Turn Verein Earthquake With Oktoberfest

Here is a fantastic article about my great grandfather, Carl Janke, rebuilding the Turn Verein Hall that was destroyed in the infamous 1906 Earthquake! Wow! This makes all members of my family SURVIVORS of one of the greatest Historic Events – IN HISTORY!!!!

Too bad I can’t post it on the Belmont Historical Society because I have been banned because I threatened all of the members that I would go to the Mayor of Belmont. Did they think I was going to get them in trouble – for not giving me a warm greeting, and inviting me to MC events at the next Oktoberfest! I’m gong to write the German Consulate and tell them how my plan to esteem the German People of the Bay Area was thwarted. I mean, other races from other nations are honored.

My mother’s favorite movie is Gone With The Wind, followed by ‘San Francisco. My father looked like Jimmy Stuart when young, and a bit like Clark. Vic was born in San Francisco. After THREATENING to make a movie about Belmont, on the Mayor’s facebook, he took down all my posts, and banned me! I was still being a BAD BOY, a roguish rebel who does not want to go along with the program. My history must be taken from me, and I sent to Siberia-Mont.

Rosemary Rosamond’s favorite movie of all time, is ‘Withering Heights’. She died knowing nothing of our roots in Belmont, where Carl – was just like Clark! She did not know we are kin to Robert-E. Lee. With Lawrence Ferlinghetti out of the way – I’m the King of San Francisco. See?

This morning I awoke, and felt THEM combing through this blog – to really get something on me. They gleefully found some real dirt – and have taken it to The Mayor!

“We found some good shit, your honor. Mr. Presco has an inflamed ego – out the here!’

“Who does he think he is – GOD!”

“Exactly! He’s been playing GOD with us. But, he’s a scallywag and a cad!”

Below is a photo of Janke’s descendants at General Vallejo’s house. Then at the Janke crypt. This family built, and helped rebuild – SAN FRANCISCO! Hit it boys!

Wait a minute! Hold your horses! I think ‘Sweet Home Belabama’ should be a musical!

John Presco

Copyright 2021

(52) Jeanette MacDonald sings ‘San Francisco’ – YouTube

(52) San Francisco – Scott McKenzie – YouTube

“Sweet Home Alabama” | Rosamond Press

(52) San Francisco Official Trailer #1 – Clark Gable Movie (1936) HD – YouTube

Daily Alta California 19 July 1864 — California Digital Newspaper Collection (ucr.edu)

San Francisco Call 14 August 1906 — California Digital Newspaper Collection (ucr.edu)



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Music, Taljk; and Dancing Mark Completion of Temporary Home


With music end speeches the ttmpo; rary San Franclseo Turn Verein If all, 853 Turk street, was formally dedicated Sunday night, and In the presence of a large aasembly of members the keys of the new building were presented by the president ofthe building committee to the’ first president- of the association. After the exercises had been, brought to a. close the -remainder of the evening was spent in j dancing. Cigars and refreshments were served and everything possible . wa.s done to make, the occasion one of enjoyment for all present. – No sooner had the earthquake and fire destroyed the – old hall than the members of the San Francisco Turn Verein j began to plan the erection of another building.; On. the Friday following, the earthquake a meeting was held.for that purpose and committees were appointed. to look after the work. The new building would have been completed some time ago but for the scarcity of lumber. • , “, ■”, ‘

The present building will serve all the purposes of the organisation until the new,’ expensive structure, work on which will be commenced almost immediately, is completed. .Then the’present hall will be used simply as a gymnasium. „ ..:;. :: /.; ;

The building committee having in charge the construction of the new hall consists of John Slmmen, ‘• president; William Plagemano and Hans V*ronl. The board of trustees consists of Fran* Acker, president; Paul Leonhardt. Hans VeronJ, psear Hooka and Charles Wolters.:’. V:” .’: ‘ ‘; ‘ : ‘ . .’ . . . ■ ‘7- :

The San Francisco Turn. Veraln. was organized in 1.853 and is the oldest association of its kind on .\the. Pacific Coast. Th» , main building, which Is soon : tQ b$ erected, will be 70×70 feet and will be three stories in height It will cost about?2o,ooo.

. BELMONT PARK! a THE PUBLIC, WHO WISH TO spend a few hours pleasantly, are invited to visit BELMONT PARK, located in a BEAUTIFUL GROVE at the entrance of Cafiun Diablo, ibout 25 miles from San Francisco, one hour’s ride >n the Ban Francisco and San June Railroad, and about 300 yards from the Depot at Belmont. The Proprietor. MR. C. JANKE, is a Herman, ilso proprietor of Turn-Verein Hal!. San Francisco, Having bad many years experience in beautifying places of amusement, feels confident that this PARK is more attractive than any other place in California, and will be completed on the lit day of May. U is hotel is built around a very large OAK TREE, near a fine stream of water surrounded by large >aks and shrubbery, with winding stairs up and platforms in many of the trees. The ground is properly laid out in order, with tables, seats, » to., and son tains about 30 acres; the dance hall is largeand veil arranged ; the bar well lupplied with chetce iqunm; suites of rooms and meals at all hours. Mu.’ic for danciDg will be at this place at all times ‘hen the Han Francisco and San Joai Railroad >mpany run excursion trains. Belmont. April 15. 1864. iplo-tf

The Lee Family of Hartwell House

Posted on June 7, 2019 by Royal Rosamond Press

Here is Hartwell House. Robert E. Lee, and Sir Christopher Lee, and their roots here.

