Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Wednesday, March 8.

fessed her ignorance of the parties? The CHARGES AGAINST THE DUKE OF YORK.

Duke said one of them was a bad subject ;

nothing certainly could be more correct Mr Iardle began by stating the mo than this; for that Colonel Brookes, who tives which had induced him to bring was only four months a Cornet, should be forward the charges he had alledged a appointed to the command of a regiment gainst the Commander in Chief; and after

of cavalry, which requires more than usual defending himself against the charge of ability, was a bad subject, no one could self-interest, or any other sinister motives, deny. Whatever could be the inducement he thanked his Majesty's Ministers for the

to appoint Colonel Brookes to that regiindulgence they had shewn him. After

ment, who had been for the seven years expressing his acknowledgments to other previous on half-pay, over the heads of gentlemen, he particularly adverted to Sir

many meritorious officers, whose services Francis Burdert and Lord Folkstone, to were at least as great, if not far superior, whose support he confessed himself much

was also rather extraordinary. That his indebted." Mr Wardle also expressed his Royal Highness was fully aware of the satisfaction at the able manner in which

traffic, there can be no doubt, from the evi. the defence of the Duke of York had been dence of his own letter to Mrs Clarke on conducted. His Majesty's Ministers (he the subject of General Clavering's applicaobserved,) had undertaken his defence, and tion, by which it would appear, that he it would be pleasant to reflect, that nothing meant to keep in the back ground, and not more than what had been already done be considered as a party concerned. The could have been done for him. Scill, how letter says, “ Clavering is mistaken, my anever, with all the support that it was right gel, in thinking that any new regiments to give the Duke of York, the representa. are to be raised; it is only second battatives of the people ought to recollect that lions to the existing corps; you had better, they owed a duty to their constituents, as therefore, tell him so, and that you were well as to the Crown.

sure that there would be no use in applying The Honourable Gentleman then pro for him :" From this it was manifest a ceeded to call the attention of the House to particular desire was entertained, that his the several cases that have come before it. name should not be known, and that Mrs The first was that of the exchange effected Clarke was to be considered as the active between Lieut.-Çols. Brookes and Knight. person; and after this letter there can be In this case, it was stated by Dr Thynne, no question but Mrs Clarke wished to that he was instructed by Mr Robt. Knight preserve the name of the Duke of York to offer to Mrs Clarke 2001. for the purpose of expediting the exchange; and that The next case is that of Captain Maling. he understood this object was to be effec- This case did not appear to be of that imted through the influence of Mrs Clarke portance that I first wished to attach to it, over the Commander in Chief. Mr R. but I feel peculiar satisfaction now that the Knight stated, that he had paid to Mrs case was not withdrawn, as it is open to peClarke the 2001. the morning after his hro- culiar animadversion. It was admitted by ther was gazetted, which was on the 3160 Colonel Gordon, that there were several July; and that he afterwards became ac subaltern officers, senior to Captain Malquainted with Mrs Clarke, when she en ing, anxious to be promoted, and who were treated him to keep secret the circumstan- all unexceptionable officers. I should wish ces, lest it should come to the ears of the to know what these services of Capt. MarDuke of York. Mrs Clarke substantiaces ing were, which gave him a claim for suthis evidence, and states, that she had gi- perseding so many officers superior in rank ven to the Duke the slip of paper on

and service. I do not mean to urge that which Dr Thynne had written the names the Commander in Chief should not have of the parties, the same day on which she the power of rewarding merit, but that received it; and that she had told him she power should he defined, and unless it is had received a pecuniary remuneration for defined, the most gross abuses must occur. the service; added to which she states, In mentioning this case, the great abuse to that, on mentioning the circunstance to which the unlimized power in the hands the Duke, his Royal Highness said, “ that of any: Commander in Chief gave rise to, he knew the business very well, and that appeared evident, and it should therethey had been trying at it for some time; fore not be vested without certain limitathat he thought one of them was rather a tions. bad subject, but he would do it.” Unless The next case is that of Col. French': lehis Royal Highness had given Mrs Clarke vy. Captain Huxley Sanden staced, that this information, in what other manner he had given Mrs Clarke, for her services could she obtain it, as she had already con- in the levy, 8501. and that she was to have

secret.

