The letters of Queen Victoria : a selection from Her Majesty's correspondence between the years 1837 and 1861 : published by authority of His Majesty the king (Volume 1) online

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wish. But upon the whole we shall have as good a
House as we had, and / hope (as Lord Melbourne
does also), a more moderate one than the last one.
The Irish Elections are very favourable to us ; we
have gained six in the English boroughs, and lost, I
grieve to say, several in the counties.

The country is very quiet, and I have good reason
to believe all will do very well.

The King of Wiirtemberg is to arrive to-night,
under the name of Count Teck, and wishes to be
in strict incognito. He comes on purpose to see me ;
you know he is my second cousin his mother 1 was
sister to Queen Caroline and daughter to my grand-
aunt. 2 I shall give the King a large dinner on Friday
and a little concert after it. ...

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria,

ENDSLEIGH, \bth August 1837.

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to
your Majesty, and has the honour to lay before your
Majesty a general statement of the result of the
elections, which, with the exception of one or two
doubtful counties in Ireland, may be said to be com-
pleted. . . .

It is not to be denied that this near balance of

1 Queen Augusta of Wiirtemberg.

2 Augusta, Duchess of Brunswick, sister of George III.


parties makes the task of conducting the government
difficult for any Ministry. On the other hand the
circumstances of the country do not present any
extraordinary difficulty, and were any such to arise
the general composition of the new House of Commons
affords a security that the maintenance of the Consti-
tution and the welfare of the country would be
permanent objects to the majority of its Members. 1

Lord John Russell had some time ago the honour
of stating to your Majesty that the return of Mr Fox
Maule for Perthshire, and of Mr Hume for Middlesex,
were hardly to be expected. In this as in many other
instances the superior organisation of the Tory party
have enabled them to gain the appearance of a change
of opinion, which has not in fact taken place.

Lord John Russell is sorry to add that bribery,
intimidation and drunkenness have been very prevalent
at the late elections, and that in many cases the dis-
position to riot has only been checked by the appearance
of the Military, who have in all cases conducted them-
selves with great temper and judgment.

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria.

ENDSLEIGH, Vlst August 1837.

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to
your Majesty, and has the honour to submit to your
Majesty a letter from the Earl of Coventry requesting
an Audience.

It is usual for the Sovereign to receive any Peer
who may be desirous of an Audience, without any
other person being present. But if the Peer who is
thus admitted to the honour of an Audience should
enter upon political topics, it has been the custom for

1 While the extreme Radicals were in several cases defeated, the number
of O'Connell's followers was decidedly increased. The general balance of
parties was not much affected, but the complaint made by Mr Roebuck,
the Radical Member for Bath, in the last days of William IV.'s reign, that
there was no Government, and that the machinery of legislation was at a
dead stop, was no longer warranted.


your Majesty's predecessors merely to hear what is
offered, and not to give any opinion, or to enter into
any discussion or conversation upon such topics.

Should your Majesty be pleased to grant Lord
Coventry's request of an Audience, perhaps the most
convenient course will be that the Lord-in- Waiting
should signify to him, direct from Windsor, your
Majesty's pleasure.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Bclgiatis. 1

WINDSOR CASTLE, Wth September 1837.
20 m(inut(ts) p(ast) 11.

express to you imperfectly my thanks for all your
very great kindness to me, and my great, great grief at
your departure ! God knows how sad, how forlorn, I
feel ! How I shall miss you, my dearest, dear Uncle !
every, every where! How I shall miss your conver-
sation ! How I shall miss your protection out riding !
Oh ! I feel very, very sad, and cannot speak of you
both without crying !

Farewell, my beloved Uncle and father ! may
Heaven bless and protect you ; and do not forget your
most affectionate, devoted and attached Niece and
child, VICTORIA R.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 3rd October 1837.

