzzaingabout it. The police authorities did not interfere, andthe absurd representation was continued for six or sevenweeks, ‘till the indignation of the public,’ says Davis, ‘puta stop to it, to the great comfort of the performers, whowalked in the procession, and who were seized with colds,rheumatism, and swelled faces, from the suffocation ofthe smoke and the raw air from the open street.’ TheirMajesties did not witness the representation of the coronationat either house. Their first visit was paid to DruryLane, when the Queen commanded the piece to beplayed, and her selection was one that had some wit init. The young bride chose, ‘Rule a Wife and have a Wife.’The royal visit took place on the 26th of November.

At Covent Garden ‘Henry the Fifth,’ with the coronation,was acted twenty-six times; and ‘Richard theThird,’ with the same pageant, was played fourteen times.That exquisite hussey, Mrs. Bellamy, walked in the processionas the representative of the Queen. TheirMajesties paid their first visit in state, on the 7th of January4611762. The King, with some recollection, probably, ofhis consort’s ‘bespeak’ at Drury Lane, commanded the‘Merry Wives of Windsor.’ So that in this respect thenew reign commenced merrily enough. It had its bonsmots. When some persons expressed surprise at theQueen having named Lady Northumberland one of theladies of her bedchamber, Lady Townshend said, ‘Quiteright! the Queen knows no English. Lady Northumberlandwill teach her the vulgar tongue!’



The levée—The King goes to parliament—The first night of the opera—Garrickgrievously offended—The King and Queen present on the LordMayor’s Day—Entertained by Robert Barclay, the Quaker—Banquet atGuildhall to the King and Queen—Popular enthusiasm for Mr. Pitt—BuckinghamHouse purchased by the King for Queen Charlotte—Defoe’saccount of it—The Duke of Buckingham’s description of it—West andhis pictures—The house demolished by George IV.—First illness ofthe King—Domestic life of the King and Queen—Royal carriage—Selwyn’sjoke on the royal frugality—Prince Charles of Strelitz—Costume—Gracefulaction of the Queen—Birth of Prince George.

The entire population seemed surprised at having gota young Queen and King to reign over them; and, exceptan occasional placard or two, denouncing ‘petticoatgovernment,’ and pronouncing against Scotch ministersand Lord George Sackville, there seemed no dissatisfiedvoice in the whole metropolis. The graces of the youngSovereign were sung by pseudo-poets, and Walpole, ingraceful prose, told of his surprise at seeing how completelythe whole levée-room had lost its air of a lion’sden. ‘The Sovereign don’t stand in one spot, with hiseyes fixed royally on the ground, and dropping bits ofGerman news: he walks about and speaks to everybody.I saw him afterwards on the throne, where he is gracefuland genteel; sits with dignity, and reads his answers toaddresses well. It was the Cambridge address, carriedby the Duke of Newcastle, in his doctor’s gown, andlooking like the Médecin malgré lui. He had beenvehemently solicitous for attendance, for fear my Lord463Westmoreland, who vouchsafes himself to bring the addressfrom Oxford, should out-number him. Lord Litchfieldand several other Jacobites have kissed hands. GeorgeSelwyn says, “They go to St. James’s because now thereare so many Stuarts there.”’

In allusion to the crowds of nobles, gentle and simple,going up to congratulate the King, or to view the processionsflocking to the foot of the throne, or surroundingthe King, as it were, when he went to the first parliament,Walpole remarks: ‘The day the King went to the houseI was three quarters of an hour getting through Whitehall.There were subjects enough to set up half a dozenpetty kings: the Pretender would be proud to reign overthe footmen only; and, indeed, unless he acquires some ofthem, he will have no subjects left; all their masters flockto St. James’s.’ In a few words he describes the scene atthe theatre on the King’s first visit, alone. ‘The firstnight the King went to the play, which was civilly on aFriday, not on the opera night, as he used to do, thewhole audience sang God save the King in chorus. Forthe first act the press was so great at the door that noladies could go to the boxes, and only the servants appearedthere, who kept places. At the end of the secondact the whole mob broke in and seated themselves.’ Theplay was ‘Richard the Third,’ in which Garrick representedthe king. George III. repeated his visit on the23rd of December to see ‘King John.’

His Majesty grievously offended Garrick on this night,by a manifestation of what the latter considered very badtaste. The King preferred Sheridan in Faulconbridge toGarrick in King John; and when this reached the ears ofGarrick, he was excessively hurt; and, though the boxeswere taken for ‘King John,’ for several nights, theoffended ‘Roscius’ would not allow the play to have itsproper run.


But there were other stages, on which more solemnpageants had to be performed. The Sovereigns had yetto make their first appearance within the city liberties.

The Queen was introduced to the citizens of Londonon Lord Mayor’s Day; on which occasion they may besaid emphatically to have ‘made a day of it.’ They leftSt. James’s Palace at noon, and in great state, accompaniedby all the royal family, escorted by guards, and cheeredby the people, whose particular holiday was thus sharedin common. There was the usual ceremony at TempleBar of opening the gates to royalty and giving it welcome;and there was the once usual address made at the eastend of St. Paul’s Churchyard, by the senior scholar ofChrist’s Hospital School. Having survived the cumbrousformalities of the first, and smiled at the flowery figuresof the second, the royal party proceeded on their way,not to Guildhall, but to the house of Mr. Barclay, thepatent-medicine-vendor, an honest Quaker whom theKing respected, and ancestor to the head of the firmwhose name is not unmusical to Volscian ears—Barclay,Perkins, and Co.

