Gossip in the First Decade of Victoria's Reign
by John Ashton
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Queen Elizabeth's Statue—The Ladies of the Bedchamber—The Queen hissed at Ascot Races—Land at Melbourne—Sunday Trading—New way of paying Church Rates.

Times, 25 Ap.—"The workmen engaged some time since in taking down an old public house adjoining St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet St., discovered in one of the cellars the ancient stone statue of Queen Elizabeth, which formerly stood in the nave of the old church. The parochial authorities have resolved to place it on the east end of the church, fronting Fleet Street." An unfortunate position, for many raw, unlettered Irishmen, or women, have mistaken it, owing to its environment, to be a statue of the Virgin Mary, and have devoutly crossed themselves, and said their "Aves."

About this time occurred a political complication which afforded great scope for gossip, and which showed that it was about time that the Queen was freed from her female entourage, and had the protective advice of a husband. On the 7th May, Lord Melbourne, having been beaten, by a small majority, on the Bill concerning the Suspension of the Constitution in Jamaica, resigned, and Sir Robert Peel was commissioned by the Queen to form a new Ministry. He did so, but, for valid reasons, he required the resignation, as was, and is, usual, of the ladies of the household. In order that there shall be no bias on this divergence of opinion between the Sovereign and her Minister, I quote a portion of Sir Robert Peel's speech in the House of Commons, on 13 May, taking it from the authorised version of Hansard. Sir Robert said that there was but one subject of disunion between himself and Her Majesty.

"The difficulty arose with respect to certain portions of that part of the establishment which is filled by the Ladies of the household. Sir, I think it infinitely better, on this point—the one on which the difficulty arose—I think it infinitely better, after mature consideration—that I should not enter—in the first instance, at least, nor unless invited by the noble Lord (John Russell)—into any statement whatever of impressions on my own mind with respect to what took place—but that I should refer exclusively to the letters which passed on the subject; because if I were to state, here, impressions of my own, I must detail verbal communications that passed, where two parties only were present; and myself one of the party, being alone in this House to offer explanations of what occurred. I approach, then, that point with respect to which the difficulty, on this occasion, arose; and, for the purpose of enabling the House to form a judgment with respect to the nature of that difficulty, I shall confine myself, altogether, to the written documents which passed on the occasion, in which are conveyed the impressions on the mind of Her Majesty, and the impressions on my own mind, with regard to the purport and effect of the communications which passed between Her Majesty and myself, in respect to certain appointments in the household, which are held by Ladies. Now, whatever blame may attach on account of imperfect explanations, I am content to bear it; whatever consequences may result from misconception, let them be visited on me; but, as to my intentions in regard to the Ladies of the household, I must not only state them, but I must prove them by most unequivocable testimony.

"On the Wednesday evening—that is, the day before I saw Her Majesty on this particular point—I had an opportunity of conferring with all those whom I proposed to submit to Her Majesty as Ministers. I saw them on Wednesday night, at my own house, about ten o'clock. I then stated to them—and there are four of them now present, who heard the communication, and can give their evidence upon it—I stated to them, and to the peers whom I have before named, the course which I meant to pursue with respect to the household, and had very little considered the matter (I am speaking of the female part of it); I, really, scarcely knew of whom it consisted. I took the 'Red Book' into my hand, and saw there the different appointments of the household. I said to those who were intended to be my future colleagues, that, with respect to all the subordinate appointments—meaning every appointment, without exception, below the rank of a Lady of the Bedchamber—I should propose to Her Majesty no change whatever with respect to those. With respect to the superior classes, I stated, that those Ladies who held offices of that class, and who were immediate relatives of our political opponents, would, I took it for granted, relieve us from any difficulty by, at once, relinquishing their offices. But, I stated, at the same time, that I did think it of great importance, as conveying an indication of Her Majesty's entire support and confidence, that certain offices in the household, of the higher rank, if not voluntarily relinquished by the Ladies holding them, should be submitted to some change Even with respect to the higher offices, namely, the Ladies of the Bedchamber, I did state, however, that there were some instances, in which, from the absence of any strong party, or political, connection, I thought it would be wholly unnecessary to propose a change. My noble and Right Hon. friends will confirm what I assert. This passed on the evening of Wednesday; and I mention it only in complete proof of my intentions, being perfectly willing, as I have before observed, to have transferred, exclusively to me, whatever blame may be attached to the imperfect explanation of my views.

"I saw Her Majesty on Thursday, and verbal communications took place on this subject. As I stated before, into the nature of those communications I shall not now enter in the slightest degree. I shall merely read the two letters which passed; one conveying the impressions of Her Majesty, and the other my own. The letter which I had the honour of receiving from Her Majesty is dated May the 10th, 1839. I received it at an early hour on Friday morning, and it is as follows:

"'Buckingham Palace.—May 10, 1839.

"'The Queen, having considered the proposal made to her, yesterday, by Sir Robert Peel, to remove the Ladies of her Bedchamber, cannot consent to adopt a course which she conceives to be contrary to usage, and which is repugnant to her feelings.'

"Immediately—that is, in two or three hours after having received the letter from Her Majesty, I addressed to Her Majesty a letter, of which this is a copy:

"'Whitehall.—May 10, 1839.

"'Sir Robert Peel presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and has had the honour of receiving your Majesty's note of this morning.

"'In respectfully submitting to your Majesty's pleasure, and humbly returning into your Majesty's hands the important trust which your Majesty had graciously pleased to commit to him, Sir Robert Peel trusts that your Majesty will permit him to state to your Majesty his impression with respect to the circumstances which have led to the termination of his attempt to form an Administration for the conduct of your Majesty's service.

"'In the interview with which your Majesty honoured Sir Robert Peel, yesterday morning, after he had submitted to your Majesty the names of those whom he proposed to recommend to your Majesty for the principal executive appointments, he mentioned to your Majesty his earnest wish, to be enabled, with your Majesty's sanction, so to constitute your Majesty's household, that your Majesty's confidential servants might have the advantage of a public demonstration of your Majesty's full support and confidence; and that, at the same time, as far as possible, consistently with that demonstration, each individual appointment in the household should be entirely acceptable to your Majesty's personal feelings.

"'On your Majesty's expressing a desire that the Earl of Liverpool should hold an office in the household, Sir Robert Peel requested your Majesty's permission at once to offer to Lord Liverpool the office of Lord Steward, or any other which he might prefer.

"'Sir Robert Peel then observed, that he should have every wish to apply a similar principle to the chief appointments which are filled by the Ladies of your Majesty's household; upon which your Majesty was pleased to remark, that you must reserve the whole of those appointments, and that it was your Majesty's pleasure, that the whole should continue as at present, without any change.

"The Duke of Wellington, in the interview to which your Majesty subsequently admitted him, understood, also, that this was your Majesty's determination, and concurred with Sir Robert Peel in opinion that, considering the great difficulties of the present crisis, and the expediency of making every effort, in the first instance, to conduct the public business of the country with the aid of the present Parliament, it was essential to the success of the commission with which your Majesty had honoured Sir Robert Peel, that he should have that public proof of your Majesty's entire support and confidence, which would be afforded by the permission to make some changes in that part of your Majesty's household, which your Majesty resolved on maintaining entirely without change.

"Having had the opportunity, through your Majesty's gracious consideration, of reflecting upon this point, he humbly submits to your Majesty that he is reluctantly compelled, by a sense of public duty, and in interest of your Majesty's service, to adhere to the opinion which he ventured to express to your Majesty."

In a later portion of his speech, Sir Robert remarks:

"I, upon that very question of Ireland, should have begun in a minority of upwards of twenty members. A majority of twenty-two had decided in favour of the policy of the Irish Government. The chief members of the Irish Government, whose policy was so approved of, were the Marquis of Normanby and Lord Morpeth. By whom are the two chief offices in the household at this moment held? By the sister of Lord Morpeth, and the wife of Lord Normanby. Let me not, for a moment, be supposed to say a word not fraught with respect towards those two ladies, who cast a lustre on the society in which they move, less by their rank than their accomplishments and virtues; but still, they stand in the situation of the nearest relatives of the two Members of the Government, whose policy was approved by this House, and disapproved by me. Now, I ask any man in the House, whether it is possible that I could, with propriety and honour, undertake the conduct of an Administration, and the management of Irish affairs in this House, consenting previously, as an express preliminary stipulation, that the two ladies 1 have named, together with all others, should be retained in their appointments about the court and person of the Sovereign? Sir, the policy of these things depends not upon precedent—not upon what has been done in former times; it mainly depends upon a consideration of the present. The household has been allowed to assume a completely political character, and that on account of the nature of the appointments which have been made by Her Majesty's present Government I do not complain of it—it may have been a wise policy to place in the chief offices of the household, ladies closely connected with the Members of the Administration; but, remember that this policy does seriously to the public embarrassment of their successors, if ladies, being the nearest relatives of the retired Ministers, are to continue in their offices about the person of the Sovereign."

So Lord Melbourne, returned to power.

[Picture: Child's play. Chorus:—"Can't get out!"—"Can't get out." 14 June, 1939]

The genial Caricaturist John Doyle, as there were no illustrated comic papers in those days, illustrated this incident in his H. B. Sketches. No. 591 is "A Scene from the farce of The Invincibles, as lately performed in the Queen's Theatre"—in which the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel are being expelled at the point of the bayonet, by ladies clad as soldiers. Sir Robert says: "These Household Troops charge in a most disorderly manner, but they are too many for us." While the Duke observes: "Our position is no longer tenable; draw off in good order, while I cover the retreat." No. 592 is "The Balance of Power. The figure proposed to displace the old one of Justice at the top of Constitution Hill." It shows a statue of the Queen, as Justice, holding a pair of scales, in which "Private Friendship," typified by two ladies of the household, weighs down "Public Service" full of Ministers. I have here reproduced No. 597, "Child's Play," in which figure the Queen, the Duchess of Sutherland, the Marchioness of Normanby, and other ladies of the household. No. 599 is a "Curious instance of (Ministerial) 'Resuscitation,' effected by distinguished members of the Royal Humane Society." Lord Melbourne is lying on a couch, attended by the Queen and ladies of the household. The Queen holds a smelling bottle to his nose, and says: "Ah, there's a dear, now do revive."

