Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge

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Prince Adolphus
Adolphus Frederick Duke of Cambridge.JPG
Duke of Cambridge
Successor Prince George
Born(1774-02-24)24 February 1774
Buckingham House, London
Died8 July 1850(1850-07-08) (aged 76)
Cambridge House, Piccadilly
Burial17 July 1850
Spouse
Issue Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
Princess Augusta, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg
Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck
Full name
Adolphus Frederick
House Hanover
Father George III of the United Kingdom
Mother Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, KG, GCB, GCMG, GCH, PC (Adolphus Frederick; 24 February 1774 – 8 July 1850) was the tenth child and seventh son of the British king George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He held the title of Duke of Cambridge from 1801 until his death. He also served as Viceroy of Hanover on behalf of his brothers George IV and William IV.

Contents

Early life

Prince Adolphus was born in February 1774 at Buckingham House, then known as the "Queen's House", [1] in the City and Liberty of Westminster, now within Greater London. He was the youngest son of George and Charlotte to survive childhood.

On 24 March 1774, the young prince was baptized 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). [2]

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). [1]

Prince Adolphus aged four, with his two younger sisters Mary and Sophia in 1778 Prince Adolphus, Princess Sophia, and Princess Mary.jpg
Prince Adolphus aged four, with his two younger sisters Mary and Sophia in 1778

Military career

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 great-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). [3]

During 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. [1] 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. [1] 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 [4] ), 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. [1] George III appointed Prince Adolphus a Knight of the Garter on 2 June 1776, and created him Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden on 24 November 1801. [1]

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.

Marriage

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.

Viceroy

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. [1] When his niece succeeded to the British throne on 20 June 1837 as Queen Victoria, the 123-year union of the crowns of the United Kingdom and Hanover ended, due to Hanover being under Salic Law. [1] The Duke of Cumberland became King of Hanover and the Duke of Cambridge returned to Britain. [1]

Death

The Duke of Cambridge died on 8 July 1850 at Cambridge House, Piccadilly, London, and was buried at St Anne's Church, Kew. [1] [5] His remains were later removed to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. His only son, Prince George, succeeded to his peerages.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Coat of Arms of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, used from 1801 until his death. Coat of Arms of Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge.svg
Coat of Arms of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, used from 1801 until his death.

Titles and styles

His full style at death was Field Marshal His Royal Highness The Prince Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, Baron Culloden, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order

Honours

British Honours

Foreign Honours

Arms

The Duke's arms were the Royal Arms of the House of Hanover, with a three-point label of difference. The first and third points containing two hearts, and the centre point bearing a red cross. His arms were adopted by his youngest daughter, Princess Mary Adelaide, and her heirs included them in their arms quartered with the arms of the Duke of Teck.

Issue

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had three children:

NameBirthDeathNotes
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge 26 March 181917 March 1904married 1847, Sarah Louisa Fairbrother; had issue (this marriage was contracted in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act and was not recognized in law).
Princess Augusta of Cambridge 19 July 18224 December 1916married 1843, Friedrich Wilhelm, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; had issue
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge 27 November 183327 October 1897married 1866, Francis, Duke of Teck; had issue, including Mary of Teck, later Queen consort of the United Kingdom.

Ancestors

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings
  3. Johannes Kessels, "Fast wie eine Königsfamilie: Neue Majestäten heißen alle Helmke oder Kück", in: Wümme-Zeitung; 2. Juni 2009.
  4. Ompteda, p. 131
  5. Cambridge Mausoleum
  6. Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 48
  7. Shaw, p. 182
  8. Shaw, p. 331
  9. Shaw, p. 447
  10. Liste der Ritter des Königlich Preußischen Hohen Ordens vom Schwarzen Adler (1851), "Von Seiner Majestät dem Könige Friedrich Wilhelm III. ernannte Ritter" p. 18
  11. Kurhessisches Staats- und Addreß-Handbuch: auf das Jahr ... 1827. Verlag des Waisenhauses. 1827. p. 17.
  12. Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 5.
Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 24 February 1774 Died: 8 July 1850
Court offices
Preceded by
General von Bülow
as Governor, with the Privy Council  
Viceroy of Hanover
1811–1837
Succeeded by
Ernest Augustus
as King, due to the end of the
personal union with the UK  
Military offices
Preceded by
Prince Frederick, Duke of
York and Albany
Colonel of the Coldstream Guards
1805–1850
Succeeded by
The Earl of Strafford
Academic offices
Preceded by
The 1st Viscount Melville
Chancellor of the University of St Andrews
1811–1814
Succeeded by
The 2nd Viscount Melville
Other offices
Preceded by
Prince Frederick, Duke of
York and Albany
President of the Foundling Hospital
1827–1850
Succeeded by
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Maitland
Grand Master of the Order of
St Michael and St George

1825–1850
Succeeded by
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Duke of Cambridge
4th creation
1801–1850
Succeeded by
Prince George