CollectionPapers of Princess Sophia
Record TypeCorrespondence
TitleThe papers of Princess Sophia, 1787-[c.1840]
DescriptionThis collection contains the papers of Princess Sophia (principally comprising correspondence from the Princess) and has been arranged in the following series:

1. GEO/ADD/13/1-85: General correspondence of Princess Sophia, 1787-[c.1840]
2. GEO/ADD/13/86-163: Correspondence from Princess Sophia to George Villiers and Teresa Villiers, 1804-[c.1810]
Extent158 documents
Admin HistoryPrincess Sophia was born on 3 November 1777 at Buckingham House to become the twelfth child and fifth daughter of George III and Queen Charlotte. She was educated alongside her siblings by the governess Lady Charlotte Finch, and once she came of age debuted at court in June 1792.
The Princess's life was spent as companion to her mother, alongside her unwed sisters, and mixed little with others. It was only when she was requested to chaperone her niece Princess Charlotte of Wales (with whom she had an affectionate relationship), and upon the death of Queen Charlotte in 1818, that she was allowed more freedom.
Princess Sophia never married and had children of her own, however rumours circulated that she gave birth to an illegitimate son in the Summer of 1800. The child was supposedly fathered by George III's equerry, Major General Thomas Garth, who was also thought to have raised the boy himself.
The Princess lived out her final years within the household of her niece, Princess Victoria of Kent (later Queen Victoria) at Kensington Palace. She became increasingly blind and it is believed she became adversely influenced by Sir John Conroy (who also took control of her finances) who may have persuaded her to spy upon Princess Victoria.
Princess Sophia died aged 70 on 27 May 1848 at Kensington Palace, and was subsequently interred at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Custodial HistoryThe majority of GEO/ADD/13/1-85 is believed to have entered the collection in 1919.
GEO/ADD/13/86-163 was purchased July 1982.
See individual entries for alternative custodial histories.
ArrangementThis collection artificially amalgamates the papers of Princess Sophia, as the original and administrative order of this collection are unknown.
Two series have been created to distinguish the records within the collection. The series 'Correspondence from Princess Sophia to George Villiers and Teresa Villiers, 1804-[c.1810]' has been created to show that these letters have been kept physically separate from the other correspondence within this collection.
It is unknown when the letters were brought together as a collection, assigned reference numbers, and arranged predominantly chronologically. This chronological, and physical, order has been retained.
Catalogued skeletally Summer 2020.
Related MaterialSee also the Papers relating to Lady Charlotte Finch, GEO/ADD/15/432-456, 8152-8193
For papers relating to Princess Sophia and her will, see also VIC/ADD/R
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