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Frederick, Duke of York’s Knee Garter, 1800
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Frederick, Duke of York’s Knee Garter, 1800

Measurements: Length: 55.5cm (21.75in)

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H.R.H. Prince Frederick, Duke of York, (1827) Lord Warden of the New Forest

Thomas White (1781-1850) of Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, Hampshire
Rev. Thomas Foster
Mr. John Blatch

Gold lace and blue velvet with gilt metal buckle. Knee Garter Belonging to His Late Royal Highness the Duke of York, the interior retaining elements of manuscript details transcribed at a near contemporary date onto an accompanying card - ‘This Garter (which is a part of the Costume of The Knight of the Garter) did belong to His Late Royal Highness, the Duke of York. HRH presented it after the Death of his Father, Geo. IIId to Mr. White of Lyndhurst in the New Forest, H.R. Highness’s Deputy Warden of that Demesne. Mr. White presented it (after the Duke’s Death) to his relation the Revd. Thomas Foster, who was & is my valued Friend, who presented it to John Blatch’. Cased.

The present knee Garter was the gift of the Duke of York to Thomas White who held the stewardship of duke’s lands in the New Forest. Prince Frederick inherited the manor of Lyndhurst and title of Lord Warden of the New Forest from his uncle Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1743-1805). As steward, White had use of the Queen’s House at Lyndhurst with seven acres of land, a fat buck yearly and a salary of £110 per annum. 

H.R.H. Frederick Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827) was the second son of George III and younger brother to the Prince Regent, (later George IV). He was invested as one of 24 Knights of the Garter on 19 June 1771. Later, in 1786, King George created supernumary Royal Knights so that his many other sons could also be made Knights of the Garter without exceeding the limit decreed by ancient statute. King George chose an army career for his second son and Frederick was gazetted in 1780 and pomoted to Lieutenant-General and Colonel of the Coldstream Guards in 1784. Frederick led the ill-fated Flanders campaign of 1793-95, and was afterwards appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British Army. No doubt chastened by his own bad experiences in the field, he set about a programme of reform that turned the service into the professional fighting force that Wellington led to victory in the Peninsula War and at Waterloo.

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