Imatges de pàgina

her Royal Highness the said Princess scandalous, disgraceful, and vicious of Wales, a most unbecoming and de- conduct, on the part of her said Magrading intimacy commenced between jesty, by which she has violated the her said Royal Highness and the said duty which she owed to your MajesBartolomo Pergami, otherwise Barto- ty, and has rendered herself unworthy lomo Bergami :

of the exalted rank and station of “And her said Royal Highness not Queen Consort of this realm ; and to only advanced the said Bartolomo evince our just regard for the dignity Pergami, otherwise Bartolomo Ber- of the Crown, and the honour of this gami, to a high situation in her Royal nation, we, your Majesty's most dutiHighness's household, and received in- ful and loyal subjects, the Lords spito her service many of his near rela- ritual and temporal, and Commons, in tions, some of them in inferior, and Parliament assembled, do humbly enothers in high and confidential situa- treat your Majesty, that it may be en. tions, about her Royal Highness's per- acted, and be it enacted by the King's son, but bestowed upon him other most excellent Majesty, by and with great and extraordinary marks of fa- the advice and consent of the Lords vour and distinction, obtained for him spiritual and temporal, and Commons, orders of knighthood and titles of ho- in this present Parliament assembled, nour, and conferred upon him a pre- and by the authority of the same, that tended order of knighthood, which her said Majesty, Caroline Amelia her Royal Highness had taken upon Elizabeth, from and after the passing herself to constitute, without any just of this Act, shall be, and is hereby deor lawful authority:

prived of the title of Queen, and of all “And whereas also her said Royal the prerogatives, rights, privileges, Highness, whilst the said Bartolomo and exemptions appertaining to her Pergami, otherwise Bartolomo Ber- as Queen Consort of this realm; and gami, was in her said service, further that her said Majesty shall, from and unmindful of her exalted rank and after the passing of this act, for ever station, and of her duty to your Ma- be disabled and rendered incapable jesty, and wholly regardless of her of using, exercising, and enjoying the own honour and character, conduct- same, or any of them; and moreover, ed herself towards the said Bartolomo that the marriage between his MaPergami, otherwise Bartolomo Ber. jesty and the said Caroline Amelia gaini, and in other respects, both in Elizabeth, be, and the same is, herepublic and private, in the various by from henceforth for ever wholly places and countries which her Royal dissolved, annulled, and made void, Highness visited, with indecent and to all intents, constructions, and puroffensive familiarity and freedom, and poses whatsoever.” carried on a licentious, disgraceful, and adulterous intercourse with the Earl Grey immediately rose and said Bartolomo Pergami, otherwise objected, that, though it was geneBartolomo Bergami, which continued rally stated that her Majesty indulged for a long period of time during her in vices of a low description, yet no Royal Highness's residence abroad; particular act was set forth, nor any by which conduct of her said Royal precise period of time specified, so as Highness, great scandal and dishonour to enable her to repel the general have been brought upon your Majes- charge. He hoped the noble Earl ty's family and this kingdom. There- would answer these two questions :fore, to manifest our deep sense of such first, whether any more particular specification of the offences stated by had directed counsel to support a the committee would be laid before measure devised by itself. Lord LiHouse ? and, next, whether it was verpool replied, that it was common, intended to give to her Majesty a list where parties were not in a situation of the witnesses by whom she was to institute proceedings themselves, accused?

for the House to appoint counsel to The Earl of Liverpool said, that assist them; and instanced the Berkethese points would more properly ley Peerage. Lord Grey, however, come under discussion at a future insisted, that this was very different period; but he must observe; in the from the House appointing counsel first place, that the communication to support a measure originated by in the preamble of the bill was as itself. The Chancellor observed, that particular as could be found in any the House had a right, when they bill of the same nature, and was, he chose, to order the Attorney-General thought, quite sufficient for the pur- to attend to give his assistance. Still pose. With regard to the question Lord Holland thought the present respecting the delivery of the names was a strange measure. of witnesses, he believed such a course The Queen, on learning the formi. to be wholly unprecedented in par- dable proceeding thus opened against liamentary proceeding, whether it her, was not likely to remain

long were connected with bills of pains inactive. On the following day, Lord and penalties, or with any other le- Dacre presented a petition in these gislative measure; and, as their Lord- terms :ships must know, it was a course not at all pursued in judicial proceedings, « CAROLINE REGINA. except in cases of high treason. He “ The Queen has heard, with inex. would, however, state, that there was pressible astonishment, that a bill, a claim to which her Majesty was conveying charges, and intended to entitled in this instance ; not that a degrade her, and to dissolve her marlist of witnesses should be made out riage with the King, has been brought for her, but that, when the case for by the first minister of the King into the prosecution had closed, and the the House of Lords, where her Maallegations were to be disproved jesty has no counsel or other officer at the bar of that House, then any to assert her rights. The only alleged time which her Majesty might think foundation for the bill is the report proper should be afforded to enable of a secret committee, proceeding her to rebut the evidence adduced solely on papers submitted to them, against her

