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Carlton House Table & Chair

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts was an illustrated, British periodical published from 1809-1829 by Rudolph Ackermann. Although commonly called Ackermann’s Repository, or, simply Ackerman’s, the formal title of the journal was Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions, and politics, and it did, indeed cover all of these fields.In its day, it had great influence on English taste in fashion, architecture, and literature. The following excerpt from the April, 1814 edition displays a table and chair set designed for the Prince of Wales‘ Carlton House.

 An early 19th century sketch of the entrance front of Carlton House in London.
An early 19th century sketch of the entrance front of Carlton House in London.

Though no where near as extravagant as the the Royal Palace at Brighton, Carlton House remained an icon of the Prince’s particular sense of style. The glowing terms in the following passage can only be seen as ironic in light of Jane Austen’s own personal struggle with the Prince. In 1815, she would be “invited” to dedicate her upcoming novel, Emma, to him, a figure whom she claimed to loathe. Along with this “invitation” came the opportunity for a personal tour of Carlton House, guided by none other than the Prince’s own librarian, James Stanier Clarke.

This began a series of correspondence between Austen and Clarke. He appeared fascinated by his brush with fame (possibly even painting her portrait) while she later lampooned his topical suggestions for her future novels in her “Plan of a Novel, According to Hints from Various Quarters”.

Fashionable Furniture
We know that a people become enlightened by the cultivation of  the arts, and that they become great in the progress of that cultivation. That a just knowledge of the useful and a correct taste for the ornamental go hand in hand with this general improvement, the dullest observer may be satisfied by looking around him. We now acknowledge, that it is alone the pencil of the artist which can trace the universal hieroglyphic; understood alike by all, his enthusiasm communicates itself to all alike, and prepares the mind for cultivation. A national improvement is thus produced by the arts, and the arts are supported in their respectability by the calls which the improving public taste makes for their assistance; they are inseparable in their progress, and mutually depend on each other for support. In the construction of the domestic furniture of our dwellings we see and feel the benefit of all this. To the credit of our higher classes who encourage, and of our manufacturing artists who produce, we now universally quit the overcharged magnificence of former ages, and seek the purer models of simplicity and tasteful ornament in every article of daily call. Continue reading Carlton House Table & Chair

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James Stanier Clarke: Librarian to the Prince of Wales

“I am quite honoured by your thinking me capable of drawing such a clergyman as you gave the sketch of… But I assure you I am not. The comic part of the character I might be equal to, but not the good, the enthusiastic, the literary. Such a man’s conversation must be on subjects of science and philosophy, of which I know nothing; or must occasionally be abundant in allusions and quotations which a woman who, like me, knows only her mother tongue, and has read very little in that, would be totally without the power of giving. A classical education, or at any rate a very extensive acquaintance with English literature, ancient and modern, appears to me quite indispensable for the person who would do justice to your clergyman; and I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and ill-informed female who ever dared to be an authoress.”
Jane Austen to J. S. Clarke
December 11th 1815

Little is known of James Stanier Clarke, chaplain and librarian to the Prince of Wales. If it were not for his connection with Jane Austen, his name might be almost entirely lost to history. Thought to have been born around 1765, he was, early on, a naval chaplain and curate in a country parish where, according to his own letters, he had cause to bury his own mother, a shock he claims never to have recovered from. Unlike his employer, Clarke appears to have been unmarried, ”fond of, & entirely engaged in Literature – no man’s enemy but his own…” As Naval Chaplain aboard the H.M.S. Jupiter, Clarke accompanied Princess Caroline of Brunswick from Europe to England to be married to her cousin, the Prince of Wales and future King George IV. Thus began his association with the Royal family.

In 1799, shortly after his appointment as Royal Chaplain, Clarke, along with John MacArthur (secretary to Admiral Lord Hood, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean fleet 1793-1795) founded The Naval Chronicle. It had been less than a year since Nelson’s defeat of the French Fleet at the Battle of the Nile and with the fate of England still in the hands of the Navy, public interest was at a high. Both Clarke and MacArthur were well situated to cultivate contacts both social and naval. The magazine, which featured up to date information about the navy and articles on maritime history was a success. Their publisher, Bunney and Gold, specialized in nautical books and charts and began what would become a monthly publication for the next twenty years.

