The Lost Prince of Oz.

Who was this mysterious man without a past, a British seaman who sailed to New South Wales, as Australia was called then, with the notorious William Bligh of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame?

We have no portraits of him as other famous and even not-so-famous explorers from history do.

Has he been a forgotten man, a hero of his time?

Hardly anything is known of him except for his role as Acting Commander of the brig ‘Lady Nelson’.

Could he have been the hitherto unknown father of a legitimate son of the British King George IV from a time when, as the Prince of Wales, he left one mistress after another and then secretly married the Catholic widow and socialite Maria Fitzherbert?

Would Victoria have become Queen had they known about him?

We may never know but, based on the evidence, we can speculate.

In my book ‘Back to the Wall’ I have speculated and reached a shocking conclusion.

Read the evidence I’ve uncovered after extensive research and decide for yourself.

Much of the research has been driven by paranormal events all started by a ghost.

In the end it’s all true (not a novel or a work of fiction).

So who was this unsung hero from over 200 years ago?

He was very active in the story of early British settlement of Australia and New Zealand with a population of mainly convicts.

He understood the native Maroi of New Zealand and fostered harmonious relations between Chief Ti-Pahi and Governor King.

He was in the thick of Australia’s only military coup and was chosen to escort Governor William Bligh back to England to be court marshaled.

There are also heartwarming true stories.

Like when one of his crew fell in love with the Chief’s daughter and stayed behind to marry her.

Or the unbelievable tale of William Buckley, a convict who escaped from a failed settlement near Melbourne 30 years before the city was even founded as “the place for a village”.

He lived with the local aborigines as their leader and was met by the party that sailed from Tasmania to found Melbourne in 1830.

On his many voyages he became friendly with the Reverend Robert Knopwood, the first chaplain of Tasmania, and was heavily involved in the dramatic politics of this early penal colony.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

You can read how the mystery unfolded for me and my travels around the world chasing clues and searching for evidence to support the little known events surrounding this intriguing historical saga.

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Best wishes,

Neil
My Author Website

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Sprung.

Could this royal secret have changed the course of history? In March 1784, the Morning Herald announced: “Mrs Fitzherbert is arrived in London for the season.”
Four months later, when she declined his proposals of marriage, George the Prince of Wales, heir to the throne of England, staged a pathetic suicide attempt. He had heard of Maria Fitzherbert’s plans to go abroad, no doubt to escape the pressure from his advances. So one evening he decided to try some dramatic emotional blackmail and used a sword to wound himself, enough to draw blood. Maria was notified and, together with the Duchess of Devonshire, rushed to the Prince’s side.
In that moment the Prince somehow persuaded Maria to agree to a betrothal and ceremoniously placed the Duchess’s ring on her finger. The two women then left and, next morning in the new light of day, the Duchess penned this letter which was signed by both of them.

“On Tuesday 8th July 1784 Mr Bouverie and Mr Onslow came to me and told me the Prince of Wales had run himself through the body, and declared he would tear open his bandages unless I would accompany Mrs Fitzherbert to him. We went there and she promised to marry him at her return, but she conceives as well as myself that promises obtained in such a manner are entirely void.”

Then Maria left for France. In spite of allowing the Prince to place a ring on her finger that night, Maria continually maintained her opposition to a formal marriage, writing to the Duchess “that from the first moment it was proposed my sentiments have never varied; does not the same reasons now subsist and must they not always be the same?”
The Prince even spoke of giving up the throne in favour of his brother Frederick and living the rest of his life with Maria in America. The Duchess declared that the Prince was no longer welcome at her home and urged Maria not to see him for a while. She wrote to the Prince:

“I write to you my dear brother, terrified out of my senses. I have [been] in a dreadful state of agitation ever since I saw you, and now I must tell you and Mrs Fitzherbert too that I never thought this would take place and therefore acquiesced, but it is indeed madness in both. I have not wrote [sic] to her to tell her so and will not if you will delay it and consult Charles Fox – for God’s sake do – je tremble, je vous des suites affreuses. I cannot be present for it is not a marriage, and I cannot be by at what I do not think one … indeed I have been quite wild with horror of it ever since. I never thought it could come to this – pray see Charles Fox tomorrow or let me write to him. Let me beg you over and over to see C.F., see him tomorrow.”