and before whom no single witness Earl Grey, however, insisted, that was examined. The Queen has been the Queen would still suffer great further informed, that her counsel disadvantage from not knowing the last night were refused a hearing at charges advanced against her, and the bar of the House of Lords, at the evidence in support of them. He that stage of the proceeding when it also inquired if any counsel was to was most material that they should appear for the prosecution ; to which be heard, and that a list of the witLord Liverpool replied, that the At: nesses, whose names are known to torney-General would receive instruc- her accusers, is to be refused to her

. tions from the House to that effect. Under such circumstances, the Queen Earl Grey demanded, if any instance doubts whether any other course is was ever known in which the House left to her, but to protest in the most solemn manner against the whole of so difficult to understand. Being althe proceeding ; but she is anxious lowed to object neither to the proto make one more effort to obtain jus- ceeding by bill, nor to the present tice, and therefore desires that her bill, no subject of discussion was left, counsel may be admitted to state her except the time of proceeding. Even claims at the bar of the House of upon that plea, however, if he could Lords."

satisfy their Lordships that the na

ture and tendency of the present bill The Chancellor, though he did not was such as suspended absolute deabsolutely object to hearing counsel, struction over the head of her Maconceived that it could be done only jesty ; if he could succeed in the arunder certain limitations ; and Lord gument which he had urged, partly Liverpool observed that if they meant from the indulgence extended to him to argue that the preamble of the by their Lordships, and partly in the bill was not sufficiently detailed, that delivery of the strong, impetuous, and would be an intelligible ground; if even clainorous desire of her Majesty they meant to contend that a list of to have the accusations, now brought, witnesses ought to be furnished to her proved against her, if either their Majesty, that would be an intelligible Lordships, or the Attorney-general, ground; if they meant to propose to or any other of the King's counsel, expedite the proceedings, or to delay could prove them; then he trusted them, all these would be intelligible that he should have made out a case, grounds; but he could not consent even in confining himself strictly to to their being called in without some the question, which would induce limitation.

their Lordships to throw out the preMr Brougham and Mr Denman sent bill now upon its first time of were then called in, and asked upon reading. He felt himself bound to what points they meant to address state, that a report had reached her the House. Mr Brougham made a Majesty, that she was to be dealt with long enumeration, including almost as if she was the lowest, and not the every point and particular of the highest subject in the realm. In opmeasure which had been introduced position to that argument he would before their Lordships.

“ God grant that she were in the The Chancellor conceived it quite same situation with the lowest subject impossible, that counsel should be in the realm !” If she had been the allowed to go on in the way pro- neanest, instead of the most exalted posed. Their arguments, he concei- personage in the country, she would ved, should be limited to the mode of have had no proceeding served upon proceeding on the bill, and the time her, such as he held a copy of in his of such proceeding. Lords Grey and hand; she would, on the contrary, Holland urged, that no counsel ought have been fenced round by the triple to be heard against the mode of pro- fence whereby the law of England ceeding by bill at all

. This motion, guards the life and honour of the however, was overruled ; and coun- poorest female. There must have sel being called in, were instructed been a sentence of the Consistory to argue only under the limitations Court—there must have been the verabove stated.

dict of a jury, taken from the same Mr Brougham now represented the rank of life with herself, who would extreme difficulty he felt in pleading have sympathised with her feelings, under limitations so positive, and yet and not one of whose members would


