A Footnote to Shelley
WITH the copies of Shelley’s letters preserved among the Masters’ Papers arc included numerous affidavits, proposals, and draft reports. Some of these documents are formal and of little interest, but others embody material which supplements or corrects our knowledge of the proceedings in Shelley v. Westbrooke. The purpose of this case was to determine whether Shelley’s two children by Harriet should be returned to his custody, or left in the care of the Westbrooks. There is no need, however, to go over the details of the beginning of the case, which have been amply set forth by H. B. Forman, Professor Dowden, and Mr. Roger Ingpen. I shall confine myself as far as possible to presenting additions and corrections.
The hearing was held on January 24, 1817, and Lord Chancellor Eldon, by his decision given on March 27, restrained Shelley and his agents from recovering the custody of his children, and appointed Mr. William Alexander, a Master in Chancery, to inquire what would be a proper plan for the maintenance and education of the infants, and also to inquire with whom and under whose care the infants should remain during their minority or until the further order of the Court.
Shelley was deeply outraged by this decision, but he could not believe that the Chancellor would presume to put the children quite away from his friends and acquaintance and into the hands of some stranger whom the Westbrooks might select. His solicitor, P. W. Longdill, agreed with him, and offered to propose himself as the children’s custodian. Shelley accepted the offer, and accordingly Longdill drew up the proposal, and added to it a detailed plan of education.1 Anticipating the possible suspicion with which any proposal from Shelley’s side would be regarded by Mr. Alexander, Longdill made this plan sound as conservative and as religious as possible.
The proposal follows: —
The Defendant Percy Bysshe Shelley proposes that the said Infants should be placed under the care of Pynson Wilmot Longdill of Grays Inn in the County of Middlesex Gentleman and Selina his Wife, there to remain during their Minority, or until the further Order of the Court of Chancery.
The said Pynson Wilmot Longdill resides at No. 1 Sidmouth place Grays Inn Road, and at Ilanwell in the County of Middlesex; he is of the age of 35 years; his Wife is of the age of 26 years; and they have three Children; two Daughters, one of the age of 6 years and upwards and the other of the age of two years; and a Son of the age of four years.
For the maintenance of the said Infants the said Percy Bysshe Shelley proposes that the Dividends of the sum of £2000 4 per Cent Bank Annuities mentioned in the pleadings of this Cause, and which are directed by the Trust Deed in the pleadings also mentioned to be applied towards the Maintenance and Education of the said Infants, should from time to time as they become receivable be paid into the Hands of the said Pynson Wilmot Longdill towards such Maintenance and Education; and whatever may be requisite for the Maintenance and Education of the said Infants beyond the said Dividends, he the said Percy Bysshe Shelley will be ready and hereby undertakes to supply.
To this proposal, Longdill added his plan: —
The Plan of Education with respect to these Infant Children which Mr. Longdill would adopt, if they were confided to his care, would be immediately to put the Infant Eliza Ianthe, and the Infant Charles Bysshe as soon as he was capable of receiving instruction, under the care of a Governess (but at the same time under the strict and immediate superintendance and control of Mrs. Longdill) to learn Reading, Writing and Arithmetick, and to receive such Instruction generally as their infant minds were able to comprehend.
With respect to the Boy, it appears to Mr. Longdill that it would be advisable when he arrived at about the age of seven years, to send him to a good School where he might be instructed in the rudiments of the Classicks and in Antient and Modern History &c. &c., and be prepared for some of the large or public Schools. And at a proper Age and after being suitably prepared at such a School, Mr. Longdill would propose (other circumstances permitting) to place him at one of the Universities. In fixing on a first School for him, Mr. Longdill would be led to look for one under the superintendance of an Orthodox Clergyman of the Church of England [though perhaps he would not consider the circumstance of the Head Master being a Clergyman as positively essential, if there were other points of high recommendation in favour of any Establishment which presented itself to his Notice].2
With respect however to placing him at the University, or by anticipation pointing out any particular profession or mode of life for the Child, it would in Mr. Longdill’s Opinion be premature at present to do so, as the prudence of any step must depend on a variety of circumstances which cannot be now foreseen, as well as upon the feelings and habits and manners and intelligence of the Boy, which cannot now be prognosticated.
