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The House Of Hanover

Frederick, Prince of Wales

1707-1751



The eldest son of George, Prince of Brunswick-Luneberg (later George II) and Caroline of Anspach , Frederick Lewis was born in Hanover on 1 February, 1707.

His grandfather, the Elector of Hanover, succeeded to the British throne as George I in 1714, on the death of the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne, in accordance with the terms of the Act of Settlement. There were many with a far superior hereditary right to England's throne, but they were passed over to maintain a Protestant succession. Frederick, then aged seven, was left behind in Hanover, where he recieved his education and where he had to to participate in state ceremonial in the place of his absent grandfather.

Frederick, nicknamed 'Poor Fred' was created a Knight of the Garter and Duke of Gloucester by George I in 1726 and on the death of his grandfather, his father suceeded to the throne he was summoned to England to be renew his aquaintance with the parents he had not seen for fourteen years. He was created Prince of Wales on 8 January, 1729 at London, at the age of 21.

Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Princess of WalesOne of the George II's first acts as King was to make away with his detested father's will under the nose of the astonished Archbishop of Canterbury. George II was not a particularly attractive character, he was prone to rages against anyone with whom he differed, in the course of which he kicked his coat and wig about.The familiar Hanoverian pattern of his father's fractious relationship with his own father was sadly echoed in that with his own eldest son, Frederick. They mutually loathed each other. His mother, Queen Caroline equally strongly disliked her eldest son stating "My dear first born is the greatest ass, and the greatest liar, and the greatest canaille, and the greatest beast, in the whole world, and I most heartily wish he was out of it." She made no secret of her preference of her younger son, William, Duke of Cumberland, known as 'Butcher Cumberland' due to the attrocities carried out against the Highlanders after the Battle of Culloden, during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. George II seriously considered a scheme for excluding Frederick from the succession to the throne and sending him to rule Hanover so that William, could succeed him.

Queen Caroline died of a rupture on 1 December 1737 and is reported to have said of Frederick "At least I shall have one comfort in having my eyes eternally closed - I shall never see that monster again." George II refused to allow Frederick to see his mother.

Frederick quarrelled with his father over the allowance alloted to him and when the increase was refused, he pressurised his political friends to introduce a motion into the House of Commons for an address to the King to increase the allowance. The prince sponsored a court of 'opposition' politicians at his residence of Leicester House. Frederick, in common with other members of the Hanoverian family adored music, he played the cello, unlike his father, he was a knowledgeable amateur of painting and also enjoyed the natural sciences and the arts.

Frederick married the Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (pictured right) by whom he had a large family, including the future King George III.

Frederick never succeeded to the throne, having predeceased his father. He died at Leicester House in London of a burst abscess in the lung, on 31 March, 1751 and was buried at Westminster Abbey on 13th April. Neither the King or any member of the royal family attended the funeral, but were represented by the Duke of Somerset and Frederick was largely unmourned by his father. His son George was a likeable and good natured youth whose relationship with his grandfather was not as difficult.


The children of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha

(1) Princess Augusta (31 August 1737-31 March 1813) married 1764, Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, Issue:-

(i) Augusta, Hereditary Princess of Württemberg

(ii) Caroline, Queen of the United Kingdom

(iii) Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

(2) King George III (4 June 1738-29 January 1820) married 1761, Charlotte-Sophia, Duchess of Mecklenburg; issue:-

(i)King George IV

(ii) Prince Frederick, Duke of York

(iii) King William IV

(iv) Charlotte, Princess Royal, Queen of Württemberg

(v) Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn

(vi) Princess Augusta Sophia

(vii) Princess Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg

(viii) Ernest Augustus I of Hanover

(ix) Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex

(x) Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge

(xi) Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester

(xii) Princess Sophia

(xiii) Prince Octavius

(xiv) Prince Alfred

(xv) Princess Amelia

(3) Prince Edward, Duke of York (14 March 1739 -17 September 1767).

(4) Princess Elizabeth 30 December 1740 4 September 1759.

(5) Prince William, Duke of Gloucester (14 November 1743 -25 August 1805) married 1766, Maria Waldegrave, Countess Waldegrave; issue:-

(i) Princess Sophia of Gloucester

(ii) Princess Caroline of Gloucester

(iii) Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester

(6) Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland (27 November 1745- 18 September 1790) married 1771, The Hon. Lady Anne Luttrell; no issue.

(7) Princess Louisa ( 8 March 1749 -13 May 1768).

(8) Prince Frederick (13 May 1750 -29 December 1765).

(9) Princess Caroline Matilda (11 July 1751- 10 May 1775) married 1766, Christian VII, King of Denmark, issue:-

(i) Frederick VI of Denmark

(ii) Louise Augusta, Duchess of Augustenborg