2000). if the business was done to their sa ters, that the levy was discontinued; and tisfaction; that the levy had been regular the officers who had disgraced their cloth, ly applied for; but that some difficulties instead of being ignominiously dismissed, were encountered, which this application were allowed to continue in the service, was intended to remove ; Mr Corri had because they were protected by the Comalso received 2001. for introduction. Mr mander in Éhief's mistress. Dowler said, he had seen Col. French at The next case was that of Captain Tonyn Gloucester Place ; that he understood, from whose promotion was attributable entirely. Mrs Clarke, she was to have 1000l. and to the interference of Mrs Clarke, and for a guinea a man, to be paid on the comple- which she received 5001. Thac his Royal tion of 500 meu. He was also present Highness had a direct knowledge of this when Colonel French came to request that transaction, he inferred from the letters of an increased number of boys should be in Mrs Clarke to Captain Sanden. 'With recluded in the levy. Mrs Clarke also sta spect to the case of Colonel Shaw, he conte ted that she had informed the Duke of Co- tended, that the principal fact in which lonel French's application, and informed that charge was sustained, was the circumhim that she was to receive a pecuniary re stance of the repeated applications of Gemunération if she obtained the letter of neral Burrard, General Brownrig, and Geservice ; that she received one sum of 500l. neral Clinton, in his behalf, having failed or guineas, which she paid to Birkett on in procuring that Gentleman'the appoineaccount of a service of plate, and his Royal ment; but which, in three days after the Highness gave his own bills for the remain latest application of those Generals, was der; that she recollected Colonel French gazetted, which could only have taken telling her, if his Royal Highness would place in consequence of the influence of pass the accounts which had been some Mrs Clarke. The next case to which he time standing, he would accommodate him alluded was that of Mr Dowler, front with 50001. upon proper security. This whose testimony it appeared, that he had testimony was further corroborated by Miss never made any application to her, but Taylor, who was present at a conversation that the first overture was made from her between Mrs Clarke and the Duke of to him, and through her only did he obYork, in which the Duke said that he was tain his cunimission. The evidence went continually worried by Colonel French a. clearly to prove that the Duke was acbout the levy, and, turning to Mrs Clarke, quainted with her having received 1000l. he said, “ How does he bchave to you, for procuring the appointment in question, darling ?” to which Mrs Clarke replied, and from hence he inferred that it was rea. “ middling, not very well.” - The Duke sonable to conclude that the direct interthen said, 'Muster French must mind what ference of the Duke of York, not only in he is about, or I shall cut him up and his military matters, as in the case of General levy too."

From this evidence, it was Clavering, but in clerical matters, as in the clear that Mrs Clarke had exerted her in. instance of Dr O'Meara, was attributable fuence over his Royal Highness.

to her influence over him, and that it was His Royal Highness must have been impossible to say where thac influence fully convinced that Mrs Clarke received would stop. The remaining cases, namepecuniary remuneration for her influence ; ly, those of Samuel Carter, Major Tucker, ic is not possible to conceive that the Duke and Robert Kennett, he adverted to rewould not have asked her what could be spectively, and treated of them in the same her inducement to take so much trouble a. strain as the preceding charges. He then bout the levy, or what motive could actuate should not trouble the House any longer, her to such extraordinary exertions; he having drawing up his sentiments upon must have been well aware, from the im. this important subject in form of an 'admensity of her expenditure in Gloucester dress to his Majesty, with which he must Place and Weybridge, that she must have conclude.--He thought it but justice to the had some mode of supplying those deficien- Duke of York to state distinctly, without cies that must accrue from the pittance disguise, his real sentiments. He enterwhich he allowed her. No evidence can rained the greatest reverence for the Ma. be better supported, or be more incontro. jesty of the Throne, and he should be vertible or conclusive According to the the last man in the world to hurt the terms of the letter of service, it was stipu. feelings of any individual; but on this oclated that 2000 men were to be raised in casion he had no choice. He concluded 13 months; arid in nine months 200 men by moving the address, to the following efonly were raised, although the bounty was raised from 19 to 19 guineas. And it was “ That an humble address be presented not, till a considerable time afterwards, to his Majesty, humbly stating to his Mawhen complaints poured in from all quar- jesty, that information having been com:

