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William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was
King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A political union is a type of state which is composed of or created out of smaller states. The process of creating such a state out of small ...
and
King of Hanover The King of Hanover (German language, German: ''König von Hannover'') was the official title of the head of state and Hereditary monarchy, hereditary ruler of the Kingdom of Hanover, beginning with the proclamation of the List of British monarch ...
from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded his elder brother George IV, becoming the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's
House of Hanover The House of Hanover (german: Haus von Hannover), whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a Germans, German dynasty, royal house that ruled Hanover, Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th to 20t ...
. William served in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
in his youth, spending time in
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
and the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
, and was later nicknamed the "Sailor King". In 1789, he was created
Duke of Clarence and St Andrews Image:William IV.jpg, 150px, William IV was styled "HRH The Duke of Clarence" between his creation in 1789 and his accession in 1830 Duke of Clarence and St Andrews was a title awarded to a prince of the Great Britain, British British Royal Family, ...
. In 1827, he was appointed as Britain's first Lord High Admiral since 1709. As his two older brothers died without leaving legitimate issue, he inherited the throne when he was 64 years old. His reign saw several reforms: the
poor law In English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World langu ...
was updated,
child labour Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful. Such ex ...

child labour
restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
, and the British electoral system refashioned by the
Reform Act 1832 The Representation of the People Act 1832 (also known as the 1832 Reform Act, Great Reform Act or First Reform Act) was an Act of Parliament, Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom (indexed as 2 & 3 Will. IV c. 45) that introduced major chang ...
. Although William did not engage in politics as much as his brother or his father, he was the last British monarch to appoint a prime minister contrary to the will of
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws and overseeing the ...
. He granted his German kingdom a short-lived liberal constitution. At the time of his death, William had no surviving legitimate children, but he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress
Dorothea Jordan Dorothea Jordan (21 November 17615 July 1816), also known interchangeably as Mrs Jordan and previously Miss Francis or Miss Bland, was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries t ...
, with whom he cohabited for twenty years. Late in life, he married and apparently remained faithful to Princess
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen , house = Saxe-Meiningen , father = Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen , mother = Princess Louise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg , birth_date = , birth_place = Meiningen Meiningen () is a town in t ...

Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
. William was succeeded by his niece
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...

Victoria
in the United Kingdom and his brother Ernest Augustus in Hanover.


Early life

William was born in the early hours of the morning on 21 August 1765 at
Buckingham House
Buckingham House
, the third child and son of
King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separ ...
and
Queen Charlotte Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Sophia Charlotte; 19 May 1744 – 17 November 1818) was Queen of Great Britain Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch, equivalent in ...

Queen Charlotte
. He had two elder brothers, George, Prince of Wales, and
Prince Frederick
Prince Frederick
(later
Duke of York Duke of York is a title of nobility in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of List of English monarchs, English (later List of British monarchs, British) monarchs. ...

Duke of York
), and was not expected to inherit the Crown. He was baptised in the Great Council Chamber of
St James's Palace St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britai ...
on 20 September 1765. His godparents were the King's siblings:
Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, (25 November 1743 – 25 August 1805), was a grandson of King George II and a younger brother of King George III of the United Kingdom George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738 ...
; Prince Henry (later
Duke of Cumberland Duke of Cumberland is a British peerage, peerage title that was conferred upon junior members of the British Royal Family, named after the Historic counties of England, historic county of Cumberland. History The Earl of Cumberland, Earldom of Cumbe ...
); and Princess Augusta, Hereditary Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. William spent most of his early life in
Richmond Richmond may refer to: People * Richmond (surname) * Earl of Richmond * Duke of Richmond * Richmond C. Beatty (1905–1961), American academic, biographer and critic * Richmond Avenal, character in British sitcom List of The IT Crowd characters#R ...
and at
Kew Palace Kew Palace is a British royal palace within the grounds of Kew Gardens on the banks of the River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including Lond ...

Kew Palace
, where he was educated by private tutors. At the age of thirteen, he joined the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
as a
midshipman A midshipman is an officer of the lowest rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organization ...
, and was present at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780. His experiences in the navy seem to have been little different from those of other midshipmen, though in contrast to other sailors he was accompanied on board ship by a tutor. He did his share of the cooking and got arrested with his shipmates after a drunken brawl in
Gibraltar ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen" , song = "Gibraltar Anthem" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 = ...

Gibraltar
; he was hastily released from custody after his identity became known. William served in New York during the
American War of Independence The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America British America comprised the colonia ...
, making him the only member of the
British royal family The British royal family comprises and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the British . Many members support the Queen in undertaking public engagements and often pursue charit ...
to visit America up to and through the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) ...
. While William was in America,
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continenta ...

George Washington
approved a plot to kidnap him, writing:
The spirit of enterprise so conspicuous in your plan for surprising in their quarters and bringing off the Prince William Henry and Admiral Digby merits applause; and you have my authority to make the attempt in any manner, and at such a time, as your judgment may direct. I am fully persuaded, that it is unnecessary to caution you against offering insult or indignity to the persons of the Prince or Admiral...
The plot did not come to fruition; the British heard of it and assigned guards to William, who had until then walked around New York unescorted. In September 1781, William held court at the
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the of . It is the urban core of the , and coextensive with New York County, one of the of the of . Manhattan serves as the city's ...