Charles Fox (leader of the opposition Whigs party in Parliament) had this to say to the Prince: “If such an idea be really in your mind, and it be not now too late, for God’s sake let me call your attention to some considerations … that a marriage with a Catholic throws the Prince contracting such a marriage out of the succession of the Crown … that the marriage would be a real one; but your Royal Highness knows as well as I that according to the present laws of the country it cannot; and I need not point out to your good sense what a source of uneasiness it must be to you, to her, and above all to the nation …”
In a second letter to the Prince, Charles Fox “warned that her situation as well as that of the Prince would be perilous if they went through a ceremony of marriage. A marriage with a Catholic would remove the Prince from the succession to the throne – if it were a real marriage; but that was just what it could not be … Fox went on to explain the anomalous position that any children of the marriage would be in; illegitimate when born, but possibly legitimised in later life, if the Prince were to give himself permission under the Royal Marriage Act to repeat the marriage when he became King.”
The Prince ignored Fox’s warnings claiming that “there not only is, but never was, any grounds for these reports, which have of late been so malevolently circulated.” Then for some reason Maria did a complete about face and agreed to go ahead with the marriage and, in November, returned to England.
“I have told him I will be his,” she wrote to Lady Anne Lindsay, her traveling companion who had returned to England ahead of her. “I know I injure him and perhaps destroy for ever my own tranquility.”
A secret marriage took place on the evening of 15 December 1785 in a Mayfair drawing room with a small group of people who were witness to the event. The ceremony was conducted by an Anglican clergyman, the Reverend John Burt.
A Certificate of Marriage, written by the Prince, is still in existence today, although the signatures of the witnesses have been removed (apparently by Maria before she died). So was it a legitimate marriage? The Pope declared that it was.
After the death of the Prince, the Duke of Wellington is reported to have asked Maria to write on the back of their Marriage Certificate that there was no issue of this marriage. She refused. It’s very possible, although unproven, that Maria gave birth in the autumn of 1786.

In the light of her earlier insistence and against all the advice to the contrary, her high morals and staunch Catholic beliefs, I wonder what caused her to suddenly change her mind and reverse her original firm stand?

Sprung.

PS. Read the full story of what happened to the ‘lost children’ of George IV and his secret wife Maria Fitzherbert in ‘Back to the Wall’.

Reference: CAMPBELL, Cynthia. ‘The Most Polished Gentleman: George IV and the Women in His Life,’ Kudos Books, UK, 1995.

How A Simple Ancestry Search Ended Up In A British Royal Bedroom 200 Years Ago

How did an innocent genealogical project to trace a family tree end up in the bedrooms of the Oxford University some 200 years ago and, shockingly, in the bedrooms of George, Prince of Wales?

Along the way three secret messages emerged, each with three specific clues to a mystery, plus a ghost also with her own secret clue.

At one point the two merged, the genealogical facts and the orally transmitted clues, into previously unknown territory.

The revelations, if true, were astounding.

If I were to draw any conclusion from all of the circumstantial evidence in my book it would be this.

The Acting Commander of the Tall Ship ‘Lady Nelson’, Lieutenant James Simmons, which sailed under his command from 1803, was the legitimate son of George, Prince of Wales.

Legitimate son?

The Prince spent several summers at his Brighton Pavilion (illustrated above) with his soul mate, Mrs Maria Fitzherbert.

Many residents were sure that she was pregnant each year.

And this was following a secret marriage between the couple, which was flatly denied in Parliament by the Prince’s mate and leader of the Whigs, Charles James Fox.

But there are witnesses who swore that the marriage did take place and, furthermore, the Pope ruled it to be a valid marriage.

So what of any children who may have been quietly dispatched on one of the early convict ships that conveniently sailed to the new colony on the other side of the world, Australia, at the time.

And what of other children who probably ended up in organisations for orphaned children or as trainee boys on sailing ships, as I suggest Lieutenant James Simmons may have, to later be given the command of the ‘Lady Nelson’.

Then he and his ship, as is on the record, were responsible for the founding of Hobart and Launceston in Tasmania and for rescuing a failed convict settlement inside the Heads 30 years before the town of Melbourne was settled.

One of the convicts, William Buckley, escaped and lived with the aborigines for the next 30 years and became a local folk hero. It’s an amazing story.

Lieutenant Simmons and the ‘Lady Nelson’ did much to foster early harmonious relations between the Governor of New South Wales (Australia) and the New Zealand Maori.

I invite you to read the amazing untold story of an unsung hero from 200 years ago, all but forgotten in the history books, who deserves a more prominent place in history.

And much more.

“You have discerned an amazing story,” says Writer’s Digest. “It’s got everything it needs to be a blockbuster.”

It’s a true story full of twists and turns.

Grab your copy and read it for yourself here.

Best Wishes.

Neil.

The Acting Commander Of The ‘Lady Nelson’ Had a Secret. Even He Never Knew What It Was.

Was this a closely guarded secret from over 200 years ago?

Was the Acting Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ a legitimate heir to the throne of England in spite of a secret marriage between the Prince of Wales and a Roman Catholic widow (illustrated above)?

Was he secretly placed at a young age into an institution for homeless boys where he would be forgotten?

But then, if the Pope declared the secret marriage a legitimate one, what then of any child from the marriage?

Because of a single clue left by a ghost, yes a ghost, 100 years ago, could his secret identity have been uncovered?

I think it was.

Because it was me who uncovered it.

On 1 December 1786, at the age of about seven, he was given his first official naval appointment (we know this to be a fact because it says so on his official naval record written by himself) as a Lieutenant’s Servant on the ‘Standard’ in Plymouth.