The Lees, an old Buckinghamshire family, acquired Hartwell c.1650 by marriage into the Hampdens. Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Sir Christopher Lee are amongst their descendants.

You can trace them via Robert Wilson and Jane Lee.

John Presco


Barbary Coast is a 1935 American historical and drama film directed by Howard Hawks. Shot in black-and-white and set in San Francisco during the Gold Rush, the film combines elements of crime, Western, melodrama and adventure genres, featuring a wide range of actors, from good-guy Joel McCrea to bad-boy Edward G. Robinson, and stars Miriam Hopkins in the leading role as Mary ‘Swan’ Rutledge. In an early, uncredited appearance, David Niven plays a drunken sailor being thrown out of a bar.


6External links
On a foggy night in 1850, Mary Rutledge (Hopkins) and retired Colonel Marcus Aurelius Cobb (Frank Craven) arrive in San Francisco Bay aboard the clipper Flying Cloud. She had come to wed a wealthy owner of a gold mine, but it is revealed that he had lost his mine when the roulette wheel landed on red 13 times at the Bella Donna. The men at the wharf reluctantly inform her that her fiancé is dead, murdered most likely by Louis Chamalis (Robinson), the powerful owner of the Bella Donna restaurant and gambling house. Mary is upset, but quickly pulls herself together and asks the way to the Bella Donna.
Mary meets Chamalis and agrees to be his companion, not only for business reasons (as an attraction, she helps draw in customers), but for personal pleasure as well. Chamalis gives her the name ‘Swan’, and she becomes his female escort. She accompanies him on promenades in town, and he showers her with extravagant gifts. Their relationship sours quickly because Swan is angered by Chamalis’s destructive power-mongering. She does not, however, mind running a crooked roulette wheel and cheating the miners out of their gold.
Colonel Cobb purchases a printing press, with the intention of starting a respectable newspaper for the people of San Francisco. His first issue includes an article criticizing an unpunished murder by Chamalis and his entourage. When Chamalis finds out, he threatens to destroy Cobb’s printing press and burn down the building, but is halted by Swan. Chamalis demands that Cobb never print anything attacking him. The colonel unwillingly complies.
Swan becomes disillusioned with her life in San Francisco. Her distant behavior irks Chamalis. One morning, she sets out on horseback. When it begins to rain heavily, she seeks refuge in a seemingly abandoned cabin, where she meets poet and gold miner Jim Carmichael (McCrea). Swan is taken with him, but lies about her current situation after hearing his criticisms of the city. He gives her his book of poems as a memento.
Carmichael decides to return to New York. Because of fog the ship will not leave for a few days. He meets Chamalis’ helper, Old Atrocity (Walter Brennan), who, seeing his bags of gold is happy to show him to the Bella Donna. Carmichael is surprised to find Mary working there. He is served drugged liquor and plays roulette at her table. He loses his composure, insults ‘Swan’ and eventually loses his money.
Carmichael wakes the following morning in the Bella Donna’s kitchen. His eloquent speech impresses Chamalis, who hires him on the spot as a waiter. Carmichael’s presence perturbs Mary, who offers him money to depart. Carmichael refuses, wishing to earn the fare on his own.
Cobb puts up a poster telling about a murder Chamalis ordered and how the Bella Donna cheats customers. Seeing it, Chamlis’ henchman “Knuckles” Jacoby (Brian Donlevy) shoots both the man who put it up and the publisher when he tries to defend him. Dying, Cobb orders his assistant to print the truth. A vigilante group is formed and hangs Knuckles.

Robert Wilson (Willson), Sr
Birthplace:Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Death:November 03, 1745 (76)
Augusta County, Virginia
Immediate Family:Son of John Willson and Agnes Davy Willson
Husband of Jane Lee
Father of Matthew WillsonThomas WilsonColonel John Burgess WilsonJanet WillsonRobert Willson and 4 others


Gone To Hartwell

Posted on June 7, 2019 by Royal Rosamond Press


Gone To Hartwell


John Presco

Copyright 2019

Virginia Hambley’s great, great grandfather, Marshall Bourmont, did more than any Frenchman to try and restore the House of Bourbon to the Throne of France. This famous Lost Cause came to dwell at Hartwell House, the home of the Lee Family, from wence Robert E. Lee, sprang. Lee was a famous General who fought for the Confederate States of America, and, lost his battle. There are at least a million men and women, who would like to see the South rise again. There are two million men and women who want the history of their great grandfather, who fought for the Confederacy, preserved. There are three million men and women who live in the Red States who do not approve of the names of their ancestors being removed from public places. How many millions of Southerners own a Confederate flag?


