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Posts Tagged ‘Francis Seymour-Conway 1st Marquess of Hertford’

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.

George Mason-Villiers 2nd Earl Grandison
13 July 1751 – 14 July 1800

George Mason-Villiers 2nd Earl Grandison was born George Mason, he was the son of Alan Mason, who represented County Waterford in the Irish House of Commons, by Lady Elizabeth, daughter of John Villiers, 1st Earl Grandison. After his father’s death in March 1759 her mother married as her second husband Major-General Charles Montague Halifax in 1763. He was educated at Eton. He became known by the courtesy title Viscount Villiers when his mother was elevated to an earldom in 1767.

In 1774 he was returned to the British House of Commons for Ludlow, a seat he held until 1780. In 1782 he succeeded his mother in the earldom. This was an Irish peerage and gave him a seat in the Irish House of Lords but not in the English House of Lords. Three years later he was

Lord Grandison married Lady Gertrude, daughter of Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford, in 1772. They had one daughter. The Countess Grandison died in Switzerland in September 1793, aged 42. Lord Grandison survived her by seven years and died in July 1800, aged 49. As he had no sons the earldom died with him. His daughter and heiress Lady Gertrude Amelia Mason-Villiers married Lord Henry Stuart. Their children included Henry Villiers-Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Decies and William Villiers-Stuart.

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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.

Princess Mary Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh
25 April 1776 – 30 April 1857

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Princess Mary

Princess Mary Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh was the 11th child and fourth daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom.

She married her first cousin, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, when both were 40, and was his widow in later life. In her last years, her niece, Victoria, was on the throne as the fourth monarch during Mary’s life, after her father and two of her brothers. Princess Mary was the longest-lived (at 81 years) and last survivor of George III’s fifteen children; of those fifteen issue, thirteen lived to adulthood. She was also the only one of George III’s children to be photographed. She died on 30 April 1857 at Gloucester House, London.

Princess Mary was born, on 25 April 1776, at Buckingham Palace, London. Her father was the reigning British monarch, George III. Her mother was Queen Charlotte, the daughter of Charles, reigning Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Mary was christened on 19 May 1776, in the Great Council Chamber at St. James’s Palace, by Frederick Cornwallis, The Archbishop of Canterbury. Her godparents were:

According to author and historian Flora Fraser, Mary was considered to be the most beautiful daughter of George III. Mary danced a minuet for the first time in public at the age of sixteen in June 1791, during a court ball given for the king’s birthday. In the spring of 1792 she officially debuted at court. Around 1796 Mary fell in love with the Dutch Prince Frederick, while he and his family lived in exile in London. Frederik was a son of William V, Prince of Orange, the Dutch stadholder, and younger brother to the future King William I of the Netherlands. However Frederik and Mary never wed because George III stipulated that her elder sisters should marry first. In 1799 Prince Frederik died of an infection while serving in the army, and Mary was allowed to go into official mourning.

Mary’s youngest sister and beloved companion Princess Amelia called her “Mama’s tool” because of her obedient nature. Amelia’s premature death in 1810 devastated her sister, who had nursed her devotedly during her painful illness.

Mary’s upbringing was very sheltered and she spent most of her time with her parents and sisters. King George and Queen Charlotte were keen to shelter their children, particularly the girls. Mary, however, married on 22 July 1816, to her first cousin, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, the son of George III’s brother, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace. On their wedding day, Mary’s brother, The Prince Regent, raised the bridegroom’s style from Highness to Royal Highness, an attribute to which Mary’s rank as daughter of the King already entitled her.

The couple lived at Bagshot Park, but after William’s death she moved to White Lodge in Richmond Park. They had no children together. Princess Mary was said to be the favourite aunt of her niece, Queen Victoria.

Princess Mary was quite close to her eldest brother, and she shared his dislike toward his wife Caroline of Brunswick. When the latter left for Italy, Princess Mary congratulated her brother “on the prospect of a good riddance. Heaven grant that she may not return again and that we may never see more of her.”

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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.

GPrincess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom
22 May 1770 – 10 January 1840

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Princess Elizabeth

Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom was born at Buckingham House, London on 22 May 1770. Her father was the reigning British monarch, George III, the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. Her mother was Queen Charlotte (née Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz). She was christened in the Great Council Chamber at St. James’s Palace, on 17 June 1770 by Frederick Cornwallis, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Her godparents were The Hereditary Prince of Hesse-Cassel (her paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain, stood proxy), The Princess of Nassau-Weilburg (her paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Dowager Countess of Effingham, former Lady of the Bedchamber to The Queen, stood proxy) and The Crown Princess of Sweden (another paternal first cousin once-removed, for whom The Countess of Holderness, Lady of the Bedchamber to The Queen, stood proxy).

