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The Marquess del Campo

Anecdotes Home




When the attempt was made upon the life of George
III., by Margaret Nicholson, who attempted to stab him as he was going to
St. James's to hold a levee, a council was ordered to be held as soon as
the levee was over. The Marquess del Campo, the Spanish ambassador, being
apprised of that circumstance, and knowing that the council would detain
the king in town three or four hours beyond the usual time, took post
horses, and set off for Windsor. Alighting at the castle, he called upon a
lady there with whom he was acquainted. The queen, finding that the king
did not return at the usual time, and understanding that the marquess was
in the palace, sent to ask him if he had been at the levee. He replied that
he had, and that he had left his majesty in perfect health, going to
council. When the king arrived, he, of course, told her majesty the
extraordinary occurrence of the morning. The queen expressed great surprise
that the Marquess del Campo, who had been nearly three hours in the palace,
had not mentioned the subject to her; he was then sent for, when he told
their majesties, that finding upon his arrival at the castle, that no
rumour of the attempt upon the life of his majesty had reached the queen,
he did not think it expedient to apprise her of it till his majesty's
arrival gave full assurance of his safety; but, at the same time, fearing
that some incorrect and alarming reports might be brought down, he deemed
it right to remain in the palace, in order in that case, to be able to
remove all apprehensions from her majesty's mind, by acquainting her with
the real facts. The king, taking the ambassador graciously by the hand,
complimented him on his presence of mind, and assured him, that he scarcely
knew a man in the world to whom he was so much obliged.





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