Copyright
W. H. (William Henry) Wilkins.

A queen of tears, Caroline Matilda, queen of Denmark and Norway and princess of Great Britain and Ireland online

. (page 1 of 23)
Online LibraryW. H. (William Henry) WilkinsA queen of tears, Caroline Matilda, queen of Denmark and Norway and princess of Great Britain and Ireland → online text (page 1 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
to make the world's books discoverable online.

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
publisher to a library and finally to you.

Usage guidelines

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for
personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About Google Book Search

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web

at http : //books . google . com/|



3(La^ SS3,C



HARVARD COLLEGE
LIBRARY




From the Fund in Memory of

B. OSGOOD PEIRCE

HOLUS PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS

AND NATURAL PHILOSOPHY,

1888-I914

%^

Established in 1916 "for the purchase of
books on Mathematical Physics"



r



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



A QUEEN OF TEARS



Digitized by



Google



BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

THE LOVE OF
AN UNCROWNED QUEEN:

SOPHIE DOROTHEA, CONSORT OF GEORGE L.

AND HER CORRESPONDENCE WITH PHILIP

CHRISTOPHER. COUNT KONIGSMARCK.

New AND Revised Edition.

With 24 Portraits and Illustrations,

%V0t I2J. 6d, net.



LONGMANS. GREEN. AND CO..

LONDON, NEW YORE AND BOMBAY.



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google







/.r, yf''..:.,: r. y



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



e



A .QUEEN OF TEARS^

CAROLINE MATILDA, QUEEN OF
DENMARK AND NORWAY AND
PRINCESS OF GREAT BRITAIN
AND IRELAND



BY



W. H. WILKINS

Mji.rF.sji.

Author of" The Love of an UncrotvneJ Sfueen," and " CanUue the Illustrious,
^ueen Consort of George 11."



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS



IN TWO VOLUMES



VoL.^I. /



LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

NEW YORK AND BOMBAY

^1904 y



J Digitized by



Google



yh^A^ S^^ 3 . ^







/ ^- :/;-



Digitized by



Google



PREFACE

Some years ago, when visiting Celle in connection
with a book I was writing on Sophie Dorothea,
The Love of an Uncrowned Queen, I found, in
an unfrequented garden outside the town, a grey
marble monument of unusual beauty. Around the
base ran an inscription to the effect that it was
erected in loving memory of Caroline Matilda, Queen
of Denmark and Norway, Princess of Great Britain
and Ireland, who died at Celle in 1775, at ^^e age
of twenty-three years. To this may be traced the
origin of this book, for until I saw the monument
I had not heard of this English Princess — a sister
of George III. The only excuse to be offered for
this ignorance is that it is shared by the great
majority of Englishmen. For though the romantic
story of Caroline Matilda is known to every Dane
— she is the Mary Stuart of Danish history — her
name is almost forgotten in the land of her birth,
and this despite the fact that little more than a
century ago her imprisonment nearly led to a war
between England and Denmark.

Inquiry soon revealed the full measure of my
ignorance. The dramatic tale of Queen Caroline



Digitized by



Google



VI PREFACE

Matilda and her unhappy love for Stniensee, her
Prime Minister, has been told in Danish, German,
French and English in a variety of ways. Apart
from history and biography, it has formed the theme
of novels and plays, and even of an opera. The
most trustworthy works on the Queen and Struensee
are written in Danish, a language not widely read.
In English nothing of importance has been written
about her for half a century,' and, owing to the fact
that many documents, then inaccessible, have since
become available, the books are necessarily incom-
plete, and most of them untrustworthy. Moreover,
they have been long out of print

My object, therefore, in writing this book has
been to tell once more the story of this forgotten
** daughter of England" in the light of recent his-
torical research. I may claim to have broken fresh
ground. The despatches of Titley, Cosby, Gunning,
Keith and Woodford (British Ministers at Copen-
hagen, 1 764- 1 775) and others, quoted in this book,
are here published for the first time in any language.
They yield authoritative information concerning the
Queen's brief reign at the Danish court, and the
character of the personages who took part, directly or
indirectly, in the palace revolution of 1772. Even
Professor E. Holm, of Copenhagen, in his admirable
work, Danmark'Norges Historic (published in 1902),
vol. iv. of which deals with the Matilda-Struensee

' I except Dr. A. W. Ward's contribution to the Dictionary of
National Biography ^ but this is necessarily brief. A list of the books
which have been written about the Queen in different languages will
be found in the Appendix.



