RepositoryRoyal Archives
ReferenceGEO/MAIN/25050-25501; GEO/MAIN/28960-29209
CollectionGeorge IV's Bills
TitleGeorge IV's Privy Purse Accounts
Date1783-1830
DescriptionGeorge IV's accounts demonstrate his wide ranging interests, including his passion for amassing expensive works of art and his extravagant tastes in furniture and furnishings, as well as his purchases of books, musical and optical instruments and prints, to name but a few examples. These Privy Purse accounts were meticulously kept and amount to thousands of documents.

The following boxes of accounts concerning the expenditure of George IV [as Prince of Wales and Prince Regent] have been scanned so far:

GEO/MAIN/25050-25501: furniture, lustres, lamps, clocks and linens in the years 1783 to 1830.
GEO/MAIN/28960-29029: sheet music, musical instruments, guns, fishing tackle, toys, canes, umbrellas, spectacles, scientific/mathematical instruments etc., in the years 1784 to 1830
Extent778 documents (3 boxes)
Physical DescriptionLoose manuscript papers
LevelCollection
Admin HistoryIn his will, George IV instructed his executors to review his papers and to preserve or destroy them as they saw fit. George IV's collection of bills survived, along with other papers of the King and his father George III, and were placed in the basement of Apsley House, the London residence of the Duke of Wellington, George IV's principal executor, labelled ''To be destroyed unread'. Fortunately, this instruction was never carried out and the fourth Duke of Wellington was able to present the papers to George V. In 1914 the Georgian papers became one of the first collections to be placed in the newly created Royal Archives.
ArrangementGeorge IV's Privy Purse accounts cover the years 1783 to 1830, and provide a meticulous record of the King's purchases throughout his life. The entire collection of these accounts will be digitised and catalogued as part of the Georgian Papers Programme, which is due for completion in 2020.
NotesThis collection will continue to be added to as the project progresses.
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