GEORGE III and FAMILY. Collection of mementos presented to the royal wet-nurse, Anne, wife of the literary scholar Thomas Percy, RELIQUES OF THE ROYAL NURSERY, PLUS GARTER SASHES WORN BY GEORGE III AND THE PRINCE OF WALES, AND GLOVES WORN BY 'BUTCHER' CUMBERLAND, 1769-1771
Lot 68
GEORGE III and FAMILY. Collection of mementos presented to the royal wet-nurse, Anne, wife of the literary scholar Thomas Percy, RELIQUES OF THE ROYAL NURSERY, PLUS GARTER SASHES WORN BY GEORGE III AND THE PRINCE OF WALES, AND GLOVES WORN BY 'BUTCHER' CUMBERLAND, 1769-1771
Sold for £6,000 (US$ 9,388) inc. premium

Lot Details
GEORGE III and FAMILY
Collection of mementos presented to the royal wet-nurse, Anne, wife of the literary scholar Thomas Percy, future Bishop of Dromore, many with identifying tags in a contemporary hand (presumably Mrs Percy's), the collection comprising George III's Garter Sash in blue silk, the Duke of Cumberland's white kidskin gloves, presented on 30 April 1771, the Prince of Wales's Garter Sash in blue silk, presented on 12 May 1769, the Princess Royal's cambric and lace mittens, presented on 12 May 1769, Prince William's brown kid child-sized gloves, presented on the same day, the lace cap worn by the infant Prince Edward, and Prince Frederick, Duke of York's Bath Sash in crimson silk; also framed with a piece of the christening bonnet of Prince Edward, embroidered in red silk with silver thread, labelled as given by Elizabeth Meade, daughter of Anne Percy, to Lady Cremorne; and a pair of tweezers given by the Prince of Wales to Anne Cleveland Percy, another daughter of the Percys (1760-1770); the collection set in a glass display wall case and labelled: 'Anne, wife of Thomas Percy (Chaplain to King George III and later Bishop of Dromore) acted in 1767 as foster mother to the infant Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria) and afterwards remained on in charge of the royal nursery. These articles were given to her as mementoes of her service shortly before she relinquished her duties in 1771'; together with two groups of hair of George III, Queen Charlotte, the Prince of Wales, Prince Frederick, Duke of York, Prince William, Duke of Clarence (William IV), the Princess Royal and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, one collection in a small display frame labelled on the verso: 'These locks of hair date from 1769 and were given to Mrs Percy by the Queen in that year', the other loose in envelopes; a cambric and lace christening gown, unlabelled, but presumably that of Prince Edward, and a long paper strip marked off with "The Measures of the Royal Princes taken by Mrs Percy, in May 1769 measured by the Queen's desire, the main display case within a black wood frame, 750 x 850 mm; the hair display case within a white frame, 220 x 140 mm, 1769-1771

Footnotes

  • RELIQUES OF THE ROYAL NURSERY, PLUS GARTER SASHES WORN BY GEORGE III AND THE PRINCE OF WALES, AND GLOVES WORN BY 'BUTCHER' CUMBERLAND. Bishop Percy, famous for his enormously influential anthology of ancient ballads The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765) – of which Wordsworth was to claim that 'Poetry has been absolutely redeemed by it' – married Anne Gutteridge in 1758: 'His wife was signally honoured to be appointed (at a salary of £200 a year) wet-nurse to Queen Charlotte's baby son, Edward (the future father of Queen Victoria); she spent eighteen months at Kew and Buckingham House (1767–8), after which she received an annual pension of £100 for life. Percy himself became in 1769 one of the king's chaplains-in-ordinary, a post which required him to preach from time to time before George III' (Roy Palmer, ODNB).
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