The Project Gutenberg EBook of Social England under the Regency, Vol. 1
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Title: Social England under the Regency, Vol. 1 (of 2)

Author: John Ashton

Release Date: March 1, 2015 [EBook #48390]

Language: English

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(p. v) Décoration


Certainly, it is not the least part of an Author's reward, for all his pains and trouble, to find that the Public appreciates his efforts, and purchases, and reads his books.

This, I am happy to say, was specially the case with one of mine, "The Dawn of the Nineteenth Century." In it I wrote of Social England in the first decade of the century, leaving off at a time when George III. was hopelessly incompetent to govern, and a Regency was in progress of establishment.

The favour which the Public bestowed upon this book emboldens me to continue it, and sketch the men and manners of the Regency. Most books of this class deal mainly with the great ones of the land, but I have only done so where necessary to illustrate the history of the (p. vi) times, my aim being more to delineate the social condition of England, and her people; and this work will be found perfectly reliable as history, nothing being taken at second hand, but all compiled, even down to the illustrations, from original and contemporaneous authorities.


(p. vii) Décoration




The King's Malady — Former preparations for a Regency — King's recovery — The King at home — His love of music — Severe frost — Lucien Buonaparte a prisoner of war — French obstructions to commerce — A gallant merchantman 1


A Regency inevitable — Prince of Wales waited on — He undertakes the Regency — French and English prisoners of war — Roman Catholic soldiers — Roughness of manners — Passing of Regency Bill — The Prince's companions — Inauguration of the Prince as Regent — Improvement in the health of the King 17


Story of a crime — The Shanavests and the Caravats — Gluttony — Smuggling bullion — A Tar at the theatre — Deposition of French Colours in Whitehall Chapel — The Duke of York reinstated as Commander-in-Chief — The Regency Fête — Account of the entertainment 39


Ladies' dresses at the Fête — The banquet — Carlton House thrown open to the public — The crush — Sir F. Burdett's action against the Speaker — Relief of British Prisoners in France — Scarcity of guineas — Lord King and his tenants — Stories respecting the Currency 57

(p. viii) CHAPTER V.

A smuggler's victim — Illness of Gilray — A gallant highwayman — A Witch — Bartholomew Fair — The Comet — A practical joke on the Queen — Woman's Cricket Match — Ballooning — French prisoners of war — Luddite riots — The King and his physicians — His health 75


The Regent's doings — The Royal Sprain — Colonel McMahon — Luddite and Factory Riots — Scarcity of Bullion — Murder of Mr. Perceval 97


French Prisoners of War — Repeal of the "Orders in Council" — Rejoicings for the Victory of Salamanca — Saturnalia thereat 119


Chimney-sweeps — Climbing boys — Riot at Bartholomew Fair — Duelling — War with France — Declaration of war between England and America — Excommunication for bearing false witness — Early Steam Locomotives — Margate in 1812 — Resurrection men — Smithfield Cattle Club 133


High price of provisions — Luddites — Smuggling — Day of Humiliation — The Cossack — Mdlle. Platoff — Discovery of body of Charles I. at Windsor — The Queen and the mad woman — The fasting woman of Tutbury — Fight between the Shannon and the Chesapeake — Rejoicings for the Victory at Vittoria — Fête at Vauxhall — William Huntingdon, S.S. 149


Emperor of Russia invested with the Garter — The Poet Laureate — French Prisoners of War — Joy over Napoleon's defeat at Leipsic — "Orange boven" — The Allies and the War with France — The War with America — The Princess Charlotte and her establishment — The Prince of Orange her suitor — The King's Health 179

(p. ix) CHAPTER XI.

A Cat in a Conflagration — Scramble for Exchequer Bills — A Matrimonial Dispute — An old Debtor — A Volunteer Dinner — A Man and Hedgehog — Torpedoes — Slavery — Gambling on Napoleon's Life — Gas Lighting 199


The Fog — Condition of Ireland — State of the Navy — The Regent at Belvoir — Coming of age of Princess Charlotte — Day of Thanksgiving — Great Snowstorm — Thames frozen over — Sports thereon — Frost fair — The Country and the Snow 209


Burning of the Custom House — De Berenger's fraud on the Stock Exchange — Lord Cochrane inculpated — Price of provisions — Arrival of the Duchess of Oldenburgh — The Capitulation of Paris, and fall of Napoleon — Papa Violette — Elba 233


Illuminations for Peace — Ovation to Louis XVIII. — His departure for France — Peace with France — Cheaper provisions — Distinguished foreign guests in London — Arrival of Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia — Movements of the great folk — Popularity of General Blücher 251


Royal festivities — The Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, and General Blücher at Oxford — Banquet at Guildhall — Departure of the Allied Sovereigns — Signature of Treaty of Peace — Proclamation of Peace — State Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral 277


City banquet to the Duke of Wellington — Costly vegetables — The Princess Charlotte — Squabbles about her presentation at Court — The Regent hooted — The Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Orange — Her future husband, Prince Leopold — Her flight from Warwick House, and return 299


State of Ireland — The Regent fêtes the Duke of Wellington — The Jubilee in the Parks — Public opinion thereon — The Celebration 329


The celebration of the Jubilee continued — Sale of the Properties — Continuation of the Fair — Departure of Queen Caroline for the Continent — Scarcity of Gold — French prisoners of war — State of the streets — Red tape in the Navy — English visit France — The War with America — Treaty of peace with America 351


Health of the King — Extension of the Order of the Bath — Wife selling — A Sailor's frolic — "Nelson's Lady Hamilton" — "The Pig-faced Lady" — The advantage of being able to play the violin — Napoleon's escape from Elba 371

(p. xi) Décoration







THE COMET OF 1811 82






























(p. 1) Décoration

A.D. 1592.



The King's Malady — Former preparations for a Regency — King's recovery — The King at home — His love of music — Severe frost — Lucien Buonaparte a prisoner of war — French obstructions to commerce — A gallant merchantman.

"State of His Majesty's Health.

"Windsor Castle, January 1, 1811.

"His Majesty has passed a quiet night, without much sleep, and continues the same as he was yesterday.

"H. Halford.
"W. Heberden.
"R. Willis."

Such was the announcement contained in The Times of 2nd of January, 1811, and, for some time, the subjects of George III. were fed with daily news of the King's health. By and by, as his mental disease (p. 2) was confirmed, they grew fewer, until they were furnished just once a month, and then only the very scantiest intelligence of his condition was vouchsafed to his people.

This was not the first time that his mind had given way. In the early part of October, 1788, he had decided symptoms of mental aberration, and was totally incapable of undertaking any of the affairs of State; but his physicians were hopeful of his recovery—and their hopes were gratified. But the Ministry thought differently, and, after suggesting that the Government should be carried on by a Commission, on the 30th of December, 1788, Pitt wrote a letter to the Prince of Wales, stating that his Majesty's Ministers had come to the conclusion to offer him the Regency of the kingdom under certain restrictions.

The Prince of Wales replied at once, expressing his sorrow at the occasion of his proposed elevation, but accepting the trust. Of course, this suggestion of the Government could not be acted upon without mature deliberation, and it was not until the 30th of January, 1789, that the following resolutions of the Lords and Commons were presented to the Prince of Wales—"That his Royal Highness be empowered to exercise the royal authority under the title of Regent." "That the power given, should not extend to the granting of any peerage, except to the Royal issue." "Nor to the grant of any office in reversion, or any office, salary, or pension, (p. 3) than during his Majesty's pleasure; or to the granting his Majesty's real or personal estates." "That the Care of his Majesty be committed to the Queen, who should nominate all persons to the offices in the household."

Needless to say, the Prince made no objections, and by the 12th of February, the Regency Bill had gone through all its stages in the House of Commons, and was ordered to be sent to the Lords. But the proverbial "slip 'twixt cup and lip" occurred. On the 19th of February the Lord Chancellor informed the House of Lords that, according to the report of his physicians, the King's health was steadily mending, and they therefore abstained from further consideration of the Regency Bill.

The physicians' hopes were fully justified; the King got better rapidly, and, on the 27th of February, his perfect recovery was announced, the prayer for the same was discontinued, and a form of prayer of thanksgiving for his restoration to health, was ordered to be read in all Churches and Chapels throughout England and Wales. Rejoicings and illuminations were the order of the day, and, on the 23rd of April, the day of general thanksgiving, the King, Queen, and Royal family went in state to St. Paul's Cathedral, to return thanks to God for his mercy in giving the King his reason and health once more.

Years went on, and the King did not suffer from mental disease, until the year 1810, when to bodily (p. 4) illness of his own, was added the death of his daughter, the Princess Amelia. This shock, his intellect, perhaps never too strong, could not stand, and, although his condition was concealed for some little time from the people—under the pretence that he had a cold—the truth was obliged to come out; and we read in The Morning Post of October 31st—"It is with heartfelt sorrow we announce that His Majesty's indisposition still continues. It commenced with the effect produced upon his tender parental feelings on receiving the ring[1] from the hand of his afflicted beloved daughter, the affecting inscription upon which, caused him, blessed, and most amiable of men, to burst into tears, with the most heart-touching lamentations on the present state, and approaching dissolution of the afflicted and interesting Princess. His Majesty is attended by Drs. Halford, Heberden, and Baillie, who issue daily bulletins of the state of the virtuous and revered monarch, for whose speedy recovery the prayers of all good men will not fail to be offered up."

This time the Physicians held out no hopes of the King's recovery, or if they did, it was at some vague, indefinite future, the date of which none could prognosticate, (p. 5) and Parliament found itself in a serious situation. It met on the 1st of November, to which date it had been prorogued, only to find that there was no King to open the session, and no Commission for so doing had been named. So, in default of any other recognized authority, the Lord Chancellor, and the Speaker, took the lead in their different assemblies, and, after vainly trying to find out how they should act, an Order in Council cut the Gordian Knot, adjourning Parliament to the 29th of November, a decision which was confirmed in the House of Commons by a majority of 285. When they again met, they, after discoursing of the King, set to work to concoct a Regency.

But that may wait for a while, and come in its proper place, for King George is passing away from this history, and the full blaze of the Regency leaves very little room for the shadow of the old King to show: yet, before he disappears altogether, it may be as well if we can recall a reminiscence of him, as late as possible, before his sad malady overtook, and mastered him. Not in his public capacity, but as it were en famille, let us see him; and we get a good view of him through the medium of the Rev. John Evans, LL.D., of Islington, who wrote "An excursion to Windsor," and thus describes what he saw on the 10th of July, 1810:—

(p. 6) "We entered Windsor about six o'clock, and, having refreshed ourselves at the inn with a cup of tea, hastened to The Terrace, where we found a considerable portion of genteel company. Intent on the gratification of a laudable curiosity, we felt peculiarly happy in joining them on this occasion. It was seven o'clock, and the good old King soon made his appearance with his accustomed punctuality.

"A little door in the Castle was thrown open, when two attendants were seen leading this venerable personage with great care down a flight of steps till he safely alighted upon the terrace. Then the Princesses Elizabeth and Augusta, who were present, accompanied him, one on each side, or rather took hold of his arm; they paced backwards and forwards for an hour, two bands of music playing alternately; and the fine tones of the several instruments being heightened by the stillness of the closing day.

"The King was dressed neatly: blue coat with gilt buttons and blue star, white waistcoat and small clothes, white stockings, and gold buckles in his shoes. His hat somewhat resembled that worn by the clergy, with the addition of a gold button and loop, mounted by a black cockade, which marks him out conspicuously from the rest of the company. His Majesty looked ruddy and full; his voice is sonorous, and he converses with cheerfulness, though, when he attempts to speak rather hastily, it is with hesitation.

(p. 7) "His want of sight is very apparent, for his hat is drawn over the upper part of his face, and he feels about with his cane, especially ascending or descending a step. It is affecting to see him, though he appears cheerful when he speaks, and seems as if nothing were the matter with him. He now and then stops to converse either with the officers, or with the nobility and gentry. We saw him several times on the Terrace; but on this first evening there was a more than ordinary degree of conversation. He was full of inquiries respecting the installation of Lord Grenville as Chancellor of the University of Oxford, which had taken place during the week. He inquired also about the balloon in which Mr. Sadler[2] had ascended on this occasion, and was particularly anxious to know how long it continued in the air, and where it had alighted; Harrow-on-the-Hill was mentioned, though the spot had not then been ascertained. He conversed at all times on a variety of topics with the utmost freedom and even hilarity.

"This daily promenade must benefit both his mind and body: while the presence, as well as the attention, of so many of his subjects, some coming from distant parts, must yield him no inconsiderable gratification. The countenances of the Princesses are replete with good nature, and most exemplary is their attention to their aged parent....

(p. 8) "It should be mentioned that the King, in returning back to his apartments in the Castle, passing by the band of musicians on the steps, always touched his hat, and said, in an audible voice, 'Gentlemen, good night, I thank you.' Indeed, his Majesty, during the whole time, seemed in perfect good humour with all the company.

"The only etiquette observed on the Terrace is, that when the King passes, the ladies and gentlemen withdraw on either side, the latter merely uncovering the head; bows and curtsies being dispensed with on the occasion. A police officer is in attendance, who, with a little switch, keeps individuals from pressing too much on the King, when he stops to converse; but this is done with the greatest urbanity. Owing to a slight indisposition, the Queen did not make her appearance on the Terrace; but we saw her on other occasions. His Majesty was regular in his attendance at Chapel every morning, and seemed seriously engaged in his devotions.

"About ten o'clock, when the weather is fine (Sundays excepted), the King rides out on horseback; and, considering his age, he mounted his horse with wonderful agility. He is, in his ride, accompanied by two of the Princesses, who have some of their maids of honour following in a landau or phaeton. The King has several attendants, two of whom are close by him, and one has a little stick, the crooked end of which catches that part of the bridle nearest the curb, so that should the animal, on (p. 9) which his Majesty rides, stumble, instant assistance might be given."

Music was his greatest solace from his latter seizure till his death, and we learn of him in the beginning of the year 1811 (Morning Chronicle, Jan. 8th):—

"Windsor, January 6th,—The Bulletin of to-day is of a very cheering nature, and for these five days past his Majesty has been gradually improving, both in mental and bodily strength. His Majesty has become more tranquillized in his general deportment, and there are daily visible signs that his malady is on the decline. His Majesty now uses the sitting-room in the Blenheim Tower; takes his meals regularly, and at intervals amuses himself with playing the most familiar tunes on the harpsichord, with a correctness surpassing the most sanguine expectations. As a striking proof of this fact, on some very recent occasions, when his Majesty, in consequence of his defective sight, struck a wrong key, he instantly corrected the error by modulating the tune, and finishing it with his accustomed science and judgment....

"The Harpsichord on which his Majesty plays, formerly belonged to the great Handel, and is supposed to have been manufactured at Antwerp in the year 1612. Handel's music is highly esteemed by his Majesty, and many of his most favourite compositions are now (p. 10) played by his Majesty from recollection." And so let us leave him, for a while, to be soothed by his music.

The year 1811 came in bitterly cold, and sad were the tales told in consequence. As to the Coaches, they suffered severely. On the 4th of January the fall of snow was so great, that the Northern roads were all but impassable, and the Mail Coach from Boston could only be dragged four miles through the snow, the guard having to do the best he could, on horseback, with the mails, and the mails from London to Boston had to be conveyed in the same manner. The Leicester Coach, on the way to Stamford, was upset in the snow at Burton-Lazarus, and several of the passengers were hurt; the Carlisle Mail was dug out of the snow at Tickencote, and with difficulty got to Stamford with eight horses, three hours later than usual; but it could not proceed further than Thornhaugh, whence the guard was obliged to take the letter-bags on horseback. Three coaches from the north lay all night in the snow about a mile from Stamford, and as many near Winsford. Oh! for the good old Coaching days! when Pulman's Cars were unknown, and people with slender purses had to ride outside in all weathers—and it was recorded that on the 5th of January, 1811, on the arrival of the Carlisle Coach in London two poor women, outside passengers, were frozen to death. The Coachman supposed them to be asleep, and did not attempt to disturb them until he arrived at his destination, when (p. 11) they were found stiff in death. Two persons near Lincoln perished in the snow, and the cold was so great, even so far south as London, that the Thames was nearly frozen over.

Tender hearts felt for the Poor Debtors, and those in Ludgate record their thanks to M. A. Taylor, Esq., M.P., for his annual benevolent gift of two Chaldrons of Coals, 158 lbs. Beef, and 23 half-peck loaves; and to Alderman Wood, the friend of Queen Caroline, for his present of £5; and an unknown donor for 40 lbs. Beef. The poor debtors in Newgate had very many large sums to acknowledge, and were duly grateful for the kindly and thoughtful assistance thus rendered them. Sad, however, is it to find that during the Severe Frost, on the 7th of January, a poor prisoner died of Cold and Want in the Marshalsea prison. At this time we learn there were about 320 debtors in Newgate alone; and those that were without private means, had to subsist on the prison allowance of 2d. worth of bread (the quartern loaf being, in January, 1s. 3d.), so that their relief during the inclement winter, was a work of necessity, as well as of benevolence.

In 1811 was living amongst us an illustrious Prisoner of War, no less than Lucien Buonaparte, Prince de Canino (his son, Prince Louis Lucien still lives at Norfolk Terrace, Bayswater), who, not altogether falling in with his brother's policy, was on his way to the United States, when, on the 1st of August, 1810, he was taken and made (p. 12) prisoner by a British Cruiser. After some detention at Malta, he was sent on to England, and Ludlow was assigned as his place of detention; and there he lived for some time, inhabiting Dinham House, the seat of the Earl of Powis. He seems to have accepted the inevitable cheerfully, according to The Times of Friday, January 4th:—

"Lucien Buonaparte arrived at Ludlow about 4 o'clock on the evening of Wednesday, sen'night, accompanied by his nephew, an interpreter, secretary, Mr. Mackenzie, and a few servants. He drove to the Angel Inn where he dined and slept. On Thursday morning he walked about the town, viewed the Castle, and some of the principal streets; but, as the weather was rather unfavourable, and public curiosity great, he did not stay out long. On that evening, one of the Winter Dancing Assemblies took place, which Lucien, his nephew, and some of his friends attended. Some of the latter danced, but Lucien did not. He continued in the room till supper was announced; he then attended Countess Powis to the supper rooms, and sat at her Ladyship's right hand during supper: after which he returned to the ball and card rooms. On Saturday he went to Stone-house, a seat of Lord Powis, about five miles from Ludlow, where Lucien is in future to reside, and from thence proceeded to Walcot, the principal residence of his Lordship, where he stayed a day or two, and returned to Ludlow."

The next day's Times says: "Madame Lucien Buonaparte, (p. 13) with her family, and a numerous train of servants, occupying, in all, four carriages, arrived at Ludlow on Wednesday; having performed the journey from Plymouth, in a week. Lucien removed, on the preceding day, from the Inn to Lord Powis's residence in that town, called Dinham-house; his Lordship's seat in the neighbourhood (Stone-house) being found too small for the reception of so numerous a suite."

In another Newspaper the ladies are described with almost American frankness: "Madame Buonaparte is extremely handsome and fascinating; Lucien's daughter, of whom so much has been said, has great claims to a genteel figure, and elegant demeanour, but she is not beautiful. The motto on Lucien's carriage is an extraordinary one, Luceo, non uro, 'I shine without burning,'" On this motto the following Epigram was made:—

"A Wag, requested to translate
The Motto, on the Coach of State
That sets all Wales into a wonder.
'It means,' said he, and scratcht his pole,
'It means I shine, with what I stole;
My foolish brother burns his plunder."

He afterwards, bought the estate of Thorngrove, near Worcester, and there lived until the restoration in 1814, when he went to Rome.

Some explanation is needed, to elucidate the last line of (p. 14) the above epigram. Napoleon was determined to do the utmost damage to England, and endeavoured to injure her in her most vulnerable part, her commerce—so, whenever the goods of Great Britain, or her Colonies, were found, they were burnt. That this was not an idle threat is shown by the following excerpts from The Times of January 7th and 8th:—

"A Gentleman who has arrived within these three days from the Continent, and has been present at several burnings of British manufactures, informs us that in every place where the decrees to that effect were put in force, it was done at the point of the bayonet: French Soldiers being always present to prevent tumults and disorder, which, on such occasions, manifested themselves everywhere."

"At the beginning of December, a number of French Officers of the Customs, with a detachment of the 17th regiment of Infantry, arrived at Brandenburg, to make searches for Colonial produce, which they immediately began with great strictness."

"Parma, December 12th. Yesterday, there were burnt in this town 24 bales of spun cotton, 150 pieces of cotton handkerchiefs, and 74 pieces of stuffs of the same manufacture; the whole being English manufactures, and seized by the Custom House agents on the frontiers of the department of the Po."

(p. 15) But, at sea, sometimes a Merchantman could look after its cargo itself, without need of the strong arm of a Convoy, as in the case of the good ship Cumberland, Barrett, master, bound from Quebec to England. On the 13th of January, 1811, she arrived in the Downs under a jury foremast and bowsprit, having lost both foremast and bowsprit in a heavy gale of wind off the banks of Newfoundland.

This, one would have thought, would have been sufficient excitement for one voyage, but no! when close home, between Deal and Folkestone, about seven and eight in the morning, she was attacked by four French lugger privateers, who approached under the pretence of knowing whether Captain Barrett wanted a pilot. But he was wary, and replied in the negative, whereupon the privateers declared themselves in their true colours, and poured in a volley of musketry.

Captain Barrett ordered his men down below, arming them with boarding pikes, and as soon as about twenty of the enemy were aboard, his crew attacked them, and cleared the decks, killing most of them; the others jumping overboard. Five times were they boarded, (the Frenchmen ceasing firing, for fear of hurting their own men), and five times the enemy experienced a crushing defeat. Captain Barrett then discharged three of his Carronades, loaded with round shot and Canister. One shot carried away the mainmast of one of the privateers; the second, the bowsprit of another, and doubtless injured (p. 16) some of their men, as there was a great cry heard. This proved enough for "Mounseer," and the four luggers sheered off.

The Crew of the Cumberland was twenty-six men, and the force of the enemy was estimated at two hundred and seventy according to the statements of the prisoners taken. The loss to the Cumberland was one man killed, and the chief mate wounded; the French loss is set down as about sixty. And what think you was the reward of the gallant crew? "The Lords of the Admiralty have, as a mark of their satisfaction at the gallantry exhibited on this occasion, expressed their intention to grant to each of the crew of the Cumberland, a protection from the impress, for the space of three Years."!!!

(p. 17) Décoration


A Regency inevitable — Prince of Wales waited on — He undertakes the Regency — French and English prisoners of war — Roman Catholic soldiers — Roughness of manners — Passing of Regency Bill — The Prince's companions — Inauguration of the Prince as Regent — Improvement in the health of the King.

All the year the Lords and Commons had been incubating a Regency, and matters were so far advanced, that on the 8th of January, the House of Commons received a message from the Lords that they had "ordered the Lord President, and the Lord Privy Seal to attend his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales with the several Resolutions agreed to by the Lords and Commons, for the purpose of supplying the defect of the personal exercise of the royal authority during his Majesty's illness, on the part of their lordships, and desired that that House would appoint a proportionate number of their members to go with them. Also that they had ordered Earl Harcourt, and Earl Morton, to attend her Majesty with the Resolution and Address agreed to by the Lords (p. 18) and Commons respecting the care of his Majesty's royal person, and the direction of such part of his Majesty's household as may be requisite for the comfort of his Majesty, and for the maintenance of the Royal dignity; and desired that the House would appoint a proportionate number of their members to go with them."

The Commons chose, as under, to go with the Lords to wait upon the Prince of Wales:—The Chancellor of the Exchequer (the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval), the Secretary of State for the Home Department (the Right Hon. Richard Ryder), the President of the Board of Control for the affairs of India (the Right Hon. Robert Saunders Dundas, afterwards Lord Melville), and Sir William Grant, the Master of the Rolls; whilst the members chosen to wait upon the Queen were Lord John Thynne, Lord Palmerston (Secretary at War), Lord Clive and Colonel Desbrowe.

On the 11th of January these two deputations went in great state, the one to the Prince, the other to the Queen. The Prince received them in the grand drawing room of Carlton House, standing with his Chancellor, William Adam, Esq., and Earl Moira on his right hand, the Duke of Cumberland and Mr. Sheridan on his left; whilst behind him were four Officers of his household, Mr. Tyrwhitt, Colonel M'Mahon, General Bloomfield, and General Turner.

The Lord President, as chief of the deputation, then (p. 19) read a paper, informing the Prince that "they were a Committee appointed to attend his Royal Highness with the resolutions which had been agreed to by the Lords and Commons, for the purpose of supplying the defect of the personal exercise of the royal authority, during his Majesty's illness, by empowering his Royal Highness to exercise that authority in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty, subject to such limitations and restrictions as shall be provided.

"And that they were directed to express the hope which the Lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons entertain, that his Royal Highness, from his regard to the interests of his Majesty, will be ready to undertake the weighty and important trust proposed to be invested in his Royal Highness, as soon as an Act of Parliament shall have been passed for carrying the said resolutions into effect."

The Lord President first read and then delivered to the Prince the Resolutions, and he replied:—

"My Lords and Gentlemen,

"I receive the communication which the two Houses have directed you to make to me of their joint Resolutions, on the subject of providing for 'the exercise of the Royal Authority during his Majesty's illness,' with those sentiments of regard which I must ever entertain for the united desires of the two Houses.

"With the same sentiments I receive the expressed (p. 20) hopes of the Lords and Commons, that from my regard for the interest of his Majesty and the Nation, I should be ready to undertake the weighty and important trust proposed to be invested in me, under the Restrictions and Limitations stated in those Resolutions.

"Conscious that every feeling of my heart would have prompted me, from dutiful affection to my beloved Father and Sovereign, to have shown all the reverential delicacy towards him inculcated in those Resolutions, I cannot refrain from expressing my regret, that I should not have been allowed the opportunity of manifesting to his afflicted and loyal subjects that such would have been my conduct.

"Deeply impressed, however, with the necessity of tranquilizing the public mind, and determined to submit to every personal sacrifice, consistent with the regard I owe to the security of my Father's Crown, and the equal regard I owe to the welfare of his people, I do not hesitate to accept the office and situation proposed to me, restricted as they are, still retaining every opinion expressed by me upon a former and similar distressing occasion.

"In undertaking the trust proposed to me I am well aware of the difficulties of the situation in which I shall be placed; but I shall rely with confidence upon the Constitutional advice of an enlightened Parliament, and the zealous support of a generous and loyal people. I will use all the means left to me to merit both.

(p. 21) "My Lords and Gentlemen,

"You will communicate this my answer to the two Houses, accompanied by my most fervent wishes and prayers, that the Divine Will may extricate us, and the nation, from the grievous embarrassments of our present Condition, by the speedy restoration of his Majesty's health."

The Queen gave an answer, couched in a similar spirit to the deputation which waited upon her.

Whilst the Lords and Commons are debating on the Regency Bill (and they took the whole of January to do it), let us see what was happening in England.

There was a subject that touched many, and all over Britain, from the highest to the lowest, and that was the British Prisoners of War in France. Truly we had many more French prisoners in England than there were English in France; The Morning Post, October 15, 1810, placing the numbers respectively at 50,000 and 12,000. The French prisoners here, were not treated too well; but the English prisoners in France, were treated worse, and many thousands of hearts must have yearned towards those poor Captives, and many thousands were willing to part with their means, although there were then many, and urgent, calls upon their purses, in order to alleviate their lot.

Lloyd's was then the Centre of benevolence, as the (p. 22) Mansion House now is; and the leading Merchants and Bankers issued an advertisement in The Times of January 7th, saying that their means of helping these prisoners were exhausted, and they appealed for fresh funds.

"The Committee beg to state that there are upwards of 10,000 British Prisoners in the different Prisons in France, for the most part in great distress, and that the subscription is intended for the alleviation of their sufferings in some degree, by assisting them with articles of clothing, bedding, fuel, and such other necessaries as they stand in most need of.

"They think it proper to add that the relief from the last subscription, was intrusted to the care of some of the most respectable persons detained in France, among whom were Clergymen, and several officers both Naval and Military, and that they have made so satisfactory a distribution of the funds, and rendered such particular details thereof, as to entitle them to the highest credit. The same Gentlemen, there is reason to expect, will kindly undertake the distribution of a new subscription."

Needless to say that the appeal was nobly responded to.

Scant courtesy seems to have been paid to the prisoners on either side, almost degenerating into pettiness: for, this month, an Order was issued from Whitehall, that no French women should be allowed to land in this country, who might have left France to see their husbands. The reason assigned for this very peculiar (p. 23) proceeding, was, that the French Government would not permit Lady Lavie and family, to join her husband, Sir Thomas, who was a prisoner at Verdun.

But pettiness in official circles seems to have obtained. Can we barely imagine, at a time when every soldier was wanted, and it might be thought that good treatment, at all events, might have allured men to the ranks, that they trod upon their tenderest feelings? Yet so it was, and it was mainly owing to the exertions of The Dublin Evening Post that the following "General Order" was issued:—

"Adjutant General's Office, Dublin,

"January, 1811.

"Reports having been circulated, that Catholic soldiers have been prevented from attending Divine worship, according to the tenets of their religion, and obliged, in certain instances to be present at that of the Established Church, the Commanding Officers of the several Regiments, are to be attentive to the prevention of such practices, if they have, in any instance, existed in the Troops under their command, as they are in violation of the Orders contained in the Circular letter of the 14 May, 1806, and, since, repeated to the Army. And the Catholic soldiers, as well as those of other Sects, are to be allowed, in all cases, to attend the Divine Worship of the Almighty according to their several persuasions, when (p. 24) duty does not interfere, in the same manner, and under the same regulations, as those of the Established Church.

"Wm. Raymond, Dep. Adjt. Gen.
"N. Ramsey, Maj. Assist. Adjt. Gen."

The Morning Chronicle commenting upon this, says: "So late as Friday morning last, some of the artillery, privates and drivers, quartered in Enniskillen, continued to do duty with turned coats, the most mortifying punishment ever inflicted on a brave man, and this, merely for having attended, according to law, to the Worship of their Church: but on the evening of that day, the scene was somewhat changed, the General Order arrived, and on the following morning, the officer accused of the oppression, departed for Dublin, and, on Sunday, the Catholic soldiers of the garrison were marched to the Roman Catholic Chapel, accompanied by the officers of that religion."

It would seem that all parties were trying to make the Services unpopular: the navy, especially, by impressment—and even the Militia did not escape—for in January, a number of farmers and others were summoned before the magistrates at Stafford for making deductions from the wages of those servants who were enrolled in the Militia and who had been absent for their training. It must be remembered that in those days farm labourers were hired at Statute fairs, for a twelvemonth, and the (p. 25) 15th clause of 48 Geo. III. cap. 3, had to be shown to those summoned, whereby they learned that no ballot, enrolment, or service under the Act should make void or in any manner affect, any indenture of apprenticeship, or contract of service. And so they had to pay their men.

They were rather a rough lot in the Country, and this anecdote is thus recorded in The Times of January 31, 1811:—"The following ludicrous[3] circumstance occurred on Tuesday week at Bristol:—A couple of Jews being apprehended in the act of stealing several articles from the stables of the White Hart Inn, were hauled into the yard by two stout fellows, whither the whole fraternity of the currycomb were immediately summoned. The long beards of these disciples were then stuck together with pitch (their hands being previously tied behind them); and, whilst thus face to face, a profusion of snuff mixed with hellebore, was administered, which caused them to sneeze in such a manner, that by the frequent and violent bobbing of noses one against the other, a copious stream of blood issued from either nostril, whilst the enraged Culprits were kicking and capering about in all directions."

Chronologically, we must now turn to the Prince of Wales, who, one would imagine, was desirous of emulating the Squires of old, who spent the eve of their knighthood in vigil, prayer, fasting, and watching their (p. 26) armour—so before he became Prince Regent, he must needs partake of the Holy Eucharist, and did so at the Chapel Royal St. James' on Sunday the 27th of January, the sole object of which was to obtain a certificate that he was in the Communion of the Church of England. This public act of worship was a stately affair. The Prince was in the Royal Closet during the major portion of the service, the Bishop of London and sub-dean duly bowing to the royal presence, at their entrance. Afterwards, attended by the Earl of Moira, and Lords Dundas and Keith, he went up to the Altar, took his seat under a canopy, made his offering in a gold dish, and then the Dean, Prince, and the three Lords Communicated.

On the 5th of February the Lords and Commons had their final conference over the Regency Bill, they agreed to the interpolation of two words "and Commons," and the thing was all but finished. It only wanted what was done immediately afterwards, the Royal Commissioners to give the Royal Assent, the Deputy Clerk of the Crown to read the title of the Act, the Clerk Assistant of the Parliaments to utter the words "Le Roi le veult"—and the Prince of Wales was de facto Regent.


(Published February 1, 1811, by Walter and Knight, Cornhill.)

Knowing his proclivities, it was imagined that he would give places to all his entourage, and, accordingly, we have the caricature of "Robeing the Prince, or the Road to Preferment." To the extreme left is Earl Grey, who says "A bason of Grey pease soup is better than (p. 29) porter for your Highness," but Whitbread is of opinion that "If his Highness should want any refreshment, here's a pot of my best brewing." Grenville offers his services to the Prince. Sheridan hopes "your Royal Highness will not forget Old Sherry; pray allow me to brush the Royal shoes, they seem quite mouldy with lieing by so long." Colonel Bloomfield is tying his garter. Whoever is holding the looking-glass exclaims, "What an honour this is! but I hope for greater." The Regent tells Sheridan, "Fear not, my friend, all in good time." Col. McMahon says, "Why! can't you see you have given him the wrong sleeve; do give it to me, you'll make a fine figure of him!" But the person holding the robe replies, "Don't push so, Col., you won't let any one come near his Highness but yourself." Mr. Adam, the Prince's Chancellor, soliloquises thus, "A dam good prospect now, however." Sir John Douglas calls out, "Who wants me?" and Col. Geo. Hanger, hopes "you won't forget poor Georgy."

Perhaps the three best known of these Companions of the Prince are Sheridan, Col. McMahon, and George Hanger. The first belongs to history, and the second will be noticed by and by. Col. Hanger came of a noble Irish family, but in his youth led a wild harum scarum life. Of course he entered the army, and whilst holding the King's Commission he fell in with, and joined a gang of gipsies, when he fell in love with a dusky beauty, and (p. 30) married her according to the customs of her tribe, which, probably, only involved the jumping over a broomstick. He introduced her to his brother officers, and all went well for about a fortnight, when she eloped with a bandy-legged tinker. His tastes were congenial to those of the Prince, and he made himself useful, bought horses for him, looked after his racing arrangements, and was one of his equerries, which post he kept until he was, by his extravagance, compelled to resign it. He was more than once imprisoned for debt, but turned steady after the death of his brother Lord Coleraine (called blue Hanger, from the colour of his garments) in 1814, when he succeeded to the title, which became extinct on his death in 1824.

Meanwhile, all was being prepared for the assumption of the Regency, Carlton House was being brushed up, chandeliers cleaned, &c., a congenial task for its occupier, the Hanoverian creams were publicly exercised, and made to pass between files of soldiers, and, at last, the 6th of February, the day appointed for the Prince to take the oaths, arrived. The following is probably an official communiqué, as it appears in all the Newspapers of the period:—

"The 6th of February being the day appointed for swearing in the Prince of Wales as Regent, before his taking upon himself that important office, about twelve (p. 31) o'clock a party of the flank companies of the grenadiers, with their Colours, the band of the first regiment, drums and fifes, with white gaiters on, marched into the courtyard of Carlton House, where the colours were pitched in the centre of the grand entrance; the band struck up 'God save the King,' and continued playing that national piece alternately with martial airs during the day, until near five o'clock. Colonel Bloomfield, one of the Prince's principal attendants, having written to the Earl of Macclesfield, the Captain of his Majesty's yeomen of the guard, informing him it was his Royal Highness' command that as many yeoman of the guard should attend at Carlton House, as usually attended upon councils being held by the King in state, the noble Earl not being in London, the letter was opened by the person in waiting, who ordered six yeomen and an usher to attend at Carlton House, which they accordingly did; and they, together with the Prince's servants in state, lined the grand hall and staircase: several of the lifeguards men were also in some of the rooms, in a similar manner as on Court-days at St. James' Palace. About a quarter before two o'clock, the Duke of Montrose arrived, being the first of the privy councillors who attended; he was followed by all the royal dukes, and a very numerous assembly of privy councillors, who had all arrived by a quarter before three o'clock. The whole of the magnificent suite of state apartments were opened, (p. 32) and the illustrious persons were ushered into the Gold Room (so called from the style of the ornaments). Almost every privy councillor then in town was present—exceeding above a hundred in number.

"About half-past two o'clock, Earl Moira, of his Royal Highness' council, being also a privy councillor to the King, brought a message from the Prince to the President of the Council, Earl Camden, desiring his attendance on the Prince in an adjoining room, according to the usual form, to communicate to him officially the return to the summons, &c. The noble Earl accordingly went with Earl Moira, made the necessary intimation to his Royal Highness, and returned to the company; who, during this time of waiting were highly gratified with seeing the Princess Charlotte on horse-back, accompanied by two grooms, make the tour of the beautiful gardens in the rear of the palace. Her Royal Highness appeared to be in excellent health and spirits.

"After Earl Camden's return, the Prince approached in grand procession, preceded by the officers of his own household, and several of his own council, among whom were Earl Moira, Lords Keith, Cassilis, Hutchinson, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. M. Angelo Taylor, Mr. Tyrwhitt, Colonel McMahon, Colonel Bloomfield, General Hulse, Mr. Bicknell, &c., &c. (His Chancellor, Mr. Adam, was, by accident not present, and there was a delay, in consequence of his Royal Highness' anxious desire of (p. 33) his presence.) The Prince was also accompanied by all the Royal Dukes. They passed through the room where the privy councillors were assembled, through the Circular drawing room, into the grand saloon (a beautiful room in scarlet drapery, embellished with portraits of all the most distinguished Admirals who have fought the battles that have given us the dominion of the seas); and here the Prince seated himself at the top of the table, his Royal brothers and cousin seating themselves on each hand, according to seniority, and all the officers of his household, not privy councillors, ranging themselves on each side of the entrance to the Saloon. The privy councillors then proceeded, all in full dress, according to their rank—the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of York, the Lord President, the Lord Privy Seal, &c., &c., &c., and, as they severally entered, they made their reverence to the Prince, who made a graceful return to each, and they successively took their places at the table; and lastly, Mr. Fawkener and Sir Stephen Cottrell took their seats as Clerk, and Keeper, of the Records.

"The Prince then spoke to the following effect:—

"'My Lords,

"'I understand that by the Act passed by the Parliament, appointing me Regent of the United Kingdom, in the name, and on behalf of his Majesty, (p. 34) I am required to take certain oaths, and to make a declaration before your lordships, as prescribed by the said Act. I am now ready to take these oaths, and to make the declaration prescribed.'

"The Lord Privy Seal then rose, made his reverence, approached the Regent, and read from a Parchment the oaths as follows. The Prince with an audible voice pronounced after him:—

"'I do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to his Majesty King George.

"'So help me, God.'

"'I do solemnly promise and swear, that I will truly and faithfully execute the office of Regent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, according to an Act of Parliament passed in the fifty-first year of the reign of his Majesty King George the Third (entitled "An Act" &c.), and that I will administer, according to law, the power and authority vested in me by virtue of the said Act; and that I will in all things, to the utmost of my power and ability, consult and maintain the safety, honour, and dignity of his Majesty, and the welfare of his people.

"'So help me God!'

"And the Prince subscribed the two oaths. The Lord President then presented to his Royal Highness, the (p. 35) declaration mentioned in an Act made in the 30th year of King Charles II., entitled, 'An Act for the more effectual preserving the King's person, and government, by disabling Papists from sitting in either House of Parliament,' and which declaration his Royal Highness audibly made, repeated, and subscribed. The Lord President signed first, and every one of the Privy Councillors in succession signed these instruments as witnesses, and the same was delivered into the hand of the Keeper of the Records.

"The Prince then delivered to the President of the Council a Certificate of his having received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at the Chapel Royal of St. James, on Sunday the 27th of January, which was also countersigned, and delivered to the Keeper of the Records, who deposited all these instruments in a box at the bottom of the table.

"The Lord President then approached the Regent, bent the knee, and had the honour to kiss his hand. The Royal Dukes followed, and afterwards, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and all the rest, according to the order in which they sat at the long table, advancing to the chair on both sides. During the whole of this ceremony, his Royal Highness maintained the most graceful and dignified deportment; and it was remarked, that there was not the slightest indication of partiality of behaviour to one set of men more than to another.

(p. 36) "The Ceremony being closed, a short levée took place in the drawing room, where his Royal Highness addressed himself to the circle; and, afterwards, he gave an audience to Mr. Perceval, who had the honour of again kissing his hand as First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer."

The Regent did wisely in not changing his Ministry, and Perceval turned dutifully towards the rising sun. It was said that in a visit he and the Chancellor (Lord Eldon) paid the King on Jan. 26th, that he turned his back on the King, a monstrous piece of rudeness in Court etiquette. Probably the poor old blind, half-demented Monarch never observed it; but others did, and there were several epigrams thereon, the following being the best—

"The people have heard, with delight and surprize,
That his Minister's conduct has op'd the K——'s eyes;
That with just indignation his Royal breast burn'd,
When he thought he saw Per——l's back on him turn'd;
Exclaiming, 'Thank G—d! I've recover'd my sight,
For I now see you, Sir, in your own proper light.'"

The Queen had the Custody of the King's person, but had to account to a Council consisting of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and several Noblemen of high rank, and her first Council under the Regency was held on Feb. 13th.

(p. 37) About this time there was an improvement in the King's health; so much so that on the 8th of February the Queen and the Princess Augusta were allowed to have an interview with him, and on the next day and for two or three others, he appeared on the Terrace and walked for a time accompanied by the Physicians in attendance upon him.

(p. 39) Décoration


Story of a crime — The Shanavests and the Caravats — Gluttony — Smuggling bullion — A Tar at the theatre — Deposition of French Colours in Whitehall Chapel — The Duke of York reinstated as Commander-in-Chief — The Regency Fête — Account of the entertainment.

And now, for a while, we will leave Royalty alone, and note anything particular that occurred—not that there ever was much general news recorded—there were no country correspondents to the London Newspapers, which were but of small size, and with very little space to spare for what we call News. As these little scraps of information will be scattered throughout this book, I may at once say that they will, perforce, have no sequence one to another except that of Chronological order.

At the beginning of February, as a dragoon was returning from duty to his quarters, which were at a small public-house called "Barndean Hut," near Petersfield, in the New Forest, his attention was arrested by the (p. 40) cries of some person in distress, which induced him to ride up to the spot from whence they proceeded, where his humanity was shocked on beholding a woman tied to a tree, with the tears, which her situation and suffering had produced, actually frozen to her cheeks, and, horrid to relate, quite naked, having been stripped and robbed of every article of dress, by two villains, who, afterwards, left her in that deplorable condition. The dragoon instantly cut the cords that bound her hands and feet to the tree, and, having in some measure restored her to the use of her limbs by rubbing them, wrapped her up in his cloak, placed her on his horse, and proceeded on to his quarters, where he soon after arrived; and, as he was conducting the shivering object of his care into the house, she looked through a window that commanded a view of the kitchen, and, in a faint voice, exclaimed, "There are the two men that robbed me of my all, and used me so cruelly." The soldier, in consequence, entered the kitchen and secured the men, who were the next day taken before a magistrate, and, after the necessary examination, fully committed to Winchester jail, for trial at the next assizes.

Ireland has always been a sweet boon to England ever since the Union; and faction fights used to abound. Among others were those of the Caravats and Shanavests—the Capulets and Montagues of their time; and the etymon of the names of two formidable factions, which embraced the greater part of the lower order of people in (p. 41) the two counties of Tipperary and Limerick, is thus given:—

It was at a trial of some of these at a Special Commission at Clonmel, and James Slattery was under examination.

Chief Baron. What is the cause of quarrel between these two parties—the Shanavests and the Caravats?

A. I do not know.

Q. What's the true reason?

A. I cannot tell.

Q. So, then, according to your account, I am to understand that each party attacks each other by way of defence.

Q. (by a juror). Were the men who were concerned in the affray in the month of August, the same that were concerned at the races of Coolmoyne?