Whether it was owing to this affair, or not, I know not, but at Ascot races this year the Queen was absolutely hissed at by some one, or more persons—and the Times of 25 June quotes from the Morning Post thus:

"At the last Ascot races, we have reason to believe that the Duchess of Montrose and Lady Sarah Ingestre received an intimation that Her Majesty was impressed with the idea that they were among the persons who had hissed at a moment when no sounds but those of applause, gratulation and loyalty ought to have been heard. It was, we believe, further intimated to the noble ladies we have mentioned, that the Royal ear had been abused, to the effect already stated, by Lady Lichfield. The ladies, who had reason to think that they had been thus unjustly and ridiculously accused, applied immediately to their supposed accuser, who denied that she had made any such communication. On being urged to give this denial in writing, she declined to do so without first consulting her lord. But, on the application being renewed at a subsequent period, her ladyship, as we understand, explicitly, and in writing, denied that she had given utterance to the calumny in question. Here the matter stood, until, from some incidents connected with the late ball at Buckingham Palace, the two ladies, thus impeached, saw reason to believe that the erroneous impression communicated to Her Majesty at Ascot had not been entirely removed. It was an impression, however, which they could not permit to remain without employing every means of removing it; and, accordingly, the Duchess of Montrose went to Buckingham Palace, and requested an audience of Her Majesty. After waiting for a considerable period (two hours, as we have been informed), her Grace was informed by the Earl of Uxbridge, that she could not be admitted to an audience, as none but Peers and Peeresses in their own right could demand that privilege. Her Grace then insisted upon Lord Uxbridge taking down in writing what she had to say, and promising her that the communication should immediately be laid before Her Majesty. In this state, we believe, the matter remains, substantially, at the present moment, although it has taken a new form, the Duke of Montrose having, we understand, thought it necessary to open a correspondence upon the subject with Lord Melbourne."

There was only a partial denial given to the above, which appeared in the Times of 5 July. "We are authorised to give the most positive denial to a report which has been inserted in most of the public papers, that the Countess of Lichfield informed the Queen that the Duchess of Montrose and Lady Sarah Ingestre hissed Her Majesty on the racecourse at Ascot. Lady Lichfield never insinuated, or countenanced any such report, and there could have been no foundation for so unjust an accusation."

Melbourne, in Australia (named, of course, after the Premier), was founded 1 June, 1837, and I mention the fact to shew the prosperity of the infant city—for in two years' time, on this its second anniversary, certain lots of land had advanced in price from 7 to 600 pounds, and from 27 to 930 pounds.

I cannot help chronicling an amusing story anent Sunday trading. For some time the parish authorities of Islington had been rigidly prosecuting shopkeepers for keeping open their shops on Sunday, for the sale of their goods, such not being "a work of necessity, or mercy," and numerous convictions were recorded. Most of the persons convicted were poor, and with large families, who sold tobacco, fruit, cakes and sweets, in a very humble way of business, and considerable discontent and indignation was manifested in the parish in consequence of such prosecutions; the outcry was raised that there was one law for the rich and another for the poor, and a party that strongly opposed the proceedings on the part of the parish, resolved to try the legality and justice of the question, by instituting proceedings against the vicar's coachman, for "exercising his worldly calling on the Sabbath day," by driving his reverend master to church, that not being a work of necessity, or mercy, as the reverend gentleman was able both to walk and preach on the same day. For this purpose a party proceeded to the neighbourhood of the vicar's stables one Sunday, and watched the proceedings of the coachman, whom they saw harness his horses, put them to the carriage, go to the vicar's house, take him up, and drive him to church, where he entered the pulpit, and preached his sermon. One day, the following week, they attended Hatton Garden Police Office and applied to Mr. Benett for a summons against the coachman. The magistrate, on hearing the nature of the application, told them it was a doubtful case, and the clerk suggested that if they laid their information the magistrate might receive it, and decide on the legal merits of the case. This was done, the summons was granted, and a day appointed for hearing the case.

This took place on June 14, when John Wells, coachman to the vicar of Islington, appeared to answer the complaint of Frederick Hill, a tobacconist, for exercising his worldly calling on the Sabbath day.

John Hanbury, grocer, of 3, Pulteney Street, being sworn, stated that, on Sunday, the 9th inst, about 1 o'clock, he saw the defendant, who is coachman to the vicar of Islington, drive his coach to the Church of St. Mary, Islington, where he took up the vicar and his lady, and drove them to their residence in Barnsbury Park.

Mr. Benett: Are you sure it was the vicar?

Witness: I heard him preach.

John Jones, of Felix Terrace, Islington, corroborated this evidence.

Mr. Benett said, that the Act of Parliament laid down that no tradesman, labourer, or other person shall exercise his worldly calling on the Lord's day, it not being a work of necessity or charity. He would ask whether it was not a work of necessity for the vicar to proceed to church to preach. A dissenter might say it was not a work of necessity. The coachman was not an artificer who was paid by the hour or the day, but he was engaged by the year, or the quarter, and was not to be viewed in the light of a grocer, or tradesman, who opened his shop for the sale of his goods on the Sabbath day. After explaining the law upon the subject, he said that he was of opinion that the defendant driving the vicar to church on Sundays, to perform his religious duties, was an act of necessity, and did not come within the meaning of the law, and he dismissed the case.

The clergy did not seem to be much in favour with their flocks, for I read in the Annual Register, 1 Aug., of "A NEW WAY OF PAYING CHURCH RATES.—Mr. Osborne, a dissenter, of Tewkesbury, having declined to pay Church Rates, declaring that he could not conscientiously do so, a sergeant and two officers of the police went to his house for the purpose of levying under a distress warrant to the amount due from him. The officers were asked to sit down, which they did, and Mr. Osborne went into his garden, procured a hive of bees, and threw it into the middle of the chamber. The officers were, of course, obliged to retreat, but they secured enough of the property to pay the rate, and the costs of the levy, besides which, they obtained a warrant against Mr. Osborne, who would, most likely, pay dearly for his new and conscientious method of settling Church Rate accounts."


The Eglinton Tournament—Sale of Armour, &c.—The Queen of Beauty and her Cook—Newspapers and their Sales.

The Earl of Eglinton had a "bee in his bonnet," which was none other than reviving the tournaments of the Age of Chivalry, with real armour, horses and properties; and he inoculated with his craze most of the young aristocracy, and induced them to join him in carrying it out. The preliminary rehearsals took place in the grounds of the Eyre Arms Tavern, Kilburn. The last of these came off on 13 July, in the presence of some 6,000 spectators, mostly composed of the aristocracy. The following is a portion of the account which appeared in the Times of 15 July:

"At 4 o'clock the business of the day commenced. There might be seen men in complete steel, riding with light lances at the ring, attacking the 'quintain,' and manoeuvering their steeds in every variety of capricole. Indeed, the show of horses was one of the best parts of the sight. Trumpeters were calling the jousters to horse, and the wooden figure, encased in iron panoply, was prepared for the attack. A succession of chevaliers, sans peur et sans reproche, rode at their hardy and unflinching antagonist, who was propelled to the combat by the strength of several stout serving-men, in the costume of the olden time, and made his helmet and breastplate rattle beneath their strokes, but the wooden

. . . Knight Was mickle of might, And stiff in Stower did stand,

grinning defiance through the barred aventaile of his headpiece. It was a sight that might have roused the spirit of old Froissart, or the ghost of Hotspur. The Knight had, certainly, no easy task to perform; the weight of armour was rather heavier than the usual trappings of a modern dandy, and the heat of the sun appeared to be baking the bones of some of the competitors. Be this as it may, there was no flinching. The last part of the tournament consisted of the Knights tilting at each other. The Earl of Eglinton, in a splendid suit of brass armour, with garde de reins of plated chain mail, and bearing on his casque a plume of ostrich feathers, was assailed by Lord Cranstoun, in a suit of polished steel, which covered him from top to toe, the steel shoes, or sollarets, being of the immense square-toed fashion of the time of Henry VIII. The lances of these two champions were repeatedly shivered in the attack, but neither was unhorsed; fresh lances were supplied by the esquires, and the sport grew 'fast and furious.' Lord Glenlyon and another knight, whose armour prevented him from being recognized, next tilted at each other, but their horses were not sufficiently trained to render the combat as it ought to have been, and swerved continually from the barrier. It was nearly eight o'clock before the whole of the sports were concluded and the company withdrawn. We believe no accident happened, though several gentlemen who essayed to 'witch the world with noble horsemanship' were thrown, amidst the laughter of the spectators. Captain Maynard proved himself a superior rider, by the splendid style at which he leaped his horse, at speed, repeatedly over the barrier, and the admirable manner in which he performed the modern lance exercise, and made a very beautiful charger curvet round and round his lance placed upright on the ground. The whole of the arrangements were under the direction of Mr. Pratt, to whose discretion the ordering of the tilting, the armour and arming, and all the appliances for the tournament have been entrusted.

