Слике страница
PDF
ePub

WILLIAM HENRY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER.

101

WILLIAM HENRY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER.

WILLIAM HENRY, son of Frede- reconciliation took place between his rick, Prince of Wales, was born on the royal highness and the king. 25th of November, 1743. In the course During the duke's residence in Italy of his education, he supplied the want he was presented with several paintof brilliant talent by great diligence, ings, and exquisite specimens of ancient and succeeded in becoming a man of sculpture, by the pope ; from whom considerable acquirements. From his he received various flattering marks of boyhood he evinced a great predilec- civility and respect. It is related, that tion for the army; and while yet very while the duke was at Rome, his caryoung, served with much credit to him- riage, one exceedingly muddy day, self in several continental expeditions. happened to enter at one end of a street He became colonel of the first regiment precisely as that of his holiness appeared of foot-guards and gradually attained at the other. The pope and the duke, the rank of senior field marshal in when within a short distance of each the British service. He was, however, other, ordered their respective vehicles never intrusted with any important to stop, and several messages passed command.

between the parties as to who should Shortly after attaining his majority, move forward first, the pope feeling reon which occasion he had been created luctant to take precedence in this respect Duke of Gloucester, he became ena- of the duke, and the duke of the pope. moured of Maria, the Countess Dowager Meantime, a great number of the popuof Waldegrave, to whom he was pri- lace were silently waiting in the mud to vately married on the 6th of September, receive the papal benediction. Atlength, 1766. George the Third, his brother, this extraordinary dispute of mutual was highly incensed at this match; he humility was terminated by the duke's refused to receive the bride at court; carriage being driven slowly past that of and, consequently, the duke and duchess the pope, in consequence of his holiness proceeded to Italy, where they re- having stated, by one of his messengers, sided for a considerable time. Their that he should be obliged to return union was not generally known until home if his royal highness would not 1772, when, in consequence of a bill condescend to pass on. having been brought into parliament, The duke bore the character of a relative to royal marriages, the duke humane, well-meaning man; and, esthought proper publicly to acknowledge pecially during the latter part of his the duchess as his wife. In 1776, he life, enjoyed considerable popularity. returned to England; his children by He died on the 26th of August, 1805, the duchess were shortly afterwards and his remains were interred in Westacknowledged as his legal heirs; and a minster abbey

son

HENRY FREDERICK, DUKE OF CUMBERLAND. HENRY FREDERICK, of but evinced no anxiety to support the Frederick, Prince of Wales, was born dignity of his birth by moral excelon the 7th of November, 1744. His lence or mental acquirements. perverse intractability of temper, in boy- He was created Duke of Cumberhood, rendered him exceedingly trou- | land, October 18, 1766, and, at the same blesome to his tutors. For fine clothes' time, received a liberal provision from and costly ornaments, he displayed, at parliament. Still no favourable change an early period, a weak predilection; ' took place in his disposition: a mere

lounger in society, he dissipated his time annoyance of the royal family, the in the most frivolous amusements, or newspapers announced, that the Duke the practice of low and contemptible of Cumberland had, on the 2nd of vices. By degrees, he rendered himself | October, 1771, married Lady Ann ridiculously notorious; and, at length, Luttrell, (a woman much older than the absurdity of his conduct, when himself,) eldest daughter of the Earl enamoured of the Countess Grosvenor, of Carhanıpton, and widow of Mr. made him the laughing-stock of the Christopher Horton, of Derbyshire. whole country.

