King George IV – Post-Mortem

From this dashing young man:

Watercolour on ivory, circa 1780-1782 by Richard Cosway,
Watercolour on ivory, circa 1780-1782 by Richard Cosway,

To this in the space of just a  few years.

A Voluptuary Under the Horrors of Digestion. Lewis Walpole Library.
A Voluptuary Under the Horrors of Digestion. Lewis Walpole Library.

And all stages in between.

All The World's a Stage.
All The World’s a Stage. © British Museum

The former lover of Grace Dalrymple Elliott and reputed father of her child, King George IV, born 12th August 1762, died on the 26th June 1830.

Cause of death

According to a report in The Times newspaper dated 30th June 1830:


The statement made in The Times, Monday last, of the post mortem examination of the late King was substantially correct. His late majesty’s primary and mortal disorder was, an ossification of the vessels of the heart, and that organ was, as we mentioned, enveloped in masses of fat. Sir Astley Cooper remarked, that he never saw the heart so oppressed with that morbid obstruction to its action: the surgical instruments had to unfold the masses of fat.  The sergeant-surgeon, it is said discovered also a small calculus, which had evidently for some space of time been formed in the further cavity of the bladder, and it was this which had for the last three or four years required, near the Royal person, the occasional attendance of a surgeon, (we believe Mr Brodie and in ordinary attendance Mr O’Reilly), although the local functions were not generally so impeded as to indicate the fixed existence of actual local disease.

The late King’s physicians were of the opinion, after the post mortem examination, that his majesty’s struggle against death would have been probably prolonged for three or four weeks, had it not been for the rupture of the blood-vessel last Thursday, the evacuation which ensued, though not considerable, was yet sufficient to exhaust the shattered remains of the King’s constitution. The rupture of the blood-vessel took place during a violent fit of coughing.

The remains of his late Majesty were on Monday night enclosed in the leaden coffin, the Lord Steward, who remains in attendance, directing these arrangements. The coffin is place on trestles  in the chamber of the deceased. 

 A broadsheet illustrating the procession, dirge and funeral

3 thoughts on “King George IV – Post-Mortem

  1. Pingback: Merkwaardig (week 26) |

    1. All Things Georgian

      Heel erg bedankt voor de tijd neemt om te reageren. Zeker zijn obesitas was niet van plan om te helpen verlengen zijn leven was het!

      (Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Certainly his obesity was not going to help prolong his life was it!)


  2. Pingback: Under St George’s Chapel – Cemetery Club

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