The Princess’ upbringing was very sheltered and she spent most of her time with her parents and sisters. King George and Queen Charlotte were keen to shelter their children, particularly the girls. However, in 1812, Princess Elizabeth purchased The Priory at Old Windsor in Berkshire as her private residence.

Elizabeth was her mother’s favorite daughter. She was described as clever and rather demanding. Her sisters called her Fatima because of her weight problems.

It is alleged that Princess Elizabeth went through a form of marriage with George Ramus (1747-1808) and bore him a daughter, Eliza, in 1788. George Ramus was the son of Nicholas Ramus, who had been Page to Elizabeth’s father King George. Any such marriage would have been null and void under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, but several of Elizabeth’s brothers contracted similar alliances with commoners before marrying German princesses later in life. Eliza Ramus (1788-1869) was allegedly adopted and brought up by her uncle, Henry Ramus (1755-1822) of the East India Company. She married James Money (1770-1833), also of the East India Company, and her daughter Marian Martha (1806–69) married George Wynyard Battye (1805–88), a Bengal Judge. In widowhood, Eliza Ramus lived at 28 Chester Square in London, where she educated her Battye grandsons, all ten of whom became army officers, and nursed them when they were on sick or convalescent leave from India.

In 1808 Elizabeth was reluctantly obliged to decline a proposal from the exiled Duke of Orléans (later King of the French as Louis Philippe I) due to his Catholicism and her mother’s opposition.

During a ball in the British royal court in 1814 Elizabeth got to know the German Prince Frederick of Hesse-Homburg. When Elizabeth saw the Austrian officer in his elegant Hussar’s uniform, she is supposed to have said: “If he is single, I will marry him!“. Against all resistance the wedding took place on 7 April 1818 in the private chapel in Buckingham Palace in Westminster.

It was not a real “love match”, in spite of the mutual understanding and respect; in fact it was an agreement with which both were satisfied. Elizabeth was able to escape the constrictive environment of her home by moving to Germany with her husband, and Frederick gained many advantages by becoming allied with the British royal family.

On 20 January 1820, Frederick succeeded his father as the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg. Thanks to Elizabeth’s dowry and annual allowance, he was able to remodel the palace in Homburg. For her part, Landgravine Elizabeth could bid farewell to the rigid court etiquette she had disliked in England and as one would say today, “find herself”, as she could do much as she liked in her new environs.

She died on 10 January 1840 at age 69 in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany. She was buried in the Mausoleum of the Landgraves, Homburg, Germany.

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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.

Charles Moore 1st Marquess of Drogheda
29 June 1730 – 22 December 1822

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Charles Moore

Charles Moore 1st Marquess of Drogheda was born the son of Edward Moore, 5th Earl of Drogheda and Sarah Moore (daughter of Brabazon Ponsonby, 1st Earl of Bessborough), Moore joined the Army in 1744 as a cornet in the 12th Dragoons, and bore the colours at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 during the Jacobite risings. He was promoted captain in 1750 and reached the rank of major in 1752 and the rank of brevet lieutenant-colonel on 18 January 1755.

In 1757 Moore became Member of Parliament for St Canice. He held the seat until he succeeded as 6th Earl of Drogheda following the death of his father at sea while travelling from England to Dublin in October 1758. He was also elected Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1758, a post he held for the next two years. He became Governor of County Meath in January 1759 and lieutenant-colonel commandant of the 19th (later 18th) Light Dragoons on 7 December 1759.

Promoted to brevet colonel of dragoons on 19 February 1762, Moore became honorary colonel of his regiment on 3 August 1762. He commanded the 18th Light Dragoons during operations against the Whiteboys in Ireland which started in 1762. He became Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1763, Governor of Kinsale and Charles Fort in 1765 and a Lord Justice of Ireland in 1766. He commissioned Moore Abbey as his country home in 1767 and was appointed Custos Rotulorum of King’s County in 1766 and Custos Rotulorum of Queen’s County in 1769, both offices for life.

