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death of this illustrious and most excellent Princess an unspeakable loss to the whole nation."
INTERESTING PARTICULARS OF HER
Ar the moment when all human connexions with our lamented Sovereign are dissolved by death, it cannot be uninteresting to revert to the circumstances which, fifty-seven years ago, first connected her Majesty with the British empire.
mont, and accompanied by her two daughters, with little or no appearance of parade; and where, from the freedom of communication usual at those places, and the ready means of observation, &c. it was no dithcult matter to become fully acquainted with their characters and daily habits. Their Serene Highnesses frequented the rooms, the walks, and partook of the amusements without any distinction that should prevent Colonel Græme from being an unsuspected attendant on their parties. Here, it seems, he fixed on the Princess Sophia Charlotte Caroline, as best according with his matrimonial instructions. She was the youngest daughter of Charles Lewis, brother to Adolphus Frederick, third Duke of Mecklenburgh-Strelitz, by Albertine Elizabeth, daughter of Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hilbourghausen, and was born on the 19th of May, 1744. Her father, however, though in the immediate line of inhe ritance, as his brother the reigning Duke had no issue, and was unmarried, did not succeed to the principality; he died before his brother, and thus, upon the death of Frederick, the succession devolved upon his nephew, Adolphus Frederick the Fourth, brother to her Majesty. The reasons which induced the union between our venerable and afflicted Sovereign and the Princess of Mecklenburgh-Strelitz could scarcely have been with any political view-with any hope of strengthening the English in fluence on the Continent, since the territory of the Dukes of Mecklenburgh was ex
We are told by the public and private records of the times, that a suitable marriage for his Majesty was an urgent (as it was a natural) object of state policy, immediately on his coming to the, crown; but his knowu and ardent attachment to Lady Sarah Lenox, sister of the Duke of Rich mond, with some manœuvres of Mr. Fox, afterwards Lord Holland, set on foot to foment that youthful passion, hastened the designs of the Princess Dowager of Wales and of the Earl of Bute to bring about the royal marriage. The Princess is said to have had in view a niece of her own, at least some Princess of the Saxe-Gotha family; but as the house of Saxe-Gotha was supposed to be afflicted with a constitu-tremely confined; and, indeed they had tional disease, that wish was overruled by little else to boast of than an ancient name. the cabinet. Lord Bute then sent a con- It is, however, said, that his Majesty first fidential dependent, a Scotch officer, re formed the idea of demanding the hand of ported to be Colonel Græme (who was the Princess in marriage, in consequence of afterwards appointed to be Master of St. a letter which was generally supposed to Catherine's, near the Tower, an excellent have been addressed by her, about the place, in the peculiar gift of her Majesty),|| year 1758, to the King of Prussia, who had to visit the inferior German courts, and to caused contributions to be levied on her select from amongst them a future Queen father's territories. We subjoin the letter, for England. The instructions were said which does infinite credit to the feegs to be, that she should be perfect in her that dictated it, and to the taste that was form, of a pure blood, and healthy consti- consulted in its composition, leaving it to tution, possessed of elegant accomplish our readers to judge whether it is not more ments, particularly music, to which the like the production of a matured underKing was very much attached, and of a standing, than the offspring of the mind of mild and obliging disposition. a female, who, at the time, was scarcely fourteen years of age. The cause of the
Colonel Græme found the reigning Prin
cess of Strelitz taking the waters of Pyr-" appeal was this:-In the latter end of 1757,
Letters were sent off by the government bags; for as it was post-night there was no necessity for sending messengers to all the different branches of the Royal Family now abroad. Mr. Vicke, the King's Messenger, was the only one who was sent abroad with the melancholy tidings; and he was ordered to Aix-la-Chapelle.
the King of Prussia, assisted only by England, was assailed by a host of enemies. The Courts of Versailles, Warsaw, Vienna, and St. Petersburgh were leagued against him. The King of Sweden, Frederick's brother-in-law, thought this was a favourable opportunity to invade his dominions --and, the Russians having obtained a footing in Pomerania, he raised an army, the either army, as it happens to advance or retreat, command of which was given to Count in pursuing the operations of the campaign. It Hamilton, in order to co-operate with is impossible to express the confusion, even them. Frederic succeeded in driving both those, who call themselves our friends, create. Swedes and Russiaus from his territories-Even those from whom we expect redress, op
and the shepherd are become soldiers themselvess and help to ravage the soil they formerly cultivated. The towns are inhabited only by old men, women, and children; perhaps here and there a warrior, by wounds, or loss of limbs, ren-' dered unfit for service, left at his door; his little children hang round him, ask an history of every wound, and grow themselves soldiers before they find strength for the field. But this were no
thing, did we not feel the alternate insolence of
press us with new calamities. From your justice, therefore, it is, that we hope relief; to you,
even children and women may complain, whose humanity stoops to the meanest petition, and whose power is capable of repressing the greatest injustice.-I am, Sire, &c."
