The following needs no comment :

from Hartlebury. His words last night were-kings of this realm to take at their coronation, and Why, this is the same amiable good man I knew enforced by the obligation of instantly following it as Bishop of Litchfield!" in the course of the ceremony of taking the Sacrament, as so binding a religious obligation on me to maintain the fundamental maxims on which our Windsor, Oct. 31st, 1800. constitution is placed—namely, the Church of EngMY GOOD LORD,-The" Quarterly Electoral Mes-land being the established one, and that those who senger" delivered to me this morning the annual pub-hold employments in the state must be members of lications from Gottingen. I therefore take the first it, and, consequently, obliged not only to take the opportunity of forwarding this collection to Hartlebury. I have, within these few days, received a new publication from Paris, which I am assured is full of good principles. This I own rather surprises ine. It is a course of ancient and modern literaAs I think it might be some amusement, I am desirous of sending a copy to the same place, if I knew it would be agreeable.


I have persuaded the Bishop of St. David's to remove to the primacy of Ireland. I trust this promotion will be of utility to the religion and morality of that country. Indeed, the new archbishop seems fully resolved to fulfil his arduous task to the utmost of his power, and he is fully apprized that he must act with great discretion and temper to

effect so laudable a work.

[blocks in formation]

To the Lord Bishop of Worcester, Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire. The "unfortunate opinion" imputed to Mr. Pitt by the king in the letter we are about to quote, was the deliberate conviction of that eminent statesman, formed after long and painful deliberation; but before the opening of the session of 1801, he addressed a letter to his majesty, in which he urged at some length, and with much force, those arguments in favor of the measure he recommended which, eight-and-twenty years afterwards, were successful. In conclusion he says:

In the interval which your majesty may wish for consideration, he will not, on his part, importune your majesty with any unnecessary reference to the subject; and will feel it his duty to abstain himself from all agitation of this subject in Parliament, and to prevent it, as far as depends on him, on the part of others. If, on the result of such consideration, your majesty's objection to the measure proposed should not be removed, or sufficiently diminished to admit of its being brought forward with your majesty's full concurrence, and with the whole weight of government, it must be personally Mr. Pitt's first wish to be released from a situation, which he is conscious, that, under such circumstances, he could not continue to fill but with the greatest disadvantage.

The sincerity of the king's answer-an extract from which we give-cannot be questioned:

I should not do justice to the warm impulse of my heart, if I entered on the subject most unpleasant to my mind, without first expressing that the cordial affection I have for Mr. Pitt, as well as high opinion of his talents and integrity, greatly adds to my uneasiness on this occasion; but a sense of religious as well as political duty has made me, from the moment I mounted the throne, consider the oath that the wisdom of our forefathers has enjoined the

oaths against Popery, but to receive the Holy Communion agreeably to the rites of the Church of England. This principle of duty must, therefore, prevent me from discussing any proposition tending to destroy this ground-work of our happy constitution, and much more so that one mentioned by Mr. Pitt, which is no less than the complete overthrow of the whole fabric.

On the receipt of this answer, Mr. Pitt tendered his resignation, and shortly afterwards made way for Mr. Addington, to whom he was, as the king says, "a warm friend;" but who was, at least, as warm a friend to him-for he was his " warming-pan."

St. James', Feb. 13th, 1801.

MY GOOD LORD,-It is ever a satisfaction to me to communicate with you on paper, as I have not the comfort of being able to do it personally. An unfortunate opinion implanted in the mind of Mr. Pitt, by persons in no way friends to our happy church and state establishment, to bring in a bill enabling dissenters to hold offices without taking the Test Act, and repealing the law of 30 Charles ment, has made me reluctantly permit him to retire II., which precludes Papists from sitting in Parliafrom my service. My sense of my coronation oath, of the compact on which my family was invited to mount the throne, and the Act of Union with Scotland, precluded me from not opposing such an opinion. I have persuaded Mr. Addington to succeed Mr. Pitt, and can assure you his attachment to the church is as sincere as mine, and you may depend on his equal attachment to our happy civil constitution. and his being no admirer of any reforms or supposed improvements.