"Considering that the business of Saturday was but a rehearsal, and, putting entirely out of the question the folly, or wisdom, of the whole thing, it must be acknowledged that it has been well got up. Some of the heralds' and pursuivants' costumes are very splendid. There is an immense store of armour of all sorts, pennons, lances, trappings, and all the details of the wars of the middle ages. The display in Scotland will, certainly, be a gorgeous pageant, and a most extraordinary, if not most rational, piece of pastime."

The three days' jousting and hospitality at Eglinton Castle, Ayrshire, which commenced on the 28th, and ended on the 30th, August, are said to have cost the Earl of Eglinton the sum of 40,000 pounds. He invited the flower of the aristocracy to attend—all the armour was choice and old, and the costumes were splendid. Every accessory was perfect in its way; and so it should have been, for it was two years in preparation. The Marquis of Londonderry was King of the Tourney, and Lady Seymour, a grand-daughter of the Sheridan, was the "Queen of Love and Beauty."

By the evening of the 27th, Eglinton Castle was not only filled from cellar to garret, but the surrounding towns and villages were crammed full, and people had to rough it. Accommodation for man, or beast, rose from 500 to 1,000 per cent.; houses in the neighbourhood, according to their dimensions, were let from 10 to 30 pounds for the time; and single beds, in the second best apartments of a weaver's cabin, fetched from 10/- to 20/- a night, while the master and mistress of the household, with their little ones, coiled themselves up in any out of the way corner, as best they might. Stables, byres, and sheds were in requisition for the horses, and, with every available atom of space of this description, it was found all too little, as people flocked from all parts of the country.

The invitation given by the Earl was universal. Those who applied for tickets of admission to the stands were requested to appear in ancient costume, fancy dresses, or uniforms, and farmers and others were asked to appear in bonnets and kilts, and many—very many—did so; but although all the bonnet makers in Kilmarnock, and all the plaid manufacturers in Scotland, had been employed from the time of the announcement, onwards, they could not provide for the wants of the immense crowd, and many had to go in their ordinary dress.

Unfortunately, on the opening day, the weather utterly spoilt the show. Before one o'clock, the rain commenced, and continued, with very little intermission, until the evening. This, necessarily, made it very uncomfortable for all, especially the spectators. Many thousands left the field, and the enjoyment of those who remained was, in a great measure, destroyed. The Grand Stand, alone, was covered in, and neither plaid, umbrella, nor great-coat could prevail against a deluge so heavy and unintermitting; thousands were thoroughly drenched to the skin; but the mass only squeezed the closer together, and the excitement of the moment overcame all external annoyances, although the men became sodden, and the finery of the ladies sadly bedraggled.

It had been arranged that the procession should start from the Castle at one o'clock, but the state of the weather was so unfavourable, that it did not issue forth till about half-past two, and the weather compelled some modifications; for instance, the Queen of Beauty should have shown herself "in a rich costume, on a horse richly caparisoned, a silk canopy borne over her by attendants in costume," but both she, and her attendant ladies, who were also to have been on horseback, did not so appear, but were in closed carriages, whilst their beautifully caparisoned palfreys—riderless—were led by their pages.

There were 15 Knights, besides the "Lord of the Tournament," the Earl of Eglinton, and much as I should like to give their description and following, I must refrain, merely giving two as a sample—

"Retainers of the Lord of the Tournament. Halberdiers of the Lord, in Liveries of his Colours. Man at Arms The GONFALON, Man at Arms in half armour. Borne by a Man at in half armour. Arms. THE LORD OF THE TOURNAMENT. EARL OF EGLINGTON. Groom. In a suit of Gilt Groom. Armour, richly chased, on a barded Charger—caparisons, &c., of blue and gold. THE BANNER. Borne by LORD A. SEYMOUR Esquire. Esquire. Esquire. G. DUNDAS. F. CAVENDISH, Esq. G. M'DONAL, Esq. Retainers of the Lord, as before. Halberdiers of the Knight of the Griffin, in Liveries of his Colours. Man at Arms THE GONFALON, Man at Arms in half armour. Borne by a man at in half armour. Arms. The Knight of the Griffin. THE EARL OF CRAVEN, Groom. In a suit of engraved Groom. Milanese Armour inlaid with gold, on a barded charger. Caparisons, &c., of Scarlet, White and Gold. Esquire. THE BANNER, Esquire. The HON. F. CRAVEN. Borne by a man at The HON. F. Arms in MACDONALD. Half Armour. Retainers—"

The other Knights were:—The Knight of the Dragon, MARQUIS OF WATERFORD; Knight of the Black Lion, VISCOUNT ALFORD; Knight of Gael, VISCOUNT GLENLYON; Knight of the Dolphin, EARL OF CASSILIS; Knight of the Crane, LORD CRANSTOUN; Knight of the Ram, HON. CAPT. GAGE; The Black Knight, JOHN CAMPBELL, ESQ., of Saddell; Knight of the Swan, HON. MR. JERNINGHAM; Knight of the Golden Lion, CAPT. J. O. FAIRLIE; Knight of the White Rose, CHARLES LAMB, ESQ.; Knight of the Stag's Head, CAPT. BERESFORD; The Knight of the Border, SIR F. JOHNSTONE; Knight of the Burning Tower, SIR F. HOPKINS; The Knight of the Red Rose, R. J. LECHMERE, ESQ.; Knight of the Lion's Paw, CECIL BOOTHBY, ESQ.

There were, besides, Knights Visitors, Swordsmen, Bowmen, the Seneschal of the Castle, Marshals and Deputy Marshals, Chamberlains of the household, servitors of the Castle, a Herald and two Pursuivants, a Judge of Peace, and a Jester—besides a horde of small fry.

The first tilt was between the Knights of the Swan and the Red Rose, but it was uninteresting, the Knights passing each other twice, without touching, and, on the third course, the Knight of the Swan lost his lance.

Then came the tilt of the day, when the Earl of Eglinton met the Marquis of Waterford. The latter was particularly remarked, as the splendour of his brazen armour, the beauty of his charger, and his superior skill in the management of the animal, as well as in the bearing of his lance, attracted general observation. But, alas! victory was not to be his, for, in the first tilt, the Earl of Eglinton shivered his lance on his opponent's shield, and was duly cheered by all. In the second, both Knights missed; but, in the third, the Earl again broke his lance on his opponent's armour; at which there was renewed applause from the multitude; and, amidst the cheering and music, the noble Earl rode up to the Grand Stand, and bowed to the Queen of Beauty.

There were three more tilts, and a combat of two-handed swords, which finished the outdoor amusements of the day, and, when the deluged guests found their way to the Banqueting Hall, they found that, and its sister tent, the Ballroom, utterly untenantable through the rain; so they had to improvise a meal within the Castle, and the Ball was postponed.

Next day was wild with wind and rain, and nothing could be attempted out of doors, as the armour was all wet and rusty, and every article of dress that had been worn the preceding day completely soaked through, and the Dining Hall and the Great Pavilion required a thorough drying. The former was given up to the cleansing of armour, etc., and, in the latter, there were various tilting matches on foot, the combatants being clothed in armour. There was also fencing, both with sticks and broadsword, among the performers being Prince Louis Bonaparte, afterwards Napoleon III. His opponent with the singlesticks was a very young gentleman, Mr. Charteris, and the Prince came off second best in the encounter, as he did, afterwards, in some bouts with broadswords with Mr. Charles Lamb. Luckily, in this latter contest, both fought in complete mail, with visors down, for had it not been so, and had the combat been for life or death, the Prince would have had no chance with his opponent.

On the third day the weather was fine, and the procession was a success. There was tilting between eight couples of Knights, and tilting at the ring, and the tourney wound up with the Knights being halved, and started from either end of the lists, striking at each other with their swords in passing. Only one or two cuts were given, but the Marquis of Waterford and Lord Alford fought seriously, and in right good earnest, until stopped by the Knight Marshal, Sir Charles Lamb.

In the evening, a banquet was given to 300 guests; and, afterwards, a ball, in which 1,000 participated. As the weather, next day, was so especially stormy, the party broke up, and the experimental revival has never again been attempted, except a Tourney on a much smaller scale, which was held on 31 Oct., 1839, at Irvine, by a party from Eglinton Castle; but this only lasted one day.

I regret that I have been unable to find any authentic engravings of this celebrated tournament, but I reproduce a semi-comic contemporaneous etching from the Satirical Prints, Brit. Mus.

The armour and arms used in this tournament were shown in Feb., 1840, at the Gallery of Ancient Armour in Grosvenor Street, and they were subsequently sold by Auction on July 17 and 18 of that year. They fetched ridiculously low prices, as the following example will show:

A suit of polished steel cap a pied armour, richly engraved and gilt, being the armour prepared for the Knight of the Lion's Paw, with tilting shield, lance, plume and crest en suite, 32 guineas.

The emblazoned banner and shield of the Knight of the Burning Tower, with the suit of polished steel, cap-a-pied armour, with skirt of chain mail, 35 guineas.

The splendid suit of armour worn by the Knight of the Ram, with crest and plume, 24 guineas.

The magnificent suit of polished steel armour, worn by the Knight of the Swan, with the emblazoned tilting apparel, horse armour, and caparison, tilting saddle, lances to correspond, and a splendid modelled horse of life size, carved and painted after nature, 36 pounds.

[Picture: The Eglinton Tournament]

The armour worn as a Knight Visitor by Prince Louis Napoleon, with an elaborate visored headpiece, and other appurtenances complete, 9 guineas.

The two beautifully-fashioned melee swords, used in the combat between Prince Louis and the Knight of the White Rose, seven shillings.