Digitized by



Google



PREFACE vii

period, is ignorant of these important despatches,
which I found two years ago in the State Paper
Office, London. To these are added many docu-
ments from the Royal Archives at Copenhagen ;
most of them, it is true, have been published in the
Danish, but they are unknown to English readers.
I have also, in connection with this book, more
than once visited Denmark, and have had access
to the Royal Archives at Copenhagen, and to the
palaces in which the Queen lived during her un-
happy life at the Danish court I have followed
her to Kronborg, where she was imprisoned, and
to Celle, in Germany, where she died in exile. My
researches at this latter place may serve to throw
light on the closing (and little-known) years of the
Queen's brief life. She rests at Celle by the side of
her ancestress, Sophie Dorothea, whose life in many
ways closely resembled her own.

A word of explanation is perhaps necessary for
the first few chapters of this book. In all the bio-
graphies of Caroline Matilda written in any lang^uage,
her life in England before her marriage has received
scant consideration, probably on account of her ex-
treme youth. As her parentage and education were
largely responsible for the mistakes of her later years,
I have sketched, with some detail, the characters of
her father and mother, and her early environment.
This plan has enabled me to describe briefly the
English court from the death of Queen Caroline to
the accession of George III., and so to form a link
l^ith my other books on the House of Hanover.



Digitized by



Google



viii PREFACE

My thanks are due to Miss Hermione Ramsden
for kindly translating for me sundry documents from
the Danish ; to Mr. Louis Bob6, of Copenhagen, for
much interesting information ; and to the Editor of
the Nineteenth Century and After for allowing me to
re-publish certain passages from an article I recently
contributed to that review on Augusta, Princess of
Wales. I must also thank the Earl of Wharncliffe
for permitting me to reproduce the picture of Lord
Bute at Wortley Hall, and Count Kielmansegg
for similar permission with regard to the portrait of
Madame de Walmoden at Giilzow.

W. H. WILKINS.
November^ i903-



Digitized by



Google



CONTENTS



CHAPTER I.

PAOB

Birth and Parentage i

CHAPTER n.
Childhood and Youth 19

CHAPTER HI.
The Betrothal 35

CHAPTER IV.
The Training op a King 5a

CHAPTER V.
**Thb Northern Scamp" 70

CHAPTER VI.
Matilda's Arrival in Denmark 84

CHAPTER VII.
Mariage k la Mode 106

CHAPTER VIII.
At the Court op Denmark 124

CHAPTER IX.
The Birth op a Prince 138

. CHAPTER X.
Christian VII. in England 152

CHAPTER XI.
The Prodigal's Return 175



Digitized by



Google



X CONTENTS

CHAPTER XII.

PAOB

Strubnsbb 193

CHAPTER XIII.
The Tempter aog

CHAPTER XIV.
The Queen's Folly 228

CHAPTER XV.
The Fall op Bernstorpp 251

CHAPTER XVI.
Queen and Empress 265

CHAPTER XVII.
The Reformer 280

CHAPTER XVIII.
The Order of Matilda 303

CHAPTER XIX.
The Dictator 328



Digitized by



Google



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



Queen Matilda {Photogravun). Pram th$ PainHng by

Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1766 FnmHspisci *^

Leicester House, where Queen Matilda was Born Pacing pag$ 4 ^

Frederick, Prince or Wales, Father op Queen
Matilda. Prom ths PainHng by J, B, Vanloo ai
Warwick CastU, by permission of the Earl of
Warwick „ „ 14*

Madame de Walmooen, Countess op Yarmouth.
Prom the PainHng at Ouhow, by f$rmission of
Count KUlmanscgg , „ 24'

John, Earl op Bute. Prom the PainHng by Sir Joshua
Reynolds ai WortUy Hall, by permission of the Earl
qfWhamcliffe ., 3^ '

The Elder Children op Frederick and Augusta,
Prince and Princess op Wales, Playing in Kew
Gardens. Prom a PainHng, temp, 1750 . „ m 50 -

