Thursday, August 25, 2011

Creevey Papers on George IV's Edinburgh Visit

“. . . Mr. Creevey dined yesterday at Lord Cowper’s. It was a grand dinner after the christening of his son, to whom the Prince stood godfather. The ceremony was going on in one drawing-room when Mr. Creevey arrived. After it was over, the Prince, on coming into the room where the rest of the company were assembled, said: ‘Ho, Creevey! you there,’ and sprang across the room and shook hands with him. When he sat opposite to him at dinner he hardly spoke to anyone else, beginning directly with—‘Well, tell me now, Creevey, about Mrs. Creevey and the girls, and when they come to Brighton;’ and on hearing ‘probably in October,’ he said—‘Oh delightful! we shall be so comfortable,’ and then went over the old stories . . . till, as Mr. C. says, the company did not know very well what to make of it. They all adjourned to Melbourne House to supper. At 2 o’clock in the morning, that terrible Sheridan seduced Mr. Creevey into Brookes, where they stayed till 4, when Sherry affectionately came home with him, and upstairs to see me. They were both so very merry, and so much pleased with each other’s jokes, that, though they could not repeat them to me very distinctly, I was too much amused to scold them as they deserved”

The above is from a letter dated August 25, 1806, from Thomas Creevey’s wife Eleanor, to her daughter, Elizabeth Ord.  Thomas Creevey, Whig politician and diarist, maintained his journal for 36 years.
From the “Creevey Papers”, comes the following, related to King George IV’s visit to Edinburgh in August 1822

George IV. made a royal progress to Edinburgh in August of this year. Thanks, in great measure, to the influence of Sir Walter Scott, his Majesty was received in the northern capital with far more respect and enthusiasm than he had been accustomed of late to experience in the south.
From — Stuart to Mr. Ferguson of Raith.
"Edinburgh, 17th Aug., 1822.
"... I send you a Scotsman [newspaper], the Account in which as to the King is pretty correct. He has been received by the people in the most respectful and orderly manner. All have turn'd out in their holiday cloaths, and in numbers which are hardly credible. ... I have been much disappointed to-day with the levee. . . . There was nothing interesting or imposing about it. A vast crowd, with barely standing room for two hours: afterwards moved to the Presence Chamber, where no one was for a minute. . . . The King did not seem to move a muscle, and we all asked each other, when we came away, what had made us take so much trouble. He was dressed in tartan. Sir Walter Scott has ridiculously made us appear to be a nation of Highlanders, and the bagpipe and the tartan are the order of the day."
Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.

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