Robert Barclay, the only surviving son of the authorof the same name, who wrote the celebrated ‘Apologyfor the Quakers,’ was an octogenarian, who had entertained,in the same house, two Georges before he hadgiven welcome to the third George and his QueenCharlotte. The hearty old man, without abandoningQuaker simplicity, went a little beyond it, in order to dohonour to the young Queen; and he hung his balconyand rooms with a brilliant crimson damask, that musthave scattered blushes on all who stood near—particularlyon the cheeks of the crowds of ‘Friends’ who hadassembled within the house to do honour to their Sovereigns.How the King—and he was at the time a veryhandsome young monarch—fluttered all the female Friends465present, and set their tuckers in agitation, may be guessedfrom the fact that he kissed them all round, and righthappy were they to be so greeted. The Queen smiledwith dignity, her consort laughed and clapped his hands,and when they had passed into another room, the King’syoung brothers followed the example, and in a minutehad all the young Quakeresses in their arms—nothingloath. Those were unceremonious days, and ‘a kiss allround’ was a pleasant solemnity, which was undergonewith alacrity even by a Quakeress.

In the apartment to which the King and Queen hadretired the latter was waited on by a youthful grand-daughterof Mr. Barclay, who kissed the royal hand withmuch grace, but would not kneel to do so, a resoluteobservance of consistent principle which made the youngQueen smile. Later in the day, when Mr. Barclay’sdaughters served the Queen with tea, they handed itto the ladies-in-waiting, who presented it kneeling totheir Sovereign—a form which Rachel and Rebeccawould never have submitted to. From the windows ofthis house, which was exactly opposite Bow Church, theQueen and consort witnessed the Lord Mayor’s processionpass on its way to Westminster, and had the patience towait for its return.

The Princess of Wales was a spectator of the show onthis occasion, with her son, King George, and her daughter-in-law,Queen Charlotte. Her husband, Frederick, Princeof Wales, once stood among the crowd in Cheapside toview the return of the Mayor’s procession to Guildhall.He was recognised by some members of the SaddlersCompany, by whom he was invited into their ‘stand,’erected in the street. He accepted their invitation, andmade himself so agreeable that the company unanimouslyelected him their ‘Master,’ an office which he acceptedwith great readiness.


Queen Charlotte and George III. were the last of oursovereigns who thus honoured a Lord Mayor’s Show.And as it was the last occasion, and that the young QueenCharlotte was the heroine of the day, the opportunity maybe profited by, to show how that royal lady looked andbore herself in the estimation of one of the Miss Barclays,whose letter descriptive of the scene appeared forty-sevenyears subsequently, in 1808. ‘About one o’clock papaand mamma, with sister Western to attend them, tooktheir stand at the street-door, where my two brothershad long been to receive the nobility, more than a hundredof whom were then waiting in the warehouse. Asthe royal family came, they were conducted into one ofthe counting-houses, which was transformed into a verypretty parlour. At half-past two their Majesties came,which was two hours later than they intended. On thesecond pair of stairs was placed our own company, aboutforty in number, the chief of whom were of the Puritanorder, and all in their orthodox habits. Next to the drawing-roomdoors were placed our own selves—I mean papa’schildren, none else, to the great mortification of visitors,being allowed to enter; for, as kissing the King’s handwithout kneeling was an unexampled honour, the Kingconfined that privilege to our own family, as a return forthe trouble we had been at. After the royal pair hadshown themselves at the balcony, we were all introduced,and you may believe, at that juncture, we felt no smallpalpitations. The King met us at the door (a condescensionI did not expect), at which place he saluted uswith great politeness. Advancing to the upper end of theroom, we kissed the Queen’s hand, at the sight of whomwe were all in raptures, not only from the brilliancy ofher appearance, which was pleasing beyond description,but being throughout her whole person possessed of thatinexpressible something that is beyond a set of features,467and equally claims our attention. To be sure she has nota fine face, but a most agreeable countenance, and isvastly genteel, with an air, notwithstanding her being alittle woman, truly majestic; and I really think, by hermanner is expressed that complacency of dispositionwhich is truly amiable; and though I could never perceivethat she deviated from that dignity which belongsto a crowned head, yet on the most trifling occasions shedisplayed all that easy behaviour that negligence canbestow. Her hair, which is of a light colour, hung inwhat is called coronation-ringlets, encircled in a bandof diamonds, so beautiful in themselves, and so prettilydisposed, as will admit of no description. Her clothes,which were as rich as gold, silver, and silk could makethem, was a suit from which fell a train supported by alittle page in scarlet and silver. The lustre of herstomacher was inconceivable. The King I think a verypersonable man. All the princes followed the King’sexample in complimenting each of us with a kiss. TheQueen was upstairs three times, and my little darling, withPatty Barclay and Priscilla Ball, were introduced to her.I was present and not a little anxious on account of mygirl, who kissed the Queen’s hand with so much gracethat I thought the princess-dowager would havesmothered her with kisses. Such a report was made ofher to the King, that Miss was sent for, and afforded himgreat amusem*nt, by saying ‘that she loved the King,though she must not love fine things, and her grandpapawould not allow her to make a curtsy.’ Her sweet facemade such an impression on the Duke of York, that Irejoiced she was only five instead of fifteen. When hefirst met her, he tried to persuade Miss to let him introduceher to the Queen; but she would by no meansconsent till I informed her he was a prince, upon whichher little female heart relented, and she gave him her468hand—a true copy of the sex. The King never sat down,nor did he taste anything during the whole time. HerMajesty drank tea, which was brought her on a silverwaiter by brother John, who delivered it to the lady-in-waiting,and she presented it kneeling. The leave theytook of us was such as we might expect from our equals;full of apologies for our trouble for their entertainment—whichthey were so anxious to have explained, that theQueen came up to us, as we stood on one side of thedoor, and had every word interpreted. My brothers hadthe honour of assisting the Queen into her coach. Someof us sat up to see them return, and the King and Queentook especial notice of us as they passed. The King orderedtwenty-four of his guard to be placed opposite our doorall night, lest any of the canopy should be pulled downby the mob, in which there were one hundred yards ofsilk damask.’

