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Frederick Louis

FREDERICK LOUIS (1707-1751), prince of Wales, eldest son of George II., was born at Hanover on the 20th of January 1707. After his grandfather, George I., became king of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714, Frederick was known as duke of Gloucester [1] and made a knight of the Garter, having previously been betrothed to Wilhelmina Sophia Dorothea (1709-1758), daughter of Frederick William I., king of Prussia, and sister of Frederick the Great. Although he was anxious to marry this lady, the match was rendered impossible by the dislike of George II. and Frederick William for each other. Soon after his father became king in 1727 Frederick took up his residence in England and in 1729 was created prince of Wales; but the relations between George II. and his son were very unfriendly, and there existed between them the jealousy which Stubbs calls the "incurable bane of royalty." The faults were not all on one side. The prince's character was not attractive, and the king refused to make him an adequate allowance. In 1735 Frederick wrote, or inspired the writing of, the Histoire du prince Titi, a book containing offensive caricatures of both king and queen; and losing no opportunity of irritating his father, "he made," says Lecky, "his court the special centre of opposition to the government, and he exerted all his influence for the ruin of Walpole." After a marriage between the prince and Lady Diana Spencer, afterwards the wife of John, 4th duke of Bedford, had been frustrated by Walpole, Frederick was married in April 1736 to Augusta (1719-1772), daughter of Frederick II., duke of Saxe-Gotha, a union which was welcomed by his parents, but which led to further trouble between father and son. George proposed to allow the prince £50,000 a year; but this sum was regarded as insufficient by the latter, whose appeal to parliament was unsuccessful. After the birth of his first child, Augusta, in 1737, Frederick was ordered by the king to quit St James' Palace, and the foreign ambassadors were requested to refrain from visiting him. The relations between the two were now worse than before. In 1745 George II. refused to allow his son to command the British army against the Jacobites. On the 20th of March 1751 the prince died in London, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He left five sons and two daughters. The sons were George (afterwards King George III.), Edward Augustus, duke of York and Albany (1739-1767), William Henry, duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh (1743-1805), Henry Frederick, duke of Cumberland (1745-1790), and Frederick William (1750-1765); the daughters were Augusta (1737-1813), wife of Charles William Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick, and Caroline Matilda (1751-1775), wife of Christian VII., king of Denmark.

See Lord Hervey of Ickworth, Memoirs of the Reign of George II., edited by J. W. Croker (London, 1884); Horace Walpole, Memoirs of the Reign of George II. (London, 1847); and Sir N. W. Wraxall, Memoirs, edited by H. B. Wheatley, vol. i. (London, 1884).

[1] Frederick was never actually created duke of Gloucester, and when he was raised to the peerage in 1736 it was as duke of Edinburgh only. See G. E. C(okayne), Complete Peerage, sub "Gloucester."

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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