Revolution-dated ALS signed “George R.,” one page, 7.25 x 9, September 4, 1779. Letter to his 14-year-old son, Prince William Henry, in full: "I take the Opportunity of Lord Sandwich's departure, to express that the Queen and I are very happy at having as yet received such good Accounts of your behaviour. The letter you wrote to M. Gene de Bude does you honour, to owne faults is ever commendable if attended with a correction of conduct. I pray sincerely for your wellfare, and hope soon to hear the Combined Fleet of the Enemy has met with that thrashing which I am certain every individual of that under the Command of Charles Hardy, eagerly wishes to be an instrument of effecting. Believe me ever, Dear William." Reverse of second integral page addressed in the hand of the king: "To My Dearly beloved Son, Prince William." In very good to fine condition, with intersecting folds, a short fold split, and seal-related paper loss to the integral address leaf.
As the third son of King George III and Queen Charlotte, Prince William Henry never expected to become the king, and at the age of 13, he embarked on a career in the navy. On June 14, 1779, William joined the HMS Prince George as a midshipman under Admiral Digby, with Henry Majendie appointed as William's preceptor to instruct and supervise him while at sea. He was present at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780, and was soon given the sobriquet of the ‘Sailor King.’ Charles Hardy, a member of Parliament and former colonial governor of New York, was taken of retirement and became Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Fleet in May 1779. At the time of this letter, King George III was embroiled in an American Revolution that now included France and Spain as Britain’s closest adversaries, with the Dutch backing the colony cause not long after.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.