Customised search for historical information

8 September 2009

On this day in history: Coronation of William IV, 1831

On 8th September 1831, the Duke of Clarence was crowned King William IV of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and also King of Hanover. The sixty-nine year old William was the third son of George III, and ascended to the throne following the death of his older brother George IV whose only legitimate child, Princess Charlotte, died in childbirth in 1817. Under George III, the popularity of the monarchy had declined, due ,in part, to his extravagance. Consequently, the public greeted William's insistence that his coronation cost a fraction of that of his brother with warm approval.

During his reign, William became known as the 'Sailor King' because of his career in the Royal Navy. He became a midshipman at the age of thirteen, serving in the American War of Independence. In 1785, he became a lieutenant and the next year he took command of HMS Pegasus as its Captain. Four years later, he was promoted to Rear-Admiral, but he really wanted to be made a Duke like his brothers.

Faced with his father's reluctance, William threatened to run for parliament as MP for Totnes in Devon. Disgusted by the thought of the issue being made public, the George III relented and made William Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews. He took a seat in the House of Lords where he spoke out against the abolition of slavery, but spoke out for the abolition of the penal laws against dissenting Christians.

His short reign of seven years is marked by the amount of reform legislation that Parliament passed in that time. Not only the Reform Act of 1832, which made many changes to the British electoral, but also the amendment of the Poor Law in 1834, the Factory Acts of 1831 and 1833 set limits on child labour, and the 1833 act abolishing slavery in the British Empire. While the king did not welcome all these reforms, he didn't actively thwart the will of the House of Commons, which became more powerful during his reign.

William was succeeded by his niece, Princess Victoria of Kent. She could not become Queen of Hanover because the state's Salic Law forbade a woman becoming monarch; so, William's brother Ernest Augustus became King of Hanover. Thus the personal union of the UK and Hanover ended when William died in 1837.

Related posts
Ivan the Terrible crowned Tsar, 16th January 1547
Scottish monarch crowned King of England, 25th July 1603
Coronation of George I, King of the Hellenes, 30th October 1863
King George V changed his family name, 17th July 1917

5 comments:

Dr. Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Lauren said...

The vessel he was on, I guess it's called a frigate, which was a 28 gun warship, was incredibly interesting to see. I always wondered how they manuvered these vessels.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, your blog is quite nice, if you want you can subscribe to the web / blog directory
www.cincolinks.net , where you can promote your website, it will bring you a web profile, which will be commented and rated.

Furthermore Cincolinks.net includes a revolutionary visits exchange method called 5links! with which your blog will be visited as much times as visits to the other members and that will make your blog to be known throughout the network. ;)

There are about 800 members at cincolinks.com, Hispanic community, and we are growing really fast.

The English community is beginning now, so i think this is a fantastic opportunity that should take ;).


Greetings, I hope to see you and your site at
www.cincolinks.net.

free template said...

drop EC

Stepterix said...

Thank you for all the comments.

Dr.L: I think frigates didn't have a particularly deep hull, which made them more manoeuvrable. But then I am no expert on shipbuilding.