transcription transcription + image
JQA Diary, volume 29 8 June 1815
JQA Neal Millikan Court Life and Society (European) Diplomacy/Diplomatic Activities

8. VII:30. The assistant Master of the Ceremonies, Robert Chester Esqr. called upon me this Morning, and gave me the information, concerning the forms, and usages of Court presentations, for which I had yesterday enquired of Count Lieven— Mr Chester’s report was however different in some particulars from that of the Count— He asked me first whether I had delivered to Lord Castlereagh, a copy of my Credential Letter— I said I had;—that he said was entirely right. He then asked if I had a Letter for the Queen— I said I had not— He said it was usual, though not indispensable— That it was done by the Courts where the Queen had personal 265connections, and had always been done by the Republic of Holland. That the Queen would nevertheless give me an audience when she comes to town upon business; which would probably be in the course of a week or ten days— I asked when, and how it would be proper for Mrs Adams to be presented to the Queen— He said by Lady Castlereagh, and at a drawing-room— It was doubtful however whether there would be another drawing room, before the Winter. I asked whether it was usual for the foreign Ministers to be presented separately to the Princes of the Royal family, and when and to whom visits of form were to be paid— He said that after having an Audience of the Queen, and not until then, it would be proper to call at the Residences of all the Princes, and write my name in the Books, kept there, for the purpose— And to visit by Cards the Cabinet Ministers and Great Officers of the household— I said I had been told that this was to be done, immediately after the Audience from the Prince Regent— He replied that sometimes the foreign Ministers had done so; but when referred to, he must say that the other was the regular course— I said I should then observe it— He added that the personal presentation to the Princes, was usually made at the Regent’s Levees, whenever any of them attended— And he, or any other person known to them would present me— No particular notice was taken of the Princesses, the Regent’s Sisters, or of the Princess Charlotte, his daughter.— He promised to come again at a quarter past One O’Clock, and accompany me to Carleton-house; which he accordingly did— We went in at the private and priviledged entrance, and passed through St. James’s Park to the Palace— Mr Chester observing to me that I should give directions to my Coachman always to go by that way— We arrived at half-past one—the hour appointed, but were early—finding there only Mr Freudenreich, the Envoy from Berne, and his Secretary of Legation. Mr Freudenreich, who has been here about a year had his audience to take leave.— He had also received two Notes from Lord Castlereagh, one appointing the Audience after the Levee, and the other fixing it at half past one— Mr Chester was much perplexed to account for this Circumstance, which was explained as having arisen from occurrences at the last Levee— The private Audiences then had delayed the ordinary Levee until five or six O’Clock which had detained some of the members of the House of Commons from attendance there, in time—which had occasioned complaints; and the first idea had been for the private Audiences to be fixed this day after the Levee— It was almost three when the Prince Regent began to give private Audiences— The first was to Lord Grenville, who as Chancellor of the University of Oxford presented to him a Book containing an Account of the visit of the allied Sovereigns there last Summer. The second was to me— Lord Castlereagh, as the Minister of foreign Affairs introduced me into the Prince’s closet, where he stood alone; and as I approached him, speaking first, said, “Mr Adams, I am happy to see you.”— I said—“Sir. I am directed by the President of the United States to deliver to your Royal Highness this Letter; and in presenting it, I fulfil the commands of my Government, when I express the hope, that it will be received as a token, of the earnest desire of that Government, not only faithfully and punctually to fulfil all its engagements contracted with that of Great Britain, but for the adoption of every other measure, that may tend to consolidate the Peace and Friendship, and to promote the harmony between the two Nations”— The Prince took the Letter, and without opening it, delivered it immediately to Lord Castlereagh; and said in answer to me, that the United-States might rely with the fullest assurance upon his determination to fulfil on the part of Great-Britain, all the engagements with the United States— He then asked me if I was related to Mr Adams, who had formerly been the Minister from the United States here— I said I was his Son— He enquired whether I had ever been before in England?— I had—with a public mission?— Once, with a special Mission during the absence of the Minister then accredited here— He said he had known two of the former Ministers of the United States here, who were Mr Pinckney, and Mr Rufus King—very gentlemenly Men— Mr King was very much of a gentleman.— Where was Mr. Pinckney now. I said there had been two Mr Pinckney’s here as Ministers from the United States— Ah! said he—but I mean the Mr Pinckney who was here before Mr King— I said he was now a General in the Army— In the Army? said he— I did not know that— Had he ever been in the army before?— I said he had—and where is Mr King?