The preliminary work on the Timelines of the Regency Era has now been presented. 50 years of happenings, events, births and deaths of prominent figures. It is not over. There are probably a good thousand more events to be recorded. In fact, at this point only those details through 1802 have been added into the Timeline.
The rest takes a great deal of editing, as well as searching and placing the graphics. The first years of 1787 to 1801 can all be found at Regency Assembly Press’ Timeline page
There are a lot of pictures shown there. It will add to your visualization of the Regency. But now, what to include in my daily posts. For months now we have had something new every day, and by the number of hits we are not getting, there is a small following.
Soon we will have an Edwardian Timeline, but for now, Regency Personalities is something I have thought to start on.
Over the next few days I thought it might be useful for me to have a guide.
Amongst other royalty and notables will be:
Lady Caroline Lamb
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Charles James Fox
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Wellington (the Military man)
Patronesses of Almacks
Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
Mrs. Drummond Burrell
Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador
Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):
Today, the next personality of our period, Princess Caroline of Brunswick, wife of George IV. Much of this is work I have done for the English Historical Fiction Authors, of which I am a member of.
Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel
May 17th 1768 to August 7th 1821
Caroline of Brunswick and her story is not a happy one to add to the Monarchy of the Regency. She was already 26 when engaged to George, the Prince of Wales (George IV) and the word was she was not pure and chaste then. In that time, a man might have had affairs, and a Prince (George had married Maria Fitzherbert, though not according the law and Royal Marriages Act of 1772) George was also a man very much in debt and so agreed to marrying a princess for money. Whether he married Caroline or another, all was doomed to failure for he truly did love Maria Fitzherbert .
According to Prinny, they slept together three times and happily conceived Charlotte. Once she was born, George broke with Caroline never to see her again. He could not stand her. By 1806 rumors held that Caroline had lovers and an illegitimate child. Even though George was once again living with his mistress, the succession could be placed in jeopardy should Caroline become pregnant. (In Jewish Law, the birthright is always through the mother. It is quite a certainty who a child’s mother is. A father, not so assured until now with genetic paternity testing.)
The rumors led to the Delicate Investigation, which found no foundation for the allegations. Caroline wanted then to return to Brunswick. Her access to Charlotte had been cut. Napoleon however thwarted plans to flee to the continent. He had overrun Brunswick and Caroline’s mother and her brother the Duke fled to England. After the conclusion of the Delicate Investigation, Caroline was able to see Charlotte only once a week.
In August of 1814, Caroline left England. Over the course of her travels abroad she met Bartolomeo Pergami, had him hired as a servant of her household, rise to the head of her household. Got him ennobled with the Order of Malta and a barony, and made him her lover.
Charlotte knew what she was doing. She made it a condition of her marriage negotiations to William of Orange when she came of age, that Caroline would forever be welcome in her house. Something that William and George both were against. It allowed Charlotte to transfer her cap from William to Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
Charlotte died just after having a stillborn son in November 1817. George would not write Caroline of the tragedy. Leopold had to do so.
Now George wanted a divorce. By 1819 Caroline was willing to do so for money. There was an issue over having Caroline admit to adultery though she was living openly with Pergami. At this time one could not get a divorce without such evidence and admittance to it.
Then in 1820 George III died, and Caroline, who would not have any power through her daughter since Charlotte had died, could be her husband’s Queen. George IV really wanted to be rid of her and had been trying to do so since days after they had married, twenty-five hears before. Caroline though rejected his latest offer and in June returned to England.
George now (already ridiculed so often by the public) presented to Parliament evidence gathered from Caroline’s Milan years abroad. 15 peers looked at it and found it scandalous. The Pains and Penalties Bill of 1820 was introduced to strip Caroline of the title of Queen Consort and dissolve the marriage. It passed the House of Lords, but was not sent to the House of Commons. At the end of the trial, Caroline accepted George’s deal to get rid of her.
Yet at the Coronation of George on July 19th 1821, she was there once more to cause him consternation. She was refused entry to Westminster Abbey at both doors, and then had bayonets placed under her chin to keep her out. The Deputy Lord Chamberlain spammed the doors in her face.
That very night Caroline fell ill. Over the next three weeks she had more pain and deteriorated. She put her affairs in order and then died on August 7th. Sensing trouble when her funeral cortège was to go through the city, it was rerouted. Still trouble did come and the army drew and shot. Two citizens were killed. The cortège was returned to it’s original path through the city.
Napoleon and Caroline both perished in 1821. George IV heard of Napoleon’s death while waiting to hear of Caroline’s. From Lord Holland and Sir William Fraser we have the telling of the story:
‘I have, Sir, to congratulate you: your greatest enemy is dead.’
‘Is she, by God?’
(DWW-I used this a few days ago when writing up Prinny. But now having researched Caroline, I can see how truly terrible things were for them both in this marriage, and how neither tried to make it good. Caroline, having given George an heir, and have irreconcilable differences, should have found a way to divorce the man and have a life. Becoming Queen was certainly not worth the misery, and even should she have been Queen, she did not survive the coronation very long at all.)