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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which I received yesterday. The prospect of the
possibility of dearest Louise's spending some time
with us quite enchants us, and I hope and trust that
you will carry your plan into execution. Our plans,
which we only settled last night, are as follows :
the scarlet fever is on the decrease at Brighton, but
not sufficiently so to justtiy our going there immedi-
ately ; so we therefore intend going to Walmer with
the children, but a very reduced suite (as the house
is considerably smaller than Claremont), on the 10th,
and to stay there till the 22nd inst., when we shall
go to Brighton, and remain there till the 13th of
December. Now if dearest Louise would meet us
there then, and perhaps come back with us here for a
little while then 1 Windsor is beautiful in December.

The news of Lord Melbourne, I am thankful to
say, are excellent, and he improves rapidly under
Dr. Holland's care, but his first seizure was very
alarming. 1 I shall not fail to convey your kind
message to this worthy friend of ours.

1 am so pleased at your account of Nemours and
poor Helene. Tatane 2 is not your favourite, is he ?

Lord Douglas's 3 marriage with Princess M. of

1 He had a paralytic seizure, and never regained his former health or

2 Due de Montpensier.

8 Afterwards eleventh Duke of Hamilton : he was married to Princess
Mary on 23rd February following.


Baden is settled ; / shall of course treat "her as a
Princess of Baden I can't do otherwise (it is like
Aunt Sophie, 1 and Princess M. of Wiirtemberg who
married Count Neipperg 2 ) and him as Lord Douglas,
which won't please him.

I wish Clem's marriage was no longer a secret,
now that it is settled, as it is (forgive my saying it)
really a fashion in our family to have these secrets de
la comedie, when one is almost forced to tell a lie
about what is true. I own I dislike these secrets ;
it was so with poor Marie and with Vecto. Now
adieu! dearest, kindest Uncle, and believe me always,
your most affectionate Niece, VICTORIA R.

Sir Robert Peel to Queen Victoria.

WHITEHALL, llth November 1842.

Sir Robert Peel presents his humble duty to your
Majesty, and begs leave to acquaint your Majesty
that he brought under the consideration of your
Majesty's servants the questions relating to certain of
the Crown Jewels, and the claim upon them preferred
by the King of Hanover. 3

In the course of the discussion it appeared to Sir
Robert Peel that there were still some points in respect
to this very embarrassing question which required the
grave consideration of legal authorities, and that it
would not be prudent to take any step, even that of
submitting the case to arbitration, without the highest
legal authority.

The submission to arbitration might avoid the evil
(and a very great one it would be) of public contro-
versy in a Court of Justice, and of public examination

1 Sister of the Duchess of Kent and of^the King of the Belgians, and the
wife of Count Mensdorff.

3 Alfred, Count Neipperg, who died in 1865.

3 The King claimed them on the ground that part belonged to the Crown
of Hanover, and part had been bequeathed to him by Queen Charlotte.
The matter was referred to a Commission consisting of Lords Lyndhurst and
Langdale, and Chief Justice Tindal. The two former were divided in
opinion, and the Chief Justice died before the award was made. If was
not till 1857 that a final decision, substantially in favour of Hanover, was


of members of the Royal Family on a matter partly
of a domestic nature ; but, on the other hand, great
care must be taken that by submitting the case to
the award of arbitrators, even should they be nominated
altogether by your Majesty, we do not relinquish any
fair advantage for the Crown of England which would
have accompanied an appeal to the regularly constituted
tribunals of the country.

Your Majesty's Solicitor-General was employed as
Counsel for the King of Hanover, and it has been
thought therefore advisable to make the reference to
the Attorney-General and to the Queen's Advocate.

Sir Robert Peel has attempted to bring every
questionable point in the case submitted to them
under the consideration of your Majesty's law advisers,
and when their report shall be received he will not
fail to lay it before your Majesty.