Then 17 years later in the very early days of British settlement of Australia he was chosen ny Governor King to take command of the tall ship ‘Lady Nelson’.

One hot November day just over two hundred years ago in the fledgling convict settlement at Port Jackson, as a midshipman only recently arrived in the colony, he found himself appointed Acting Lieutenant and Commander of HMS ‘Lady Nelson’.

The ship’s previous commander, Lieutenant George Curtoys, had become so ill from unloading cargo in the extreme heat that a replacement was needed on the spot. The man chosen was James Simmons, at first a midshipman on the governor’s own ship then mate on the ‘Lady Nelson’.

The year was 1803. He would have been just twenty-four or twenty-five at the time.

That he was selected in an emergency for an instant promotion to Acting Lieutenant and Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ is perhaps the first indication of the emerging qualities of a young man who seems to be one of the forgotten unsung heroes of Australian history. He has an extraordinary story to tell, an adventure of which very few (as far as I know) even today have ever heard, of a man only briefly mentioned, if at all, in the history books.

Midshipman James Simmons had sailed for New South Wales on 20 June 1802 on the ‘Glatton’ as an able seaman midshipman under Captain Colnett. The previous year the ‘Glatton’ had fought with Admiral Nelson in the Battle of Copenhagen under the command of William Bligh, of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame, with whom James would cross swords later in yet another infamous episode involving Captain Bligh in Australia’s only military coup.

After a sea journey of nine months the ‘Glatton’ arrived at New South Wales in March 1803. The Governor of the colony was Captain Philip Gidley King, the fifth appointment after two previous governors and two acting governors.

King had sailed with the First Fleet under Captain Arthur Phillip. He served as Second Lieutenant on the ‘Sirius’, the flagship of the fleet which arrived in New South Wales on 25 January 1788. Less than two months later King was appointed by Governor Phillip as Commandant of another penal settlement at Norfolk Island, to the north-east of Port Jackson.

Twelve years later, in 1800, he became Governor of New South Wales, replacing Captain John Hunter.

When midshipman James Simmons arrived in March 1803 he was appointed to Governor King’s own ship the ‘Buffalo’.

A lucky break?

Now, just eight months later, on this hot November day, he found himself unofficially and hastily moved to the command of the ‘Lady Nelson’ which was then armed tender to His Majesty’s Ship ‘Buffalo’.

Was this another lucky break or did King single him out for special treatment?

Did he display exceptional qualities even at the age of twenty-four or twenty-five?

What did I find when I set out to follow the clues that emerged after Granny’s ghost’s secret came to light?

Come with me as I learn this man’s 200 year-old secret?

What would the consequences have been had his secret be known at the time?

Read every moment of my adventure in ‘Back to the Wall’.

Best wishes,

Neil

 

 

 

Who was the secret legitimate heir sent to the antipodes 200 years ago?

 

Portrait of  Mrs Maria Fitzherbert (1756-1837), secret wife of George IV (1762-1803)

Was this forgotten man, Acting Commander of the Tall Ship Lady Nelson’  from 1803, a secret legitimate royal heir to the British throne?

I have found convincing evidence that he was.

I’ve written an account of how the evidence unfolded for me, day by exciting day, a story full of unexpected discoveries and endless twists and turns, in my book ‘Back to the Wall’.

When my back was to the wall.

Being an ex advertising copywriter this was a story I simply couldn’t ignore.

Okay, what’s this “amazing story” I have discerned (according to Writer’s Digest*)?

Clues left by secret messages – and a ghost – led me to the ‘Lady Nelson’, one of the sailing ships that arrived in Australia soon after the Third Fleet comprising 11 ships that sailed from England to Australia in 1791 to start a penal settlement on the other side of the world.

And significantly to an enigmatic Commander who, at just 24, took over in an emergency.

Was Lieutenant James Simmons (or Symons)  the legitimate heir sent to the antipodes and out of the way?

Was a secret marriage between the Prince of Wales, King George IV, and a Catholic widow, Maria Fitzherbert,  legal?

The Pope said it was!

Join me as I share every moment of my fun and entertaining romantic world adventure chasing the clues that led me to uncover surprising revelations from my historical research in Australia, Regency England and New Zealand.

It’s an unexpected adventure across five countries and you can share my emotions and the events that emerged as I followed my instincts – always with nothing.

I was broke, bankrupt.

My back was to the wall.

Read my story of survival together with the fun and the drama as I describe every moment as it unfolded.

It’s a blast.

To order your copy now CLICK HERE or from Amazon CLICK HERE.

Best wishes,

Neil

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* “You have discerned an amazing story. It’s got everything it needs to be a blockbuster: romance, history, the paranormal and the story of a narrator finding his way in the world. Big stories like this are difficult to tell.
The writer has to sift the really important facts from those that don’t keep the story moving. Keeping the reader oriented – and engaged – in a story with twists and turns like this is no small feat either.”Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards