Posts Tagged ‘Duke of York’

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Queen Victoria
24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901



Queen Victoria ‘s father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III. Until 1817, Edward’s niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis in the United Kingdom that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children. In 1818, he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess who already had two children—Carl (1804–1856) and Feodora (1807–1872)—by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was the widower of Princess Charlotte. The Duke and Duchess of Kent’s only child, Victoria, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London.

Victoria was christened privately by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace. She was baptised Alexandrina, after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, and Victoria after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina (or Georgiana), Charlotte and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of the Duke’s elder brother, the Prince Regent.

At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after her father and his three older brothers: the Prince Regent, the Duke of York, and the Duke of Clarence (later William IV). The Prince Regent and the Duke of York were estranged from their wives, who were both past child-bearing age, so the two eldest brothers were unlikely to have any further children. The Dukes of Kent and Clarence married on the same day 12 months before Victoria’s birth, but both of Clarence’s daughters (born in 1819 and 1820 respectively) died as infants. Victoria’s grandfather and father died in 1820, within a week of each other, and the Duke of York died in 1827. On the death of her uncle George IV in 1830, Victoria became heiress presumptive to her next surviving uncle, William IV. The Regency Act 1830 made special provision for the Duchess of Kent to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess’s capacity to be regent, and in 1836 declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria’s 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided.

Victoria later described her childhood as “rather melancholy”. Her mother was extremely protective, and Victoria was raised largely isolated from other children under the so-called “Kensington System”, an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, who was rumoured to be the Duchess’s lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable (including most of her father’s family), and was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them. The Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of the King’s bastard children, and perhaps prompted the emergence of Victorian morality by insisting that her daughter avoid any appearance of sexual impropriety. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, and spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles spaniel, Dash. Her lessons included French, German, Italian, and Latin, but she spoke only English at home.

In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to other parts of England and Wales were taken in 1832, 1833, 1834 and 1835. To King William’s annoyance, Victoria was enthusiastically welcomed in each of the stops. William compared the journeys to royal progresses and was concerned that they portrayed Victoria as his rival rather than his heiress presumptive. Victoria disliked the trips; the constant round of public appearances made her tired and ill, and there was little time for her to rest. She objected on the grounds of the King’s disapproval, but her mother dismissed his complaints as motivated by jealousy, and forced Victoria to continue the tours. At Ramsgate in October 1835, Victoria contracted a severe fever, which Conroy initially dismissed as a childish pretence. While Victoria was ill, Conroy and the Duchess unsuccessfully badgered her to make Conroy her private secretary. As a teenager, Victoria resisted persistent attempts by her mother and Conroy to appoint him to her staff. Once queen, she banned him from her presence, but he remained in her mother’s household.

By 1836, the Duchess’s brother, Leopold, who had been King of the Belgians since 1831, hoped to marry his niece to his nephew, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Leopold, Victoria’s mother, and Albert’s father (Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) were siblings. Leopold arranged for Victoria’s mother to invite her Coburg relatives to visit her in May 1836, with the purpose of introducing Victoria to Albert. William IV, however, disapproved of any match with the Coburgs, and instead favoured the suit of Prince Alexander of the Netherlands, second son of the Prince of Orange. Victoria was aware of the various matrimonial plans and critically appraised a parade of eligible princes. According to her diary, she enjoyed Albert’s company from the beginning. After the visit she wrote, “[Albert] is extremely handsome; his hair is about the same colour as mine; his eyes are large and blue, and he has a beautiful nose and a very sweet mouth with fine teeth; but the charm of his countenance is his expression, which is most delightful.” Alexander, on the other hand, was “very plain”.

Victoria wrote to her uncle Leopold, whom Victoria considered her “best and kindest adviser”, to thank him “for the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me, in the person of dear Albert … He possesses every quality that could be desired to render me perfectly happy. He is so sensible, so kind, and so good, and so amiable too. He has besides the most pleasing and delightful exterior and appearance you can possibly see.” However at 17, Victoria, though interested in Albert, was not yet ready to marry. The parties did not undertake a formal engagement, but assumed that the match would take place in due time.

Victoria turned 18 on 24 May 1837, and a regency was avoided. On 20 June 1837, William IV died at the age of 71, and Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom. In her diary she wrote, “I was awoke at 6 o’clock by Mamma, who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen.” Official documents prepared on the first day of her reign described her as Alexandrina Victoria, but the first name was withdrawn at her own wish and not used again.