A. They were.

Q. Do you know a man of the name of Pauddeen Car?

A. I do.

Q. He is your uncle; was not he the principal ringleader and commander of the army of Shanavests?

A. He is a poor old man, and not able to take command.

Q. (by Lord Norbury). What was the first cause of quarrel?

A. It was the same foolish dispute made about May-poles.

(p. 42) Q. (by the Chief Baron). Which is the oldest party?

A. The Caravats were going on for two years before the Shanavests stirred.

Q. Why were they called Caravats?

A. A man of the name of Hanly was hanged; he was prosecuted by the Shanavests, and Pauddeen Car said he would not leave the place of execution until he saw the Caravat about the fellow's neck, and from that time they were called Caravats.

Q. For what offence was Hanly hanged?

A. For burning the house of a man who had taken land over his neighbour's head.

Q. Hanly was the leader of the Caravats?

A. Before he was hanged, his party was called the Moyle Rangers. The Shanavests were called Pauddeen Car's party.

Q. Why were they called Shanavests?

A. Because they wore old waistcoats.

We occasionally hear of feats of gluttony, but, as a piece of downright lunacy, the following can scarcely be matched.

Morning Chronicle, Mar. 26th: "A blacksmith at Strout ate on Tuesday, for a trifling wager, a pint of periwinkles with the shells, in the space of ten minutes. Being desired to repeat this disgusting feat he readily did it, but he is now so dangerously ill that he is not expected to recover."

(p. 43) Bullion both Gold and Silver got scarcer and scarcer, so much was exported: and, early in 1810, large quantities of Dollars were stamped at Birmingham with the image and superscription of George III.; in fact, the dollars stamped in 1797 and down to 1810, inclusive, were about five millions—but they were smuggled out of the kingdom wholesale. On the 19th of March an official rise of 10 per cent. in their value took place, in the hopes that raising them to 5s. 6d. would be prohibitory to their exportation, but it was not: more still were needed, and on April 15th 300,000 dollars were sent to Boulton and Watts, Soho Works, Birmingham, to be stamped, "and the same quantity are to be forwarded in a few days." The price fell on the 25th of April to 5s. 1d. per dollar.

On the 27th of March, the Duke of Gloucester was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, by a majority of 114 over his opponent, the Duke of Rutland.

We may take the following as an example of how Jack fooled away his prize-money:—"A Tar, who had just received his prize-money, lately engaged a small provincial Theatre entirely to himself: he took his seat in the centre of the pit, furnished himself with an inordinate quantity of beer, punch, and tobacco, &c., and requested the performances to commence, as no one should enter the Theatre but himself; at the close of every speech which pleased him, he presented the (p. 44) Actor with a glass, and when the curtain dropped, he transferred his stores to the stage, and invited the whole of the Dram. Per., to partake."

Under date of the 8th of April, we read: "A very singular discovery has been made at Colchester, respecting the sex of a servant who had lived thirty years in a family in that town, as housemaid and nurse. Having lately paid the debt of Nature, it was discovered that the deceased was a man."

On the 5th of May, the Court of Common Council voted the Regent, the freedom of the City of London in an Oak box, but the presentation was abandoned as it was found that etiquette forbade the Regent accepting the Freedom, as he then stood in the position of Sovereign.

On March 5th the English troops under the command of General Graham, engaged and defeated a much superior French force under the command of Marshal Victor, at Barrosa in Andalusia, after a severe conflict. How thoroughly the French were then beaten, may be judged by the fact that an Eagle and twelve standards were taken from them. A sergeant of the 87th, or Prince's Own Royal Irish Volunteers, who took the Eagle, was promoted to an Ensigncy, and ordered to be removed to his own regiment, on the first Vacancy. On the 18th of May, these Colours were taken, with great military ceremony, from the (p. 45) Parade in St. James's Park, to Whitehall Chapel, and deposited on each side of the Altar. It was a fine sight, and three Royal Dukes, York, Cambridge, and Gloucester, were present, besides many generals, and the Spanish and Portuguese Ambassadors.

Apropos of the Duke of York, he formerly had a mistress named Mary Anne Clarke, who abused her position by selling Commissions in the Army at a cheap rate, and using her influence over the Duke to confirm them. In 1809, Mr. Wardell, M.P. for Oakhampton, brought the scandal before the House of Commons, and, although the House eventually found that there was nothing in the evidence to prove personal corruption, or criminal connivance on the part of his Royal Highness—yet public opinion against him was so strong, that he had to resign his position as Commander-in-Chief.

The Regent and the Duke of York were tied together by strong bonds of fraternal feeling, and the first important act of the Regent was to re-appoint his brother to his old position on the 25th of May. This naturally created great dissatisfaction, for his former resignation only saved the Duke from the ignominy of being cashiered, and Viscount Milton moved in the House of Commons on the 6th of June: "That upon a deliberate consideration of the recent circumstances under which his Royal Highness the Duke of York (p. 46) retired from the Command of the Army in March, 1809, it appears to this House that it has been highly improper and indecorous in the advisers of the Prince Regent to have recommended to his Royal Highness the re-appointment of the Duke of York to the Office of Commander-in-Chief." It is astonishing how the opinion of the House of Commons varied during two years, for this motion, when put, was only supported by 47 members—against 296.

But although he obtained the post, he had to run the gauntlet of public opinion, and which way that went is shown by the accompanying Satirical print, "The Soldier's Welcome Home!!!" where the Duke of York amid the Cheers of his friends, Buckingham, Temple, and Grenville, is leaping into the portals of the Horse Guards, the Regent standing just inside to welcome him. A figure, I presume meant to be John Walter, is pointing to The Times Newspaper. There were several others, but this is best suited to this book.


(Published June 4, 1811, by W. Holland.)

The next event of public note, and next to the appointment of the Prince of Wales to the Regency, it was the principal topic of conversation of the year, was a grand fête given to upwards of 2,000 of the Nobility and gentry, including the French Royal Family, the foreign Ambassadors, &c.—at an estimated cost of £15,000. For fully six weeks previously all the available weavers, tailors, mantua-makers, and milliners, were (p. 49) put under requisition for it, and ample work was found for architects, upholsterers, painters, carpenters, cooks, and confectioners, and diamonds were borrowed for the night at 11 per cent.

This wonderful fête took place on the 19th of June, and the company began to arrive between 9 and 10 o'clock. The whole of Carlton House, even down to the basements, which were utilized as supper rooms, was thrown open to the guests, but failed to afford sufficient accommodation, so a large portion of the garden was canvassed over and used for supper. It is impossible, in the limits of this book, to describe the luxury with which this palace was furnished, but I must be excused, as Carlton House has long been numbered with the things of the past, if I revive the description of the Throne and Ball Rooms, simply that my readers may form some idea of the splendour in which "the first gentleman in Europe" lived.

The first was hung with crimson velvet, with embroidered ornaments in pure gold, and most massive gold fringes and laces. The Canopy, superbly carved and gilt, was surmounted by four helmets of real gold, having plumes of the finest white ostrich feathers, many of them 17 inches in height. On each side the Canopy, were magnificent antique draperies; decorated to correspond with it, and forming back-grounds to two superb candelabra, after the antique, executed in (p. 50) the finest manner, with lions couchant, and other appropriate ornaments. Under the Canopy stood a grand state chair and foot-stool. The compartments of the room were decorated with the richest gold ornaments on a crimson velvet ground, with draperies enriched with gold fringes, en suite. There were two superb glasses about twelve feet high, with oriental alabaster tables, on frames, carved and gilt, in the most magnificent style. On a chimney, decorated with or-molu foliage of the richest sculpture, was placed a large glass in a superb frame; and on the chimney-piece and tables, were fine French girandoles of or-molu. In this room were no other seats than stools gilt and covered with crimson velvet. Here were whole length portraits in grand gold frames, of their Majesties, the Prince Regent, and the Duke of York. Through a door at one end of this room, a temporary staircase presented itself to view, which communicated with the Conservatory; this erection was intended as a private passage for the Prince Regent and his particular friends to pass down to the head of the tables, when supper was announced. Opposite the above door, a door leading to the Throne room being removed, and a large glass being placed in the opposite door, on the further side beyond the Throne, the whole range of Candelabra, and the throne itself were reflected in it; and a striking coup d'œil was thereby produced.

(p. 51) The Ball room was decorated with Arabesque ornament, and figures, painted in the finest style imaginable, on gold grounds, in panels, between pilasters richly carved and gilt; the ceiling was decorated in compartments. The windows and recesses have circular tops, and they were decorated with rich blue velvet draperies, with massive gold fringes, lace, tassels, and ropes—the latter were likewise of gold. In the recesses were magnificent French plates of looking-glass, in gold frames, having sofas under them, richly carved and covered with blue velvet; the chairs to suit. Before each pilaster was placed a rich gilt pedestal, on which was a superb French girandole, carrying eight wax-lights, executed in or-molu. The two chimney-pieces of Statuary marble, were ornamented with foliage and figures in bronze and or-molu, and, over them, were glasses in gold frames, and French Candelabra, worthy of the tout ensemble.

The Prince Regent entered the State apartments about a quarter past nine, dressed in a scarlet coat, most richly and elegantly ornamented, in a very novel style, with gold lace, and a brilliant star of the Order of the Garter; and he arrived just at the same time as the dethroned Louis XVIII.—who was present as the Comte de Lille—and his family. Dancing began about half past eleven or twelve, and at half past two supper was announced. As one account says: "Upon (p. 52) no previous occasion, and at no Court in Europe, was ever the experiment made to sit down 2,000 of the principal nobility and gentry of a kingdom to a regular supper, as was the case at the Prince Regent's fête. The largest entertainment, at the most brilliant period of the French Monarchy, was that given by the Prince of Condé at Chantilli, to the King of Sweden, when 400 covers were laid. Here covers were laid for 1,600 under canvas, and 400 in the house."

The Times gives a short, but succinct, account of this brilliant fête, and being so, I take it, as well fitted for this book, as all accounts, more or less, are by press correspondents, and relate only to the internal arrangement and decoration of Carlton House.

"It was totally impossible, capacious as the Mansion of the Prince is, to accommodate such a number of persons in the rooms of the Mansion itself. From the central apartment of the lower range, which we have mentioned, on the south, or garden front, proceeded a broad and lofty wall, towards the southern wall of the garden, adjoining St. James's Park, which was crossed by three similar walks, from east to west, lengthwise in the garden. All these walks were closed in by walls, and covered over by awnings made for the occasion. In each of these cross walks were placed long supper tables, and at the end of each walk were communications to circular marquées, in which were (p. 53) tables containing all the necessary refreshments for the company, with space for the numerous servants, and assistants in attendance. The Great Walk from the house southward had in it six tables, leaving those spaces quite open where other walks crossed it. The intermediate spaces between these, were lawns, which communicated to the walks by suitable openings. The interior sides of these grand walks were lined with festoons of flowers, yielding the most odoriferous perfumes, and relieved by the verdant and softer beauties that more towering plants and shrubs could bestow. The arched roofs were ornamented in the liveliest manner, and, from them, were suspended thousands of lights, in all the different forms and fashions by which illumination can be produced. The coup d'œil of the whole, especially from the central south entrance to the gardens, was inexpressibly delightful, and even magically impressive. The entrance was under an illuminated arch, and the southern end of the walk was filled by an immense mirror, and ornamented at the top and sides with a superb drapery, and with artificial flowers and costly candelabra: particularly the long range of supper rooms on the grand level, at the head of which the Regent sat, at the west end of the Conservatory, inspired the highest ideas of real magnificence.

"This range, beginning from the east end, comprises (p. 54) the new Gothic rooms, not yet entirely finished, but temporarily hung with crimson, and the Library, beautifully ornamented with marbles. In these apartments there were two rows of tables, elegantly adorned. The centre room was left open. To the west, the eating room, &c., and the Conservatory had one long table running through both. The appearance of the Conservatory was truly striking and brilliant. The architecture of it is of the most delicate Gothic. The upper end was a kind of circular buffet surmounted by a Medallion, with the initials G. P. R. lined by festoons and antique draperies of pink and silver, and partly filled by mirrors, before which, on ornamented shelves, stood a variety of vases, candlesticks, &c., of the most gorgeous gold plate. Supplied, as indeed all the tables were, with every attainable delicacy and luxury which wealth and rank could command, or ingenuity suggest, and embellished by all the art and skill of the confectioner, with emblematical devices of every conceivable appropriate description, this table displayed a still more splendid exuberance.

"In the front of the Regent's seat there was a circular basin of water, with an enriched Temple in the centre of it, from whence there was a meandering stream to the bottom of the table, bordered with green banks. Three or four fantastic bridges were thrown over it, one of them with a small tower upon it, which gave the little stream a picturesque appearance. It contained also a number (p. 55) of gold and silver fish. The excellence of design, and exquisiteness of workmanship could not be exceeded; it exhibited a grandeur beyond description; while the many and various purposes for which gold and silver materials were used were equally beautiful and superb in all their minute details.[4]

"The Company, who continued to arrive from nine till half-past twelve, were ushered into the state rooms, and soon filled the house. The hall was crowded with Peers and Peeresses, and was made the same use of, as the apartments of State. Under the grand arched doorway between the halls, was a most elegant scarlet and gold drapery, after the antique.

"The male part of the nobility and gentry, were habited in court suits, many richly embroidered, or in naval and military uniforms. The waving plumes, the elegant, variegated dresses, the sparkling diamonds, and, still more, the native beauty and grace of the ladies, gave a sort of enchanting perfection to the whole of this brilliant courtly exhibition. The Vieille Cour de Versailles, with all its proud pretensions, could never have more attractively set forth the elegant fascinations of fashionable life, and exalted rank.

"The upper servants of his Royal Highness' household (p. 56) wore a rich costume of dark blue, trimmed with very broad gold lace; the others wore their state liveries. A considerable number of the Yeomen of the Guard attended in different parts. The assistants, out of livery, were dressed uniformly, in black suits with white vests. Two of the bands of the Guards, in state uniforms, played various airs throughout the night. Parties of the Foot-guards protected all the immediate avenues, and the Horse-guards were stationed in Pall Mall, St. James's Street, St. James's Square, Piccadilly, &c. Everything was managed, with the assistance of the Police, with unexampled care and convenience."

(p. 57) Décoration


Ladies' dresses at the Fête — The banquet — Carlton House thrown open to the public — The crush — Sir F. Burdett's action against the Speaker — Relief of British Prisoners in France — Scarcity of guineas — Lord King and his tenants — Stories respecting the Currency.

The ladies had been requested to dress themselves in the productions of British industry, and some of their costumes were truly magnificent. They are so uniformly beautiful, that in the examples I give, I take them as they follow, and make the extracts for the sake of their brevity.

The Marchioness of Downshire wore a petticoat of white satin, trimmed at the bottom with a Spanish net of embossed silver, over which was a tunic of the most beautiful silver stuff, of Irish manufacture, on which was delicately woven the shamrock: over the shoulders were superb epaulettes of embossed Spanish silver. The tunic was laced with diamond chains, and fastened in front with large diamond brooches. Her ladyship's ear-rings were (p. 58) the largest diamonds at the fête, to which there was a corresponding necklace, and a profusion of diamond ornaments.

The Marchioness of Sligo. A dress of white satin, with a superb border of brilliant embroidery round the train; a robe richly embroidered in silver shamrock, round which was an elegant, and brilliant border, to correspond with the dress; diamond stomacher, armlets, necklace, and brooches. Head-dress, diamonds and ostrich feathers.

The Marchioness of Tavistock. Splendid dress, embroidered in white and gold.

The Marchioness of Hertford. White satin dress, embroidered in white and gold.

The Marchioness of Stafford. Violet satin dress, richly embroidered in gold.

The Marchioness of Exeter. White satin, embroidered in gold.

The Marchioness Cornwallis. White satin dress, richly embroidered with amethysts.

The Marchioness Waterford. White satin dress, richly embroidered with silver.

The Countess of Cavan. A dress of white and silver tissue, with a superb border of prominent silver jonquils; body and sleeves splendidly ornamented with diamonds. Head-dress, diamonds and ostrich feathers.


(Published July, 1811, by S. W. Fores.)

Needless to say, this grand fête was made fun of—and so we see in "Gudgeon fishing à la Conservatory," the (p. 61) meandering stream down the centre of the Regent's table is caricatured, and the fair ladies are provided with rods and lines. The artist has taken liberties with his subject—the Prince, for instance, sat on a plain mahogany chair, and the "stream" was banked up with moss and flowers. The Earl of Moira, and Sheridan, are taking wine together, and on the right of the Regent sits the Duchesse d'Angoulême. A person in plain evening dress is in the extreme right, and points to a paper on the ground, "Admission to John Bull to look at the Gold."

This was the subject of another caricature, called "The Regency Fête, or John Bull in the Conservatory." This shows John Bull, his wife, three men and one woman looking at the royal table loaded with gold plate and wine, a beef-eater and a butler guarding the plate on the table and on the buffet behind the royal chair. Says John Bull (scratching his head) to his wife: "Why, odd Zookers! this is marvellous fine indeed. Oh, Nan! how we should enjoy a rasher on one of they monstracious beautiful plates. Why, now I think I shan't grumble to pay three or four Bank Tokens towards this grand treat; methinks I should just like a nippikin or two." Mrs. Bull: "Oh, John! one of our milk-white chickens roasted by myself by our wood fire would be lusciosious indeed." The speeches of the others are not worth reprinting.

Needless to say the privilege of visiting the scene of festivity was eagerly embraced by the public, and they (p. 62) came in such shoals, that the Horse Guards had to keep order, and it was feared some accident would occur. And sure enough, on the last day, the 26th of June, there was a pretty scrimmage. This is The Times report:—

"Yesterday being the last day that the public were permitted to view the interior of Carlton House, the crowd, from an early hour in the morning, was immense; and, as the day advanced, the scene excited additional interest. Every precaution had been adopted to facilitate the entrance of the visitors. The Horse-guards paraded in front of the House, and were stationed at both ends of Pall Mall, and the various streets leading from it. The pressure to gain admittance was so great, that early in the day several females fainted away; many lost their shoes, and endeavoured to extricate themselves from the crowd, but this was quite impossible. The gates were only opened at certain intervals, and, when this was the case, the torrent was so rapid, that many people were taken off their feet, some with their backs towards the entrance, screaming to get out. The scene, at last began to wear a still more serious aspect; when it was deemed expedient that some measure should be resorted to, to prevent farther mischief. Lord Yarmouth, and the Duke of Gloucester appeared, and announced to the public that the gates would not be again opened: and that, for the sake of preventing the loss of any lives, they had to (p. 63) express the strongest wish that the persons assembled would cease from endeavouring to gain admittance. This, however, had not the desired effect; as many, who probably were ignorant of what had happened, remained, in the anxious hope of being admitted at last.

"The greatest pressure to obtain admittance took place about half-past two o'clock. About one, the crowd in the inside of Carlton House had accumulated so much, that it was found necessary to shut the gates. The line of carriages now extended the whole length of Pall Mall, up to the very top of St. James's Street, and, as there had been a complete stoppage for above half an hour, hundreds of ladies left their carriages, and hastened on foot towards the gates of Carlton House. At this time you might see ladies and gentlemen coming out of the crowd covered with perspiration, and unable any longer to bear the pressure. Those who thus made their retreat in time will be able to congratulate themselves on their superior prudence.

"Hitherto all was comparatively well, and the scene rather afforded amusement than excited alarm. But the case was most materially altered when the gate of entrance was next opened. It became exactly like some of those rushes at our Theatres, which have sometimes produced such melancholy consequences. Those behind, irresistibly pushed on those before, and of the number of delicate and helpless females who were present, some were thrown (p. 64) down, and, shocking to relate, literally trod upon by those behind, without the possibility of being extricated. When, at last, the crowd got inside Carlton House gates, four females were found in a lifeless state, lying on their backs on the ground, with their clothes almost completely torn off. One young lady, elegantly attired, or, rather, who had been so, presented a shocking spectacle; she had been trodden on, until her face was quite black from strangulation, and every part of her body bruised to such a degree, as to leave little hopes of her recovery: surgical assistance was immediately had, but her life was not expected to be saved. An elderly lady had her leg broken, and was carried away in a chair; and two others were also seriously hurt, but, on being bled, were restored to animation. One of them was able to walk home, the other was led by two men.

"The situation of almost all the ladies who were involved in this terrible rush was truly deplorable; very few of them could leave Carlton House until furnished with a fresh supply of clothes; they were to be seen all round the gardens, most of them without shoes or gowns; and many almost completely undressed, and their hair hanging about their shoulders. The crowd outside, at one time, literally carried away the Horse-guards for several paces, when the animals became restive to an alarming degree, rearing on their hind legs, and beating down all within their reach with their fore ones: several women were (p. 65) trodden under foot, and received considerable injury; and five or six men were so overcome, that they fainted, and were carried off."

The Morning Chronicle of the 29th of June says: "The number of stray shoes in the courtyard of Carlton House, on Wednesday, was so great, they filled a large tub, from which the shoeless ladies were invited to select their lost property. Many ladies, however, and also gentlemen, might be seen walking away in their stockinged feet. About a dozen females were so completely disrobed in the squeeze, they were obliged to send home for clothes, before they could venture out in the streets, and one lady was so completely disencumbered of all dress, a female domestic, in kind compassion, wrapped her up in an apron."

On the 6th of April, 1810, Sir Francis Burdett was, by a majority of 38 Members of the House of Commons, sentenced to be committed to the Tower, for a breach of privilege committed by him against the house, in an address written by him in Cobbett's Weekly Political Register of March 24, 1810: "Sir Francis Burdett to his Constituents, denying the power of the House of Commons to imprison the People of England." After some trouble, and a great deal of rodomontade on his part, he was safely lodged in the fortress—after which a slight affray took place between the mob and the (p. 66) troops in which one of the former was killed, and eight wounded."[5]

The demagogue did not like the position in which he found himself, and breathed fire and fury. He would bring actions against the Speaker, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Earl of Moira, who was then Governor of the Tower. He was released, on the prorogation of Parliament, 21st of June, 1810, and on March 8, 1811, he brought an action against the Speaker (Abbott) for a trespass and assault in breaking open his house on the 6th of April, 1810. The Speaker pleaded justification, and the case was tried on the 19th of June, when the jury found a verdict for the defendant, thereby admitting and enforcing the right of the House of Commons to commit for breach of privilege.

Mention has already been made of a fund started by a number of Merchants, Bankers, and others of the City of London, at Lloyd's, for the "Relief of British prisoners in France," which, on the 29th of June, reached about £54,000. But their practical charity did not end here, for there was also another fund begun "for Relief of Portuguese sufferers during the French Invasion," which, on the 21st of June, amounted to nearly £52,000. The West End, evidently tried to emulate the City, and at Willis's Rooms, under the presidency of the Duke of (p. 67) York, there was a "Fund for the Relief of the Unfortunate Sufferers in Portugal—who have been plundered and treated by the French Armies with the most unexampled barbarity." By June 29th this had reached £15,000.

Silver, as we have seen, had got, to use a mercantile phrase, "a little easier," but the Guinea! it was almost as scarce as Russian gold coins are now, and, in spite of every effort, it was quoted at a premium, and yet was exported. Here is a Police report, anent it: "Mansion House, 23rd of April. James King, guard of the Yarmouth mail coach, was brought up for examination, upon a charge of purchasing eight guineas, the Coin of this realm, at a price considerably beyond their current value. The Charge was brought by Mr. Nalder, the Under Marshal of the City of London; who, in consequence of information received from the Treasury, that there were persons about town employed as agents to purchase guineas for exportation, made diligent enquiry, and having found out the defendant, he marked eight guineas, and went with Sayer, the Bow Street officer, who sold those guineas to the prisoner, and received for each £1 5s. 6d. Mr. Nalder shortly afterwards took the prisoner into custody, found the marked guineas upon him, and brought him before the Lord Mayor; the transaction being against the Statute of the third of Edward III., which subjects offenders to the penalty of twelve months' imprisonment, and fine at the discretion of the Court. The defendant (p. 68) was admitted to bail." Ultimately he was fined forty shillings.

On the 6th of May the officers rummaged a smack called the Union, and found, in a hole between the timbers, seven canvas bags containing 4,500 guineas, making in all 11,128 guineas found in that vessel.

The greater part of May was taken up by the discussion in the House of Commons of the Report of the Bullion Committee, which recommended the resumption of specie payments by the Bank of England as speedily as possible. This was negatived, on the ground that the Bank paper was not depreciated—but, as a matter of fact, it was. Vide the following letter from Lord King to his tenants:—

"By lease, dated 1802, you have agreed to pay the annual rent of —— in good and lawful money of Great Britain. In consequence of the late depreciation of paper money, I can no longer accept of any bank notes at their nominal value in payment of your rent in the legal coin of the realm; at the same time, having no other object than to receive payment of the real intrinsic value of the sum stipulated by agreement, and being desirous to avoid giving you unnecessary trouble, I shall be willing to receive payment in either of the manners following, according to your option—

"1st. By payment in guineas.

"2nd. If guineas cannot be procured, by a payment in (p. 71) Portugal gold coin, equal in weight to the number of guineas requisite to discharge the debt.

"3rd. By a payment in Bank-paper of a sum sufficient to purchase (at the present market price) the weight of standard gold requisite to discharge the rent. The alteration of the value of paper money is estimated in this manner.

"The price of gold in 1802, the year of your agreement, was £4 per oz.; the present market price is £4 14s., owing to the diminished value of paper—in that proportion, an addition of £17 10s. per cent. in paper money will be required as equivalent for the payment of rent in paper.

"(Signed) King.

"N.B.—A power of re-entry and ejectment is reserved by deed in case of non-payment of rent due. No draft will be received."


(Published July, 1811, by S. W. Fores.)

This gave rise to a pictorial jeu d'esprit entitled "Jew King," depreciating Bank notes. A farmer, of the then typical John Bull type, has called on Lord King to pay his rent, and says to him, "I be come to pay you some money! but I cannot get Guineas for love nor money! so you must take Bank Notes.—Why! no person ever refused them before." To which Lord King replies, "I tell you I will have Guineas. If I take Bank Notes I will have 20 per cent. I like good profit." With one hand he (p. 72) points to some Guineas, and, on the table, are the "Laws of Landlord and Tenant," and "Tables of Interest."

Earl Stanhope, on the 27th of June, in consequence of Lord King's action, introduced a Bill into the House of Lords to prevent the Gold coin from being paid or received for more than its nominal value, or the Bank paper for less. In the course of the debate he stated that guineas were publicly bought at Manchester, at an advance of twenty per cent. by persons from Ireland, for the purpose of paying their landlords, who insisted on gold: and the Earl of Lauderdale declared that he knew an instance, where a landlord called upon his tenants to pay in gold; and the latter having represented to the steward the impossibility of procuring gold, they were each told that there were 100 guineas at a Chandler's shop in the neighbourhood, which might be purchased; and it was a fact, that with those 100 guineas, passing from one to another, a rent of £7,000 was actually paid. The Bill passed both Houses, and received the royal assent on the 24th of July.

In The Morning Chronicle of the 11th of July we find: "It has been for several weeks a known and common practice, at one shop in the City, for a man to have a twenty-shilling note, and a dish of fish, for a guinea." And so it was after the passing of Earl Stanhope's Act, the guineas were still bought at an advanced price, and the first Commitment under the Act is recorded in the same paper of Monday, the 9th of September, 1811: (p. 73) "On Friday sen'night Adkins, the Bow Street officer, arrived at Worcester, in pursuit of one Thomas Woodford, who was known to have dealt pretty largely in guineas; having found him, Adkins offered him eight guineas, and three half-guineas, for which Woodford gave him £10 18s. 6d. in Bank of England Notes.—He was immediately apprehended, and committed to gaol."

It was no use trying to fight the purchase of these precious coins: every plan possible was put in force—How is this? "LostEight Guineas—Whoever may have found the same, and will bring them to —— shall receive ten pounds reward." It was all of no use, the guineas used to be smuggled out of the Country as much as ever, and on July 3rd, in the Court of King's Bench, in the case of De Yonge, who had been convicted of purchasing guineas for more than 21 shillings, and whose case had been reserved for the opinion of the twelve judges, it was decided that such purchase was not an offence punishable under the existing laws.

(p. 75) Décoration


A smuggler's victim — Illness of Gilray — A gallant highwayman — A Witch — Bartholomew Fair — The Comet — A Practical joke on the Queen — Woman's Cricket Match — Ballooning — French prisoners of war — Luddite riots — The King and his physicians — His health.

The odds and ends of gossip for July may be taken briefly as follows—Smuggling was very common, and our grandfathers had not the faintest notion that they were doing wrong in purchasing wares that had never paid the King his dues. In fact, many were proud of it. Sometimes they got sold, as the following story will vouch for. It happened that in Windsor and its neighbourhood, a woman, clad in a long red cloak, appeared, calling about dusk at several houses with a sample of excellent Cognac brandy. She stated that her husband was waiting at a little distance with several casks of the same, which they could sell at a very low price. Several people agreed to take Casks, which were duly delivered, (p. 76) and the money for which was properly paid. Alas! alas! when the brandy came to be tapped it was nothing but water.

Poor Gilray, the Caricaturist, from whom I have so much borrowed, and who exemplified the manners of his times as well as ever Hogarth did, had been ill, and had knocked off work for some time—yet he still lived at Mrs. Humphrey's house in St. James Street, attempted, while in a fit of delirium, to throw himself out of the attic storey window. Luckily for him there were iron bars to that window, and his head got jammed, which, being perceived by a Chairman waiting outside White's Club, who instantly went to render assistance, he was extricated, and proper persons were appointed to take care of him. Poor Gilray etched his last picture in 1811, and it was entitled, "Interior of a Barber's Shop in Assize Time," but it was not published until May 15, 1818, nearly three years after his death, which took place on the 1st of June, 1815. It is a comfort to know that from the setting in of his mania until his death, he was well looked after by his old friend Mrs. Humphrey.

It is hard to have to chronicle the rise and fall of a most useful invention, the percussion Cap, which was patented by the Rev. A. J. Forsyth, of Belhevie, Aberdeenshire, on the 11th of April, 1807. Lepage, the noted gun-maker of Paris pirated it; and Napoleon, in 1811, ordered it to be generally introduced into the French Army. It (p. 77) has been superseded, or rather its form has been altered by the modern breech loader.

Good manners and courtesy from Robber to robbed evidently had not gone out of fashion with Claude Duval, and a "gentle thief" was not unknown, as the Miss Somervilles could testify. They were in a carriage with their papa, who was a surgeon, when it was stopped, on Hounslow Heath, by a foot pad—for there were subtle distinctions in theft in those days. The Man who robbed you, and was on horseback, was at the top of his profession—he was a Highwayman; but the poor, scurvy rogue whose financial arrangements could not compass the dignity of a horse, was a common thief, a wolf's head, a foot pad. This mean specimen of roguery, only armed with a Clasp Knife, with many oaths, declared that he would operate upon the Surgeon to his disadvantage, unless he gave him his money. Under this compulsion Mr. Somerville gave him all he had about him, two five-pound notes, and four shillings; meanwhile the women folk, who saw what was being done to dear papa, besought the evil-doer, with tears in their eyes, and their money in their hands, to take what his strong arm had won, and depart in peace. Then the innate chivalry of that robber arose within him, and he said, in a somewhat mixed vein of politeness, and brutality, "Nay, ladies, don't be frightened, I never did the least injury to a woman in my life, nor never will, d—n me; as for your (p. 78) money, keep it yourselves: all that I ask from you is a kiss apiece; if you grudge me that, I'm sure you are neither sensible, nor good humoured." Væ Victis! The soft penalty was paid, and the wicked man turned away from his wickedness after doing a mild "Confiteor "—that he had spent all his money very foolishly, and the sum in which he had mulcted papa would carry him to his friends, and then he should have plenty. It was the first robbery he had ever committed, and it should be the last—and then he faded into the ewigkeit. But how about the stout coachman and footman who drove, and sat behind the carriage? Probably Somerville père had something to say to them on his return home.

Here is another case of wickedness, by a supposed Witch, the belief in Witchcraft being a cult not yet thoroughly ignored in England, copied from the Annual Register of August 26th: "At the Bridgewater assizes, Betty Townsend, a very old woman, aged 77, who for many years past has been considered by the superstitious as a Witch, was tried for obtaining money of a child under the following circumstances: The prosecutor, Jacob Poole, was a labouring man, residing in the hamlet of Taunton, in which parish the prisoner also resided, and he had been in the habit of sending his daughter, aged about thirteen, with apples in a basket, to market. About the 24th of January last, the old woman met the little girl, stopped her, and asked to see (p. 79) what she had in her basket; which, having examined, she said to her, 'Hast' got any money?' The child said she had none. 'Then get some for me,' said the old woman, 'and bring it to the Castle (a tavern in Taunton) door, or I will kill thee.' The child, terrified at such a threat from a witch, procured two shillings, and carried it to her; when the old woman said, ''Tis a good turn thou hast got it, or else I would have made thee die by inches.' This was repeated seven times within five months, when Poole, the girl's father, going to the shop of Mr. Burford, a druggist in Taunton, to pay a little bill which he owed for medicine, found no less than seven different charges against him for money lent; and, on inquiry, found that different small sums of two shillings, half-a-crown, five shillings, &c., had been borrowed by the little girl in her father's name, for the purpose, as she said, of going to market, but carried as a peace-offering to the old woman. The whole was now discovered, and Poole's wife, and another woman, took the girl with them to the prisoner's house, and interrogated her as to the facts. She admitted a knowledge of the girl, but, on being reprehended for her conduct, raved and swore, that if they dared to accuse her, she would make them 'die by inches.' 'No,' said Mrs. Poole, who appears to have thought that she knew much better how to deal with a Witch than her daughter, 'that thee shall not—I'll hinder that': and, taking a pin from her clothes, she scratched the witch (p. 80) from her elbow to her wrist, in three places, to draw her blood, a process, believed to be of unfailing efficacy, as an antidote to witchcraft. The idea of this wicked woman's power has had such an effect upon the mind of the poor little girl, that she is now reduced to such a state of debility, that she is scarcely able to take any sustenance. The Jury found the prisoner guilty (what of?); and the Judge observed that only her extreme old age prevented him from pronouncing on her the severest sentence the law would allow. She was sentenced to pay a fine of one shilling, and to be kept to hard labour in the House of Correction for six Calendar months."

Bartholomew Fair must be within the recollection of many of my readers, for it was not abolished until 1855. At one time it was always opened by the Lord Mayor—yet it reads with an old-world flavour that "Yesterday Morning (Sept. 3) the Lord Mayor, attended by the City Marshals, &c., went in procession, after having partaken of a cool tankard at the house of Mr. Newman, the keeper of Newgate, to the corner of Long Lane, West Smithfield, where the fair was proclaimed, and all its usual din and bustle commenced." The fair was not finally suppressed until 1855.


(Published by T. Moon, January, 1811.)

It was not till 1835 that Bull baiting was made illegal in England, and it is refreshing to read that the bull, even for a very short time, had the best of his human persecutor, who on such an occasion ever cuts a sorry (p. 83) figure. Morning Chronicle, Sept. 4th: "A dreadful catastrophe occurred at Chapel Wake, Birmingham, on Tuesday last. A concourse of people having assembled at the Fives Court, Lawrence Street, for the purpose of baiting a bull, the enraged animal broke loose, and ran with great fury into Coleshill Street. A Scene of the greatest confusion ensued. An infant, three months old, was killed on the spot: two women and boys were dreadfully trampled and bruised, and remain in the hospital with little hopes of recovery, and many others received injury." Bravo Toro!

Annus Mirabilis! A Regent, and a Comet! According to Shakespeare, when "beggars die, there are no Comets."[6] These Celestial aberrations are for far greater mundane personages—they are for the great ones of the earth only; and, again, from the same authority we learn that "Comets importing change,"[7] is fairly fulfilled in the Regency.

Of course the Caricaturist got hold of it, and fixed it for all time. "The Comet of 1811" has, as nucleus, the facile princeps of his age. Its tail is studded with celebrities, all of whom I cannot, unfortunately, make out. First is Earl Moira, then Sheridan and Erskine; Lord Derby with his hydrocephalous forehead, and the Duke of Norfolk. Behind Lord Derby is Col. Bloomfield; behind him is Lord Grenville, and side by side with him (p. 84) are Temple and Buckingham, whose wig and spectacles betray him anywhere. The last face to be recognized is that of Earl Grey.

This Comet was discovered at Viviers on the 25th of March, by M. de Flanguergues, and was again noticed by M. Pons at Marseilles on the 11th of April. It was seen at Paris on the 20th of May, but was not generally visible in England until the latter end of August or the beginning of September. It was nearest to the earth on the 24th of October, and then it went on its course, and, in due time, vanished.

In September a practical joke was played, on no less a person than the Queen. For four consecutive days, ending Sept. 26th, Buckingham Palace, or, as it was then called, the Queen's House, was besieged by Washerwomen, from morning till night. It seems that a woman, calling herself the head of the Queen's laundry had gone round to hundreds of Washerwomen, telling them that she had held her present situation for five years, and that she had been obliged to discharge all her staff, because they did not wash the royal linen clean, and also that they got drunk. She was very affable with her dupes, and was not above drinking with them, or of borrowing from them, cloaks, shawls, umbrellas, and other trifles, promising some of them two guineas a week, others 4s. a day, a pot of porter, and as much rum, gin, and wine as they chose.

(p. 86)



(p. 87) Early on Monday morning they began to arrive, about 6 o'clock, so as to set to work, and it was in vain that the porters refused them admission. Their tale was, that the lady who had hired them, had given them the key of the laundry to let themselves in, so that they might get to work, light the fire, &c. But, as there was no laundry at Buckingham Palace, they sent the poor women to St. James's Palace, where there was one, and, when they got there, it was only to be told that none had been engaged, nor even wanted. One can imagine the scene, more especially as many of the poor women had come from great distances, some had left good situations to go there, and others had sent their children into the Country to nurse, in order to enable them to take the place.

A more pleasing contest of women took place on the 3rd of October, 1811, in the shape of a Cricket Match between two teams, not the sort of thing as "Actresses" Cricket, which is now played between a team each of men and women, the former being armed with broom handles, the latter with cricket bats; but a much rougher sort of thing, if we can believe the accompanying illustration, which is taken from an etching of Rowlandson's, called "Rural Sports, or a Cricket Match Extraordinary. On Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1811, a Singular Cricket Match took place at Ball's Pond, Newington. The players on both sides were 22 Women, 11 Hampshire, against 11 (p. 88) Surrey. The Match was made between some amateur Noblemen of the respective Counties, for 500 Guineas a side. The performers in the Contest were of all ages and sizes."

The Match really began on the 2nd of October, and lasted three days, the Hampshire team winning. The ages varied from 14 to upwards of forty.

Rowlandson sketched with a freedom approaching decided coarseness—but his sketches were natural, and in this instance valuable, as showing us Cricket as then played, although the game, with its two stump wickets, curved bats, and primitive scoring was then obsolete, at least in matches.[8]

But, if we can believe the same artist, Baldwin and his congeners were outdone this year by a woman descending from a balloon in a parachute. It is taken from an etching by Rowlandson, dated the 25th of October, 1811, and entitled "Balloon Hunting." It represents the mishaps of a party of ladies who went balloon hunting across country, in a one-horse vehicle, the shafts of which are smashed, and the horse is being reduced to docility by the driver. I know of no woman who descended by means of a parachute, in this year.

They were not novelties, for André Jacques Garnerin, the Aëronaut, came down in one in 1802, and, according (p. 89) to Larousse, Elisa, daughter of Jean Baptiste Olivier Garnerin, brother of the above, was the first woman who tried a "drop from the clouds." She made her first descent in 1815, and in 1820 had made over twenty.


(By Rowlandson, published October 25, 1811, by Thomas Tegg.)

Taken as a whole, the French Prisoners of War, whose numbers were ever increasing, were not a bad lot of fellows. There were many breaches of parole, and large numbers of the rank and file, and seamen got away; for, in a Trial in the Court of King's Bench, November 14, 1811, the Attorney-General asserted that, (p. 90) of the French Officers, prisoners of war, on their parole, in this country, one-fourth had effected their escape: and that one condition on which smugglers from this country were permitted to land their goods in France, was the bringing over with them, a French prisoner.

Those interned at Cupar fitted up a neat little Theatre, which was opened on the 3rd of September. A prologue composed by one of the Officers, complimentary to the inhabitants for their hospitality to the Captives, was spoken and acted. This was followed by a Comedy in verse, by Regnard, called "Les Folies Amoureuses," and an after piece "Le Quaterne." The Scene painting, interior decorations of the theatre, Stage Apparatus, and Costumes, were all their own work: nor did they stop there, for they had an excellent band of their own.

But they could behave sternly on occasion, if there is any truth in the following story. In May, 1811, the French prisoners confined on board the Sampson (prison ship lying in the Medway), formed a conspiracy to forcibly take possession of the ship, and effect their escape, which was prevented by one of their number imparting secretly their projected plan to the commanding officer. Enraged at the disappointment of their hopes, they used every effort to find out the individual by whose communication their secret had transpired; and having, as they thought, fixed upon the right man, as soon as they were locked up for the night, they (p. 91) formed a Court, for his trial, at which a procés verbal was drawn up, declaratory of their proceedings. The suspected traitor was found guilty, but there was a difference of opinion as to his punishment, and it was at last resolved and carried into effect, that he should be tattooed on his forehead and cheeks "J'ai vendu mes frères aux Anglais abord le ponton 'Le Sampson,' 31 Mai, 1811."

There is not much more to chronicle for the remainder of this year, except the Census, and we must glance at the figures to see the enormous difference in the population then, and now. In 1811, the whole population was 12,552,144, in 1881, 35,246,562, or, in other words, the population had all but trebled itself in 70 years. In the last Census (1881) the sexes were very evenly balanced, being 17,253,947 males, and 17,992,615 females, and so they were in 1811, 6,310,548 males, and 6,241,596 females.

Still the Luddite Riots must not be forgotten, for, at one time, they threatened to be somewhat serious. They began in the neighbourhood of Nottingham, the Manufacturers there, having been obliged, from the decrease of demand for their manufactures, to discharge many of their workmen, and consequently much distress was caused. Nor was this all; a certain wide frame for weaving stockings had been introduced, which saved much labour, and, consequently, fewer hands were wanted. (p. 92) In November, these riots became rather serious, as, not only were the obnoxious frames smashed, and manufacturers' stock destroyed, but millers, corn dealers, &c., suffered, and the military had to be called out. Their name was taken from their imaginary leader, one Captain Ludd, who never had any existence, but probably stood for the Committee of Management.

At this time, at all events, the public were free from the sickening details of the illness of Royalty, such as they have lately had—in the case of the German Emperor, Frederic—details which could do no good whatever to the outer world, and which must have been very painful to the relatives of the deceased Kaiser. They managed things better in George III.'s reign. If the medical men quarrelled, they did not openly wash their dirty linen, but it only was known to a few that Dr. Willis's treatment of his Royal patient, during his former illness, had been considered unnecessarily severe, and that, perhaps, they were not too well content to have him associated with them in the present crisis: still for the first year or so, the people, who really loved old Farmer George, were kept fairly acquainted with the state of his health, until it became hopeless—and then, perhaps very wisely, they only were fed with the merest details of his disorder.

In February, the King was getting so well that the Queen and one of the Princesses, on more than one (p. 93) occasion visited him: then he suffered from a paroxysm of mania, to which succeeded a calm, during which he took his constitutional walks on the Terrace. In March, he got better, so much so, that on the 31st of March, the prayers for his recovery were discontinued in the Chapel Royal, and, at the Queen's Monthly Council, it was hoped that he would recover, so that he had the key of the Cabinet Council Despatch Boxes, and, in other ways, was treated as a responsible being. In May, his health was capricious, but still he was able to walk and ride in public. June brought a relapse, and his case was deemed hopeless, yet he still occasionally took walks. In July, he was in a very dangerous state, opiates had to be administered, and he partook of very little solid food. In August, it was said that his suite of apartments were padded to prevent his doing himself a mischief, but this was denied. September was a better month for him, but, in October, he retrograded. November and December only show him as leading a fairly healthy animal existence.

(p. 96)


(Drawn and etched by W. Heath.)

(p. 97) Décoration


The Regent's doings — The Royal Sprain — Colonel McMahon — Luddite and Factory Riots — Scarcity of Bullion — Murder of Mr. Perceval.

Judging by the barometer of public opinion, the satirical prints, the topic of conversation in the commencement of this year, was the Prince Regent. Occupying the exalted position that he did, he naturally was the observed of all, and his foibles and peccadilloes were made the laughing-stock, or were censured of all. And the Caricaturists did not spare him. Take this illustration as a sample; it is called "1812 or Regency à la Mode," where we see our "fat friend," as Brummell called him, having his stays laced, and, during that operation, occupying himself by rouging his cheeks.