On the second day's sale some of the suits fetched better prices. The splendid suit of fluted mail, worn by the Marquis of Waterford, was the gem of the collection. It was in the finest preservation, elaborately worked, and beautifully bright. It was considered one of the most perfect and complete suits in existence, and was bought at 240 guineas for the Tower of London. Lord Alford's and Mr. Lechmere's suits both went for 100 guineas each.

The spirit of the Tournament seems even to have affected the ladies, for we read of a passage of arms between Lady Seymour, the Queen of Beauty, and Lady Shuckburgh. It originally appeared in the Observer of 8 Feb., 1840, but was copied into the Times and other papers.

(Copy 1). "Lady Seymour presents her compliments to Lady Shuckburgh, and would be obliged to her for the character of Mary Stedman, who states that she has lived twelve months, and still is, in Lady Shuckburgh's establishment. Can Mary Stedman cook plain dishes well? make bread? and is she honest, good tempered, sober, willing and cleanly? Lady Seymour would also like to know the reason why she leaves Lady Shuckburgh's service. Direct, under cover, to Lord Seymour, Maiden Bradley."

(Copy 2.) "Lady Shuckburgh presents her compliments to Lady Seymour. Her Ladyship's note, dated Oct. 28, only reached her yesterday, Nov. 3. Lady Shuckburgh was unacquainted with the name of the kitchenmaid, until mentioned by Lady Seymour, as it is her custom neither to apply for, or give characters to any of the under servants, this being always done by the housekeeper, Mrs. Couch, and this was well known to the young woman; therefore Lady Shuckburgh is surprised at her referring any lady to her for a character. Lady Shuckburgh having a professed cook, as well as a housekeeper, in her establishment, it is not very likely she, herself, should know anything about the ability or merits of the under-servants; therefore she is unable to answer Lady Seymour's note. Lady Shuckburgh cannot imagine Mary Stedman to be capable of cooking for any, except the servants' hall table. Nov. 4, Pavilion, Hans Place."

(Copy 3.) "Lady Seymour presents her compliments to Lady Shuckburgh, and begs she will order her housekeeper, Mrs. Pouch, to send the girl's character without delay; otherwise, another young woman will be sought for elsewhere, as Lady Seymour's children cannot remain without their dinners, because Lady Shuckburgh, keeping 'a proffessed cook and a housekeeper,' thinks a knowledge of the details of her establishment beneath her notice. Lady Seymour understood from Stedman that, in addition to her other talents, she was actually capable of dressing food for the little Shuckburghs to partake of, when hungry."

[To this note was appended a clever pen-and-ink vignette, by the Queen of Beauty, representing the three little Shuckburghs, with large, turnip-looking heads and cauliflower wigs, sitting at a round table, and voraciously scrambling for mutton chops, dressed by Mary Stedman, who is seen looking on with supreme satisfaction, while Lady Shuckburgh appears in the distance, in evident dismay.]

(Copy 4.) "MADAM,—Lady Shuckburgh has directed me to acquaint you that she declines answering your note, the vulgarity of which is beneath contempt; and, although it may be the characteristic of the Sheridans to be vulgar, coarse and witty, it is not that of 'a lady,' unless she happens to be born in a garret and bred in a kitchen. Mary Stedman informs me that your Ladyship does not keep either a cook, or a housekeeper, and that you only require a girl who can cook a mutton chop. If so, I apprehend that Mary Stedman, or any other scullion, will be found fully equal to cook for, or manage the establishment of, the Queen of Beauty.

"I am, your Ladyship's etc.—ELIZABETH COUCH (not Pouch.)"

Even in those days, Newspapers were somewhat given to vaunt themselves as to their circulation, but they had no need to call in the aid of the chartered accountant, as they could get their facts from the number of stamps supplied—the stamp then being of the value of three halfpence per newspaper, an impost which was not removed until 15 June, 1855, by the Act 18 and 19 Vict., c. 27. The Times of 5 Aug., 1839, gives us

"A return of the number of Newspaper Stamps issued to the several Newspapers in London, from 1 Ap. to 29 June, 1839, inclusive; specifying each Newspaper by name, and the number of Stamps issued each month during that period to each Newspaper."

April. May. June. Morning Chronicle 180,000 210,000 140,000 Morning Post 85,000 90,000 80,000 Morning Herald 140,000 175,000 140,000 Times 330,000 330,000 430,000 Courier 29,000 33,000 27,000 Globe 72,000 90,000 72,000 Standard 83,000 80,000 101,000 Sun 111,000 105,000 105,000 Evening Chronicle 30,000 20,000 10,000 Evening Mail 25,000 50,000 35,000 St. James's Chronicle 52,000 58,000 66,000


The Chartists—Their going to church—Dissolution of the Convention—Approaching marriage of the Queen—The Queen and lunatics—Raid on a Gaming House—Act of Penance.

This year Chartism was rampant and very militant. On 1 April there were riots at Devizes, on 3 May, seven men were arrested at Manchester for drilling, and, on the 25th of that month a great meeting was held on Kersall Moor, four miles from Manchester. On 4th July there were very serious riots at Birmingham, and again on the 15th. On the same date between 3,000 and 4,000 Chartists met on Clerkenwell Green to condemn the action of the authorities at Birmingham, and, towards the end of the month, numerous meetings were held in the North of England, and there were riots at Newcastle and Stockport. In August there was great unrest in the North, and some trials took place at Birmingham and Manchester for rioting and sedition.

A new, and somewhat unexpected method of agitation, was, about this time, adopted by the Chartists. They betook themselves, suddenly, to attendance in a body at public worship, taking early possession on the Sundays of the various cathedrals and parish churches, to the exclusion of the more regular attendants. On the afternoon of Sunday, 11 Aug., a party of them, about 500 in number, met together in West Smithfield, and walked in procession to St. Paul's Cathedral. On arriving there, many of them refused to take off their hats; but, after some remonstrance from the Vergers, they submitted. The majority of them wore a little piece of red ribbon in their button holes, and conducted themselves quite peaceably. On the Sunday following, their brethren at Norwich pursued a similar course at the Cathedral of that city, which was crowded almost to suffocation. The Bishop, who preached, took the opportunity to deliver an impressive remonstrance on the folly and danger of their proceedings. The Chartists behaved well in the Cathedral; but, at St. Stephen's Church in the evening, they made a disturbance. The Chartists at Manchester, following the advice of Feargus O'Connor, attended the Old Church (now the Cathedral) in great numbers. The authorities, having been previously advised of their intention, had the military in readiness to act, should the Chartists behave in a disorderly manner: but they conducted themselves with great decorum. It is said that, previous to Divine Service, they handed the clergyman a Chartist text to preach from, but he selected as his text, "My house is the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves"; on announcing which, the Chartists rose, and quitted the church. The same tactics were followed in the principal towns all over the country, but, either from the success of them not being very apparent, or from the distastefulness of the method employed, the practice was not followed up for long—nor with any great regularity.

On the 14th Sep. the Chartist National Convention was dissolved; and, on the 20th Feargus O'Connor was arrested for sedition, on a Judge's Warrant, at Manchester, and things were fairly quiet during the remainder of the year, with the exception of a serious Chartist riot, on 4 Nov., at Newport, in Monmouthshire, where many rioters were killed.

We have seen how, in the beginning of the year, the Sun had prophesied the marriage of the Queen and Prince Albert, for which it was duly pooh-poohed by the Times—but on 22 Aug., the Morning Post had the dreadful temerity to announce the same—and the Court Circular of 11 Oct. tells us, that "The Hereditary Prince (Ernest) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, landed at the Tower, at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, from the Continent. Their Serene Highnesses were conveyed in two of the Royal landaus to the Royal Mews at Pimlico, and, shortly afterwards, left town with their suite in two carriages and four, for Windsor Castle, on a visit to the Queen."

On the 14th Oct., the Queen informed Lord Melbourne of her intention to marry Prince Albert, which met with the Premier's warm approbation. Next day she told the Prince that she wished to marry him. He had been out early, with his brother, hunting, but returned at twelve, and half-an-hour afterwards, the Queen sent for him, and he found her alone in her room. That it was a love match on both sides is well known, and, until the untimely death of the Prince Consort, they were models of conjugal love and felicity.

On 14 Nov. the Prince and his brother left Windsor—and departed for the Continent, via Dover; and, at a Privy Council held at Buckingham Palace on 23rd of that month, the Queen communicated her intention of marriage. The declaration was as follows:

"I have caused you to be summoned at the present time, in order that I may acquaint you with my resolution in a matter which deeply concerns the welfare of my people, and the happiness of my future life.

"It is my intention to ally myself in marriage with the Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Deeply impressed with the solemnity of the engagement which I am about to contract, I have not come to this decision without mature consideration, nor without feeling a strong assurance that, with the blessing of Almighty God, it will at once secure my domestic felicity, and serve the interests of my country.

"I have thought fit to make this resolution known to you, at the earliest period, in order that you may be fully apprised of a matter so highly important to me and to my Kingdom, and which, I persuade myself, will be most acceptable to all my loving subjects."

Upon this announcement, all the Privy Councillors present made it their humble request that Her Majesty's most gracious declaration to them might be made public; which Her Majesty was pleased to order accordingly.

The Queen suffered severely from lunatics. In June a man got into the gardens of Buckingham Palace, and, when arrested, declared he had come there for the sole purpose of killing Her Majesty, and was duly committed to Tothill Bridewell. Within a day or two of his release, in the middle of October, he went to Windsor and broke three or four panes of glass in the Castle. He was afterwards apprehended, but what became of him, I do not know; in all probability he was sent to a lunatic asylum.

