Carlton House

Prinny's Set

Prinny's Mistresses

Prince of Wales then Prince Regent (1762-1830)

Prince Regent George Augustus Frederick of Hanover, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, and Baron of Renfrew. Born August 12, 1762.

"Prinny", as he was called by his intimates, was an impulsive, pleasure loving, and given to extravagance and excess. At 18, he spent 10,000 pounds annually on clothes. At 22, he was 160,000 pounds in debt. At 33, he was 630,000 pounds in debt and made a disastrous marriage to Caroline of Brunswick in order to gain an increase in his income. The Prince of Wales was furious when Parliament increased his income to 125,000 pounds on his marriage, but set aside 65,000 pounds plus the 13,000 pound income from the Duchy of Cornwall as payments on his debts leaving him with an annual income of 60,000 pounds when his annual income as a bachelor had been 78,000 pounds. The many debacles of Prinny and his brothers prompted the Duke of Wellington to referred to George the III's sons as "The damnedest millstones about the neck of any Government that can be imagined."

The Prince would fall under the sway of first one enthusiasm then another, always tiring quickly of them and moving on to another. Whether it was begging his Father for a military commission, then abandoning the army camp at Brighton to return to the comforts of his Pavilion or embracing French cuisine and clothes under the influence of the Duc d' Orleans then joining Norfolk in the anti-French cuisine Beef-steak Society, or decisively ending his relationship with Mrs. Fitzherbert to marry another, then taking up with her again within five years time; the Prince's actions showed a selfish person without direction. He would develop a passion for a faddish new style. No sooner was the building built or redecorated then he would be off on another fad. Some of his excesses have become national treasures, such as the Brighton Pavilion, a ludicrously appealing taste of the Far East on the Channel coast. However, it was built first by Holland as a French classical building known as the Marine Pavilion then remodeled to resemble Sezincote with it's Mogul India style by John Nash. The interior of the Pavilion is Prinny's own blend of Chinese and Arabian styles. Other of his excesses like the much remodeled Carlton House were simply thrown away.

The Prince Regent had a number of mistresses, one of whom, Mrs .Fitzherbert, he is alleged to have secretly married in December 1785. An underground passage links the Brighton Pavilion with her house close by. He spent large sums on most of his mistresses, but frequently borrowed money from Mrs. Fitzherbert.

When it finally became clear that George III was no longer fit to rule, his son was established as Prince Regent (1811-1820). The Prince Regent gave his name to that exuberant style known as Regency, a neo-classical style based on Greek rather than Roman models, with some Egyptian and Chinese influences, as well. The Prince Regent might have been flamboyant, dissipated, and selfish, but he was also a discerning patron of the arts. His taste was impressive. He was a fan of Sir Walter Scott's work and Jane Austen's work. He bought the paintings of John Constable, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, and other English artists. He supported the founding of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and led the campaign to acquire the Marbles from Lord Elgin. In fact, the Gallery's portico came from the Prince's residence, Carlton House, in Pall Mall. He commissioned the architect, John Nash, for a number of projects including to remodel Buckingham Palace. George IV also set about renovating Windsor Castle with architect Jeffery Wyatville. In short, the Prince's aesthetic sensibilities and his enthusiasm for the arts served to make the Regency period a time when literature, art, and architecture flourished.

When the Prince Regent finally became king (1820-30), his elaborate coronation ceremonies and celebration garnered him a fleeting popularity with the British people. His self indulgent behavior such as heavy spending and public flaunting of his mistresses during the economic problems created by the Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath soon wiped out the respect of his subjects again. The unpopular King was little mourned at his death.

Read more about Prinny's life in the books: Prince of Pleasure by Saul David,
George IV, Prince of Wales
and George IV, Regent and King both by Christopher Hibbert
The Poldark series of novels by Winston Graham is set during Prinny's lifetime. Begin with Ross Poldark.

Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839), Marquis of Lorn acceded 1806 as the 6th Duke of Argyll

George William Campbell the 6th Duke of Argyll carried the title Marquis of Lorn until he acceded to the ducal title in 1806. His father was a member of the household of George III and a General of his Majesty's Forces. George III created the 5th Duke baron Sundridge of Coombank . The 6th Duke married Caroline Elizabeth Villiers (1774-1835), the eldest daughter of the 4th Earl of Jersey, November 29th, 1810 just three weeks after she divorced Lord Uxbridge future Marquis of Anglesey. The family estate in Scotland was Inverarey Castle. The ancient family seat damaged in an attack in Cromwell's time was Castle Campbell overlooking Dollar in Clackmannanshire. The 6th Duke of Argyll sold the land and buildings of Castle Campbell in the 19th century. Campbell was a member of the British Fishing Society, White's club, and loyal companion to Beau Brummell.

Lord Alvanley, William Arderne (1789-1849), 2nd Baron Alvanley

Lord Alvanley One of the most popular members of the Prince's circle, was regarded as the wittiest man of his day, and as a dandy almost rivaled "Beau" Brummell himself. Lord Alvanley's dinners were famous. They were select with no more than eight guests present, and whatever the season, an apricot tart was invariably served. He was a hard rider to hounds. On one famous occasion Gunter, a wealthy owner of a London tea room known for its sweets and ices, was riding with Lord Alvenley. Gunter was nervous about his mount. "Oh, my lord, I can't hold him, he is so hot," said the agitated confectioner. " Ice him, Gunter," replied Alvanley;" ice him."

