Reported On This Day 280 Years Ago (May 8 1739): Parents to royal baby attend church service in St James

The Belfast News Letter of April 27 1739 (which is May 8 in the modern calendar)
The Belfast News Letter of April 27 1739 (which is May 8 in the modern calendar)
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From the Belfast News Letter of April 27 1739 (which is May 8 in the modern calendar)

LONDON. March 17. [The date of this letter might be wrong, and might in fact be April 17, which is a normal sort of time lag before reaching Belfast, before publication a week or so later]

On Sunday his Majesty, his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, and the Princess went to the Royal Chapel at St. James’s, and hear a Sermon preach’d by his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Sword of State was carried to and from the Chapel by his Grace the Duke of Athol.

The same Day their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales, attended by several Persons of Distinction, went to St. James’s Church, and heard a Sermon preach’d by the Lord Bishop of Oxford.

[The king, George II, was estranged from his eldest son, Frederick, Prince of Wales. The Princess of Wales had just given birth to their second son, Prince Edward, Duke of York. The preceding News Letters were full of reports of messages of congratulations to the king and to the Prince of Wales. Prince Edward was born less than a year after the birth of his brother, George, who would become the next king, because his father, while next in line to the throne, predeceased his own father George II.

George III would become the ‘king who lost America’ and one of the longest serving monarchs. He famously went mad in the latter stages of his reign.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, referred to above, was John Potter. The Bishop of Oxford was Thomas Secker, who would himself later become Archbishop of Canterbury. Poignantly, King George II tried to use Secker as a mediator to reconcile with his son, the Prince of Wales, but this failed]

Sunday being the Anniversary of the Birth-Day of his Royal Highness the Duke, who enter’d into the 19th Year of his Age, there was a great Appearance of the Nobility, Quality and Foreign Ministers at Court, to compliment his Majesty and his Royal Highness on the Occasion.

[This is a reference to William, Duke of Cumberland, third son of King George II. In 1746 he would help put down the Jacobite rising in the Battle of Culloden]

Last Saturday Night his Excellency the Count d’Utterode arrived here, with the Character of Minister Extraordinary from the Court of Saxe Gotha.

We hear that Prince John Adolph of Saxe Gotha, youngest Brother to her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, is coming over hither from Copenhagen to make a Visit to his Sister.

[Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, aged 19 at the time of this report, had been proposed to marry Frederick, Prince of Wales, at age 16. She spoke no English when she arrived in London]

It is talked, that the Parliament will not rise till the Beginning of June.

DUBLIN, April 24.

The Lord Santry’s Trial will certainly come on next Friday. [Baron Barry of Santry was charged with murder after a drunken killing. He asked to be tried by his peers in the Irish Houses of Parliament]


Since my last arrived, The Mary Anne of Donaghadee, Robert Byers, thence with Barley. --- The Brothers of Portpatrick, Oughtry Cosh, from Drumfries, with Oak Timber. --- The Margartet of Lairn, Daniel Morrison, from Girven, with Barley.

LONDON, March 17.

On Monday last died at the Bath, the Right Hon. the Earl of Deloraine: He was son of Henry late Earl of Deloraine, one of the Sixteen Peers of Scotland, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, one of the Lords of the Bed-Chamber to his Majesty, Colonel of a Regiment of Foot, and Major General of his Majesty’s Forces (by his first Lady, Daughter of William Duncomb, of Battlesdon in the County of Bedford, Esq;) who was Son of James Duke of Monmouth (that was beheaded) by the Lady Anne Scot, Dutchess of Buccleugh in her own Right. The deceas’d Lord was first Cousin to the present Duke of Buccleugh.

An Express has been dispatched to Capt. Scot, (now Earl of Deloraine) Commander of his Majesty’s Ship the Seaforth, station’d at New-York, to acquaint him with the Death of his Brother the late Earl.

[This is a report of the death of Francis Scott, 2nd Earl of Deloraine, who died in his late 20s, and was son of Major-General Henry Scott, 1st Earl of Deloraine, who was the second surviving son of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, the illegitimate son of Charles II and Lucy Walter, who used that lineage to try to claim the throne on the death of Charles II by deposing the Catholic King James II, but was beheaded for treason when his rebellion failed]