In the paper which gives the account of the above, I read, "James Bryan, the Queen's Scotch suitor, was in Windsor the whole of yesterday (Sunday, 13 Oct.). In the morning, he was waiting, for a considerable period, at the door of St. George's Chapel, leading to the Cloisters, to have a view of the Queen, as Her Majesty and the two Princes of Saxe-Coburg, and the Duchess of Kent left the Chapel. In the afternoon, he walked on the Terrace, and conducted himself in his usual manner, very respectfully bowing to the Queen, as Her Majesty passed him on the New Terrace."—By the above, he must have been well known.

On 29 Nov., a respectably-dressed man got over the high iron gates leading to the Castle, a place at which there were no sentries, and walked across the Park, to the grand entrance to the Castle. Upon seeing the porter in attendance at the lodge, he said: "I demand entrance into the Castle as King of England"; to which the porter replied: "Very well, your Majesty, but be pleased to wait until I get my hat," and then taking him to the Castle, handed him over to the police. He turned out to be a man named Stockledge, who was partner in an extensive wholesale business in Manchester. He had been in two lunatic asylums, and when questioned by the Mayor of Windsor, as to the object of his visit, said that: "he was like all other men who wanted wives—he was looking after one," evidently alluding to Her Majesty. On being further questioned, he said "he was the King of England, and was impelled by the Spirit." He afterwards said that "an unknown power had done it," and that "it was the Spirit which helped him over the gates." Of course he was mad.

There was yet another fool this year, but, this time, he was not a maniac—only a Post Office Clerk, who wanted to have an interview with Her Majesty. On the afternoon of the 8th Dec., a carriage and four drove up to Windsor Castle, and, from it, alighted a personage wearing a foraging cap, a fur boa round his neck, and fur gloves, who announced himself as the bearer of important despatches which he must deliver into the Queen's own hands. This, of course, was not complied with, and as he would not part with the documents, he was handed over to the police, and taken to the station, where he made a sturdy resistance when they were taken from him. He turned out to be a junior clerk in the Foreign Post Office, named William Saunders, who, being on duty when the Foreign Mails arrived, found some letters and papers addressed to the Queen, and put them into his pocket with the intention of delivering them himself. He was suspended from his duties, but I do not know his ultimate fate.

Gambling houses were still in existence, although the Police Act of this year (2 & 3 Vict., c. 47, s. 48) gave the police great and additional power towards suppressing them. Here is a sample raid as reported in the Observer of 15 Dec.:

"Superintendent Baker, C, succeeded on Saturday night week, in breaking his way into a gambling house, 60 Jermyn Street (commonly called the Cottage), and some persons, therein found, were fined, on Monday, at Marlborough Street Office. In all, seven persons were captured, of whom, two were connected with the management of the gambling house; the others were gentlemen players. They were taken to the Station house in Vine Street; and, as we know it to be the anxious desire of the police authorities to suppress the nuisance of gaming houses, we feel that we are but lending our humble aid towards effecting that object in now publishing the real names of those gentlemen who were captured, and who passed themselves off to the police and the magistrate as being 'Jones,' 'Smith,' and other conventional misnomers. (Here follow the names.) Our Correspondent has told us of a certain noble lord, who was running here and there, on the night of the capture of his friends, striving, in the first instance, to get them bailed out, and, failing in that, to provide for them creature comforts in their cells. We cannot avoid mentioning one or two little incidents connected with this affair. The admission of spirits to prisoners in a station house is strictly forbidden, but, on this occasion, their friends outside succeeded in introducing eight soda water bottles filled with excellent pale brandy, so regularly corked and wired, as to deceive even the sharp eyes of the Inspector.

"Next day (Sunday), at 12 o'clock, they were bailed out, but, on the following morning at Marlborough Street Office, a sad mishap had all but blown up the misnomers; for, when the name of 'Jones' was called from the police sheet, the gentleman who had honoured that name by assuming it, quite forgot his condescension, until one of his companions in trouble nudged him in the side, saying, 'D—-n it, that's you.' By the way, the croupier escaped through the skylight, with the bank, amounting, it is supposed, to, at least, 500 pounds. He, and a boy who escaped with him, had but a minute or two the start of the police. As it was, the croupier met with a most severe accident, having cut his thigh so deeply as to cause a most serious hemorrhage. The gutter was flooded with his blood."

I wind up the year by chronicling an event which, I fancy, will never occur again, one of the most singular circumstances connected with it being, that the penitent was a Jewess. It occurs in a letter in the Times of 19 Dec.:


"Sir.—Understanding that many stories are afloat concerning the above act, performed on Sunday last (15 Dec.) by a young woman of the Jewish persuasion, named Deborah Cohen, I thought the particulars might be acceptable. This affair appears to have arisen from some family quarrel, the action in the Ecclesiastical Court, having been brought against her by her brother, for having made use to her sister-in-law, Rosetta Cohen, of a term contrary as well to this part of our laws, as to the usages of society. To avoid expenses she had no means to meet, and the consequences thereof, her solicitor advised her to admit her fault, and abide the award of the Court. This having got wind, the unpretending church of St. John's was beset, early on Sunday last, by great crowds, amongst whom it required great exertion of the parish officers and the police to preserve a proper decorum. The crowds were, however, disappointed in seeing this young woman exposed in the open church, with the covering of a white sheet, etc., the order from the Ecclesiastical Court only having enjoined her to appear in the vestry room of this church, on Sunday morning last, after service and a sermon, and before the minister, churchwardens, and five or six of the plaintiff's friends (some of whom attended), to recite, after the minister, her regret, etc., in the words laid down in the order. This was carried into effect, accordingly, the crowds in the church and St. John's Square remaining long after the ceremony had been performed, and the parties had left the vestry.



Commencement of Penny Post—Postage Stamps—Prince Albert's allowance—The Times comments on the Marriage—Royal Wedding Cake—Louis Napoleon's duel—Nelson Column—Noblemen's servants—Uproar at the Italian Opera House.

The most important event in the beginning of this year was the inauguration of the Penny Post on Jan. 10. At the end of 1839, an uniform postage rate of 4d. per letter was tried on Dec. 5, which was so successful that the present penny postage was established, one feature of which, the prepayment of letters, was much appreciated by the public. The number of letters despatched by the Mails from the Metropolis, on the 10th, was much greater than was expected, amounting to 112,000, the daily average for January, 1839, having been about 30,000 only. Out of the 112,000 letters there were only 13,000 or 14,000 unpaid, and this was probably owing to the fact that people could not get out of their old habits all at once.

The Postage Stamps, however, were not ready, for we read in the Times of 17 Jan.: "The construction of the stamps is advancing with all speed, the several artists to whom they are intrusted being actively engaged upon them. In the stamp for letter paper and the adhesive stamp, a profile of the Queen is the principal ornament. The letter paper stamp is being engraved by Mr. Wyon, R.A., medallist to the Mint. Charles Heath is engraving the drawing taken from Wyon's City medal, by H. Corbould, intended for the adhesive stamp. W. Mulready, R.A., has furnished the design for the cover and envelope, which is in the hands of John Thompson for engraving."

And, now, until the Queen was married, all the talk was of that event. First of all Prince Albert must be made a naturalised Englishman, and a bill to that effect was read for the third time in the House of Lords on 21 Jan., in the Commons on the 22nd, and received the Royal Assent on the 24th. {119a} On the 23rd he was invested with the Order of the Garter at Gotha. The second reading of the Act for his naturalization was heard in the House of Lords on the 27th, but owing to some dispute as to the question of his precedence, it was adjourned until the 31st, when it was read, and on 3 Feb. it was read a third time, and it received the Royal Assent on 7 Feb. But there was another thing yet to be done, which was to supply His Serene Highness with Funds, and on Jan. 22 Lord John Russell proposed the sum of 50,000 pounds per annum. The discussion thereon was adjourned until the 24th, and re-adjourned until the 27th, when Mr. Hume moved a reduction to 21,000 pounds, which was lost by a majority of 267. Col. Sibthorp then proposed a sum of 30,000 pounds, which was agreed to, and the Act received the Royal Assent on 7 Feb.

The feeling of the country on the subject of the Royal Marriage is, to my thinking, very fairly summarised in a leading article in the Times of 10 Feb., portions of which I transcribe: "It has followed from this policy, {119b} that an English monarch should, coeteris paribus, rather avoid than court an alliance with one of the first-rate powers of Europe, but should prefer security to aggrandizement, satisfied with a consort selected from a less prominent, and, therefore, less exposed, position. If there be safety, therefore, in comparative weakness and insignificance, we know not that, on such a ground, any other princely house throughout Europe, could offer inducements preferable to those possessed by those of Saxe-Coburg. Objections against this individual member of the family might, perhaps, present themselves to reflecting minds, on the score of his close consanguinity to Queen Victoria, a circumstance not usually looked upon as propitious to the hope of a flourishing offspring.

"Another argument might be urged against the match, from the undoubted fact that the name of Saxe-Coburg is not popular in this country, a misfortune for which we do not undertake to account; nor shall we longer dwell upon either of the above considerations, which we have hinted at, merely to shew that they have not wholly escaped our notice. . . .

"Prince Albert has now become one of us. He is, actually, now an English subject. He is tied to us by law and self-interest. Let us bind him to us by gratitude and affection. The happiness of our youthful Queen is now in his hands. He has the means of so directing and assisting her future footsteps, as to retrieve for Her Majesty (we speak with frankness, but with all respect) all she has forfeited in the hearts of the most loyal, enlightened and virtuous of her subjects, through her unhappy bias towards persons and principles which are hourly undermining the deep foundations of her Throne.

"We have said that it devolves upon Prince Albert to counteract a host of 'evil influences,' and to aid his Royal Consort in repairing 'many very grievous errors' into which selfish and treacherous counsellors have betrayed her, and which her constant separation (contrived by them) from all but one section, or coterie of her subjects, has served to render extremely difficult of correction.