have had an interest in oppressing them supported by evidence; then her. She would have been tried by to discontinue the examination of twelve honest, impartial, and disinte- them, in order to allow that evidence rested Englishmen, at whose doors to be collected, sorted, and patched the influence which would act upon up, so as to tally even with those her present judges might flagitate for parts of it which made most materiyears, before it would make the slight- ally in her Majesty's favour? The est impression either upon the hopes first demand, therefore, which he had or the fears which it was calculated to make of their Lordships, was an to excite. She had, therefore, good immediate, the next was a continued cause to lament that she was not the proceeding. The learned counsel filowest subject of his Majesty; and he nally undertook to prove, that it was could assure their Lordships that she impossible ministers could believe the would willingly sacrifice every thing, Queen guilty of the charges advanexcept her honour, which was dearer ced against her, otherwise they never to her than her life, to obtain the would have consented that her Mapoorest cottage which had ever shel- jesty should remain abroad unmotered an Englishwoman from injus- lested, without any measure of degratice. In order that their Lordships dation or divorce, exposing the dig; might not be placed in the most ano- nity and honour of the Crown, and malous situation, it would be neces. the morals of the country where she sary fully to ascertain, that no im- resided the first to be lowered, and peachment could lie, and that no in- the last to be contaminated. The sidictment could be raised for the of- tuation of the Queen was hard infence; points upon which his own deed. Before any step had been taviews were diametrically opposite to ken against her-before her title had the conclusion to which their Lord- been disputed-before even men's ships had come. It was founded minds were made up that any thing chiefly on the alleged acts having should be done, various measures had been committed abroad; but, were been adopted to stigmatize and dethey sure that some of them might grade her. If those who hitherto had not have taken place at Gibraltar, prosecuted this business were indeed Malta, or on board a British vessel? aware of the full weight of the evi(Here the learned counsel was stop- dence--if they relied upon it—if they ped by the Chancellor, as over-step- knew that it must in the end lead to ping the limits prescribed.) Ár a conviction of enormous guilt, they Brougham, being obliged to return still had happily contrived that the to the question of time, declared, that bitterest stigma, the basest degradaher Majesty desired no delay; she tion, should precede even that conwas not only desirous that the pro- viction. Her Majesty ceedings now instituted against her their Lordships as the highest branch should

meet with no obstacle on her of the legislature, the supreme court part to a speedy investigation, but of judicature; she claimed protecwas even desirous that the proceed- tion from those who were now trying ings, after they had once commenced, her by bill, and who hereafter might should continue de die in diem. Could be called upon to try her by impeachthere be a more crying injustice to ment-who werenowlegislating, when wards her Majesty than to go on with they might at some future period be the accusations which had been pre- required to sit in judgment : but, ferred against her, to hear part of whether acting in the one capacity of

came before

in the other, with the confidence of might know her accusers, see the injured innocence, she flung herself witnesses, prove their infamy, and upon the House, and trusted that no establish her own purity ? As to the mixture of party—no presence of in- mode of proceeding, it was her Materested persons-no adventitious in- jesty's pleasure that her counsel fluence exercised out of doors-no should urge, as indispensable, that supposed want of sympathy with the she should be furnished with a list of feelings of the country-no alleged, the witnesses against her : it was, in though falsely alleged, tendency on fact, so obviously necessary, that he the part of their Lordships to truckle could conceive nothing more alarmto royal favour, would stand between ing, than that any one who might sit the Queen and justice, or prevent her in judgment upon her should for one case from receiving a fair, impartial, instant doubt its propriety. Since and an unprejudiced decision. the time of Henry VIII. no instance

Mr Denman, following on the same had occurred of Parliamentary proside, argued still more strongly, that ceeding in a case of this nature. Bills' the case should be proceeded in with- of attainder, and of pains and penalout delay. However imperfect her ties, were only to be justified by a means of defence-however deprived state necessity, which could not be of the instruments to repel so deadly urged in the present case, when there an attack upon her honour, the Queen was no hazard of a spurious issue, was anxious to meet her accusers face and when six years of misconduct to face if possible, at this very in- had been allowed to pass, without stant, but, at furthest, after the lapse trial, complaint, or remonstrance. of only twenty-four hours. Speaking The Queen demanded, that the trial as a British subject, it did not appear should be conducted on the same to him possible that a Committee of principles as in the courts below—she the House could have decided with- demanded a fair and open trial, and out the examination of a single wit- the fullest investigation; nor did she ness, or without seeing a single per- feel any dismay at the scores, and son, from whose conduct and deport- even hundreds of witnesses, who were ment it could judge of the truth or to be summoned against her. falsehood of the fearful accusations. When the counsel had finished, the A grand jury was composed of per- Earl of Liverpool observed, that some sons unconnected with the parties; interval must be necessary for making the witnesses were examined in open the proper arrangements, for secucourt, and the proceeding followed ring a full attendance, and the preimmediately. On a charge of high sence of the learned judges. A forttreason, the prosecutor and the ac- night had usually intervened between cused were by law entitled to delay; the first and second reading of a bill. but this case was different; and the He would propose on Monday, (this royal lady for whom he appeared being Thursday,) to state the order demanded immediate inquiry, and of proceeding, and the time for the secalled upon her accusers to prove cond reading. Lords Holland, Lanstheir case, that she might have an op- downe, Carnarvon, and Grey, urged, portunity of vindicating her slandered that ministers, having been so long fame, and covering them with shame employed in collecting evidence, and and ignominy. Was it too much to doubtless in considering the mode of ask that one moment's needless de- procedure, could not now stand in lay should not occur, that the Queen need of four days to deliberate on the

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