In 1806, the King of France, Louis the 18th. came to live at Hartwell House. That is Louis wearing a robe with Fleur-de-lis on a blue background. Take note of the symbol of the Royalty of France on the menu I hold in my hand. This photo was taken by Virginia, who had gotten down on one knee and proposed to  me a week earlier. I wanted to  double down on that proposal by offering her the Lousiana Territory. At this juncture one has to ask……What if the Confederacy had won? Would Jefferson Davis help restore the Bourbons to the Throne? Would Davis offer the Bourbons a new Western Kingdom consisting of California and Oregon?


Here is my letter to Ed Ray, the President of Oregon State, who as ruler of a little fiefdom, took it upon himself to rename Benton Hall, after he said he would give this HONOR to the people of Benton County. I am seeking legal advice on how to reverse this anarchy, and have OSU’s efforts be titled ‘Ed’s Lost Cause’.


The Lees, an old Buckinghamshire family, acquired Hartwell c.1650 by marriage into the Hampdens. Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Sir Christopher Lee are amongst their descendants. We are a Nation of Lost Causes! If you have a lost cause, come to America. Our Lady Liberty will give you shelter from the storms of unrest. The day after Trump got elected (he was a lost cause) I founded the Nation of Fromond in the West. I have been looking for a way to reconcile the South to our highest ideals of Democracy. But, I am now looking at a Monarchy that could be a home to many proud Southerners who adhore slavery, and still take pride in their Confederate ancestors. Democracy has failed us in every way. Trump acts like a king, but, knows nothing about anything. Our elections are circular firing squad. Many are going insane!


The greatest abuse I have suffered, is people calling me insane. I am sure Ed Ray is in the OSU war room with his attorneys and shrinks, combing through this blog, gathering all the evidence he and his Renaming Cult would ever need, just in case we end up in a courtroom. Will the Sons of the Confederacy supply me with an attorney?

Take note of the wallpaper at Hartwell (the well of the deer). I told my sixteen year old daughter;

“All’s well, that ends well!”

She and her lover called me insane. I suspect Aunt Linda had launched a covert campain against me. Does it hurt to know you daughter believes you are insane?

Marshall Bourmont’s worst day occurred when the rabble, the nobodies stormed the Bastille. The SLEEPS Anarchist took the before photograph Virginia took of me, before I pinned a royal crown on my barret, and, produced my proclamation. Virginia is kin to the French Legitimists. Her mother named her two sisters, Caroline and Louise after the Duchess de Berry. What does that tell you? This is a real Emerald Valley Fairytale!

Here is a photo of my kin, the Hodges brothers who fought for the Confederacy. Consider my post on the Preston-Stewart family. Here is real story bigger and greater, than…………..Gone With the Wind!


Wrong or right. It looks like much history is on my side. And I was mocked by my neighbors for dare writing………..

“I am a prophet!”

For thirty years I have lived alone like a prophet. I have been attacked by mobs, like a prophet! Dare I say, I will never be that alone again, and if I choose, I might ride a great horse, like a general……………and behind me is a great army! But, I am not a king. Ahead of me, in a carriage rides the new crowned King and Queen of New France in America. How much he looks like King James of Scotland who had to have a Bourbon wife.

We now have a clue where the mob at my door was going to take me, to be locked up! And unseen force is at work here! Perhaps God….does want the Bourbons back on the throne? And we, in the New and Old World, are but pawns in His game?

Threatening letters – A Case of Stalking!

Not everyone felt warmly about the presence of the King of France and his family in England. The Bourbons received various threatening letters, extracts of which were released to British papers.

You are of a bad Race, mercy is in the Protestant, you imposing Vagabonds Die by nostra manns. I visit your House every week you damn’d Villain – look at your Effigie inclosed.

Bone has offered a Dutchy for your Head he shall have it. Mind, a good Boat and many of us Prisoners of War will seize on youput you into it at Yarmouth you Enemy of Europe. A Man can die but once you Vagabond Louis.


In 1832 Marshal Bourmont took part in the rising of Caroline Ferdinande Louise, duchesse de Berry and on its failure fled to Portugal. He commanded the army of the absolutist monarch King Miguel during the Liberal Wars and after the victory of the constitutional party he retired to Rome. At the amnesty of 1840 he returned to France, where he died on 27 October 1846 at Freigné in Maine-et-Loire.






When Louis XVIII, King of France, returned to his country to ascend the throne after Napoleon’s 1814 abdication, he sailed from England, his home for the preceding seven years. The King’s younger brother, the Count of Artois (future King Charles X of France), had lived in England for even longer. In fact, the entire French royal family lived in England throughout much of the Napoleonic Wars, generously subsidized by the British government.






On the eve of the French Revolution, Bourmont entered the Gardes Françaises of the French royal army but he emigrated in 1789. Bourmont served in Louis Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Condé royalist army in the campaigns of 1792 and 1793. Then he served as chief of staff in the civil war in lower Anjou from 1794 to 1796. After fleeing to Switzerland in 1796, he took part in another insurrection from 1798-1800. He was arrested in 1801 because of involvement with Georges Cadoudal, but three years later he managed to escape to Portugal.

When Junot invaded Portugal in 1807, Bourmont offered him his services and was employed as chief of staff of a division. Arrested when re-entering France in 1809, he was released upon the intercession of Junot and employed in the Imperial army.

