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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/381

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375
MENTAL AND MORAL HEREDITY IN ROYALTY.

minds. There is certainly nothing higher than grade eight (that of Queen Caroline, Consort of George II.)

There have never been a large percentage deficient on the moral side, and we find the pedigree upholding this, for compared with the Bourbon-Hapsburgs and Romanofs, the families that have allied themselves to the ruling house of England have been remarkably good. Quiet, domestic and religious traits have been the characteristics of the various female lines and since the direct progenitors, George III. and Edward of Kent, have had the same, such have been the later characteristics of most of the members of the English house. These moral qualities are perfectly in line with heredity but might be also explained by environment, either home influence or public opinion changing with the centuries.

But if we adopt the environment view, we can not rightly explain the bad characters as they appear, nor the contrasts that often mark the children. There have not been any very depraved since George IV. He and his brother, the Duke of York, were silly, dissipated men without ambition or serious purpose; William IV., another brother, was not much better. Their father and mother, George III. and Charlotte, were as unlike them as could be, painfully punctilious in their daily lives, so domestic and quiet as to be a subject of satire on this account.

But George III. had eleven children who have left records. Of these, three were the only black sheep. Why was this? Because all the others represent the majority of hereditary influence and turn out well. George IV. and the Duke of York revert to their grandfather, Frederick Prince of Wales, and are just like him. William IV., in his eccentricity, subbornness, simple ways and feeble mind, resembled his father, George III. His vices, if due to heredity, came from further back. In the generation before this (brothers and sisters of George III.), there were two in six who were very immoral. These were Edward, Duke of York,[1] and Henry, Duke of Cumberland.[2]

This percentage of one third is not as high as called for by heredity, since both Frederick, Prince of Wales, and his consort, Augusta, were rather immoral, which should call for fifty per cent., and to this should be added the slight amount of influence from such characters further back.

The generation before this contains seven children of George II. and Queen Caroline: Frederick, 3, 3;[3] William, 6, 3; Anne, 4, 4;


  1. Doran, 'Queens of Hanover' p. 406.
  2. Jesse, 'George III.' Vol. II., p. 2.
  3. 3, 3 means grade 3 for intellect, 3 for the moral side.
    6, 3 means grade 6 for intellect, 3 for the moral side.
    The mark is placed before those who may be considered 'bad' and is applied to those below grade 4.