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William Augustus Hanover


(Duke of Cumberland)

1721 - 1765

Prince and Field Marshall. Born in London, the second surviving son of King George II, he was created Duke of Cumberland by his father in 1726. His other titles included: Marquess of Berkhamstead, Earl of Kennington, Viscount Trematon and Baron of Alderney. He joined the army and was wounded at Dettingen (1743) and defeated at Fontenoy (1745), during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-8). However, in a Scottish context he brought about the final defeat of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, and the effective end of any chance of Jacobite succession at the Battle of Culloden (1746). However, it was his actions following the battle which gained him an infamous reputation. He ruthlessly pursued and executed Jacobite soldiers and went on to terrorise the Highlands, earning himself the title "Butcher Cumberland". He systematically set about destroying the clan system and Highland way of life in an attempt to prevent any future rebellions.

In 1757, he surrendered to the French during the Seven Years' War (1756-63) and thereafter retired. Cumberland never married, but is said to have had three illegitimate children by the daughter of a Scottish soldier.

He died in London and is interred in Westminster Abbey.


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