He served in Italy and on the staff of Eugène de Beauharnais during the Russian campaign of 1812. Taken prisoner during the retreat from Moscow, he managed to escape and rejoin the French army. After the Battle of Lützen in 1813 he was promoted to general of brigade, he took part in the Battle of Leipzig and in 1814 he was promoted to general of division for defending Nogent-sur-Seine. After the fall of Napoleon, Bourmont rallied to the Bourbons.

During the Hundred Days, the government of Louis XVIII of France frantically tried to stop Napoleon’s march on Paris. Marshal Michel Ney was ordered to report to Besançon where he was to receive his orders from Bourmont. It irritated the proud Ney, Prince of Moscow, to take instructions from such a junior general, so he demanded to see the king. During his interview with Louis, Ney boasted to the king that he would bring back the ex-emperor in an iron cage. By the time Ney arrived in Besançon, he found that the royalist position was rapidly deteriorating and that Bourmont’s assignment was to spy on him. On 11 March 1815, Ney told Bourmont that he was going over to Napoleon’s camp. Shortly afterward, the Bourbon cause collapsed and Louis fled to Belgium, followed by hundreds of royalists.[1]

According to historian David Hamilton-Williams, the Comte d’Artois asked Bourmont to remain a royalist agent, so he requested to continue in command. The new Minister of War, Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout refused to employ Bourmont, writing to Napoleon, “I cannot sit idly and watch this officer wear the uniform of this country; his treasonous statements concerning the Emperor are well known to all; the brigade and regimental commanders of the 14th Infantry Division despise him. Who would trust such a man?” Nevertheless, Étienne Maurice Gérard, leader of the IV Corps vouched for him so he retained his position.[2]

On the morning of 15 June, as the French Army of the North advanced into Belgium, the 14th Division led the IV Corps column of march. Near Florennes, Bourmont halted his division. On the pretence of scouting ahead, he and his staff, rode ahead with a squadron of lancers. After gaining a suitable distance from French lines, he sent the lancers back with a letter for Gérard. In the missive, he explained that he was deserting but promised, “They will not get any information from me which will injure the French army, composed of men I love.” He and his staff put the white Bourbon cockade on their hats and galloped for the nearest Prussian position. He immediately handed over Napoleon’s operational plans to the Prussians. Gebhard von Blucher‘s chief of staff August von Gneisenau was pleased to receive this windfall. However, Blucher had no use for turncoats and called Bourmont a traitor to his face. When Gneisenau noted that Bourmont was wearing the white cockade, making them allies, Blucher screamed, “Cockade be damned! A dirty dog is always a dirty dog!”[2]

With Napoleon’s orders in their hands, the Prussians were able to take the appropriate countermeasures to gather their army. Bourmont’s defection enraged the French rank and file. Though their loyalty to Napoleon was absolute, they began to suspect treachery in their generals. Étienne Hulot, who became the acting division commander, was compelled to give a speech that pledged loyalty to Napoleon and the tricolor.[3]


Bourbon Restoration[edit]

After the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon’s fall, Bourmont gave evidence that led to Ney’s execution. After the Second Restoration, he was given command of the 16th infantry division in Besançon and took part in the Spanish campaign of 1823. King Charles X of France made him minister of war in 1829 and Marshal of France in 1830. He was commanding the Invasion of Algiers in 1830 when the July Revolution broke out in 1830. Bourmont refused to give his allegiance to the new King Louis Philippe and was dismissed from service.

In 1832 Marshal Bourmont took part in the rising of Caroline Ferdinande Louise, duchesse de Berry and on its failure fled to Portugal. He commanded the army of the absolutist monarch King Miguel during the Liberal Wars and after the victory of the constitutional party he retired to Rome. At the amnesty of 1840 he returned to France, where he died on 27 October 1846 at Freigné in Maine-et-Loire.




This may constitute one of the most profound Royal Marriages that took root in America and is being carried on by many members of Rosamond Family. I have long suspected my grandfather, Frank Wesley Rosamond, took the penname ‘Royal’ because he heard stories that he descended from royal people. He had no genealogy, so, he was not believed. Why carry on, when most of the Rosamonds are dirt poor? They’re going to think you daft.

The ancestors of Jane Lee, are the Culpepers and the Clifford family. Here are the Clifford Coats of Arms. I intend to design and submit a Rosamond Family Coat of Arms to the College of Heraldry. Being related to Ian Fleming, one can conclude I am the Real James Bond, who I will place in a Royal Tree. Robert Wilson descends from the House of Schwarzenberg. I will post on the amazing connections in the coming month.


I am out of politics and the news business. If a vast majority of Americans can not see who our President is, as plainly as I can see, then, why bother! He slams the Europeans while he plays golf in Scotland – on his land! He has his family crest printed on a pillow in his posh New World appartment. He has plans to build Trump hotels in Moscow. I have much on my plate! Such as examining Robert Wilson who was given land in the Lord Fairfax grant. Do I want land – much land? You betcha! It’s what we do.

The folks in back of me are the Catholic Habsburgs who held the titles ‘King and Queen of Bohemia’. They sent armadas against the Protestant Queen of England. This is why the House of Saxe-Coburg wanted a royal preacher man whose kindred knew Martin Luther. They wanted a Protestant Pope. William Wilson had most of Europe’s royal DNA in his veins. The Habsburgs had their DNA – in every royal house! Their Religious Wars were paid for my Incan and Aztec gold.

