The small seaside town of Weymouth, Dorset, first came to the general public's notice when King George III began spending part of his summer holidays there in 1789. His brother William Henry, 1st Duke of Gloucester, had a house there and since Weymouth was slowly gaining a reputation as a health resort, its pure air and excellent bathing facilities were judged an ideal spot for the King to relax and convalesce following his recovery from serious illness in the spring. Accordingly, the King, Queen Carlotte and their daughters took up residence at Gloucester Lodge in June 1789, with H.M.S. Southampton, 32 guns, acting as a temporary royal yacht, anchored in the bay under the protection of H.M.S. Magnificent. During the next two months, there were many marine excursions as well as frequent sea bathing which soon became a fashionable activity as a direct result of the King's participation in what had previously been regarded as an eccentricity. Thereafter, Weymouth played host to George III on many more occasions and the town was eventually transformed into prosperous seaside spa by its Victorian visitors.