He would allow very little of his doings to be known by the public, and the movements of Royalty, as we (p. 98) know it in the Court Circular, were recorded in the baldest manner possible, except on one occasion, when the Regent sprained his ancle, and there was a very long and elaborate report thereon.

Morning Chronicle, Saturday, November 16, 1811:—"The Prince Regent.—His Royal Highness, we are concerned to state, was not well enough to come to town yesterday. At the Party given by the Duchess of York at Oatlands, on Wednesday evening, the Duchess made arrangements for a Ball. The Prince Regent agreed to lead off the dance with his daughter, the Princess Charlotte, for his partner. Whilst his Royal Highness was leading the Princess briskly along, his right foot came in contact with the leg of a chair or sofa, which gave his leg a twist, and sprained his ancle. His Royal Highness took but little notice of it that night, but in the morning he found it worse than he expected, &c., &c."

Whatever was the matter with him, he did not leave Oatlands till the 9th of December, or nearly a month after the Ball. Nobody believed in the royal sprain, but the story that did gain credence, and was made the most of by the Caricaturist and Satirist, was that the Regent, at that Ball, grossly insulted Lady Yarmouth, for which he was most heartily, and soundly, thrashed by her husband, Lord Yarmouth, and hence the royal indisposition. Walcot, as "Peter Pindar, Esqre," wrote one (p. 99) of his most scathing odes, and that is saying something, entitled "The R——l Sprain, or A Kick from Yar——h to Wa——s, being the particulars of an expedition to Oat——ds, and the Sprained Ancle."

There were several Caricatures, all with the same tendency. One was "A Kick from Yarmouth to Wales, December, 1811," which shows Lord Yarmouth holding the Regent by his coat collar and vigorously kicking him behind, the Regent yelling and trying to get away, Lady Yarmouth sitting on a sofa looking on. There is attached to this, a poetical effusion of fourteen verses, to be sung to the tune of "The Love-sick Frog." The first verse runs thus:

"A Prince he would a raking go.
Heigh ho! said Rowly.
Whether his people would have him or no;
With a rowly-powly, gammon and spinach,
Heigh ho! said Anthony Rowly."

Then there was "The Royal Milling Match," published December, 1811, in which is depicted Lord Yarmouth, who, by a paper sticking out of his coat pocket, was "Late a pupil of the Champion of England," is "fibbing merrily" on the royal countenance; at the same time exclaiming, "There is plenty of fair game, but no poaching on my Manor. My action is quick, and put in strait forward—so!" The Regent calls (p. 100) out, "Help, help, I have made a false step, and sprained my Ancle." A servant coming in, says to Lord Yarmouth, "Lord, Sir, don't be so harsh, you'll sprain the gentleman's ancle. By goles, this is what they call Milling indeed!" Lady Yarmouth views the scene from behind a screen.

The most amusing one I have seen, is given in the accompanying illustration, which is by Geo. Cruikshank, published January, 1812. It is called "Princely Agility, or the Sprained Ancle." The doctor at the foot of the bed (probably meant for Halford) is fomenting the foot, which seems its normal size, and says to the attendant, "Take that waistcoat away, or we shall make the town talk." The Princess Charlotte is examining the foot, and exclaims, "Bless me, how it's swelled!" Lady Jersey, who is administering to the invalid prince, is inattentive to her duties; while the Regent, with "two lovely black eyes," is calling to Colonel McMahon, "Oh! my Ancle, Oh!—bring me my Wig—Oh! my Ancle! Take care of my Whiskers, Mac! Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, o—o—o—oh, o!" Sir John Douglas is feeling his pulse, saying, "Out a way, Mon, you are always exposing yourself." John Bull is coming in at the door, but is pushed back by Adams, with "Indeed, Bull, 'tis only a sprained ancle." But John Bull says, "John Bull is not to be fobbed off so easily, Master Lawyer."

(p. 101)


(Published, January, 1812, by J. Johnston.)
G. Cruikshank.

(p. 103) George Cruikshank was not very particular as to his likenesses, as we may see by his ideal Colonel McMahon, who was a servant worthy of his master, to whom he was most useful.

Walcot "Pindarised" him in an Ode, "Mac the First," in which he makes him say:

"Once a boy, in ragged dress,
Who would little Mac caress?
When in the streets, starv'd and sad,
I was a common errand lad."

But, be his origin whatever it might have been, he was a tool well fitted for the use of his august master, who, it must be owned, endeavoured to repay him; but, also, at the public expense. In 1811 General Fox died, and at his death, the office of Paymaster of the Widows' Pensions became vacant. It was a perfect sinecure, the duties being done by others, and the salary attached to the office was over £2,000 per annum. The Commissioners of 1783, and of 1808, both reported and recommended the abolition of Paymaster and Deputy-Paymaster of Widows' Pensions, as being unnecessary, the one having very little to do, the other, nothing at all. The office of Paymaster had, in particular, been recommended to be done away with, on the demise of General Fox: but it was given to Colonel McMahon.

On January 9, 1812, on a Motion for Supply, Mr. (p. 104) Creevey spoke decidedly against this appointment, and moved as an Amendment, "That the House would, to-morrow se'nnight, resolve itself into a Committee of Supply, in order to give an opportunity, in the interim, for the consideration which he had suggested," namely, that they would take into their earliest consideration, the various offices of emolument recently granted by the Crown to several of their members. This amendment was lost.

On the 22nd of February, the question of the Army Estimates being on, Mr. Bankes moved as an Amendment, "That the amount of the sum expected to be paid to the Paymaster of Widows' Pensions, being 12d. in the pound on the said Pensions (£2,790 1s.) be deducted from the said sum." This amendment was lost by a majority of sixteen.

But on the next night Mr. Bankes brought the matter up again, and moved the virtual abolition of the office by omitting the sum necessary to pay it—and this was carried by a majority of three.


(Published April 13, 1812, by William Holland.)

There was consternation among the Regent's party at the temerity of the House in thus thwarting the Royal wishes, and, of course, the recalcitrant Commons must be taught a lesson, so McMahon was appointed Keeper of the Privy Purse, and Private Secretary to the Prince Regent; and, in the caricature of "The Privy Purse and Political Beggars" we find McMahon installed in his (p. 107) new position. Sheridan says, "Dear, good, worthy Countryman, thou Pine Apple of Erin! consider I was burnt out,[9] not a penny in my purse, my credit very low—do—dear Mac, for the love of St. Patrick, give me a handfull." Buckingham: "I have not above a Hundred Thousand a year, these hard times. Pray remember the Poor!" Temple: "With my wife's fortune, and my own, I have not above Forty Thousand a Year. Pray remember the Poor!" Grenville: "I have not above Fifty Thousand a Year, a slender pittance. Pray remember the Poor!" Mac Mahon replies: "Paws Off! no Blarney will do with me! I'm up to all your Gammon! and so is my dear Master. I'm cosy at last, in spite of all your speeches and paragraphs, and you may all go to the Devil, your Master!!!"

And, doubtless, he thought he was cosy, but the Commons would not stand the job, and on the 23rd of March his appointment was brought before Parliament, and the Hon. J. W. Ward asked whether it was a fact, and, if so, what salary was he to have? Mr. Perceval, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, admitted the appointment, and pointed out that Colonel Taylor had occupied the same position towards the King for many years, and the same salary that was given to that gentleman had been continued to Colonel McMahon. Mr. Whitbread pointed out that Colonel Taylor's appointment was owing (p. 108) to the infirmities of the King, and that previously, there had been no such post.

On the 14th of April, Mr. C. W. Wynn, in the House of Commons, moved for the Production of the Appointment of Colonel McMahon to the new Office of Private Secretary to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent. A very long discussion took place, and on a division, the motion was negatived by a majority of seventy-six. But the Ministry felt that the House was decidedly against them, and the appointment was not persisted in—McMahon afterwards became a pensioner on the Privy Purse.

During the whole of January the Luddites were very violent in, and about Nottingham, doing an immense amount of mischief, in spite of all the troops could do, and they were so well organized that very few prisoners were taken. In April the agitation spread to Leeds, where machinery was broken, and cloth &c., destroyed. Then there were food riots among the Cornish miners, which lasted until the arrival of troops. More Luddite riots at Leeds. Food riots among the Colliers at Macclesfield. Then Bristol got tainted with the same lawless spirit; then Sheffield, Stockport, Carlisle, Manchester, Bolton, and elsewhere, but these riots were principally directed against machinery. At the latter end of April, one of the chief ringleaders, a man named Walker, was arrested, and safely lodged in Chester Gaol. He was said to be General Ludd himself.

(p. 109) In May, there still were riots in the manufacturing district, but these principally took the form of organized burglaries. At last, on May 24th, there was a Special Commission to try those who had been captured. Some were sentenced to imprisonment, some to transportation, which, in those days really meant being sent across the seas, and sixteen were condemned to be hanged—but five, only, were left for death. In other parts of the country some were hanged, but this really served only "pour encourager les autres," for the riots still went on during June, August, and part of September; but they were then dying out, a letter from Huddersfield, dated the 10th of September, saying, "Several persons have been apprehended on various charges of Luddism, and are now in custody here. A number of others have, this week, abjured their illegal oath, and taken the oath of allegiance; they see the calamities they have brought upon themselves and neighbours, by the atrocious depredations they have committed, and the delusions they have laboured under; and it is to be hoped they will all follow the laudable example of those their associates, in discharging themselves from that unlawful and ruinous system in which they have, unfortunately, been engaged, and return to their allegiance before it is too late." And so they did, for we do not hear much of them afterwards. They were very ignorant, the price of provisions, owing to the war, pressed heavily upon them, work was scarce, (p. 110) and, to their minds, looked likely to be scarcer, owing to the introduction of Machinery. Had the Home Government been a strong one, the riots might have been stifled at their birth, for there was not the false philanthropy preached then, as now, and the soldiery, both officers and men, were ready to obey orders unflinchingly, and without fear of being called to trial afterwards for their obedience.

Guineas and Bank Notes still exercised the public mind, and the former must indeed have been hoarded up when we learn, early in January, that 34,000 guineas in gold, the property of a gentleman deceased, were offered for sale on 'Change at Belfast. Bank of England notes were forged to a great extent, so much so, that the total value of the forged Notes presented at the Bank of England for payment, and refused, during eleven years, from the 1st of January, 1801, to the 31st of December, 1811, was £101,661.

"Bank Notes, it is said, once Guineas defied
To swim to a point in Wade's foaming tide;
But 'ere they could reach the opposite brink,
Bank Notes cried to Gold, "Help me! Cash us! I sink."

That Paper should sink, and guineas should swim,
May appear to some folks a ridiculous whim;
But before they condemn, let them hear this suggestion—
In pun-making, gravity's out of the question."

In September of this year Silver had risen to 6s. 8d. per oz., and Gold to £5 10s., equalling in value for a guinea £1 9s. 6d.

(p. 111) There is a curious story of the value of money, told in November of this year. "A Gentleman in the Country sent to his banker in the City, a parcel of guineas which were both light and heavy, with directions to pass the value to his credit in account. The banker, being a good and loyal subject, and unwilling to do an unlawful act, credited his correspondent, with the heavy guineas at the rate of £1 1s. each, the value by law established; but the light ones he sent to a Silver-smith, who returned for them Bank Notes, at the rate of £1 7s. each. A light guinea is thus proved to be worth 6s. more than one of standard weight."

In April, Napoleon put out a feeler for peace with Great Britain, on the basis that the Bourbons should reign in Spain; but, when inquiry was made whether by that, he meant Ferdinand VII. he gave no reply, and the negotiation, if ever serious, fell through.

One of the principal social events of the year was the Murder of the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, Chancellor of the Exchequer, First Lord of the Treasury, and Prime Minister of England, who was shot by the hand of an assassin John Bellingham, on the 11th of May, whilst passing through the lobby of the House of Commons. He was born November 1, 1762, so that, when he fell, he was in the prime of life. He was of very good family, being the second son of John, Earl of Egmont, in Ireland, and Baron Lovel and Holland in England. His family (p. 112) was one of the very few that really came over with the Conqueror, for Robert the second son of Eudes, sovereign Duke of Brittany, settled in Normandy, and there became possessed of the lordships of Brewehal and Ivery. As stated, he came over in the Norman filibuster's suite, and in the course of two or three generations the name of Brewehal, became changed into Perceval—and ever afterwards so remained.

Spencer Perceval, studied for, and practised at, the Bar, being made King's Counsel in 1796. In the same year, his first cousin, Lord Compton, who was member for Northampton, succeeded to his father's title of Earl of Northampton; and Perceval, offering himself for the vacant seat, was elected without opposition. His rise was rapid, and in 1801, being then in his 39th year, he joined Lord Addington's Government as Solicitor-General. In 1802 he was made Attorney-General. When Pitt resumed the government, he retained his appointment, but resigned it at Pitt's death.

In Lord Portland's Ministry of 1807, he undertook the duties of Chancellor and Under Treasurer of the Exchequer, and also Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In October, 1809, he was First Lord of the Treasury, and Prime Minister, and so continued until his sad end.

One may well ask why did Bellingham shoot Perceval? To this day I cannot tell. In the year 1804, a Mr. John (p. 113) Bellingham—who had been brought up in a Counting House in London, and, afterwards, lived three years as clerk with a Russian Merchant at Archangel, whence he had returned to England—went back to Russia on Mercantile business—was there twice imprisoned—he said falsely—and treated, according to his own account, with very great indignity. He complained to the British Ambassador at Petersburg, and also to the Secretary of Legation, but did not obtain his desired redress. He returned to England in 1809, as he said, ruined in health and fortune. But the British Ambassador, Lord Gower, declared that he used all the influence he possessed (with propriety) in Bellingham's favour; but that he was legally imprisoned for debt, upon the award of four arbitrators, two of them British Merchants chosen by himself, and the other two Russians; that his confinement was far from severe; that he was allowed to walk at large, only under the inspection of a police officer; and that he had received help in money from the Secretary of Legation.

But he was "a man with a grievance," and went about to different branches of the Government, detailing the lâches of Lord Gower, and the Secretary, for their culpable neglect in not looking properly after the interests of a British Subject. He then determined to bring his case before Parliament, and asked General Gascoyne to back his petition, and the General promised to do so, provided it had the countenance of Mr. Perceval, the Chancellor (p. 114) of the Exchequer, which was considered necessary in all cases which involved a pecuniary grant.

He wrote to poor Perceval, for leave to bring in a Petition, but was answered that Mr. Perceval thought that his petition "was not of a nature for the Consideration of Parliament." Then he went to the Regent and the Privy Council, but to no purpose: made applications all round, but met with no good, except a reference to the Chancellor of the Exchequer: but here he had been refused help. Then he wrote a letter to the Bow Street Magistrates, stating his case—saying that he would, once more solicit his Majesty's Ministers, through them, and, failing redress from that, he continued, "I shall then feel justified in executing justice myself; in which case, I shall be ready to argue the merits of so reluctant a measure, with his Majesty's Attorney-General, wherever, and whenever I may be called upon to do so. In the hopes of averting so abhorrent, but compulsive an alternative. I have the honour to be, &c." The Magistrates communicated the contents of this packet to the Secretary of State, but it only resulted in a fresh disappointment.

He still kept on trying, and his idea of taking vengeance on some one, increased, until it not only became fixed, but he planned its carrying out. He had a pocket made in his coat of a peculiar size and shape, in order to carry a pistol; and on the fatal 11th of May, he hid himself behind one of the folding doors of the lobby of the (p. 115) House of Commons; and when, about a quarter past five, the ill-fated Chancellor made his appearance, Bellingham shot him through the heart. Poor Perceval only reeled a pace or two, faintly called out, that he was murdered, and then fell. The Illustration which I have reproduced is the best I know, and the likenesses of both murderer and victim are extremely good.


Perceval was at once raised, and carried into the (p. 116) Speaker's apartments, but he died in two or three minutes. His murderer made no attempt to escape, but stood holding the pistol with which he had committed the foul crime, and, when some one called out—"Where is the rascal that fired?" he coolly stepped forward, saying, "I am the unfortunate man," and quietly surrendered himself a prisoner. On being searched, a loaded pistol was found in his pocket—the fellow to that which he was still holding in his hand.

He was equally calm when brought before the bar of the House, acknowledging the fact, and even attempting to justify it. He was committed to Newgate, where two men were constantly with him in his cell, to prevent any attempt at self-destruction. He was brought up for trial at the Old Bailey on the 15th of May. The facts against him were concisely and clearly stated, even to that of his having pockets specially made to hold the pistols: and he conducted his own defence. He gave an account of his sufferings for the past eight years, laying the blame principally on Lord Leveson Gower, whom he regretted he had not killed in place of Mr. Perceval. "He was obliged to the Attorney-General and the Court for setting aside the plea of insanity urged by his counsel, and could assure them, whenever he should appear before the tribunal of God, he should be adjudged innocent of the wilful murder of Mr. Perceval. That he perished by his hand he admitted; but, to constitute felony, there must (p. 117) be malice prepense, the wilful intention, which had not been proved. In this case, he had been robbed of his property, his family ruined, and his mind tortured through the conduct of Government Agents; and he was now to answer for his life, because Mr. Perceval chose to patronize iniquity, and refuse him redress."

Of course, this style of argument availed him nothing with the jury, who, after a very brief consultation, brought him in "Guilty." Sentence of death was passed upon him, and, as there was very little sickly sentimentality in those days, as to carrying out the penalty of the law, he was duly hanged on the 18th of May: his body being given over to the surgeons for dissection. It is said that after his body was opened, his heart continued its functions for four hours; in other words, that he was living for that time.

The day after Mr. Perceval's assassination, the Prince Regent sent a Message to Parliament recommending a provision being made for Mrs. Perceval and her family, and an annuity of £2,000 was granted her, together with a sum of £30,000 to her family. These were voted unanimously, and two other votes were passed by large majorities—one to provide a monument to his memory in Westminster Abbey, the other granting to his eldest son, Spencer Perceval, who was just about to go to College, an annuity of £1,000, from the day of his father's death, and an additional £1,000 yearly, on the decease of his mother.

(p. 118) One would have thought that there could have been but one feeling throughout the nation, that of horror, at this dastardly murder, but one town was the base exception. When the news of his murder reached Nottingham, a numerous crowd publicly testified their joy by shouts, huzzas, drums beating, flags flying, bells ringing, and bonfires blazing. The Military being called out, and the Riot Act read, peace was restored.

(p. 119) Décoration


French Prisoners of War — Repeal of the "Orders in Council" — Rejoicings for the Victory of Salamanca — Saturnalia thereat.

There was always more or less trouble with the French Prisoners of War during the year—as we know, many escaped, and small blame to them—whilst many officers deliberately and disgracefully broke their parole and got away. Six Prisoners escaped from Edinburgh Castle, made for the sea, found a boat, and, sailing up the Firth, got as far as Hopetoun House, where they landed, intending to go to Glasgow by land, but the Commandant of the Linlithgow Local Militia had information that several men had been seen skulking about Lord Hopetoun's plantations, and, after some trouble, they were caught, lodged in Linlithgow gaol, and then sent back to Edinburgh.

One gained his freedom by an act of gallantry, early in February. "François Goyette, a French Prisoner, lately employed as a servant on board the hospital ship Pegase, (p. 120) has been released, and sent to France by the Transport Board, as a reward for his exertions in jumping overboard to the rescue of the Cook and boy of the Hydra frigate, when upset in her boat on Porchester Lake."

We see, by the following, how systematic they became in their methods of escaping:—

"Upwards of 1,000 French prisoners have escaped from this country during the war, and so many persons have lately been detected in assisting their escape, that those concerned have had a vehicle made for the conveyance of Frenchmen, to avoid suspicion or detection, exactly resembling a covered cart used by the Calico printers, with strong doors at each end, but with seats inside to hold a number of men. One of them was detected about a week since, in a very extraordinary way. Some Revenue Officers went into a public house near Canterbury, where two men were playing at cards, whom they suspected to be Frenchmen on their way to escape from this country. They communicated this suspicion to a magistrate, who informed them that, at that hour of the night (about eight o'clock), the Constable was generally intoxicated, and it would be of no use applying to him; but advised them to procure the assistance of some of the Military in the neighbourhood, which the officers accordingly did, and surrounded the house.

"The landlord refused to open the door, saying it was (p. 121) too late. The soldiers told him they were in search of deserters. A short time afterwards two men came out of the back door, and the Revenue Officers, suspecting they were two Frenchmen, secured them. Another came out directly afterwards, whom the soldiers stopped; he, also, was a Frenchman. They were conveyed away in Custody. This was a mere chance detection, as the two men whom the Revenue Officers had seen at Cards early in the evening proved, not Frenchmen, but tradesmen of the neighbourhood; and, while the officers were gone to the magistrate, and after the military, a cart, such as we have described, arrived at the house with four Frenchmen.

"The fourth man, who was some time in coming out, after the others, escaped into the London road, whither he knew the cart had returned, and overtook it; but the driver would not, for a considerable time, take him up, as he had only seen him in the night-time, till he made him understand that he was connected with one Webb, the driver's employer. It being ascertained that the three Frenchmen in custody, had been brought there in a cart, pursuit was made, and it was overtaken, and the driver and the Frenchman were taken into custody. They were examined before a magistrate, when it appeared, from the confession of the driver, &c., that the four Frenchmen were officers, who had broken their parole from Ashby de la Zouche. The Cart had been (p. 122) fitted up with a seat, to hold a number of Frenchmen. He was employed by Mr. Webb to drive the cart. The Frenchmen only got out of the cart at night to avoid observation. They stopped at bye-places, and made fires under hedges. At a place near Brentford, a woman connected with Webb made tea for them. They stopped on Beckenham Common to rest the horse, about ten o'clock at night, when, a horse-patrol passing at the time, suspected something to be wrong, but could not ascertain what. He insisted on the driver moving off; and when he was about putting the horse into the Cart, an accident happened which nearly led to their discovery. The Frenchmen all being at the back of the cart, the driver lost the balance, when he was putting in the horse, and the cart fell backwards, which caused the Frenchmen to scream violently; but it is supposed the patrol had gone too far to hear the noise. Webb was apprehended, and examined before a magistrate in Kent, but he discharged him. However, afterwards, the magistrate meeting with Webb, in Maidstone, where he was attending the assize on a similar charge, he took him into custody."

What was it made these French Officers so dishonour themselves by breaking their parole? The very fact of their being on parole, intimates a certain amount of freedom. It must have been either a dull moral perception, (p. 123) and the utter want of all the feelings and instincts of a gentleman, or else ungovernable nostalgia, which blunted their sense of honour. Here is a pretty list, June 30, 1812:—

"The number of French commissioned Officers, and masters of Privateers and Merchantmen, who have broken their parole in the last three years ending 5 June is 692, of whom 242 have been retaken, and 450 escaped. A considerable number of officers have, besides, been ordered into confinement, for various other breaches of their parole engagements."

Something had to be done to stop this emigration, so the Government gave orders to seize all galleys of a certain description carrying eight oars: 17 were seized at Deal, and 10 at Folkestone, Sandgate, &c. They must have been built for smuggling, and illicit purposes, for they were painted so as to be perfectly invisible at night, and were so slightly built, and swift, that in those days of no steamers, no craft could catch them. However, the punishment, if caught, for aiding their escape, was severe, as three men found to their cost. They were sentenced to two years' imprisonment, and two of them "to be placed in and upon the pillory on the sea-shore, near the town of Rye, and, as near as could be, within sight of the French Coast, that they might be viewed, as his lordship observed, by those enemies of their country, whom they had, by their conduct, so much befriended."

(p. 124) The French papers had accused us of ill-treating our prisoners, so that a disclaimer was necessary:—

"French Prisoners.—As a proof of the good treatment of the prisoners of war in this country, the following comparative statement of those sick and in health will be the best answer to the calumnies of the Moniteur:—

Thursday, Aug. 20, 1812.
  In health. Sick.
On board prison ships, Hamoaze 6100 61
In Dartmoor depôt 7500 74

"This small percentage of sick, is not the common average of persons not confined as Prisoners of War. At Dartmoor 500 prisoners, such as labourers, carpenters, smiths, &c., are allowed to work from sun-rise to sun-set; they are paid fourpence and sixpence per day, according to their abilities, and have each their daily rations of provisions, viz., a pound and a half of bread, half a pound of boiled beef, half a pound of cabbage, and a proportion of soup and small beer. They wear a tin plate in their Caps, with the title of the trade they are employed in, and return every evening to the depôt to be mustered."

They had a rough sense of justice among themselves, their punishments to delinquents not quite coming up to the rigorous "mort aux voleurs," but still very severe. Here is a case: The French prisoners who were brought (p. 125) to the depôt at Perth, on August 13th, from Dundee, were lodged, the preceding night, in the Church at Inchture, where, it is said, they contrived to draw many of the nails from the seats, and break a number of the panes of the windows; and one of their number stole the two mort-cloths, or palls, belonging to the Church. The beadle being sent after them to the depôt, the theft was instantly discovered, which so incensed the prisoners against the thief, that they called out to have him punished, and asked permission to do so by a Court-martial. Having held this Court, they ordered him a naval flogging of two dozen, with the end of a hard rope. The Culprit was tied to a lamp-post, and, with the first lash, the blood sprung. The punishment went on to 17 lashes, when the poor man fainted away, but he had the other 7 at another time.

They kicked over the traces sometimes, as we learn by the Annual Register, September 8th:—

"The French prisoners at Dartmoor depôt, on Sunday last, had worked themselves up to the highest pitch of rage, at having a pound and a half of biscuit, and not bread, per day. The use of biscuit, it is to be observed, was to be discontinued as soon as the bakehouse had been rebuilt; but the Frenchmen were absolutely deaf to remonstrances. A detachment of the Cheshire militia, and of the South Gloucester regiment, was drawn up on the walls surrounding the prison; and, although they (p. 126) had loaded their pieces with ball, the prisoners appeared undaunted, and insulted them in the grossest terms. A sentinel on duty had the bayonet wrenched off his piece, yet nobly reserved his fire; an officer, however, followed the Frenchman, struck him over the shoulder with his sword, and brought off the bayonet. The Frenchmen even bared their breasts to the troops, and seemed regardless of danger.

"The number of prisoners is about 7,500; and so menacing was their conduct, that an express was sent off to Plymouth Dock, at eleven o'clock on Sunday night, soliciting immediate assistance. Three pieces of Artillery were, in consequence, sent off early on Monday morning; and, on their arrival, at the principal gate, the bars of which, of immense size, had been previously broken by stones hurled against them by the insurgents, they were placed in such directions as to command the whole of the circle which the prison describes. This had the desired effect, and order was restored. It is to be noticed that the allowance of biscuit, at which these men had so indignantly spurned, is precisely the same as that which is served out to our own sailors and marines."

At another time (Sunday, October 11th) the Ganges prison ship, at Portsmouth, with 750 prisoners on board, was set on fire by one of them, and had actually a great hole burned in her, before the fire was discovered. (p. 127) The incendiary was soon detected, and put in irons; he confessed his guilt, and declared it was his intention to destroy himself and companions, who were tired of confinement. To the credit of his compatriots, they all helped to extinguish the flames, and were, with difficulty, restrained from lynching the offender.

One pretty little story anent them, and I have done. A prisoner, located at Perth, was released, on account of his humanity. At the storming of Badajoz, General Walker fell at the head of his brigade, and was found by this young Frenchman lying wounded, and bleeding, in the breach. In his arms he bore the General to a French Hospital, where he was cured. General Walker gave him his address, and promised to serve him, if ever it lay in his power. The fortune of war brought the young man, a captive, to England, and, on his application to his friend the General, the latter so used his influence as to procure his release.

An act was done in this year which removed many restrictions from our trade, and promoted the manufacturing industry of the Country. It was all very well to be victorious in war, but the fact of being at war, more especially with opponents whose great efforts were to cripple the trade of the Nation, and thus wither the sinews by which war is greatly maintained, was felt throughout all classes of the Manufacturing Interest all over the Country, a power which was then (p. 128) beginning to make itself felt. The Act of which I speak, was the abolition of the Orders in Council which prohibited trade with any port occupied by the French, being a reprisal for Napoleon's Berlin and Milan Decrees, which interdicted commerce with England.

Petitions poured into Parliament in favour of their abrogation, and on the 24th of April Lord Liverpool laid on the table of the House of Lords, the following

"DECLARATION of the Court of Great Britain respecting the Orders in Council.

"At the Court at Carlton-house the 23rd day of April, 1812. Present his Royal Highness the Prince Regent in Council.

"Whereas his Royal Highness the Prince Regent was pleased to declare, in the name, and on the behalf of his Majesty, on the 21st day of April, 1812: 'That if at any time hereafter, the Berlin and Milan Decrees shall, by some authentic act of the French Government, publicly promulgated, be absolutely and unconditionally repealed, then, and from thenceforth, the Order in Council of the 7th of January, 1807, and the Order in Council of the 26th of April, 1809, shall without any further Order be, and the same are hereby declared from thenceforth to be, wholly and absolutely revoked."

On this being known, there were great rejoicings (p. 129) throughout the Country, especially at Sheffield, Leeds, and other manufacturing towns; the beneficial effects of the alteration became immediately apparent, there being more purchases made at the Cloth Hall at Leeds, in one day, than had been known for many years. At Liverpool 1,500,000 yards of bounty goods were shipped in one week, worth £125,000, and 2,500,000 were in progress of shipment. In the same week £12,000 Convoy duty, at 4 per cent., was paid, indicating further shipments to the amount of £300,000, at the same port. The wages of Spinners, &c., advanced at once, in some cases as much as 2s. 3d. a week.

But all rejoicings were not so quiet—witness those which took place in London in honour of the Victory of Salamanca, when Wellington totally defeated the French Army under Marshal Marmont, July 22, 1812. The French left in the hands of the British 7,141 prisoners, 11 pieces of cannon, 6 stands of colours, and 2 eagles.

The Illuminations in London took place on August 17th and two following days, but they seem to have been of the usual kind. If the sightseers could not get hold of the hero of the day, they managed to lay hands on the Marquis Wellesley, his brother, who was driving about, looking at the illuminations; and, having taken the horses out of his carriage, they dragged him about the streets; finally, and luckily, depositing him at Apsley House. After this, they returned down Piccadilly, calling out for lights, (p. 130) which had a little time before been brilliant, but since had gone out. The inhabitants got from their beds and showed candles, but this did not satisfy the mob, who set to work demolishing the windows with sticks, brick-bats, stones, &c., to the great danger of life and limb.

Some glass, in Mr. Coutts's house, which cost £4 10s. a square (for plate glass was very dear then) was broken, as were also several windows at Sir Francis Burdett's, and yet both had been well lighted throughout the night. This disgraceful scene was kept up till past three a.m., and damage was done, estimated at five or six hundred pounds.

On the third and last night of their Saturnalia the outrages were, perhaps, worse than before. Not only were fire-arms freely discharged, and fireworks profusely scattered, but balls of tow, dipped in turpentine, were thrown among crowds and into carriages; horses ran away in affright—carriages were overturned—and many deplorable accidents ensued in broken limbs and fractured skulls. Here are a few accidents. In Bow Street, a well-dressed young lady had her clothes set in a blaze. In the Strand, at one time, three women were on fire, and one burned through all her clothes, to her thigh. Likewise in the Strand, a hackney coach, containing two ladies and two gentlemen, was forced open by the mob, who threw in a number of fireworks, which, setting fire to the straw at the bottom of the coach, burned an eye (p. 131) of one of the gentlemen, his coat, and breeches; one of the ladies had her pelisse burned, and the other was burned across the breast. In St. Clement's Churchyard, a woman, of respectable appearance, hearing a blunderbuss suddenly discharged near her, instantly dropped down, and expired.

Apropos of Salamanca, there was a little jeu d'esprit worth preserving.

"Salamanca Lobsters.

Though of Soldiers, by some in derision 'tis said,
They are Lobsters, because they are cloathed in red,
Yet the maxim our army admit to be true,
As part of their nature, as well as their hue;
A proof more decisive, the world never saw,
For every man in the Field had 'Eclat.'"

On the 30th of September, there was a great military function, in depositing the captured French Eagles in Whitehall Chapel. They were five in number, two taken at Salamanca, two at Madrid, and one near Ciudad Rodrigo.

(p. 133) Décoration


Chimney-sweeps — Climbing boys — Riot at Bartholomew Fair — Duelling — War with France — Declaration of war between England and America — Excommunication for bearing false witness — Early Steam Locomotives — Margate in 1812 — Resurrection men — Smithfield Cattle Club.

The Social life of a nation includes small things, as well as great, deposition of Eagles, and Chimney-sweeps, and the latter have been looked after, by the legislature, not before the intervention of the law was needed. In 1789, 28 Geo. III., an Act was passed to regulate Chimney-sweeping. In 1834, another Act regulated the trade, and the apprenticeship of Children. Again, by 3 and 4 Vic. cap. 85, it was made illegal for a master sweep to take as apprentice, any one under sixteen years of age, and the Act further provided that no one, after the 1st of July, 1842, should ascend a chimney unless he were twenty-one years of age. In 1864 the law was made more stringent, and even as late as 1875 38 and 39 Vic. cap. 70, an Act was passed "for further amending (p. 134) the Law relating to Chimney Sweepers." That all this legislation was necessary is partially shown by a short paragraph of the date 7th of August: "Yesterday, Charles Barker was charged at Union Hall[10] with kidnapping two young boys, and selling them for seven shillings, to one Rose, a chimney sweep at Kingston." And, again, the 25th of August:—

"An interesting occurrence took place at Folkingham.[11] A poor woman who had obtained a pass billet to remain there all night, was sitting by the fire of the kitchen of the Greyhound Inn, with an infant child at her breast, when two chimney sweeps came in, who had been engaged to sweep some of the chimneys belonging to the inn early next morning. They were, according to custom, treated to a supper, which they had begun to eat, when the younger, a boy about seven years of age, happening to cast his eyes upon the woman, (who had been likewise viewing them with a fixed attention from their first entrance,) started up, and exclaimed in a frantic tone—'That's my mother!' and immediately flew into her arms.

"It appears that her name is Mary Davis, and that she is the wife of a private in the 2nd Regiment of Foot-guards, now serving in the Peninsula; her husband (p. 135) quitted her to embark for foreign service on the 20th of last January, and on the 28th of the same month she left her son in the care of a woman who occupied the front rooms of her house, while she went to wash for a family in the neighbourhood: on her return in the evening, the woman had decamped with her son, and, notwithstanding every effort was made to discover their retreat, they had not since been heard of: but having lately been informed that the woman was a native of Leeds, she had come to the resolution of going there in search of her child, and with this view had walked from London to Folkingham (106 miles) with an infant not more than six weeks old in her arms.

"The boy's master stated, that about the latter end of last January, he met a woman and boy in the vicinity of Sleaford, where he resides. She appeared very ragged, and otherwise much distressed, and was, at that time, beating the boy most severely; she then accosted him (the master) saying she was in great distress, and a long way from home; and after some further preliminary conversation, said, if he would give her two guineas to enable her to get home, she would bind her son apprentice to him; this proposal was agreed to, and the boy was regularly indentured, the woman having previously made affidavit as to being his mother. This testimony was corroborated by the boy himself, but, as no doubt remained in the mind of any one respecting (p. 136) the boy's real mother, his master, without further ceremony, resigned him to her. The inhabitants interested themselves very humanely in the poor woman's behalf, by not only paying her coach fare back to London, but also collecting for her the sum of £2 5s."

Among the home news of 1811, I mentioned Bartholomew Fair; but, for rowdyism, the fair of 1812 seems to have borne the palm:—

"The scene of riot, confusion, and horror exhibited at this motley festival, on this night, has seldom, if ever, been exceeded. The influx of all classes of labourers who had received their week's wages, and had come to the spot, was immense. At ten o'clock every avenue leading through the conspicuous parts of the fair was crammed, with an impenetrable mass of human creatures. Those who were in the interior of the crowd, howsoever distressed, could not be extricated; while those who were on the outside, were exposed to the most imminent danger of being crushed to death against the booths. The females, hundreds of whom there were, who happened to be intermixed with the mob, were treated with the greatest indignity, in defiance of the exertions of husbands, relatives, or friends. This weaker part of the crowd, in fact, seemed to be, on this occasion, the principal object of persecution, or, as the savages who attacked them, were pleased to call it, of fun. Some fainted, and were trodden under foot, (p. 137) while others, by an exertion, almost supernatural, produced by an agony of despair, forced their way to the top of the mass, and crept on the heads of the people, until they reached the booths, where they were received and treated with the greatest kindness. We lament to state that many serious accidents in consequence occurred; legs and arms innumerable were broken, some lives were lost, and the surgeons of St. Bartholomew's Hospital were occupied the whole of the night in administering assistance to the unfortunate objects who were continually brought in to them.

"The most distressing scene that we observed arose from the suffocation of a child about a twelvemonth old, in the arms of its mother; who, with others, had been involved in the crowd. The wretched mother did not discover the state of her infant until she reached Giltspur Street, when she rent the air with her shrieks of self-reproach: while her husband, who accompanied her, and who had the appearance of a decent tradesman, stood mute with the dead body of his child in his arms, which he regarded with a look of indescribable agony. Such are the heartrending and melancholy scenes which were exhibited, and yet this forms but a faint picture of the enormities and miseries attendant upon this disgraceful festival."

Duelling was dying out, and if anything would help its decline in public opinion, it would be something like (p. 138) the following remarks of Lord Ellenborough. They arose from an application to the Court of King's Bench, for a criminal information against two persons, for posting a Merchant at Lloyd's as a coward for refusing a Challenge. These are the learned judge's remarks on the case:—

"Really it is high time to put a stop to this spurious chivalry of the counting-house, and the counter. The Court has been for these two days occupied with cases of this sort: yesterday it was an angry linendraper of Bristol, who had been a little time in the local militia, long enough to imbibe all the worst prejudices of the army, that thought proper to post a practising surgeon for not accepting a challenge; and, to-day, we have a mercantile man in the same predicament; instead of posting their books, these tradesmen are posting one another. The Court desires it to be understood, that it is not necessary for the party applying for a remedy against such an outrage as this, to come perfectly unblemished before them: and that if it shall be shown to be necessary for public quiet and justice, they will interpose the remedy sought for. If the challenge in this case had been sent eo instanti upon the defendant's quitting the Coffee-house, the Court would have contemplated it as emanating from the venial irritation of the moment; but it appears that he at first applied to the prosecutor for an apology, upon the refusal of which, (p. 139) his friend, the other defendant, was sent upon this mischievous and malignant mission to the prosecutor, in the country; and then, because a man refuses to be hunted down when dining out at a friend's house, and challenged at six o'clock in the evening, he is to be posted for a Coward at Lloyd's Coffee-house the next morning! Rule Absolute."

Abroad we were humbling the power of Napoleon. Ciudad Rodrigos and Badajos had been captured. Marmont had had a crushing defeat at Salamanca. Madrid had been occupied, and Wellington had been made Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish Army. The Russian Campaign had proved more than disastrous to Napoleon, it was his ruin. France could scarcely get over her awful losses, which Buturlin estimates as follows:—"Slain in battle, one hundred and twenty-five thousand; died from fatigue, hunger, and cold, one hundred and thirty-two thousand; prisoners (comprehending forty-eight generals, three thousand officers, and upwards of one hundred and ninety thousand men), one hundred and ninety three thousand; total, four hundred and fifty thousand, and this does not include the thousands of non-combatants who perished.

Our relations with America had been strained for a long time; in fact, it was evident at the end of 1811 that war was not only imminent, but all but present. The quarrel arose out of the Orders in Council, which Napoleon's (p. 140) decrees of Berlin and Milan had brought forth, and which the Americans asserted interfered unjustly with their trade. Of course both sides thought they were right, and the Americans, knowing we had a big war on our hands, probably imagined that here was their opportunity. They provided money, and began hostilities, almost even before declaring war, which was formally done in June. The following is the Act of Congress:—

"An Act declaring War between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their Territories.

"Be it enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, that War be, and the same is hereby declared to exist, between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories; and that the President of the United States be, and is hereby authorised, to use the whole land and naval forces of the United States, to carry the same into effect; and to issue to the private armed vessels of the United States, commissions, or letters of Marque and general reprisal, in such form as he shall think proper, and under the Seal of the United States, against the Vessels, goods, (p. 141) and effects of the Government of the said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Subjects thereof.

"Approved. Jas. Maddison.

"June 18, 1812."

On the 13th of October England declared war against America, all hopes of peace having been abandoned. The Americans, by every means in their power, endeavoured to seduce our Colonists from their allegiance, but without success. They suffered severely at the hands of the Canadians, and, generally speaking, they got the worst of it on land; but, at sea, the balance was in favour of the Americans, until, on the 26th of Dec., the ports and harbours of the rivers Chesapeake and Delaware were declared to be blockaded.

The King's health did not improve, and all hopes of his restoration to reason were abandoned; after the Meeting of the Queen's Council on the 29th of Feb., it was decided that only one bulletin should be issued monthly—which, certainly, was very regularly done, but they were so bald, as to give little or no indication of the real condition of the King.

Before closing the chronicle of this year, I will mention some miscellaneous facts, which throw light on the times.

The wife of a respectable farmer, near Liverpool, died (p. 142) under the following melancholy circumstances. About two years previously she discharged a maidservant, who, in revenge, spread a report that her mistress was behaving improperly with a man in the neighbourhood. This rumour came to her husband's ears, and he took it so much to heart, that he quitted his home, and did not return to it until a few weeks before his wife's death. She assured him on the word of a dying woman, that she was innocent. He believed her, and they were reconciled a few days before her death. The maidservant, being threatened with a prosecution for slander, confessed her guilt, and attested the innocence of her Mistress; the result being that she was not prosecuted, but was excommunicated in the neighbouring Churches.

In 1802, Trevethick and Vivian obtained a patent for a high-pressure locomotive. It seems to have been very similar to this:—"July 1. On Wednesday last, an experiment was made with a machine at Leeds, under the direction of Mr. John Blenkinsop the patentee, for the purpose of substituting the agency of steam for the use of horses, in the conveyance of Coals on the iron railway from the mines at Middleton, to Leeds. This machine is, in fact, a steam engine of four-horses power, which, with the assistance of Cranks turning a Cogwheel, and iron Cogs placed at one side of the railway, is capable of moving at the rate of ten miles an hour."

In 1813, William Hedley, of Wylam Colliery made (p. 143) "Puffing Billy," which was the first locomotive which ran on smooth rails.

Owing to the difficulties of locomotion, and the total want of Railroads, there were very few watering-places for summer resort, at which the Londoner, who really might be excused for wishing to be away from the London of that day, could go to. Brighton, or Brighthelmstone, was then the abode of Royalty, and never dreamed of being as it is now, the earthly paradise of the parvenu City man, and the Israelite: Ramsgate, and all other southern places of relaxation were not in vogue, or were only confined to a very few: but Margate! that, indeed, was a place of earthly pleasure! Here were very few restrictions of decorum, and a contemporary account may not be uninteresting. It is dated Sept. 3rd:—

"This sudden change of weather, from stormy gloom to welcome sunshine, has produced a corresponding effect on the visitors of this watering-place, who engage themselves in every species of amusement that ingenuity can contrive, or experience has invented. The streets, which were deserted, as being the mere channel for the rain, are now filled with sprightly misses, hurrying from library to library, in search of some favourite Novel. The News Room, instead of being attended only by dismal politicians, prognosticating disasters, are crowded with all kinds of Company: the politicians quit their (p. 144) Newspapers, and, rattling the dice box, anticipate the certain destruction, not only of Bonaparte, and his army in the North, but of his whole Empire: their fortune is crossed, and again they begin to doubt.

"The young females busy themselves in hunting for new Novels; and a tender love tale, or a sprightly satire, usurps the place of horrid mysteries, or dreadful catastrophes. The more elderly ladies amuse themselves with those everlasting topics, the price of things, the fashions, and the weather. The pier and the Cliffs are crowded during the whole day; thither, young and old, healthy and sickly, rich and poor, repair, and all inhale with rapture the fresh sea breezes, glowing with new vigour, strength, and beauty, at every respiration.

"The gardens at Dandelion were fully attended yesterday, and (such is the wonderful metamorphose) at two o'clock those sat down to breakfast, who had been usually in the habit of dining at one. The dancing soon afterwards commenced, although it was declared to be immensely hot, and did not conclude, until a foot race, in an adjoining field, called off the attention of the visitors.