Two of the richest men in the world meet today. Putin wants to bring back the Russian Monarchy, and all those glorious family crests. This is history folks, and, if you don’t know what you just read, you have no business being inside a voting booth. Trump is saying their meeting is going very good – for them! Of course it is. Billionaires always have much in common. They got great medical coverage, and don’t have to come up with the rent! Trump says the Democrats are to blame for having weak security, and thus put temptation in the way of twelve Russian army officers! This is his “Let them eat cake!” moment! Half of America is his mortal enemy. He could care less!

“I got mine, Jack!”


John Gregory Presco ‘Lord Rosamond’

President: Royal Rosamond Press



Sarah Wilson Rosamond and House of Schwarzenberg

Posted on July 15, 2018by Royal Rosamond Press

Biographical/Historical Information

The Northern Neck Land Office controlled 5,282,000 acres in land grants located between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers, which were give to seven loyal supporters of King Charles II, including Lord Fairfax. Agents of the Northern Neck Proprietary issued the first land grant in 1690. The Proprietary operated until the death of Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax, in 1782. For the next thirty years, however, the ownership was in dispute. Fairfax family interest was terminated in 1808, when the last surviving heir sold the title to his remaining manor to a syndicate.





Sarah Wilson Rosamond (Willson) MP

County Antrim, Ireland
Death:1790 (64)
Abbeville County, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:Daughter of Thomas Wilson and Elizabeth Willson
Wife of Pvt. John Roseman
Mother of Margaret WeemsJames RosamondJean RosamondCapt Samuel Rosamond and Sarah F Hodges
Sister of Capt Matthew WillsonSamuel WillsonRebekah WillsonElizabeth MusgroveNathaniel WillsonMartha Willson and Rhoda Willson « less
Added by:Jimmy Dale Rosamond on March 21, 2009
Managed by:Marsha Gail Veazey (Kamish) and 4 others
Curated by:Marsha Gail Veazey

Thomas Wilson MP

Londonderry, Ireland
Death:May 18, 1773 (78)
Fairfield, Augusta County, Virginia
Place of Burial:Rockbridge County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:Son of Robert Wilson, Sr and Jane Lee
Husband of Elizabeth Willson
Father of Capt Matthew WillsonSamuel WillsonSarah Wilson RosamondRebekah WillsonElizabeth Musgrove and 3 others
Brother of Matthew WillsonJohn Burgess WilsonJanet WillsonRobert WillsonCatherine Willson and 3 others

Escaping the French Revolution

Louis XVIII (then known as the Count of Provence) escaped from France in June 1791, at the same time that his older brother, Louis XVI, and his family tried unsuccessfully to flee the country. The Count of Artois had left France two years earlier, shortly after the storming of the Bastille.

With a small court of émigrés, the Count of Provence took refuge in Brussels, then in Coblenz, and then in Hamm, Westphalia. In 1795, upon learning of the death in prison of his nephew, Louis-Charles (son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who were executed in 1793), Louis XVIII proclaimed himself the rightful King of France.

As the reach of Republican France, and subsequently Napoleon’s Empire, expanded, progressively fewer courts were willing to host the exiled French royal family. Louis XVIII and his entourage shuffled to Verona, Blankenburg, Mittau (Jelgava), Warsaw, and then – in 1805 – back to Mittau, which was under the rule of Tsar Alexander I of Russia. Meanwhile, the Count of Artois, with his own followers, went to Britain.

In July 1807, Tsar Alexander signed the Treaty of Tilsit with Napoleon. Knowing he was no longer safe in Mittau, Louis XVIII went to Sweden to consult with King Gustavus IV Adolphus. Louis was in need of money, as the pension he had been getting from Spain – now under Napoleon’s control – had stopped. He was also jealous of his brother, Artois, who was receiving British subsidies and directing a network of royalist agents. Louis travelled to Gothenburg where he embarked for Britain on the Swedish frigate Freya.

Arrival in England

Louis XVIII, King of France

Louis XVIII, King of France

On October 29, 1807, Louis XVIII, accompanied by his nephews the Duke of Angoulême and the Duke of Berry (sons of the Count of Artois), as well as members of the French nobility, arrived at Yarmouth. There was scrambling on the part of the British government, since Louis had failed to give notice of his intention to visit the country. King George III is said to have expressed “considerable surprise” on hearing of the French royal family’s arrival. (1)

The British government was willing to give Louis XVIII asylum as a private individual, but did not want to receive him in the capacity of King of France. They offered him Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, where the Count of Artois had stayed from 1796 to 1803. “The illustrious Prince,” however,

on being informed of his destined residence, and that it was provided for him as a safe and hospitable asylum, refused to proceed thither, observing that he wanted no asylum; that, contrary to report, it was not necessity that had induced him to come to this country; that he had a safe asylum in the Russian territory, where he had left his wife and niece; that the object of his journey was of a nature purely political, and immediately concerned his interest as King of France; and that rather than go to Scotland, or be treated otherwise than as a Sovereign claiming the aid of Britain to recover the sceptre of France, he would return to Russia. (2)

The government let him disembark on the condition that he abstain from political activity and reside at least 50 miles outside London. After being greeted by the Count of Artois and the other Bourbon princes (Prince of Condé and Duke of Bourbon) already in England, Louis proceeded to the mansion of Gosfield Hall in Essex, offered to him by the Marquis of Buckingham.

