« AnteriorContinuar »
employed her about was to send her to endeavour to find out the house in Severn's Row, Islington, where Mr Faulkner fetched an umbrella. She was accompanied by Godfrey and Goodwin, the constables; they proceeded to Severn's Row, Islington, and after making inquiries at a dozen houses, they entered one. She observed an umbrella hanging up, which she recognized as the same the man who had duped her fetched about two or three weeks since, when he was going to walk out with her and Mr Horsley's children; it was a red silk one, of French manufacture, and she positively asserted it to be the same. They in consequence proceeded to make very strict inquiries respecting every person in the house, and all the transactions which had taken place in it for some time past. They learnt that the umbrella belonged to a female lodger, whose husband had left the house to go into the country last Sunday; and on his person being described, Elizabeth Holbrook had no doubt but that he was the man who had passed himself off as a single man, of the name of George Faulkner, and who had duped her by promising her marriage, and sending her to Birmingham. The constables proceeded to interrogate the woman, and from her answers they suspected her to be an accessory with her husband. They in consequence took her into custody, and brought her to the office, and also the umbrella, which has proved such an essential feature. She underwent a long investigation, and it appears that her husband's name is not Faulkner, but Rennett; that he is of no direct or regular profession, but that he frequently went to France and other foreign parts; he was frequently away from her for months at a time. He had lately returned from Aix la Chapelle, and had been in England about two months, and at that time he had taken the lodging in
Severn's Buildings. She acknowledged that they lived very uncomfortably together, but that on Sunday, when he went off, they parted friends, and he took leave of her between one and two o'clock, taking with him two port manteaus and a sum of money, when he said he was going to France, and she would not see him again for two months. She denied knowing that he was going to carry off Mr Horsley's child, or that he had any scheme for that purpose. Mr Horsley was sent for on her being brought to the of fice. On his arrival he appeared much shocked at seeing his relation, at least his wife's relation (we understand, her cousin,) suspected of any knowledge of such a horrid transaction, but con. fessed that it did not altogether surprise him that her husband, Charles Rennet, had committed the horrid deed; in fact, he confessed that he suspected he was the man who had carried off the child from rancorous malignity, and from the dreadful threats he had made use of towards him and his family; and assigned as his reason for thinking so, that some time since he had a law-suit with Charles Rennett, respecting the heirship of an estate, and cast him; his son, whom he had now by a deep-laid stratagem carried off, was heir to the estate. About four years since, at the time Mrs Horsley was pregnant with the said boy, she received a letter, stating that Mr Horsley had met with a most dreadful accident near London Bridge; that in consequence he could not sur vive, and if she wished to see him alive, she must hasten to the spot instantly, which she accordingly did. The con tents of the letter were wholly fabri cated, and the said Charles Rennett was suspected to be the author of that letter, to answer the diabolical pur pose of causing a miscarriage, which, however, was providentially frustrated. Under all these circumstances, Charles
Rennett was charged with the crime of stealing the child, and Mr Birnie issued warrants against him, and dispatched the most active, intelligent, and persevering officers, to Dover, Margate, Brighton, and other parts, with instructions to pursue him whereever they can get any information respecting him. They are accompanied by Mr Horsley and some friends, who can identify Charles Rennett and the child.
23d. The infant is not yet under the protection of its extremely miserable relatives. Such has been the effect of the child's absence upon the minds of Mr and Mrs Horsley, and Mr Dignum, that they have not been in bed more than an hour together, any night since it was stolen. Mr Dignum was so particularly attached to the interesting creature, that he had resolved to leave him heir to all his property, which is reported to be about 30,000l.
Taunton, the Bow-Street officer, was in France, when Rennett, who is supposed to have stolen the child, crossed the Channel; but Taunton did not hear of the circumstance until he arrived in England, when it was communicated to him by the magistrates of Bow-Street Police-Office. He immediately returned to Calais, having previously learned that a man of the description of the person whose name was stated to be Faulkner, but whose real name was Charles Rennett, had set off from the London Inn, at Dover, with a child, answering the description of the stolen child, to Calais, in a boat; and that he had obtain ed passports in the name of George Reynolds. When Taunton arrived at Calais, he found that the delinquent had left it on the 10th instant. He had been at a tavern, kept by a person of the name of Meurice, and had taken refreshments, and also given some to the child, who was in good
health. Rennett, it appears, applied immediately to the police, on his arrival in Calais, to get his passport indorsed, which being done, he set off with the child in the diligence towards Brussels. Prior to Taunton's second arrival in France, the nephew of Mr Horsley, and Gooding, the officer, had arrived, and had pursued the fugitives, so that the affair was generally known, and told to him on his landing. He learned that the pursuers had discovered the route taken by Rennett, and were at least three stages on their way after him, and it was therefore useless in him to continue the pursuit; for the persons who were before him having received every assistance from the French police, would be equally able to obtain their object as if he were to follow. He therefore returned to England with the so far satisfactory intelligence to the afflicted relatives of the child. Such is the system of the French police department, that the pursuers were informed that they might rest assured that the child and thief would be ultimately in custody.
The conclusion of the affair is related in the following letters of Mr Horsley :
"Bremen, November 25. "MY DEAR WIFE,-I have at length the happiness to acquaint you that our dear boy is rescued from the hands of that villain Rennett, who is in safe custody, and will be brought to England for trial. He was seized on board the Pallas, a vessel in which he had taken his passage to America, and in twenty-four hours he would have been at sea. The child is in good health and spirits, and I intend proceeding to England with him as early as possible.
Your affectionate husband,
"P. S. Request your father to write a note to Mr Agar, and say his son, who has taken so active and praiseworthy a part in the restitution of the
child, is well. He has not time to write, for we are going twenty-five miles, to fetch the child to Bremen, from the port where he was discover ed."
"Braka, near Bremen, Nov. 25. "MY DEAR WIFE,-I wrote a hasty scrawl by this conveyance, supposing that I should not have time to send a longer letter by this day's post; but I find I have still sufficient time to send some particulars, which are very interesting and important to our family. "I told you, I had succeeded in overtaking the unfeeling rascal, and in rescuing our dear child from the felon's grasp.
"Rennett is now in safe custody, and the dear boy is in the possession of Mrs Macnamara, the wife of the Consul, from whence this letter is addressed. I have had our boy in my arms; I have kissed him. My feelings were too acute to attempt to describe them. He clung round my neck, and hugged me so hard that it was a long time before he could be induced to part from me. He is fat, ruddy, and in perfect health.
"I have been much disappointed in not being able to get away from this place so early as I wished and expected; my detention arises from the delay of the officers of the government to which this place is subject-the Duchy of Oldenburgh. The boy has not yet been delivered up to me, but is still in Mrs Macnamara's care, and is to remain with her till the arrival of the commissary of police, from Oldenburgh, who is hourly expected. I am apprehensive that the villain Rennett will not be given up until an order arrives from the Secretaries of State, Lords Bathurst or Sidmouth, which is requisite to be done, according to the established law of the country; and I am not even sure that the boy will be delivered up to me without an order from the Secretary of State. He is
safe and happy in the care of the Consul's lady. I have, therefore, written the enclosed to government, to request the necessary order, which I hope you will get delivered by some of our friends to the Minister, and urge them to obtain the order with all possible dispatch, that no farther time may be lost, as my stay here is painful and unprofitable.
I saw our dear Joe last night; we met at the investigation of the robbery, and an examination of Rennett before a magistrate, and I was desi rous of ascertaining if he would recognize me as his father. When he was brought into the room, he looked round indifferently upon the persons who were assembled; Mr Agar then stepped forward, and our dear boy, who knew him well before he was dragged from England, started; his countenance assumed an appearance of surprise and pleasure. I then stepped forward, and the moment the interesting boy saw me, he stretched out his dear little arms, burst into a kind of hysterical laugh, and said, 'O my pa, O my papa!' I was of course much affected; and he hugged and kissed me until I was obliged to leave him for the night. He was exceedingly loth to part from me; but he began to be sleepy, and soon became pacified. I have seen him again to day: he is happy and cheerful. He had not the same clothes on in which he left London: the villain purchased a suit of blue clothes, in which he had dressed the boy, and I hardly knew him except from his face.