I feel I have done my duty, and have the pleasure to add, that all the most respectable in both houses of Parliament promise their warmest support; and, what may appear odd to one absent, Mr. Pitt will be a warm friend to my new administration. GEORGE R.

To the Lord Bishop of Worcester,

Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire.

The following is from the Duke of York. In the correspondence between the king and Lord Kenyon respecting the coronation oath as it af fected the Roman Catholics, will be found a letter from the duke to his father, in which he predicted rain to England on the passing of an act of emancipation.

Horse Guards, March 9th, 1801. MY DEAR LORD BISHOP,-I have received his majesty's command to express to your lordship his thanks for your letter of the sixteenth of last month, which, from his majesty's indisposition, could not be delivered to him till the day before yesterday as well as the satisfaction which it gave him to find that your lordship's sentiments coincided so completely with his own upon the question of the emancipation of the Catholics.

Knowing your lordship's devoted attachment to

his majesty, I am convinced of the joy it will give your lordship to hear of his majesty being so nearly recovered, that I trust a very few days will restore him to perfect health.

It gives me great satisfaction to have this opportunity of assuring your lordship of the regard and esteem with which I am,

My dear lord bishop, yours most sincerely, FREDERICK. (York and Albany.) The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Worcester, Hartlebury Castle, Worcester. Early in 1801, the public interest was much excited by an alarming illness of his majesty, in consequence of a severe cold which he caught whilst attending divine service at the ChapelRoyal. It was soon accompanied by the most affecting symptoms; and the circumstances connected with it occasioned a very extraordinary pause in the progress of the pending ministerial


Kew, May 31st, 1801.

the Bishop of Worcester shared that doubt appears in his answer to it. That both were right will be shortly seen.

Windsor, Oct. 24th, 1801. MY GOOD LORD,-The waiting for the arrival of the annual publication at Gottingen is the reason of my not having written sooner after my return from Weymouth. Sea-bathing has had its usual success with me, and in truth it was never more necessary, for the severe fever I had the last winter left many unpleasant sensations. These I have every reason to say, by the blessing of the Almighty, are nearly removed. I am forced to be very careful, and to avoid every kind of fatigue either of mind or body, but feel I am gradually gaining ground.

The next week will be rather harassing, as I must open the session of Parliament, and attend the ceremonies in consequence; but I shall return every day to Kew, that I may be more quiet.

As you are no great lover of politics I will not fatigue you with many words on the peace now about to be concluded. The being deserted by

every European power seems [to be the occasion of it, though it is certainly doubtful what reliance can be placed on the assurances of those who set every religious, moral, and social principle at naught. In my opinion, therefore, on the keeping up a respectable marine and army we can alone able and gallant conduct we have shown deserves. expect to meet with that respect which the honor

MY GOOD LORD,-After a most tedious and severe illness, from which, by the interposition of Divine Providence, I have most wonderfully escaped the jaws of death; I find myself enabled to pursue one of my most agreeable occupations, that of writing to you, who have never been, in the most gloomy moments, out of my thoughts. I can now assure you that my health is daily improving, though I I have not been without intelligence of your cannot boast of the same strength and spirits I en- health during the last fine summer, which seems to joyed before still with quiet and sea-bathing, I trust they will soon be regained. Public events in have been better than usual. I wish it could give every part of the globe appear more favorable, and you resolution to come here, though you may not the hand of Divine Providence seems stretched choose to visit London. It might be done gently forth to protect this favored island, which alone has and with little more fatigue than your daily airstood forth constantly in opposition to our wickedings. I cannot express the pleasure I should feel neighbors. I flatter myself the fact of having a with which I ever remain, in assuring you in person of that affectionate regard ministry composed of men of religion and great probity, will tend to the restoration of more decorum. Neither my advice nor example shall be wanted to effect it.