Manhattan
home of Governor Robertson. In attendance were Mayor
David Mathews David Mathews (c. 1739 – July 28, 1800) was an American lawyer and politician from New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. ...
, Admiral Digby, and General Delancey. William became a lieutenant in 1785 and
captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a military rank in ar ...
of the following year. In late 1786, he was stationed in the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
under
Horatio Nelson Vice-admiral (Royal Navy), Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805), also known simply as Admiral Nelson, was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. His inspirational ...

Horatio Nelson
, who wrote of William: "In his professional line, he is superior to two-thirds, I am sure, of the
aval
aval
list; and in attention to orders, and respect to his superior officer, I hardly know his equal." The two were great friends, and dined together almost nightly. At Nelson's wedding, William insisted on giving
the bride A bride is a female participant in a wedding ceremony. Bride(s) or The Bride may also refer to: Geography * Bride (parish), a parish on the Isle of Man People * Brìde or Brigid, a goddess in Irish mythology * Bride of Ireland or Brigit of Kildare, ...
away. He was given command of the frigate in 1788, and was promoted to
rear-admiral Rear admiral is a senior naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for wa ...
while commanding the following year. William sought to be made a
duke Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a , or of a member of , or . As rulers, dukes are ranked below s, s, s, s, and sovereign s. As royalty or nobility, they are ranked below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title comes ...

duke
like his elder brothers, and to receive a similar parliamentary grant, but his father was reluctant. To put pressure on him, William threatened to stand for the
British House of Commons The House of Commons (domestically known as the Commons) is the lower house and ''de facto'' primary chamber of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons ...
for the constituency of
Totnes Totnes ( or ) is a market town A market town is a European that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the , a market right, which allowed it to host a regular ; this distinguished it from a or . In Britain, small rural towns with a ...
in Devon. Appalled at the prospect of his son making his case to the voters, George III created him
Duke of Clarence and St Andrews Image:William IV.jpg, 150px, William IV was styled "HRH The Duke of Clarence" between his creation in 1789 and his accession in 1830 Duke of Clarence and St Andrews was a title awarded to a prince of the Great Britain, British British Royal Family, ...
and
Earl of Munster 200px, George FitzClarence, 1st Earl of Munster. Earl of Munster was a title created twice, once in the Peerage of Ireland and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The first creation came in 1789 in favour of William IV of the United Kingdom ...
on 16 May 1789, supposedly saying: "I well know it is another vote added to the Opposition." William's political record was inconsistent and, like many politicians of the time, cannot be ascribed to a single party. However, he allied himself publicly with the Whigs, as did his elder brothers, who were known to be in conflict with the political positions of their father.


Military service and politics

William ceased his active service in the Royal Navy in 1790. When Britain declared war on France in 1793, he was eager to serve his country and expected to be given a command but was not, perhaps at first because he had broken his arm by falling down some stairs drunk, but later perhaps because he gave a speech in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
opposing the war. The following year he spoke in favour of the war, and expected a command after his change of heart; none came. The Admiralty did not reply to his request. He did not lose hope of being appointed to an active post. In 1798 he was made an
admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer, general in ...

admiral
, but the rank was purely nominal. Despite repeated petitions, he was never given a command throughout the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
. In 1811, he was appointed to the honorary position of
Admiral of the Fleet An admiral of the fleet or fleet admiral (equivalent rank to admiral of the navy Admiral of the Navy was the highest possible rank in the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") ...
. In 1813, he came nearest to involvement in actual fighting, when he visited the British troops fighting in the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe ...
. Watching the bombardment of
Antwerp Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ) is a city in Belgium and the capital of Antwerp (province), Antwerp province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 520,504,
Antwerp
from a church steeple, he came under fire, and a bullet pierced his coat. Instead of serving at sea, William spent time in the House of Lords, where he spoke in opposition to the
abolition of slavery Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), w ...
, which still existed in the British colonies. Freedom would do the slaves little good, he argued. He had travelled widely and, in his eyes, the living standard among freemen in the
Highlands and Islands The Highlands and Islands is an area of broadly covering the , plus , and (Western Isles). The Highlands and Islands are sometimes defined as the area to which the of 1886 applied. This area consisted of eight : * * * * * * * * ...
of Scotland was worse than that among slaves in the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
. His experience in the Caribbean, where he "quickly absorbed the plantation owners' views about slavery", lent weight to his position, which was perceived as well-argued and just by some of his contemporaries. In his first speech before Parliament he called himself "an attentive observer of the state of the negroes" who found them well cared for and "in a state of humble happiness". Others thought it "shocking that so young a man, under no bias of interest, should be earnest in continuance of the slave trade". In his speech to the House, William insulted
William Wilberforce William Wilberforce (24 August 175929 July 1833) was a British politician, philanthropist Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Heal ...

William Wilberforce
, the leading abolitionist, saying: "the proponents of the abolition are either fanatics or hypocrites, and in one of those classes I rank Mr. Wilberforce". On other issues he was more liberal, such as supporting moves to abolish
penal laws In the history of Ireland The first evidence of human presence in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to ...
against dissenting Christians. He also opposed efforts to bar those found guilty of
adultery Adultery (from Latin ''adulterium'') is extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. Although the Human sexual activity, sexual activities that constitute adultery vary, as well as the social ...

adultery
from remarriage.


