Military Wiki
Adolphus FitzClarence
Born (1802-02-18)18 February 1802
Died 17 May 1856(1856-05-17) (aged 54)
Place of birth Bushy House, Middlesex
Place of death Newburgh Priory, North Yorkshire
Buried at St. Michael's Church, Coxwold, North Yorkshire
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1813–1856
Rank Rear Admiral
Commands held
Battles/wars Napoleonic Wars

Lord Adolphus FitzClarence, GCH, ADC (18 February 1802 – 17 May 1856) was a British naval officer.


FitzClarence was born at Bushy House,[1] Middlesex, and was an illegitimate child of Prince William, Duke of Clarence (later William IV) and his mistress, Dorothy Jordan.[2] He attended a boarding school in Sunbury-on-Thames before being sent to sea at the age of eleven in 1813, aboard Impregnable. He subsequently served as a midshipman aboard Newcastle based in North America and then later in the Mediterranean Sea. On receiving his commission as lieutenant in April 1821, he transferred to Euryalus and after being promoted to the rank of commander in May 1823, he later served aboard Brisk and Redwing in the North Sea. When promoted to captain in December 1824, he commanded Ariadne in 1826, Challenger in 1827 and Pallas in 1828.

On the accession of FitzClarence's father as king in 1830, he took command of the Royal Yacht, Royal George. His father also granted him and his siblings the rank of a younger son/daughter of a marquess by Royal Warrant of Precedence in 1831, enabling him to prefix Lord before his name and he was knighted the following year.[2] He was also appointed Groom of the Robes in 1830 and a Lord of the Bedchamber in 1833.

On the death of his father and the accession of his cousin Victoria in 1837, FitzClarence retained command of the Royal Yacht (until he was promoted to a rear-admiral in 1853) and his allowance allowed to continue. The queen reported that he "burst into tears, and said it was unexpected, for they [the FitzClarences] did not dare to hope for anything" (as illegitimate children of a former monarch).[3] In 1848, he also became a naval aide-de-camp to the queen and retained the office until he died, unmarried, at Newburgh Priory in 1856.[2]

He was interred in the chancel of St. Michael's Church, Coxwold.[4]



  1. "The Story of Bushy House". National Physical Laboratory. 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Cokayne et al., The Complete Peerage, volume II, p.2035
  3. Viscount Esher, Queen Victoria: a selection from Her Majesty's diaries between the years 1832 and 1840, 2 volumes (1912)
  4. "Seventy Coxwold Sundays". 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 


External links

Court offices
Preceded by
Groom of the Robes
Succeeded by
Francis Seymour
Preceded by
The Earl of Denbigh
Lord of the Bedchamber
Succeeded by
New court
(death of William IV)
Military offices
Preceded by
Houston Stewart
Rear-Admiral of the Blue
Succeeded by
Peter Richards

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