Gog and Magog have never looked down on so gloriousa scene and so splendid a banquet as enlivenedGuildhall, at which the Queen and her consort wereroyally entertained, at a cost approaching 8000l. BothSovereigns united in remarking that ‘for elegance ofentertainment the city beat the court end of the town.’A foreign minister present described it as a banquet suchonly as one king could give another. And it was preciselyso. The King of the City exhibited his boundlesshospitality to the King of England. The majesty of thepeople had the chief magistrate for a guest.

The majesty of the people, however, if we may creditthe Earl of Albemarle, the author of the ‘Memoir ofthe Marquis of Rockingham and his Contemporaries,’ wasby no means so civil to the royal guests as the occasionwarranted.

On the 9th of November, George III., who had beenmarried only two months, went in state with his youthful469Queen, to dine with the Lord Mayor. It was theirMajesties’ first visit to the city. Mr. Pitt, yielding toLord Temple’s persuasions, and, as he afterwards declared,‘against his better judgment,’ went with him in hiscarriage, and joined the procession. Pitt, the ‘greatcommoner,’ the terrible ‘Cornet of Horse,’ hated anddreaded by Sir Robert Walpole, had only just resignedoffice, because he could not get his colleagues to agreewith him in an aggressive policy against Spain, to be atwar with which power was then a passion with thepeople. For this reason Pitt was their idol and thecourt party their abomination. Hence, the result ofPitt’s joining the procession might partly have beenanticipated. The royal bride and bridegroom were receivedby the populace with indifference, and Pitt’s latecolleague with cries of ‘No Newcastle salmon!’ As forLord Bute, he was everywhere assailed with hisses andexecrations, and would probably have been torn inpieces by the mob, but for the interference of a band ofbutchers and prize-fighters, whom he had armed as abody-guard. All the enthusiasm of the populace wascentred in Mr. Pitt, who was ‘honoured45 with the mosthearty acclamations of people of all ranks; and so greatwas the feeling in his favour, that the mob clung aboutevery part of the vehicle, hung upon the wheels, huggedhis footman, and even kissed his horses.’

The royal bride must have been astonished, and thebridegroom was indignant at what, a few days after thebanquet, he called ‘the abominable conduct of Mr. Pitt.’The court members of parliament were directed to bepersonally offensive to him in the house, and all thefashionable ladies in town went to see the noble animalbaited.

The year of pageants ended with matters of money.Parliament settled on Queen Charlotte 40,000l. per470annum, to enable her the better to support the royaldignity; with a dowry of 100,000l. per annum, andRichmond Old Park and Somerset House annexed, incase she should survive his Majesty. On the 2nd ofDecember the King went in state to the House to givethe royal assent to the bill. The Queen accompaniedhim; and when the royal assent had been given, herMajesty rose from her seat and curtsied to him the gratefulacknowledgments which were really due to the representativesof the people who gave the money.

Somerset House was but an indifferent town residencefor either Queen or queen-dowager, and the Kingshowed his taste and gratified Queen Charlotte when, inlieu of the above-named residence, he purchased for herthat red-brick mansion which stood on the site ofthe present Buckingham Palace, and was then known as‘Buckingham House.’ It was subsequently called the‘Queen’s House.’ The King bought it of Sir CharlesSheffield for 21,000l., and settled it on his consort byan act of parliament obtained some years afterwards.Therein were all the children born, with the exceptionof their eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, who wasborn at St. James’s Palace; who demolished the oldhouse in 1825, and erected on its site one of the ugliestpalaces by which the sight was ever offended. QueenVictoria has had some difficulty to make it a comfortableresidence; to render it beautiful was out of the powereven of her Majesty’s architect, Mr. Blore. The edifice ofhis predecessor, Nash, defied all his efforts.

