BSL -Item: 1796-George III

ARCHIVE ONLY - SOLD

 



FROM THE BERRYHILL & STURGEON
NAPOLEONIC & PENINSULAR WAR ARCHIVES

GEORGE III - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS)
DATELINE: WEYMOUTH - AUGUST 19th, 1796

AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, WEYMOUTH, AUGUST 19, 1796,
TO HIS SON FREDERICK, APPROVING THE REORGANIZATION OF FORCES
THE DUKE OF YORK WAS PROPOSING TO
RESIST THE ANTICIPATED FRENCH INVASION AND IRISH UPRISING


ONE PAGE HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED LETTER BY GEORGE III
TO HIS SECOND SON THE DUKE OF YORK AND ALBANY
WITH DOCKETING NOTATION ON THE REVERSE

THIS DOCUMENT IS COVERED BY OUR WRITTEN, SIGNED AND SEALED
LIFETIME GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY

              

              

The Party's Concerned:


George III
George William Frederick; (1738–1820) King of Great Britain and King of Ireland

George III's long reign was marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. A series of wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France, over a 20-year period, finally concluded in the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. In the later part of his life, George III suffered from a recurrent and eventually permanent, mental illness. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George III's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent.

The Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
Frederick Augustus (1763–1827)

After a very young and incompetent start as Commander in Chief of the Army, the Duke of York took his Military Career quite seriously and was responsible for many of the reforms and improvements that led to the British eventually prevailing militarily against Napoleon. He founded the leading British Military Academy at Sandhurst and worked closely with Wellington.
The only pub in the UK called The Prince Frederick is located at 31, Nichol Lane, Bromley, Kent

 

Transcription:


                                                                                                       Weymouth Aug[us]t 19th 1796

My Dear Frederick,

I approve of the 6th Regiment of Dragoon Guards and the 12th Light Dragons returning to Ireland as also the Loyal Tay Fencible Cavalry; the foreign corps of Lowenstein, Hompesch and Waldstein now in the Isle of Wight may be sent to Cork til they can proceed to the West Indies.

I approve of Colonels Burton and Monson being placed as Brigadiers on the staffs of Guernsey and Jersey as it would not be desirable the commands should devolve to Fencible Colonels.

The memorandas are all very proper.

I am very glad you think of arriving here on Sunday believe me ever

My Dear Frederick
Your Most Affectionate Father
George R


[To:
Prince Frederick, Duke of York]



Docketing notation

Notes and Comments:


During 1796, one of France's most successful and charismatic revolutionaries, General Hoche, hatched a grand and complex plan for the coordinated invasion of England, Wales and Ireland. He was aided in this by Irish patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone, who was in France promoting the invasion of Ireland by a French army of liberation. The Irishman promised popular support if the French invaded, with the expectation being that an uprising in Ireland would draw British troops and resources away from Continental Europe and might even lead to an independent and anti-British Ireland. The plan was approved and a French invasion fleet of around 50 ships carrying 15,000 veteran troops began to gather at Brest to sail to Bantry Bay, County Cork in south-west Ireland.

Prince Frederick, Duke of York, was the second son of King George III. As an inexperienced young military officer, he presided over an unsuccessful campaign against the French in the Low Countries in 1793. Two years later he was appointed commander-in-chief of the British army, and in that post he made amends for his initial military setbacks by brilliantly re-organizing the nation's forces and putting in place administrative reforms that were a critical factor in enabling the British to prevail over Napoleon. He also founded the renowned military college, Sandhurst. Word reached him of the French designs and he sought his father’s permission to send troops to Ireland to meet the threat. The King responded with this letter, which is
cited in The War in Wexford, H.F.B. Wheeler and A.M. Broadley, 1910, John Lane the Bodley Head.

The invasion fleet sailed in December 1796 but the weather was so violent that no troops could be put ashore, and by the first week of January 1797 the French invasion fleet, battered and dispersed, crept back to Brest. In 1798, the Irish did rise and the French did invade, but the British defeated both.

Here is the transcript of the letter Frederick wrote to the King which elicited this reply:

Horse Guards August 17th 1796

Sir,

     I have the Honor to lay before Your Majesty  the Weekly States as likewise the different Memoranda  for Your Majesty's Approbation.