William, the second Lord Alvanley, was the son of perhaps the most famous member of the family Richard Pepper Arderne, born in 1745, a brilliant lawyer, successful politician and a friend of William Pitt. Richard Pepper Arderne became Attorney General and was knighted in 1788. In 1801 he was created Baron Alvanley of Alvanley. The second Lord Alvanley was a friend of the Prince Regent and one of the most prominent Regency Bucks. He was a member of White's and Waiter's Clubs. He was one of the hosts of the 1813 ball where Brummell after being cut by the Prince addressed to Alvanley the remark "Ah, Alvanley, who is your fat friend?" Sadly, Lord Alvenley's great extravagance led to the break-up of the family estates. The family lost Underbank Hall when it had to be sold by auction in 1823 and then two years later the Bredbury estate also had to be sold to pay off his debts. William Arderne died in 1849 and for a time his brother Richard held the title until his death in 1857, which saw the end of the male line of the Arderne family.

Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794), acceded 1773 as 7th Earl of Barrymore

Richard Barry the 7th Earl of Barrymore (1769-1793), the eldest son, bore the nickname of Hellgate for his wild behavior. His brother the Hon. Henry Barry (1770-1823), who became the 8th Earl of Barrymore on his brother's death, was dubbed Cripplegate since he limped, probably due to a club foot. The Hon. and Rev. Augustus Barry (1773-1818), even less reputable than the other two, was known as Newgate, for he had been a tenant of every gaol in the kingdom save that one. The eldest, a sister, Lady Caroline(1768-?), who became Lady Melfort in 1788, from her ready and copious use of oaths received from the lips from the Prince Regent the sobriquet of Billingsgate.

Richard Barry, Lord Barrymore, had probably never had any limits set for him due to the early death of his parents and the indulgence of his grandmother. His father died when he was three, his mother when he was eleven, and his grandmother also passed on while he was in his teens. A skilled jockey, at 18, he set up his own stables in the Thames village of Wargave and built a mansion of Wargave Hill. He ran through over 300,000 pounds on turf and stables within a few short years. His bright mind was applied to constantly devising new eccentric amusements for himself and his friends, which particularly endeared him to the Prince Regent. He founded a number of clubs with eccentric rules such as "if any member has more sense than another he be kicked out of the club." The 7th Earl of Barrymore was one of the founding members of the Four-Horse club, which was at first simply a group of wild young men who enjoyed bribing coachmen to allow them to take the reins and drive the stage coach team at break-neck speeds along the notoriously poor British roads. The original members were: Lord Worcester, Lord Sefton, Lord Barrymore, Sir John Lade, and Colonel Berkeley. At 20 Richard, Lord Barrymore borrowed money at high rates of interest, against the money coming to him when he reached his majority, to build a magnificent theater at Wargrave, which cost 60,000 pounds. There he and his friends with a mix of professionals, including the famous clown Delphini, put on lavishly produced and catered plays. Richard's interest in boxing led him to box himself and organize matches and bet on them. He and a boxer named Hooper enjoyed spending time in the seamier haunts of London where they often baited strangers into fights for the amusement of his friends. Even his income of 10,000 pounds a year was not enough to keep up with his gambling and spending. By 1792, he was in incredible debt. Richard married Miss Goulding, the niece of the infamous Letty Lade in 1792. After having received permission from Miss Gouldings guardians Sir John and Lady Lade to marry Richard Barry seeming couldn't wait and the couple eloped to Gretna Green, but did not actually make it to the church at all. They were married some little time later. The whole affair caused quite a scandal.

Richard the 7th Earl of Barrymore died, as carelessly as he lived, after being shot through the eye in an accident involving a loaded gun standing against the carriage seat.

Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802), acceded 1771 as 5th duke of Bedford

In January 1771 he succeeded his grandfather as duke of Bedford and owner of Woburn Abbey. After being educated educated at Westminster school and Trinity College, Cambridge, he spent nearly two years in foreign travel on a Grand Tour. Lord Bedford joined the Whigs in the House of Lords as a follower of Charles Fox, and became a member of the circle of the Prince of Wales, later George IV. After overcoming some nervousness and educational defects, he began to speak in the House and soon became one of the leading debaters in that assembly. He opposed most of the measures presented by the ministry of William Pitt. Bedford objected to the grant of a pension to Edmund Burke, an action which drew down upon him a scathing attack from Burke's pen, "Letter to a Noble Lord" (1796). Bedford was greatly interested in horse racing and agriculture. He established a racing stud and a model farm at Woburn Abbey, and raised winning race horses. He experimented with sheep breeding. He was a member of the Jockey Club and the original Board of Agriculture, and was the first president of the Smithfield club. He died at Woburn Abbey on the 2nd of March 1802, and was interred in the family plot at Chenies. The Duke never married, and was succeeded in the title by his brother, John.