My good lord, yours most affectionately,

Hartlebury, Oct. 31. 1801. I expect the Bishop of Norwich, and the new SIR,-Your majesty's gracious notice of me, in deputy-clerk of the closet, this morning, that I sending the Gottingen exercises, and especially the may receive the Holy Communion. After what I letters which came with them, is almost the only have undergone, I should not have felt happy if I (certainly the greatest) satisfaction I can receive. had not been a partaker of that previous to my That your majesty found benefit by your late resijourney in the west; and a bishop bred at Em-dence at Weymouth, is most welcome news. manuel College, and whose principles and manners are so excellent, seemed to me the most proper person, as I could have the most excellent bishop bred up in that seminary of learning. My four sons, the Dukes of York, Kent, Cumberland, and dear Adolphus, will receive it with me.

Ever, my good lord, yours most affectionately,

To the Lord Bishop of Worcester,

Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire.


it is no wonder that some remains of so severe an illness are felt; which, however, gentle exercise, and the care to avoid as much as possible the fatigue of business, will I trust gradually remove.

As to the peace, though I am no politician, 1 would fain persuade myself that it will be lasting. The moderation and magnanimity of your majesty's counsels promise this effect; and as to the rest of the world, necessity will sometimes do more than principle. But I forbear to enlarge further on a subject I so little understand.

The preliminaries of the peace alluded to by the king, as about to be concluded, were signed infinitely. If I could have paid my duty, and The close of your majesty's letter affects me on September, 1801. It has been alleged that the gratified my own inclination, by seeing Windsor, I king believed that peace, at that juncture, with should certainly have done it long since. But I am France would be impolitic, unsafe, and unwise; wholly incapable of doing myself that honor. My and it has been asserted, "that Lord Hawkesbury bodily weakness is not the worst-my memory is affixed his signature to the articles, not only with-almost entirely gone; my powers of attention so out the king's consent or approbation, but without his knowledge," an absurd assertion which needs no refutation. That the king doubted the permanence of the peace is shown in his letter: that

weak, that conversation with a common friend, for a few minutes, is almost too much for me. In this enfeebled state I support myself as well as I can in this quiet scene; and employ the little recollection I am master of, in calling to mind the innumerable

[blocks in formation]

Dr. Richard Watson, Bishop of Llandaff, referred to in the following letter from the king, and in the answer to it, was a prelate of distinguished abilities, learning, research, and industry. He had acquired an elegant proficiency in chemistry, on which he published several volumes; and is well known by his "Apology for Christianity," in a series of letters addressed to Gibbon, and for his "Apology for the Bible," a reply to Tom Paine's " Age of Reason." He was a high liberal in politics, and accordingly was not regarded with much cordiality by the king. The bishop tells us : "At the king's levee, I was standing next a Venetian nobleman the king was conversing with him about the Republic of Venice, and hastily turning to me, said, 'There, now, you hear what he says about a republic: my answer was, 'Sir, I look upon a republic to be one of the worst forms of government.' The king gave me, as he thought, another blow about a republic. I answered that I could not live under a republic. His majesty still pursued the subject; I thought myself insulted, and firmly said, 'Sir, I look upon the tyranny of any one man to be an intolerable evil, and upon the tyranny of one hundred, to be one hundred times as bad.' The king went off."

What his majesty calls "most improper" in the pamphlet is," Justice, I think, may be done to the Catholics without injustice being done to the Protestants. The Protestant clergy may continue to possess the tithes of the country; and the Catholic clergy may be provided for from the public exchequer of the empire. I see no danger which would arise from some such arrangement as this, and it would probably be attended with the greatest advantage to the state. We think the Catholics to be in an error; they think the same of us both ought to reflect that every error is not a criminal error, and that their error is the greatest, who most err against Christian charity."


Windsor, Nov. 30th, 1803.

