Talk:Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover

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July 10, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
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Rumor suggested that he beat a servant to death, and perhaps raped his own sister, Princess Sophia. His wife also had a bad reputation, having allegedly murdered one or both of her previous husbands.

I would be interested to know your source for these statements. I have done extensive reading on Ernest Duke of Cumberland and have not come across anything that would confirm them. The sentiment is certainly strong that he murdered his valet, but he did not beat him to death. And there is no indication that he raped Sophia although some maintain he fathered a child by her.

I am very curious about the statements concerning Princess Frederica. I have read only that her first husband died following a sudden, brief illness but that her second husband died of a stroke. Is there some documentation to support allegations of murder?

Ernest was no saint, to be sure; but he seems to have a much worse reputation than the facts support. His rigid right wing politics and refusal to accept change made him many enemies and some historians feel that most of his 'scandals' were trumped up to discredit him. This may not be so, however, because I was in England recently and was hard pressed to find anything on public display pertaining to him. He is a fascinating character and I'd like to know where you did your research.

Thank you.

Aimee Thrasher

I'm pretty sure I've read this somewhere, but I can't find where. I've toned down the article correspondingly. I would certainly agree with you that rumors about Cumberland were probably exaggerated. The article was not meant to suggest that these rumors were true. But, of course, if they were not genuine rumors, they should be removed. john 07:13, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)

See discussion on Sophia re possibility of illegitimate child. Hebbgd (talk) 22:09, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Duke of Cumberland, son of George III[edit]

The Hanover template needs a little modification, in particular the words "Duke of Cumberland" need to be put next to the name of George III's son, Ernest Augustus I of Hanover who was by far the most notorious Cumberland of them all.

PS Cumberland was accused of having tried to rape Lady Lyndhurst, wife of three-time Chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst. I am not sure of the date. Can some knowledgeable soul pls put this into the text? (My source is Cecil Woodham-Smith, her source is the diarist Greville..but I reckon any standard bio of Cumberland shd have the details.)

Surely his grand-uncle, the Butcher Cumberland, is at least as notorious? At least in Scotland... john k 02:00, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Wicked Ernest[edit]

I've toned down the editor who claimed that Cumberland did indeed murder and commit incest, to the exclusion of all other theories. I have no objection to the one sentence being expanded. However, we do not know, and WP does not judge.--Wehwalt 18:45, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

In addition, the editor is citing his own book. That is akin to citing a page you made, and is frowned upon. The better approach, from what I recall, is to bring the source to other editors' attention on this page and let us decide.--Wehwalt 20:38, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Re "Wicked Ernest": My purpose in naming my book was indeed "to bring the source to other editors' attention", and especially because its endnotes comprehensively cite the sources on which my conclusions are based. For example, the record of Ernest Augustus's confession to his aide-de-camp that he murdered the valet Joseph Sellis in St James's Palace is in the Windsor royal archives and was published in Professor Arthur Aspinall's "The Correspondence of George Prince of Wales", vol VII, 1971. John Wardroper 16:42, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

That is fine (though the place to bring your source to the attention of other editors is on the talk page, not the article page), but you deleted the language in the article that said that he didn't do these things, and inserted your belief (which I have no doubt is well founded) that he did. The thing is, you can believe either way, but we don't know for sure either way--and their are sources which don't hold the same way (going all the way back to The Royal Dukes. That is why I suggested (and to help you out, even started a paragraph) that you summarize your theory in addition to the existing text, so that the reader is aware of both schools of thought.--Wehwalt 16:51, 5 January 2007 (UTC) 19:43, 8 January 2007 (UTC)Sorry if I got the Wiki-rules wrong. An essential part of clarifying a piece of history is to seek out primary sources. If they show that certain things in previous accounts don't stand up, you can't really still say 'you can believe either way'. That nearly amounts to giving equal value to whatever has been printed, no matter what is questioned thereafter by further research. Surely one aim of Wikipedia is to clear away some of the detritus of history. Note that royal courts depend very much on image. What the public was given, and indeed is given, is a blend of truth and untruth. Note what Prince Ernest's sister Elizabeth said: "I speak very little like a courtier tho' bred up in the heart of Court... Poor Truth has a bad life of it, yet it will sometimes out." [Source, for those who want it: letter to the rector of St George's, Bloomsbury, June 1801, British Library manuscript Add 41695] Writers on royalty are often rather inclined to be overkind with the truth.