With respect to the Girl, Mr. Longdill proposes to have her educated with his own Daughters at home, under suitable Masters or Mistresses, giving her Lessons in History, Geography, Literature in general, and on every proper Subject as early as it might appear that her mind was open to receive them. The accomplishments of Drawing, Painting, Musick, Singing, and Dancing should receive all the attention which they deserve when the Child displayed a capability of receiving the necessary instructions, and the more homely Employments of Fancy Work and Sewing should not be neglected. Domestic Economy too should receive its share of attention. In short Mr. Longdill feels [MS. feeling] that a young mind must be continually occupied by those things which would in some way or other lead to its Improvement or to general Usefulness. Upon the score of Dress, Mr. Longdill would, if necessary, be very positive on the absolute necessity of resisting and disregarding the Fashions of the Day, if they included, as they do in his opinion in the present day, an apparent abandonment of all feelings of feminine Delicacy and Decency. Habitual neatness of dress he would require on the most private occasions, and an habitual Decency of Dress on all occasions.
As to the general reading of the Girl at a more advanced age, Mr. Longdill would, as far as his influence extended, keep from her perusal all Books that tended to shake her Faith in any of the great points of the Established Religion. He would discountenance the reading of Novels, except perhaps some few unexceptionable Works of that sort. He would to a certain degree encourage the reading and indeed the studying of some of our best poets; but with respect to Pope and some others, Mr. Longdill would take care that she was furnished with selections only. Of Shakespeare Mr. Longdill understands an Edition purified from its grossnesses has been published, and this Edition he would put into her hand. He believes also an Edition of Hume has lately been published in which his insidious attacks on Religion are omitted; And with this Edition Mr. Longdill would take care that she was provided.
To the Morals of the Children Mr. Longdill would pay particular attention, and would strive to make Instruction and Discipline go hand in hand. He would endeavour strongly to impress upon the Children Notions of Modesty and self-diffidence, and to repress every feeling of Vanity and self-sufficiency. He would endeavour to inculcate in them high notions of the value of a Character for Truth and personal Honour, and a thorough detestation of Affectation, Deceitfulness and Falsehood. The particular irregularities to which the mind of these Children may be most prone, and which perhaps will be very different in each, it is so impossible to foresee, that it would be worse than useless, in Mr. Longdill’s Opinion, to pretend to point out the precise and particular course which ought to be pursued with respect to either of them. Speaking of Children in general and particularly of Children whom we never saw, it is in Mr. Longdill’s Opinion idle to predetermine to affix to them any particular Character. The great point is, as Mr. Longdill has seen it somewhere expressed, to observe what Nature has made them, and to perfect them on her Plan. The grand duty of a Parent or Guardian towards Children consists, as Mr. Longdill conceives, in promptly and continually repressing, and if possible extirpating every propensity radically vicious; in guiding and by gentle means bringing back to the right course every irregular inclination; in exciting when it may be necessary a proper spirit of generous rivalry and emulation; in not countenancing and indeed in not tolerating any irreverent allusions in matters of religion; in being very circumspect (particularly as far as respects Girls) in the Books which are permitted to be brought before them; in promptly repressing every feeling of Vanity and self-importance; in requiring from them a respectful and deferential manner at all times towards their Superiours whether in rank or in age; an affable and unaffected manner towards their Equals; a mild, kind and condescending manner towards their Servants and Inferiours; and a humane and charitable Feeling and Manner towards the Poor and Distressed.
On the Subject of Religion, which though here mentioned so late Mr. Longdill thinks the very first in point of consideration and importance, he would bring up the Children in the Faith and Tenets of the Church of England; he would deem it an imperative Duty to inculcate in them solemn, serious, and orthodox Notions of Religion, but at the same time he would be cautious not prematurely to lead their unripe minds to that momentous Subject. To a morning and evening prayer and Thanksgiving, and to Grace before and after Meals, he would regularly accustom them, and take occasion as circumstances might arise to inculcate on them a general religious feeling, without bringing to their Notice controversial Points that might excite doubts which they would be unable to solve, and entangle them in difficulties from which they would be unable to extricate themselves. What is clearly revealed Mr. Longdill would endeavour to teach them fervently to embrace, and what the limited powers of human Intellect would not permit them to understand, he would endeavour to make them feel it their Duty silently to revere. A regular attendance at Divine Service on Sundays Mr. Longdill would, when the Children arrived at a proper age, consider an indispensible Duty.
On that important and complicated subject ‘A Plan of Education,’ Mr. Longdill is aware that a great deal more might be said than has been here said, and that what is expressed might have been expressed much better, but as he has been proposed by Mr. Shelley to have the care of the Children, he has thought it more proper on such an occasion to put down his own personal thoughts and opinions as they arise on the subject, than to consult those who would have considered the subject more deeply and have treated it much better. He begs to add however that whatever the Master might think proper to suggest on the point of Education or Management of the Children, would be received by Mr. Longdill with the greatest respect and attention.
