SHE NEVER DID TELL COLE ANY SUCH THING. Which of these two witnesses spoke falsely, it is impossible for me to say, but that one of the two did speak falsely there can be no doubt; indeed, the fact is certain, for the two witnesses flatly contradict each other. And yet, they are both, yes, both, mentioned as persons, whose veracity the Four Lords see no grounds to question. You will please to observe, that the qualification by the words, " in this respect,does not apply here, as in the former case ; for, the fact here mentioned does not relate to the pregnancy, or the delivery, but merely to the improprieties of conduct ; so that the flat contradiction given by Fanny Lloyd to the declaration of Cole appears not to have been, in the opinion of the Four Lords, sufti. cient ground to cause the verucity of either of them to be questioned as to the matter to which, it is clear, that their evidence related, Against the opinion of four such persons as Lord Erskine, Lord Ellenborough, Lord Grenville, and Loru Spencer, it is not for me to set up mine; and, indeed, my only object is to draw your particular attention to the point, to induce you to read with care all the documents referred to, and then to leave you, as a sensible and impartial man, far removed from the heated atmosphere of our politics and parties, to form your own judgment; always bearing in mind, however, that Cole and Fanny Lloyd were two out of the four persons, from whose evidence those particulars arose, which, as the Four Lords say, “ must necessarily give rise to very unfavourable interpretations."

As the present double Number of my Register contains nearly the whole of the Defence of Her Royal Highness, and as I know you, who are a lover of truth and justice, will read the whole of it, I will not trouble you with any further remarks upon the case itself, being well assured that there will not, when you have gone through the whole, as you will be enabled to do hy my next Number, in an attentive manner, remain in your mind, the smallest doubt, that Her Royal Highness was perfectly innocent of every charge preferred against her ; not only of every charge of criminality, but also of every charge of indecency or impropriety or indiscretion of conduct; and I am further assured, that you will agree with me, that there are comparatively very few married women, though living happily with their husbands, whose conduct would bear such a scrutiny as that which the conduct of this calumniated Lady has been compelled to undergo. Tried and re-tried and tried again and again ; rummaged and sifted and bolted as it has been, through statements and declarations and depositions and minutes and debates and pamphlets and paragraphs, it comes out at last without any thing sticking to it, which the most modest and happy married woman in the world need not own without a blush; and, after having carefully read and impar. tially weighed every word of these documents, I most solemnly declare, that, if I had a daughter twenty years married, I should think myself a happy and a fortunate father, if as little could be said against her conduct as has been proved against the conduct of the Princess of Wales.

You will naturally be anxious to know, whether any measure, and what, has been adopted by the ministry, the Parliament, or the people, in consequence of the disclosure, which has now, fortunately for the cause of truth, taken place. By the ministry no measure has, as yet, been adopted. In Parliament there have been some movements, but, hitherto, without producing any measure of a decided character. A motion bas been brought forward by Mr. Whitbread for the prosecution of Sir John and Lady Douglas for perjury; but was given up, upon its appearing, that they could not be so prosecuted, having given their oath before persons acting in a capacity which did not make it perjury for any one to swear falsely before them. Of this, as you may perceive, the Princess complains in her defence. And, surely, it was very hard for her to have her conduct tried, to have evidence touching her honour and her life, taken down before a tribunal, whose competence did not extend far enough to allow of false swearers being prosecuted for perjury. This should have been thought of before the warrant was issued; for, it seems to me, that the hardness of the case is without a parallel. If the oaths had been taken before the Privy Council, or before magistrates, a prosecution for perjury might have followed ; and, it is to be greatly lamented, that this most important circumstance was not attended to in time ; more especially as the Report and the Depositions must necessarily find their way to the knowledge of so many persons. It was impossible that, when so many persons were examined, the purport of the accusations should remain a secret. Indeed it was very well known; and it is also very well known, that it gave rise to very serious doubts and unfavourable imprese sions. Was it not, then, very hard upon the accused party, that the accusation should have been received and recorded, and reported upon by a tribunal, whose incompetence on her side was such as not to constitute perjury anything that might be sworn falsely against her? Such, however, now appears to have been the fact; and upon that fact I shall not, for I am sure it is quite unnecessary, offer you any further observation of mine, being convinced that you will want no one to assist you in forming a correct opinion with respect to it.