Louis adopted the title of Comte de L’Isle-Jourdain, which the British shortened to Count de Lille (or Count de Lisle). A local paper reported:

The Count de Lille appears greatly delighted with the residence of Gosfield, which presents a very striking contrast to the bleakness of the country which he has quitted. He walks a great deal; but, from his size, has now left off riding. The French in this country who wish to pay their respects to their Sovereign, write for permission to wait upon him, and are received agreeably to priority and rank. (3)

The King of France at Hartwell House

Louis XVIII taking a walk with the Duchess of Angoulême in the grounds of Hartwell House, circa 1810

Louis XVIII taking a walk with the Duchess of Angoulême in the grounds of Hartwell House, circa 1810

In August 1808, Louis was joined by his wife, Marie Joséphine of Savoy, and his niece, the Duchess of Angoulême (daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette), who had remained at Mittau. To accommodate them, he moved to Hartwell House, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Hartwell belonged to the Reverend Sir George Lee, Baronet. Louis took it on a five-year lease.

The house and gardens, for which he is to pay 550£ per annum, are commodious and pleasant; but the former is hardly half-furnished. Louis XVIII is the first titular King of France who has set foot in this country since the year 1364, when John, taken prisoner by the Black Prince, at the battle of Poitiers, in 1356, died in London, at the Palace of the Savoy, in the Strand. (4)

In November 1809, in honour of the 50th anniversary of King George III’s reign, Louis donated £100 to the poor of the parishes of Hartwell, Aylesbury and Stowe. He also gave an “excellent dinner of roast beef and plum pudding” to the prisoners in the county jail. (5)

Although Louis was not allowed to meet with members of the British government, he corresponded with them. He received visits from French émigrés and was frequently entertained by sympathetic members of the British aristocracy. At one shooting party with Lord Talbot, he was said to be “the most unerring shot in this country.” (6)

Diarist Charles Greville described a visit to Hartwell with his father in 1812.

The house is large, but in a dreary, disagreeable situation. The King had completely altered the interior, having subdivided almost all the apartments in order to lodge a greater number of people. There were numerous outhouses, in some of which small shops had been established by the servants, interspersed with gardens, so that the place resembled a little town.

Upon entering the house, we were conducted by the Duc de Grammont into the King’s private apartment. He received us most graciously, and shook hands with both of us. This apartment was exceedingly small, hardly larger than a closet, and I remarked pictures of the late King and Queen, Madame Elizabeth, and the Dauphin, Louis XVII, hanging on the walls. The King had a manner of swinging his body backwards and forwards, which caused the  most unpleasant sensations in that small room, and made my father feel something like being sea-sick. …

After our audience with the King we were taken to the salon, a large room with a billiard table at one end. Here the party assembled before dinner, to all of whom we were presented – the Duchesse d’Angoulême, Monsieur the Duc d’Angoulême, the Duc de Berry, the Prince and Princess de Condé (ci-devant Madame de Monaco), and a vast number of ducs, &c.; …. At a little after six dinner was announced, when we went into the next room, the King walking out first. The dinner was extremely plain, consisting of very few dishes, and no wines except port and sherry. His Majesty did the honours himself, and was very civil and agreeable. We were a very short time at table, and the ladies and gentlemen all got up together. Each of the ladies folded up her napkin, tied it round with a bit of ribbon, and carried it away.

After dinner we returned to the drawing-room and drank coffee. The whole party remained in conversation about a quarter of an hour, when the King retired to his closet, upon which all repaired to their separate apartments. Whenever the King came in or went out of the room, Madame d’Angoulême made him a low curtsy, which he returned by bowing and kissing his hand. … After the party had separated we were taken to the Duc de Grammont’s apartments, where we drank tea. After remaining there about three quarters of an hour we went to the apartment of Madame d’Angoulême, where several card tables were laid out. The King played at whist with the Prince and Princess de Condé and my father. His Majesty settled the points of the game at ‘le quart d’un sheling.’ The rest of the party played at billiards or ombre. The King was so civil as to invite us to sleep there, instead of returning to the inn at Aylsebury. …

In the morning when I got out of bed, I was alarmed by the appearance of an old woman on the leads before my window, who was hanging linen to dry. I was forced to retreat hastily to bed, not to shock the old lady’s modesty. At ten the next morning we breakfasted, and at eleven we took leave of the King (who always went to Mass at that hour) and returned to London. We saw the whole place before we came away; and they certainly had shown great ingenuity in contriving to lodge such a number of people in and about the house – it was exactly like a small rising colony. (7)

The French royals also did some sightseeing during their years in England. They visited, among other places, Blenheim, Oxford, Woburn Abbey, Arundel Castle, the Isle of Wight, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Bath.

