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King George IV

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Category: General Interest
Reference No: 8891
Status: Available
Price: £75.00
  King George IV

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King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover following the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820, until his own death ten years later. From 1811 until his accession, he served as Prince Regent during his father's final mental illness.

George IV led an extravagant lifestyle that contributed to the fashions of the Regency era. He was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste. He commissioned John Nash to build the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and remodel Buckingham Palace, and Sir Jeffry Wyattville to rebuild Windsor Castle. He was instrumental in the foundation of the National Gallery and King's College London.

George’s poor relationship with both his father and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, and his dissolute way of life (he had a long string of mistresses and illegitimate children), earned him the contempt of the people and dimmed the prestige of the monarchy. He even forbade Caroline to attend his coronation and introduced the unpopular Pains and Penalties Bill in a desperate, unsuccessful attempt to divorce her.

George also had a poor relationship with his ministers, who found his behaviour selfish, unreliable, irresponsible and influenced by favourites,

Physically, he was a wreck. Heavy drinking and huge banquets had taken their toll on his health by the late 1820s. He had become grotesquely obese, making him the target of ridicule on the rare occasions that he appeared in public. He suffered from gout, heart disease and dropsy and became addicted to laudanum to counteract bladder pain caused by a large tumour. He was almost completely blind from cataracts in his later years.

This is a very fine signature in ink on a large piece cut from a document (about 8" x 3"). Three light vertical folds but otherwise in very good condition.