Beau Brummell Mr. George Bryan Brummell "Beau" (1778-1840)

Beau Brummel

George Brummell was the son of the private secretary of Lord North. He was tall and fair with a rakish broken nose acquired in a fall from a horse. Brummell's father died when Brummell was just sixteen leaving him an inheritance of just over 20,000 pounds. At about this time, Brummell was brought to the attention of the Prince of Wales. His career as a dandy began in 1794 when the 16-year-old was gazetteer to a Coronetcy in the Tenth Light Dragoons, by its colonel, the 32-year-old Prince of Wales. The Prince was fond of having "the handsomest and pleasantest men of the age" in his regiment. Aided by being high in the Prince's favor, Brummell's promotion was rapid. He was captain by 1796. Instead of following a career which would have supplemented his income so as to make his means comfortable, he sold out in 1798 when his regiment was to be sent from London to Manchester. Brummell then commenced his bachelor life. He took a house in Chesterfield Street, Mayfair, gave small but exquisite dinners, avoided all extravagance such as gaming, and kept only a pair of horses. Brummell went on very well in the Prince of Wales's circle considering his whole fortune was more akin to the annual income of the set he was moving in. He was known for his nicety of dress, elegance of his manners, and smartness of his repartee. He made personal cleanliness popular. Cleaning his teeth, shaving, and scrubbing in a bath daily. He dressed with simple elegance. Of understated elegance he once said: "If John Bull turns round to look after you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable." If his cravat was not tied properly in the first try, it was discarded. "Those are our failures" remarked his valet gesturing to a large pile of tumbled cravats. For awhile the Beau was seldom separated from the Prince, even accompanying him on his honeymoon. The Beau and the Regent had been drifting apart for some time due to Brummell's typical injudicious remarks until their final falling out in 1813. As his social star ascended, Beau Brummell had begun to gamble and in general behave as though his means were the same as those around him. In 1814, after a run of bad luck at the tables that lost his final 10,000 pounds, Brummell fled to Calais to escape his creditors. An appointment to the consulate at Caen due to the exertions of Lord Alvanley and Marquis Worcester, the future Duke of Beaufort, provided him a small annuity. He died in a madhouse suffering from syphilis in March 1840.

Read more about Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Man of Style in a book by Ian Kelly

From left to right these are the Earl of Sefton, The Duke of Devonshire, Lord Manners, "Poodle" Byng, Byng's poodle (name unknown), and the Duke of Beaufort.

"Poodle" Byng, Hon. Frederick Gerald Byng (1784-1871)

Hon. Frederick Gerald aka "Poodle" Byng (his constant companion was a Poodle), was the 5th son of the of the 5th Viscount Torrington. As a Gentleman Usher of the Royal Chamber, he was appointed by George Canning (1770-1827; Liverpool's foreign minister in succession to Castlereagh, 1822) to escort "their savage majesties" of the Sandwich Islands during an unexpected visit to London in 1824; the Hawaiian King Kamehameha II's given name Liholiho was thought by the British to mean "dog of dog" so the appointment of "Poodle" Byng as advisor and escort was a joke which some found amusing at the time. The unfortunate King Kamehameha II and Queen Tamehamalu died at Osborne's Hotel in July of measles and inflammation of the lungs.

Byng was one of the group who sat with Beau Brummell in the bow window at White's judging the dress of passersby. Byng had Beau Brumell to thank for his sobriquet. Byng was fond of letting his light hair curl around his forehead. He was one day driving in his curricle with a poodle at his side when the Beau hailed him with "Ah, how d' ye do, Byng? A family vehicle, I see." he married Catherine Neville, his mother's maid. Towards the end of his life he was known as a "Regency Remnant."

Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856), Colonel the Hon. George Lionel Dawson Damer

Colonel the Hon. George Lionel Dawson Damer (1788-1856) a younger son of the Earl of Portarlington was a dashing calvary officer and one of the Regency Dandies who frequented White's. He married Mary Georgiana Emma ('Minnie') Seymour (1798-1848).
Mrs. Fitzherbert opposed the match because (as Anita Leslie records in Mrs. Fitzherbert [London, 1960] she regarded George Dawson as

'... quite the wrong man ...
Neither Mrs. Fitzherbert nor George IV who,
watching the dowry he had granted increase to £20,000, had ... [any]
wish to see it handed over to a penniless soldier ... Their precious
Minnie had been raised to make a spectacular marriage.'
The couple, who were eventually married on 20 August 1825 despite the objections of the King and Mrs. Fitzherbert who had cut George Dawson out of Minnie's settlement and imposed a series of long separations.

Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811) acceded 1764 as 5th Duke

The Duke's country house is Chatsworth. He came into his title and defacto leadership of the Whig Party at only sixteen. The Duke was among the richest men in England with an income of about 73,000 pounds a year. William Cavendish had been raised in cold splendor by his uncles. The 5th Duke was described as lethargic, ill-mannered, and wooden. His daughter said her dog was the only subject they ever conversed upon. The 5th Duke of Devonshire frequented Brook's Club where he had a supper of boiled mutton every night and gambled compulsively. He entered into a loveless marriage with the beautiful Georgiana Spencer on June 7, 1774. She spent 1,486 pounds on her trousseau which rivaled the amount spent on Marie Antoinette. After they were married the couple stayed with Georgiana's parents at their home Wimbeldon Park. At about this time Devonshire's mistress gave birth to a daughter named Charlotte after her mother. He began an affair with Lady Frances Jersey in 1778. Georgiana took in Charlotte the child of Devonshire's mistress on May 8th 1780 and gave her the last name Williams. On January 18, 1781 at a Ball given to mark the Prince of Wales official presentation to society "The court beauties looked with an eye of envy on her Grace of Devonshire, as the only woman honored with the hand of the heir apparent, during Thursday night's ball at St. James." Reported the Morning Herald. The Prince became enamoured with Georgiana and solicited her opinion on nearly everything he did, but despite gossip she never had an affair with him. She also had a gambling problem. Georgiana became very interested in politics and was famous for her Whig political dinners at Devonshire House, and she became an ardent Fox supporter. Her name was linked with that of Charles Grey later the 2nd Earl Grey in the early 1790's.

Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833), acceded 1793 as 3rd Baron Foley of Kidderminster

Baron Foley of Kidderminster in the county of Worcester. A member of White's club. Additions to Witley Court in the early 1800s were designed by John Nash. It was during the Foley era that the estate flourished through sound investment both in the new agricultural and industrial technology. However by the beginning of the 19th century successive Foley inheritors had lost the family fortune through over extravagance and gambling. In 1837 the court was sold for £890,000 to the Ward family, Earls of Dudley.

Charles James Fox (1749-1806)

The brilliant but dissolute younger son of the late Henry Fox, 1st Baron of Holland whose tenure as Paymaster-General during the Seven Years' War had enabled him to accumulate a vast fortune. At 16, Charles in league with his older brother, lost 32,000 pounds to gambling. An M.P. since the age of 19, he made a name for himself with his acid condemnation of Lord North's handling of the American War. Appointed Foreign Secretary in Rockingham's 1782 government at just 33, Fox began to cultivate the Prince of Wales friendship which provided the opposition with a natural ally and gave the Prince an avenue for acting out his rebellion. Fox himself was very attractive to the Prince of Wales for his brilliant mind, dazzling conversation, and irreverent nature. They were often to be found together at Brooks Club. Fox attracted the attention of the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire who campaigned untiringly for his Whig issues. He was Foreign Secretary three times in all in 1782, 1783, and in 1806. He is known for his debates with William Pitt the Younger. Abolition of the slave trade, which he proposed and urged, was passed in 1807.

Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824) & Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833)

Hanger, bounced from the Coldstream Guards for dueling, talked himself into a Hessian captaincy and was posted to America during the Revolutionary War. Upon meeting Hanger in Charleston, Banastre Tarleton recognized him as a kindred spirit, and placed him in command of the British Legion cavalry. Both young men quickly proved that human faults can be military virtues. For the next few months, the two led the Legion to Revolutionary War English victories at Camden and Hanging Rock. Tarleton was defeated at the Cowpens Battle. He had a bloody reputation for executing prisoners. The phrase "Tarleton's Quarter" came into use after he shot soldiers attempting to surrender at Waxhaw. Tarleton's exhibitionist ferocity catapulted him from a humble coronetcy to Lieutenant Colonel of the British Legion, a brigade-sized flying column composed of equal parts mounted dragoons and light infantry. Unlike in the movies, Tarleton returned to England a War Hero.

Inspite of the disparity of their places in society, Hanger and Tarleton remained fast friends. Hanger's father was a baron (Lord Coleraine). Tarleton's slave trader father bankrolled privateers and was Lord Mayor of Liverpool. Alike in temperament; both had been rowdy school boys. Tarleton spent his time at Oxford shouting rude epigrams from theater boxes and loosing at faro. At Eton, Hanger often risked "breaking my neck," by rappelling from a boarding-house roof en route to assignations with "a daughter of a vendor of cabbages."

Even defeat couldn't separate the pair. Back in England after the end of the Revolutionary War, Hanger and Tarleton became part of the Prince of Wales' set. Tarleton went on to be the M.P. for Liverpool and a defender of the slave trade. They spent their time racing turkeys against geese or orchestrating riots on behalf of Whig candidates, and carrying on romances. Tarleton's inamorata was the poetess Mary Darby Robinson, whose polemics against marriage have just begun to earn recognition from feminist critics. Hanger preferred professionals, whom he remembered in his memoirs as "The Lovely Cyprians."

Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822) 2nd Marquis of Hertford (acceded 1794)

When his father was created Marquis of Hertford in 1793, Francis took the title Earl of Yarmouth. His mother was Isabella Fitzroy the youngest daughter of Charles Fitzroy the second Duke of Grafton. Francis Seymour attended Eton and Christ Church College Oxford. As Viscount Beauchamp he represented Lisburne in the Irish House of Commons. In 1766 he entered the English House of Commons sitting as the member for Lostwithiel then Orford. He was Lord of the Treasury in Lord North's administration 1774-1780. Seymour upheld the right of Britian to tax her colonies and opposed the repeal of the tea tax in America. He was in favor of religious tolerance and more equal treatment for Ireland. Upon his father being made Marquis, Lord Yarmouth served as ambassador to Berlin and Vienna. From 1804 on he held a number of Court positions including Master of Horse and Lord Chamberlain. He was invested a Knight of the Garter in 1806.

