Francis Ayscough

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Francis Ayscough
Francis Ayscough tutor to George III (from other painting).jpg
Francis Ayscough, Dean of Bristol and tutor to George III of England. From the painting by Richard Wilson, c. 1749. [1]
Born(1701-12-19)19 December 1701
Died 16 August 1763(1763-08-16) (aged 61)

Francis Ayscough (1701–1763) was a tutor to George III and Clerk of the Closet to his father Frederick, Prince of Wales [2] and later Dean of Bristol Cathedral. [3]

George III of the United Kingdom King of Great Britain and Ireland

George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

The College of Chaplains of the Ecclesiastical Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom is under the Clerk of the Closet, an office dating from 1437. It is normally held by a diocesan bishop, who may however remain in office after leaving his see. The current Clerk is James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle.

Frederick, Prince of Wales heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death

Frederick, Prince of Wales, KG, was heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death from a lung injury at the age of 44 in 1751. He was the eldest but estranged son of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach, and the father of King George III.



Francis was born in the English county of Surrey on 19 December 1701 and baptised on 25 December in St Olave's Church, Southwark; [4] he had his early education in Winchester and at John Roysse's Free School in Abingdon (now Abingdon School). He applied to be a fellow at the University of Oxford after serving two years at Corpus Christi. Although initially rejected he was admitted after the intercession of the Bishop of Winchester, Richard Willis, who threatened to sack all of those involved if Ayscough was not appointed in 15 minutes. [5]

Surrey County of England

Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is also one of the home counties. The county borders Kent to the east, East and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.

St Olaves Church, Southwark church in London Borough of Southwark, UK

St Olave's Church, Southwark was a church in Southwark, England which is believed to be mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was located on Tooley Street which is named after the church, i.e. 't'olous'. It became redundant in 1926 and was demolished. It is now the location of St Olaf House, which houses part of the London Bridge Hospital.

Winchester city in Hampshire, England

Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs National Park, along the course of the River Itchen. It is situated 60 miles (97 km) south-west of London and 13.6 miles (21.9 km) from Southampton, its closest city. At the time of the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184. The wider City of Winchester district which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham has a population of 116,800.

Francis Ayscough, Dean of Bristol and tutor to George III of England with his pupils. By Richard Wilson, c. 1749. Francis Ayscough with the Prince of Wales (later King George III) and Edward Augustus, Duke of York and Albany by Richard Wilson.jpg
Francis Ayscough, Dean of Bristol and tutor to George III of England with his pupils. By Richard Wilson, c. 1749.

He was appointed as the first tutor to George who was to be the future George III of England. Reportedly Ayscough was appointed by the intercession of Sir George Lyttlelton, who had some influence with George's father. Ayscough had married Anne Lyttleton who was George's sister. [5]

George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton British politician

George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton, known as Sir George Lyttelton, Bt between 1751 and 1756, was a British statesman. As an author himself, he was also the supporter of other writers and as a patron of the arts made an important contribution to the development of 18th century landscape design.

In 1735 it was Ayscough as Chaplain to the Prince of Wales who was called on to give a sermon to the House of Commons to commemorate the "martyrdom of Charles I". [6]

The boy's father retained Francis' services, but in 1749 he made a further appointment of an assistant to Ayscough. The new assistant, Lewis Scott, was a mathematician and a member of the Royal Society and it was through him that George III became the first British monarch to have a scientific education. [7]

Royal Society English learned society for science

The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences and fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement.

In 1755 he had a sermon published on the wrongs of "self murder". [8]

On the death of Frederick, Ayscough and North were both replaced by the Whig politicians. Ayscough was replaced by the Bishop of Norwich, Thomas Hayter.

In 1756, Ayscough became the Canon (of 12th prebend) for Winchester Cathedral, 1756–1763, [9] Ayscough was also appointed to be the Dean of Bristol in 1761, a post that he also held until his death [10] [11] which took place in Bristol on 16 August 1763; he was buried in Bristol Cathedral three days later. [4] Anne, his wife, outlived him and died in their house in London in 1776 aged 64. Ayscough's children included Anne Augusta who became Lady Cockburn, and George Edward Ayscough who was a Guards officer and sometime dramatist.

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  1. 1 2 "Francis Ayscough with the Prince of Wales..." National Portrait Gallery, London . Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  2. Leicester Square, North Side, and Lisle Street Area: Leicester Estate: Lisle Street', Survey of London: volumes 33 and 34: St Anne Soho (1966), pp. 472-476. Date accessed: 10 June 2009.
  3. "Francis Ayscough". National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  4. 1 2 Parker, M. St John (2004). "Ayscough, Francis (1701–1763)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/951 . Retrieved 2016-01-28.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
  5. 1 2 "Memoirs of a royal chaplain, 1729-1763; the correspondence of Edmund Pyle, D.D. chaplain in ordinary to George II, with Samuel Kerrich D.D., vicar of Dersingham, rector of Wolferton, and rector of West Newton", accessed June 2009
  6. A sermon preach'd before the Honourable the House of Commons, at St. Margaret's Westminster, on Friday January the 30th. 1735/6., Being the Anniversary of the Martyrdom of King Charles I. By Francis Ayscough, D. D. Fellow of Corpus- Christi-College Oxon, and Chaplain to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (London: printed for T. Osborne, in Gray's Inn near the Walks; and sold by A. Peisley, Bookseller at Oxford, 1736), accessed June 2009
  7. Royal Education, Peter Gordon, Denis Lawton, p107
  8. A discourse against self-murder, Preached at South-Audley-Chapel, January 12, 1755, accessed June 2009
  9. III, iii. 106
  10. Fastis Ecclesiea Anglicane, Institute of Historical Research, accessed June 2009
  11. 'Houses of Augustinian canons: The abbey of St Augustine, Bristol', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 2 (1907), pp. 75-79. URL: Date accessed: 11 June 2009