Sir Robert Peel had a personal interview a few
days since with His Royal Highness the Duke of
Cambridge, on the subject of a public provision for
the Princess Augusta on the occasion of her marriage. 1

Sir Robert Peel thought it advisable to enquire
from the Duke of Cambridge, as the impression of
the public (of which His Royal Highness is quite
aware) is that he has a considerable fortune of his
own, independently of his annual allowance from

The Duke of Cambridge seemed entirely to share
the impressions of Sir Robert Peel that in the present
state of the country, and of the public revenue, great
caution is requisite in respect to the proposal of a
grant of public money as a marriage portion to the
Princess Augusta, and that it would be important
that in any proposal to be made there should be a
general acquiescence on the part of the House of

As the marriage is not to take place for some time
it appears to Sir Robert Peel that it might be advis-
able to postpone a decision at least in respect to the

1 See ante, p. 547.


particular amount of any provision to be made, till
a period nearer to the meeting of Parliament.

A public intimation, or the public notoriety long
beforehand, of the intention to propose a grant of
public money might, in the present temper of the
times, interpose additional obstacles in the way of it.

Sir Robert Peel proposes to return to Dray ton
Manor for a short time, and to leave London
to-morrow morning.

Lord Stanley to Queen Victoria.

DOWNING STREET, 23rd November 1842.

Lord Stanley, with his humble duty, has the honour
of submitting to your Majesty an original despatch
from Lieutenant-General Sir Hugh Gough, received
this morning, detailing the triumphant successes which
had crowned the exertions of your Majesty's Naval and
Military forces in China, 1 and of the completely satis-
factory result in the execution of a Treaty of Peace with
the Emperor of China, upon terms highly honourable
to your Majesty and advantageous to this country.

Lord Stanley learns from Lord Fitzgerald that he
is also forwarding to your Majesty, by this messenger,
the details which the same mail has brought of the
complete and triumphant issue of the campaign in

Lord Stanley trusts that he may be permitted to
offer to your Majesty his humble congratulations upon
intelligence so glorious to British Arms, and so im-
portant to British interests. It is difficult to estimate
the moral effect which these victories may produce,
not on Asia merely, but throughout Europe also. At
the same moment your Majesty has brought to a
triumphant issue two gigantic operations, one in the
centre of Asia, the other in the heart of the hitherto

1 Chapoo was taken by Sir Hugh Gough in May : in June the squadron,
under Admiral William Parker, entered the waters of the Yang-tze, captured
Chin-Kiang-fu, and were about to attack Nanking, when the treaty was
concluded, embracing among other things a payment by the Chinese of
21,000,000 dollars, the cession of Hong Kong, and the opening of the ports
of Canton, Amoy, Foochow, Ningpo and Shanghai.


unapproachable Chinese Empire. In the former,
past disasters have been retrieved ; a signal victory
has been achieved on the very spot memorable for
former failure and massacre ; the honour of the British
Arms has been signally vindicated ; the interests of
humanity have been consulted by the rescue of the
whole of the prisoners ; and, after a series of victories,
the Governor-General of India is free, without discredit,
to enter upon measures of internal improvement, and
having established the supremacy of British power, to
carry on henceforth a more pacific policy.

In China a termination has been put to the effusion
of blood by the signature of a treaty which has placed
your Majesty's dominions on a footing never recog-
nised in favour of any foreign Power a footing of
perfect equality with the Chinese Empire ; which
has obtained large indemnity for the past, and ample
security for the future, and which has opened to
British enterprise the commerce of China to an extent
which it is almost impossible to anticipate. It may
interest your Majesty to hear that already enquiries
are made in the city for superintendents of ships to
trade to Ningpo direct.

Lord Stanley has taken upon himself to give orders
in your Majesty's name for firing the Park and Tower
guns in honour of these glorious successes. A Gazette
extraordinary will be published to-morrow, the volumi-
nous nature of the despatches rendering it necessary
to take some time lest an important despatch should
be omitted.

All which is humbly submitted by your Majesty's
most dutiful Servant and Subject, STANLEY.

Lord Fitzgerald and Vesci to Queen Victoria.

INDIA BOARD, 23rd November 1842. x

Lord Fitzgerald, with his most humble duty to your
Majesty, begs leave most humbly to inform your Majesty

1 The mail, which informed Ministers of the Chinese success, also brought
the news of the capture of Cabul. General Nott (see ante, p. 504) had by the
end of July completed his preparations, and marched upon Ghuznee, having


that the despatches received from the Governor-General
of India announce the results of a series of most brilliant
exploits by the armies under Major-General Nott and
General Pollock in Afghanistan.