Relationships and marriage

From 1791, William lived with an Irish actress,
Dorothea Bland Dorothea Jordan (21 November 17615 July 1816), also known interchangeably as Mrs Jordan and previously Miss Francis or Miss Bland, was an Anglo-Irish actress, courtesan and the mistress (lover), mistress and companion of the future King William ...
, better known by her stage name, Mrs. Jordan, the title "Mrs." being assumed at the start of her stage career to explain an inconvenient pregnancy and "Jordan" because she had "crossed the water" from Ireland to Britain. He appeared to enjoy the domesticity of his life with Mrs. Jordan, remarking to a friend: "Mrs. Jordan is a very good creature, very domestic and careful of her children. To be sure she is absurd sometimes and has her humours. But there are such things more or less in all families." The couple, while living quietly, enjoyed entertaining, with Mrs. Jordan writing in late 1809: "We shall have a full and merry house this Christmas, 'tis what the dear Duke delights in." George III was accepting of his son's relationship with the actress (though recommending that he halve her allowance); in 1797, he created William the Ranger of
Bushy Park Bushy Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is the second largest of Royal Parks of London, London's Royal Parks, at in area, after Richmond Park. The park, most of which is open to the public, is immediately north of Hampton Cour ...

Bushy Park
, which included a large residence,
Bushy House Bushy House is a Grade II* listed former royal residence of William IV William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since ...
, for William's growing family. William used Bushy as his principal residence until he became king. His London residence,
Clarence House Clarence House is a List of British royal residences, British royal residence on The Mall, London, The Mall in the City of Westminster, London. It was built in 1825–1827, adjacent to St James's Palace, for the Duke of Clarence, the future king ...

Clarence House
, was constructed to the designs of
John NashJohn Nash may refer to: Arts and entertainment *John Nash (architect) (1752–1835), Anglo-Welsh architect *John Nash Round, English architect active in the mid-19th-century Kent *"Jolly" John Nash (1828–1901), English music hall entertainer *Joh ...
between 1825 and 1827. The couple had ten illegitimate children—five sons and five daughters—nine of whom were named after William's siblings; each was given the surname " FitzClarence".Weir, pp. 303–304. Their affair lasted for twenty years before ending in 1811. Mrs. Jordan had no doubt as to the reason for the break-up: "Money, money, my good friend, has, I am convinced made HIM at this moment the most wretched of men," adding, "With all his excellent qualities, his domestic ''virtues'', his love for his ''lovely'' children, what must he not at this moment suffer?" She was given a financial settlement of £4,400 () per year and custody of her daughters on condition that she did not resume the stage. When she resumed acting in an effort to repay debts incurred by the husband of one of her daughters from a previous relationship, William took custody of the daughters and stopped paying the £1,500 () designated for their maintenance. After Mrs. Jordan's acting career began to fail, she fled to France to escape her creditors, and died, impoverished, near Paris in 1816. Before he met Mrs. Jordan, William had an illegitimate son whose mother is unknown; the son, also called William, drowned off
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...

Madagascar
in HMS ''Blenheim'' in February 1807. Caroline von Linsingen, whose father was a general in the Hanoverian infantry, claimed to have had a son, Heinrich, by William in around 1790 but William was not in Hanover at the time that she claims, and the story is considered implausible by historians. Deeply in debt, William made multiple attempts at marrying a wealthy heiress such as Catherine Tylney-Long, but his suits were unsuccessful. Following the death of William's niece
Princess Charlotte of Wales Princess Charlotte of Wales (Charlotte Augusta; 7 January 1796 – 6 November 1817) was the only child of George, Prince of Wales (later King George IV George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was King of th ...

Princess Charlotte of Wales
, then second-in-line to the British throne, in 1817, George III was left with twelve children, but no legitimate grandchildren. The race was on among his sons, the royal dukes, to marry and produce an heir. William had great advantages in this race—his two older brothers were both childless and estranged from their wives, who were both beyond childbearing age anyway, and William was the healthiest of the three. If he lived long enough, he would almost certainly ascend the British and Hanoverian thrones, and have the opportunity to sire the next monarch. William's initial choices of potential wives either met with the disapproval of his eldest brother, the Prince of Wales, or turned him down. His younger brother
Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, (Adolphus Frederick; 24 February 1774 – 8 July 1850) was the tenth child and seventh son of the British king George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of ...
, was sent to Germany to scout out the available Protestant princesses; he came up with
Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel (Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa; 25 July 1797 – 6 April 1889) was the wife of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, (Adolphus Frederick; 24 February 1774 – 8 July 1850) was t ...

Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel
, but her father
FrederickFrederick may refer to: People * Frederick (given name), the name Nobility Anhalt-Harzgerode *Frederick, Prince of Anhalt-Harzgerode (1613–1670) Austria * Frederick I, Duke of Austria (Babenberg), Duke of Austria from 1195 to 1198 * Frederick ...

Frederick
declined the match. Two months later, the Duke of Cambridge married Augusta himself. Eventually, a princess was found who was amiable, home-loving, and was willing to accept, even enthusiastically welcoming William's nine surviving children, several of whom had not yet reached adulthood. In the Drawing Room at
Kew Palace Kew Palace is a British royal palace within the grounds of Kew Gardens on the banks of the River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including Lond ...

Kew Palace
on 11 July 1818, William married Princess
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen , house = Saxe-Meiningen , father = Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen , mother = Princess Louise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg , birth_date = , birth_place = Meiningen Meiningen () is a town in t ...

Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
. William's marriage, which lasted almost twenty years until his death, was a happy one. Adelaide took both William and his finances in hand. For their first year of marriage, the couple lived in economical fashion in Germany. William's debts were soon on the way to being paid, especially since Parliament had voted him an increased allowance, which he reluctantly accepted after his requests to have it increased further were refused. William is not known to have had mistresses after his marriage. The couple had two short-lived daughters and Adelaide suffered three miscarriages.Ziegler, p. 126. Despite this, false rumours that she was pregnant persisted into William's reign—he dismissed them as "damned stuff".


Lord High Admiral

William's elder brother, the Prince of Wales, had been
Prince Regent George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A polit ...
since 1811 because of the mental illness of their father. In 1820, George III died and the Prince Regent became George IV. William, Duke of Clarence, was now second in the line of succession, preceded only by his brother, Frederick, Duke of York. Reformed since his marriage, William walked for hours, ate relatively frugally, and the only drink he imbibed in quantity was
barley water Barley water is a traditional drink consumed in various parts of the world. It is made by boiling barley grains in water, then (usually) straining to remove the grains, and possibly adding other ingredients, for example sugar. Variations *Kykeon ...
flavoured with lemon. Both of his older brothers were unhealthy, and it was considered only a matter of time before he became king. When Frederick died in 1827, William, then more than 60 years old, became heir presumptive. Later that year, the incoming Prime Minister,
George Canning George Canning (11 April 17708 August 1827) was a British Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of gener ...

George Canning
, appointed him to the office of Lord High Admiral, which had been in commission (that is, exercised by a board rather than by a single individual) since 1709. While in office, William had repeated conflicts with his Council, which was composed of
Admiralty Admiralty usually refers to: * Admiralty (United Kingdom), military department in command of the Royal Navy from 1707 to 1964 *The rank of admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank ...
officers. Things finally came to a head in 1828 when, as Lord High Admiral, he put to sea with a squadron of ships, leaving no word of where they were going, and remaining away for ten days. The King requested his resignation through the Prime Minister, the
Duke of Wellington Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish people, Anglo-Irish soldier and Tories (British political party), Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political f ...

Duke of Wellington
; he complied. Despite the difficulties William experienced, he did considerable good as Lord High Admiral. He abolished the
cat o' nine tails The cat o' nine tails, commonly shortened to the cat, is a type of multi-tailed flail A flail is an agriculture, agricultural tool used for threshing, the process of separating cereal, grains from their husks. It is usually made from two or ...
for most offences other than
mutiny Mutiny is a revolt among a group of people (typically of a military, of a crew or of a crew of Piracy, pirates) to oppose, change, or overthrow an organization to which they were previously loyal. The term is commonly used for a rebellion among ...

mutiny
, attempted to improve the standard of naval gunnery, and required regular reports of the condition and preparedness of each ship. He commissioned the first steam warship and advocated the construction of more. Holding the office permitted him to make mistakes and learn from them—a process that might have been far more costly if he had not learnt before becoming king that he should act only with the advice of his councillors. William spent much of his remaining time during his brother's reign in the House of Lords. He supported the
Catholic Emancipation #REDIRECT Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of ...
Bill against the opposition of his younger brother, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, describing the latter's position on the Bill as "infamous", to Cumberland's outrage.Ziegler, p. 143. George IV's health was increasingly bad; it was obvious by early 1830 that he was near death. The King took his leave of his younger brother at the end of May, stating, "God's will be done. I have injured no man. It will all rest on you then." William's genuine affection for his older brother could not mask his rising anticipation that he would soon be king.


Reign


Early reign

When King George IV died on 26 June 1830 without surviving legitimate issue, William succeeded him as King William IV. Aged 64, he was the oldest person yet to assume the British throne. Unlike his extravagant brother, William was unassuming, discouraging pomp and ceremony. In contrast to George IV, who tended to spend most of his time in
Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is a at in the English county of . It is strongly associated with the and succeeding , and embodies almost a millennium of . The original castle was built in the 11th century after the by . Since the time of (who re ...

Windsor Castle
, William was known, especially early in his reign, to walk, unaccompanied, through London or
Brighton Brighton () is a constituent part of the city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ...

Brighton
. Until the Reform Crisis eroded his standing, he was very popular among the people, who saw him as more approachable and down-to-earth than his brother. The King immediately proved himself a conscientious worker. The Prime Minister, Wellington, stated that he had done more business with King William in ten minutes than he had with George IV in as many days.
Lord Brougham Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, (; 19 September 1778 – 7 May 1868) was a British statesman who became Lord High Chancellor and played a prominent role in passing the 1832 Reform Act The Representation of the ...
described him as an excellent man of business, asking enough questions to help him understand the matter—whereas George IV feared to ask questions lest he display his ignorance and George III would ask too many and then not wait for a response. The King did his best to endear himself to the people. Charlotte Williams-Wynn wrote shortly after his accession: "Hitherto the King has been indefatigable in his efforts to make himself popular, and do good natured and amiable things in every possible instance."
Emily Eden Emily Eden (3 March 1797 – 5 August 1869) was an English poet and novelist who gave witty accounts of English life in the early 19th century. She wrote a celebrated account of her travels in India, and two novels that sold well. She was also a ...