Since 1714, Britain had shared a monarch with Hanover in Germany, but under Salic law women were excluded from the Hanoverian succession. While Victoria inherited all the British dominions, Hanover passed instead to her father’s younger brother, her unpopular uncle the Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, who became King Ernest Augustus I of Hanover. He was her heir presumptive until she married and had a child.

At the time of her accession, the government was led by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne, who at once became a powerful influence on the politically inexperienced Queen, who relied on him for advice. Charles Greville supposed that the widowed and childless Melbourne was “passionately fond of her as he might be of his daughter if he had one”, and Victoria probably saw him as a father figure. Her coronation took place on 28 June 1838, and she became the first sovereign to take up residence at Buckingham Palace. She inherited the revenues of the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall, and was granted a civil list of £385,000 per year. Financially prudent, she paid off her father’s debts.

(DWW-Her Coronation marks the end of the Regency Era and the start of the Victorian Era, with so many accomplishments the amount of information would be many more times what is displayed here.)

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

General Sir David Dundas
1735 – 18 February 1820


David Dundas

David Dundas was born the son of Robert Dundas, a Scottish merchant, and Margaret Dundas (née Watson), Dundas graduated from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a lieutenant-fireworker in the Royal Artillery on 1 March 1755. He exchanged to the 56th Foot as a lieutenant on 24 January 1756, serving with this regiment during the Seven Years’ War taking part in combined operations against the French ports of St. Malo and Cherbourg and fighting at the Battle of Saint Cast in September 1758. Promoted to captain on 21 March 1759, he transferred to the 15th Dragoons and fought at the Battle of Warburg in July 1760, the Battle of Kloster Kampen in October 1760 and the Battle of Villinghausen in July 1761. Dundas was also present at the fall of Havana in August 1762. He was promoted to major on 28 May 1770 and lieutenant colonel on 12 December 1775. On 31 December 1777 he was appointed Quartermaster-General in Ireland, in which post he was promoted to brevet colonel on 12 February 1782.

On 31 August 1783 Dundas left regimental service and became an advocate of officer training in the British Army writing many manuals on the subject, the first being Principles of Military Movements published in 1788. He chose to play down the light infantry tactics that generals such as Lord Cornwallis or Willam Howe favoured during the American War of Independence. Instead Dundas, after witnessing Prussian army manouvres in Silesia in 1784, favoured the army model that Frederick the Great had created. Its use of drilled battalions of line infantry marching in formation was a stark contrast to the light brigades that fought in small independent groups and with cover during the American War of Independence.

On 23 June 1789 he became Adjutant-General in Ireland where he was able deploy his ideas for military training. He was promoted to major-general on 1 May 1790 and, as Britain became involved in the French Revolutionary Wars, he was appointed second in command at the siege of Toulon under O’Hara and Lord Mulgrave from September 1793, where he commanded an abortive attack on the Arenes Heights on 30 November 1793. Dundas became commanding officer under Lord Hood after O’Hara’s capture in this action. He lost Fort Mulgrave and Mount Faron after a 3-day bombardment on 17 December 1793. Dundas commanded the initial expedition to Corsica in 1794, landing 7 February 1794 and capturing the Mortella Tower. Next, he captured the Port of San Fiorenzo and Bastia, an important first step ultimately leading to the capture of the island and establishment of a short-lived Anglo-Corsican Kingdom by forces under Hood and Admiral Lord Nelson.

Hood forced Dundas to resign on 10 March 1794; Dundas transferred to serve in the Flanders Campaign under the Duke of York. Appointed commander of the 2nd Cavalry brigade after the death of John Mansel at Beaumont on 26 April 1794, he distinguished himself at Willems on 10 May, and was attached to Otto’s column at Tourcoing later that month. Dundas replaced Sir Robert Laurie at the head of his brigade during the retreat to Antwerp. In December, while commanding the British Right under Harcourt, he led the attack at Tuil on 30 December and directed the rearguard action at Geldermalsen on 5 January 1795. He was made commander of the British forces (mainly cavalry) left behind at Bremen in April 1795 and given the local rank of brevet lieutenant general while remaining in Europe on 2 May 1795.

On 26 December 1795 Dundas became Colonel of the 7th Light Dragoons and on 8 November 1796 he became Quartermaster-General to the Forces in which role he implemented the army’s official drill book for Cavalry officers. He was promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant-general on 4 February 1797.

Dundas commanded the 3rd Division under the Duke of York in the Helder Campaign 1799, seeing action at Den Helder on 27 August, Zype on 10 September, Bergen on 19 September, Alkmaar on 2 October and Castricum on 6 October. On 15 February 1800 he was given the honorary appointment of Governor of Landguard Fort.

