Part 2 out of 6
twenty or thirty years, unless in the case of Turner, who had entered
some time before on the third period of his work, the period marked by
defiance and recklessness as well as by noble power.
INSTALLATION OF PRINCE ALBERT AS CHANCELLOR OF CAMBRIDGE.
One thousand eight hundred and forty-seven began with the climax of
the terrible famine in Ireland, and the Highlands, produced by the
potato disease, which, commencing in 1845, had reappeared even more
disastrously in 1846. In the Queen's speech in opening Parliament, she
alluded to the famine in the land with a perceptibly sad fall of her
In spite of bad trade and bad times everywhere, two millions were
advanced by the Government for the relief of the perishing people, fed
on doles of Indian meal; yet the mortality in the suffering districts
In February, 1847, Lord Campbell describes an amusing scene in the
Queen's closet. "I had an audience, that her Majesty might prick a
sheriff for the county of Lancaster, which she did in proper style,
with the bodkin I put into her hand. I then took her pleasure about
some Duchy livings and withdrew, forgetting to make her sign the
parchment roll. I obtained a second audience, and explained the
mistake. While she was signing, Prince Albert said to me, 'Pray, my
lord, when did this ceremony of pricking begin?' CAMPBELL. 'In ancient
times, sir, when sovereigns did not know now to write their names.'
QUEEN, as she returned me the roll with her signature, 'But we now
show we have been to school.'" In the course of the next month his
lordship gives a lively account of dining along with his wife and
daughter at Buckingham Palace. "On our arrival, a little before eight,
we were shown into the picture gallery, where the company assembled.
Bowles, who acted as master of the ceremonies, arranged what gentlemen
should take what lady. He said, 'Dinner is ordered to be on the table
at ten minutes past eight, but I bet you the Queen will not be here
till twenty or twenty-five minutes after. She always thinks she can
dress in ten minutes, but she takes about double the time.' True
enough, it was nearly twenty-five minutes past eight before she
appeared; she shook hands with the ladies, bowed to the gentlemen, and
proceeded to the _salle � manger_. I had to take in Lady Emily de
Burgh, and was third on her Majesty's right, Prince Edward of Saxe-
Weimar and my partner being between us. The greatest delicacy we had
was some very nice oat-cake. There was a Highland piper standing
behind her Majesty's chair, but he did not play as at State dinners.
We had likewise some Edinburgh ale. The Queen and the ladies
withdrawing, Prince Albert came over to her side of the table, and we
remained behind about a quarter of an hour, but we rose within the
hour from the time of our sitting down to dinner.... On returning to
the gallery we had tea and coffee. The Queen came up and talked to me.
She does the honours of the palace with infinite grace and sweetness,
and considering what she is both in public and domestic life, I do not
think she is sufficiently loved and respected. Prince Albert took me
to task for my impatience to get into the new House of Lords, but I
think I pacified him, complimenting his taste. A dance followed. The
Queen chiefly delighted in a romping sort of country-dance, called the
_Temp�te_. She withdrew a little before twelve."
The beginning of the season in London was marked by two events in the
theatrical and operatic world. Fanny Kemble (Mrs. Pierce Butler)
reappeared on the stage, and was warmly welcomed back. Jenny Lind sang
for the first time in London at the Italian Opera House in the part of
"Alice" in _Roberto il Diavolo_, and enchanted the audience with
her unrivalled voice and fine acting.
In the month of May, in the middle of the Irish distress, the great
agitator of old, Daniel O'Connell, died in his seventy-second year, on
his way to Rome. The news of his death was received in Ireland as only
one drop more in the full cup of national misery. In the same month of
May another and a very different orator, Dr. Chalmers, the great
impassioned Scotch divine, philosopher, and philanthropist, one of the
leaders in the disruption from the Church of Scotland, died in
Edinburgh, in his sixty-eighth year.
Prince Albert had been elected Chancellor of Cambridge University--a
well-deserved compliment, which afforded much gratification both to
the Queen and the Prince. They went down to Cambridge in July for the
ceremony of the installation, which was celebrated with all scholarly
state and splendour.
"The Hall of Trinity was the scene of the ceremony for which the visit
was paid. Her Majesty occupied a chair of state on a dais. The
Chancellor, the Prince in his official robes, supported by the Duke of
Wellington, Chancellor of Oxford, the Bishop of Oxford, the Vice-
Chancellor of Cambridge, and the Heads of the Houses entered, and the
Chancellor read an address to her Majesty congratulatory on her
arrival. Her Majesty made a gracious reply and the Prince retired with
the usual profound obeisances, a proceeding which caused her Majesty
some amusement," so says the _Annual Register_. This part of the
day's proceedings seems to have made a lively impression on those who
Bishop Wilberforce gives his testimony. "The Cambridge scene was very
interesting. There was such a burst of loyalty, and it told so on the
Queen and Prince. E--- would not then have thought that he looked
cold. It was quite clear that they both felt it as something new that
he had earned, and not she given, a true English honour; and so he
looked so pleased and she so triumphant. There was also some such
pretty interludes when he presented the address, and she beamed upon
him and once half smiled, and then covered the smile with a gentle
dignity, and then she said in her clear musical voice, 'The choice
which the University has made of its Chancellor _has my most entire
approbation_.'" The Queen records in her Diary, "I cannot say how
it agitated and embarrassed me to have to receive this address and
hear it read by my beloved Albert, who walked in at the head of the
University, and who looked dear and beautiful in his robes, which were
carried by Colonel Phipps and Colonel Seymour. Albert went through it
all admirably, almost absurd, however, as it was for us. He gave me
the address and I read the answer, and a few kissed hands, and then
Albert retired with the University."
After luncheon a Convocation was held in the Senate House, at which
the Queen was present as a visitor. The Prince, as Chancellor,
received her at the door, and led her to the seat prepared for her.
"He sat covered in his Chancellor's chair. There was a perfect roar of
applause," which we are told was only tamed down within the bounds of
sanity by the dulness of the Latin oration, delivered by the public
orator. Besides the princes already mentioned, and several noblemen
and gentlemen, Sir George Grey, Sir Harry Smith (of Indian fame), Sir
Roderick Murchison, and Professor Muller, received university honours.
Her Majesty and the new Chancellor dined with the Vice-Chancellor at
Catherine Hall--probably selected for the honour because it was a
small college, and could only accommodate a select party. After dinner
her Majesty attended a concert in the Senate House--an entertainment
got up in order to afford the Cambridge public another opportunity of
seeing their Queen. Later the Prince went to the Observatory, and her
Majesty walked in the cool of the evening in the little garden of
Trinity Lodge, with her two ladies.
The following day the royal party again went to the Senate House, the
Prince receiving the Queen, and conducting her as before to her seat.
With the accompaniment of a tremendous crowd, great heat, and thunders
of applause, the prize poems were read, and the medals distributed by
the Prince. Then came the time for the "Installation Ode," written at
the Prince's request by Wordsworth, the poet laureate, set to music,
and sung in Trinity Hall in the presence of the Queen and Prince
Albert with great effect. Poetry, of all created things, can least be
made to order; yet the ode had many fine passages and telling lines,
besides the recommendation claimed for it by Baroness Bunsen: "The
Installation Ode I thought quite affecting, because the selection of
striking points was founded on fact, and all exaggeration and humbug
The poem touched first on what was so prominent a feature in the
history of Europe in the poet's youth--the evil of unrighteous and the
good of righteous war, identifying the last with the successes of
England when Napoleon was overthrown.
Such is Albion's fame and glory,
Let rescued Europe tell the story
Then the measure changes to a plaintive strain.
But lo! what sudden cloud has darkened all
The land as with a funeral pall?
The rose of England suffers blight,
The flower has drooped, the isle's delight
Flower and bud together fall,
A nation's hopes he crushed in Claremont's desolate hall
Hope and cheer return to the song.
Time a chequered mantle wears,
Earth awakes from wintry sleep,
Again the tree a blossom bears
Cease, Britannia, cease to weep,
Hark to the peals on this bright May morn,
They tell that your future Queen is born
A little later is the fine passage--
Time in his mantle's sunniest fold
Uplifted on his arms the child,
And while the fearless infant smiled
Her happy destiny foretold
Infancy, by wisdom mild,
Trained to health and artless beauty,
Youth by pleasure unbeguiled
From the lore of lofty duty,
Womanhood, in pure renown
Seated on her lineal throne,
Leaves of myrtle in her crown
Fresh with lustre all their own,
Love, the treasure worth possessing
More than all the world beside,
This shall be her choicest blessing,
Oft to royal hearts denied.
After a brief period of rest, which meant a little quiet "reading,
writing, working, and drawing"--a far better sedative for excited
nerves than entire idleness--the Queen and the Prince attended a
flower-show in the grounds of Downing College, walking round the
gardens and entering into all the six tents, "a very formidable
undertaking, for the heat was beyond endurance and the crowd fearful."
In the evening there was a great dinner in Trinity Hall. "Splendid did
that great hall look," is Baroness Bunsen's admiring exclamation;
"three hundred and thirty people at various tables ... the Queen and
her immediate suite at a table at the raised end of the hall, all the
rest at tables lengthways. At the Queen's table the names were put on
the places, and anxious was the moment before one could find one's
place." Then the Queen gave a reception in Henry VIII.'s drawing-room,
when the masters, professors and doctors, with their wives, were
presented. When the reception was over, at ten o'clock, in the soft
dim dusk, a little party again stole out, to see with greater leisure
and privacy those noble trees and hoary buildings. Her Majesty tells
us the pedestrians were in curious costumes: "Albert in his dress-coat
with a mackintosh over it, I in my evening dress and diadem, and with
a veil over my head, and the two princes in their uniforms, and the
ladies in their dresses and shawls and veils. We walked through the
small garden, and could not at first find our way, after which we
discovered the right road, and walked along the beautiful avenues of
lime-trees in the grounds of St. John's College, along the water and
over the bridges. All was so pretty and picturesque, in particular the
one covered bridge of St. John's College, which is like the Bridge of
Sighs at Venice. We stopped to listen to the distant hum of the town;
and nothing seemed wanting but some singing, which everywhere but here
in this country we should have heard. A lattice opened, and we could
fancy a lady appearing and listening to a serenade."
Shade of quaint old Fuller! thou who hast described with such gusto
Queen Elizabeth's five days' stay at Cambridge, what wouldst thou not
have given, hadst thou lived in the reign of Victoria, to have been in
her train this night? Shades more formidable of good Queen Bess
herself, Bluff King Hal, Margaret Countess of Richmond, and that other
unhappy Margaret of Anjou, what would you have said of this simple
ramble? In truth it was a scene from the world of romance, even
without the music and the lady at the lattice. An ideal Queen and an
ideal Prince, a thin disguise over the tokens of their magnificence,
stealing out with their companions, like so many ghosts, to enjoy
common sights and experiences and the little thrill of adventure in
the undetected deed.
On the last morning there was a public breakfast in the grounds of
Trinity College, attended by thousands of the county gentry of Cambridge
and Lincolnshire. "At one the Queen set out through the cloisters and
hall and library of Trinity College, to pass through the gardens and
avenues, which had been connected for the occasion by a temporary bridge
over the river, with those of St. John's." Madame Bunsen and her
companions followed her Majesty, and had the best opportunity of seeing
everything, and in particular "the joyous crowd that grouped among the
noble trees." The Queen ate her _d�jeuner_ in one of the tents, and on
her return to Trinity Lodge, she and Prince Albert left Cambridge at
three o'clock for London. Baroness Bunsen winds up her graphic
descriptions with the statement, "I could still tell much of Cambridge--
of the charm of its 'trim gardens,' of how the Queen looked and was
pleased, and how well she was dressed, and how perfect in grace and
THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO THE WESTERN ISLANDS OP SCOTLAND AND STAY AT
On the 11th of August her Majesty and Prince Albert, with the Prince
of Wales, the Princess Royal, and the Prince of Leiningen, attended by
a numerous suite, left Osborne in the royal yacht for Scotland. They
followed a new route and succeeded, in spite of the fogs in the
Channel, in reaching the Scilly Isles. The voyage, to begin with, was
not a pleasant one. There had been a rough swell on the sea as well as
fogs off shore. The children, and especially the Queen, on this
occasion suffered from sea-sickness. However, her Majesty landed on
the tiny island of St. Mary's.