British support for the King of France

Though it was reported that “the unfortunate Prince [did not have] patrimony of his own sufficient to buy himself a brown loaf,” Louis XVIII had some family jewels, an annual British pension of £16,000, and the equivalent of £1,600 a year from Portugal and £4,000 from Russia. (8) When Louis’s wife, Marie Joséphine, died of edema at Hartwell House on November 13, 1810, the British government paid part of the cost of her funeral, which was held at Westminster Abbey.

The Prince of Wales (future King George IV), a strong supporter of the Bourbons, promised to restore Louis XVIII to the French throne at a time when few thought such a feat was possible. On June 19, 1811, Louis XVIII and his family were the guests of honour at the Prince’s lavish fête at Carlton House in London, to celebrate his new position as Prince Regent of Britain. Some 2,000 guests attended.

The august personages arrived about ten o’clock in the evening, and were received in a room reserved expressly for them, hung with sky-blue satin embroidered with fleurs-de-lys in gold. This refined attention seemed to express, in an ingenious allegorical manner, the peace and prosperity which will one day, and perhaps before long, be for the universe the result of the re-establishment of legitimate authority in the place of the present disorder….

These illustrious and unfortunate victims of a revolution, of which 22 years have not relaxed the activity, nor softened the rigours, were received by all the assembly with the most delicate marks of respect and attention. It was the first time that his Majesty Louis XVIII and the interesting daughter of Louis XVI had appeared in public in England, and received the homage due to their rank and to their times. All eyes were naturally turned towards them, and to their august Host, who thus did them the honours of the nation. (9)

Threatening letters

Not everyone felt warmly about the presence of the King of France and his family in England. The Bourbons received various threatening letters, extracts of which were released to British papers.

You are of a bad Race, mercy is in the Protestant, you imposing Vagabonds Die by nostra manns. I visit your House every week you damn’d Villain – look at your Effigie inclosed.

Bone has offered a Dutchy for your Head he shall have it. Mind, a good Boat and many of us Prisoners of War will seize on you, put you into it at Yarmouth you Enemy of Europe. A Man can die but once you Vagabond Louis.

Your proceedings will not do, our intentions have been delayed in hopes of something being abjured or done on your part and the Prisoners of War your countrymen, restored to their Native land our party increase very strong against you and only temporize for a time, but many are near your own Person of our Party which makes us sure of our designs. So if I do not get my Friends home you shall be arrested, murdered, shot or slain. Charlotte Corday shall visit you first. You are at our Bar and renounce, adjure, or die by our hands.

You shall be attacked from us in our Prison Wincanton, Crediton, Tiverton, and other Places.

If there be any commotion among the People. The Populace know the Road to the House you live at. Resign your pretensions, live in peace, or be overcome in L’Assyle. Given at our association of Warning. (10)

The war ends

In general, British public opinion favoured the Bourbons. Napoleon’s defeat in Russia strengthened this enthusiasm. Louis XVIII issued a proclamation to the people of France, dated Hartwell, Feb. 1, 1813. It began:

The moment is at length arrived when Divine Providence appears ready to break in pieces the instrument of its wrath. The Usurper of the Throne of St. Louis, the devastator of Europe, experiences reverses in his turn. Shall they have no other effect but that of aggravating the calamities of France? And will she not dare to overturn an odious power, no longer protected by the illusions of victory? What prejudices, or what fears, can now prevent her from throwing herself into the arms of her King; and from recognizing, in the establishment of his legitimate authority, the only pledge of union, peace, and happiness, which his promises have so often guaranteed to his oppressed subjects? (11)

In the House of Commons, Foreign Secretary Lord Castlereagh denied any British participation in the proclamation and said he had no intention of making the restoration of the Bourbons the basis of peace negotiations between the Allies and France. At the same time, the British government provided Louis with the financial means to print the declaration, and there were rumours that copies had been sent on board British ships for distribution on the coast of France. Dispatches from Hartwell House to European capitals were carried by British couriers.

In January 1814, conferences took place among Louis XVIII, the Bourbon princes, Lord Liverpool (the British Prime Minister) and the Foreign Office. On January 22, the Count of Artois, the Duke of Angoulême and the Duke of Berry left for the continent with British passports. In February, the Count of Artois arrived in Eastern France. One of his companions wrote:

We have been received in all the French towns and villages with acclamations by the whole of the people, and with cries of Vive le Roi Louis XVIII. Vive les Bourbons. … Every place desires to surrender to Louis XVIII. All France is ready to rise. … Had he been an angel from heaven the people could not have shown more eagerness to come to see him. (12)

On March 12, British and Portuguese troops under the Duke of Wellington arrived at Bordeaux. The Duke of Angoulême, who had been for some time at Wellington’s headquarters, made a triumphant entry into the city. On March 31, the Allies entered Paris.

Return to France

On April 6, 1814, Louis XVIII was proclaimed King of France. On April 20, dressed in the uniform of the Marshals of France, his hat surmounted with a plume of white feathers, the King of France left Hartwell. He was accompanied by the Duchess of Angoulême, the Prince of Condé, the Duke of Bourbon and their households. They were met by the Prince Regent at Stanmore. The party continued to London in a procession of six royal carriages, each drawn by six horses ornamented with white ribbons, together with outriders and attendants.