Emily Eden
noted: "He is an immense improvement on the last unforgiving animal, who died growling sulkily in his den at Windsor. This man at least ''wishes'' to make everybody happy, and everything he has done has been benevolent." William dismissed his brother's French chefs and German band, replacing them with English ones to public approval. He gave much of George IV's art collection to the nation, and halved the royal
stud Stud may refer to: * Stud (animal) 280px, Stud Murray Grey cows receiving supplementary feeding during a drought, Graman, NSW. A stud animal is a registered animal retained for breeding. The terms for the male of a given animal species (stallion (h ...
. George had begun an extensive (and expensive) renovation of
Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace () is the London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or mor ...

Buckingham Palace
; William refused to reside there, and twice tried to give the palace away, once to the Army as a barracks, and once to Parliament after the
Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliame ...

Houses of Parliament
burned down in 1834. His informality could be startling: when in residence at the
Royal Pavilion The Royal Pavilion, also known as the Brighton Pavilion, is a Grade I listed A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England Historic England (off ...

Royal Pavilion
in Brighton, King William used to send to the hotels for a list of their guests and invite anyone he knew to dinner, urging guests not to "bother about clothes. The Queen does nothing but embroider flowers after dinner." Upon taking the throne, William did not forget his nine surviving illegitimate children, creating his eldest son
Earl of Munster Earl of Munster was a title created twice, once in the Peerage of Ireland and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The first creation came in 1789 in favour of William IV of the United Kingdom, Prince William, the third son of George III, ...
and granting the other children the precedence of a daughter or a younger son of a marquess. Despite this, his children importuned for greater opportunities, disgusting elements of the press who reported that the "impudence and rapacity of the FitzJordans is unexampled". The relationship between William and his sons "was punctuated by a series of savage and, for the King at least, painful quarrels" over money and honours. His daughters, on the other hand, proved an ornament to his court, as, "They are all, you know, pretty and lively, and make society in a way that real princesses could not."


Reform crisis

At the time, the death of the monarch required fresh elections and, in the general election of 1830, Wellington's
Tories A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of Traditionalist conservatism, traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved in the English cul ...
lost ground to the Whigs under Lord Grey, though the Tories still had the largest number of seats. With the Tories bitterly divided, Wellington was defeated in the House of Commons in November, and Lord Grey formed a government. Grey pledged to reform the electoral system, which had seen few changes since the fifteenth century. The inequities in the system were great; for example, large towns such as
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
and
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Ro ...

Birmingham
elected no members (though they were part of county constituencies), while small boroughs, known as
rotten Rotten may refer to: * Axl Rotten, ring name of American professional wrestler Brian Knighton (1971–2016) * Ian Rotten, ring name of American professional wrestler John Benson Williams (born 1970) * Johnny Rotten, former stage name of John Lydon ( ...
or
pocket borough A rotten or pocket borough, also known as a nomination borough or proprietorial borough, was a parliamentary borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''bor ...
s—such as
Old Sarum Old Sarum, in Wiltshire Wiltshire (; abbreviated Wilts) is a Ceremonial counties of England, county in South West England with an area of . It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordsh ...
with just seven voters—elected two members of Parliament each. Often, the rotten boroughs were controlled by great aristocrats, whose nominees were invariably elected by the constituents—who were, most often, their tenants—especially since the secret ballot was not yet used in Parliamentary elections. Landowners who controlled seats were even able to sell them to prospective candidates. When the First Reform Bill was defeated in the House of Commons in 1831, Grey's ministry urged William to dissolve Parliament, which would lead to a new general election. At first, William hesitated to exercise his prerogative to dissolve Parliament because elections had just been held the year before and the country was in a state of high excitement which might boil over into violence. He was, however, irritated by the conduct of the Opposition, which announced its intention to move the passage of an Address, or resolution, in the House of Lords, against dissolution. Regarding the Opposition's motion as an attack on his prerogative, and at the urgent request of Lord Grey and his ministers, the King prepared to go in person to the House of Lords and prorogue Parliament. The monarch's arrival would stop all debate and prevent passage of the Address.Ziegler, p. 188. When initially told that his horses could not be ready at such short notice, William is supposed to have said, "Then I will go in a hackney cab!" Coach and horses were assembled quickly and he immediately proceeded to Parliament. Said ''The Times'' of the scene before William's arrival, "It is utterly impossible to describe the scene ... The violent tones and gestures of noble Lords ... astonished the spectators, and affected the ladies who were present with visible alarm." Lord Londonderry brandished a whip, threatening to thrash the Government supporters, and was held back by four of his colleagues. William hastily put on the crown, entered the Chamber, and dissolved Parliament. This forced new elections for the House of Commons, which yielded a great victory for the reformers. But although the Commons was clearly in favour of parliamentary reform, the Lords remained implacably opposed to it. The crisis saw a brief interlude for the celebration of the King's Coronation on 8 September 1831. At first, William wished to dispense with the coronation entirely, feeling that his wearing the crown while proroguing Parliament answered any need. He was persuaded otherwise by traditionalists. He refused, however, to celebrate the coronation in the expensive way his brother had—the 1821 coronation had cost £240,000, of which £16,000 was merely to hire the jewels. At William's instructions, the Privy Council budgeted less than £30,000 for the coronation. When traditionalist Tories threatened to boycott what they called the " Half Crown-nation", the King retorted that they should go ahead, and that he anticipated "greater convenience of room and less heat". After the rejection of the Second Reform Bill by the House of Lords in October 1831, agitation for reform grew across the country; demonstrations grew violent in so-called "Reform Riots". In the face of popular excitement, the Grey ministry refused to accept defeat, and re-introduced the Bill, despite the continued opposition of peers in the House of Lords. Frustrated by the Lords' obdurate attitude, Grey suggested that the King create a sufficient number of new peers to ensure the passage of the Reform Bill. The King objected—though he had the power to create an unlimited number of peers, he had already created 22 new peers in his Coronation Honours. William reluctantly agreed to the creation of the number of peers sufficient "to secure the success of the bill". However, the King, citing the difficulties with a permanent expansion of the
peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societi ...
, told Grey that the creations must be restricted as much as possible to the eldest sons and collateral heirs of existing peers, so that the created peerages would eventually be absorbed as subsidiary titles. This time, the Lords did not reject the bill outright, but began preparing to change its basic character through amendments. Grey and his fellow ministers decided to resign if the King did not agree to an immediate and large creation to force the bill through in its entirety. The King refused, and accepted their resignations. The King attempted to restore the Duke of Wellington to office, but Wellington had insufficient support to form a ministry and the King's popularity sank to an all-time low. Mud was slung at his carriage and he was publicly hissed. The King agreed to reappoint Grey's ministry, and to create new peers if the House of Lords continued to pose difficulties. Concerned by the threat of the creations, most of the bill's opponents abstained and the
1832 Reform Act The Representation of the People Act 1832 (also known as the 1832 Reform Act, Great Reform Act or First Reform Act) was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body ...
was passed. The mob blamed William's actions on the influence of his wife and brother, and his popularity recovered.


