Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

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Prince William
WilliamHenryDukeOfGloucester.jpg
Portrait by Johan Zoffany, c. 1780
Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Successor Prince William Frederick
Born(1743-11-25)25 November 1743
Leicester House, Westminster
Died25 August 1805(1805-08-25) (aged 61)
Gloucester House, Westminster
Burial4 September 1805
Spouse Maria Walpole
Issue Princess Sophia
Princess Caroline
Prince William Frederick
Full name
William Henry
House Hanover
Father Frederick, Prince of Wales
Mother Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Military career
AllegianceUnion flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg  Kingdom of Great Britain
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Years of service1766–1805
RankField Marshal
Commands heldGOC Northern District

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, KG PC FRS (William Henry; 25 November 1743 – 25 August 1805), was a grandson of King George II and a younger brother of King George III of the United Kingdom.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Fellow of the Royal Society Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows

Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science'.

George II of Great Britain British monarch

George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death in 1760.

Contents

Life

Youth

William Henry (left) with his brother Henry, from a family group portrait of 1751. William Henry and Henry.jpg
William Henry (left) with his brother Henry, from a family group portrait of 1751.
William Henry, aged 11, by Liotard William Henry, Duke of Gloucester 1754 by Liotard.jpg
William Henry, aged 11, by Liotard

Prince William Henry was born at Leicester House, London. His parents were Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of George II and Caroline of Ansbach, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, then Princess of Wales. He was baptized at Leicester House eleven days later. His godparents were his paternal uncle by marriage, the Prince of Orange; his paternal uncle, the Duke of Cumberland; and his paternal aunt (via a proxy marriage), Princess Amelia. [1] He was fourth in the line of succession at birth.

Leicester Square square in London, United Kingdom

Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. It was laid out in 1670 and is named after the contemporary Leicester House, itself named after Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

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. He was the eldest but estranged son of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach, and the father of King George III.

His father died in 1751, leaving the Prince's elder brother, Prince George, heir-apparent to the throne. He succeeded as George III on 25 October 1760, and created William Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh and Earl of Connaught on 19 November 1764. [2] He had been made a Knight of the Garter on 27 May 1762, and invested on 22 September of that year. [3] In 1764 he began to court Maria Walpole, the Dowager Countess of Waldegrave, an illegitimate granddaughter of Sir Robert Walpole. [4]

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.

Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh was a British royal title in the Peerage of Great Britain; the sole creation carried with it the subsidiary title of Earl of Connaught.

Order of the Garter Order of chivalry in England

The Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry in England and later the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the image and arms of Saint George, England's patron saint.

Career and marriage

The Duke by Thomas Gainsborough, c.1775. WilliamHenryDukeOfGloucesterThomasGainsborough.jpg
The Duke by Thomas Gainsborough, c.1775.

He initially wished for active service in the military, but his health and intelligence both proved insufficient. Instead he was appointed colonel of the 13th Regiment of Foot in 1766. That same year he and Maria married in secret in his home on Pall Mall. This marriage only became known to the King after the passing of the Royal Marriages Act 1772. The Duke and Maria lived at St Leonard's Hill in Clewer, near Windsor and had three children, all of whom were styled Highness from birth and used the territorial designation of Gloucester in conjunction with their princely styles, as great-grandchildren in the male line of George II.

Colonel (Col) is a rank of the British Army and Royal Marines, ranking below brigadier, and above lieutenant colonel. British colonels are not usually field commanders; typically they serve as staff officers between field commands at battalion and brigade level. The insignia is two diamond-shaped pips below a crown. The crown has varied in the past with different monarchs; the current Queen's reign has used St Edward's Crown. The rank is equivalent to captain in the Royal Navy and group captain in the Royal Air Force.

Pall Mall, London street in London, England

Pall Mall is a street in the St James's area of the City of Westminster, Central London. It connects St James's Street to Trafalgar Square and is a section of the regional A4 road. The street's name is derived from 'pall-mall', a ball game played there during the 17th century.

Royal Marriages Act 1772 law requiring potential heirs to the British throne to receive royal permission to marry

The Royal Marriages Act 1772 was an act of the Parliament of Great Britain, which prescribed the conditions under which members of the British royal family could contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the royal house. The right of veto vested in the sovereign by this act provoked severe adverse criticism at the time of its passage. It was repealed as a result of the 2011 Perth Agreement, which came into force on 26 March 2015. Under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, the first six people in the line of succession need permission to marry if they and their descendants are to remain in the line of succession.

In 1767 he was promoted to major-general and made colonel of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards. [6] The same year he was made Warden of Windsor Forest, gaining the post's official residence at Cranbourne Lodge. [7] He was made the thirteenth Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin in 1771, holding the post until 1805.

Scots Guards part of the Guards Division;  Foot Guards regiment of the British Army

The Scots Guards (SG), is one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army. Their origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland. Its lineage can be traced back to 1642, although it was only placed on the English Establishment in 1686. It is the oldest formed Regiment in the Regular Army, more so than any other in the Household Brigade.

Windsor, Berkshire town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England

Windsor is a historic market town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family.

Cranbourne Lodge former house in Windsor Great Park, London, England

Cranbourne Lodge was a keeper's lodge for the royal hunting grounds of Cranbourne Chase, once adjoining but now part of Windsor Great Park in the English county of Berkshire. All that remains of it today is the Grade II* listed Cranbourne Tower.