"Queen Victoria has scarcely been permitted to see the general aspect of the British aristocracy, or to become acquainted with their sentiments, their characters, or their manners. The petty, artificial world framed and got up for her deception, is no more capable of suggesting to her mind the vast moral and social creation beyond its narrow boundaries, than one or two leaves of a hortus siccus exemplify the productions of a noble forest, or a varied and inimitable landscape. . . .

"Are the heads of the nation to be discovered at the Queen of England's Court? Has the worth, or wisdom, or eminence of the nation any access to the society of the Sovereign? Have the clergy of England, or any of them—have their representatives—bishops, priests, or deacons, the opportunity of communicating personally with the temporal head of the Church of England? Are they, or any of them, ever seated at the Royal table, or received into the Royal presence, or favoured with the Royal smile? No; such associations comport not with the policy of her ministers; the ear of the Sovereign is whispered from the choicest of her subjects—the palace doors are locked inexorably against all but a certain clique."

Let us turn from this little lecture to the Queen, honest and faithful though it be, to the all-absorbing subject of Gossip, the Royal Marriage—and first, and foremost, comes the Royal Wedding Cake, which weighed nearly 300lbs. It was three yards in circumference and about 14 inches deep. This was the cake itself, which, according to a contemporary account, "is covered with sugar of the purest white; on the top is seen the figure of Britannia in the act of blessing the illustrious bride and bridegroom, who are dressed, somewhat incongruously, in the costume of ancient Rome. These figures are not quite a foot in height; at the feet of His Serene Highness is the effigy of a dog, said to denote fidelity; and, at the feet of the Queen is a pair of turtle doves, denoting the felicities of the marriage state. A Cupid is writing in a volume expanded on his knees, the date of the marriage, and various other Cupids are sporting and enjoying themselves as such interesting little individuals generally do. These little figures are well modelled. On the top of the cake are numerous bouquets of white flowers tied with true lover's knots of white satin ribbon, intended for presents to the guests at the nuptial breakfast."

On 6 Feb. the Prince landed at Dover from Ostend, and on the 7th went to Canterbury; on the 8th he reached London and Buckingham Palace; and, on the 10th they were married at the Chapel Royal, St. James'; spent the honeymoon at Windsor, and made their rentree into society on 26 Feb., when they went, in State, to Drury Lane Theatre.

Duelling, although on the wane, was far from dead. I could have given numerous instances of duels in the earlier part of this reign, but have refrained, as they were of no particular interest; but the following is an exception, as it relates to one who, in after years, was to make a great name in history for himself.

Times, 4 March:

BOW STREET.—Shortly after the opening of the court yesterday morning, and before any of the night charges had been disposed of, Prince Louis Napoleon and Le Comte Leon, who is said to be the son of Bonaparte, to whom he hears a striking resemblance, were brought before Mr. Jardine, charged by Nicholas Pearce, inspector of the A division, with having met at Wimbledon Common, and attempted to commit a breach of the peace, by fighting a duel with swords and pistols.

Lieut.-Col. Jeremiah Ratcliffe, 6th Dragoons, as second to the last defendant, and Col. Charles Parquin, second to the Prince, together with Count D'Orsay, and a servant, named Mertial Kien, with aiding and assisting the principals in the intended combat.

Previous to the evidence being taken, two brace of pistols, with powder flasks, and a pair of rapiers, were laid on the table for the inspection of the magistrate.

Inspector Pearce, being sworn, said, about 2 o'clock this morning he received information from Superintendent Baker, that certain parties had an intention of meeting in a hostile manner on Wimbledon Common, some of whom were to start from Fenton's Hotel and the others from Carlton Gardens; in consequence of which I went into St. James's Street, where I saw a post-chaise drive up to the door of the hotel, about 7 o'clock, but I could not ascertain if any person had got into it. After delaying a short time, it moved slowly on in the direction of Piccadilly, followed by Col. Ratcliffe, and stopped again at Tattersall's, where another person followed towards Hyde Park Corner. The chaise was then driven westward, and I followed it on horseback; but, previous to arriving at Hyde Park Corner, the defendant Ratcliffe passed, on horseback, in Piccadilly.

Mr. Jardine: What hour might it be then?

Witness: It was then nearly 7 o'clock. On arriving at the Common, I saw the entire party collected near to the Windmill, and the post-chaise proceeding in that direction. Having dismounted, and left the horse in the care of a countryman, I proceeded to where the chaises were standing, and then I saw the defendants walking away, from them, some yards down, to a hollow part of the ground, each party apparently making arrangements about the duel. They then stopped, and as I approached Col. Parquin, seeing two letters in one hand, and the two swords produced, in the other, I took them from him. At that time, the pistols produced, in a case, were lying on the ground, near to another brace, which were wrapped up in paper. Some conversation passed between Count D'Orsay and Col. Parquin, which appeared to be whether the combat was to be fought with pistols or with swords, and the Count asked me what I wanted; my authority for interfering; and who it was that gave me information of the circumstance. At that moment, Inspector Partridge, accompanied by Sergt. Otway and other constables, came up, and, on Col. Ratcliffe taking the pistols from the case, he was taken into custody. I instantly went to him, and, shewing him my staff, told him I was an officer, and that I was, in duty, bound to take him into custody, for attempting to commit a breach of the peace. Count D'Orsay requested to be told who it was who had given the information, and, on being refused, the entire party were quietly conveyed to the station house.

Mr. Jardine: Have you since ascertained that the pistols contained powder and balls?

Witness: Yes, Sir; there are balls in them, and caps upon them.

Colonel Ratcliffe declared there was no powder in the pistols, which belonged to him, as could be seen; for it had been arranged that the duel was to be fought with swords.

Mr. Jardine inquired if any of the defendants, who were foreigners, and not sufficiently conversant with the English language, would wish to hear the evidence read over to them in French?

Le Comte Leon replied in French, that he could not sufficiently understand the evidence that had been given, but he was quite satisfied that all the proceedings were perfectly legal and correct.

Prince Louis said, he was prepared, if required, to enter into an explanation of the circumstances which gave rise to the offence with which he was charged.

Mr. Jardine did not wish to hear any statement on either side, as his duty was only to prevent a breach of the peace, and he hoped the defendants were prepared with the sureties he would require, to prevent further inconvenience.

Count D'Orsay said, he had come prepared with bail, which he thought there could be no objection to.

Prince Louis requested that the two letters, which had been taken from his friend, should be delivered up to him.

Mr. Jardine immediately delivered up the letters, saying he should require the principals to enter into bail, themselves in 500 pounds each, and two sureties in 250 pounds each, to keep the peace with all Her Majesty's subjects, and particularly with each other, for the next 12 months.

Count D'Orsay: One surety in 500 pounds, would, perhaps, answer as well as two in 250 pounds each, if it meets with your approbation.

Mr. Jardine said he had no objection to such a course, and, if the other defendants were prepared with bail, it might be taken.

Col. Ratcliffe said his surety was present.

Mr. Jardine: The bail I shall require is, that each of the other defendants enter into his own recognizance in 100 pounds, and two sureties in 50 pounds each, to keep the peace for the same period, with the exception of the defendant Kien, who may put in his own recognizances in 100 pounds.

Mr. Joshua Bates, of Portland Place, having offered himself as surety for Prince Louis Napoleon and Col. Parquin, was accepted.

Mr. Fenton was accepted as bail for Le Comte Leon, and the Hon. Francis Baring, M.P., became surety for Col. Ratcliffe and Count D'Orsay.

The Chief Clerk having conducted the parties into the Magistrate's private room, where they were furnished with the requisite notices, returned to the Court to take directions respecting the disposal of the weapons and other articles which were found upon the defendants on their being taken into custody.

Mr. Jardine said he could make no order about them, but he thought that, as the defendants had put in bail, there could be very little apprehension of their committing a similar offence, if they were restored to their proper owners.

It appeared that the two letters had been written by the Comte Leon to his cousin, as he was styled, demanding that he would retract certain expressions respecting their relationship, which he was alleged to have made use of; and, his not complying, gave rise to the quarrel.

On the 10th of April the offer of Messrs. Grissell and Peto was accepted, to erect the Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square, within two years, for a sum of 17,860 pounds.

There is a curious police case as to the habits and customs of Noblemen's servants, which may be interesting to my readers. It was brought before the Magistrate at Queen Square on 14 April, when the House Steward of the Earl of Galloway applied for summonses against the footmen attending the carriages of Viscount Melbourne, the Marquis of Normanby, the Marquis of Lansdowne and Lord Tankerville, for assault and damage.

It appeared from the statement of the applicant, that the servants attending the carriages of peers, to the House of Lords, have a waiting room, which they call their Club room, and that they have formed themselves into a society, governed by one of their body, whom they call their "Constable." They have a set of rules, dated as far back as 1759, obedience to which is strictly enforced under pain of certain fines.

On Friday evening, the coachman of the Earl of Galloway set his lordship down at the House of Lords, with orders to wait. The footman, who was, it appears, a new comer, was, on entering the club room, called upon to pay a fine, or "footing" of two shillings, to be spent in beer, but he replied that he had no money about him; and, on their insisting on its being paid, he left the room, and got on the carriage box, with the coachman, but the "members," headed by their Constable, with his staff of office, pursued him, insisted upon his coming down, and were about to pull him off the box, when the coachman told them that his fellow servant had no money with him, but, if they would go, he would be answerable that it should be paid. They, however, insisted that it should be spent in their Club, and that the new servant should be present.

Mr. Burrell: How many were there of them?