As the royal party approached Wales the sea became calmer and the
sailing enjoyable. The yacht and its companions lay in the great
harbour of Milford Haven, under the reddish-brown cliffs. Prince
Albert and the Prince of Leiningen went to Pembroke, while the Queen
sat on the deck and sketched.
On a beautiful Sunday the Queen sailed through the Menai Straits in
the _Fairy_, when the sight of "Snowdon rising splendidly in the
middle of the fields and woods was glorious." The "grand old Castle of
Caernarvon" attracted attention; so did Plas Newydd, where her Majesty
had spent six weeks, when she had visited Wales as Princess Victoria,
in one of her girlish excursions with the Duchess of Kent. The Isle of
Man, with the town of Douglas, surmounted by bold hills and cliffs, a
castle and a lighthouse, looked abundantly picturesque, but the
landing there was reserved for the return of the voyagers, though it
was on this occasion that a tripping Manxman described Prince Albert,
in a local newspaper, as leading the Prince Regent by the hand; a slip
which drew from the Prince the gay rejoinder that "usually one has a
regent for an infant, but in Man it seems to be precisely the
The Mull of Galloway was the first Scotch land that was sighted, and
just before entering Loch Ryan the huge rock, Ailsa Craig, with its
moving clouds of sea-fowl, rose to view.
Arran and Goatfell, Bute and the Bay of Rothesay, were alike hailed
with delight. But the islands were left behind for the moment, till
more was seen of the Clyde, and Greenock, of sugar-refining and boat-
building fame, was reached. It was her Majesty's first visit to the
west coast of Scotland, and Glasgow poured "down the water" her
magistrates, her rich merchants, her stalwart craftsmen, her swarms
from the Gorbels and the Saut Market, the Candle-rigs and the Guse-
dibs. Multitudes lined the quays. No less than forty steamers over-
filled with passengers struggled zealously in the wake of royalty.
"Amidst boats and ships of every description moving in all
directions," the little _Fairy_ cut its way through, bound for
On the Queen's return to Greenock she sailed past Roseneath, and
followed the windings of Loch Long, getting a good view of the
Cobbler, the rugged mountain which bears a fantastic resemblance to a
man mending a shoe. At the top of the loch, Ben Lomond came in sight.
"There was no sun, and twice a little mist; but still it was
beautiful," wrote the Queen.
On "a bright fresh morning" in August, when the hills were just
"slightly tipped with clouds," the Queen sailed through the Kyles of
Bute, that loveliest channel between overtopping mountains, and
entered Loch Fyne, another fine arm of the sea, of herring celebrity.
A Highland welcome awaited the Queen at the little landing-place of
Inverary, made gay and fragrant with heather. Old friends, whom she
was honouring by her presence, waited to receive her, the Duke and
Duchess of Argyle--the latter the eldest daughter of the Duchess of
Sutherland, who was also present with her son, Lord Stafford, her
unmarred daughter, Lady Caroline Leveson-Gower, and her son-in-law and
second daughter, Lord and Lady Blantyre. An innocent warder stood in
front of the old feudal keep. In the course of the Queen's visit to
Germany she had made the acquaintance, without dreaming of what lay
concealed in the skirts of time, of one of her future sons-in-law in a
fine little boy of eight years. Now her Majesty was to be introduced,
without a suspicion of what would be the result of the introduction,
to the coming husband of another daughter still unborn. Here is the
Queen's description of the son and heir of the house of Argyle, who
was yet to win a princess for his bride. "Outside, stood the Marquis
of Lorne, just two years old--a dear, white, fat, fair little fellow,
with reddish hair but very delicate features, like both his mother and
father; he is such a merry, independent little child. He had a black
velvet dress and jacket, with a 'sporran,' scarf, and Highland
Her Majesty lunched at the castle, "the Highland gentlemen standing
with halberts in the room," and returned to the _Fairy_, sailing
down Loch Fyne when the afternoon was at its mellowest, and the long
shadows were falling across the hillsides. At five Lochgilphead was
reached, when Sir John Orde lent his carriage to convey the visitors
to the Crinan Canal. The next day's sail, in beautiful weather still,
was through the clusters of the nearest of the western islands, up the
Sound of Jura, amidst a flotilla of small boats crowned with flags.
Here were fresh islands and mountain peaks, until the strangers were
within hail of Staffa.
It is not always that an approach to this northern marvel of nature is
easy or even practicable; but fortune favours the brave. Her Majesty
has described the landing. "At three we anchored close before Staffa,
and immediately got into the barge, with Charles, the children, and
the rest of our people, and rowed towards the cave. As we rounded the
point the wonderful basaltic formation came into sight. The appearance
it presents is most extraordinary, and when we turned the corner to go
into the renowned Fingal's Cave the effect was splendid, like a great
entrance into a vaulted hall; it looked almost awful as we entered,
and the barge heaved up and down on the swell of the sea. It is very
high, but not longer than two hundred and twenty-seven feet, and
narrower than I expected, being only forty feet wide. The sea is
immensely deep in the cave. The rocks under water were all colours--
pink, blue, and green, which had a most beautiful and varied effect.
It was the first time the British standard, with a queen of Great
Britain and her husband and children, had ever entered Fingal's Cave,
and the men gave three cheers, which sounded very impressive there."
On the following day the Atlantic rains had found the party, though
for the present the affliction was temporary. It poured for three
hours, during which her Majesty drew and painted in her cabin. The
weather cleared in the afternoon; sitting on the deck was again
possible, and Loch Linnhe, Loch Eil, and the entrance to Loch Leven
were not lost.
At Fort William the Queen was to quit the yacht and repair to the
summer quarters of Ardverikie. Before doing so she recorded her regret
that "this delightful voyage and tour among the western lochs and
isles is at an end; they are so beautiful and so full of poetry and
romance, traditions and historical associations."
Rain again, more formidable than before, on Saturday, the 21st of
August. It was amidst a hopeless drenching drizzle, which blots out
the chief features of a landscape, that the Queen went ashore, to find
"a great gathering of Highlanders in their different tartans" met to
do her honour. Frasers, Forbeses, Mackenzies, Grants, replaced
Campbells, Macdonalds, Macdougals, and Macleans. By a wild and lonely
carriage-road, the latter part resembling Glen Tilt, her Majesty
reached her destination.
Ardverikie, which claimed to have been a hunting-seat of Fergus, king
of the Scots, was a shooting lodge belonging to Lord George Bentinck,
rented from him by the Marquis of Abercorn, and lent by the marquis to
the Queen. It has since been burnt down. It was rustic, as a shooting
lodge should be, very much of a large cottage in point of
architecture, the bare walls of the principal rooms characteristically
decorated with rough sketches by Landseer, among them a drawing of
"The Stag at Bay," and the whole house bristling with stags' horns of
great size and perfection. In front of the house lay Loch Laggan,
eight miles in length.
The Queen remained at Ardverikie for four weeks, and doubtless would
have enjoyed the wilds thoroughly, had it not been for the lowest deep
of persistently bad weather, when "it not only rained and blew, but
snowed by way of variety."
Lord Campbell heard and wrote down these particulars of the royal stay
at Ardverikie. "The Queen was greatly delighted with the Highlands in
spite of the bad weather, and was accustomed to sally for a walk in
the midst of a heavy rain, putting a great hood ever her bonnet, and
showing nothing of her features but her eyes. The Prince's invariable
return to luncheon about two o'clock, in spite of grouse-shooting and
deer-stalking, is explained by his voluntary desire to please the
Queen, and by the intense hunger which always assails him at this
hour, when he likes, in German fashion, to make his dinner."
In a continuance of the most dismally unpropitious weather, the Queen
and her children left Ardverikie on the 17th of September, the Prince
having preceded her for a night that he might visit Inverness and the
Caledonian Canal. The storm continued, almost without intermission,
during the whole of the voyage home.
THE FRENCH FUGITIVES--THE PEOPLE'S CHARTER.
Long before the autumn of 1847, the mischievous consequences of the
railway mania, complicated by the failure of the potato crop, showed
itself in great bankruptcies in the large towns all over the country.
The new year came with trouble on its wings. The impending storm burst
all over Europe, first in France. Louis Philippe's dynasty was
In pairs or singly, sometimes wandering aside in a little distraction,
so as to be lost sight of for days, the numerous brothers and sisters,
with the parent pair, reached Dreux and Eu, and thence, with the
exception of the Duchesse d'Orleans and her sons, straggled to
One can guess the feelings of the Queen and Prince Albert when they
heard that their late hosts, doubly allied to them by kindred ties,
were fugitives, seeking refuge from the hospitality of a foreign
nation. And the first confused tidings of the French revolution which
reached the Queen and Prince Albert were rendered more trying, by the
almost simultaneous announcement of the death of the old Dowager-
Duchess of Gotha, to whom all her grandchildren were so much attached.
The ex-King and Queen arrived at Newhaven, Louis Philippe bearing the
name of Mr. Smith. Queen Victoria had already written to King Leopold
on the 1st of March: "About the King and Queen (Louis Philippe and
Queen Am�lie) we still know nothing.... We do everything we can for
the poor family, who are, indeed, sorely to be pitied. But you will
naturally understand that we cannot make common cause with them, and
cannot take a hostile position to the new state of things in France.
We leave them alone; but if a Government which has the approbation of
the country be formed, we shall feel it necessary to recognise it in
order to pin them down to maintain peace and the existing treaties,
which is of the greatest importance. It will not be pleasant to do
this, but the public good and the peace of Europe go before one's
As soon as it could be arranged under the circumstances, the Queen had
an interview with the exiles. What a meeting after the last parting,
and all that had come to pass in the interval! This interview took
place on the 6th of March, when Louis Philippe came privately to
The same intelligent chronicler, Lady Lyttelton, who gave such a
graphic account of the Citizen-King's first visit to Windsor, had also
to photograph the second. Once more she uses with reason the word
"historical." "To-day is historical, Louis Philippe having come from
Claremont to pay a private (_very_ private) visit to the Queen.
She is really enviable now, to have in her power and in her path of
duty, such a boundless piece of charity and beneficent hospitality.
The reception by the _people_ of England of all the fugitives has
been beautifully kind."
That day the Queen wrote sadly to Baron Stockmar: "I am quite well;
indeed, particularly so, though God knows we have had since the 25th
enough for a whole life--anxiety, sorrow, excitement; in short, I feel
as if we had jumped over thirty years' experience at once. The whole
face of Europe is changed, and I feel as if I lived in a dream." She
added, with the tenderness of a generous nature, referring to the very
different circumstances in which her regard for the Orleans house had
been established, and to the alienation which had arisen between her
and some of its members: "You know my love for the family; you know
how I longed to get of terms with them again ... and you said, 'Time
will alone, but will certainly, bring it about.' Little did I dream
that this would be the way we should meet again and see each other,
all in the most friendly way. That the Duchesse de Montpensier, about
whom we have been quarrelling for the last year, and a half, should be
here as a fugitive and dressed in the clothes I sent her, and should
come to thank _me for my kindness_, is a reverse of fortune which
no novelist would devise, and upon which one could moralise for ever."
It was a comfort to the Queen and Prince Albert that Belgium, which
had at first appeared in the greatest danger, ended by standing almost
alone on the side of its King and Government.
