William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

Historical date: 
1721 - 1765

 Cumberland was born on 15 April 1721 in London. He was the third son of George II and Caroline of Ansbach. He was created Duke of Cumberland in 1726. A soldier by profession, he fought in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), becoming commander of the allied forces in 1745. He was defeated severely by France's Marshal Maurice de Saxe at the Battle of Fontenoy on 11 May 1745.

Later, in 1745 Cumberland was recalled to England to oppose the invasion ofEngland of the Jacobite forces under Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, grandson of the deposed king James II. Cumberland's army defeated the Scots at the Battle of Culloden Moor in Inverness on 16 April 1746, at which about 1,000 Jacobites died. After the battle he was asked for orders: he wrote, "No quarter", on the back of a playing card (the nine of diamonds - still known as the 'curse of Scotland'). As a result of this action he was given the epithet "Butcher" Cumberland. A flower was named after him to mark his success at Culloden. In England it is known as the Sweet William but in Scotland it is known as the Stinking Billy. He remained in Scotland for three months after the battle, rounding up some 3,500 men and executing about 120.

Cumberland then returned to the European theatre of war. in July 1747 he lost the Battle of Langfeld to Saxe. During the Seven Years' War (1756-63) he was defeated by the French at the Battle of Hastenbeck in July 1757.  Cumberland became ill in the summer of 1765 and died from a brain-clot on 31 October of the same year.

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