William Fitzhardinge Berkeley Fitzhardinge.

A narrative of the minutes of evidence respecting the claim to the Berkeley peerage, as taken before the Committee of privileges in 1811. Together with the entire evidence of the persons principally concerned. To which are added, facsimiles of the banns, and register of the marriage: extracted from online

. (page 8 of 22)
Online LibraryWilliam Fitzhardinge Berkeley FitzhardingeA narrative of the minutes of evidence respecting the claim to the Berkeley peerage, as taken before the Committee of privileges in 1811. Together with the entire evidence of the persons principally concerned. To which are added, facsimiles of the banns, and register of the marriage: extracted from → online text (page 8 of 22)
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be had been applied to for that letter only on the October

£ receding, by a Mr. Westfiding in behalf of Lady Berice^
J J to which application he repUed; that as tibere was
a probability of his being called before the House of Lords,
he should wish to have no communication with the



Being asked if Mr. Westfelinp^ then communicated to
him any letter of Lady Berkeley^ iie replied,

I received a letter nrom Mr. Westfiding I tlunk about a
fortnight ago, desiring, that if I had that letter which had
been sent to me in die north, I would return it to Ladr
Berkdejr. I immediately endosed it to him, saying,!
thought it would be a mudi more correct way that it should
be returned through hinvthan firom me.

Then, at the request of Mr. Serjeant Best, the following
questions and answers in the examination of Lady Berke*
Icjr, were read*; viz.

^ Your ladyship recollects having written one letter to
him? — ^^^ Yes; I aid; and if it coiud be produced, that
.w<mld at once dear up the whole thing, without my pro*
ducing the letter to wnich Ihave now alluded.

^^ Your ladydiip never sent, through the medium of any
^person, to desire to haveyourl^iOT delivered up to you? i
-r-No ; but I heaid Mr. FendaU had talked on the subject^



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fiftlifu^, ^teidn^ the transaction, which fetter watr pttt iiltd
Ml", t'endall's hands, and he sent his compliments back to
me, and that he knew no more of the circumstances of the
marriage than what I stated in the letter.

Tiie witness was asked,

Did you accompany that letter with a message to Lady
Berkeley, stating^ that you wished your eompliments to be
presented to her ladyship, and that you know nothi^^ more
of the marriage than was contained in that letter? — I did
state to Mr. Westfeling in a letter to the effect your lord-
rtiip has stated, but not when I enclosed the letter, but
when 1 was in the north in October last.

The Rev. John Chapeau being called in, stated that he
had been acquainted with the late Lord Berkeley thirfrf-
five years ; tlrat he baptisied William Fitzhardinge in 17^,
at St. George's, Hanover-square; amd luul seen his re-
gistry, which at the last tine be saw it, was a veiY di^
ferent thing from what it was at fim. The certificate,
said he, wmch I gave to Lord Berkeley, was " WiUiam
Fitzhardinge, the natural son of Frederick Agustus Earl
of Berkeley, by Mary Tudor." Till the christening took
place, he did not know whether any, and what lady was living
with Lord Berkeley at the time ; he then understood
that she lived in Park-street, near Park-lane : he also men-
tioned that she was present at the christening, previous to
which he said Lord Berkeley applied to him to christen his
efaild, saying, " he had a natural soh, and should be very
"much obligM to me if I would christen him.** Mr. Car-
rington said, ^^ he could not do it, ^is it Was a ncttund
child, and therefore begged that he woftld excuse me, for
I must apply to the Rector of St. Geoige's panrish if I did,
and I did not think it was a post of honour to ^^ppty for
tov nwin's natural child."

What passed upon that? — I told Lord BeAeley I
thought his best plan would be to send the nurse and the
•child aftei' morning prayers to the vestty at St. George^
and there he would find an oiiiciating clergyman fhitt
would christen the child and register it Jtt the same time^
for I could not register in another man's parish without his

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ntted of' the diilil, the mother, kiiss Tudoo-'^ Qiotili^ or
aunt, I supposed. Admiral PreseoLt, myseU^ and the deck
of Sl CSeorge's Pariah.

