The Prince and The Lady, Part 5 to the Life & Works of
Sir John Wentworth
"... when Nelson was recalled in the autumn of 1787 the Prince took exception to his successor, and withdrew his ship from Antigua and sailed away to Halifax. The government then ordered him to spend the winter in Quebec as a punishment for gross disobedience. This naturally only aroused him still further, and, disregarding the dangers of the Atlantic in mid winter, he sailed for England."15On arriving in England, he was obliged to face the wrath of his father, the king, for disobeying the orders of his superiors. That problem soon passed and the Prince settled down to a naval life at Plymouth. Soon, however, the prince's romantic inclinations were to get him into, what was for him, a familiar difficulty. He once again got entangled with a young lady, and once again the king wrote suggesting the Prince be given another command and be ordered to sea. Prince William Henry was given the command of the Andromeda, and after cruising the channel for a period of time, she carried over to Halifax arriving there in August16. After a stay in Halifax she then made a run for Jamaica. In January of 1789, the Andromeda sailed, yet again, for Halifax. During the first week of April, the Prince made his way to England. That was the last Prince William Henry was to see of Halifax though his younger brother, Prince Edward Augustus, was later to come to Halifax and there to play a significant role in the social and military life of Nova Scotia. But that is a tale for our larger history.
It is necessary to tell of Prince William Henry's connection with Halifax: During his various stays, which at times lasted for weeks and at other times for months, during the years of 1786-89, he was to be a fair and feted guest of those who made up the high society of colonial Halifax. We might conclude in these years that there was only two places to which a British warship might put in for repairs and supplies, either in the West Indies in the south or Halifax to the north. Halifax was an appropriate port for his ship and a place where her young captain might amuse himself. And amuse himself he did.
Shortly after being introduced to Prince William Henry, Frances Wentworth was to become his mistress. She was then 41 years of age, but still very much an attraction to a virile male. Apparently she paid very careful attention to her dress. Cuthbertson writes, "At one ball she appeared in a gown richly interwoven with gold and silver, and trimmed with Italian flowers and the finest silk lace; the gown's train was four yards long, and in her hair and on her wrists was a profusion of diamonds. At the many balls and assemblies she was always the most 'observed' lady present."17 Though Prince William was but in his twenties and Frances Wentworth in her forties, the biological facts of sexual attraction worked on the two and soon they were cavorting about in the Wentworth bedroom. For Prince William it was no more than a sexual romp with yet another woman. Though the couple never appeared together in public, their liaison was well known, even John Wentworth was to become aware of what went on during his many absences as the Surveyor General. He made nothing of it.18
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