Promoted to major-general on 30 April 1770, Moore became Master-General of the Irish Ordnance and colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Artillery in 1770. He became Member of Parliament for Horsham in 1776, and having been promoted to lieutenant-general on 29 August 1777, he was appointed one of the Founder Knights of the Order of St. Patrick on 17 March 1783.

Created Marquess of Drogheda in the Peerage of Ireland in July 1791 in recognition of the support he had given the Government, Moore was promoted to full general on 12 October 1793. He was appointed one of the joint Postmasters General of Ireland in 1797. In January 1801, he was made Baron Moore, of Moore Place in the County of Kent, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

Moore served as Muster-Master-General in Ireland from May to November 1807 and was promoted to field marshal on 17 July 1821, aged 91. He was an important patron of the artist William Ashford. He died in Dublin on 22 December 1821 and was buried at St Peter’s Church in Drogheda.

Moore married Lady Anne Seymour-Conway, the daughter of Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford, on 15 February 1766. They had eight children, including Charles Moore, 2nd Marquess of Drogheda, Henry, father of the 3rd and last Marquess, and Elizabeth, Countess of Westmeath. His wife’s family had a tradition of mental illness, which may have a bearing on the fact that their elder son went insane.

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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.

Prince Adolphus Duke of Cambridge
Adolphus Frederick; 24 February 1774 – 8 July 1850

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Prince Adolphus

Prince Adolphus Duke of Cambridge was born at Buckingham Palace. He was the youngest son of George and Charlotte to survive childhood.

On 24 March 1774, the young prince was christened in the Great Council Chamber at St James’s Palace by Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury. His godparents were Prince John Adolphus of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (his great-uncle, for whom the Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain, stood proxy), Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel (his first cousin once-removed, for whom the Earl of Jersey, Extra Lord of the Bedchamber, stood proxy) and Princess Wilhelmina of Orange (the wife of his first cousin once-removed, for whom Elizabeth Howard, Dowager Countess of Effingham, former Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte, stood proxy).

He was tutored at home until summer 1786, when he was sent to the University of Göttingen in Germany, along with his brothers Prince Ernest (created Duke of Cumberland in 1799) and Prince Augustus (created Duke of Sussex in 1801).

He was made honorary Colonel-in-Chief of the Hanoverian Guard Foot Regiment 1789–1803, but his military training began in 1791, when he and Prince Ernest went to Hanover to study under the supervision of the Hanoverian commander Field Marshal Wilhelm von Freytag. He remained on Freytag’s staff during the Flanders Campaign in 1793. His first taste of action was at Famars on 23 May. He was wounded and captured at the Battle of Hondschoote 6 September, but was quickly rescued. As a Hanovarian General-Major, he commanded a Hessian brigade under his paternal uncle, General Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn in Autumn 1794, then commanded the Hanovarian Guards during the retreat through Holland. Remaining in Germany, he commanded a brigade of the Corps of Observation, 22 October 1796 – 12 January 1798. He was made a British army colonel in 1794, and lieutenant general 24 August 1798. In 1800 – stationed in the Electorate of Hanover – he attended the founding of a village (part of the settlement of the moorlands north of Bremen), which was named for him: Adolphsdorf (since 1974 a component locality of Grasberg).

During the of the War of the Second Coalition against France (1799–1802), he traveled to Berlin in 1801, in order to prevent the impending Prussian occupation of the Electorate. France demanded it, as it was stipulated in the Peace of Basel (1795), obliging Prussia to ensure the Holy Roman Empire’s neutrality in all the latter’s territories north of the demarcation line at the river Main, including Hanover. Regular Hanoverian troops, therefore, had been commandeered to join the multilateral so-called “Demarcation Army.” His efforts were in vain. In 1803, he was senior army commander, and replaced Wallmoden as commander on the Weser on 1 June. With the advance of French forces on one side and 24,000 Prussian soldiers on the other, the situation was hopeless. Cambridge refused to become involved in discussions of capitulation, handed over his command to Hammerstein (Ompteda claims he was forced to resign ), and withdrew to England. A plan to recruit additional soldiers in Hanover to be commanded by the Prince had also failed.

In 1803, he was appointed as commander-in-chief of the newly founded King’s German Legion, and in 1813, he became field marshal. George III appointed Prince Adolphus a Knight of the Garter on 6 June 1786, and created him Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden on 17 November 1801.