MY GOOD LORD,-It appears to me unlikely that the Bishop of Landaff will have sent you a copy of the pamphlet he has just published, and much more so that you shall have purchased one of them. These reasons have induced nie to forward the one

he ordered to be put in my library. The political part has some merit if he had stopped there: but what he says on the Roman Catholic clergy of Ire land, and our great safeguards, the Test and Corporation Acts, is most improper, and, in my inind, criminal, in a member of the Church of England, and still more so, coming from a bishop. Eminent talents and discretion are not always allied, and no stronger instance can be given than himself of the truth of that position.

We are here in daily expectation that Bonaparte will attempt his threatened invasion: but the chances against his success seem so many that it is wonderful he persists in it. I own I place that thorough dependence on the protection of Divine Providence. I cannot help thinking the Usurper is encouraged to make the trial that his ill success may put an end to his wicked purposes. Should his troops affect a landing I shall certainly put myself at the head of but as it is impossible to foresee the events of such mine and my other armed subjects to repel them; a conflict, should the enemy approach too near to Windsor, I shall think it right the queen and my daughters should cross the Severn, and shall send them to your Episcopal palace at Worcester. By this hint I do not in the least mean they shall be any inconvenience to you, and shall send a proper servant and furniture for their accommodation. Should such an event arise, I certainly would rather that what I value most in life, should remain, during the conflict, in your diocese, and under your roof, than in any other place in the island. Believe me ever, my good lord, Most affectionately yours,

To the Lord Bishop of Worcester.


It will be observed in the latter part of the foregoing letter that the king speaks in the heroical strain of putting himself at the head of his armed subjects. Had the necessity arisen he would no doubt have done so, for none of the House of Brunswick ever wanted courage. But he wrote under an exultation caused by a scene which we must briefly describe.

The Electorate of Hanover having been taken possession of by General Mortier, by a convention which gave up all the electoral property to the invaders, and exposed the people to the most horrid excesses of the French troops, the people of England were roused into indignation. The commencement of the new war was hailed by them with enthusiasm. Subscriptions were raised, resolutions were passed, and when the king, on the 12th of August, 1803, went to prorogue the Parliament, he was received with the most ardent acclamations by the tens of thousands who crowded the Park and all the streets leading from thence to the houses of Parliament.

On the 26th of October, his majesty reviewed twelve thousand four hundred men in Hyde Park, on which occasion the armed citizens of London came to show to their monarch that they were prepared to shed the last drop of their blood in the defence of their constitution and their country." It was observed, that, instead of the common testimonies of mutual regard which marked the meeting of the sovereign and his people on former occasions, on that day an uncommon ardor and

earnestness was exhibited in the salutations which | health and happiness, and for every blessing on the his majesty received from the public, and an ex-queen and royal family. traordinary warmth in the manner in which he returned them, evidently excited by the unprecedented circumstances of the times.

It was calculated that, including the volunteers and the regular troops who kept the lines, there were not less than two hundred thousand people in the Park, yet not a single accident happened; although the trees, the house-tops, and, indeed, every position from which curiosity could satisfy itself, was taken possession of. A similar scene took place on the 28th on the same spot, when the Westminster, Lambeth, and Southwark corps were reviewed.

Hartlebury, Dec. 3rd, 1803.

SIR,—I have the honor of your majesty's most gracious and interesting letter from Windsor of November 30th past, inclosed in a small parcel, containing also the Bishop of Landaff's speech. Of the former, I cannot speak in terms that fully express my feelings. If it please God that your majesty be exposed to the attacks of this daring adventurer, you will have your whole people ready to stand or fall with you, and Divine Providence, I firmly trust, to be your protector and preserver. If the occasion should happen, which your majesty's tender concern for those most nearly and dearly related to you, suggests to your apprehension, my old and formerly so much honored mansion at Worcester shall be ready to receive them, and in as good condition as I can contrive. But your majesty is pleased to add, that, if such an occasion should fall out, you would certainly rather that what you value most in this life, should remain, during the conflict, in my diocese, and under my roof, than in any other place in the island. I must beg your majesty's pardon, if I feel myself too much impressed by a sense of so much goodness to me, to make my acknowledgments for it.