Foreign policy

William distrusted foreigners, particularly anyone French, which he acknowledged as a "prejudice". He also felt strongly that Britain should not interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, which brought him into conflict with the interventionist
Foreign Secretary The secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs, also referred to as the foreign secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o th ...
, Lord Palmerston. William supported Belgian Revolution, Belgian independence and, after unacceptable William II of the Netherlands, Dutch and Prince Louis, Duke of Nemours, French candidates were put forward, favoured Leopold I of Belgium, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the widower of his niece, Charlotte, as a candidate for the newly created Belgian throne. Though he had a reputation for tactlessness and buffoonery, William could be shrewd and diplomatic. He foresaw that the potential construction of a Suez Canal, canal at Suez would make good relations with Egypt Eyalet, Egypt vital to Britain. Later in his reign, he flattered the American ambassador at a dinner by announcing that he regretted not being "born a free, independent American, so much did he respect that nation, which had given birth to George Washington, the greatest man that ever lived". By exercising his personal charm, William assisted in the repair of Anglo-American relations, which had been so deeply damaged during the reign of his father.


King of Hanover

Public perception in Germany was that Britain dictated Kingdom of Hanover, Hanoverian policy. This was not the case. In 1832, Austrian chancellor Klemens von Metternich introduced laws that curbed fledgling liberal movements in Germany. Lord Palmerston opposed this, and sought William's influence to cause the Hanoverian government to take the same position. The Hanoverian government instead agreed with Metternich, much to Palmerston's dismay, and William declined to intervene. The conflict between William and Palmerston over Hanover was renewed the following year when Metternich called a conference of the German states, to be held in Vienna, and Palmerston wanted Hanover to decline the invitation. Instead, William's brother Prince Adolphus, Viceroy of Hanover, accepted, backed fully by William. In 1833, William signed a new constitution for Hanover, which empowered the middle class, gave limited power to the lower classes, and expanded the role of the parliament. The constitution would later be revoked by his brother and successor in Hanover, King Ernest Augustus.