The Duke served as colonel-in-chief of the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards (Coldstream Guards after 1855) from September 1805, and as colonel-in-chief of the 60th (The Duke of York’s Own Rifle Corps) Regiment of Foot from January 1824. After the collapse of Napoleon’s empire, he was Military Governor of Hanover from 4 November 1813 – 24 October 1816, then Governor General of Hanover from 24 October 1816 – 20 June 1837 (viceroy from 22 February 1831). He was made Field Marshal 26 November 1813. While he was Viceroy, the Duke became patron of the Cambridge-Dragoner (“Cambridge Dragoons”) Regiment of the Hanoverian army. This regiment was stationed in Celle, and their barracks, the Cambridge-Dragoner Kaserne, were used by the Bundeswehr until 1995. The “March of the Hannoversches Cambridge-Dragoner-Regiment” is part of the Bundeswehr’s traditional music repertoire.

After the death of Princess Charlotte in 1817, the Duke was set the task of finding a bride for his eldest unmarried brother, the Duke of Clarence (later William IV), in the hope of securing heirs to the throne—Charlotte had been the only legitimate grandchild of George III, despite the fact that the King had twelve surviving children. After several false starts, the Duke of Clarence settled on Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. The way was cleared for the Duke of Cambridge to find a bride for himself.

The Duke of Cambridge was married first at Kassel, Hesse on 7 May and then at Buckingham Palace on 1 June 1818 to his second cousin Augusta (25 July 1797 – 6 April 1889), the third daughter of Prince Frederick of Hesse.

He was, as is shown in the list of issue below, the maternal grandfather of Mary of Teck, consort of George V. Thus Adolphus was the great-great-grandfather of the present British monarch, Elizabeth II.

From 1816 to 1837, the Duke of Cambridge served as viceroy of the Kingdom of Hanover on behalf of his elder brothers, George IV and later William IV. When his niece, Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne on 20 June 1837, the 123-year union of the crowns of Great Britain (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801) and Hanover ended. The Duke of Cumberland became King Ernest Augustus I of Hanover and the Duke of Cambridge returned to Britain.

The Duke of Cambridge died on 8 July 1850 at Cambridge House, Piccadilly, London, and was buried at Kew. His remains were later removed to St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. His only son, Prince George, succeeded to his peerages.

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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.

Prince Octavius
23 February 1779 – 3 May 1783

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Prince Octavius

Prince Octavius was born on 23 February 1779, at Buckingham House, London, England. He was the thirteenth child and eighth son of King George III and his queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The prince’s name derives from Latin octavus, the eighth, indicating that he was the eighth son of his parents.

Octavius was christened on 23 March 1779, in the Great Council Chamber at St James’s Palace, by Frederick Cornwallis, The Archbishop of Canterbury. His godparents were The Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (husband of his first cousin twice-removed, for whom The Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain, stood proxy); The Duke of Mecklenburg (his first cousin once-removed, for whom The Earl of Ashburnham, Groom of the Stole, stood proxy); and The Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (wife of his sixth cousin, for whom Alicia Wyndham, Countess of Egremont and Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte, was proxy).

King George was extremely devoted to Octavius, who was too young to cause the kinds of trouble that his elder brothers were by the year of his birth. The king was affectionate and indulgent with his young children, and strove to attend their birthday parties and other events organized for their merriment; on one occasion a friend witnessed a happy domestic scene that involved George “carrying about in his arms by turns Sophia and the last prince, Octavius.” Another witness wrote George and Charlotte “have their Children always playing about them the whole time”; during most evenings the children were brought to their parents between 6 and 7 O’clock to play for an hour or two. The king also was kept informed of his children’s educational progress.

Octavius was close to his nearest sister Sophia, who called Octavius “her son”, and went with her and their siblings, Elizabeth and Edward to Eastborne on the Sussex coast, where he could take in the fresh seaside air during the summer of 1780. When he was nineteen months old, Octavius became an older brother with the birth of his younger brother Prince Alfred. Octavius was three years of age when Alfred died on 20 August 1782, and he again became the youngest surviving child. Horace Walpole wrote to Sir Horace Mann that upon Prince Alfred’s death, King George had declared “I am very sorry for Alfred; but had it been Octavius, I should have died too.” In 1820, historian Edward Holt would write of the prince’s character, “Though Prince Octavius had not passed his fifth year, he was considered very docile, and possessed good-nature in such an uncommon degree, that he was the delight of all about him.” Biographer John Watkins added Octavius was “reckoned one of the finest of the royal progeny.”

