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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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and Earldom, by girding him with a sword, by putting a coronet on his
head, and a gold ring on his finger, and also by delivering a gold rod into
his hand, that he may preside there, and may direct and defend those
parts. ..."



460 THE ROYAL CHILDREN [CHAP, x

to have this Creation inserted in the Gazette of to-
morrow night, Sir James Graham has given direc-
tions, which will ensure the publication, though the
Letters Patent themselves may not be completed.
The Warrant already signed by your Majesty is a
sufficient authority.

The above is humbly submitted by your Majesty's
dutiful Subject and Servant, J. R. G. GRAHAM.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 1th December 1841.

MY DEAREST UNCLE, We arrived here sains et
saufs with our awfully large Nursery Establishment
yesterday morning. It was a nasty warm and very
rainy day, but to-day is very bright, clear and dry,
and we walked out early and felt like prisoners freed
from some dungeon. Many thanks for your kind
letter of the 2nd, by which I grieve to see that you
are not quite well. But let me repeat again, you
must not despond so ; you must not be so out of
spirits. I have likewise been suffering so from lowness
that it made me quite miserable, and I know how
difficult it is to fight against it. I am delighted to
hear that all the children are so well. I wonder
very much who our little boy will be like. You will
understand how fervent my prayers and I am [sure]
everybody s must be, to see him resemble his angelic
dearest Father in every, every respect, both in body
and mind. Oh ! my dearest Uncle, I am sure if
you knew hoiv happy, how blessed I feel, and how
proud I feel in possessing such a perfect being as my
husband, as he is, and if you think that you have
been instrumental in bringing about this union, it
must gladden your heart ! How happy should I
be to see our child grow up just like him ! Dear
Pussy travelled with us and behaved like a grown-
up person, so quiet and looking about and coquetting
with the Hussars on either side of the carriage. Now
adieu ! Ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R.



1841 J THE APPROACHING CHRISTENING 461

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

CASTLE HOWARD, <2<2nd December 1841.

. . . Lord Melbourne will consider himself most
highly honoured by being invited to the christening,
and will hold himself in readiness to attend, whenever
it may take place. He has written to Mr Anson in
answer to the letter which he received from him
this morning. Lord Melbourne has been obliged to
consent to receive an address from Derby, and has
fixed Monday the 27th inst. for that purpose. He
could have wished to have avoided this, but it was
impossible, and he must make the best of it that he
can, which he conceives will be effected by conceiving
his reply in very guarded terms, and in a tone defensive
of his own administration, but not offensive to those
who have succeeded him. . . .

Lord Melbourne is very glad to hear of the feelings
of the King of Prussia. For religious matters he is
at present very popular with many in this country,
and popularity, though transient and uncertain, is a
good thing whilst it lasts. The King of the Belgians
should not be surprised or mortified at the conduct
of the King of Holland. We must expect that
people will act according to their nature and feelings.
The Union of Belgium and Holland has been for
a long time the first wish and the daily dream of
the House of Orange. It has been the great object
of their lives, and by the separation, which took place
in 1830, they saw their fondest hopes disappointed
and destroyed at once. It must be expected that
under such a state of things, they will be unquiet,
and will try to obtain what they so eagerly desire
and have once possessed.

Lord Melbourne is much rejoiced to hear that your
Majesty is in the enjoyment of such good health. Your
Majesty's observations upon your own situation are in
the highest degree just and prudent, and it is a sign of



462 THE UNITED STATES [CHAP, x

a right mind and of good feelings to prize the blessings
we enjoy, and not to suffer them to be too much altered
by circumstances, which may not turn out exactly
according to our wishes.



The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria.

FOREIGN OFFICE, 2&th December 1841.

Lord Aberdeen presents his most humble duty to
your Majesty. He ventures to request your Majesty's
attention for a moment to the character of your
Majesty's present relations with the Government of
the United States. Your Majesty is aware that several
questions of great difficulty and importance have been
long pending between the two Governments. 1 Some of
these have become more complicated than they were
ten years ago ; and any of them might, at any moment,
lead to consequences of the most disastrous nature.