As it must naturally be concluded that the Children in their younger years will, if confided to the care of Mr. Longdill, be more under the immediate inspection and superintendance of Mrs. Longdill than of himself, it may be necessary to state some particulars with regard to her. She is about the age of 26. She plays on the Piano Forte and sings as well as most Ladies not professional; she dances better than most Ladies; she paints and draws; she understands fine Needle Work, and various sorts of Fancy Work; she has a slight knowledge of Italian and German; she speaks French as fluently as English and in the most correct Parisian manner, free from Anglicisms and all foreign Idiom and Pronunciation, having been for five years (from 1802 to 1806) educated in a Protestant School in Paris.
With respect to the Interference of Mr. Shelley with the Children, the Lord Chancellor having intimated that he should suspend his Judgment as to how far and in what degree he would in this Case interfere against Parental Authority, Mr. Longdill can only say that while he had the care of the Children, if it should be confided to him, he would feel it his bounden duty implicitly to obey the order and directions of the Lord Chancellor with respect to the intercourse and interference of Mr. Shelley with the Children, whatever that order and those directions might be.
Longdill submitted these documents to Mr. Alexander on June 21. The Westbrooks followed on July 1 with their counter-proposal, which, after the preliminary phrases, continues: —
That the said Plaintiff Eliza Ianthe Shelley is of the age of Four Years or thereabouts and the said Plaintiff Charles Bysshe Shelley is of the Age of two Years or thereabouts and they are the only Children of the said Defendant Percy Bysshe Shelley Esq.re3 who is the eldest son and Heir of the said Defendant Sir Timothy Shelley, the said infant Charles Bysshe Shelley being the presumptive heir to the said Title.
That the said Plaintiffs the infants were brought up under the Care of their Mother Harriett [MS. Harriott] Shelley deceased Daughter of the said Defendant John Westbrooke until the time of her death which happened in December last and since that time have been under the Care of the said Defendant Elizabeth Westbrooke and have always been accustomed to have and from their tender Age and Health require very Particular Care and Attention.
That with a view to Education of the said infants suitably to their future prospects and rank in life and especially to the early establishing of their minds in correct principles of Religion and Morality, it is proper that the said infants should be brought up under the immediate Care and inspection of a person well Qualified in this behalf.
That the Reverend John Kendall of the Town of Warwick a Clergyman of the Church of England of exemplary Character and highly qualified, hath been applied to and Consented to receive the said Plaintiffs into his family and provide them with Cloaths and every other thing necessary to their Situation and to instruct them so far as they are at present Capable of receiving instruction and to take the Charge of them in all respects in the place of a Parent for the Sum of Two hundred pounds per Annum.
That the said Plaintiffs are entitled to the sum of £2000 £4 per Cent Annuities Standing in the names of the said Defendants Elizabeth Westbrooke and John Higham upon Certain trusts declared by the Indenture of the 2nd day of January 1817 in the pleadings mentioned the Dividends whereof amount to the Sum of £80 Per Annum and which is all the fortune the said Infants are at present possessed of.
That the said Defendant Percy Bysshe Shelley is entitled to an Annuity of £1000 per Annum payable by the said Sir Timothy Shelley and Secured to the said Percy Bysshe Shelley by a Rent Charge upon Certain Estates of the said Sir Timothy Shelley.
It is therefore proposed on the part of the said Plaintiffs that they the said Plaintiffs should from the 24th day of June instant be placed in the family of the said Mr. Kendal to be brought up under his Care until the further Order of this Court And that the Sum of £200 per Annum should be allowed to the said Mr. Kendall for the Education Maintenance and Support of the said Plaintiffs to Commence from the 24th day of June instant And it is further proposed that file Sum of £80 per Annum to which the said plaintiffs are entitled (being the Dividends arising from the said Sum of £2000 Bank 41 per Cent Annuities) should be Applied by the said Defendants Elizabeth Westbrooke and John Higham in part payment and discharge of the said Annual Sum of £200 And that the residue of the said Sum of £200 (being the Sum of £120 per Annum) should be allowed by the said Defendant Percy Bysshe Shelley and paid by the said Defendant Sir Timothy Shelley out of the said Annuity of £1000 to which the said Defendant Percy Bysshe Shelley is entitled as aforesaid.