but as he had been informed that the Duke of Mecklenburgh was to have assisted the Swedes, with all the troops he could raise, in case they had been joined by the French or Russians, and that several magazines had been formed in his country for that purpose, the moment he had driven them into Stralsund, he sent a detachment of Prussian troops into the Duchy of Mecklenburgh, who not only seized the magazines, but raised contributions as if they had been in an enemy's country, the Duke himself having, upon their approach, retired to Lubeck. The Princess Charlotte, afflicted by the distresses of her country, is stated to have written in these terms to the King of Prussia:—
"MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,-I am at a loss whether I should congratulate, or condole with you on your late victory: since the same success which has covered you with laurels, has overspread the country of Mecklenburgh with desolation. I know, Sire, that it seems unbecoming my sex, in this age of vicious refinement, to feel for one's country, to lament the horrors of war, or wish for the return of peace. I know you may think it more properly my province to study the arts of pleasing, or to inspect subjects of a more domestic nature; but, however unbecoming it may be in me, I cannot resist the desire of interceding for this unhappy people.
This appeal, which soon found its way to every court in Europe, created a great sensation at the time. It was justly viewed as a very extraordinary production, coming from one so young and so inexperienced. Rumour says, that, on his Majesty, it made a deep impression. On the 8th of July, 1761, his Majesty caused his Privy Council to be specially summoned. The Council was attended by all the great officers of state-and to them his Majesty declared his intentions in the following words :
"It was but a very few years ago, that this territory wore the most pleasing appearance. The country was cultivated, the peasant looked cheerful, and the towns abounded with riches and festivity! What an alteration, at present, from such a charming scene! I am not expert at description-nor can my fancy add any horrors to the picture; but sure even conquerors themselves would weep at the hideous prospects now before me. The whole country, my dear country, lies one frightful waste, presenting only objects to excite terror, pity, and despair! The business of the husbandman and the shepherd are quite discontinued; the husbandman No. 116.-Vol. XVIII.'
"Having nothing so much at heart as to procure the welfare and happiness of my people, and to render the same stable and permanent to posterity, I have, ever since my accession to the throne, turned my thoughts towards the choice of a Princess for my consort; and I now, with great satisfaction, acquaint you, that, after the fullest information, and mature deliberation, I am come to a resolution to demand in marriage the Princess Cha lette of Mecklenburgh.Strelitz-a Princess distinguished by every eminent virtue and amiable endowment, whose illustrious line has constantly shewn the firmest zeal for the Protestant religion, and a particular attachment to my family. I have judged proper to communicate to you these my intentions, in order that you may be fully apprized of a matter so highly important to me, and to my kingdoms-and which, I persaade myself, will be most accept. able to all my loving subjects."
It will be remembered, that, at this period, the King was little more than twentythree years of age, and the Princess, whom he had chosen for a consort, was but a few months past seventeen. Immediately after the notification to the Privy Council, his
Majesty gave directions for demanding aud bringing over the Princess in a manner suitable to his own dignity, and the respect due to her Serene Highness.
Lord Harcourt was named to make the demaud of her Serene Highness: the Duchesses of Ancaster and Hamilton (the two finest women of the British court), and the Countess of Effingham, to take care of her person and Lord Anson to command a fleet that was to convoy her over to the English shore.
The fleet put to sea on the 8th of Au gust, and, on the 14th, Lord Harcourt, and the other Lords and Ladies sent on this important embassy, arrived at Strelitz.The next morning, at eleven o'clock, the Earl of Harcourt performed the ceremony of asking in form her Serene Highness in marriage for the King his master. The moment the contract of marriage was signed, the cannon fired. Her Royal Highness was afterwards complimented by the states of the country, and the deputies of the towns.
On the 17th, her Highness, accompanied by the reigning Duke, her brother, set out for Mirow, amidst the tears and prayers of all ranks of people, the poor in particular, whose zealous patroness she had always shewn herself. The 18th she arrived at Perleberg, where she was complimented by the Count de Gotter, in the name of his Prussian Majesty.
