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A fine portrait miniature of Prince Augustus Frederick Duke of Sussex (1773-1843), the sixth son and ninth child of King George III


Artist: Richard Cosway

8.2 cm (3 1/4")
Wearing blue coat with scarlet collar (Windsor coat) white waistcoat and blue sash and badge of the Order of the Garter
in gold frame, the reverse glazed to reveal plaited brown hair

Prince Augustus was the only surviving son of George III who did not pursue an army or navy career. He was known for his liberal views, which included reform of Parliament, abolition of the slave trade, Catholic emancipation, and the removal of existing civil restrictions on Jews and dissenters.
While travelling in Italy, the prince met Lady Augusta Murray (1768-1830), the second daughter of the 4th Earl of Dunmore. The couple secretly married in Rome on 4 April 1793. The couple married again without revealing their full identities at St George's, Hanover Square, Westminster, on 5 December 1793. Both marriages took place without the consent, or even the knowledge, of his father.
In August 1794, the Court of Arches annulled the prince's first marriage on the grounds that it contravened the Royal Marriages Act 1772, not having been approved by the King. However, Prince Augustus Frederick continued to live with Lady Augusta until 1801, when he received a parliamentary grant of £12,000 and the couple separated. Lady Augusta retained custody of their children and received maintenance of £4,000 a year. Their two children were named Augustus Frederick d'Este and Augusta Emma d'Este, both parents being descended from the royal House of Este.
Augustus Frederick was invested as a Knight of the Garter on 2 June 1786. The King created him Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Arklow in the Peerage of the United Kingdom on 24 November 1801. Since he had no legitimate issue, the title became extinct on his death in 1843. In 1815 the Duke became a patron of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum, later to become the charity known today as Norwood.
A year after the death of Lady Augusta D'Ameland (Lady Augusta Murray) , the Duke of Sussex married a second time on 2 May 1831 to Lady Cecilia Letitia Buggin (1793-1873), the eldest daughter of Arthur Gore, 2nd Earl of Arran, and Elizabeth Underwood, and the widow of Sir George Buggin.
The Duke of Sussex was the favourite uncle of Queen Victoria. He gave her away at her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
There are several other versions of this portrait.
8.2 cm (3 1/4")
More Information
Provenance                 Albion Collction, Bonhams, 22 April, 2004, lo 90
Literature                 Secret Passions to noble Fashions, no. 35
Exhibition                 Holburne Museum, 1999
Edinburgh, Phillips, Secret Passion to Noble Fashion,1999
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 2002-2003
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