"On Tuesday, was given the third Masquerade, at the Theatre. The characters were more numerous and better supported than at the last, with the assistance of the dresses belonging to the house. The principal were Vestals, without virtue, coquetting with frail Friars. (p. 145) Knights, whose only claim to the title was, that they were errant, excepting a chosen few, who claimed the distinction of the Garter; Yorkshiremen with the dialect of the Weald of Kent; Farmers, whose experience was derived from Mark Lane letters; together with a profusion of ballad singers, Flower girls, Gipsies, and Servants wanting places. Among the latter was an Irish woman, who, by the bye, was a man, in the character of a Servant of all work; having lost her own character, presented the following from Father Delany:

"'I, Father Delany, aver and declare,
This is Judy O'Cloggin's own true character.
She is never prophane, nor swears, by my troth—
Except, now and then, when she raps out an oath;
She is sober, indeed,—except when she's frisky,
With tasting her own Mother's Milk—Irish Whiskey;
She's as honest as any, with two legs to stand on—
She leaves nothing alone that she once lays her hand on:
She's Cook, Housemaid, and Scullion, or I am a dunce,
For sure, in my house, she was all these at once:
Besides Lady's Maid, so nate and so clane, aye,
To my beautiful wife, sweet Mrs. Delany:
Our mansion she scour'd with a new birchen broom,
Compos'd of a pig-stye, besides a large room.'

"The Assembly at the Rooms is fixed for to-night, and to-morrow is to be given, at the same place, a grand Masqued Ball."

The gentleman mentioned in the following advertisement in The Kentish Gazette, Sept. 11th, must have been (p. 146) a pleasant and kindly country neighbour. "Game and Rabbits.A general invitation to qualified Gentlemen.—Manor of Dennie, alias Dane, in the parishes of Chilham and Molash. The interest of agriculture on this manor, and the surrounding country, being much injured by the great numbers of hares, pheasants, and rabbits, the proprietor feels the necessity of giving this General Invitation to Qualified Gentlemen, to sport at their pleasure. The manor-house is in the parish of Chilham, very near to a place called Shottenton Thorn, and John Packman (a servant) who resides there, has orders to accommodate gentlemen, as well as he can, with stabling for their horses, and with any refreshment for themselves, that his homely mode of living can offer. The house is large, and a limited number of gentlemen, by sending their own bedding, may be accommodated with house room in this and future shooting seasons!!"

Here is a paragraph which shows how the horrid traffic in dead bodies was on the increase. A more perfect knowledge of anatomy was necessary to medical practitioners, for medical and surgical science were rapidly advancing, and there was not the facility now afforded by having the bodies of unclaimed paupers, legally placed at their disposal. The only subjects which might, properly, be operated upon, were those of Criminals who had been hanged, and although, in those days, these were far more numerous than nowadays, they fell (p. 147) far short of the requirements. So recourse was had to "body snatching," or the removal of bodies very recently buried—which were sold to Surgeons, "and no questions asked." It was so lucrative that, at last, the wretches who pursued this traffic would not take the trouble, nor encounter the risk of exhuming the bodies, but they deliberately suffocated living people, a practice which actually introduced a new word into the English language, "Burking," from one Burke, who was executed at Edinburgh, in 1829, for this crime. Others followed in his steps, notably one villain named Bishop, who was hanged in 1831.

"The Resurrection Men, of London, like other combinations of Workmen, struck, it seems, the other day, and refused to supply the Edinburgh and Glasgow Schools of Surgery with dead bodies, under an advance of two guineas per subject."

A very good thing was done this year. Hitherto parish registers had been kept very much at the sweet will of the clergyman, or of his clerk, and there was so much want of uniformity in these very valuable books that every Church and Chapelry throughout England was furnished with one—before the 1st of January, 1813, thus ensuring the similarity we now enjoy. There were 36,000 copies printed, and the paper employed, amounted to over 3,000 Reams.

The Smithfield Club Cattle Show was a very small (p. 148) affair to that we are accustomed to see at the Agricultural Hall at Islington. In 1812, the money value of the prizes competed for was only 210 Guineas, and the Show was held at Mr. Sadler's Yard, Goswell Street.

During this year, as last, we gave practical proof of our kindness towards our Allies, by Subscriptions being opened for "British Assistance to the Spanish Nation," and for "The Relief of poor suffering Inhabitants of the Different Governments of Russia."

(p. 149) Décoration


High price of provisions — Luddites — Smuggling — Day of Humiliation — The Cossack — Mdlle. Platoff — Discovery of body of Charles I. at Windsor — The Queen and the mad woman — The fasting woman of Tutbury — Fight between the Shannon and the Chesapeake — Rejoicings for the Victory at Vittoria — Fête at Vauxhall — William Huntingdon, s.s.

This Year began somewhat gloomily, for the Wars made themselves felt. Porter rose to 6d. a pot, Mutton 2d. per lb., the latter, owing, it was said, to the rot, which had carried off whole flocks of sheep.

But, if we felt the pinch, our adversaries, or, rather, one of them, the French, felt it as well. There was a great deal of illicit trading done with France, especially in our Colonial goods; and, to facilitate matters, and make them legal, Napoleon would issue licenses to import such a quantity of such goods. As is pointed out in the following quotation, the poor French had to pay very dearly for these commodities. "Bonaparte has lately granted 250 more licenses for the importation (p. 150) of Colonial produce; and these licenses are a source of considerable profit to himself and his favourites. Instead of granting to one of these a pension or a sinecure, he gives him a few licenses, which the latter sells at exorbitant prices—so high, for example, as 75 livres (£3 2s. 6d. sterl.), for every hundredweight of Sugar imported; from which sugar Bonaparte himself, afterwards derives a high duty, as he does from every other article so imported:—a pound of Coffee, for instance, purchased here for eightpence, pays him a duty of four shillings. In addition to these burdens, besides exorbitant charges for freight, there is another imposition, which renders the Colonial produce enormously expensive to the Continental consumer, viz., that the persons importing it under those licenses are bound previously to export from France, a stated proportion, in value, of wrought silks and other articles utterly prohibited in England, which, therefore, they are obliged to throw overboard on the passage, and afterwards indemnify themselves for this loss by an additional charge on the articles imported. Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, near twenty millions of pounds' weight of Sugar have gone from England to France during the last year."

During the latter part of the past year the Luddites were again troublesome, and it was found necessary to make a severe example, which had the desired effect. (p. 151) On the 16th of January fourteen of these rioters were hanged, at York, in two batches of seven each, and these outrages ceased.

I have already said that Smuggling was considered a very venial sin, and sometimes smuggling adventures had something amusing in them—vide the following:—A party of Smugglers had landed a valuable cargo near Dungeness, and, having been informed that a party of Dragoons from Hastings were to be on the look-out for them, they sent word that they would resign half their goods, if they might carry away the other half unmolested. At the same time they gave notice that they had left 180 tubs of gin in a chalk pit, well known to the officer of the troop. The soldiers rode off immediately to act on the smugglers' information, and the latter, of course, were equally prompt in getting their newly-run Cargo out of harm's way. The troops duly found the tubs at the place indicated, and, with triumph, escorted them to the Custom House, where, when they came to be examined, they were found to contain nothing stronger than water.

On the 1st of February a proclamation was issued from Carlton House. It is deliciously vague about "the War," not saying whether it was that in which we were engaged, with the French, or with the Americans. It was probably left to the imagination and option of the taxpayers, who might "pay their money, and take their choice."

(p. 152) "George, P. R.

"We, taking into our most serious consideration the just and necessary war in which His Majesty is engaged, and putting our trust in Almighty God, that He will graciously bless His Majesty's arms, both by sea and land, have resolved, and do, in the name, and on the behalf of His Majesty, and by, and with the advice of His Majesty's Privy Council, hereby command, that a Public Day of Fasting and Humiliation be observed throughout those parts of the United Kingdom called England and Ireland, on Wednesday the Tenth Day of March next ensuing, so that both we, and His Majesty's people, may humble ourselves before Almighty God, in order to obtain pardon of our sins, and in the most devout and solemn manner, send up our prayers and supplications to the Divine Majesty, for averting those heavy judgments, which our manifold provocations have most justly deserved: and for imploring His blessing, and assistance on His Majesty's Arms, for the restoration of peace and prosperity to His Majesty and His Dominions," &c., &c.

Another Proclamation made it applicable to Scotland. On the day appointed, the Regent, his daughter, and the Dukes of York, Cumberland, and Cambridge went to the Chapel Royal, St. James's; and the two Houses of Parliament went—the Lords, to Westminster Abbey; the Commons, to St. Margaret's, Westminster.

(p. 154)


(Drawn and etched by Heath.)

(p. 155) About this time of the year—with the exception of the bickerings of the Prince and Princess of Wales—there was very little to interest the public: so little, indeed, that even the advent of a Cossack, who came in the suite of a Russian Officer, created an immense sensation. Here is as early an account as any, of this important individual. Morning Chronicle, Thursday, April 15, 1813: "The Cossack, and a Russian Officer, who arrived in London on Friday last, made their appearance in the City, agreeably to the notice which had been given in some of the papers. They met the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House, who accompanied them to the Royal Exchange, and Lloyd's Coffee House, where they were received with the greatest marks of approbation by the merchants, and an immense concourse of spectators. After passing through Lloyd's, they were stationed at one of the balconies looking into the Exchange, when the Lord Mayor appeared, and, after silence was obtained, gave 'Success to the Emperor Alexander,' with three times three, which was given with enthusiasm by all present. The Cossack's spear was ten feet long, and it was said he had killed thirty-seven Frenchmen with it."

I give an illustration of this formidable warrior "Zemlanowhin, the Brave Russian Cossack, as he appeared at the Royal Exchange, on Wednesday, April 14, 1813."

In the evening he was taken to Freemason's Hall, (p. 156) where the Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex, conversed with him through the medium of an interpreter, for some minutes. He was a great lion. Besides the etching by Heath, here given, two other artists, Heapley and Pyne, were at him, and Ackerman, the print-seller, gave him his choice of four beautiful swords, of which he chose a Turkish scimitar. He was taken to Westminster, and was allowed to play with the large sword therein preserved.

The last we hear of him is that he visited, on the 30th of April, Exhibition Rooms at Spring Gardens, where he heard a new March played on an awful instrument called the Panharmonicon. On this fiendish invention the combined noise of 200 instruments was ground out by machinery. "The trumpets sounding victory, and the bells, with the horns and kettledrums, rejoicing for glory, gave joy to all present. The Cossack, on being introduced to the fair Albiness, seemed, by the expression of his countenance, to be much pleased; and, on shaking hands, and giving her a salute, said, 'I leave London this evening, may I take with me a lock of your hair?' This being granted, Mr. Wigley, the Proprietor of the Rooms, presented him with an elegant locket to enclose the same." They made a paper model of him, which was shown at Mrs. Aberdeen's Papyruseum, 19, Frith Street, Soho.


(Etched by Wm. E——s, Published January 4, 1813, by Thos. Tegg.)

The Cossacks were wonderfully popular with the (p. 159) English just then. Their Hetman, or Commander, Count Platoff, was reported to have offered to give his daughter, and a small dowry, to any soldier who would bring him Napoleon's head. In some verses relative to Napoleon's reverses in Russia is one:—

"But, take care, Master Nap, you meet with no trap,
To poke either leg, or your head in;
Loss of legs stops your flight, lose your head, why the sight
Will be welcome at Miss Platoff's wedding."

She figures in another Satirical print, published on November 9, 1813, called "Cossack Sports—or, the Platoff Hunt in full cry after French Game." Leipsig is in the background, and the Cossacks plunge into the river Elster in full chase after the "Corsican Fox." Count Platoff cries, "Hark forward! my boys, get along! He runs in view. Yoics, Yoics. There he goes. Tally ho!" His daughter is in mid-stream, thrashing her horse, and calling out, "Hi! Ho! Tally ho! for a Husband!"

There was another thing much talked about at this time, and that was the discovery of the Body of Charles I. at Windsor. This was not the first body of a Sovereign found there unexpectedly: for on March 13, 1789, the workmen employed in re-paving the Choir of St. George's Chapel, discovered the entrance into the vault where Edward IV. had been deposited; the royal body was (p. 160) found enclosed in a leaden and wooden Coffin, reduced to a skeleton; on the King's Coffin lay another of wood, much decayed, which contained the skeleton of a woman, supposed to have been his Queen, Elizabeth Woodville.

The Duchess of Brunswick (mother of the Princess of Wales) died in England on March 23, 1813, and was buried with much pomp, at Windsor on the 31st of March.

The following is a newspaper account of "The Discovery of the body of Charles I. On Wednesday last, at the interment of the Dowager Duchess of Brunswick, an important discovery was made. It had been long suspected that the remains of Charles I. were deposited in a vault at Windsor. Indeed Wood, in his Athenæ, states the supposition. On Wednesday a search was made, a Coffin was opened, which was found to a certainty to contain the long-sought-for body. It was not at all decayed; the severed head had been carefully adjusted by a cement to the shoulders, and the most perfect resemblance to the portraits, was remarked in the shape of the head, the pointed beard, &c., fragments of which were carefully taken off as relics, as well as to identify the body."

Laurence Eachard (who wrote in the reign of Anne) in his "History of England" (vol. ii. p. 649), speaking of Charles I. being buried at Windsor, and refuting a rumour that it was not so, says, "But to remove all (p. 161) imaginations, we shall here insert a memorandum, or certificate sent by Mr. John Sewell, Register at Windsor, Anno 1696, September 21. The same Vault in which King Charles the First was buried was opened to lay in a still born child of the then Princess of Denmark, now our gracious Queen. On the King's Coffin the velvet pall was strong and sound, and there was about the Coffin a leaden band, with this inscription cut through it—King Charles, 1648.

"Queen Jane's[12] Coffin was whole and entire; but that of King Henry the Eighth was sunk in upon the breast part, and the lead and wood consumed by the heat of the gums he was embalmed with."

Sir Henry Halford published, in April, 1813, a narrative of the examination of the royal remains, which took place in the presence of the Prince Regent, and we see how it bears out Eachard's account. "On removing the pall, a plain leaden Coffin with no appearance of ever having been enclosed in wood, and bearing an inscription, 'King Charles, 1648,' in large, legible characters, on a scroll of lead, encircling it, immediately presented itself to view. A square opening was then made in the upper part of the lid, of such dimensions as to admit a clear insight into its contents. These were an internal wooden coffin, very much decayed, and the body carefully wrapped in cere cloth."

(p. 162) After this was unrolled, they had a perfect view of the King's face, and, although it had suffered from decay, "the pointed beard, so characteristic of the period of the reign of King Charles, was perfect. The shape of the face was a long oval; many of the teeth remained, and the left ear ... was found entire.... When the head had been entirely disengaged from the attachments which confined it, it was found to be loose, and without any difficulty was taken up, and held to view....

"The hair was thick at the back part of the head, and in appearance nearly black. A portion of it, which has since been cleaned and dried, is of a beautiful dark brown colour: that of the beard was a redder brown. On the back part of the head, it was not more than an inch in length, and had probably been cut so short for the convenience of the executioner, or, perhaps, by the piety of friends soon after death, in order to furnish memorials of the unhappy King."

An examination of the muscles of the neck clearly proved that the head had been severed from the body by a heavy blow with a very sharp instrument, and this thoroughly confirmed the identification of the King. "After this examination of the head, which served every purpose in view, and without examining the body below the neck, it was immediately restored to its situation, the Coffin was soldered up again, and the vault closed.

"Neither of the other coffins had any inscriptions upon (p. 163) them. The larger one, supposed, on good grounds, to contain the remains of King Henry VIII., measured six feet, ten inches in length, and had been enclosed in an elm one, two inches in thickness; but this was decayed, and lay in small fragments near it. The leaden coffin appeared to have been beaten in by violence about the middle; and a considerable opening in that part of it, exposed a mere skeleton of the King. Some beard remained upon the chin, but there was nothing to discriminate the personage in it."[13]

(p. 164) After the publication of this report it was but a very few days before the Caricaturist had made the subject his own, and we see George Cruikshank's idea of it in the accompanying "Meditation among the Tombs." Sir Henry Halford is going to cut off some of Henry VIII.'s beard: the Regent saying to him, "Aye! There's great Harry! great indeed!!!!! for he got rid of many wives, whilst I, poor soul, can't get rid of one. Cut off his beard, Doctor, t'will make me a prime pair of Royal Whiskers." Lord Castlereagh (Privy Purse) behind him, says, "How queer King Charley looks without his head, doesn't he?!!! Faith and sure, and I wonder how WE should look without our heads!!!"


Whilst on the subject of Royalty, I may as well chronicle a shock which poor old Queen Charlotte had—on the 2nd of May—which must have frightened her terribly, for she actually sent for the Prince Regent. A woman, named Davenport, was assistant Mistress of the Robes, and she was born in the Queen's palace, and had (p. 167) lived constantly in it, with her mother, who was housekeeper at the Lower Lodge, Windsor, having previously filled the onerous, and arduous task of rocker to the infant princesses. Miss Davenport was about thirty years of age, and, when she was young, had a fit of insanity, of which, however, she was considered cured; and, except an occasional period of melancolia, was quite harmless.

However, on Sunday, the 2nd of May, she broke out, the balance of her mind having been overthrown ever since the death of the Princess Amelia. She slept in the Tower over the Queen's bedroom, and her Majesty was aroused at five in the morning by a violent noise at her door, hearing some one shrieking and screaming, and calling on the Queen of England to redress her wrongs. The bedroom had double doors, and the poor maniac, having smashed the outer door, was endeavouring to force the inner one, when Mrs. Beckendorf, the Queen's dresser, who slept in her room, opened it, and there found the poor woman clad only in her night-clothes, with a letter in her hand, which she insisted upon delivering to her Majesty. For twenty minutes Mrs. Beckendorf kept her at bay, ringing a bell all the while. A page, two footmen, and a porter, at length appeared on the scene, and overpowered the mad woman. Then Dr. Willis, who was in attendance upon the King, was sent for, and she was put into a straight jacket—which, (p. 168) owing to her violence, was with difficulty got on her. She was then carried into a chaise, and driven away to a private lunatic asylum. The Queen's nerves must soon have recovered, for she was at a grand dinner given in her honour at Carlton House, by the Prince of Wales on the 4th of May.

On this day the fasting woman of Tutbury, Ann Moore, who professed to live without food, confessed her imposture. Her miraculous abstention from nourishment was disbelieved in, and, at her own request, a committee of gentlemen watched her. Their vigilance proved too much for her, for nine days of such inspection reduced her to such a state of emaciation, that she put her mark to the following confession: "I, Ann Moore, of Tutbury, humbly asking pardon of all persons whom I have attempted to deceive and impose upon, and, above all, with the most unfeigned sorrow and contrition, imploring the divine mercy, and forgiveness of that God whom I have so greatly offended, do most solemnly declare that I have occasionally taken sustenance for the last six years." The following epigram was made on

"Tutbury Ann.

"She kept, what none would wish to keep, her bed,
And, what few more would do, declin'd a dinner;
Liv'd an eternal Lent, and shamm'd half dead,
O Lord! forgive this ever-lying sinner."

(p. 169) In the war with America the British fleet was not always successful. On the contrary, and when the Shannon beat the Chesapeake, there were great rejoicings. In Boston harbour lay the United States frigate Chesapeake, Capt. Laurence, 49 guns, 18 and 32 pounders, and a crew of 400 men. Capt. Broke, commanding H.M. frigate Shannon, which was inferior both in weight of metal, and number of men, had long been watching it, anxiously awaiting an opportunity of an encounter. At length, on the 1st of June, he challenged a combat, by standing close in to Boston Lighthouse. He had not to wait long, for he had the pleasure of seeing the Chesapeake sailing out of the harbour. He took up a position within sight of the land, and the American frigate came proudly on, conscious of victory, so much so, as to have omitted providing accommodation for the wounded.

After two or three broadsides the Chesapeake closed with the Shannon, and they were locked together, so Captain Broke gave orders for boarding, himself setting the example. The Americans made a desperate, but undisciplined, defence, and the assault was so fierce, that after two minutes only, of hand-to-hand fighting, the Americans were driven from every post. In another minute they ceased firing from below, and cried for quarter. The Union Jack was then run up, and the whole was over in fifteen minutes from its commencement. (p. 170) The British lost 23 killed, and 56 wounded, out of a crew of 330 men: the Americans about 70 killed and 100 wounded. Captain Laurence, who was among the latter, subsequently died, and was honourably buried at Halifax. One can scarcely believe the astonishment and humiliation of the spectators on shore of this combat, when they saw their fine ship which sailed away so shortly before, in all the pride of expected victory, taken away in bondage, instead of returning with her captor.


Geo. Cruikshank.

George Cruikshank gives us his idea of the naval engagement in a long etching (which I have divided into two) published in "Town Talk," of the 1st of September, 1813. It is called "British Valour, and Yankee Boasting, or Shannon versus Chesapeake," and is full of bombast, both in drawing, and words. The Americans are evolved out of his inner consciousness, but I presume it was the current type of the time, as our delineation of a Citizen of the United States of America, is, when pourtrayed in one of our comic papers. Evidently they were considered as Puritans, and depicted as Maw-worms. Captain Broke has hold of one by the hair, and is crying out, "Down with your Stripes, you Swabs, or D——me, we'll stripe you." The sailor who has hold of one of the dead, by his pigtail and breeches, calls out to another, "Stand clear, Mess-mate, whilst I heave a few of these lubberly Yankee Doodles overboard." (p. 173) The sailor kicking a Yankee into the sea, says, "Go along, d——n you, don't you see they are waiting dinner for you?" This probably refers to a dinner which was to be given to the victors on their return. In the dinner tent one is saying, "Friends, I think you had better come and sit down, for if we wait till the Chesapeake comes back, I am afraid the dinner will be cold." Another replies, "Why, I don't think they will want much dinner, for they seem to have got their Belly full."


(Published September 1, 1813, for the Proprietor of "Town Talk.")

On the 21st of June, near the town of Vittoria, the Allied forces under Lord Wellington, attacked the French (p. 174) Army under Joseph Bonaparte, aided by Marshal Jourdain, and gained a most complete victory; having driven them from all their positions, and taken from them 151 pieces of cannon, 415 waggons of ammunition, all their baggage, provisions, cattle, treasure, &c., and a large number of prisoners. On the 5th and 6th of July there were brilliant and general illuminations in London in celebration of this victory. Much mischief was done by fireworks being let off in the streets, but at Bow Street, fifty people were punished for so doing, and very properly too, one man at least, who for the sake of throwing his squibs with surer aim, attached to each of them a leaden weight, of weight sufficient, it was believed, to kill a man, if it had struck him on the head.

On the 20th of July there was a grand public fête at Vauxhall, in honour of the same event, which commenced with a dinner at 5 p.m., the Duke of York presiding, accompanied by all his brothers, except the Prince Regent. At this dinner was shown Marshal Jourdain's baton, which was picked up on the field of battle by a sergeant of the 87th Regiment. Then the gardens were illuminated on a scale of grandeur never before attempted, bands played, the visitors promenaded, and there were three displays of fireworks, and the whole closed with dancing, the company not separating until 2 a.m. Numbers of tickets for the evening fête, (p. 175) not including the dinner, were sold at from three to ten guineas each.

On the 1st of July, at Tunbridge Wells, died a curious character, William Huntington (his proper name being Hunt), S. S., "Sinner Saved," as he delighted to call himself, Minister of the Gospel at Providence Chapel, Gray's Inn Lane. Born in the Weald of Kent, of very poor parents, he had a rough early life, as errand boy, labourer, and cobbler. Then he was "saved," and began preaching, first at Thames Ditton, then in London, at Margaret Street Chapel, and, by the power of faith and prayer, he finally built the Chapel of Providence. In his "Bank of Faith" he tells his reader somewhat of the commencement of this Chapel:—

"I will now inform my reader of the kind providence of my God at the time of building the Chapel, which I named Providence Chapel (1788): and also mention a few free-will offerings which the people brought. They first offered about eleven pounds, and laid it on the foundation at the beginning of the building. A good gentleman, with whom I had but little acquaintance, and of whom I bought a load of timber, sent it in with a bill and receipt in full, as a present to the Chapel of Providence. Another good man came with tears in his eyes and blessed me, and desired to paint my pulpit, desk, &c., as a present to the Chapel. Another person (p. 176) gave me half-a-dozen chairs for the Vestry; and my friends Mr. and Mrs. Lyons furnished me with a tea-chest well stored, and a set of china. My good friends Mr. and Mrs. Smith furnished me with a very handsome bed, bedstead, and all its furniture and necessaries, that I might not be under the necessity of walking home in the cold winter nights. A daughter of mine in the faith gave me a looking-glass for my chapel study. Another friend gave me my pulpit cushion and a bookcase for my study. Another gave me a bookcase for the vestry. And my good friend Mr. E. seemed to level all his displeasure at the devil; for he was in hopes I should be enabled, through the gracious arm of the Lord, to cut Rahab in pieces; therefore he furnished me with a sword of the Spirit—a new Bible, with Morocco binding and silver clasps!"

His preaching was of a decidedly "Revivalist" type; but his enthusiasm doubtless reclaimed to order and decency many of the lower classes. He mingled his religion with much worldliness, and he married Lady Sanderson (the widow of Sir James Sanderson, Bart., Lord Mayor of London), who was a constant attendant at his chapel, by which he became possessed of a considerable addition to his property. After the demolition of his Chapel in Margaret Street, the wealthier portion of his congregation proposed to build him another; and accordingly erected a Chapel in Gray's (p. 177) Inn Lane, at an expense of £9,000. A day was appointed for opening it; but he refused to officiate in it at all, until it should be made his own personal freehold: and, so great was the devotion of his followers, they resigned their shares in his favour.

He had a nice house at Pentonville, and it was there that his effects were sold on the 24th of September. All his disciples wanted some personal relic of him, and the consequence was, that the goods fetched fancy prices. As an instance, an old arm-chair, intrinsically worth about fifty shillings, fetched sixty guineas, and other articles in like proportion. There were several caricatures of this auction, but they afford neither profit nor amusement to the modern reader.

(p. 179) Décoration


Emperor of Russia invested with the Garter — The Poet Laureate — French Prisoners of War — Joy over Napoleon's defeat at Leipsic — "Orange boven" — The Allies and the War with France — The War with America — The Princess Charlotte and her establishment — The Prince of Orange her suitor — The King's Health.

Russia was an Ally against Napoleon, worth courting, and, consequently, the Emperor was made a Knight of the Garter. The Mission that was sent out to invest him was splendidly appointed. The King of Arms had a new tabard, robes, &c., and he, and all his suite, had new carriages especially built for the occasion. They took out with them the Statute passed at the last Chapter, authorizing the election of the Emperor as a member of the Order, with the Great Seal of England in a gold box and blue velvet case; and also the proceedings of the Election, similarly garnished. They took out a complete set of habiliments, decorations, and ornaments, necessary for (p. 180) his investiture, and, as my readers may not know what was then necessary for turning out a respectable and regulation Knight of the Garter, I transcribe them.

Shoes of white kid, ornamented with silver lace and roses.

Stockings and pantaloons of white silk, manufactured for the purpose, in one.

The Jacket, or Doublet, and trunk, of rich white silver tissue, ornamented with silver lace, in imitation of point lace.

A sword with gold hilt, the belt and scabbard covered with rich crimson velvet.

A surcoat of rich Crimson Velvet.

A large silver lace rosette for the right knee.

The Installation Garter, richly embroidered, for the left knee.

A superb mantle of Garter blue Velvet, lined with white lustring: the badge of the Order richly embroidered. The mantle is fastened on the neck with blue and gold rope, with two long rich tassels.

A hood of Crimson Velvet, which is worn on the right shoulder.

The gloves, white kid, trimmed with very broad silver lace.

A Spanish hat of black velvet, with a beautiful large plume of Ostrich and Heron's feathers.

The splendid Gold Collar of the Order, with the medal (p. 181) of St. George, to hang on the breast, with large bunches of broad white ribbons and rosettes.

Two Stars of the Order richly embroidered.

Flowing ringlets of hair, with a bunch of white ribbons to tie them. This latter item shows how minutely the Emperor's outfit was provided. It was an age of wigs—and the Emperor's close, military cut hair, was not en régle. Another event, which people talked about, at the time, was the death, on the 11th of August, of Henry James Pye, Poet Laureate, aged 69. He was the son of a Country gentleman, and was educated at Magdalen College, Oxon. After his father's death he lived at Faringdon, was made J.P., held a Commission in the Militia, and, in 1784, was elected M.P. for his County. His circumstances becoming involved, he had to sell his paternal estate. In 1790 he was made Poet Laureate, and, in 1792, was appointed one of the Magistrates for Westminster. He was not very remarkable as a poet, and, probably, his best read poems were "Faringdon Hill," and "The Progress of Refinement." There were several candidates for the honour of being his successor, including Sir Walter Scott. There is a little epigram concerning two of them, worth repeating—

"Croker and Wharton are roasted so dry
By every impartial Review,
That, combined, they would make but a bad kind of stew,
But, certainly, never a—Pye."

(p. 182) The choice eventually fell on Robert Southey (Nov. 29, 1813).

During the year we hear occasionally of the French Prisoners. On the 14th of April, two of them, on board the Samson, prison ship, of which we have heard before, in connection with a traitor being tattooed, fought a duel, and one was killed. Having no swords, they used two sticks, on the end of each of which was fastened a pair of scissors. The duel was meant to be à l'outrance, for one received a mortal wound in the stomach, from which his bowels protruded, yet he still fought on as long as he could. The prisoners, at last, applied to the ship's surgeon, who sewed up the wound, but the man died very shortly afterwards.

They must have been a bad lot on board that ship Samson, for we read:—

"July 19. A most diabolical conspiracy has been charged to have been formed on board the Samson prison ship, at Gillingham Reach, by three French prisoners, to murder the master's mate, and the sergeant of marines, belonging to the ship, together with several of their own countrymen. The murders were to have been perpetrated on each victim singly, as opportunities presented: when the escape of the murderer, by mixing instantly with the great body of the prisoners, was to be facilitated by the other conspirators, and lots were drawn who should commit the first murder.

(p. 183) "The first lot fell to Charles Mansereaux; but this man, being troubled by some compunctious visiting of conscience, on reflecting that the sergeant was a married man, with a family, who would be left destitute by his death, determined to despatch one of the private marines in his stead. On Tuesday se'n-night, when this wretch was watching for an opportunity to effect this purpose, Thomas King, a private marine, came on the forecastle, when Mansereaux stepped behind him, and plunged a knife into his back, which passed through the kidneys, and inflicted a dreadful wound, of which the poor fellow lingered till Saturday morning, when he expired. Mansereaux was observed by a fellow prisoner, who instantly knocked him down, and secured him, or he would, probably, have escaped without being detected. Mansereaux, on being confined, made a discovery of the whole plan, and named his associates, both of whom were standing by at the time of the murder." The three prisoners were at once secured, but I fail to trace their fate.

On the 22nd of September, three French prisoners escaped, and murdered a boatman, and the story is thus told in the Hants Courier:—

"Three French prisoners, François Relif, Jean Marie Dantz, and Daniel Du Verge, having effected their escape from Forton depôt, engaged the wherry of the above-named George Brothers, to take them to Ryde. When off the Block-house, (according to their own (p. 184) assertions), they proposed to the boatman to take them to France, promising ample reward, and liberty to return immediately; but he, not to be corrupted by promises or reward, resisted their proposition, and, in consequence, they stabbed him in sixteen places, (three of which were mortal,) and threw him overboard.

"The Frenchmen immediately directed their course to sea, and were promptly pursued by several wherries, in one of which were Lieut. Sullock, and three seamen of the Centaur, at anchor at Spithead. In consequence of a heavy swell, and bad management, the Frenchmen were overtaken, after a run of about 15 miles; one of the men belonging to the Centaur leaped into the wherry among the Frenchmen alone, armed with nothing but the stretcher, with which he knocked one of them down: they then surrendered.

"They were taken on board the Centaur for the night, and, on being searched, a large sum of money was found about them in silver, and three knives; one of them was very bloody; and on Thursday morning they were delivered into the hands of the civil power, and landed at the sally-port. They were taken to the Borough Gaol, when they were again examined. They confessed that Brothers was killed by two of them, but that the third was no further concerned than in lending his knife to the other, when the waterman resisted them. More money was here taken from them, one, having, actually, concealed (p. 185) in his pantaloons under his boots (sic) thirty-three 5s. 6d. pieces. It appears that, by the manufacture of lace, toys, &c., the prisoners accumulated a sufficient sum of money to procure a suit of genteel clothes each, (besides the sums taken from their persons), dressed in which they mingled with the crowd of visitors that were walking in the depôt, eluding by their metamorphosed appearance the vigilance of the turnkeys and military sentinels." What ultimately became of them I cannot find out, but, doubtless, two were hanged.

The period of Captivity for these Prisoners of War was drawing to a close, for Napoleon's power was waning fast, and the reverses which he experienced at the hands of the Allies at Leipsic on October 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, may be considered as having determined his final overthrow. The News was told to England in a London Gazette extraordinary, of November 3rd, and, on the 5th and 6th, London was brilliantly illuminated.

"Everywhere, except opposite Somerset House, there was the most perfect decorum and order, the crowds, both on foot, and in carriages, passed along without the slightest annoyance; but, in the Strand, the old disgraceful nuisance of scattering dirt and crackers, and throwing every species of combustible at females, and into carriages, was practised the whole evening."


(November 5-6, 1813, in honour of the victories of the Allies at Leipsig, &c.)

Looking at the list of Illuminations, they were not very grand, when judged by our standard; but there was (p. 186) one transparency shown at Ackermann's Repository of Arts, which, although very grisly and grim in its conception, was of decidedly artistic merit. It was called "The Two Kings of Terror," and I have here reproduced a portion of it. The whole composition is thus contemporaneously described: "A design representing Buonaparte sitting upon a drum, in a field of battle, his hands under his chin, his elbows on his knees; opposite is seated Death upon a dismounted cannon, in the same position, his elbows upon his knees,' 'staring the tyrant in the face;' his right foot has crushed the insolent French trophy, the ci devant invincible French eagle, his left rests upon a cannon ball. In the background is seen the French legions, filled with dismay, flying before the conquering Germans, (p. 187) Russians, Prussians, and Swedes. The whole was surmounted by an emblematic Circle, indicative of Union and Strength, which was lighted by gas, and of dazzling brightness."

In October Bavaria joined the Allies. In November a revolution took place in Holland; the people of Amsterdam rose in a body, and hoisted the Orange Colours, and, with the ancient cry of "Orange boven" (Orange in the ascendant, or victorious) proclaimed the sovereignty of that house. The example of the Capital was followed by the other principal towns of Holland; which the French troops were compelled to evacuate.

The Prince of Orange was in England, the sure asylum of unfortunate Royalty, and on the 21st of November a deputation came to London from Holland, inviting him to return. On the 28th he embarked at Deal for Holland, on board the Warrior, of 74 guns, and landed at Scheveningen on the 30th. The Dutch, having thrown off the French yoke, were no longer our enemies, so that we had no further reason for keeping any of that Nation as Prisoners of War, and they, amounting to 10,000 in number, were ordered to be sent back to their own country, to assist in liberating it from the domination of France. On the 2nd of December the Prince of Orange made his solemn entry into Amsterdam, when he declared his acceptance of the sovereignty, and the title of Sovereign Prince of the United Netherlands.

(p. 188) The entente cordiale, which thus, of necessity, sprung up between the English and Dutch, among other things produced the accompanying illustration, wherein is shown an English and a Dutch Sailor fraternizing. Above them, is a label "Fendracht maakt Magt." (Concord makes Power), and "The Sea is Open, Trade revives."

On the 1st of December the Allied Sovereigns issued a declaration at Frankfort, in which they affirmed that they did not make war upon France, but against the preponderance exercised by the Emperor Napoleon beyond the limits of his empire; that the first use they made of victory was to offer him peace upon conditions founded on the independence of the French Empire, as well as on that of the other States of Europe; that they desired that France might be great, powerful, and happy, and that they confirmed to the French Empire an extent of territory which France, under her kings, never knew; that, wishing, also, to be free, tranquil, and happy themselves, they desired a state of peace, which, by a just equilibrium of strength might preserve their people from the calamities which had overwhelmed Europe, for the last twenty years; and that they would not lay down their arms until they had obtained this beneficial result. But, either this declaration was only meant as a political display, or else they entirely misjudged Napoleon's character, when they imagined they could put bounds to his ambition, and dictate terms to him who had had all Europe at his feet—so nothing came of it.

(p. 189)


(Published December 13, 1813, Ackermann.)

(p. 191) The American War still went on. Madison was again elected President. At the commencement of the year the Americans attacked Canada direct. General Winchester attacked and took Detroit, but the English, under Colonel Proctor, with 500 regulars and militia, and about 600 Indians, advanced against him, the result being, that half his men surrendered at discretion, and the other half were nearly all cut to pieces by the Indians.

On the other hand, the Americans captured and held possession of York, the Capital of Upper Canada, seated on Lake Ontario. Henceforth, the war was principally confined this year to the Lakes, with varying fortunes, until we hear from Sir G. Provost, on the 12th of December, that both provinces of Canada were freed from the invaders, who retired to winter quarters. This war was, occasionally, conducted on curious principles, as the following will show. It is taken from the general orders issued by the Commander of the British Forces at Montreal, dated October 27th. The facts stated are, that 23 Soldiers of the United States Infantry, being made prisoners, were sent to England, and kept in close confinement, as British subjects; that General Dearborn had been instructed to put into similar confinement 23 British soldiers as hostages for the safety of the former; that the Prince Regent had given directions to put in close confinement 46 American Officers, and non-commissioned Officers, to answer for the safety of the last 23 soldiers; and, also, to (p. 192) apprize General Dearborn, that if any of them should suffer death in consequence of executing the law of Nations upon the first 23 confined as British subjects, double the number of the confined American Officers should immediately be selected for retaliation; and, moreover, that the commanders of his Majesty's armies and fleets had received orders to prosecute the war with unmitigated severity against all the cities, towns, and villages of the United States, in case their Government should persist in their intention of retaliation.

The Princess Charlotte was, naturally, a prominent subject for conversation among all ranks, for she was the only child of the Regent, and, as such, heir-presumptive to the throne. She began, too, to make herself talked about a little. She was now in her seventeenth year, on the completion of which she would become of age, and she began to kick over the traces somewhat, and to show that she had a will of her own. Her childhood had not been a happy one, and she had served as a shuttlecock with which papa and mamma had played many a game. She had a mother whom she seldom saw, and a father whose habits were the reverse of domestic; she knew, perfectly well, what her future prospects were, and occasionally she showed a little temper and wilfulness.

In January, 1813, her governess, Lady de Clifford resigned her office, and Miss immediately wrote a letter, through the Queen, to her papa, saying that now she was (p. 193) old enough to do without a governess, and desiring that whoever should be appointed to be about her person, in the place of Lady de Clifford, should occupy the position of a lady of the bedchamber, and not that of gouvernante. The Queen, the Prince Regent, and the Lord Chancellor took sweet counsel together on the subject, and their unanimous opinion was that Mademoiselle must still continue in statu pupillari, at all events until she came of age. The young lady was rebellious, but the higher authorities were too strong for her, and, with many sighs, she had to give in, and accept the inevitable in the shape of the Duchess of Leeds as governess.

In January, too, her mother, the Princess Caroline, wrote a very long letter to the Prince Regent, in which she animadverted very strongly on the manner in which her daughter was being brought up, especially in her being debarred from all social intercourse with young ladies of her own age. The history of this letter is interesting, as showing the relations existing between this unhappy husband and wife. The story is thus told[14]:—

"It is curious to trace the manner in which this celebrated letter at last reached the hands for which it was destined.

"It was transmitted, on the 14th of January, to Lord (p. 194) Liverpool, and Lord Eldon, sealed, by Lady Charlotte Campbell, the lady in waiting for the Month, expressing her Royal Highness's pleasure that it should be presented to the Prince Regent, and there was an open Copy for their perusal.

"On the 15th, the Earl of Liverpool presented his Compliments to Lady Charlotte Campbell, and returned the letter unopened.

"On the 16th, it was returned by Lady Charlotte, intimating, that, as it contained matters of importance to the State, she relied on their laying it before his Royal Highness. It was again returned unopened, with the Earl of Liverpool's compliments to Lady Charlotte, saying that the Prince saw no reason to depart from his determination.

"On the 17th, it was returned in the same way by command of her Royal Highness, expressing her confidence, that the two noble lords would not take upon themselves the responsibility of not communicating the letter to his Royal Highness, and that she should not be the only subject in the empire, whose petition was not permitted to reach the throne. To this, an answer was given, that the contents of it had been made known to the Prince.

"On the 19th, her Royal Highness directed a letter to be addressed to the two noble Lords, desiring to know whether it had been made known to his Royal Highness, by being read to him, and to know his pleasure thereon.

(p. 195) "No answer was given to this letter; and, therefore, on the 26th, she directed a letter to be written, expressing her surprise that no answer had been given to her application for a whole week.

"To this an answer was received, addressed to the Princess; stating that in consequence of her Royal Highness's demand, the letter had been read to the Prince Regent on the 20th, but that he had not been pleased to express his pleasure thereon.

"Here the correspondence closed; and no ulterior benefit accrued from it to the afflicted mother, nor to the daughter."

The Princess Charlotte, however, did see more of Society, for she went to the Splendid Fête given by her father, at Carlton House, on the 5th of February, in honour of her Majesty's birthday, and at the ball which followed she danced with her uncle, the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV. Then she went to the Opera with the Duchess of York, and she also kept her birthday with great festivities, but she was not presented at Court, as she was resolute in being presented by no one except her mother.

In February, Warwick House was allotted to her, as a residence, and all her baggage, saddle horses, &c., were removed thither. Here, however, her mother was forbidden to visit her, and the chronicles of the times dilate (p. 196) strongly on an accidental meeting of the mother and daughter in Hyde Park, where they drew their respective carriages close together, and embraced each other through the windows, conversing together for some ten minutes.

When her maternal grandmother, the Duchess of Brunswick died, her father hinted to her the propriety of a visit to her mother, leaving it to her whether it should be before or after the funeral. Needless to say, but very few hours elapsed before she, accompanied by the Duchess of Leeds, and Miss Knight, were at Blackheath, where the Princess of Wales then lived.

She was now a young woman, and would be of age early next year, so it was time to look about for a husband for her; and the person pitched upon was none other than the Prince of Orange, whom we have lately seen as going back to Amsterdam, to enjoy his own again. At this time he was serving in Spain as aide-de-camp to Lord Wellington; but it was represented to him that there were other things for him to do, and he quitted the seat of war, and came over to England, possibly rejoicing in the anticipation of the good things coming to him; and on the 14th of December, he was formally introduced at Warwick House, by the Prince Regent, to the Princess Charlotte, whom he was expected to woo and win. His suit and its success belong to 1814, and will be told in its place.

Of the condition of the poor old King, this year, we (p. 197) hear very little; the monthly bulletins were certainly issued, but they were of the most meagre description. Madame d'Arblay, even, although she was over here, and had the best of opportunities for hearing about him, only mentions him once, in her letters to her father, in May:—

"The beloved King is in the best state possible for his present melancholy situation: that is, wholly free from bodily suffering, or imaginary mental misery, for he is persuaded that he is always conversing with Angels."[15]

(p. 199) Décoration


A Cat in a Conflagration — Scramble for Exchequer Bills — A Matrimonial Dispute — An old Debtor — A Volunteer Dinner — A Man and Hedgehog — Torpedoes — Slavery — Gambling on Napoleon's Life — Gas Lighting.

And now to wind up the year with a little de omnibus rebus, which would not fall into any particular place, yet are worth keeping, as indicative of the times of which I write: they have no connection with each other, so are taken in chronological order.

On the 4th of April, a fire broke out at the "Commercial Hall," Skinner Street, Newgate Street, the Hall which, valued at £25,000, was the capital prize in the City Lottery. It was a bad fire, and two firemen were injured, but no lives lost. When at its fiercest, a Cat was seen on a part of the buildings which would soon inevitably be in flames. There was no human being to be burnt, so the sympathy of the crowd went out towards Pussy. There was no way of escape for her, except by an alarming leap, for the walls had crumbled and fallen (p. 200) in, and this leap Pussy could not make up her mind to take. The flames were encroaching, and gathering round her, and the mental tension of the Crowd was getting tighter and tighter every minute, when a gentleman enthusiastically offered £5 to any one who would rescue the Cat. A fireman was induced to make the attempt, and with great difficulty got behind the Cat, and forced her to take the leap, from the fifth storey, when she fell into the midst of the spectators unhurt! The fireman immediately received his promised reward.