The Duke and Maria's first child, Princess Sophia of Gloucester (Sophia Matilda; 29 May 1773 29 November 1844), was born in 1773. Princess Caroline of Gloucester (Caroline Augusta Maria; 24 June 1774 14 March 1775) followed just over a year later and was christened privately on 22 July 1774 – her godparents were the Duchess of Gloucester (her mother), the Hereditary Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg (her paternal aunt) and the Hereditary Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (her uncle by marriage). [1] However, Princess Caroline died aged just nine months following a smallpox inoculation, intended to protect her from the disease. [8] The Duke and Maria had a third and final child in 1776, Prince William Frederick (15 January 1776 30 November 1834).

Princess Sophia of Gloucester British princess

Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester was a great-granddaughter of King George II of Great Britain and niece of King George III.

Princess Caroline of Gloucester was an infant member of the British Royal Family, a great-grandchild of George II, niece of George III and daughter of the 1st Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh and his wife, Maria Walpole, daughter of Sir Edward Walpole and his mistress Dorothy Clement.

Princess Augusta of Great Britain British princess

Princess Augusta Frederica of Great Britain was a British princess, granddaughter of King George II and the only elder sibling of King George III. She was a Duchess consort of Brunswick by marriage to Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Her daughter Caroline was the spouse of King George IV.

Portrait in 1804 by Sir William Beechey. William Henry, Duke of Gloucester.jpg
Portrait in 1804 by Sir William Beechey.

With the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, the Duke hoped for a field command, but George refused. He made a request to serve in the forces of Frederick II of Prussia during the War of Bavarian Succession (1777–1779) – George consented but Frederick himself turned down the offer. He later transferred to the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, and he became a field marshal on 18 October 1793. [9] He went on to be General Officer Commanding Northern District in 1796, [10] a command that he held until 1802. [11]

Later life

In 1782 an illegitimate daughter was born to the Duke, Louisa Maria La Coast (6 January 1782 Esher, Surrey – 10 February 1835 Bossall, Yorkshire). Her mother was the Duke's mistress Lady Almeria Carpenter, a daughter of the first Earl of Tyrconnell. [12]

Louisa was married on 29 December 1803 in Norwich, Norfolk to Godfrey Macdonald, 11th Baronet Macdonald of Slate, later the 3rd Baron Macdonald of Slate. They had three children born before their marriage (legitimized by Scottish law, but not by Irish law) and ten children born after their marriage. (A previous marriage in Scotland was considered of doubtful validity.) These children and their posterity are the only descendants of Prince William, 1st Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh. The Duke died at Gloucester House in London in 1805 and was succeeded as duke by his son William Frederick, who went on to marry his cousin Princess Mary in 1816, meaning that he and Sophia then received the style of Royal Highness.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

British Royalty
House of Hanover
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
George II
Frederick, Prince of Wales
Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
Princess Amelia
Princess Caroline
Prince George William of Wales
Prince William, Duke of Cumberland
Mary, Landgravine of Hesse-Cassel
Louise, Queen of Denmark and Norway
Grandchildren
Augusta, Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
George III
Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany
Princess Elizabeth of Wales
Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn
Princess Louisa of Wales
Prince Frederick of Wales
Caroline Matilda, Queen of Denmark and Norway
Great-grandchildren
Princess Sophia of Gloucester
Princess Caroline of Gloucester
Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Titles and styles

His peerages were gazetted on 17 November 1764. [14]

Honours

Arms

The Duke's Royal Arms Coat of Arms of William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh.svg
The Duke's Royal Arms

William was granted use of the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of five points, the centre bearing a fleur-de-lys azure, the other points each bearing a cross gules. [15]

Ancestors

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References

  1. 1 2 Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings
  2. Yvonne's Royalty: Peerage
  3. "No. 10247". The London Gazette . 25 September 1762. p. 1.
  4. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
  5. The portrait remained in his studio unfinished on his death, before being bought by the Prince Regent for the Duke's eldest daughter, Sophia. It is now in the collection of the National Army Museum.
  6. "No. 10796". The London Gazette . 5–9 January 1768. p. 3.
  7. Jane Roberts, Royal Landscape: The Gardens and Parks of Windsor, page 50.
  8. Berkshire History: Biographies: Maria Walpole, Duchess of Gloucester (1737–1807)
  9. "No. 13582". The London Gazette . 15 October 1793. p. 913.
  10. Mackenzie, Eneas (1827). "Historical events: 1783 – 1825, in Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead". Newcastle-upon-Tyne. pp. 66–88. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  11. Baines, Edward (1825). "History, Directory, and Gazetteer, of the County Palatine of Lancaster". William Wales & Co. p. 15.
  12. Charles Watkins; Ben Cowell (2012). Uvedale Price (1747–1829): Decoding the Picturesque. Boydell Press. pp. 36–37. ISBN   978-1-84383-708-4.
  13. The London Gazette calls him "His Royal Highness Prince William" "No. 10212". The London Gazette . 25 May 1762. p. 2.; "No. 10247". The London Gazette . 25 September 1762. p. 1.; "No. 10411". The London Gazette . 21 April 1764. p. 1.
  14. "No. 10470". The London Gazette . 17 November 1764. p. 1.
  15. Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
  16. 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. 4.
Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 14 November 1743 Died: 25 August 1805
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir William Howe
GOC Northern District
1796–1802
Succeeded by
Sir Hew Dalrymple
Preceded by
Harry Pulteney
Colonel of the 13th Regiment of Foot
1766–1767
Succeeded by
James Murray
Preceded by
The Earl of Rothes
Colonel of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards
1767–1770
Succeeded by
The Earl of Loudoun
Preceded by
The Earl Ligonier
Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards
1770–1805
Succeeded by
The Duke of York and Albany
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Bedford
Chancellor of the University of Dublin
17711805
Succeeded by
HRH The Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
1764–1805
Succeeded by
Prince William Frederick
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Earl of Connaught
1764–1805
Succeeded by
Prince William Frederick