FITZHERBERT, Maria Anne (1756-1837). Unlawful wife of George IV.
Autograph Letter Signed ('M. Fitzherbert') to Mrs Greatheed of Guy's Cliff near Warwick, 1 page 4to with address-leaf endorsed 'Mrs Fitzherbert, London / May 1806'.
[The letter is evidently to the wife of the dramatist Bertie Greatheed (1759-1826) whose tragedy 'The Regent' had been put on at Drury Lane Theatre on 1 April 1788 but was 'withdrawn after trying the public's patience for nine nights' [old DNB].
'I have not been very well for these two or three days which prevented my answering your letter sooner, & I have now only to lament my total incapability of being of any use to you, The only person I could apply to & who I know would be anxious to oblige you has refus'd every application & will not ask the most trifling thing either for himself or Friends. I trust you know the very sincere regard & Friendship I entertain both for yourself & Mr. G & I do assure you few things would give me more real pleasure had I it in my power to do any thing that could be agreeable to you but, alas! my power does not not keep pace w[i]th my Inclination's. ...'Maria Fitzherbert had secretly married the Prince of Wales in London 15 December 1785. Although their relationship suffered many vicissitudes and separations, including of course the prince's later and lawful marriage to Caroline of Brunswick (1795) and his many infidelities (to both 'wives'), the final separation did not come until June 1811.
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