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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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to give my best love to dear Albert, and to believe
me most devotedly your most affectionate Aunt,

ADELAIDE.



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 16th May 1843.

MY DEAREST UNCLE, Your kind and dear letter
of the 12th has given me great pleasure. I am
happy to give you still better accounts of myself. 1 I
have been out every day since Saturday, and have
resumed all my usual habits almost (of course resting
often on the sofa, and not having appeared in Society
yet), and feel so strong and well ; much better
(independent of the nerves) than I have been either
time. We are most thankful for it. The King of
Hanover has never said when he will come, even
now, but always threatens that he will. . . .

Our little baby, who I really am proud of, for she
is so very forward for her age, is to be called Alice,
an old English name, and the other names are to be
Maud (another old English name and the same as
Matilda) and Mary as she was born on Aunt
Gloucester's birthday. The Sponsors are to be : The
King of Hanover Ernestus the Pious ; poor Princess
Sophia Matilda, 2 and Feodore, and the christening to
be on the 2nd of June. It will be delightful to see
you and dearest Louise on the 19th of June, God
willing.

Are there any news of Joinville's proceedings at
Rio? 3 Ever your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R.

1 Princess Alice was born on 25th April.

2 Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester.

3 He married Princess Francesca, sister of the Emperor of the Brazils and
of Queen Donna Maria.



602 CHRISTENING OF THE PRINCESS ALICE [CHAP. i
The Earl of Ripon to Queen Victoria.

INDIA BOARD, 3th June 1843.

Lord Ripon, with his humble duty to your Majesty,
begs to inform your Majesty that despatches have
been this day received at the India House from the
Governor- General of India and from the Governor
of Bombay, announcing the successful issue of a
battle, on the 24th of March, between Sir Charles
Napier and Meer Shere Mahomed. 1 The forces of
the latter were completely routed, with the loss of
all the guns and several standards. RIPON.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

CLAREMONT, 6th June 1843.

DEAREST UNCLE, - - 1 received your kind letter on
Sunday, and thank you much for it. I am sorry that
you could not take the children to Ardenne, as
nothing is so good for children as very frequent
change of air, and think you do not let the children
do so often enough. Ours do so continually, and are
so movable that it gives us no trouble whatever.

Our christening went off very brilliantly, and I
wish you could have witnessed it ; nothing could be
more anstandig, and little Alice behaved extremely
well. The dejeuner was served in the Gallery, as at
dear Pussy's christening, and there being a profusion
of flowers on the table, etc., had a beautiful effect.

The King of Hanover arrived just in time to be
too late. He is grown very old and excessively thin,
and bends a good deal. He is very gracious, for him.
Pussy and Bertie (as we call the boy) were not at
all afraid of him, fortunately; they appeared after
the dejeuner on Friday, and I wish you could have
seen them ; they behaved so beautifully before that
great number of people, and I must say looked very

i Sir Charles Napier, who was in command in Scinde, defeated the army
of the Ameers of Upper and Lower Scinde at Meeanee on 17th February, and
on the 20th took Hyderabad. On the 24th March he attacked the enemy,
who were posted in a strong position on the banks of a tributary of the Indus,
and obtained a decisive victory.



1843] KING OF HANOVER AN ENGLISH PEER 603

dear, all in white, and very distingues; they were
much admired.

We came here on Saturday. The news from
Ireland continue to be very alarming. Hoping to
hear soon, for certain, when you come, believe me
ever, your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R.

I hope you will kindly answer my letter of last
Tuesday.

Sir Thomas Fremantle l to Sir Robert Peel. 2

HOUSE OF COMMONS, 9th June (1843).

MY DEAR SIR ROBERT, The King of Hanover took
his seat at twenty minutes past four. He is now on
the Woolsack with the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of
Wellington, and Lord Strangford ; no other Peers are
in the House, the time of meeting being five o'clock.

It was not necessary that any other Peers should
introduce His Majesty. He merely produced his writ
of summons and went to the table to be sworn. I
remain, yours sincerely, THOMAS FREMANTLE.

Sir Robert Peel to the Prince Albert.

WHITEHALL, Sunday, lllh June 1843.

Sir, In consequence of the conversation which
I had with your Royal Highness on Thursday last on
the subject of Ireland, I beg to mention to your
Royal Highness that the Cabinet met again to-day
at Lord Aberdeen's house.

We had a very long discussion.

