PP/GC/LE/131 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the protocol for a proposed visit of an American army regiment, action to be taken in relation to people enlisting to support Garibaldi, the state of Italian politics, and the Road child murder case, 5 October 1860
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Secretary of State for Home Affairs], Harpton [Court], Radnor, [Radnorshire, Wales], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: the answer Palmerston proposes sending to "your amicable Yankee correspondent" seems a very proper and judicious one. "It is clear that we cannot receive them in their military capacity, or allow them to march about as a regiment. A nation may allow a friendly power to move troops through its territory for warlike purposes, as the Pacha of Egypt did to us, but this case is quite different. They propose to come not for a practical purpose, but in order to fraternize which would be offensive to other nations unless the same permission were granted to them." Lewis has sent instructions to the Home Office that if the question is raised again of recruits for Garibaldi, the papers are to be referred to the law officers for advice on the course to pursue. In the mean time, the `Emperor' will not be detained. "The clouds appear to be clearing away from Italian politics, but assuming that the whole of Italy, minus Rome and Venetia, is united under the sceptre of Victor Emmanuel, the question still remains to be solved how this united Italy is to be governed. It is useless to shout viva l'Italia una, unless such a government can be created, as will maintain the unity of Italy, and will weather the storm which beset every government when the first glow of enthusiasm has cooled, and when the ordinary motives of selfishness, envy, rivalry, and discontent begin to tell upon it. We hear nothing now of Louis Napoleon's plan of an Italian federation. I believe it to be impracticable and that I think was the general opinion of the cabinet when we discussed it last year. Can Naples, Sicily and other Italian provinces be governed by viceroys appointed by Sardinia ? It seems to me that their selection would open the door to endless intrigues, and that when appointed they would begin to set up for themselves, and so quarrel with their suzerain and with one another. I see nothing for it, but to govern all Italy annexed to Sardinia, directly, and with one parliament. The question then arises whether the seat of government could remain at Turin. In a federal state, the seat of the federal government may [be] a small town, such as Washington or Frankfurt, but in a national government it is difficult to pass over such a city as Naples, and to fix the seat of the court, the executive government and the parliament permanently at such a place as Turin." Lewis has not received the decision of the magistrates on the Road case. "The matter lies between Kent and the nurserymaid. It has occurred to me that Kent might have gone to her room before he went to his own bed, and that they might have placed a pillow on the child's mouth, as a precautionary measure, in order to prevent him from waking suddenly, and seeing his father in the room. The child slept in a cot, which is I presume a wooden crib without curtains. On removing the pillow, they may have found that the child was suffocated. The girl would naturally fear detection, and would think that she would be suspected of murder if the child was found dead in its bed with her alone in the room. They may then have wrapt the dead body in a blanket, and have carried it downstairs, for the purpose of throwing it down the privy. Finding that the hole of the privy was too small to admit the body (which I understood from the detective in the case), they may have laid it on the seat, have fetched a knife from the kitchen, and have cut its throat in order to create the appearance of murder by some external hand. With a view of conferring this idea, they may have opened the shutters and door of the library. If the child was dead when its throat was cut, it would have been easy to avoid marks of blood. The knife with which the wound was inflicted had been wiped with pieces of a TIMES newspaper which were found on the floor of the privy. THE TIMES newspaper was taken in by Kent. If this theory is true, and if the magistrates commit either the girl, or Kent, or both, for trail, the chances are that she will confess the minor crime in order to save herself from the danger of being punished for the major one." 5 Oct 1860
Four papers
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Victor Emmanuel II, King of the Two Sicilies, later King of Italy
Guiseppe Garibaldi, `dictator' of Sicily
Louis Napoleon III, Emperor of the French
Said, Pasha of Egypt
Road, Wiltshire
Road murder case: murder of Francis Saville Kent; S.S.Kent, sub-inspector of factories; Elizabeth Gough, nursemaid
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