FROM THE BERRYHILL & STURGEON
NAPOLEONIC & PENINSULAR
EARL OF MUNSTER -
AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS)
DEATHBED FAREWELL OF WILLIAM IV TO HIS CHILDREN
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
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
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.
[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.
[To: Unknown Recipient]
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
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.
No 1, June 16th - last hopes surround? the king
END OF ITEM
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