Of the speech I had seen and known nothing but what a newspaper had told me; and that was too much, for it happened to be the obnoxious part, which your majesty mentions. Nothing could be less prudent at this time, or less necessary, I think, at any time. But, as your majesty candidly observes, parts and prudence do not always go together. Some amends, however, are made by his quoting Lord Bacon's words, which are wise and weighty, and fully justify the contest in which your majesty is engaged.


I trespass on your majesty's precious time by this long and bad letter, and will conclude it with fervent prayers to Heaven for your long continued

*"Princes should be perpetually upon the watch that none of their neighbors do overgrow so (whether by increase of territory, or by embracing of trade, or by nearer approaches, and the like) as to become more able to annoy them than they were before. And this is generally the work of standing counsels to foresee and hinder. Certainly, during the triumvirate of kings, (Henry VIII. of England, Francis I. of France, and Charles V. of Spain,) there was such a vigilance among them, that none of the three could win a space of ground but the other two would straightway balance it, either by consideration, or, if need were, by war. Neither is the opinion of some of the schoolmen to be received, that a war cannot justly be undertaken but upon a precedent injury or provocation. For there is no question but a just fear of an imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a competent and lawful cause of a war."

I am ever, sir, Your majesty's most obliged and most devoted subject and servant, R. WORCESTER.

To the King.

The concluding six letters require no explanation:

St. James' Square, July 5th, 1805. MY LORD,-I have received his majesty's commands to inform you, that, in consequence of the complaint in his eyes, he has judged it most prudent to put off his projected journey through Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire, and that he intends to proceed directly to Weymouth. His majesty has desired me at the same time to assure your lordship of the deep regret lordship this summer. which he feels at being prevented from visiting your He has had the greatest satisfaction in hearing so favorable an account of your lordship's health, and he hopes to have the pleasure of seeing you in the course of next year.

I am sure your lordship will have particular satisfaction in hearing that the king has borne this last calamity with which it has pleased Providence to afflict him, with all the fortitude and resignation which you so well know belongs to his character; that his spirits are cheerful, and that his general health has in no respect been impaired. We must all look forward with the greatest anxiety to the progress of the complaint. The medical persons who attend the king appear to be confident of the success of the operation, though they seem to think it will be some time before it would be prudent to attempt it. I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, my lord,

Your lordship's most obedient humble servant,

To the Lord Bishop of Worcester,

Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire.

Hartlebury, July 6th, 1805. MY LORD, I have this morning the honor of your lordship's letter of the 5th instant, conveying to me the information from his majesty that, in consequence of the complaint in his eyes, he thinks it fit for the present to defer his journey into these counties. The disappointment will be felt, and the occasion of it would be very distressing, if we had not every reason to believe that, from the king's temperance and habits of life, his recovery from this complaint will be safe and speedy; and if we did not know, too, from other instances, that his majesty's constitutional firmness and religious trust make him superior to such trials.

I cannot but be much affected by his majesty's goodness in signifying this event to ine by your lordship, and conclude this trouble with my thanks for the honor and kindness of your letter. I have the honor to be, my lord,

Your lordship's most obedient humble servant, R. WORCESTER. To Lord Hawkesbury.

Windsor Castle, July 10th, 1905. The king being prevented by a complaint in his eyes from the great pleasure of visiting the Bishop of Worcester, on which he had placed the greatest satisfaction, though Lord Loughborough has written to explain the cause of this disappointment, yet his majesty thinks that a scrawl from himself may be satisfactory to the good bishop, when containing

[blocks in formation]

Royal Sovereign, Portland Road, Aug. 10th, 1805. MY GOOD LORD,-From London I received notice that the box of books I had prepared personally to deliver to you at Hartlebury, had I not been prevented by the complaint in my eye from making that most desirable visit, had arrived safely. The next, I trust, if the progress of recovery continue as favorably as at present, I shall be able to prosecute the journey I had proposed this year. No one ever experienced a more striking instance of the protection of Divine Providence than I have done. The cataract was first formed in the left eye, and much advanced in the right one, but by an unexpected inflammation in the left eye this had dispelled the apparent mischief in that eye, and that in the other also diminished, so that Mr. Phipps seems sanguine that he will effect a cure. Did I not feel, my good lord, how you interest yourself, I should not have been so particular on this occasion.