The tide of revolution, which swept over the greater states, did not
spare the small. The Duke of Coburg-Gotha's subjects, who had seemed
so happily situated and so contented at the time of the Queen's visit,
were in a ferment like the rest of their countrymen. Bellona's hot
breath was in danger of withering the flowers of that Arcadia. The
Princes of Leiningen and Hohenlohe, the Queen's brother and brother-
in-law, were practically dispossessed of seigneurial rights and lands,
and ruined. The Princess of Hohenlohe wrote to her sister: "We are
undone, and must begin a new existence of privations, which I don't
care for, but for poor Ernest" (her husband) "I feel it more than I
In the meantime, on the 18th of March a fourth English Princess was
born. There was more than usual congratulation on the safety and well-
being of mother and child, because of the great shocks which had tried
the Queen previously, and the anxiety which filled all thoughtful
minds for the result of the crisis in England. Her Majesty's courage
rose to the occasion. She wrote to King Leopold in little more than a
fortnight: "I heard all that passed, and my only thoughts and talk
were political. But I never was calmer or quieter, or less nervous.
Great events make one calm; it is only trifles that irritate my
England had its own troubles and was in high excitement about an
increased grant of money for the support of the army and navy, and the
continuance of the income-tax. The Chartists threatened to make a
great demonstration on Kennington Common.
The first threat in London, for the 13th of March, a few days before
the birth of the little Princess, ended in utter failure. The happy
termination was assisted by the state of the weather, great falls of
rain anticipating the work of large bodies of police prepared to
scatter the crowd. But as another demonstration, with the avowed
intention of walking in procession to present to the House of Commons
a monster petition, miles long, for the granting of the People's
Charter, was announced to take place on the 10th of April, great
uncertainty, and agitation filled the public mind. It was judged
advisable that the Queen should go to the Isle of Wight for a short
stay at Osborne, though it was still not more than three weeks since
The second demonstration collapsed like the first. Only a fraction--
not more than twenty-three thousand of the vast multitude expected to
appear--assembled at the meeting-place, and the people dispersed
quietly. But it is only necessary to mention the precautions employed
to show how great had been the alarm. The Duke of Wellington devised
and conducted the steps which were taken beforehand. On the bridges
were massed bodies of foot and horse police, and special constables,
of whom nearly two hundred thousand--one of them Prince Louis
Napoleon, the future Emperor of the French--are said to have been
sworn in. In the immediate neighbourhood of each bridge strong forces
of military, while kept out of sight, were ready "for instant
movement." Two regiments of the line were at Millbank Penitentiary,
twelve hundred infantry at Deptford Dockyard, and thirty pieces of
heavy field ordnance at the Tower prepared for transport by hired
steamers to any spot where help might be required. Bodies of troops
were posted in unexpected quarters, as in the area of the untenanted
Rose Inn yard, but within call. The public offices at Somerset House
and in the City were liberally supplied with arms. Places like the
Bank of England were "packed" with troops and artillery, and furnished
with sand-bag parapets for their walls, and wooden barricades with
loopholes for firing through, for their windows.
"Thank God," her Majesty wrote to the King of the Belgians, "the
Chartist meeting and procession have turned out a complete failure.
The loyalty of the people at large, has been very striking, and their
indignation at their peace being interfered with by such wanton and
worthless men immense."
Never was cheerfulness more wanted to lighten a burden of work and
care. In this year of trouble "no less than twenty-eight thousand
dispatches were received or sent out from the Foreign Office." All
these dispatches came to the Queen and Prince Albert, as well as to
Lord Palmerston, the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Across the Channel the inflammatory speeches and writings of Messrs.
Mitchel, Meagher, and Smith O'Brien became so treasonable in tone
that, after the passing of a Bill in Parliament for the better
repression of sedition, the three Irish leaders were arrested and
brought to trial, the jury refusing to commit in the case of Meagher
and Smith O'Brien, but in that of Mitchel, who was tried separately,
finding him guilty, and sentencing him to transportation for fourteen
On the 2nd of May the Court returned to Buckingham Palace, and the
baptism of the infant princess took place on the 13th, in the private
chapel of Buckingham Palace, when the Archbishop of Canterbury
officiated. The sponsors were Duke Augustus of Mecklenburg-Schwerin,
represented by Prince Albert, and the Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen and
the Grand-Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, represented by the Queen-
dowager and the Duchess of Cambridge. The names given to the child
were, "Louise Caroline Alberta," the first and last for the child's
grandmother on the father's side and for the royal father himself. A
chorale was performed, which the Prince had adapted from an earlier
composition written to the hymn--
In life's gay morn, ere sprightly youth
By vice and folly is enslaved,
Oh! may thy Maker's glorious name
Be on thy infant mind engraved;
So shall no shades of sorrow cloud
The sunshine of thy early days,
But happiness, in endless round,
Shall still encompass all thy ways.
Bishop Wilberforce describes the scene. "The royal christening was a
very beautiful sight, in its highest sense of that word 'beauty.' The
Queen, with the five royal children around her, the Prince of Wales
and Princess Royal hand-in-hand, all kneeling down quietly and meekly
at every prayer, and the little Princess Helena alone, just standing,
and looking round with the blue eyes of gazing innocence."
When the statues of the royal children were executed by Mrs.
Thornycroft, Princess Helena was modelled as Peace. The engraving is a
representation of the graceful piece of sculpture, in which a slender
young girl, wearing a long loose robe and having sandalled feet, holds
the usual emblematic branch and cluster--one in each hand.
As one Princess was born, another of a former generation, whose birth
had been hailed with equal rejoicing, passed away, on the 27th of May,
immediately after the Birthday Drawing-room. Princess Sophia, the
youngest surviving daughter and twelfth child of George III. and Queen
Charlotte, died in her arm-chair in the drawing-room of her house at
Kensington, aged seventy-one. At her own request she was buried at
Kensal Green, where the Duke of Sussex was interred.
THE QUEEN'S FIRST STAY AT BALMORAL.
From France, in June, came the grievous news of the three days'
fighting in the streets of Paris, because no Government provision
could secure work and bread for the artisans. The insurrection was
only put down by martial law under the Dictator, General Cavaignac.
In Sardinia the King, Charles Albert, fighting gallantly against the
Austrian rule, was defeated once and again, and driven back.
In England, though the most swaggering of the Chartists still
blustered a little, attention could be given to more peaceful
concerns. In July Prince Albert went to York, though he could "ill be
spared" from the Queen's side in those days of startling events and
foreign turmoil, to be present at a meeting of the Royal Agricultural
Society, of which he had been governor for half-a-dozen years. The
acclamations with which the Prince was received, were only the echo of
the tempest of cheers which greeted and encouraged her Majesty every
time she appeared in public this year.
In August strong measures had again to be taken in Ireland. These
included the gathering together of a great military force in the
disturbed districts, and the assemblage of a fleet of war-steamers on
the coast. As in the previous instance, little or no resistance was
offered. In the course of a few days the former leaders, Meagher,
Smith O'Brien, and Mitchel, were arrested. They were brought to trial
in Dublin, convicted of high treason, and sentenced to death--a
sentence commuted into transportation for life.
The Queen had the pleasure of finding her brother, the Prince of
Leiningen, appointed head of the department of foreign affairs in the
short-lived Frankfort assembly of the German states. It showed at
least the respect in which he was held by his countrymen.
On the 5th of September the Queen went in person to prorogue
Parliament, which had sat for ten months. The ceremony took place in
the new House of Lords. There was an unusually large and brilliant
company present on this occasion, partly to admire the "lavish paint
and gilding," the stained-glass windows, with likenesses of kings and
queens, and Dyce's and Maclise's frescoes, partly to enjoy the
emphatically-delivered sentence in the royal speech, in which the
Queen acknowledged, "with grateful feelings, the many marks of loyalty
and attachment which she had received from all classes of her people."
The Queen and the Prince, with three of their children and the suite,
sailed from Woolwich for a new destination in Scotland--a country-
house or little castle, which they had so far made their own, since
the Prince, acting on the advice of Sir James Clark, the Queen's
physician, had acquired the lease from the Earl of Aberdeen.
The royal party were in Aberdeen Harbour at eight o'clock in the
morning of the 7th September. On the 8th Balmoral was reached. The
first impression was altogether agreeable. Her Majesty has described
the place, as it appeared to her, in her Journal. "We arrived at
Balmoral at a quarter to three. It is a pretty little castle in the
old Scottish style. There is a picturesque tower and garden in the
front, with a high wooded hill; at the back there is a wood down to
the _Dee_, and the hills rise all around."
During the first stay of the Court at Balmoral, the Queen has
chronicled the ascent of a mountain. On Saturday, the 16th of
September, as early as half-past nine in the morning, her Majesty and
Prince Albert drove in a postchaise four miles to the bridge in the
wood of Ballochbuie, where ponies and guides awaited them. Macdonald,
a keeper of Farquharson of Invercauld's and afterwards in the service
of the Prince, a tall, handsome man, whom the Queen describes as
"looking like a picture in his shooting-jacket and kilt," and Grant,
the head-keeper at Balmoral, on a pony, with provisions in two
baskets, were the chief attendants.
Through the wood and over moss, heather, and stones, sometimes riding,
sometimes walking; Prince Albert irresistibly attracted to stalk a
deer, in vain; across the stony little burn, where the faithful
Highlanders piloted her Majesty, walking and riding again, when
Macdonald led the bridle of the beast which bore so precious a burden;
the views "very beautiful," but alas! mist on the brow of Loch-na-gar.
Prince Albert making a detour after ptarmigan, leaving the Queen in
the safe keeping of her devoted guides, to whom she refers so kindly
as "taking the greatest care of her." Even "poor Batterbury," the
English groom, who seems to have cut rather a ridiculous figure in his
thin boots and gaiters and non-enjoyment of the expedition, "was very
anxious also" for the well-being of his royal lady, whose tastes must
have struck him as eccentric, to say the least.
The mist intensified the cold when the citadel mountain was reached,
so that it must have been a relief to try a spell of walking once
more, especially as the first part of the way was "soft and easy,"
while the party looked down on the two _lochans_, known as _Na
Nian_. Who that has any knowledge of the mountains cannot recall
the effect of these solitary tarns, like well-eyes in the wilderness,
gleaming in the sunshine, dark in the gloom? The Prince, good
mountaineer as he was, grew glad to remount his pony and let the
docile, sure-footed creature pick its steps through the gathering fog,
which was making the ascent an adventure not free from danger.
Everything not within a hundred yards was hidden. The last and
steepest part of the mountain (three thousand seven hundred and
seventy-seven feet from the sea-level) was accomplished on foot, and
at two o'clock, after four hours' riding and walking, a seat in a
little nook where luncheon could be taken was found; for,
unfortunately, there was no more to be done save to seek rest and
refreshment. There was literally nothing to be seen, in place of the
glorious panorama which a mountain-top in favourable circumstances
This was that "dark Loch-na-gar" whose "steep frowning glories" Lord
Byron rendered famous, for which he dismissed with scorn, "gay
landscapes and gardens of roses."
No doubt the snowflakes, in corries on the mountain-side, do look
deliciously cool on a hot summer day. But such a drizzling rain as
this was the other side of the picture, which her Majesty, with a
shiver, called "cold, wet, and cheerless." In addition to the rain the
wind began to blow a hurricane, which, after all, in the case of a fog
was about the kindest thing the wind could do, whether or not the
spirits of heroes were in the gale.
At twenty minutes after two the party set out on their descent of the
mountain. The two keepers, moving on as pioneers in the gloom, "looked
like ghosts." When walking became too exhausting, the Queen, "well
wrapped in plaids," was again mounted on her pony, which she declared
"went delightfully," though the mist caused the rider "to feel
In the course of the next couple of hours, after a thousand feet of
the descent had been achieved, by one of those abrupt transitions
which belong to such a landscape, the mist below vanished as if by
magic, and it was again, summer sunshine around.