Along with his duties as Librarian and Chaplain, James found time to write. In 1803, he published The Progress of Maritime Discovery, followed in 1809 by The Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, KB, which he coauthored with John MacArthur. Later, in 1816, he edited The Life of James II. According to experts, the original of this work was compiled after James’ death by one or more of his secretaries based upon James’ own memoirs. It is most reliable for the years before 1660 and for the years 1678 to 1685. In 1815, Jane Austen was staying with her brother Henry Austen in London, caring for the publication details of her fourth book, Emma. At one point during her visit, Henry Austen became gravely ill. He was treated by a society doctor who also waited on the Royal Family. At some point, the doctor discovered that the sister waiting on his patient was none other than the anonymous author of one of the Prince’s favorite novels, Pride and Prejudice. After carrying the news to the Royal Family at Carlton House, Jane received the now famous invitation from the Prince’s secretary to tour the house and libraries.

Assured by Clarke that she would receive every possible attention, Jane visited Carlton House on November 13, 1815. No known record of this visit has survived, but the tour was the start of a correspondence between Clarke and Austen. An acknowledged friendship existed between the two though Clarke seemed to have labored under a few misimpressions of the author such as [She] Knows only her mother tongue (Austen was fluent in French) and [she] Has read very little. For her part, ‘Jane found Mr Clarke not only a very courteous gentleman but also a very warm admirer of her talents.’*

How welcome that warm admiration may have proved is debatable. Jane was known to be a supporter of the Prince’s estranged wife, Caroline of Brunswick, declaring in 1813, “I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a woman & because I hate her husband.” When her November visit was followed by a suggestion that she dedicate her upcoming work to the Prince, she was no doubt dismayed. Such a mark of royal favor was not to be dismissed, but the honor of dedicating her “darling child” to such a man must have seemed almost insulting.

The ensuing correspondence displays Austen’s desire to clarify the requirements of this favor. Clarke lost no time in not only offering his assurances of the Prince’s honor in having the work dedicated to him, but also in proffering his own, numerous suggestions for her work. To an author who strove to maintain her privacy, such intrusions into her work must have been frustrating. Still, Austen bore it with typical good humor, retreating into her former style of self deprecating parody, both in her replies to his suggestions and when incorporating these suggestions into her humorous Plan of a Novel.

Austen’s difficulty with the dedication and the details of arranging a specially bound edition of the Novel to be presented to His Highness brought her in ever increasing contact with her publisher, John Murray, who gave her ample advice, lent her several books and contributed greatly to her “Convenience and Amusement.”

James Stanier Clarke’s last letter from Jane Austen is dated 1816. He died in 1834. Such might be the only known details of his life, if it weren’t for rare book lover Richard Wheeler. In 1955 he found a slim volume in an antique store. Stamped on the spine were the words “Sacred To Friendship” and the initials J.S.C. Upon opening the cover, Wheeler found over one hundred verses, drawings, watercolors and autographs from such noted celebrities as William Cowper, novelists Charlotte Smith and Anna Seward and painter George Romney. While many of the drawings are copies of famous works of art there were, among them, watercolors of two unnamed women. Wheeler enlisted the Tate Gallery for help in identifying the two women. The first was easily recognizable as Princess Caroline of Brunswick. As Clarke was a known intimate of the family, it is not surprising that this portrait should survive among his work. What it does prove is that he was a master miniaturist, creating images that are clear representations, over one hundred years after being painted.

The second portrait is what may be the most exciting discovery of the book. Wheeler is now convinced that the image, portraying a woman in white muslin and dated 1815 is unquestionably Jane Austen. The portrait is not verified by the National Portrait Gallery, which claims ownership of the only authenticated likeness of Jane Austen, painted by her sister Cassandra. Still, many find Cassandra’s portrait to be unsatisfying. Wheeler has had his picture studied by physiognomists, who identify the sitter in Cassandra’s sketch as the same person appearing in Clarke’s watercolour.

