Imatges de pÓgina
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QUEEN CAROLINE.

In order to render this more-than important history, complete, we must commence the subject-matter from the period when Lord Liverpool brought a message from His Majesty to the House of Lords, on June 5, 1820:, which was read by the Lord Chancellor, in the following words:

* GEORGE R. “ The King thinks it necessary in consequence of the arrival of the Queen, to communicate to the House of Lords certain papers respecting the conduct of her Majesty since her departure from this kingdom, which he recommends to the immediate and serious attention of this House.

“ The King has felt the most anxious desire to avert the necessity of disclosures and discussions, which must be as painful to his people asi they can be to himself; but the step now taken by the Queen leaves him no alternative.

“ The King has the fullest confidence that, in consequence of this communication, the House of Lords will adopt that course of proceeding which the justice of the case and the honour and dignity of bis Majesty's Crown may require.

“ GEORGE R.”. His Lordship then laid on the table the papers referred to in the above message, and moved that His Majesty's message be considered the next day.

Lord Castlereagh in the House of Commons, brought in a similar message to the one in the Lords; and which occasioned a very animated debate; on the next day, Mr. Brougham delivered to the House of Commons a message from her Majesty, of which the following is a copy

“ 'The Queen thinks it necessary to inform the House of Commons, that she has been induced to return to England, in consequence of the measures pursued against her honour and her peace, for some time, by seeret Agents abroad, and lately sanctioned by the conduct of the Government at home. In adopting this course her Majesty has had no other purpose whatsoever but the defence of her character, and the maintenance of those just rights, which have devolved upon her. by the death of that revered Monarch, in whose high honour and unsbake afection she had always found her surest support.

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“ Upon her arrival, the Queen is surprised to find that a Message has been sent down to Parliament, requiring its attention to written documents; and she learns with still greater astonishment, that there is an intention of proposing that these should be referred to a Select Committee. It is this day fourteen years since the first charges were brought forward against her Majesty. Then, and upon every occasion dur that long period, she has shown the utmost readiness to meet her accusers, and to court the fullest inquiry into her conduct. She now also desires an open investigation, in which she may see both the charges and the witnesses against her; a privilege not denied to the meanest subject of the realm. In the face of the Sovereign, the Parliament, and the Country, she solemnly protests against the formation of a Secret Tribunal to examine documents privately prepared by her adversaries, as a proceeding unknown to the law of the Tund, and a flagrant violation of all the principles of justice. She relies with full confidence upon the integrity of the House of Commons for defeating the only attempt she has any reason to fear.

“ The Queen cannot forbear to add, that even before any proceedings were resolved upon, she has been treated in a manner too well calculated to prejudge her case. The omission of her name in the Liturgy—the withholding the means of conveyance usually afforded to all the branches of the Royal Family- the refusal even of an answer to ber application for a place of residence in the Royal mansions, and the studied slights both of English Ministers abroad, and of the Agents of all Forriga Powers over whom the English Government has any influence,-must be viewed as measures designed to prejudice the world against her, and could only have been justified by trial and conviction."

In the House of Lords, on the following day, Lord Liverpool moved that a select committee of 15 Lords, be chosen to exaniine the papers in the Green Bag, relative to the Queen : this motion was opposed by Marquess Lansdown and Lord Holland; but at length agreed to; and the next day, the following Lords were' chosen as the committee: The Archbishop of Cauterbury The Earl of Donoghmore, The Lord Chancellor,

Earl Beauchamp,
The Lord President of the Council, Viscount Sidmouth,
The Duke of Beaufort,

The Bishop of London,
The Duke of Northumberland, Lord Redesdale,
The Marquess of Buckingham, Lord Ellenborouyh.
The Earl of Liverpool,

The Earl of Lauderdale,

In the interim measures were proposed for an amicable arrangement': to accomplish which desirable end, the Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh, on the part of the King; and Mr. Broughamn and Mr. Dennan, on the part of the Queen, had frequent rolle ferences ; and they mutually agreed on all points, except the insertion of her Majesty's name in the Liturgy.

These negociation having thus failed, Mr. Wilberforce moved in the House of Comwous, on Thursday June 22, the following Resolution :

“ Resolved, That this House has learned with unfeigned and deep regret, that the late endeavours to frame an arrangement which might svert the necessity of public inquiry into the information laid bifure White

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two Houses of Parliament, have not led to that amicable adjustment of the existing differences of the Royal Family, wbich was so anxiously désired by Parliament and the Nation.

That this House, fully sensible of the objections which the Queen might justly feel to taking upon herself the relinquishment of any points in which she might have conceived her own dignity and horour to be involved, yet feeling the inestimable importance of an amicable and i final adjustment of the present unhappy differences, cannot forbear declaring its opinion, that when such large advances have been made towards that object, her Majesty, by yielding to the earnest solicitude" of the House of Commons, and forbearing to press further the adoption of those propositions on which any material difference of opinion is yete remaining would by no means be understood to indicate any wish to shrink from inquiry, but would only be deemned to afford a renewed proof of the desire which her Majesty has been graciously pleased to express, to submit her own wishes to the authority of Parliament: thereby entitling herself to the grateful acknowledgements of the House of Comnions, and sparing this House the painful necessity of those public discussions, which, whatever might be their ultimate result, could not but be distressing to her Majesty's feclings, disappointing to the bopes of Parliament, derogatory from the dignity of the Crown, and injurious to the best interest of the Empire."

The proposal of this Resolution occasioned a long and animated debate; Lord Hamilton moved an amendment to Mr. Wilberforce's motion, in substance, that the insertion of Her Majesty's name in the Liturgy, would be the surest neaus of bringing about an adjustment of the unpleasant business ; but this amendment was negatived; there being For Mr. Wilberforce's motion

391 Lord Hamilton's amendment

124

Majority

267 Whereupon Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. Stuart Wortley, Mr. Banks, and Sir T. Aekland were named and appointed to present the Address to her Majesty, which they accordingly did on the following Saturday, at the Queen's residence in Portman Sireet. Her Majesty received the deputation in the drawing-room, Mr. Broughan was on her right hand, and Mr. Denman on her left, they being allired. in their full dress robes and wigs, Mr. Wilberforce and his friends having approached, paid the customary obeisence to royalty. Mr. Wilberforce then stated the object of their attendance. At the conclusion, her Majesty returned the following answer, which was -read by Mr. Brougham.

“ I am bound to receive with gratitude any attempt on the part, of the House of Commons to interpose its high mediation for the purpose of bealing those unhappy differences in the Royal Family, which no person has so much reason to deplore as myself. And with perfect truth I can declare, that an entire reconcilement of those differences, effected by the authority of Parliament, on principles consistent with the honour and dignity of all the parties, is still the object dearest to

“ I cannot refrain from expressing my deep sense of the affectionate language of these resolutions; it shews the House of Commons to bure the faithful representative of that generous people to wbom I owe debt of gratitude that can never be r:paid.

my heart.

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