On the 19th, her Most Serene Highness continued her journey, by Leutzen, for Ghorde, where she dined twice in public, and walked in the afternoon in the park. On the 224, at seven o'clock in the evening, she arrived at Stade, under a general discharge of the cannon of that place, and amidst the acclamations of a vast number of people, both citizens and foreigners.The burgesses of Stade were assembled under arms, and lined the streets through which her Most Serene Highness passed, Some of the principal ladies of the town presented her with verses, on her Majesty's approaching nuptials, on velvet cushions. At nine o'clock the whole town was illu minated, and several triumphal arches were erected in the principal streets; on which were placed many small lamps and inscriptions, analogous to the feast. The same night their marks of public joy were
reiterated. Next morning she set out for Cuxhaven; and about ten, her Most Serene Highness embarked on board the yacht, amidst the acclamations of the people, accompanied by the Duchesses of Ancaster and Hamilton, the Earl of Harcourt, and Lord Anson. She was saluted by the whole squadron destined to convoy her to England. They were ranged on each side of the yacht. The moment she entered her cabin she saluted the officers of the different ships, who had crowded the decks in order to have the pleasure of seeing her, and were all charmed with her affable and polite behaviour.
On the 28th, the fleet, having on board her Most Serene Highness, put to sea, but as no dispatches were received from it from that time till its arrival at Harwich, the court was in some concern lest the tediousness of her voyage might affect her health; besides, the day fixed for the coronation of his Majesty, by a proclamation issued from the said council, in which his Majesty had declared his intentions to demand her Serene Highness in marriage, was drawing near, his Majesty was desirous that the ceremony of the nuptials might precede that of the coronation, so that fresh instructions, it is said, were dispatched to the Admiral to sail at all events, and to land his charge at any of the ports of Great Britain, where it could be done with safety. At length, after three different storms, and being often in sight of the English coast, and often in danger of being driven on that of Norway, the fleet, with her most Serene Highness on board, arrived at Harwich, September 6th. Her Most Serene Highness, during her tedious passage, continued in very good health and spirits, often diverting herself with playing on the harpsichord, practising English tunes, and endearing herself to those who were honoured with the care of her person.
As it was night when the fleet arrived at Harwich, her Most Serene Highness slept on board, and continued there till three in the afternoon the next day, during which time her route had been settled, and instructions received as to the manner of her proceeding to St. James's. At her landing, she was received by the Mayor and Aldermen of Harwich, in their usual formalities. About five o'clock she came
to Colchester, and stopped at the house of Mr. Enew, where she was received and waited upon by Mrs. Enew and Mrs. Rebow; but Captain Best attended her with coffee, and Lieutenant John Seabear with tea. Being thus refreshed, she proceeded to Witham, where she arrived at a quarter past seven, and stopped at Lord Abercorn's, and his Lordship provided as elegant an entertainment for her as the time would admit. During supper, the door of the room was ordered to stand open, that every body might have the pleasure of seeing her Most Serene Highness; and on each side of her chair stood the Lords Harcourt and Anson. She slept that night at his Lordship's house: and a little after twelve o'clock next day, her Highness came to Rumford, where the King's coach and servants met her; and after stopping to drink coffee at Mr. Dutton's, where the King's servants waited on her, she entered the King's coach. The attendants of her Highness were in three other coaches. In the first were some ladies of Mecklenburg, and in the last was her Serene Highness, who sat forward, and the Duchesses of Ancaster and Hamilton, backwards.
On the road she was extremely courteous to an incredible number of spectators on horse and foot, gathered on this occasion, shewing herself, and bowing to all who seemed desirous of seeing her, and ordering the coach to go extremely slow through the town and villages as she passed, that as many as would might have a full view of her.
The marriage ceremony was performed by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. The Duke of Cumberland gave her hand to his Majesty, and immediately on the joining their hands, the Park and Tower
guns were fired.
Their Majesties, after the ceremony, sat on one side of the altar on two state chairs under a canopy: her Royal Highness the Princess Dowager of Wales sat facing them on a chair of state on the ther, all the rest of the Royal Family on stools, and all the Peers, Peeresses, Bishops, and Foreign Ministers (including M. Bussy), on benches. There was afterwards a public Drawing room, but no persous presented. The houses in the cities of London and Westminster were illuminated, and the evening concluded with the utmost demonstrations of joy.
