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Ath. Your blessings I approve ; and I will send
Under earth's deep and ancient rifts,
Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work,
A SPACE of time of less than a plainly been maintaining, for some time week's duration, has recently presented past, but a lingering existence, volunus in this country with a succession of tarily resigned, placing their resignapublic events of absorbing interest and tion on the ground that the result of momentous importance. They have the division upon the Jamaica Bill been said to involve, in a material showed that they did not possess the point, the power and position of royalty confidence of the House of Commons, itself: they unquestionably concern, and consequently could not continue in no ordinary degree, the government the management of public affairs with of the country, and the progress and advantage to the country. In the prospects of the contending political Upper House, Lord Melbourne admitparties or principles into which na- ted that the vote of the previous eventional opinion is divided ; and they af- ing was “ not only necessarily fatal fect, in the nearest manner, the ho to the ultimate success of that great nour and character of the political measure, but that it also does, with men who have on either side been en- sufficient clearness and distinctness, gaged in them. This last considera- indicate such a want of confidence on tion may, indeed, be of less weight the part of a great proportion of that than the rest ; but it is yet a matter House of Parliament, as to render it of the utmost moment to us all, not on impossible that we should continue to personal but on public grounds, that administer the affairs of her Majesty's we should thoroughly know whether Government in a manner that can be the men who are to carry on the great beneficial to the country.” In the business of government on the one House of Commons, Lord John Rus. hand, or of the control over govern. sell's statement, to the same effect, was ment on the other, are animated by made in these terms:--" In continuing principles of patriotism and inte. in the administration of affairs, not grity, or are prompted to action only having, as we think we have not, a by reckless ambition or sordid interest. sufficient degree of confidence and sup
The singular and important events port to carry on those affairs efficiently to which we refer, have passed before in this House, we should be exposing us with such rapidity, that, as a preli- to jeopardy the colonial empire of this minary to any remarks on the late country, many of whose colonies are, changes of administration, it may be I will not say in a state of hazard, but well to prefix a short outline of the in which questions of considerable imfacts in the order of their occurrence, portance are pending. Hitherto her confining ourselves to matters which Majesty's Ministers have thought cannot be disputed.
themselves justified in continuing in On the 7th of May, the Adminis. the administration of affairs, supported tration of Lord Melbourne, which had as we were by the confidence of the
VOL. XLV. NO, CCLXXXIV,
Crown, and by the confidence of the proposed to select as members of his House of Commons. But, sir, after Administration, the subject of the the vote of last night, I do not think household arrangements at the palace we are entitled to say, that upon very naturally came under discussion. The great and important affairs, upon which appointments to the offices of the Government was obliged to come to a Queen's household had taken place decision, we have had such support under the late administration, and the and such confidence in this House as chief places were held by ladies conwould enable us sufficiently to carry on nected more closely than usual with the the public affairs.
administration that appointed them. On this admitted want of confidence One lady, for instance, was the wife and inability to conduct public affairs, of the late Colonial Secretary and the Ministry resigned.
former Viceroy of Ireland ; two others The Queen having sent for Lord were sisters of another Cabinet minis.. Melbourne, that nobleman, “on Wedn ter; others were nearly connected nesday morning last, tendered to her by relationship with different indivi. Majesty advice as to whom she dught to duals of the Ministry which Sir Roapply to, and the course which her Ma bert Peel was about to succeed. That jesty ought to take.” In other words, delicacy and a sense of propriety feeling that the formation of a Conser- would have dictated the retirement of vative administration was the only those ladies, thus closely connected advisable or practicable step in the with the former Government, was so existing state of the country, he ad- obvious, that it did not oceur to Sir vised her to apply to the Duke of Robert Peel that any question as to Wellington, who again suggested to their dismissal would arise. It is imthe Queen that Sir Robert Peel was portant, however, to observe that, bethe person best qualified to undertake fore introducing the subject to the the task of forming an administration, Queen's notice, he announced to bis the main difficulties of which would friends on Wednesday night, at his lie in the House of Commons. At that own house, the exact course which he interview, we have the assurance of meant to propose for her Majesty's the Duke of Wellington that nothing approbation :passed inconsistent with the principle, I said to those who were intended that the person intrusted with the to be my future colleagues, with respect formation of a new administration to all the subordinate appointments-should be untrammelled in all points, meaning every appointment below the either in regard to the conduct to be rank of a lady of the bedchamber_I pursued in the formation of an admi- said to them I should submit to her nistration, or in respect to the princi. Majesty no change whatever with reples which ought to be adhered to as
spect to those.
