CollectionPapers of Adolphus and Augusta, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Record TypeCorrespondence
ReferenceGEO/MAIN/48310-49078, GEO/ADD/9A
TitlePapers of Adolphus and Augusta, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Date14 February 1786 - 18 December 1884
Description1. Letters to, from and concerning Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, 14 February 1786 - 18 May 1830
2. Letters received [?and collected by] Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge, 26 May 1831 - 18 December 1884
3. Additional papers of Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, 15 September 1838 - 31 December 1850
LanguageEnglish
French
German
Extent517 documents, 2 volumes
LevelCollection
Admin HistoryPrince Adolphus Frederick was the seventh son and the tenth child of George III and Queen Charlotte. He was born at the Queen's House (later Buckingham Palace) on 24 February 1774. He was baptised in the Great Council Chamber, at St. James's Palace, on 24 March 1774. His godparents, Prince John Adolphus of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Cassel and Princess Wilhelmina of Orange, were all represented by proxies.

Prince Adolphus was educated by tutors in England until 1786 when he was sent, with his elder brothers Prince Ernest and Prince Augustus, to continue his education at the University of Göttingen in Germany. He was nominated a Knight of the Garter on 2 June 1786. The three Princes left Göttingen in January 1791 and Prince Adolphus embarked on a military career. He and Prince Ernest went to Hanover to study under the supervision of the Hanoverian commander Field Marshal Wilhelm von Freytag. Prince Adolphus became a Colonel in the Hanoverian army in 1793 and was promoted Lieutenant-General in 1798. Transferring to the British army in 1803, he was promoted General in April 1808 (antedated to September 1803) and received his Field Marshal's baton in November 1813. He was appointed Colonel of the Coldstream Guards in 1805 and Colonel-in-Chief of the 60th (the Duke of York's Own Rifle Corps) Regiment of Foot in 1827.

On 27 November 1801, Prince Adolphus was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary and Baron Culloden.
The Duke of Cambridge was Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews from 1811 to 1814.On 24 October 1816, the Duke of Cambridge was appointed Governor-General of the kingdom of Hanover, his title being changed to Viceroy on 22 February 1831. He proved himself an efficient ruler and remained in Hanover until the 123 year union of the crowns, of the United Kingdom and of Hanover, ended in 1837.

The Duke had remained unmarried but, following the death of Princess Charlotte of Wales in 1817, the Duke and his bachelor brothers were obliged to seek wives in order to provide for the succession. The Duke of Cambridge married Princess Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Cassel (1797-1889), the third daughter of Landgrave Frederick of Hesse-Cassel and a great-granddaughter of King George II. The wedding took place at Cassel on 7 May 1818 and again, in London, at the Queen's House, in the presence of Queen Charlotte, on 1 June 1818. The marriage was a happy one and produced three children, Prince George (1819-1904), who was to succeed his father as Duke of Cambridge, Princess Augusta (1822-1916) who married Frederick William, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in 1843, and Princess Mary Adelaide (1833-1897) who married Francis, Duke of Teck and was the mother of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V. The Duke of Cambridge was a godfather to his great-nephew, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, at his baptism on 25 January 1842.

The Duke of Cambridge died at Cambridge House, Piccadilly, on 8 July 1850 and was buried in the mausoleum he had had constructed at the east end of St. Anne's Parish Church, Kew. Following her death in 1889, the Duchess of Cambridge was buried with him but, in 1928, at the instigation of their granddaughter, Queen Mary, their coffins were removed to St. George's Chapel, Windsor.
Custodial HistoryThese records are believed to have been part of the original acquisition from Apsley House in 1912.
RepositoryRoyal Archives
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