At what miB was this ? — It was January the 19th, 1787.
At the chrii^enin^, when I was pulling off my surplice, I
found Admiral Prescott writting down what 1 mu^t ha^e
adied him if h^ had not ; I dp not mean that it was any
Aim^ improper, ^^ William Fitzhardioge, natural sou of
the Earl of Berkeley, bj Mary Tudor."

Was Lord Berkeiej present then i — Xo.

How soQQ afterwards did you see him upon this subject?
— ^Lord Berkeley prior to the christening, desired that
when I had done, I would bring the certificate to his house
in GraHon-sireet. I toc^ the certificate and went up
stairs, and found X^ird Berkeley- without his coat He
said he was in the midst of dre^su^, took the certificatCL
and said, '' AH is well, and I will be with you ; go and
jcad the paper in my room, and I will be with you in a
moment." I waited more than half an hour ; I thought
kim a long time in dressing, and about a quarter of an
hoor after he came in jwith his. hat on. Says he, '^ Wel]^
I haye been with At. Courtenay, and we haye both regis-
tered the child." I said to him, ^' And what do you think
brought me here ?" Says he, " My old friend, I really wag
90 taken up with the desire of registering the child that I
forgot you." I concluded it was all properly done, a^
Doctor Courtenay and he had been together. I did not
like tbe<:ontempt of beiiig left alone in tb|U, manner audi
told his lordship so.

Did you afterwM-ds «ee the entry made in the register ?
•p^No; I did not; that will come An its course. It wasa
frood wUle after that ; I think it was about two years after
ttMrt, Lord Borkeley applied to me again, and said, '' I
know you haye a great dislike to christening natural chilr
dm; but if ypM WUl be so good as to stand eod&ther with
Adamml Piwoott to my second son, I shall take it yexy
kind, and give to one nurse a guinea, and Admiral Prescott
•win givea gniiiea to the other nurse/^ So the christening
went on ; but there was one thing that struck me as veiy
ejrti aof tf nary, yrfaen the ceremony was oyer Ladir Berke-
fer 8»« a 8»kd ktter to Mr. Pitt, %« , officbtmg ^



T%lA «kA4L^^ «^ U«r Ak^ »onw» r,f T^«lv Rftrkel av 2-^-Oh



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kelej till she wag publidy married by the Bishop of Gfloii-^
cester at Lambeth. Mr. Chapeau went on to state, t;hat
he had seen the register of the first son the claimant, but ,
never heard of any legitimacy. Being asked if the name
was entered Tudor, in the register ? he said, not Tudor,
but Cole, which name he acknowledged was never sug-

fested or put into the certificate which he delivered to
iord Berkeley ; and that he never knew the lady's name
was Cole, till she had several children, at the time when
liord Berkeley went to the House of Lords to claim a
former marriaffe. He further said, that he continued very
intimate with Lord Berkeley till his going to Spring-gar-
dens ; and fi*om that time he never spoke to him ; he him-
self breaking off the acquaintance with his lordship.

Being asked whether, during all the time of the intimacy
Lord Berkeley passed as a married or a single man, he
replied.

As a single man. I recollect a circumstance that passed
on coming firom shooting one day ; it was Lord Berkeley's
custom to ask where Miss Tudor was, and the servant that
answered his question said, " My Lady Berkeley is in the
pleasure grounds;" to which Lord Berkelejr answered,
« You fool, whom do you mean by Lady Berkeley, I have
no Lady Berkeley belonging to me but my mother." That
servant repeated that once after that, but never after-
wards.

At what time did that pass which you have now de-
scribed, as nearly as you can recollect ; perhaps you may
be able to remember how long it was after the christening
of the first son, if it was after ? — I cannot make out, it was
in the month of October I think ; I think it was in October,
because that was one of the months I used to go down and
shoot with Lord Berkeley at Cranford, for it happened
there.

You represented that you had seen Lord Berkeley at
Spring-Gardens on his return firom the House of Lords ?
~I did.

Did you see Lady Berkeley there ? — ^Boih at Spring-
0&i*dens.