Later reign and death

For the remainder of his reign, William interfered actively in politics only once, in 1834, when he became the last British sovereign to choose a prime minister contrary to the will of Parliament. In 1834, the ministry was facing increasing unpopularity and Lord Grey retired; the Home Secretary, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, replaced him. Melbourne retained most Cabinet members, and his ministry retained an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons. Some members of the Government, however, were anathema to the King, and increasingly left-wing policies concerned him. The previous year Grey had already pushed through Church Temporalities Act 1833, legislation reforming the Protestant Church of Ireland. The Church collected tithes throughout Ireland, supported multiple bishoprics and was wealthy. However, barely an eighth of the Irish population belonged to the Church of Ireland. In some parishes, there were no Church of Ireland members at all, but there was still a priest paid for by tithes collected from the local Catholics and Presbyterianism, Presbyterians, leading to charges that idle priests were living in luxury at the expense of Irish people living at the level of subsistence. Grey's Act had reduced the number of bishoprics by half, abolished some of the sinecures and overhauled the tithe system. Further measures to appropriate the surplus revenues of the Church of Ireland were mooted by the more radical members of the Government, including Lord John Russell. The King had an especial dislike for Russell, calling him "a dangerous little Radical." In November 1834, the Leader of the House of Commons and Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Spencer, 3rd Earl Spencer, Lord Althorp, inherited a peerage, thus removing him from the Commons to the Lords. Melbourne had to appoint a new Commons leader and a new Chancellor (who by long custom, must be drawn from the Commons), but the only candidate whom Melbourne felt suitable to replace Althorp as Commons leader was Lord John Russell, whom William (and many others) found unacceptable due to his radical politics. William claimed that the ministry had been weakened beyond repair and used the removal of Lord Althorp—who had previously indicated that he would retire from politics upon becoming a peer—as the pretext for the dismissal of the entire ministry. With Lord Melbourne gone, William chose to entrust power to a Tory, Robert Peel. Since Peel was then in Italy, the Duke of Wellington was provisionally appointed Prime Minister. When Peel returned and assumed leadership of the ministry for himself, he saw the impossibility of governing because of the Whig majority in the House of Commons. Consequently, Parliament was dissolved to force 1835 United Kingdom general election, fresh elections. Although the Tories won more seats than in the 1832 United Kingdom general election, previous election, they were still in the minority. Peel remained in office for a few months, but resigned after a series of parliamentary defeats. Melbourne was restored to the Prime Minister's office, remaining there for the rest of William's reign, and the King was forced to accept Russell as Commons leader. The King had a mixed relationship with Lord Melbourne. Melbourne's government mooted more ideas to introduce greater democracy, such as the devolution of powers to the Legislative Council of Lower Canada, which greatly alarmed the King, who feared it would eventually lead to the loss of the colony. At first, the King bitterly opposed these proposals. William exclaimed to Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford, Archibald Acheson, Lord Gosford, Governor General-designate of Canada: "Mind what you are about in Canada ... mind me, my Lord, the Cabinet is not my Cabinet; they had better take care or by God, I will have them impeached." When William's son Augustus FitzClarence enquired of his father whether the King would be entertaining during Royal Ascot#Royal Ascot, Ascot week, William gloomily replied, "I cannot give any dinners without inviting the ministers, and I would rather see the devil than any one of them in my house."Somerset, p. 200. Nevertheless, William approved the Cabinet's recommendations for reform. Despite his disagreements with Melbourne, the King wrote warmly to congratulate the Prime Minister when he triumphed in the adultery case brought against him concerning Lady Caroline Norton—he had refused to permit Melbourne to resign when the case was first brought. The King and Prime Minister eventually found a ''modus vivendi''; Melbourne applying tact and firmness when called for; while William realised that his First Minister was far less radical in his politics than the King had feared. Both the King and Queen were fond of their niece, Queen Victoria, Princess Victoria of Kent. Their attempts to forge a close relationship with the girl were frustrated by the conflict between the King and the Princess's widowed mother, the Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent. The King, angered at what he took to be disrespect from the Duchess to his wife, took the opportunity at what proved to be his final birthday banquet in August 1836 to settle the score. Speaking to those assembled at the banquet, who included the Duchess and Princess, William expressed his hope that he would survive until the Princess was 18 so that the Duchess would never be regent. He said, "I trust to God that my life may be spared for nine months longer ... I should then have the satisfaction of leaving the exercise of the Royal authority to the personal authority of that young lady, heiress presumptive to the Crown, and not in the hands of a person now near me, who is surrounded by evil advisers and is herself incompetent to act with propriety in the situation in which she would be placed." The speech was so shocking that Victoria burst into tears, while her mother sat in silence and was only with difficulty persuaded not to leave immediately after dinner (the two left the next day). William's outburst undoubtedly contributed to Victoria's tempered view of him as "a good old man, though eccentric and singular". William survived, though mortally ill, to the month after Victoria's coming of age. "Poor old man!", Victoria wrote as he was dying, "I feel sorry for him; he was always personally kind to me." William was "very much shaken and affected" by the death of his eldest daughter, Sophia Sidney, Baroness De L'Isle and Dudley, Sophia, Lady de L'Isle and Dudley, in childbirth in April 1837. William and his eldest son, George FitzClarence, 1st Earl of Munster, George, Earl of Munster, were estranged at the time, but William hoped that a letter of condolence from Munster signalled a reconciliation. His hopes were not fulfilled and Munster, still thinking he had not been given sufficient money or patronage, remained bitter to the end. Queen Adelaide attended the dying William devotedly, not going to bed herself for more than ten days. William died in the early hours of the morning of 20 June 1837 at
Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is a at in the English county of . It is strongly associated with the and succeeding , and embodies almost a millennium of . The original castle was built in the 11th century after the by . Since the time of (who re ...

Windsor Castle
, where he was buried at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, St George's Chapel.


Legacy

As William had no living legitimate issue, the Crown of the United Kingdom passed to Princess Victoria, the only child of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, George III's fourth son. Under Salic Law, a woman could not rule Kingdom of Hanover, Hanover, and so the Hanoverian Crown went to George III's fifth son, the Duke of Cumberland. William's death thus ended the personal union of Britain and Hanover, which had persisted since 1714. The main beneficiaries of his will were his eight surviving children by Mrs. Jordan. Although William is not the direct ancestor of the later monarchs of the United Kingdom, he has many notable descendants through his illegitimate family with Mrs. Jordan, including former Prime Minister David Cameron, TV presenter Adam Hart-Davis, and author and statesman Duff Cooper. William IV had a short but eventful reign. In Britain, the Reform Crisis marked the ascendancy of the House of Commons and the corresponding decline of the House of Lords, and the King's unsuccessful attempt to remove the Melbourne ministry indicated a reduction in the political influence of the Crown and of the King's influence over the electorate. During the reign of George III, the King could have dismissed one ministry, appointed another, dissolved Parliament, and expected the electorate to vote in favour of the new administration. Such was the result of a dissolution in 1784, after the dismissal of the Fox-North Coalition, and in 1807, after the dismissal of Lord Grenville. But when William dismissed the Melbourne ministry, the Tories under Sir Robert Peel failed to win the ensuing elections. The monarch's ability to influence the opinion of the electorate, and therefore national policy, had been reduced. None of William's successors has attempted to remove a government or to appoint another against the wishes of Parliament. William understood that as a constitutional monarch he had no power to act against the opinion of Parliament. He said, "I have my view of things, and I tell them to my ministers. If they do not adopt them, I cannot help it. I have done my duty." During William's reign, the British Parliament enacted major reforms, including the Factory Act of 1833 (preventing child labour), the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (emancipating slaves in the colonies), and the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 (standardising provision for the destitute). William attracted criticism both from reformers, who felt that reform did not go far enough, and from reactionaries, who felt that reform went too far. A modern interpretation sees him as failing to satisfy either political extreme by trying to find a compromise between two bitterly opposed factions, but in the process proving himself more capable as a constitutional monarch than many had supposed.