In Queen Charlotte’s time Mr. Wyatt erected a grandstaircase. West’s pictures soon filled the great gallery,and that artist at least would not complain, as so manyothers did, that the Queen and King were mean patronsof art, seeing that the latter, to gratify his consort, paidWest no less than 40,000l. for his labours. The principal471of these pictures are now at Hampton Court. The‘Regulus’ brought West a very liberal pension. Thedining-room was adorned with pictures by Zucchero,Vandyke, Lely, Zoffani, Mytens, and Houseman. TheQueen’s house, although intended as a simple asylum forits royal owners from the oppressive gorgeousness andceremony of St. James’s, did not lack a splendour of itsown. The crimson drawing-room, the second drawing-room,and the blue-velvet room, were magnificent apartments,adapted for the most showy of royal pageants,and adorned with valuable pictures. Queen Charlottehad hardly been installed in this her own ‘House,’ whenher husband commenced the formation of that invaluablelibrary which her son, on demolishing her house, madeover to the nation, and is now in the British Museum.

The son just alluded to was George IV. Under thepretence of being about to repair Buckingham House, heapplied to the Commons to afford the necessary supplies.These were granted under the special stipulation thatrepairs (and not rebuilding) were intended. The Kingand his architect, Nash, however, went on demolishingand reconstructing until the fine old mansion disappeared,and a hideous palace took its place, at a tremendous costto the public. Neither of the children of Charlotte wholived to ascend the throne resided in this palace. Theold building was the property of a queen-consort, thenew one was first occupied by a Queen-regnant, thedaughter of Charlotte’s third son, Edward. The firstgreat event in Queen Charlotte’s life, after she becamemistress of Buckingham House, was her becoming themother of him who destroyed it—George AugustusFrederick, Prince of Wales.

In 1762 Horace Walpole says: ‘The King and Queenare settled for good and all at Buckingham House, andare stripping the other palaces to furnish it. In short,472they have already fetched pictures from Hampton Court,which indicates their never living there; consequentlyStrawberry Hill will remain in possession of its own tranquillity,and not become a cheese-cake house to thepalace. All I ask,’ says the cynic in lace ruffles, ‘all Iask of princes is not to live within five miles of me.’Even thus early in the reign, the King’s health gave riseto some disquietude. ‘The King,’ writes Walpole toMann, ‘had one of the last of those strong and universallyepidemic colds, which, however, have seldom been fatal.He had a violent cough, and oppression on his breast,which he concealed, just as I had; but my life was of noconsequence, and having no physicians in ordinary, Iwas cured in four nights by James’s powder, withoutbleeding. The King was blooded seven times and hadthree blisters. Thank God, he is safe, and we haveescaped a confusion beyond what was ever known on theaccession of the Queen of Scots. Nay, we have not evena successor born. Fazakerly, who has lived longenough to remember nothing but the nonsense of thelaw, maintained, according to its wise tenets, that, as theKing never dies, the Duke of York must have been proclaimedKing; and then be unproclaimed again on theQueen’s delivery. We have not even any standing lawfor the regency; but I need not paint you all the difficultiesthere would have been in our situation.’

The difficulty was overcome; the King recovered, theroyal couple lived quietly, and when they were disposedto be gay and in company, they already exhibited a spiritof economy which may illustrate the saying, that anyvirtue carried to excess becomes a vice. On the 26thof November the Queen and the King saw ‘a few friends’;the invitations only included half a dozen strangers, andthe entire company consisted of not more than twelve orthirteen couple. The six strangers were Lady Caroline473Russell, Lady Jane Stewart, Lord Suffolk, Lord Northampton,Lord Mandeville, and Lord Grey. Besidesthese were the court habitués, namely the duch*ess ofAncaster and her Grace of Hamilton, who accompaniedthe Queen on her first arrival. These ladies dancedlittle: but on the other hand, Lady Effingham and LadyEgremont danced much. Then there were the six maids ofhonour, Lady Bolingbroke—who could not dance becauseshe was in black gloves, and Lady Susan Stewart inattendance upon ‘Lady Augusta.’ The latter was thateldest daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales, at whosebirth there had been such a commotion, and who wascommonly called the Lady Augusta, in obedience to herfather’s wishes, who was fond of this old-fashionedEnglish style of naming our princesses. The noblemenin waiting were Lords March, Eglintoun, Cantilupe, andHuntingdon. There were ‘no sitters-by,’ except theKing’s mother, the duch*ess of Bedford, and Lady Bute.At this select party, which commenced between half-pastsix and seven, the King danced the whole time withthe Queen; and the Lady Augusta, future mother of thenext Queen of England, with her four younger brothers.The dancing went on uninterruptedly till one in themorning: the hungry guests separated without supper;and so ended the young couple’s first and not very hilariousparty.

That young couple certainly began life in a prosaicallybusiness-like way. To suit the King’s convenience,one opera night was changed from Tuesdaysto Mondays, because the former was ‘post-day’ and hisMajesty too much engaged to attend; and the Queenwould not have gone on Tuesdays without him. Therewas more questionable taste exhibited on other occasions.Eight thousand pounds were expended on a newstate-coach, which was ‘a beautiful object crowded with474improprieties.’ The mixture of palm-trees and Tritonswas laughed at; the latter as not being adapted to a land-carriage;the former as being as little aquatic as theTritons were terrestrial.

