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Dinner At Kew Fetes At Syon House Queen Adelaide's Fund

False Rumours About The Queen

A Week-end Visit To Windsor

Dinner To Their Majesties At Boston House

A Brief Account Of Boston House And The Clitherow Family

The Royal Birthday Fetes

Defeat Of The Ministry Dinner At St James's

Death Of The King

An Appreciation Of King William Iv And His Reign

In The Beginning



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Luncheon At Windsor Visits To Windsor And St James's

In The Beginning

An Appreciation Of King William Iv And His Reign

Death Of The King

Defeat Of The Ministry Dinner At St James's

The Royal Birthday Fetes

A Brief Account Of Boston House And The Clitherow Family

Dinner To Their Majesties At Boston House

A Week-end Visit To Windsor

False Rumours About The Queen






Defeat Of The Ministry Dinner At St James's








THOUGH the reign of William IV. was free from any serious war, the
political condition of the country was such as to cause the King much
anxiety. The establishment of a popular Government in France under
Louis Philippe gave a great impulse to the enthusiasm which had been
growing in England for Parliamentary reform, which, through the growth
of large manufacturing centres since 1790, had become a more urgent
necessity every year. In 1795 Lord Grey brought forward a motion on the
subject, which was opposed by Burke and Pitt, and thrown out by a large
majority. The attention of the country was somewhat diverted from
reform during the war with France, which was brought to a close after
the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Its advocacy in Parliament was renewed
in 1817 by Sir Francis Burdett, while William Cobbett's pamphlets, and
large public meetings, often attended by riots, voiced the popular
feeling, which Parliament endeavoured to stifle, thereby only adding to
the discontent. Lord John Russell, in 1819, proposed resolutions in its
favour, but failed to carry them. Lord Liverpool's ministry, which
lasted till his death in 1827, was strenuously opposed to it, and
Canning's death in the same year was a further check to political
progress.

The General Election, consequent on the accession of William IV., was
favou[r]able to the supporters of reform, and the Duke of Wellington,
who had been Prime Minister for more than two years, roused a great
deal of feeling by declaring his unqualified disagreement with their
views. Before, however, any resolution was brought forward, the
Government was defeated on a motion connected with the Civil List, and
the Duke immediately resigned. On the night of his defeat, the
Clitherows were dining at St. James's, and the following extract from a
letter dated November 20, 1830, tells us of the reception of the news
at the Palace:

'We were at St. James's the night of the Duke's defeat in the House.
The King had a note, which he opened, and left the room, but soon
returned. Colonel Fred Fitz-Clarence came in, and told the Queen[*] of
it in German. Miss Wilson was sitting by me, and exclaimed, "Good God!"
in a low tone. I looked at her; she put up her finger, and afterwards
whispered what was said in German, but nothing transpired--not a
comment. It's the great secret at Court to smile and be cheerful and
attentive to the circle round you when the heart is sad, and it was
exemplified that evening.'

[*] Queen Adelaide was the eldest daughter of George Frederick, Duke of
Saxe-Meiningen, born 1792. By her marriage in 1818 to William IV. she
had two children, both of whom died in infancy.

The news appears from this to have fallen like a thunderbolt upon the
party, and the inference as to the Clitherows' views is that they were
supporters of the Duke. The letter proceeds to touch of matters of less
public importance, but illustrative of the King and Queen's interest in
local affairs and English industries:

'We had dined there, and it seems almost like vain boasting, but it was
a party made for us. When the King told Mrs. Henry to write and invite
us, he said: "I shall only ask Colonel Clitherow's friends that I have
met at Boston House." And it was the Duke of Dorset,[*] Lord[**] and
Lady Mayo, the Archbishop and Mrs. Howley, the rest of the company his
own family, the Duke of Sussex,[***] and a few of the
Household-in-waiting. There could not be a greater compliment. The Queen
shows a decided partiality for Mrs. Clitherow. In the evening she sat down
to a French table, and called to her to sit by her. The King came in and
sat down on the other side of Mrs. Clitherow. She rose to retire, but he
said: "Sit down, ma'am--sit down." Two boxes were placed before him,
and he said to Miss Fitz-Clarence[****]: "Amelia, I want pen and ink."
Away she went, and brought a beautiful gold inkstand, and he signed his
name, I am sure, a hundred times, passed the papers to Mrs. Clitherow,
and she to the Queen, who put them on the blotting-paper, then folded
them neatly and put them in their little case to enable them to pack
into the boxes again, conversation going on all the time. When the
business was over, the King took my brother to a sofa, and chatted a
long time, inquiring into the state of things in our neighbourhood,
policemen, etc. The Queen's new band was playing beautifully all the
evening, which she said she had ordered to have my brother's opinion.
The late King's private band cost the King L18,000 a year. It was
dismissed, and a small band is formed--I believe I may say all English,
and many of the juvenile performers whom she patronizes. Her dress was
particularly elegant, white, and all English manufacture. She made us
observe her blend was as handsome as Lady Mayo's French blend. "I hope
all the ladies will patronize the English blend of silk," she said. She
is a very pretty figure, and her dress so moderate, sleeves and
head-dress much less than the hideous fashion.'

[*] Charles Sackville Germain, fifth Duke of Dorset, K.G., was a son of
the first Viscount Sackville, and born 1767. He became Viscount
Sackville 1785, and succeeded his cousin, the fourth Duke of Dorset, in
1815.

[**] John Bourke, fourth Earl of Mayo, born 1766, succeeded his father
1794. Married Arabella, fourth daughter of W. M. Praed, Esq. His
brothers were Bishop of Waterford and Dean of Ossory.

[***] H.R.H. was the sixth son of H.M. George III., born 1773, and was
unmarried.

[****] The King's youngest daughter, by Mrs. Jordan; born 1807,
married, 1830, the ninth Viscount Falkland.





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Previous: A Brief Account Of Boston House And The Clitherow Family



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