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REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSIONERS.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,

66

Your Majesty baving been graciously pleased, by an instrument under Your Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, a copy of which is annexed to this Report, to“ authorize, empower, and direct us

to inquire into the truth of certain written " declarations, touching the conduct of Her

Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, an " abstract of which had been laid before Your

Majesty, and to examine upon oath such

persons as we should see fit, touching and con“ cerning the same, and to report to Your

Majesty the result of such examinations.” We have, in dutiful obedience to Your Majesty's commands, proceeded to examine the several witnesses,

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the copies of whose depositions we have hereunto annexed; and, in further execution of the said commands we now most respectfully submit to Your Majesty the report of these examinations as it has appeared to us : But we beg leave at the same time humbly to refer Your Majesty, for more complete information, to the examinationsthemselves, in order to correct any error of judgment, into which we may bave unintentionally fallen, with respect to any part of this business. On a reference to the above-mentioned declarations, as the necessary foundation of all our pro ceedings, we found that they consisted in certain statements, which had been laid before His Royal, Highness the Prince of Wales, respecting the conduct of Her Royal Highness the Princess. That these statements, not only, imputed to Her Royal Highness great impropriety and indecency of behaviour, but expressly asserted, partly on the ground of certain alleged declarations from the Princess's own mouth, and partly on the personal observation of the informants, the following most important facts ; viz. That Her Royal Highness had been pregnant in the year 1802, in consequence of an illicit intercourse, and that she had in the same year been secretly, delivered of a male child, which child had ever since that period been brought up by Her Royal Highness in her own house, and under her immediate inspection.

These allegations thus made, had, as we found, been followed by declarations from other persons, who had not indeed spoken to the important facts of the pregnancy or delivery of Her Royal Highness, but had related other particulars, in themselves extremely suspicious, and still more so when connected with the assertions already mentioned.

In the painful situation, in which His Royal Highness was placed, by these communications, we learnt that His Royal Highness had adopted the only course which could, in our judgment, with propriety be followed. When informations such as these, had been thus confidently alleged, and particularly detailed, and had been in some degree supported by collateral evidence, applying to other points of the same nature (though going to a far less extent), one line only could be pursued.

Every sentiment of duty to Your Majesty, and of concern for the public welfare, required that these particulars should not be withheld from Your Majesty, to whom more particularly belonged the cognizance of a matter of State, so nearly touching the honour of Your Majesty's Royal Family, and by possibility, affecting the Succession of Your Majesty's crown.

Your Majesty had been pleased, on your part, to view the subject in the same light. Consider. ing it as a matter which, on every account, demanded the inost immediate investigation, Your Majesty had thought fit to commit into our hands the duty of ascertaining, in the first instance, what degree of credit was due to the informations, and thereby enabling Your Majesty to decide what further conduct to adopt concerning them.

On this review, therefore, of the matters thus alleged, and of the course hitherto pursued upon them, we deemed it proper in the first place, to examine those persons in whose declarations the occasion for this Inquiry had originated. Because if they, on being examined upon oath, had retracted or varied their assertions, all necessity for further investigation might possibly have been precluded.

We accordingly first examined on oath the principal informants, Sir John Douglas, and Charlotte his wife : who both positively swore, the former to his having observed the fact of the pregnancy of Her Royal Highness, and the latter to all the important particulars contained in her former declaration, and above referred to. Their, examinations are annexed to this Report, and are circumstantial and positive.

The most material of those allegations, into the truth of which we had been directed to inquire, being thus far supported by the oath of the parties from whom they had proceeded, we then felt it our duty to follow up the Inquiry by the examination of such other persons as we judged best able

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