It was, perhaps, with reference to the Queen’s firstsupperless party that Lord Chesterfield uttered a bon mot,when an addition to the peerage was contemplated.When this was mentioned in his presence, someone remarked: ‘I suppose there will be no dukesmade.’ ‘Oh, yes, there will!’ exclaimed Chesterfield,‘there is to be one’ ‘Is? who?’ ‘Lord Talbot; he isto be created Duke Humphrey, and there is to be notable kept at court but his.’

The young nobility, who had formed great expectationsof the splendour and gaiety that were to result, asthey thought, from the establishment of a new court,with a young couple at the head of it, were miserablydisappointed that pleasure alone was not the deity enshrinedin the royal dwelling. To the Queen’s palacethey gave the name of Holyrood House, intending todenote thereby that it was the mere abode of chill,gloom, and meanness. But, be this as it may, theEnglish court was now the only court in Europe at whichvice was discountenanced, and virtue set as an exampleand insisted on in others. With respect to the routinefollowed there, it certainly lacked excitement, but washardly the worse for that. The Queen passed most ofher mornings in receiving instruction from Dr. Majendiein the English tongue. She was an apt scholar, improvedrapidly, and though she never spoke or wrote withelegance, yet she learned to appreciate our best authorsjustly, and was remarkable for the perfection of taste andmanner with which she read aloud. Needle-work followedstudy, and exercise followed needle-work. TheQueen usually rode or walked in company with the King475till dinner-time; and in the evening she played on theharpsichord, or sang aloud—and this she could doalmost en artiste; or she took share in a homely gameof cribbage, and closed the innocently spent day with adance. ‘And so to bed,’ as Mr. Pepys would say—withoutsupper.

The routine was something changed when her Majesty’sbrother, Prince Charles of Strelitz, became a visitor atthe English court in February 1762. He was a princeshort of stature, but well-made, had fine eyes and teeth,and a very persuasive way with him. So persuasive,indeed, that he at one time contrived to express fromthe King 30,000l. out of the civil-list revenue, topay the debts the prince had contracted with Germancreditors.

In the meantime, matters of costume, as connectedwith court etiquette, were not considered beneath herMajesty’s notice. Her birth-day was kept on the 18th ofJanuary, to make it as distinct as possible from theKing’s, kept in June, and to encourage both winter andsummer fashions. For the latter anniversary a dress wasinstituted of ‘stiff-bodied gowns and bare shoulders;’and invented, it was said, ‘to thin the drawing-room.’‘It will be warmer, I hope,’ says Walpole, in March, ‘bythe King’s birth-day, or the old ladies will catch theirdeaths. What dreadful discoveries will be made both onfat and lean! I recommend to you the idea of Mrs. Cavendishwhen half stark!’ The Queen’s drawing-rooms,however, were generally crowded by the ladies; and nowonder, when seventeen English and Scotch unmarrieddukes might be counted at them. The especial birthdaydrawing-room on the anniversary of the King’s natalday was, however, ill attended, less on the King’s accountthan on that of his minister, Lord Bute. Meanwhile,court was made to the Queen by civilities shown to a476second brother who had come over to visit her, alluredby affection and the success which had attended theelder brother. Lady Northumberland’s fête to thiswandering prince was a ‘pompous festine;’ ‘not onlythe whole house, but the garden was illuminated, andwas quite a fairy scene. Arches and pyramids of lightsalternately surrounded the enclosure; a diamond necklaceof lamps edged the rails and descent, with a spiralobelisk of candles on each hand; and dispersed over thelawn with little bands of kettle-drums, clarinets, fifes, &c.,and the lovely moon who came without a card.’ QueenCharlotte knew how to perform a graceful action gracefullyas well as any queen who ever shared the throne. Thus,Lady Bolingbroke having been trusted by the duch*ess ofBedford with a superb enamelled watch to exhibit to herMajesty, the latter desired her to put it on, that she mightthe better judge of its ornamental effect. She wasobeyed, and thereupon she made a present of it to thehappy lady, remarking, that the watch looked so wellupon her ‘it ought to remain by Lady Bolingbroke’sside.’

But the great event of the year was the birth ofthe heir-apparent. It occurred at St. James’s Palace, onthe 12th of August. In previous reigns such eventsgenerally took place in the presence of many witnesses;but on the present occasion the Archbishop of Canterburyand the Lord Chancellor alone were present in thatcapacity.

‘Many rejoiced,’ writes Mrs. Scott, the sister of ElizabethMontagu, ‘but none more than those who havebeen detained all this hot weather in town to be presentat the ceremony. Among them, no one was more impatientthan the chancellor, who, not considering anypart of the affair as a point of law, thought his presencevery unnecessary. His lordship and the archbishop477must have had a fatiguing office; for, as she was broughtto bed at seven in the morning, they must have attendedall night, for fear they should be absent at the criticalmoment. I wish they were not too much out of humourbefore the prince was born to be able to welcome it properly.’