This lady, whose This new act of folly and supposed inmaiden name was Harriet Vernon, ap sult to the sovereign, on the part of his pears to have been respectably con weak-minded brother, not only pronected, but had no fortune. One day, duced an order, forbidding the duke about the year 1764, being caught in a and his consort from appearing at court, shower of rain, while she was walking but a message to parliament recomin Kensington gardens, Lord Grosvenor, mending a legislative provision for prestruck with her beauty, offered her, and venting any of the royal family from a young lady who was with her, seats marrying without the consent of the in his carriage. The proposal was ac king. Accordingly, a bill was passed cepted, and his lordship accompanied though not without violent opposition, them home. An intimacy between the enacting that none of the royal family earl and Miss Vernon ensued ; and, in being under the age of twenty-five a short time, he led her to the altar. In years, should contract marriage with1770, as it is stated, the Duke of Cum out the sovereign's sanction: but that, berland “began to idolize her.” On on attaining the above age, they might one occasion, his royal highness fol be at liberty, should such sanction be lowed her to Eaton-hall, near Chester; withheld, to solemnize the proposed and meetings between them took place union, if, after having announced to in the adjacent fields so frequently as the privy-council the name of the perto attract the notice of the neighbour son ihey wished to espouse, an entire hood. The duke lodged at an obscure year should elapse without either house public-house in Hanford ; and though of parliament addressing the king his real rank was unsuspected, yet the against it. fineness of his linen, the ornaments of Deprived of the society of his relahis watch, and the splendour of his tions, and generally excluded from the rings, which, with consummate weak fashionable world by his imprudence, ness, he delighted to display, induced the duke lived very uncomfortably with the landlord, who probably feared that his wife, who died in his lifetime without he was employed in some illegal prac issue. A person named Olivia Serres, tices, to hint that his departure would subsequently to his death, stated herbe agreeable. The duke immediately self to be a daughter of the duke by a quitted the house, and passed many of second marriage : but her claim to the the following nights in barns and hovels, rank of a princess was not recognized by near the usual place of his rendezvous government. with her ladyship. Lord Grosvenor

It would be a difficult task to ascerbrought an action of crim. con. against tain in which the duke was most dehim, and obtained a verdict for £10,000 fective,-in judgment or in morals. He damages. At the trial of the cause, the sinned as often against decency as sense. plaintiff's counsel put in several of the Perhaps the best excuse for his transduke'sletters to the countess; the perusal gressions will be found in his natural of which is said to have been attended weakness of intellect: he appears to with great laughter. One of them con have had neither discrimination to avoid tained the following passage :-"I got error, nor strength of mind to abandon to supper about nine o'clock, but I could it when discovered. He died on the not eat, and so got to bed about ten.” 18th of September, 1790, in the forty

Scarcely had these degrading pro- fifth year of his age, of an inveterate ceedings ceased to be the subject of scrofulous malady, with which he had public conversation, when, much to the long been afflicted.

CAROLINE MATILDA, QUEEN OF DENMARK.

103

PRINCESS LOUISA ANNE.

This princess, the daughter of her family, lest her health might be Frederick, Prince of Wales, was so | injured by too much application. As extremely small and delicate, at her she advanced towards womanhood, that birth, which took place on the 8th of latent malady, the existence of which March, 1749, that it was deemed ad- had, for some years, been indicated by visable to have her immediately bap- the peculiarly bright vermillion hue of tized: but she passed through the her cheek, became more developed ; perils of infancy, and seemed, for some and after suffering much from a hectic time, gradually to gain strength. Her cough, which at length put on the apdisposition was remarkably gentle; and pearance of a rapid consumption, and her intense desire for the acquisition of rendered all medical skill unavailing, knowledge, delighted, while it alarmed she expired on the 13th of May, 1768.

CAROLINE MATILDA, QUEEN OF DENMARK. CAROLINE MATILDA, the post- of fondness; and, at other times, gloomy, humous child of Frederick, Prince of remorseless, vindictive, and tyrannical, Wales, was born on the 11th of July, yet, in some respects, contemptibly 1751. The dawn of her life was sorrow weak and pusillanimous. ful, its meridian stormy, and its close Soon after his marriage, actuated by melancholy. She is described as having a restless desire of change, he abanbeen a tall, fair, graceful girl, of elegant doned his throne and young bride, to manners, liberal acquirements, and visit foreign_countries. In 1768," he amiable disposition. The terms of her arrived in England, where he was marriage with Prince Christian, of Den treated with formal magnificence but mark, were settled in January, 1765 ; real coldness, on account of the illiberal but on account of the extreme youth of treatment which the young queen had the parties, the ill-fated alliance did not already experienced at the Danish take effect until two years afterwards. court, not only from the king himself, During the interval, Princess Caroline but, through his culpable neglect, from lost much of that endearing vivacity, for her imperious stepmother. His conduct which she had previously been remark at the British capital appears to have able; well-founded apprehensions as been by no means dignified. “I wish,” to her future happiness agitated her said his queen, in a letter to one of her mind; and she became pensive, re sisters," that the king's travels had the served, and evidently unhappy.

