Autograph letter signed "Olive" to the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland: "My Lord Duke, I apologize for this intrusion. I trust the annexed Paper will induce your Grace to honor me with your attention as to the injuries I am experiencing - Could your grace afford me any protection it will be highly appreciated by your Grace's obl. and humble servant." The "annexed paper" to which she refers is an appeal printed on the conjugate leaf of the letter under the heading, "The Princess of Cumberland in Captivity, contrary to the Rights and Privileges of her Birth, at Mr. Davis's, 45, King Street, Soho." - "Olive Princess of Cumberland informs the English Nation, that an Execution has been levied upon her Body for Debt, and that the Late King has bequeathed to her the sum of £15,000. which has been proved according to Law, and application made to Lord Sidmouth for the payment of the same without effect, therefore, not having received One Guinea from the Government, or any of the said large sum so bequeathed to her by His Late Gracious Majesty, her Royal Uncle George the Third, the Princess is under the painful necessity of soliciting the honorable and generous protection of the English Nation.Ó Folded with address panel, red wax seal. Marginal damage where seal opened, traces of glue to edge of address panel where once mounted. Olivia Serres (1772-1834) royal impostor, writer and painter, was the daughter of Robert Wilmot, a house painter of Warwick. When she was seventeen she studied art with John Thomas Serres, (1759-1825), marine painter to George III, and she married Serres in 1791. They had two daughters. they separated in 1804. Starting in 1794, She exhibited landscapes at the Royal Academy and the British Institution and was accomplished to the point of being appointed landscape-painter to the Prince of Wales in 1806. Olive was financially reckless; both she and her husband were imprisoned for debt. The SerresÕs came to a parting of the ways, with acrimony on both sides: from Serres because Olive had had several affairs when he was away, and from Olive because she was given an allowance of only £200 per annum. George Fields, an artist friend, moved in with Olive and she gave birth to his son prior to her divorce in 1804. She then devoted herself to painting and literature, producing a novel, St. Julian's (1805), some poems and a memoir of her uncle, the Rev. Dr Wilmot, in which she endeavored to prove that he was the author of the Letters of Junius. In 1817, Olive wrote a letter to the Prince of Wales, claiming that she was the natural daughter of Prince Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland by Mrs. Olive Payne (who was sister of James Wilmot's sister and her actual aunt). She asked the prince for financial support. In a petition to George III, she put forward a claim to be the natural daughter of the Duke of Cumberland, the king's brother. In 1820, (after her father, her uncle, and King George III had died) she revised her claim. James Wilmot, she claimed, had secretly married the princess Poniatowski, sister of King Stanislaus I of Poland, and their daughter had married the Duke of Cumberland in 1767 at the London house of a nobleman. Olive claimed to be the only child of this marriage, and that her mother had died "of a broken heart" on the Duke of Cumberland's "second" and "bigamous" marriage to Anne Horton (the Duke had actually only married once, the "first" marriage being a fabrication by Olive). She herself, ten days after her birth, was, she alleged, taken from her mother, and substituted for the still-born child of Robert Wilmot. According to Olive's fantasies, King George III had learned the "truth" and had given her £5000 in cash and a yearly pension of £500 for life. She also claimed to have received support from the king of Poland and to have been created the Duchess of Lancaster by George III in May 1773, which, she said, entitled her to the income of the Duchy of Lancaster. In a memorial to. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Autograph Letter Signed ŇOliveÓ to the Duke ...
Publisher: London quartoShe herself, ten days after her birth, was, she alleged, taken from her mother, and substituted for the still-born child of Robert Wilmot. According to Olive's fantasies, King George III had learned the "truth" and had given her £5000 in cash and a yearly pension of £500 for life. She also claimed to have received support from the king of Poland and to have been created the Duchess of Lancaster by George III in May 1773, which, she said, entitled her to the income of the Duchy of Lancaster. In a memorial to George IV she assumed the title of Princess Olive of Cumberland, placed the royal arms on her carriage and dressed her servants in the royal liveries.Mrs Serres's claim was supported by documents, and she bore sufficient res
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