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Sir John Finett, the Master of the Ceremonies, gives an amusing account of his efforts to this end. “I, finding,” he says, his ambition was to lodge in the King's house there, acquainted my Lord Chamberlain with it (who had already given orders for his Lodging at Kingston) and received from his Lordship answer, “That his Majesty would never allow any ambassador to be lodged so near him.' Whereupon, letting the ambassador know (as dextrously as I could) what order had been already taken for his residence at Kingston ; his answer at first was “What was his Majesty's pleasure should be his obedience;' but proceeding, asked, “The plague having been (as I am told) so much and so lately in that town, may I not be lodged within the King's House at Hampton Court?' I replied, 'It had not been the custom for ambassadors to be so lodged. “Yet,' said he, 'the Duke de Chevereux had his lodging in the house at Richmond, and so had the Marquesse de Fyat.'” To this Finett did not reply, but sent a message to the King, who directed him to explain the exceptional circumstances of those cases, and that the King was absent from the palace when they were put up. In conclusion Finett declared that “neither his Majesty nor the King his father had ever lodged any ambassador in their houses while they themselves lodged in them, and that his Majesty now would be loth to make a
precedent' that would hereafter beget him so great a trouble as this was like to be, and that therefore his Majesty hoped that the ambassador would not take it in ill part if he did not in this correspond with his desires."
There for a time the matter rested, but Blainville did not relax his efforts, and continued to supplicate and intrigue to get a footing in the palace, until at last, at the urgent solicitation of the Queen, his request was granted, and he was allowed to reside in Hampton Court Palace. But even then he was not admitted into the main building; the rooms assigned to him being "all those next the river, in the garden, which were sometime Lady Elizabeth's ”—that is, Charles I.'s sister, the Queen of Bohemia--the building being the same "Water Gallery” in which Queen Elizabeth, when Princess, was lodged by her sister Queen Mary as a State prisoner.
The presence of his Excellency in the palace, especially
CHARLES COMPLAINS TO HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW. 207
He hath pro
as it involved providing him and his suite with board at the expense of the King, was viewed with great disfavour by the officials at Court; and in a letter to the Duke of Buckingham, written from Hampton Court about this time, Mr. Secretary Conway freely dilates on the expense and inconvenience thus occasioned. “ The ambassador," writes he, “gives much trouble to the household here. cured from his Majesty a lodging in this house, and so his diet comes to be divided here for himself, and at Kingston for his company; so an increase of several new demands came in, for wood, and coals and twenty other things; and so for Madame St.-Georges, the Bishop, and that train, which makes the white staves to scratch where it itcheth not. It must come to be examined by commissions; if I am one, I will never give my consent to additions."
This shows commendable zeal on the part of Mr. Secretary Conway for economy in the public expenditure, the necessity of which becomes apparent when we learn that the charges for the ambassador's household amounted in a month or two to over £2,000.
Two days after the return of the Court to Hampton Court, the disagreement between Charles and his wife broke out in another direction, over the settlement of the Queen's household, Henrietta maintaining that it was her prerogative, under the marriage treaty, to bestow the offices connected with the management and the collection of the revenues of her dowry, on her French followers. This, whatever may have been the correct interpretation of the treaty, was certainly an aggressive attitude for her to take up; and Charles, in a letter which he wrote to the Queen-Mother of France, complained much of her undutiful conduct in this regard, attributing it to Madame de Saint-Georges, “who taking it in distaste because I would not let her ride with us in the coach (when there were many women of higher quality), claiming it as her due (which in England we think a strange thing), set my wife in such a humour against me, as from that very hour to this no man can say she has behaved two days together with the respect that I have deserved of her. As I take it, it was at her first coming to Hampton Court that I sent some of my council to her, with the regulations that were kept in the Court of the Queen my mother, and desired the Comte de Tillières that the same might be kept. The answer of Queen Henrietta to this deputation was, 'I hope I shall be suffered to order my own house as I list.' Now if she had said,” continued the King, “that she would speak with me herself, not doubting to give me satisfaction, I would have found no fault in her, for whatsoever she had said I should have imputed it to her ignorance of business; but I could not imagine her affronting me so by refusal publicly. After this answer, I took my time when I thought we had leisure to dispute it out by ourselves, to tell her both her fault in the publicity of such answer, and her mistakes; but she gave me so ill an answer that I omit to repeat it. Likewise I have to complain of her neglect of the English tongue, and of the nation in
In another letter, also addressed to her mother about this period, he renewed his complaints. “One night, after I was a-bed, my wife put a paper in my hand telling me 'It was a list of those she desired to be officers of her revenue.' I took it, and said that 'I would read it next morning;' but, withal, I told her that, by agreement in France, I had the naming of them.' She said, 'There were both English and French in the note.' I replied, that 'Those English whom I thought fit to serve her, I would confirm ; but for the French it was impossible for them to serve her in that capacity.' She said, 'All those in that paper had breviates from her mother and herself, and that she would admit no other.' Then I said, 'It was neither in her mother's power, nor hers, to admit any without my leave; and if she relied on that, whomsoever she recommended should not come in.' Then she plainly bade me 'take my lands to myself, for since she had no power to put in whom she would into those places, she would have neither lands or houses of me'; but bade me 'give her what I thought fit by way of pension. I bade her remember to whom she spoke, and told her 'she ought not to use me so.' Then she fell into a passionate discourse, how she is miserable, in having no power to place servants; and that business succeeded the worse for her recommendation.' When I offered to answer, she would not so much as hear me, but went on lamenting, saying that she was not of such base quality as to be used so!' But," continued Charles, “I both made her hear me, and end that discourse.”
CHARLES I. AND THE QUEEN'S FRENCH SUITE.
In all this affair Charles, in the opinion of De Tillières, showed “une bassesse bien grande et une arrogance insupportable”; but in that of his courtiers he was only making a very necessary stand for his own dignity, and for the assertion of his proper authority, which they assured him would suffer irremediably unless he kept his wife in subjection, as no one would think a man capable of governing a kingdom who was unable to govern his wife.
In the meantime the Court continued at Hampton Court, and it was from this palace that Charles wrote to Buckingham, who was then in Holland on his way to France, to inform him of his determination to send away the French suite on the first opportunity.
In another of Charles's letters to the Duke, without date, but apparently belonging to this time, he says: “As for news, my wife begins to mend her manners; I know not how long it will continue, for they say it is by advice, but the best of all is they say the Monsieurs desire to return home. I will not say this is certain, for you know nothing they say can be so.”
It was while affairs were in this posture that Buckingham returned to England, burning with indignation against the French, and more than ever determined to assist the King in his resolve of expelling them from the kingdom, whereby he would revenge himself for being denied access to France, and rid himself of the only influence likely to dispute his paramount supremacy at Court.
Accordingly he came down without delay to Hampton Court, and at once set to work inflaming Charles against them, and fomenting his disagreement with his wife. In the interviews he had with the Queen on Charles's account, he showed the most extraordinary presumption, telling her plainly that, unless she gave in to whatever he wished, he would do all he could to put them on bad terms with each other; and actually having the audacity to remind her that “Queens of England had been beheaded before now !”
All this shows that the Queen, on her part, had much to bear, through the King's excessive partiality for Buckingham, in the license he allowed him in speaking to her, and from the way in which he made him the confidant of all his grievances against her. In this, in truth, she had quite as