Well, when they change all the history books to say Ernest killed his valet and raped his sister, we can go with a single theory, until then we should have both. And the logical way is to have the traditional view first, the new theory second.--Wehwalt 20:08, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

A few comments on this.

History books inevitably contain errors, misjudgments, special pleadings and even sometimes deliberate falsehoods. Historians and others need to do all they can bring out the truth, so that indifferent books are less likely to be granted equal weight with sound ones.

I have given a citation already for Ernest's confession to murder. There at least there is no call for using the word 'theory'.

As for Princess Sophia, who has suggested that Ernest raped her? Not I! My work on the question suggests that there was a consensual relationship. Evidence of a fondness between them first occurs when she is 16. She writes to her confidante Lady Harcourt, Aug 24 1794,"Dear Ernest is as kind to me as it is possible, rather a little imprudent at times, but when told of it never takes it ill" Harcourt manuscripts at Stanton Harcourt: volume of letters from the royal family. "Imprudent" was a word often used in society for behaviour likely to cause gossip. John Wardroper 18:24, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Call it what you will. You have your own views, I am sure they are sincerely held. However, I do not know that it is the historical judgment of historians generally that Ernst murdered his valet and had an affair with his own sister. I will not accept what you say as undisuputed fact without knowing there is a consensus on these points.--Wehwalt 18:30, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
If anything happened between Princess Sophia and Ernest, it was rape, not an affair. She'd written to her lover, General Thomas Garth, that Ernest had made "attempts" on her person. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:44, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

WP talks about the opinions of scholars, not support them Whodhellknew 04:11, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Wehwalt: you provide no citations in defence of your position. You also make the bizarre assertion that Wikipedia should wait till "the history books" better reflect the primary sources. Alrewas (talk) 04:25, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Based on his comments in this thread, Wehwalt's interpretation and application of Wikipedia's policies and practices toward inclusion as fact of allegations of notorious acts of homicide and incest in this article appear to be consistent with ONUS, EXCEPTIONAL and PRIMARY. I support reliance upon the standards he's articulated. FactStraight (talk) 11:55, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, note that my understanding of policy has evolved in eight years ... I have Wardroper's book, though I haven't read it recently. It's not like he has found some new trove of papers. What's out there on Ernest is out there, and there is unlikely to be much more. His interpretation, in a non-scholarly, popularly written book is that Ernest did those things, and I'm not sure that Wardroper's worth mentioning. This article has passed through FAC since 2007, by the way.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:40, 9 February 2015 (UTC)


I've removed several '[' brackets seeing as they have no function whatsoever in the article and pop up in odd places. It was the same in Princess Sophia's page, which I edited as well Whodhellknew 04:11, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

King instead of Victoria[edit]

Why wasn't he William IV's successor in the UK? After all, William IV was successor to George IV and they were all brothers. Who wanted to separate this dynasty from the British Isles? 07:52, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

It was not a case of want – in the UK, we have a male-preference succession, which means that the most senior person of the male line succeeds, i.e. William's next-oldest brother's eldest daughter, Victoria. Whereas, in Hanover, male-only succession was in place, so Victoria did not succeed, rather, William's most senior male heir – his next surviving brother, Ernest Augustus. Incidentally, this is all explained in the article(s) DBD 09:17, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
In the old days, that would have never been allowed to happen. Hence, the case of want. I think it was entirely political, because the male descendents of the Georgian kings were not exhausted or extinct. The Jacobites had lost and Catholic Emancipation was passed, so there was no reason to keep this dynasty on the throne. Prince Albert's dynasty had less dominance, since he and his heirs had no Continental territory to pull the UK around in directions possibly unfavourable to the British people. 00:23, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Hanover had very little influence on the UK, especially after the early years of the personal union. From 1760-1837, the last three joint kings, only George IV visited Hanover, and that very briefly. The Act of Settlement required that British troops not be used to defend Hanover, in fact it was occupied by Napoleon. Hanover was very much an afterthought. It was a place where impoverished royals could live cheaply, and where some royal connection would be sent off to serve as governor. At the end, the British were delighted to lose Hanover, since it meant that Cumberland would leave England.--Wehwalt 02:59, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Well yeah, it's not like he was illegitimate. There had to be an ulterior motive to displacing a dynasty with enough living male representatives to continue the line into the present day, including the future to come. Parliament did this to the Stuarts too, so this truly speaks for the power they wield. 04:32, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

<unindent> It speaks to the disruption to royal legitimacy caused by the intemperate actions of Charles I in the context of the Protestant Reformation. All entertaining speculation; for it to appear in the article a reliable source making the argument is required, and original research drawing on facts to synthesise the argument cannot be accepted. .. dave souza, talk 07:54, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

You know, it doesn't hurt to ask questions and discuss. 12:57, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
By the Act of Settlement 1701 Victoria was the lawful heir to the British throne. Cumberland was so detested in Britain that Parliament probably never once considered passing a new law dispossessing her. Jess Cully 15:14, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
One could only wonder what things would be like now, if Parliament had decided to keep up dynastic politics with the House of Orange-Nassau, the Hanoverians, or the present Windsors. They are choosing to revive the Oldenburg element of Prince George, Queen Anne's husband. That's probably because they wanted it then and tragedy cut off their hopes for a lasting succession, which is now present with Prince Philip's "Mountbatten" children. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Whiggish preference for pre-Norman conditions, when England was dominated by Scandinavian pirates instead. I don't think it is entirely up to the Queen in who she could marry. Remember, if the dynastic politics had been Royally directed (in the Stuart favour), there would have never been any Dutch or German monarchs of the British Isles. Ireland would probably never split, while one can only speculate how America would have turned out. Actually, I think things would be the same as in France. The Revolution would have deposed the monarchy for good and the American colonies would have been of no consequence. There would have been a successor to our Robespierre (Cromwell) to be a Napoleon of Britain. Imperial India would not have been the focus of power, but I think that Britain would have Continental expansion and client or puppet countries in Europe instead of the Commonwealth version. 03:04, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

The First?[edit]

Is he Earnest Augustus the First? His successor is named George the Fifth. That suggests that the Kings of Hanover used the numerals of their predescessors the Electors of Hanover. Which would make him Earnest-Augustus the Second. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 12:14, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

He is the First. No question. Looks like the first "first" one died before the appointment became elective, so I guess id didnt' count.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:18, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

You mean "effective". I'll have to look into that, but in Germany he is often reffered to as Ernst-August II. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:16, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Wehwalt means "elective" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:35, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

No the Kingdom of hanover didnt do that also he also King george V was that because of the Past Kings of hanovers(Also the king of britain george VI) the last King george was King George IV of Hanover so that is why there was a King geroge V of Hanover ( (talk) 20:06, 3 August 2015 (UTC))

But William IV was Wilhelm IV ... looks like they found a reason to keep pace with the Britons.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:19, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Wrong Image[edit]

The image claiming to be of a young Ernest cannot be right. The sword worn in the image was introduced into the British army in about 1822, and the uniform worn dates to circa 1850. Ernest would have been a middle aged to elderly man at this time. As a young man he would have been in a wig and clean shaven. Urselius (talk) 13:25, 6 October 2009 (UTC)


Reigned as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, Earl of Armagh? There was no Ducal crown of Cumberland, it was just a title. GoodDay (talk) 19:05, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

In most infoboxes the word reign is used in lieu of tenure.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 19:30, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
It sure don't look right, Peerage members don't reign. If Ernest would've had no sons those Ducal & Earldom titles would've ceased to exist. Ernest didn't succeeded to those title, they were conferred on him (like Duke of York, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Wessex, etc). GoodDay (talk) 19:36, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Ernest Augustus, not Ernest[edit]

The article shouldn't refer to him as Ernest. It should refer to him as Ernest Augustus, as that is the name he used. We never refer to Empress Maria Theresa as Maria, do we? Anyway, the article looks great. Surtsicna (talk) 14:54, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, but RS refer to him constantly as Ernest, and (check signature) so did he. Are you the GA reviewer?--Wehwalt (talk) 15:05, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
No, I haven't decided to review the article. I just fixed some minor issues. If the sources you used refer to him as Ernest, then I guess there is no need to change it. Good luck with the review process! Surtsicna (talk) 15:23, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ernest Augustus I of Hanover/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Nikkimaria (talk) 03:57, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

I'll be reviewing this article for possible GA status. My review should be posted in the next day or so. Cheers, Nikkimaria (talk) 03:57, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

I've decided to pass this article as GA - consider the long list of suggestions as a precursor to FAC ;). Cheers, Nikkimaria (talk) 17:14, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Writing and formatting[edit]

  • Biographical articles should have WP:Persondata
  • Be consistent in whether you use "isation" or "ization" (I think you're using mostly British spelling?)
  • "interested himself in politics" - slightly awkward wording
  • "The 1800 Acts of Union had given millions of Irish Catholics representation at Westminster" - what's at Westminster? A non-Brit probably wouldn't know that Parliament meets there
  • "but existing law prevented them from being the representatives because of their religion" - change to "prevented them from representing themselves" or "from being elected to Parliament"?
  • "The social reformer and anti-monarchist, Francis Place managed to get on the inquest jury and became its foreman" - remove comma
  • "The Duke was shown to be" - shown how, and by who?
  • "It being considered improper for a peer to interfere in a Commons election, there was considerable controversy, and the Government sent Ernest to Europe as an observer to accompany Hanoverian troops, which were again engaged in war against France" - very long sentence, repetitive use of consider*, awkward phrasing
  • "Liverpool tried again in 1817, this time the bill failed by seven votes" - grammar
  • "Princess Charlotte of Wales, only child of the Prince Regent, was the King's only legitimate grandchild, but was expected to have children who would secure the British succession, especially after she married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in 1816" - very long sentence
  • Link George IV
  • "but left behind him a daughter" -> "but left (behind) a daughter"
  • "it was said that Thomas Garth, illegitimate son of Ernest's sister Princess Sophia had been fathered by Ernest" - grammar
  • "the Duke had been thrown out of Lord Lyndhurst's house for assaulting his wife" - assaulting the Lord's wife or his own wife?
  • "A number of papers, in early 1830, printed articles hinting that Ernest was having an affair with Lady Graves, a mother of fifteen now past fifty[58]" - remove first two commas or reorder sentence, need closing punctuation
  • "Nonetheless, many believed the Duke either responsible for the suicide—or guilty of a second murder" - grammar
  • "A second test of strength was also won by the King" - awkward
  • "with the lodges (which took anti-Catholic views) said to be ready to rise and try to put the Duke of Cumberland on the Throne on the death of King William" - awkward phrasing
  • "the constitution was void for failure to obtain" -> "failing to obtain"?
  • "Seven professors including the two Brothers Grimm, refused to take the oaths" - grammar
  • "Only one of the seven, orientalist Heinrich Ewald was a citizen of Hanover and he was not expelled" - grammar
  • What happened to the three that were neither citizens nor expelled? Why were they not expelled?
  • "unless the Devil prompted him" - maybe make this a direct quote?
  • "the King, that they were to go to the heir male, that is, himself" - awkward

Accuracy and verifiability[edit]

  • "owners of the borough of Weymouth" - source for quote?
  • "The little Queen looked very fine, I hear, loaded down with my diamonds." - source for quote? Also, is he quoted as saying this, or did he write it somewhere (a letter, maybe?)
  • Ref 15: date is wrong
  • Use columns for footnotes?
  • Refs 82 and 83 are duplicates
  • Formatting in ref 15 doesn't match refs 112 and 114
  • Why are 112 and 114 the only refs not to end with a period?
  • Why do some Bibliography entries end with a period when others do not?
  • ISBN for Horst?


  • No issues noted


  • A couple of minor WP:W2W issues
  • Does your source say that he "fumed"? Seems a bit strong
  • Be very careful about passive voice and discussion of rumours


  • No issues noted


  • Text sandwiching in Early life could be eliminated
  • File page for 1799 sketch: what's a yar?
  • Link thaler
  • File page for thaler image: did the German mint exist in 1843? Do we need attribution for the photo in addition to the coin itself? Licensing tag is wrong, because a coin is not two-dimensional (at least as I understand it)
  • "Ernest Augustus portrait" -> "Portrait of Ernest Augustus"
  • "To Hanover" coin: same license tag issue as thaler, and the source link is now dead. Also, what's that mark in the bottom right of the image - an indicator of copyright / image ownership?


Surprisingly interesting for such a long article about a comparatively obscure historical figure. Sca (talk) 16:27, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

On behalf of everyone who worked on it over two years plus, thank you.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:30, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Conflict between Wikipedia articles[edit]

This article says: "Thomas Garth, thought to be the illegitimate son of Ernest's sister Princess Sophia, had been fathered by Ernest.". But the article Thomas Garth says: "He was born the son of John Garth MP, and Rebecca, daughter of John Brompton and grand-daughter of Sir Richard Raynsford, Lord chief justice of the Kings bench. Garth was chief equerry to King George III of the United Kingdom and is believed to have been the father of an illegitimate child born in 1800 to Princess Sophia Matilda, one of the king's daughters." Which was Thomas rumored to be: the father of an illegitimate son, or the son himself? Too Old (talk) 22:52, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

The son was also named Thomas.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:58, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Look a little more carefully at the two quotes. The first says the father of the bastard was Ernest, son of George III, the second says the father of the bastard was Thomas, son of John Garth, MP. Too Old (talk) 07:26, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
You are quoting only in part. Ernest was certainly rumored to be the father, but this is not widely believed. Sophia is far more widely believed to be the mother, but this is not certain. I am not responsible for the content of the Garth article, btw. If it is OK, I'm going to ask Dr.Kiernan, one of our acknowledged experts on British royalty to weigh in.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:59, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
The parents of Captain Thomas Garth are not known for certain. General Thomas Garth acknowledged that he was the father, and the mother was rumored to be Sophia. The rumors that Ernest was the father are the least believable. I'm not aware of any historians who challenge that Garth was the father, but there are authorities who challenge that Sophia was the mother. DrKiernan (talk) 15:50, 10 October 2010 (UTC)


He died in 1851, and every king at the time had been photographed at least once as far as I know. So does it still exist? and if so, why isn't it in the article?Ericl (talk) 12:26, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

In the Van Der Kiste book (see biblio), plate immediately preceding page 103, he shows a photograph of Mary, Duchess of Gloucester (Ernest's younger sister) with Victoria and two of her children from 1856 and part of the caption says, "this was probably the only occasion on which a child of George III was photographed".--Wehwalt (talk) 14:57, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

George IV's estimation as imparted to the Duke of Wellington and relayed by him to Greville[edit]

As Wellington said to Greville in 1829: "I remember asking him why the Duke of Cumberland was so unpopular, and he said, "Because there was never a father well with his son, or husband with his wife, or lover with his mistress, or a friend with his friend, that he did not try to make mischief between them."" This struck me as a powerful expression of the King's opinion, from a reliable source; is it worth including? (I don't want to mess with an admirable featured article.) 45ossington (talk) 10:28, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Do you have a link for that so we can view the context? Because George IV displayed a lot of those characteristics himself.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:51, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
It can be found at [1]. George IV is of course a famously unreliable witness, but his opinion of his brother (whether accurate or not) is notable in itself, it seems to me. 45ossington (talk) 07:24, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I would mention that Greville reported it. Aside from that I have no great objection. It does seem rather contradictory to George's actions towards Ernest, though.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:49, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Note 116[edit]

The text of the article gives the source as "The Times" (i.e. of London), but the note cites the ""New York Times". Leofranc Holford-Strevens, 31 August 201580.177.167.155 (talk) 11:00, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

The NYT was reprinting something that had appeared in the London paper. The actual citation, in the bibliography section, makes this clear. The NYT was in its first year of publication, and it was common then to reprint stories from other papers.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:33, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 24 May 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move to Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover. Wehwalt (talk) 23:39, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Ernest Augustus I of HanoverErnest Augustus of Hanover – He was not known by the numeral during his reign (as can be seen from this coin and this statue) or to history (his article in the NDB). There are several other people called Ernest Augustus of Hanover, but as a king he should be the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Opera hat (talk) 12:33, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure that the coin argument is valid because few if any rulers who are the first of that name put a Roman numeral after themselves. But yes, as he was the only king of that name (as opposed to elector) I think you make a sound point.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:55, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Some contemporaries: Louis Philippe I, Roi des Français; Leopold Premier, Roi des Belges. Opera hat (talk) 00:32, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm not convinced by the primary topic argument; there are many others called Ernest Augustus of Hanover. However, I would be happy with "Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover". DrKay (talk) 13:07, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I would be happy with Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover too. It sidesteps the primary topic issue, and WP:SOVEREIGN supports this format as well. Opera hat (talk) 00:10, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Fine with me.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:16, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
I have closed this by moving the page. This is permitted when there is a unanimous result (I take DrKay's oppose as a support for the proposed title). I deleted an old redirect to Ernst August.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:36, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.