Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Prince Augustus Frederick Duke of Sussex’

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.

Arthur Saunders Gore 2nd Earl of Arran
25 July 1734 – 8 October 1809

Arthur Saunders Gore 2nd Earl of Arran was the eldest son of Arthur Gore, 1st Earl of Arran, and Jane Saunders. He was elected to the Irish House of Commons for Donegal Borough in 1759, a seat he held until 1761 and again from 1768 to 1774 and also represented Wexford County between 1761 and 1768. In 1773 he succeeded his father as second Earl of Arran and entered the Irish House of Lords. Arran was also appointed High Sheriff of County Wexford in 1757 and High Sheriff of Mayo in 1765. He was admitted to the Irish Privy Council in 1771 and in 1783 he was invested as one of the original sixteen Knights of the Order of St Patrick.

Lord Arran married, firstly, the Hon. Catherine Annesley, daughter of William Annesley, 1st Viscount Glerawly, in 1760. They had two sons and four daughters. After Catherine’s death in 1770 he married, secondly, Anne Knight, daughter of Reverend Boleyn Knight, in 1771. They had one son and two daughters. After Anne’s death he married, thirdly, Elizabeth Underwood, daughter of Richard Underwood, in 1781. They had four sons and three daughters. His eldest daughter from his third marriage, Lady Cecilia, was the second wife of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, and was created Duchess of Inverness in 1840. Lord Arran died in October 1809, aged 75, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son Arthur. Lady Arran died in 1829.

Lieut.-Colonel the Hon. Charles Gore, son of the 2nd Earl of Arran, K.P., married Sarah Rachel Fraser (1824–1880), eldest daughter of the ‘Hon. James Fraser, M.E.C. of Nova Scotia, and his wife, Rachel Otis, daughter of Benjamin DeWolfe, Esquire, of Windsor, N.S.. at Halifax, N.S., May I3th, 1824. The couple had three sons and two daughters. One of the daughters became Dowager Countess of Erroll. The other, Cecilia, became duchess of Inverness. V.A. Colonel Gore served with distinction under Wellington, and was present with him at Waterloo, where he had three horses shot under him. He was sent afterwards to Canada, where he was created successively a C.H., a K.H., and a G.C.B., and attained general’s rank in 1863. He served as lieutenant-governor of Chelsea Hospital at his death, 4 September 1869. Queen Victoria gave Lady Gore the use of a suite of apartments at Hampton Court Palace, where she died, 17 October 1880.

Read Full Post »

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 Sophia of the United Kingdom
3 November 1777 – 27 May 1848

PastedGraphic1-2015-07-12-06-00.png

Princess Sophia

Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom was the 12th child and fifth daughter of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Sophia is perhaps best known for the rumours surrounding a supposed illegitimate child to which she gave birth as a young woman.

In her youth, Sophia was closest to her father, who preferred his daughters over his sons; however, she and her sisters lived in fear of their mother. The princesses were well-educated but raised in a rigidly strict household. Though he disliked the idea of matrimony for his daughters, King George had intended to find them suitable husbands when they came of age. However, the King’s recurring bouts of madness, as well as the Queen’s desire to have her daughters live their lives as her companions, stopped would-be suitors from offering for the most of the princesses. As a result, Sophia and all but one of her sisters grew up in their mother’s cloistered household, which they frequently referred to as a “Nunnery”.

Though she never wed, rumours spread that Sophia became pregnant by Thomas Garth, an equerry of her father’s, and gave birth to an illegitimate son in the summer of 1800. Other gossip declared the child was the product of rape by her elder brother the Duke of Cumberland, who was deeply unpopular. Historians are divided on the validity of these stories, as some believe she gave birth to Garth’s child while others call them tales spread by the Royal Family’s political enemies.