He was made Colonel of 2nd Dragoons on 9 May 1801, promoted to general on 24 April 1802 and made commander in Kent and Sussex from 1803. Dundas was appointed Knight of the Order of the Bath on 28 April 1803 and went into semi-retirement in 1805. He chaired the hearing against Le Marchant in charges of calumny from 23 January 1807, was a member of the Court Martial that tried Whitelocke for the failure of the Buenos Aires expedition on 28 January 1808 and was a member of the Board of Enquiry of the Convention of Cintra in 1808. He was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the 95th Foot on 31 August 1809.

Dundas was Commander-in-Chief of the Forces from 1809 to 1811, during the Duke of York’s period of disgrace following a scandal caused by the activities of his latest mistress, Mary Anne Clarke. Dundas was also a Privy councillor from 22 March 1809 and Colonel of the 1st Dragoon Guards from 27 January 1813.

Dundas was Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea from 3 April 1804 until his death. Advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 4 January 1815, he died at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 18 February 1820 and is buried in the grounds.

In the army Dundas was nicknamed “Old Pivot” for his Prussian-style drill books. Burne describes him as “A level-headed officer”, but “cautious”, while Bunbury writes “He…was an aged man…a brave, careful, and well-skilled soldier…Dundas was a tall, spare man, crabbed and austere, dry in his looks and demeanour…there were peculiarities in his habits and style which excited some ridicule amongst young officers. But though it appeared a little out of fashion, there was ‘much care and valour in that Scotchman'”. Thoumine writes that “Dundas was perhaps not as graceful nor as polished as some of his contemporaries, but he was as sound as oak and utterly reliable”.

In 1807 he married Charlotte De Lancey, daughter of General Oliver De Lancey; they had no children.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Ralph Abercromby
7 October 1734 – 28 March 1801


Ralph Abercromby

Sir Ralph Abercromby KB was a Scottish soldier and politician. He rose to the rank of lieutenant-general in the British Army, was noted for his services during the Napoleonic Wars, and served as Commander-in-Chief, Ireland.

He twice served as MP for Clackmannanshire, and was appointed Governor of Trinidad.

He was the eldest son of George Abercromby of Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, and a brother of the advocate Alexander Abercromby, Lord Abercromby. He was born at Menstrie, Clackmannanshire. Educated at Rugby and the University of Edinburgh, in 1754 he was sent to Leipzig University to study civil law, with a view to his proceeding to a career as an advocate.

Abercromby was a Freemason. He was a member of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge No 2, Edinburgh, Scotland

On returning from the continent he expressed a strong preference for the military profession, and a cornet’s commission was accordingly obtained for him (March 1756) in the 3rd Dragoon Guards. He served with his regiment in the Seven Years’ War, and the opportunity thus afforded him of studying the methods of Frederick the Great moulded his military character and formed his tactical ideas.

He rose through the intermediate grades to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the regiment (1773) and brevet colonel in 1780, and in 1781 he became colonel of the King’s Irish infantry. When that regiment was disbanded in 1783 he retired upon half pay.

Up to this time, he had scarcely been engaged in active service, and this was due mainly to his disapproval of the policy of the government, and especially to his sympathies with the American colonists in their struggles for independence. His retirement is no doubt to be ascribed to similar feelings. On leaving the army he for a time took up political life as Member of Parliament for Clackmannanshire. This, however, proved uncongenial, and, retiring in favour of his brother, he settled at Edinburgh and devoted himself to the education of his children.

However, when France declared war against Great Britain in 1793, he hastened to resume his professional duties. Being esteemed one of the ablest and most intrepid officers in the whole British forces, he was appointed to the command of a brigade under the Duke of York, for service in the Netherlands. He commanded the advanced guard in the action at Le Cateau, and was wounded at Nijmegen. The duty fell to him of protecting the British army in its disastrous retreat out of Holland, in the winter of 1794–1795. In 1795, he received the honour of a Knighthood of the Bath, in acknowledgment of his services.

The same year he was appointed to succeed Sir Charles Grey, as commander-in-chief of the British forces in the West Indies. In 1796, Grenada was suddenly attacked and taken by a detachment of the army under his orders. Abercromby afterwards obtained possession of the settlements of Demerara and Essequibo, in South America, and of the islands of Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Trinidad.

