Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/26

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [ii s. XL JAN. 2, 1915.

GEORGE IV. 's NATURAL CHILDREN (US. x. 490). This rather unprofitable topic has been raised in the pages of ' N. & Q. ' before now, and QUIEN SABE may rest assured that the sovereign in question " had no son by his morganatic wife Mrs. Fitzgerald " by which description QUIEN SABE presumably means Mrs. Fitzherbert, with whom the King, then Prince of Wales, went through an illegal form of marriage, notoriously null and void under the provisions of the Royal Marriagfe Act.

" Morganatic " unions are, as I have pointed out on a previous occasion in your hospitable pages, totally unknown to English jurisprudence, and Mrs. Fitzherbert is therefore quite incorrectly styled " the morganatic wife " of George IV., despite their lengthy cohabitation and Queen Caro- line's witty bon mot on the subject.

A vast number of memoirs and diaries have been published during the last century in which the figure of King George IV. has certainly been exposed to the fullest glare of that light which beats on every throne. It would be easy to compile a long list, though doubtless an incomplete one, of his female favourites, from the lovely Perdita down to the great lady who ruled the roast at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Park in the last years of his reign ; but I believe the only authentic record of any offspring of his numerous amours is briefly contained in the following work, viz., the Preface to " Journal of my Life during the French Revolution, by Grace Dalrymple Elliott," published in 1859, which mentions " a most intimate con- nexion " between George IV. (then Prince of Wales) and Mrs. Elliott :

" The result was the birth of a female child, who was christened at Marylebone church under the names of Georgiana Augusta Frederica Seymour." This " Miss Seymour " married Lord Charles Bentinck in 1808, and died in 1813.

It may be well to remark that the Prince of Wales was far from being the only admirer of "Dally the Tall," as Mrs. Elliott was known by her friends, and it is certainly permissible to suspect that the royal parent- age ascribed to her daughter was at least dubious. H.

In Mr. W. H. Wilkins's 'Mrs. Fitz- herbert and George IV.,' 2 vols., 8vo, 1905, there is no mention, I believe, of any child or children. This book can, I think, claim to be definitive on the subject, and Mr. Wilkins was not remarkable for reti- cence. So far as I remember, I do not know that there were any claimants to the doubtful

honour of being the illegitimate children of George IV. ; and I believe the author of a. recent volume, ' An Injured Queen, Caroline of Brunswick,' Mr. Lewis Melville, even went so far as to express considerable doubt as to whether George IV. was the father of the Princess Charlotte, and gave some details as to the supposed paternity.


The late Mr. W. H. Wilkins, in his interesting book ' Mrs. Fitzherbert and George IV.,' declares emphatically in a foot-note (vol. i. p. 105) :

" Neither by her first or second marriage, nor by her third marriage with George, Prince of Wales, had Mrs. Fitzherbert any children," and this may be accepted as the latest and most authoritative statement on the subject. The notorious Grace Dalrymple Eliot ("Dally the Tall "), however, always insisted that her daughter born on 30 March, 1782 was the child of the Heir Apparent, and in the Registers of Baptism at St. Marylebone Church for 30 July of that year is the following entry :

" Georgina Augusta Frederica Elliott [sic], daughter of His Royal Highness George, Prince of Wales, and Grace Elliott [sic]."

On the other hand, many persons claimed the paternity of the little girl for George, 4th Earl Cholmondeley, who brought her up and educated her, and it was under his auspices that she was married, at Chester on 21 Sept., 1808, to Lord William Charles Bentinck, third son of the third Duke of Portland. She died on 10 Dec., 1813, aged 31. Previous to her marriage, while living with Lord Cholmondeley, she bore the name of Seymour. HORACE BLEACKLEY.

Mrs. Fitzherbert, the morganatic wife of George IV., had no children ('D.N.B./ ' Fitzherbert, Maria Anne, 1756-1837; ' Ency- clopaedia Britannica,' art., 'George IV.').

In the ' Memoirs of George IV.,' by Robert Huish, 1830, there is no mention of any offspring resulting from the amours there described. Neither is there, as in other cases, a peerage to perpetuate the line of an illegitimate descendant. A striking resem- blance to royalty was apt, in the Georgian period, to create an impression of illegiti- macy. Possibly Mr. Rouse resembled George IV. J. D. C.

TIMOTHY SKOTTOWE (11 S. x. 489). In 1642-3 Mr. Timothy Skottowe was appointed one of five Commissioners to collect the Norwich contingent of Lord Gny's Asso- ciated Counties' Peace Preservation Force.