"I have just seen Charles Rennett; he fell prostrate at my feet, and kissed them with the most abject mean ness. I never witnessed such humiliation in my life. The contemptible vil lain implored my pardon, and beseeched me not to deliver him up to justice; but upon that point I had previously made up my mind. I have enclosed
4. Wednesday was observed throughout the metropolis and its vicinity with every mark of respect for the memory of the Queen. In pursuance of notice, the Bank, the Exchange, and all other public places of business, were shut. The shops were all wholly or half closed, and nothing done in the way of trade, but what the necessities of the day required. Mourning was nearly universal, and scarcely a private or hackney carriage was to be seen that was not proceeding westward to the funeral. The stage coaches were the only vehicles to be seen at that time proceeding in any other direction. The churches were mostly open for divine service, the pulpits covered with black, and sermons appropriate to the melancholy occasion were delivered. The congregations were numerous, and in some places crowded. The commission was open at the Old Bailey at nine o'clock, after which the Court instantly adjourned till Thursday.
The numbers that set off at an early hour to witness the procession from the city, Southwark, Westminster, and all the adjoining districts, were
immense. Coaches, stages, and carriages of every description, were filled, and it is computed that upwards of 5000 were employed on the occasion. The pedestrians were numberless, and many of them had set out on their journey to Kew long before day-break. The morning was dark, cold, wet, and altogether uncomfortable. It rained very heavy at five o'clock, and fears were entertained that the day would be most unfavourable. Towards seven o'clock, however, the sky cleared up.
The honorary guard, selected from the brigade of Guards, which had been stationed at Kew Palace, while the remains of her Majesty were lying in state, turned out about half past seven. As it is customary on all great state occasions, they wore white gaiters. Their officers appeared with crape scarfs and sashes-crape was also placed round their caps, and round the hilt of their swords. They remained on duty, in the front of the Palace, until the royal remains were removed. At eight o'clock, a detachment from the 16th lancers made their appearance, slowly moving along the Windsor road, and advancing towards Kew. They were stationed in two bodies on Kew Green. The road immediately in the vicinage of the Palace was patrolled, during the morning, by small parties of the same regiment. At half past eight, the hearse, destined to convey the royal corpse to Windsor, arrived at the Palace. It was accompanied by fifty undertakers' assistants, on horseback, in deep mourning, with silk scarfs, hatbands, &c. and escorted by a body of lancers. At this time the road leading to the Palace was crowded. The road which runs through the centre of Kew Green was lined on each side with carriages, while an immense assemblage of people almost filled the space behind. The pathways leading to Kew Bridge, and on to the Star and Garter, at the foot of
the bridge, were, in like manner, crowded. The open space in front of the Star-and-Garter was occupied by several rows of carriages, which were loaded, both inside and outside, with spectators. The multitude extended as far as the eye could reach, in every direction; and not a window, a wall, or a tree, from which a glimpse of the procession was likely to be obtained, was untenanted. At a quarter after nine, an additional number of Lancers scoured the roads, and prevented the approach of carriages, except those belonging to persons who were to take a part in the solemn ceremony. Soon after, the larger body of Lancers, who had been stationed on Kew Green, moved towards the Palace. A part of them formed on each side of the road, obliging the spectators to fall back pretty close to the Thames. The remainder of this body were subdivided into two parties, one to precede, and one to follow the hearse. Almost precisely at ten o'clock, the procession moved from the Palace in the following order :
usual hammer-cloth of scarlet and gold was retained. The first six carriages had the royal arms emblazoned on them, and the letters C. R. in a small cipher, inserted in a compartment above them. The last had only the crown, surmounting the letters C. R. in a very large cypher.
Assistants on horseback in deep mourning. detachment, consisting of eighty-nine Lan
cers, in triple files, closed the procession.
The throng of carriages that fol lowed, as far as Hounslow, was so great, that at the turnpikes an interruption of many minutes took place, from the impossibility of getting fresh horses at Hounslow, the price demanded being four guineas to Wind
The road then presented a conflicting appearance, between those who were anxious to proceed, and others who were compelled to return. The procession having taken the Bath road, a great proportion of carriages, to avoid the frequent interruption, took the route of Staines, by Frogmore, to Windsor. The cavalcade reached Long ford between one and two o'clock, and rested one hour. Several carriages, with persons connected with the arrangements at St George's Chapel, were for a length of time precluded from getting on, as no vehicle was per mitted to pass; but the delay being so great, on application to Colonel Wyndham, such persons were specially permitted to pass the afterguard.
Every preparation was made at Windsor to guard against any possible confusion. Placards were posted in every frequented part of the town, stating that the magistrates had sworn in a number of special constables to prevent any interruption being given to the line in which the military were to be drawn up. Carriages of every description were restricted from all sion was to move in its progress to the streets through which the proces St George's Chapel, and orders given for such empty carriages as were un