Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

The Line of British Rulers Broken after the Morganatic Marriage of King George IV

From old document (1940s) scanned by Bruce Shattuck April 2000

The recent visit of Edward Windsor to his native land and the refusal by England to permit him and his American wife to remain there permanently, brings to mind the old saying, "History repeats itself”, even among Kings and Queens. The romance and abdication of King Edward VIII of England is reminiscent of over 160 years ago when King George IV had a romance and a secret marriage on December 15, 1785 with a commoner, Marie Ann Fitzherbert, who had been twice widowed by death within a period of five years. Her family was one of the most prominent of England, her father being known as Baronet of Shropshire.

By this marriage to Marie Ann Fitzherbert, George Augustus (Prince of Wales), who later, upon the death of his father, King George III, in 1820, was crowned King George IV, broke two of the English laws - one of which was the new Royal Marriage Act, prohibiting the marriage of a son of a king without the consent of his father, - therefore, King George’s marriage was denied in Parliament and never was publicly acknowledged by him. However, proofs were revealed in 1905 when the sealed packet containing the records was opened in Coutt’s Bank in London.

Death came to King George IV at the age of 68 years and he was succeeded by his brother who was crowned William IV.

In 1832, King William IV arranged an agreement with Marie Ann Fitzherbert and James Henry Adolph (son of Marie Ann and King George IV) and his posterity that a certain sum of money (six thousand pounds sterling) was to be paid annually during the natural lifetime of the present members thereof, including the wife and children now born unto the styled James Henry Adolph Hayward, or its equivalent in U.S. money, and also to deposit in the Bank of England to the credit of the second specified member of the second party and his heirs, such sum as shall by the year 1912 have amounted to l,000,000 (One million pounds sterling) less the sum of annuities that shall have been paid to the second party as aforementioned. The agreement also stated that the so-called James Henry Adolph Hayward and family who were at that time residing in Dublin, Ireland, should quietly remove to America within one year from date of pact and refrain from appearing in London or any part of Western Europe before 1912 unless recalled by Parliament.

A representative of the King made the necessary arrangements for them to come to this country and fares for the trip were arranged without having their names entered in the ship's manifest. They were compelled to avoid mingling with other passengers during the voyage under penalty of being transported to Tasmania. Although a supposed-to-be Royal Physician (assassin) was sent with them, James Henry Adolph Hayward died about the time they reached America, leaving the young widow and her little children alone in a strange land.

At about the time of Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne, Mrs. Catherine Fitzherbert, (widow of the so-styled James Henry Adolph Hayward) began pressing her claim of the annuity allotment to her and her heirs by the family pact, and in response to Mrs. Fitzherbert, the Queen showed considerable sarcasm, however, she came across with a few payments but nothing has since been paid. In one letter from Queen Victoria, dated February 29, l840, to Mrs. Catherine Fitzherbert, she writes, "Yes, take your true name if you wish so to do", meaning Fitzgeorge (son of George) which was to designate the direct line of descendancy to the throne.

The marriage of James Clarence Fitzherbert of Boston, Mass., eldest son of James Henry Adolph, to Miss Hallena (Helen) Shadduck of Albany, N.Y. on July 5, 1844, carried the line of predecessors to another generation, when to this union was born about fifteen miles out at sea off the coast of New York, a son, James Theus, on April 12, 1846.

Hallena Shadduck died shortly after the birth of James Theus and the grieving young husband brought his infant son to the home of his father-in-law, Evert (Everitt) Shadduck (Shaddick), who was at that time living among the mountains in North Central Pennsylvania. At the same time, he deposited with Mr. Shadduck for safe keeping, important papers concerning the exile and also the family pact agreement between his father and his heirs and King William IV.

Later, James Clarence, heart broken and discontent, decided to journey to the far West into the gold fields of California. It is believed he became ill and died during the journey or shortly after arriving in the West.

Evert Shadduck carried out to the best of his ability, the instructions given him by his son-in-law, James Clarence, and. the Royal grandson, ignorant of his heritage, grew to manhood among his grandfather's children amid the rugged hills of Shunk, Pennsylvania. (James Theus was renamed Madison Taylor Shadduck by his grandfather, Evert Shadduck, and was raised as his son.)

Not until after reaching his majority, was James Theus instructed and informed of his inheritance. He became a man of great personality and it has been said of him, that he resembled to considerable degree, the portrait of his great grandmother, Marie Ann Fitzherbert, in whose honor the name Charles Herbert was given to his eldest son, who was deceased on November 9, 1941.

Death came to James Theus Fitzgeorge at the age of 86 years. Among his heirs is a great grandson (by his eldest grand-daughter) bearing his name (Theus) and who is the son of Howard and Irma Hosmer formerly of Wellsville, N.Y., now living at 2501 NW 58 St., Miami, Florida.

Completing the direct-in-line living male heirs to the present time are Lloyd Allison Shattuck and Lloyd Armond Shattuck (father and son) residents of Elmira, N.Y.

There are now living in New Jersey, several fam1ies of Fitzherbert, who also share in the estate.