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OFFICIAL REPORT TO THE KING OF THE PRINCE'S CONDUCT.
December 3rd, 1717. Your Majesty having commanded us to give you in writing an exact account of what passed between His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and us, when by your Majesty's order we had the honour to attend him on Friday last, the 29th of November, we humbly beg leave to acquaint your Majesty-That, as near as we can remember, the Lord Privy Seal, having your Majesty's signed order in his hand, told His Royal Highness, that we were sent by your Majesty to ask him, if it was true he had said to the Duke of Newcastle
“ You rascal, I will fight you.”
"I will fight you;' but I said, 'You rascal, I will find you:' and I will find him; for he has often failed in his respect to me, particularly on this late occasion, by insisting on standing godfather to my son, when he knew that it was against my will ; and I should not have suffered it, if it had not been in duty to the king.”
He likewise added, that it was the right of every subject in England to choose who should be godfather to their children, and that he would never allow any subject in England to use him ill.
The Lord Steward then desired His Royal Highness would consider what answer we should carry to the king. But His Royal Highness having repented [of] what he said before,—
The Duke of Roxburgh took the liberty to say that, if His Royal Highness would allow him, he would acquaint him, that the Duke of Newcastle had told him, that he had begged the king not to have any consideration of him on that occasion ; for he had no other concern in it, than simply to obey His Majesty's commands. nis Highness, it seems, has expressed himself with a paternal concern for them, 'tis to be wire-drawn into a demand; that so, beneath the umbrage of such a message, they, the enemies of the Constitution, may vent their collected gall with a show of authority. But these gentlemen are to understand that his Royal Highness is more an Englishman than they are willing to allow, and has not only too much insight into the rights of princes in general, but of our own in particular, to give way to any such of their instigation. He knows how the best action of the whole life of KING CHARLES II. was the prerogative he claimed of marrying his brother's daughters, in spite of him. His answer to the Duke of York, upon that head, may stand as an unalterable maxim of government in this free nation. What !' said the Duke, (swelling with a presumption of the wrong which was offered him,) 'shall not I have the disposal of my own children? Are they not my daughters?' 'No;' replied the king, they are the kingdom's; and as such I am bound to take care of them. To this one wise step of that prince we owe our retrieval from the fatal consequence of all the other mismanagements of his reign. This originally secured to us our present constitution, and even the blessings of his Majesty's reign, and the prospect of that of his Royal race after him.”
To which His Royal Highness answered, “ I won't believe you upon it;" but the Lord Privy Seal did not exactly hear what His Royal Highness answered to the Duke of Roxburgh.
ROXBURGH. KENT. KINGSTON, C. P. S.
Upon receipt of this report the King ordered the Prince not to leave his own apartments till further order, that is, to consider himself under arrest, which occasioned his first and second letters. These not being deemed satisfactory, the Prince received imperative orders to quit the palace immediately, with option to the Princess to remain, which she declined. The third letter announces his departure. He first took up his residence at Lord Grantham's, (the Princess's Chamberlain,) in Albemarle Street, and soon after at Leicester House, which he purchased and made his London residence till the time of his ascending the throne, June 11, 1727.”
THE PRINCE OF WALES' FIRST LETTER TO THE KING.
La première Lettre du Prince de Galles au Roi. SIRE,
Le 11me Decembre, 1717. J'ai reçu avec la soumission que je dois les ordres V. Majesté a envoyé de demeurer dans mon appartement, jusqu'à que V. Majesté m'a fait sçavoir ses volontés ulterieures.
Cette marque forte de l'indignation de V. Majesté m'a infiniment surpris, n'ayant jamais eu d'autres sentimens à l'egard de V. Majesté que ceux qui conviennent à un fils très obéissant.
On m'avoit fait croire, que V. Majesté avoit paru assez facile sur le choix que j'avois fait du Duc de York pour être Parain de mon fils, et qu'il pourroit être representé par le Duc de Newcastle, sans qu'il le fût lui même; et en étant persuadé, je ne pouvois m'empêcher de regarder comme un traitement inouï, qu'il vouloit être Parain de mon enfant, en depit de moy; mais lorsque V. Majesté jugea à propos de l'ordonner, je me suis soumis.
Le procédé du Duc de Newcastle m'a touché sensiblement, et j'en fus si indigné, que le voyant dans l'occasion, je ne pus m'empêcher de lui en donner des marques. Mais comme le respect que j'ay toujours eu pour Vôtre Majesté, m'avoit empêcher de lui en temoigner aucun ressentiment, quand il étoit chargé de vos ordres, j'espère qu' Elle aura la bonté de ne pas regarder ceque j'ay dit, au Duc en particulier, comme un manque de respect envers ï. Majesté.
I Duke of Roxburgh; Duke of Kent; and Duke of Kingston, Custos Privati Sigilli (Keeper of the Privy Seal).
? It is a curious circumstance that twenty years later, (July 9, 1737,) when the breach took place between George II. and his son, Frederic Prince of Wales, the Prince took up his residence in this very house, as his father had done before him. It is also worthy of remark that Addison's Cato was performed here by the junior branches of the Prince's household, the Prince's son, afterwards George III., playing the part of Portius. See Cunningham's Handbook of London.
Cependant, si j' ay eu le malheur d'offenser V. Majesté, contre mes intentions, je lui en demande pardon, et je la supplie d'être persuadé du respect avec lequel je suis, &c.
Sire, De Votre Majesté
THE PRINCE OF WALES' SECOND LETTER TO THE KING.