But the world could not be altogether shut out at Balmoral, and the
echoes which came from afar, this year, were of a sufficiently
disturbing character. Among the most notable, Sir Theodore Martin
mentions the Frankfort riots, in which two members of the German
States Union were assassinated, and the startling death of the
Conservative leader, Lord George Bentinck, who had suddenly exchanged
the _r�le_ of the turf for that of Parliament, and come to the
front during the struggle over the abolition of the Corn Laws.
A third strangely significant omen was the election of Prince Louis
Napoleon, by five different French Departments, as a deputy to the new
The Court left Balmoral on the 28th of September, stayed one night in
London, and then proceeded for ten days to Osborne. On the return of
the Queen and the Prince to Windsor, on the 9th of October, a sad
accident occurred in their sight. As the yacht was crossing on a misty
and stormy day to Portsmouth, she passed near the frigate
_Grampus_, which had just come back from her station in the
Pacific. In their eagerness to meet their relations among the crew on
board, five unfortunate women had gone out in an open boat rowed by
two watermen, though the foul-weather flag was flying. "A sudden
squall swamped the boat" without attracting the attention of anyone on
board the _Grampus_ or the yacht. But one of the watermen, who
was able to cling to the overturned boat, was seen by the men in a
Custom-house boat, who immediately aroused the indignation of Lord
Adolphus Fitzclarence and his brother-officers by steering, apparently
without any reason, right across the bows of the _Fairy_. Prince
Albert, who was on deck, was the first to discover the cause of the
inexplicable conduct of the men in the Custom-house boat. "He called
out that he saw a man in the water;" the Queen hurried out of her
pavilion, and distinguished a man on what turned out to be the keel of
a boat. "Oh dear! there are more!" cried Prince Albert in horror,
"which quite overcame me," the Queen wrote afterwards. "The royal
yacht was stopped and one of its boats lowered, which picked up three
of the women--one of them alive and clinging to a plank, the others
dead." The storm was violent, and the responsibility of keeping the
yacht exposed to its fury lay with Lord Adolphus. Since nothing
further could be attempted for the victims of their own rashness, he
did not think it right that the yacht should stay for the return of
the boat, as he held the delay unsafe, although both the Queen and the
Prince, with finer instincts, were anxious this should be done. "We
could not stop," wrote her Majesty again, full of pity. "It was a
dreadful moment, too horrid to describe. It is a consolation to think
we were of some use, and also that, even if the yacht had remained,
they could not have done more. Still, we all keep feeling we might,
though I think we could not.... It is a terrible thing, and haunts me
The Magyar War under Kossuth was raging in Hungary. In the far-away
Punjab the Sikh War, in which Lieutenant Edwardes had borne so gallant
a part in the beginning of the year, was still prolonged, with Mooltan
always the bone of contention.
In October all aristocratic England was excited by the sale of the Art
treasures of Stowe, which lasted for forty days. Mrs. Gaskell made a
fine contribution to literature in her novel of "Mary Barton," in
which genius threw its strong light on Manchester life.
The Queen had a private theatre fitted up this year in the Rubens
Room, Windsor Castle. The first of the _dramatis personae_ in the
best London theatres went down and acted before the Court, giving
revivals of Shakespeare--which it was hoped would improve the taste
for the higher drama--varied by lighter pieces.
On the 24th of November the Queen heard of the death of her former
Minister and counsellor William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne. "Truly and
sincerely," her Majesty wrote in her Journal, "do I deplore the loss
of one who was a most disinterested friend of mine, and most sincerely
attached to me. He was, indeed, for the first two years and a half of
my reign, almost the only friend I had, except Stockmar and Lehzen,
and I used to see him constantly, daily. I thought much and talked
much of him all day."
PUBLIC AND DOMESTIC INTERESTS--FRESH ATTACK UPON THE QUEEN.
The Queen and the Prince were now pledged--alike by principle and
habit--to hard work. They were both early risers, but before her
Majesty joined Prince Albert in their sitting-room, where their
writing-tables stood side by side, we are told he had already, even in
winter, by the light of the green German lamp which he had introduced
into England, prepared many papers to be considered by her Majesty,
and done everything in his power to lighten her labours as a
Lord Campbell describes an audience which he had from the Queen in
February. "I was obliged to make an excursion to Windsor on Saturday,
and have an audience before Prince Albert's lunch. I was with the
Queen in her closet, _solus cum sol�_. But I should first tell
you my difficulty about getting from the station at Slough to the
Castle. When we go down for a council we have a special train and
carriages provided for us. I consulted Morpeth, who answered, 'I can
only tell you how I went last--on the top of an omnibus; but the Queen
was a little shocked.' I asked how she found it out. He said he had
told her himself to amuse her, but that I should be quite _en
r�gle_ by driving up in a fly or cab. So I drove up in my one horse
conveyance, and the lord-in-waiting announced my arrival to her
Majesty. I was shown into the royal closet, a very small room with one
window, and soon she entered by another door all alone. My business
was the appointment of a sheriff for the County Palatine, which was
soon despatched. We then talked of the state of the finances of the
Duchy, and I ventured to offer her my felicitations on the return of
this auspicious day--her wedding-day. I lunched with the maids of
honour, and got back in time to take a part in very important
deliberations in the Cabinet."
In February, 1849, the Queen opened Parliament in person. Perhaps the
greatest source of anxiety was now the Sikh War, in which the warlike
tribes were gaining advantages over the English troops, though Mooltan
had been reduced the previous month. A drawn battle was fought between
Lord Gough's force and that of Chuttar Singh at Chillianwallah. While
the English were not defeated, their losses in men, guns and standards
were sore and humiliating to the national pride. Sir Charles Napier
was ordered out, and, in spite of bad health, obeyed the order. But in
the meantime Lord Gough had retrieved his losses by winning at
Goojerat a great victory over the Sikhs and Afghans, which in the end
compelled the surrender of the enemy, with the restoration of the
captured guns and standards. On the 29th of March the kingdom of the
Punjaub was proclaimed as existing no longer, and the State was
annexed to British India; while the beneficial influence of Edwardes
and the Lawrences rendered the wild Sikhs more loyal subjects, in a
future time of need, than the trained and petted Sepoy mercenaries
On the afternoon of the 19th of May, after the Queen had held one of
her most splendid Drawing-rooms, when she was driving in a carriage
with three of her children up Constitution Hill, she was again fired
at by a man standing within the railings of the Green Park. Prince
Albert was on horseback, so far in advance that he did not know what
had occurred, till told of it by the Queen when he assisted her to
alight. But her Majesty did not lose her perfect self-possession. She
stood up, motioned to the coachman, who had stopped the carriage for
an instant, to go on, and then diverted the children's attention by
talking to them. The man who had fired was immediately arrested.
Indeed, he would have been violently assaulted by the mob, had he not
been protected by the police. He proved to be an Irishman, named
Hamilton, from Limerick, who had come over from Ireland five years
before, and worked as a bricklayer's labourer and a navvy both in
England and France. Latterly he had been earning a scanty livelihood
by doing chance jobs. There was this to distinguish him from the other
dastardly assailants of the Queen: he was not a half-crazed, morbidly
conceited boy, though he also had no conceivable motive for what he
did. He appears to have taken his measures, in providing himself with
pistol and powder, from a mere impulse of stolid brutality. His pistol
contained no ball, so that he was tried under the Felon's Act, which
had been provided for such offences, and sentenced to seven years'
The education of their children was a subject of much thought and care
to the Queen and Prince Albert. Her Majesty wrote various memoranda on
the question which was of such interest to her. Some of these are
preserved in the life of the Prince Consort. She started with the wise
maxim, "that the children should be brought up as simply and in as
domestic a way as possible; that (not interfering with their lessons)
they should be as much as possible with their parents, and learn to
place their greatest confidence in them in all things." She dwelt upon
a religious training, and held strongly the conviction that "it is
best given to a child, day by day, at its mother's knee." It was a
matter of tender regret to the Queen when "the pressure of public
duty" prevented her from holding this part of her children's education
entirely in her own keeping. "It is already a hard case for me," was
the pathetic reflection of the young mother in reference to the
childhood of the Princess Royal, "that my occupations prevent me being
with her when she says her prayers." At the same time the Queen and
the Prince had strong opinions on the religious training which ought
to be given to their children, and strove to have them carried out.
The Queen wrote, still of the Princess Royal, "I am quite clear that
she should be taught to have great reverence for God and for religion,
but that she should have the feelings of devotion and love which our
Heavenly Father encourages His earthly children to have for Him, and
not one of fear and trembling; and that the thoughts of death and an
after life should not be represented in an alarming and forbidding
view, and that she should be made to know _as yet_ no difference
of creeds, and not think that she can only pray on her knees, or that
those who do not kneel are less fervent and devout in their prayers."
Surely these truly reverent, just, and liberal sentiments on the
religion to be imparted to young children must recommend themselves to
all earnest, thoughtful parents.
In the accompanying engraving the girl-Princesses, Helena and Louise,
who are represented wearing lilies in the breasts of their frocks,
look like sister-lilies--as fresh, pure, and sweet.
In 1849 Mr. Birch, who had been head boy at Eton, taken high honours
at Cambridge, and acted as one of the under masters at Eton, was
appointed tutor to the Prince of Wales when the Prince was eight years
THE QUEEN'S FIRST VISIT TO IRELAND.
Parliament was prorogued by commission, and the Queen and the Prince,
with their four children, sailed on the 1st of August for Ireland.
Lady Lyttelton watching the departing squadron from the windows of
Osborne, wrote with something like dramatic emphasis, "It is done,
England's fate is afloat; we are left lamenting. They hope to reach
Cork to-morrow evening, the wind having gone down and the sky cleared,
the usual weather compliment to the Queen's departure."
The voyage was quick but not very pleasant, from the great swell in
the sea. At nine o'clock, on the morning of the 2nd, Land's End was
passed, and at eight o'clock in the evening the Cove of Cork was so
near that the bonfires on the hill and the showers of rockets from the
ships in the harbour to welcome the travellers, were distinctly
visible. Unfortunately the next day was gray and "muggy"--a quality
which the Queen had been told was characteristic of the Irish climate.
The saluting from the various ships sent a roar through the thick air.
The large harbour with its different islands--one of them containing a
convict prison, another a military depot--looked less cheerful than it
might have done. The captains of the war-steamers came on board to pay
their respects; so did the Lord-Lieutenant, Lord Bandon, and the
commanders of the forces at Cork. Prince Albert landed, but the Queen
wrote and sketched till after luncheon. The delay was lucky, for the
sun broke out with splendour in the afternoon. The _Fairy_, with
its royal freight, surrounded by rowing and sailing boats, went round
the harbour, all the ships saluting, and then entered Cove, and lay
alongside the gaily-decorated crowded pier. The members, for Cork, the
clergymen of all denominations, and the yacht club presented
addresses, "after which," wrote the Queen, "to give the people the
satisfaction of calling the place 'Queenstown,' in honour of its being
the first spot on which I set foot upon Irish ground, I stepped on
shore amid the roar of cannon (for the artillery was placed so close
as quite to shake the temporary room which we entered), and the
enthusiastic shouts of the people.".
The _Fairy_ lay alongside the pier of Cork proper, and the Queen
received more deputations and addresses, and conferred the honour of
knighthood on the Lord Mayor. The two judges, who were holding their
courts, came on board in their robes.