In this part of his career Abercromby was involved in crushing the revolt of the Garifuna (Carib) people on Saint Vincent, bringing to an end their centuries-long resistance to European colonization. One of Abercromby’s officers killed the Garifuna chief Joseph Chatoyer on 14 March 1795. While this was a minor campaign on the scale of Abercromby’s overall career, it is well remembered up to the present on Saint Vincent, where Chatoyer is revered as a national hero.

On 17 April 1797, Abercromby, with a force of 7,000-13,000 men, which included German mercenary soldiers and Royal Marines and a 60 to 64 ship armada, invaded the island of Puerto Rico. Island Governor and Captain General Don Ramón de Castro and his forces, consisting of the mostly Puerto Rican born Regimiento Fijo de Puerto Rico and the Milicias Disciplinadas, repelled the attack.

On 30 April, after two weeks of fierce combat, which included prolonged artillery exchanges and even hand to hand combat, Abercromby was unable to overcome San Juan’s first line of defense and withdrew. This was to be one of the largest invasions to Spanish territories in the Americas.

Abercromby returned to Europe, and, in reward for his important services, was appointed colonel of the regiment of Scots Greys, entrusted with the governments of the Isle of Wight, Fort-George and Fort-Augustus, and raised to the rank of lieutenant-general. He held, in 1797–1798, the chief command of the forces in Ireland.

After holding for a short period the office of commander-in-chief in Scotland, Sir Ralph, when the enterprise against the Dutch Batavian Republic was resolved upon in 1799, was again called to command under the Duke of York. The campaign of 1799 ended in disaster, but friend and foe alike confessed that the most decisive victory could not have more conspicuously proved the talents of this distinguished officer.

His country applauded the choice when, in 1801, he was sent with an army to dispossess the French of Egypt. His experience in the Netherlands and the West Indies particularly fitted him for this new command, as was proved by his carrying his army in health, in spirits and with the requisite supplies, in spite of very great difficulties, to the destined scene of action. The debarkation of the troops at Abukir, in the face of strenuous opposition, is justly ranked among the most daring and brilliant exploits of the British army.

A battle in the neighbourhood of Alexandria (21 March 1801) was the sequel of this successful landing, and it was Abercromby’s fate to fall in the moment of victory. He was struck by a spent ball, which could not be extracted, and died seven days after the battle, aboard HMS Foudroyant, which was moored in the harbour.

He was buried in the Commandery of the Grand Master, the Knights of St John, Malta

By a vote of the House of Commons, a monument was erected in his honour in St Paul’s Cathedral, Abercromby Square in Liverpool is named in his honour. His widow was created Baroness Abercromby of Tullibody and Aboukir Bay, and a pension of £2,000 a year was settled on her and her two successors in the title.

On 17 November 1767 Abercromby married Mary Anne, daughter of John Menzies and Ann, daughter of Patrick Campbell. They had seven children. Of four sons, all four entered Parliament, and two saw military service.

  • Hon. Anne Abercromby
  • Hon. Mary Abercromby
  • Hon. Catherine Abercromby
  • George Abercromby, 2nd Baron Abercromby
  • General Hon. Sir John Abercromby
  • James Abercromby, 1st Baron Dunfermline
  • Lt.-Col. Hon. Alexander Abercromby

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Henry Holland
20 July 1745–17 June 1806


Henry Holland

Holland was an architect to the English nobility. Born in Fulham, London, his father also Henry ran a building firm and he built several of Capability Brown’s buildings, although Henry would have learnt a lot from his father about the practicalities of construction it was under Brown that he would learn about architectural design, they formed a partnership in 1771. He married Brown’s daughter Bridget on the 11th February 1773 at St George’s, Hanover Square. In 1772 Sir John Soane joined Holland’s practice in order to further his education, Soane left in 1778 to study in Rome. Holland paid a visit to Paris in 1787 this is thought to have been in connection with his design of the interiors at Carlton House, from this moment on his interior work owed less to the Adam style and more to contemporary French taste.

Holland was a founder member in 1791 of the Architects’ Club, which included Thomas Hardwick as a signtory. In the 1790s he translated into English A.M. Cointereaux’s Traite sur la construction des Manufactures, et des Maisons de Champagne. Holland was feeling unwell in the early summer of 1806, on the 13th June he had a seizure and his son Lancelot made this entry in his diary on the 17th June, ‘My poor father breathed his last about 7 o’clock in the morning. He had got out of bed shortly before and inquired what the hour was. Being told he said is was too early to rise and got into bed again. He immediately fell into a fit. I was sent for, and a minute after I came to his bedside he breathed his last.’. He was buried at All Saints Church, Fulham, in a simple tomb, a few yards from the house in which he had been born. Bridget Holland his wife lived for another 17 years and was the main beneficiary of her husband’s will.

