duke of York Frederick

(b. 1763)

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B. 16 Aug. 1763, 2nd s. of George III and Charlotte; m. Friederike, da. of Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, 29 Sept. 1791; d. 5 Jan. 1827; bur. Windsor.

Frederick's appointment to the lucrative sinecure of the bishopric of Osnabrück at the age of six months did not prevent him from following a military career, finishing as Field Marshal. He was unsuccessful as a commander in the field against the French in the 1790s, but was a capable and energetic Commander-in-Chief from 1798. In 1809 he was obliged to resign when it was revealed that his mistress, Mary Anne Clarke, had been selling commissions in the army, but he resumed his post in 1811 and held it until his death. From 1820 he was heir to the throne but died before his elder brother George. His later years were spent at Oaklands, Surrey, in a badly run house, tormented by debt, helping his wife to look after their vast menagerie of dogs, monkeys, and parrots. He was unlucky to be remembered chiefly in a nursery rhyme.

Subjects: British History.

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