Seconde Lettre du Prince au Roi. SIRE,
Le 12me Decre. 1717. J'espère que V. Majesté aura la bonté de m'excuser, si dans l'état où je me trouvois, quand je pris la liberté d'ecrire à V. Majesté, j'ay omis de lui dire, que je ne temoignerois aucun ressentiment contre le Duc de Newcastle, sur ce qui s'est passé ; et je prends cette occasion d'en assurer V. Majesté, étant avec un très profond respect, &c.
Sire, De Vôtre Majesté
THE PRINCE OF WALES' THIRD LETTER TO THE KING,
Troisième Lettre du Prince au Roi. SIRE,
Le 13me Decre. 1717.
Sire, De Votre Majesté
Of these three curious letters of the Prince of Wales to his father translations appear to have escaped to the public in some journal of the day, “ by what means I know not,” says Sir Gustavus Hume, in an in. teresting letter on the subject, dated Dec. 24, 1717, and printed in the Marchmont papers, vol. ii. page 84. Official copies of these translations being preserved among the Egerton Papers in the British Museum, we annex them.
OFFICE TRANSLATION OF THE PRINCE'S FIRST LETTER. SIRE,
December 11th, 1717. I received with all submission your Majesty's commands, confining me to my own apartment till your Majesty should signify your further pleasure to me. So great a mark of your Majesty's displeasure surprised me extremely, never having entertained a thought of your Majesty unbecoming a most dutiful son. made to believe your Majesty appeared easy in the choice I had made of the Duke of York to be godfather to my son; and that the
Duke of Newcastle might represent him, and not be godfather himself.
Being persuaded of this, I could not but look upon it as an unaccountable hardship that he would be godfather to my child in spite of me. But when your Majesty thought it proper to command it, I submitted. This treatment of the Duke of Newcastle touched me sensibly, and so far raised my indignation, that, at the sight of him on this occasion, I could not help showing it.
But, as the respect I have always had for your Majesty always hindered from expressing any resentment against him, whilst he was charged with your Majesty's orders, I hope your Majesty will have the goodness not to look upon what I said to the Duke in particular as a want of respect to your Majesty.
However, if I have been so unhappy as to offend your Majesty, contrary to my intention, I ask your pardon, and beg your Majesty will be persuaded that I am with the greatest respect,
Sire, your Majesty's most humble
TRANSLATION OF THE PRINCE'S SECOND LETTER. SIRE,
December 12th, 1717. I hope that your Majesty will have the goodness to excuse me if, in the situation in which I found myself when I took the liberty to write to your Majesty, I omitted to say that I would not show any resentment against the Duke of Newcastle, and I take this opportunity of assuring your Majesty thereof, Being with the most profound respect, &c.
TRANSLATION OF THE PRINCE'S THIRD LETTER. SIRE,
December 13th, 1717. I am about to obey the orders of your Majesty by leaving St. James's. The Princess accompanies me, and our servants quit the palace with us, with all possible expedition. I am, &c.
Soon after the Prince had quitted the Palace, propositions were made to him in the name of the King, advised and drawn up by his confidential Minister, (the Prince's enemy,) Baron Bernsdorff, the sinister object of which was to widen the breach. They were communicated by the Speaker of the House of Commons, to whom the Prince gave his replies verbally.
THE KING'S PROPOSITIONS.
THE PRINCE'S REPLIES. Le Roi est persuadé que si les Response que le Prince a fait intentions de Monseigneur le faire de bouche à ces Articles par de prena
Prince de Galles, à l'égard de ses l’Orateur de la Chambre des Comsoumissions à faire à Sa Majesté, munes au Baron de Bernsdorff. sont telles, comme on doit les attendre d'un bon Fils, le Prince nè pourra pas manquer de convenir des Articles suivants.
I. De ne prendre personne à I. Que quant au premier Artison_service qu'avec l'agrément cle il ne pretendoit pas du Roi, et de n'avoir pas dans sa dre personne à son service, sans famille des personnes desagré- auparavant en avoir informé le ables à Sa Majesté.
Roi; et que si sa Majesté avoit quelque bonne objection contre tels ou telles personnes, il en nommeroit quelques autres. Mais que Son Altesse Roiale ne vouloit en aucune maniere admettre les simples objections exprimées dans ce premier article, nommement que tel et tel est desagréable au
Roi. II. De n'avoir aucune corre- II. Quant à ce 2 Article le spondance avec ceux que le Roi Prince dit qu'il n'avoit jamais enlui fera declarer lui être disagré- tretenu aucune correspondance ables.
avec personne, qui ne fut bien affectionné au Roi et à sa famille, et ne voudra jamais en entretenir avec d'autres. Mais que le mot desagréable étoit si général qu'il ne savoit pas comment il devoit
l'entendre. III. De traiter avec bienséance III. Qu'il avoit repondu au 3 les ministres et serviteurs du Roi. Article qu'il avoit toûjours traité
avec bienséance les ministres et serviteurs du Roi, excepté ceux qui avoient offensé Son Altesse Roiale dans des points si delicats,
comme tout le monde sait. IV. De faire des honnêtetez re- IV. Que quant au 4 Article le quises aux Ducs de Newcastel et Prince dit qu'il s'étoit déja aquitRoxbourg
té de son devoir par raport au Duc de Newcastel, et que pour ce qui regarde le Duc de Roxbourg il n'avoit jamais eu intention de
l'offenser. V. Le Roi aiant incontestable- V. Que le 5 Article avoit paru ment le droit d'établir auprès de plus dur au Prince, que le preceses petits fils et petites filles, dent message du Roi, puisque comme enfans de la Couronne de dans celuilà, la somme avoit été