The following scene, of "hastening to be rich," is almost on a par with what might be witnessed in the time of John Law and the South Sea Bubble, or that of King George (Hudson) of Railway fame. It is thus recorded in the Annual Register: "April 7: This morning, as early as five o'clock, a crowd of brokers and others, beset the Exchequer-bill office, in order to put down their names for funding Exchequer Bills. Such was the scramble to get in, that a number of the persons were thrown down, and many of them injured; some fainted by the excessive pressure of the crowd, and a few had their coats literally torn off their backs. The first 14 names (chiefly bankers) subscribed seven millions out of the twelve required; and, very early in the day, notice was given that the subscription was full.... That the first characters in the country, as bankers, merchants, and others, are to be marshalled by police officers, (p. 201) exhorted to be patient, cool, and passive, till they can enter the Exchequer through a door, a third part opened by a chain, and of which the aperture is scarcely sufficient for a moderate sized man to get in, is disgraceful in the extreme."

(Ibid.) April 11th: "For the first time this season nine Mackerel were brought to the beach at Brighton, which were immediately purchased for the London Market at 6s. 6d. each. The following day, another boat arrived with 28 more, which were bought with equal avidity at the same price. On Thursday, a third boat brought 93, which fetched after the rate of £40 per hundred. Not a single Mackerel has been retailed there, but all have been sent off to the metropolis."

At the Quarter Sessions held at Truro early in May a certain Joseph Little was placed at the bar, charged with having violently assaulted his wife. When Mrs. Little appeared to give evidence against her turbulent mate, he addressed her in a plaintive tone, and the following dialogue took place:—

"My dear, I am sorry to see you here."

"So am I."

"I hope you will forgive me this once, and I will never lift my hand to you again."

"You have broke your promise so often that I cannot trust you."

"My dear life, don't send me back to prison again; (p. 202) you have always been a good, honest, sober, and virtuous wife to me."

"It is for the good of your soul that you should be punished."

"You need not fear me, I will give you all my property, and part from you, if you wish it."

"I know it is for my safety, and for your salvation, that you should be confined a little longer."

And after this billing and cooing, John Little brought a counter charge of assault against his wife, and was ultimately bound over to keep the peace.

One would have thought that the great age of the undermentioned debtor would have protected him from his ruthless creditor, who, however, was no gainer by his act. May 13th: "A few days since, a poor infirm man, aged 103, from Yorkshire, was delivered into the custody of the Marshal of the King's Bench, for a debt of Twenty Pounds!! The poor man's apprehensions were so great on entering the prison, that he was seized with a sudden and violent illness, which induced the Marshal, on a representation of the case, to have him removed to a comfortable apartment in Belvidere Place; but, notwithstanding every alleviation which humanity could suggest, was promptly administered, he expired the same evening."

Next "silly season"—London Newspapers please copy: "July 21: On Saturday se'nnight was pulled, in the garden of Mr. Jones, at Lodge-my-Loons, a little north (p. 203) from Glasgow, a strawberry, which weighed fully one ounce, and measured 6-1/2 inches by 5."

Our Volunteer officers grumble somewhat at the expenses contingent upon their position, but they had a harder time of it under the Regency. August 14th: "At Lincoln Assizes an action was tried, brought by the Landlord of the Bull Inn, at Market Deeping, against the Cornet of the Ness Volunteers for the expenses of a dinner and liquor for 54 of the corps. The party sat down to dinner about half-past four o'clock, and mostly retired before ten. The quantity of liquor charged was as follows: One hundred and twenty-six bottles of port, forty-eight of sherry, sixty-four half-crown bowls of punch, and twenty of negus, besides ale and porter. The Jury gave a verdict in favour of the innkeeper, only taking off sixpence per bottle on the port wine."

Have we yet forgotten "Brummy" and the "Man and Dog fight" so graphically described in The Daily Telegraph by Mr. James Greenwood? Here is a variation on the brutal theme. October 25th: "W. Moore of Loughborough, bricklayer, a few days ago, laid a wager of three shillings, that he could, with his hands tied behind him, worry to death a hedgehog, with his face. He commenced his extraordinary undertaking by prostrating himself on the ground, and attacking the exterior of his prickly antagonist with his nose. In a few minutes his face was covered with blood, and he appeared to (p. 204) have little chance of success; however, at length having pressed the little animal till it had protruded its head, he snatched at it, and bit it off, thereby winning the wager, to the great amusement of the brutal spectators."

Another illustration of there being nothing new under the sun, is that Torpedoes were known early in the Century, nay, even before that. The Morning Chronicle of October 29th has an article upon them, part of which I transcribe:—

"American Torpedoes.

"Much abuse has been heaped on the American Government for endeavouring, in their present contest with this country to avail themselves, for the destruction of English vessels, of submarine machines disgraceful to humanity, and contrary to the laws of war; and it has been said that such machines would only have been encouraged in a Jacobin State, with a Jacobin president at its head. We are far from approving the introduction into warfare of any such machinery as that in question. But, while we deliver this opinion we think it but fair to state what is not so generally known; that, in the encouragement of this disgraceful plan, we are as much concerned as the Americans.

"In 1804 Robert Fulton, styling himself an American citizen, was invited by Lord Liverpool, then Lord Hawkesbury, to this country, to show his Majesty's (p. 205) ministers his plans of submarine navigation and attack; and on the 20th of July that year, he entered into a contract with Mr. Pitt and Lord Melville, the principal conditions of which were—

"'His Majesty's Dockyards and Arsenals to make and furnish all such articles as may be required, which are applicable to this purpose.

"'If any circumstance should arise to prevent Government carrying this plan into execution, then the parties are to name two commissioners, for the purpose of examining the principles, and trying such experiments as they may think proper; and, if it should appear to the majority of the members, that the plan is practicable, and offers a more effectual mode of destroying the enemy's fleets at Boulogne, Brest, or elsewhere, than any mode in practice, and with less risk, then Government is to pay the said Robert Fulton, forty thousand pounds, as a compensation for demonstrating the principles, and making over the entire possession of his submarine mode of attack.'

"When the Administration, of which Mr. Fox, and Lords Grey and Grenville were at the head, came into office, they were a good deal surprised, on Mr. Fulton's claiming performance of this contract, to find that such an instrument actually was in existence. The plan would never have met with any encouragement from that Administration; but, as it had already been accepted, they (p. 206) were under the necessity of agreeing to allow the necessary experiments to be made, or paying the forty thousand pounds. Earl Grey, then at the head of the Admiralty, gave orders, reluctantly enough, that Mr. Fulton should be supplied with whatever he required as necessary for the success of his experiment, and the execution was entrusted to one of the ablest and most enterprizing officers of the Navy. Several attempts were made on the enemy's vessels at Boulogne; but from one circumstance or other, the plan was found impracticable. On Mr. Fulton's still insisting on the payment of the forty thousand pounds, the matter was submitted to four arbitrators, who, after a full investigation, pronounced the plan not so far novel, practicable, or effective, as to entitle Mr. Fulton to the sum in question."

The Slave Trade Bill of 1807, it must be remembered, did not abolish Slavery, but only prohibited the Traffic in Slaves; so that no vessel should clear out from any port within the British Dominions, after May 1, 1807, with Slaves on board, and that no Slave should be landed in the Colonies after March 1, 1808. So that the following advertisement in The Morning Chronicle of November 16th was strictly within the bounds of legality:—

"Jamaica Slaves to be Let or Sold, being Fifty-four in Number, all young or middle-aged, of both sexes, and (p. 207) well seasoned, having for some years worked together in the parish of Clarendon. Any purchaser with good security would have every reasonable indulgence for his payments."

I am bound to say that this advertisement was a novelty in an English Newspaper; and, in the same journal of November 19th, appeared an indignant letter on the subject.

"Sir,—Nothing can be more repugnant to the feelings of Englishmen, than to read in an English Newspaper, peculiarly devoted to the cause of Freedom, the advertisement which appeared in the first page of Tuesday's Chronicle, relative to the offer of 'Fifty-four Jamaica Slaves.' Surely, Sir, this offensive advertisement must have been inserted without due consideration, and, I am sure, without your knowledge; especially at the time when we are about to Christianize the whole world!

"For the sake of humanity, and the best feelings of every true Briton, I trust that this abominable advertisement will not make its appearance a second time in your respectable Paper, and remain, yours, &c.,


"Among the gambling policies ever open in the city, the 'life of Bonaparte' has long been a favourite object (p. 208) for scandalous speculations, and for the last twelve months had been done at from 2 to 2-1/2 per cent. per month, as the dangers to which he was exposed seemed to diminish or increase. In the beginning of this present December, policies to a very large amount have been negotiated, and Twelve Guineas given to receive One Hundred, if the Tyrant be alive on the 1st of January."

Gas lighting in the streets of London was first introduced in August, 1807, when Golden Lane Brewery, and a portion of Beech and Whitecross Streets were illuminated by its means. The Gaslight and Coke Company got their Charter in 1810, and had lamps outside their offices in Pall Mall; but progress in this direction was very slow, and the old oil lamps died hard. We read in The Morning Chronicle of December 20th: "The Gas lights which have been exhibited in the two Palace Yards, and in some of the streets of the neighbourhood, during the sitting of Parliament, will, upon its adjournment, be discontinued; and those places only be lighted, for which the Company has contracts."

(p. 209) Décoration


The Fog — Condition of Ireland — State of the Navy — The Regent at Belvoir — Coming of age of Princess Charlotte — Day of Thanksgiving — Great Snowstorm — Thames frozen over — Sports thereon — Frost fair — The Country and the Snow.

The year 1814 was an annus mirabilis for England, as will be seen as it is unfolded. It began with a fog, not an ordinary fog, but one which, from its exceptional character, was enshrined as part of the history of the Country. It prevailed in London, and many miles round, during the whole of the last week of 1813 until the 4th of January, when it cleared off—the mails and other conveyances were delayed, and many accidents happened. It was no respecter of persons, for the Regent, who was going to visit the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir, in order to stand personally as Godfather to the baby Marquis of Granby, was delayed a day by this fog, so that the Christening had to be postponed, and the (p. 210) young Marquis had to be a day longer in an unregenerate state.

A dragoon, who left London for Windsor at 6 p.m. with particulars of the passage of the Nive by the Allied Armies, did not arrive until 4 a.m. in consequence of the fog, although he got a lanthorn and candle at Hounslow. A sergeant of the West Kent Militia, which corps was then garrisoning the Tower, stepped off the wharf into the river, and was drowned—and there were other fatalities.

Ireland was in its chronic state of bloodthirsty rebellion, as the two following paragraphs in The Morning Chronicle of January 1st show. "The Barony of Lower Ormond, in the County of Tipperary, has lately manifested a spirit of wickedness unknown in that part of the country. A few nights since, the Haggards of the Rev. Edward Farmer, of Springmount, near Cloughjordan, of Mr. Thompson, and the Rev. Mr. Conolly, near Ballingarry, were maliciously set on fire, and totally consumed. The ruffians also posted notices that if a reward was offered, they would burn the haggards of the subscribers."

"On the evening of the 8th instant half-past 5 o'clock, as George Wayland, Esqre, was going out of his house at Toureen near Dundrum, in the County of Tipperary, accompanied by his herdsman, one of a party, who were perceived lying in wait at a short distance from the hall door, discharged a blunderbuss at him, loaded with balls and slugs, the contents of which grazed his legs and (p. 211) passed through his clothes. Immediately after, a servant boy of Mr. Wayland, going towards the house, was fired at by the same party, and so dreadfully wounded, that he has since died."

The number of troops required then, as now, in Ireland, together with the fact that we had two wars on our hands, at the same time, caused stock to be taken of the available "food for powder" remaining, and we find, according to a statistical account taken this year, that the number of men in Great Britain, capable of bearing arms, from 15 to 60 years of age, amounted to 2,744,847; or about four in every seventeen males.

Our Navy was a large one, on paper, for the total number of ships at the commencement of this year was 1032 (including those in ordinary, &c.): of which there were, in commission, 116 sail of the line, 20 from 50 to 44 guns, 157 frigates, 110 sloops of war, 7 fire-ships, 199 brigs, 40 cutters, and 50 schooners, the total of ships in commission being 768.

The Regent set out on his journey to Belvoir Castle, having, of course, to do the distance in his travelling carriage. At Denton, he was met by some two or three hundred horsemen, the gentry and yeomanry of the County, who had assembled to welcome him to Belvoir. On the arrival of the Prince, the air was rent with a general burst of loyal enthusiasm. Many females, wives and daughters of the tenantry of the House of Rutland, (p. 212) joined in the cavalcade, and galloped like lunatics to keep up with the Regent's carriage. Arrived at Belvoir, on the descent from his carriage of the 'vir illustrissimus,' a Royal salute of 21 guns was fired from the Castle, and the Regent's âme damnée, the Duke of York, also was similarly honoured.

It was with great difficulty and much persuasion, that the good folk of Rutlandshire were prevented from making greater asses of themselves, and debasing themselves by removing the horses from the Royal Carriage, and transforming themselves into beasts of draught. The honoured host, of course, was at the door to receive his guest, and the Rev. Dr. Staunton, by virtue of the tenure of a Manor of Staunton, in Nottinghamshire, did his devoir, suit, and service, by presenting the Regent, as representative of the King, with an exquisitely worked gold key of Staunton tower, which is an outwork, and yet the chief stronghold of the Castle, the command of which is held by the family of Staunton, and the tenure by which they held the Manor of Staunton is, that they were formerly required to appear, with soldiers, to defend this strong post, in case of danger, or at the requisition of the Lord of the Castle.

January 4th, the day of the Christening of the little Marquis of Granby, was also the birthday of his father, the Duke of Rutland, so that the two events, combined with the Royal visit, made an event of unexampled rarity (p. 213) in the annals of Rutlandshire. Whenever was babe received into the fold of Christ, under more illustrious mundane auspices? His two Godfathers were the Prince Regent and the Duke of York, in person; his Godmother was the Queen, represented by her Grace the Dowager Duchess of Rutland. The Archbishop of Canterbury himself "performed the baptismal ceremony with solemnity, and graceful expression," and what more could be done for the child?

After this ceremony, the swine were fed. Open house and lavish hospitality were the order of the day, and the "piggies" availed themselves of it. The grands seigneurs sit down to dinner—and the οι πολλοι go to their troughs, to eat as much, and drink as much, as they possibly could. "At Belvoir Castle all partake of the festivities, for, although the doors are not immediately thrown open to admit improper persons, yet the tenantry, and persons of respectability have access thereto, and such is the affability and condescending amiable manners of her Grace the Duchess of Rutland, that her whole suite of rooms are open for the inspection of all ranks, and even the curiosity of seeing the young Marquis is acceded to. Mr. Douglas, the Duke's butler, entertained the tenantry with an oval Cistern of strong punch, containing 50 gallons, when the tenantry drank 'Long life to the young Marquis'—'Many returns of the day to the Duke'—and 'God preserve our Noble Prince Regent.'"

(p. 214) This latter was attired, in compliment to his host in "the Belvoir uniform of scarlet and buff," and, to the toast of his health, "His Royal Highness replied with much eloquence, but evidently at first, labouring under the affection of fine feeling, and concluded by assuring the noble host, that, as long as he lived, he should never forget the respectful manner in which he had been received at Belvoir Castle."

This hospitality went on for days; and we read, "The house contains more than two hundred individuals, who partake daily of the festivities. The Cistern of punch, under the management of Mr. Douglas, administered in the Servants' Hall on Tuesday, to the household and tenantry, laid many a brave fellow prostrate. The passages of the house reminded one of a Castle taken by storm, and the young Marquis, the Noble Host, and the Prince Regent, were toasted until articulation ceased. Many were found the next day in the subterraneous passages of the Castle, with symptoms of recovering animation. The punch was not out at 10 o'clock on Wednesday morning.

"This Cistern, according to the history of the county, was filled with Cordial when John, Duke of Rutland, father of the present Duke, was born. The silver Cistern is 16 feet in circumference, holds 60 gallons, and is a matchless piece of Workmanship. Ale, at the rate of 21 strike to the hogshead, is now making, to be kept till the young Marquis comes of Age."

(p. 215) This Saturnalia ceased on January 7th, when the Prince left on a visit to the Earl of Winchilsea at Burleigh; but whilst in the country, he was keenly scanned by the eyes of critical sportsmen, and the result, as regards his horsemanship, is thus given:—

"Letter from General T. to J. Mc.M., Esq., in London.

Dear Mac, we are passing our time here most gaily,
Events by the dozen are happening daily:
We left Burleigh the 2nd—you never were there?
The house stands in a quadrangle forty feet square;
'Tis built on a terrace, with fine freestone walls,
On a level, 'tis said, with the top of Saint Paul's.
Winchilsea, you know, 's a mechanical man.
For having it measured, he's forming a plan.
Lonsdale, you know, is a noble old fellow,
With a fine open heart, and a capital cellar,
We do just as we like, and have excellent cheer,
For guests, horses, and dogs, are all treated well here.
Wales would have a hunt, so we hunted on Monday,
In spite of the fog, and the hard frost of Sunday.
And O! some gentle Muse indite
My bold, aspiring lay,
While in hasty verse I write
'The hunting of that day!'
Now I think on't, the task would be rather too hard,
And you'll hear it describ'd by our Treasury Bard:—
For I watch'd him all thro' the field, and I saw
He was scanning the picturesque look of a thaw,
He hated a Fox from the time of his birth,
And ran foul of a Pit, as Reynard took earth.
As for Wales, he soon staked a thorough bred mare,
His legs, arms, and chest, were all quite militaire.
A mere Bond Street rider, Tom Musters would say,
Sits damn'd well by rule, as I told him one day;
He's abroad in all cases not taught in ménage,
(p. 216) And rides at a leap, as he would at a charge;
In short, one might swear he ne'er hunted before,
By his heading the hounds, as he would do his corps;
And York on the fences made desperate attack,
And was giving the word of command to the pack;
Determined to give his Conscience relief,
And, for once, be in person, Commander in Chief."

What a contrast was the keeping of the coming of age of the Princess Charlotte, the heir to the throne! which happened at the same time, on the 7th of January. "In the morning her Royal Highness's tutors and principal attendants were introduced to her Royal Highness at Warwick House, and paid their respects in due form. A number of nobility, persons of distinction, and her private circle of friends, called at the house, and left their respectful inquiries and congratulations on the return of the day." She spent the remainder of the day, quietly, and without fuss, with her mother, at Connaught House.

The Regent returned from his tour in time for the Day of Thanksgiving, 13th of January, and he attended Divine service at the Chapel Royal, St. James's, in state. He wore "a purple top wrapping coat, ornamented in a most splendid manner with gold lace, fringe, and frogs, with the Order of the Garter." Besides a great number of the nobility, the procession was formed as follows:—

"The Gentlemen Ushers and Grooms in waiting.

"Six Heralds, with their superb and splendid Mantles, with other ornaments.

(p. 217) "Four Sergeants at Mace, with gold Maces, and their elegant Collars, King at Arms, in his superb dress, with his sceptre of Office, Sir Isaac Heard.

"York Herald, and Genealogist of the Bath, Sir George Naylor, in his splendid dress, with the Order of the Bath.

"Windsor Herald, Francis Townsend, Esqre., also in his splendid dress, and appropriate ornaments.

"The Duke of York.
"The Sword of State.
"The Prince Regent,

followed by his Lord in Waiting, &c.

"Eight of the Gentlemen Pensioners, with their Battle Axes, closed the procession."

The phenomenal fog, which obtained at the end of 1813 and the commencement of 1814, was immediately followed by very heavy falls of snow, unprecedented in the memory of man. On one occasion it snowed incessantly for 48 hours. Few carriages could travel, and the land seemed deserted. In London, the water-pipes in houses were all frozen, and open plugs were running in the streets. Of course this water froze, and added to the general inconvenience, and the state of the streets may be judged by the following: "Mr. Maxwell, of skating celebrity, agreed, for a considerable wager, to skate from Long Acre to the Parade in St. James's Park in five minutes, (p. 218) which he performed with ease, ten seconds within the time, to the no small amusement of a numerous concourse of spectators."

Coals went up to any price; and no wonder. There were no railways, and the large inland beds of coal, were only worked for local use, so that London was dependent upon Sunderland, and the north-eastern ports, for her coal supply; and this, of course, came at once to an end with such a frost as this was. A remedy was proposed, but was never acted on. "Supposing nine-tenths of the housekeepers of the metropolis to have laid in coals sufficient for their consumption—some to the month of June, but generally throughout the whole of the summer season—it would be an act of benevolence on their part without affecting their interest, to sell their overplus stock, at reduced prices, to the needy individuals in their respective neighbourhoods, who are unprovided with that fuel, or who can afford to supply themselves only from week to week. This, it is conceived, might be done at 6s. 6d. or 7s. a sack, whereas double that sum is now asked."

The snow-drifts were terrible all over the country, and even near London, in many places, the snow drifted higher than the Coaches. On Finchley Common, in the course of one night, it drifted to a depth of sixteen feet; on Bagshot Heath, and about Cobham and Esher, all traffic was stopped. The Kent and Essex roads were the only ones passable. From the country came worse news. (p. 219) The Snow in the Midland Counties was very deep; indeed at Dunchurch, a small village on the road to Birmingham, through Coventry, for a few miles round, the snow was twenty-three feet deep, and no tracks of travellers were seen for many days. The Cambridge Mail Coach was snowed up, and completely covered, for eight hours, when, at last it was dragged out by fourteen waggon-horses, the poor passengers, meanwhile, being almost frozen to death. These examples must suffice, for my space cannot accommodate anything like one hundredth part of the snow-stories of this time.

The Thames was frozen over, and upon it was held a "Frost Fair," which, as, owing to the greater width of the arches of the bridges which span it, is hardly likely to occur again, I must be pardoned, if I somewhat dilate upon.

Sunday, Jan. 30.—Immense masses of ice that had floated from the upper part of the river, in consequence of the thaw on the two preceding days, now blocked up the Thames between Blackfriars and London Bridge; and afforded every probability of its being frozen over in a day or two. Some venturous persons, even now, walked upon the ice.

Monday, Jan. 31.—This expectation was realized. During the whole of the afternoon, hundreds of people were assembled on Blackfriars and London Bridges, to see several adventurous men cross and re-cross the (p. 220) Thames on the Ice; at one time seventy persons were counted walking from Queenhithe to the opposite shore. The frost on Sunday night so united the vast mass, as to render it immovable by the tide.

Tuesday, Feb. 1.—The floating masses of ice having been stopped by London Bridge, now assumed a solid surface over the river from Blackfriars Bridge to some distance below Three Crane Stairs, at the bottom of Queen Street, Cheapside. The watermen, taking advantage of this circumstance, placed notices at the end of all the streets leading to the City side of the river, announcing a safe footway over it, which, as might be expected, attracted immense crowds to witness so novel a scene. Many were induced to venture on the ice, and the example thus afforded, soon led thousands to perambulate the rugged plain, where a variety of amusements were prepared for their entertainment.

Among the more curious of these was the ceremony of roasting a small sheep, which was toasted, or rather, burnt over a coal fire placed in a large iron pan. For a view of this spectacle sixpence was demanded, and willingly paid. The delicate meat when done, was sold at a shilling a slice, and termed Lapland Mutton.


Wednesday, Feb. 2.—The Thames now was a complete Frost Fair. The Grand Mall, or walk, was from Blackfriars Bridge to London Bridge. This was named "The City Road," and was lined on both sides with booths and (p. 223) petty tradesmen of all descriptions. Eight or ten printing presses were erected, and numerous pieces commemorative of the "Great Frost" were printed on the Ice. Many of these have come down to us; among them are the following:

"Amidst the Arts which on the Thames appear,
To tell the wonders of this icy year,
Printing claims prior place, which, at one view,
Erects a monument of That and You."

"You that walk here, and do design to tell
Your children's children what this year befell,
Come, buy this print, and it will then be seen
That such a year as this hath seldom been."

"Friends, now is your time to support the Freedom of the Press. Can the Press have greater liberty? Here you find it working in the middle of the Thames; and if you encourage us by buying our impressions, we will keep it going in the true spirit of liberty, during the Frost."

"Behold, the River Thames is frozen o'er,
Which, lately, ships of mighty burden bore;
Now, different arts and pastimes here you see,
But printing claims superiority."

Besides the above, the Lord's Prayer, and several other pieces were issued from these Presses, and they were bought, as mementos, with great avidity.

Thursday, Feb. 3.—More people than ever ventured on (p. 224) the ice. Swings, book-stalls, dancing in a barge, drinking and eating booths, skittles, knock-'em-downs, and all the apurtenances to a Fair on land were there on the Thames. The ice was strong and firm, and although there were fairly smooth parts, yet, in the main, it was very rough.

Friday, Feb. 4.—Every day brought more people, and additions to the petty merchants who vended their wares, at twice or thrice their value, because of the rarity. Any old goods could be passed off if only duly labelled "Bought on the Thames," "From Frost Fair," &c., and money was literally shovelled into their pockets, as every one wanted some lasting reminiscence of this great Frost. The watermen mulcted all who visited the Fair, of 2d. or 3d., and you were expected to repeat the compliment on your return. They were said to have taken as much as £6 each, in the course of the day.

An ugly accident was nearly happening this day, for three persons—an old man, and two lads—having ventured on a piece of ice above London Bridge, it suddenly detached itself from the main body, and was carried by the tide through one of the arches. They threw themselves flat upon the ice for safety, and, luckily, were observed by the boatmen at Billingsgate, who, with laudable activity, put off to their assistance, and rescued them from their impending danger. One of them was able to walk, but the other two were (p. 225) carried, in a state of insensibility, to a public-house, where they received every attention their situation required.

Saturday, Feb. 5th.—The morning of this day augured rather unfavourably for the continuance of Frost Fair. The wind had shifted to the south, and a light fall of snow took place. The visitors to the Thames, however, were not to be deterred by trifles. Thousands again ventured, and there was still much life and bustle on the ice.

The footpath in the centre, or "City Road," was hard and secure, and thousands promenaded thereon. Gaming had now its votaries; there were E. O. Tables, Rouge-et-Noir, Te-totums, Wheels of Fortune, Prick the Garter, &c., and a brisk business they plied in emptying the pockets of their dupes. Skittles were being played in many places, drinking tents were filled with females, and their companions, dancing reels to the sound of fiddles, while others sat round large fires, drinking rum, grog, and other spirits. There were for the more temperate, tea and coffee, and people were earnestly requested to eat, in order that in after years they might be able to say that they had indulged in a good meal in mid Thames.

The Morning Chronicle of February 4th says:—"Notwithstanding the heavy thaw of Tuesday night, an immense multitude continues to assemble between London and Blackfriars Bridges. Booths, hoisting the flags (p. 226) of all nations, and painted with Cherokee taste, everywhere gladdened the sight, while bands of Pandean minstrels, relieved by the dulcet strains of the tin trumpet from all sides, delighted the ear.

"In the centre of the river, a narrow stream defied the power of the frozen region, and marked the path 'where once the current ran.' This interruption, however, so far from impeding the gambols of the day, increased the sport, and added to the profit of the stewards of the scene. A few small planks in some cases, and an old boat or two in others, with the addition of Charon's fare, kept the communication entire, and enlivened the pastime.

"In some parts of the stream where the width of the unfrozen water admitted of it, boats completely bent for sail, with their full equipments, attracted the heedless throng. In these were placed food for the hungry, and for the thirsty, relief; gin and gingerbread, with other cordials, were here on sale, at moderate prices—'Ubi mel—ibi apes.' The Crowd poured toward this magnetic point with extraordinary avidity. Men, women, and children were often seen in one promiscuous heap. Although it is impossible not to feel anxious to afford every opportunity of cheering, by playful pastime, the nipping severity of the season, yet we cannot disengage our mind from the hazardous consequences of such an exhibition as we are now noticing.

(p. 227) "Between the bridges the river is entirely covered, not with a regular, even frozen surface, but with an incongruous accumulation of icy fragments, and congealed piled snow, which, during the partial thaws, was disengaged up the river, and wafted downwards; this having been intercepted by the intervention of the bridges, and partially united by the frosts of the last two or three days, has completely covered the surface of the water. It is yet extremely dangerous, and was, in many places, last night, set in motion by the influx of the tide, and carried, with extreme velocity, against the piers of the bridges. Some watermen, more foolhardy than others, ventured to cross opposite Temple Gardens, and one of them nearly lost his life by the experiment. The public ought carefully to prevent the young men and thoughtless part of the community from indulging in experiments of this description, which may terminate fatally."

Towards the evening of the 5th of February rain fell in some quantity, the ice gave some loud cracks, and large pieces were detached, and floated off with booths, printing-presses, and people on them. No lives, however, were lost. Perhaps the last thing printed on the ice was a letter:—

"To Madam Tabitha Thaw.

"Dear dissolving dame,

"Father Frost, and Sister Snow, have boneyd (p. 228) my borders, formed an idol of ice upon my bosom, and all the Lads of London come to make merry: now, as you love mischief, treat the multitude with a few Cracks by a sudden visit, and obtain the prayers of the poor upon both banks. Given at my own press, the 5th Feby., 1814.

"Thomas Thames."

The thaw had now fairly set in, the ice, broken up, swept everything in the shape of light craft, barges, &c., irresistibly before it, and damage was done to the extent of many thousands of pounds. There was some loss of life, but it was small, and altogether every one was very well rid of "The Great Frost of 1814." Before I finish with the subject, I must quote some verses (which, although doggerel, are very original) attached to "A View of Frost Fair, as it appeared on the Ice on the River Thames, February 3, 1814."

"All you that are curious downright,
And fond of seeing every sight,
If to the Thames you had repair'd,
You might have seen a famous fair.
Diversions of every kind you'd see,
With parties drinking of coffee and tea,
And dancing too, I do declare,
Upon the Thames, they call Frost Fair.

It was really curious for to see
Both old and young, so full of glee,
(p. 229) The drinking booths they enter'd in
And call'd away for purl and gin,
Some play'd at Threadle my Needle, Nan,
The lasses slipt down as they ran,
Which made the men quite full of glee,
The young girls legs all for to see.

The Watermen, so neat and trim,
With bottle fill'd with Old Tom Gin,
And others bawl'd among the throng,
'Who's for a Glass of Sampson strong?'
'Here's Nuts, and Gingerbread, who buys?'
'Come, boys, and win my Mutton Pies.
Come, ladies, they're both hot and nice,
Fear not to eat them on the Ice.'

Boys and women, not a few,
Upon the Ice, they ventured too,
And swings there were, I do declare,
To take a ride up in the air.
And booths, wherein you might regale,
And have a pint of beer, or ale.
And skittle playing, I do declare,
Upon the Thames, they call Frost Fair.

Now to conclude my Icy song,
I'm glad to see the Frost is gone,
And ships, and barges, all afloat,
And watermen rowing of their boats,
Black diamond barges to appear,
That coals, they may not be so dear.
So, toss a bumper off with cheer,
And bid adieu to Frosty Fair."

With regard to this frost, for once, Justice was rendered to Ireland, and she shared its pleasures, with "the bloody Saxon" (Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 84, (p. 230) part i. p. 189): "So completely suspended has been the internal intercourse between Dublin and the interior, that on 17th January, no fewer than fifteen hundred country mails were due in the Irish Capital; and, in consequence of the obstruction to the regular mails, arising from the severity of the weather, the accumulated newspapers, at the Post Office, amounted to no less than ten tons in weight."

On the same page it is recorded that "Fifty Gentlemen dined in a tent fixed on the ice on the river Tweed. One of the company was present at a similar fête held on the Tweed in 1740."

The Lords Lieutenant of the different counties had a circular sent them from Lord Sidmouth, conveying the Regent's wishes for their guidance in this juncture, part of which is as follows:—

"It will be obvious to your Lordship, that the first and immediate duty to which your attention should be directed, is that of providing all practical means for removing from the highways and principal roads of communication lying within your Lordship's County, the obstructions which have taken place from the late heavy falls of snow, so that his Majesty's subjects may be able to traverse the same, without danger or impediment, as occasion shall require.

"The discharge of this duty is, fortunately, most compatible with the further object which his Royal (p. 231) Highness has anxiously in view, inasmuch as it will enable your Lordship to ensure employment for various classes of individuals, who, for the present, are deprived of their usual earnings by the inclemency of the season.

"Your Lordship will be aware of the necessity of giving immediate attention to the Prince Regent's commands on this important subject; and you will accordingly communicate, without delay, with the magistracy, and through them with the trustees of turnpike roads, the overseers of the poor, the surveyors of the highways, and other subordinate officers within the districts and parishes of the County, in such manner, as to insure the most speedy and effectual means of carrying his Royal Highness's pleasure into effect."

After the melting of this snow, came very heavy floods in almost every part of the country.

(p. 233) Décoration


Burning of the Custom House — De Berenger's fraud on the Stock Exchange — Lord Cochrane inculpated — Price of provisions — Arrival of the Duchess of Oldenburgh — The Capitulation of Paris, and fall of Napoleon — Papa Violette — Elba.

On the morning of Saturday, February 12th, the Custom House in London was burnt down. The first Custom House stood on the same site as the present one, and was rebuilt in 1385. In Queen Elizabeth's time a larger House was built on the same spot, which was burnt in the Great Fire. Wren was the architect to a new one, which was destroyed by fire in 1715. Its successor was doomed to the same fate; its ruin was complete, and for a time it paralyzed the Commerce of the Port of London.

"The actual loss to Government by the sudden destruction of the Custom House cannot be calculated; books, bonds, debentures, pearls, coral, valuable property of every description, and securities of all kinds have been (p. 234) consumed. Business is, and must be, quite at a standstill for some time; numerous vessels ready to sail cannot clear out, and, consequently, the injury to the mercantile world will be most severe and distressing. The private property lost within the building is very considerable. We have heard of several Gentlemen who had left large sums of money in their desks, ready to make payments on the following day. One has lost upwards of £6,000 in bank notes, which will be irrecoverable, as the memorandum of the numbers was in the desk with the notes, and met the same fate.

"A very fine collection of pictures which the Commissioners had permitted a gentleman to leave in deposit, till it would be convenient for him to pay the duties, amounting to £1,500, were destroyed. A very genteel young man, in appearance, was stopped by some police officers in Thames Street, and, on searching him, his pockets and breeches were found to be stuffed with coral beads, silk handkerchiefs, and other valuables of small bulk. It appeared that his boldness in venturing nearer the gunpowder than even the firemen dared to do, had enabled him to obtain this booty."

This month is remarkable for one of the most daring attempted frauds on the Stock Exchange ever perpetrated. It was executed by one Charles Random de Berenger, a French refugee, and an officer in one of the foreign regiments. It was alleged that with him were associated (p. 235) Lord Cochrane, the Hon. Andrew Cochrane Johnstone, and several others. It appears from the evidence on the trial, that early on the morning of the 21st of February, a gentleman, dressed in a grey great-coat over a scarlet uniform, on which was a star, knocked at the door of the Ship Inn at Dover, and said that he was the bearer of very important despatches from France. This gentleman, all the Witnesses swore, was Berenger.

He sent a letter signed R. Du Bourg, Lieut.-Colonel, and Aide-de-Camp to Lord Cathcart, to Admiral Foley, the Port Admiral at Dover, advising him that he had just arrived from Calais with the news of a great victory obtained by the Allies over Bonaparte, who was slain in his flight by the Cossacks, and that the Allied Sovereigns were in Paris. Berenger posted up to London, which he entered, having his horses decked with laurels, in order to make a stir. It was felt on the Stock Exchange. Omnium, which opened at 27-1/2, rose to 33; but as the day wore on, and no confirmation came of the news, they receded to 28-1/2. Business in that Stock was done that day to the tune of half a million of money. Lord Cochrane and others had previously given instructions to several Stockbrokers to sell Omniums for them on the 21st of February to an enormous amount. One deposed that on that date he sold—

For Lord Cochrane, £139,000   Omnium.
" Cochrane Johnstone, £120,000   do.
(p. 236)" Cochrane Johnstone, £100,000   Consols.
" Mr. Butt, £124,000   Omnium.
Do. £168,000   Consols.

And he further deposed that he always considered that any business he did for Mr. Butt was to be placed to Lord Cochrane's account.

Another Stockbroker sold for the same three gentlemen, about £565,000 Omnium. Another had sold £80,000 on their account; and yet another had had instructions to sell a very large sum for the same parties, but had refused.

In the end Lord Cochrane and Mr. Butt were condemned to pay to the King a fine of a thousand pounds each, and J. P. Holloway five hundred: and these three, together with De Berenger, Sandon, and Lyte, were sentenced to imprisonment in the Marshalsea for twelve Calendar Months. Further, Lord Cochrane, De Berenger, and Butt, were to stand on the pillory for one hour before the Royal Exchange once during their imprisonment. This latter part of their punishment was afterwards remitted. Lord Cochrane's name was struck off the Navy list, he was expelled from the House of Commons, his arms were taken down from his stall as Knight of the Bath, his banner torn down, and kicked ignominiously out of Henry VII.'s Chapel in Westminster Abbey.

By very many he was believed innocent, and, on his (p. 237) seat for Westminster being declared vacant, he was enthusiastically re-elected. He escaped from Custody, was captured, and had to serve his time. On June 20, 1815, he was told that his imprisonment was at an end if he would pay the fine imposed upon him; and on July 3rd he reluctantly did so with a £1,000 bank note, on the back of which he wrote:—"My health having suffered by long and close confinement, and my oppressors being resolved to deprive me of property or life, I submit to robbery, to protect myself from murder, in the hope that I shall live to bring the delinquents to justice."

On the very day he was released, he took his seat again in the House of Commons. It is not my province to follow his life, but in 1832 he received a "free pardon"; he was restored to the Navy List, gazetted a rear-admiral, and presented at a levée!

There is a little bit of domestic news chronicled on March 9th, which is interesting when we contrast the prices at which we are now supplied with the same commodities. "Covent Garden Market.—The extreme severity of the weather has rendered all the fruits and vegetables of the season dear beyond all precedent. The following are the prices of some of the articles:—Asparagus, £1 4s. per hundred; Cucumbers, £1 1s. per brace; best Pines, £2 12s. each; Grapes, £3 3s. per pound; Endive, 8s. per dozen; best Brocoli, 16s. per (p. 238) bundle; second ditto, 7s. per ditto; French Beans, 8s. per 100; Mushrooms, 5s. 6d. per pottle; best Kale, 12s. per basket; Nonpareil Apples, 8s. per dozen; Colmar Pears, £1 10s. per dozen; Cos Lettuce, 4s. per dozen; Mint, 1s. 6d. per bunch; Greens, 16s. per dozen; Spanish Onions, 12s. per dozen."

This scale of prices would never have done for the Clergyman mentioned in the next day's paper. "A Clergyman, of the name of Matheson, was minister of Patterdale, in Westmoreland, for sixty years, and died lately, at the age of ninety. During the early part of his life his benefice brought him only twelve pounds a year; it was afterwards increased (perhaps by Queen Anne's bounty) to eighteen, which it never exceeded. On this income he married, brought up four children, and lived comfortably with his neighbours, educated a son at the University, and left upwards of one thousand pounds behind him. With that singular simplicity, and inattention to forms which characterize a country life, he himself read the burial service over his mother, he married his father to a second wife, and afterwards buried him also. He published his own banns of marriage in the church, with a woman whom he had formerly christened, and he himself married all his four children."

On March 31st an illustrious lady, the Duchess of Oldenburgh, sister to the Emperor of Russia, entered (p. 239) London in great state, having been met at Sheerness by the Duke of Clarence on behalf of the Regent, who sent one of his Carriages for her accommodation and use. Ostensibly she only came to pay a complimentary visit to the Regent, but every one surmised that such was merely a blind to cover a political mission, for which she was well adapted.

To show what importance was attached to her visit, I give an official account of her reception.

"The procession entered London, by Parliament Street, at a quarter before four o'clock, in the following order:—

Two Light Horsemen.

The Duke of Clarence's travelling Chariot and four, in which were his Royal Highness and Colonel Bloomfield.

Two Light Horsemen.

Two footmen and an outrider in the Royal liveries.

"The Prince Regent's Carriage, drawn by four bays, in which was her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess, Duchess of Oldenburg, accompanied by the Princess Volochowsky, Madame Aladensky, and the Countess Lieven.

"At each door of the Carriage one of the Prince Regent's footmen rode. The Carriage was followed by a party of Light Horse.

"The third Carriage was another of the Prince (p. 240) Regent's, in which were the Prince Gargarine, General Turner, &c.

"The Russian Ambassador's Carriage, with his Excellency in it, finished the procession.

"They proceeded through the Horse Guards, out at the Stable Yard, St. James's, up St. James' Street to the Pulteney Grand Hotel, where her Imperial Highness was received by sentinels placed at the door for that purpose. She was handed out of the carriage by the Duke of Clarence and Colonel Bloomfield, who conducted her to the apartments prepared for her.

"The Duke of Clarence took his leave, and proceeded to Carlton House, and had an interview with his Royal brother, the Prince Regent. He afterwards returned to her Imperial Highness, to express the Prince Regent's congratulations on her safe arrival in England.

"A grand dinner was given in the evening in her honour at Carlton House. The table was laid for twenty-five covers, and the Queen, the Princesses, the Duke and Duchess of York, &c., were all assembled to receive her Highness."

And now we come to the great event of the year, beside which all other news, however important, pales, and is a thing of nought. The fall of Napoleon, and manner of it, hardly belongs, in a strict sense, to Social (p. 241) England of the time, and yet it is so indissolubly bound up with it, that a succinct account of it is necessary for the perfection of this book, and, as the shortest and best contemporary narrative of these events, that I know of, is contained in the Annual Register, I use it. The French occupied the heights before Paris—the Allies were about to storm them; in fact, the heights of Romainville had been carried.

"A redoubt and battery in the enemy's centre kept d'Yorck in check for some part of the day; but their flank being exposed by the loss of the heights of Romainville, and their losses in every part of the field, reduced them to the necessity of sending a flag of truce to propose a cessation of hostilities, on the condition of their yielding all the ground without the barrier of Paris, till further arrangements could be made. The heights of Montmartre were at this time about to be stormed, and the village of La Villette had been carried by Woronzow's division, which was pushing on to the barrier; the Sovereigns of Russia and Prussia, and Prince Schwartzenberg, however, being desirous of saving the Capital from being sacked, most humanely agreed to the proposal: two aides-de-camp were sent to put the terms in execution; the battle ceased; and, at four in the afternoon, Count Nesselrode, the Russian Minister, went into Paris. Thus terminated this important day (March 30th), which was not (p. 242) without considerable loss to the Allies; but it was final.

"The Metropolis of France being thus laid prostrate at the feet of hostile armies, no determination ever occurred of greater moment, in a moral and political view, than the treatment it was to receive. Besides the lust of rapine and pillage which prevails in the mass of all military bodies, feelings of resentment for the long and atrocious injuries inflicted upon the countries of Europe, by the relentless ambition of the French ruler, must have inspired a strong feeling of retaliation: and the flames of Moscow, in particular, must have kindled in the Russian troops an impatient ardour for spreading the same destruction through the streets of Paris. So fiercely did this passion rage, that the Emperor Alexander is said almost to have descended to supplications, with the more indisciplined of his bands, to induce them to forego their vindictive purposes. But this benevolent sovereign, with his illustrious confederates, must have shuddered at the idea of involving the innocent, as well as the guilty, inhabitants of a vast city in the direst calamities. Moreover, the declarations of the Allied Powers had been filled with sentiments of goodwill towards the French Nation, the happiness, and, even, prosperity of which, they professed to have in view, as far as was compatible with the welfare of its neighbours. Mere retaliatory mischief is (p. 243) always ignoble, and generally unjust, since its effects cannot be limited to suitable objects. From these considerations, though we may justly praise, we cannot wonder at the pacific and conciliatory measures that were immediately adopted by the victors on this great event.