He has also scoured Jane Austen’s letters seeking to verify the clothing worn in the portrait. Visible beneath the subjects shawl is a longsleeved white gown with black trim. On March 9, 1814, Jane Austen wrote from London to Cassandra: “I wear my gauze gown today, long sleeves & all … & [have] plaited black satin ribbon around the top.” Certainly the gown is dressy, but wouldn’t someone honored with a private tour of the Prince’s residence wear her very finest gown?

Is it possible that we do indeed have a record of Jane Austen’s Carlton House visit? We may never know, but the clues are tantalizing.

You can purchase James Stanier Clarke’s Portrait of Jane Austen from our online giftshop. Click here.


*James Edward Austen Leigh, Austen’s original biographer

 



Laura Boyle maintains an avid interest in the Regency. Visit her website, Austentation: Regency Accessories,
for custom made Regency Hats, Bonnets and Accessories.

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Caroline of Brunswick: Injured Queen of England

I Suppose all the World is sitting in Judgement upon the Princess of Wales’s Letter. Poor woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman, & because I hate her Husband — but I can hardly forgive her for calling herself “attached & affectionate’ to a Man whom she must detest — & the intimacy said to subsist between her & Lady Oxford is bad — I do not know what to do about it; but if I must give up the Princess, I am resolved at least always to think that she would have been respectable, if the Prince had behaved only tolerably by her at first. –”
Jane Austen to Martha Lloyd
February 16th, 1813

Princess Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel was born on May 17, 1768 at Brunswick (German:Braunschweig) in Germany, daughter of Karl William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Princess Augusta Charlotte of Wales, eldest sister of King George III.

She married the British king’s eldest son, her first cousin, in an arranged marriage on April 8, 1795 at St. James’s Palace in London. Her new husband, the future George IV then Prince of Wales, regarded Caroline as unattractive and unhygienic.

Even as Presumptive Monarch, the Prince of Wales, known as Prinny, had no choice. Despite a previous marriage, he was deeply in debt and only by marrying an approved Royal Princess and furnishing the country with an heir, would parliament agree to settle accounts.

The Prince was introduced to his potential bride only days before their planned wedding. Caroline was short, fat, never changed her undergarments, and rarely washed. According to Court insiders, her body odour was overwhelming.

After embracing her, Prinny retired to the far end of the room and said to the Earl of Malmesbury – “Harris, I am not very well, pray get me a glass of brandy”.

He continued to drink brandy for three days until the morning of the wedding.

Dressed in extremely rich and heavy clothing including a dress of silver tissue and lace and a robe of ermine-lined velvet, the bride found standing and walking difficult. She was attended by Lady Mary Osborne the daughter of the fifth Duke of Leeds, Lady Charlotte Spencer the daughter of the third Duke of Marlborough, Lady Charlotte Legge the daughter of the second Earl of Dartmouth, and Lady Caroline Villiers the daughter of the fourth Earl of Jersey. The Prince of Wales was attended by the unmarried 5th Duke of Bedford and 3rd Duke of Roxburghe. The Prince was also attended by the 17 year old Coronet George Brummell. The ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Moore. Guests included the Prince of Wales’s parents King George III and Queen Charlotte and his sisters. The Princes Ernest, Adolphus, and William were not in attendance as the King thought it best for them to remain with their military regiments.*

The Prince of Wales arrived for the wedding very drunk and obviously reluctant to proceed with the ceremony. The King actually urged him to finish the ceremony at one point. The Prince looked not at all at his bride but frequently at his favorite the 42-year-old Lady Jersey, the wife of the 60 year old fourth Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers.

After the ceremony, the King and Queen held a drawing-room for the couple in the Queen’s apartments. Caroline seemed pleased and chatty. The Prince was silent and morose until near the end of the evening when he recovered his composure enough to become “very civil and gracious”. The couple honeymooned in the Marine Pavilion at Brighton. The Prince of Wales was so drunk when he came to bed that he passed out on the floor in front of the fireplace and spent the night there. He finally awakened early the next morning. Princess Charlotte Augusta, George’s only legitimate child, was born nine months later, on January 7, 1796.

Prinny found Caroline so disgusting that he refused to live with her. For her part, she found him equally unattractive. A year after their wedding he sent her a note tactfully informing her that she could do as she liked. Caroline took this to mean that she could do as she wished and so she did. The Prince and Princess of Wales never lived together afterwards, and appeared separately in public, both becoming involved in numerous extramarital affairs.

Caroline was prevented from seeing her daughter on a day-to-day basis, and was eventually banished in 1799 to a private residence (‘The Pagoda’) in Blackheath, where she allegedly had affairs with the politician George Canning and the admiral Sir Sidney Smith.

In 1806 rumours began to circulate that a four year-old child in her entourage William Austin was her son. His father was said to be a footman.

A Royal Commission was set-up, called the ‘Delicate Investigation’ but nothing could be proved against her.

Following this investigation into her personal affairs by her husband, she left the country and went to live abroad, running up large debts throughout Europe and taking other lovers. During this period, the couple’s daughter, who had married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, died after giving birth to her only child, a stillborn son.

Her estranged husband’s accession to the Throne in 1820 brought Caroline back to Britain. The government in England offered Caroline £50,000 if she would stay out of the country, but she refused and came back where she settled in Hammersmith to the intense embarrassment of all concerned.

On the 17th August the House of Lords took the offensive by demanding that Caroline appear before them. The Pains and Penalties Bill 1820 was introduced in Parliament in order to strip Caroline of the title of Queen and dissolve her marriage to the King.

The aim of the House of Lords was to dissolve the marriage on the grounds that Caroline had been involved with a man called Bartolomeo Bergami, (“a foreigner of low station“) in a most degrading intimacy.

Caroline was very popular with the London ‘mob’, King George was not, and each day they surrounded the House of Lords, her coach escorted by the cheering mob whenever she had to appear there. The evidence against her was plentiful. After 52 days the divorce clause was carried but after the brilliant oratory of Lord Brougham in her defense, the Lords decided to drop it.

George IV’s Coronation was to be the 29th of April, 1821. Caroline asked the Prime Minister what dress to wear for the ceremony and was told that she would not be taking part in it.

Nevertheless Caroline arrived at the Abbey door on the day demanding to be admitted. She shouted “The Queen…Open” and the pages opened the door. “I am the Queen of England,” she shouted, when an official roared at the pages “Do your duty…shut the door”, whereupon the door was slammed in her face.

Undaunted, Caroline drove back to her house and sent a note to the King asking for a Coronation ‘next Monday’!

She died 19 days after her frustrated attempt to get into the Abbey. The exact cause of her death has never been ascertained, not least because Caroline herself, knowing she would die, had decreed that no autopsy was to be carried out.

She was buried in Brunswick, and on her coffin was inscribed… ‘CAROLINE THE INJURED QUEEN OF ENGLAND’.

Historical information gleaned from: Historic-uk.com and Wikipedia. A Description of the Royal Wedding courtesy of The Georgian Index.

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The Prince of Wales: The Man who gave the Regency its Name

“I suppose all the World is sitting in Judgement upon the Princess of Wales’s Letter. Poor woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman, & because I hate her Husband — but I can hardly forgive her for calling herself ‘attached & affectionate’ to a Man whom she must detest — & the intimacy said to subsist between her & Lady Oxford is bad — I do not know what to do about it; but if I must give up the Princess, I am resolved at least always to think that she would have been respectable, if the Prince had behaved only tolerably by her at first. –”
Jane Austen,
February 16, 1813

George, the eldest son of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was born in St James’s Palace. At his birth, he automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay; he was created Prince of Wales shortly thereafter. He was a talented student, quickly learning to speak not only English but also French, German and Italian.

The Prince of Wales turned twenty-one years old in 1783. He obtained a grant of £60,000 from Parliament, and an annual income of £50,000 from his father. The Prince of Wales established his residence in Carlton House, where he lived a profligate life. Animosity between him and his father, a monarch who desired more frugal behaviour on the part of the heir-apparent, developed. The King, a strong supporter of the Tory party, was also alienated by the Prince of Wales’s adherence to Charles James Fox and other Whigs.