In this, the original form of the proposal, the effrontery of the Westbrooks is notable: Shelley’s children, they suggest, are to be put under the care of their own appointee, a stranger to Shelley, and £120 of the annual £200 for their maintenance is to be stopped out of Shelley’s allowance from his father! Before this proposal was accepted by Mr. Alexander, Longdill saw to it that its closing phrases were altered to read: ‘And that the residue thereof [sc. £120] should he made good by the said John Westbrooke the maternal grandfather of the said Plaintiffs.’
The Reverend John Kendall was the person under whose care the children had been placed before Harriet’s death. We derive certain particulars concerning him and his family from a supporting affidavit made by Samuel Parr, LL.D., on July 16: —
The Reverend Samuel Parr of Hatton in the County of Warwick Doctor of Laws maketh Oath and saith that he knows and is intimately acquainted with the Reverend John Kendall the Master of the Earl of Leicester’s Hospital in the Town of Warwick and Vicar of Budbrook near to the said Town and also with Martha the Wife of the said John Kendall and hath so known them for twenty years last past And this Deponent saith that the said John Kendall is of the age of fifty years or thereabouts and the said Martha his Wife is of the age of fifty three years or thereabouts. And that the Family of the said John Kendall consists of three daughters and no other children and who are of the respective ages of twenty two years, twenty years, and eighteen years or thereabouts And this Deponent saith that the said John Kendall is of a moral and upright character and a man of good talents and learning and that the said Martha the Wife of the said John Kendall is a Lady of high character and amiable manners and that the daughters of the said John Kendall are all possessed of superior attainments in literature And this Deponent saith that in the judgment and opinion of this deponent, and which judgment and opinion is formed from long and intimate knowledge and acquaintance with the parties, there cannot be a family better calculated by their integrity, knowledge, and manners to have the care and education of children than the said Mr and Mrs. Kendall and their Daughters.
[signed] SAMUEL PARR
Certainly from any disinterested point of view it would seem that the little Shelleys would have a better chance with Selina Longdill and her youngsters than with the fifty-threeyear-old Mrs. Kendall and her grownup daughters.
All the materials, with the exception of any plan of education on the part of Mr. Kendall, being now at hand, Mr. Alexander proceeded to his inquiry. It appears from what follows that he did not confine himself to the Chancellor’s order, but imagined that it was his duty to review the case against Shelley, and to decide whether or not Shelley’s conduct and principles made it improper for the children to be entrusted to the person he should select. To this end he not only went over the plaintiffs’ petition and defendants’ answers, but also scrutinized the letters to Harriet and had extracts made as follows: —
No. 1. dated 15th September 1814. He avows [sic] that his Attachment to Mary neither could nor ought to have been overcome. He states that she has resigned all for him.
No. 2. He expresses a Wish that his Wife may find a Lover as passionate and faithful as he would ever be a Friend affectionate and sincere. He wishes she could see Mary who he declares is the Object and the Sharer of his Passion.
No. 3. He expresses his Solicitude, although united to one perfectly adapted to his Nature by a lasting and intense Affection, that his Wife should have perceived that he continued to be mindful of her happiness, that he would have superintended the Progress of her Mind and have assisted her in cultivating an elevated Philosophy, to which without the Interest he had taken in her Improvement it was probable that she never would have aspired.
No. 4. dated l6th Sept. 1814. He desires her to acquit herself with Justice toward himself and Mary for united as they were they could not be considered separately. He urges her to consider how far she would desire her future Life to be placed within the Influence of his superintending Mind.
No. 5. dated 26th Sept. 1814. After various Reproaches he remarks that he was an Idiot to expect Greatness or Generosity from his Wife, — that when an Occasion of the sublimest Virtue occurred she would fail to play a Part of despicable Selfishness. That the pure and liberal Principles of which she used to boast that she was a disciple, served only for display and that in her heart it seemed she was always enslaved to the vilest superstitions. He speaks of himself as an innocent Man struggling with distress and denies that Godwin favored his Passion for his daughter, an Assertion which his Wife had made and which she knew to be most false and wantonly cruel and unjust to circulate such a Report.
No. 6. dated 27th. Sept. 1814. He mentions the Satisfaction he should have if Reason should restore her to Philosophy, and after noticing that she had applied to an Attorney he says ‘You are plainly lost to me, lost to the Principles which are the Guide and Hope of my Life,’ and after stating that he considered this Application as an Act of determined Hostility, he proceeds thus: ‘I desire &c.’ (Copy this Paragraph). He then states that Godwin refuses with bitter Invective and keen Injustice all further Communication with him and he urges her if she yet felt any Ambition to be ranked amongst the wise and good to write to him.