"The first important act was the capitulation which resulted from the armistice granted by the Allied Powers. Its most material articles were the evacuation of Paris, by the troops of Marmont and Mortier, at seven in the morning of the 31st, taking with them all their military appurtenances; the entire separation of the National Guard and Municipal Gendarmerie from the troops of the Line, leaving their future condition to the determination of the Allied Powers; and the relinquishment of the Arsenals, Magazines, &c., in the same state as when the Capitulation was proposed. On the same day, the entrance of the Sovereigns into Paris took place, the ceremonial of which is thus described by Sir C. Stewart: 'The Cavalry, under the Grand Arch-Duke Constantine, and the guards of all the different allied forces, were formed in columns early in the morning on the road from Bondi to Paris. The Emperor of Russia with all his Staff, his Generals, and their suites present, proceeded to Pantin, where the King of Prussia joined him with a similar Cortége. These Sovereigns, surrounded by all the Princes in the Army, together with the Prince Field (p. 244) Marshal, and the Austrian Etat-Major, passed through the Faubourg St. Martin, and entered the barrier of Paris about eleven o'clock, the Cossacks of the Guard forming the advance of the March. Already was the crowd so enormous, as well as the acclamations so great, that it was difficult to move forward; but, before the monarchs reached the Porte St. Martin to turn on the Boulevards, there was a moral impossibility of proceeding. All Paris seemed to be assembled and concentrated in one spot; one spring evidently directed all their movements: they thronged in such masses round the Emperor and King, that, with all their condescending and gracious familiarity, extending their hands on all sides, it was in vain to attempt to satisfy the populace.' In the French account it is added that, before the Chiefs of the three armies entered any house, they made their troops file off before them, to preserve discipline, and prevent disorders. They then alighted at the house of the Prince of Benevento (Talleyrand), and the Emperor of Russia issued a declaration expressing the intentions of himself and Colleagues. It affirmed that the Allied Sovereigns would no more treat with Napoleon Bonaparte, nor with any of his family; that they respected the integrity of Ancient France, as it existed under its legitimate kings, and would, perhaps, do more for it; and that they would recognize and guarantee the Constitution which France should adopt.

(p. 245) "On April 1st, the members of the Senate assembled in consequence of an Extraordinary Convocation, the Prince of Benevento being President. They passed a Decree, 'that there shall be established a Provisional Government, charged to provide for the wants of the Administration, and to present to the Senate the plan of a Constitution which may suit the French People.' This Government was to consist of five members, who were then nominated, Talleyrand's name standing first. On the proposal of a Senator, the following Articles were voted. That the Senate and Legislative Body are integral parts of the intended Constitution: that the Army, as well as the retired officers and soldiers, shall retain the ranks, honours, and pensions they at present enjoy: that the Public Debts shall be inviolable: that the sale of the National Domains shall be irrevocable: that no Frenchman shall be responsible for the public opinions he may have expressed: that liberty of worship and conscience shall be maintained, as well as liberty of the Press, subject to legal penalties for its abuse.

"At a sitting of the Senate on the following day, a Decree passed, which, after a preamble asserting 'that in a Constitutional Monarchy the Monarch exists only in virtue of the Constitution or Social Compact,' proceeded to show, in a number of Articles, in what manner Napoleon Bonaparte had violated his compact with the French people; and, as the consequence declared:

(p. 246) "1. That Napoleon Bonaparte had forfeited the throne, and the hereditary right established in his family is abolished.

"2. That the French people and the Army are released from their oath of fidelity towards Napoleon Bonaparte.

"3. That the present Decree shall be transmitted by a message to the Provisional Government of France, conveyed forthwith to all the Departments and the Armies, and immediately proclaimed in all the Quarters of the Capital. A similar resolution was, on the same day, adopted by the Legislative body.

"During these transactions in the Capital, Napoleon moved his army from Troyes by Sens towards Fontainbleau. He arrived at Fromont on the 30th, and would have been in Paris had it not been in the possession of the Allies. On learning what had passed, he retired to Corbeil, and thence to Fontainbleau, whence, on April 4th, he sent Marshals Ney and Macdonald, and General Caulaincourt, to carry to the Senate his proposal of submitting to the decision of that body, and of the French people, and to abdicate in favour of his son.

"This proposition being rejected, he announced an unconditional abdication in the following terms: 'The Allied Powers having proclaimed that the Emperor Napoleon was the only obstacle to the re-establishment of the peace of Europe, the Emperor Napoleon, faithful to his oath, declares that he renounces, for himself, and (p. 247) heirs, the thrones of France and Italy; and that there is no personal sacrifice, even that of life, which he is not ready to make for the interests of France.'"

So fell Napoleon, deserted by all; his valet, Constant, ran away and robbed him of 100,000 francs; his Mameluke, Rustan, left him, and reaching Paris, would not accompany his master to Elba. Madame Junot says:

"Few persons are aware that Napoleon was doomed to death during the few days which preceded his abdication, by a band of Conspirators composed of the most distinguished chiefs of the Army.

"'But,' said one of them in the council in which these demons discussed their atrocious project, 'What are we to do with him? There are two or three among us, who, like Antony,[16] would exhibit their blood-stained robes to the people, and make us play the part of Cassius and Brutus. I have no wish to see my house burned, and to be sent into Exile.' 'Well,' said another, 'we must leave no trace of him. He must be sent to heaven like Romulus.' The others applauded, and then a most horrible discussion commenced. It is not in my power to relate the details. Suffice it to say, that the Emperor's death was proposed and discussed for the space of an hour, with a degree of coolness which might be expected among Indian savages, armed with tomahawks. 'But,' (p. 248) said he, who had spoken first, 'we must come to some determination. The Emperor of Russia is impatient. The month of April is advancing, and nothing has been done. Now, for the last time, we will speak to him of his abdication. He must sign it definitely, or——' A horrible gesture followed the last word."

Baron Fain, in "The Manuscript of 1814," says that on the night of the 12th of April, Napoleon attempted to kill himself by poison: all weapons of destruction having been removed out of his reach, but he had kept the poison by him too long, and it had lost its virtue. It simply gave him great pain.


A treaty between the Allied Powers and Napoleon was signed on the 11th of April. By its articles, after his solemn renunciation for himself, and his descendants, of the Sovereignty of France and Italy, it was stipulated that Napoleon, and Maria Louisa, should retain their rank and titles for life, and that all the branches of his family should also possess the title of Princes: that the Island of Elba should form a separate principality, to be held by him in full sovereignty and property for life; that there should be granted to him an annual revenue of six millions of francs,[17] with reversion of one million to the (p. 249) Empress, and that, to the members of his family, a revenue of two and a half millions of francs should be assigned. That the Duchies of Parma, Guastalla, and Placentia should be granted in full sovereignty to the Empress, with succession to her son and descendants. That the property possessed by Napoleon in France, as Domain, should form a capital not exceeding two millions of francs, to be expended in gratifications to persons according to a list given in by him; that free passage should be given to all of the family, and their suites, who chose to establish themselves out of France, and an escort of 1,200 or 1,500 (p. 250) of the Imperial Guard to Napoleon himself, to the place of embarkation; and that he should be allowed to take with him, and retain, 400 men, as his guard.

There were a few other Articles to the treaty which was signed by the Ministers of the Allied Powers—England dissenting and refusing signature to the assignment of Elba to Napoleon, and that of the Italian Duchies to Maria Louisa.

And so for a time he fades away, but many, very many Frenchmen thought, and spoke, lovingly of Papa Violette, and Caporal Violette, and hugged themselves with the idea, "En printemps il reviendra:" a prophecy which we know was fulfilled. Bunches of violets similar to the illustration on the preceding page were freely sold in France, and my reader will find that it contains portraits of the Emperor, Maria Louisa, and the King of Rome.

But he was supposed to be safely caged at Elba, and the Caricaturists held high revel over his downfall. I should have liked to have reproduced some of them, but I have already done so in another book.[18] Monsieur, the French King's brother, afterwards Charles X., made his public entry into Paris, and was received with every demonstration of joy by the inhabitants.

(p. 251) Décoration


Illuminations for Peace — Ovation to Louis XVIII. — His departure for France — Peace with France — Cheaper provisions — Distinguished foreign guests in London — Arrival of Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia — Movements of the great folk — Popularity of General Blücher.

Easter Monday fell on the 11th of April, and on that day London was brilliantly illuminated, very much better than usual; but then lights and transparencies had only been, hitherto, used for Victories—this was for Peace, which was welcomed by all with heartfelt thankfulness. The Duchess of Oldenburgh, at the Pulteney Hotel, had "Thanks be to God" in variegated lamps. The Duke of Northumberland wreathed the head of his immortal lion with laurels; the statue of King Charles I. close by, was covered with laurels. Carlton House had its pillars entwined with lamps, the entablature marked out with them. On the parapet were six large stars; in the centre were the Arms of France supported by the figure of Fame with laurels, under (p. 252) which was Louis XVIII. A pedestal of fire supported two large stars: on the left, were Russia and Austria; on the right, Prussia and England; whilst in the centre, was a bit of deliciously bad French—"Vive les Bourbons," all done in silver lamps.

I have but space to mention one more, and that is Ackermann's in the Strand, which was, if possible, more emblematical than usual. It is thus described: "A Transparency: The Tyrant Corsican is attacked by Death under the walls of Paris; the grisly Monarch has placed his foot upon his breast, and holds in one hand an hour-glass, which, almost expended, leaves him just time enough to reflect upon the murders and other atrocities which have attended his wicked Career. The other hand grasps a massive iron spear, with which he is supposed to have been dealing out destruction among the armies of Bonaparte. The fallen Tyrant, in an attitude of terror, supplicates Death to arrest his fatal purpose. Beneath him are broken eagles, torn National Flags, &c., and in his hand he grasps the shattered bloody remains of a sword. On the Walls of Paris are seen Cossacks, and other Russians, Prussians, Austrians, &c., who are raising the standard of the Bourbons. This transparency was surmounted by a brilliant circle of gas-lights, indicative of the union of the world in the Holy Cause; over this circle was a large white flag spotted with fleurs de lys, hung out in triumphant (p. 253) display over the tattered, debased, tricoloured banner of the Revolution. On each side of the principal transparency was a smaller one; the first representing Bonaparte blowing bubbles, which burst as fast as created: in the other, he was seen amusing himself with building houses and Castles of Cards, which, tumbling down as fast as they are put up, are truly emblematic of the vast achievements of his reign: a bottle under the table indicative that all his designs have ended in smoke, and a lanthorn to be useful to him should he be inclined to look after his vanished Crown."

The Illuminations were general throughout the Country, and one transparency at Aberdeen (April 14th) deserves notice. It was in the window of a Stocking Manufacturer, and represented a Dutch woman fitting herself with a comfortable worsted stocking, exclaiming, "Thank God! Aberdeen hose again."

Louis le desiré was laid up with gout at Hartwell in Buckinghamshire, and did not hurry himself to enter into his kingdom. It had to be done, however, and, moreover, he had to face a public reception in London on the 20th of April. The Prince Regent, and many of the Nobility, met him at the Abercorn Arms at Stanmore: his postillions being clad in white, with white hats, and white cockades. This fancy for exhibiting white, in honour of the colour of the Bourbon flag, took odd expression, for some people exhibited sheets, and even pillow cases were (p. 254) requisitioned. All the nobility and gentry of that part of Middlesex, and, indeed, almost all who could muster a horse, went a mile or so from Stanmore to meet the King, and accompany him; nay, there were even the regulation fools, who took the horses out of his Carriage, and drew him in what they called triumph to the Abercorn Arms, where the poor old gouty King was lifted out, and tottered to the Inn, where the Regent awaited him. No longer the Comte de Lisle, he was now Louis the Eighteenth, the desiré of his people, and a very important person.

They waited at the Inn until the procession was formed, and then they set out in the following order, at twenty minutes past three:—

1st Carriage. The great Officers of the French Crown; the Dukes d'Havre and de Grammont, Captains of his Majesty's Guards; Count de Blacas, Grand Master of the Wardrobe; and Chevalier de Riviere, his Majesty's first Equerry.

2nd Carriage. The King of France, the Prince Regent, the Duchesse d'Angoulême, the Prince de Condé.

(p. 255) 3rd Carriage. The Duc de Bourbon.

4th Carriage. The Duchesse d'Angoulême's Ladies of Honour.

5th Carriage. Equerries of his Majesty.

6th Carriage. Other Officers of the Royal Household.

An Officer of the Royal Horse Guards rode at each window, and a numerous party of Horse closed the procession.

They proceeded at a slow trot till they came to Kilburn, when they commenced a walking pace, and a groom to the head of each horse was added.

The greatest respect was shown by the people on the route, who displayed laurels, white ribbons, &c., and hailed the Royal party with general acclamation. They passed through Hyde Park, and down Piccadilly, to Albemarle Street; down which they turned, receiving the compliments of all the Royal Princesses, who had been invited by the Duchess of Oldenburgh to see the Procession from the Pulteney Hotel, and stopped at Grillon's Hotel, where the King was to lodge. Here the King, leaning on the arm of the Prince of Wales, hobbled into a drawing-room, and sank, exhausted, into an arm-chair; but as soon as he had recovered somewhat, he thanked the Prince Regent in no measured terms. He expressed his gratitude for the favours conferred upon him, stating that he had been indebted to his Royal Highness for the preservation of his life, and even for his (p. 256) daily subsistence, and he had now to express his obligations to his Royal Highness for the restoration of the House of Bourbon. It was impossible for him to find language to convey in adequate terms the sense of gratitude he felt, or the delight he now experienced.

The Prince Regent replied briefly, deprecating any gratitude towards himself, and then the King took off the Cordon and Star of the Order of the Holy Ghost, which he wore, and with them decorated the Prince Regent, who then retired.

The next day, at Carlton House, he was made a Knight of the Garter, then held a levée at Grillon's Hotel, and received an Address from the Corporation of the City of London. He left London early on the morning of the 23rd of April escorted part of the way by the Duke of Sussex; and as soon as he entered the County of Kent he was met by Lord Camden, who was Lord-Lieutenant, and, accompanied by him, reached Dover. On the way, refreshments were ordered, and in readiness, for the King at every inn where he changed horses, so that he might not experience any delay or inconvenience. "On the King stopping at Dartford to change horses, when the animals were taken from the Carriage, the populace proceeded to draw it without horses, and even ascended the very steep hill out of the town; but the numbers who exerted their strength to it enabled them to proceed at a (p. 257) very quick pace. At Rochester, the populace drew his Majesty's Carriage above a Mile."[19]

On this day, 23rd of April, hostilities were suspended between Great Britain and France, both by sea and land. On the morning of the 24th the Prince Regent, and the Duke of Clarence took leave of the French King, who set sail for France, and arrived at Calais without accident. Napoleon left Fontainbleau, where he took an affectionate farewell of his Old Guard, on the 21st of April, and embarked at Frejus, in Provence, for Elba, on the 28th of April, where he landed on the 4th of May.

On the 1st of May the Marquis of Wellington was created a Duke, and on the 10th of the same month the House of Commons granted him an annuity of £10,000, in addition to the grants already bestowed upon him—which might be redeemed for a sum of £400,000 to be spent in an estate.

At last we had got Peace, so long desired, which was to be the panacea for all evils. The war had been so long, that its taxation almost ceased to be burdensome. The farmers had had a fine time of it, and had coined money, and, somehow or other, our trade with the world (p. 258) had not come to a standstill, in spite of Napoleon's fulminations, and our own Orders in Council. Still the return of Peace brought with it a drop in the prices of most things. Pepper fell from 21d. to 14d. per lb. Sugar from 120s. to 90s. per cwt. Brandy could be bought at 4s. 6d. to 4s. 10d. per gallon, and a general drop of about 20 per cent. took place on all manufactured goods. Here is a picture of "Peace and Plenty, or, Good News for John Bull!!!"

Louis XVIII. proposes "Here's the Prince Regent, and his Allies!" to which John Bull replies, "Huzza! with all my heart, and may we never want better friends." There is a board ladder, down which come provisions lowered in price, as Porter 3d. a pot. Bread 9d. a quartern. On the table, Beef is 4d. a pound. Claret 1s. 6d. a bottle; whilst Burgundy in the wine-cooler is priced at 2s. a bottle. On the left, the land is being tilled, and goods are being landed, whilst Napoleon is seen in the distance sitting disconsolately on the island of Elba.


We were now to have an influx of visitors to England. The Duchess of Oldenburgh was still here, being fêted and lionized, having dinner at Carlton House, or a steak done on a shovel, and washed down with stout, at Whitbread's Brewery. The Prince of Orange landed at Harwich on the 29th of April, and, after seeing the Prince Regent, "would a-wooing go," and accompanied the Regent on (p. 261) a visit to his daughter as her acknowledged suitor. Marshal Blücher (old General Vorwärts) came over here very early in May, and took up his residence at the Foreign Hotel in Leicester Square. But all arrivals paled before the expected visit of the Emperors of Russia and Austria, and the King of Prussia. The kitchen in St. James's Palace was repaired, and newly fitted up for the establishment of the two first-named potentates. And "A pair of massy golden Eagles, nearly as large as life, were made a few days since by Messrs. Rundell and Bridge, for the Prince Regent's table. This beautiful ornament is to be placed, as we understand, at the head of the dinner table near the Royal Guests, as a respectful compliment to the Emperor of Russia, and the King of Prussia, whose standards bear this imperial bird. The eagle is placed with his talons on the verge of a nest, which is most admirably formed after Nature. The beak is turned to a horizontal position, and his eye fixed on the object below; the wings are gracefully extended, and raised above the head. In the back of the bird is concealed a lamp to contain burning spirits, over which any plate may be applied with ease, and made warm."

At length the promised day arrived, and on the 7th of June, the Emperor of Russia, and the King of Prussia, came into London quite unannounced, and quietly.

Morning Chronicle, June 8, 1814: "His Imperial Majesty, Alexander of Russia, his Prussian Majesty, and the (p. 262) illustrious Princes and Princesses in their respective suites, arrived yesterday in London, at different hours, and by different routes, to avoid the éclat of a public entry, and, consequently, to avoid the pressure of the multitudes who had assembled to welcome their approach. The Crowds, which had gathered from all parts of the Metropolis, in the direction which they were expected to take, was immense. In fact, from Charing Cross to Blackheath the way was almost impassable; and it was well that the Royal Visitors were advised to come incog., for it would have been with infinite difficulty that the escort could have penetrated through the compact body of the people assembled, without the interference of military force, by which mischief might have ensued.

"We are informed, indeed, that the route which was taken, arose from an arrangement previously made, in consequence of certain recent events, which made the appearance of an illustrious Personage in a Procession, inconvenient: and that as he could not go forth to meet and receive his high guests, it was determined that they should be advised to enter the Metropolis privately. We do not believe this sarcastic method of accounting for the disappointment which was so generally felt; as we cannot suppose that, because his Royal Highness could not himself partake of the magnificent display which was prepared for the occasion, he would prevent it from taking place altogether. We believe, on the contrary, that the (p. 263) Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia have uniformly expressed their earnest desire of avoiding all ceremony, and of being allowed to do in London as they did in Paris, to go about and see everything worthy of notice without ostentation.

"The Emperor of Russia arrived at half-past two o'clock, at the Pulteney Hotel, in so private a manner that the post-boys did not know who they were driving. He travelled in Count Lieven's Carriage, without a single attendant; he passed all the attendants in the lower part of the Hotel without his being known, and had run up to the first flight of stairs, when Prince Gargarine announced that it was the Emperor. At the same instant his sister, the Grand Duchess, met him on the stairs, and they saluted each other in the most affectionate manner. The Emperor afterwards embraced the interesting child, Prince Alexander.[20]

"The joyful tidings of the arrival of the Emperor resounded, not only throughout the house, but in the street, where there was an immense concourse of people, who expressed their joy by repeated huzzas and 'Long live the Emperor,' &c., &c. He, in consequence, appeared, a short time afterwards, at the balcony, and bowed in the most condescending manner, and which he continued to do, at intervals, till eleven o'clock at night, the people rending the air with shouts of applause. The (p. 264) Earl of Morton, the Queen's Chamberlain, waited upon the Emperor in the name of the Queen, to express her congratulations on his arrival in England.

"At half-past four the Emperor went in Count Lieven's Carriage, accompanied by his Excellency, to pay his respects to the Prince Regent at Carlton House; but he went in so private a manner that the escort of Horse who were appointed to attend him, missed him, but they escorted him back to the Pulteney Hotel. His Imperial Majesty was most kindly received by the Prince Regent. The Emperor declined seeing any visitors yesterday at the Pulteney Hotel, but the inquiries of the Royal Family, the Foreign Princes in that country, and personages of distinction were innumerable. Pulteney Hotel, for the reception of the Emperor, has been fitted up in the most magnificent and princely style; at least, the principal apartments which were occupied by the Grand Duchess, who has given them up to her brother, the Emperor. No pains, nor expense, has been spared by Mr. Escudier on the occasion; he has had a new state bed put up by Mr. Oakley for the Emperor. The Grand Duchess and the Emperor dined together, without any other person being present.

"The Prince Regent, for the purpose of showing all due attention to the Emperor, prepared a Royal residence for him in St. James's Palace, in the Duke of Cumberland's apartments, which, although small, are extremely (p. 265) splendid, which has been newly fitted up for the occasion, a new state bed of Crimson Velvet, with gold lace and fringe, a crown at the top, and appropriate ornaments. Yesterday, the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Steward, the Duke of Montrose, and Col. Thornton, were in attendance the whole of the day, till seven o'clock, full dressed, in expectation of the Emperor coming there to take up his residence. A guard of honour, with two bands, in their state uniforms, attended in the Court-yard, opposite the house, during the day.

"The King of Prussia, his sons, and their numerous suites, came also in a very private manner, and arrived at Clarence House, St. James's about three o'clock. A party of the Yeomen of the Guard, Royal Servants, and attendants, as at Cumberland House, were in readiness to receive him. His Majesty appeared highly delighted at his residence, and, after viewing it, partook of some refreshment. A few minutes before four o'clock, his Majesty, attended by his Aide de Camp, went to Carlton House to pay his respects in a very private manner to the Prince Regent. His Highness received him in a similar gracious manner as he did the Emperor of Russia. His Majesty remained with the Prince about half an hour. His Majesty received visits from the Prince of Orange, the Duchess of Oldenburgh, and a number of others. His Majesty visited the Duke and Duchess of York whose house is opposite to Clarence House.

(p. 266) "At a quarter past eight o'clock, her Majesty, and the Princesses Augusta and Mary, arrived at the Palace from Windsor. At nine o'clock her Majesty held a Private Court, for the purpose of receiving one of the principal gentlemen of the Emperor of Russia's Court, to formally announce to the Queen the arrival of the Emperor of Russia in her Capital. He was introduced to the presence of her Majesty by Earl Morton, her Chamberlain, and was most graciously received, and her Majesty expressed her pleasure to receive the Emperor.

"At six o'clock, the Marshal General Blücher arrived in St. James's Park, by the Horse Guards, in the Prince Regent's open Carriage, escorted by a party of light horse. He was recognized by an eager public, who paid their respects to such a gallant man, by whose persevering skill the Allies proved victorious. The Carriage was surrounded and followed by an incalculable number of horsemen and pedestrians, all vieing with each other who should give him the most marked attention, and the greatest applause. The Drivers, as directed, made first for Carlton House, to pay his first respects to the Prince Regent, and that his Royal Highness might have the first pleasure of receiving him. The drivers made for the gates in the Park near the Stables, and, no sooner were the gates opened to receive the carriages, than there was a general rush in of horsemen and the public at large. Such was the zeal of the populace to follow the gallant (p. 267) and venerable General, who has so justly acquired so much military fame, that all restraint upon them was obliged to give way: the two sentinels at the gates, with their muskets, were laid on the ground, the porter was completely overpowered, and it was, with the greatest difficulty, with the assistance of several persons, that he could get the gates shut. The multitude proceeded up the yard of Carlton House, with the General's Carriage, shouting the praise of Blücher.

"The Carriage stopped at the side door, but he was not allowed to enter Carlton House that way. On its being known who had arrived, Cols. Bloomfield and Congreve came out, dressed in full regimentals, and received the General uncovered, and in that state conducted him, arm in arm, to the front and principal entrance of Carlton House, that all possible respect might be shown him, followed by the populace. The cause of rejoicing being known to the crowd assembled in Pall Mall, they lost all respect for the regularity of the place: they instantly scaled the walls, and lodges, in great numbers, and their impetuous zeal upon this occasion was indulged, and the great doors of the hall were thrown open to them, some of the gentlemen on horseback nearly entering the hall.

"After the first interview of the General with the Prince, as interesting a scene took place, probably, as ever was beheld. A British Sovereign, in the person of the Prince Regent, conferring an honour on a foreign (p. 268) General, for his meritorious services, in the midst of the acclamations of his people; and the Prince Regent returned from his private apartments hand in hand with the gallant Blücher, and in the centre of the grand Hall, surrounded publicly by his people, placed on his shoulder, and fastened with his own hand, a blue ribbon, to which was hung a beautiful medallion, with a likeness of the Prince, richly set with diamonds. Marshal Blücher knelt whilst the Prince was conferring the honour, and, on his rising, had the honour to kiss the Prince's hand. The Prince and the General bowed to the public, and their ecstasy and acclamations in return exceeds all description.

"The General, afterwards, had an interview with the Prince for about half an hour, and then proceeded in his Carriage to the house of Mr. Gordon, in St. James's Palace, adjoining the Duke of Cumberland's, followed by an immense multitude; some got into the Carriage with him. The Crowd remained in the Court-yard till dark, huzzaing, and the gallant General frequently showing himself at the window to gratify them. The public were indulged with remaining in the Court-yard at Carlton House during the evening, and they testified their loud applause to all who arrived to partake of a grand dinner given by the Prince to the King of Prussia, and his sons, the Princes, the Prince of Mecklenburg, the Prince of Orange, several other Foreigners of distinction, (p. 269) the most of the Foreign Ambassadors, and Ministers, Count Munster, the Duke and Duchess of York, the Duke of Cambridge, the Cabinet Ministers and their Ladies, the Officers of the State and Household, and their Ladies.

"The Princes, sons of the King of Prussia, had the horses taken out of their Carriage, and were drawn by the people to their Hotel in Jermyn Street. The Prince de Metternich, General Platow" (our old friend the Cossack Hetman), "and General Barclay de Tolly, drove to the respective hotels taken for them. The only triumphal entry was that of the venerable and gallant Blücher. He was met four miles beyond Dartford, by a detachment of horse, and he approached town amidst the enthusiastic shouts of surrounding myriads. They avoided Shooter's Hill, and crossed Bexley Heath to Eltham. Indeed, the whole way from Dover was one continued Jubilee."

Here I end the account given by "our own correspondent" of that day. Its grammar and construction may be found fault with, but though doubtless written in a great hurry, its facts are correct.

Rough old Blücher was, undoubtedly, of all the brilliant throng, the favourite of the Mob. He shared with Schwartzenburg, Barclay de Tolly, and Platoff in Swords of honour, value 200 guineas each, given by the City of London. His popularity must have had its (p. 270) inconveniences. When he went to Ascot races on the 10th of June, he was cheered more than the Allied Sovereigns; it was as much as he could get to the Royal Stand, hundreds of men and women insisting on shaking hands with him the moment he alighted. When, after a race, he rode down the Course in company with the Duke of York, he could hardly get along, so great was the throng. It was only by shaking thousands of hands, that he could make any progress. Nothing was heard but shouts of "Blücher! Blücher!" the ladies in the Stands waved their handkerchiefs, and the gallant old Bear saluted them in turn.


(p. 271) There was a poem entitled—


A Free Paraphrase of Horace. Book 1, Ode 3.

'Lydia, dic, per ommes
Te deos oro,' &c.

Say, Ladies, by the Gods above,
Why, with such fond officious love,
Ye haste to spoil that Man of Glory,
Old Blücher, doomed to live in Story?
Why should he dread the peaceful plain,
Whom War and dust assailed in vain?
Why should the Veteran fear to ride
On horseback at his Monarch's side;
Or, if he chance to take a drive,
Take chances to return alive?
Cleaves he the Thames? 'tis said, for him
The Ladies all will learn to swim!
Though, cat-like, ev'ry mother's daughter
Feels strong aversion to the water.
In vain he shuns the soap or razor,
Each maid becomes mustachio-praiser.
Though vile before, in him to smoke
Is only deemed a pleasant joke;
While, strange to say, the British Fair,
For his sake, doat upon grey hair!
Why does he hide? Nay rather let him
A petticoat and mantle get him;—
In this will Blücher do no more
Than what Achilles did before;
Whom, though in other things outdone,
He might well imitate in one.
Thus may he safely pass along,
Unheeded, through the female throng;
For scarce, I ween, their rapture reaches
To any worth—but worth in Breeches."

(p. 272) Whenever he stirred out he was mobbed, he had to undergo as much handshaking as any President of the United States of America; and really, the Caricature of "Blücher greeted by his numerous Friends in the Park," is not very much exaggerated (see p. 270). Poor old "Vorwärts" is being prodded, and tickled, by his fair friends. Take another instance. On the 24th of June, he visited Portsmouth, in company with the Allied Sovereigns; but his friends (?) pursued him there. Here is a contemporaneous account of how his friends treated him. "After the amusements of the day had closed, with the setting sun, an event occurred, which gave fresh life to the town. A Coach, drawn by eight horses, drew up at the Crown Inn, or Clarence Hotel, and, who should alight but the gallant Blücher. He was identified on alighting from the Carriage, and on no occasion in London, were the populace more numerous; the eagerness to grasp his hand, by both sexes, was unparalleled. 'Blücher! Blücher!' filled the air. 'Shew me the Conqueror of the Tyrant:' 'Come forward, Blücher!' was exclaimed on all sides. The gallant veteran appeared at the window with his accustomed cheerfulness, and the air was rent with applause; and it was several minutes before the disputants could agree whether immediate silence was respectful. Lungs carried the day, and, when the roar was out, the General, in English, with a bumper in his hand, drank to the (p. 273) health of the Company. It may easily be imagined in what manner this toast was returned.

"The populace became appeased, and soon after a Carriage drew up, and was immediately surrounded. Blücher got into it in haste. A party of sailors shoved in, and swore they would be true to a good Commander. Up mounted half a dozen; but, at this time, an escort of dragoons, previously stopped by the crowd, and, consequently kept back, appeared. Some got off by accident, but two kept their stations. The Government House was a few hundred yards distant, and the two sailors, elated as Men of War's men by victory, danced on the top of Blücher's Carriage."

"When Blücher was told that, to add to his store,
The Regent an Order design'd,
He said, 'I'm with Orders so cover'd, before,
I only can hang it behind.'

Sir Charles,[21] ever ready, due homage to pay,
Thus answer'd the vet'ran, 'If so,
Then all who have heard of thy actions will say
It ne'er can be hit by the foe.'"

He was an inveterate gambler, but, on the principle that "dog does not eat dog," whenever he played with the officers of his own staff, he always returned them the money he won from them: but he gave one of them, a Prussian Count, a lesson. Having won some £3,000 (p. 274) from him, he sent for him next morning, and read him a lecture on the folly of play, instancing himself as an example, ingrained, through the practice of a lifetime, and he ended his jobation by telling his sub. that he would return him his money, on condition that he would promise never to lose more than a, comparatively speaking, nominal sum a night. This the young man promised, and Blücher handed him half his losses, keeping the other half sealed up for a twelvemonth, when it might be had on application, if the promise had been kept.

Captain Gronow, does not give a pleasant picture of Blücher. "Marshal Blücher, though a very fine fellow, was a very rough diamond, with the manners of a Common Soldier. On his arrival in Paris, he went every day to the Salon, and played the highest stakes at rouge et noir. The Salon, during the time that the Marshal remained in Paris, was crowded by persons who came to see him play. His manner of playing was anything but gentlemanlike, and when he lost, he used to swear in German at everything that was French, looking daggers at the Croupiers. He generally managed to lose all he had about him, also the money his servant, who was waiting in the ante-chamber, carried. I recollect looking attentively at the manner in which he played; he would put his right hand into his pocket, and bring out several rouleaus of Napoleons, throwing (p. 275) them on the red or the black. If he won the first coup, he would allow it to remain; but when the Croupier stated that the table was not responsible for more than ten thousand francs, then Blücher would roar like a lion, and rap out oaths in his native language, which would doubtless have met with great success at Billingsgate, if duly translated; fortunately, they were not heeded, as they were not understood by the lookers-on."

The Hon. Grantley F. Berkeley[22] says "So madly in love with old Blücher were the English populace, that, during a review, while one mob was following the heels of the late Lord Londonderry, and another the heels of Blücher, so that it was impossible for either hero even to sneeze in private, both chanced to do the same thing. Blücher was vociferously cheered for it, and Lord Londonderry hissed and hooted—so much for the worth of popular worship.... Nothing could be more remarkable than the perfect understanding that existed between him and his admirers, considering that he knew not a word of what was said to him, and they found his German quite as unintelligible as their English. It was not then the fashion to bore remarkable people for their autographs or photographs. His new friends, too, were not aware that his signature was even more difficult to make out than his remarks; they, therefore, rested content with the honour of a grip from the old soldier, (p. 276) and talked of it ever after, in the family circle, as the greatest honour that could have befallen them.... The favour with which the Emperor was regarded was extended to his uncouth Cossacks, which not even their filching and swallowing the oil from the street lamps—gas then not having come into use—affected in any material degree."

(p. 277) Décoration


Royal festivities — The Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, and General Blücher at Oxford — Banquet at Guildhall — Departure of the Allied Sovereigns — Signature of Treaty of Peace — Proclamation of Peace — State Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral.

But I have been doing precisely as they did in 1814, almost neglecting the august potentates of Russia and Prussia, in the all-absorbing Field Marshal. Let us see how they spent their time.

We know all about their first day in London. On the next (June 8th) the Emperor of Russia had breakfasted by eight, and afterwards walked in Kensington Gardens with his sister; then went to see Westminster Hall and Abbey, and the British Museum. At one he held a levée at Cumberland House, which he used as his state apartments, and was visited by the Prince Regent, who, afterwards, attended the levée of the King of Prussia, at Clarence House. Between five and six both sovereigns (p. 278) attended the Queen's Court, to be introduced to her Majesty, and they all dined together with the Prince of Wales at Carlton House.

There was one thing the English people could scarcely understand. We have seen that both Kaiser and King had splendid state beds provided for them. With singular unanimity they both did away with them at once; both were accustomed to the hardships of war. The Czar would sleep on nothing but a straw palliasse, and the King ordered all the fine satin wood furniture to be removed out of his bedroom, and a plain table and glass, with one common chair to be substituted. When the bed was removed, his Majesty's camp equipage was brought in, whence were taken a leather mattress and bolster, which were placed upon an ordinary Couch.

On the 9th the Czar, accompanied by Lord Yarmouth and Col. Bloomfield, rode in Hyde Park, between seven and eight. Thence they rode to Westminster, through Southwark to the City, past the Royal Exchange, through Finsbury Square, the City, and New, Roads, down Edgware Road, and Hyde Park to the Pulteney Hotel. After breakfast, he and his sister quietly went through the Strand and City, and visited the London Docks. In the afternoon the King of Prussia was made a Knight of the Garter, and so was the Emperor of Austria, in his absence. Afterwards, the Prince of Wales was invested with the Order of the Golden Fleece by (p. 279) the Austrian Minister, and that of the Golden Eagle by the Prussian monarch.

On the 10th the two foreign monarchs breakfasted together, and then went to Ascot races; dining, afterwards, with the Queen at Frogmore.

June 11th. The Emperor of Russia, Duchess of Oldenburgh, &c., visited the Bank of England. Afterwards the two monarchs held court, at their respective palaces, for the reception of addresses from the City of London. They, and the Prince Regent, dined with Lord Liverpool, who was the Prime Minister, and, afterwards, everybody went in state to the Opera. When I say everybody, I mean it, for, judge of the astonishment of all, when, just as the Second Act of the Opera was about to commence, a voice exclaimed, "The Princess of Wales!" and, surely, there she was, entering a box, accompanied by Lady Charlotte Campbell. There was a universal shout of applause from the whole house, whereupon the two sovereigns and the Prince Regent rose and bowed, to her, a courtesy which she returned with a deep reverence. This was her revenge. The Queen, at the instance of the Regent, had refused her permission to attend a drawing room, where she might meet the sovereigns, and she chose this method of securing their notice.

Next day (12th) was Sunday, and the King of Prussia went to service at Westminster. In the afternoon, the Czar and King, accompanied by their suites, rode in (p. 280) Hyde Park, and the description of this promenade à Cheval is as follows: "It would seem as if every horse in the Metropolis had resorted thither. The pressure was intolerable: the horses were so jammed together, that many Noblemen and Gentlemen had their knees crushed, and their boots torn off. We did not hear of any fatal Accident. The interesting Blücher was so cruelly persecuted, that he dismounted, and took refuge in Kensington Gardens; but here, being afoot he was more annoyed. He set his back against a tree,[23] and seemed at length quite exhausted. The coarse kindness of our mob is more formidable to him than all the enemies he ever encountered." At night they dined again at Carlton House.

On the 13th at nine a.m. the illustrious visitors embarked at Whitehall Stairs, for a trip by water to Woolwich. It must have been a very pretty sight to have seen the carved and gilded barges, not only of the Admiralty, the Navy, and the Ordnance Board, but of all the City Companies, as brave as bunting and silken flags could make them, all rowed by watermen, in uniform, with huge silver badges on their arms. Add to this beautiful scene, the launches of the Enterprise, and of the Men-of-war at Deptford, and Woolwich, several boats with bands of Music, and the coup d'œil must have been charming. There is always plenty to (p. 281) see at Woolwich Arsenal (it then had a Dockyard), and they saw it, for they did not return till late in the evening, just in time for a dinner at the Marquis of Stafford's, and a ball at the Earl of Cholmondeley's.

This gadding about must have been tiring work, for the Emperor of Russia did not get to his hotel, from the ball, till three o'clock a.m., and he was off for Oxford, by half-past six. The Prince Regent started at a quarter to six. No time, however, was wasted on the journey, for nine relays of horses, for each carriage, were provided to do the 58 miles. The Regent who was accompanied by the Prince of Orange, arrived about half-past ten, the time appointed, but they were not quite ready for him. They scrambled together some kind of a procession, and the Chancellor laid the Maces of the University Bedels, at his Royal Highness's feet. Of course, he graciously returned them, and, by this time, the Mayor and the Civic portion of the procession had arrived, and they all proceeded to the Divinity Schools. Here, of course, was presented the inevitable address, after which, the Regent was conducted to Christ Church, where apartments had been prepared for him.

A few minutes after one o'clock, the Czar arrived, accompanied by his sister, who was attired in "a plain travelling dress, with a large straw bonnet, shaded by a broad pendant feather." This bonnet was the latest thing from Paris, which the Duchess brought over with (p. 282) her, and which speedily became the fashion. It went by the very undignified name of "the Oldenburgh Poke," and my reader will meet with it in the coming illustrations. They drove to Merton College.

Very shortly after, the King of Prussia and his sons, drove up, and went to Corpus Christi. Both sovereigns barely gave themselves time for refreshment, but went directly to call upon the Regent, who received them in his cap and gown. They then visited all the objects of interest in the most interesting city in England. About four o'clock old Blücher (who was to be made a D.C.L.) arrived, and received the ovation which his presence always produced. Of course, the people wanted to drag his carriage, but good sense prevailed, and they were not allowed to make fools of themselves. In the evening, at half-past seven, a grand banquet was served to about two hundred guests, of whom the Regent's party comprised fifty. This took place in the Radcliffe Library, the upper gallery of which was thrown open to people to walk round, and view the dinner. The stone staircases were small, and the pushing and crowding were great. Hats, caps, and shoes were flying in all directions, and many, at last, extricated themselves, with their gowns and coats torn in pieces. The military were called in, and order was restored. The banquet lasted till eleven, when the guests went through the City to see the illuminations, which, however, were extinguished (p. 283) by a tremendous thunderstorm between twelve and one.

Blücher Surveying Himself as a D.C.L.

Next morning the degrees were conferred, in the Theatre, on the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, the Duke of Wellington (in absentia), Prince Metternich, Count Lieven, and Blücher. Of course fun was made of this grizzled old warrior being made a D.C.L., and (p. 284) Cruikshank drew a picture of him looking at himself in a glass in utter astonishment (see previous page).

Another picture also by G. Cruikshank, shows Oxford, as it was supposed to have been during the visit of the sovereigns, Alexander, the Duchess of Oldenburgh, (who has mounted a cap and wig on the crown of her "Poke,") and Blücher, being excessively amiable to the Dons. Cossacks vested in Gowns, and Caps, are the order of the day, and fraternize right jovially. A dinner in Christ Church Hall, and a Ball ended the day.

We hear more about poor Blücher's unfortunate popularity. "The gallant Blücher seems to have been the peculiar favourite of the people. He could not stir without a crowd, and the vehemence of their salutations has been almost painful to him. His rooms at Christ Church were generally surrounded by a crowd of people. On the morning of Wednesday, he was sitting at the end of his bed, the window being quite open, smoking his long pipe, in a white vest with a ribbon over it, with complete military sang froid. He frequently advanced to the window, and bowed. The excessive joy of the people almost overpowered him in the Theatre on Thursday. Two of the newly-created doctors were obliged to rescue him from the hands of the people by force, or he must have sunk under their pressure."


(Satirist, July 1, 1814.)

After receiving their degrees, the two sovereigns returned to town, of course, immediately to resume (p. 287) dining, and Balls. On the 16th the Czar went to see the Charity Children, numbering seven thousand, at St. Paul's. In the evening, both sovereigns dined with Lord Castlereagh, and then went to Drury Lane Theatre, after which there was a ball at the Marchioness of Hertford's.

On the 17th they visited Chelsea Hospital; spent a fairly quiet day, and dined at Merchant Taylor's Hall. The King of Prussia seems to have had tastes identical with those of the Shah of Persia, at his visit here in June 1873, for, at eleven in the morning, he, accompanied by the Prince Royal, Princes William and Frederick of Prussia, Prince Mecklenburgh, General d'York, Platoff, and several other of our illustrious visitors had a dejeuner at Lord Lowther's. The most celebrated pugilists were in waiting to exhibit their skill. Jackson, Cribb, Tom Belcher, Richmond, Cropley, Oliver, Painter, and some others. After breakfast they set to, and there was some excellent sparring, as might be expected.

A Banquet was given on the 18th at the Guildhall, by the City, on a scale of magnificence never since equalled. The Regent and his Royal guests went in the utmost state with one hundred Yeomen of the Guard—the Kings at Arms. Six heralds and all Herald's College. The Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen, and Civic Officers all on horseback, met them at Temple Bar, and accompanied them to the Guildhall, which was most superbly fitted up, (p. 288) principally with crimson velvet, gold fringe, lace, lines, and tassels.

At the eastern, or upper, end of the Hall, on a platform elevated above the level of the floor, covered with Turkey carpeting, was placed a very large table, at which stood three massive carved and gilt chairs covered with crimson velvet, decorated with gold fringes, under a lofty Canopy of rich crimson velvet, lined with crimson sarsenet, and rich velvet draperies reaching to the floor, tied back with gold ropes. In front of the dome of the Canopy were placed the Sword and Sceptre; and, on the top, the Royal Crown of the United Kingdom, boldly carved on a large scale, and gilt; over which hovered a Dove, with the olive branch, in proper colours, as in the act of alighting, in allusion to the establishment of Peace, and in compliment to the three great Personages sitting under the Canopy. In the centre sat

On his right.   On his left.
The Emperor of Russia.   The King of Prussia.
Duke of York.   Duchess of Oldenburgh.
Prince Henry of Prussia.   The Hereditary Prince of Wirtemberg.
Duke of Cambridge.   Countess Lieven.
Duke of Orleans.   Duke of Kent.
Duke of Saxe Weimar.   Prince of Bavaria.
Prince Augustus of Prussia.   Prince Metternich.
(p. 289) The Duke of Oldenburgh.   The Prince of Cobourg.
Count de Merveldt.   Duke of Gloucester.
Prince of Hardenberg.   Prince William of Prussia.
Count Fernan Nunez, Duke of Montellano.   The Prince of Orange.
  Princess Volkonské.

There were besides, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Ministers, the Speaker of the House of Commons, all the Officers of State, including the Prince Regent's Household, the flower of the Nobility, Foreign Ambassadors, &c., &c.

Never was such a banquet seen. The very waiters were not hired, but were Citizens, and other gentlemen of respectability, dressed alike, in black, with white waistcoats, who gratuitously offered their services upon the occasion, and not only acted as waiters, but superintended and took care of the great quantity of Plate that was used, the value of which was estimated to exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pounds. The Lord Mayor, the Right Hon. William Domville, was made a Baronet.

The Royal guests must have been thankful that the next day (the 19th) was a Sunday. The Emperor went to the Chapel of his Embassy in Welbeck Street, after which, he and his sister went to a Quakers' Meeting in Peter's Court, St. Martin's Lane. On their return to their hotel the Emperor gave audience to many people, (p. 290) on business; then called on the Princess Charlotte, stopped with her half an hour, and then drove to Chiswick to visit the Duke of Devonshire, returning to the Pulteney Hotel at seven, and to a party at the Regent's to meet the Queen in the evening.