Six months after Alfred’s death, Octavius and Sophia were taken to Kew Palace in London to be inoculated with the smallpox virus. While Sophia recovered without incident, Octavius became ill and died several days later, around 8 o’clock PM, on 3 May 1783, at Kew Palace. He was four years old. As was traditional, the household did not go into mourning for the deaths of royal children under the age of fourteen.

Octavius has the distinction of being the last member of the British royal family to suffer from smallpox. On 10 May, he was buried alongside his brother Alfred at Westminster Abbey. Their eldest brother, now King George IV ordered their remains transferred to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on 11 February 1820, at about 3 o’clock.

According to Queen Charlotte, Octavius’ death was unexpected; she wrote to a friend who faced a similar tragedy that “twice have I felt what you do feel, the last time without the least preparation for such a stroke, for in less than eight and forty hours was my son Octavius, in perfect health, sick and struck with death immediately.” The prince’s death had a marked effect, both mentally and physically on Queen Charlotte, who at the time was pregnant with her youngest child Princess Amelia.

Octavius’s death devastated his father; Walpole wrote “the King has lost another little child; a lovely boy, they say, of whom their Majesties were dotingly fond.” Shortly afterward, King George said “There will be no Heaven for me if Octavius is not there.” The day after his son’s death, the King passed through a room where artist Thomas Gainsborough was completing the finishing touches on a portrait of the family. The King asked him to stop, but when he found out that the painting was of Octavius, allowed the painter to continue. When this same painting was exhibited a week later, Octavius’ sisters were so upset that they broke down and cried in front of everyone. Three months after Octavius’ death, his father was still dwelling on his son, writing to Lord Dartmouth that every day “increases the chasm I feel for want of that beloved object [Octavius].” In later years, King George imagined conversations with his two youngest sons. During one of the king’s bouts of madness in 1788, George mistook a pillow for Octavius, who by that time had been dead for five years.

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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.

Prince Edward Augustus Duke of Kent and Strathearn
2 November 1767 – 23 January 1820

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Edward Augustus

Prince Edward Augustus Duke of Kent and Strathearn was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Earl of Dublin on 23 April 1799 and, a few weeks later, appointed a General and commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, On 23 March 1802 he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar and nominally retained that post until his death. The Duke of Kent was appointed Field-Marshal of the Forces on 3 September 1805.

He was the first member of the royal family to live in North America for more than a short visit (1791–1800) and, in 1794, the first prince to enter the United States (travelling to Boston by foot from Lower Canada) after independence.

On June 27, 1792, Edward is credited with the first use of the term “Canadian” to mean both French and English settlers in Upper and Lower Canada. The Prince used the term in an effort to quell a riot between the two groups at a polling station in Charlesbourg, Lower Canada. Recently he has been styled the “Father of the Canadian Crown” for his impact on the development of Canada.

Prince Edward was born on 2 November 1767. His parents were the reigning British monarch, George III, and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

As a son of the British monarch, he was styled His Royal Highness The Prince Edward from birth, and was fourth in the line of succession to the throne. He was named after his paternal uncle, the Duke of York and Albany, who had died several weeks earlier and was buried at Westminster Abbey the day before his birth.

Prince Edward was baptised on 30 November 1767; his godparents were the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg (his paternal uncle by marriage, for whom the Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain, stood proxy), Duke Charles of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (his maternal uncle, for whom the Earl of Huntingdon, Groom of the Stole, stood proxy), the Hereditary Princess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (his paternal aunt, who was represented by a proxy) and the Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel (his twice-paternal grandaunt, for whom the Duchess of Argyll, Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen, stood proxy).

The Prince began his military training in Germany in 1785. King George III intended to send him to the University of Göttingen, but decided against it upon the advice of the Duke of York. Instead, Prince Edward went to Lüneburg and later Hanover, accompanied by his tutor, Baron Wangenheim. From 1788 to 1789, he completed his education in Geneva.

In 1789 he was appointed colonel of the 7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers). In 1790 he returned home without leave and, in disgrace, was sent off to Gibraltar as an ordinary officer. He was joined from Marseilles by Madame de Saint-Laurent.

Due to the extreme Mediterranean heat, Edward requested to be transferred to Canada, specifically Quebec, in 1791. Edward arrived in Canada in time to witness the proclamation of the Constitutional Act of 1791, become the first member of the Royal Family to tour Upper Canada and became a fixture of British North American society. Edward and his mistress, Julie St. Laurent, became close friends with the French Canadian de Salaberry family – the Prince mentored all of the family’s sons throughout their military careers. Edward guided Charles de Salaberry throughout his career, and made sure that the famous commander was duly honoured after his leadership during the Battle of Chateauguay.