Her Majesty's figure was very pleasing, Thus they proceeded, at a tolerable pace, but her countenance, though not without to Stratford-le-Bow and Mile-end, where attraction when she smiled, could not boast they turned up Dog-row, and prosecuted any claim to beauty. It was, however, a their journey to Hackney turnpike, then well-known fact, that the King declared by Shoreditch church, and up Old-street himself satisfied with his connubial fortune. to the City-road, across Islington, along She entered at once upon the royal offices the New-road into Hyde-park, down Cou- of the drawing-room, with a most becom stitution-hill into St. James's Park, and then ing grace and easy dignity. It was a sinto the garden-gate of the Palace, where gular occurrence, that the first play she saw she was received by all the Royal Family. was the Rehearsal, in which Mr. Garrick, She was handed out of the coach by the in his inimitable representation of the chaDuke of York, and met in the garden byracter of Bayes, kept the King, the courhis Majesty, who, in a very affectionate manner, raised her up, and saluted her, as she was going to pay her obeisance, and then led her into the Palace, where she dined with his Majesty, the Princess Dow
tiers, and the audience in a continual roar but which, from the construction of the piece, it was not possible to explain to her Majesty.
She was popular when Lord Bute's ad
ager, and the rest of the Royal Family,ministration had rendered the King very except the two youngest. After dinner, much the reverse. She gave beautiful
children to the country. She interested the people of England as a fruitful mother; and was considered with general regard as a domestic woman; so much so, that Colonel Barre, then a violent opposition speaker, delivered a very splendid eulogium on her "mild, tender, and unassuming virtues."
The leaden coffin, in which the remains of her late Majesty are to be deposited, is lined with wood. The inside, consisting of a bed, pillow, sheet, and side linings, are of the richest plain white satin, with a full fluted trimming all round of the same, the whole being solemnly and magnificently fitted up. The following is the inscription which is placed on the coffin:Depositum
Serenissimæ Principissæ Charlottæ Dei gratia
Georgii Tertii Dei gratia Britanniarum Regis
Anno Domini MDCCCXVIII.
Etatis suæ LXXV.
One of the first acts of her Majesty's benevolence was the forming an establishment for the daughters of decayed gentlemen, or orphans. A house and grounds were purchased in Bedfordshire, and a lady, of high attainments, placed therein, at a salary of five hundred pounds per annum, to instruct the pupils in embroidery, &c. They were taken in at fifteen years of age.
The following is the translation :
Herein are the remains
Of the most Serene Princess Charlotte, by the The produce of their labour was converted
Grace of God,
into ornaments for window-curtains, chairs, sofas, and bed-furnitures, for Windsor Castle and her own palace.
Queen Consort of the most august and
George the Third, by the Grace of God,
And Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg.
One of the most esteemed and conspicuous traits of the late Queen's character, was the strictness with which she consulted the moral decency of her Court. Her fine reply to Lady, when soliciting her Majesty for permission to present Lady and when refused, saying, she did not know what to tell her disappointed friend, will long be remembered and repeated "Tell her," said the Queen, " you did not dare to ask me."
Windsor. Happy to contemplate the en joyment of the common people, she, on that occasion, walked into the midst of the jocund scene. She approached the fires by which the ox and the sheep, distributed amongst the populace, were roasted—surveyed the whole of the arrangements—and graciously received and partook of the meat and the pudding, which the ambitious loyalty of the Bachelors presumed to offer to the consort of their monarch. The cheerful good-humour with which she viewed the whole of the proceedings, com pleted the triumph of that memorable day; and her grand fête given at Frogmore the saine evening, to which the inhabitants of the town of Windsor were generally invited, closed the festive scene with appro priate splendour, aud a truly noble display of royal munificence.
The condescending kindness with which her Majesty graced with her presence the exhibition of Bachelors' Acre, in 1809, is not yet forgotten by the inhabitants of
It was an express injunction, which accompanied every act of benevolence on the part of her Majesty, that it should be kept secret. To each nurse of her children she gave a pension of two hundred pounds a year, as well as to several of their sons. Among the many instances of her charity, we may select the following:-Her Majesty took charge of, and educated the orphan child of an officer who died in the West Indies. The child was brought to England by the serjeant of the regiment. The Queen's notice was attracted by an advertisement in the public papers, from the serjeant. Her Majesty not only educated this child, but caused him to be amply provided for. It is a fact, equally known, that the Queen took under her protection the widow of an officer killed at Bunker's hill, and educated the son.
On one occasion a female presented a pe tition to her Majesty: she was a stranger.