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William, Duke of Cumberland

Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, is buried with his parents and other members of his family in the Hanoverian vault beneath the central aisle of Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey. He has no monument but the following short inscription appears on a lozenge stone in the floor:

William Augustus D. of Cumberland son of K. Geo. II 1765

He was born in London on 15th April 1721, the second surviving son of George, Prince of Wales (who became King George II) and his wife Caroline. In 1726 he was created Duke of Cumberland, Marquess of Berkhampstead, Earl of Kennington, Viscount Trematon and baron of Alderney. At the coronation of his parents he headed the procession of Knights of the Bath and he was also a Knight of the Garter. He had several mistresses but never married. He served in the army and for a short while in the navy and was wounded at the battle of Dettingen. The Jacobites supporting Charles Edward Stuart, the "Young Pretender" had marched as far as Derby but then moved north again and Cumberland commanded the army which inflicted terrible losses on the Scots at the battle of Culloden for which he received the nickname "Butcher" Cumberland. He collapsed and died on 31st October 1765 and was buried on 10 November.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Born

15th April 1721

Died

31st October 1765

Buried

10th November 1765

Field

Soldier

Location

Lady Chapel

Memorial Type

Vault

William, Duke of Cumberland
William, Duke of Cumberland memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

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Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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