MY BELOVED UNCLE, ... I am quite sad to
leave this fine place, where, if it had not been for the
meeting of Parliament so early this year, I would have
remained till November. I have passed such a pleasant
time here, the pleasantest summer I have ever passed
in my life ; I have had the great happiness of having
you and my beloved Aunt here, I have had pleasant
people staying with me, and I have had delicious

1 Written on the conclusion of a visit of the King of the Belgians to


rides which have done me more good than anything.
It will be such a break-up of our little circle ! Besides
my own people, Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston
are the only people who have been staying here, and
this little party was very social and agreeable. The
Princess Augusta of Saxony 1 has been here for two
nights ; she is neither young nor handsome, but a
very kind good person.

The news from Portugal are bad which I got this
morning. The Civil War is ended, and the Chartists
have been completely defeated; this is sad enough,
but I was fearful of it : a counter revolution never
does well. 2

En revanche the news from Spain are by far
better. . . .

Believe me always, in haste, your devoted and
affectionate Niece, VICTORIA R.

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

6th October 1837.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your
Majesty, and in acknowledging your Majesty's gracious
communication of yesterday returns his thanks for the
very lively account which your Majesty has given of
the journey and the entrance into Brighton. Lord
Melbourne entirely partakes in the wish your Majesty
has been graciously pleased to express, that he had
been there to witness the scene ; but your Majesty
will at once perceive that it was better that he was
not, as in that case Lord Melbourne would have been
accused of an attempt to take a political advantage

1 Daughter of King Frederick Augustus of Saxony.

2 On July 1st a new Ministry had come into power in Portugal. The
finances of the country were in great confusion, a military insurrection broke
out in the North at Braga, the Ministry resigned, and a new Ministry came
into office in August. On the 18th August, the Duke of Terceira, followed
by many persons of distinction, joined the insurgents, and, establishing
himself at Mafra, advanced upon Lisbon with the Chartist troops,
issuing a proclamation of provisional regency. A Convention was eventually
signed, and the Cortes proceeded to discuss measures of Constitutional


of the general enthusiasm, and to mix himself and
the Government with your Majesty's personal popu-
larity. Lord Melbourne fears that for some time your
Majesty will find yourself somewhat incommoded by
the desire, which naturally prevails amongst all ranks
and classes, to obtain an opportunity of seeing your
Majesty. . . .

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEX, 9^ October 1837.

... I have also told Stockmar to try to settle
something for regular safe communication ; in quiet
times like the present one a week would be sufficient.
You know now that all letters are read, and that
should not be always the case with ours. There is,
however, one thing about which I think it right to
warn you. This way of reading people's letters is
often taken advantage of by the writers of them, who
are not so ignorant of the thing as is imagined, to
write the very subject which they wish to convey to
the ears of persons without compromising themselves.
I will give you an example : we are still plagued by
Prussia concerning those fortresses ; now, to tell the
Prussian Government many things, which we should
not like to tell them officially, the Minister is going
to write a despatch to our man at Berlin, sending
it by post ; the Prussians are sure to read it, and to
learn in this way what we wish them to hear. The
diplomats in England may resort to this same mode
of proceeding to injure people, to calumniate, and to
convey to your knowledge such things as they may
hope to have the effect of injuring some people they
may fear, in your eyes. I tell you the trick, that you
should be able to guard against it ; it is of importance,
and I have no doubt will be resorted to by various
political people. . . . Ever, my dearest Victoria, your
faithfully devoted Uncle and Friend, LEOPOLD R.


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

TRIANOV, 19th October 1837.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, ... There is a great
disposition here to be on the best possible terms with
England. As it has but too often happened that the
diplomatic agents of the two countries have drawn, or
been believed to draw, different ways, I recommended
strongly to Count Mole 1 to give strong and clear
instructions to his people, particularly at Madrid, Lisbon
and Athens. ... He is going to read them to Lord
Granville, and also to communicate as much as possible
all the despatches of the French diplomats to the
English Government. This will be a proof of con-
fidence, and it will besides have the advantage of giving
often useful information enabling thereby the English
Government to hear two opinions instead of one. It
cannot be denied that the idea that the Plenipotentiaries
of the two countries were following two different lines
of policy has been hurtful to the causes of the two
Queens in the Peninsula. To put a stop to this double
action is the only benefit which the Queens will at
present derive from a better understanding between
England and France ; but as it is, it will be still of some
importance to them, and take away from the different
political parties the possibility of using the pretended
misunderstanding against the Government of the
Queens. I trust that you will tell your Ministers to
meet this friendly disposition with frankness and kind-
ness. The wish of the King here is, to have matters
concerted between the Plenipotentiaries of both
countries. In this way it would become difficult for
the parties in Spain or Portugal to say that the two
Plenipotentiaries support different candidates for Minis-
terial power, and the division in the parties connected
with the Queens might be in this manner prevented or
reconciled. Many and many are the ill-natured hints
thrown out against the King's policy here, and because
he is clever, he is suspected of having ambitious schemes

1 French Premier and Foreign Secretary.


without end ; it may not be without some importance to
set this, in your mind at least, to rights. Whatever
may have been the King's views immediately after the
revolution of July l I will not decide ; perhaps he may
a moment have wished to be able to do something for
France. Supposing this for the sake of argument to
have been so, two months of his reign were sufficient to
show him that the great question was not to conquer
territories or foreign influence, but to save Monarchy.
He saw clearly that though he might begin a war,
necessarily it would soon degenerate into a war of
propaganda, and that he and his family would be the
first victims of it. His struggle has constantly been
to strengthen his Government, to keep together or
create anew the elements indispensable for a Mon-
archical Government, and this struggle is far from
being at its end, and most probably the remainder
of his life will be devoted to this important task ;
and whatever may be the more lively disposition of
the Duke of Orleans, great part of his reign if he
comes to the throne, and perhaps the whole of it, will
bon gre mal gre take the same turn. That it should
be so is very natural, because of what use would be
some foreign provinces if they would only add to
the difficulty of governing the old ? Therefore, know-
ing as 1 do all the proceedings of the King and his
Cabinet, even more fully than I do those of your
Government ; seeing constantly in the most unreserved
manner the whole of the despatches ; knowing as the
nearest neighbour the system that they constantly
followed up tow r ards us, I must say that no one is
more against acquiring influence in foreign States, or
even getting burthened with family aggrandisement
in them, than he. He rejected most positively the
marriage of Joinville with Donna Maria because he
will not have anything to do with Portugal. He
rejects a mille times the idea of a future union of the
Queen of Spain with Aumale, because he will not
have a son where it is not his intention to support him.

l 1830.

1837] COUNT MOIJS 123

His fear of being drawn into a real intervention
has been the cause of his having been so anxious not
to have a French Legion in Spain. He may be right
or wrong on this subject I do not decide this, as I
was of a different opinion last year ; but his fear of
being drawn too far, like a man whose clothes get
caught by a steam-engine, is natural enough. His dis-
like to the ultra Liberals in the Peninsula is also very
natural, because they uphold principles of Government
which render Monarchy impossible, and the application
of which to France would be the ruin of the King.
England, from the peculiarity of its position, can do
many things which in France would upset every-
thing. ... 1 must close my letter, and shall answer
yours to-morrow. God bless you ! Ever, my dearest
Victoria, your devoted Uncle, LEOPOLD R.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

PAVILION, BRIGHTON, 25th October 1837.

. . . Now, dearest Uncle, I must speak to you un
peu de Politique. I made Lord Melbourne read the
political part of your letter. He wished me to com-
municate to you part of the contents of a letter of
Lord Granvilles which we received yesterday. Lord
Granville complains a good deal of Mole, 1 and says,
that though he is apparently very cordial and friendly
towards us, and talks of his desire that we should be
on a better footing as to our foreign Ministers than we
have hitherto been, that whenever Lord Granville urges
him to do anything decisive (to use Lord G.'s own
words) " he shrinks from the discussion," says he must
have time to reflect before he can give any answer,
and evades giving any reply, whenever anything of
importance is required. This, you see, dear Uncle, is
not satisfactory. I merely tell you this, as I think you
would like to know what Mole tells our Ambassador ;
this differs from what he told you. What you say
about Louis Philippe I am sure is very true ; his situa-
tion is a very peculiar and a very difficult one. . . .

1 See ante, p. 121.


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

TRIANON, 27th October 1837.