Instead of continuing negotiations, necessarily
tedious and which promise to be interminable, your
Majesty's servants are humbly of opinion that an
effort ought to be made, by a Special Mission at
Washington, to bring all these differences promptly
to an adjustment. The public feeling in the Uniied
States at this time does not appear to be unfavourable
for such an attempt. Should it be undertaken by a
person whose rank, character, and abilities would
ensure respect, and whose knowledge of the subjects
under discussion, and of the people of the country,
together with his conciliatory manners, would render
him generally acceptable, your Majesty might perhaps
indulge the hope of a successful result.

Lord Aberdeen humbly ventures to think that such
a person may be found in Lord Ashburton, 2 whom he
submits for your Majesty's gracious approbation.

1 The question of the North-West boundary had long been one source
of dispute ; another was the right the British Government claimed of search-
ing vessels suspected of being engaged in the slave trade.

2 Alexander, first Lord Ashburton, who had held office in Peel's short
Ministry, and married Miss Bingham of Philadelphia. See post, p. 577.



1841] CHRISTMASTIDE 463

Memorandum by Mr Anson.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 26th December 1841.

Christmas has brought its usual routine of festivity
and its agreeable accompaniment of Christmas presents.
The Queen was not at all well again yesterday, being
again troubled with lowness. The Melbourne corre-
spondence still is carried on, but I think not in its
pristine vigour by any means. He has taken no
notice of the Baron's remonstrance to him, and we
are in the dark in what manner, if at all, he means
to deal with it.

I have sat by Her Majesty at dinner several times
lately. I should say that Her Majesty interests herself
less and less about politics, and that her dislike is less
than it was to her present Ministers, though she would
not be prepared to acknowledge it. Her Majesty is
a good deal occupied with the little Princess Royal,
who begins to assume companionable qualities. In
an evening, instead of her usual conversation with her
old Prime Minister, some round game at cards is sub-
stituted, which always terminates at eleven. The
Prince, to amuse the Queen at this, has nearly left off
his chess ; his amusements shooting or hunting always
commence and terminate between eleven and two, not
to interfere with Her Majesty's arrangements, in which
he is included as her companion.

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

MELBOURNE, *29th December 1841.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your
Majesty. He received here yesterday your Majesty's
letter of the 25th inst. upon a paper adorned with many
quaint and humorous Christmas devices, and Lord
Melbourne begs to offer to your Majesty, most sincerely
and most fervently, the good wishes of the Season.
Lord Melbourne will be in town on Friday evening
next, and after that day will wait upon your Majesty,
whenever your Majesty is pleased to command. . . .



464 A RAILWAY ACCIDENT [CHAP, x

Lord Melbourne is very glad to hear that the King
of the Belgians is reassured by his journey to Mons
and his reception upon it. He need not mind the
King of Holland, if he can keep all right at Paris.

The railway smash 1 is awful and tremendous, as
all railway mishaps are, and Lord Melbourne fears
must always be. These slips and falls of earth from
the banks are the greatest danger that now impends
over them, and if they take place suddenly and in
the dark, Lord Melbourne does not see how the fatal
consequences of them are to be effectually guarded
against. They are peculiarly likely to happen now,
as the cuttings have been recently and hastily made,
the banks are very steep, and the season has been
peculiarly wet, interrupted by severe frosts.

Lord Melbourne received the deputation from
Derby, a large and respectable one, here on Monday
last. The address was very guarded, temperate and
judicious, and Lord Melbourne strove to construct his
answer in the same manner.

1 This accident took place on 24th December in the Sonning Hill cutting,
two and a half miles from Reading. Eight persons were killed on the spot



INTRODUCTORY NOTE
TO CHAPTER XI

THE session was mainly occupied by the great ministerial
measure of finance, direct taxation by means of income tax being
imposed, and the import duties on a large number of articles
being removed or relaxed, Mr Gladstone, now at the Board of
Trade, taking charge of the bills. Two more attempts on the
Queen's life were made, the former again on Constitution Hill
by one Francis, whose capital sentence was commuted ; the latter
by a hunchback, Bean, who was sentenced to eighteen months'
imprisonment. An Act was promptly passed to deal with such
outrages in future as misdemeanours, without giving them the
importance of high treason. Lord Ashley's Bill was passed, pro-
hibiting woman and child labour in mines and collieries. But the
Anti-Corn Law League of Manchester was not satisfied with the
policy of the Government and objected to the income tax ; while
riots broke out in the manufacturing districts of the North.

In Afghanistan, the disasters of the previous year were retrieved ;
Sir Robert Sale, who was gallantly defending Jellalabad, made a
sortie and defeated Akbar Khan ; General Nott arrived at Ghuznee,
but found it evacuated ; he destroyed the citadel and removed the
Gates of Somnauth. General Pollock swept the Khyber Pass and
entered Cabul. The captives taken on the retreat from Cabul
were recovered Lady Macnaghten and Lady Sale among them.
In retribution for the murder of Macnaghten, the great bazaar of
Cabul, where his remains had been dishonoured, was destroyed by
Pollock ; the British force was then withdrawn. Dost Mahommed
made himself again ruler of Cabul, and a proclamation of Lord
Ellenborough announced that the British Government accepted any
Sovereign and Constitution approved by the Afghans themselves.

In China, also, operations were successfully terminated, Chapoo
being taken in May, and an attack by Admiral Parker upon
Nanking being only averted by the conclusion of a favourable
treaty, involving an indemnity, the cession by China of Hong
Kong, and the opening of important ports to commerce.

A dispute arose between this country and the United States on
the right of search of ships suspected of being engaged in the
slave trade. Lord Ashburton was accordingly sent out as a
Special Ambassador, and a treaty concluded in August for the
purpose (amongst others) of enforcing each country's rights and
obligations for suppressing the ti'ade.

VOL. i. 30 465



CHAPTER XI
1842

Queen Adelaide to Queen Victoria.

SUDBURY HALL, \th January 1842.

MY DEAR NIECE, Most grateful for your very
amiable kind letter full of good wishes for me, I
hasten to answer it and to assure you that I deeply
feel all your affectionate kindness to me in wishing
my life to be prolonged. From ill-health I have
become such a useless member of your family, that
I must wonder you have not long been tired of me.
I wish I was more able to be of any use to you
which you might like to make of me. My services
would be most faithful, I can assure you. Should
my life be spared, there may perhaps yet be a time
when I can prove to you, that what I say is not
merely a fapon de parler, but my sincere wish.

Your domestic happiness, dearest Victoria, gives
me great satisfaction whenever I think of it, and that
is very often. God continue it so, uninterrupted,
is my daily prayer.

Your approbation of my little offering to my dear
godchild gives me much pleasure. It occupied me
several days during my illness to make the drawing,
weak as I then was, and it was a pleasant occupation.

We have frost again, with a clear blue sky, which
is much better for me than the damp close weather
of last week, which oppressed me so much. I breathe
466



1842] BEAUTY OF WINDSOR 467

again, and my spirits get their usual tone, which they
had lost, but I still cough a great deal, which is very
fatiguing.

Will you kiss your darlings in my name and bless
them, and pray believe me ever, my dear Niece, your
most affectionately devoted Aunt, ADELAIDE.

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Pretoria.

BaoADLANDS, 1 5th January 1842.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your
Majesty, and begs to return to your Majesty and to
His Royal Highness his thanks for all the kindness
shown him at Windsor. He was very happy to find
himself there again and in your Majesty's society.
He has seen many fine places and much fine country,
but after all there is nothing like Windsor and the
Park. Twenty very fine places might easily be
made out of the latter. Lord Melbourne as he drove
to Bagshot was very glad to see the plantations at
and about Cumberland Lodge and onwards so well
and judiciously thinned. He had a very prosperous
journey here. It is a very lovely place, with the
greatest beauty that a place can have, a very swift,
clear, natural stream, running and winding in front
of the house. The whole place is much improved
since Lord Melbourne saw it last ; a great deal of new
pleasure-ground has been made. The trees, cypresses,
elders, planes, elms, white poplars and acacias are
very fine indeed. . . .

Lord Melbourne thinks of staying here six or
seven days, and then returning to London and going
to Brocket Hall and Panshanger, but he has not
fixed his plans decidedly, which he is never very fond
of doing.

Lord Melbourne was delighted at thinking that
he left your Majesty in good health, which he
earnestly hopes and fervently prays may, together
with every other blessing, long continue.

1 The house of Lord Palmerston in Hants.



468 DISASTERS IN AFGHANISTAN [CHAP, a

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria.

FOREIGN OFFICE, 6th January 1842.

... Sir Robert Peel has informed Lord Aberdeen
that he had mentioned to your Majesty the sugges-
tion of the King of Prussia to confer the Order of
the Black Eagle * upon the Prince of Wales, immedi-
ately after the christening of his Royal Highness.
Lord Aberdeen therefore abstains from troubling your
Majesty with any observations on this subject.

Lord Fitzgerald to Queen Victoria.

Slh January 1842.

Lord Fitzgerald, with his most humble duty to
your Majesty, begs leave humbly to inform your
Majesty that despatches have been this day received
at the India House from the Earl of Auckland,
Governor - General of India, which most officially
confirm to too great an extent the disastrous intelli-
gence contained in the public journals of yesterday,
the particulars of which the editors of these journals
had received by express messengers from Marseilles. 2

This intelligence is of a most painful character,
and though the details which have arrived do high
honour to the courage and the gallantry of your
Majesty's forces, as well as of the East India
Company's Army, yet the loss sustained has been
very great, and many valuable officers have fallen
the victims of a widespread conspiracy which seems
to have embraced within its confederation the most
warlike tribes of the Afghan nation.

Lord Fitzgerald begs leave most humbly to lay
before your Majesty an interesting despatch from
Lord Auckland, comprising the most important details
of the late events in Afghanistan.

It is very satisfactory to Lord Fitzgerald to be
enabled humbly to acquaint your Majesty that Lord

1 Founded by Frederick I. in 1701.

2 See Introductory Note, 1841, ante, p. 320. The rebellion broke out at
Cabul on 2nd November, and Sir Alexander Burnes was murdered.



1842] THE OXFORD MOVEMENT 469

Auckland has decided on waiting the arrival of his
successor, Lord Ellenborough, and states to Lord
Fitzgerald that he will feel it to be his duty to
remain in his [Government], in the present critical
state of affairs, until he is relieved by the new Governor-
General.

All of which is most humbly submitted to your
Majesty, by your Majesty's most dutiful Subject and
Servant, FITZGERALD AND VESCI.

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

BROADLANDS, 12th January 1842.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your
Majesty. He has this morning received your Majesty's
letter of the 10th inst., and is glad to infer from it
that your Majesty and the Prince are both well and
in good spirits.

With respect to the Oxford affair, your Majesty
is aware that for a long time a serious difference has
been fermenting and showing itself in the Church of
England, one party leaning back towards Popery, and
the other either wishing to keep doctrines as they
are, or, perhaps, to approach somewhat nearer to the
dissenting Churches. This difference has particularly
manifested itself in a publication, now discontinued,
but which had been long going on at Oxford, entitled
Tracts for the Times, and generally called the Oxford
Tracts. The Professorship of Poetry is now vacant
at Oxford, and two candidates have been put forward,
the one Mr Williams, who is the author of one or
two of the most questionable of the Oxford Tracts,
and the other Mr Garbett, who is a representative
of the opposite party. Of course the result of this
election, which is made by the Masters of Arts of
the University, is looked to with much interest and
anxiety, as likely to afford no unequivocal sign of
which is the strongest party in the University and
amongst the clergy generally. It is expected that
Mr Garbett will be chosen by a large majority. . . .



470 CHURCH MATTERS [CHAP,



Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

t

SOUTH STHEET, nth January 1842.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to
your Majesty, and begs to acknowledge your Majesty's
letter of the 15th, which he has received here this
morning.

Lord Melbourne does not think this Puseyite differ-
ence in the Church so serious or dangerous as others
do. If it is discreetly managed, it will calm down or
blow over or sink into disputes of little significance.
All Lord Melbourne fears is lest the Bishops should
be induced to act hastily and should get into the
wrong. The Puseyites have the most learning, or,
rather, have considered the points more recently and
more accurately than their opponents.

Lord Melbourne hopes that the Spanish affair will be
settled. Lord Melbourne cannot doubt that the French
are wrong. Even if the precedents are in their favour,
the Spanish Court has a right to settle its own etiquette
and its own mode of transacting business, and to change
them if it thinks proper. 1

Lord Melbourne was at Broadlands when the Article
to which your Majesty alludes appeared in the Morning
Chronicle, and he talked it over with Palmerston. He
does not think that Palmerston wrote it, because there
were in it errors, and those errors to Palmerston's
disadvantage ; but it was written by Easthope under
the impression that it conveyed Palmerston's notions
and opinions. Your Majesty knows very well that
Palmerston has long had much communication with
the Morning Chronicle and much influence over it, and
has made great use of it for the purpose of maintaining
and defending his own policy. In this sort of matter
there is much to be said upon both sides. A Minister

1 An Ambassador, M. de Salvandy, had been sent from France to Madrid.
Espartero, the Regent, required the credentials to be presented to him and
not to the young Queen. The French Ambassador having refused to comply,
an unseemly dispute arose, and M. de Salvandy left Madrid.