Of his sons the elder Henry Jr (1775-1855). remained a bachelor. The younger son Colonel Lancelot (1781-1859), married Charlotte Mary Peters (1788-1876) and they had fifteen children. Of Holland’s five daughters, two married two brothers, Bridget (1774-1844) to Daniel Craufurd (lost at sea 1810) and Mary Frances Holland (1776-1842) to Major-General Robert Craufurd (1764–1812), commander of the Light Division during the Peninsular War. Bridget later remarried to Sir Robert Wilmot of Chaddesden. The remaining daughters, Harriet (1778-1814), Charlotte (1785-1824) and Caroline (1786-1871) never married.

Holland began his practice by designing Claremont House for Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, with his future father-in-law in 1771 and their partnership lasted until Brown’s death twelve years later. Claremont is of nine by five bays, of white brick with stone dressings. The main feature on the entrance front is the tetrastyle Corinthian pedimented portico. This leads to the entrance hall with red scagliola columns, these are arranged in an oval with the rectangular room. The drawing room has a fine plaster ceiling and marble fireplace with two caryatids. There is a fine staircase.

In 1771 he took a lease from Charles Cadogan, 2nd Baron Cadogan on his Chelsea estate and began the Hans Town (named after an earlier owner Hans Sloane) development on 89 acres (360,000 m²) of open field and marsh. There he laid out parts of Knightsbridge and Chelsea, including Sloane Street and Sloane Square, and Hans Place, Street and Crescent and Cadogan Place. The buildings were typical Georgian, terraced houses, they were three or four floors in height plus an attic and basement and two or three windows wide, of brick, decoration was minimal, occasionally the ground floor was decorated with stucco rustication. These developments quickly became some of the most fashionable areas in greater London. Construction was slow, the start of the American war of independence in 1776 being one of the factors (Lord Cadogan also died that year). Sloane Square was virtually complete by 1780. Apart from a few houses on the east side Sloane Street was not developed before 1790. By 1789 Holland was living in a house designed by himself, called Sloane Place, it was to the north of Hans Place. The house was large 114 feet in length, to the north the octagonal entrance hall had a black and white marble floor the south front had a one storey ionic loggia across the central five bays with an iron balcony above in front of the main bedrooms, the rooms on the ground floor south front were the drawing room, dining room, lobby, library and music room. As the area was developed on ninety-nine year leases Holland’s houses were almost entirely rebuilt from the 1870s onwards. A few houses survive in Hans Place, Nos. 12 and 33-34. Cadogan Square was laid out from 1879 onwards in part over the gardens of Sloane Place.

Another joint work was Benham Park 1774-75 designed for William Craven, 6th Baron Craven, three stories high, nine bays wide, in a plain neoclassical style, of stone, with a tetrastyle Ionic portico, the building was altered in 1914, the pediment on the portico was replaced by a balustrade and the roof lowered and hidden behind a balustrade. The interiors have also been altered. Though the Circular Hall in the centre of the building, with its large niches and fine plasterwork, is probably as designed by Holland, it has an opening in the ceiling rising to the galleried floor above and a glazed dome. The principal staircase is also original.

Brown had been designing the landscape of Trentham hall since 1768, for the owner Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford (he was an Earl at the time), when it was decided to remodel the house, this took from 1775–78, it was enlarged from nine to fifteen bays, the pilasters and other features were in stone, but the walls were of brick covered in stucco to imitate stonework. The building was remodelled and extended by Sir Charles Barry in 1834-40 and largely demolished in 1910.

John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute commissioned Holland and Brown to restore Cardiff Castle (1778–80), Holland’s interiors were swept away when the castle was remodelled and extended by William Burges in the 1860s. The east front of the main apartments retain Holland’s work a rare example of him using Gothic Revival architecture and the neoclassical style Drawing Room being the only significant interior to survive more or less as Holland designed it.

In 1776 Holland designed Brooks’s club in St James’s Street, Westminster. Build of yellow brick and Portland stone in a Palladian style similar to his early country houses. The main suite of rooms on the first floor consisted of the Great Subscription Room, Small Drawing Room and the Card Room, Brook’s was known for its gambling on card games, the Prince of Wales being a member. The interiors are in neoclassical style, the Great Subscription Room having a segmental barrel vault ceiling.