To the Lord Bishop of Worcester,
Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire.


Weymouth, Sept. 5th, 1805. MY GOOD LORD,-Though in want of newspaper intelligence, from my knowledge of the propriety of the Archbishop of Canterbury, I give faith to his having visited the great ornament of Emmanuel College whilst residing at Cheltenham. This makes me desirous of hearing what impression he has made. I flatter myself a good one; not doubting, if better known there, my choice would meet with approbation, as he has on all public occasions shown himself equal to his situation.

I have every reason to flatter myself that my sight is improving, yet I fear this specimen will not prove the assertion, as you, my good lord, might expect. The gain can be but gradual; objects growing brighter, though not as yet much clearer. In all situations believe me ever, my good lord, Yours most affectionately,

To the Lord Bishop of Worcester,
Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire.


Hartlebury, Sept. 10th, 1805. SIR,-I could not but esteem it the highest honor and pleasure to receive, this day, a letter from Weymouth, September 5th, written by your majesty's own hand. This shows that your majesty's eyes are gaining strength; yet I fear they must have been something strained by this exercise. I hope your use of them will be easier and more perfect every day.

It is very true what your majesty saw in the public prints. The Archbishop of Canterbury did me the honor to come over to me at this place from

Cheltenham. I had never seen him before; but his person and manner were much in his favor, and his conversation was very agreeable and discreet. I hope, and, indeed, have not the least doubt that * His correspondent, the Bishop of Worcester.

he will do your majesty and the church good service in his high station.

But I must not allow myself to detain your majesty with more words at present. I only beg leave to repeat my ardent wishes that your majesty may long live in the full enjoyment of all your faculties, which are so constantly employed in the noblest service. I am, sir, Your majesty's most obliged and most humble subject and servant, R. WORCESTER.

To the King.

These letters exhibit the personal character of the king in a very amiable light. Whatever differences of opinion may exist as to the strength or soundness of his majesty's judgment, in reference to the great political questions which agitated the kingdom at that period, it may be conceded on all hands that, in his private and individual relations, George III. was a man of a clear and upright nature, and of the kindliest feelings. Fond of books and retirement, delighting in the conversation of a circle of friends, selected rather for their worth than their skill in the ways of courts, and devotedly attached to his family, he presented the image of a paternal ruler whose example conciliated the affections of his subjects, and exercised a perceptible moral influence over the social life of the country. In despotic governments, the influence of personal character is slight. It is absorbed in the vices of a system which renders it helpless for extending good. But in a constitution such as ours, the domestic qualities of the monarch have a direct action upon the habits and sentiments of the people at large. If George III. did not put forward any very conspicuous claims to historical distinction on public grounds, no king who ever reigned in England imparted more effectually to the age in which he lived the tone of his own character. His reign was expressly the reign of the household virtues.

Simplicity, frankness, and integrity of principle were amongst the most prominent traits. His warm affection for his friends took a form of enthusiasm in regard to his subjects. He was a plain, honest, and inflexible patriot on the old model. When he wrote to the Bishop of Worcester that he should certainly put himself at the head of his troops to repel the threatened invasion, of Napoleon, he was not only thoroughly in earnest, but really believed that his proper post under such circumstances was in the front of danger. Like Confucius, he held the doctrine that ruling a state was the same thing, embracing a wider surface, as ruling a family. He was perfectly sincere in looking upon his people as his children, and he would have fought for them on the beach, as he would have fought for Frederick, and Augusta, and the rest on the threshold of the palace.

These healthy, old-fashioned notions colored the whole of his life, and were predominant even in those parts of his policy which the more instructed spirit of the present age sees the most reason to regret. He stoutly maintained the antique consti

« ElőzőTovább »