municated

fect:

municated to this House, and evidence ha- clergyman. Mr Burton pointed out other ving been advanced to support the impu- contradictions in the cestimony of this wito tation of various corrupt practices, and o ness, after which he proceeded to remark ther abuses in the sale and disposition of ou Mrs Clarke's evidence, who he obsercommissions in his Majesty's army; and his ved had made 28 false assertions, to several Majesty's faithful Commons, according to of which Mr Burlon referred, particularly the duty they are bound to observe towards to her having represented herself as soniehim and the country, having carefully exa times a widow, and sometimes à married mined into sundry charges in proof of these woman. He then proceeded io show, that practices, and it is with the deepest con Mr Knight's promotion was effected in the cern and regret they inform his Majesty, regular way, and would have taken place, that the result of their inquiry into the even although Mrs Clarke had never infacts brought before them, and the docu terfered. With regard to the promotion of ments on their table, has been such as to

Captain Maling, he observed, that he could satisfy them, that the charges have been recognise no corruption; and at any rate, substantiated. His Majesty's faithful Com it was absurd to contend, that the preroga. mons are restrained, by motives of personal tive of making military appointments should attachment, from entering into a detail of be taken from the Crown, and vested in these transactions, being convinced that the House of Commons. Miss Taylor's they could not be told, without exciting in evidence Mr Burton considered as inadmis. his Majesty's breast feelings of grief and sible, on account of her connection with indignation. That the proceedings of the Mrs Clarke. He would beg of the House House have been published, and the evi to recollect what the nature of her connecdence brought before them is correct, and tion with Mrs Clarke was, and the close that he will give them credit, in the exe intimacy which subsisted between them. 'cution of this painful duty, for having pro. He would ask if such a witness could be ceeded with all due deliberation. That credited. For, as she participated in the without entering into any other of the ob. communication between his Royal Highvious consequences, from the belief once ness and Mrs Clarke, (being admitted the generally established of the prevalence of busom friend and companion of the latter's abuses in the military department, there is secrets; and, if reliance could be placed on one great and essential consideration inse the statement of other evidence, through a parable from the present subject, which fondness of the Duke of York, being in hathey beg to submit to his Majesty's consi- bits of familiar intercourse with him,), he deration, namely, that the opinion propo would put an obvious question, whether, gated amongst his Majesty's forces, that instead of her paltry deposition, she would promotions were made by means unjust to not have stated a tissue of criminal proceed. the army, the effect of such opinions might ingy, if she had known that any such existbe to wound the feelings, and abate che ed ?-(Heur hear:) Mr Burton then enterzeal of all ranks and descriptions of his ed into an examination of all the other cir. Majesty's army. That it is the opinion of cumstances which Mr Wardle had adduced this House, that the abuses thus niost am as proofs of the Duke of York's counivance ply represented, could not have prevailed in these criminal transactions; and altho'he to the extent they have existed, without admitted that Mrs Clarke had been in the the knowledge of the Commander in Chief; practice of receiving bribes for her suppoa and that even abuses so various and of so sed influence, he contended, that there was long standing, could not have existed with no proof that the Duke of York was privy out his knowledge. Upon these grounds to these in proper practices. In cases of and principles, his Majesty's faithful Com · such import, no exemption could be claimmons most humbly submit their opinion, ed by the highest member in society bethat his Royal Highness the Duke of York yond the lowest. He was aware that ought to be deprived of the command of there must be a considerable feeling excited the army.”

in the breast of every man for the Royal Mr Burton, after observing that he Personage concerned. The country would thought it incumbent on him to express his not shut its eyes. It may be said that such sentiments on so important an occasion, measures as are proposed were Jacobinical, proceeded to point out the contradictions but if he were asked his opinion, he would which appeared in the evidence of all the say they were highly necessary for the awitnesses who had been examined rela- ' mendment of existing corruption. These tive to the Duke of York. He alluded were not times to screen any man; and particularly to the contradictions in Mrs painful as the task was, he felt his Favourite's testimony, who had represent duty thus publicly to declare his sentinients ed Mr Ellis as a carpenter, while it appear on this important subject. ed on evidence that he was a respectable Mr Curwen, after particularly adverting