Did you hear Lady Berkeley say any thing upon that,
occasion ? — I sat in the dining parlour with Admiral Pres-1<
CPtt, about half an hour before the carriage drove up ;



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porter in the hall, Lady Berkeley being first, had flounced
down in a chair, and looked heated and disappointed,
sajring, ^ No more iniqoity for me. My children shall go
to their diurch, and shall read their Bible, and shall tread
the path df truth and virtue ;" and I do not know, — there
was another expression ; and then Lord Berkeley came
in, and that stopped her mouth.

Had any subject been mentioned, to which the reference
was of " No more iniquity for roe," to which that expres-
sion referred ? — ^Not any one ; the moment she came out
of the coach, she flounced down in the chair, and thi wa^
a kind of exclamation to herself. When Lord Berkeley
came in, I never saw any countenance in my life so de-
jected, so chop-fallen, and so4 miserable. I dined there.
Admiral Prescott I believe dined there ; Lord Berkeley
did not speak a word I believe, and Miss Tudor did talk,
but not 90 cheerfully as at another time.

At any time did Lady Berkeley relate to you any cir-
cumstances respecting her history ? — She did.

Have the goodness to repeat them. — About October, 1
cannot recolfect to .say in what year exactly, 1 think it
must be about 1787.

Have the goodness to relate, as well as you can recol-
lect, all that Lady Berkeley related to you about herself?

Mr. Moore, counsel for the petitioner, requested to
know if this evidence was intended to discredit Lady
Berkeley ? — Mr. Solicitor Greneral answered that it was.

The witness said. When I came into the parlour to shel-
ter myself^ I believe it was firom rain. Miss Tudor was
discharging a servant she had had out of the countiy, and
persuacQng diis girl to return to her firiends in the coun-
try, telling her she would pay her stage coach if she would.
She refiised, saying^ she liked to stay in London better.
Upon which Miss Tudor adied me, if I did not think the
giii extremely obstinate; and that a girl with a good
countenance, and dismissed firom service without moncnr,
would be sure to fall a prey to some man or other, in
this situation, said she, I was once myself; but having a
fiiend of my mother's, whose name I recollected, and
whose hooae I found out, very luckily was received with
intdnesB; but that kindness did not last long, for he came 1

to ttiA and flsid. ** Manr. irn« tntisi nnt cfav Iniuyv^r iiTid#*r



( 94 >

tinue) and the old will despise me ; tiberefore, child, yoit
roust go down to your friends at Gloucester." I said to
ker, '' I hope that he did not turn you out without some
money?" "No," she said, "he did not; he gave me a
very handsome present, and with that present I quitted
his house and went to my sister Ann Farren, whom I found
with a sore breast, two or three children extremely dis-
eased and dirty, and one Mrs. Sheffield, an old servant in
the family, who came, upon her necessitous situation, to
assist them. The first thing I did was to send for a sur-
geon to my sister ; the next was to have the children
cleaned and clothed, and that dipped very deeply into my
present. I remunerated Mrs. Sheffield for her kindness,
and, then disliking my situation under my sister, took up
my little bundle and marched to my sister Susan's. I
took up the knocker ; but recoUectins^ that my mother had
given me strict orders never to speak to my sister Susan
any more, I laid it down again quietly, and took a turn to
reflect upon my disobedience; but when I thought jof re-
turning to all that misery at my sister's, my sister scream-
ing with pain, and the children almost famished with hun-
ger, I faced about, went to my sister Susan's once again.;
took up the knocker and gave a loud rap. Who should
come to the door, but (as if it had been on purpose) my
sister Susan herself, dressed out in all the paraphernalia of
a fine lady going to the opera. She took me into her arms^
carried me into the parlour and gave me refreshment;
began to tear a great many valuable laces of sixteen shil-
lings a yard, to equip me for the opera, and when I was so
dressed I looked like a devil. I went to the opera and
was entertained with it, and at night returned again to ray
sister's, and there I found a table well spread ; not know*
ing that my sister ever had any fortune^ At that table
were Lord Berkeley, Sir Thomas Kipworth, I think a Mk.
Mariot, and a Mr. Howarth; the evening went oflF very
dull, and they soon left the place. The next night we weik
to the play in the same manner, and returned in the same
manner, and with no other diffei^nce than a young barris-
ter, whom I thought agreeable ; and if I nad been fi«-
quently with him sliomd have liked him very much.
When they went away, I requested my sister to give me ie
cheerful evening, that we might recount over our growth-



