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Clarence received the freedom of the city of Bristol in a gold box; that of Bath had previously been presented to him.
Soon after the return of the royal party to Windsor, they proceeded to Buckingham House to celebrate the marriage of the Princess Elizabeth with the Prince of Hesse Homburg, a very desirable match for the German potentate, whose whole revenue was said not to exceed 2,0001. or 3,0002. The Duke of Clarence and Kent led the bride to the altar, and her Royal Highness was given away by the Duke of York. Shortly after this event it was proposed, upon the motion of the Earl of Liverpool, to augment the income of the Duke of Clarence, on the understanding of his marriage to the Princess of Saxe Meiningen being to take place. In the House of Commons, in place of 10,0001. a-year, 6,000L was moved by Mr. Holme Sumner, who complained of the Duke's being in debt. Lord Castlereagh said, if the resolutions were agreed to, the Duke, besides making a provision to extinguish his debts, would have 25,0007. of unencumbered income. The amendment of Mr. Sumner to reduce the 10,0001. to 6,0001. was carried in the House of Commons. Lord Castlereagh announced that the negotiation for the marriage was at an end. The Duke, declaring he could not marry without running in debt, and keep up, at the same time, a proper establishment, begged to decline the proposed allowance. On the persuasion of his friends, however, a short time afterwards, the Duke was induced to accept the offer, and continue the treaty for the marriage of the Princess before mentioned: the correspondence was therefore again resumed. Soon after the Duchess Dowager brought over her daughter to England, circumstances preventing the Duke of Clarence from going to Germany at that moment, and he was married to the Princess at Kew, on the 13th of July, 1818.
There were present at the marriage the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who were re-married according to the rites of the established church. The Queen was able to attend the ceremony, 27.
which took place in her Majesty's drawing-room at Kew. The ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The two brothers with their brides having received the Queen's blessing, her Majesty retired, being too weak to remain longer with the company. The Prince Regent gave away both brides. At five, the Prince Regent and the whole party sat down to a grand dinner until the hour of seven. Soon after the Duke and Duchess of Kent left for Claremont. The Duke of Clarence, his bride, and the Regent, then proceeded to the cottage in Kew Gardens, near the pagoda, and drank tea. The Duke and Duchess of Clarence drove afterwards to St. James's, and in a few days subsequently proceeded to the Continent to spend the remainder of the year in Germany. In fact, at this time the royal family were on the point of dispersion to meet together no more. The Queen too was failing fast, while the head of all the royal house was unconcious of the scene going on around him. For a long time his mind had been a blank to all existing objects; to life or death around him ; to the joys or sufferings of his nearest connexions, he was doomed to be for ever insensible. His mind was in its grave, but he was spared thereby a knowledge of the ravages which death made in his family. The Princess Charlotte, the Duke of Kent, and the Queen passed away from existence without his being conscious of the bereavement, and thus the calamity of his bodily disease relieved him from a cup of triple sorrow. The Queen died at Kew, of an anasarcal affection, attended with spasms, on the 17th of November, 1818, in her 75th year.
At this time the Duke of Clarence was in Hanover, and it was announced that on the 28th of March, 1819, the Duchess of Cambridge was delivered of a son, and on the following day the Duchess of Clarence of a daughter. The young Princess lived only a few hours. The illness of the Duchess was protracted, and she was thought to be for some time in considerable danger. On getting better, travelling was recommended for her recovery, and her Royal Highness with her husband
set off for Meiningen, in Saxony, her native place. The whole extent of territory is not more than that of a second rate English county, with a population about equal to that of Cambridge or Buckingham. The capital town has 5000 inhabitants; and the population is agricultural. The court of this little state is held at Meiningen ; which has, according to some accounts, its bathing-places, one of which is Liebenstein. This was visited by the Duke and Duchess of Clarence for the purpose of taking the waters. From thence they returned to England; but on their way, the Duchess again miscarried at Dunkirk, before they could set sail, and was taken very ill. She embarked in the Royal Sovereign yacht at last, but was too weak on reaching Dover to proceed to London, and on the invitation of Lord Liverpool, the Duke took his wife to Walmer Castle, where after a residence of six weeks, she was enabled to proceed with the Duke to St. James's. As soon as Bushy, which was repairing, became in a fit state for their reception, they repaired thither to enjoy the tranquillity of the country, and the retirement to which the Duke had become so much attached.
It is said that about this time he appointed the son of a favourite gamekeeper at Bushy to succeed his father, who had recently died. The young man broke his leg, and while confined was very anxious about the deer. “ Don't fret about the deer," said the Duke, “ keep yourself quiet— I will attend to them-and mind, do not go out too soon.” Not long after,
up to drinking, and in order to cure him the Duke required that he should appear before him every night at eight o'clock. The care of his Royal Highness was vain, the fellow was worthless, and died of the sottish life he led, defeating every effort of his benevolent master to cure him.
The Duke had not been long at Bushy, before his eldest son, now the Earl of Munster, returned from India. He became aid-de-camp to the Marquis of Hastings almost immediately upon his arrival there. He was employed much both in a civil and military capacity, and acquitted himself with honor
this man gave
upon every occasion.
At length he was despatched home on a mission to the Company, and on the 8th of December, 1817, Major Fitzclarence feft the camp of Singapore for Bombay, which city he reached early in February, carefully examining the countries on his route. At Bombay he embarked for Corseir in the Red Sea. Thence he proceeded to Cairo, and embarked at Alexandria in the Tagus frigate, of which his brother Adolphus was a lieutenant. The Major left the irigate at Gibraltar, and in 1818 reached Falmouth in the packet.
In 1819, Lord Liverpool proposed to place the King in the legal custody of the Duke of York, allowing his Royal Highness 10,0001. a year for the charge, which was looked upon as so much money bestowed for no possible purpose, but that it would be very acceptable to his Royal Highness, who continued inextricably in debt.
In April, 1819, the Duke and Duchess of Kent arrived in England, and on the 24th of May, the Duchess was brought to bed of a daughter, the present Queen Victoria. The Duchess of Cumberland also was delivered of a son in Berlin, on the 27th of the same month.
The health of the Duchess of Kent and her infant being delicate, she was advised to remove to the southern coast of England for her recovery. Accordingly, the Duke, Duchess, and infant, Princess Victoria, proceeded to Sidmouth, in Devonshire, for that purpose, and both recovered their health very speedily. Unfortunately, the Duke took cold from
neglecting to take off his wet boots after walking abroad, which brought on a fever, of which his Royal Highness died, in his 53d year. The death of the Duke of Kent was speedily followed by that of his father, George III. at Windsor, in his 82d year. He breathed his last on the 29th of January, 1820.No gleam of reason, even at the last hour, cast its flash upon the desolations of his mind, before life departed from his attenuated body; for he was reduced to a skeleton by a diarrhea before he expired. His Majesty was buried on the 15th of February. The Duke of York was chief-mourner, and the Dukes of Clarence, Sussex, and Gloucester, with Prince