Then her Majesty landed and entered Lord Bandon's carriage,
accompanied by Prince Albert and her ladies, Lord Bandon and General
Turner riding one on each side. The Mayor went in front, and many
people in carriages and on horseback joined the royal cortege, which
took two hours in passing through the densely-crowded streets and
under the triumphal arches. Everything went well and the reception was
jubilant. To her Majesty Cork looked more like a foreign than an
English town. She was struck by the noisy but good-natured crowd, the
men very "poorly, often-raggedly, dressed," many wearing blue coats
and knee-breeches with blue stockings. The beauty of the women
impressed her, "such beautiful dark eyes and hair, and such fine
teeth; almost every third woman was pretty, and some remarkably so.
They wear no bonnets, and generally long blue cloaks."
Re-embarking at Cork, the visitors sailed to Waterford, arriving in
the course of the afternoon.
The travellers sailed again at half-past eight in the morning, having
at first a rough passage, with its usual unacceptable accompaniment of
sea-sickness, but near Wexford the sea became gradually smooth, and
there was a fine evening. At half-past six Dublin Bay came in sight.
The war-steamers, four in number, waiting for her Majesty, were at
their post. Escorted by this squadron, the yacht "steamed slowly and
majestically" into Kingstown Harbour, which was full of ships, while
the quays were lined with thousands of spectators cheering lustily.
The sun was setting as this stately "procession of boats" entered the
harbour, and her Majesty describes in her Journal "the glowing light"
which lit up the surrounding country and the fine buildings,
increasing the beauty of the scene.
Next morning, while the royal party were at breakfast, the yacht was
brought up to the wharf lined with troops. The Lord-Lieutenant, Lord
Clarendon, and Lady Clarendon, Prince George of Cambridge, Lords
Lansdowne and Clanricarde, the Archbishop of Dublin, &c. &c., came on
board, an address was presented from the county by the Earl of
Charlemont, to which a written reply was given. At ten Lord Clarendon,
bowing low, stepped before the Queen on the gangway, Prince Albert led
her Majesty on shore, the youthful princes and princesses and the rest
of the company following, the ships saluting so that the very ground
shook with the heavy 68-pounders, the bands playing, the guard of
honour presenting arms, the multitude huzzaing, the royal standard
floating out on the breeze.
Along a covered way, lined with ladies and gentlemen, and strewn with
flowers, the Queen proceeded to the railway station, and after a
quarter of an hour's journey reached Dublin, where she was met by her
own carriages, with the postillions in the Ascot liveries.
The Queen and Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales and the Princess
Royal, occupied one carriage, Prince Alfred and Princess Alice, with
the ladies-in-waiting, another. The Commander-in-chief of the soldiers
in Ireland, Sir Edward Blakeney, rode on one side of the Queen's
carriage, Prince George of Cambridge on the other, followed by a
brilliant staff and escort of soldiers. "At the entrance of the city a
triumphal arch of great size and beauty had been erected, under which
the civic authorities--Lord Mayor, town-clerk, swordbearer, &c. &c.--
waited on their sovereign." The Lord Mayor presented the keys and her
Majesty returned them. "It was a wonderful and stirring scene," she
described her progress in her Journal; "such masses of human beings,
so enthusiastic, so excited, yet such perfect order maintained. Then
the number of troops, the different bands stationed at certain
distances, the waving of hats and handkerchiefs, the bursts of welcome
that rent the air, all made it a never-to-be-forgotten scene when one
reflected how lately the country had been under martial law."
The Queen admired Dublin heartily, and gave to Sackville Street and
Merrion Square their due meed of praise. At the last triumphal arch a
pretty little allegory, like a bit of an ancient masque, was enacted.
Amidst the heat and dust a dove, "alive and very tame, with an olive-
branch round its neck," was let down into the Queen's lap.
The viceregal lodge was reached at noon, and the Queen was received by
Lord and Lady Clarendon and their household.
On the 7th of August, a showery day, the Queen drove into Dublin with
her ladies, followed by the gentlemen, but with no other escort. Her
Majesty was loudly cheered as she proceeded to the bank, the old
Parliament House before the Union, where Curran and Grattan and many a
"Monk of the Screw" had debated, "Bloody Toler" had aroused the rage
of the populace, and Castlereagh had looked down icy cold on the
burning commotion. The famous Dublin schools were next visited. Their
excellent system of education and liberal tolerant code delighted the
Prince. At Trinity College, with its memories of Dean Swift and
"Charley O'Malley," the Queen and the Prince wrote their names in St.
Columba's book, and inspected the harp said to have belonged to "King
O'Brian." After their return to the lodge, when luncheon had been
taken, and Prince Albert went into Dublin again, the Queen refreshed
herself with a bit of home life. She wrote and read, and heard her
children say some of their lessons.
At five the Queen drove to Kilmainham Hospital, Lord Clarendon
accompanying her and her ladies, while the Prince and the other
gentlemen rode. The Irish Commander-in-chief and Prince George
received her Majesty, who saw and no doubt cheered the hearts of the
old pensioners, going into their chapel, hall, and governor's room.
Afterwards she drove again into Dublin, through the older quarters,
College Green--where Mrs. Delany lived when she was yet Mrs. Pendarvis
and the belle of the town, and where there still stands the well-
known, often maltreated statue of William III., Stephen's Green, &c.
&c. The crowds were still tremendous.
On the 8th of August, before one o'clock, the Queen and her ladies in
evening dress, and Prince Albert and the gentlemen in uniform, drove
straight to the castle, where there was to be a levee the same as at
St. James's. Her Majesty, seated on the throne, received numerous
addresses--those of the Lord Mayor and corporation, the universities,
the Archbishop and bishops (Protestant and Catholic), the different
Presbyterians, and the Quakers. No fewer than two thousand
presentations took place, the levee lasting till six o'clock--some
On the following day there was a review of upwards of six thousand
soldiers and police in the Phoenix Park.
The Queen and the Prince dined alone, but in the course of the evening
they drove again into Dublin, to the castle, that she might hold a
Drawing-room. Two or three thousand people were there; one thousand
six hundred ladies were presented. Then her Majesty walked through St.
Patrick's Hall and the other crowded rooms, returning through the
densely-filled, illuminated streets, and the Phoenix Park after
On the 10th of August, the Queen had a little respite from public
duties in a private pleasure. She and Prince Albert, in company with
Lord and Lady Clarendon and the different members of the suite, went
on a short visit to Carton, the seat of "Ireland's only Duke," the
Duke of Leinster. The party passed through Woodlands, with its
"beautiful lime-trees," and encountered a number of Maynooth students
near their preparatory college. At Carton the Queen was received by
the Duke and Duchess and their eldest son, the Marquis of Kildare,
with his young wife, Lady Caroline Leveson-Gower, one of the daughters
of the Duchess of Sutherland. All the company walked, to the music of
two bands, in the pretty quaint garden with its rows of Irish yews.
Was it the same in 1798, when a son of the Leinster house, after
thinking to be a king, was hunted down in a poor Dublin lodging,
fought like a lion for his life, was taken a wounded prisoner to the
castle, and then to Newgate to die?
The Duke led the Queen round the garden, while Prince Albert conducted
the Duchess. Her Majesty wrote warmly of her host that "he was one of
the kindest and best of men." After luncheon the country people danced
jigs in the park, the men in their thick coats, the women in their
shawls; one man, "a regular Irishman, with his hat on, one ear," the
music furnished by three old and tattered pipers. Her Majesty
pronounced the steps of the dancers "very droll."
The Duke and Duchess took their guests a drive, the people riding,
running, and driving with the company, but continuing perfectly well-
behaved, and ready to obey any word of the Duke's. It must have been a
curious scene, in which all ranks took part. The Queen could not get
over the spectacle of the countrymen running the whole way, in their
thick woollen coats, in the heat.
On the Queen's departure from Kingstown she was followed by the same
enthusiasm that had greeted her on her arrival. "As the yacht approached
the extremity of the pier near the lighthouse, where the people were
most thickly congregated and were cheering enthusiastically, the Queen
suddenly left the two ladies-in-waiting with whom she was conversing,
ran with agility along the deck, and climbed the paddle-box to join
Prince Albert, who did not notice her till she was nearly at his side.
Reaching him and taking his arm, she waved her right hand to the people
on the piers." As she stood with the Prince while the yacht steamed out
of the harbour, she waved her handkerchief in "a parting acknowledgment"
of her Irish subjects' loyalty. As another compliment to the
enthusiastic farewells of the people, the Queen gave orders "to slacken
speed." The paddlewheels became still, the yacht floated slowly along
close to the pier, and three times the royal standard was lowered by way
of "a stately obeisance" made in response to the last ringing cheers of
the Irish. Lord Clarendon wrote afterwards, that "there was not an
individual in Dublin who did not take as a personal compliment to
himself the Queen's having gone upon the paddle-box and ordered the
royal standard to be lowered three times." It was a happy thought of her
The weather was thick and misty, and the storm which was feared came
on in a violent gale before the yacht entered Belfast Harbour, early
on the morning of the 11th of August. The Mayor and other officials
came on board to breakfast, and in the course of the forenoon the
Queen and the Prince, with the ladies and gentlemen in attendance,
entered the barge to row to the _Fairy_. Though the row was only
of two minutes' duration, the swell on the water was so great that the
embarkation in the _Fairy_ was a matter of difficulty; and when
the smaller yacht was gained the Queen had to take shelter in the
pavilion from the driving spray. In such unpropitious circumstances
her Majesty passed Carrickfergus, the landing-place of William III.,
and arrived at the capital of Ulster just as the sun came out and lent
its much-desired presence to the gala. Lord Londonderry and his wife
and daughters, Lord Donegal, the proprietor of the greater part of
Ulster, &c. &c., came on board with various deputations, especially of
Presbyterians and members of the linen trade. The Queen knighted the
mayor, as she had knighted his brother-magistrate at Cork.
By an odd blunder the gangway, which had been carefully constructed
for the Queen's use, was found too large. Some planks on board the
yacht had to form an impromptu landing-stage; but the situation was
not so awkward as when Louis Philippe had to press a bathing-machine
into the royal service at Tr�port. The landing-place was covered in
and decorated, the Londonderry carriage in waiting, and her Majesty's
only regret was for Lord Londonderry, a big man, crowded on the rumble
along with specially tall and large sergeant-footmen.
The Scotch-descended people of Belfast had outdone themselves in
floral arches and decorations. The galleries for spectators were
thronged. There was no stint in the honest warmth of the reception.
But the Irish beauty, and doubtless also something of the Irish spirit
and glee, had vanished with the rags and the tumbledown cabins. The
douce, comfortable people of Ulster were less picturesque and less
Linen Hall, the Botanic Gardens, and the new college were visited, and
different streets driven through in returning to the place of
embarkation at half-past six on an evening so stormy that the weather
prevented the yacht from setting sail. As it lay at anchor there was
an opportunity for seeing the bonfires, streaming in the blast, on the
Before quitting Ireland the Queen determined to create her eldest son
"Earl of Dublin," one of the titles borne by the late Duke of Kent.
SCOTLAND AGAIN--GLASGOW AND DEE-SIDE.
In the course of the afternoon the yacht sailed for Loch Ryan. The
object of this second visit to the West of Scotland was not so much
for the purpose of seeing again the beautiful scenery which had so
delighted the Queen and the Prince, as with the view of making up for
the great disappointment experienced by the townspeople of Glasgow on
her Majesty's having failed to visit what was, after London, one of
the largest cities in her empire.
The weather was persistently bad this time, squally and disagreeable.
