Luncheon At Windsor Visits To Windsor And St James's

'BOSTON HOUSE, 'August 28 [1834],

WE have been absent a week visiting different friends, and on our

return this morning took a Royal luncheon at the Castle. Our dear Queen

received us most kindly, and we sat with her for half an hour before

luncheon. Her conversation was most interesting. I wish I could give it

you word for word. It showed such a feeling, religious, good mind. It

was about her loss in one
whom she termed a faithful servant, indeed a

friend--old Barton (only sixty-four, but he had a paralytic stroke two

years since, which had aged him very much), her treasurer. He was their

factotum at Bushey. The painful part of it, she said, was feeling that

she in a manner had been the cause; for the good old man was so

over-excited with joy at witnessing the enthusiastic reception she met

with on her return, he went out to meet her. The fatigue and excitement

were too much for him, and, after he got home, he had a stroke. He lost

all power of speech, but retained his senses, and, by pointing to

letters, made himself understood, and a dutiful and affectionate

message to the King and Queen was written and sent. The dear Queen

immediately wrote to him herself a letter, which was beautiful, so

kind, so pious. He answered his hour was come, and he was resigned.

Now, had you heard the manner in which she, in her pretty English,

described all this, you never would have forgotten it.

'I never saw her or the King look better. He had all his daughters with

him but Lady Mary Fox, who is abroad, and a swarm of grandchildren

running about the corridor, and Her Majesty playing with them, and

making them all happy and at ease.'

From the above we clearly see that Queen Adelaide had the power of

feeling and inspiring sympathy with dependents as well as friends, with

young as well as old. The following month the Clitherows again stayed

at the Castle in quite homely fashion.

'WINDSOR CASTLE, 'September 27, 1834.

'There is no company but ourselves and the Duke of Dorset;

consequently, we really enjoy the Queen. We set at her work-table in

the evening with the King, Princess Augusta, and the Duke of Dorset,

and really the cheerful, good-humoured conversation that goes on is

most agreeable. The Ladies-in-Waiting have two work-tables. The

gentlemen sit and chat with them, and there are generally four at

whist, the Queen's beautiful band playing in the anteroom.

'We came on Thursday. Friday we were on Virginia Water, with the

Guards' band playing in a barge moored. The weather was actual summer,

and we were rowed about for two hours--the King, Queen, and ten of us.

'To-day the Queen, Lady Isabella Wemyss, Mrs. Clitherow, and myself in

a barouche, my brother, with Miss Hope Jolynson, in a phaeton, drove

out for two hours in Windsor Park and Forest. The evening was lovely,

though we had heavy rain in the night and morning. The scenery is quite

magnificent, and the dear Queen's conversation was so interesting,

giving an account of her journey and adventures abroad. It was a drive

to be envied.

'We do not think the Queen looking well, though it is uncourtly to say

so. She is most miserably thin, and has a sad, wearing cough. However,

she assures us she is better. The oppression on her chest is removed by

a German medicine, which she has great faith in. I dread Brighton for

her, which never agrees.

'The King is uncommonly well. He is out all the morning inspecting his

farms, which they say he is getting into beautiful order, and to-day he

returned to them after luncheon, instead of driving out with the party,

as he generally does.

'Lady Augusta Kennedy and her four children are here. Lady Sophia

Sydney[*] and her three children live here. Sir Philip is backwards and

forwards. He is going on slowly at Penshurst, feeling, I suspect, that

it will be time eno' to live there should anything happen to prevent

their all living on "papa." Lady Augusta has a house at Isleworth near

us, which "papa" gave her, but lives a great deal here. Lady Falkland

is sadly out of health, and in town for advice. Her fine boy is left

here, and the King and Queen have all the children in the corridor

after luncheon to run about. It is so pretty to hear them lisp, "Dear

Queeny," "Dear King." She plays with them with such good-humour.

[*] The King's eldest daughter; born 1800, married, 1825, Sir Philip

Sidney, who was created Lord de Lisle and Dudley in 1835, his father

having in 1824 claimed that barony, though without success.

'Mademoiselle d'Este is here. Lord Hill is coming to-day. We are to

leave on Monday.'

The next letter reminds us that, about this time, there were several

political crises, more or less acute. The tide of enthusiasm, which had

carried many measures of social importance, was beginning to abate, and

the first signs of the reaction that was setting in showed themselves

in differences among the Ministers. Mr. Stanley (afterwards Lord

Derby), Sir J. Graham, and two others disagreed with Lord Grey as to

the Act to compensate the Irish clergy, while Lord Althorp opposed Lord

Grey on the question of coercion in Ireland. Lord Grey, who was an old

man, retired in July, and Lord Melbourne succeeded to his place. These

dissensions led the King to believe that there was a Conservative

reaction, so he determined to dismiss the Ministry and send for the

Duke of Wellington. In the end, on the Duke's advice, Sir Robert Peel

became Premier, but only held office till April, 1835, when Lord

Melbourne was recalled to power. Again rumour was busy with the Queen's

name, and many suspected that the dismissal of the Whigs was due

largely to her influence. The following letter deals plainly with this,

and incidentally mentions the constitutional practice of the King

respecting even the Court appointments:

'BOSTON HOUSE, 'November 23, 1834.

'How do you feel on the sudden change in the political world? I

rejoice, but cannot envy the party who have taken the reins in these

ungovernable times.

'It is very sad they will not let the dear Queen alone. I believe from

my heart she has no more to do with it than you or I. Mrs. Clitherow

sat half an hour with her at St. James's, and she, who, is truth

itself, declared the first she knew of it was the King coming to her

room and telling her the Duke of Wellington was to dine with them, for

there was going to be a change of Ministers.

'She has not named a single person for any appointment, and will not,

she is determined. Jane expressed her hope that the Duke of Dorset

would again be Master of the Horse. The Queen replied: "There never was

a better; but, in the present state of the country, favouritism must be

quite out of the question." They must select the most influential men

in a political point of view. She regretted extremely that the King's

children, instead of rallying round the throne, were the first to send

in their resignations and to show such strong opposition to their

father's wishes. And we do hear from every quarter their conduct is

abominable, and the manner in which they speak of the Queen

unpardonable. Lord Erroll[*] went on so bad in a public coffee-room

that a gentleman cried out: "Shame! shame!" As far as we have ever

seen, she has shown them nothing but kindness, and their return is

ingratitude. Poor soul! her cough continues to wear her sadly, and she

is hardly stout enough to contend with all her annoyances,

notwithstanding the support of a clear conscience.

[*] William George, the Seventeenth Earl, had married Lady Elizabeth

Fitz-Clarence, the King's third daughter, and was Master of the Royal


'The Bishop of London and Mrs. and Miss Blomfield dine here to-morrow.

I mean to get this franked.

'I hope you are not annoyed with your winter cough, and that your

family are all well. Accept a trio of best wishes, and believe me,

'Yours sincerely, 'MARY CLITHEROW.'