Titles, styles, honours, and arms


Titles and styles

* 21 August 1765 – 16 May 1789: ''His Royal Highness'' The Prince William Henry * 16 May 1789 – 26 June 1830: ''His Royal Highness'' The Duke of Clarence and St Andrews * 26 June 1830 – 20 June 1837: ''Majesty, His Majesty'' The King


Honours

British and Hanoverian honoursGeorge Cokayne, Cokayne, G.E.; Vicary Gibbs (St Albans MP), Gibbs, Vicary; Doubleday, H. A. (1913). ''The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant'', London: St. Catherine's Press
Vol. III, p. 261
* ''5 April 1770'': Order of the Thistle, Knight of the Thistle * ''19 April 1782'': Order of the Garter, Knight of the Garter * ''23 June 1789'': Member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom * ''2 January 1815'': Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath * ''12 August 1815'': Royal Guelphic Order, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order * ''26 April 1827'': Royal Fellow of the Royal Society Foreign honours * Kingdom of Prussia: ''11 April 1814'': Order of the Black Eagle, Knight of the Black Eagle * Bourbon Restoration in France, Kingdom of France: ''24 April 1814'': Order of the Holy Spirit, Knight of the Holy Spirit * : ** ''9 June 1814'': Order of St. Andrew, Knight of St. Andrew ** ''9 June 1814'': Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, Knight of St. Alexander Nevsky * : ''15 July 1830'': Order of the Elephant, Knight of the Elephant * :''Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden'' (1834), "Großherzogliche Orden
pp. 32

50
** ''1831'': House Order of Fidelity, Knight of the House Order of Fidelity ** ''1831'': Order of the Zähringer Lion, Knight Grand Cross of the Zähringer Lion * : ''21 February 1834'': Order of the Golden Fleece, Knight of the Golden Fleece * : Order of the Württemberg Crown, Knight Grand Cross of the Württemberg Crown


Arms

As a son of the sovereign, William was granted the use of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, royal arms (without the electoral inescutcheon in the Hanoverian Quartering (heraldry), quarter) in 1781, differenced by a Label (heraldry), label of three points argent, the centre point bearing a cross gules, the outer points each bearing an anchor Azure (heraldry), azure. In 1801 his arms altered with the royal arms, however Cadency labels of the British royal family, the marks of difference remained the same. As king his arms were those of his two kingdoms, the United Kingdom and Hanover, superimposed: Quarterly, I and IV Gules three lions passant guardant in Pale (heraldry), pale Or (heraldry), Or (Royal Arms of England, for England); II Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (Royal coat of arms of Scotland, for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (Coat of arms of Ireland, for Ireland); overall an escutcheon Division of the field, tierced per pale and per chevron (for Hanover), I Gules two lions passant guardant Or (for Brunswick), II Or a semy of hearts Gules a lion rampant Azure (for Lüneburg), III Gules a horse Attitude (heraldry)#Courant, courant Argent (Coat of arms of Lower Saxony, for Westphalia), overall an inescutcheon Gules charged with the crown of Charlemagne Or, the whole escutcheon surmounted by a crown.


Issue


Ancestry


Family tree

* : Red borders indicate British monarchs * : Bold borders indicate legitimate children of British monarchs


See also

* Cultural depictions of William IV of the United Kingdom


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * *


External links


William IV
at the official website of the British monarchy
Digitised private and official papers of William IV
at the Royal Collection * , - {{DEFAULTSORT:William 04 William IV of the United Kingdom, 1765 births 1837 deaths 18th-century British people 19th-century British monarchs 18th-century Royal Navy personnel 19th-century Royal Navy personnel Royal Navy personnel of the American Revolutionary War Burials at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle Dukes of Clarence Peers of Great Britain created by George III Earls of Munster Peers of Ireland created by George III Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London Great Masters of the Order of the Bath Hanoverian princes Kings of Hanover Knights of the Garter Knights of the Thistle Lord High Admirals Members of the Privy Council of Great Britain Monarchs of the United Kingdom People from Westminster Princes of Great Britain Princes of the United Kingdom Knights of the Golden Fleece of Spain Royal Navy personnel of the Napoleonic Wars Freemasons of the United Grand Lodge of England Monarchs of the Isle of Man Sons of British monarchs Children of George III of the United Kingdom