to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

to the

evidence of General Clavering, of plicated. The proof also of her connection Miss Taylor, and of Col. Gordon, whose with Dowler, and of their midnight scenes evidence he observed was wrung from him in St Martin's lane, after the attempt that like drops of blood, observed, that the had been made to represent Dowler as a Chancellor of the Exchequer, after stating reluctant witness, who had never seen her that the resolution brought forward ought but once, was so decisive, that he must say. to have decided positively as to the Duke upon his conscience, that the evidence of of York's guilt or innocence, proceeded to such a man and such a woman ought in no comment upon the nature of the evidence case to be relied on. They came to the on which the charges against the Duke of bar in disguise, they professed to be wholly York depended. He particularly adverted unconnected, and if their falsehood had not to the numerous circumstances which tend- been detected, Dowler would have passed ed to throw discredit upon Mrs Clarke's for an unbiassed witness, who, having just testimony. During the whole of his legal arrived from Portugal, gave his reluctant experience, he had never seen a witness testimony on a subject in which he was who, from her story, from her character, completely disinterested! With respect to and from her conduce at the bar, was less the charges preferred against his Royal entitled to credit than Mrs Clarke. It was Highness, he confessed, that it appeared to not surprising that his Royal Highness him a miracle, considering the number of should be occasionally decoyed by Mrs promotions which must have taken place Clarke into conversations on military mat during the period of his Royal Highness's ters; that he should sometimes speak to connection with Mrs Clarke, that so few her on subjects which might have been had been brought forward, and that these proclaimed at Charing-Cross without in. few had been so satisfactorily explained. jury to the public service; that he should In the course of a year about 4000 military tell her when Tonyn was to be gazetted, promotions of one kind or other took place. or whether French’s levy would be allow. During the connection, therefore, of the ed. But surely his Royal Highness might Duke of York and Mrs Clarke, about do all this without any corrupt motive? 10,000 promotions must have occurred;

Mr Perceval then proceeded to point but out of these, although Mrs Clarke deout some material contradictions in Mrs' clared she had been instructed to use her Clarke's evidence. The first of these was cleverness, only the few instances of althe assertion repeated over and over again leged corruption before the House had been by so many witnesses, that Mrs Clarke was brought forward; and of those few he anxiously desirous to conceal the transac would venture to say, that, with the exceptions in which she was engaged from the tion of Major Tonyn's case, there was not knowledge of the Duke of York. Dr one which was not satisfactorily disproThynne, Mr Robert Knight, Captain San ved as far as the Duke of York was impliden, Mr and Mrs Corri, and Mrs Hoven. cated. den, all spoke to this fact, while Mrs Mr Perceval then proceeded to point Clarke declared positively that she did not out the contradictions between various parts remember any thing like a wish expressed of Mrs Clarke's evidence, and in the story on her part for secrecy! Mr Knight had of the note (he observed) there was not declared that Mrs Clarke told him, that one circumstance which she stated which unless the Duke of York would come to was not contradicted, Of Miss Taylor's, he her terms, she would expose him. This observed, that she remembered every thing Mrs Clarke as positively denied. But she that happened five years ago, but rememhad an interest

the denial ; Mr Knight bered nothing which happened only withhad no interest in the assertion ;-there was in a few months from the time she was a complete contradiction of Mrs. Clarke's questioned. Of Captain Sander's note, he testimony. He would not dwell on the observed, that it was doubtful whether it minor cases in which Mrs Clarke's vera. was the Duke of York's hand-writing, city had been impeached, but he could not those who forged letters always taking allow them to pass wholly unnoticed. She care to make them as like the original as had declared that her husband was in no possible. Mr Perceval was proceeding in trade or employment. The evidence of his examination of the evidence, but on his Towers proved that he was a stone-mason. observing that he was rather exhausted, This was no very important falsehood, but there were repeated cries of (Adjourn, adit was sufficient to shew, that if Mrs Clarke journ, go on, go on.) It was agreed, howe departed from the truth in such petty in- over, to adjourn, previous to which Mr stances, for the gratification probably of a Perceval informed the House, that it was little female vanity, she would not hesitate his intention to move the following reso. to do so in cases of greater magnitude, lution : where her material interests might be im “ Resolved, That charges having been July 1809.