From 1778-81 for Thomas Harley, Holland designed and built Berrington Hall, Herefordshire, one of his purest exercises in the Neoclassical style, the exterior is largely devoid of decoration, the main feature is the tetrastyle Ionic portico. The interior are equally fine, the most impressive being the staircase at the centre of the building, with its glazed dome and the upper floor is surrounded by Scagliola Corinthian columns. The main rooms have fine plaster ceilings and marble chimney pieces, these are the library, dining and drawings rooms. The small boudoir has a shallow apse screened by two Ionic columns of Scagliola imitating Lapis lazuli. Holland also designed the service yard behind the house with the laundry, dairy and stables as well as the entrance lodge to the estate in the form of a Triumphal arch.

In 1788 Holland continued the remodelling of Broadlands in Hampshire for Henry Temple, 2nd Viscount Palmerston started by Brown. The exterior was re-clad in yellow brick and a three bay recessed Ionic portico added on the north front, a tetrastyle Ionic portico was added on the south front, within he added the octagonal domed lobby, also by Holland are the ground floor rooms on the south front library (Wedgwood room), saloon and drawing room, and on the east front the dining room, all in the Adam style.

Holland first major commission for the Prince of Wales, later King George IV, was his celebrated remodelling of Carlton House, London (1783-c.1795), exemplified his dignified neoclassicism, which contrasted with the more lavish style of his great contemporary Robert Adam. Carlton House was his most significant work, built on a slope, the north entrance front on Pall Mall was of two floors, the south front overlooking the gardens and The Mall was of three floors. The large hexastyle Corinthian portico on the north front acted as a porte-cochère, after Carlton was demolished the columns were reused in the construction of the National Gallery by the architect William Wilkins. The principal rooms were on the ground floor as entered on the north front. The various floors were linked by the Grand Staircase, built c.1786, this was one of Holland’s finest designs. Carlton House was demolished in 1827, other significant interiors by Holland were the Great Hall, (1784–89), and the Circular Dining Room (1786–94). After Carlton House was demolished many fittings including chimney-pieces were reused by John Nash in the construction of Buckingham Palace.

Holland is perhaps best remembered for the original Marine Pavilion (known as such from 1788) (1786–87) at Brighton, Sussex, designed for the Prince of Wales. The Prince had taken a lease on a farmhouse in October 1786 in the centre of Brighton, then little more than a village. From 1788 Holland began transforming the building, the east front had two double height bows added, to the north the present saloon was created circular in plan with two apses to north and south, the exterior was of the form of a large bow surrounded by Ionic columns, and to the north of that the farmhouse copied, the west front was quite plain, a tetrastyle, Ionic portico in the centre flanked by two wings forming an open court. Holland proposed further alterations to the pavilion in 1795, but due to the Prince’s financial problems were delayed and it was not until 1801 that any work was carried out, this involved extending the main facade with wings at 45 degrees to north and south containing an eating room and conservatory (these were later replaced by Nash’s Banqueting and Music rooms) and the entrance hall was extended with the portico moved forward, and three new staircases created within. In 1803 Holland produced a design to remodel the Pavilion in Chinese style but this was not executed.

The Prince of Wales brother Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany commissioned Holland to extend Dover House (then called York House), work started in 1788 he designed the facade to Whitehall with its portico and behind it the circular domed vestibule 40 feet in diameter with an inner ring of eight scagliola Doric columns.

In 1785 George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer entrusted Holland with the remodelling of his country house Althorp, the exterior was encased in white Mathematical tiles to hide the unfashionable red brick and he added the four Corinthian pilasters to the entrance front. He also added the corridors to the wings. Several interiors are by Holland, the Library, Billiard Room and the South Drawing Room. He also remodelled the Picture Gallery.

One of the Prince of Wales’s friends was Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford, he commissioned Holland to remodel and extend his country residence Woburn Abbey from 1786, this involved a remodelling the south front, within the south wing Holland remodelled several rooms (1787–90), the Venetian Room, to house twenty four paintings of Venice by Canaletto, the Ante-Library and the Library a tripartite room divided by openings containing two columns of the Corinthian order. Also he created the greenhouse (1789)(later altered by Jeffry Wyattville) attached to the stable block, a grand riding-school (1789) demolished, indoor tennis court, demolished and Chinese style dairy (1789). Within the park he also designed a new entrance archway (1790), farm buildings, cottages and kennels. In 1801 he converted the greenhouse into a sculpture gallery to house the Duke’s collection of Roman sculpture, adding the ‘Temple of Liberty’ at the east end to house busts of Charles James Fox and other prominent Whigs.