t i» )

of OHT ntrtk a violent noiee was heard in die passage, and
m nidied two mffians, one seizing my sister by the ri^t
hand, and the other by the left, trying to drag her ont of
the hoQ^ in order to carry her to a spunging-house. She
told me the men declared they would not quit Susan her
sister unless they received a hundred guineas. She fiunted
away ; then, when she carae to herself, she found Lor4
Berkeley standing by her sister Susan, who was not there
before. Miss Tudor fell upon her knees, and desired ny
Lord Berkeley to liberate lier sister ; &at she bad no nH>>
ney herself to'do it, and if he would do it, he might d*
whatever he would vrith her own person ; he paid down
one hundred guineas, the ruffians quitted their hold, and
my lord carried off the ladv.

In the conclusion, did her ladvship say any thing ?-^
Yes; she said, " Mr. Chapeau, I have been as much sold
as any lamb that goes to the shambles." The raaid-ser->
vant was also present at this conversation.

After stating some particulars of less importance, rela«
tive to a Mr. Aubert and a Mrs. Bell, whom he had seea
at Berkeley castle, Mr. Chapeau was asked, whether when
present at the christening <^Lady Bei^eley's second soo^
did not occasion him much surprise, namely, that Lady
Berkeley pot a sealed paper into the hands of Mr. Pitt tm
officiating clergyman, what were the circumstances whidi
occasioned such surprise ? — The first was, that I conceived
that Lady Berkeley bad put the goinesr which 1 gav« to
the nurse, and Admiral Prescott's gmnea wbich be gave t9
tbemirse, and conveyed them in that letter; that was the
Srst : then the next was, I concluded vrhen I knew Ili#
ttame oTOole, thai it w» to hide the name of Cok frm
me. who bad never been acqusMted with that mnae.

Yon state you had been more or less in habits «f iMtit-
macy with Lord Berkeley, and lived a greait deal in lus
l*5ciety ; did Lord Berkeley ever make any oottmuMka-
lion to you of any matter of confidence on any Bobject
Irtmlever ; any secret con6deotial communicatiati reimtive
to his aflkirs, or other naatlers ? — A thoasand, if I haA
toemoiy to retain them,. If v€m please, I do notthiak I
can go OB, but I will try. Lord Berkeley and I «sed t#
tide «nt when we were idene five day* in the werft toge^*
th^'. 0«ce he aaid, ^* Oh, dear Chapeau, I am ve^ lows*



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set born out of wedlock, and that man was my schoolfel*
low, and a man I loved exceedingly, and whenever I
think of him I am always unhappy. I attended him all
throui^h, his illness ; he drank himself to death, because he
was disappointed in the title." And he said, " Believe
me, my children sfi9H never experience such cursed vil-
lainy through my means."

Can you state the date of that conversation on the sub-
ject y)f Mr. Smith? — I should think No, I cannot. —

Five hundred things of that kind Lord Berkeley has said
to me.

Among other particulars, Mr. Chapeau admitted that
the Lady Dowager Berkeley, whom he had seen in com-
pany with Lady Berkeley, behaved with great affection
towards her, calling her child, child, till he was sick of it.
He also mentioned a Mrs. Bell, who frequently visited at
Cranford till she quarrelled, liliss Tudor taking very little
notice of her after she became Lady Berkeley ; but he
i^ould not recollect whether Mrs. Bell called her Lady
Berkeley or not.

Mr. Chapeau being asked whether he had ever repeated
the narrative Lady Berkeley gave him of her life to any
person, mentioned the names of Colonel Boscawen, Mr.
Scroggs, Mr. Evelyn Meadowes, and Lord Dunmore,
who was then dead ; and this as a proof that he did not
think she was married 'the first time.