The prevailing opinion was that if legislation were
proposed, 3 that legislation should be as effectual as
possible ; that there would be no advantage in seeking
for new powers unless these powers were commensurate
with the full extent of the mischief to be apprehended.

1 One of the Secretaries of the Treasury : afterwards Lord Cottesloe.

2 Forwarded to the Queen by Sir Robert Peel.

8 In consequence of the Repeal agitation, the Ministers had already intro-
duced an Irish Arms Bill, which was carried.



604 IRISH AGITATION [CHAP. XH

Foreseeing, however, all the difficulties of procuring
such powers, and the increased excitement which
must follow the demand for them, we were unwilling
to come to an immediate decision in favour of recom-
mending new legislation, and resolved therefore to
watch the course of events for some time longer,
continuing precautionary measures against disturbances
of the public peace.

I have not received any material information from
Ireland by the post of this day, nor has Sir James
Graham.

I have the honour to be, Sir, with sincere respect,
your Royal Highness's most faithful and humble
Servant, ROBERT PEEL.



Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

SOUTH STREET, 22nd June 1843.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your
Majesty. He was infinitely obliged to your Majesty
for coming into the room the other evening when he
was with the Prince, and very much delighted to
have an opportunity of seeing your Majesty, especially
in such good health and spirits.

Lord Melbourne is very glad that your Majesty has
seen As you Like It. It is indeed a most gay, lively,
and beautiful play. To see or to read it is quite like
passing an hour or two in a forest or fairyland. It is
so lively, and at the same time so romantic. All
depends upon Rosalind, which was an excellent
part of Mrs Jordan. Jaques is also a very particular
character and difficult to play.

Lord Melbourne feels himself better, but still weak.
He does not like to say much about politics, but he
cannot refrain from observing that they seem to him
to have permitted these lawless riotings in South Wales 1
to go on with success and impunity a great deal

1 The agitation against the turnpike system which had broken out in
South Wales. See Introductory Note, p. 564.



1843] THE REBECCA RIOTS 605

too long. When such things begin nobody can say
how far they will go or how much they will spread.
There are many who expect and predict a general
rising against property, and this is invariably the way
in which such things begin.

Queen Victoria to Sir James Graham.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 23rcZ June, 1843.

The Queen returns these communications to Sir
James Graham, which are of a very unpleasant nature.
The Queen trusts that measures of the greatest severity
will be taken, as well to suppress the revolutionary
spirit as to bring the culprits 1 to immediate trial and
punishment. The Queen thinks this of the greatest
importance with respect to the effect it may have in
Ireland, likewise as proving that the Government is
willing to show great forbearance, and to trust to the
good sense of the people, but that if outrages are
committed and it is called upon to act, it is not to
be trifled with, but will visit wrong-doers with the
utmost severity.

Queen Victoria to Lord Stanley.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 24<A June 1843.

The Queen follows Lord Stanley's recommenda-
tion to confer the G.C.B. on Sir Charles Napier with
great pleasure, from her high opinion of his late achieve-
ments, and she thinks it might be advisable that some
of the officers who most contributed to the victories of
Meeanee and Hyderabad 2 should receive lower grades
of the Bath. The Queen is much impressed with the
propriety of a medal being given to the troops who
fought under Sir Charles Napier, as the armies under
Nott, Pollock, and Sale received such distinctions for
actions hardly equal to those in Scinde.

1 I.e., the Rebecca rioters.
* See ante, p. 602.



606 DUCHESS OF NORFOLK'S RESIGNATION [CHAP, xii
Sir James Graham to Queen Victoria.

WHITEHALL, 21th June 1843.

Sir James Graham with humble duty begs to lay
before your Majesty the report received from Car-
marthen this morning. The Earl of Cawdor went to
Carmarthen this morning. 1

Every effort will be made to trace this lawless
outbreak to its source, and to bring the principal
offenders to justice.

Sir James Graham encloses two Police Reports,
which have been received this morning from Dublin.
They would seem to indicate some foreign interference,
and some hope of foreign assistance mingled with this
domestic strife. Several Frenchmen have lately made
their appearance in different parts of Ireland.

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

Queen Victoria to the Duchess of Norfolk.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2th June 1843.