Holland went on to design the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, when it was rebuilt (c.1791-94) as Europe’s largest functioning theatre with 3919 seats. The building was 300 feet in length, 155 feet in width and 108 feet tall. The Portland stone exterior was of four floors, rising a floor higher above the stage, the facades were fairly plain, the main embellishments were on the ground floor a single storey Ionic colonnade surrounding the building, there were shops and taverns behind it. The auditorium was approximately semi-circular in plan, with the Pit, there was a row of eight boxes flanking each side of the Pit, two levels of boxes above, then two galleries above them. The stage was 42 feet wide and 34 feet to the top of the scenery. The Theatre Royal burnt down on the night of 24 February 1809. At the Royal Opera House he rebuilt the auditorium in 1792. The new auditorium contained a pit and four horseshoe shaped, straight-sided tiers, the first three were boxes, and the four the two-shilling gallery. The ceiling was painted to resemble the sky. In addition Holland extended the theatre to provide room for the Scene Painters, Scene Room, Green room, Dressing Rooms etc. The theatre burnt down on the 20th September 1808. From 1802 Holland converted York House on Piccadilly into the Albany apartments.

In 1796 Holland started remodelling Southill House, Southill, Bedfordshire, for Samuel Whitbread the work would continue until 1802, the exterior was remodelled with loggias and a portico with Ionic columns and the interiors completed modernised in the latest French Directoire style. The finest interiors are the library, drawing room, dining room, Mrs. Whitbread’s room and the boudoir. In the garden Holland created the north terrace and the temple with four Tuscan columns.

In 1796 Holland received the commission to design the new headquarters for the East India Company, East India House in Leadenhall Street, the city of London. In order to find a suitable design a competition had been held between Holland, John Soane and George Dance. The building was of two stories and fifteen bays in length, the centre five having a portico of six Ionic columns, that only projected by the depth of a column from the facade. The building was demolished in 1861-62.

  • Hale House, Hampshire, alterations (1770)
  • Hill Park, near Westerham, Kent, (c.1770) subsequently altered and renamed Valence
  • Battersea Bridge, the original wooden bridge (1771-2) demolished 1881
  • Claremont House (1771–74)
  • Benham Park (1774–75)
  • Trentham Hall remodelled (1775–80), later remodelled by Sir Charles Barry (1834–49) demolished 1910
  • Cadland, near Southampton (1775–78) demolished 1953
  • Brooks’s club London (1776–78)
  • Cardiff Castle reconstruction in a Gothic style (1777–78)
  • Hans Town, London, including Cadogan Place, Sloane Street & Sloane Square, (1777–1791), few of his buildings survive
  • The Crown Hotel, Stone, Staffordshire (1778)
  • Berrington Hall (1778–81)
  • St. Michael’s Church, Chart Sutton, rebuilt except for the tower (1779) altered in 19th century
  • Nuneham House alterations (1781–82)
  • Grangemouth, he devised the plan for the town, (1781–83)
  • 7 St. James’s Square, London, refronted (1782)
  • Carlton House, London (1783–95) demolished 1827.
  • Spencer House, London, internal alterations (1785–92)
  • Royal Pavilion Brighton, (1786–87) remodelled by John Nash (1815–22)
  • Bedford House, Bloomsbury, remodelled dining room (1787) demolished 1800
  • Knight’s Hill, Norwood, Surrey, (1787) demolished 1810
  • Stanmore Park, Stanmore, Middlesex, (1787) demolished
  • Woburn Abbey, the south front, library, stables, sculpture gallery, Chinese dairy, entrance lodge (1787–1802)
  • Althorp remodelled the exterior and interior (1787–89)
  • 105 Pall Mall, London, remodelled interior (1787) demolished 1838
  • Dover House (was York House), Whitehall, extended the house adding the grand pillared & domed entrance hall and facade & portico on Whitehall (1789–92)
  • House, Allerton Mauleverer for the Duke of York (1788) rebuilt 1848-51
  • Broadlands Ionic Portico on east front, and the major interiors (1788–92)
  • Oakley House, Bedfordshire, (1789–92)
  • 44 Berkeley Square, remodelling of rooms the original architect being William Kent (c.1790)
  • Theatre Royal, Drury Lane designed the 3rd theatre (1791–94) burnt down 1809
  • Covent Garden Theatre, new auditorium (1792) burnt down 1808
  • The Swan Hotel, Bedford c.(1792)
  • Birchmore Farm, Woburn, Bedfordshire (1792)
  • Oatlands House, Weybridge, (1794–1800)
  • The Theatre, Aberdeen, Marischal Street, (1795) demolished
  • Debden Hall, Debden, Epping Forest (1795) demolished 1936.
  • Southill Park Southill, Bedfordshire (1796–1802)
  • Park Place, Henley-on-Thames, (1796) demolished
  • East India House London (1796–1800) demolished 1861-2
  • Dunira, Perthshire, (1798) demolished
  • East India Warehouses, London, Middlesex Street, (1799–1800) demolished
  • Wimbledon House (1800-02) demolished 1949
  • Albany (London) conversion of the former Melbourne House by William Chambers into bachelor apartments (1803–04)
  • Assembly rooms, Glasgow added terminal pavilions (1807) to the building by Robert Adam, demolished 1889
  • Gateway Westport, County Mayo (1807) demolished 1958