1842] THE MORNING CHRONICLE 471

has a great advantage in stating his own views to the
public, and if Palmerston in the Syrian affair had not
had as devoted an assistant as the Morning Chronicle, he
would hardly have been able to maintain his course
or carry through his measures. It has always been
Lord Melbourne's policy to keep himself aloof from
the public press and to hold it at arm's-length, and
he considers it the best course, but it is subject to
disadvantages. You are never in that case strongly
supported by them, nor are the motives and reasons
of your conduct given to the public with that force
and distinctness which they might be.

Lord Melbourne has no doubt that your Majesty's
assurance is well founded, and that the present Govern-
ment are anxious for the welfare and prosperity and
tranquillity of Spain. It cannot be otherwise.

Palmerston dislikes Aberdeen and has a low opinion
of him. He thinks him weak and timid, and likely to
let down the character and influence of the country.
Your Majesty knows that Lord Melbourne does not
partake these opinions, certainly not at least to
anything like the extent to which Palmerston carries
them.

Lord Melbourne is going down to Panshanger
to-morrow, where he understands that he is to meet
Lord and Lady Lansdowne and Lord and Lady
Leveson. 1 Lord Melbourne will take care and say
nothing about Brighton, but is glad to hear that
your Majesty is going thither.



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 18th January 1842.

MY DEAR UNCLE, Not to miss my day, I write
a line to thank you for your kind letters of the 10th
and 13th, but shall write fully by the messenger.
Our Claremont trip was very enjoyable, only we

1 The late Lord Granville and his first wife, only child of the Due de Dalberg,
and widow of Sir Ferdinand Acton.



472 THE DUKE AND THE CHRISTENING [CHAP, xi

missed Pussy so much ; another time we shall take
her with us ; the dear child was so pleased to see us
again, particularly dear Albert, whom she is so fond of.
... We think of going to Brighton early in February,
as the physicians think it will do the children great
good, and perhaps it may me; for I am very strong
as to fatigue and exertion, but not quite right other-
wise ; I am growing thinner, and there is a want of
tone, which the sea may correct.

Albert's great fonction l yesterday went off beauti-
fully, and he was so much admired in all ways ; he
always fascinates the people wherever he goes, by his
very modest and unostentatious yet dignified ways.
He only came back at twelve last night ; it was very
kind of him to come. The King of Prussia means,
I believe, to cross on the 20th. Now addio. Ever
your most affectionate Niece, VICTORIA R.



The Duke of Wellington to Queen Victoria.

LONDON, 21st January 1842.

Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington presents his
humble duty to your Majesty. He is much flattered
by your Majesty's most gracious desire that he should
bear the Sword of State at the ceremony of the
christening of His Royal Highness the Prince of
Wales.

He had already received from Sir Robert Peel an
intimation of your Majesty's gracious pleasure on this
subject. He is in such good health, as to be able to
perform any duty upon which your Majesty may
think proper to employ him ; and he will attend your
Majesty's gracious ceremony at Windsor Castle on
Tuesday morning, the 25th Jan. inst.

All of which is humbly submitted to your Majesty
by your Majesty's most dutiful, and devoted Subject
and Servant, WELLINGTON.

1 The Prince laid the foundation stone of the new Royal Exchange^ ,



1842] LORD MELBOURNE ILL 473

Queen Victoria to Viscount Melbourne.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 22d January 1842.

The Queen cannot say how grieved she is, and the
Prince also, at hearing of Lord Melbourne's serious
indisposition, by his letter this morning. How very
provoking if he cannot come on Tuesday ! It will be
the only important ceremony during the Queen's reign
which Lord Melbourne has not been present at, and it
grieves her deeply. It was already a deep mortification
not to see him in his old place, but not to see him at all
is too provoking. If Lord Melbourne should soon get
well we shall hope to see him later during the King's *



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 38 of 52)