GEORGE III, King of England (1760-1820). Two autograph letters signed ('George R') to Edward Livingston, the first, Windsor, 29 June 1798; the second, Weymouth, 7 October 1798, together 5 pages, 4to, separate autograph address wrappers, seals (seal tears, light stains).
Instructions and comments for Livingston travelling on the continent with the King's youngest son, Augustus Frederick, expressing his 'thorough approbation, at the ability, spirit and celerity with which Mr Livingston has overcome the great difficulty of safely conveying him from Naples to Vienna which is the best possible encouragement to Me that he will with firmness and temper get over any future obstacles which may arise.
Part of the letter concerning the prince's 'turn for expence'. 'The conduct held by Sir William Hamilton in stepping forth to the assistance of the Credit of my Son, whose Debts I am grieved to say are shamefully large, and the more unpleasant as he well knew he was in every way acting in open defiance of every kind of decency as well as expressly contrary to My Instructions. I shall not toutch (sic) farther on the article of expence as that part of the correspondence is entirely left to Mr Pitt or to Mr Dundas ... I shall think it necessary to write very fully to Augustus'. Other topics include the need for a 'proper oeconomy' and a moderate establishment, the prince's doctor's pension and 'presents', a possible visit to Brunswick from Berlin, and a scheme for a visit to Russia seen as 'conducive to his health'.
Edward Livingston was recommended to the King by the Chancellor, Lord Dundas (a fellow Scot) to sort out the affairs of his son but, Augustus having played no part in his selection, he never earned the prince's confidence. He joined him at Naples early in 1798, and shocked not only by the extent of the prince's debts, but even more taken aback by the company he kept. Sharing Sir William Hamilton's fears of the risk to his safety from the French, Livingston took to remove him as soon as possible, by way of Trieste to Vienna and Berlin. The journey so weakened him that the visit to Russia was abandoned.
Augustus Frederick (Duke of Sussex) spent most of his youth abroad for the sake of his health. His secret marriage in Rome in 1793 to Lady Augusta Murray, ten years his senior, was to his great unhappiness annulled, under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, and his espousal of progressive causes greatly annoyed the King.