M Y DEAR DUCHESS, The same right which you feel,
and which you had to overcome before you took the final
step of tendering your resignation, 2 has kept me from
sooner acknowledging the receipt of your letter. Under
the circumstances which you allude to, it is incumbent
upon me to accept of your resignation, but as you
throw out yourself a hint that it would be agreeable
to you sometimes to perform the duties (which you
have hitherto fulfilled) it would give me the greatest
gratification if you would let me continue your name
on the list of my Ladies of the Bedchamber, and
sometimes at your convenience have the pleasure of
your society.

I agree with you that for the present your step
should not be known, till I shall have had time to
find a successor, and I am pleased to think that you
will take your waitings, which are at present settled.

1 Lord Cawdor was Lord-Lieutenant of Carmarthenshire.
3 Of her position as Bedchamber woman.



1843] DUELLING IN THE ARMY 607

With the Prince's kind regards to yourself, and
mine to the Duke. Believe me always, yours very
affectionately, VICTORIA R.

Queen Victoria to the Duke of Wellington.

(July 1843.)

The Queen having attentively perused the proposed
General Order for the more efficient repression of the
practice of duelling in the army, approves of the same,
but recommends that the Duke of Wellington should
submit to the Cabinet the propriety of considering of
a general measure applicable to all branches of the
Naval and Military Service. 1

The Prince Albert to Lord Aberdeen.

20th July 1843.

MY DEAR LORD ABERDEEN, The Queen and
myself have been taken much by surprise by Lord
Howard de Walden's despatch marked "most con-
fidential." The opinions of the Portuguese Court must
have entirely changed. Although we have not heard
anything on the subject, we are fully convinced of
the correctness of Lord Howard's statements and of
his conjectures. We are both pleased to see the view
which he takes, and the good opinion he has of our
little cousin. The Queen thinks it is right that you
should inform Lord Howard that the possibility of
a marriage between Prince Leopold 2 and the Queen
of Spain has been for some time a favourite thought
of hers and mine, and that you thought that this
combination had some advantages which hardly any
other could offer. But that the matter had been and was
treated here as one purely and solely Spanish, in which

1 An influential anti-duelling association had been formed this year, and
subsequently public attention was drawn to the question by a duel on 1st July,
at Caraden Town, in which Colonel Fawcett was shot by his brother-in-law,
Lieutenant Munro, who had reluctantly gone out, after enduring much
provocation. Mainly owing to Prince Albert's efforts, the Articles of War
were so amended as to put a stop to the practice.

a Son of Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, and brother of the King of
Portugal. See ante, p. 475, and post, p. 609.



608 THE OUT-PENSIONERS OF CHELSEA [CHAP, xn

we carefully abstained from interfering with, and that
we leave it to work itself or not by its own merit.

That you wished him to take the same view, but
not to lose sight of it, and to report to you whatever
he might hear bearing upon the subject. Believe
me, etc. ALBERT.

Queen Victoria to the Duchess of Norfolk.

Dear Duchess, I write to inform you that I have
named your successor, 1 who is to be Lady Douro. 2
The great regret I experience at your leaving me
is certainly diminished by the arrangement which
we have agreed upon together, and which will still
afford me the pleasure of having you occasionally
about me. 1 trust that the Duke's health will admit
of your taking your waiting in September, but think
it right to tell you that we shall probably at that
time be making some aquatic excursions in our new
yacht, and consequently be from home the greater
part of your waiting.

With the Prince's best regards to yourself, and
mine to the Duke, believe me always, yours very
affectionately, VICTORIA R.

Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 3rd August 1843.

The Queen returns the enclosed papers, and gives
her sanction to the bringing in of the Bill for Enroll-
ing and Arming the Out- Pensioners of Chelsea Hospi-
tal with great pleasure, as she thinks it a very good
measure at the present crisis, calculated to relieve the
troops which are rather overworked, and to secure a
valuable force to the service of the Government. The
Queen hopes that in bringing in the Bill Sir Robert
Peel will make as little of it as possible, in order
not to make it appear a larger measure than it is.

The Regulations strike the Queen as very judicious,
and she has little doubt that they will raise the military

1 As Bedchamber woman.

* Elizabeth, daughter of the eighth Marquis of Tweeddale, afterwards
Duchess of Wellington. She died in 1904..



1843] THE CROWN JEWELS 609

spirit in the Pensioners, and will make the measure
popular with them, which cannot fail to attach them
more to the Crown.

Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

WINDSOR CASTLE, I3th August 1843.