No. 7. dated 5th. Oct. 1814. He desires that she will not send him Mary Woolstonecroft’s Works, that he committed an Oversight in requesting them and begged her to keep them.
In addition to these passages from the letters, Mr. Alexander drew up brief notes of the allegations made in the pleadings, with a view to ascertaining their truth. In his final summing up, he reviewed the evidence against Shelley’s character, and certified ‘that I feel myself bound by every moral and religious Feeling to reject the Father’s Proposal and to approve the latter’ (i.e., the Westbrooks’) .
Accordingly, we find his endorsement on Mr. Westbrook’s proposal, ‘Allowed 19 July 1817 W.A.’ and on Longdill’s, ‘Disallowed 19 July 1817 W.A.’ Mr. Alexander’s report was submitted in full on August 1.
Longdill was disgusted by Mir. Alexander’s action, which not only was harsher than was warranted by the cautious language of the Chancellor’s order, but also in effect cast suspicion on him. Therefore he appealed, from the Master to the Lord Chancellor, but did not gain a hearing until November 10. On that date the Chancellor referred the matter back to Mr. Alexander, with instructions to receive further proposals for a suitable person to have the care of the children, and also a further proposal or plan for their education and maintenance.
Longdill was therefore obliged to withdraw his own proposal. As a substitute for himself, Shelley and he decided on Dr. Thomas Hume, a neighbor of his in Hanwell. Dr. and Mrs. Hume, on reading Longdill’s elaborate plan of education, had no objections to it, except that they saw no immediate need for a governess. The proposal includes the following description: —
The said Thomas Hume is a Doctor in Medicine in the University of Oxford; a Fellow of the College of Physicians, London; Physician to his Majesty’s Forces, and to his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge; and the said Thomas Hume is about the age of 45 years, and the said Caroline Hume is about the age of 30 years.
The said Thomas and Caroline Hume have been married several years and have no children, and Mrs. Hume is particularly fond of children and is a highly accomplished woman and eminently qualified to have the care and management of children.
The Residence of Dr. Hume is in a retired part of Hanwell, half a mile distant from the Public Road, in an open and healthy situation, and is surrounded by pleasant walks, affording opportunities for exercise to the children without any communication with the high road.
The said Thomas Hume and Caroline Hume are orthodox members of the church of England and regular in their attendance at Divine Service, and in every respect qualified for the Charge which the said Percy Bysshe Shelley hereby proposes to commit to them.
The Humes’ statement as to Longdill’s plan of education follows; —
Dr. Hume and Mrs. Hume having read over the Plan of Education which they understand was submitted to the Master by Mr. P. W. Longdill on a former reference on the present subject, so entirely concur with Mr. Longdill on all the principle points detailed in that plan that they think it unnecessary to say more than that they should in a great measure pursue the Plan which Mr. Longdill proposed. Mrs. Hume however having no children of her own, and having sufficient leisure to give every requisite attention to the Children, and feeling that it would be her duty if the Children were placed in her family to devote a considerable portion of her time to them and to give them her continual attention, does not at present think that it would be necessary to engage a Governess for the present education and management of the Children; but if on experience she should find the assistance of a Governess for any reason necessary, Dr. and Mrs. Hume would immediately engage one.
The Humes were supported by affidavits from two ecclesiastics: the Reverend John Bond of Hanwell, Doctor in Divinity, and the Reverend Joseph Holden Pott, Archdeacon of London.
On their side, the Westbrooks proposed the Reverend Jacob Cheesbrough, of Ulcomb, Kent, who was recommended by the Reverend Charles Cage of Bearsted, the Reverend George Wasey of Swanbourne, Bucks, and Sir Robert Graham of Dulwich, Bart. He even had a personal note from Lord Ormonde in his favor. In their summary plan of education, Mr. and Mrs. Cheesbrough assured the Master
. . . that no pains whatever should be spared for perfecting the said Infants in every branch of useful and polite education and that the said Infants should not be exposed to the corruption of immoral Companions nor should they on any occasion visit except in the Company either of the said Mr. or Mrs. Cheesbrough and every possible care and pains should be taken both by precept and example to form their habits and manners so as to qualify them for that station in life in which their rank and expectations entitle them to move and above all they should be early and deeply impressed with the importance of the knowledge of divine truth, its sanctions and obligations, and taught to be sincere Members of the established Church.