. . . Political matters I shall not touch upon to-day ;
there is nothing very particular except the taking
of Constantin. 1 The Due de Nemours has greatly
distinguished himself. I am sorry to see that in
England people are sometimes sufficiently absurd to
be jealous of these French conquests. Nothing indeed
can be more absurd, as nothing is of greater importance
to the peace of Europe than that a powerful and
military nation like the French should have this outlet
for their love of military display. If one had named a
council of wise men to fix upon a spot where this might
be done with the least mischief to the rest of the world,
one should have named the coast of Africa. By their
being there they will render to civilisation a country
which for about 800 years has been growing worse and
worse, and which was in the times of the Romans one
of the richest provinces. It settles, besides, upon the
French a constant petite guerre with the natives, which
is the very thing that will do them good.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians,

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, Wth November 1837.

. . . Now, dearest Uncle, before 1 say anything
more, I will answer the various questions in your
letter, which I have communicated to Lord Melbourne
and Lord Palmerston. (1) With respect to Ferdinand's
question to you, it is impossible for us to say
beforehand what we shall do in such an emergency;
it depends so entirely on the peculiar circumstances
of the moment that we cannot say what we should
do. You know, dear Uncle, that the fleet has

1 The French losses amounted to 19 officers and 86 men killed, with 38
officers and 468 men wounded. The French Government had failed in its
efforts for an amicable arrangement with Achmet Bey, and it appeared probable
that the Turkish fleet would also oppose them. The commander, however,
merely landed some men at Tripoli, and the French success was complete.


orders to protect the King and Queen in case they
should be in any personal danger. As to Lord
Howard, 1 though what you say about him is true
enough, it would not do to recall him at present ;
it would give Bois le Comte 2 all the advantage he
wishes for, and which would be injurious to our
interests and influence.

(2) With regard to Spain, a very decided mention is
made of the Queen herself in the speech which is to be
delivered by me to-morrow in the House of Lords.

We have great reason to know that, of late, the
Queen has positively declared her intention to remain
at Madrid to the very last.

Villiers' 3 conduct has been, I fear, much misrepre-
sented, for his own opinions are not at all those of
the ultra Liberal kind ; and his only aim has been, to
be on good terms with the Spanish Ministry for the
time being.

(3) Concerning France, I need not repeat to you,
dear Uncle, how very anxious we all are to be upon the
best and most friendly terms with her, and to co-operate
with her.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 25th December 1837.

My DEAREST UNCLE, ... You will, I am sure, be
happy to hear that this Session is happily closed, and
that the whole has gone off very satisfactorily, much
more so even than any of us could hope. I went on
Saturday to the House of Lords to give my Assent to
the Civil List Bill. I shall return to town on the 16th
of January, when Parliament meets again ; it meets
sooner than it was at first intended it should, on
account of the affairs of Canada.

1 Lord Howard de Walden, British Minister at Lisbon.

2 French Minister at Madrid.

8 British Ambassador at Madrid, afterwards fourth Earl of Clarendon, and
twice Foreign Secretary.

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria. 1

LAKKKK, 26th December 1837.

My DEAREST CHILD, You were somewhat irritable
when you wrote to me ! . . . Affairs stand now as
follows : the studies at Bonn take the whole of April,
and may be concluded at the beginning of May. From
May till the end of August, if you approved of the
visit, the time should be utilise. A sejour at Coburg
would not be of much use ; here we are generally absent
in the summer. To confide therefore the young gentle-
man to his Uncle Mensdorff 2 for three months, would
give him so much time for some manly accomplish-
ments, which do no harm to a young man. To make
him enter the service would not do at all. What you
say about his imbibing principles of a political nature,
there is no great fear of that. First of all, Prague
is not a town where politics are at all agitated ; these
topics are very rarely touched upon ; besides Albert is
clever, and it is not at the eleventh hour that any-
body in three months will make him imbibe political
principles. Perhaps you will turn in your mind what
you think on the subject, and communicate me the
result of it.