As Viscount Beauchamp he married Alicia Elizabeth the second daughter of the 1st Viscount Windsor in Feb. 1768. She died Feb. 1772 aged 22. Isabella Anne Ingram Sheperd Irvine, seventeen years his junior, the daughter of the 9th Viscount Irvine became his second wife in 1776 when she was just 16. They had one son Francis Charles Lord Yarmouth. When Isabella's Father died in Nov. 1807 the Ingram name was attached to Seymour as a stipulation of inheritance of the vast fortune. The family estate is Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. His wife Isabella (1760-1836) was a mistress of the Prince of Wales from 1807 to 1819. Hertford died June 17, 1822 at Hertford House in Manchester Square.

Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842), 3rd Marquis of Hertford (acceded 1822)

Before he acceded to the title of Marquis Francis Charles carried the title Lord Yarmouth. He was a wastrel who would do anything to acquire money. The Duke of Queensbury, who wished Yarmouth to marry his illegitimate daughter, hinted that as a father-in-law he would be generous. So Yarmouth eloped with the great heiress Maria Fagniani. They were married March 18, 1798. She was the illegitimate daughter of the 4th Duke of Queensbury. Old Q left Lord and Lady Yarmouth his freehold estates and 50,000 pounds each to Lord Yarmouth, their daughter Lady Frances, and the younger son Lord Henry on his death in 1810. Old Q left Lady Yarmouth 100,000 pounds. Maria stayed in Paris from 1804 on, while Yarmouth returned to England. She died there in 1856.

The third Marquis of Hertford was the original of the Marquis of Steyne in Thacheray's "Vanity Fair." He was close to the Prince of Wales and had a great deal of influence over him. Hertford was Vice-Chamberlain in the Prince Regent's household. He was invested with the Order of the Garter when he succeeded to the peerage in 1822. In 1827 the Prince Regent sent him as an envoy bearing the Order of the Garter to Nicholas I of Russia. Yarmouth had been invested with the Order of St. Anne by Nicholas in 1821. His London home, Hertford House in Manchester Square is just a stone's throw away from Oxford Street. He died at Dorchester House in Park Lane in 1842. His eldest son Richard preferred Paris to London and was seldom in England.

Edward "Golden Ball" Hughes (1798-1863)

Golden Ball

Edward Hughes Ball assumed the name Hughes in 1819 after an Uncle on his mother's side who left him a fortune of £40,000 a year. He then became Edward Hughes Ball Hughes. A remarkably handsome man "The Golden Ball" was celebrated for his chocolate colored coach, and his invention of the black cravat. One evening in 1823, the King's Theater was packed by an audience eager to see a beautiful 16-year-old Spanish dancer who was the toast of London. The manager, however, appeared and expressed his regret that the Mercandotti had disappeared. Subsequently it transpired that she had married "Ball" Hughes. Ainsworth, the novelist, summed up the matter very neatly : "The damsel is gone, and no wonder at all that, bred to the dance, she is gone to a Ball." He shirked a duel and some wit remarked "Golden Ball, Leaden Ball, Hughes Ball." Hughes bought Oatlands in 1820 from the Duke of York after the death of the Duchess of York. Oatlands was subsequently lost. Having squandered his inheritance through an incredible level of gambling and wasteful spending, Hughes ended his days in poverty in Paris wither he had fled to escape his creditors.

Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805), 4th Earl of Jersey, 7th Viscount Grandison, Viscount Dartford, Baron of Hoo

The only surviving son of William the 3rd Earl of Jersey and Anne daughter of Scroop Egerton, first Duke of Bridgewater, and widow of Wriothesley Russell, 3rd Duke of Bedford. George, tutored in boyhood by William Whitehead the poet laureate, grew to a gentleman of the most courtly manners and fastidious dress known as the "Prince of Maccaronies". He held various appointments in the King George III's household such as Gentleman of the Bedchamber and Master of Buckhounds. The country seat was Middleton Park at Middleton Stoney in Oxfordshire.

Married Frances Twysden seventeen years his junior in 1770 when she was just 17. She was the only daughter of Philip Twysden Bishop of Raphoe. Jersey was the Prince of Wales' Master of Horse and Lord of the Bedchamber. His wife Frances was the Prince of Wales mistress from 1794 to 1798. A Gillray cartoon portrayed the triangle. On 22 August 1805, Lord Jersey, age seventy, dropped dead while walking with his son near his son's house, Prospect Lodge in Tunbridge Wells.

Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838), 2nd Baronet of Lade

Sir John Lade inherited a brewing fortune on the death of his father, which occured before he was even born. He was an intimate of Prinny's and a founding member of the Four-Horse Club. The Prince bought horses from him and he served as the racing manager for the Prince of Wales. He and his second wife were a dashing sporting couple, both extremely horse mad.

Lady Lade's high-perch phaeton, which she drove regularly in Hyde Park, both scandalized and awed society. Among the 14 royal commissions, which George Stubbs undertook in the 1790's, is the spirited equestrian portrait of Laetitia, Lady Lade. The portrait of her in riding dress on a rearing horse recorded her as an accomplished horsewoman. She was described as being of scandalous reputation and notorious for her foul language. Letty Lade was notorious for being, before Sir John made her his second wife, the mistress of highwayman Jack Rann, "Sixteen-string Jack," who had been hanged at Tyburn. She was not at all genteel, and despite the Prince's pointed public attentions to her to try to make her acceptable to Society, she remained beyond the pale. For one thing, she swore like a sailor, and even the Prince said, when he heard anyone curse luridly, "he swears like Lady Lade."