Late in February, when it had become evident to the solicitors on both sides that Mr. Alexander intended to approve of Shelley’s nominees, the Humes, John Westbrook and his daughter Eliza proposed to visit the Humes ‘with a view,’ as they said, ‘of removing any apparent hostility or opposition ’ and of withdrawing their nominee, Mr. Cheesbrough, if upon such visit they should see ‘no reason to be dissatisfied with the said Doctor Hume and Mrs. Hume and the situation of their residence.’ The suggestion was refused, and Longdill gives the reason in an affidavit: —
That he had a conference on the following day with Dr. Hume on the subject of the proposed visit and it did appear on such conference to Deponent and to the said Dr. and Mrs. Hume that such a Visit would not only be unpleasant to the feelings of Dr. and Mrs. Hume, but that the said Mr. and Miss Westbrooke coming with no predisposition to be satisfied with Dr. and Mrs. Hume, and being perfectly satisfied with the Reverend Mr. Cheesbrough whom they had proposed as the person to have the care of the Infant Plaintiffs, such visit might lead to altercations and Disputes in the Office of the Master to whom the Cause stood referred which might have a tendency to produce those very feelings of hostility which on the part of Dr. and Mrs. Hume were not then in any way felt or entertained, and which it was the ostensible object of the proposed visit to prevent. And the said Dr. Hume expressed at the same time a desire to satisfy Mr. and Miss Westbrooke if it could be done by receiving their Solicitor Mr. Desse, and he directed Deponent to make an offer of receiving Mr. Desse at any time.
That in consequence of this conference Deponent waited upon the Plaintiffs Solicitors, when he saw Mr. Desse and explained to him the objections which Dr. Hume had to a visit from Mr. and Miss Westbrooke, but Deponent at the same time informed Mr. Desse that Dr. Hume would be happy to see Mr. Desse at any time he would appoint, and Deponent pressed Mr. Desse to accept such offer and assured him, as the truth was, that Dr. Hume had desired Deponent to say that he would be happy to see Mr. Desse to dinner on any day; but the said Mr. Desse refused to accept such Offer or Invitation.
That the opinion of Deponent that such a visit as proposed on the part of Mr. and Miss Westbrook would lead to unpleasant altercations and feelings was much strengthened and confirmed from its having been stated to Deponent by the Solicitor of Sir Timothy Shelley that he had proposed a perfectly unobjectionable Lady as a person to have the care of the Infant Plaintiffs and that in consequence of his proposal, Miss Westbrooke had called upon the Lady, and that the conduct and manners and enquiries of Miss Westbrooke were such as gave the Lady great offence. That the Lady so proposed was totally unknown to Deponent, and as he believes to said Percy Bysshe Shelley, and that she was mentioned by Sir Timothy Shelley’s Solicitor to the Solicitor of Mr. and Miss Westbrooke, without any communication to Deponent or said Percy Bysshe Shelley.
That Dr. Hume never stated to Deponent that he considered the proposed visit as an Insult, nor did Deponent as he verily believes ever use such an expression, but Deponent saith that in his Interview with Mr. Desse he stated that such visit from three persons coming certainly with no very friendly feelings for the avowed purpose of inspecting Dr. and Mrs. Hume and their domestick Concerns and Establishments must in the nature of it be offensive to their feelings. And Deponent saith that he gave less credit than he otherwise should have done to the alledged Motives of the Proposal on the part of Mr. and Miss Westbrooke to visit Dr. and Mrs. Hume, from the fact of no disposition ‘to remove any apparent hostility’ being shewn until after it was evident to Deponent and to the Solicitor of the Plaintiffs that it was the intention of the Master to report in favour of Dr. and Mrs. Hume as proper persons to have the care and Management of the Infant Plaintiffs.
Among the papers of Mr. Alexander I find the following memorandum: ‘I approve of Dr & Mrs Hume. 9 March 1818. W. A.’ His formal report was submitted on April 28, and confirmed on July 25 following by the Lord Chancellor,
- Longdill’s plan has hitherto been ascribed to Dr. and Mrs. Hume, who, as will appear, merely adopted it. Since Longdill’s plan contains passages which have never before been published, it is perhaps worth reproducing in full.— AUTHOR↩
- The bracketed passage was crossed out. — AUTHOR↩
- This statement ignores Shelley’s children by Mary. — AUTHOR↩