A fire happened at Oatlands yesterday which damaged some of the art buildings. The king had been there, and brought back a little dog belonging to the Duchess of York, who seemed more anxious abt. her animals than abt. the house. She has 18 dogs. The king observed that affection must rest on something. When there were no children, animals were the objects of it. The Diary of Joseph Farington, June 8, 1794 The Duchess's life is an odd one; she seldom has a female companion, she is read to all night and falls asleep towards morning, and rises about 3; feeds her dozens of dogs and her flocks of birds, &c., comes down two minutes before dinner, and so round again. Right Honourable John Wilson Croker, LL.D. F. R. S., Secretary to the Admiralty, 1818The Duchess died, on 6 August 1820, in Oatlands Park, Weybridge, Surrey, and was buried in Weybridge Old Church. In 1822 York Column, in Weybridge, was erected in her memory. The funds were raised by public subscription and it remains a testament to the popularity of this generous benefactress. The inscription reads: This column was erected by the inhabitants of Weybridge and its vicinity on the 6th day of August 1822 by voluntary contribution. In token of their sincere esteem and regard for her late Royal Highness the most excellent and illustrious Frederica Charlotte Ulrica Catherina, Duchess of York. Who resided for upwards of thirty years at Oatlands in this parish, exercising every Christian virtue and died, universally regretted, on the 6th day of August 1820. Ye poor, suppress the mournful sigh, Her spirit is with Christ on High, In those bright realms of heavenly peace, Where charity shall never cease, Her deeds of mercy and of love, Are registered in courts above. Princess Frederica Charlotte plays a pivitol role in the Beau Brummell detective series by Rosemary Stevens. Much about her life and the daily life at Oatlands can be learned and speculated on, here. Historical information from Wikipedia.com
The information about Frederica Duchess of York is incorrect in some areas. My mother who lived in Weybridge Surrey (she died in 2004) was working on a book on the Duchess of York. During the research on unpublished manuscripts and printed memoirs and papers she discovered the following:
The Duke and Duchess did separate but they remained friends. and he often turned to her for advice. When the Duke broke his leg the Duchess nursed him at Oatlands. They attended the theatre and dined together.
The Duchess of York miscarried at least twice.
I hope eventually to publish the book