Collection MG H 8 - Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathern

Title proper

Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathern

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  • Textual record

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  • 1791-1803 (Creation)
    Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathern

Physical description

4 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Edward Augustus was born at Buckingham Palace on 2 November 1767, the fourth son of King George III of Great Britain and Queen Charlotte.

Prince Edward followed a career in the army, serving at Gibraltar, Canada, and the West Indies. He took command of the Royal Fusiliers at Gibraltar in 1790, and subsequently brought the regiment to Canada in 1791, stationing them at Quebec. Two years later he was elevated to the rank of major-general and saw service at Martinique and St. Lucia. In 1798 he returned to Canada briefly before sailing for England. In 1799 he was made Duke of Kent and Strathern and Earl of Dublin and was promoted to general in command of British forces in North America. He stayed in Canada only a short time, due to ill health, but while there managed to develop good relations with the French-speaking population. In 1799 Ile Saint-Jean was renamed Prince Edward Island in his honour.

In 1802 the duke was appointed governor of Gibraltar, but was unpopular due to his autocratic rule and was soon returned to England. He retired to Brussels in 1815. In 1818 he married Princess Mary Louisa Victoria of Saxe-Saalfeld-Coburg, having the same year parted from his mistress of 27 years Thérèse Bernadine Montgenet (Mme. de Saint-Laurent). He died at Sidmouth, Devonshire on 23 January 1820. His daughter succeeded his brother, William IV, to the throne as Queen Victoria.

Source: "Kent and Strathern, Edward Augustus, Duke of, Earl Of Dublin." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 14 Aug. 2008 .

Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathern

Custodial history

These documents were purchased from Christie's in 1958 by Margaret Ince, secretary to Lord Beaverbrook and later donated by Beaverbrook.

Scope and content

This collection documents the Duke's military activities at Gibraltar, Canada, and the West Indies. The majority of the correspondence is between Prince Edward and Colonel, later General, William Edmeston, however, there are a few letters to Edmeston from other military officers and administrators including I. Hale, G. Smyth, John Montrifor, G.H. Charlton, I.A. Vesey, and Lieutenant Colonel Scott. The letters were written from various locations: Gibraltar, Quebec, Halifax, St. Helen's, Hilsea, London, and Antrim and discuss the 50th Regiment of Foot and the Royal Fusiliers. The collection also contains two separate lists containing the names, age and height of soldiers transferred between the 50th Regiment of Foot and the Royal Fusiliers, one is dated 20 May 1791 and the other is undated; a three-page account, dated 11 April 1793, detailing a plot planned by four soldiers from the Royal Fusiliers to murder Prince Edward; and a copy of a four-page narrative, written on 20 February 1798, giving details of the battle fought by the Grenadiers of the 40th Regiment when the islands of Martinique, Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, and Tobago were taken during the Seven Years War.

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Immediate source of acquisition


Arrangement is chronological.

Language of material

  • English

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