Each of those armies has achieved a glorious
victory over superior numbers of the enemy.

The city of Ghuznee has been captured, and its
formidable fortress utterly razed and destroyed.

The survivors of the British garrison, which had
capitulated in the Spring of the year, and who had been
reduced to slavery, have been redeemed from bondage.

The splendid victory of General Pollock has been
obtained over the army commanded by Akbar Khan
in person, on the very spot where the greatest disaster
had befallen the British Army on their retreat, and
where the last gun had been lost.

On the 16th of September, General Pollock entered
Cabul with his victorious troops and planted the
Colours of your Majesty in the Balla Hissar, on the
spot most conspicuous from the city.

An extract of a letter from General Pollock to
Lord Ellenborough, dated at Cabul the 21st of
September, gives the most gratifying intelligence
that all the British prisoners, with the exception
of Captain Bygrave, have been rescued from Akbar
Khan, and were expected in the British camp on
the 22nd of September.

An extract from a letter from General Pollock
announcing the redemption of the prisoners is also
most humbly submitted to your Majesty, by your
Majesty's most dutiful Subject and Servant,


arranged to meet Pollock at Cabul, and having transferred the Scinde
command to General England. Nott was before Ghuznee on 5th September,
but at daylight on the 6th found it evacuated ; the citadel was destroyed by
him and the Gates of Somnauth removed, as directed by Lord Ellenborough.
Pollock, to whose discretion Ellenborough had entrusted the policy of
advancing on Cabul, secured supplies at Gundamuck, and on his advance met
the enemy in a strong position in the Jugdulluck Pass and dispersed them ;
then at Tezeen, on 12th September, he was attacked by Akbar Khan with
20,000 men. The Pass was forced, and the Afghans retired to the Haft
Kotal, where they were utterly defeated, close to the scene of Elphinstone's
disaster. Nott arrived at Cabul on the day after Pollock.


Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

WALJIER CASTLE, 25th November 1842.

The Queen wishes Sir Robert to consider, and at
an early period to submit to her, his propositions as
to how to recompense and how to mark her high
approbation of the admirable conduct of all those meri-
torious persons who have by their strenuous endeavours
brought about the recent brilliant successes in China
and Afghanistan.

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

ARDENNE, 2Uh November 1842.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, . . . I do not think, or
I may say 1 am pretty certain, because I have often
seen Donna Maria's letters, they hardly ever speak
of politics, except just saying that they are sur-
rounded by such very sad people without honour
or honesty. I am sure they are not French at
Lisbon beyond the kindly feelings which result from
the recollection of Donna Maria's stay at Paris.
My constant advice has been to look exclusively to
. the closest alliance with England, and Ferdinand is
now well aware of it ; but you know that the
Liberal party tried to even harm him by represent-
ing him as a mere creature of England. We live
in odd times when really one very often thinks
people mad ; their uncontroulcd passions do not
develop amiable feelings, but on the contrary every-
thing that is bad and unreasonable. . . .

You are a very affectionate and kind Mamma,
which is very praiseworthy ; may Heaven preserve
your dear little children 1 Victoria is very clever, and
it will give you great pleasure to see the develop-
ment which takes place with children just at that
time of life. What you say of Ernest is unfortu-
nately but too true ; that trick of exaggeration is
one of the worst I almost know, and particularly
in people in high stations, as one finally knows not


what to believe, and it generally ends with people
disbelieving all such individuals do say. . . . Your
devoted Uncle, LEOPOLD R.

Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

WALMER CASTLE, 29th November 1842.

Approve of the G.C.B. given to





Likewise of the proposed pension to Sir R. Sale, and
the Baronetcy to Sir Hugh Gough.

Thinks the latter very fit to succeed Sir Jasper
Nicols l as Commander-in-Chief in India.

Grants with pleasure the permission to her troops
engaged in Afghanistan to accept and wear the
four medals which the Governor- General has had
struck for the Indian Army, and hopes that besides
gratifying the troops it will have the beneficial effect
of still strengthening the good feeling existing between
the two armies. Were it not for this impression the
Queen would have thought it more becoming that
she herself should have rewarded her troops with a
medal than leaving it to the Governor-General.

Lord Ellenborough to Queen Victoria.

SIMLA, 18th October 1842.