Queen Louise, Consort op Frederick V. op Denmark
AND Daughter op George II. op England. Prom
a PainHng by Pilo in the Prederiksborg Palace . . „ „ 62

King Christian VII. Prom the PainHng by P, Wichman,

17^ »» ff 7^ '

Kew Palace, where Queen Matilda passed much

OP her Girlhood. Prom an Engraving, temp, 1751 „ „ 90

The Marriage Ball op Christian VII. and Queen
BfATiLDA IN THE Christiansborg Palace. Prom
a Contemporary Print „ „ 104 •

The Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen. From an

Old Print, temp, 1768 „ „ lao '

II



Digitized by



Google



xii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Edward, Duke op York, Brother op Queen Matilda.

From the Painting by G,H, Every .... Pacing f age 13a

Queen Matilda Receiving the Congratulations op
THE Court on the Birth op the Crown Prince
Frederick. Prom a Contemporary Print . . . „ „ 142

Carlton House, Pall Mall, the Residence op the
Princess-Dowager op Wales. Prom a Print, temp,
1765 ,. .. 156'

The Masked Ball given by Christian VII. at the
Opera House, Haymarket. Prom the **Gentleman*s
MagoMtne,*' 1768 „ „ 17a

The Palace op Prbdbriksborg, prom the Garden

Terrace. Prom an Engraving, temf, 1768 . . ,1 „ 180

William Henry, Duke op Gloucester, Brother op
Queen Matilda. Prom the Painting by H, W,
Hamilton, 1771 » » 190

Strubnsbb. Prom an Engraving, 1771 ....„„ 306

Queen Sophia Maodalena, Grandmother op Chris-
tian VII „ „ aa6

Augusta, Princess op Wales, Mother op Queen

Matilda. After a Painting by J, B, Vanloo „ „ 244

George III., Brother op Queen Matilda. Prom a
Painting by Allan Ramsay (1767) in the Nettional
Portrait Gallery >f » 264

The Fredbriksberg Palace, near Copenhagen. Prom

a Print, temf, 1770 „ „ a8a

The Palace op Hirschholm, tsmp. 1770 • . • n t» 304

Two Relics op Queen Matilda in the Rosenborg
Castle, Copenhagen, (i) The Insignia op the
Order op Matilda; (2) The Wedding Goblet . „ „ 330

Queen Matilda and her Son, the Crown Prince op
Denmark. Prom the Painting at the Rosenborg,
Copenhagen n « 34^



Digitized by



Google



CHAPTER I.

BIRTH AND PARENTAGE.
I7SI.

Caroline Matilda, Queen of Denmark and Nor-
way, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland (a
sister of George III.), was bom at Leicester House,
London, on Thursday, July 22, 1751. She was the
ninth and youngest child of Frederick Prince of
Wales and of his wife Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, and
came into the world a little more than four months
after her father s death. There is a Scandinavian
superstition to the effect that children bom father-
less are heirs to misfortune. The life of this *' Queen
of Tears " would seem to illustrate its truth.

Caroline Matilda inherited many of her father's
qualities, notably his warm, emotional temperament,
his desire to please and his open-handed liberality.
Both in appearance and disposition she resembled
her father much more than her mother. Some
account of this Prince is therefore necessary for a
right understanding of his daughter's character, for,
though she was bom after his death, the silent forces
of heredity influenced her life.

Frederick Prince of Wales was the elder son

VOL. L I



Digitized by



Google



2 A QUEEN OF TEARS

of George II. and of his consort Caroline of
Ansbach. He was born in Hanover during the
reign of Queen Anne, when the prospects of his
family to succeed to the crown of England were
doubtful, and he did not come to England until
he was in his twenty-second year and his father
had reigned two years. He came against the will
of the King and Queen, whose cherished wish was
that their younger son William Duke of Cumber-
land should succeed to the English throne, and
the elder remain in Hanover. The unkindness
with which Frederick was treated by his father
had the effect of driving him into opposition to
the court and the government. He had inherited
from his mother many of the graces that go to
captivate the multitude, and he soon became
popular. Every cast-off minister, every discon-
tented politician, sought the Prince of Wales, and
found in him a ready weapon to harass the
government and wound the King. The Prince
had undoubted grievances, such as his restricted
allowance and the postponement of his marriage
to a suitable princess. For some years after
Fredericks arrival in England the King managed
to evade the question of the marriage, but at last,
owing chiefly to the clamour of the opposition, he
reluctantly arranged a match between the Prince of
Wales and Augusta, daughter of the reigning Duke
of Saxe-Gotha.

