RepositoryRoyal Archives
CollectionGeorge IV's Bills
ReferenceGEO/MAIN/25050-25501, GEO/MAIN/26460-28394, GEO/MAIN/28960-29209, GEO/MAIN/51382a
TitleGeorge IV's Privy Purse Accounts
Date1783-1837
DescriptionGeorge IV's accounts demonstrate his wide ranging interests, including his passion for amassing expensive works of art and his extravagant tastes in furniture and furnishings, as well as his purchases of books, musical and optical instruments and prints, to name but a few examples. These Privy Purse accounts were meticulously kept and amount to thousands of documents.

The following boxes of accounts concerning the expenditure of George IV [as Prince of Wales and Prince Regent] have been digitised so far:

GEO/MAIN/25050-25501: furniture, lustres, lamps, clocks and linens, 1783 to 1830 (bills are catalogued and digitised at item level)
GEO/MAIN/28960-29029: sheet music, musical instruments, guns, fishing tackle, toys, canes, umbrellas, spectacles, scientific/mathematical instruments etc., 1784 to 1830 (bills are catalogued and digitised at item level)
GEO/MAIN/26460-28394, GEO/MAIN/51382a: prints and caricatures, 1783 to 1837 (bills are catalogued and digitised at file level)

This collection will continue to be added to as the Georgian Papers Programme progresses.
Extent2298 documents (8 boxes), 1 volume, 1 folder
Physical DescriptionLoose manuscript papers
LevelCollection
Admin HistoryIn his will, George IV instructed his executors to review his papers and to preserve or destroy them as they saw fit. George IV's collection of bills survived, along with other papers of the King and his father George III, and were placed in the basement of Apsley House, the London residence of the Duke of Wellington, George IV's principal executor, labelled ''To be destroyed unread'. This instruction was not carried out and the fourth Duke of Wellington was able to present the papers to George V. In 1914 the Georgian papers became one of the first collections to be placed in the newly created Royal Archives.
Custodial HistoryThese records were part of the original acquisition from Apsley House.
ArrangementArranged by type of purchase. These documents were catalogued at item level until 2018; after this time, the bills are listed as bundles. Catalogued 2016-2018
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