CollectionPapers of Princess Sophia
Record TypeCorrespondence
TitleCorrespondence from Princess Sophia to George Villiers and Teresa Villiers, 1804-[c.1810]
DescriptionThe Honourable George Villiers (1759-1827) was a politician and favoured courtier of George III (serving as Groom of the Bedchamber, Clerk of the Council and Registrar of the Duchy of Lancaster). He also received a private bounty from the King; carried letters to the Queen of W├╝rttemberg in Stuttgart; became bailiff of the Windsor Farms and ranger of Cranbourne Chase, the latter enabling him to reside at Cranbourne Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
In 1792, Villiers became the Tory Member of Parliament for Warwick, a position he held until 1802. Whilst MP for Warwick he was appointed as Paymaster to the Marines, a role he maintained after his term had ended, although his position would end in scandal and in his disgrace. The loose accounting within the department led to him accruing extensive debts by the time of his resignation in 1809, and led to an investigation by the Finance Committee. His disgrace was further compounded after the death of Princess Amelia in 1810 (a friend of Villiers) as he threatened to blackmail George III with copies of her correspondence. Villiers' actions resulted in the loss of his remaining positions and his family vacating Cranbourne Lodge in 1812.
In April 1798, George Villiers had married Theresa Parker, a union which produced ten children, and it is Theresa who appears as Princess Sophia's main correspondent within this series of papers. There are also letters addressed to George Villiers from Princess Sophia whom she refers to affectionately as 'Savage'.
Extent78 documents
Custodial HistoryPurchased July 1982.
ArrangementThese have been preserved and catalogued in their physical order, which is predominantly chronological; the original order is unknown.
Related MaterialFor correspondence between Princess Elizabeth and George and Theresa Villiers, see also GEO/ADD/11/360-484
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