With respect to the to the mode in which the royal house- superior class, I started to them that hold ought to be managed.
those ladies who held such offices, and At the interview which took place who were in immediate connexion with between her Majesty and Sir Robert our political opponents, would proba. Peel on Wednesday morning, when bly relieve us from any difficulty by he undertook the task of forming a relinquishing their offices. But I stated new administration, the Queen, while at the same time that I did think it she expressed her regret at parting of great importance, as conveying with the Administration which had an indication of her Majesty's entire quitted office, interposed no obstacle support and confidence, that certain of any kind to the execution of the offices in the household of the higher task thus committed to Sir Robert rank should be subject to some change. Peel. This important commission was I did expressly, with respect to the intrusted to him on the usual “con- higher offices, namely, the ladies of stitutional principles," without any the bedchamber, state, that there were limitation being then proposed as to some instances in which, from the the appointments connected with the absence of any strong party or political household.
connexion, I thought it would be wholly In the communications which took unnecessary to propose such a change." place in the course of Wednesday In the correctness of this statement, between Sir Robert Peel and some of Sir Robert Peel appealed to the rethose confidential friends whom he collections of Sir James Graham, Mr. Goulburn, Lord Stanley, and Sir Majesty's household, not stating to Henry Hardinge, in whose presence what extent he would exercise that he thus re-announced his intentions. power--not stating how many, or
When Sir Robert Peel proceeded whom, it was his intention to propose on Thursday to submit to her Majesty to remove—but asking the power of the names of certain persons who were dismissing the ladies of the household, to form part of his proposed Adminis- and leaving unquestionably upon her tration, an obstacle unexpectedly oc- Majesty's mind a very strong imprescurred on the very point as to which, sion that it was intended to employ from his erroneously attributing to that power to a very great extent-to others his own delicacy of feeling, he such an extent, certainly, as to remove had not anticipated that any difficulty all the ladies of the bedchamber, as could arise. The impressions of Sir well as some of those filling an inferior Robert Peel as to the nature of the situation in the household." That the proposal made by him to the Queen, impression thus formed by her Mawith regard to the formation of the jesty was an erroneous one, and that household, are conveyed in his letter Sir Robert Peel never did propose, or of 10th May, addressed to her Majes, mean to propose, the dismissal of all ty, resigning into her hands the com- the ladies of the bedchamber, and far mission to form a government, in less of any of those filling inferior which he recapitulates his view of offices, which is otherwise plain from what had taken place on Thursday. the announcement of his intentions on The substance of that letter will be Wednesday night to his intended colafterwards quoted. In the mean time, leagues, is distinctly admitted by Lord it may be noticed merely, that Sir Melbourne; for he proceeds:—"Such, Robert Peel disclaims having pro. my Lords, was the impression on her posed, or thought of proposing, the Majesty's mind-an impression which, removal from any offices under the from what has since transpired, is evirank of ladies of the bedchamber; dently erroneous. No doubt such an while even as to these, following out impression was a mistaken one. The the view which he had already an- Right Honourable Baronet has disnounced, that it was only in the case tinctly stated that he had no such ina of those ladies who were closely re- tention, and there cannot be the slightlated to his political opponents that est doubt upon the point." Upon this any change would be necessary, he impression, however, thus communidid not propose a general removal, cated by her Majesty, and now admitbut only that “some changes " should ted to be erroneous, Lord Melbourne be made in that department.