Sir Henry, Henry Mildmay (1787-1848), Baronet

One of the dandies holding a ball at the Argyle Rooms in July 1813 when the Prince and Brummell had their famous public falling out. He carried the title of Baronet.

Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815), the 11th Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Surrey

Charles Howard, the 11th Duke, known to posterity as the "Drunken Duke" and friend of the Prince Regent. The Duke of Norfolk is the Premier Duke, the title having been conferred on Sir John Howard in 1483 by his friend King Richard III. The Dukedom also carries with it the hereditary office of Earl Marshal of England. The 11th Duke of Norfolk was Mayor of Gloucester several time.  He was well known for his hospitality and for his dirtiness. It's rumored that his servants had to wash him when he was drunk, because he couldn't stand the thought of washing when he was sober. When the Duke was complaining one day to a gentleman that he had tried everything possible to cure his rheumatism the gentleman replied " Pray, my Lord, did you ever try a clean shirt ? "  In 1787 the 11th Duke an amateur architect decided to completely reconstruct  Arundel castle, which had been ruined during the Civil Wars, to his own designs. The construction was completed in 1815 at a cost of £600,000.

The Duke was the leader of the Beef-steak Society which met every Saturday evening at 5 o'clock November through the end of June. This club established in 1735 by John Rich and George Lambert was founded as a reaction against French cuisine, which was very popular in Georgian England. Norfolk had a large appetite for beef and often ate 3-4 pounds of steak at one sitting. The group met at the a room in Covent Garden till it burned, then the Bedford Coffee House (from 1808). Although there were a number of other venues at various times including the Lyceum Theater and later in the 1830's at the Bedford Hotel. 'The Sublime Society of Beef-steaks' was very exclusive, limited to 24 members. They disdained to be thought of as a club. The Prince of Wales became its 25th member. The group dined off beef-steaks accompanied by generous amounts of port and arrack-punch. Each member could also invite a friend.

Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d' Orleans (1747-1793)

Louis Philippe Joseph (called Philippe Égalité) married Adelaide de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Penthievre in 1769 at Versailles. His wife's dowry made this cousin of Louis XVI the richest man in France.

The Duc de Chartres was a member of Brooks and other London clubs and shared the Prince's fondness for Brighton. His great charm and generosity was overshadowed by reckless profligacy. The Duc de Chartres squandered his immense wealth, then, to recoup his fortune, lined the gardens of his Palais Royal with shops. The gardens became a gathering point for the popular elements of Paris. The Duc de Chartres and the Prince were boon companions. He was one of the wild young Prince of Wales drinking buddies along with Barrymore. It was the Duc who acted as intermediary when Mrs. Fitzherbert fled to Paris and prevailed upon her to return to London. The Duc introduced the Prince to Parisian goods such as scent, underclothing, fancy paper, and waistcoats, which thoroughly entranced him. The Duc d' Orleans was guillotined in November 1793 during the bloody French Revolution.

Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d' Orleans (1773-1850)

Louis Philippe the eldest son Louis Philippe Joseph and Adelaide de Bourbon was at first styled Duke de Valois, he succeeded as the Duke de Chartres in 1785 when his father became Duc d' Orleans.

He became the Duc d' Orleans when his father was guillotined by the Jacobin government in November 1793 during the bloody French Revolution. Louis Philippe fled to Switzerland. He was to remain in exile for 20 years. He and his family went first to America under an agreement with the Jacobin French government. Louis Philippe returned to England in 1800 and was a frequent visitor at Brighton. While in Italy for his brother's health, the Duc d' Orleans visited Sicily at the invitation of Ferdinand I, king of the Two Sicilies, and in 1809 he married the king's daughter Maria Amelia (1782-1866). The Duc d' Orleans returned to France after the Bourbon restoration and soon recovered his huge fortune. He accepted the crown of France in 1830 after Charles X was deposed. Louis Philippe's reign was known as the July Monarchy. He arranged the marriage of his daughter Louise (1812-50) to Leopold I, king of the Belgians. Louis Philippe abdicated in 1848 and retired to Surrey in England where he died in 1850 at Claremont.

Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)

During his naval career, Captain Jack Payne served with distinction in both the American Revolutionary war and the Napoleonic wars. He commanded the naval ship Russell in the Channel Fleet from 1793-1796. Captain Payne received a gold medal for his distinguished part in the battle of June 1794. He was part of the squadron that escorted Caroline of Brunswick to England. He then commanded the naval ship Impetuex in the Channel Fleet from 1796-1799. Rev. James Stanier Clarke served as chaplain of the Impetuex from 1796-1799. Captain Payne introduced Rev. Clarke to the Prince of Wales who soon appointed Rev. Clarke, best known for his correspondence with Jane Austen, to the post of domestic Chaplain and librarian. Captain Jack Payne resigned his command due to a severe illness in 1799. He was promoted to rear-admiral and appointed as treasurer of Greenwich Hospital where he died on November 17,1803.