Lord Ellenborough, with his most humble duty
to your Majesty, humbly offers to your Majesty his
congratulation on the entire success which has attended
the operations of the Fleet and Army under your
Majesty's directions in the Yantze-Kiang, 2 and submits
to your Majesty the general order which, on the
receipt of the intelligence of that success and of the
peace concluded with the Emperor of China upon
the terms dictated by your Majesty, he issued to
the Army of India.

1 Lieut. -General Sir Jasper Nicols (1778-1849) created a K.C.B. for his
services at Bhurtpore.

2 See ante, p. 552, note 1.


Your Majesty will have observed that in the
letter of the 4th of July to Major-General Nott, that
officer was instructed to bring away the gates of the
Temple of Somnauth, from the tomb of Mahmood of
Ghuznee, and the club of Mahmood also.

The club was no longer upon the tomb, and it
seems to be doubtful whether it was taken away by
some person of Lord Keane's Army in 1839, or by
Shah Sooja, or whether it was hidden in order to
prevent its being taken away at that time.

The gates of the Temple of Somnauth have been
brought away by Major- General Nott.

These gates were taken to Ghuznee by Sultan
Mahmood in the year 1024. The tradition of the
Invasion of India by Sultan Mahmood in that year
and of the carrying away of the gates after the
destruction of the Temple, is still current in every
part of India, and known to every one. So earnest
is the desire of the Hindoos and of all who are not
Mussulmans to recover the gates of the Temple that
when ten or twelve years ago Runjeet Singh was
making arrangements with Shah Sooja for assisting
him in the endeavour to recover his throne, 1 he wished
to make a stipulation that when Shah Sooja recovered
his power he should restore the gates to India, and
Shah Sooja refused.

Lord Ellenborough transmits for your Majesty's
information, a copy of the Address he intends to
publish on announcing that the gates of the Temple
will be restored. 2

The progress of the gates from Ferozepore to
Somnauth will be one great national triumph, and
their restoration to India will endear the Government
to the whole people. 3

1 See ante, p. 179.

a "The insult of 800 years," he wrote in this rather theatrical proclama-
tion, " is at last avenged. The gates of the temple of Somnauth, so long the
memorial of your humiliation, are become the proudest record of your
national glory. . . . You will yourselves, with all honour, transmit the
gates of sandal-wood, through your respective territories, to the restored
Temple of Somnauth."

8 See post, pp. 579, 586, and 598.


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 13th December 1842.

DEAREST UNCLE, I have to thank you for two most
kind letters of the 5th and 8th. I can report very favour-
ably of the healths of young and old ; we are all very
flourishing, and have since yesterday perfectly May
weather. Clear, dry frost would be wholesome.

Victoire gave me yesterday a much better account
of poor little Robert. 1

In Portugal affairs seem quieted down, but Ferdinand
is imprudent enough to say to Mamma that he w r ould
be wretched to lose Dietz (very naturally) and would
not be at all sorry to go away! Now, this is folly,
and a most dangerous language to hold, as if he
entertains this, I fear the Portuguese will some beau
matin indulge him in his wishes.

The news from Spain are better, but I must own
frankly to you, that we are all disgusted at the
French intrigues w r hich have without a doubt been at
the bottom of it all, and can I fear be traced very
close to the Tuileries. Why attempt to ruin a
country (which they luckily cannot succeed in) merely
out of personal dislike to a man who certainly has
proved himself capable of keeping the country quiet,
and certainly is by far the most honest Spaniard in
existence, whatever crimes or faults the French may
choose to bring against him. And what will be the
effect of all this ? A total dislike and mistrust of
France, and a still closer alliance with England. I
have spoken thus freely, as a repetition of last year's
scenes is too much to remain silent, and as I have
ever been privileged to tell you, dearest Uncle, my
feelings, and the truth.

Poor Lord Hill's death, though fully expected,
will grieve you, as it has grieved us.

I am much amused at what you say about Charles,
and shall tell it him, when I write to him. Believe me
always, your most affectionate Niece, VICTORIA R.

1 The infant Due de Chartres.


Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 19^ December 1842.