The Queen is desirous that whatever is right should
be done, but is strongly of opinion that the King of
Hanover's threat (for as such it must be regarded) not
to leave this country, till the affair 1 is decided upon
should in no way influence the transaction, as it is quite
immaterial whether the King stays longer here or not.

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 13th August 1843.

The Queen sees with great regret, in Sir Robert
Gordon's despatch of 4th August, that Prince Metter-
nich has resumed his favourite scheme of a marriage
between the Queen of Spain and a son of Don Carlos,
and that King Louis Philippe has almost come to a
secret understanding with him upon that point. 2 The

1 Of the Crown jewels ; ante, p. 550.

2 Since the Quadruple Alliance (of England, France, Spain, and Portugal)
in 1834 to expel Don Carlos and Dora Miguel from the Peninsula, the question
of the marriage of Queen Isabella (then aged four) had been a subject of
incessant consideration by England and France. The Queen-Mother had
suggested to Louis Philippe the marriages of the Queen to the Due d'Aumale
and of the Infanta (her sister) to the Due de Montpensier : such a proposal,
however gratifying to the French King's ambition, would naturally not
have been favourably viewed in England ; but Guizot promoted warmly the
alternative project of a marriage of the Queen to her cousin Don Francisco de
Asis, Duke of Cadiz, son of Don Francisco de Paula, the Infanta being still to
marry Montpensier. It was believed that, if this marriage of the Queen took
place, there would be no issue of it, and Louis Philippe's ambition would be
ultimately gratified. To Palmerston's protest against this scheme (before
the Melbourne Ministry fell) Guizot replied, " La Reine aura des en/ants et
ne mourra pas." The other possible candidates for the Queen's hand from
the French point of view were Count Montemolin, the son of Don Carlos,
the Count de Trapani, son of Francis I., King of the Two Sicilies, and thus
brother of Queen Christina, and the Duke of Seville, a brother of the Duke of
Cadiz. Other candidates also favoured by the Queen-Mother were (while he
was unmarried) Prince Albert's brother, and his Cousin Leopold, brother of
the King of Portugal, but the French King was bent upon a marriage of the
Queen with some descendant of Philip V., and equally determined to prevent
the Infanta's marriage either with Leopold or any other Prince not a
descendant of Philip V. The view of Prince Albert and of Lord Aberdeen
was that it was a matter for the young Queen herself and the Spanish people.
See ante, p. 607.

VOL. i 39



610 THE SPANISH MARRIAGE [CHAP, xn

Queen is as much as ever convinced that instead of
tending to pacify Spain this combination cannot fail to
call new principles of discord into action, to excite the
hopes of a lost and vanquished party for revenge and
reacquisition of power, and to carry the civil war into
the very interior of the family. The Queen is anxious
(should Lord Aberdeen coincide in this view of the
subject, as she believes he does) that it should be
clearly understood by Sir Robert Gordon, and Prince
Metternich.

The Earl of Aberdeen to Queen Victoria.

FOREIGN OFFICE, 15th August 1843.

Lord Aberdeen, with his most humble duty, begs to
assure your Majesty that he will not fail to give his best
attention to your Majesty's communication respecting
the marriage of the Queen of Spain.

In a recent despatch to Sir Robert Gordon, Lord
Aberdeen has repeated the opinion entertained by your
Majesty's Government, that the marriage of the Queen
with the son of Don Carlos, instead of leading to the
conciliation and unison of parties, would be more likely
to produce collision and strife, and to increase the
existing animosity between the different political factions
by which Spain is distracted.

This marriage, however, has always been a favourite
project with Austria and the Northern Courts ; and it
has also been apparently supported by the French
Government. It cannot be denied that at first sight
there are many considerations by which it may seem
to be recommended ; but the weight of these can only
be duly estimated by the authorities and people of
Spain.

The same may be said respecting the marriage of
the Queen with any other Spanish Prince, a descendant
of Philip V. which, in the opinion of many, would be
most agreeable to the feelings and prejudices of the
nation. To this project also it appears that the French
Government have recently assented.



1843] OBSTRUCTION OF BUSINESS 611

Lord Aberdeen humbly thinks that the interests of
this country and of all Europe are deeply concerned in
the exclusion of a French Prince from the possibility
of receiving the hand of the Queen ; and that it would
not be a wise policy to oppose any marriage by which
this should be effected, consistently with the free choice
of the Queen, and the sanction of the Spanish Govern-
ment and people. The avowed predilections of Queen
Christina, and her increased means of influence recently
acquired, render this a matter of considerable anxiety
and importance at the present moment.

Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 16th August 1843.

The Queen cannot refrain from writing a line to
express her indignation at the very unjustifiable manner
in which the minority of thirteen members obstructs
the progress of business. 1 She hopes that every attempt
will be made to put an end to what is really indecent
conduct. Indeed, how is business to go on at all if
such vexatious opposition prevails ? At all events, the
Queen hopes that Sir Robert will make no kind of
concession to these gentlemen, which [could] encourage
them to go on in the same way.

The Queen forgot to say this morning that she
thinks it would be better that the Investiture of the
Thistle should be put off for the present.

Queen Victoria to Sir James Graham.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 22nd August 1843.

The Queen returns these papers to Sir J. Graham,
and thinks that this important Memorial 2 should not

1 By opposition to the Bill removing doubts as to the admission of Ministers
in Scotland.

2 The memorial was that of Sir Augustus d'Este (1794-1848), the son of
the union of the Duke of Sussex and Lady Augusta Murray. On 4th April
1793 they were married at Rome by an English clergyman, the ceremony
being repeated in the same year at St George's, Hanover Square. The Court
of Arches annulled the marriage in 1794, but Sir Augustus now preferred
a claim to the peerage. Ultimately the Lords, after consulting the judges,
disallowed it



612 MELBOURNE ON MATRIMONIAL AFFAIRS [CHAP, xn

be decided on without the opinion of the House of
Lords ; the Queen trusts that everything will be done
to secure inviolate the maintenance of the Marriage
Act.

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

SOUTH STREET, 23rd August 1843.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your
Majesty, and thanks your Majesty much for the last
note which he had the honour of receiving. Lord
Melbourne is much pleased that your Majesty is glad
of Wilhelmina Stanhope's * marriage, and was very glad
to hear that your Majesty had congratulated her and
Lady Stanhope upon it, which was very kind, and gave
much satisfaction. Lord Dalmeny is an excellent
young man, and altogether it is an event much to be
rejoiced at, especially as it has been so long delayed,
and fears began to be entertained that it would never
happen. The Duke and Duchess of Sutherland seem
also much pleased with Evelyn's 2 marriage. She is a
beautiful girl, and a very nice person in every respect,
and everybody must wish her happy. Lord Melbourne
has been at Panshanger for two or three days with
Uxbridge and Lady Uxbridge, Ella, and Constance.
Uxbridge is having continual cricket matches as
he used to have, which is a very good thing,
making the country gay and pleasing the people.
Matrimonial affairs, Lord Melbourne is afraid, remain
in statu quo.

Lord Melbourne was very glad to hear from Anson
yesterday, and to learn that he thinks himself getting
better. Lord Liverpool had given Lord Melbourne a
very poor account of him. Lord Melbourne hopes
that your Majesty may have a pleasant tour, but he
cannot refrain from earnestly recommending your
Majesty to take care about landing and embarking,
and not to do it in dangerous places and on awkward

1 To Lord Dalmeny. En seeondes noces, she married the fourth Duke of
Cleveland.

Lady Evelyn Leveson Gower, married, on 4th October, to Charles, Lord
Blantyre.



1843] VISIT TO CHATEAU D'EU 613

coasts. Lord Melbourne is going the day after to-
morrow with Lord and Lady Beauvale to Brocket
Hall, and from thence on the 29th to Melbourne to
stay about three weeks or a month.

Lord Melbourne congratulates your Majesty upon
the near approaching termination of the Session of
Parliament, which is always a relief to all parties.
Some great measures have been passed. Lord Melbourne
wishes your Majesty health and happiness, and begs to
be respectfully remembered to the Prince.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

CHATEAU D'Eu, 4A September 1843.

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I write to you from this
dear place where we are in the midst of this admirable
and truly amiable family, and where we feel quite at
home, and as if we were one of them. Our reception
by the dear King and Queen has been most kind, and
by the people really gratifying. 1 Everything is very
different to England, particularly the population.
Louise has told you all about our doings, and therefore
tell you nothing but that I am highly interested and
amused. Little Chica (Mdme. Hadjy) 2 is a charming,
sprightly, lively creature, with immense brown eyes.
We leave this the day after to-morrow for Brighton,
where the children are, who are extremely well I hear.



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 49 of 52)