Applicant said there were, he understood, 10 or 12, but it was only intended to proceed against the four ringleaders. The coachman, finding that they were determined to have his fellow servant off the box, drove on a little way, and, on returning to his place, Lord Normanby's carriage ran against his, and seriously damaged it. The footman was, at length, dragged from the box, and very roughly handled: his foot was hurt. The coachman was also struck with the long "staff" carried by the "constable."

Samuel Linturn, the footman, corroborated this statement.

The summonses were granted.

It was stated that Lord Normanby, at once, offered to make good the damage done, but this the Earl of Galloway declined, having determined that the whole matter should be publicly investigated by a magistrate.

Two days afterwards, four footmen in the employ of Lords Melbourne, Lansdowne, Normanby and Tankerville appeared to answer the summonses.

The complainant, in the course of his evidence, said that he had been to the House of Lords on several previous occasions, but had never been asked for anything, nor did he even know of the existence of such a room. Turk asked him whose servant he was, but he refused to tell him. Turk, at the time, had, in his hand, a pointed stick, which he called a staff; he made no demand for money then, but went away, and the complainant got on the box with the coachman, who took the coach to the stand. Turk, accompanied by several others, then came up. The Marquis of Bute's footman said he would pay the fine, or footing, and placed two shillings on the footboard of the carriage for that purpose. This did not satisfy them. Several persons, amongst whom were the defendants, got upon the coach, and swore that if he did not come down, they would pull him down. There were several police about, and, although he called upon them for assistance, they would not come.

Both he and the coachman told them that he had no money, and the coachman said he would secure them payment, if they would go and drink the beer, but they insisted upon the complainant's presence in the "club." He still refused, and then they brought a long pole, which they called a "horse." The coachman drove up Abingdon Street to avoid them, but several of the carriages drew out of the rank, and followed them, and, as the coachman turned to regain his station, Lord Normanby's carriage was driven against him, and the Earl of Galloway's carriage sustained considerable damage; it was forced on the footway, and was obliged to stop, upon which, several of the footmen ran, and seized the horses by their heads. The defendants dragged the complainant off the box; one had hold of his foot, and another, who seized upon his greatcoat, tore the buttons from it, and from his gaiters and breeches. They then placed him upon the pole, which they called "putting him on horseback."

They then rode him into the room mentioned, where Lord Holland's footman sat as chairman, and decided that he should pay two shillings. He borrowed the money from Lord Lansdowne's servant, and was about to leave the room, but he was forced to resume his seat, as he was told he could, from the room, easily hear when the carriage was called, and that "he must sit and drink his beer." He was also told that he was now sworn in, and had only to kiss the staff, which was presented to him, but he refused to do it. He was detained three-quarters of an hour, against his will. His foot was hurt, and the coachman was injured by a blow from the "staff."

The coachman corroborated the evidence, and the defendants were fined ten shillings each.

On the 29th April, there was an uproar in the Italian Opera House, which might have expanded into another O.P. riot of 1809. The Impresario, M. Laporte, had not engaged Tamburini, because his terms were too high, and the singer's friends were highly indignant. On this evening, at the conclusion of the opera of I Puritani, several voices began calling for M. Laporte, with shouts of "Tamburini!" Poor M. Laporte appeared and began a speech in which he sought to excuse himself, but it was drowned by a torrent of groans and hisses, which came, principally, from the occupants of the "omnibus" box. {128} M. Laporte so clearly perceived this, that, in a few minutes, his speech to the audience merged into a private conversation with its occupants. The noise increased, and M. Laporte declared that he was not to be "intimidated," a word which roused the "omnibus" party to perfect fury. He retired, and the curtain rose for the ballet, in which a new dancer was to have made her appearance. The noise, now, became terrible; yells, hisses, and all sorts of uncouth sounds were blended in frightful discord. The dancers, perceiving all attempts at a performance were in vain, and, at the same time, being afraid to quit the stage, sat quietly, all round.

Again and again Laporte came forward, and tried to bring matters to a settlement, and once he ventured to say, that, as manager, he had a right to engage performers at his own discretion, and that he was not to be responsible to an audience—which, it is needless to say, added fuel to fire. Then he told them his engagements would not allow him to employ Tamburini, which meant ruin to him, but it only provoked more noise. Then he appealed to their better feelings by telling them of the many years he had catered for their amusement, and this did bring him some support, for cries of "Shame," "No Tamburini," and "No Intimidation," were heard, but this only had the effect of dividing the audience, and increasing the hubbub.

Once again poor Laporte came forward, and talked of engaging Tamburini on "Conditions." This word upset all, and the Tamburinists asked: "Will you engage him? Yes, or No?" Laporte said he would make proposals, and, if those proposals, etc. This would not do; "Yes, or No?" said his persevering interrogators. "Say 'No,'" said his supporters. He began talking about terms. "Same terms as last year," shouted all the "Omnibus" party, upon which he retired, without proposing anything satisfactory. Everyone was getting tired, when, at last, a gentleman, in a box opposite the "Omnibus," stepped over the front of his box on to the stage, and was followed by a party; the "Omnibus" party entered the stage from the opposite side, and, at one o'clock, the Tamburinists had taken possession, and waved their hats triumphantly, on the stage, as the curtain fell.

It was this episode that the Rev. R. H. Barham has immortalized in his Ingoldsby Legends, under the title of "A Row in an Omnibus (box)," beginning:

Doldrum the Manager sits in his chair, With a gloomy brow and dissatisfied air, And he says, as he slaps his hand on his knee, 'I'll have nothing to do with Fiddle-de-dee!

'—But Fiddle-de-dee sings clear and loud, And his trills and his quavers astonish the crowd. Such a singer as he, You'll nowhere see, They'll all be screaming for Fiddle-de-dee!

'—Though Fiddle-de-dee sings loud and clear, And his tones are sweet, yet his terms are dear! The glove won't fit! The deuce a bit. I shall give an engagement to Fal-de-ral-tit!'"


The Mulready Envelope—Plans of Royal Exchange decided on—Fire at York Minster—Queen shot at by Oxford—Oxford in Bedlam—Scientific Agriculture—Electro-metallurgy—Embossed envelope—Sale of Louis Napoleon's effects.

On the 1st of May, the Post Office issued the long expected postal envelope designed by W. Mulready, R.A., and the opinion of The Times may be taken as the expression of most people's feelings about it.

Times, 2 May.—"We have been favoured with a sight of one of the new stamp covers, and we must say we never beheld anything more ludicrous than the figures or allegorical device by which it is marked with its official character—why not add embellished? Cruickshank could scarcely produce anything so laughable. It is, apparently, a spirited attempt to imitate the hieroglyphic which formed one of the ornaments to Moore's Almanack; Britannia is seated in the centre, with the lion couchant (Whiggish) at her feet; her arms are extended, scattering little flying children to some elephants on the left; and, on the right, to a group of gentlemen, some of whom, at all events, are not enclosed in envelopes, writing on their knees, evidently on account of a paucity of tables. There are, besides, sundry figures, who, if they were to appear in the streets of London, or any of our highways, would be liable to the penalties of the Vagrant Act for indecent exposure. Under the tableland by which these figures are supported, some evidence of a laudable curiosity is depicted, by three or four ladies, who are represented reading a billet doux, or valentine, and some little boys, evidently learning to spell, by the mental exertion which their anxious faces disclose. One serious omission we must notice. Why have those Mercuries in red jackets, who traverse London and its environs on lame ponies, been omitted? We must admit that, as they have been, recently, better mounted, that is one reason why they should not appear in this Government picture."

But the reader can judge how far this description is borne out.

[Picture: Mulready envelope]

As a matter of fact, it was so universally disapproved of by the public, and was the object of so much ridicule, as to necessitate the destruction of nearly all the vast number prepared for issue. To do this, a machine had to be specially constructed; the attempt to do the work by fire, in close stoves (fear of robbery forbade the use of open ones), having absolutely failed. They are now somewhat scarce, but are extensively forged. It was satirized and laughed at by all, and a contemporary criticism, which has been reproduced in The Philatelist, vol. vii., p. 145, is very amusing:

"Britannia is sending her messengers forth To the East, to the West, to the South, to the North: At her feet is a lion wot's taking a nap, And a dish-cover rests on her legs and her lap. To the left is a Mussulman writing a letter, His knees form a desk, for the want of a better; Another believer's apparently trying To help him in telling the truth, or in lying. Two slaves 'neath their burden seem ready to sink, But a sly-looking elephant 'tips us the wink'; His brother behind, a most corpulent beast, Just exhibits his face, like the moon in a mist. On each is a gentleman riding astraddle, With neat Turkey carpets in lieu of a saddle; The camels, behind, seem disposed for a lark, The taller's a well-whisker'd, fierce-looking shark. An Arab, arrayed with a coal-heaver's hat, With a friend from the desert is holding a chat; The picture's completed by well-tailed Chinese A-purchasing opium, and selling of teas. The minister's navy is seen in the rear— They long turned their backs on the service—'tis clear That they now would declare, in their typical way, That Britannia it is who has done it, not they. A reindeer and Laplander cutting through snow, The rate of their progress (down hill) seems to show. To the right, is the King of the Cannibal Islands, In the same pantaloons that they wear in the Highlands Some squaws by his side, with their infantile varments, And a friend, in the front, who's forgotten his garments. Frost, Williams and Jones {132} have this moment been hook And are fixing the day they would choose to be cook'd. There a planter is giving and watching the tasks Of two worthy niggers, at work on two casks. Below, to the left, as designed by Mulready, Is sorrow's effect on a very fat lady; While joy at good news may be plainly descried, In the trio engaged on the opposite side."