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This week another break from the Squares of London. My NaNoWriMo novel at the end of last year I have given a work title to of The Other Shoe. While working through it I did some research on Gentleman’s Clubs and thought why not delve into other parts of the Regency besides the Squares I have been reporting on. Many of the scenes of the heroes in our stories are set at their clubs.

Brooks Club


27 men, four of whom were Dukes, set up the club in 1764. It remains one of the most exclusive gentlemen’s clubs still. It was the meeting place for Whigs of the highest rung of the Ton.


Originally in Pall Mall, it was managed by William Almack who also ran the famed Assembly Rooms with his name. (Managing one place which was the domain of ladies that men were invited to visit, and a place where no ‘Lady’ was invited at all.)


The current building is on St. James Street and was managed by Brooks who survived its opening there in 1778 by only three years. It is across the street from Boodles, and just up the street is the Carlton club which is associated with the Tories.


When in London and needing a distraction, riding and hunting being unavailable, the children and the women making such a caterwauling that a lord could just not stand it, what better place to go to then to the club. Here you could meet friends. There was a kitchen that provided large meals, but not great ones. Waiters was thus founded in 1806 for a better dining experience.

Then the gaming rooms became a mainstay of the club. The Betting book at Brooks has many examples of eccentric bets. Some bets so outrageous and impossible for the time that they remain unresolved.

One of the most famous of all the clubs that exist in the Regency period is Brooks. Such notables who lived during the Regency and were members of the club were William Cavendish-Bentinck, the 3rd Duke of Portland who was Prime Minister twice.PastedGraphic-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg William Cavendish,PastedGraphic1-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg the fifth duke of Devonshire, husband of the incomparable GeorgianaPastedGraphic2-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg Charles James Fox, PastedGraphic3-2012-04-21-14-05.jpgwho was the grandson of the 2nd Duke of Richmond, himself a grandson of Charles the II. Fox was the counter to William Pitt the Younger.PastedGraphic4-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg who was the youngest Prime Minister of the United Kingdom first, and then the second time of Great Britain as the way the country was addressed changed its name. Also a member as was his friend, William Wilberforce who was a tireless advocate of the abolition of slavery.PastedGraphic5-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg. Yet perhaps the most famous of our members will be he whom we owe the Regency to, George or often referred to in our novels, as Prinny.


His brothers as well were members, the Duke of York PastedGraphic7-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg and the Duke of Clarence PastedGraphic8-2012-04-21-14-05.jpgwho later became King William the IV. Last we should make note of one regular visitor to the Regency Novels we write. The Beau, Beau BrummellPastedGraphic9-2012-04-21-14-05.jpgThe arbiter of good taste, leader of the Dandy club and known to sit with his friends in the window seat at White’s. He is worthy of his own posting.

So many major men of the Regency were members of Brooks that we have a place to when in London, our heroes will be drawn to for it is the magnet for them socially.

A Trolling We Will Go

I released a new book, an omnibus of the three first Trolling stories. In honor of that I have made the first tale of Humphrey and Gwendolyn available for a limited time for $.99 TrollingOmnibus-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg This introductory price is so those who have not discovered this fantasy work can delve into it for a very incentivised price and see if they like the series and continue on, either ordering the other two stories separately, or ordering all three in the Omnibus edition. There are still two more in the series for me to wrap up with edits and release. They have been written as those who follow my blog know. Just not yet gone through my final check protocols.

The Writing LIfe

I am not 78 pages (about 24000 words, into writing on The Crown Imposter. A fantasy that have had two different ideas about for the last few years. Neither was working by when I decided to combine them, all of sudden it worked and I wanted to write. Something I have been too exhausted to do these last few months

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