BSL -Item: 1837-06-16-Munster-Windsor

 



FROM THE BERRYHILL & STURGEON
NAPOLEONIC & PENINSULAR WAR ARCHIVES

EARL OF MUNSTER - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS)
DEATHBED FAREWELL OF WILLIAM IV TO HIS CHILDREN
DATELINE: JUNE 16th, 1837

"I think he has, poor soul - as good as taken leave of us
 - He has shaken us all in the hand on going into the room"

WILLIAM IV DIED AT WINDSOR CASTLE ON THE MORNING OF 20th JUNE, 1837,
OF CARDIAC FAILURE AND BRONCHOPNEUMONIA,
WITH QUEEN ADELAIDE AND HIS FITZCLARENCE CHILDREN AT HIS SIDE
,
LEAVING NO LEGITIMATE CHILDREN


TWO PAGE HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED LETTER BY 1st EARL OF MUNSTER
WITH DOCKETING NOTATION ON THIRD PAGE

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



    

 

The Party's Concerned:


William IV, King of Great Britain & Ireland
George William Frederick; (1738–1820)

William suffered a severe bout of asthma in April, 1837. On 24th May, he had the great pleasure of seeing Princess Victoria reach her eighteenth birthday, which meant the end of the Duchess of Kent's plans to be regent for her daughter. By June, the King's health began to deteriorate and Queen Adelaide had to attend the races without him. A bulletin was issued stating that the King was suffering from an affection of the chest. He had coughing fits and difficulty in breathing and grew steadily weaker, losing consciousness for spells. William IV died on the morning of 20th June, 1837, of cardiac failure and bronchopneumonia, with Queen Adelaide and his FitzClarence children at his side. It was discovered at a subsequent autopsy that the valves of his heart had hardened and his liver was swollen. He was buried at Windsor. Queen Adelaide lived on for a further 12 years, dying on 2 December, 1849 at Bentley Priory in Middlesex

1st Earl of Munster
George FitzClarence (1794–1842)

George FitzClarence was the eldest of the ten children born to the actress Dorothy Jordan and the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV. When his father became King in 1830, George pressed him for honors, and in 1831 he was created Earl of Munster. The King died on June 20, 1837. This letter from Munster is a firsthand description of how he took leave of his family. The King’s young niece, Victoria, succeeded William. Considering himself ill-treated during Queen Victoria’s reign, Munster shot himself in his library on the night of March 20, 1842.

 

Transcription:


                                                                                                       [Circa 16 June 1837]

My Dear Sir,

I have found the King’s strength greatly diminished & I fear the alarm is not without foundation - I think he has, poor soul - as good as taken leave of us - He has shaken us all in the hand on going into the room - I think him sadly oppressed with weakness and dread.

Munster

[To: Unknown Recipient]



Notes and Comments:


This letter clearly has some significant damage and has been archivally taped, but we are fortunate that it has survived at all to paint the deathbed scene of William IV. The 1st Earl of Munster was William's oldest surviving child and though all his remaining children were illegitimate, they were well loved by their father. It is not clear to whom this missive was directed, but there is a docketing note which states: "June 16th - Last hopes surround the king"

Also included is a lovely and scarce bit of Royal Ephemera: the Circular Census of the Population of the British Empire (from the 1831 Census) with a cameo of the Earl of Munster as the centerpiece.

 


Docketing note
No 1, June 16th - last hopes surround? the king



Page 1



Page 2

END OF ITEM

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

Official PayPal SealItem 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.