Did you ever in any of the confidential conversations
you had with Lord Berkeley mention this circumstance to
him ? — No, I never should jfiave thought of such a thitig i
I could not tell whether it might not be a great injury to
both parties ; I might have made my lord unhappy, and
might have separated them when they were together, and
I cud* not like to be the author of that ; they were to fol«-
loW their own plan.

^Endeavour to recollect whether you have not givea ua
the date of the conversation with Ladv Berkeley, in whicli
she related the circumstances of her life, that you supposed
it was about a year and a half subsequent to their connec-
tion ?— I told you before of dates, that at my time of life
they were very distressing to me, and in consequeince of

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i!hat ; I onlj concluded tbat it was about that time by the
circumstince of Miss Tudor being down there, . and my
being down there myself with lAj iamilj.

When Lord Berkeley told you concerning his re-
gret about the circumstanced of Mr. Smith's death, did it
lection the narrative which Ladj
u? — Not the least in the world; I
5 any thing similar in the case,
lere was something similar between
laving an elder brother, who^ from
^vas not entitled to the title, and
g natural children, who you knew
to the title of Berkeley? — I do not
see any thing that could bring it to my mind at that time,
I really do not recollect that it struck me there was any
similarity ; there was a similitude, because Lord Berke-
ley made the remark, that he would not commit the same
offence.

Did you irnderstand Lord Berkeley to state to you at
that time, that he would not marry Lady Berkeley after
having had children antecedently by her? — Never that he
Iroulcl not marry. I do not recollect Lord Berkeley talk-
ing any thing about marriage to any one in the world;
but once he spoke of Miss Caroline Oury that he was very-
fond of, arid most people thought, he would marry her,
and I asked him why he would not, and he said *^ Oh
dear no, you shall never get the marriage chain round my
neck."

Can you state when you left your house at Cranford ?
: — I have had half a dozen houses. I do not know which
you allude to.

Can you state when you last left off living at Cranford?
— ^No ; there is sometning perhaps may lead to it ; I do
not know. Lord Berkeley had run the matter of game so
bard with respect to the people, that I foresaw there
woiilci be a kick-up of the whole, and I told him I wisbeA
he would take care ; there were many ways by which he
iB%ht prevent it, and if he would he might e^joy ^*
game for years; and if he would not, there wouw ^
aiiefidof ft very soon, which was, to give ji^t^edl^^""*?^ <
i^d tlie men, within the range of his manor, a gQod 3inr



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< 59 )

Berkeley is a very generous sort of a woman, that relates
a great many things without thinking much about them.
She has a great many good qualities belonging to her ; she
really is very artless in what she relates to any body, and
veiy prompt, and therefore not veiy guarded; by no
means guarded in what she says. I am sure 1 was as
much surprized as any body in the world.

Was this the first confidential conversation you ever
had with Lady Berkeley ? — 1 think it was the first and
the last I ever had. 1 will give you a proof of Lady
Berkeley's artlessness, she is a very artless woman, and
a woman who I think has been very iU used through life,
for I think she has a great many good qualities. I saw her
in Spring Gardens ; now I shall surprise you more. 1 went
to call on Lord Berkeley in Spring Grardens, not long I
believe after the death of the mother ; the eldest boy had
been shut up by her, a good big boy, because he had
been very insolent to his mother ; when I came into the
room I asked Miss Tudor where Master Berkeley was,
she said he was shut up in the room within the drawing-
f oom, which was a bed-chamber, and had been shut up
^veral hours without any victuals. I said " Ma'am, I
think you do wrong, for the child will be ill, do liberate
him, (being confined for so many hours) ; she went into
the room, fetched the boy out, with a stick in one hand
and her other hand upon his collar ; she said ^^ so and
t}iank Mr. Chapeau for your liberation," and she then ad-
ded, keeping nold of him the while, " Now you little
dog, though I am not your fether's wife, I will make you
know through life I am your mother."

Do^ou state upon your oath that she said she was not
the wife of Lord Berkeley ?r— I do say so : I relate this as
a circumstance said to the chUd.

