24 APRIL 1886, Page 16


Slit,—My attention has been called to the notice of "Mary Frampton's Journal " in the Spectator of April 10th, which renews in the grossest terms the charge against the memory

of Mrs. Fitzherbert. It is exactly thirty years ago since my father published the "Memoirs of Mrs. Fitzherbert" (Bentley, 1856), to meet the version of the story which had then recently appeared in Lord Holland's " Memoirs of the Whig Party," and established the fact that she was married to the Prince of Wales, by a Protestant clergyman, at Brighton, on December 21st, 1785. The papers and documents referred to in it are now in my possession, and are, I believe, all that exist on the subject, except those to which allusion is made in the formal agreement drawn up and signed in 1833 between Mrs. Fitz- herbert on the one part, and the Duke of Wellington and Sir William Knighton, executors of the late King George IV, on the other. By that agreement, both parties bind themselves " that each will destroy all papers and documents in the possession of either, signed or written by Mrs. Fitzherbert or by her directions, or signed or written by the late King, when Prince of Wales or King of Great Britain, or by his command, &c.„ with the exception of those hereafter mentioned viz., such papers and documents as Mrs. Fitzherbert shall wish to keep, which shall be sealed up under the seals of the Duke of Wellington and Sir William Knighton, and of the Earl of Albemarle and Lord Stourton, and be lodged at the bank of Messrs. Coutts, at the disposition of the Earl of Albemarle and Lord Stourton." Mrs. Fitzherbert died in 1837, and Lord Stourton then thought it his duty to apply to his co-trustee, the Earl of Albemarle, to open the packet. The latter refused at the- time, but sent the following note, with a list of the papers and documents retained by Mrs. Fitzherbert :— " Berkeley Square, Tune 5th, 1837.

" thus LORD STOURTON,—I hope the words of the endorsement, of which I forward a copy, will fully answer the object desired.—Very faithfully yours, ALBEMARLE.

"1. The mortgage on the palace at Brighton. 2. The certificate of the marriage, dated December 21st, 1785. 3. Letter from the late King relating to the marriage e signed George IV.') 4. Will written by the late King (George IV.) 5. Memorandum written by Mrs. Fitzherbert, attached to a letter written by the clergyman who. performed the marriage ceremony."

On a renewed application from Lord Stourton to Lord Albe- merle in 1811, the latter conveyed his own and the Dake of Wellington's refusal, giving as a reason, "that there was not• now, nor had there been, any attack on Mrs. Fitzherbert's repu- tation. Did any appear in any quarter, he (the Duke) would be•

eager in joining us to repel it."

When preparing the memoirs for publication in 1855, my father,.

as trustee for Lord Stonrton, once more applied to the repre- sentative of Lord Albemarle to open the packet, and his request. was refused. I presume, therefore, it remains in the possession•. of Messrs. Coutts. Your readers will, however, I think, agree,

after reading what I have briefly stated, that the lady's memory is sufficiently vindicated without them.—I am, Sir, &c.,


[Where is the grossness P Mrs. Fitzherbert was incidentally called the Prince's mistress.—En. Spectator.]