Cambridge, George William Frederick Charles
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge (George William Frederick Charles; 26 March 1819 – 17 March 1904) was a member of the British Royal Family, a male-line grandson of King George III. The Duke was an army officer and served as commander-in-chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895. He became Duke of Cambridge in 1850. Autograph Slip Writing Signed, 04/nd/1859 - 4 1/2 x 3 mounted, written in blk ink with toning overall, fine condition.
Prince George was born at Cambridge House in Hanover, Germany. His father was Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge,the 10th child and 7th son of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His mother was The Duchess of Cambridge (née Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel). Prince George of Cambridge was educated in Hanover and from 1830 in England by the Rev. J. R. Wood, a canon of Worcester. Like his father, he embarked upon a military career initially becoming a colonel in the Hanoverian Army and then, on 3 November 1837, becoming a colonel in the British Army. He was attached to the staff at Gibraltar from October 1838 to April 1839.
After serving in Ireland with the 12th Royal Lancers (the Prince of Wales's), he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 8th Light Dragoons on 15 April 1842 and colonel of the 17th Lancers on 25 April 1842. From 1843 to 1845, he served as a colonel on the staff in the Ionian islands, then was promoted Major-General on 7 May 1845. He succeeded to his father's titles of Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden on 8 July 1850.
The Duke of Cambridge served as commander-in-chief for 39 years. Although he was deeply concerned about the welfare of soldiers, he earned a reputation for being resistant to doctrinal change and for making promotions based upon an officer's social standing, rather than his merit. Under his command, the British Army became a moribund and stagnant institution, lagging far behind its continental counterparts. In the late 19th century, whereas 50 per cent of all military literature was written in Germany and 25 per cent in France, just one per cent came from Britain. It is said that he rebuked one of his more intelligent subordinates with the words: "Brains? I don't believe in brains! You haven't any, I know, Sir!" He was equally forthright on his reluctance to adopt change: "There is a time for everything, and the time for change is when you can no longer help it." His title, Duke of Cambridge, fell into extinction upon his death.
It was not revived until 107 years later, when Elizabeth II awarded the title to her grandson, Prince William, on 29 April 2011, the day he married Catherine Middleton, who in turn became the Duchess of Cambridge. The couple were also given the titles, Earl & Countess of Strathearn, and Baron & Baroness Carrickfergus. However, such titles did not become official until 26 May 2011, when Letters Patent to that effect, were signed and recorded, in the Crown Office on the Roll of the Peerage.