My dear Henry
Many thanks for your promises. Fairy Godmother’s [sic] give beautiful gifts sometimes, & I do not suppose that a wicked one would arise at our Queen’s<1> age, & turn it all into paste. I should like to see it, for I have a passion for all beautiful plate or Jewellery, though without any desire to possess them. I should like to visit Jewellers’ Shops & see all the lovely Wedding presents; but I think the only thing I should have really coveted of late years, is a Clock that I read an account of in the daily papers twelve months or more ago, which was to be a prize of Prince Arthur’s for some stupid Rifle or other Shooting match, for which it was much too good.<2> It was described as a beautiful Gold & Enamel Cockleshell which opened, & inside was a lovely little clock of gold & jewels, & around the interior of the cockle shell, outside the clock itself, were exquisitely enamelled portraits, of course in miniature, of all the members of the Royal Family. This must have been lovely, & I cannot imagine why I was such an idiot as not to cut out the account of it, as I do so as a rule, & have heaps of curious matter for compilations of different kinds.
I am receiving the proof sheets, so I hope I shall be able to send the books next week. I have been troubled by not being able to find out what “King Charles’s plate” is? Which King, & why particularly curious?<3> No one knows anything about it that I could ask or Harriot for me. This is of no consequence to my part of the story of the Queen’s plate;<4> but it is a quotation on Regency Plate, (from Timbs,) who says no more, but I should like to have known more nevertheless, & then should have added it. Being the Regents’ [sic], it might have been no part of the Crown Jewels, & he might have sold it for his debts; but still he might have kept it as King, & then it would be at Windsor now. Another thing mentioned as his, was a golden Throne of the King of Candy’s, with a Sun of diamonds &c at the back.<5> This must have been Crown plate surely, but no sort of mention is made of it amongst the Plate now at Windsor, & if there at all, it is only known to the Royal Family & keepers of the Plate. Every scrap from eyewitnesses & good authorities known to be at Windsor now, I have mentioned, & as no one knows much about this even, my part is as curious & exact as I can make it.
Yrs affly with thanks,
Louisa Charlotte Frampton
1. Queen Victoria (1819-1901).
2. The son of Queen Victoria, Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert (1850-1942), Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. He was Honorary Colonel of the London Irish Rifles.
3. The plate, preserved at Carlton House, is mentioned in John Timbs, Romance of London; Strange Stories, Scenes, and Remarkable Persons of the Great Town (London: Richard Bentley, 1865, v. 3, p. 12.
4. Frampton, The Gold Plate at Windsor Castle (Torquay: printed by Robinson, 1873).
5. Golden Throne of the late King of Candy, Ceylon (now, Sri Lanka), Shri Vikrama Rajasingha (c1780-1832), who was deposed in 1815. His golden throne found its way to Carlton House, London, home of the then Princent Regent, later George IV.