same laudable objects as those of Cyrus: In ihe mean time, Prince Christian but I find that the chief visitors of his ascended the throne of Denmark, and majesty are musicians, fiddlers, and the marriage was at length celebrated by persons designed for employments still proxy, on the 1st of October, 1766. The more inglorious.” young bride, then only in her sixteenth Horace Walpole has thus described year, embarked for the continent, with this prince :-" He is as diminutive as deep regret, almost immediately after the if he came out of a kernel in the fairy ceremony had been performed. From tales. He is not ill made, nor weakly the first moment of her arrival in made, though so small; and though his Denmark she became an object of face is pale and delicate, it is not at all commiseration. Her husband was a ugly, yet has a strong cast of the late haughty, irritable, jealous, semi-barba- king, and enough of the late Prince of rian; repulsive even in his few moments Wales, to put one upon one's guard not

to be prejudiced in his favour. Still he convicted of high treason, and senhas more royalty than folly in his air ; tenced to lose his right hand, to be and, considering he is not twenty, is as beheaded, and then quartered. In his well as one expects any king in a pup- last moments, he was attended by Dr. pet-show to be. He arrived on Thurs- Munter, who wrote an elaborate account day, supped, and lay at St. James's. of his conversion from scepticism. The Yesterday evening,' he was at the

queen was consigned, with much indigqueen's and Carlton-house, and, at nity, to the castle of Cronenburg, and, night, at Lady Hertford's assembly. for some time, her life was in danger; a He only takes the title of Altesse, (an capital process being meditated against absurd mezzo-termine,) but acts ihe her, with a view to bastardize her king exceedingly; struts in the circle issue, in order that Prince Frederick, like a cock-sparrow, and does the the king's brother, might become honours of himself very civilly." presumptive successor to the throne.

After quitting England, he passed through the strenuous remonstrances into France and Germany, and returned of the court of St. James's, backed by to his dominions in the course of the the appearance of a British fleet in the following year. On re-assuming the Baltic, she was, however, at length, reins of government, he clearly demon- | allowed to retire from the Danish dostrated that he had gained no valu- | minions, under the conduct of Sir able accession knowledge during Robert Keith, who conveyed her to absence. A physician, and political the city of Zell, in the electorate of adventurer, named John Frederick Hanover; where she died, on the 10th of Struensee, the son of a clergyman at March, 1775, in neglect and obscurity. Halle, in Saxony, by whom he had been As it is impossible to ascertain the attended during his travels, acquired so truth of the allegations made against absolute an ascendancy over him, as to Queen Caroline Matilda of Denmark, obtain the supreme direction of affairs. any attempt to give a correct estiWith the rash presumption incident to mate of her character must needs be sudden and unmerited prosperity, this fruitless. There appears to be little man attempted various innovations in doubt of her having betrayed some the state, which rendered him exceed symptoms of levity; these, however, ingly odious. The very high favour in are asserted, by some of her advocates, which he evidently stood with the queen, to have been the mere innocent sallies who, it is said, had made use of his in- of a lively young woman, with her husfluence, to bring about a reconciliation band's confidential physician; while between herself and the king, gave rise others boldly, but unsuccessfully, ento imputations against her majesty's deavour to justify them by the neglicharacter. She was accused of having gent and unfeeling conduct of the frequently been alone with him, and of king. If she were only imprudent, the having, on many occasions, treated him unhappy queen has a strong claim on with indecorous familiarity.