The royal christening will be, however, of more interestthan details of the birth of the prince. Theceremony was performed in the grand council chamber,the Archbishop of Canterbury—‘the right rev. midwife,Thomas Secker,’ as Walpole calls him—officiating. Walpole,describing the scene, on the day after, says: ‘Ournext monarch was christened, last night, George AugustusFrederick. The Princess (Dowager of Wales), the Dukeof Cumberland, and the Duke of Mecklenburgh, sponsors.The Queen’s bed, magnificent and, they say, in taste, wasplaced in the drawing-room; though she is not to seecompany in form, yet it looks as if they had intendedpeople should have been there, as all who presentedthemselves were admitted, which were very few, for ithad not been notified; I suppose to prevent too great acrowd. All I have heard named, besides those in waiting,were the duch*ess of Queensberry, Lady Dalkeith,Mrs. Grenville, and about four other ladies.’

It was precisely at the period of the christening ofthis royal babe that the marriage of her who was to bethe mother of his future wife was first publicly spoken of.In September Walpole expresses a hope to his friendConway that the hereditary Prince of Brunswick is‘recovering of the wound in his loins, for they say he isto marry the Princess Augusta.’ Walpole, however,would have nothing to do with the new Prince of Wales.‘With him,’ he says, ‘I am positive never to occupymyself. I kissed the hand of his great-great-grandfather;would it not be preposterous to tap a volume of478future history, of which I can never see but the firstpages?’

Poor Queen Charlotte did not escape scandal. Lessthan twenty years after her death a M. Gailliardet published,in 1836, a memoir of the celebrated Chevalierd’Eon, founded, it is said, on family papers. In this book,the young Queen Charlotte was described, in the year1763, as giving interviews by night to the chevalier, andthe Prince of Wales, just named, was said to be theirson. Many years after Gailliardet’s book had appeareda M. Jourdan published ‘Un Hermaphrodite,’ whichwas a wholesale plagiarism from Gailliardet. Jourdandenied this fact; when Gailliardet declared that the wholestory about the Queen and the chevalier was pure fiction!Jourdan then affirmed that he had nothing to do with‘Un Hermaphrodite,’ and had only put his name to it.In this way is calumny propagated. If we may judgefrom a letter written about this time, by Mrs. Scott, theQueen was not a person to attract chevaliers. TheQueen’s ‘person,’ she says, ‘is not the only thing thatdispleases. There is a coarseness and vulgarity of mannersthat disgust much more. She does not seem to chooseto fashion herself at all.’



Scenes, and personal sketches of Queen Charlotte—Her fondness fordiamonds—Visit to Mrs. Garrick—Orphan establishment at Bedfordfounded by the Queen—Her benevolence on the breaking of the Windsorbank—Marriage of Princess Caroline Matilda—Unfounded rumoursabout the Queen—Hannah Lightfoot—The King’s illness—A regencyrecommended by the King—Discussions relative to it—Birth of PrinceFrederick—Failing health of the Duke of Cumberland.

In 1761 not a more gorgeously attired queen, in presenceof the public, was to be found than ours. But we learnthat, in 1762, the first thing of which the Queen gotpositively weary was her jewels. At first, seeing herselfendowed with them, her joy was girlish, natural, andunfeigned. But the gladness was soon over. It was theecstacy of a week, as she herself said a quarter of a centurylater; and there was indifference at the end of a fortnight.‘I thought at first,’ said she, ‘I should always choose towear them; but the fatigue, and trouble of putting themon, and the care they required, and the fear of losingthem; why, believe me, madam, in a fortnight’s time Ilonged for my own earlier dress and wished never to seethem more.’

This was said to Miss Burney, subsequently herdresser and reader, who adds that the Queen informedher that dress and shows had never been things shecared for, even in the bloom of her youth; and thatneatness and comfort alone gave her pleasure in herselfas in others. The Queen confessed that ‘the first weekor fortnight of being a Queen, when only in her seventeenth480year, she thought splendour sufficiently becomingher station to believe she should choose thenceforth constantlyto support it. But it was not her mind,’ saysMiss Burney, ‘but only her eyes that were dazzled,and therefore her delusion speedily vanished, and herunderstanding was too strong to give it any chance ofreturning.’

This is pretty, but it has the disadvantage of notbeing exactly true. The Queen may have been indifferentfor a while to the wearing or the value ofdiamonds, but later in life, if she did nurse a cherishedpassion, it was for these glittering gewgaws. The popularvoice, at least, accused her of this passion, and beforemany years elapsed it was commonly said that no moneywas so sure to buy her favour as a present of diamonds.That she could, however, condescend to very simple tasksis well known. This is illustrated by her visit to Mrs.Garrick, at Hampton. The Queen found the ex-actressengaged in peeling onions, and Charlotte sat down, and,by helping her in her employment, saved her from theannoyance of being ashamed of it.