Soon after he reached the age of twenty-one years, the Prince of Wales fell in love with a Roman Catholic, Maria Anne Fitzherbert. Mrs Fitzherbert was a widow; her first husband, Edward Weld died in 1775; her second husband, Thomas Fitzherbert, did the same in 1781. A marriage between the two was impeded by the Act of Settlement 1701, which declared those who married Roman Catholics ineligible to succeed to the Throne. An even more daunting barrier was the Royal Marriages Act 1772, under which the Prince of Wales could not marry without the consent of the King, which, unquestionably, would have never been granted. Nevertheless, the Prince of Wales and Mrs Fitzherbert contracted a “marriage” in 1785. Legally the union was void, for the King’s assent was never requested and received. Yet, Mrs Fitzherbert believed that she was the Prince of Wales’s canonical and true wife, holding the law of the Church to be superior to the law of the State. For political reasons, the union remained secret, and Mrs Fitzherbert promised not to publish any evidence relating to the same.

The Prince of Wales was plunged into debt by his exorbitant lifestyle. His father refused to assist him, forcing him to quit Carlton House and live in Mrs Fitzherbert’s residence. In 1787, the Prince of Wales’s allies in the House of Commons introduced a proposal to relieve his debts with a parliamentary grant. At the time, many suspected the Prince of Wales’s personal relationship with Mrs Fitzherbert. The revalation of the illegal marriage would have scandalised the nation, and would have certainly doomed any parliamentary proposal to aid the Prince of Wales to failure. Acting on the Prince’s authority, the Whig leader Charles James Fox declared that the story was a calumniation. Mrs Fitzherbert was not pleased with the public denial of the marriage in such vehement terms, and contemplated severing her ties to the Prince. The Prince of Wales propitiated his companion by requesting another Whig, Richard Brinsley Sheridan (the famous playwright), to carefully restate Fox’s forceful declaration. Parliament, in the meantime, was sufficiently pleased to grant the Prince of Wales £161,000 for the payment of his debts, in addition to £20,000 for improvements to Carlton House. The King also agreed to increase the Prince of Wales’s annual allowance by £10,000.

Regency Crisis of 1788

George III suffered from an hereditary disease known as porphyria. In the summer of 1788, the King showed severe symptoms of insanity, but was nonetheless able to discharge some of his duties. Thus, he was able to declare Parliament prorogued from 25 September to 20 November 1788. During the prorogation, however, George III became deranged, posing a threat to his own life. Thus, when Parliament reconvened in November, the King could not deliver the customary Speech from the Throne during the State Opening. Parliament found itself in an untenable position: according to long-established law, it could not proceed to any business whatsoever until the delivery of the King’s Speech at a State Opening.

Although theoretically barred from doing so, Parliament began debating a Regency. In the House of Commons, Charles James Fox declared his opinion that the Prince of Wales was automatically entitled to exercise sovereignty during the King’s incapacity. A contrasting opinion was held by the Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, who argued that, in the absence of a statute to the contrary, the right to choose a Regent belonged to Parliament alone. He even stated that, without parliamentary authority, “the Prince of Wales had no more right … to assume the government, than any other individual subject of the country.” Though disagreeing on the principle underlying a Regency, Pitt agreed with Fox that the Prince of Wales would be the most convenient choice for a Regent.

The Prince of Wales—though offended by Pitt’s boldness—did not lend his full support to Fox’s philosophy. HRH The Prince Frederick, Duke of York declared that his brother, the Prince of Wales, would not attempt to exercise any power without previously obtaining the consent of Parliament. Following the passage of a number of preliminary resolutions, William Pitt outlined a formal plan for the Regency, suggesting that the powers of the Prince of Wales be greatly limited. (Amongst other things, the Prince of Wales could neither sell the King’s property nor grant a peerage dignity to anyone other than a child of the King). The Prince of Wales denounced Pitt’s scheme, declaring it “project for producing weakness, disorder, and insecurity in every branch of the administration of affairs.” Nevertheless, in the interest of the nation, both factions agreed to compromise.

