The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2Allen, Thomas
History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814.
History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814.
Towards the latter end of the year , the celebrated O. P. occupied the public attention. The opening of the theatre , Covent-garden, having been protracted till the , the managers, in consequence of the great expence attending its building, thought proper to make an advance in the prices of admission; but though the whole rise was on the boxes, and sixpence on the pit, this, with the circumstance of having fitted up a number of private boxes, which were thought to infringe upon the room of the galleries, excited a spirit of resistance in the audience which had never before been equalled by its pertinacity and continued duration. As this rise of the prices had necessarily been announced in the papers previous to the opening of the house, the opponents of the managers were prepared to act their parts. Accordingly, on the opening as before mentioned, it appeared that a number of persons were collected in all parts of the house, who, by their noise and riotous behaviour, by barking, shouting, groaning, cat-calls, cries of off! off! old prices, &c. interrupted the performances, or rendered them totally inaudible. A crowd of people also assembled on the outside, actuated with like feelings and designs. This noise and riot having continued with increased violence for successive nights, Mr. Kemble came forward, and announced the intention of the proprietors to shut up the house; having resolved to submit their accounts and concerns to the inspection of a committee of gentlemen of the respectability, who should report their true state to the public. This committee consisted of alderman sir Charles Price, bart. M. P.; sir Thomas Plomer, knt. the solicitor-general; John Sylvester, esq. recorder of the city of London; John Whitmore, esq. governor of the , and John Julius Angerstein, esq. The report of the committee was, that the rate of profit actually received by the proprietors upon an average of the last years, upon the capital embarked, amounted to / per cent. per annum, charging the concern with only the sum actually paid for insurance on such part of the capital as was insured; and that if the whole capital had been insured, the profit would have been reduced to little more than per cent.; further stating the opinion of the committee, that the future profits of the new theatre at the proposed advance, would amount to no more than and a half per cent. per annum, upon the capital expended in the theatre. However, notwithstanding the character of the committee, and the perspicuity of their statements, on re-opening the theatre, much to the surprise and mortification of the managers, the same discordant and hideous noises
| were resumed, with cries of |
Bills also of this nature were not only renewed every night, but the noisy performances of the rioters were related in such a manner in most of the daily newspapers, as to give them confidence, and even add to their numbers. For the or nights after the re-opening, these disturbances began at the commencement of the play; but when the rioters were tired of paying the full price, they reserved their opposition till the half price commenced after o'clock; and there seemed at last to have been a conspiracy for the attainment of the end in view. The instruments of noise and uproar were now varied and multiplied; for in addition to laughing, singing, and groaning, there was an accompaniment of coachmen's horns and trumpets, dustman's bells and watchmen's rattles. Many persons came with the symbolical characters of O. P. or in their hats, and upon their clothes, forming rings, and making mock-fights in the pit, and sometimes pushing together in a mass; or otherwise joining in the notable O. P. dance, as it was called, which consisted in the alternate stamping of the feet, accompanied with the regular cry of O. P. in noisy and monotonous cadence. The performances of the house all the while consisted in mere dumb shew and pantomimical representation. The proprietors at length, wearied out with this conduct on the part of the auditors, very improperly sanctioned the introduction of several pugilists and prize-fighters in the house, in order to check the refractory; and among these, a Jew, nick-named Dutch Sam. For a while, on the night the experiment was tried, there was a kind of calm; but no sooner had the curtain been drawn up than the actors were saluted with the customary hisses and groans. The constables and fighting men immediately began to act the parts assigned them, and till the half-pay auditors came in, they had the advantage; but when the pit began to fill, the yell of defiance was renewed, and in minutes hundreds of fists were clenched in savage hostility. The people were exasperated almost to phrenzy at the idea that brutal force was thus employed to compel them to submission, and the evening closed in disgraceful confusion.
Whether these tumults would have subsided if Mr. Clifford, a barrister of distinction, had not made his appearance at , is hard to say; but coming into the pit with the letters O. P. in his hat, he was saluted by the familiar and commendatory address:
The people again gave free scope to their clamour, and
became the rallying words of the night. Brandon, the box-keeper, got Mr. Clifford apprehended as a rioter, and carried before a magistrate at ; but he was immediately discharged. Mr. Clifford now indicted Brandon for an assault and false imprisonment, in which indictment Brandon was cast.
|When the jury came in with their verdict for the plaintiff, a shout of universal approbation was heard; and the applauses of the multitude within the hall, were echoed by those without.|
At a public dinner at the Crown and Anchor tavern, a committee had been appointed to defend the persons under prosecution for riot; when the proprietors, thus foiled in their attempt at coercion, thought proper to compromise the dispute between themselves and the public; and Mr. Kemble at length agreed, notwithstanding the losing concern made out by the committee of reference,
A meeting of the court of common council to consider of an address to his majesty respecting the expedition to the island of Walcheren, gave rise to a numerous meeting of the livery in , and a meeting of the common council to reconsider the address voted before, which, when ultimately presented to his majesty on the , drew forth a reply from the throne as to the Walcheren business, and other subjects of complaint connected with it in the address, that his majesty was the best judge of the propriety or impropriety of the measures adopted by the executive; and, in fact, that parliament only had a right to make inquiry. But, notwithstanding the high language used on this occasion, and the strenuous wishes expressed by a member of the cabinet for the retention of Walcheren, this important island was evacuated by the British forces on the d of , after they had kept possession of it, with Flushing, and several other strong posts, nearly months.
On the , the livery assembled in for the purpose of receiving the report of the sheriffs, relative to the presentation of an address and petition lately voted to his majesty. The lord mayor opened the business of the meeting, after which the crier read the report of the committee ; stating in substance, that it was his majesty's pleasure that their petition should be delivered at the secretary of state's office, in consequence of the public levees having been discontinued for the last years, owing to the defective condition of his majesty's eye sight; and that the liberty to present it at the private levee had been refused. Messrs. Favell and Waithman animadverted in severe terms on the conduct of ministers, and read a series of resolutions, of which was to instruct their representatives in parliament to support all motions of inquiry, and also the reform in parliamentary representation. The whole were carried unanimously.
The city, about this time, received an augmentation of its numerous commercial facilities in the opening of the navigation of the canal from the river Thames to the town of Croydon, in Surrey.
After the investigation of the Walcheren expedition had been nearly brought to a close, Mr. Yorke, on the , gave notice of his intention to enforce the standing order of the house for the exclusion of strangers. This rule, which is settled at the commencement of every session of parliament, led to a train of events which very materially endangered the peace of the city of London.
Mr. Yorke, on the , complained of a breach of privilege, his conduct in that assembly having been made the subject of discussion in a society called the British Forum; and, on the , John Gale Jones, the manager of the society, was summoned to the bar, and committed to Newgate. Though several members expressed their doubts of the policy of his commitment, the power of the house to do so was denied by Sir Francis Burdett alone, who, not having been present at the former debate, moved, on the , for the discharge of Jones, on the ground that the house had exceeded its authority, which was negatived by against . The speech delivered on this occasion, Sir Francis published in a periodical paper on the , with a letter prefixed, addressed to his constituents,
In consequence of this publication, it was moved by sir T. Lethbridge, and decided by a majority, that he had been guilty of publishing a scandalous and libellous paper, reflecting upon their just rights and privileges; and a motion for his commitment to the Tower was made by Sir Robert Salisbury, and carried, after a long and animated debate, by a majority of to voices. The division did not take place till o'clock on the morning of Friday, the , when the speaker signed the warrant, and delivered it to the serjeant-at-arms. That officer was informed by Sir Francis that he would be ready to receive him on the next morning, which being viewed by the serjeant as implying that he would go peaceably to the Tower, he retired. Sir Francis, however, alleging the illegality of the warrant, refused to go, unless constrained by actual force, which he was determined to resist. After taking the opinion of the attorney-general, the serjeant, accompanied by a number of police officers, and a detachment of the guards, forced an entry into his house, and conveyed him in a close carriage by , , into the Newroad down the City-road, through Finsbury to the Tower, where it arrived at o'clock. troops of the life-guards preceded, and the light dragoons followed the carriage; the
|latter, having been in Spain, were repeatedly cheered by the people, , on the other hand, were considerably irritated by the behaviour of the life-guards, in striking at a number of persons standing up at their own doors and windows. As the military returned, they were assailed with showers of stones, brick-bats, &c. when charging the multitude, several carbines were fired; by which or lives were lost, and several persons wounded.|
The mob, assembled round the house of sir Francis, also committed many outrages in the neighbourhood. On the , a spirited letter sent by sir Francis to the speaker, after the receipt of his warrant, became a topic of debate, and a resolution was unanimously passed, declaring it a high and flagrant breach of the privileges of the house.
Sir Francis Burdett commenced actions against the speaker of the house of commons, for issuing the warrant of his arrest and imprisonment; against the serjeant at arms, for executing the warrant generally, and for breaking open the outer door of his house in its execution; and against earl Moira, the governor of the Tower, for illegal imprisonment; the object of sir Francis being to ascertain whether an appeal lay to a court of law, against proceedings of the house of commons acting as accuser and judge, and affecting the liberty of the subject,--if the punishment could be remitted by a court of law, the privilege claimed would be restricted, if not destroyed; in all which he failed, the plea that the warrant being issued by the authority of the house of commons was a legal instrument, and that therefore the arrest and imprisonment were legal, being admitted. Thus the attempt to overthrow this branch of the privilege of parliament served to confirm it, and gave to the claims of the house of commons a solemn judicial recognition.
A numerous and highly respectable meeting of the livery of London soon after took place at ,
Mr. Favell opened the business, and after an animated speech, voted resolutions to the following effect:
Thanks were also voted to sir Francis Burdett for his constitutional opposition to the power unjustly claimed by the house of commons. Subsequently, an attempt was made to get up a counter-resolution at a meeting of various members of the corporation, friends of the ministry, at the London-tavern, ; but Mr. Waithman and some of his friends having obtained access to the room, so discomposed the gentlemen, that they retired to a private room, and there moved, seconded, and agreed to certain resolutions in opposition to those of the common hall.
On the , lord Cochrane presented a petition from a meeting at , held that day in Palace-yard, in which the house was called upon to restore to the inhabitants of , their beloved representative. It contrasted, among other contemptuous expressions, the refusal of the house to enquire into the conduct of lord Castlereagh and Mr. Percival, when distinctly charged with the sale of a seat in that house, with the committal of sir Francis Burdett to prison, enforced by military power. This petition, after some debate, being ordered to lie on the table, on the , another was presented by Mr. Byng from Middlesex, which Mr. Perceval looked upon to be a kind of experiment to try how far the forbearance of the house would go in the sufferance of language such as it contained. This petition was rejected, as was also another from the livery of London for the release of sir Francis Burdett and Mr. Gale Jones. Petitions of a similar nature afterwards came in from Berkshire, Reading, Nottingham, Kingston-upon-Hull, Rochester, , and Sheffield.
On the , colonel Wardle attended at , to receive the thanks and the freedom of the city, in consequence of the part which he took in prosecuting the inquiry into the conduct of the duke of York, and his unfortunate connection with Mrs. Mary Anne Clarke.
The trial of Mr. Cobbett, in the court of King's Bench, in , for a libel on the German legion, excited a great deal of interest. Some of the Cambridgeshire militia having been mutinous, were flogged by these foreigners; and being found guilty of a libel, he was sentenced to years imprisonment in Newgate, and to pay to the king.
During sir Francis Burdett's confinement in the Tower, a deputation from the livery of London, to the number of a , proceeded from in their civic costume, and
|in several carriages, preceded by the city marshalls, other city officers, and Mr. sheriff Wood, colonel Bosville, &c. went to the Tower, where they were met by lord Moira, who complimented them as they passed, and introduced them to sir Francis Burdett, who thanked them for the honour they had done him; after which, they returned in the same order as they came. But as the parliament adjourned for the usual recess in June, the liberation of sir Francis Burdett followed as a matter of course, an event which his friends could not pass over without shewing every public mark of approbation of his conduct in their power. Perhaps on no previous occasion had there ever been a greater\number of people assembled in all the streets leading from to the Tower, than on this, exclusive of carriages, horse and foot, mostly decorated with blue ribbands and mottoes, and escorted with music. Besides the crowds that lined the streets, an immense multitude was collected on , waiting the great event with the utmost impatience, till near in the afternoon; when it was discovered, that sir Francis had left the Tower quite privately, going down the river a little distance, and then landing, and taking horse to his house at Wimbledon. In the evening, an illumination to a very considerable extent took place; and it was a great satisfaction to all reflecting minds, that the peace of the metropolis was not on this occasion at all disturbed; and that no military force was wanting to preserve public order.|
The last business of importance which occupied the attention of the common council, at the close of this year, was the regulations proposed for the city militia, or rather the abuses connected with this establishment. The report of a committee appointed to examine the subject being brought forward, it appeared they had agreed that it was expedient to petition parliament to enable them to do away the militia acts altogether. The militia system in the city had been carried on at an enormous expence, and no practical benefits arose from it; the actual expenditure being independent of the trophy tax. The committee further stated, that the information required was peremptorily refused by the colonel, sir John Eamer, and alderman Hunter, who said that they were only responsible to the court of lieutenancy, which was appointed by the crown and of which they were the members! The situation of those gentlemen had become more lucrative than that of any other colonels of militia, or even of the regular regiments. In the West London regiment, there was a balance of more than in a stock-purse, which the lieutenant-colonel offered to hand over, if sir John Eamer would, in like manner, hand over the balance for his regiment of East London. The sole and entire controul of this stock-purse, was exercised by sir John Eamer himself, who neither allowed the lieutenant-colonel or the major to interfere. The committee could not conceive any reason for sir John Eamer refusing to give them the information
|required, but a wish to conceal from the citizens of London, who paid the tax, the manner in which it was applied. They stated, as the result of their enquiries, that there was then above in the hands of the colonels of the regiments, which ought to be handed over to the city treasurer. They believed that the city of London militia was of no use either to the city or county; that the civil power had been gradually found sufficient for its protection; and that the ancient force of trained-bands, or volunteers, was sufficient in any extraordinary emergency. They therefore recommended to parliament to repeal the laws respecting the militia of the city of London, and to make this force more available to the good of the country, by extending its services in common with other regiments of militia.|
On the , Mr. Lyon Levy, a diamond merchant, precipitated himself from the east side of the gallery of the monument, and was killed on the spot; he cleared the rails, but struck against the pedestal. The fall from the top of the gallery enclosure to the ground is about feet. This was the instance of the kind that had happened within the last years. On the , about o'clock in the afternoon, a man, supposed to be a weaver, fell from the top. He struck the pedestal, and pitched on a post, which laid open his skull, and he was otherwise most terribly shattered. The next instance was in , , when John Cradock, a baker, threw himself over the north side of the monument; he cleared the pediment and iron railing, by falling just on the outside of them, near the north-west corner.
An extraordinary circumstance took place in the night of the , or rather, early in the morning of that day, when an attempt was made to assassinate his royal highness, the duke of Cumberland. On the Wednesday, the day before, the duke had been dining at Greenwich, and returned to town in the evening. He came home to his apartments in about half-past , and went to bed about . About half-past , he received violent blows and cuts on the head. The impression upon his mind was, that a bat had got into the room, and was beating about his head: he was soon convinced to the contrary by receiving a blow; he jumped out of bed, when he received a number of other blows: from the glimmering light, reflected from a dull lamp in the fire-place, playing on the moving instrument that inflicted the wounds, they appeared like flashes of lightning before his eyes. He hastened toward a door, near the head of his bed, leading to a small room, to which the assassin followed him, and cut him across his thighs. His royal highness, not being able to find his alarm bells, which there is no doubt the villain had concealed, called with a loud voice for Neale, his valet in waiting, several times, who came
| to his assistance, and together with his royal highness, alarmed the house. The duke desired Neale not to leave him, as he feared there were others in the room. His royal highness shortly after went to the porter's room, and Neale went to awaken Sellis (a Piedmontese, another of the duke's valets). The door of Sellis's room was locked, and Neale called out to him, saying, |
No answer being given, the door was broke open, and Sellis was found dead in his bed, with his throat cut from ear to ear. It was supposed that Sellis, conscious of his guilt, imagined when the alarm was given at his door, that they were about to take him in custody, and immediately cut his throat. His blue coat was found folded up in a chair, at corner of the room, the inside of which was stained with blood. A pair of his slippers were also found in the closet adjoining the duke's chamber. The sword used was a large military sabre of the duke's, and had been lately sharpened. The whole edge appeared hacked and blunted. His royal highness, it was understood, received distinct wounds: upon the forehead towards the top of the head; upon the cheek, another down the cheek, upon the arm, another by which his little finger was nearly severed from the hand, and another on the thigh, besides several punctures in different parts with the point of the sabre. Mr. Home, the surgeon, being sent for, immediately pronounced that none of the wounds were mortal. A coroner's inquest that sate upon the body of Sellis, returned a verdict During this examination, the foreman of the jury asked a witness if he thought the deceased had any reason to be dissatisfied with the duke. He replied, on the contrary, he thought Sellis had more reason to be satisfied than any other of his servants; his royal highness had stood godfather for of his children; the princess Augusta, godmother. The duke had shewn him a very particular favour, by giving him apartments for his wife and family, with coals and candles. He was a little sallow man, whose features retained some regularity, even amid the convulsion into which they had been distorted. The body of Sellis was buried at the corner of Scotland-yard.
On the , the earl of Northesk and sir Richard Strachan received at the Mansion-house the swords voted them by the city of London. They were accompanied by the earl of St. Vincent. Appropriate speeches were made by the chamberlain, and answered by the admirals. After this ceremony, they staid and dined with the lord mayor.
An accident, rather alarming to the commercial interest, occurred on the ; the coffer-dam at the entrance of the , erected for the purpose of keeping out the water, while the building of the wing wall of the lock was going on, gave way. At nearly high water, in the afternoon, the workmen employed in excavating the earth for the foundation, having observed the water to burst underneath the piles, were ordered to remove immediately from the dam. The confidence, however,
|reposed in its security, from the immense strength of the braces, &c. was such, that hopes were entertained that it would not entirely give way. But in a few minutes, the piles, which were upwards of feet long, were forced perpendicularly into the air, the water of course filled the dam, and the effects were immediately felt in the bason, though not to the extent that might have been expected. The situation of the dam was so much exposed, that not less than from to vessels passed every tide. Many of these in passing, notwithstanding every exertion of the dock-master, came with a severe crash against the dam, and from this circumstance, and the pressure of about tons of water, the blowing up of the whole was not to be wondered at. Fortunately, no lives were lost.|
Early in the month of November, the malady which had fixed upon his majesty in October, could no longer be concealed. After the unwelcome intelligence had been announced to the public, in terms as delicate as possible, preparations were made for issuing daily bulletins at St. James's and the Mansion-house. So early as the , it had also been announced by the secretary of state to the lord mayor, that in consequence of the continuing indisposition of his majesty, no chief magistrate of the city could be submitted for the royal approbation, and that his lordship would, of course, be expected to continue in the discharge of the duties of his high office, until his majesty's pleasure could be taken on the appointment of his successor.
On the meeting of both houses of parliament, on the , a report of the physicians on the state of the king's health was brought in, and laid before the members. The final issue of all the debates that followed was, that the prince of Wales should be regent, under certain restrictions; and that the queen should have the care of the king's person; her majesty being assisted by a council. of the acts of the regent, after his being sworn in in due form before the privy council, was to receive the address of the lord mayor and common council of the city of London on the occasion: and as he on the same day held a council, all the ministers of state were present, when it was read in a very solemn manner. The address of the city was partly condoling and partly congratulatory. Among the grievances was specified
To this the regent returned a kind and dignified answer, assuring the city that he should esteem it as the happiest moment of his life, when he could resign the powers delegated to him into the hands of his sovereign, and that he should always listen to the complaints of those who thought themselves aggrieved.
The conclusion of was marked by an act of sacrilege and robbery in the cathedral of , scarcely parallelled in the
| annals of atrocity. On Saturday night, or early on Sunday morning, , this edifice was deprived of the whole of its rich service of plate. The difficulty and ingenuity required to get at the property prove the depredators to have been complete masters of their profession. The articles carried off were as follow:
Several of these articles were used but a few days before at a private ordination, by the bishop of London, and after they were done with were locked up in the plate room, immediately over the vestry, in iron chests, which had on them padlocks, as well as other locks. There are doors to the room, an inner and an outer ; the former is entirely iron, the other plated and of uncommon strength. To these principal doors, there are several passages leading, all of which have doors always locked, through which persons must pass before they enter the plate-room; and it was only known to a few persons to what apartment these passages led. All these doors remained locked, and it was not till Sunday morning, when the plate was wanted for the church service, that the robbery was discovered. The person who had the plate under his care, opened the passage doors with the keys belonging to them, but the lock of the main door he could not open until he had procured the master-key. He then found that the chests containing the plate had been broken open with an iron crow, or some such instrument, the padlocks haying been opened in the usual way. When the police-officers came from to examine the premises, they were of opinion, that the quantity and value of the plate were all previously known, and the crime committed by persons perfectly acquainted with the place. The weight of the whole was ounces. It had been doubly gilt but a very short time before, which gave it the appearance of gold. The robbers must have passed doors or gates, before they could get at the property, The master-key was kept in a closet, where of the vergers usually placed his silver staff; but that was stolen, although it is probable the key was used to effect the robbery. An attempt to steal the plate from this cathedral had
|been made about years before. The robbers then got as far as a closet where the keys were kept; but whether they were prevented from proceeding, by being alarmed, or by their light going out was never ascertained.|
The state of the currency having rendered some alterations in it necessary, on the , a rise of per cent. in the value of the stamped dollars took place. The increase in the price of silver had become so great, that the dollars, or tokens issued by the bank, had sold for more as bullion, than they would pass for as coin. The directors of the bank, consequently, gave notice that they would in future receive in payment all bank-dollar-tokens at the rate of each; and that all such tokens would in future be issued at the same increased rate, About this time, a new dock was opened at , near the king's victualling-office, called the east country dock, capable of holding about ships, intended for those from America, the Baltic, the fisheries, and others, containing naval stores. At a common council, holden on the this year, the recommendation of the Committee of General Purposes for adding per annum, to the allowance of the late, present, and future lord mayors, was agreed to. The annual expences of the chief magistrates were ascertained to be and the receipts about In another court of common council, Mr. Quin, after paying some high compliments to the prince regent, moved that the freedom of the city should be presented to his royal highness, in a box of heart of oak, which was agreed to unanimously; but, at a subsequent meeting, the deputation that had waited on his royal highness, informed them, that after expressing very sincere gratification from the proofs of the corporation's attachment, he had, on account of the high situation he was placed in, declined accepting the freedom. A singular circumstance relative to the arrest of a dead body occurred this year in the neighbourhood of , where a writ of arrest was served upon a dead body by a sheriffs officer and his assistants, as the friends of the deceased were conveying it to burial ground. The officer and his assistants presenting the writ, forcibly removed the body into a shell, and conveyed it away. However, as the friends of the deceased did not come forward to pay the debt, the officer the next day applied to the minister of to inter the corpse, which he very properly refused, unless service was read over it, which would ensure the security of the body in holy ground. The sheriffs of London soon after, caused an enquiry to be made into the circumstances of the case; and finding, that though the officer did not disturb the body himself, he improperly left it with the plaintiff, without having made any communication at the sheriff's office, they therefore dismissed him from his employment. In fact, an action of this
|nature could not be otherwise than revolting to the feelings of the community at large, though it tended to determine a point till then subject to a doubt, as it occasioned lord Ellenborough to declare, the arrest of a dead body was manifestly unauthorised by the laws of England.|
The committee of the corporation of London for carrying into execution the acts of parliament for the improvement of the entrance at Temple-bar and , having come to a resolution that the new street, leading northwards from Picket-street, should, as a memento of respect to their chairman, the alderman, be called Domville-street; he having declined the honour, it was agreed it should be called Pickett-place.
After nearly months experiment on his majesty's health, about the latter end of October, the report from the queen's council almost extinguished the last hope entertained in favor of his recovery. It was then stated that his majesty's health was not such as to enable him to resume the exercise of his royal authority. His bodily health did not appear to be essentially altered since the date of the last report; but, from the protraction of the disorder, the duration of its accessions, and the peculiar character it had assumed, of his majesty's physicians thought his recovery improbable, and the other very much so; yet, from his majesty's health and powers of mind, from his memory and perception, from the remaining vigor of his constitution and his bodily health, some of the medical persons in attendance did not entirely despair of his recovery.
A high breach of private trust was about this time committed by Mr. Walsh, a member of the British parliament, and a stock-broker, who absconded with the property of the solicitor-general, for which he was apprehended and committed for trial. The affair, however, owing to some informality, was not followed by any punishment, except that of his being expelled the house of commons.
The session of parliament was opened on the , by commissioners from the prince regent. The address from the throne, after lamenting the disappointment of the hopes so confidently entertained of his majesty's speedy recovery, congratulated parliament on the skill and valour displayed by the British army in the peninsula of Spain and Portugal, as well as upon the extinction of the colonial power of the enemy in the east; and concluded with an assurance, on the part of the regent, that he would continue to employ all such means of conciliation, for adjusting the existing differences between Great Britain and America, as might be consistent with the honour and dignity of his majesty's crown.
The king's symptoms had gradually become more discouraging, until, in the beginning of the present year, there remained little hope of his restoration. As separate establishments for the regent and the king were now necessary, the chancellor of the exchequer proposed that an addition of per annum should be made to the civil list out of the consolidated fund; that
|the king's establishment, the annual expence of which was estimated at , should be placed under the control of the queen, who would have the care of his person; that per annum be added to her majesty's income; and that a commission of persons should be appointed for the management of the king's private property. These propositions were agreed to, as was a bill, by which the sum of was voted to the prince regent to meet the expences consequent on his assumption of the royal authority. A grant of per annum was likewise voted to each of the princesses, in addition to payable from the civil list.|
On the , when the regency restrictions were on the eve of their termination, the prince addressed a letter to the duke of York, expressing his approbation of the conduct of ministers, but intimating a wish that some of those persons with whom the early habits of his public life were formed would strengthen his hands, and constitute a part of his government. days after the date of this letter, lords Grey and Grenville, to whom the duke of York had, in compliance with the request of the prince regent, communicated his sentiments, addressed a reply to his royal highness, in which they expressed on public grounds alone, the impossibility of their uniting with the existing government, their differences of opinion embracing almost all the leading features of the actual policy of the empire. On subject their sentiments were especially at variance : they were so firmly persuaded of the necessity of a total change in the system of governing Ireland, and of the immediate repeal of those civil disabilities under which so large a portion of the people laboured, on account of their religious opinions, that to recommend to parliament that repeal would be the advice which they would feel it their duty to offer to his royal highness. All hope of forming an extended administration was therefore at an end.
The ministry now consisted of parties; at the head of of which was Mr. Perceval, and of the other the marquis of Wellesley. The differences between these statesmen were partly personal, and partly political: the high and aspiring views of the marquis would not permit him to serve under Mr. Perceval, though he had no objection to serve with him, or to serve under either the earl of Moira or lord Holland; and when it appeared that the regent intended to continue Mr. Perceval at the head of his councils, the marquis resigned his office, and the seals of the foreign department were transferred to lord Castlereagh. On the lord Borington moved an address to the prince regent, beseeching him to form such an administration as might most effectually call forth the entire confidence and energies of the united kingdom, and afford to his royal highness additional means of conducting to a successful termination, a war, in which were involved the safety, honour, and
| prosperity of the country. Earl Grey stated the points on which lord Grenville and himself had declined a union with the existing administration, which, he said, was formed on the express principle of resistance to the catholic claims; a principle loudly proclaimed by the person at its head, from the moment he quitted the bar to take a share in political life; and where he led, the rest were obliged to follow. With respect to the disputes with America, he wished to bear in mind the principle so well expressed by the late Mr. Burke, that, |
On making bank notes a legal tender, an impassable line of separation existed between him and the present ministry; and as to the war in the peninsula, it was his wish that we should not proceed on the present expensive scale, without having some military authority as to its probable result. He complained of an unseen and separate influence behind the throne; the existence of which was denied by lord Mulgrave, who avowed the hostility of ministers to the catholic claims, which was assumed, by the earl of Moira, as a sufficient reason why they ought to be removed. The motion was negatived.
The power of the administration appeared now more firmly established than ever, when it was deprived of its leader by a tragical and extraordinary event. On the , as Mr. Perceval, chancellor of the exchequer, was entering the lobby of the house of commons, a man, named John Bellingham, shot him through the heart. He staggered, fell, and in a few minutes expired. The assassin, who made no attempt to escape, was examined at the bar of the house of commons, where it was apprehended that this was only the act of a deep and extensive conspiracy; but it soon appeared that the act was merely in revenge of a supposed private injury. Bellingham having, in a commercial visit to Russia, undergone imprisonment for debt unjustly, as he asserted, and for which he thought the British government was bound to procure him redress, its refusal to take any cognizance of his case made such an impression on his mind, constitutionally disposed to dark melancholy, that he resolved to make a sacrifice of some conspicuous member of the government. On his trial, which took place days after the commission of the deed, he displayed great self-possession, yet his sanity was involved in doubt; he discovered intellectual powers capable of discerning all the tendencies of human actions; he was found guilty, and was executed opposite Newgate, .