     I have likewise to report to Your Majesty that  Mr Pitt came to Me this Morning, and in the name of Your Majesty's Ministers acquainted Me, that in consequence of some very pressing Intelligence from the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, it was deemed absolutely necessary that a Reinforcement should be sent from hence to Ireland as soon as possible. The only Reinforcement which it is in Our power to send at present is the 6th Dragoon Guards, and 12th Light Dragoons, and the Manx and Loyal Tay Fencible Infantry.
     Your Majesty might likewise approve of the three Foreign Corps of Lowenstein, Hompesch, and Waldstein, which are at present at the Isle of Wight, waiting to be sent to the West Indies, being ordered to proceed immediately to Cork, and to remain there till an Opportunity offers to send them on to their Destination; Should Your Majesty sanction these different Arrangements, the Troops may be ordered to proceed to Ireland immediately.
     Mr Dundas has likewise acquainted Me that a Representation has been made both by M. General Gordon and Major-General Sir Hew Dalrymple, that in case of any Accident happening to them, the Command in both the Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, would  fall upon the Colonels of Fencibles, and begging therefore that a Brig. General might be appointed to each Island under Them, I beg leave therefore to mention to Your Majesty the Names of Colonels Burton and Monson to be appointed Brigadiers General in those Islands.
     I mean to pay My Duty to Your Majesty at Weymouth next Sunday, and hope to be able to lay before You Sir, different Papers concerning the interior Arrangements in case of an Invasion, as likewise concerning the Reduction of most of the French Corps.

I have &c.

                                      (signed) FREDERICK


SIDEBARS:

Napier Christie Burton, who assumed command of the forces on Guernsey pursuant to this letter, later in 1798 became commander-in-chief of Canada.

     Napier Christie, only son of General Gabriel Christie, was born in the city of Albany, on the 31st August 1758. In early life he attended the burgh school of Stirling, when under the charge of his paternal grandmother, who resided at that place. When subsequently studying at Eton, he was, in compliment to his father, invited to Windsor Castle by George III., and introduced to the young princes, his sons. On the 15th August 1775, he was commissioned an ensign of the 22nd Foot. In February 1776 he exchanged into the 3rd Foot Guards, of which, on the 18th September 1779, he became captain. From April 1779 to October 1781, he served in America under Lord Cornwallis.
     Captain Napier Christie married, in 1784, Mary, daughter and heiress of General Ralph Burton of Hull Bank, Beverley, and Hotham Hall, Yorkshire, an officer who bore a distinguished part in the conquest of Canada. As Colonel Burton he was second in command of the force that left Louisbourg after its capture, under General Amherst, to reinforce General Abercrombie at Albany, subsequent to his reverse at Ticonderoga. He commanded the right wing of General the Hon. James Murray's army in an engagement before Quebec, on the 28th April 1760, and in the same year was appointed Governor of the Three Rivers. On the 12th November 1764, he was appointed Colonel of the 3rd Foot. Under command of Major-General Wolfe, he executed the military operation which resulted in the capture of Quebec.
     On his marriage, Captain Napier Christie assumed the name and arms of Burton in conjunction with his own. On the 13th October 1789, he obtained the brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel; he was, on the 26th February 1795, gazetted as brevet-colonel. In 1796 he commanded the troops at Guernsey; he was, on the 1st January 1798, promoted as Major General. In 1799 he succeeded his father, General Gabriel Christie, as commander-in-chief of the troops in Canada, and held this office till 1st January 1805, when he was advanced as Lieutenant General. He subsequently commanded the northern division of the troops in England. In January 1806 he was appointed Colonel of the 60th Rifles, and on the 4th June 1814, was advanced as General. He was many years the Member of Parliament for Beverley. He died at London in 1835.

     Burton Battery (Fort Les Landes in Guernsey French) on Guernsey is a Napoleonic War gun platform/battery (now renovated), which held three or four 24-pound cannon and would have protected part of Vazon Bay from French invasion. The battery was likely named after General Napier Christie Burton.



Page 1

Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.
Member: APS, BNAPS, CCNY, ICSC, DMSC & SPHS

Official PayPal Seal

Item includes a written, signed & sealed lifetime guarantee of authenticity and is accompanied by a full color picture receipt for your insurance and inventory records. Item will be shipped fully insured and archivally packaged to your address. Please note that although we take great care in scanning our item images, monitor displayed colors may vary from original. Damage on delivery must be promptly reported. There is a seven day "no questions asked" return policy, but item must be returned in the same condition as sent and the return shipment cost and liability is the responsibility of the buyer. While shipping is free, certain shipments may require buyer to be accountable for all applicable sales taxes, duties, customs fees, excise taxes or VAT's.