Sir John Douglas, however, has presented a petition to the House of Commons, on behalf of himself and of Charlotte, his wife, praying the House to put them in a situation to re-swear all that they have before

That the prayer of this petition could not be granted, they knew very well. However, as the petition was upon the Table of the House, Mr. Cochrane JOHNSTONE, one of the members, upon the ground, that, while it so lay, without any opinion of the House pronounced upon it, it seemed to receive some degree of countenance from the House, moved, on the 24th instant, the following resolution : That the petition of Sir " John Douglas, in behalf of himself and of Charlotte bis wife, is regarded " by this House as an audacious effort, to give, in the eyes of the nation, " the colour of truth to falsehoods before sworn to, during the prosecu• tion of a foul and detestable attempt against the peace and happiness, " the honour and life of Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales.” This motion, upon the ground of there being no documents regularly before the House, whereon to ground such a resolution, was got rid of by a motion to adjourn; but, during the debate that took place, it was avowed on all hands, that the opinion which the resolution expressed was perfectly just. Not a single man was found in the House to attempt to justify, to excuse, or to palliate the conduct of the petitioners; and, Therefore, the effect of the motion of Mr. Cochrane Johnstone upon the public mind has been just the same as it would have been if the motion had been carried by an unanimous vote of the House,

The public feeling, which was before strong on the side of the injured Princess, has now received the sanction of the conviction of her perfect innocence; and, which is well worthy of remark, this conviction has been produced, in general, by the reading of the Evidence only; for,


there is not, up to this hour, one person out of fifty thousand in the kingdom, who has read the Defence, contained in the letter of the 2nd of October, the greater part of which I now publish in this Double Number. What, then, must be the feelings of the people, when time and circumstances shall have enabled them to read and well reflect on that Defence and the Affidavits in support of it?

Another thing worthy of remark, is, that those newspapers, which, upon the appearance of Her Royal Highness's Letter to the Prince, and upon that of the far better letter which she addressed to the Speaker of the House of Commons; those newspapers, which called her a misguided woman, an unfortunate woman, a rash woman, who taunted her with the evidence of Cole, Bidgood, and Fanny Lloyd, and who menaced her with a new Inquiry ; those same newspapers, perceiving the universal cry excited by their baseness, accompanied with a disclosure of all the dark machinations of ber vindictive enemies, have, all of a sudden, turned round, and, while they have become her panegyrists, have fallen, in the most violent manner, upon Sir John and Lady Douglas ; just as if the conduct of these persons were not now what it always had been known to be! You will be shocked to hear of such a perversion of that noble instrument, the Press; but, my friend, you must be here, and be ac. quainted with the means made use of to move that instrument; you must see the working of the secret wheels, before you can have a sufficient horror of the cause of so apparently unaccouniable an effect.

For my own part, I confess that, without any motive whatever to bias my judgment, I, for a long while, for several years, thought the Princess guilty to some considerable extent. The very existence of a commission to inquire into her conduct was sufficient to produce that impression in my mind; and, this, added to the tales and anecdotes which were circulated with an industry and in a way, of which you, who live in a happy ignorance of the crafty intrigues of this scene, cannot form the most distant idea, had left me in little doubt, that, though acquitted upon all capital points, she was still an immoral woman; an opinion, too, which I will fairly avow, was neither removed nor shaken by her public reception at Court and her restoration to apartments in one of the Royal Palaces ; acts which, without being over-suspicious, I might, and indeed, I did, ascribe to mere prudence, which must have dictated to the whole of the Royal Family to use all the means in their power to cause a veil to be drawn for ever over the whole transaction. I was, moreover, influenced in the forming of this opinion by the to al silence of the Princess herself ; for, one must have actual experience of forbearance and magnanimity like hers, before one can possibly believe in their existence. If I viewed the matter in this light, how must others, with less opportunity of getting at the truth, have viewed it ? Certainly in a light less advantageous to the Princess, who, it appears to me, must have had very faithless advisers; or, she could not, for so long a time, have remained silent.

The fact which first led me to suppose, that I had formed a wrong opinion upon this point, I was informed of about eighteen months ago. It was this; that a certain Noble Earl, well known to be much attached to the Prince, had expended, through the hands of a gentleman, some hundreds of pounds in purchasing up a stray copy of THE BOOK. What could this be for? What could be the motive ? From that time I began to think, that the Princess was not so very guilty; and, when, soon afterwards, Mr. Perceval, who was well known to have been the author of the Book; when he, who was now become the Prime Minister of the Prince, and who had been chosen to that office to the exclusion of the Prince's old friends ; when, in open Parliament, he explicitly declared, the Princess to be perfectly innocent of all the charges that had been preferred against her, I could no longer doubt of her perfect innocence; and, from that hour, as the pages of my Register will show, I did all in my little power to inculcate the same opinion on my readers.

When the Prince was addressed by the City of London upon his being constituted Regent, I thought that the Princess ought to have been addressed too. I think so still; and, if she had, at that time, been placed in a situation to hold a court, THE BOOK would still, in all human probability, have slept in quiet. The want of wisdom in the advisers of the Prince and the sense and courage of the Princess have combined to order it otherwise ; and I should be a very great hypocrite if I were now to affect to be sorry for it. The disclosure will do great good in many ways, while to the nation at large, and especially to the calumniated Princess, it is impossible that it should do any harm. With this remark I leave you to the perusal of the Princess's defence, well satisfied, that you will need nothing more to enable you to form a correct judgment upon every part of this memorable transaction.

