CollectionPapers of Sir Herbert Taylor
TitlePapers of Sir Herbert Taylor
Date[?1759] - 1837
DescriptionPapers are arranged in two series:

1. Papers of Sir Herbert Taylor relating to his service as Private Secretary to George III, Queen Charlotte and William IV, 1810 - 1837
2. 'Papers from Windsor sent by General Taylor, August 1812' [?1759-1760]
Extent127 documents and 5 volumes
Admin HistorySir Herbert Taylor was born on 29 September 1775 at Bifrons, Kent, the second son of Reverend Edward Taylor (1734-1798) and his wife Margaret, formerly Payler, who died in 1780. Taylor was educated privately on the Continent between 1780 and 1790 and he became a good linguist. Through Lord Camelford and Lord Grenville he was employed in the Foreign Office and In December 1792, Taylor accompanied Sir James Murray on a special mission to the Prussian headquarters at Frankfurt. When Murray left to take up his military duties as Adjutant-General to the Duke of York’s army, Taylor took charge of the mission and in April 1793 he joined army headquarters where he was employed as Murray’s secretary. It was at this time, that Murray presented Taylor to Frederick Augustus, Duke of York (second son of King George III).

In March 1794, Taylor joined the 2nd Dragoon Guards as a cornet; he was promoted to lieutenant in July of that year and in May 1795 he was promoted to captain. On 16 September 1795, Taylor returned to England, having been appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Duke of York, who was at that time Commander-in-Chief of the British Army. In July 1798 Taylor was made Aide-de-Camp, military secretary and private secretary to the Marquess Cornwallis, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In February 1799, Taylor took over the duties of the private secretary to the Duke of York until June 1805, when he was appointed private secretary to George III. The King placed every confidence in Taylor and he continued as private secretary until the king became incapacitated. On the establishment of the Regency in 1811, Taylor became private secretary to Queen Charlotte and he retained that office until Queen Charlotte’s death in November 1818.
In November 1813, Taylor was appointed to command a brigade at Antwerp and in March 1814 he was sent on a special military mission to Bernadotte, Crown Prince of Sweden and to The Hague. During these absences from court his place was taken by his younger brother, the diplomat Sir Brook Taylor.

Sir Herbert Taylor was MP for Windsor between 1820 and 1823. In January 1827, he was appointed military secretary to the Duke of Wellington, the new commander-in-chief, but on the Duke’s resignation in June 1827 Taylor was nominated by Lord Palmerston to be a deputy secretary at war in the military branch of the War Office; George IV having already made him his first
and principal Aide-de-Camp. On 19 March 1828, Taylor was appointed Master Surveyor and Surveyor-General of the Ordnance of the United Kingdom and subsequently Adjutant-General of the Forces and he held that appointment until he became private secretary to the new king, William IV, in 1830. He continued in that office during William's reign and played a significant part as mediator between the king and the government during the Reform Bill crisis.

On the death of William IV, Taylor retired into private life, although he remained first and principal Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria. He married Charlotte Albinia (daughter of Edward Disbrowe and granddaughter of the third earl of Buckingham) in 1819 and together they had two daughters. Taylor was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order in 1824 and Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in 1834. Sir Herbert Taylor died in Rome on 20 March 1839 and is buried in a vault in the chapel of St. Katherine’s Hospital, Regent’s Park, London, Queen Charlotte
having appointed him master of the Hospital in 1818. There is a monument to him, at St. Katherine’s, by Peter Rouw.
Custodial HistoryThese documents are believed to have been part of the original acquisition from Apsley House
Related MaterialFor additional papers of Sir Herbert Taylor, see GEO/ADD/57
CreditDocuments in the collection written by Sir Herbert Taylor in a private capacity are published with the kind permission of Mrs A.M. Brown.
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