proceeded to act. Conceiving, as he The impression on the mind of her says, the question to be one too imMajesty is stated to have been differ- portant for himself alone to decide, he ent from that of Sir Robert Peel. immediately summoned his colleagues ; From the explanation of Lord John and the result of their consultation Russell, it is not easy to gather what was, that they “advised her Majesty her Majesty understood to be the na- to return to the Right Honourable ture of Sir Robert's proposal ; whe- Baronet the following letter:"ther it embraced a total or only a
" Buckingham Palace, May 10, 1839. partial change in the appointments “ The Queen having considered the proof the ladies of the bedehamber. posal made to her yesterday by Sir Robert From the later explanations, however, Peel, to remove the ladies of her bedchamof Lord Melbourne, which were evi- ber, cannot consent to adopt a course which dently intended as supplementary to she conceives to be contrary to usage, and those of Lord John Russell, and as which is repugnant to her feelings." filling up any deficiencies in the state. ment of his colleague in the House of
In answer to this communication,
Sir Robert Peel respectfully resigned Commons, we are informed that, being summoned by the Queen on
into her Majesty's hands the authority Thursday, he was given to under- to form a ministry. In his letter he stand by her Majesty, that, at the thus explains what he had meant to close of the audience of that day, had proposed to her Majesty the day
propose, and what he conceived he “the Right Honourable Baronet made
before :a proposal that he should have the power of dismissing the ladies of her “ In the interview with which your Ma. jesty honoured Sir Robert Peel yesterday present Ministry; for the position now morning, after he had submitted to your Ma- taken by them, and the advice tender. jesty the names of those whom he proposed to ed by them to her Majesty, was, that recommend to your Majesty for the princi- even as thus limited, her Majesty pal executive appointments, he mentioned to ought not to concede the point, and your Majesty his earnest wish to be enabled, that no change of any kind in the with your Majesty's sanction, so to constitute female appointments connected with your Majesty's household, that your Majesty's the household, could reasonably have confidential servants might have the advantage been demanded by Sir Robert Peel. of a public demonstration of your Majesty's Her Majesty's confidential servants, full support and confidence ; and that at the same time, as far as possible consistently with among whom, be it observed, were that demonstration, each individual appoint- the wife of the one and the sisters of
Lord Normanby and Lord Morpethment in the household should be entirely ac. ceptable to your Majesty's personal feelings. the other being the three ladies
“ On your Majesty's expressing a desire against whosecontinuance in the housethat the Earl of Liverpool should hold an
hold the proposition of Sir R. Peel office in the household, Sir Robert Peel was probably directed—after consultrequested your Majesty's permission at once ing. Sir Robert Peel's letter of the to offer to Lord Liverpool the office of Lord 10th at a meeting of the Cabinet, Steward, or any other which he might prefer. came to the conclusion which they have
“ Sir Robert Peel then observed, that recorded in a minute, that while the he should have every wish to apply a simi- great offices of court and situations of lar principle to the chief appointments the household should be included in which are filled by the ladies of your Ma. the political arrangements consequent jesty's houschold; upon which your Majesty upon a change of administration, was pleased to remark, that you must
“they are not of opinion that a simireserve the whole of these appointments, lar principle should be applied or exand that it was your Majesty's pleasure tended to the offices held by ladies in that the whole should continue as at pre- her Majesty's household." And that sent, without any change.
this principle was held broadly, and - The Duke of Wellington, in the interview to which your Majesty subsequently change as to a total one, appears still
in reference equally to the slightest admitted him, understood also that this was your Majesty's determination, and con
more distinctly from the observations
of Lord Melbourne: “ We so entirely curred with Sir Robert Peel in opinion that, considering the great difficulties of agree with her Majesty that it is inthe present crisis, and the expediency of expedient to apply the principle that making every effort in the first instance to the ladies of her Majesty's household conduct the public business of the country should be removed, that all or any part with the aid of the present Parliament, it of them should be removed, in consewas essential to the success of the com- quence of changes in the administramission with which your Majesty had tion, that we have come to the deter. honoured Sir Robert Peel, that he should mination to support her Majesty on have that public proof of your Majesty's the present occasion." entire support and confidence, which Such then is the footing on which would be afforded by the permission to the administration have resumed of. make some changes in that part of your fice; the approbation of the principle, Majesty's household, which your Majesty that no change of any kind among the resolved maintaining without any ladies of her Majesty's household, change."
however closely connected with the Thus, on Friday, all doubt as to the members of the former Administraextent of the demand made by Sir tion, was to be permitted. They have Robert Peel was at an end. It could made this principle their own, and no longer be pretended that he stipu- have taken on themselves, as Lord lated for a general removal of all the John Russell expresses it, the consti. ladies of the bedchamber. His mean- tutional responsibility of advising the ing, as explained by himself, was evi- Queen to act upon it. They resume dent: He asked only the removal of office admittedly on no ground of a those, who, from their close connec- restoration of public confidence, but tion with the displaced Ministry, he on the ground that an unusual and imhad expected voluntarily to resign proper demand was made by Sir Ro. their offices. This was, accordingly, bert Peel, with which they, the parties the meaning put upon his letter by the who were to benefit by that resistance,