I remain your faithful friend,

WM. COBBETT. Bolley, 26th March, 1813.

TO JAMES PAUL, of Bursledon, in Lower Dublin Township, in Philadelphia County,

in the State of Pennsylvania ;




(Political Register, April, 1813.)


This Letter will conclude the remarks which I mean to address to you, relative to the interesting affair of the Princess of Wales. I have, indeed, already gone into the whole of the subject as far as it is necessary for me to go into it, seeing that the Defence of the Princess leaves so very little to be said by any one. But, there have arisen certain matters, forming the sequel of the disclosure, which are well worthy of your attention; and of these, the most important are, the debates, or, rather, the remarks and counter-remarks, which have been made in the two Houses of Parliament, relative to the deposition of Mrs. Lisle, which deposition you will find in the Register, at page 393.

Mr. WHITBREAD, in the House of Commons, on the 17th of March, last past, referred to this affidavit, or deposition, and he animadverted upon the conduct of the Four Lords, who took it down. The Four Lords, in their place, in the House of Lords, a few days afterwards, entered into an explanation, vindicating their own conduct, and spoke in very severe terms of the attack which had been made upon them.

Before I enter further into this matter, I beg you to observe, that it is of very great importance; because, as you will have perceived, of the whole of that crowd of witnesses, who were examined upon this occasion, Mr3. Lisle is the only one, to whose testimony the Princess appears to attach any importance; and, indeed, she is the only witness whose testimony seems to merit any serious refutation. She is, as was observed in my last Letter, one of the four persons, upon whose testimony the charge of impropriety of conduct did, in the eyes of the Four Lords, rest for credibility; and, as the Princess's defence does, in my opinion, demolish the testimony of the other three, Mrs. Lisle alone remains as a witness whose testimony has some weight. It was, therefore, in the opinion of Mr. Whitbread, of great consequence to explain every circumstance relating to the mode which the Four Lords pursued in getting at and in recording this testimony. I will not, for fear of mistakes, attempt to make any abstract, or abridgment, of his speech upon this occasion ; but, will insert it just as I find it reported in the Times newspaper of the 18th of March, that being the fullest report that I have been able to find of Mr. Whitbread's speech, which, as far as related to the subject before us, was as follows :

“ He must," he said, "trouble the House for a few minutes with some passages " in Mrs. Lisle's evidence relative to the Princess and Captain Manhy. Mrs. L. “could not say there was any attachment; and she never saw any ki:sing hands, " &c. He wished to confine himself to material points. After the evidence was “ given, the depositions were taken; and he was not surprised, under all the cir-' “ cunstances, at Mrs. Lisle's signature to the deposition; but he was, he must " confess, surprised to find leading questions put to her by his learned friend, the “ Lord Chancellor Erskine ; questions on which that noble and learned Lord, " when an advocate, would have expired, sooner than have permitted to be an. “ swered by any witness of his on a trial in a court of law. One would be tempted “ by the deposition to think that Mrs, L. said all in one breath as it were. The

question in the examination was put to Mrs. L. 'Did Captain Manby sit nert " the Princess at dinner?' Yet, in the deposition, it seemed as if she stated it roluntarily. Then Lord Erskine asks Mrs. L. 'whether they all sat just as the “ four noble Lords sat round their table with her?' Mr. W. remarked on various “ other questions put to Mrs. L., and expressed his astonishment that so many leading questions should have been put to her. "What! did the Princess and Captain Manby sit apart? What, if sitting together, do you suppose they talked " . about ? Lords Erskine and Ellenborough put these questions; and then the “ deposition is to go out to the world to impress the sense of guilt on the part of “the Princess. The answer of Mrs. L. regarding the conversation was, that she “ did not listen to it. Then Lord Erskine desires her to answer him, as a woman " of reason, character, and of knowledge of the world, whether the Princess's

conduct was proper for a married woman-he puts it to her honor as a mother? “ Really, there never was a question put to a female witness which could make " the chords of sensibility vibrate more strongly in her heart. The answer was “ collected, dignified, affectionate, and motherly, for the question related to her “ own family : “My daughter,' she says, lived well with her husband.' To the "question again, whether the Princess lived as a married woman ought? Mre. L.'s answer was, not like the statement in the deposition. Lord Ellenborongh, “ indeed, said to the Chancellor, ‘I suppose you'd put it as any married woman.' “ "What did you ever think of the Princess's talking with Captain Manby?" was “ another question; but these were never answered, though we had something “ about them in the deposition. He was sorry to be obliged to animadvert upon " the conduct of the four noble Lords Commissioners; but he should be doing

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