The King of Prussia went to Church at St. George's, Hanover Square. After luncheon he drove to Sion House, Isleworth, to visit Earl Percy, and thence to Oatlands, where he dined with the Duchess of York.

On the 20th there was what was called a Grand Review in Hyde Park, but the few soldiers there mustered must have been a poor show to those monarchs, who had only just been face to face with grim War on a very large scale. Both sovereigns went, without state, to take leave of the Queen, and both dined at their hotels; both afterwards going, in the evening, to the Fête given by White's Club at Burlington House.

The 21st was principally taken up with receiving visits, &c., and a State Concert of Sacred Music at Carlton House.

On the 22nd, early in the morning, both Czar and King left London for Portsmouth, where there was to be a grand Naval Review in their honour, on the 25th of June. Fifteen sail of the line, and fifteen frigates, performed various Manœuvres, and the day concluded with a grand entertainment at Government House, where the Royal party was joined by the Duke of Wellington, who had just arrived home.

(p. 292)


(July 11, 1814.)

(p. 293) This finished their visit, and they sailed from Dover on the 27th. Almost the last we hear of them is: "Hastings, June 27th.—The Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, and the Grand Duchess of Oldenburgh passed through this neighbourhood yesterday on their way to Dover. The Emperor and Duchess of Oldenburgh stopped their carriage for some time at Fairlight, near the town, and, in the most condescending manner, shook hands with the peasantry, and distributed cakes, &c., among the children." Cruikshank draws this incident in "Russian Condescension, or the Blessings of Universal Peace."

On May 30th a definitive treaty of Peace was signed at Paris between Great Britain and France, by which the Islands of Malta, the Mauritius, Tobago, St. Lucia, and the Cape of Good Hope were ceded to Great Britain, and illuminations in joy therefore, took place on June 9, 10, 11. But the Proclamation of Peace was not made until the 20th of June. I have witnessed one in my lifetime, that of 1856, and a very shabby ceremonial it was, the heralds looking especially comical, in a hybrid costume consisting of a cheese-cutter Court hat, a gorgeous mediæval Tabard, modern black trousers with a broad gold lace stripe, and patent leather boots.

On the 20th of June, 1814, a party of Horse Guards was drawn up about the gate of St. James's Palace, where the Beadles and Constables, and all the officers of the City of Westminster, attended.

(p. 294) The Officers of Arms, Sergeants at Arms, with their Maces and Collars; the Sergeant Trumpeter, with his Mace and Collar, the trumpets; Drum Major and drums; and the Knight Marshal and his men, assembled in the Stable-yard, St. James's; and the Officers of Arms, being habited in their respective tabards, and mounted, a Procession was made thence to the Palace gate in the following order:—

Knight Marshal's Men, two and two.
Knight Marshal.
Drum Major.
Sergeant Trumpeter.
Sergeants at Arms. Heralds. Sergeants at Arms.
Kings of Arms.

Being come before the gate, the senior Officer of Arms present (attended on his left hand by the next in rank) read the Proclamation aloud; whereupon the Procession moved on to Charing Cross in the following order:—

Horse Guards to clear the way.
Beadles of Westminster, two and two, bareheaded, with Staves.
Constables of Westminster in like manner.
(p. 295) High Constable, with his Staff, on horseback.
Officers of the High Bailiff of Westminster, with white wands, on horseback.
Clerk of the High Bailiff.
High Bailiff and Deputy Steward.
Horse Guards.
Horse Guards to flank the Procession. Knight Marshal's men, two and two. Horse Guards to flank the Procession.
Knight Marshal.
Drum Major.
Sergeant Trumpeter.
Sergeants at Arms. Heralds. Sergeants at Arms.
Kings of Arms.
Horse Guards.

At Charing Cross the Officer of Arms next in rank read the Proclamation, looking towards Whitehall; after which the Procession moved on to Temple Bar, the gates of which were shut; and the Junior Officer of Arms, coming out of the rank between two trumpeters, preceded by two Horse Guards to clear the way, rode up to the gate, and, after the trumpets had sounded thrice, knocked with a cane. Being asked by the City Marshal from within, "Who comes there?" he replied, "The Officers of Arms, who demand entrance into the City to publish (p. 296) his Majesty's Proclamation of Peace." The Gates being opened, he was admitted alone, and the gates were shut again. The City Marshal, preceded by his Officers, conducted him to the Lord Mayor, to whom he showed his Majesty's warrant, which, his Lordship having read, returned, and gave directions to the City Marshal to open the gates, who, attending the Officer of Arms on his return to them, said on leaving him, "Sir, the gates are opened." The trumpets and guards being in waiting, conducted him to his place in the procession, which then moved on into the city (the Officers of Westminster filing off, and retiring as they came to Temple Bar); and, at Chancery Lane end, the Proclamation was read a third time. Then the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs, joining the procession immediately after the Officers of Arms, moved on to the end of Wood Street, where the Cross formerly stood in Cheapside. And the Proclamation having been there read, the procession continued to the Royal Exchange, where the Proclamation was read for the last time, and the procession returned by the way of Gracechurch Street through Lombard Street.

The Trumpets sounded thrice, previous to, and immediately after, each reading.

On the 7th of July the Prince Regent went in State, accompanied by the Members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, the Foreign Ambassadors, &c., (p. 297) to St. Paul's Cathedral, to render thanks to God for the re-establishment of Peace. The line of route was mainly kept by Volunteers and Yeomanry, there being so very few regular troops available. The Procession was alternately Horse Guards and State Coaches, the last, of course, being that of the Prince Regent, who was gorgeous in his robes, and hat with a plume of ostrich feathers. The Duke of Wellington, who, now that the Allied Sovereigns had gone, was the lion of the day, accompanied the Prince in his carriage, clad in his new Ducal Robes, and when they alighted at St. Paul's, walked by the Prince's right hand, carrying the Sword of State. The Service was not a long one, and the sermon was preached by the Bishop of Chester.

It must have been a beautiful sight, the Cathedral holding nearly 10,000 persons, the male portion being gay in uniform, official robes, or Court dress, and the ladies dressed as they should be on so joyful an occasion. All the Royal Dukes, except the Duke of York, were present, and as old Blücher had not yet left England, he had to take part in the ceremony. The Prince Regent was much hissed both going and returning.

(p. 299) Décoration


City banquet to the Duke of Wellington — Costly vegetables — The Princess Charlotte — Squabbles about her presentation at Court — The Regent hooted — The Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Orange — Her future husband, Prince Leopold — Her flight from Warwick House, and return.

I still must chronicle feasting and rejoicing. This time it is the City of London who honoured the national Hero, the Duke of Wellington, with a banquet. Some may grumble at this way of doing honour to merit, but, after all, it is but one mode of public recognition. The Government cannot spend the public money on such matters. Private acknowledgment would be worthless, so the City of London always throws itself, so to speak, into the breach, and bridges over a chasm most gracefully. Their hospitality hurts no one, as it comes from their own funds, and it supplies a national want, and as such, is recognized as an honour done by the nation. So a feast was made, on the 9th of July, to (p. 300) welcome home the Conqueror of Napoleon. Nationally, the Duke was well rewarded, both with titles and money, but the graceful act of a public reception was wanting as a crown.

The preparations were as magnificent as if for the Allied Sovereigns, but the feast had this difference—the Lord Mayor was the real Host. In the former he was subsidiary, the Regent, of course, being the central star. This was a National welcome, and, if there were not so many High Mightinesses present, it was none the less hearty. It is of no use wearying my readers with details of the festivity, but I wish to point out what was typical of the age in dining. It is not so long ago that "nous avons changé tout cela." I, and very many of my readers, recollect the time when "the board" literally "groaned" under the provisions laid upon it, and which heu mihi! we were expected to carve, if placed before us. It was profusion, meant to honour your guests, but still unnecessary, and now, would be repulsive. But why? oh! why? was there, at this feast, placed on a side table "a large Baron of Beef, and near it a beautiful blue and white China jug, which will hold twenty-three gallons of stout, on the top of which (?) will be displayed the Union Flag?" One thing may be said in its defence, and it is a fact not generally known, that, after a Civic banquet, all the food that is left, is given to deserving poor families, who thus benefit by the festivities of their richer brethren. (p. 301) I believe this also obtains with the banquets of some of the City Companies.

Prior to the dinner, the Duke was presented with the Freedom of the City (an honour which any one under the rank of a monarch does not despise) in a gold box, and a splendid sword. Most of the Royal Dukes, and all the Cabinet Ministers, together with large numbers of the Nobility, were present. There was a gruesome long list of toasts, among which was "the Ladies," proposed by the Duke of Wellington. Poor man! he little thought what his gallantry would cost him, or perhaps, even he, the dauntless, might have quailed before what he had to undergo, with the exception of the last sentence, which probably served as the gilt to the pill. "Towards the close of the evening, a temporary staircase was opened from the galleries, into the body of the Hall, by which the Ladies descended, and passed round the hustings, and every one had the honour of shaking hands with the Immortal Hero, and the Royal Dukes, and some of the younger ones were saluted by his Grace." We afterwards learn that "nearly Seven Hundred Ladies were in the Galleries."

Apropos of what I wrote about dining, at this period, hear Captain Gronow, when writing on the same theme: "Even in the best houses, when I was a young man, the dinners were wonderfully solid, hot, and stimulating. The menu of a grand dinner was thus composed:—Mulligatawny (p. 302) and Turtle Soups were the first dishes placed before you; a little lower, the eye met with the familiar salmon at one end of the table, and the turbot, surrounded by smelts, at the other. The first course was sure to be followed by a saddle of mutton, or a piece of roast beef; and then you could take your oath that fowls, tongue and ham, would as assuredly succeed, as darkness after day.

"Whilst these never-ending pièces de résistance were occupying the table, what were called French Dishes were, for custom's sake, added to the solid abundance. The French, or side dishes, consisted of very mild, but very abortive, attempts at Continental cooking, and I have always observed that they met with the neglect and contempt they merited. The universally adored, and ever popular potato, produced at the very earliest period of the dinner, and eaten with everything, up to the moment when sweets appeared. Our Vegetables, the best in the world, were never honoured by an accompanying sauce, and, generally, came to the table cold. A prime difficulty to overcome, was the placing on your fork, and, finally in your mouth, some half dozen different eatables which occupied your plate at the same time. For example, your plate would contain, say, a slice of Turkey, a piece of stuffing, a sausage, pickles, a slice of tongue, cauliflower and potatoes. According to habit and custom, a judicious and careful selection from this (p. 303) little bazaar of good things was to be made, with an endeavour to place a portion of each in your mouth at the same moment. In fact, it appeared to me that we used to do all our compound Cookery between our jaws.

"The dessert—generally ordered at Messrs. Grange's, or at Owen's, in Bond Street—if for a dozen people, would cost, at least as many pounds. The wines were chiefly port, sherry, and hock; claret, and even Burgundy, being then designated as 'poor, thin, washy stuff.' A perpetual thirst seemed to come over people, both men and women, as soon as they had tasted their soup; as from that moment everybody was taking wine with everybody else, till the close of the dinner; and such wine as produced that class of Cordiality which frequently wanders into stupefaction. How all this sort of eating and drinking ended was obvious, from the prevalence of gout, and the necessity of every one making the pill-box their constant bedroom companion."

It must have been costly, too, to have then acted as Lucullus; for those were not the days when steam annihilated distance, and brought tropical fruits to our doors, and when any vegetable could be grown, at any time, by means of electric light, and never allowing the plants any rest or sleep. Then, at all events, rarities in vegetables fetched a price, such as we should not now dream of paying. Vide the following: "It is a standing (p. 304) order in the wealthy Company of Grocers to have plenty of green pease at their dinner, when they do not exceed the price of four guineas a quart; this year, from the unfavourableness of the season, they were not to be obtained under the price of six guineas; and, in consequence, the members were obliged so far to narrow their indulgence, as to put up with turtle, turbot, venison, house lamb, turkey poults, asparagus, and French beans."

This year of 1814 must, I am afraid, be given up to the high and mighty ones of this portion of the world, for it was, as I have said, an annus mirabilis, and ordinary people were, so to speak, nowhere.

Now it is the Regent's daughter. She came of age—she wanted a household of her own; she wanted unrestricted intercourse with her mother—and she wanted a husband.

She had no love for her father; what child could have any filial affection for a father who cared nothing for his daughter? She was forbidden to see her mother, and consequently longed for her. She was legally of age, and still was treated as a child.

The episode in her life, I am about to relate, is curious, and I have endeavoured to take the most temperate authorities on the subject, so that, whilst being contemporaneous, they are, as far as one can judge, historically unbiassed. She could have had no love for (p. 305) her father, for his failings were of public notoriety, and he never lavished any of his affection upon her. Her mother, too—badly brought up in a petty German Court, where licence was familiar—had, certainly, been indiscreet. Her Peers absolved her from anything worse than indiscretion, and I, who have studied her life, and written it (not as it appears in the "Dictionary of National Biography," for, there, it has been maimed, editorially), thoroughly endorse their verdict.

Of course, her public life began on her attaining her 18th year, when she legally became of age. Her mother wished, very naturally, to present her to the Queen, as launching her in life; but the Queen had a son, the father of Mademoiselle, who was not on good terms with his wife; and, although mother and son were not the best possible friends, still the probability is, that grandmamma thought that papa was best judge of his daughter's welfare, and therefore backed up the stern parent. Ergo, Mamma was nowhere, and went abroad, having an increased allowance, which she would not touch.

The imprimatur of a young lady's life, in Court circles, is, naturally, her presentation at Court; with men, it differs. I recollect a tailor, in Fenchurch Street, being presented—the Lord knows why, probably because he made the clothes for the Lord Mayor's footmen. But this case was different—this was the heiress to the (p. 306) throne—a personnage, of whom there could be no doubt. Her mother was not a persona gratissima at Court; and although she used to spend somewhat dreary days with Grandmamma Charlotte, and her Aunts at Windsor, she had not yet been presented legally, nor had she yet achieved the other grand step in her young life, and natural ambition of her sex, that of obtaining a husband.

She got a godmother, for her presentation, in the shape of the good fairy, the Duchess of Oldenburgh. I have not been able to unravel what this lady's mission was, but I know that both she and her brother backed up the suit of the Prince of Orange as husband to the coming Queen of England.

This Drawing Room took place on June 2nd, and the Princess started for the first time as "the Daughter of England," and went, in more than Cinderella state, in an elegant State Carriage—all her own—with splendid hammer Cloth of Scarlet and Gold, with the Royal Arms, and Union Wreath richly embroidered in the centre on White Satin. New harness of black leather and raised brass; three footmen, and a brand new coachman, all in brand new liveries. For the first time in her life she was somebody; for, let alone all this magnificence, she was assisted into her carriage by her would-be fiancé, the Prince of Orange.

According to the "Court Circular" of the time, the (p. 307) Duchess of Oldenburgh must have been exceeding magnifical, and more than rivalled the famous creature, "the Prox," two of whom came over in three ships; for I read, "The Duchess of Oldenburgh went in State in three of the Prince Regent's Carriages."[24]

It was, specially, on this occasion the Prince Regent was hissed, as politely hinted at in the account of the Allied Sovereigns' Reception (see p. 262). I do not say that His Royal Highness did not care to face the Populace on this latter occasion; it was thought so generally, and the Satirical prints, so often misnamed Caricatures, were de bon accord. These prints filled the part of our so-called Comic papers. There was no Punch, or the innumerable host of its followers now existing; and, what is more universally taken as good-humoured badinage, was just the same then, only the sense of humour was different. It is, perhaps, a little coarse to our taste, but then our grandfathers had not the advantage of the artistic education of a School Board, and they acted on such lights as were vouchsafed to them.

His conduct to his wife, at this time, rendered him very unpopular, and, in those days, people were accustomed to express their satisfaction, or the reverse, with either (p. 308) a Prince or an Actor. Nowadays, goodness only knows what might happen were popular opinion so expressed. Luckily, our Princes are too good men to have a shadow of unpopularity; and, as to Actors—well—it might end in an action for libel, or, slugs in a saw-pit.

I give a plain, and unadorned, version of the reception of the Regent, on this occasion, as reported in a paper, certainly not unfriendly to him. "Pall Mall and St. James's Street were kept perfectly clear for carriages to enter the Park, by the Stable Yard. The Prince Regent, with his superb retinue, passed along Pall Mall without interruption; but his carriage no sooner entered the Park, than the multitudes assembled there recognized his Royal Highness, and he was annoyed by the most dismal yells, groans and hisses, which continued the whole way from the Stable Yard to the Queen's House. The horses were put to their full speed to carry his Royal Highness through this ungracious scene. A very different welcome was given to the Military Heroes on their way to the Palace. It was with extreme difficulty that Lord Hill, Lord Combermere, and Lord Beresford were permitted to pass on in their Carriages, as the people wanted to take out the horses, and yoke themselves to the harness."


(Published July 1, 1814, by Fores.)

Launched into life, she became more independent. Papa had provided a husband for her, but we all know the old proverb, that "You may take a horse to the water, but (p. 311) you can't make him drink." She did not like the Prince of Orange, and, as any excuse is better than none, she made use of the fact that her husband in posse wanted to take her to Holland, if only for a fortnight, in order to show her the Country, and present her to his people. This she refused utterly to do, and the breach between them, which had been widening gradually, became complete. He had been treated with but scant courtesy, during the visit of the Allied Sovereigns, so much so, that it was commented upon. One exemplar will suffice.

"The Hereditary Prince of Orange, who was announced as the intended husband of our Princess Charlotte, and, consequently, as the Consort of our future Queen, has not been treated with much ceremony, while the other Illustrious Foreigners had State Carriages and Royal liveries, the Prince was suffered to shift for himself, and to find a lodging at the house of his Tailor."

In fact, she would not have him, and Papa did not like it. Naturally, the Satirists of the time got hold of their estrangement, and improved the occasion. I reproduce one print, "Miss endeavouring to excite a Glow with her Dutch Plaything." The Princess says to her father, "There! I have kept it up a long while; you may send it away now, I am tired of it. Mother has got some better play-things for me." The Regent replies, "What! (p. 312) are you tired already? Take another spell at it, or give me the whip." To which the Princess answers, "No, no! You may take the Top, but I'll keep the whip."

There was another, "The Dutch Toy." The Princess is represented as whipping a Top, with the letters P. O. painted on it, saying, "Take this for Ma! and this for Pa! and this! and this! for myself, you ugly thing, you." Through an open door the Regent's arm is seen, carrying a portentous birch rod; and he warns her that if she does not find pleasure in whipping the Top, he will exercise his paternal authority with the instrument which he bears. There are others, but they are hardly worth repeating.

She had met with her fate. We all know that there is in a woman's life but one "Prince Charming." Sometimes he never comes, but, as a rule, he does. Well! here was a case. That fairy Godmother, the Duchess of Oldenburgh, living at her Pulteney Hotel, could, of course, entertain any guests she liked; and one morning, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, whilst paying a visit to the Duchess, met with the Princess Charlotte. People have given up thinking of how marriages are made, and put the onus on a Higher Power, and say they are made in Heaven. She met her kismet, and, as far as is publicly known, her brief life was spent happily. England, as a nation, ought to be very thankful for this union, for it gave our most gracious Queen Victoria one of the wisest and kindest Counsellors possible—King Leopold of Belgium. (p. 313) There must be many, besides myself, who read these pages, who recollect the kindly gentleman who used to come over here, just as if he was going to pay a call in the next street, without any fuss, and to whom one would regret the not paying the ordinary courteous form of recognition, because he was so unostentatious. The History of Europe knows the effect of his quiet counsel.


(Published May 29, 1813, by Wm. Holland.)

But who would recognize him in the accompanying illustration? Ay de mi! He and the Princess Charlotte danced that Minuet, and are no more; but, for the time being, they were a handsome, graceful couple.

(p. 314) The Orange affair fell through; and, as far as I am concerned, who only have to deal with what people talked about in England at that time, there is an end of it. But something, or somebody, irritated Papa, and he resolved that Mademoiselle's independence must be curtailed, and that in future she must live—well, not exactly with him, but under his roof, at Carlton House. I have read all I know that there is to be read on the subject, and I prefer letting one of the parties tell the tale. It, and much more, can be found in "The Autobiography of Miss Cornelia Knight, Lady Companion to the Princess Charlotte of Wales" (2 vols. London, 1861).

"About this time the Bishop,[25] who often saw the Chancellor, and Lord Liverpool, and was, also, I believe, employed by the Regent, who, formerly, disliked and despised him, hinted to Princess Charlotte, in a private conversation, and to me, on paper—as I wrote to him on the subject—that, unless Princess Charlotte would write a submissive letter to her father, and hold out a hope that in a few months she might be induced to give her hand to the Prince of Orange, arrangements would be made, by no means agreeable to her inclinations. Her Royal Highness wrote to the Regent a most submissive and affectionate letter, but held out no hope of renewing the treaty of marriage.

"This letter was sent on Saturday, the 9th of July. We (p. 315) heard various reports of the intentions of the Regent: it was said that I, and the servants, were to be dismissed, and that an apartment was being fitted up for the Princess Charlotte at Carlton House. Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, a handsome young man, a General in the Russian Service, brother-in-law to the Grand Duke Constantine, and a great favourite with the Emperor of Russia, told Miss Mercer Elphinstone many of these particulars. He had been once at Warwick House, the Duchess of Leeds and myself being present. Miss Mercer Elphinstone, who was intimately acquainted with him, came in while he was there. He paid many compliments to Princess Charlotte, who was by no means partial to him, and only received him with civility. However, Miss Mercer evidently wished to recommend him; and when we drove in the Park, he would ride near the carriage, and endeavour to be noticed. There were reasons why this matter was by no means agreeable to Princess Charlotte. However, he certainly made proposals to the Regent, and, though rejected, found means to get into his favour.

"In the mean while, it was reported that he was frequently at Warwick House, and had even taken tea with us, which not one of the princes had done, except Prince Radzivil, whom we invited to sing, and accompany himself on the guitar. We heard that Lady Ilchester and Lady Rosslyn were talked of as being about Princess Charlotte, and I had hints from some of my friends, particularly (p. 316) from Lady Rolle, that a change was about to take place.

"However, the letter of the 9th remained unanswered till the 11th, on which day the Bishop was detained almost the whole morning at Carlton House, and, at five, Princess Charlotte and I were ordered to go over. Her Royal Highness was too ill to obey; but I went, and found the Regent very cold, very bitter, and very silent. I, however, took the opportunity of contradicting any false reports he might have heard relative to the Prince of Saxe-Coburg, and he answered that this Prince was a most honourable young man, and had written him a letter which perfectly justified himself, and said that he was invited by Princess Charlotte; but that it was Prince Augustus of Prussia, and not he, who was in the habit of going to Warwick House. I justified Prince Augustus, as he well deserved; and apologized for Princess Charlotte's not coming over to Carlton House. The Prince said she must either come the next day, or Baillie must come to say she was not capable of walking over.

"Next day, Baillie said she was quite capable of going over, and advised her so to do; but she was really so ill, and so much affected, that it was impossible. Her Royal Highness, therefore, wrote to the Regent, entreating he would come to her. The Duchess of Leeds, who, unfortunately, had been ordered to send in her resignation some time before, but still came as usual to Warwick (p. 317) House, called that morning, but I could not persuade her to stay till the Prince's arrival, as she said he might think it improper her being there.

"About six, he came, attended by the Bishop, only, (as I supposed); but he came up alone, and desired I would leave him with the Princess Charlotte. He was shut up with her three quarters of an hour, and, afterwards, a quarter more with the Bishop, and her Royal Highness. The door then opened, and she came out in the greatest agony, saying she had but one instant to speak to me, for that the Prince asked for me. I followed her into her dressing-room, where she told me the new ladies were in possession of the house; that I, and all the servants, were to be dismissed; that she was to be confined at Carlton House for five days, after which she was to be taken to Cranbourne Lodge, in the midst of Windsor Forest, where she was to see no one but the Queen, once a week; and that if she did not go immediately, the Prince would sleep at Warwick House that night, as well as all the ladies. I begged her to be calm, and advised her to go over, as soon as possible, assuring her that her friends would not forget her. She fell upon her knees in the greatest agitation, exclaiming, 'God Almighty, grant me patience!' I wished to stay and comfort her, but she urged me to go to the Prince, for fear of greater displeasure.

"I went to him, and he shut the door; the Bishop was (p. 318) with him. He told me he was sorry to put a lady to inconvenience, but that he wanted my room that evening for the ladies, repeating what Princess Charlotte had already told me. I asked in what I had offended, but he said he made no complaint, and would make none; that he had a right to make any changes he pleased, and that he was blamed for having let things go on as they had done. He repeated his apology for putting a lady to the inconvenience of leaving the house at so short a notice; and I replied that, my father having served His Majesty for fifty years, and sacrificed his health and fortune to that service, it would be very strange if I could not put myself to the temporary inconvenience of a few hours. He then said that in the arrangements at Carlton House there was a room which I might have for a night or two, if I had nowhere to go. This I declined, thanking him, but saying I had lodgings, which, fortunately, were now vacant; and that Lord and Lady Rolle, who seemed to know much more of the business than I did, had, to my surprise, offered me their house, for the last fortnight. I then made a low courtesy to him, and left the room."


(G. Cruikshank fec.)

This, and what occurred afterwards, formed the topic of conversation for the time; and, of the Comic Prints, which naturally followed, the accompanying one, by George Cruikshank, is the most amusing. It is called, "The R——t kicking up a Row; or, Warwick House in an Uproar!!!" The Regent, addressing Miss Knight and (p. 323) the Princess's ladies, says, "Get out! get out! you faggots! Get out of the House, I say. Zounds! I've burst my stays. What! what! you'll let her see her mother, will you?!!! Oh! you Jades! But I'll soon put a stop to that—I'll lock the young baggage up, that's what I will; and I'll kick you to the Devil, and that's what I will. So turn out! turn out! out! out! and be d——d to you all."


(July 25, 1814.)

The Princess is seen running away to her mother, crying out, "Oh, mamma! mamma! Pappe's going to whip me. Oh! oh! oh!!" The Bishop of Salisbury is in the background looking on. The Bishop is aghast, and says, "Dash my wig, here's a pretty kick up!!!" John Bull is looking in at a window, wondering "What the Devil is he about, now?"

Directly after the interview with the Princess, described by Miss Knight, the former left Warwick House, and hailing a hackney coach in Cockspur Street, ordered the coachman to drive to Connaught House, at the corner of the Bayswater and Edgware Roads, her mother's residence. We get a graphic view of this in an illustration called "Plebeian Spirit; or Coachee and the Heir Presumptive." The Princess, who, to judge by the size of the coin she is tendering, is paying lavishly,[26] says, les larmes aux yeux, "Coachman, will you protect me?" to which (p. 324) the gallant Jehu, hand on heart, replies, "Yes, your Highness, to the last drop of my blood." I have not given the background, for it is too painful. Britannia and the British Lion appear, and both are weeping, the Lion very copiously.

Mamma was not at home, but was sent for, and met on the road from Blackheath. The news somewhat upset her, but she adopted the very sensible plan of seeking advice from her friends, Mr. Whitbread and Earl Grey; but, neither being at home, she drove to Connaught House, and Mr. Brougham was sent for. Meantime Papa did not know what to do, so he sent for his Ministers, and consulted with them; and, so grave was the occasion, that a Council was held at the Foreign Office, and also at Carlton House. In fact, to judge properly of the unprecedented gravity of the situation, I need only mention that when the Queen heard of it, she immediately left a Card party she was holding. A National Revolution could hardly have had a greater effect.

Then remonstrance was tried with this wicked, rebellious girl, and first was sent my lord the Bishop of Salisbury, followed by the Duke of York, who seems to have had carte blanche to promise anything; there was the Lord Chancellor, Lord Ellenborough, Adam, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Cornwall, and yet more, all come to see what they could do with this awful young lady, who had given her papa's nerves such a rude (p. 325) shaking. Her kind uncle, the Duke of Sussex, she would see, because he came independently, and, afterwards, asked pertinent questions in her behalf in the House of Lords.

Let Lord Brougham, who had so much to do with this interview, describe it: "After dinner I first begged the Princess Charlotte to give me a full account of what had caused her flight. She said she could not bear any longer the treatment she met with in changing her ladies without her consent, and of interrupting her intercourse with her mother and Margaret (meaning Miss Mercer[27]), her most intimate friend; and that it was her fixed resolution, after throwing herself on her mother's protection, to reside with her entirely. But she dwelt much upon the match; and, although I repeated what I had often assured her of, that without her consent freely given, it never could take place, she said, 'They may wear me out by ill-treatment, and may represent that I have changed my mind and consented.'

"We then conversed upon the subject with the others, and, after a long discussion on that and her lesser grievances, she took me aside, and asked me what, upon the whole, I advised her to do. I said at once, 'Return to Warwick House, or Carlton House, and on no account to pass a night out of her own house.' She was extremely affected, and cried, asking if I too refused to stand by her. I said, quite the contrary; and that as to the marriage, I (p. 326) gave no opinion, except that she must follow her own inclination entirely, but that her returning home was absolutely necessary; and in this all the rest fully agreed—her mother, the Duke of Sussex, Miss Mercer, and Lady Charlotte Lindsay, for whom she had a great respect and regard. I said that, however painful it was for me, the necessity was so clear and so strong that I had not the least hesitation in advising it. She again and again begged me to consider her situation, and to think whether, looking to that, it was absolutely necessary she should return.

"The day now began to dawn, and I took her to the window. The election of Cochrane (after his expulsion owing to the sentence of the Court, which both insured his re-election and abolished the pillory) was to take place that day. I said, 'Look there, Madam; in a few hours all the streets and the park, now empty, will be crowded with tens of thousands. I have only to take you to the window, show you to the crowd, and tell them your grievances, and they will all rise in your behalf.' 'And why should they not?' I think she said, or some such words. 'The commotion,' I answered, 'will be excessive; Carlton House will be attacked—perhaps pulled down; the soldiers will be ordered out; blood will be shed; and if your Royal Highness were to live a hundred years, it never would be forgotten that your running away from your father's house was the cause of the mischief; and (p. 327) you may depend upon it, such is the English people's horror of bloodshed, you never would get over it.' She, at once, felt the truth of my assertion, and consented to see her uncle Frederic (the Duke of York) below stairs, and return with him. But she required one of the royal carriages should be sent for, which came with her governess, and they, with the Duke of York, went home about five o'clock.

"Before she went, however, she desired me to make a minute of her declaration that she was resolved not to marry the Prince of Orange, and that, if ever there should be an announcement of such a match, it must be understood to be without her consent, and against her will. She added, 'I desire Augustus [Duke of Sussex] and Mr. Brougham would particularly take notice of this.' When I had made the note, it was read distinctly, and signed by all present, she signing first, and six Copies were made and signed, and one given to each person present."[28]

And so this little episode was ended. Who, think you, scored? I must say, I think that victory was on the side of Mademoiselle.

(p. 329) Décoration


State of Ireland — The Regent fêtes the Duke of Wellington — The Jubilee in the Parks — Public opinion thereon — The Celebration.

Among other Home topics, just at this time, was one so familiar to us—the disturbed state of Ireland. Take this one month of July. Mr. Long, of Ardmayle, was shot almost on his threshold. Two men with blackened faces entered a cottage at Woodhouse, Co. Waterford, and shot (gallant fellows!) a girl of twenty years of age. Here is the account of a riot arising out of an Orange demonstration, taken from The Belfast Commercial Herald:—

"A dreadful riot, attended with very melancholy circumstances, took place at the Race Course of Downpatrick. It appears that a very great and unusual assembling of country people, all armed with sticks, and some with pistols, was observed on the Race Course on Friday (July 15th), and it was understood that a preconcerted (p. 330) disturbance was to be the consequence, as, for several days before, it was said without hesitation that 'the Orangemen had their day on the 12th of July, and they (the Threshers, or whatever name they go by) should have theirs on the Friday of the Races.' About four o'clock on that day, a quarrel (many present say a sham fight) took place between two men, which, in an instant, attracted a great crowd, apparently on the watch, and a disturbance ensued, and continued for a considerable time, till it became so alarming, that the magistrates found it necessary to send to Down for a detachment of the Middlesex Militia quartered there.

"When the military were drawn up, the rage of the assembled crowd was directed almost wholly against them, and they were assailed with volleys of stones from behind the tents, and many opprobrious names. The Militia, all this time, kept their ground with the greatest coolness; the great mass (some thousands, it is said), emboldened by the quiet manner in which the soldiers acted, advanced so near as to bid them defiance, pelting them with stones, by which some of them were injured and knocked down. The soldiers were then ordered to fire with blank cartridge; but this only made the mob more riotous. They were then ordered to fire with ball; two men instantly fell, and a great many were wounded; four or five are in the Infirmary. A number of the rioters were taken prisoners, and lodged in jail; one of them, (p. 331) we have heard, had four pistols in his possession, another had two."

On July 21st the Prince of Wales gave a fête in honour of the Duke of Wellington, which, in magnificence, rivalled that famous one with which he celebrated his becoming Regent. Two thousand five hundred persons were invited, and the Queen, the Princesses, and all the available Royal Family were present.

About this time the English prisoners of war were returning from France; but, although they, naturally, had sad tales to tell of their sufferings in the French prisons and hulks, yet many came back materially benefited by their incarceration; for the British Government arranged that those with good education should teach those who were ignorant, for which they received a small recompense, and, consequently, many came home able not only to read and write, but instructed in mathematics sufficiently to be of great assistance to them in their future life as sailors.

Truly I said this was an Annus mirabilis, for now, on the 1st of August, was to be the public Celebration of Peace, and the date was fixed because it was the Centenary of the Accession of George I., founder of the present dynasty in England: and this public rejoicing was christened "The Jubilee." The following is, substantially, a correct programme, but it was published in a newspaper a fortnight before, and, afterwards there (p. 332) were some slight modifications; but I think it is the best contemporaneous short account, of the amusement provided for the people.

"Official Programme.

"These amusements will begin with the ascent of a magnificent balloon of sufficiently large dimensions to take up two persons in the car affixed to it. It will ascend about five o'clock; later in the day, a smaller balloon, of 20 feet in diameter, will also ascend, and a copious display of fireworks from it will be exhibited in the higher regions of the air: it will then be made to descend; and, upon its second ascension, another display of brilliant fireworks will also take place at a great elevation from the ground. Still later in the evening, several other balloons, upon a smaller scale, will be dispatched towards the clouds, charged with various fire-works, which will be seen with effect at a lofty height, and, after these are expended, the hydrogen contained in these balloons will be inflamed, and will produce a brilliant appearance, resembling in splendour the most striking meteoric phenomenon.

"Over the Canal[29] has been thrown a beautiful Chinese bridge, upon the centre of which has been constructed (p. 333) an elegant and lofty pagoda, consisting of seven pyramidal stories. The Pagoda will be illuminated with the gas[30] lights, and brilliant fireworks, both fixed and missile, will be displayed from every division of this lofty Chinese structure. Copious and splendid girandoles of rockets will also be occasionally displayed from the summit, and from other parts of the towering edifice, which will, at times, be so covered with jerbs, Roman candles, and pots de brin, as to become in appearance one column of brilliant fire. Various smaller temples and columns constructed upon the bridge, will, also, be vividly illuminated; and fixed fire-works of different devices, on the balustrade of the bridge, will contribute to heighten the general effect.

"The Canal will also be well provided with handsomely decorated boats, at the disposal of those who wish to add this amusement to the numerous pleasures.

"The whole margin of the lawn will be surrounded with booths for refreshment, which will be illuminated in the evening, interspersed with open marquees provided with seats for the accommodation of the company.

"The Malls of the Park will be illuminated with Chinese lanterns, ornamented with picturesque and grotesque devices, and every tree will have variegated lights intermingled with its foliage. Bands of music (p. 334) will be stationed at various distances, and spaces will be provided at different parts of the lawn, for those who delight in the pleasures of the dance; the whole forming a Vauxhall on the most magnificent scale.

"In addition to the foregoing list of amusements, the Public will have a full view of the Royal Booth, and of the grand fire-works in the Green Park, which will be displayed from a fortress or Castle, the ramparts of which are 100 feet square, surmounted by a round tower in the centre, about 60 feet in diameter, and rising to the height of over 50 feet above the ramparts. Four grand changes of fire-works will be exhibited from this stupendous Castle, the whole elevation of which exceeds 90 feet.

"To secure to every one a complete view of this edifice and its decorations, notwithstanding its great height and dimensions, it is so constructed as to revolve on its centre, so that each side will be successively presented to the assemblage of the Company. The Castle, thus exhibiting the appearance of a grand military fortification, is intended, allegorically, to represent War, and the discharges of artillery, small arms, maroons, &c., may be regarded as descriptive of the terrors of a siege. On a sudden, this will cease: in the midst of flames, clouds of smoke, and the thunder of artillery, the lofty fortress, the emblem of destructive war, is transformed into a beautiful temple, the type of glorious peace. The lower and quadrangular compartment is embellished with Doric (p. 337) columns of porphyry; the circular edifice which surmounts it is decorated with the lighter Ionic columns of Sienna marble. The whole will be brilliantly illuminated, and adorned with allegorical transparencies, executed by the masterly pencils of artists of the first eminence."


What fun was made of this childish Exhibition! These were the panem et circenses to reward the people for their having lavishly given of their blood and gold; and its conception was pretty universally put down to the Prince Regent: the Chinese bridge and Pagoda were so highly suggestive of Brighton. Many were the verses on this Jubilee and its putative author.


Princes of old, if wise and good,
Were Fathers called—and so they should—
And give the little girls and boys
Plenty of gingerbread and toys.
'Our Pa,' says Biddy to her brother,
'Is quite as good as a Grandmother!'
'Grandmother! hush! 'tis treason stark!'
Cries Jacky, 'Say a Grand-Monarque!'"

One of the greatest sources of ridicule connected with this Jubilee was "the Naumachia," a mimic combat on the Serpentine, between an English and French fleet. Of course, the Three Deckers and Frigates must necessarily be small, so they were manufactured at (p. 338) Woolwich, out of ship's-boats: and the following lines give a very fair idea of popular opinion on the fête:—

"John Bull, the other day, in pensive mood,
Near to the Serpentine Flotilla stood;
His hands were thrust into his emptied pockets,
And much of ships he muttered, and of rockets;
Of silly Fêtes—and Jubilees unthrifty—
And Babies overgrown, of two-and-fifty;
I guess'd the train of thought which then possess'd him,
And deem'd th' occasion fit, and thus address'd him:

Be generous to a fallen foe,
With gratulations meet,
On Elba's Emperor bestow
Thy Lilliputian fleet;

For with his Island's narrow bounds
That navy might agree,
Which, laugh'd at daily here—redounds
In ridicule to thee.

Says John, 'Right readily I'll part
With these, and all the gay things,
But it would break the R——'s heart
To take away his playthings.'"

The chaff was great about these ships—see under:—

"A simple Angler, throwing flies for trout,
Hauled the main mast, and lugg'd a First Rate out."

"A crow in his fright, flying over the Fleet,
Dropped something, that covered it all, like a sheet."

(p. 339) The Chinese Bridge, and even the Fire-works were made fun of.

"I overheard a silly Cambridge Clerk,
Thus mutter, as he passed St. James's Park:
'What's this? A Bridge? How hard to be got over!
Oh! 'tis the Ass's Bridge, I do discover.'"

"The R—— thinks to make us stare,
By raising rockets in the air;—
His scheme to please will fail, he'll find,
Since we for it must raise the wind."

The pseudo Peter Pindar (C. F. Lawler?) has a great deal to do with the Jubilee, and published divers satirical poems thereon. "Liliputian Navy!!! The R——t's Fleet, or, John Bull at the Serpentine." "The P——e's Jubilee." "The R——l Showman." "The R——l Fair, or Grande Galante Show," and one on the sale of the Temple of Concord—"The Temple knock'd down; or R——l Auction. The last lay of the Jubilee."

The following short account of the Jubilee is taken from a contemporary morning journal.

"Yesterday being the Centenary of the Accession of the House of Brunswick, and the Anniversary of the glorious Victory of the Nile, was selected as the day for a Jubilee in celebration of the Peace. The plan of the arrangements for the Show in the Parks, has already been given, together with a description of the preparations. Considerable uncertainty hung over the public (p. 340) mind as to the actual day of exhibition, in consequence of the notice advertised, and posted up, stating, that it would depend upon the state of the weather; an uncertainty not a little heightened by the unpromising appearance of the morning. Numbers, however, regardless of notification, or weather, and determined to have a day of it, particularly those who lived at a distance from the scene of operations, set out from home, and were seen flocking, at an early hour, to the Parks. At length the firing of cannon announced that the day was considered favourable, and that the Jubilee would commence. The population of the Metropolis then poured forth in a continued stream, or, rather flood, to witness the exhibition. Shops were shut, business was suspended, houses were left to take care of themselves, and the Strand, Oxford Street, and Piccadilly, were nearly blocked up by masses of people of all descriptions, including many women with infants in their arms, all hurrying on to see the Show.

"It had been previously understood, and the public notices posted up certainly led to that impression, that all the entrances to St. James's Park, save those leading into the space allotted to the holders of tickets, would have been opened to the public. It turned out, however, that counter orders had, in the meantime, been given, and the passages by the Horse Guards, and the Spring Garden-gate were alone opened for persons without (p. 341) tickets to enter the Park. The gate at New Street, although a notice was posted up at its side, intimating that it had been deemed expedient to open it to the public, remained shut. This, of course, greatly increased the pressure; numbers flocked to the Stable-yard; but there, all admittance to the Park, without tickets, was refused. Some relief, however, was afforded by allowing an egress by this gate to the persons in the Park.

"Hyde Park, and the Green Park, except the place in the latter railed off, were opened ad libitum to the public, and the view of the numerous and varied groups in these two Parks, formed an enlivening coup d'œil. Booths and flying barracks (as they were called) and open stands of a more humble description, appeared in every direction, with all sorts of refreshments; liquors and liquids, to satisfy the hunger, cheer the spirits, and allay the thirst of the almost innumerable crowd that pressed upon all points where anything was to be seen. A number of marquees, as has already been stated, were pitched upon the lawn on both sides of the canal in St. James's Park,[31] for the use of the holders of tickets, that being the principal part of the space allotted to them, (p. 342) and these were interspersed with several booths and flying barracks for furnishing refreshments. A number of benches were also placed in this space, besides those in the marquees.

"For the public at large, who had the range of the Parks, there was little accommodation in the shape of seats. Those who were tired of promenading were glad to lean against a tree, or find seats upon the ground: many brought their provisions with them, and partook of a family or a picnic collation, the earth alike their table, and their seat. In this manner the time was passed till the hour arrived. On the commencement of the grand shew, the first object of attraction was the ascent of a Balloon.

"The Balloon was placed in the ground in front of the Queen's Palace. The operation of filling it commenced as early as nine o'clock in the morning, but it was not sufficiently inflated till a few minutes before six in the evening. About four o'clock, the immense body of spectators assembled in St. James's Park, and in the Green Park, being in the more immediate vicinity of the spot whence the balloon was to ascend, were surprised and gratified by the appearance of a balloon of small dimensions, coming, as it were, from Hyde Park, or Kensington Gardens. This contributed, for some time, to suspend any feeling of impatience which might have shewn itself in consequence of the large balloon not being ready to ascend at the stated hour (five o'clock).

(p. 343) "Some time before six o'clock, a report of the firing of guns, as of the promised naval engagement on the Serpentine River, reached the ears of the same persons, many of whom seemed to be actuated by a momentary desire to change the scene of action, and to share in the fight, the report of which they had heard from afar. The manifestation of this spirit, however, was merely momentary; they quickly became more peaceably inclined; and, whether apprehensive that they might only come in to witness the conclusion of the sea fight, or resolved, on more mature deliberation, to be satisfied spectators of an aerial flight, and of the destruction of 'a Fortified Castle,' which (strange to tell) was, through the aid of fire, to be transformed into the 'Temple of Peace'—they, with a few exceptions, took the advice given them in the printed recommendations, and remained on the ground they had originally occupied.

"About twenty minutes before six, the Balloon, being then sufficiently inflated, was elevated from the situation it had hitherto occupied, and the car, which was extremely splendid and brilliant, being affixed to it, Mr. Sadler, junior, mounted into the car, which was decorated with four flags. Being supplied with the necessary quantity of ballast, of cards for signals, &c., the youthful and intrepid Aëronaut, being liberated from the chains by which his chariot was confined to the ground, began to ascend in a most solemn and majestic (p. 344) manner, so far as the observers were concerned, yet with a degree of rapidity which must have unstrung the nerves of any one entirely unused to such lofty excursions.