— I said he was now a Member of the Senate of the United States.— And, how did you like living there, at Bruxelles, said the Prince— Your Royal Highness probably means Ghent, said I— Ay! Ghent! so it was said he—and how did you like Ghent?— I said we liked it very much for the result of what was done there— Oh! Yes! said he, but I mean did you find any Society there?— I said we had found Society— That Ghent was a very antient and venerable City, with proud recollections— That its inhabitants thought and talked much of Charles the fifth, and that it was now illustrated again as the Residence where a great Sovereign holds his Court.— Ay! said the Prince; there are a number of those great Old Cities there— Lord Castlereagh commented in a few words, upon the large Cities and the populousness of the Netherlands; and we then withdrew from the Prince’s Closet— Mr Freudenreich was introduced immediately afterwards, for his Audience to take leave— After these Audiences the Levee to the foreign Ministers was held, which was over in half an hour, and then the doors were opened for what Mr Chester called the ordinary Levee, attended by the persons not priviledged 266with the entrée— And we withdrew— Before the Levee, I was introduced by Lord Castlereagh or Mr: Chester to the Duke of Clarence, the only one of the Princes of the Blood Royal, that was there,—to most of the foreign Ambassadors and Ministers, and to several of the Ministers and Household Officers of the Country.— Among them were the Marquis of Hertford, Lords Harrowby and Sidmouth, and some others— Lord Graves, whom I had known at Berlin, recognized and spoke to me. He is now in the household of the Duke of Sussex, who he told me was as good, as generous, as noble hearted, and as imprudent as ever.— I told him that of the good part of the Duke’s qualities I had often heard, with pleasure— He said that he was not a good Courtier—but perhaps that would not be a fault to me— I said it might perhaps not be a fault— Though I certainly could not consider it as a fault to be one— I enquired after Mr Brummell his companion at Berlin— He said that he was here— He had seen him this morning— He was married and had a family, but was not incumbered with superfluous wealth— In that respect I observed that he had associates enough to keep him in Countenance— Yes said he, we are a numerous corps, enough— I recognized also Mr Rayneval, the first Secretary to the French, (Louis l8) Embassy, and Count Jennison-Walworth Secretary to the Bavarian Legation.— Lord Castlereagh, introduced me also to Mr Bagot, who kissed hands on his appointment as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States— The Prince in speaking to him at the Levee remarked that it was on the same day that I had presented my Credentials— By which he intended me to understand that the friendly advances of the United States had been met with the utmost promptitude.— The Levee itself was not so orderly as those assemblies usually are. The Prince went round and spoke a few words to all the foreign Ministers, but excepting what he thus addressed to Mr Bagot and myself, I heard only what he said to Mr Freudenreich, which was in a sort of whisper— Je suis faché que vous allez partir; mais j’espere que vous reviendrez.— As we returned home, I set down Mr Chester, at his house 68 South Audley Street— While I was gone Mr T. Dickason, and Mr Nevett had paid visits, and Mr John Campbell had called to settle the account for our passage in the Olga— It was but yesterday that the last boxes, and cases of our wines and effects were sent to us from the Custom-house.— Mr Campbell is to call again to-morrow— I have already had applications from a number of Americans for Passports, but have not until now considered myself authorised to grant them. Mr Lawrence and Mr Moore two Gentlemen from New-York, who are going to France came this morning just as I was going to Carleton-House— I promised to make out their Passports to-morrow Morning. The Children went this Evening to Astley’s Amphitheatre— I received a Note from Mr Morier Under Secretary in the Office of foreign Affairs, requesting me to call there, at 2 O’Clock to-morrow, which I answered, promising to go. Mrs Adams and I dined at Lord Carysfort’s, where we met Earl and Lady Fortescue, Lord and Lady King, Mr Thomas Grenville,—Lord Proby, and Lord Carysfort’s three daughters, neither of whom is yet married— Lady Fortescue is Lady Carysfort’s Sister, and Lady King is a daughter of Lord Fortescue’s— I should not have recognized Mr Thomas Grenville, nor did he recollect me, although we were well acquainted with each other at Berlin— After dinner there was a numerous party of both sexes who came, but there were no cards— Sir Humphrey Davy, who has very lately returned from Italy, talked much upon his travels there; much upon agriculture and farming; much upon the Art of Sculpture and the Laocoon and the Venus, and much upon his own chemical discoveries— If Modesty is an inseparable companion of Genius, Sir Humphrey is a prodigy.— Lord King and Lord Fortescue went down to the House of Peers, to give their votes upon the Catholic question, which was discussing there— Lord Carysfort had given his proxy to the Marquis of Buckingham— Lord King returned, having found the question decided— I had some conversation with him on the prospects of War in Europe— He told me he believed Napoleon would beat them all—in which opinion I did not concur. It was about 12 at Night when we came home.