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

27th December 1837.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to
your Majesty, and acquaints your Majesty that he has
this morning received a letter from the Speaker 3
consenting to remain until Whitsuntide. This is
inconvenient enough, but the delay relieves your

1 This letter refers to the course of study which Prince Albert was about
to pursue.

2 Count Emmanuel de Mensdorff-Pouilly, who married, in 1804, Sophia,
Princess of Saxe-Saalfeld-Coburg.

3 Mr James Aberoromby, afterwards Lord Dunfermline. He remained in
the Chair till 1839. He had little hold over the House, and many regrettable
scenes occurred.

1837] CANADA 127

present embarrassment upon this head, and puts off
changes until a period of the Session when public
affairs will be more decisively settled.

Lord Melbourne is sorry to have to inform your
Majesty that there was a good deal of difference of
opinion yesterday in the Cabinet upon the affairs of
Canada. 1 All are of opinion that strong measures
should be taken for the repression of the insurrection,
but some, and more particularly Lord Howick, think
that these measures of vigour should be accompanied
by measures of amendment and conciliation. We are
to have a Cabinet again upon the subject on
Wednesday next, when Lord Melbourne hopes that
some practical result will be come to without serious

Queen Victoria to Viscount Melbourne.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 2Sth December 1837.

The Queen received Lord Melbourne's communica-
tion yesterday evening, and is glad to see that the
Speaker consents to remain a little while longer,
though, as Lord Melbourne says, it is still very in-

The Queen regrets that there should have been any
difference of opinion with respect to Canada, but hopes
with Lord Melbourne that some final arrangement
may be come to next Wednesday.

The Queen is very sorry to learn that Lord
Melbourne will be detained in London until Saturday.
She omitted to ask Lord Melbourne when he thinks
it would be convenient for Lord Palmerston to come
down to Windsor for a few days, as it is the Queen's
wish to ask him in the course of the Recess.

The Queen is very thankful to Lord Melbourne for
his kind enquiries after her health ; she is sorry to say
she had one of her bad headaches yesterday, but feels
very well this morning and thinks a drive will quite
cure her.

1 See Introductory Note, p. 72.


Queen Victoria to Viscount Melbourne.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 29th December 1837.

The Queen received Lord Melbourne's two letters
yesterday evening, and another this morning enclosing
one from Lord Duncannon. 1 The Queen is very much
gratified by the kind expressions in the letter she got
last night ; she is grieved to see Lord Melbourne is so
much oppressed with business.

The Queen thinks Lord Melbourne has acted with
the greatest judgment with respect to Sir J. Conroy, 2
and highly approves the course he intends pursuing.

The Queen regrets that there should be so much
difficulty with respect to the Report of the Army
Estimates, but fervently trusts that no serious difficulties
will arise from it ; she will be very anxious to talk about
this and many other matters, when she sees Lord Mel-
bourne, which the Queen hopes (as Lord Melbourne says
nothing to the contrary) she will do on the 3rd or 4th.

The Queen thinks that it will be quite right if Lord
Melbourne writes to Lord John about the Staffordshire
Yeomanry. The Queen will be delighted to see Lady
John Russell's little girl, and would be very happy if
Lady John was to bring the Baby also. The Queen
begs Lord Melbourne to invite them (Lord and Lady
John) in her name on the 8th, and to stay till the llth.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are here,
and the Queen is very sorry to say, that from what
she sees and hears, she has reason to fear all is not as
it should be ; her mother is most markedly civil and
affectionate towards both the Duke and Duchess, and
spoke Politics with the former. The Queen w r ill tell
Lord Melbourne more about this when she sees him.

The weather was beautiful yesterday, and the
Queen had a long drive and walk, which have done her
great good ; it is still finer to-day.

1 Commissioner of Woods and Forests and Lord Privy Seal.

2 Sir J. Conroy, who had been Comptroller to the Duchess of Kent,
made certain claims which it was not considered expedient to grant He
received a pension and a baronetcy.

183TJ CANADA 129

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

30th December 1837.

. . . Lord Melbourne will do his utmost to
compose these differences respecting Canada and the

Online LibraryUnknownThe letters of Queen Victoria : a selection from Her Majesty's correspondence between the years 1837 and 1861 : published by authority of His Majesty the king (Volume 1) → online text (page 11 of 52)