"The Balloon took a direction inclining towards the south-east, and was in sight for about half an hour. It was generally reported that Mrs. Henry Johnston was to have accompanied Mr. Sadler, but we could not perceive that either she, or any other lady mounted the car.

"Between eight and nine o'clock, the Grand Sea Fight took place on the Serpentine River, where ships of the line, in miniature, manœuvred and engaged, and the Battle of the Nile, was represented in little. Of this mock naval engagement on the great Serpentine Ocean, it would be extremely difficult to give any adequate description. It is, perhaps, sufficient to observe, that it was about on a par with spectacles of a similar nature, which have been frequently exhibited at the Theatres.

"After the ascent of the Balloon, one part of the company in the sacred enclosure, sauntered about the brown banks of the Canal, while the rest disturbed the green surface of the water in wherries. No attempt at amusement presented itself for a long time, except a species of boat race between two watermen, but this did not attract, nor was it deserving of much attention. While the crowd within the enclosure were (p. 345) thus languishing for want of amusement, the people in the Mall, although they had been kindly forewarned that the best amusements would take place in Hyde Park, thought it desirable, on the principle by which sin first began, to attempt an incursion on the space within. Several lads jumped over the enclosure, but they were immediately pursued by the Artillerymen who guarded the rails, at small distances from each other, and ejected from this supposed seat of bliss, after some rough treatment from their pursuers. The mob, without, endeavoured to vent their anger against the envied occupiers of the enclosure, and, especially, against the soldiers, by a very liberal and ingenious application of all the slang at their command. As it grew dark, these incursions were effectually prevented by an increased number of guards.

"At the same time the lamps and the Chinese lanterns were lighted; the former were dispersed over the lawn in crescents and moons, elevated to a small distance from the ground. The Chinese lanterns hung in the walks midway between the trees, and were decorated with a great variety of objects, though not with much taste; some represented Mr. Sadler's balloon, others the Ark of Noah; on one was painted the Tower of Babel, on another the Pagoda; on some, Mr. Kean as Richard, on others the Great Mogul.

"The Bridge, with the Pagoda, was soon entirely (p. 346) lighted; and the reflection of the lights gave to the whole Canal the appearance of a lake of fire. Notwithstanding the beautiful object, yawning was very prevalent for an hour or two, and great strife arose concerning the possession of the benches, but the attention of the Combatants was soon diverted to the loud cannonade which commenced in the Green Park. The firing continued for a long time, and, immediately it ceased, an immense flight of rockets arose from the top of the Pagoda, on the Canal, and traced a thousand brilliant paths through the sky, which the smoke of the cannonade had rendered brown and opake.

"From this time a contest in brilliancy arose between the Fortress in the Green Park, and the Pagoda on the Canal. An incessant variety of wheels and stars appeared at intervals on both these structures, and, at other times, immense flights of rockets rapidly succeeded each other, and, now spent themselves in the air, now fell slowly as showers of fire. Large numbers of Roman candles threw forth to a vast distance blue stars in rapid succession, and balls of fire shot to an immense height, burst into innumerable sparks.

"In the intervals of the fire-works, the Pagoda, which was entirely covered with lamps, shewed a calm mass of uniform light. Large masses of fire, we understand, fell in George Street, and other adjacent streets, but they extinguished themselves as they touched the ground, and, we believe, no mischief was done.

(p. 348)


(p. 349) "We were as heartily glad when the cockle-shell fight was over, as we had been tired of waiting for it. We were afraid, at one time, that it would have neither beginning nor end. Indeed, there had been a wretched skirmish between four and five in the afternoon, between an American and an English frigate, at the conclusion of which, the English colours were triumphantly hoisted on the rebel Yankee. After this, followed a dreary interval of some hours, in which no one seemed to know what was to come, or what had gone before, and in which we at last sought refuge among our old friends, the booths of Bartholomew Fair.

"While here we had nearly missed the battle of the Nile altogether, something like the old woman who went to see a ship launched, and, while she was stooping down to buckle her shoe, the ship went off! After the Naumachia, the moon rose, and the Chinese lanterns were lighted. At a signal given, the fire-works in the Green Park were let off, and four of the little fleet in the Serpentine were set on fire. The swans screamed, and fluttered round the affrighted lake. But it is in vain to deny the beauty of the scene that followed, nor have we room to do justice to it.

"After the conclusion of the Fire-works, the Grand Metamorphosis took place of the Fortress into the Temple of Concord, by the removal of all the Canvas fortifications, thus displaying the Temple brilliantly (p. 350) illuminated, moving upon an axis, and exhibiting the transparencies of which a description has already been given. The lateness of the hour at which the Show concluded, renders it utterly impossible for us to give the particulars more in detail. The Parks continued crowded long after midnight.

"The Pagoda, at about twelve o'clock, took fire, and after continuing burning for about a quarter of an hour, fell in with a great crash, in a slanting direction towards the Mall. The Catastrophe surprised no one but the Contrivers of the erection."

(p. 351) Décoration


The celebration of the Jubilee continued — Sale of the Properties — Continuation of the Fair — Departure of Queen Caroline for the Continent — Scarcity of Gold — French prisoners of war — State of the streets — Red tape in the Navy — English visit France — The War with America — Treaty of peace with America.

The Allegorical paintings on the Temple were by Howard, Stothard, Smirke, Woodforde, Dawe, Hilton, &c.

Sadler had a really perilous voyage, for the network of his balloon got out of order and the balloon nearly collapsed; in fact, it was only saved by his hanging on to the pipe of the balloon: then, wanting to descend, the valve would not work because it was frozen, and, when it did work, did not let out the gas fast enough, and would have carried him into the river, at Sea Reach, had he not cut a gash in the balloon, and landed in Mucking Marshes, on the Essex Coast, sixteen miles below Gravesend.

(p. 352) There was a metrical account of this fête, which shows the popular feeling on the subject, which was called


Oh, Johnny, most ungrateful Johnny!
But just escap'd from fangs of Boney,
You still must growl and grumble;
The peace just made, and all things right,
The bread quite cheap, and taxes light,
And I, your servant humble.

What would you have? You growling elf,
You think of nothing but yourself;
Nay, show your teeth,—you cannot bite,
What could be done for love or money,
All that is comical or funny,
Has been my study and delight.

Your peevish humours to destroy all,
Did I not ask the Allies Royal
To come to London here to see you?
And did you not, for days and nights,
Stare yourself almost blind with sights?
I'd fain, I vow, twice double d ye.

Then to add further to your glee,
I give you a grand Jubilee,
'Cause we have reigned a hundred years;
I put my hands in both your pockets,
And, in return, you've Congreve's rockets,
And booths for all your pretty dears.

Besides, if you were not a lout,
You'd smile to see the roundabout,[32]
And all the pretty pictures in it;
(p. 353) With all the fireworks blazing forth!
Some east, some west, some south, some north,
And pop-guns bursting every minute.

Why, surely, John, you 'gin to dote,
Come, take a ride in this cock boat!
See how it floats on real water!
A race! A race! I vow there is!
I see a smile upon your phiz,
I'll go and call my vife and darter!

Nay, patience, Johnny, do not fidget,
You have not seen our little bridge yet,
And top on it the grand Pagoda;
Then, whilst you're walking on the lawn,
You'll bless the day when you were born,
To see such sights, and call for soda.

Come, take another walk with me,
To view the ships upon the sea,
I mean the Carlton—Hyde Park ocean;
Full twenty vessels of the line
Now sail upon the Serpentine,
To give of Nile a brilliant notion!

But see! they're close engaged in battle,
Hark! how the thund'ring cannons rattle!
A broadside now from Victory!
Behold the shade of Nelson rise!
Would he were here to feast his eyes,
And grace the days of Regency!

Then independent of my fleets,
I've planned some palaces and streets,
Th' expense is small—some paltry millions;
But lo! the pyrotechnicalities,
And gin and gingerbread hilarities,
With all the hornpipes and cowtillions.

(p. 354) If, after this, I hear complaints,
I swear, by all the priests and saints,
New taxes must your spirit humble,
If Vansittart[33] can find one out,
(Which once I heard the rascal doubt),
Unless you're tax'd whene'er you grumble."

On the 11th of October, the Temple of Concord was sold, and the following is a contemporary account of its sale:

"The Temple of Concord, was on Tuesday, knocked down in ninety-one lots by Mr. Creaton.

"The sale commenced with the flag-staff on the top of the Upper Temple. The brokers viewed it as a common piece of fir, which might be converted into excellent firewood, and it was knocked down at 14s.

"Four rainbows, in spite of the scriptural allusions which they drew forth, produced only £4. 3s.

"Eight Vestals were sold for £14 8s.

"Eight pair of Ionic Columns coloured to imitate Sienna marble, produce £21 8s. 6d.

"The Doric columns, of which there were sixteen pairs, painted in imitation of porphyry, averaged £1 12s. 6d. per pair.

"The four pyramidal pillars (shaped like Cannon) ornamenting the corners of the first platform, were purchased by an individual, with all their appurtenances, for £16 9s.

"The Cornices, doorways, &c., with the inscriptions, (p. 355) on which Mr. Creaton sported many patriotic remarks, went off as follows:—

  £ s. d.
The Regency (proh pudor) 0 7 0
Peace Returning 0 7 0
Europe rescued 0 8 0
Strife descending 0 8 0
The Triumph of Britannia 2 10 0
The Golden Age restored 3 10 0
The Sceptre of the Bourbons restored 3 3 0
War desolating the earth 3 3 0
Frederick and Blücher 2 12 6
Francis and Schwartzenberg 2 12 6
The Regent and Wellington 3 0 0
Alexander and Kutusoff 2 15 0
The Arms of England and France 2 2 0
" Austria and Holland 2 0 0
" Russia and Prussia 2 0 0
" Spain and Portugal 2 0 0

"The mechanical fountains, which are eight in number, sold for £10 16s.

"The sale of the exterior of the Temple of Concord concluded at five o'clock. It produced the gross sum of £200 2s. 6d. We should be glad to know what was the prime cost of the materials used in this structure, as well as the sum expended in preparing and setting them up."

There were, unfortunately, many accidents during the Celebration of this Jubilee. At the burning of the Pagoda one man was killed on the spot, six others injured, and one of them died shortly afterwards. (p. 356) The cause of the burning of this ill-fated building was that there was not room for a rocket wheel to revolve; the consequence was that the fierce fire played on one part of the woodwork and ignited the whole building. In Hyde Park, lads and men climbed the trees, whose branches would not bear their weight, but broke, and not only did the climbers injure themselves, but those on whom they fell.

At Kensington Gardens, just at the close of the fireworks, two rockets, instead of behaving properly, and rising skywards, took an horizontal direction, one striking a gentleman in the calf of his leg, the other, another gentleman in the body—and he was borne, apparently much injured, by four men, into a neighbouring marquee. The rocket sticks falling caused minor accidents, which is not to be wondered at, when we consider that they were from six to eight feet long, an inch broad, and half an inch thick.[34] However, people sheltered themselves under the trees, some in the numerous Marquees, where the safest were those under the tables—and some put their umbrellas up, as a protection.

After this fête, the booths were not removed, and a regular fair sprung up, with its usual accompaniments of swings, roundabouts, wild-beast shows, fat women, and dramatic entertainments, to which were added the (p. 357) attractions of E.O. tablesBlack and White CocksDice Tables—and a game with dice, called Under and over Seven. This gambling the police did not even make a show of stopping. There were donkey racing, jumping in sacks, running for smocks, &c.,—and there were printing presses, where, on payment, people had the privilege of themselves pulling off a typographical souvenir of the fair. Nay, it was even contemplated to print a Jubilee Fair Journal.

It was anticipated that this fair would last until the 12th, and so it possibly might have done, had it been conducted with anything like decency and order; but as these were conspicuously absent, Lord Sidmouth, Secretary of State for the Home Department, ordered it to be closed on the night of Saturday the 6th. This order, the booth-keepers petitioned against, on the plea that, on the strength of its being open for a longer time, they had laid in a large stock of provisions, liquor, toys, &c., which would be thrown upon their hands. Lord Sidmouth's order not being enforced, they kept on, so that it was found necessary to issue another—which was acted on—and the fair ceased with the night of August 11th.

A contemporary newspaper speaking of it, says, "Never, within the memory of man, has there been witnessed such scenes of drunkenness and dissipation as these fooleries have given rise to, and the (p. 358) misery they have brought upon thousands is extreme. A report from the pawnbrokers would be an awful lesson to governments how they encourage such riot. Since the delirium, from the example of the highest quarter, began, the pawnbrokers have more than trebled their business; clothes, furniture, and, worst of all, tools, have been sacrificed for the sake of momentary enjoyment; industry of every kind has been interrupted, and many hundreds of starving families will long have to remember the æra of the Park Fêtes."

I wind up this account of the Jubilee with the following "Epigram on the P—— R——'s expressing a wish for the continuance of the Fair in Hyde Park:

"The R—— we have oft been told,
Prefers the Fair when stout and old;
Now, here we've cause to think him wrong,
For liking any Fair too long."

And now, having exhausted the chief events of this memorable year, I must fill up my account of the remainder of its existence with notices of passing events, as they occur, a course which must naturally be discursive.

First of all, the Princess of Wales, left England for the Continent on the 9th of August, in the Jason Frigate, landing at Hamburg on the 16th. She was weary of the petty persecutions and slights she had perpetually (p. 359) to undergo; and, refusing to use the extra allowance granted her by Parliament, went into voluntary exile, against the advice of her sincere friends, who, however, could not feel as she did; for, in her position, she could not help feeling the social indignities that were heaped upon her. From these, at least, she could be free when away from England. She left its shores in a very modest and unassuming manner, being driven to the sea shore in a pony-cart—(the Chronicler giving, as a saving clause, "by her own coachman"). Her dress might, at the present time, perhaps, be thought rather prononcée, but it was only fashionable then. She wore a dark cloth pelisse, with large gold clasps, and a cap of violet and green satin, of the Prussian Hussar Costume, with a green feather, which we should think rather a fetching costume for a lady of forty-six.

We have heard of the scarcity of gold coin, and how, during the War-time it used to be smuggled out of the Country; it must have gladdened some hearts to have read, under date of August 19th, "Guineas may shortly be expected to reappear. Seven-shilling pieces, which should be considered as their avant couriers, already peep out!" Anent this lack of gold coin there was an amusing skit published thereon in this year, which I reproduce, partly for the illustration which represents a beadle in all his glory,—a being that is fast fading away. The Cocked hat has already gone, and I know (p. 360) not now where to find what would be termed, heraldically, "a beadle in his pride."

The following is entitled "A Whole Family Lost."


November 24, 1814.

"O Yes! If any of the relatives or next of kin of one Mr. Guinea, who about the year 1800 was much seen in England, and is supposed to be an Englishman, will give information where he can be met with, they will be handsomely rewarded, on application to Mr. John Bull, Growling Lane opposite Threadneedle Street. A proportionate reward will be given for information relative to his son Mr. Half-Guinea; or his Grandson, young Seven Shilling piece. Papers innumerable have been issued in consequence of their disappearance, but all in vain; and they are believed by many persons to have left the kingdom; though others shrewdly suspect they lie hid somewhere in the Country waiting for more favourable times before they dare make their appearance, as they have reason to suppose they would be instantly taken up, and put in close Confinement. Their sudden disappearance is particularly to be regretted, as they were in great favour with the people, and enjoyed the King's Countenance to such a degree that they actually bore the Royal Arms. Notwithstanding they are people of real worth, yet it must be confessed that, by getting occasionally into bad Company, they have lost some of their weight in society, yet, if they will return, all faults will be forgiven; no questions will be asked, but they (p. 363) may depend upon being received with open arms by their disconsolate friends, who, by this temporary separation have learnt to appreciate their sterling worth. They resemble each other very closely, and may very easily be known by their round faces, and by their complexion, which is of bright yellow; for though they, it is true, were born, and acquired their polish in London, yet it is well ascertained that the family originally came, and derived their name, from the Coast of Guinea, a place too well known in Liverpool to require any description.

God Save the King."


In Morpheus's arms as the R—g—t once lay,
'Ecod!' said the God, 'this old boy is no feather;
If he slept but as soundly by night as by day,
I should envy e'en Atlas himself this hot weather.'"

Under date of August 31st, we find that "the number of French prisoners who have been sent to France since the conclusion of the peace, exceeds sixty-seven thousand men. It is said that only nineteen continental prisoners of war (who are Poles) now remain in this country. The American prisoners in England already amount to three thousand eight hundred. They are chiefly seamen."

(p. 364) A newspaper cutting of September 3rd, shows us the state of the Streets of London in 1814: "The shameful manner in which the Contractors for lighting the streets perform the duty, has long been the subject of complaint. After the shops are shut, and consequently the lamps in their windows extinguished, the streets are almost in a state of utter darkness. An attempt is to be made, we observe, to light Fleet Street with gas. We hope the experiment will succeed.

"The same complaint may be made against the paving,—for the defects of the paving are more owing to the way in which the paviours do their work, than to the water companies. The stones sent from Aberdeen, are no longer square, but conical. They have a broad top, and narrow to the bottom—so that these inverted cones have no bond—and the streets being improperly laid too convex, so as to make every waggon incline to one side, the stones are constantly disturbed; and, a hole once made, every wheel increases it. The Commissioners ought to reform the system altogether."

Here is a little anecdote of red tape in the Navy: "According to an established form in the Navy, when a ship is paid off, no officer must quit the port, or consider himself discharged, until the pennant is struck, which can be done only by the cook, as the last officer, at sunset; and, should he be absent, no other person can perform the office, however desirous the Officers (p. 365) may be of taking their departure, and although there may not be a single seaman or marine on board. A curious instance of this took place last week, at Plymouth, on the Caledonia's being paid off. When the time arrived for hauling down the pennant, no Cook could be found, from which cause the officers were under the necessity of waiting a day or two, until he made his appearance."

Immediately on the Restoration of the Bourbons it was the proper thing for every English man and woman who could afford it, to pay a visit to Paris, and a motley group, I fancy they were, a jumble of the Aristocracy, and the Cheap Tourist. Captain Gronow thus describes this "irruption of the Goths and Vandals": "Thousands of oddly dressed English flocked to Paris immediately after the war: I remember that the burden of one of the popular songs of the day was, 'All the world's in Paris;' and our countrymen and women having been so long excluded from French Modes, had adopted fashions of their own, quite as remarkable, and eccentric as those of the Parisians, and much less graceful. British beauties were dressed in long strait pelisses of various colours; the body of the dress was never of the same colour as the skirt; and the bonnet was of beehive shape, and very small. The characteristic of the dress of the gentleman was a coat of light blue, or snuff colour, with brass buttons, the tail reaching nearly to the heels; (p. 366) a gigantic bunch of seals dangled from his fob, whilst his pantaloons were short, and tight at the knees; and a spacious waistcoat, with a voluminous muslin cravat and a frilled shirt completed the toilette."

The end of this year leaves the Congress of Vienna, which met to settle all International matters arising out of the war, still sitting, and I cannot refrain from quoting the following epigram upon it:


L'Espagne est cause de tout,
L'Allemagne prétend tout,
La France assiste tout,
L'Angleterre embrouille tout,
La Hollande souffre tout,
Venise consulte tout,
Le Portugal écoute tout,
La Suede a perdu tout,
Le Danemarc craint tout,
La Sardaigne trompe tout,
Les Jésuites sont par tout,
Le Pape bénit tout,
Si Dieu ne pourvoit à tout,
Le Diable emporte tout."

When treating of the American War we left the Americans at the end of 1813 retiring into winter quarters. This year the fortunes of this silly war were somewhat unequal. The absurd system of reprisals was abolished, and the hostages exchanged, as other prisoners of war—altogether, things looked like coming to a close. (p. 369) The great feature of this year's campaign, was the Capture and burning of Washington, on 24th of August, which, virtually, ended the War. The Capitol, the Arsenal, the Dockyard, with a frigate ready to be launched, Treasury, War Office, President's Palace, the Rope Walk, and the Great bridge across the Potomac were all destroyed.


(Published October 4, 1814, by Fores.)

There seems to have been a great joke about President Madison losing his supper on this occasion, as, for instance, in the Morning Chronicle of October 15th, is the following: "Although Madison was deprived of his supper in consequence of the British troops entering his mansion at Washington, yet it must be some consolation to him that he did not lose his desert." The same occurs in the dialogue accompanying this illustration which is entitled "The Fall of Washington, or Maddy in full flight."

The three bystanders say, respectively, "Jonathan, where thinkest thou our President will run now?"—"Why, verily, to Elba, to his Bosom friend!"—"The great Washington fought for Liberty, but we are fighting for shadows, which, if obtained, could do us no Earthly good, but this is the blessed effect of it." Madison, who carries under his arm "A plan for laying England under Contribution," "Project for the Conquest of Canada," "Correspondence with Boney," &c.,—says "Who would have thought of this, Man? To oblige (p. 370) us to run from the best Cabinet Supper I ever order'd—I hope you have taken care of Boney's promissory notes—The people won't stand anything after this." His companion says, "D—n his Notes! what are they good for, now? We should get nothing but Iron, he hasn't any of his stock of Brass left, or some of that would have helped us through!"

Two bystanders say, "I suppose this is what Maddis calls benefiting his Country!"—"Why it will throw such a light on affairs that we shall find it necessary to change both men and measures."

Two English Men-of-War's men standing by, say to each other, "I say, Jack! what is that there man of war that was to nihilate us, as Master Boney used to say?"—"Aye, Messmate, he is a famous fighter over a bottle of Shampain; why he'd have played Hell with us if we had let him sit down to supper."

Proposals of peace were made, and a treaty signed at Ghent, on the 24th of December, thus making out the Christmas "Peace on earth and good will towards men," and a happy ending to this year.


(p. 371) CHAPTER XIX.

Health of the King — Extension of the Order of the Bath — Wife selling — A Sailor's frolic — "Nelson's Lady Hamilton" — "The Pig-faced Lady" — The advantage of being able to play the violin — Napoleon's escape from Elba.

Neither this, nor any of the succeeding years of the Regency, can produce any string of events to vie with 1814. After that stirring year, all others fall flat. Still, with the exception of Napoleon's hundred days, we shall probably find more social chit-chat in them, than those which have preceded them in this Chronicle. Unfortunately for me there is no sequence of events, and my narrative must, necessarily, be made up of disjointed fragments culled from various sources, but which, nevertheless, illustrate the idea of this book—the Social life of the period.

First of all, let us look at the health of the poor old King, now nearly half forgotten. One bulletin will (p. 372) suffice, as it exactly expresses his state for the year. "Windsor Castle, February 4.—The King continues in good health; but since the last Report his Majesty has been less uniformly tranquil than he was during some preceding months." His bodily health was good, and mentally he was generally composed, and tranquil, with occasional outbursts of furious mania, and, in any case, his mental alienation was continuous: he never recovered his reason.

One of the first public acts of the Regent, in this year, was to enlarge the Order of the Bath. The long and arduous duties of our troops merited some reward when peace was obtained; and, although they only did their duty, as our troops do now, they were not thanked, as now, by the Sovereign after every little skirmish, nor were medals so lavishly given as now. Every one knows the length of time before the Waterloo medal was issued to all who were worthy of its receipt. The orders of Chivalry were few, and it was then an honour to receive a decoration. Going on at the present rate, knighthood will soon be about on a par with the Order of S.S. Maurice and Lazarus.

At all events, the extension of the Order of the Bath was fixed upon, and a good choice it was, because it was not of mushroom creation, as it was instituted in 1399. After Charles II., it fell into abeyance, until George I. revived it in 1725. The London Gazette of 3rd of (p. 373) January, gives the ordinance enlarging this Order of Chivalry, which, henceforth, was to consist of Knights Grand Cross, Knights Commander, and Companions. The number of Knights Grand Cross was limited to 72; 60 Military and 12 Civil. This number might be exceeded by the addition of Princes of the Blood Royal holding high Commissions in the Army and Navy. The rank required for this dignity is that of Major-General in the Army, and Rear-Admiral in the Navy. The Civilians should have rendered eminent services to the State, either in civil, or diplomatic employment. The Second Grade was not to exceed 180 in number, exclusive of foreign officers holding English Commissions, but these were, for the present, limited to 10, but might be increased. This honour was only bestowed on Lieutenant-Colonels, and Post-Captains. The Companions embraced a wide field, their number was much larger, and any one was eligible for the decoration who had received a medal, or other badge of honour, or had been mentioned by name in the London Gazette as having been distinguished by valour in action. The members now, according to Debrett for 1888, are Knights Grand Cross—50 Military, 25 Civil; Knights Commanders—123 Military, 80 Civil; Companions—690 Military, and 250 Civil.

Things matrimonial must have been very bad, for I find the record of no less than three sales of wives during this year. The first is in January: "Matrimonial (p. 374) Sale.—Tuesday s'en night, a man named John Osborne, who lived at Gondhurst, came to Maidstone, for the purpose of disposing of his wife by sale; but, it not being market day, the auction was removed to the sign of 'The Coal-barge,' in Earl Street, where she was actually sold to a man named William Serjeant, with her child, for the sum of one pound. The business was conducted in a very regular manner, a deed and covenant being given by the seller, of which the following is a literal copy:—

"I, John Osborne, doth agree to part with my wife, Mary Osborne, and child, to William Serjeant, for the sum of one pound, in consideration of giving up all claim whatever, whereunto I have made my mark as an acknowledgement.

"Maidstone, January 3, 1815. X"

The next case is in July: "Smithfield bargain.—One of those scenes which occasionally disgrace even Smithfield, took place there about five o'clock on Friday evening (July 14th), namely—a man exposing his wife for sale. Hitherto, we have only seen those moving in the lowest classes of society thus degrading themselves, but the present exhibition was attended with some novel circumstances. The parties, buyer and seller, were persons of property; the lady (the object of sale), young, beautiful, and elegantly dressed, was brought to the (p. 375) market in a coach, and exposed to the view of her purchaser with a silk halter round her shoulders, which were covered with a rich white lace veil. The price demanded for her, in the first instance, was eighty guineas, but that finally agreed on, was fifty guineas, and a valuable horse upon which the purchaser was mounted. The sale and delivery being complete, the lady, with her new lord and master, mounted a handsome curricle which was in waiting for them, and drove off, seemingly nothing loath to go. The purchaser, in the present case is a celebrated horsedealer in town, and the seller, a grazier of cattle, residing about six miles from London. The intention of these disgusting bargains is, to deprive the husband of any right of prosecution for damages."

The third example is as follows: "On Friday last (September 15th) the common bell-man gave notice in Staines Market, that the wife of —— Issey was then at the King's Head Inn, to be sold, with the consent of her husband, to any person inclined to buy her. There was a very numerous attendance to witness this singular sale, notwithstanding which only three shillings and four pence were offered for the lot, no one choosing to contend with the bidder, for the fair object, whose merits could only be appreciated by those who knew them. This, the purchaser could boast, from a long, and intimate acquaintance. This degrading custom seems to be generally received by the lower classes, as of equal obligation with the most serious legal forms."

(p. 376) "A Sailor's frolic.—Yesterday (February 9th) morning early, a sailor who had been lately paid off, and who had been riding in a coach, about the streets, with a fiddler playing, the preceding night, strolled into Covent Garden Market, when he was asked by one of the basket women, whether he wanted anything carried for him? He replied that he wished to be carried himself, to a place where he could get some breakfast. The woman, who wanted to go home to her lodging in St. Giles's, agreed to take him in her basket, to a coffee shop at the corner of High Street; the sailor got in, first getting his pipe lighted, and sat cross-legged, smoking his pipe, in the woman's basket, which was set upon her head by others of her own fraternity. She went off, followed by a great concourse of spectators of every description, and, without once resting, took her load to its destination, when the sailor rewarded her with a pint of rum, and a pound note."

On the 17th of January died "Nelson's Lady Hamilton," whose career was a remarkable one. Born of poor parents, at a little village in Cheshire, Amy Lyons early went into domestic service. Being very beautiful, she soon attracted notice, with the usual result. After being the mistress of more than one, Mr. Greville took her under his protection, and, when he deserted her, she associated herself with that arch quack Doctor Graham, of "Celestial bed," and "earth bathing" (p. 377) notoriety. While with him, she posed as Hebe Vestina, a part for which her beautiful face and figure eminently fitted her. She ultimately married the celebrated virtuoso Sir William Hamilton, who was the English Ambassador at Naples. At that Court her vivacity was much appreciated, and she was the constant companion of the Queen. Of her connection with Nelson everybody knows.

During the War the farmers had coined money, in spite of their wretchedly bad farming; but the introduction of foreign wheat, and a not too plentiful harvest, brought about a state of things, of which we are now experiencing a parallel. Under date of February 13th we read: "In many counties of England, the farmers are giving up their leases in great numbers. A farm belonging to Bethlehem Hospital, which let a few years since for £1,100 per annum, and was afterwards risen to £6,000 per annum, is now offering for £4,000 per annum, but with little prospect of its being taken at that rent." Does not this read like a chapter of to-day? The rents raised until the farmers could not farm profitably, and then the land unoccupied.

"The Pig-faced lady" is to be heard of in several European countries; but, perhaps the earliest one noticed in England, although not a country woman, was Frau Tanakin Skinker. Of her, however, we only hear through the medium of a very rare book published in London in 1641 entitled, "A certain relation of the Hog-faced (p. 378) Gentlewoman," but of her, together with an old black-letter ballad on another damsel equally afflicted, I have already written in my book on "Humour, Wit and Satire of the Seventeenth Century."

In February, 1815, there was a widespread belief in the existence, in London, of such a monstrosity, and she is depicted in this illustration which is called "Waltzing a Courtship." There is also another engraving of her, showing her seated playing the piano, but very thinly veiled, so that her porcine countenance is plainly visible. I believe there is also another, but this I have not seen, where she is seen standing by a table, on which is her silver feeding-trough.


The Times, which was not quite so matter of fact then, as now, gives the following account of "her sowship." In its issue of February 16th is the following: "There is, at present, a report in London, of a woman, with a strangely deformed face, resembling that of a pig, who is possessed of a large fortune, and, we suppose, wants all the comforts and conveniences incident to her sex and station. We, ourselves, unwittingly put in an advertisement from a young woman offering to be her companion, and, yesterday morning, a fellow transmitted to us another advertisement, attended by a one-pound note, offering himself to be her husband. We have put his offer in the fire, and shall send his money to some charity. Our rural friends hardly know what idiots (p. 381) London contains. The pig's face is as firmly believed in by many, as Joanna Southcot's pregnancy, to which folly it has succeeded. Though no Parson Tozer has yet mounted the rostrum to preach in support of the face, there is hardly a company in which this swinish female is not talked of; and thousands believe in her existence. The story, however, is an old one. About fifty-three years ago, it is well remembered by several elderly people, there was exactly the same rumour. It was revived, with but slight effect about thirty years since; and now comes forth again in its pristine vigour. On the original invention of the pig-faced woman about the year 1764, a man offered to make her an ivory trough to feed out of...."

The following is the advertisement referred to: it appeared in The Times of Feb. 9th. "For the Attention of Gentlemen and Ladies. A young gentlewoman having heard of an advertisement for a person to undertake the care of a lady, who is heavily afflicted in the face, whose friends have offered a handsome income yearly, and a premium for residing with her for seven years, would do all in her power to render her life most comfortable; an undeniable character can be obtained from a respectable circle of friends; an answer to this advertisement is requested, as the advertiser will keep herself disengaged. Address, post paid, to X Y, at Mr. Ford's, Baker, 12, Judd Street, Brunswick Square."

(p. 382) The advertisement which follows is probably that rejected by The Times, but inserted in The Morning Herald of Feb. 16th. "Secrecy. A single gentleman, aged thirty-one, of a respectable family, and in whom the utmost confidence may be reposed, is desirous of explaining his mind to the friends of a person who has a misfortune in her face, but is prevented for want of an introduction. Being perfectly aware of the principal particulars, and understanding that a final settlement would be preferred to a temporary one, presumes he would be found to answer the full extent of their wishes. His intentions are sincere, honourable, and firmly resolved. References of great respectability can be given. Address to M. D., at Mr. Spencer's, 22, Great Ormond Street, Queen's Square."

Captain Gronow refers to this lady.[35] "Among the many absurd reports, and ridiculous stories current, in former days, I know of none more absurd, or more ridiculous, than the general belief of everybody in London, during the winter of 1814, in the existence of a lady with a pig's face. This interesting specimen of porcine physiognomy was said to be the daughter of a great lady residing in Grosvenor Square.

"It was rumoured that during the illuminations which took place to celebrate the Peace, when a great crowd had assembled in Piccadilly and St. James's Street, and (p. 383) when carriages could not move on very rapidly, 'horresco referens!' an enormous pig's snout had been seen protruding from a fashionable-looking bonnet in one of the landaus which were passing. The mob cried out, 'The pig-faced lady!—the pig-faced lady! Stop the Carriage—stop the Carriage!' The coachman, wishing to save his bacon, whipped his horses, and drove through the crowd at a tremendous pace; but it was said that the coach had been seen to set down its monstrous load in Grosvenor Square.

"Another report was also current. Sir William Elliot, a youthful baronet, calling one day to pay his respects to the great lady in Grosvenor Square, was ushered into a drawing-room, where he found a person fashionably dressed, who, on turning towards him, displayed a hideous pig's face. Sir William, a timid young gentleman, could not refrain from uttering a shout of horror, and rushed to the door in a manner, the reverse of polite; when the infuriated lady, or animal, uttering a series of grunts, rushed at the unfortunate baronet as he was retreating, and inflicted a severe wound on the back of his neck. This highly probable story concluded by stating that Sir William's wound was a severe one, and had been dressed by Hawkins, the surgeon, in South Audley Street.

"I am really almost ashamed to repeat this absurd story; but many persons now alive can remember the (p. 384) strong belief in the existence of the pig-faced lady, which prevailed in the public mind at the time of which I speak. The shops were full of Caricatures of the pig-faced lady, in a poke bonnet and large veil, with 'A pig in a poke' written underneath the print. Another sketch represented Sir William Elliot's misadventure, and was entitled, 'Beware the pig-stye.'"

The Annual Register, which is supposed to contain nothing but facts, is responsible for the following, under date Feb. 25th: "A foreign journal contains the following laughable anecdote of a French fiddler of the name of Boucher, who, lately, came to push his fortune in London. On his arrival at Dover, across the Channel, he had the mortification to see his fiddles seized by the officers of the Customs. It was in vain he protested that they were not articles of Commerce, but instruments for his own use; and that, if he meant to make money by them, it was, at least, not by their sale. The fiscal agents were deaf; the fiddles must pay duty. To fix the amount, their value must be estimated: and Mr. Boucher was desired to set his own value on the fiddles; he fell into the snare, and fixed a very moderate price.

"Then, in virtue of Custom-house regulations unknown to our travelling musician, they offered him 15 per cent. more than the valuation, and declared they would keep the instruments. Our artist was in despair; he (p. 385) complained, he prayed, he threatened, but all in vain; there was only one resource,—that of going to London to claim the interference of the French Ambassador; but, to do this, he must part from his dear fiddles, the instruments of his glory, and his fortune. He wished, at least, to bid them a last adieu, and, taking up one of them, he brought from it such melodious, but doleful sounds, as corresponded with his feelings. The Custom-house officers, attracted by the notes, formed a group round him, which gradually increased, so that the office could no longer contain the collected auditors. They begged the musician to pass into a large lobby, to which he, unwillingly, assented. There, on the top of the staircase, he performed several pieces which charmed even fiscal ears. Animated by his success, the artist surpassed even himself, and the enthusiasm of his audience was at its height, when they heard God save the King executed, with the most brilliant variations. How repay so much talent and complaisance? Everything was forgotten; even the regulations of the Custom-House. 'Sir,' said the Chief of the Customs to the French Virtuoso, 'take back your fiddles; you may boast of a finer, because a more difficult triumph than that of Orpheus. He melted only the infernal deities, but you have made the douaniers of Dover relent.'"

Here is a curious superstition which comes from a Bath paper: "A young woman, who had been married (p. 386) only three months, and lived at Widcomb, being summoned to answer a charge of a breach of the peace, at the instance of her mother-in-law, threw herself into the river, at Widcomb, and was drowned. Every means to discover the body have, hitherto, been ineffectual, on account of the great height of the river, through the late rains. It is curious, however, to observe some of the methods which fancy, or superstition, has suggested in order to find the body:—among others, a large drum, carried in a boat, has been beaten down the river, under the idea that its sound would alter when approaching the drowned person; and a small loaf, laden with quicksilver, has been set afloat, which, it is presumed, would be stopped in its progress, by attraction, when approaching the immersed object."

In this month of February an event occurred, which stirred Europe to its very foundation. The lion, so fondly believed to be caged at Elba, got unchained, and, leaving his petty island kingdom, on the 26th of Feb., he landed at Cannes on the 1st of March. There was consternation, to use the mildest term, all over Europe. The French king believed that he would soon be driven back; but in his advance, his army increased like a vast snowball, and poor Louis had once more to retire. The Congress at Vienna was broken up, unregretted by any one, and the Allies entered into a compact, engaging themselves not to quit the field until (p. 387) Napoleon was subdued. The news was not received here until the 10th of March, and the Times of next day, fairly foams over it. "Early yesterday morning, we received by express from Dover, the important, but lamentable intelligence, of a civil war having been again kindled in France, by that wretch Buonaparte, whose life was so impolitically spared by the Allied Sovereigns. It now appears that the hypocritical villain, who, at the time of his cowardly abdication, affected an aversion to the shedding of blood in a civil warfare, has been employed during the whole time of his residence at Elba, in carrying out secret and treasonable intrigues with the tools of his former crimes in France," &c.

The Newsboys in London must have reaped a rare harvest.

"Twang went the horn! 'Confound that noise!'
I cried, in pet—'these plaguy boys
Are at some tricks to sell their papers,
Their blasts have given me the vapours!'
But all my senses soon were stranded,
At hearing, 'Buonaparte's landed!'
'Landed in France!' so ran the strain,
And 'with eleven hundred men.'
'Ho, post!' 'Who calls?' 'This way.' 'I'm coming!'
'The public, surely, he is humming,'
Said I. 'A paper—what's the price?'
'A shilling.' 'Why, that's payment twice!'
'As cheap as dirt, your honour, quite;
They've sold for half-a-crown to-night.'
'But is the news authentic, friend?'
'Ofishul, sir, you may depend.—
(p. 388) The Currier third edition.' 'So!
Well, take your money, boy, and go.'
Now, for the news—by what blunder
Has he escaped his bounds, I wonder."

Rothschilds had the first news, one of their clerks coming express from Paris to tell them. Doubtless they took advantage of their information.





1: The Princess Amelia, when dying, ordered a valuable stone she possessed, to be set in a ring, for a keepsake of her to her father, and so urgent was she that it might be made before she died, that a jeweller was sent for, express, from London to make it. It contained a lock of her hair, and, on it, was her name, and, "Remember me when I am gone."

2: Then the principal Aëronaut in England.

3: The italics are mine.—J. A.

4: Nearly a waggon load of the family plate of the late Sir William Pulteney decorated the Tables at Carlton House. It is said that the weight of the whole of the gold and silver plate used on this occasion, was Six Tons.

5: See The Dawn of the Nineteenth Century, by John Ashton, 1 vol. edit., pp. 166 to 176.

6: Julius Cæsar, act ii. sc. 2.

7: I Henry IV., act i. sc. 1.

8: The third stump was added by the Hambledon Club, 1775.

9: At Drury Lane Theatre, destroyed on the 24th of February, 1809.

10: Union Hall was at the east end of Union Street, Borough, and was built by subscription in 1781—for the use of the magistrates.

11: Or Falkingham, Lincolnshire.

12: Seymour.

13: In 1888-9, an exhibition of Stuart Relics was held at the New Gallery in Regent Street, and, on December 17, 1888, the following Paragraph appeared in the Standard:—"The Prince of Wales visited St. George's Chapel, Windsor, on Thursday last, and replaced in the vault containing the coffin of Charles I. certain relics of that Monarch, which had been removed during some investigations more than 70 years ago. These relics, having ultimately come into the possession of the Prince of Wales, his Royal Highness decided, with the sanction of the Queen, to replace them in the vault from which they had been taken, but not to disturb the coffin of the King. This task was successfully accomplished on Thursday last in the presence of the Dean of Windsor."

There was some discussion as to what these relics were, which was set at rest by the Globe, January 10, 1889:—"The Prince of Wales and the Relic of Charles I. Considerable curiosity, says the Whitehall Review, was aroused the other day as to what the relic could have been which the Prince of Wales deposited in the tomb of Charles I. at Windsor. The relic in question was, we believe, part of the vertebræ joining the head to the body of the unfortunate monarch. It appears that when the coffin of Charles I. was opened in 1813, and the king's head fell on the ground, as so graphically described in Mr. Frith's 'Reminiscences,' a portion of the vertebræ of the beheaded king was taken away and preserved by the eminent physician, Sir Henry Halford, from whose custody it was subsequently stolen. Luckily, full written particulars were attached to the relic, and it was, two years ago, sent anonymously to the Prince of Wales, who, fearing that it might be wanted for the Stuart Exhibition, judiciously arranged to have the relic returned. It was placed on, but not in, the coffin in the vault at Windsor Chapel."

A further paragraph in the same Newspaper of the 14th of January, thoroughly elucidates whatever mystery there might have been about the "relics":—"The Relic of Charles I. Sir H. St. John Halford writes to us from Wistow Hall, Leicester, with reference to the relic of Charles I. recently placed on the coffin of that Monarch by the Prince of Wales, as follows: 'The true history of the relic is that it was given to my grandfather, Sir Henry Halford, by His Majesty George IV., at the time that the coffin of Charles I. was opened, and was given by me to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales two years ago.'"

14: "Memoirs of her late Royal Highness, Charlotte Augusta Princess of Wales," &c., by Robert Huish, Esq., London, 1818, p. 68.

15: "Memoirs," vol. vii. p. 6.

16: They alluded to the Duc de Bassano, Caulaincourt, Bertrand, and some others.

17: There was an Epigram made on this allowance—

"Celui qui dévora de Nombreux bataillons
Qui nagea dans le sang, qui vécut dans la crime,
Na de rente que six millions,
Ce n'est pas un sou par victime."

18: "English Caricature and Satire on Napoleon I.," by John Ashton.

19: This insensate folly still obtains occasionally; but I never met with but one instance of women sinking to the same depth of degradation. It is in the Morning Chronicle of the 5th of May, 1814, on p. 2, under heading St. Sebastian Mail.—"Don Antonio entered Valencia in the Coach of the President of the Regency. His Majesty would not permit the Arragonese Ladies to draw his Coach."

20: The son of the Duchess of Oldenburgh, then about three years old.

21: Stewart.

22: "My Life and Reminiscences," 1866, vol iii. pp. 3 and 4.

23: See page 270.

24: At the moment of her entrance into what is now Buckingham Palace—then the Queen's House—the first gun was fired, announcing the signature of the Definitive Treaty of Peace.

25: Of Salisbury.

26: According to The Morning Chronicle of July 15th she gave him three guineas.

27: Afterwards Lady Keith, and wife of Count Flahault.

28: "The Life and Times of Henry, Lord Brougham," written by himself, 1871, vol. ii. p. 229.

29: The Ornamental Water in St. James's Park.

30: Our ordinary Gas (Carburetted Hydrogen) was always then, and long after, called "the Gas."

31: Pepys speaks of this on more than one occasion, notably, "1660, Sept. 16. To the Park, where I saw how far they had proceeded in the Pall Mall, and in making a river through the Park, which I had never seen before since it was begun." Evelyn also mentions it: "1662, Dec. 1. Having seen the strange and wonderful dexterity of the sliders on the New Canal in St. James's Park," &c.

32: The revolving Temple of Concord.

33: Then Chancellor of the Exchequer.

34: In a jeu d'esprit on the Jubilee—the Serpentine was called "The River Styx."

35: "Recollections and Anecdotes," 1863, p. 111.

Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been maintained.

—"country some were hanged, but this really some" changed to "country some were hanged, but this really served"

—"lest twenty years;" changed to "last twenty years;"

—The Vielle Cour de Versailles changed to "The Vieille Cour de Versailles"

—"Les Jésuites sout par tout," changed to "Les Jésuites sont par tout,"

—The books' advertisements have been moved from the front to the back of the e-book.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Social England under the Regency, Vol.
1 (of 2), by John Ashton


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