CollectionAdditional papers of George IV, as Prince, Regent, and King
Record TypeCorrespondence
TitleLetter from Prince Leopold to [the Prince Regent]
Date12 May 1817
WriterLeopold, of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Prince
AddresseeGeorge, Prince Regent
DescriptionAlthough he had hoped to be able to report on his correspondence with [Margaret] Mercer [Elphinstone], this has not been possible and he will therefore will recount what has happened since they last met. Princess Charlotte wrote a letter the same night in the spirit of the terms approved by the Regent - that returning the letters would be an act of integrity and honour, promising that any papers considered necessary to explain Mercer's reasons ('pour sa justification') would be kept by the Princess who asks for all the papers to be returned to her without exception, and seeks a written assurance from Mercer that no letters have been held back. However, on Wednesday evening they received a letter which Mercer had written before she received Princess Charlotte's letter. In it, Mercer explains that she has sent the letters to her banker with the consent of Lord Grey and his friends as the best means of safeguarding the letters from idle curiosity. The Prince notes that despite their on-going correspondence Mercer has lost no time in acting - without waiting for their instructions. Lord Keith came on Thursday and will bring Mercer's response to the Princess's letter. Mercer believes that the steps she has taken will satisfy them and Lord Keith will provide a receipt from the banker (although this will only indicate that a box of papers has been received) but this avoids the demand for the restitution of the letters as if it had never been an issue. Friday morning, the Prince had a long conversation with Lord Keith who more or less repeated everything that he had said to the Regent but added that he has very little influence with his daughter and advised contacting Lord Grey or Lord Lauderdale - if they are not able to do this, then there is no chance of the return of the letters. They have therefore decided to write to the Duke of York to ask him to intercede with Lord Lauderdale on Princess Charlotte's behalf. Princess Charlotte has replied to Mercer expressing her surprise at the steps taken which do not provide her with any security as they may be retrieved by their depositor therefore the Princess cannot yield from her previous proposal. They still have not received any response to this letter and are awaiting the outcome of the actions of the Duke of York; they will keep the Regent informed of any new developments.
Place Of WritingClaremont
Extent1 document (3 pages)
Physical DescriptionLoose manuscript paper; mounted
Custodial HistoryPurchased 1965
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