The efforts of the Prince Regent to gain his sisters increased independence were further hastened along with Queen Charlotte’s death in 1818. In her last years, Sophia resided in the household of her niece Princess Victoria of Kent (the future Queen Victoria), at Kensington Palace. There, she fell under the sway of Victoria’s comptroller, Sir John Conroy, who took advantage of her senility and blindness; rumours also circulated that Sophia was in awe of Conroy because of his ability to deal effectively with the “bullying importunities” of Sophia’s supposed illegitimate son. Sophia frequently served as his spy on the Kensington household as well as on her two elder brothers, while Conroy squandered most of her money.

The Princess Sophia was born at Buckingham House, London on 3 November 1777, the twelfth child and fifth daughter of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The young princess was christened on 1 December 1777 in the Great Council Chamber at St James’s Palace by Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury. Her godparents were Prince August of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (her first cousin once-removed), The Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (her first cousin twice-removed) and The Duchess of Mecklenburg (wife of her first cousin once-removed), all of whom were represented by proxies.

Upon Sophia’s birth, King George ensured his daughters and younger sons would have allowances; through a provision of Parliament, Sophia and her elder sisters each were to receive an annual income of £6,000 either upon their marriages or the king’s death. The royal household was very rigid and formal, even when only the royal family were together in private. For instance, when the King entered a room, his daughters were expected to stand up, remain silent until addressed, and not leave until given permission. Queen Charlotte made attempts to be economical where possible; the younger princesses wore country-made dresses, which were less expensive, and ate plain food.

Sophia’s early life was focused on education. Lady Charlotte Finch served as Sophia’s governess, a role she performed for all the royal children. As with the strict education and discipline received by her brothers, Lady Charlotte through the sub-governesses chosen by Queen Charlotte arranged expert tutors to give the princesses lessons in English, French, music, art, and geography; Sophia and her sisters were also allowed to play sports and boisterous games with their brothers. The queen sought to combine her daughters’ entertainments with educational benefits. Sophia and her siblings were brought up with an exposure to theatre, and were entertained with special performances. Princess Sophia’s first appearance in public occurred when she accompanied her parents and elder siblings to a commemoration for George Frideric Handel, held at Westminster Abbey on 26 May 1784.

Uncommon for the period, Sophia’s father was an involved parent in her early years, and preferred his daughters to his sons. When possible he attended the princesses’ birthday parties and other special events, and was kept informed on their progress in the schoolroom. A family friend once remarked, “I never saw more lovely children, nor a more pleasing sight than the King’s fondness for them.” On the other hand, Queen Charlotte invoked fear in her daughters and, according to royal historian A.W. Purdue, she was not “benignly maternal”.

By 1792 Sophia and her sister Mary were being included in more family activities, and at age fourteen, Sophia debuted at court on her father’s birthday, 4 June 1792. According to biographer Christopher Hibbert, in her young adulthood Sophia was a “delightful though moody girl, pretty, delicate and passionate.” As within her childhood, Sophia was devoted to her father, though she occasionally found him exasperating. She wrote that “the dear King is all kindness to me, and I cannot say how grateful I feel for it.” Prior to 1788, King George had told his daughters that he would take them to Hanover and find them suitable husbands despite misgivings he had, which stemmed from his sisters’ own unhappy marriages. He remarked, “I cannot deny that I have never wished to see any of them marry: I am happy in their company, and do not in the least want a separation.” However, the King suffered his first bout of madness that year, when Sophia was aged eleven. Sophia remarked of her father’s behaviour, “He is all affection and kindness to me, but sometimes an over kindness, if you can understand that, which greatly alarms me.” Further lapses into insanity occurred in 1801 and 1804, thus forestalling talk of marriage for his daughters. The question of matrimony was rarely raised; Queen Charlotte feared the subject, something which had always discomforted the King, would push him back into insanity. Furthermore the queen, strained from her husband’s illness, wanted the princesses to remain close to her.

As a result, like most of her sisters, Princess Sophia was forced to live her life as a companion of her mother. The princesses were not allowed to mix with anyone outside of the Royal Court, and rarely came into contact with men other than pages, equerries, or attendants. Constantly chaperoned, the girls frequently complained about living in a “Nunnery”. For entertainment, the queen read sermons to them and the princesses practised embroidery. On one occasion Sophia wrote their days were so “deadly dull… I wished myself a kangaroo.”

The Princess Royal was the only daughter who was able to marry while relatively young. The rest of the princesses were not without suitors, but most of the various men’s efforts were stopped by Queen Charlotte. Most of the girls longed for families and children of their own, and often asked the Prince of Wales, to whom they remained close, for help, either in finding spouses, allowing them to marry their loves, or allowing them to live outside of Queen Charlotte’s household. A grateful Sophia once jokingly wrote to her brother, saying “I wonder you do not vote for putting us in a sack and drowning us in the Thames.” Before George became regent, he had little power to oblige his sisters. His ascension to the regency in 1811 led to Sophia and the other remaining unmarried princesses to receive increases in their allowances, from £10,000 to £13,000. He also supported their desire to venture out into society. Queen Charlotte was outraged at these attempts, and the Prince-Regent had to reconcile the two parties carefully so that his sisters could still enjoy some independence.

During Sophia’s lifetime, there were various rumours about her alleged incestuous relationship with her brother, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, who later became the King of Hanover. The Prince Regent supposedly warned his sisters not to be alone in the same room with the Duke, and Cumberland was deeply unpopular with the British people. It is unclear whether there was truth to these rumours or whether they were circulated by the Duke’s numerous political enemies.

Limited in exposure to eligible men, Sophia and several of her sisters became involved with courtiers and equerries. Sophia entered into a relationship with her father’s chief equerry, Major-General Thomas Garth, a man thirty-three years her senior. He had a large purple birthmark on his face, causing Sophia’s sister Mary to refer to him as “the purple light of love” and courtier and diarist Charles Greville to call him a “hideous old devil”. Despite this, one lady-in-waiting noted “the princess was so violently in love with him that everyone saw it. She could not contain herself in his presence.” Greville wrote about Sophia and her sisters’ affairs in a diary entry, “women fall in love with anything – and opportunity and the accidents of the passions are of more importance than any positive merits of mind or of body… [The princesses] were secluded from the world, mixing with few people – their passions boiling over and ready to fall into the hands of the first man whom circumstances enabled to get at them.”

Gossip soon spread of the existence of an illegitimate child. Some historians contend that, sometime before August 1800 in Weymouth, Sophia gave birth to a child fathered by Garth. Historians further write that the child, baptised Thomas Garth like his father, was raised by his father in Weymouth, where his mother would visit him occasionally. In 1828, this child apparently tried to blackmail the royal family with certain incriminating documents from his father about his supposed parents’ relationship, though this ended in failure.

Conversely, Anthony Camp challenges the belief that Sophia had a child and provides a detailed summary of the available evidence. In his book Royal Babylon: the Alarming History of European Royalty, author Karl Shaw writes of the possibility that the Duke raped his sister, citing evidence from Charles Greville’s diaries, as well as other factors.

Sophia was a favourite of her niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, as the young princess liked her gentle character and had a certain fascination for the gossip surrounding Sophia’s past. Charlotte detested her other aunts, and once wrote, “I can hardly believe [Sophia] belongs to them- so wholly different is she in thoughts, opinions, matters. Her nobleness and rectitude of mind renders her no favourite here. The constant scenes of intrigue, of tracasseries, she can but ill support.” The Prince Regent’s efforts to help his sisters led to the marriages of Mary and Elizabeth, and Queen Charlotte’s death in 1818 allowed Augusta and Sophia their domestic freedom, though it was too late for them to marry. From her mother Sophia inherited Lower Lodge at Windsor Great Park, which she in turn gave to the Prince Regent. The death of Princess Augusta in 1840 resulted in Sophia inheriting Clarence House and Frogmore.

After the queen’s death, Sophia lived in Kensington Palace during her final years, next to her niece Princess Victoria of Kent, the future Queen Victoria. As a result, Princess Sophia was one of the few paternal relatives that Victoria saw often. Like her sister-in-law the Duchess of Kent, Sophia fell under the spell of Victoria’s comptroller Sir John Conroy and let him manage her money. The princess became a part of the Duchess of Kent’s social circle and, in return, Sophia spied for Conroy when he was absent from Kensington Palace. Sophia also reported to Conroy on what she heard at St. James’s Palace, as she had privileged access to courtiers as well as to her two elder brothers. Gossipmongers speculated that Conroy’s successful ability to deal with the “bullying inopportunities” of Sophia’s illegitimate son endeared her to him, while some historians write that Conroy took advantage of Sophia, who in her last years had become “dizzy, easily muddled… mourning her fading looks” and a “confused, nearly blind aunt.” Sophia often dined with the household, but the Duchess of Kent despised her. Princess Victoria was aware her aunt was a spy and the two never became close. Sophia’s wealth allowed Conroy to live a rich lifestyle, acquiring for himself a house in Kensington for £4000, as well as two other estates for £18,000. Sophia was also responsible for certain members of Victoria’s household gaining higher statuses; Victoria’s governess Louise Lehzen, for instance, was made a Hanoverian baroness on the orders of George IV, and Conroy was named a Knight Commander of the Hanoverian Order.

After having been blind for over ten years, on the morning of 27 May 1848, Princess Sophia became ill at her residence at Vicarage Place, Kensington; she was visited by her sister Mary, sister-in-law Queen Adelaide, and nephew-in-law Albert, Prince Consort. Sophia’s death occurred at 6:30 later that day, when Mary, the Duchesses of Kent and Cambridge were present.

The princess was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London, immediately in front of (east of) the central chapel rather than at Windsor Castle, as she wished to be near her brother, Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (who lies on the opposite side of the path). After her death, it was discovered that Conroy had squandered most of her money and that the princess had virtually no estate to bequeath. Charles Greville wrote an entry in his diary on 31 May:

“The Princess Sophia died a few days ago, while the Queen [Victoria] was holding the Drawing-room for her Birthday. She was blind, helpless, and suffered martyrdom; a very clever, well-informed woman, but who never lived in the world.”

Read Full Post »

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.

Lady Augusta Murray
27 January 1768 – 5 March 1830

PastedGraphic-2015-06-14-06-00.png

Augusta Murray

Lady Augusta Murray was the first wife of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III. As their marriage was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, it was considered legally void, and she could not be styled as the Duchess of Sussex.

Lady Augusta was born in London. Her father was John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore and her mother was Lady Charlotte Stewart daughter of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway. She was styled Lady Augusta Murray at birth, the courtesy title of a daughter of an Earl.

Lady Augusta secretly married Prince Augustus Frederick, sixth son of King George III, on 4 April 1793, in a Church of England ceremony in Hotel Sarmiento, Rome, Italy. They were later married again in a religious ceremony on 5 December 1793 in St George’s, Hanover Square, London, using their correct names but without revealing their full identities. So far as English law was concerned, both marriage ceremonies were in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772 and were soon annulled. Lady Augusta could not take the style of Princess of Great Britain or of Her Royal Highness.

Together the couple had two children:

  • Augustus Frederick d’Este (13 January 1794 — 28 December 1848)
  • Augusta Emma d’Este, later Lady Truro (11 August 1801 – 21 May 1866)

Despite the annulment, Prince Augustus continued to live with Lady Augusta until 1801, when he received a parliamentary grant of £12,000. On 27 November 1801 the King his father created Prince Augustus Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Arklow in the Peerage of the United Kingdom and appointed him a Knight of the Garter .

After 1801, the couple went their separate ways. In 1806 Lady Augusta was given royal licence to use the surname De Ameland instead of Murray. Lady Augusta retained custody of the children and received a maintenance of £4,000 a year. She died in Ramsgate, Kent. After Lady Augusta’s death the Duke of Sussex married Lady Cecilia Underwood, and lived at Kensington Palace.

Read Full Post »

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 William Frederick Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
15 January 1776 – 30 November 1834

PastedGraphic1-2015-05-17-06-00.png

William Frederick

Prince William Frederick Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh was born on 15 January 1776 at Palazzo Teodoli in via del Corso, Rome. His father was Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, the third son of the Prince of Wales. His mother was Maria, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, the illegitimate daughter of Edward Walpole and granddaughter of Robert Walpole. As a great-grandson of George II he held the title of Prince of Great Britain with the style His Highness, not His Royal Highness, at birth. The young prince was christened at Teodoli Palace, on 12 February 1776 by a Rev Salter. His godparents were the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (his first cousin once-removed and his wife) and The Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (his second cousin once-removed).

During his stay in Stockholm in 1802–1803, his interest and rumoured affair with Aurora Wilhelmina Koskull attracted a lot of attention, and he reportedly had plans to marry her. Queen Charlotte recalled that William said of Koskull: “If she was your daughter, I would marry her!”

He was admitted to the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) in 1787, and granted his MA in 1790. On 25 August 1805, Prince William’s father died, and he inherited the titles Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh and Earl of Connaught. From 1811 until his death he was Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. He was offered the position of king of Sweden in 1812 by some members of the Swedish nobility, but the British government would not allow it.

On 22 July 1816, he married The Princess Mary, his cousin and the fourth daughter of George III. The marriage took place at St. James’s Palace, London. On that day, The Prince Regent granted the Duke the style of His Royal Highness by Order in Council.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester lived at Bagshot Park in Surrey. They had no children together; they had married when both were 40. The Duke had been encouraged to stay single, so that there might be a suitable groom for Princess Charlotte of Wales, the heiress to the throne, even if no foreign match proved suitable; she had married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburgten weeks earlier.

He was active in many walks of life, and on 27 April 1822 chaired the first Annual General Meeting of London’s new United University Club. Politics, however, was not among them; he entered the House of Lords rarely, and he voted on few of the great issues of his time. He did advocate the abolition of slavery, and he supported Caroline of Brunswick and the Duke of Sussex against George IV.

He kept more state than the King; he never permitted a gentleman to be seated in his presence (which King George did as an exceptional favour) and expected to be served coffee by the ladies of any party he attended, and that they would stand while he drank it. The general estimate of his capacity is given by his nickname, “Silly Billy”; he was also called “Slice of Gloucester” and “Cheese”, a reference to Gloucester cheese.

The Duke died on 30 November 1834, and was buried in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Read Full Post »

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 Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle
13 June 1799 – 21 February 1891

PastedGraphic-2015-04-30-06-00.png

George Keppel

General George Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle was born in Marylebone, he was the third and second surviving son of William Keppel, 4th Earl of Albemarle, and his first wife Elizabeth, fourth daughter of Edward Southwell, 20th Baron de Clifford. In 1851, he succeeded his older brother Augustus as earl. His lifelong friend was Sir Robert Adair. Keppel spent his childhood at his father’s residence Elden Hall and was educated at Westminster School. In 1815, he entered the British Army as an ensign.

Keppel fought with the 14th Regiment of Foot in the Battle of Waterloo. He was transferred as lieutenant to the 20th Regiment of Foot in 1820 and as captain to the 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot in 1825. Already two years later, he became major and lieutenant-colonel in 1841. Keppel was promoted to Colonel in 1854 and to Major-General in 1858. He was made Lieutenant-General in 1866 and finally General in 1874. considered political appointment.

Keppel represented East Norfolk in the British House of Commons from 1832 until three years later. He stood unsuccessfully for King’s Lynn in 1837 and for Lymington in 1841, however sat for the latter eventually from 1847 to 1849, before succeeding his brother in the Earldom.

From 1820, Keppel was Equerry to Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex. In 1838, he was appointed High Sheriff of Leitrim. He served as Groom-in-Waiting between the latter year and 1841 and was Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Lord John Russell between 1846 and the next year. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk from 1859 and was Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS) as well as the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).

On 4 August 1831, he married Susan Trotter, daughter of Sir Coutts Trotter, 1st Baronet in Willesden. They had four daughters and one son. Keppel died, aged 91 in Portman Square in London and was buried in Quidenham. He was succeeded in his titles by his only son William, a great-great-grandfather of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

His works:

  • Personal Narrative of a Journey from India to England (1827)
  • Personal Narrative of Travels in Babylonia, Assyria, Media and Scythia (1827)
  • Narrative of a Journey across the Balcan (1831)
  • Memoirs of the Marquess of Rockingham and his Contemporaries (1852)
  • Fifty Years of My Life (1876)

Read Full Post »

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

PastedGraphic1-2015-04-26-06-00.png

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.

Read Full Post »

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 Augusta Sophia
8 November 1768 – 22 September 1840

PastedGraphic1-2015-04-19-06-00.png

Augusta Sophia

Princess Augusta Sophia was the second daughter of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Princess Augusta Sophia was born at Buckingham House, London, the sixth child and second daughter of George III (1738–1820) and his wife Queen Charlotte. Her father so much wanted the new baby to be a girl that the doctor presiding over the labor thought fit to protest that “whoever sees those lovely Princes above stairs must be glad to have another.” The King was so upset by this view he replied that “whoever sees that lovely child the Princess Royal above stairs must not wish to have the fellow to her.” To the King’s delight, and the Queen’s relief, the baby was a small and pretty girl.

The young princess was christened on 6 December 1768, by Frederick Cornwallis, The Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Great Council Chamber at St. James’s Palace. Her godparents were Prince Charles of Mecklenburg (her maternal uncle, who was visiting England), The Queen-consort of Denmark (her paternal aunt, for whom The Duchess of Ancaster and Kesteven, Mistress of the Robes to The Queen, stood proxy) and The Hereditary Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg (her paternal aunt, for whom The Duchess of Northumberland, Lady of the Bedchamber to The Queen, stood proxy). When only a month old, Lady Mary Coke declared her “the most beautiful infant I ever saw”.

Princess Augusta was the middle of the elder trio of Princesses that consisted of her, her older sister Charlotte (born 1766) and her younger sister Elizabeth (born 1770). In 1771, the two elder Princesses started traveling to Kew to take lessons under the supervision of Lady Charlotte Finch and Miss Planta. The Princesses, who had formerly been very close to their brothers now saw little of them, except when their paths crossed on daily walks. In 1774, Martha Goldsworthy, or “Gouly” became the new head of their educations. The Princesses learned typically feminine pursuits, such as deportment, music, dancing, and arts, but their mother also ensured that they learned English, French, German, Geography, and had well-educated governesses.

The young Augusta was a great favorite with Miss Planta, who called her “the handsomest of all the Princesses” though compared to her older sister, she was “childish”. However, the Princess was painfully shy, and stammered when in front of people she didn’t know. From an early age Augusta was fixed on being good and was often upset when she did not succeed. Her behavior veered in between troublesome and well-mannered. She sometimes threw tantrums and hit her governesses, though she also often had a calm disposition and family-minded ways. She strongly disliked the political tensions that by 1780 had sprung up between her elder brothers and their parents, and preferred to occupy herself with her coin collection. As all her sisters were, Augusta was sheltered from the outside world so much that her only friends were her attendants, with whom she kept up a frequent correspondence.

In 1782, Augusta was debuted at the King’s birthday celebrations. As she was still terrified of crowds, her mother did not tell her daughter about her debut until two days before it happened. Later that year, the Princess’ youngest brother Alfred died, followed eight months later by her next youngest brother Octavius. When the Princesses went to see the summer exhibition in 1783 at the Royal Academy, they were so distraught by the portraits of their two youngest brothers that they broke down and cried in front of everyone. Augusta was soon a big sister again, with the birth of her youngest sibling Amelia in August 1783. She stood as a godmother, along with Charlotte and George. Though the birth of her sister did not erase the pain she felt at losing her brothers, Augusta did not dwell on their deaths as her father did.

By the time they reached their teens, the three eldest Princesses were spending a great deal of time with their parents. They accompanied them to the theater, to the Opera, and to Court, and their once academic lessons began to wind down, with music and the arts becoming the new focus. They heard famous actresses such as Sarah Siddons read, and along with Charlotte and their parents, Augusta met John Adams when he was presented to the Queen. The three girls were always dressed alike at public functions, the only difference ever in their dresses being color. Though so often displayed in public, Augusta still was happiest at home, where she adored her younger brothers Ernest, Augustus, and Adolphus. She was also extremely close to her sister Elizabeth, as Charlotte was often haughty and overly conscious of her position as Princess Royal.

Since they were quickly approaching a marriageable age, Augusta and the Princess Royal were given their first lady-in-waiting in July 1783. Augusta frequently wrote to her elder brother William, who was in Hanover for military training. She was a good correspondent, telling him family news and encouraging him to tell her what was happening in his life. She reveled in his attention and in the little gifts he sent her, even though the Queen tried to discourage William from taking up his sister’s valuable time. Though their academic lessons were nearly over, the Queen was loath to have her daughters waste time, and made sure that the Princesses spent hours studying music or art, learning many types of specialty work from different masters.

The Princesses did not “dress” until dinner, wearing morning gowns nearly all day. Even when “dressed”, the Royal family often wore plain clothes, far removed from the ornate splendor of other courts. As there were six Princesses, the Queen’s expenses even for these clothes was enormous, and she tried to keep costs down and within the allowance she was given. Moving into this new phase of life meant that the amount of money the Queen was spending on her three eldest daughters was rapidly increasing. The Princesses constantly needed dresses, hats, trimmings, fans, and other items. The quarterly expense for their clothes was estimated to be £2000, and the expense of all their servants and tutors added to that. Yet it all paid off in one way: the Princesses were quickly becoming a familiar sight to the public. When their group portrait was exhibited to the people, it was marveled at for the porcelain impersonal beauty they displayed. They were dressed the same, and only their accessories hinted at the very different personalities that lay underneath the painted masks.

By 1785, Augusta and Charlotte were reaching an age where they could be considered as potential brides for foreign Princes. In that year the Prince Royal of Denmark (later King Frederick VI) indicated to King George III that he would break off every other discussed proposal for the hand in marriage of a British Princess. He was also supposed to prefer Augusta to her older sister. However, the King declared that after the horrible treatment of his younger sister by the Prince Royal’s father, King Christian VII, he would never send one of his daughters to the Danish court. As their friends and ladies of the court began to get married, the Princesses wondered when their turn would come. In 1797, she received a proposal from Prince Frederick Adolf of Sweden, a proposal given without the approval of the Swedish royal house. A British Princess, especially from so fertile a mother, was a prize, but Augusta’s father seemed increasingly unwilling to allow his daughters to marry.

According to a flyer held by the V&A Archives, Princess Augusta was a patron of L. Bertolotto’s flea circus.

In 1828 Augusta was heard to remark to a friend: “I was ashamed to hear myself called Princess Augusta, and never could persuade myself that I was so, as long as any of the Stuart family were alive; but after the death of Cardinal York, I felt myself to be really Princess Augusta”.

She died on 22 September 1840 at Clarence House, St. James, London, and was buried at St George’s Chapel, Windsor on 2 October, after lying in state at Frogmore.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »