William IV of the United Kingdom

William IV of the United Kingdom

King of Hanover and the United Kingdom
Born Aug 21, 1765

William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death. William, the third son of George III and younger brother and successor to George IV, was the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover. He served in the Royal Navy in his youth and was, both during his reign and afterwards, nicknamed the "Sailor King".… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of William IV of the United Kingdom.


He was baptised in the Great Council Chamber of St James's Palace on 20 September 1765. … Read More
1772 6 Years Old William was part of the first generation to grow to maturity under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, which forbade descendants of George II from marrying unless they either obtained the monarch's consent or, if over the age of 25, gave twelve months' notice to the Privy Council. … Read More


1780 14 Years Old At the age of thirteen, he joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman, and was present at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780. … Read More
1785 19 Years Old He became a lieutenant in 1785 and captain of the following year.


1786 - 1789 3 More Events
1790 24 Years Old William ceased his active service in the Royal Navy in 1790.
1791 25 Years Old From 1791 William lived with an Irish actress, Dorothea Bland, better known by her stage name, Mrs. Jordan, the title "Mrs." being assumed at the start of her stage career to explain an inconvenient pregnancy and "Jordan" because she had "crossed the water" from Ireland to Britain.
1793 27 Years Old When Britain declared war on France in 1793, he was anxious to serve his country and expected a command, but was not given a ship, perhaps at first because he had broken his arm by falling down some stairs drunk, but later perhaps because he gave a speech in the House of Lords opposing the war. … Read More


1797 31 Years Old George III was accepting of his son's relationship with the actress (though recommending that he halve her allowance); in 1797, he created William Ranger of Bushy Park, which included a large residence, Bushy House, for William's growing family. … Read More
1798 32 Years Old In 1798 he was made an admiral, but the rank was purely nominal. … Read More


1811 45 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1811, he was appointed to the honorary position of Admiral of the Fleet.
1813 47 Years Old In 1813, he came nearest to any actual fighting, when he visited the British troops fighting in the Low Countries. … Read More


1817 51 Years Old Following the death of William's niece Princess Charlotte of Wales, then second-in-line to the British throne, in 1817, the king was left with twelve children, but no legitimate grandchildren. … Read More
1818 52 Years Old At Kew on 11 July 1818, William married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. … Read More


1827 - 1828 2 More Events
1830 64 Years Old 1 More Event
George IV's health was increasingly bad; it was obvious by early 1830 that he was near death. … Read More
1831 65 Years Old 1 More Event
When the House of Commons defeated the First Reform Bill in 1831, Grey's ministry urged William to dissolve Parliament, which would lead to a new general election. … Read More
1832 66 Years Old …  His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all the British Empire, and the British electoral system refashioned by the Reform Act 1832. … Read More
1833 67 Years Old In 1833, William signed a new constitution for Hanover, which empowered the middle class, gave limited power to the lower classes, and expanded the role of the parliament of Hanover. … Read More
1834 68 Years Old 1 More Event
For the remainder of his reign, William interfered actively in politics only once, in 1834, when he became the last British sovereign to choose a prime minister contrary to the will of Parliament.
1836 70 Years Old …  The King, angered at what he took to be disrespect from the Duchess to his wife, took the opportunity at what proved to be his final birthday banquet in August 1836 to settle the score. … Read More
A watercolour sketch made by her during her pregnancy in early 1837 shows how frail he had become. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Charlotte_of_Clarence.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.