our commiseration; but if she really At length, an extraordinary court dishonoured the king's bed, an offence revolution, conducted by the queen of which she was accused, but not satisdowager, Prince Frederick, (her son,) factorily proved to have been guilty, and Count Rantzau, overthrew the fa- she was, notwithstanding his improper vourite. On the night of the 16th of behaviour, exceedingly culpable; not January, 1772, they roused the king only for breaking her marital vow, from his sleep, and, by their assurances from which his brutality had not abthat his life was in danger, procured solved her, but for deeply wronging his signature to a warrant for the herself, and exposing her issue, and the immediate arrest of Struensee and her country, to the horrors of a disputed majesty. The former was soon after succession.

GEORGE THE FOURTH, AND HIS CONSORT CAROLINE.

ears.

THE birth of George Augustus In 1772, his father, having given him, Frederick, eldest son of George the as he conceived, some unmerited offence, Third and Queen Charlotte, took place he revenged himself by shouting, at at St. James's palace, on the 12th of the door of the king's room,“ Wilkes August, 1762. As heir-apparent, he and Number Forty-five for ever!”-an was born Duke of Cornwall, Duke of expression, than which scarcely anyRothsay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of thing, at that time, as the prince knew, Renfrew, as well as hereditary High was more obnoxious to his majesty's Steward of Scotland; and, a few days after his birth, he received, by patent, On reaching his twelfth year, a piece the title of Prince of Wales. Having of ground was set apart for the heiracquired the rudiments of learning apparent, and his brother, the Duke of under the superintendence of his York, in Kew gardens. They cropped mother, his further education was en- it with wheat, which they reaped, trusted, in 1770, to the Earl of Holder- thrashed, winnowed, and ground; they nesse, as governor; Dr. Markham, as then made the flour into dough, and preceptor; and Cyril Jackson, as sub- divided it into loaves; these they baked, preceptor.

and afterwards distributed them among The young prince was now secluded the royal family. In 1776, for some from society, and coerced to severe ap- cause, as to the nature of which, conplication. Dr. Markham, on entering jecture, though busy, was apparently upon his important duties as chief unsuccessful, Lord Holdernesse and the instructor to the heir-apparent and his two preceptors resigned. The latter next brother, had asked George the were succeeded by Bishop Hurd and Third how he wished to have the the Rev. Mr. Arnald, and Lord Bruce young princes treated. .“ Like the became the new governor ; but, in a sons of any private gentleman," was few days after his appointment, he the reply " if they deserve it, let either retired or received his dismissal, them be logged: do as you did at in consequence, it was reported, of his Westminster." Markham, it is said, having committed a blunder in Greek, did not fail, when it appeared necessary, which his elder pupil had somewhat to act up to these instructions; and pertly corrected. his pupils, by dint of constant study, The chief direction of the young rapidly acquired such a proficiency in princes' future education was now conthe classics, as was supposed to be fided to the Duke of Montague, to highly creditable to themselves and whom the junior members of the royal honourable to their teachers. Notwith- family had previously been indebted standing the clamours that have been for the restriction of their morning reraised against the restraint practised past to plain oatmeal-porridge. The at this period of his education, it does discipline established by Markham and not appear, subsequently, to have met Jackson, appears to have suffered no with the disapprobation of the prince; relaxation during the preceptorship of who, on the contrary, long after he had their successors. Arnald, who had reached maturity, expressed his grati- doubtless heard of George the Third's tude for the benefits he had derived, avowed sentiments as to the correction as well from the zeal and services of of his sons, personally inflicted the Markham, as those of the sub-preceptor, birch on one of the royal pupils, (it to whom, so late as 1809, he offered a does not appear which,) when the bishopric; which, however, Jackson, on latter was fifteen or sixteen years of account of his advanced age, thought age. Indignant at his conduct, the proper to refuse. Nor does the severity two princes, when, on a subsequent of his tutors seem to have had the effect occasion, Arnald was about to repeat of breaking his naturally high spirit. what they deemed his gross offence,

VOL. 1.

« ПретходнаНастави »