Death Of The King





AFTER a short illness, William IV. died at Windsor Castle on June 20,

1837. On July 17 Miss Clitherow wrote as follows:



'Thank you very much for writing to me. I always enjoy your letters,

and delight to hear from you. I feel I did not deserve it, so much time

has elapsed since I wrote to you. But I dislike writing when the

spirits are below par, and how could they be otherwise with the

afflicting event which has befallen the country? Great were our

apprehensions for the dear Queen when she was so ill and could attend

none of the State entertainments, but the King's death never entered

our ideas. On June 3 my brother went by command to Windsor. He sat with

the King while he ate his early dinner. He was cheerful and chatty, and

had only sent for him for the pleasure of seeing and conversing freely

with him, which he did for above an hour, and the last thing his

Majesty said was, "Thank you for coming; it always does me good to see

you, and very soon you and Mrs. Clitherow must come to Windsor for a

few days and your sister.' How little he thought his days were

numbered, and that he should never see him more! He then appeared so

little ill my brother returned home quite in spirits, and on the

twentieth he was dead--only seventeen days.



'Since the Queen Dowager got to Bushey Lady Gore has written to us. The

description of her resigned pious mind is beautiful, and Lady Gore[*]

assures us she really hopes her health has not materially suffered from

all she has gone through, particularly the last sad ceremony.



[*] Wife of General Hon. Sir Charles Gore, G.C.B., K.H., third son of

the second Earl of Arran, a Waterloo officer.



'My brother was deputed to present the address of condolence from the

magistrates to the Dowager Queen. He dreaded it, but he wrote to Lord

Howe to know how and when, and was answered--Queen Adelaide receives no

addresses; but those she received on the throne from the City, etc.,

those she must receive. We are delighted at this, as it was too much to

impose upon her. Addresses are pouring in from all quarters, and Lord

Howe is to receive them.'



As Queen Adelaide received no visitors, except such as she could not

refuse, in her widowhood, the King's death closed her intimate

intercourse with the Clitherows. It seems, however, just to the memory

of both the King and Queen to insert the following testimony to her

tender affection for her husband, and her delicacy of feeling

respecting his previous relations with Mrs. Jordan.



'BOSTON HOUSE, 'September 23, 1837.



'I dare say you look to me for some true account of our dear Queen

Adelaide. We have not seen her, but have been much gratified by her

recollection of us. She sent a most kind message by Mr. Wood, with the

little book he wrote at her command of William IV.'s last days--a copy

to my brother and one to me.



'Very lately we began to doubt whether we ought not to go to Bushey as

we used to visit her Majesty at Windsor, and Mrs. Clitherow wrote to

consult Lady Denbigh. She acted most kindly to us, for she waited an

opportunity of showing the note to the Queen. Her Majesty's answer was,

it would be a 'real comfort to her to see Mrs. Clitherow, but it would

open the door to so many; she could not without giving great offence.

Lady Denbigh added Her Majesty had received no one yet, except those

whom she was obliged to admit.



'Mrs. Clitherow dined in company with Miss Hudson, one of the Dowager's

Maids of Honour, whom we know very well. She gave a delightful account

of the dear Queen, her mind so peaceful, always occupied, much

interested with her sister and her children, constantly doing

charitable acts, and for ever talking of the King, and hoping she had

thoroughly done her duty. Miss Hudson was in waiting for five weeks,

and the first three she was very uneasy about Her Majesty's health, and

thought her sadly altered; but the last two her cough had almost

entirely ceased, and she had slept remarkably well.



'You have no doubt seen the book I allude to, for 'tis now to be had

for sixpence. Could anything be so extraordinary as the conduct of the

Bishop of Worcester? Her Majesty sent him a copy, and he sent it to the

editor of a newspaper. When the Queen read it in a public paper she was

very indignant, and the gentleman who was told by her to discover who

"the high dignitary in the Church" was, told us Carr, Bishop of

Worcester. The man who has been quite the Court Bishop should have

known better.



'One act of the Queen Dowager I must tell you: the Queen sent a message

by Colonel Wood and Sir Henry Wheatley requesting she would take

anything she chose from the Castle; she selected two--a favourite cup

of the King's, in which she had given him everything during his last

illness, and the picture from his own room of all his family. It was a

singular picture, all the Fitz-Clarences grouped, and in the room Mrs.

Jordan hanging a picture on the wall, the King's bust on a pedestal,

and all strikingly like. I think it shows a delicacy of feeling to her

King which was beautiful. It was a picture better out of sight for his

memory. Now, this you may believe, for Colonel Wood told us. He

transacted the business, and Queen Adelaide has the picture.



'Believe me, 'Yours very truly, 'MARY CLITHEROW.'



Neither Queen Adelaide nor the three friends long survived the kindly

monarch they loved so well. Colonel Clitherow died in 1841; his sister,

who became totally blind, early in 1847; and his true and honest wife,

the last of the Boston House trio, died in March of the same year.





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