The prince was promoted to the rank of major-general in October 1793 and the next year served successfully in the West Indies campaign being mentioned in dispatches and receiving the thanks of parliament.
After 1794, Prince Edward lived at the headquarters of the Royal Navy’s North American Station which was Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was instrumental in shaping that settlement’s military defences, protecting its important Royal Navy base, as well as influencing the city’s and colony’s socio-political and economic institutions. Edward was responsible for the construction of Halifax’s iconic Garrison Clock, as well as numerous other civic projects (St. George’s Round Church). Lieutenant Governor Sir John Wentworth and Lady Francis Wentworth provided their country residence for the use of Prince Edward and Julie St. Laurent. Extensively renovated, the estate became known as “Prince’s Lodge” as the couple hosted numerous dignitaries, including Louis-Phillippe of Orléans (the future King of the French). The only remains of the residence is a small rotunda built by Edward for his regimental band to play music.

After suffering a fall from his horse in late 1798 was he allowed to return to England. On 24 April 1799, Prince Edward was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Earl of Dublin, received the thanks of parliament and an income of £12,000. In May that same year the Duke was promoted to the rank of general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of British forces in North America. He took leave of his parents 22 July 1799 and sailed to Halifax. Just over twelve months later he left Halifax and arrived in England on 31 August 1800 where it was confidently expected his next appointment would be Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Appointed Governor of Gibraltar by the War Office, gazetted 23 March 1802, the Duke took up his post on 24 May 1802 with express orders from the government to restore discipline among the drunken troops. The Duke’s harsh discipline precipitated a mutiny by soldiers in his own and the 25th Regiment on Christmas Eve 1802. The Duke of York, then Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, recalled him in May 1803 after receiving reports of the mutiny, but despite this direct order he refused to return to England until his successor arrived. He was refused permission to return to Gibraltar for an inquiry and, although allowed to continue to hold the governorship of Gibraltar until his death, he was forbidden to return.

As a consolation for the end of his active military career at age 35, he was promoted to the rank of field marshal and appointed Ranger of Hampton Court Park on 5 September 1805. This office provided him with a residence now known as The Pavilion. (His sailor brother William, with children to provide for, had been made Ranger of Bushy Park in 1797.) The Duke continued to serve as honorary colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot (the Royal Scots) until his death.

Though it was a tendency shared to some extent with his brothers, the Duke’s excesses as a military disciplinarian may have been due less to natural disposition and more to what he had learned from his tutor Baron Wangenheim. Certainly Wangenheim, by keeping his allowance very small, accustomed Edward to borrowing at an early age. The Duke applied the same military discipline to his own duties that he demanded of others. Though it seems inconsistent with his unpopularity among the army’s rank and file, his friendliness toward others and popularity with servants has been emphasized. He also introduced the first regimental school. The Duke of Wellington considered him a first-class speaker. He took a continuing interest in the social experiments of Robert Owen, voted for Catholic emancipation, and supported literary, Bible and abolitionist societies.

His daughter, Victoria, after hearing Lord Melbourne’s opinions, was able to add to her private journal of 1 August 1838 “from all what I heard, he was the best of all”.

Following the death in November 1817 of the only legitimate grandchild of George III, Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, the royal succession began to look uncertain. The Prince Regent and his younger brother Frederick, the Duke of York, though married, were estranged from their wives and had no surviving legitimate children. King George’s surviving daughters were all past likely childbearing age. The unmarried sons of King George III, the Duke of Clarence (later King William IV), the Duke of Kent, and the Duke of Cambridge, all rushed to contract lawful marriages and provide an heir to the throne. (The fifth son of King George III, the Duke of Cumberland, was already married but had no living children at that time, whilst the marriage of the sixth son, the Duke of Sussex, was void because he had married in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772.)

For his part the Duke of Kent, aged 50, already considering marriage and encouraged into this particular match with her sister-in-law by his now-deceased niece Princess Charlotte, became engaged to Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (17 August 1786 – 16 March 1861) and the couple married on 29 May 1818 at Schloss Ehrenburg, Coburg, (Lutheran rite) and again on 11 July 1818 at Kew Palace, Kew, Surrey.
A widow with two children, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was the daughter of Duke Franz Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and sister of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld husband of the recently deceased Princess Charlotte. The new Duchess of Kent’s first husband was Emich Carl, 2nd Prince of Leiningen, with whom she had two children: a son Carl and a daughter Feodora.

They had one child, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901), who became Queen Victoria on 20 June 1837. The Duke took great pride in his daughter, telling his friends to look at her well, for she would be Queen of England and bringing the infant to a military review, to the outrage of the Prince Regent, who demanded to know what place the child had there.

The Duke of Kent purchased a house of his own from Mrs Fitzherbert in 1801. Castle Hill Lodge on Castlebar Hill Ealing was then placed in the hands of architect James Wyatt and more than £100,000 spent. Near neighbours from 1815 to 1817 at Little Boston House were US envoy and future US President John Quincy Adams and his English wife Louisa. “We all went to church and heard a charity sermon preached by a Dr Crane before the Duke of Kent”, wrote Adams in a diary entry from August 1815.

Following the birth of Princess Victoria in May 1819, the Duke and Duchess, concerned to manage the Duke’s great debts, sought to find a place where they could live inexpensively. After the coast of Devon was recommended to them they leased from a General Baynes, intending to remain incognito, Woolbrook Cottage on the seaside by Sidmouth.

The Duke of Kent died of pneumonia on 23 January 1820 at Woolbrook Cottage, Sidmouth, and was interred in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. He died only six days before his father, George III, and less than a year after his daughter’s birth.

He predeceased his father and his three elder brothers but, as none of his elder brothers had any surviving legitimate children, his daughter Victoria succeeded to the throne on the death of her uncle King William IV in 1837.

In 1829 the Duke’s former aide-de-camp purchased the unoccupied Castle Hill Lodge from the Duchess in an attempt to reduce her debts; the debts were finally discharged after Victoria took the throne and paid them over time from her income.

While Edward lived in Quebec (1791-3) he met with Jonathan Sewell, an immigrant American Loyalist who played trumpet in the Prince’s regimental band. Sewell would rise in Lower Canadian government to hold such offices as Attorney General, Chief Justice, and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. In 1814, Sewell forwarded to the Duke a copy of his report “A plan for the federal union of British provinces in North America.” The Duke supported Sewell’s plan to unify the colonies, offering comments and critiques that would later be cited by Lord Durham (1839) and participants of the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences (1864).

Edward’s 1814 letter to Sewell:

My dear Sewell,
I have had this day the pleasure of receiving your note of yesterday with its interesting enclosure. Nothing can be better arranged than the whole thing is or more perfectly, and when I see an opening it is fully my intention to point the matter out to Lord Bathurst and put the paper in his hands, without however telling him from whom I have it, though I shall urge him to have some conversation with you relative to it. Permit me, however, just to ask you whether it was not an oversight in you to state that there are five Houses of Assembly in the British Colonies in North America. If I am not under an error there are six, viz., Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the islands of Prince Edward and Cape Breton.
Allow me to beg of you to put down the proportions in which you think the thirty members of the Representatives Assembly ought to be furnished by each Province, and to suggest whether you would not think two Lieutenant-Governors with two Executive Councils sufficient for an executive government of the whole, namely one for the two Canadas, and one for New Brunswick and the two small dependencies of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, the former to reside in Montreal, and the latter at whichever of the two (following) situations may be considered most central for the two provinces whether Annapolis Royal or Windsor.
But, at all events, should you consider in your Executive Councils requisite I presume there cannot be a question of the expediency of comprehending the two small islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with Nova Scotia.
Believe me ever to remain, With the most friendly regard, My dear Sewell, Yours faithfully,
EDWARD

220px-Madame_de_St._Laurent-2015-02-15-06-00.jpg

Madame de Saint-Laurent

Various sources report that the Duke of Kent had mistresses. In Geneva: Adelaide Dubus, who died in childbirth of their daughter Adelaide Victoria Auguste Dubus (1789 – in or after 1832) and Anne Gabrielle Alexandrine Moré mother of Edward Schenker Scheener (1789–1853). Scheener married but had no children and returned to Geneva, perhaps significantly in 1837, where he later died.

The Duke was accompanied for 28 years, from 1790 until his marriage in 1818, by Madame de Saint-Laurent born Thérèse-Bernardine Montgenet. The portrait of the Duke by Beechey was hers.

There is no evidence of children but many families in Canada have claimed descent from the couple

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