On August 15th the _Fairy_, with the Queen and Prince on board,
sailed for Glasgow, still in pouring rain and a high wind. The storm
did not prevent the people from so lining the banks that the swell
from the steamer often broke upon them. Happily the weather cleared at
last, and the day was fine when the landing-place was reached. As
usual, the Lord Provost came on board and received the honour of
knighthood, after he had presented one of the many addresses offered
by the town, the county, the clergy of all denominations, and the
House of Commerce. The Queen landed, with the Prince and all the
children that had accompanied her. Sheriff Alison rode on one side of
her carriage, the general commanding the forces in Scotland on the
other. The crowd was immense, numbering as many as five hundred
thousand men, women, and children. The Queen admired the streets, the
fine buildings, the quays, the churches. At the cathedral she was
received by a man who seemed as venerable as the building itself,
Principal MacFarlane. He called her Majesty's attention to what was
then the highest chimney in the world, that of the chemical works of
St. Rollax. The inspection of the fine cathedral, which the old
Protestants of the west protected instead of pulling down, included
the crypt. The travellers proceeded by railway to Stirling and Perth.
Early on the morning of the 15th the party started, the Queen having
three of the children in the carriage with herself and the Prince, on
the long drive through beautiful Highland scenery to Balmoral.
This year her Majesty made her first stay at Alt-na-guithasach, the
hut or bothie of "old John Gordon," the situation of which had taken
her fancy and that of the Prince. They had another hut built for
themselves in the immediate vicinity, so that they could at any time
spend a day or a couple of days in the wilds, with a single lady-in-
waiting and the most limited of suites. On the 30th of August the
Queen, the Prince, and the Honourable Caroline Dawson, maid of honour,
set out on their ponies, attended only by Macdonald, Grant, another
Highlander, and an English footman. The rough road had been improved,
and riding was so easy that Prince Albert could practise his Gaelic by
The Queen was much pleased with her new possession, which meant "a
charming little dining-room, sitting-room, bedroom, and dressing-room
all _en suite_; a little bedroom for Miss Dawson and one for her
maid, and a pantry." In the other hut were the kitchen where the
Gordon family sat, a room where the servants dined, a storeroom, and a
loft where the men slept. All the people in attendance on the small
party were the Queen's maid, Miss Dawson's maid, Prince Albert's
German valet, a footman, and Macdonald, together with the old couple,
John Gordon and his wife. After luncheon the visitors went to Loch
Muich--a name which has been interpreted "darkness" or "sorrow"--and
got into a large boat with four rowers, while a smaller boat followed,
having a net. The excursion was to the head of the loch, which joins
the _Dhu_ or Black Loch. "Real severe Highland scenery," her
Majesty calls it, and to those who know the stern sublimity of such
places, the words say a great deal. "The boat, the net, and the people
in their kilts in the water and on the shore," called for an artist's
pencil. Seventy trouts were caught, and several hawks were seen. The
sailing was diversified by scrambling on shore. The return in the
evening was still more beautiful. At dinner the German valet and
Macdonald, the Highland forester, helped the footman to wait on the
company. Whist, played with a dummy, and a walk round the little
garden, "where the silence and solitude, only interrupted by the
waving of the fir-trees, were very striking," ended the day.
The Queen and her family left Balmoral on the 27th. Travelling by
Edinburgh and Berwick, they visited Earl Grey at Howick. Derby was the
next halting-place. At Reading the travellers turned aside for
Gosport, and soon arrived at Osborne.
Already, on the 16th of September, a special prayer had been read in
every church in England, petitioning Almighty God to stay the plague
of cholera which had sprung up in the East, travelled across the seas,
and broken out among the people. But the dreaded epidemic had nothing
to do with the sad news which burst upon the Queen and Prince Albert
within, a few days of their return to the south. Both were much
distressed by receiving the unexpected intelligence of the sudden
death of Mr. Anson, who had been the Prince's private secretary, and
latterly the keeper of the Queen's privy purse.
The offices which Mr. Anson filled in succession were afterwards
worthily held by Colonel Phipps and General Grey.
OPENING OF THE NEW COAL EXCHANGE--THE DEATH OF QUEEN ADELAIDE.
On the 30th of October the new Coal Exchange, opposite Billingsgate,
was to have been opened by the Queen in person. A slight illness--an
attack of chicken-pox--compelled her Majesty to give up her
intention, and forego the motherly pleasure of seeing her two elder
children, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal, make their first
appearance in public. Prince Albert, with his son and daughter,
accompanied by the Duke of Norfolk as Master of the Horse, drove from
Buckingham Palace at twelve o'clock, and embarked on the Thames in the
royal barge, "a gorgeous structure of antique design, built for
Frederic, Prince of Wales, the great-great-grandfather of the Prince
and Princess who now trod its deck." It was rowed by twenty-seven of
the ancient craft of watermen, restored for a day to the royal
service, clad in rich livery for the occasion, and commanded by Lord
Adolphus Fitzclarence. Commander Eden, superintendent of Woolwich
Dockyard, led the van in his barge. Then came Vice-Admiral Elliot,
Commander-in-chief at the Nore; next the Lord Mayor's bailiff in his
craft, preceding the Lord Mayor in the City barge, "rearing its quaint
gilded poop high in the air, and decked with richly emblazoned devices
and floating ensigns.... Two royal gigs and two royal barges escorted
the State barge, posted respectively on its port and starboard bow,
and its port and starboard quarter. The Queen's shallop followed; the
barges of the Admiralty and the Trinity Corporation barge brought up
the rear." [Footnote: Annual Register.] According to ancient custom
one barge bore a graceful freight of living swans to do honour to the
water procession. Such a grand and gay pageant on the river had not
been seen for a century back. It only wanted some of the "water
music," which Handel composed for George II., to render the gala
It would be difficult to devise a scene more captivating for children
of nine and ten, such as the pair who figured in it. Happily the day,
though it was nearly the last of October, was beautiful and bright,
and from the position which the royal party occupied in their barge
when it was in the middle of the river, "not only the other barges and
the platformed steamers and lighters with their living loads, but the
densely-crowded banks, must have formed a memorable spectacle. The
very streets running down from the Strand were so packed with
spectators as to present each one a moving mass. Half a million of
persons were gathered together to witness the unwonted sight; the
bridges were hung over with them like swarms of flies, and from the
throng at intervals shouts of welcome sounded long and loud." Between
Southwark and London Bridge the rowers lay on their oars for a moment,
in compliment to the ardent loyalty of the scholars of Queen
Elizabeth's Grammar School. The most picturesque point was "at the
moment the vessels emerged from London Bridge and caught sight of the
amphitheatre of shipping in the Upper Pool--a literal forest of masts,
with a foliage of flags more variously and brilliantly coloured than
the American woods after the first autumn frost. Here, too, the ear
was first saluted by the boom of guns, the Tower artillery firing as
the procession swept by."
The landing-place on the Custom House Quay was so arranged, by means
of coloured canvas, as to form a covered corridor the whole length of
the quay, to and across Thames Street, to the principal entrance to
the Coal Exchange.
Prince Albert and the young Prince and Princess passed down the
corridor, "bowing to the citizens on either side," a critical ordeal
for the simply reared children. When the Grand Hall of the Exchange
was reached, the City procession came up, headed by the Lord Mayor,
and the Recorder read aloud an address "with such emphatic solemnity,"
it was remarked, that the Prince of Wales seemed "struck and almost
awed by his manner." Lady Lyttelton takes notice of the same comical
effect produced on the little boy. Prince Albert replied.
At two o'clock the _d�jeuner_ was served, when the Lord Mayor and
the Lady Mayoress, at Prince Albert's request, sat near him. The usual
toasts were given; the health of the Queen was drunk with "loudest
cheers," that of the Queen-Dowager with "evident feeling," called
forth by the fact that King William's good Queen, who had for long
years struggled vainly with mortal disease, was, as everybody knew,
drawing near her end. The toast of the Prince of Wales and the
Princess Royal was received with an enthusiasm that must have tended
at once to elate and abash the little hero and heroine of the day.
At three o'clock the royal party re-embarked in the _Fairy_. As
Prince Albert stepped on board, while expressing his gratification
with the whole proceedings, he said to his children, with the
gracious, kindly tact which was natural to him, "Remember that you are
indebted to the Lord Mayor for one of the happiest days of your
Before December wound up the year it was generally known that the
Queen-Dowager Adelaide, who had in her day occupied a prominent place
in the eyes of the nation, was to be released from the sufferings of
In November Queen Victoria paid her last visit to the Queen-Dowager.
"I shall never forget the visit we paid to the Priory last Thursday,",
the Queen wrote to King Leopold. "There was death written in that dear
face. It was such a picture of misery, of complete prostration, and
yet she talked of everything. I could hardly command my feelings when
I came in, and when I kissed twice that poor dear thin hand.... I love
her so dearly; she has ever been so maternal in her affection to me.
She will find peace and a reward for her many sufferings."
Queen Adelaide died quietly on the 2nd of December, at her country
seat of Bentley Priory, in the fifty-eighth year of her age. Her will,
which reflected her genuine modesty and humility, requested that she
should be conveyed to the grave "without any pomp or state;" that she
should have as private a funeral as was consistent with her rank;
that her coffin should be "carried by sailors to the chapel;" that,
finally, she should give as little trouble as possible.
The Queen-Dowager's wishes were strictly adhered to. There was no
embalming, lying in State, or torchlight procession. The funeral
started from the Priory at eight o'clock on a winter morning, and
reached Windsor an hour after noon. There was every token of respect
and affection, but an entire absence of show and ostentation. Nobody
was admitted to St. George's Chapel except the mourners and those
officially connected with the funeral. Few even of the Knights of the
Garter were present. Among the few was the old Duke of Wellington,
sitting silent and sad; Prince Albert and the Duke of Cambridge also
occupied their stalls. The Duchess of Kent and the Duchess of
Cambridge, with the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar and two Princesses of Saxe-
Weimar, the late Queen's sister and nieces, were in the Queen's
The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated. Ten sailors of the Royal Navy
"gently propelled" the platform on which the coffin was placed to the
mouth of the vault. Among the supporters of the pall were Lord
Adolphus and Lord Frederick Fitzclarence. The chief mourner was the
Duchess of Norfolk. Prince George of Cambridge and Prince Edward and
Prince Gustaf of Saxe-Weimar, nephews of the late Queen, followed.
Then came the gentlemen and ladies of her household. All the gentlemen
taking part in the funeral were in plain black with black scarfs; each
lady had a large black veil over her head.
After the usual psalms and lessons, Handel's anthem, "Her body is
buried in peace," was sung. The black velvet pall was removed and the
crown placed on the coffin, which, at the appropriate time in the
service, was lowered to the side of King William's coffin. Sir Charles
Young, King-at-Arms, proclaimed the rank and titles of the deceased.
The late Queen's chamberlain and vice-chamberlain broke their staves
of office amidst profound silence, and kneeling, deposited them upon
the coffin. The organ played the "Dead March in Saul," and the company
Long years after Queen Adelaide had lain in her grave, the publication
of an old diary revived some foul-mouthed slanders, which no one is
too pure to escape. But the coarse malice and gross falsehood of the
accusations were so evident, that their sole result was to rebound
with fatal effect on the memory of the man who retailed them.
PREPARATION FOR THE EXHIBITION--BIRTH OF THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT--THE
BLOW DEALT BY FATE--FOREIGN TROUBLES--ENGLISH ART.
The first great public meeting in the interest of the Exhibition was
held in London in the February of this year, and on the 21st of March
a banquet was given at the Mansion House to promote the same cause.
Prince Albert was present, with the ministers and foreign ambassadors;
and the mayors and provosts of all the principal towns in the United
Kingdom were also among the guests. The Prince delivered an admirable
speech to explain his view of the Exhibition.
It was at this time that the Duke of Wellington made the gratifying
proposal that the Prince should succeed him as Commander-in-chief of
the army, urging the suggestion by every argument in his power, and
offering to supply the Prince with all the information and guidance
which the old soldier's experience could command. After some quiet
consideration the Prince declined the proposal, chiefly on the ground
that the many claims which the high office would necessarily make on
his time and attention, must interfere with his other and still more
binding duties to the Queen and the country.