The bride-elect landed at Greenwich in April,
1736, and, two days after her arrival, was married



Digitized by



Google



BIRTH AND PARENTAGE 3

to Frederick at the Chapel Royal, St. James's. The
Princess was only seventeen years of age and could
not speak a word of English. She was tall and
slender, with an oval face, regular features, bright,
intelligent eyes, and an abundance of light-brown
hair. Frederick's marriage did not make him on
better terms with his parents, and in this family
quarrel the Princess, who soon showed that she
possessed more than usual discretion, sided with her
husband. The disputes between the King and the
Prince of Wales culminated in an open act of revolt
on the part of the latter, when, with incredible folly,
he carried off his wife, on the point of her first
lying-in, from Hampton Court to St. James's. Half
an hour after her arrival in London the Princess
was delivered of a girl child, Augusta, who later in
life became Duchess of Brunswick. The King was
furious at this insubordination, and as soon as the
Princess was sufficiently recovered to be moved, he
sent his son a message ordering him to quit St.
James's with all his household. The Prince and
Princess went to Kew, where they had a country
house ; and for a temporary London residence
(while Carlton House, which the Prince had bought,
was being repaired) they took Norfolk House, Sl
James's Square.

A few weeks after this rupture the illustrious
Queen Caroline died, to the great grief of the King
and the nation. Her death widened the breach an
the royal family, for the King considered that his
son's undutiful conduct had hastened his mother's



Digitized by



Google



4 A QUEEN OF TEARS

death. Frederick now ranged himself in open opposi-
tion to the King and the government, and gathered
around him the malcontent politicians, who saw in
Walpole's fall, or Frederick's accession to the throne,
their only chance of rising to power. The following
year, 1738, a son and heir (afterwards George III.)
was born to the Prince and Princess of Wales at
Norfolk House. This event strengthened the posi-
tion of the Prince, especially as the King's health
was reported to be failing.

Frederick removed his household to Leicester
House in Leicester Fields. It was here, eleven
years later, that his posthumous daughter Caroline
Matilda was born. Leicester House was built by
the Earl of Leicester in the reign of James I.
There was a field before it in those days, but a
square was subsequently built around the field, and
Leicester House occupied the north-east corner of
what was then Leicester Fields, but is now known
as Leicester Square. It was a large and spacious
house, with a courtyard in front, and the state rooms
were admirably adapted for receptions and levees, but
as a residence it was not so satisfactory. Frederick
chiefly made use of Carlton House and Kew for his
family life, and kept Leicester House for entertain-
ing. His court there offered a curious parallel to
the one his father had held within the same walls
in the reign of George I., when the heir to the
throne was also at variance with the King. Again
Leicester House became the rallying place of the
opposition, again its walls echoed with the sound



Digitized by



Google



o
n



S
ca


U



O

X

M
H

(/}

Ui

o
•4



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



BIRTH AND PARENTAGE 5

of music and dance, again there flocked to its
assemblies ladies of beauty and fashion, elegant
beaux, brilliant wits, politicians and pamphleteers.
Frederick's intelligence has been much abused, but
he was intelligent enough to gather around him at
this time much of what was best in the social life
of the day, and his efforts were ably seconded by
his clever and graceful wife.

After the fall of Walpole several of the Prince s
friends took office, and a formal, though by no
means cordial, reconciliation was patched up be-
tween the King and the Heir Apparent, but there
was always veiled hostility between them, and
from time to time their differences threatened to
become acute. For instance, after the Jacobite
rising the Prince of Wales disapproved of the
severities of his brother, the Duke of Cumberland,
**the butcher of Culloden,'* and showed his dis-
pleasure in no unequivocal manner. When the
Jacobite peers were condemned to death the Prince
and Princess interceded for them, in one case with
success. Lady Cromartie, after petitioning the
King in vain for her husband's life, made a personal
appeal, as a wife and mother, to the Princess of
Wales, and brought her four children to plead with
her as well. The Princess said nothing, but, with
evident emotion, summoned her own children and
placed them beside her. This she followed by pray-
ing the King for Cromartie's life, and her prayer
was granted.