On the entrance of the procession into Hyde Park…the motion of the crowd in the wide part of the park became like a torrent. The procession arrived at Hyde Park Corner exactly at half past five o’clock, and proceeded along Piccadilly at a slow pace, amidst the shouts of the populace and congratulations of crowded houses, the compliments of the royal party at Pulteney Hotel, &c. Among the emblems of rejoicing, Devonshire House was the most conspicuous: over each gate were new English and French colours, and boughs of laurel.

A little before six o’clock, the cavalcade arrived at Grillon’s Hotel, Albemarle Street. The band of his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent was stationed near the hotel, who played, ‘God save the King’ as the distinguished persons alighted. As the carriage with the cream-coloured horses approached, in which were his Majesty Louis XVIII, and his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, the people unanimously huzzaed, the ladies from the windows waving their handkerchiefs. His Majesty had hold of the Prince’s arm, who conducted him to the principal apartment prepared for the French monarch by the especial order of the Prince Regent, fleurs de lis being embroidered in gold upon hangings of crimson velvet. In this superb room, the Earls of Buckinghamshire, Bathurst, and Liverpool, the Russian, Austrian, and Spanish Ambassadors, and about one hundred and fifty of the ancient French Noblesse were in attendance to receive his Majesty, who seemed much fatigued, an arm chair was brought, in which his Majesty seated himself, the Duke of York on his left, his Royal Highness the Prince Regent and the Duchess d’Angoulême on his right, the Prince de Conde and the Duc de Bourbon facing him, with all his suite surrounding him. The Marquis of Hertford and the Earl of Cholmondeley were behind the chair.

The Prince Regent then addressed his Majesty to the following effect:

‘Your Majesty will permit me to offer you my heartiest congratulations upon that great event which has always been amongst the warmest of my wishes, and which must eminently contribute to the happiness, not only of your Majesty’s people, but to the repose and happiness of all other nations. I am sure I may add that my own sentiments and feelings are in union with those of the universal British nation, and that the triumph and transport with which your Majesty will be received in your own capital can scarcely exceed the joy and satisfaction which your Majesty’s restoration to the throne of your ancestors has created in the capital of the British empire.’

His Majesty’s reply:

‘Your Royal Highness will accept my most sincere and grateful thanks for your Royal Highness’s congratulations – for the invariable kindness with which I have been treated by your Royal Highness and by every member of your illustrious house. It is to your Royal Highness’s councils – to this great country, and to the constancy of its people, that I shall always ascribe, under Providence, the restoration of our house to the throne of our ancestors, and that state of affairs which promises to heal the wounds, to calm the passions, and to restore the peace, tranquillity, and prosperity of all nations.’ (13)

The King of France then invested the Prince Regent with the Order of Saint Esprit. Later, at Carlton House, Louis XVIII was elected a Member of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and given a Knighthood.

On April 23, the King of France and his family left London for Dover. The papers reported:

Every house, even the meanest, is full of lights from top to bottom. … The inhabitants are parading the town with white cockades, and every Frenchman who passes is sure to receive a hearty salutation of welcome. The appearance of the road from London to Dover was, if possible, still gayer than Dover itself; it seemed a universal holyday. … [E]very town, village, and even hamlet poured out all its inhabitants dressed in their choicest attire and their pleasantest smiles. …[T]he most splendid military spectacle was at Chatham, where several hundreds of the Guards were standing at their arms; next to them were stationed large bodies of cavalry, partly of the line, and partly yeomanry and volunteers. At Canterbury seemed to be collected half the population of the county, who hailed with the warmest marks of friendship and brotherhood the passing of the different parties of French, and were enthusiastic at the appearance of the Regent and the King of France. (14)

The whole of the road from London to Dover was one continued bustle, the villages and towns crowded to excess. A poor man, a parish clerk, was pushed by the crowd under the King’s carriage, and the wheels went over him; he was not killed, but extremely injured. The circumstance affected his Majesty very much, and he put out a 10£ bank of England note to be given to the poor man’s family; and he pledged himself, that, in case death was the consequence of the accident, he would provide for his family. (15)

The Prince Regent received the King of France and his companions on board the royal yacht the Royal Sovereign, which he was lending for the trip to France. The yacht was escorted by the British frigate Jason, under the Duke of Clarence (Admiral of the Fleet and future King William IV), and the French frigate Polonais. On April 24, the King of France and his entourage set sail. The Duchess of Angoulême was on deck, waving a white handkerchief and kissing her hand, saying farewell to the inhabitants of England. Two hours and ten minutes later, the ship arrived at Calais.

Twenty-three years after leaving France, Louis XVIII was back home. He had to leave again 11 months later, when Napoleon escaped from Elba. That exile was only a few months, spent in Ghent. Louis XVIII never returned to England, but he always had fond memories of the country. Among other things, he kept at the Tuileries Palace the white wooden desk he had used at Hartwell House. He is sitting at it when he learns of Napoleon’s (fictional) escape from St. Helena in Napoleon in America.

The Count of Artois, who in 1824 succeeded Louis XVIII as Charles X, did return to Britain. He and his family sought asylum there when they were exiled after the French Revolution of 1830. The Bourbons lived at Holyrood Palace for two years, before moving to Prague. They never regained the French throne.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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