A significant technical impediment to any Regency Bill involved the lack of a Speech from the Throne, which was theoretically necessary before Parliament could proceed to any debates or votes. The Speech, it was noticed, was normally delivered by the King, but could also be delivered by royal representatives known as Lords Commissioners. But no document could empower the Lords Commissioners to act, unless the Great Seal of the Realm was affixed to it; and the said Seal could not be legally affixed without the prior authorisation of the Sovereign. Pitt and his fellow ministers ignored the last requirement, and instructed the Lord Chancellor to affix the Great Seal without the King’s consent. This course of action was denounced as a “phantom,” as a “fiction,” and even as a “forgery.” The Prince of Wales’s brother, the Duke of York, described the plan as “unconstitutional and illegal.” Nevertheless, others in Parliament felt that such a scheme was neccessary in order to preserve an effective government. Consequently, on 3 February 1789, over two months after it had convened, Parliament was formally opened by an “illegal” group of Lords Commissioners. The Regency Bill was introduced, but, before it could be passed, the King recovered. Retroactively, the King declared that the instrument authorising the Lords Commissioners to act was valid.

Marriage

In the meantime, the Prince of Wales’s debts continued to climb; his father refused to aid him unless he married his cousin, Caroline of Brunswick. In 1795, the Prince of Wales acquiesced. The marriage, however, was disastrous; each party was completely unsuited for the other. The two were formally separated after the birth of their only child—HRH Princess Augusta—in 1796. The Prince and Princess of Wales were separated for the remainder of their lives. The Prince of Wales remained attached to Mrs Fitzherbert for the remainder of his life, despite several periods of estrangement. In the meantime, the problem of the Prince of Wales’s debts (which then amounted to an extraordinary sum, £660,000, in 1796) was solved (at least temporarily) by Parliament. Parliament was unwilling to make an outright grant to relieve them; instead, it provided him an additional sum of £65,000 per annum. In 1803, a further £60,000 was added, and the Prince of Wales’s debts were finally paid.

Regency

From 1811, his father was permanently incapacitated, and he achieved a more definite status as Prince Regent. His extravagance continued, despite the involvement of Britain in the Napoleonic Wars, and during this period, much of the city of London was redesigned—hence Regent’s Park and Regent Street. The architect, John Nash, and the dandy, Beau Brummell, were among the Regent’s best-known associates.

As can be seen from the comment above, Jane Austen held no high opinion of the Prince of Wales, though he, on the other hand, kept specially bound editons of her works in all his houses. Imagine her surprise when, in 1815, she was waited upon by his Librarian, Mr. Clarke, and invited to visit Carlton House. This honor she declined, but was unable to refuse the other he offered– that of dedicating her next book (Emma, printed in March, 1816) to His Royal Highness. How it must have rankled to pen the words:

TO
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE PRINCE REGENT,
THIS WORK IS,
BY HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS’S PERMISSION,
MOST REPECTFULLY DEDICATED,
BY HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS’S
DUTIFUL
AND OBEDIENT
HUMBLE SERVANT,
THE AUTHOR

Reign

When the king died in 1820, the Prince Regent finally ascended the throne as King George IV. He had acted conservatively as Regent and with major achievements as a collector and patron of the arts not seen in a monarch since Charles I, but by the time of his coronation he was seriously overweight and possibly addicted to laudanum as well as showing some signs of the insanity that had affected his father. The Coronation, July 19, 1821, was mounted with unparalleled magnificence, a fancy-dress occasion with a somewhat Elizabethan theme. His gold-embroidered crimson velvet and ermine coronation robe, with a 27-foot train held by sons of peers, cost 24,000 pounds. The diamonds in the crown were hired for the occasion, but the King wore the Hope Diamond (as it was soon to be called), which he had purchased the previous year. Parliament had agreed on 243,000 pounds to be spent on the Coronation. The Queen found herself unable to gain access to Westminster Abbey or the banquet at Westminmster Hall. The event was extremely popular: Sir Thomas Lawrence’s coronation portrait was multiplied in the painter’s studio and many more modest souvenirs were issued; a panorama recording the event toured the cities of England afterwards. George IV enjoyed many weeks of popularity.

