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Frederick, Duke of York and Albany; King George IV

2 of 4 portraits on display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery

Frederick, Duke of York and Albany; King George IV, by Thomas R. Poole, 1795 - NPG 3308 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Frederick, Duke of York and Albany; King George IV

by Thomas R. Poole
wax relief, 1795
4 in. x 5 3/4 in. (102 mm x 146 mm)
Given by Frances E. Jerdein (née Jones), 1946
Primary Collection
NPG 3308


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George, Prince of Wales and Frederick, Duke of York were the two oldest sons of George III. The year of this double portrait - 1795 - was significant for both. George (on the right) embarked on an arranged marriage with Caroline of Brunswick which immediately proved a disaster. Frederick was promoted to field marshal after returning from the Napoleonic Wars, even though he had proved an ineffective leader. Frederick's military promotion made George jealous as his father the king would not allow him a position in the army. This is one of Poole's earliest known waxes. He modeled a number of portraits of George IV in the following decades and, as early as 1791, was styling himself 'Medallion Modeler to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.'

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Current affairs

George, Prince of Wales is forced to marry Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick, despite having secretly married Maria Fitzherbert in 1785. Widespread rioting prompts the introduction of the Speenhamland system of welfare supplements which are linked to the price of bread. Treasonable Practices Act is passed against open criticism of government.

Art and science

The MP Matthew Gregory 'Monk' Lewis publishes his notorious gothic novel The Monk to success and scandal because of its immoral content. Mungo Park explores the course of the River Niger.

International

Wolfe Tone, founder of The Society of United Irishmen, departs for America after being implicated in high treason in Ireland. Exiled in Philadelphia, he soon leaves for France to ask revolutionaries for assistance. Joseph Haydn composes the English Canzonettas during his second stay in London.

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