On May-day, 1850, her Majesty's third son and seventh child was born.
The Prince, in announcing the event to the Dowager-Duchess of Coburg,
says: "The little boy was received by his sisters with _jubilates_. 'Now
we are just as many as the days of the week,' was the cry, and then a
bit of a struggle arose as to who was to be Sunday. Out of well-bred
courtesy the honour was conceded to the new-comer."
The circumstance that the 1st of May was the birthday of the Duke of
Wellington determined the child's name, and perhaps, in a measure, his
future profession. The Queen and the Prince were both so pleased to
show this crowning mark of friendship from a sovereign to a subject,
that they did not allow the day to pass without intimating their
intention to the Duke. "It is a singular thing," the Queen wrote to
Baron Stockmar, "that this so much wished-for boy should be born on
the old Duke's eighty-first birthday. May that, and his beloved
father's name, bring the poor little infant happiness and good
An amusing episode of the Queen's visit to Ireland had been the
passionate appeal of an old Irishwoman, "Och, Queen, dear! make one of
them Prince Patrick, and all Ireland will die for you!" Whether or not
her Majesty remembered the fervent request, Prince Arthur had Patrick
for one of his names, certainly in memory of Ireland, and William for
another, partly in honour of one of his godfathers--the present
Emperor of Germany--and partly because it would have pleased Queen
Adelaide, whose sister, Duchess Ida of Saxe-Weimar, was godmother.
Prince Albert's name wound up the others. The child was baptized on
the 22nd of June at Buckingham Palace. The two godfathers were
present; so were the Duchesses of Kent and Cambridge (the Duke of
Cambridge lay ill), Prince George and Princess Mary of Cambridge, the
Prince of Leiningen, and Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, the ministers
and foreign ambassadors. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of
London and Oxford, &c. &c., officiated. Prince Albert's chorale, "In
life's gay morn," was performed again. After the christening there was
a State banquet in the picture gallery. Prince Arthur was the finest
of all the Queen's babies, and the royal nurseries still retain
memories of his childish graces.
Before the ceremony of the christening, and within a month of the
birth of her child, her Majesty was subjected to one of the most
wanton and cowardly of all the attacks which half-crazed brains
prompted their owners to make upon her person. She had driven out
about six o'clock in the evening, with her children and Lady Jocelyn,
to inquire for her uncle, the Duke of Cambridge, who was suffering
from his last illness. While she was within the gates of Cambridge
House, a tall, gentlemanlike man loitered at the entrance, as it
appeared with the by no means uncommon wish to see the Queen. But when
her carriage drove out, while it was leisurely turning the corner into
the road, the man started forward, and, with a small stick which he
held, struck the Queen a sharp blow on the face, crushing the bonnet
she wore, and inflicting a severe bruise and slight wound on the
forehead. The fellow was instantly seized and the stick wrested from
his grasp, while he was conveyed to the nearest police-station.
The Queen drove home, and was able to show herself the same evening at
the Opera, where she was received with the singing of the National
Anthem and great cheering.
The offender was neither a boy nor of humble rank. He proved to be a
man of thirty--a gentleman by birth and education.
The Prince wrote of the miserable occurrence to Baron Stockmar that
its perpetrator was a dandy "whom you must often have seen in the
Park, where he has made himself conspicuous. He maintains the closest
silence as to his motives, but is manifestly deranged. All this does
not help to make one cheerful."
The man was the son of a gentleman named Pate, of wealth and position,
who had acted as sheriff of Cambridgeshire. The son had had a
commission in the army, from which he had been requested to retire, on
account of an amount of eccentricity that had led at least to one
serious breach of discipline. He could give no reason for his conduct
beyond making the statement that he had acted on a sudden
uncontrollable impulse. He was tried in the following July. The jury
refused to accept the plea of insanity, and he was sentenced, like his
predecessor, to seven years' transportation.
At the date of the attack the minds of the Queen and the Prince, and
indeed of a large portion of the civilised world, were much occupied
with a serious foreign embroilment into which the Government had been
drawn by what many people considered the restless and interfering
policy of Lord Palmerston, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
He had gone so far as to send a fleet into Greek waters for the
protection of two British subjects claiming assistance, and in the act
he had offended France and Russia.
Much political excitement was aroused, and there were keen and
protracted debates in both Houses of Parliament. In the House of Lords
something like a vote of censure of the foreign policy of the
Government was moved and carried. In the House of Commons the debate
lasted five nights, and the fine speech in which Lord Palmerston, a
man in his sixty-sixth year, defended his policy, was continued "from
the dusk of one day to the dawn of the next."
Apart from these troubles abroad, the country, on the whole, was in a
prosperous and satisfactory condition. Trade was flourishing. Neither
had literature fallen behind. Perhaps it had rarely shown a more
brilliant galaxy of contemporary names, including those of John Stuart
Mill in logic, Herbert Spencer in philosophy, Charles Darwin in
natural science, Ruskin in art criticism, Helps as an essayist. And in
this year Tennyson brought out his "In Memoriam," and Kingsley his
"Alton Lock". It seemed but natural that the earlier lights should be
dying out before the later; that Lord Jeffrey, the old king of
critics, should pass beyond the sound of reviews; and Wordsworth,
after this spring, be seen no more among the Cumberland hills and
dales; and Jane Porter, whose innocent high-flown romances had been
the delight of the young reading world more than fifty years before,
should end her days, a cheerful old lady, in the prosaic town of
In the Academy's annual exhibition the same old names of Landseer
(with his popular picture of the Duke of Wellington showing his
daughter-in-law, Lady Douro, the field of Waterloo), Maclise,
Mulready, Stanfield, &c. &c., came still to the front. But a new
movement, having a foreign origin, though in this case an English
development, known as the pre-Raphaelite theory, with Millais, Holman
Hunt, and Rossetti as its leaders, was already at work. This year
there was a picture by Millais--still a lad of twenty-one--in support
of the protest against conventionality in the beautiful, which did not
fail to attract attention, though it excited as much condemnation as
praise. The picture was "Christ in the House of His Parents," better
known as "The Carpenter's Shop."
THE DEATHS OF SIR ROBERT PEEL, THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, AND LOUIS
The Court had been at Osborne for the Whitsun holidays, and the Prince
had written to Germany, "In our island home we are wholly given up to
the enjoyment of the warm summer weather. The children catch
butterflies, Victoria sits under the trees, and I drink the Kissingen
water, Ragotzky. To-day mamma-aunt (the Duchess of Kent) and Charles
(Prince of Leiningen) are come to stay a fortnight with us; then we go
to town to compress the (so-called) pleasures of the season into four
weeks. God be merciful to us miserable sinners."
There was more to be encountered in town this year, than the hackneyed
round of gaieties--from which even royalty, with all the will in the
world, could not altogether free itself. The first shock was the
violent opposition, got up alike by the press and in Parliament, to
Hyde Park as the site of the building required for the Exhibition.
Following hard upon it came the melancholy news of the accident to
Sir Robert Peel, which occurred at the very door, so simply and yet so
fatally. Sir Robert, who, was riding out on Saturday, the 29th of
June, had just called at Buckingham Palace and written his name in her
Majesty's visiting-book. He was going up Constitution Hill, and had
reached the wicket-gate leading into the Green Park, when he met Miss
Ellis, Lady Dover's daughter, with whom he was acquainted, also
riding. Sir Robert exchanged greetings with the young lady, and his
horse became restive, "swerved towards the rails of the Green Park,"
and threw its rider, who had a bad seat in the saddle, sideways on his
left shoulder. It was supposed that Sir Robert held by the reins, so
as to drag the animal down with its knees on his shoulder.
He was taken home in a carriage, and laid on a sofa in his dining-
room, from which he was never moved. At his death he was in his sixty-
The vote of the House of Commons settled the question that Hyde Park
should be the site of the Exhibition, and _Punch_'s caricature,
which the Prince enjoyed, of Prince Albert as "The Industrious Boy,"
cap in hand, uttering the petition--
"Pity the troubles of a poor young Price,
Whose costly scheme has borne him to your door,"
lost all its sting, when such a fund was guaranteed as warranted the
raising of the structure according to Sir Joseph Paxton's beautiful
The Queen and the Prince had many calls on their sympathy this summer.
On the 8th of July the Duke of Cambridge died, aged seventy-six. He
was the youngest of George III and Queen Charlotte's sons who attained
manhood. He was one of the most popular of the royal brothers,
notwithstanding the disadvantages of having been educated partly
abroad, taken foreign service, and held appointments in Hanover which
caused him to reside there for the most part till the death of William
IV. Neither was he possessed of much ability. He had not even the
scientific and literary acquirements of the Duke of Sussex, who had
possessed one of the best private libraries in England. But the Duke
of Cambridge's good-nature was equal to his love of asking questions--
a hereditary trait. He was buried, according to his own wish, at Kew.
The House of Commons voted twelve thousand a year to Prince George, on
his becoming Duke of Cambridge, in lieu of the twenty-seven thousand a
year enjoyed by the late Duke.
Osborne was a more welcome retreat than ever at the close of the
summer, but even Osborne could not shelter the Queen from political
worry and personal sorrow. There were indications of renewed trouble
from Lord Palmerston's "spirited foreign policy."
The Queen and the Prince believed they had reason to complain of Lord
Palmerston's carelessness and negligence, in not forwarding in time
copies of the documents passing through his department, which ought to
have been brought under the notice both of the sovereign and the Prime
Minister, and to have received their opinion, before the over-
energetic Secretary for Foreign Affairs acted upon them on his own
In these circumstances her Majesty wrote a memorandum of what she
regarded as the duty of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
towards the Crown. The memorandum was written in a letter to Lord John
Russell, which he was requested to show to Lord Palmerston.
Except the misunderstanding with Sir Robert Peel about the dismissal
of the ladies of her suite, which occurred early in the reign, this is
the only difference on record between the Queen and any of her
During this July at Osborne, Lady Lyttelton wrote her second vivid
description, quoted in the "Life of the Prince Consort," of Prince
Albert's organ-playing. "Last evening such a sunset! I was sitting,
gazing at it, and thinking of Lady Charlotte Proby's verses, when from
an open window below this floor began suddenly to sound the Prince's
organ, expressively played by his masterly hand. Such a modulation!
Minor and solemn, and ever changing and never ceasing. From a
_piano_ like Jenny Lind's holding note up to the fullest swell,
and still the same fine vein of melancholy. And it came on so exactly
as an accompaniment to the sunset. How strange he is! He must have
been playing just while the Queen was finishing her toilette, and then
he went to cut jokes and eat dinner, and nobody but the organ knows
what is in him, except, indeed, by the look of his eyes sometimes."
Lady Lyttelton refers to the Prince's cutting jokes, and the Queen has
written of his abiding cheerfulness. People are apt to forget in their
very admiration of his noble thoughtfulness, earnestness, and
tenderness of heart that he was also full of fun, keenly relishing a
good story, the life of the great royal household.
The Queen had been grieved this summer by hearing of the serious
illness of her greatest friend, the Queen of the Belgians, who was
suffering from the same dangerous disease of which her sister,
Princess Marie, had died. Probably it was with the hope of cheering
King Leopold, and of perhaps getting a glimpse of the much-loved
invalid, that the Queen, after proroguing Parliament in person, sailed
on the 21st of August with the Prince and their four elder children in
the royal yacht on a short trip to Ostend, where the party spent a
day. King Leopold met the visitors--the younger of whom were much
interested by their first experience of a foreign town. The Queen had
the satisfaction of finding her uncle well and pleased to see her, so
that she could call the meeting afterwards a "delightful, happy
dream;" but there was a sorrowful element in the happiness, occasioned
by the absence of Queen Louise, whose strength was not sufficient for
the journey to Ostend, and of whose case Sir James Clark, sent by the
Queen to Laeken, thought badly.