In 1822 the King visited Edinburgh for “one and twenty daft days” as the first reigning monarch to visit Scotland since 1650. The visit was organised by Sir Walter Scott, who seized the opportunity to invent another splendid pageant, wherein ancient Scotland would be reborn, and the King who had been parodied in cartoons as a fat debauché would be seen as “a portly handsome man looking and moving every inch a King”. George would be presented as a new Jacobite King, with the logic that he was by bloodline as much a Stuart as Bonnie Prince Charlie had been, and would win the affections of the Scots away from radical reform. Scott had persuaded George that he was not only a Stuart prince, but also a Jacobite Highlander, and could rightly and properly swathe himself in “the garb of old Gaul”, so in July 1822 the King placed his order with George Hunter & Co., outfitters of Tokenhouse Yard, London and Princes Street, Edinburgh for £1,354 18s worth of highland outfit in bright red Royal Tartan, later known as Royal Stuart, complete with pink tights, gold chains and assorted weaponry including dirk, sword and pistols. Dressed in this “our fat friend” was hoisted onto a horse and rode triumphantly into Edinburgh for an event that made tartans and kilts fashionable and turned them into the national icons they are today.

He spent the majority of his reign in seclusion at Windsor Castle, but continued to interfere unwisely in politics, opposing social reforms such as the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. As a result of Princess Charlotte’s death, his younger brother, Frederick, Duke of York, became heir to the throne; however, Frederick died in 1827.

King George IV died on June 26, 1830 and is buried at Windsor Castle. He was succeeded by his younger brother, as William IV.
George’s official style whilst King was, “George the Fourth, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith.” His arms were: Quarterly, I and IV Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England); II Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland); overall an escutcheon tierced per pale and per chevron (for Hanover), I Gules two lions passant guardant Or (for Brunswick), II Or a semy of hearts Gules a lion rampant Azure (for Lüneburg), III Gules a horse courant Argent (for Westfalen), the whole inescutcheon surmounted by a crown.

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

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The Regent’s or George the Fourth’s Punch

In her book, Tea with Jane Austen, author Kim Wilson gives a detailed account of this staple drink as it was served at all hours of the day, whether at Breakfast or after dinner refreshment and any time in between. Though often drunk on its own, tea was also an ingredient in a variety of other concotions, as shown by the following recipe, shared by “a person who made the punch daily for the Prince’s table…”

The Regent’s or George the Fourth’s Punch
Pare as thin as possible the rinds of two china oranges, of two lemons, and ove one seville orange, and infuse them for an hour in half a pint of thin, cold syrup; then add to them the juice of the fruit. Make a pint of strong green tea, sweeten it well with fine sugar, and when it is quite cold, add to it the fruit and syrup, with a glass of the best old Jamaica rum, a glass of Brandy, one of Arrack, one of pine-apple syrup, and two bottles of Champagnel pass the whole through a fine lawn seive until it is perfectly clear, then bottle and put it into ice until dinner is served. We are indebted for this receipt to a person who made the punch daily for the prince’s table, at Carlton palace, for six months; it has been in our possession for some years and may be relied on.
Modern Cookery for Private Families, by Eliza Acton (1849)

The prince regent, a man of large appetites in so many ways, apparently liked his punch strong. When he overindulged, as he commonly did, the tea in it may have been the only thing that kept him vertical. The recipe below is based on simpler versions from the time, and is a wonderful punch for celebrations and balls.

Regent’s Punch for the Weston’s Ball

  • 4 Large Lemons
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 tsp loose green tea (three teabags worth)
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 bottle chilled champagne or lemon/lime soda

Roll the lemons on a table to make them jucier. Pare the zest (only the yellow part of the rind) of the lemons. Cut the remaining white rind from the pulp, remove the seeds, then chop the pulp coarsely. Discard the white rind and the seeds. In a non-reactive pan, boil the water, pulp, and zest for 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 1 minute, then pour it over the tea leaves in a heat proof bowl or teapot. Stir, then let steep three minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the sugar and chill. To serve, pour the chilled mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher and stir in the chilled champagne.

 

From Kim Wilson’s Tea with Jane Austen.

“Tea, a social history, and author Jane Austen–Kim Wilson’s delicious little book will instruct and amuse fans of any or all three…Highly recommended.”
Tea: A Magazine
.

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