Duke of Clarence

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His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Clarence (1765-1837) was the third son of King George III. He joined the Royal Navy in at the age of thirteen and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1785 and then Post Captain the following year. His reputation in the service was of an able officer but a strict disciplinarian. Politically he was not popular with the King or the high command of the Navy.

He was created Duke of Clarence in 1790 and retired from active service at sea and was promoted to Rear Admiral.He never exercised a sea-going command as an admiral. In 1827 he was appointed Lord High Admiral. One of his reforms was to abolish the use of the cat o'nine tails.

In the Canon

He was a patient of Stephen Maturin on several occasions. He was a potentially problematic source of influence to Aubrey and Maturin due to his unpopularity within the Navy high command. In Blue at the Mizzen, he asks Jack Aubrey to take on his "nephew", Horatio Hanson as a midshipman. However, Sir Joseph Blaine has already indicated to Maturin that Hanson is Clarence's own (natural) son.

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