In 1763 the country hailed the advent of peace andthe retirement of Lord Bute from office. The Queen’spopularity was greater than that of the King, and evenmen of extremely liberal politics greeted her ‘mild andtender virtues.’ She now encouraged trade by hersplendid fêtes, and was one of those persons who, byenjoying festive grandeurs calmly, acquire a reputationfor calmly despising them. In August 1763 she becamethe mother of a second prince, Frederick, afterwardsDuke of York.

One of the first acts of the Queen, this same year, wasa graceful act of benevolence. The young mother hadthought and a heart for young orphans—of gentility.For parentless children of gentle blood she established a481home in Bedfordshire. At the head of the house wasplaced a lady who, with many comforts, enjoyed theliberal salary of 500l. per annum. In return for this shesuperintended the instruction of the young ladies (whowere not admitted till they had attained the age of fifteen—ageof folly and of fermentation, as some one has calledit) in embroidery. The first produce of their taste andtoil was the property of their patroness, the young Queen,and was converted into ornaments for window curtains,chairs, sofas, and bed furniture for Windsor Castle andthe ‘Queen’s House’ in St. James’s Park.

This was, perhaps, rather a calculating benevolence;but the Queen paid 500l. a year for fifty years for it, andher Majesty was not wanting in true charity. In a laterperiod of her reign the middle classes of Windsor werethrown into much misery by the breaking of the bankthere. Many individuals of the class alluded to held the1l. notes of this bank; and the paper had now no morevalue than as paper. The Queen, on hearing the case,ordered her treasurer to give cash for these notes ontheir being presented, and this was done to the extent of400l. Her daughters acted as clerks, and never wasthere so hilarious a run upon the bank as on this royalhouse at Windsor.

The year 1765 opened in some sense auspiciously—witha royal marriage. Caroline Matilda was theposthumous daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales, andwas born in July 1751. The terms of her marriage withChristian, Crown Prince of Denmark, were settled inJanuary of this year; but, on account of the extremeyouth of the contracting parties, they were not carriedinto effect until two years had elapsed. Meanwhile, theyoung bride, who had been remarkable for her beauty,grace, and elegance—and above all for her vivacity—seemedalmost to fade away, so nervously anxious did she482become as to the obligation by which she was bound andits possible results. Before the espousals were completedher affianced husband had become King of Denmark, andwhen Queen Charlotte congratulated her sister-in-lawshe little thought of the hard fate that was to follow uponthe ceremony. As for the following year, it was a timeof much anxiety and distress, and the people were scarcelygood-humoured enough in 1765 to welcome the birth ofa third prince, in the person of William Henry, afterwardsDuke of Clarence.

The reports circulated at this time, to the effect thatthe Queen interfered in state affairs, were discredited bythose who certainly did not lack the means of getting atthe truth. The rumour appears to have been believedby Mr. Stanhope; but Lord Chesterfield, in writing to hisson, and noticing his belief in the good foundation ofsuch a rumour, says: ‘You seem not to know thecharacter of the Queen; here it is. She is a goodwoman, a good wife, a tender mother, and an unmeddlingqueen. The King loves her as a woman, but Iverily believe has never yet spoken one word to herabout business.’

The reports regarding her were at once atrocious andabsurd. They were the falser because they spoke of herhaving insisted on a repetition of her marriage ceremonywith the King, and that the same was performed by Dr.Wilmot, at Kew Palace. The motive for this proceedingwas ascribed to the alleged fact of the death of HannahLightfoot, with whom rumour was resolved that the Kinghad been wedded, and that now a legal marriage mightbe solemnised between the Queen and himself. Theatrocity of rumour was illustrated by a report that inconsequence of an attack of illness which had affected, fora short time, the King’s mental faculties, the Queen, armedwith a law which, in the case of an interruption in the483exercise of the royal authority, gave a power ofregency to her Majesty, or other members of the royalfamily, assisted by a council, had exercised the mostunlimited sway over the national affairs, to the injury ofthe nation.

The only part of this which is true is where the King’sillness is referred to. That he had been mentally affectedwas not known beyond the palace, and to but a very fewwithin it. He went with the Queen to Richmond in themonth of April, announcing an intention to spend a weekthere; but, on the third day, he appeared unexpectedlyat the levée held by the Queen. This was so contrivedin order to prevent a crowd. He was at the drawing-roomon the following day, and at chapel on Good Friday.He looked pale, but it was the fixed plan to call himwell, and far-seeing people hoped that he was so. Hishealth was considered as very precarious, but what waschiefly dreaded was—consumption.

He acted with promptitude in this matter, by goingdown to the House, and in an affecting and dignified spirit,urging the necessity of appointing a regency, in case ofsome accident happening to himself before the heir-apparentshould become of age. The struggle on thisbill was one of the most violent which had ever beencarried on by two adverse factions. By a mere jugglepractised on the King, the clauses of the bill passed bythe Lords, after some absurd discussion as to what wasmeant by the ‘royal family,’ excluded his mother, thePrincess-dowager of Wales, as though she were nota member of it. The struggle was as fierce in theCommons; for ministers dreaded lest, with the Princess-dowager,they might get her protégé, Lord Bute, for‘King!’ The political antagonists professed a super-excellenceof what they did not possess—patriotism; andafter a battle of personalities, the name of the Princess-dowager484was inserted next after that of the Queen (whomsome were desirous to exclude altogether), as capable,with certain assistance named, of exercising the power ofregency, and the Lords adopted the bill which came tothem thus amended.