The Queen is very desirous that something should
be done for Major Malcolm, 1 (who was the bearer
of " the news of Victory and Peace ") either by pro-
motion in the Army or by any other distinction. He
is a very intelligent and well-informed officer, and has
been employed in China both in a Civil and Military
capacity, and has made, and is going to make again, a
long journey at a very bad time of the year, though
suffering severely at this moment from ague.

Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 26th December 1842.

The Queen thanks Sir Robert for his letter of the
23rd. She thinks that Major Malcolm's going back
to China the bearer of verbal instructions as well as
written ones will greatly facilitate the matter and
prevent misunderstandings which at such a great
distance are mostly fatal. The Queen joins in Sir
Robert's opinion, that before coming to a final arrange-
ment it will be most valuable to have Sir H. Pottinger's
opinion upon your present message, and thinks it
much the best that Sir H. should in the meantime be
entrusted with the extraordinary full powers for con-
cluding any provisional arrangements, as she believes
that very great confidence may be placed in him.
Lord Stanley's suggestions strike the Queen as very
judicious and calculated to facilitate the future
Government of Hong-Kong.

The Queen hopes to hear more from Sir Robert
when she sees him here, which she hopes to do from
Monday the 2nd to Wednesday the 4th.

1 In such cases, it has been usual to confer some distinction.


Sir Robert Peel to Queen Victoria.

DRAYTON MANOR, 26th December 1842.

Sir Robert Peel presents his humble duty to your
Majesty, and with reference to enquiries made by your
Majesty when Sir Robert Peel was last at Windsor, on
the subject of the Scotch Church and the proceedings
of the last General Assembly, begs leave to acquaint
your Majesty that the Moderator of the Assembly has
recently addressed a letter to Sir Robert Peel requiring
an answer to the demands urged by the General
Assembly in a document entitled a Protest and
Declaration of Right. 1

The demands of the General Assembly amount to a
reversal by Law of the recent decisions of the Court of
Session and of the House of Lords, and to a repeal
of the Act of Queen Anne, which establishes the Right
of Patronage in respect to Livings in the Church of

That Act by no means gives any such absolute right
of appointment to the Crown or other patrons of
Livings, as exists in England. It enables those legally
entitled to the patronage to present a clergyman to the
Living, but the Church Courts have the power, on
valid objections being made and duly sustained by the
parishioners, to set aside the presentation of the patron,
and to require from him a new nomination.

The Church, however, requires the absolute repeal
of the Act of Anne.

An answer to the demands of the Church will now
become requisite.

1 The famous Auchterarder case had decided that, notwithstanding the
vetoing by the congregation of the nominee of the patron, the Presbytery
must take him on trial if qualified by life, learning and doctrine, in other
words that the Act of Anne, subjecting the power of the Presbytery to the
control of the law courts, was not superseded by the Veto Act, a declaration
made by the General Assembly. In the Strathbogie case, a minister had
been nominated to Marnock, and 261 out of 300 heads of families had
objected to him. The General Assembly having directed the Presbytery to
reject him, the civil court held that he must be taken on trial. Seven
members of the Presbytery obeyed the civil power, and the General Assembly,
on the motion of Dr Chalmers, deposed them and declared their parishes


Sir James Graham has been in communication with
the law advisers of your Majesty in Scotland upon the
legal questions involved in this matter, and will shortly
send for your Majesty's consideration the draft of a
proposed answer to the General Assembly. 1

Sir Robert Peel to Queen Victoria.

DRAYTON MANOR, 30th December 1842.

Sir Robert Peel presents his humble duty to your
Majesty, and rejoices to hear that your Majesty approved
of the letter which, with your Majesty's sanction, James
Graham proposes to write to the Moderator of the
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Sir Robert Peel fears that there is too much ground
for the apprehensions expressed by your Majesty in
respect to future embarrassment arising out of the
position of the Church Question in Scotland.

Sir Robert Peel saw yesterday a letter addressed by
Dr. Abercrombie, 2 the eminent physician in Edinburgh,
to Sir George Sinclair, 3 declaring his conviction that the
Secession of Ministers from their Livings would take
place to a very great extent would comprise very
many of the Ministers most distinguished for learning
and professional character, and would meet with very
general support among their congregations.

Sir Robert Peel has little doubt that a serious crisis
in the History of the Church of Scotland is at hand,

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 45 of 52)