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Handwritten envelope signed by King George III's fifth son, addressed to London novelist and society hostess Lady Catherine Stepney
Autograph Envelope signed: "Ernest", 5x3. No postmark, probably delivered by hand. Addressed by the Prince, in full: "The Lady Stepney/No. 8 Henrietta Street/Cavendish Square/London". Ernest Augustus (1771-1851), the eighth child and fifth son of Britain's King George III, held the title of Duke of Cumberland until his niece, Victoria, became Queen of England in 1837. On that date the throne of Hanover, held jointly with the British crown by monarchs dating back to George I, was separated, with Ernest Augustus reigning as King of Hanover until his death. Prince Ernest Augustus had been a valiant soldier in the Wars of the French Revolution, but later became a very unpopular figure in England. Active in the House of Lords, he led the fight against Catholic Emancipation, in defiance of the King and Prime Minister. Ugly rumors constantly circulated around Ernest Augustus, including a claim that he was plotting to kill Princess Victoria and take the British crown for himself. (The Duke complained that he had been "accused of every crime in the Decalogue." He feuded incessantly with Victoria after her ascension, called her beloved consort Prince Albert "a paper Royal Highness." He proved equally unpopular in Hanover, dismissing from office the Brothers Grimm, among others. He also opposed unification of Germany, rightly fearing a German Empire would be dominated by Prussia. Lady Catherine Stepney (1778-1845) was a novelist and London society hostess. Heavily worn and soiled. Edges worn and irregularly cut. Ink lightly bled (legible). Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: June 5, 1771 in Buckingham House, London, United Kingdom
Died: November 8, 1851 in Royal Court, Hanover

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