The poor Orleans family had another blow in store for them. On Prince
Albert's thirty-first birthday, the 26th of August, which he passed at
Osborne, news arrived of the death that morning, at Claremont, of
Louis Philippe, late King of the French, in his seventy-seventh year.
The Queen and the Prince had been prepared to start with their elder
children for Scotland the day after they heard of the death, and by
setting out at six o'clock in the morning they were enabled to pay a
passing visit to the house of mourning.
We may be permitted to remark here, by what quiet, unconscious touches
in letters and journals we have brought home to us the dual life, full
of duty and kindliness, led by the highest couple in the land. Whether
it is in going with a family of cousins to take the last look at a
departed kinsman, or in getting up at daybreak to express personal
sympathy with another family in sorrow, we cannot fail to see, while
it is all so simply said and done, that no painful ordeal is shirked,
no excuse is made of weighty tasks and engrossing occupations, to free
either Queen or Prince from the gentle courtesies and tender charities
of everyday humanity; we recognise that the noblest and busiest are
also the bravest, the most faithful, the most full of pity.
THE QUEEN'S FIRST STAY AT HOLYROOD--LIFE IN THE HIGHLANDS--THE DEATH
OF THE QUEEN OF THE BELGIANS.
This year the Queen went north by Castle Howard, the fine seat of the
Earl of Carlisle, the Duchess of Sutherland's brother, where her
Majesty made her first halt. After stopping to open the railway
bridges, triumphs of engineering, over the Tyne and the Tweed, the
travellers reached Edinburgh, where, to the gratification of an
immense gathering of her Scotch subjects, her Majesty spent her first
night in Holyrood, the palace of her Stewart ancestors. The place was
full of interest and charm for her, and though it was late in the
afternoon before she arrived, she hardly waited to rest, before
setting out incognito, so far as the old housekeeper was concerned, to
inspect the historical relics of the building. She wandered out with
her "two girls and their governess" to the ruins of the chapel or old
abbey, and stood by the altar at which Mary Stewart, the fair young
French widow, wedded "the long lad Darnley," and read the inscriptions
on the tombs of various members of noble Scotch houses, coming to a
familiar name on the slab which marked the grave of the mother of one
of her own maids of honour, a daughter of Clanranald's.
The Queen then visited Queen Mary's rooms, being shown, like other
strangers, the closet where her ancestress had sat at supper on a
memorable night, and the stair from the chapel up which Ruthven, risen
from a sick-bed, led the conspirators who seized Davie Rizzio, dragged
him from his mistress's knees, to which he clung, and slew him
pitilessly on the boards which, according to old tradition, still bear
the stain of his blood. After that ghastly token, authentic or non-
authentic, which would thrill the hearts of the young princesses as it
has stirred many a youthful imagination, Darnley's armour and Mary's
work-table, with its embroidery worked by her own hand, must have
fallen comparatively flat.
The next morning the Queen and the Prince, with their children, took
their first drive round the beautiful road, then just completed, which
bears her name, and, encircling Arthur's Seat, is the goal of every
stranger visiting Edinburgh, affording as it does in miniature an
excellent idea of Scotch scenery. On this occasion the party alighted
and climbed to the top of the hill, rejoicing in the view. "You see
the beautiful town, with the Calton Hill, and the bay with the island
of Inchkeith stretching out before you, and the Bass Rock quite in the
distance, rising behind the coast.... The view when we gained the
carriage hear Dunsappie Loch, quite a small lake, overhung by a crag,
with the sea in the distance, is extremely pretty.... The air was
In the course of the forenoon the Prince laid the foundation stone of
the Scotch National Gallery, and made his first speech (which was an
undoubted success) before one of those Edinburgh audiences, noted for
their fastidiousness and critical faculty. The afternoon drive was by
the beautiful Scott monument, the finest modern ornament of the city,
Donaldson's Hospital, the High Street, and the Canongate, and the
lower part of the Queen's Drive, which encloses the Queen's Park. "A
beautiful park indeed," she wrote, "with such a view, and such
mountain scenery in the midst of it."
In the evening there was assembled such a circle as had not been
gathered in royal old Holyrood since poor Prince Charlie kept brief
state there. Her Majesty wrote in her journal, "The Buccleuchs, the
Roxburghs, the Mortons, Lord Roseberry, Principal Lee, the Belhavens,
and the Lord Justice General, dined with us. Everybody so pleased at
our living at my old palace." The talk seems to have been, as was
fitting, on old times and the unfortunate Queen Mary, the heroine of
Holyrood. Sir Theodore Martin thinks it may have been in remembrance
of this evening that Lord Belhaven, on his death, left a bequest to
the Queen "of a cabinet which had been brought by Queen Mary from
France, and given by her to the Regent Mar, from whom it passed into
the family of Lord Belhaven." The cabinet contains a lock of Queen
Mary's golden hair, and a purse worked by her.
On the following day the royal party left Holyrood and travelled to
Balmoral. The Queen, with the Prince and her children, and the Duchess
of Kent, with her son and grandson, were at the great gala of the
district, the Braemar gathering, where the honour of her Majesty's
presence is always eagerly craved.
Another amusement was the _leistering_, or spearing, of salmon in
the Dee. Captain Forbes of Newe, and from forty to fifty of his clan,
on their return to Strathdon from the Braemar gathering, were
attracted by the fishing to the river's edge, when they were carried
over the water on the backs of the Queen's men, who volunteered the
service, "Macdonald, at their head, carrying Captain Forbes on his
back." The courteous act, which was quite spontaneous, charmed the
Queen and the Prince. The latter in writing to Germany gave further
details of the incident. "Our people in the Highlands are altogether
primitive, true-hearted and without guile.... Yesterday the Forbeses
of Strath Don passed through here. When they came to the Dee our
people (of Strath Dee) offered to carry them across the river, and did
so, whereupon they drank to the health of Victoria and the inmates of
Balmoral in whisky (_schnapps_), but as there was no cup to be
had, their chief, Captain Forbes, pulled off his shoe, and he and his
fifty men drank out of it."
The Forbeses got permission to march through the grounds of Balmoral,
"the pipers going, in front. They stopped and cheered three times
three, throwing up their bonnets." The Queen describes the
characteristic demonstration, and she then mentions listening with
pleasure "to the distant shouts and the sound of the pibroch."
There were two drawbacks to the peace and happiness of Balmoral this
year. The one was occasioned by an unforeseen vexatious occurrence,
and the complications which arose from it. General Haynau, the
Austrian officer whose brutalities to the conquered and to women
during the Hungarian war had aroused detestation in England, happened
to visit London, and was attacked by the men in Barclay's brewery.
Austria remonstrated, and Lord Palmerston made a rash reply, which had
to be recalled.
The other care which darkened the Balmoral horizon in 1850 was the
growing certainty of a fatal termination to the illness of the Queen
of the Belgians. Immediately after the Court returned to Osborne the
blow fell. Queen Louise died at Ostend on the 11th of October, 1850.
She was only in her thirty-ninth year, not more than eight years older
than Queen Victoria. She was the second daughter of Louis Philippe,
Princess Marie having been the elder sister.
THE PAPAL BULL--THE GREAT EXHIBITION.
In the winter of 1850 the whole of England was disturbed by the Papal
Bull which professed to divide England afresh into Roman Catholic
bishoprics, with a cardinal-archbishop at their head. Protestant
England hotly resented the liberty the Pope had taken, the more so
that the Tractarian movement in the Church seemed to point to
treachery within the camp. Lord John Russell took this view of it, and
the announcement of his opinion intensified the excitement which
expressed itself, in meetings all over the county and numerous
addresses to the Queen, condemning the act of aggression and urging
resistance. The protests of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,
and of the Corporation of London, were presented to her Majesty in St.
George's Hall, Windsor Castle, on the 10th of December. The Oxford
address was read by the Chancellor of Oxford, the Duke of Wellington,
the old soldier speaking "in his peculiar energetic manner with great
vigour and animation." The Cambridge address was read by the
Chancellor of Cambridge, Prince Albert, "with great clearness and
well-marked emphasis." The Queen replied "with great deliberation and
with decided accents." Her Majesty, while repelling the invasion of
her rights and the offence to the religious principles of the country,
held, with the calmer judges of the situation, that no pretence,
however loudly asserted, could constitute reality. The Pope might call
England what he liked, but he could not make it Catholic.
In January, 1851, the Court had a great loss in the retirement of Lady
Lyttelton from her office of governess to the royal children, which
she had filled for eight years; while her service at Court, including
the time that she had been a lady-in-waiting, had lasted over twelve
years. Thenceforth her bright sympathetic accounts of striking events
in the life at Windsor and Osborne cease. The daughter of the second
Earl of Spenser married, at twenty-six years of age, the third Lord
Lyttelton. She was forty-two when she became a lady-in-waiting, and
fifty-four when she resigned the office of governess to the Queen's
children. She desired to quit the Court because, as she said, she was
old enough to be at rest for whatever time might be left her. In the
tranquillity and leisure which she sought, she survived for twenty
years, dying at the age of seventy-four in 1870. The parting in 1851
was a trial to all. "The Queen has told me I may be free about the
middle of January," wrote Lady Lyttelton, "and she said it with all
the feeling and kindness of which I have received such incessant
proofs through the whole long twelve years during which I have served
her. Never by a word or look has it been interrupted." Neither could
Lady Lyttelton say enough in praise of the Prince, of "his wisdom, his
ready helpfulness, his consideration for others, his constant
kindness." "In the evening I was sent for to my last audience in the
Queen's own room," Lady Lyttelton wrote again, "and I quite broke down
and could hardly speak or hear. I remember the Prince's face, pale as
ashes, and a few words of praise and thanks from them both, but it is
all misty; and I had to stop on the private staircase and have my cry
out before I could go up again."
Lady Lyttelton was succeeded in her office by Lady Caroline
Barrington, sister of Earl Grey, who held the post for twenty-four
years, till her death in 1875. She too was much and deservedly
esteemed by the Queen and the royal family.
The Exhibition was the event in England of 1851. From the end of March
till the opening-day, for which May-day was fitly chosen, Prince
Albert strove manfully day and night to fulfil his important part in
the programme, and it goes without saying that the Queen shared in
much of his work, and in all his hopes and fears and ardent desires.
Already the building, with its great transept and naves, lofty dome,
transparent walls and roof, enclosing great trees within their ample
bounds, the _chef-d'-oeuvre_ of Sir Joseph Paxton--who received
knighthood for the feat--the admiration of all beholders, had sprung
up in Hyde Park like a fairy palace, the growth of a night. Ships and
waggons in hundreds and thousands, laden by commerce, science and art,
were trooping from far and near to the common destination. Great and
small throughout the country and across the seas were planning to make
the Exhibition their school of design and progress, as well as their
It must be said that the dread of what might be the behaviour of the
vast crowds of all nations gathered together at one spot, and that
spot London, assailed many people both at home and abroad. But as
those who are not "evil-doers" are seldom "evil-dreaders," the Queen
and the Prince always dismissed the idea of such a danger with
something like bright incredulous scorn, which proved in the end wiser
than cynical suspicion and gloomy apprehension.
The Exhibition of 1851, with its reverent motto, chosen by Prince
Albert, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the
compass of the world, and they that dwell therein," is an old story
now, and only elderly people remember some of its marvels--like the
creations of the "Arabian Nights'" tales--and its works of art, which,
though they may have been excelled before and since, had never yet
been so widely seen and widely criticised. The feathery palm-trees and
falling fountains, especially the great central cascade, seemed to
harmonize with objects of beauty and forms of grace on every side. The