After the reconciliation the Prince and Princess



Digitized by



Google



6 A QUEEN OF TEARS

of Wades occasionally attended St. James's, but
since the death of Queen Caroline the court of
George II. had lost its brilliancy and become both
gross and dull, in this respect contrasting unfavour-
ably with Leicester House. Crossness and dulness
were characteristic of the courts of our first two
Hanoverian kings, but whatever complaint might
be brought against Leicester House, the society
there was far livelier and more refined than that
which assembled at St. James's. The popular
grievance against Leicester House was that it was
too French. France was just then very unpopular
in England, and the British public did not like the
French tastes of the Prince of Wales — the masques
imitated from Versailles, the French plays acted by
French players and the petits saupers. High play
also took place at Leicester House, but the Prin-
cess did her best to discourage this. In the other
frivolities which her husband loved she acquiesced,
more for the sake of keeping her influence over
him than because she liked them. Her tastes were
simple, and her tendencies puritanical.

At Kew the Prince and Princess of Wales led a
quieter life, and here the influence of the Princess
was in the ascendant. Kew House was an old-
fashioned, low, rambling house, which the Prince
had taken on a long lease from the Capel family.
The great beauty of Kew lay in its extensive garden,
which was improved and enlarged by Frederick.
He built there orangeries and hothouses after the
fashion of Herrenhausen, and filled them with



Digitized by



Google



BIRTH AND PARENTAGE 7

exotics. Both Frederick and his wife had a love
of gardening, and often worked with their children
in the grounds, and dug, weeded and planted to
their hearts' content. Sometimes they would com-
pel their guests to lend a hand as well. Bubb
Dodington tells how he went down to Kew on a
visit, accompanied by several lords and ladies, and
they were promptly set to work in the garden,
probably to their disgust. Dodington's diary con-
tains the following entries : —

**I750, February 27. — Worked in the new
walk at Kew.

**I750, Febmary 28. — All of us, men, women
and children, worked at the same place. A cold
dinner."!

It was like Frederick's monkeyish humour to make
the portly and pompous Dodington work in his
garden ; no doubt he hugely enjoyed the sight.
The Prince's amusements were varied, if we may
judge from the following account by Dodington : —

**^750, y«w 28. — Lady Middlesex, Lord
Bathurst, Mr. Breton and I waited on their Royal
Highnesses to Spitalfields to see the manufactory
of silk, and to Mr. Carr s shop in the morning. In
the afternoon the same company, with Lady Tor-
rington in waiting, went in private coaches to
Norwood Forest to see a settlement of gypsies.
We returned and went to Bettesworth the conjurer,
in hackney coaches. Not finding him we went in
search of the little Dutchman, but were disappointed ;

^ Bubb Dodington's Diary, edition 1784.



Digitized by



Google



8 A QUEEN OF TEARS

and concluded the particularities of this day by
supping with Mrs. Cannon, the Princess's midwife." ^
These, it must be admitted, were not very in-
tellectual amusements. On the other hand it stands
to Frederick s credit that he chose as his personal
friends some of the ablest men of the day, and found
delight and recreation in their society. Between
him and Bolingbroke there existed the warmest
sympathy. When Bolingbroke came back to Eng-
land after Walpole's fall, he renewed his friendship
with Frederick, and often paced with him and the
Princess through the gardens and shrubberies of
their favourite Kew, while he waxed eloquent over
the tyranny of the Whig oligarchy, which kept the
King in thrall, and held up before them his ideal
of a patriot king. Both the Prince and Princess
listened eagerly to Bolingbroke's theories, and in
after years the Princess instilled them into the mind
of her eldest son. Chesterfield and Sir William
Wyndham also came to Kew sometimes, and here
Frederick and Augusta exhibited with just pride


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibraryW. H. (William Henry) WilkinsA queen of tears, Caroline Matilda, queen of Denmark and Norway and princess of Great Britain and Ireland → online text (page 1 of 23)