brought

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

THE DUKE OF YORK.

brought against his Royal Highness the of a most disgraceful and dangerous ten. Duke of York imputing to him personal dency ; but it is at the same time a great corruption and criminal connivance in the consolation to the House to observe the execution of his office ; and this House ha- deep concern his Royal Highness has exving referred the said charges to a Com- pressed, that such a connection should ever mittee, &c. feels it its duty to pronounce a have taken place; and, on the expression of distinct opinion upon that subject." that regret, the House is confident that his

If that should meet the concurrence of Royal Highness will keep in view the unithe House, it was his intention to propose formly virtuous and exemplary conduct of another resolution, in which the House his Majesty, since the commencement of his would express its distinct and decided opi- reign, and which has endeared his Majesty nion upon the accusation itself.

to all his subjects.” - Resolyed, That it is the opinion of this The House then adjourned the further House, after the fullest and most attentive discussion until next day. examination of all the evidence adduced, that there is no ground for charging his

Thursday, March 9. Royal Highness with personal corruption, or connivance at such practices disclosed in The Order of the day being read, for che testiniony heard at the bar.”

resuming the adjourned debate on the eviAfter the House had determined upon dence taken before the Committee respecthese resolutions, he felt it both due to ting the conduct of his Royal Highness the their affection to the Sovereign, to the cha Duke of York, racter of that House, and to the high situ The Chancellor of the Exchequer, after a ation of the Commander in Chief, connec few preliminary observations, took a slight ted with the near relationship subsisting be retrospective glance at what he had already tween the illustrious Personage who held stated, and proceeded to speak of the conthat respectable situation, and the Monarch duct of his Royal Highness the Duke of of these Realms, to address the Throne on York, as far as it related to Col. French's the subject of the Inquiry on which that levy. He thought that the circumstance House had been engaged, in order to re of the levy having been discontinued, on a lieve the mind of his Majesty from uneasi representation of the improper practices

carrying on having been niade to the Duke " That an Address be presented to his Ma of York, was a sufficient reason for exculjesty, humbly representing, that, in conse pating his Royal Highness. He then noquence of charges against his Royal High ticed the case of Colonel Shaw, who, he mess the Duke of York, his faithful Com contended, was indebted for whatever famons thought it their indispensable duty vour he received, to the interference of ro inquire into the same in the most solemn General Burrard, which was proved by a and public manner; and after the most di letter of Colonel Shaw's to Gen. Burrard, ligent and attentive inquiry, his most faith thanking him for his countenance. No creful Commons, considering the lively inte dit was therefore due to Mrs Clarke's evirest his Majesty must feel in any inquiry dence in this transaction. With respect to into the conduct of his Royal Highness Mr Dowler, he observed, that he had un. the Duke of York, thought it their duty doubtedly paid her 10001. ; but whether it to lay before his Majesty the following Re was for the purpose of procuring him a solutions :

place, does not appear. The Hon. Gentle(Here he proposed to insert the above man then adverted to the loan offered by resolutions.)

Kennett, on which he dwelt for a very " And his Majesty's faithful Commons short time, contending, that no evidence think it their duty further to státe to his appeared which implied the Duke of York's Majesty, that while the House has seen knowledge of the true nature of the transthe exemplary regularity and met bod in action. Neither could he perceive any which business is conducted in his Royal thing to blame in the case of Major TurHighness's office, and the salutary regula ner; and he could not help expressing his tions introduced by him, some of which surprise, that after gentlemen had brought were intended to prevent the very abuses forward such evidence at the bar, they complained of, and which have been brought should pretend to say, that Mrs Sutherunder review, they cannot but feel the land's information against Major 'Turner greatest regret and concern, that a connec was unworthy of credit. The case he now tion should have existed which has thus alluded to was that of Carter, towards exposed his Royal Highness's character to whom he thought the Commander in Chief public calumny, and that frauds should had displayed a degree of humane attenhave been carried on, with which his tion, which, in his opinion, must be ex. Royal Highness's name has been coupled, : tremely grateful to every feeling heart. A

ness.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »