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Posts Tagged ‘Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld’

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.

Frederic Hervey Foster Quin
12 February 1799 – 24 November 1878

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Frederic Hervey Foster Quin

Frederic Hervey Foster Quin was born in London, and passed his early years at a school at Putney, kept by a son of Mrs. Sarah Trimmer, the author. In 1817 he was sent to Edinburgh University, where he graduated M.D. on 1 August 1820. In December 1820 he went to Rome as travelling physician to Elizabeth Cavendish. He afterwards attended her in that city during her fatal illness in March 1824. On his return to London he was appointed physician to Napoleon I at St. Helena, but the emperor died (on 5 May 1821) before he left England. In July 1821 he commenced practice at Naples, and his social gifts made him popular with all the English residents there, who included Sir William Gell, Sir William Drummond, and the Countess of Blessington. At Naples, too, Quin met Dr. Neckar, a disciple of Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, and was favourably impressed by what he learned of the homeoopathic system of medicine. After visiting Leipzig in 1826, to study its working, Quin returned to Naples a convert. On the journey he was introduced at Rome to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, afterwards king of the Belgians, and soon left Naples to become his family physician in England. Until May 1829 he continued a member of the prince’s household either at Marlborough House, London, or Claremont, Surrey, and extended his acquaintance in aristocratic circles. From May 1829 to September 1831 he practised in Paris, chiefly, but not entirely, on the principles of Hahnemann. In September 1831, after consulting with Hahnemann as to the treatment of cholera, he proceeded to Tischnowitz in Moravia, where the disease was raging. He was himself attacked, but soon recommenced work, and remained until the cholera disappeared. His treatment consisted in giving camphor in the first stage, and ipecacuanha and arsenic subsequently.

At length, in July 1832, he settled in London at 19 King Street, St. James’s, re- moving in 1833 to 13 Stratford Place, and introduced the homœopathic system into this country. The medical journals denounced him as a quack, but he made numerous converts, and his practice rapidly grew, owing as much to his attractive personality as to his medical skill. But the professional opposition was obstinately prolonged. In February 1838, when Quin was a candidate for election at the Athenæum Club, he was opposed by a clique of physicians, led by John Ayrton Paris, who privately attacked Quin with a virulence for which he had to apologise. From 26 June 1845 he was medical attendant to the Duchess of Cambridge.

In 1839 Quin completed the first volume of his translation of Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura, but a fire at his printers’ destroyed the whole edition of five hundred copies, and failing health prevented him from reprinting the work. In 1843 he established a short-lived dispensary, called the St. James’s Homœopathic Dispensary. In 1844 he founded the British Homeopathic Society, of which he was elected president. Chiefly through his exertions the London Homeopathic Hospital was founded in 1850. It became a permanent institution, and is now located in Great Ormond Street. On 18 October 1859 he was appointed to the chair of therapeutics and materia medica in the medical school of the hospital, and gave a series of lectures.

Quin was popular in London society. In aristocratic, literary, artistic, and dramatic circles he was always welcome. He was almost the last of the wits of London society, and no dinner was considered a success without his presence. His friends included Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, the Bulwers, Macready, Landseer, and Charles Mathews. In manners, dress, and love of high-stepping horses he imitated Count D’Orsay. After suffering greatly from asthma, he died at the Garden Mansions, Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster, on 24 November 1878, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery on 28 November.

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

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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.

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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 Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
16 December 1790 – 10 December 1865

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Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was the youngest son of Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and Countess Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf, and later became a prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha after Saxe-Coburg acquired Gotha from Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg in 1826 and yielded Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen.

In 1795, as a mere child, Leopold was appointed colonel of the Izmaylovsky Guards Regiment in Russia. Seven years later, he became a major general. When Napoleonic troops occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg in 1806 Leopold went to Paris. Emperor Napoleon I offered him the position of adjutant, but he refused. Instead, he took up a military career in the Imperial Russian Cavalry. He campaigned against Napoleon and distinguished himself at the Battle of Kulm at the head of his cuirassier division. In 1815, at the age of 25, Leopold reached the rank of lieutenant general in the Imperial Russian Army.

In Carlton House on 2 May 1816, he married Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only legitimate child of the British Prince Regent (later King George IV) and therefore second in line to the British throne, and was created a British field-marshal and Knight of the Garter. On 5 November 1817, Princess Charlotte delivered a stillborn son; she herself died the following day. Had she lived, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her father, and Leopold presumably would have assumed the role later taken by his nephew, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, as Prince Consort of the United Kingdom, and never been chosen to reign as King of the Belgians. Despite Charlotte’s death, the Prince Regent granted Prince Leopold the British style of Royal Highness by Order in Council on 6 April 1818.

From 1828 to 1829, Leopold was involved romantically during several months with the actress Caroline Bauer, who enjoyed a striking resemblance to Charlotte. Caroline was a cousin of his advisor Christian Friedrich Freiherr von Stockmar. She came to England with her mother and took up residence at Longwood House, a few miles from Claremont House. But, by mid-1829, the liaison was over, and the actress and her mother returned to Berlin. Many years later, in memoirs published after her death, she declared that she and Leopold had engaged into a morganatic marriage and that he had bestowed upon her the title of Countess Montgomery. He would have broken this marriage when the possibility arose that he could become King of Greece. The son of Freiherr von Stockmar denied that these events ever happened, and indeed no records have been found of a civil or religious marriage or of an ennobling of the actress.

Following the Greek War of Independence, Leopold became the favoured candidate of the allied powers to become king of the new Greek state. However, on 21 May 1830, he finally rejected the offer of the Greek throne. He cited as reasons the perceived opposition to his candidacy from some quarters in Greece (he did not wish to be seen as a king imposed on the country by foreign powers), and the powers’ insistence that certain areas in Greek possession (in Acarnania and Aetolia) were to be given up to Turkey. The Greek throne was eventually accepted by Prince Otto of Bavaria following the London Conference of 1832.

After Belgium asserted its independence from the Netherlands on 4 October 1830, the Belgian National Congress considered several candidates and eventually asked Leopold to become King of the newly formed country. He was elected on 4 June, accepted, and became “King of the Belgians” on 26 June 1831.

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