Captain Jack Payne was at one time the comptroller of Prinny's household. The restless energy that fueled his military career was spent on dissipation in peace time. It was he who delivered congès and negotiated settlements with the Prince's mistresses. He is famous for redeeming an engagement under the hand of the Prince for 10,000 pounds from Mrs. Anna Maria Crouch, the beautiful young singer and actress, for only 1,000 guineas. The Prince had sent 3 thousand guineas with him, but he wisely divided the money into three bags leaving two in the coach with a footman. He hand carried the letter from the Prince of Wales severing their relationship to Mrs. Fitzherbert shortly before the Prince's marriage to Caroline of Brunswick. Captain Jack Payne was known for his disrespect and foul mouth. He received a famous set down from Jane the Duchess of Gordon for speaking in a disrespectful terms of Queen Charlotte.

Viscount Petersham, Charles Stanhope(1780-1851), acceded 1829 as 4th Earl of Harrington

Viscount Petersham

Viscount Petersham, the 3rd Earl of Harrington's eldest son, was a Regency buck. He was educated at Eton from 1793 until 1795 when he entered the Coldstream Guards. In 1799, he became Captain of the Prince of Wales's Light Dragoons; in 1803 Major of the Queen's Rangers; and in 1807 Lieutenant Colonel 3rd West India Regiment. Although in 1812 he was placed on half pay, in 1814 he became Colonel. Also in 1812, he was a Lord of the Bedchamber to King George III until 1820, then from 1820 till 1829 to King George IV. The family home in London was Harrington House.

Viscount Petersham's manners were affected and he spoke with a kind of lisp. Never seen in public before 6.00 p.m. 'Beau' Petersham was a trendsetter. He attracted the attention and friendship of the Prince Regent who emulated his clothes, his tea drinking and his addiction to snuff. Lord Petersham's sitting room contained canisters of tea in great variety and an equally wide range of snuff. He owned 365 snuff boxes and used a different one on each day of the year.

Tall and handsome, Lord Petersham was said to resemble Henry IV; he emphasized the likeness by growing a small pointed beard. He designed many of his own clothes and his fashions were quickly copied. He gave his name to the the Harrington hat and Petersham overcoat. The Prince Regent ordered an overcoat in the Petersham style for each day of the week. Viscount Petersham was famous for the brown color of his coach, clothing, and his servant's livery.

Petersham was almost fifty when he acceeded to the Stanhope family title. He finally married in 1831 to Maria Foote the Covent Garden actress seventeen years his junior. Their affair had met with the old Earl's disapproval and had been the gossip of London and Derbyshire for several years. The 4th Earl of Harrington had William Barron landscape the park at Elvaston Castle, his father's Gothic confection by James Wyatt. Lewis Cottingham redecorated Wyatt's original entrance hall. Renamed the Hall of the Fair Star it was dedicated to the chivalrous pursuit of love. The new Countess was in her element in this make believe world of chivalry.

Henry Pierrepoint

One of the four dandies ( Lord Alvanley, Beau Brummell, Henry Mildmay, and Henry Pierrepoint) who hosted the July 1813 ball at which Brummell had a public falling out with the Prince. Pierrepont is the family name of the Earls' of Manvers.

Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810), acceded 1786 as 4th Duke of Queensberry

William Douglas succeeded his father as the 3rd Earl of March in 1731 and his cousin as the 4th Duke of Queensberry in 1786. He was popularly known as "Old Q" in reference to the initial boldly painted on his carriage. He had a reputation as a successful racehorse owner and gambler. Fabulously wealthy and a confirmed bachelor and philanderer who preferred young operatic performers, usually of Italian origin. Douglas was a member of the notorious "Hellfire Club". He bathed in milk to "maintain his potency". Absorbed by his life of hedonism he seriously neglected his estates (Drumlanrig, Dumfries, and Galloway). He met the Prince when he was Lord of the Bedchamber for George III and became more closely associated with him when he transferred his loyalty to the Prince when it looked certain he would be made Regent.

Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857), acceded 1787 as 5th Duke of Rutland

Born John Henry Manners 4 Jan 1778. Acceded as 5th Duke of Rutland in 1787. Married 22 Apr 1799 to Elizabeth Howard, the daughter of Frederick Howard and Margaret Caroline Leveson-Gower. She died 29 Nov. 1825 and was buried at Bottesford. John died 20 Jan 1857.

A fete at Belvoir Castle costing 60,000 pounds attended by the fashionable people of the day marked this member of Prinny's set coming of age in 1799.

Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838), 2d Earl of Sefton

William Philip Molyneux was the son of Isabella daughter of the second Earl of Harrington, a beautiful and astute woman who was painted by both Gainsborough and Reynolds, making him a second cousin to Lord Petersham. The 2d Earl of Sefton married the Hon. Maria Margaret Craven ( b.26 Apr 1769, d. London 9 Mar 1851) in London 1 Jan 1792 . The family Seat from the early 1700's was the Elizabethan Croxteth Hall near Liverpool.

The 2nd Earl of Sefton was a keen sportsman and gambler. His interests included coursing and steeplechasing. In coursing, greyhounds compete against each other in pairs in the pursuit of hares, and parts of the Sefton estates were managed to encourage a high population of hares. The second and third Earls were instrumental in forming the Altcar coursing club and founding the Waterloo Cup for coursing. The 2nd Earl Sefton sold off land to the Waterloo Hotel at Aintree to found a steeplechase course. Croxteth itself, however, was organized as a shooting estate; the woodland was managed to provide peasant cover.

The second Earl of Sefton was known as Lord Dashalong because of his fondness for fast driving in a carriage and four. Members of the Four-Horse or Four-in-Hand Club wore a blue and yellow striped waistcoat and a black spotted neckerchief and drove a coach and four in a group that assembled in George Street, Hanover Square, and droves to Salt Hill "in style" to partake of dinner. The founding members were: Lord Worcester, Lord Sefton, Lord Barrymore, Sir John Lade, and Colonel Berkeley.

In the late 18th century parts of the Molyneux estate were sold, possibly to redeem gambling debts. Land at Great Crosby, Melling, Maghull, Lydiate and Aughton was all sold. The 2nd Earl of Sefton was described by Captain Gronow as a "gigantic hunchback who ... lost largely on all occasions."

Lord Sefton was Maria Fitzherbert's Half-Uncle and he and his charming wife, who was an Almack's patroness, sponsored Maria in London society.

Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)

The 5th son of the 1st Marquess of Hertford, and younger brother to the 2nd Marquis of Hertford. Married Lady Ann Horatia Waldegrave in April 2nd 1786. Made Admiral in 1799. He and his wife were close friends of the Prince of Wales. Hugh objected to the Prince of Wales marriage to Caroline of Brunswick on the grounds that the Prince would be committing bigamy Seymour was dismissed from the Prince's household shortly after he married Caroline in 1795. Hugh died of a sudden illness while commanding the West Indies Station in Jamaica. His wife died the month before in England after a long illness. His youngest daughter Minney was raised by Mrs. Fitzherbert after her parents deaths.

Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 - 1850)


"Skiffy" One of the most remarkable figures in the Carlton house set. "A thin pallid little man with sharp features and rouged cheeks, and the atmosphere of a perfume shop." He was a consumate gentleman and a dandy. His costumes were always elaborate and original, since he designed them himself, and was said to spend 800 a year on them. The Prince himself frequently sought his advice in matters of dress. Skiffy was also a playwright and Byron has immortalized him both as dandy and playwright in "English Bards and Scotch Reviews: Sure great Skeffington must claim our praise, for skirtless coats, and skeletons plays renowned alike." Skiffy was also a close friend of Shelly from his Eaton days.

Sir Lumley was a member of White's and seated with Beau Brummell in the famous bow window judged the passersby's dress.

Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835), Marquis of Worcester acceded in 1803 as 6th Duke of Beaufort

The Marquis of Worcester was the title of, Henry Somerset, before acceding to the title of 7th Duke of Beaufort.

Married Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower (1771–1854), daughter of Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, on 16 May 1791 at Lambeth Church, London. They had eight children. The family estate is Badminton. Lord Worcester was a founding member of Four-horse and a member of White's. He was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Garter on 17 January 1805.

Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853), Marquis of Worcester acceded in 1835 as 7th Duke of Beaufort

The Marquis of Worcester, Henry Somerset, was the future 7th Duke of Beaufort to which title he acceded in 1835. He was gazetteer to a Coronetcy in Prince of Wales's Own 10th Hussars in 1810 and was Aide-de-Camp to the Duke of Wellington in Portugal and Spain between 1812 and 1814.

The Marquis of Worcester married Georgiana Frederica Fitzroy (1792-1821) July 25, 1814 in London. He became infamous for his elopement with his first wife's half-sister (same mother different fathers) Emily Frances Smith (1800-1889) in 1822. At the time such a marriage was considered to be against the Bible's teachings. The women were nieces of the Duke of Wellington. The family estate is Badminton.

Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827), elected Bishop of Osnaburgh 1764, created Duke of York and Albany, and Earl of Ulster in 1784, Commander in Chief of His Majesties Forces.

Frederick, the younger brother of Prinny, was raised with his brother then sent away for military training in Hanover. He again fell under the influence of his brother when the 24-year-old returned to England in 1787. Their drinking and gambling ran up a debt for the Duke of 40,000 pounds in less than a year and resulted in the sale of Allerton in the West Riding of York, which the Duke of York had purchased with the accumulated revenues of the bishopric of Osnaburg. As an infant of seven months, he was in 1764 elected by his father titular bishop of Osnaburg, in Westphalia. This 'secular dignity with an ecclesiastical designation worth £20,000 a year' was 'a favourite topic of ridicule' according to P. Fitzgerald in 'The Royal Dukes... of the Family of George III'. He had been also involved in a series of disasters as commander in the field. The height of the Duke of York's column in London, was popularly ascribed to the need to put him out of the way of his creditors.

Gronow relates a conversation between the Duke, and Arthur Upton;

"Who the duece is this Montrand?" asked the Duke of York.

"They say, sir," replied Upton, "that he is the most agreeable scoundrel and the greatest reprobate in France."

"Is he, by Jove!" said H.R.H.; "then let us ask him to dinner immediately."

He resigned his command in 1809 after he was accused of selling army commissions through his mistress, Mary Anne Clarke. He was cleared and reappointed in 1811. The Duke of York married Princess Fredrica Charlotte Ulrica of Prussia (1767-1820) in 1791. She resided at Oatlands with only occasional visits from her husband.

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