Do you upon your oath state to the house, that she
gtated herself not to be the wife of Lord Berkeley? — I
am really convinced that this is what I heard her say.

Can yoo swear positively to the words, that her lady-
ship declared herself not to be the wife of Lord Berkeley ?
—She made use of those words that I have related.

Oft vnii rprolloM -nrhf^fht^r anv rw^ro^n xiras nrCSent be-



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( 101 )

dewf ii^ t^ b|E«?Iiiast parlour, for the piurpose of shew*
ing them to him, and certifying them." He added, that
he had the key constantly in his possession when the &•
milj were not at the castle. To his knowledge, no other
person had a key of that room.

Mrs. Anne Foote bein^ called in, produced Mrs. Ches-
ton^g letters, particularizing the time when Lady Berkekj
left her house in Kent, viz. December 30, ISiM. — Anne
Poweil, the housekeeper, afterwards Mrs. Manning, quit-
ted it on the :^ of March, 1785.

B^ng asked whs^ was the character and conduct of
L^y ^^^ley when living under her roof, Ae said, '' it
was irreproachable," and that she Qerer discovered the
least lightness in her conduct while she was under her
roof.

Ann Manning being called in, acknowledged that Lady
Berkeley did receive fetters during the time she was in the
service of Mrs. Foote, which were generally brought to
the house by the gardener. 8be also stated that she knew
crf'no levity in the conduct of Lady Berkeley* After she
received letters from her sbter Turner, this witness said
^ used to laugh and joke, and say, if ever she was a
lacty, she would have her for a housekeeper: she wa»
often talking in that sort of way, and reading' nov^.
^he seemed to have a very hiffh turn.

Hannah Davis, who Imd lived servant with William
Cole, the lather of Lady Berkeley, stated the time of her
service ; her being at the Swan, in the parish of Barn-
wood, when William Cole, besides keeping a public-house
was a butcher. She also confirmed a variety of partica*'
lars which had been stated relative to Mr. Cole s &mily
and their connections ; but knew nothing of Lady Berkeley a
brother passing by the name of Tudor. Her sister Susaa
she rejH-esentra as very handsome, when she came dowm
in the country in a phaeton with a black servant.

Qn the 22d of ]Vlay the Rev. John Lloyd, senior curate
of Lambeth, was examined, and proved bavins perfbnneA
the marriage ceremony between Lord Berkley and Aft
lady that he married in May 1796.

Walter Mayers, who kept a silv^^roith's shop in A%
West^atestreet Gloucester, stated that in 1785, JaxA^



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JanuarjF and the Mjay month ; I mean that this firgt hap-
pened, and afterwards 1 saw Lord Berkelev. :
By the words, " that this happened," Vou mean the
circuoMtaDce of Lord Berkelev asking who this prett)-^ girl
was? that happened between Janu^ir and the Mat
month ?~Yes.

The May monUi in which the militia was out ? — Yes. j
What passed with Lord Berfiele) f— I happened to
dtne with the late Sir Edmund Jcynes: and as I was
^oing to dine with him, I saw the present Ladj Berkeley
« the wiiidow in the Southgate-street^ near the Bell-laae.
l^nl^rkelej came to rae afterwards, and said, " Willej,
where is that pretty girl that I saw vov talking with m
^anen's Aop?" I said, '• My Lord, do you wish to see
«r ? ' he said he did ; he seemed verv anxious to see her.
Ue said, ^ Do you know where she i^ ?" I said, « Yes 1
«^ my Lord;" '• then come along;" and so we went to-
^^11? ^^ ^^ Southgate-strect, to the comer house of
IteU-lane; and I said, •• M^ Lord, if you look up to the


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Online LibraryWilliam Fitzhardinge Berkeley FitzhardingeA narrative of the minutes of evidence respecting the claim to the Berkeley peerage, as taken before the Committee of privileges in 1811. Together with the entire evidence of the persons principally concerned. To which are added, facsimiles of the banns, and register of the marriage: extracted from → online text (page 8 of 22)