The Queen, it is hardly necessary to observe, had noopportunity under this bill to exercise any present power,had she been ever so inclined. It was only in after yearsthat her enemies made the accusation against her, whenthey wanted the memory which mendacious persons aresaid to chiefly require. With respect to the desiredomission of the name of the King’s mother from theregency, it was fixing on her a most unmerited stigma.The attempt to prove that she was not of the royal familywas to say, in other words, that she was not akin to herown son. It is not known whether the Queen herselfthought so, nor did people care what a fiction of lawmight say thereupon. The Princess-dowager’s name wasplaced next to that of Queen Charlotte in the newRegency bill.

There is little more of personal detail connected withthe Queen this year that is of much interest. Her eldestson already wore a long list of titles, had been honouredwith the Order of the Garter, and returned brief answersto loyal deputations. He was born twice a duke, oncean earl and baron, and Lord High Steward of Scotland.He was Duke of Cornwall and Rothsay, Earl of Carrick,and Baron of Renfrew; and a few days after his birthhis mother smilingly laid upon his lap the patent wherebyhe was created Prince of Wales. His brother Frederickhad been, ere he could speak, named Bishop of Osnaburgh;and Queen and King were equally hurt by the ‘Chapter,’who acknowledged their diocesan, but refused to entrustto him the irresponsible guardianship of the episcopalfunds. The Queen’s thoughts were drawn away from485this matter, for a moment, by the birth (already noticed)of William Henry, on the 21st of August—the second ofher children destined to ascend the throne. This was thelittle prince who so delighted the good Mrs. Chapone,and by his engaging ways won the heart of Dr. Thomas,Bishop of Winchester.

But while some princes were flourishing, others werefading. The health of the Duke of Cumberland, thedearly loved son of Caroline, had long been precarious.As early as April in this year his favourite sister, Amelia,residing at Gunnersbury, had felt much alarm on hisaccount. ‘The Duke of Cumberland is actually set outfor Newmarket to-day; he, too, is called much better,but it is often as true of the health of princes as of theirprisoners, that there is little distance between each andtheir graves. There has been lately a fire at Gunnersburywhich burned four rooms; her servants announced itto Princess Amelia with that wise precaution of “Madam,do not be frightened!”—accordingly, she was terrified.When they told her the truth, she said, “I am very glad;I had expectation my brother was dead.”’46 The expectationseemed natural. A few months more only were toelapse before he who was so over-praised for his generalshipat Culloden, and so over-censured for his severityafter it, was summoned to depart.

1It is even alleged that he had been, through his representative, M. deGourville, at the Court of Hanover, the first to suggest the expediency of amarriage between his daughter and George Louis. The suggestion wasmade as coming, not only from himself, but from the duch*ess of Zell also,who certainly was no party to such a proposition.

2Letter to the Duke of Marlborough.

3De Roney.

4Lord Hervey’s ‘Memoirs, &c., of the Court of Queen Caroline.’

5Lord Hervey.


7Chesterfield’s ‘Life and Letters; edited by Lord Mahon.’

8Lord Hervey.

9Lord Hervey.

10Lord Hervey.

11Lord Hervey.


13Lord Hervey.

14Lord Hervey.

15Lord Hervey.

16Now Earl Stanhope.

17Lord Hervey.


19Lord Hervey.

20Lord Hervey.

21Lord Hervey.

22Lord Hervey.

23Lord Hervey.

24Lord Hervey.

25Lord Hervey.

26Lord Hervey.

27Copies of the original letters, in French, will be found in Lord Hervey’svolumes.

28These matters will be found detailed at great length, in Lord Hervey’sMemoirs.

29In ‘Amphitryon.’

30Lord Hervey.

31Lord Hervey.

32To what extent it was so can only be understood by those who perusethe Memoirs of this court by Lord Hervey.

33Salmon’s ‘Chronological Historian.’

34Suwarrow’s ‘Military Catechism’ contains the atrocious hint, that awounded foeman may become a dangerous enemy.

35Hervey makes this remark, but it was originally made by Walpole.

36Lord Hervey.

37Quin played the hero.

38Lord Hervey’s ‘Memoirs.’

39This matter, only alluded to by Lord Chesterfield, is treated at verygreat length by Lord Hervey.

40Horace Walpole.

41Salmon’s ‘Chronological Historian.’

42‘Lord Chesterfield’s Life and Letters. Edited by Lord Mahon.’

43‘Lord Chesterfield’s Life and Letters;’ ut supra.


45‘Gentleman’s Magazine.’

46‘Walpole’s Letters.’



Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were madeconsistent when a predominant preference was foundin the original book; otherwise they were not changed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; unbalancedquotation marks were remedied when the change wasobvious, and otherwise left unbalanced.

Footnotes, originally at the bottoms of the pages that referenced them,have been collected, sequentially renumbered, and placed at the end ofthe book.


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Lives of the Queens of England of the House of Hanover, volume 1 (of 2) (2024)


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