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Memoir of Queen Adelaide Consort of King William IV.   By:

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MEMOIR OF QUEEN ADELAIDE,

CONSORT OF KING WILLIAM IV.

BY DR. DORAN,

AUTHOR OF "LIVES OF THE QUEENS OF ENGLAND OF THE HOUSE OF HANOVER," ETC.

LONDON:

RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET.

1861.

[The right of Translation is reserved.]

LONDON:

PRINTED BY G. PHIPPS, 13 & 14, TOTHILL STREET, WESTMINSTER.

ADELAIDE OF SAXE MEINENGEN.

Und ich an meinem Abend, wollte, Ich hätte, diesem Weibe gleich, Erfüllt was ich erfüllen sollte In meinen Gränzen und Bereich.

A. VON CHAMISSO.

The pocket Duchy Old customs Early training The Father of the Princess Adelaide Social life at the ducal court Training of the Princess Adelaide Marriage preliminaries English parliament The Duke of Clarence Arrival in London of the Princess Quaint royal weddings At home and abroad Duke and Duchess of Clarence at Bushey "State and Dirt" at St. James's William IV. and Queen Adelaide Course of life of the new Queen Consort King's gallantry to an old love Royal simplicity The Sovereigns and the Sovereign people Court anecdotes Drawing rooms Princess Victoria The coronation Incidents of the day Coronation finery of George IV. Princess Victoria not present Revolutionary period Reform question Unpopularity of the Queen Attacks against her on the part of the press Violence of party spirit Friends and foes Bearing of the King and Queen Duchess of Augoulême King a republican His indiscretion Want of temper Continental press adverse to the Queen King's declining health Conduct of Queen Adelaide King William's death Declining health of the Queen Her travels in search of health Her last illness Her will Death And funeral.

THE little Duchy of Saxe Meinengen was once a portion of the inheritance of the princely Franconian house of Henneberg. The failure of the male line transferred it, in 1583, to the family of reigning Saxon princes. In 1680, it fell to the third son of the Saxon Duke, Ernest the Pious. The name of this son was Bernard. This Duke is looked upon as the founder of the House of Meinengen. He was much devoted to the study of Alchemy, and was of a pious turn, like his father, as far, as may be judged by the volumes of manuscript notes he left behind him which he had made on the sermons of his various court preachers.

The law of primogeniture was not yet in force when Duke Bernard died, in 1706. One consequence was, that Bernard's three sons, with Bernard's brother, ruled the little domain in common. In 1746, the sole surviving brother, Antony Ulrich, the luckiest of this ducal Tontine, was monarch of all he surveyed, within a limited space. The conglomerate ducal sovereigns were plain men, formal, much given to ceremony, and not much embarrassed by intellect. There was one man, however, who had enough for them all: namely, George Spanginburg, brother of the Moravian bishop of the latter name, and who was, for some time, the Secretary of State at the court of Saxe Meinengen.

Antony Ulrich reigned alone from 1746 to 1763. He was of a more enlightened character than any of the preceding princes, had a taste for the arts, when he could procure pictures cheaply, and strong inclination towards pretty living pictures, which led to lively rather than pleasant controversies at court. His own marriage with Madame Scharmann disgusted the young ladies of princely houses in Germany, and especially exasperated the aristocracy of Meinengen. They were scarcely pacified by the fact, that the issue of the marriage was declared incapable of succeeding to the inheritance.

The latter fell in 1763 to two young brothers, kinsfolk of Antony, and sons of the late Duke of Gotha, who reigned for some years together. The elder, Charles, died in 1782. From that period till 1803, the other brother, George, reigned alone. He had no sooner become sole sovereign, than he married the Princess Louisa of Hohenlohe Langenburg. At the end of ten years, the first child of this marriage was born, namely Adelaide, the future Queen of England... Continue reading book >>




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