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The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey to Elizabeth Ord, 11 November 1820

Vol. I. Contents
Ch. I: 1793-1804
Ch. II: 1805
Ch. III: 1805
Ch. IV: 1806-08
Ch. V: 1809
Ch. VI: 1810
Ch. VII: 1811
Ch. VIII: 1812
Ch. IX: 1813-14
Ch X: 1814-15
Ch XI: 1815-16
Ch XII: 1817-18
Ch XIII: 1819-20
Vol. II. Contents
Ch I: 1821
Ch. II: 1822
Ch. III: 1823-24
Ch. IV: 1825-26
Ch. V: 1827
Ch. VI: 1827-28
Ch. VII: 1828
Ch. VIII: 1829
Ch. IX: 1830-31
Ch. X: 1832-33
Ch. XI: 1833
Ch. XII: 1834
Ch XIII: 1835-36
Ch XIV: 1837-38
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York Street, 11th Nov.

“I was a bad boy for the first time last night, and drank an extra bottle of claret with Foley, Dundas,
Western, &c., &c., in the midst of our brilliant illuminations at Brooks’s: not that I was the least screwy, but it has made me somewhat nervous. . . . We could distinctly see there were high words between Liverpool and Eldon before the former struck his colours, and when he moved the further consideration that day six months, Eldon answered with a very distinct and audible ‘Not content.’ It is quite impossible any human being could have disgraced himself more than the Duke of Clarence. When his name was called in the division on the 3rd reading, he leaned over the rail of the gallery as far into the House as he could, and then halloed—‘Content,’ with a yell that would quite have become a savage. The Duke of York followed with his ‘Content’ delivered with singular propriety. . . . It must always be remembered to the credit of our hereditary aristocracy that a decided majority voted against this wicked Bill. It was the two sets of Union Peers* and these villains of the Church† that nearly destroyed for ever the character of the House of Lords. However, thank God it is no worse.

“I have said nothing to you of my City feast. . . . My attention was directed to a much more splendid object‡—the Princess Olivia of Cumberland.§ No one can have any doubts of the royalty of her birth. She is the very image of our Royal family. Her person is upon the model of the Princess Elizabeth,‖

* The Representative Peers of Scotland and Ireland.

† The Bishops.

‡ Than Madame Oldi, whom he has described.

§ This remarkable woman, Olive Wilmot Serres, presented a petition to the House of Commons, 14th July, 1820, setting forth that she was the legitimate daughter of William, Duke of Cumberland, second son of George II., and claiming recognition as such. She was the daughter of a house painter in Warwick named Wilmot, and married a foreigner named Serres, by profession a painter. Her striking resemblance to the royal family seems to have convinced many persons of the truth of her story, which was totally unsupported by any valid evidence. [See Annual Register, vol. lxii. p. 331; and vol. xliii. p. 150.]

‖ Third daughter of George III., married in 1818 to Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg.

only at least three times her size. She wore the most brilliant rose-coloured satin gown you ever saw, with fancy shawls (more than one) flung in different forms over her shoulders, after the manner of the late
Lady Hamilton. Then she had diamonds in profusion hung from every part of her head but her nose, and the whole was covered with feathers that would have done credit to any hearse. Well! after another quarter of an hour we all took the field again—the Lord Mayor at our head, and the gentle Lansdowne following with dear Miss Thorpe* under his arm. As we approached the great splendid hall, the procession halted for nearly ten minutes, which we in the rear could not comprehend. It turned out that Princess Olivia of Cumberland had made her claim as Princess of the Blood to sit at the right hand of my Lord Mayor. The worthy magistrate, however, with great spirit resisted these pretensions, and, after much altercation . . . she was compelled to retreat to another table, leaving the three Miss Thorpes the only ladies who had the honor to be surrounded by our English nobility. . . . The company assembled in the hall were nine hundred in number, ladies and gentlemen, at five tables. . . . We were marched entirely round the hall, till we arrived at the top, where a table on a slight elevation went across the hall for us guests. Western’s great delight was three men in complete armour from top to toe, with immense plumes of feathers upon their helmets. They were seated in three niches in the wall over our table. . . . It was their duty to rise and wave their truncheons when the Lord Mayor rose and gave his toasts; which they did with great effect, till one of them fainted away with heat and fell out of his hole upon the heads of the people below. . . .

“It is an abominable outrage to leave the Queen till February or the end of January without addresses from the two Houses upon her coming to the Throne, and without making any pecuniary provision for her; but so it will be, for of course the Black Rod will tap at our door on the 23rd the moment the Speaker is in the chair, and thus Parliament will be prorogued

* The Lord Mayor’s daughter.

before a word of complaint can be uttered on this shameful conduct. Thank God, however, whoever is Minister has a pleasant time before him. The people have learnt a great lesson from this wicked proceeding: they have learnt how to marshal and organise themselves, and they have learnt at the same time the success of their strength.
Waithman, who has just called upon me, tells me that the arrangements made in every parish in and about London on this occasion are perfectly miraculous—quite new in their nature—and that they will be of eternal application in all our public affairs. . . . They say the river below bridge to-day is the most beautiful sight in the world; every vessel is covered with colors, and at the head of the tallest mast in the river is the effigy of a Bishop, 20 or 30 feet in length, with his heels uppermost, hanging from the masthead.

“I enclose a little love-letter I got from Lady Holland some days since. It was preceded by a message to the same effect a day or two before; but, as you may suppose, I have taken no notice of either.”*