[Picture: Left—Lord Monteagle and Mr. Baring, Britannia, Lord Palmerston. Right—O'Connell and the Duke of Wellington]

There were very many pictorial satires on this unfortunate wrapper, but none bore so near a resemblance to it as the accompanying illustration by John Doyle (H.B. Sketches, 26 May, 1840, No. 639). Lord Palmerston, as Britannia, is dispatching Mercuries with fire and sword, to the east, typical of the wars in Egypt and China. On the other hand, he sends a flight of Cupids to Father Mathew, the apostle of Temperance, who was then doing such good work in Ireland, whilst a man is knocking the bung out of a whisky barrel. Beneath this group is O'Connell, who is roaring out "Hurrah for Repeal!" to the horror of the Duke of Wellington, who is behind him. On the left is Lord Monteagle, late Chancellor of the Exchequer, ill in bed; whilst his successor, Mr. Baring, reads to him the result of his policy: "Post Office deliveries in the quarter, 272,000 pounds! Total deficiency in the year, to be made up by new taxation, 2,000,000 pounds!"

On 7 May, the Gresham Committee met to decide on the two plans for the New Royal Exchange, one prepared by Mr. Cockerell, R.A., and the other by Mr. Tite, President of the Architectural Society, which was in favour of the latter by 13 votes to 7. The works were immediately proceeded with.

Talking of one fire seems to lead on to another, for on 20 May, York Minster was for the second time visited with a conflagration—this time, however, it was caused accidentally, and not the work of an incendiary.

The following extract from a letter dated York, 21 May, gives a graphic account of the fire, and is of especial interest, as being from the pen of a spectator.

"You may hear the rumour of the alarming and truly awful calamity that has occurred in this city, before you receive this. I have witnessed it, and shall hold the recollection as long as my memory exists. About 20 minutes to 9 last evening, I was told the Minster was on fire. I ran out, immediately, towards it, and stood by it, just as the flames had issued from the top part of the south-west tower, at a height that an engine could not have played upon. The fire continued to rage until it had entire possession of the upper part; flames issuing from every window, and piercing the roof. To describe the feelings under which I witnessed the devouring flames preying upon a national monument, which every man must look upon with admiration, requires a pen more descriptive than mine. Grief, awe, wonder and admiration were the emotions with which I regarded the destruction of this venerable church. I soon obtained admission into the nave of the Cathedral, and observed the first falling down of the burnt embers. The flames illumined the interior with more than mid-day brightness; the light, pouring through the crevices, threw a brilliancy over the scene which imagination cannot paint. The fire, at this time, was wholly confined to the tower.

"After the space of half an hour, the flooring of the belfry in the tower began to be forced by the falling bells and lighted beams. At this period, my nerves were strung to the highest excitement. The noise was extraordinary. The shouting of the firemen, the roaring of the flames rushing up the tower with the rapidity of a furnace draught, sounded in the high and arched space, awful and terrific. The falling masses of wood, and bells, sounded like the near discharge of artillery, and were echoed back from the dark passages, whose glomy shade, and hollow responses seemed mourning at the funeral pile that burned so fiercely. In one hour, the tower was completely gutted, and masses of burning timber lay piled against the south-west door. The upper and under roof, composed principally of fir timber, covering the nave, as far as the centre tower, had, by this time, become fired, and burned with extraordinary rapidity. The firemen, by a well-managed direction of the water, prevented the flames passing through the west windows of the centre tower, and continued their exertions at that spot, until the whole of the roof had fallen in, and lay, in the centre of the aisle, a sea of fire.

"The west doors had, now, become nearly burnt through, and planks were brought to barricade them, and prevent the rushing of air to fan the embers to flame, which might have communicated to the organ, and thence, throughout the whole pile of buildings.

"At 1 o'clock, this morning, I again entered the Cathedral, and then concluded there was no further danger of destruction. The tower is standing, also the walls and pillars of the nave; and, beyond that, the building, I am happy to state, is saved.

"The fire is supposed to have originated from a clock maker, who has been, for some time past, occupied in repairing the clock in that tower, who might accidentally, have dropped a spark from a candle."

The repairs in 1829, when the Cathedral was fired by the fanatic, John Martin, cost 65,000 pounds, which was raised by subscription, and it was estimated that the cost of the present repairs would amount to about 20,000 pounds.

* * * * *

I know of no other general topic of conversation in May, but, in June, there was one which set every one in the United Kingdom, and the whole civilized world, a talking.—THE QUEEN HAD BEEN SHOT AT!!! A little after 6 p.m. the Queen and Prince Albert left Buckingham Palace for their before-dinner drive, and had barely got one-third up Constitution Hill, when a young man, who had been walking backwards and forwards, as the carriage came near, and was nearly opposite him, turned round, and, drawing a pistol from his breast, fired at the carriage, which, however, went on its way. The man then looked back, to see whether any person was standing near enough to prevent him, and drew another pistol, which he discharged at the carriage. Prince Albert ordered the postillions to drive on, and they went as far as Hyde Park Corner, and thence to the Duchess of Kent's mansion in Belgrave Square, and, after staying there some little time, drove to Buckingham Palace, where the Queen was received by crowds of her subjects, cheering vociferously. To say that she was not affected by the incident would not be true, but she soon recovered from its effects.

The person who shot at her was a little undersized boy (5ft. 4in.), about 18, named Edward Oxford, a publican's barman, out of work, and as "Satan finds work for idle hands to do," this boy must needs buy two pistols, bullets, powder and caps, and begin practising shooting. Whatever made it enter into his wicked little head to shoot at the Queen, no one knew, but he did, and was speedily in the hands of the police. He was examined and re-examined, and finally tried at the Central Criminal Court on 9 July, the trial lasting two days. The defence was the plea of insanity, and, as no bullets could be found, the jury brought in a verdict of "Guilty, he being, at the time, insane"; and, in accordance with such verdict, the judge sentenced him to be imprisoned during Her Majesty's pleasure.

On the day after being shot at, the Queen and Prince Albert took their wonted drive in the Park, amidst the shouts of crowded thousands, and the next day, she, in State, received the congratulations of the Houses of Lords and Commons, the latter having the first audience. At two o'clock, the state carriage of the Speaker entered the court, followed by 109 carriages filled with members of the House of Commons; never before, it was said, was the Speaker followed by so numerous a cortege, on the occasion of presenting an address. As soon as the carriages of the Commons had left the court, the procession of the Lords began to enter, the barons first, then the other peers, rising in rank to the royal dukes. They wore all their stars and garters, and made a brave show.

We get a glimpse of Oxford in prison in a paragraph of the Times, 28 Feb., 1843, copied from a Sunday paper.

"As numberless strange and conflicting rumours have been propagated, relative to the treatment experienced by Edward Oxford, in his place of incarceration, the curiosity of the visitor on this head was, naturally, great, especially as it is generally understood that those who are favoured with permission to visit Bethlehem, are not allowed to see Oxford. This is not, however, the fact. In a compartment of the establishment, principally allotted to those who are supposed to have committed heinous crimes in moments of madness, Edward Oxford is confined. He is not separated from the other unfortunate persons who reside in that division of the building, but is allowed free intercourse with them. Among his comrades are Mr. Pierce, surgeon, who shot his wife whilst labouring under a paroxysm of madness produced by jealousy; and Captain Good, whose favourite phantasy is the assumption of the attribute of Majesty. There is, in the same division of the establishment, a very diminutive man, who imagines himself to be Lord John Russell. He amuses himself, nearly all day long, with knitting. Captain Good is fond of smoking, and Pierce hovers over the fireplace (a stove) all day. Oxford diverts himself with drawing and reading. He told the visitor, who furnished us with this account, that he had taught himself to read French with ease, during his incarceration, but that he was unable to speak the language, for want of an opportunity of studying the pronunciation. He said that he was terribly tired of his sojourn at Bethlehem, and that he wished he could obtain his liberty, even though he should be placed under surveillance during the remainder of his life. The visitor remarked that there was no such thing as surveillance de police in England. To which Oxford replied that he was perfectly acquainted with that fact; and that the condition upon which he thus desired his liberty, was rather an imaginary one, than a strictly legal and feasible one. Upon another question being put to him, he said he knew he had been placed in Bethlehem under an impression that he was mad, but that he was, really, very far from being mad. He exhibited some of his drawings, which were uncommonly well executed, and evinced a natural talent for the art. There were a view of Abbotsford, a horse's head, a portrait of the Virgin Mary, and one or two other designs, which were, really, most tastefully sketched and shaded. He appeared pleased when complimented on his proficiency in the art of drawing, and observed that he was self-taught. In manners, he is modest, civil and unassuming, and certainly exhibits not the slightest symptom of insanity. We know that medical jurisprudence admits that it is very difficult to determine the exact line of demarcation where sound sense stops, and insanity commences; but he, who has visited a receptacle for the insane, will speedily observe the strange state and appearance of the eyes of those whose intellects are unhinged. This appearance cannot be mistaken either in lucid or rabid intervals; it is still perceptible, although, of course, in a greater or lesser degree. Now, the visitor to Bethlehem, on the occasion here refered to, particularly observed the eyes of all the inmates; and those of one only showed not the least—not the most remote symptoms of insanity. This one individual was Edward Oxford. He appears in his conversation, his manners, his countenance and his pursuits, as sane, collected, and intelligent as possible. Of course, the deed for which he is now in durance was not touched upon; nor was any information relative to that subject sought of the turnkeys, or keepers. With respect to food, Oxford is not treated one atom better than his fellow sufferers; the diet of the inmates of the hospital is plentiful and good, but no favour is shown to any particular individual, with regard either to quality, or quantity. Oxford appears to enjoy very excellent health; and he is remarkably clean and neat in his person."

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