23 February 2014

King George III at Windsor: January 1810

William Dacres Adams, William Pitt the younger's last private secretary, had an audience with King George III and Queen Charlotte at Windsor on 30 January 1810. Dacres Adams was so pleased with this excursion that he later wrote recollections of his conversation with the King. During that conversation, King George III brought up the subject of Mr. Pitt, made some remarks about Pitt's habits, and asked a few questions about his last illness. Below is a short part of Adams' notes on that brief interchange:

"King George III to Adams - At what time did Mr Pitt get up?

Adams - He was seldom stirring before twelve o’clock, Sir!

King George III - Ah! He ruined his health by those late hours. I believe he was not fond of doing business after dinner.

Adams - No sir, he was not. I seldom went to him in ye Evening, and never unless there was any thing particular to be done.

King George III -  O - of course you would go if there were anything particular to do.

Adams - His [Pitt's] rule, Sir, was to finish everything before dinner.

King George III - I saw him a few days before he went to Bath. Did you find him much altered when you saw him there?

Adams - On my arrival at Bath from Devonshire, Sir, I found him much altered and debilitated - he grew worse & worse every day whilst he staid there. He never returned to Downing St.

King George III - No, I knew he never did - he went to Putney. Did you see him at Putney? What was the last time you saw him before his death & how did he seem? 

Adams - He appeared in great anxiety about seeing Lord Wellesley who had arrived lately from India, and was there with him that morning."

The conversation between the King and Adams then changed subject, and after a few short enquiries about Adams's family by Queen Charlotte, they all withdrew.


BL Add Ms 89036/5/3, Some Additional Notes.

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