The day after the assassination of Mr. Perceval a message was sent down to parliament by the prince regent, expressing the wish of his royal highness that a suitable provision should be made for his family. A grant of a year was accordingly conferred on his widow, and the sum of voted to her children. It was afterwards proposed, and agreed to,
|that the annuity of Mrs. Perceval should, at her demise, descend to her eldest son.|
On , the lord mayor, aldermen, sheriffs, and common council of the city of London, waited upon his royal highness at Carlton-house, with the following address and petition; which was read by the recorder:
To which his royal highness was pleased to return the following gracious answer:
A dreadful high wind occurred on the this year, by which a lamplighter was blown over the balustrades of Blackfriar's-bridge, and was unfortunately drowned. About in the morning, the large iron pipe, affixed on the chimney of colonel
|Calvert's apartments in , was blown into the front of the building in , fortunately doing no injury. A woman and child were killed in Blackfriar's-road, several persons were wounded in the Borough, and many other accidents of the same sort happened throughout the metropolis and in the environs.|
The prosperous state of affairs at home in the year , was closed by the official publication of a treaty of peace between Great Britain and Russia, in which it was agreed that the relations of amity and commerce between the countries should be re-established on each side on the footing of the most favoured nations, the perpetuity of which was now rising in probability every day, from the reiterated defeats and distresses of the French army in Russia, accounts and confirmations of which arrived almost with every post. And if any event served to cast a degree of shade on the brightening prospect, it was on the opening of parliament in December, when, with the deepest concern, the prince regent announced the continuance of his majesty's lamented indisposition, and the diminution of the hopes he had most anxiously entertained for his recovery. The speech also noticed the relations of peace and friendship, restored between his majesty and the courts of St. Petersburgh and Stockholm, and the additional proof of the confidence which the regent had received from his imperial majesty, in the measure which he had adopted of sending his fleets to the ports of this country: a tacit acknowledgement that Britain was almost the only point in Europe invulnerable to the common enemy.
On the , the monument erected by the corporation of London to the memory of the right honorable William Pitt, in , was opened to public view, placed on the south side of that edifice, exactly facing that of his father, the great earl of Chatham. Mr. Canning, attended by lord George Leveson Gower, attended the corporation committee, and, after viewing it, expressed his satisfaction with its design and execution.
In the course of the spring, as a number of gross and unfounded calumnies had been disseminated against the princess of Wales, the spouse of his royal highness the prince regent, the city thought proper to present an address to her on the , expressing that the sentiments of profound veneration and ardent affection which they entertained for her, had never experienced diminution or change, and assuring her that they should always feel, and be ready to give proof of their most anxious solicitude for her health, prosperity, and happiness. To this, her royal highness replied, that it was a great consolation for her to learn, that during so many years of unmerited persecution, the kind and favourable sentiments with which the city of London had at received her, had undergone no change. Their sense of abhorrence against the foul and detestable conspiracy which perjured and suborned traducers had carried on against her life and honour, she said, was worthy of them. The consciousness of her innocence had supported her through her long,
|severe, and unmerited trials. She added, that she would not lose any opportunity she might be permitted to enjoy of encouraging the talents and virtues of her dear daughter, the princess Charlotte, who would clearly perceive the value of that free constitution, over which, in the natural course of events, it would be her high destiny to preside. This distinguished proceeding, she said, adopted by the city in this great empire, would be considered by posterity as a proud memorial of her vindicated honour. This address the city presented to her royal highness at Kensington palace, was not, as usual, inserted in the London Gazette.|
This year, vaccine inoculation, the practice of which had met with some obstacles, from a disagreement of opinion in a number of individuals belonging to the faculty, received the unqualified sanction of the Royal , who entered into an engagement between themselves and with the public, not to inoculate for the small-pox, unless for some special reason, after vaccination; but to pursue, and to the utmost of their power promote, the practice of vaccination, concluding with their recommendation to all the members of the college of correspondent opinions and sentiments of duty, to enter into similar engagements.
On the , the city of London, feeling in common with the country at large, the benefits acquired by the successes obtained by marquis Wellington, determined upon an address to his royal highness the prince regent, in which they offered their heart-felt congratulations on the brilliant and decisive victory obtained over the French forces in the neighbourhood of Vittoria, on the ; a victory, they observed, so complete and decisive, that it could not fail to produce the happiest effects on the liberties and independence of Europe; and concluding with their earnest hope that it might promote, and finally secure an honourable and lasting peace. To this loyal and patriotic address, his royal highness gave the following answer:
About this time, the foundation of the new prison in , near Cripplegate, was laid. This extensive building is
|solely appropriated to the imprisonment of London and Middlesex debtors, instead of confining those unfortunate persons, as before, in the criminal prisons of the metropolis. Mr. alderman Wood, as chairman of the committee appointed to superintend the building, laid the stone, attended by the dukes of Kent and Sussex, and several other persons of distinction.|
The expression of the public mind on the subject of the recent victories was not confined to addresses. The metropolis was illuminated, more or less, on the nights of the , , and . The fronts of Carlton-house and Somerset-house, exhibited each a blaze of light, with the name of Wellington formed with lamps, and allusions to the hero's exploits. The India-house, the Mansion-house, Apsley-house, (marquis Wellesley's, ,) with the houses of the Spanish ambassador, and the Spanish consul, were illuminated with much spirit and elegance: and many individuals made displays not less honourable to their patriotism, than to their taste and judgment.
At a common-hall on the , Mr. alderman Domville and Mr. alderman Wood being returned by the livery of London as proper persons to fill the important office of lord mayor of London, the court of aldermen having proceeded to a scrutiny, Mr. Domville was declared duly and unanimously elected.
In the beginning of October Dr. Howley's election to the bishopric of London, was confirmed at Bow church, , being the oldest church in the diocese, by sir William Scott, the vicar-general of the province of Canterbury, with, the usual ceremonies. On the morning of the d, Dr. Howley was consecrated bishop of London at . At half past the queen, (who had expressed a wish to be present,) with of the princesses, were received at by the archbishop, who conducted them into the drawing-room, where Dr. Howley, the bishop elect, the bishops of Oxford, Gloucester, and Salisbury, the vicar-general, in their full robes, and other distinguished characters, paid their respects to them, after which they proceeded to his grace's chapel. The queen and princesses were conducted into Mrs. Sutton's family gallery. No person was admitted into the body of the chapel except those engaged in the ceremony.. Dr. Howley took his seat the last on the right of the altar. The morning service was read by of the archbishop's chaplains the bishop of Gloucester read the epistle; the bishop of Oxford the gospel: the sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Goddard, who took a general view of the established church from the period of the reformation; and dwelt upon the divine institution and expediency of the episcopal order.
On Saturday, , the whole city of London was thrown, as it were, into a state of temporary delirium; the heart cheering news of a counter-revolution in Holland, in which the French were every where ejected, while the allies were marching in to the assistance of the natives, reached town this afternoon. This
| gave birth to an extraordinary gazette, and the firing of the Park and Tower guns on Sunday evening. From the gazette, and by the arrival of baron Perponcher and M. Fazel, it appeared that a counter-revolution had broke out in part of the United Provinces on the preceding Monday, the , when the people of Amsterdam rose in a body, proclaiming the house of Orange, with the old cry of |
and universally putting up the Orange colours. This example was immediately followed by other towns of the provinces of Holland, as Haerlem, Leyden, Utrecht, the Hague, Rotterdam, &c. where the French government was dismissed, and a temporary government proclaimed in the name of the prince of Orange, until his serene highness's arrival. In fact, the proclamation issued by the new governor of the Hague, excited as much joy here as it was possible even for the Dutch to feel, as in a commercial view, it seemed equally as applicable to us as themselves.
That no time might be lost, on Thursday the , his serene highness the prince of Orange left London, and embarked with the earl of Clancarty, and was joyfully received by his ancient and faithful subjects.
On the a proclamation for a general thanksgiving was issued from Carlton-house, to be observed in England, Ireland, and Scotland, on the following, for the series of signal and glorious victories over the enemy, and the inestimable benefits which this kingdom had received at the hands of Almighty God, &c. This drew forth an ardent and loyal address from the city of London to the prince regent on the late glorious events; highly congratulating him on his recent declaration on the opening of parliament,
In the answer returned to this address, the prince, after expressing his satisfaction with the dutifulness and loyalty of the sentiments, added that great and unremitted exertions were still necessary; but that he was persuaded that any further sacrifices required would be made by the citizens of London, and by all descriptions of his majesty's subjects, with the same fortitude and perseverance which had distinguished the country throughout the whole of the present contest; the expected reward of which would be an honourable and lasting peace.
This year, , had scarcely commenced, when it became generally known that the prince regent and his ministers, acting up to the spirit of those pacific professions so recently made, had dispatched lord Castlereagh to the head quarters of the allies at Chatillon-sur-Seine, in France, which country he never quitted till he had happily completed the object of his mission. If any thing ominous had, as usual in the darker ages, been attached to the appearances of the weather when his lordship set out from London,
|the happy issue of his embassy would have sufficiently exposed the futility of such auguries: perhaps his lordship's departure from London on Monday, , about in the evening, was attended by a fog, which, for its density and duration might have been equalled, but could not possibly have been exceeded at any time. Fortunately, his lordship proceeded on the towards Harwich without interruption; it was not so with the prince regent, who intending to pay a visit to the marquis of Salisbury, at Hatfield house, Herts, was obliged to return to Carlton house, after of his out-riders had fallen into a ditch on this side Kentish town.|
It was remarked that the winter of , in several particulars, resembled the present: but there was nothing in the memory of man to equal the continued fall of snow for nearly days, in the beginning of the winter of -. Almost weeks the wind blew continually from the north and north-east, and was intensely cold. A short thaw also, which scarcely lasted day, only rendered the state of the streets times worse. Hence the masses of snow and water became so thick that it was with difficulty that hackney coaches with an additional horse, could plough their way through. In some streets in the city men were employed on the Sundays to remove the snow. Almost all trades and callings carried on in the streets were stopped, which considerably increased the distresses of the lower orders. Few carriages, even stages, could travel on the roads, which even about town seemed deserted. From many buildings, icicles full a yard and a half long, were seen suspended. The house water pipes were mostly frozen, whence it became necessary to have plugs in the streets for the supply of all ranks of people. fall of snow continued hours incessantly, after the ground had been covered with a condensation, the result nearly of weeks' continued frost.
In the meanwhile, the river Thames, in consequence of the continuance of the severe weather, began to assume a singular appearance: vast quantities of snow were seen almost every where on the surface, and being carried up and down by the tide and the stream, or collected where the banks or the bridges supported the accumulation, a sort of glaciers were formed, united moment, and crashing, cracking, and dashing away the next. At times too, when the flood became elevated by the spring tides, and the current ran strongly, the small ice islands floated away, passing through the arches with a rapidity scarcely to be conceived, according as the wind or tide prevailed. In fact, the conglomeration upon the whole, presented more of the appearance of the rudeness of the desert, than that of a broad surface, to which the eye of the observer had been mostly accustomed.
Paths were formed by strewing ashes, &c. direct and diagonal from shore to shore, and frequent cautions were given to those heroines whose curiosity induced them to venture on the glassy plain,
| to be careful not to slip off the kirb. Booths of all kinds for constituting what might be called frost fair, were erected in great numbers. Many of these were distinguished by appropriate signs, as the Waterman's Arms, the Crown, the Mag Pye, the Eel-pot, &c.; and wag had a notice appended to his tent, signifying |
Among the most rational of the oddities collected on the Thames on this occasion were a number of printers, who, with their presses, pulled off various impressions of names, verses, &c. which they sold for a trifle.
On Saturday, , notwithstanding there were evident signs of the breaking of the ice, and even very early on the Sunday morning some imprudent persons passed over from to . About in the morning also some persons carousing in a booth opposite Brooke's wharf, were very near losing their lives; the tide beginning to flow at , and being assisted by the thaw, the booth was hurried along with the quickness of lightning. The men in their alarm neglected the fire and candle, which communicating with the covering, set it in a flame. In this singular situation they succeeded in getting into a lighter, which had broken from its moorings; but this was dashed to pieces against of the piers of ; upon this some of the men got out, and were taken off safely; the rest had thrown themselves into a barge while passing . Long before noon, on Sunday, the whole mass of the ice had given way, and forcing itself through the bridges, carried every thing before it. Numbers of boats were now busily employed saving rafts of timber, and towing drifted barges, &c. on shore. The passage of the river at length became quite free, though the coldness of the weather, and the snow was not clear off the surface of the ground in the environs of the city before Sunday, , when the wind finally changed from the north-east.
Upon the whole, it did not appear that the late winter, notwithstanding its length, was remarkable for intensity of cold. Fahrenheit's thermometer had been frequently observed at , several times at , more than once at , once at , and once so low as below , that is--to say degrees below the freezing point. This happened on the morning of Christmas day, , supposed to have been the most intense degree of cold ever known in England.
On Saturday morning, , about a quarter past o'clock, a fire began to issue from the Custom-house, and to burn with such violence, as to threaten the most destructive consequences. Numerous engines soon arrived; but about o'clock, the flames had made so rapid a spread, that little hope was entertained of saving
|any of the building. The exertions of the firemen and others were then directed to the warehouses and other buildings on both sides , when a report that a great quantity of gunpowder was deposited in the vaults, caused all the spectators, as well as the firemen, to withdraw to a distance. At half-past , this rumour was proved not to have been an idle . The explosion which then took place was heard and felt for several miles; burnt paper, leaves of books, &c. were scattered as far as Hackney, Low Leighton, &c. Numbers of persons, soon after the breaking out of this fire, were seen running about , almost naked, and some were severely scorched. At o'clock, the whole of the Custom-house and the adjoining warehouses were reduced to ashes; but, about , all fear of the further extension of the flames had subsided. houses opposite were burnt down by o'clock; and among them Holland's coffee-house; the Rose and Crown, and Yorkshire Grey public houses; the King's Arms was much damaged. A man standing close to of the persons employed in holding a branch pipe, was killed by the explosion of the gunpowder before mentioned; but the branch-holder did not sustain the least injury. The fire is thought to have originated in a fire-flue in of the offices of business adjoining a closet in the housekeeper's room, all upon the pair of stairs. Miss Kelly, the house-keeper and her sister, had a narrow escape, bursting in a manner, through the flames with her brother, captain Hinton Kelly, who had returned from Brighton only the day before. It was but too soon ascertained that poor orphan girls in her service had perished in the flames, it being impossible for Miss Kelly to awaken them, or to get to the chamber where they slept. The rest of the servants had the good fortune to get to the top of the building, from whence, by the help of ladders, they were soon removed. The books and papers of the searcher's office on the quay were saved, being conveyed out of a window and put into a lighter lying along side; but, in the secretary's office, documents nearly years old, with the bonds in the Coast Bond Office, were lost. This Custom-house was erected in , upon the ruins of the of this kind in London, built in .|
A fraud of a most extraordinary kind was played off in the metropolis on Monday, the , when between and in the forenoon, a person wearing a white cockade passed rapidly by the in a post chaise, drawn by horses, and decorated with sprigs of laurel. Much about the same time, a chaise similarly decorated, and a person of the same description within, was seen in the vicinity of ; not proceeding directly thither, but wandering about, apparently in want of a guide. All the city and all the west end of the town were in a tumult of joy. The approaches to the public offices were crowded with persons anxiously intent upon learning the cause of this
|extraordinary arrival. Thousands of persons supposing the guns would fire, collected about the west end of the town chiding the delay, it being supposed an absolute fact, that the Tower guns had already fired; although, it was at the same time made matter of surprise and blame in the city that the Tower guns did not open their mouths, hundreds were quite certain that those in the park had been blazing away long before. Down till o'clock, the crowd was still waiting in the park for the firing of the guns; but in the city, the business was long before that time suspected. Omnium fell back from its previous high and sudden elevation, in proportion as the delusion vanished, leaving multitudes of cheated speculators cursing the deception practised on them. In the course of the evening, an attempt was made to revive the trick. It was asserted by the authors of this story, that the mission of the man with the white cockade was not to the British government, but to the French princes here; and that he had certainly arrived at the residences of the prince of Conde and the duke of Bourbon. Inquiry in this quarter, also proved the whole trick, and nothing remained but to set down and ruminate upon the consequences.|
It appeared certain that a chaise and decorated as before related, came towards from ; afterwards got back over that bridge again, as it is sometimes done on the return after landing the fare; then went round by the Borough over , as if to gratify the city with the sight in passing to the westward. At length being set down at the Marsh gate, , the pretended messenger, whose name was De Berenger, stepped into a hackney coach, and was traced to a house then recently taken by lord Cochrane, in , .
On Wednesday, , as lord Cochrane and others had been implicated in this popular deception, in consequence of the investigations of the committee appointed by the Stock Exchange, their trial came on for conspiring to defraud that body, by circulating false news of Bonaparte's defeat, his being killed by the Cossacks, &c. to raise the funds to a higher price than they would otherwise have borne, to the injury of the public, and to the benefit of the conspirators. Mr. Gurney called witnesses to prove that colonel de Bourg, who pretended to have been conveyed in an open boat from France, and landed at Dover, was Random de Berenger, that he wrote to admiral Foley, who but for the haziness of the weather, would have telegraphed the intelligence to the Admiralty. The effects of this news in town was proved to have raised the premium on omnium from to per cent. But no confirmation having been received at the Admiralty, omnium began again to get down, when an important auxiliary to this fraudulent contrivance appeared. This was the arrival of apparently military officers in a post chaise and from Northfleet, having the drivers and horses decorated with laurel. These persons were named Sandon, M'Rae,
|and Knight. To spread the news they drove over , through the city; but when they were ultimately set down near the Marsh gate they tied up their cocked hats, put on round ones, and walked away. This last contrivance raised omnium to per cent. Much evidence was adduced by the counsel to connect the parties, and to shew that the arrivals were branches of the same conspiracy. The amount of the stock in the possession of lord Cochrane and Messrs. Cochrane Johnstone and Butt was nearly million. Mr. serjeant Best for the defendant, called lord Yarmouth, colonel Torrens, and admiral Beresford, to prove that lord Cochrane was acquainted with De Berenger on honourable grounds, not arising from stock jobbing transactions, having exerted himself to get him into the navy; likewise that lord Cochrane had authorized his broker to sell his stock whenever he could get a profit of per cent. An was set up on the part of De Berenger, and his servant, Smith, and his wife, were called to prove that he slept at home on the night of Sunday, ; and M'Guire, a servant at a livery stable, deposed that he saw him at that evening; but they varied as to the dress she wore. The court sat till next morning, and then adjourned; but meeting again at , Mr. Gurney having replied, lord Ellenborough took hours to sum up. The jury then retired hours and a half: on their return, they found all the persons indicted guilty! Monday, , lord Cochrane appeared in person in court, and earnestly solicited a new trial, declaring that he had affidavits in his hand on which he founded his application. When refused to be heard, his lordship observed it was indeed hard that he should be denied the opportunity of doing justice to his character, because the guilty dared not appear in the place in which he then stood. On Monday, , lord Cochrane and the others being brought up for judgment, he was sentenced to pay a fine of to the king; to be set upon the pillory in front of the , and to be imprisoned calendar months; Richard Gawthorne Butt received the same judgment, and John Peter Holloway, Charles Random De Berenger, Henry Lyte, and Ralph Sandom were also sentenced to a year's imprisonment in the Marshalsea.|
The war which had been carried on in France by the allies after the breaking up of the negociations opened at Chatillon, with unexampled success, having excited a general expectation of its conclusion in the overthrow of Bonaparte; on Tuesday, , the news that the allies had entered Paris, burst upon the citizens of London from all quarters; and on Friday, , the intelligence of Bonaparte's resignation was received, when a notice being given by lord Bathurst that the public offices would be illuminated during successive nights, this became general on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, following. The principal streets
|were crowded to excess by persons of all ranks, in whose hats and bosoms the white cockade and sprigs of laurel were conspicuous. Many carriages of the nobility and gentry also paraded up and down, their servants and horses wearing white ribbons and laurel branches. The colours of England and France, united, were displayed from many houses. The illuminations at Carlton house were among the most splendid, The columns in the front were encircled with spiral lines of lamps; and the cornices and other parts studded with them. Along the front were the words-Russia. Austria. Prussia. England. Transparencies of all descriptions were very numerous, and some of them extremely fanciful. At Carlton house, on the night of the , the great gates on the east and west were thrown open, and hogsheads of strong ale were trundled into Pall-Mall for the populace. In a moment the heads of each cask were stowed; and, for want of proper vessels, the mob used their hats to drink out of. The screaming of the women, the huzzaing of the men, and the firing of guns and pistols, seemed to rend the skies. Drums, trumpets, hand-bells, marrow bones and cleavers, added to a confusion of sounds of which scarcely any conception can be formed.|
During the interval occupied by these rejoicings, as Louis the Eighteenth, who had long resided at Hartwell, in Buckinghamshire, had been invited to London by the prince regent, it was observed, that upwards of years had elapsed since the metropolis of the British empire had beheld an acknowledged king of France within its walls. The French king having been indisposed, on Monday, , found himself so much recovered, that he sent an express to the prince regent and his own relatives that he would undertake the journey on Wednesday the . Every court arrangement was made to suit his convenience in coming to London. The duchess of Oldenburgh, who had been some time in town, postponed her intended journey to Windsor; and the queen and princesses, on receiving notice of the king of France's intention to be in town, also signified their royal pleasure to have the honour of meeting him in London.
Louis was received with every mark of respect, and on his arrival at Grillon's hotel in , he invested the prince regent, who had accompanied him from Stanmore, with the order of On the succeeding Saturday he departed in a private travelling carriage, escorted by a detachment of horse from the d regiment; he was received at Dover by the prince regent, who, after seeing him on board, returned to London.
The restoration of peace, after so long and arduous a struggle, was hailed in London, and the empire generally, with the most lively satisfaction; and the metropolis was converted into a scene of gaiety never surpassed on any other occasion, by the arrival, on , of the emperor of Russia and the king of Prussia; the latter, accompanied by his eldest sons, prince
|William, his brother, prince Frederic, his nephew, prince Augustus, his cousin, marshal Blucher, and baron Humbodlt, with a number of attendants. Counts Platoff, Barclay de Tolli, and Tostoi, accompanied the emperor. They arrived in London quite The emperor entered London about half-past , in the carriage and of count Lieven, without a single attendant; lords Yarmouth and Bentinck preceding him in a post-chaise: the king of Prussia, his sons, and their numerous suite, also arrived at Clarence-house, which had been fitted up for them in a very private manner; and, when the emperor came to the Pulteney hotel, in , he ascended the flight of stairs, before prince Gazarin announced his arrival. But though the public felt rather mortified at being cheated of a sight, when his imperial majesty appeared at the balcony, and bowed, he was always received with a hearty welcome. About in the evening, when marshal Blucher arrived at Carlton house, all attempts to keep the populace out of the court-yard were in vain: the sentinels at the gate, with their muskets, were laid on the ground; and the porter was overpowered. To indulge the public, the doors of the great hall were thrown open on the occasion; and here the interview of the general with the prince took place.|
It was soon apparent that the pursuits of the emperor Alexander were similar to those of his sister, the duchess of Oldenburgh, having a perfect indifference to show and parade; and that, to observe him well, it would be necessary to be as early a riser as himself. On Tuesday morning, the , he breakfasted by , and walked in Kensington-gardens with his sister. He returned to the Pulteney Hotel at , and then proceeded in of the prince regent's carriages to view Westminster-hall and the abbey. His sister and himself next visited the . At , he held a levee at Cumberland-house, and was visited by the prince regent. Between and , he attended her majesty's court; and at , her majesty, the princesses, the allied sovereigns, their families, &c. dined with the prince regent at Carlton house.
On Wednesday, , the emperor Alexander rode in , between and o'clock in the morning, accompanied by lord Yarmouth and colonel Bloomfield. From thence they rode to , crossed the bridge, passing through the Borough into the city. They passed the Mansion-house and the Exchange before in the morning, and turning round by the Bank and the Excise-office, proceeded through , along the City-road, and the New-road towards Paddington, and returned down the Edgeware-road and Hyde-park, to the Pulteney Hotel. After breakfasting, the emperor, the duchess of Oldenburgh, and a party of distinction, left the hotel in their carriages, without military escort, and proceeded along and to . After viewing this, they proceeded to the , and returned through .
On Thursday, the , the allied sovereigns breakfasted together at , at the Pulteney hotel, with the grand duchess of Oldenburgh, and afterwards set out, accompanied by marshal Blucher, general Platoff, and a numerous suite, for Ascot-heath races; and, arriving at Richmond-hill at , the whole party walked on the terrace, and expressed themselves quite delighted with the beauty of the scene. They afterwards visited Hampton-court, with as much attention as the shortness of the time would admit, assuming no character of pomp, but conversing familiarly with all.
On Saturday, the , about , the emperor and his sister again rode through into the city, to visit the Bank. They entered by the Lothbury-gate, and attended by the governor, deputy-governor, and court of directors, were conducted through the various departments of that extensive building, and afterwards partook of a cold collation. The emperor, returning to his state apartments, in the duke of Cumberland's house at St. James's, was waited on about by the lord mayor, recorder, sheriffs, and the whole of the aldermen and common council, in their civic robes. On the same evening, the emperor of Russia and the king of Prussia visited the king's theatre, as before mentioned; and on Sunday attended Hyde-park. Here the sovereigns, the princes, with the venerable Blucher, making their appearance on the ride, it seemed as if every horse in the metropolis had been furnished with a rider to meet them. The pressure was intolerable; the horses were so jammed together, that many noblemen and gentlemen had their knees crushed, and their boots torn. Blucher was so cruelly persecuted with kindness, that he alighted and took refuge in Kensington gardens, declaring this to be more formidable to him than all the enemies he ever encountered. In the confusion and pressure which occasioned it, all sense of courtesy was abandoned, and each individual was, in a manner, compelled to fight his own battle. Many were of course seriously injured. In place was seen a lady in hysterics; in another, a beautiful female torn from her protector, entreating mercy from the overwhelming throng; in a place, were parents who had lost their children, and again, children who had lost their parents. It was in this state of things, the approach of the emperor of Russia and his suite was announced. That crowd which had before almost reached the acme of alarm and apprehension, had now new evils to endure. The horse-guards being constrained to obtain a passage for the approaching cavalcade, many were the severe contusions which the shins and toes of the populace received from their horses' hoofs; when, in order to avoid this, many were obliged to take refuge under the carriages, and there, in trembling anxiety, await the moment of their liberation.
An aquatic excursion being planned for Monday, the , by in the morning, the admiralty, navy, and ordnance barges, were collected at , gaily dressed with
| banners, and a band of music in of them. The admiralty barge hoisted the royal standard; others, the Russian and Prussian flags. A gun being fired at , the regent was escorted by a party of horse-guards to : and the emperor of Russia, the king of Prussia, and the grand duchess, by detachments of the blues. As soon as the illustrious visitors got on board, the band struck up |
and the fleet moved off, gliding gently down, greeted with the acclamations of the thousands assembled on the wharfs and shores. Off London-bridge, the city barges, with the lord mayor, aldermen, &c.joined the procession. On the arrival of the royal visitors off Woolwich, the Thisbe frigate, bearing the flag of vice-admiral Legge, and other vessels, fired a salute, and manned their yards. The party then proceeded to the arsenal and laboratory; and, in addition to a discharge of great guns, a quantity of Congreve's rockets were discharged. In the evening, about , the whole party dined at the marquis of Stafford's, , St. James's.
On Tuesday the , the royal party left London for Oxford, where they were received with all possible distinction. Here, with his characteristic activity, Alexander, after looking at his apartments at Merton-college, and the gardens behind it, was walking in the public streets before o'clock, accompanied by several noblemen, with whom he made a tour to the most distinguished colleges and public edifices.
Early next morning, the royal party returned to London; the emperor, before he went to bed, attended a ball at lady Jersey's. At , he repaired to , where he witnessed the annual assemblage of the charity children, belonging to the different parishes of the metropolis. His Prussian majesty and his sons were also present; and the august party were every where greeted, both in going and returning, with cheers and acclamations.
In the evening, after dining with lord Castlereagh, the sovereigns visited theatre; and, when the play was over, went to the marchioness of . At , on Friday the , they set out to visit the military asylum, commonly called the duke of York's school. The emperor afterwards accompanied his sister to see Greenwich Hospital and the Royal Observatory.
On the evening of the same day, the allied sovereigns did the Merchant-taylors' company the honour of dining at their hall in . Almost the whole of the afternoon, every avenue to the place was thronged, so that a regiment of the London militia, under sir John Eamer, could scarcely keep the ground. Before o'clock, nearly ladies of rank and distinction had assembled at the house of Mr. Teasdale, the clerk, who had fitted up a kind of platform in the court-yard, to enable them to see the great visitors as they passed. The appointed dinner-hour was ; but,
| from the multiplicity of previous engagements, it was after o'clock before a part of the royal carriages drove to the door. As usual, they were received with loud acclamations; and the military presented arms, while the band played |
In about a quarter of an hour, a buz was heard, and then the shout of the people: this was a sufficient announcement of the approach of the remainder of the guests, as, in less than a minute after, more carriages, filled with them and their suite, dashed up the street with the utmost rapidity. Other halls having contributed to the shew of plate exhibited on this occasion, it must have given the royal strangers high ideas of the opulence of the citizens of London. The dinner consisted of the most exquisite viands: being ended, the duke of York gave the toast,
this was followed by great applause, and the visitors seemed much amused at the hearty manner in which the English receive their toasts.
was the next toast, at which he rose and bowed; his sister, the duchess, rose and acknowledged the compliment at the same time.
was next given; and the company hailed it with equal congratulations. He bowed in return.
was the next. His lordship, then, in a short speech, ascribed the chief merit of the peace to the valour of the allies, and begged to propose as a toast,
followed, and about o'clock, the illustrious visitants withdrew, and after leaving Merchant-taylors' hall, paid a visit to Covent-garden theatre.
A court of common council was held on the , to vote addresses to the emperor of Russia and the king of Prussia, and subsequently to invite them and the prince regent to a sumptuous entertainment in the , which was graciously accepted; and, on the , a banquet was given by the corporation that must have equally surprised and delighted the noble visitants. From an account printed by order of the corporation, the following extracts are taken :
In consequence of the grand duchess of Oldenberg and several Russian ladies of distinction having been included in the list sent by order of the emperor of Russia, it was thought proper that the lady mayoress should be present, to receive the grand duchess and the other Russian ladies; and her ladyship was accordingly present, as also the countess of Liverpool, the viscountess Castlereagh, and Miss Elizabeth Domville, sister of the lady mayoress, who were invited on the occasion.
The following royal personages, noblemen, and gentlemen of distinction, were invited, but could not be present in consequence of indisposition or other peculiar circumstances:
His royal highness the duke of Clarence; his royal highness the duke of Cumberland (on the continent); his royal highness the duke of Sussex; the lord high chancellor; the dukes of Norfolk and Richmond; lords Grenville and Niddry; count de Funchal, Portuguese ambassador; prince of Castelcicala, Sicilian minister; baron Doernberg, Hessian minister; right hon. George Canning; right hon. John M'Mahon; honourable F. Elphinstone, chairman of the honourable East India company; sir Samuel Romilly; Edward Cooke, esq. under secretary of state: John Wilson Croker, esq. secretary to the Admiralty; Thomas Brooksbank, esq. private secretary to the lord of the treasury; Anthony Rosenhagen, esq. private secretary to the chancellor of the exchequer.
His royal highness the prince regent, to give a proper effect to this magnificent banquet, determined on going in state, with the full splendour of his court. Orders were accordingly issued to all the officers to be in readiness at , to attend his royal highness.
About o'clock the streets east of were lined on both sides with nearly troops, regulars, militia, and volunteers, aided by detachments of cavalry.
Soon after o'clock the cavalcade departed from Carlton house in the following order:
About o'clock the prince regent was followed by the emperor of Russia, in the following order:
The lord mayor and sheriffs, in state carriages, with the aldermen and city officers, had previously arrived at ; and, until the approach of the procession, they were accommodated in the house of Messrs. Child and Co. bankers. On its arrival they mounted horses, which were decorated for the occasion with crimson ribbons. The part of the cavalcade having entered the city; on the carriage of his royal highness the prince regent drawing up, the lord mayor, aldermen, sheriffs, &c. advanced; and the lord mayor presented the sword of state to his royal highness, who was graciously pleased to return the same to his lordship. They then joined the procession, immediately preceding his royal highness's carriage, in the following order:
The City Marshals.
The Lord Mayor's Footmen.
The Band of the London Militia, playing
The City Officers.
Aldermen, in their Robes, bare-headed.
The Common Crier bearing the City Mace, and the
Sword Bearer wearing the Cap of Maintenance,
The Lord Mayor, bare-headed, carrying the Sword of State, and dressed in a rich Crimson Velvet Robe, trimmed with Ermine.
In this order the procession moved on to , cheered as they went, by the spectators in the houses and streets.
In order to insure the convenient and safe conveyance of the company, the whole carriage way from was spread over with bright gravel; and to prevent any interruption, the ends of the several streets and carriage ways leading thereto, were, by order of the court of lord mayor and aldermen, secured with posts and bars: a measure which not only enabled the
|illustrious visitors to pass with ease and security, but afforded to the public a most gratifying, because uninterrupted, view of this grand and imposing spectacle.|
Your committee, also, with a view to prevent the possibility of interruption to the line of procession, directed the admission of the ladies into the galleries to take place between the hours of and , through a passage made for that purpose, from the principal entrance of the hall, to the comptroller's house. By these means, and the attendance of some of the members of your committee, not only to receive the ladies, but to conduct them to the galleries, they were all seated, and their carriages drawn off, long previous to the arrival of the royal and illustrious guests.
A temporary passage was erected from the principal entrance of the hall to the middle of Guildhall-yard, in order that the carriages might readily pass from thence through Blackwell-hall. This passage, lined with green cloth, and the flooring covered with matting, was illuminated by a profusion of lamps, and led to the porch of the hall, which was also lined with green cloth, and converted into a temporary arbour, in which were displayed the most costly exotics, with flowering and aromatic shrubs, fancifully arranged, and ornamented with moss. This arbour extended into the hall, and being illuminated with variegated lamps, had a most beautiful and pleasing effect.
The grand gothic hall, with its superbly painted windows, suggested to the architect the appropriate decorations of the interior, and within the short space of time allowed, an effect was produced, highly creditable to his taste and exertions. The simplicity of the design, the magnitude of the parts, and, above all, the harmony of the colour, diffused a lustre over the whole, upon which the eye reposed with the most satisfied delight; the combination had an unity, a character of strength, and a breadth and tone, the most attractive. The painted windows were externally illuminated, so as to throw into the hall the rich and warm influence of the immense body of light, by which all the Gothic divisions of the windows were articulated, and which, striking on the brilliant circle of ladies in the galleries, produced an effect as enchanting as novel.
The walls of the hall to the underside of the capitals of the clustered columns, and the fronts of the galleries, were covered with bright crimson cloth, elegantly and boldly fluted throughout, and so formed and festooned as to represent grand arcades; in the recesses of which were placed tables, illuminated with cut glass chandeliers; reflected by handsome mirrors at the back, giving to the whole a most finished appearance. Above the range of galleries, were suspended large superb cut-glass chandeliers, and over the great cornice, and resting thereon, was a beautiful cordon of uncoloured lamps, by which the entire length of the
|hall, on each side, was illuminated; and the royal banner, and the banners of the city, with those of the principal companies, were displayed underneath. The galleries terminating by circular ends at the monuments of the late earl of Chatham and Mr. Pitt, those monuments were left open to view and the most magnificent cut glass chandeliers that could be procured were suspended from the roof over the royal table, and down the cent tre of the hall; and a great number of gold and silver candelabra with wax lights were most tastefully disposed on every table.|
In order to increase the effect of the illuminations, the windows in the upper part of the hall, above the great cornice, were darkened; and some of them were made to open, that full and complete ventilation might be obtained, which was most amply afforded as occasion required, by men stationed on the roofs for the purpose; and means were adopted for an abundant supply of water to various parts of the hall.
The committee having been under the necessity of directing the music gallery from the Irish chamber to be removed, forthe more convenient accommodation of the ladies, and that the line of the fronts of their galleries might not lose its effect, by being broken or interrupted; other galleries were erected for full military bands over the entrance leading to the council chamber, and above the ladies' galleries. This was effected by removing the great clock, and had this advantage, that from the height of the bands, the effect was more imposing; and the ladies' gallery on this side of the hall corresponded with the opposite, and was not interfered with by the arrangements, as the access to the music galleries was obtained from the roof.
Orchestras for the vocal performers were erected at the upper end of the hall, under the ladies' galleries, which, projecting in a small degree beyond them, rather relieved than interrupted the uniformity of the fronts of the galleries.
Immediately adjoining these orchestras, at the circular returns of the galleries, fronting the royal table, were affixed white satin banners, with the arms of England, Russia, and Prussia united: these banners your committee have since directed to be suspended in the , to convey to posterity the circumstance of this glorious union of great nations. At the upper or eastern end of the Hall, on a platform elevated above the level of the floor, covered with Turkey carpeting, was placed a very large table, at which stood massive carved and gilt chairs covered with crimson velvet, decorated with gold fringes, under a lofty canopy of rich crimson velvet, lined with crimson sarsnet, and rich velvet draperies reaching to the floor, tied back with gold ropes. In front of the dome of the canopy were placed the sword and sceptre; and on the top the royal crown of the united kingdom, boldly carved on a large scale, and gilt; over which hovered a dove with the olive branch in
|proper colours as in the act of alighting, in allusion to the leading happy circumstance of the times, and in compliment to the great personages,--the whole producing an effect of simple grandeur, consistent with the object of this magnificent entertainment.|
The members of the common council, in their mazarine gowns, arranged themselves in lines across the , and from thence to the common council and new council chambers, which were richly fitted up as drawing rooms for the occasion; and the whole of the floor, from the entrance into the great hall to these rooms, was covered with crimson carpeting.
The court of King's Bench was also fitted up as a drawing-room, the end of which was filled with a beautiful transparent painting, by the late James Barry, R.A. In the centre opening, between naval and military trophies, was a portrait of his most gracious majesty, in stained and painted glass; on the right and left, whole length figures, representing Britannia and Fame; in the frieze of the entablature, the words , and over the whole, the figure of Peace descending upon the terrestrial globe.
The royal procession began to arrive at about o'clock. The lord mayor and aldermen, having dismounted, preceded his royal highness, the prince regent, the lord mayor carrying the sword of state immediately before him. On the entrance of the royal and illustrious personages, they were severally announced and conducted through the hall, attended by the aldermen, the chairman and gentlemen of the committee, to the common council and new council chambers, between the lines formed by the members of the corporation, and with shouts of welcome and appropriate music: our own princes of the blood royal with the national air of
and the illustrious warriors with the air of
The other great personages, princes, ambassadors, marshals, ministers, peers, judges, &c.. &c. continued to arrive in quick succession, and were all received with the most cordial shouts of applause.
The prince regent and the sovereigns being received in the common council chamber by the lord mayor, were conducted to the state chairs placed at the upper end. The lady mayoress received the grand duchess and those ladies who were to dine in the hall, as they entered the room. When the prince regent seated, the lord mayor, having laid aside his crimson velvet robes, and put on his embroidered state or entertaining gown, advanced with the aldermen and Mr. recorder, who addressed his royal highness as follows:
His royal highness was pleased to make a most gracious reply; and then addressed himself to the lord mayor to the following effect:
His royal highness was then graciously pleased to order letters patent to be prepared, for granting the dignity of a baronet to the lord mayor, who kissed hands on the occasion.
At o'clock dinner was announced, and the royal and illustrious company passed from the drawing rooms into the hall in regular state procession, the bands of their royal highnesses the prince regent and the duke of York, in the music galleries, playing national and appropriate airs. The city officers, the
|aldermen, and the lord mayor carrying the state sword, preceded his royal highness, the prince regent, who, with the emperor and grand duchess, the king of Prussia, and the princes of his family, followed by the distinguished guests, walked round the hall, turning as they entered to the right, and going round the tables at the west end, proceeded to the east, by which means, the ladies in the galleries, all standing, and waving their handkerchiefs, were gratified with a full view of the illustrious visitors. The royal party then ascended the steps leading to the elevated platform, on which the royal table was placed, and there seated themselves. This table, being feet wide, was most sumptuous in its display of gold plate ; its richness, indeed, was unparalleled; magnificent ornaments in candelabra, epergnes, tureens, ewers, cups, dishes, glaciers, &c. being selected for the purpose; and the great body of light thereon, produced a most striking and brilliant effect. In the front of the royal table were placed on the floors, and upon the stages, a profusion of the most rare and costly aromatic and decorative shrubs, which entirely lined the space from the steps to the table.|
The gentlemen pensioners and yeomen of the guard were stationed on the elevated platform, and on the steps leading threreto, in regular order, and at proper distances. The royal party were seated in the following order:
.-The prince regent, with the emperor of Russia on his right hand and the king of Prussia on his left.
The duke of York, prince Henry of Prussia, the duke of Cambridge, the duke of Orleans, the duke of Saxe Weimer, prince Augustus of Prussia, the duke of Oldenburg, count de Merveldt, prince of Hardenberg, count Fernan Nunez, duke of Montellano.
.-The grand duchess of Oldenburg, the hereditary prince of Wirtemberg the countess of Lieven, the duke of Kent, the prince of Bavaria, prince Metternich, the prince de Cobourg, the duke of Glocester, the prince William of Prussia, the prince of Orange, princess Volkonske.
This table was so formed, that all the royal party had a full view of the company in the hall. The lord mayor stood behind the chair of the prince regent, with the marquis of Winchester, lord Boston, and other state attendants of his royal highness, and continued there, until graciously desired by his royal highness to take his seat; when he retired to the right hand of the central table, immediately below the royal table, against the upper end of which the city sword and mace were placed. The lady mayoress sat on the left hand, opposite to the lord mayor; and at the same table were placed the countess of Liverpool, the viscountess Castlereagh, and Miss Elizabeth Domville, the lady mayoress's sister; which table, together with those on
|each side, and the upper parts of the tables westward of the entrance, were appropriated for the remainder of the illustrious guests and aldermen; the aldermen being placed in various parts of the tables, at a short distance from each other, to enable them to see that every proper attention was shown to the visitors, particularly the foreigners.|
The residue of the tables to the westward of the entrance, were appropriated by lot to the members of this court and principal city officers; in consequence of which, each member knew the place allotted to him, and the inconveniences which frequently arise from the want of such arrangement were altogether prevented.
The dinner was as sumptuous as expence or skill could make it, and wholly served on plate, which the committee were enabled to do, by using the city plate from the Mansion-house, the plate of several distinguished noblemen and gentlemen, and some of the companies of this city, who very handsomely and voluntarily offered the same for the occasion, and by procuring other massive services, sufficient for the purpose.
Samuel Turner, esq. a West India merchant, and of the directors of the , very handsomely presented a fine turtle for the occasion, which was the only that could be procured, and was the imported in the season, and arrived in time to be served at the royal table.
A large baron of beef, with the royal standard, was placed on a stage at the upper end of the hall, in view of the royal table, attended by the serjeant carvers, and of the principal cooks, in proper costume.
After dinner, , was finely sung by the vocal performers in the Orchestras, the whole of the company in the hall, and the whole of the company standing. Mr. common crier then advanced, by the directions of the lord mayor, to his station on the elevated platform, in front of the royal table; and, after a flourish of trumpets, from the royal trumpeters stationed at each end of the hall, proposed, in the name of the lord mayor, as the toast,
which was received with reverential silence.
The succeeding toasts were,
All of which were announced by a previous flourish of trumpets, and were received with shouts of applause.
The next toast was given by command of his royal highness the prince regent,
and was followed by
The latter of which produced a torrent of applause; and the heroes Barclay de Tolly, Blucher, Platoff, De York, &c. &c. rose and bowed thanks to the company.
His royal highness the prince regent also commanded the following toast to be given,
In the course of the evening, various songs and glees, amongst which, were the national songs of
and that admirable glee
were sung with fine effect from the orchestras, by the vocal performers, who were selected from the most eminent in their profession; and, on their singing the stanza of
in the song of
the appearance of the ladies in the galleries, struck as by electricity every heart in the hall. A burst of acclamation was the consequence.
His royal highness the prince regent happily seized the opportunity, and proposed as a toast
which was received with enthusiasm.
About o'clock, his royal highness the prince regent, with the emperor of Russia and the king of Prussia, rose from the table, and were conducted to the common council chamber, by the lord mayor as before; his lordship immediately preceding the prince regent with the sword of state; and his royal highness was pleased, when about to take his departure, to address himself to Mr. recorder as follows :
About o'clock, the prince regent, and the other royal and illustrious personages, were accompanied by the lord mayor and aldermen to their respective carriages, and returned in state to , before o'clock. All the knights marshalmen and attendants, except the coachmen and postillions, bearing large flambeaux in their hands, added to the grandeur of the procession, and produced a novel and most brilliant effect.
After his royal highness the prince regent had retired, the ladies
|were admitted from the galleries into the hall, provision having been previously made for that purpose, by the erection of a staircase of communication at the west end.|
the the by order of your committee, at the New London tavern, for the general of the district, and the field-officers of the regiments and corps on duty, and the heralds and officers of arms; at the coffee-house, for the lord chancellor's and judges' suites, and the officers of the lord mayor's household; likewise for the vocal performers and the royal military bands, previous to their attendance in the hall, Provisions were also made in the various taverns and inns in the neighbourhood, for the band of gentlemen pensioners, the yeomen of the guard, and other persons in attendance upon the royal personages, as well as for their horses and carriages; and the great room in , belonging to the late Paul's Head tavern, was appropriated to the livery servants, where they were furnished with every proper refreshment.
The principal attendants upon the company in the hall were not hired waiters, but composed of citizens and other gentlemen of respectability, dressed alike, in black with white waistcoats, who gratuitously offered their services upon the occasion, and not only acted as waiters, but superintended and took care of the great quantity of plate that was used, the value of which was estimated to exceed ; and to whom, we, your committee, have to express our acknowledgements for the able assistance they afforded, which greatly contributed to the order and regularity that prevailed throughout the day.
The magnificence and splendour of the entertainment on this glorious occasion having greatly excited the public curiosity to view the decorations and fittings up of the hall; the numerous applications for that purpose induced your committee, as far as they consistently could, to comply with their wishes. They therefore directed that the plate and ornaments should remain on the various tables, and every convenient facility of ingress and egress through the galleries to be afforded; by which means, thousands of persons, (many of whom were of high distinction and great respectability,) were gratified with a view of the magnificent decorations, during the days your committee were enabled to continue the accommodation, without materially interrupting public business.
The committee appointed to conduct this magnificent entertainment, made a report as to the expences, to the court of common council, on the ; which was ordered to be
| printed, and a copy thereof to be sent to every member of the court. From this official document, the following extracts are taken: from which it appears |
The time between this and Wednesday, , the day appointed for the departure of the sovereigns, was occupied by excursions, and some entertainments of less importance; of these was on Sunday the , to see the Quaker's meeting in Peter's court, ; and another to the duchess of York at Oatland; and a to Chiswick to see the duke of Devonshire.
Monday, , was, however, a day of no small importance: a review of troops in was uncommonly splendid, and better attended than any other had been for a number of years. This day was also chosen for the formal proclamation of peace between Great Britain and France; but a poorer procession was never witnessed. This being an event long anticipated, all its importance was worn off, and therefore it was the less surprising that not a single sound of joy, vocal or instrumental, was heard on this occasion. As no persons of any eminence attended this ceremony, it was not till in the afternoon that the heralds and the military left St. James's; and it was before they reached the . Even the lord mayor was kept waiting at Temple-bar for several hours. The princess Charlotte of Wales, the only person of distinction that condescended to look at the procession, viewed it as a private person from the window of Mr. Child, the banker, near Temple-bar. Under an idea of the magnificence of this spectacle, however, a number of persons paid considerable sums for window room; and many others, who had been standing in the streets several hours, were completely disappointed.
On the evening the peace was proclaimed, both the sovereigns, with the prince regent, attended White's fete at , , where, about in the morning, nearly persons sat down to a dinner. On the same evening, the king of Prussia and his sons had been a short time in the house of lords; and the emperor and his sister were likewise in the gallery of the house of commons.
 Continuation of Brayley's History of London, forming Vol. x, Part II. of the Beauties of England and Wales, edited by the Rev. J. Nightingale,
 History of London continued by the Rev. J. Nightingale, pt. ii. p. 27.
 Frostiana; or, a History of the River Thames in a Frozen State, &c. &c. Printed and published on the Ice on the River Thames.
 Rev. J. Nightingale's Hist. of Lond. ii. 89.
 An account of the visit of his royal highness, the prince regent, with their imperial and royal majesties, the emperor of all the Russias, and the king of Prussia, to the corporation of London, in June, 1814. London: printed by order of, and for, the corporation of the city of London, by Nichols, Son, and Bentley, Red Lion passage, Fleet-street. Royal quarto, pp. 79.
 The public were admitted through Mr. Comptroller's house, in the front of the hall, into the galleries, and went out at the back of the hall into Basinghall-street, by the means of temporary stairs erected at each of the upper ends of the galleries those on the north side leading to the passage by the office of works, and those on the south side to the passage by the hall-keeper's house.