Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore. Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the supreme courts of Scotland; the city's Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. The city has long been a centre of education in the fields of medicine, Scots law, philosophy, the sciences and engineering, it is the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom and the city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom's second most popular tourist destination, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year. Edinburgh is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom; the official population estimates are 488,050 for the Locality of Edinburgh, 513,210 for the City of Edinburgh, 1,339,380 for the city region.
Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region comprising East Lothian, Fife, Scottish Borders and West Lothian. The city is the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, it is home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, is placed 18th in the QS World University Rankings for 2019; the city is famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles and the Canongate, the extensive Georgian New Town, built in the 18th/19th centuries. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999. "Edin", the root of the city's name, derives from Eidyn, the name for this region in Cumbric, the Brittonic Celtic language spoken there.
The name's meaning is unknown. The district of Eidyn centred on the dun or hillfort of Eidyn; this stronghold is believed to have been located at Castle Rock, now the site of Edinburgh Castle. Eidyn was conquered by the Angles of Bernicia in the 7th century and by the Scots in the 10th century; as the language shifted to Old English, subsequently to modern English and Scots, The Brittonic din in Din Eidyn was replaced by burh, producing Edinburgh. Din became dùn in Scottish Gaelic, producing Dùn Èideann; the city is affectionately nicknamed Auld Reekie, Scots for Old Smoky, for the views from the country of the smoke-covered Old Town. Allan Ramsay said. A name the country people give Edinburgh from the cloud of smoke or reek, always impending over it."Thomas Carlyle said, "Smoke cloud hangs over old Edinburgh,—for since Aeneas Silvius's time and earlier, the people have the art strange to Aeneas, of burning a certain sort of black stones, Edinburgh with its chimneys is called'Auld Reekie' by the country people."A character in Walter Scott's The Abbot says "... yonder stands Auld Reekie--you may see the smoke hover over her at twenty miles' distance."Robert Chambers who said that the sobriquet could not be traced before the reign of Charles II attributed the name to a Fife laird, Durham of Largo, who regulated the bedtime of his children by the smoke rising above Edinburgh from the fires of the tenements.
"It's time now bairns, to tak' the beuks, gang to our beds, for yonder's Auld Reekie, I see, putting on her nicht -cap!"Some have called Edinburgh the Athens of the North for a variety of reasons. The earliest comparison between the two cities showed that they had a similar topography, with the Castle Rock of Edinburgh performing a similar role to the Athenian Acropolis. Both of them had fertile agricultural land sloping down to a port several miles away. Although this arrangement is common in Southern Europe, it is rare in Northern Europe; the 18th-century intellectual life, referred to as the Scottish Enlightenment, was a key influence in gaining the name. Such luminaries as David Hume and Adam Smith shone during this period. Having lost most of its political importance after the Union, some hoped that Edinburgh could gain a similar influence on London as Athens had on Rome. A contributing factor was the neoclassical architecture that of William Henry Playfair, the National Monument. Tom Stoppard's character Archie, of Jumpers, said playing on Reykjavík meaning "smoky bay", that the "Reykjavík of the South" would be more appropriate.
The city has been known by several Latin names, such as Aneda or Edina. The adjectival form of the latter, can be seen inscribed on educational buildings; the Scots poets Robert Fergusson and Robert Burns used Edina in their poems. Ben Jonson described it as "Britaine's other eye", Sir Walter Scott referred to it as "yon Empress of the North". Robert Louis Stevenson a son of the city, wrote, "Edinburgh is what Paris ought to be"; the colloquial pronunciation "Embra" or "Embro" has been used, as in Robert Garioch's Embro to the Ploy. The earliest known human habitation in the Edinburgh area was at Cramond, where evidence was found of a Mesolithi
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels. In addition, there are numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, nearly 3,000 drawings by him extant. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August, in 1782 after taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, he was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe was a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena, he contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace. In 1998 both these sites together with nine others were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site under the name Classical Weimar. Goethe's first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published after he returned from a 1788 tour of Italy.
In 1791, he was made managing director of the theatre at Weimar, in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller's death in 1805. During this period, Goethe published Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, his conversations and various common undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, August and Friedrich Schlegel have come to be collectively termed Weimar Classicism. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer named Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship one of the four greatest novels written, while the American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe as one of six "representative men" in his work of the same name. Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe. Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe, lived with his family in a large house in Frankfurt an Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire.
Though he had studied law in Leipzig and had been appointed Imperial Councillor, he was not involved in the city's official affairs. Johann Caspar married Goethe's mother, Catharina Elizabeth Textor at Frankfurt on 20 August 1748, when he was 38 and she was 17. All their children, with the exception of Johann Wolfgang and his sister, Cornelia Friederica Christiana, born in 1750, died at early ages, his father and private tutors gave Goethe lessons in all the common subjects of their time languages. Goethe received lessons in dancing and fencing. Johann Caspar, feeling frustrated in his own ambitions, was determined that his children should have all those advantages that he had not. Although Goethe's great passion was drawing, he became interested in literature, he had a lively devotion to theater as well and was fascinated by puppet shows that were annually arranged in his home. He took great pleasure in reading works on history and religion, he writes about this period: I had from childhood the singular habit of always learning by heart the beginnings of books, the divisions of a work, first of the five books of Moses, of the'Aeneid' and Ovid's'Metamorphoses'....
If an busy imagination, of which that tale may bear witness, led me hither and thither, if the medley of fable and history and religion, threatened to bewilder me, I fled to those oriental regions, plunged into the first books of Moses, there, amid the scattered shepherd tribes, found myself at once in the greatest solitude and the greatest society. Goethe became acquainted with Frankfurt actors. Among early literary attempts, he was infatuated with Gretchen, who would reappear in his Faust and the adventures with whom he would concisely describe in Dichtung und Wahrheit, he adored Caritas Meixner, a wealthy Worms trader's daughter and friend of his sister, who would marry the merchant G. F. Schuler. Goethe studied law at Leipzig University from 1765 to 1768, he detested learning age-old judicial rules by heart, preferring instead to attend the poetry lessons of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert. In Leipzig, Goethe fell in love with Anna Katharina Schönkopf and wrote cheerful verses about her in the Rococo genre.
In 1770, he anonymously released his first collection of poems. His uncritical admiration for many contemporary poets vanished as he became interested in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Christoph Martin Wieland. At this time, Goethe wrote a good deal, but he threw away nearly all of these works, except for the comedy Die Mitschuldigen; the restaurant Auerbachs Keller and its legend of Faust's 1525 barrel ride impressed him so much that Auerbachs Keller became the only real place in his closet drama Faust Part One. As his studies did not progress, Goethe was forced to return to Frankfurt at the close of August 1768. Goethe became ill in Frankfurt. Durin
John Murray III
John Murray III was a British publisher, third of the name at the John Murray company founded in London in 1768. The eldest son of John Murray II by Anne Elliott, daughter of Charles Elliot, the Edinburgh publisher, he was born on 16 April 1808; when he was four years old his father moved the firm to 50 Albemarle Street, which became a meeting-place for men of letters. He was educated at Charterhouse School and Edinburgh University, where he graduated in 1827, he completed his education by foreign travel, in Weimar delivering the dedication of Lord Byron's Marino Faliero to Goethe. There resulted the research for a series of books for tourists, the Murray's Handbooks for Travellers. In 1836 Murray saw through the press the first of the handbooks, his own Holland and the Rhine. Subsequently, he enlisted specialists: Richard Ford, Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Sir Francis Palgrave. From 1830 to 1843 Murray helped, his own publishing projects included: Nineveh and its Remains, publicising of Austen Henry Layard's discoveries.
Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published by Murray in 1859. An enterprise of a different kind was The Speaker's Commentary, prompted by John Evelyn Denison. Murray's Magazine, started in 1887, ran to 1891; the firm published numerous illustrated books of travels. Murray had been well-connected in the literary world since his early days, he was a magistrate for Surrey, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, known as a member of the Athenæum Club. He died at 50 Albemarle Street on 2 April 1892. After a preliminary service in St. James's, Piccadilly, he was buried on 6 April in the parish church at Wimbledon, where he had resided for nearly 50 years. Murray published anonymously in 1877 Scepticism in Geology. Murray married in 1847 Marion, youngest daughter of Alexander Smith, banker, of Edinburgh, sister of David Smith, writer to the signet, he left two sons and Hallam, who ran the family business, two daughters. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lee, Sidney, ed..
"Murray, John". Dictionary of National Biography. 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co. Zachs, William. "Murray family". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/64922
Edward Whymper was an English mountaineer, explorer and author best known for the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. Four members of his climbing party were killed during the descent. Whymper made important first ascents on the Mont Blanc massif and in the Pennine Alps, Chimborazo in South America, the Canadian Rockies, his exploration of Greenland contributed an important advance to Arctic exploration. Whymper wrote several books including Scrambles Amongst the Alps. Edward Whymper was born in London, England, on 27 April 1840 to the artist and wood engraver Josiah Wood Whymper and Elizabeth Claridge, he was the second of eleven children, his older brother being the artist and explorer Frederick Whymper. He was trained to be a wood-engraver at an early age. In 1860, he made extensive forays into the central and western Alps to produce a series of commissioned alpine scenery drawings. Among the objects of this tour was the illustration of an unsuccessful attempt made by Professor Bonney's party to ascend Mont Pelvoux, at that time believed to be the highest peak of the Dauphiné Alps.
In 1861, Whymper completed the ascent of Mont Pelvoux, the first of a series of expeditions that threw much light on the topography of an area at that time imperfectly mapped. From the summit of Mont Pelvoux, Whymper discovered that it was overtopped by a neighbouring peak, subsequently named the Barre des Écrins, before the annexation of Savoy added Mont Blanc to the possessions of France, was the highest point in the French Alps. Whymper climbed the Barre des Écrins in 1864 with Horace Walker, A. W. Moore and guides Christian Almer senior and junior; the years 1861 to 1865 were filled with a number of new expeditions in the Mont Blanc massif and the Pennine Alps, among them the first ascents of the Aiguille d'Argentière and Mont Dolent in 1864, the Aiguille Verte, the Grand Cornier and Pointe Whymper on the Grandes Jorasses in 1865. That year he made the first crossing of the Moming Pass. According to his own words, his only failure was on the west ridge of the Dent d'Hérens in 1863; as a result of his Alpine experience, he designed a tent that came to be known as the "Whymper tent" and tents based on his design were still being manufactured 100 years later.
Professor John Tyndall and Whymper emulated each other in determined attempts to reach the summit of the Matterhorn by the south-western, or Italian, ridge. In 1865, who had failed eight times attempted unsuccessfully to climb a couloir on the south-east face with Michel Croz. After Croz left for a prior engagement with Charles Hudson, Whymper was unable to secure the services of Val Tournanche guide Jean Antoine Carrel, instead planned to try the eastern face with Lord Francis Douglas and the two Zermatt guides, Peter Taugwalder father and son. Whymper was convinced that the Matterhorn's precipitous appearance when viewed from Zermatt was an optical illusion, that the dip of the strata, which on the Italian side formed a continuous series of overhangs, should make the opposite side a natural staircase; this party of four was joined by Hudson and Croz, the inexperienced Douglas Hadow. Their attempt by what is now the normal route, the Hörnli ridge, met with success on 14 July 1865, only days before an Italian party.
On the descent, Hadow slipped and fell onto Croz, dislodging him and dragging Douglas and Hudson to their deaths. A controversy ensued as to whether the rope had been cut, but a formal investigation could not find any proof, Peter Taugwalder was acquitted; the rope had snapped between Lord Francis Douglas. Whymper asked Taugwalder to see the rope and to his surprise he saw that it was the oldest and weakest of the ropes they brought and it was only intended as a reserve. All those who had fallen had been tied with a Manila rope, or with a second and strong one, it had been only between the survivors and those who had fallen where the weaker rope had been used. Whymper had suggested to Hudson that they should have attached a rope to the rocks on the most difficult place, held it as they descended, as an additional protection. Hudson approved the idea, it can be deduced that Taugwalder had no other choice but to use a weaker rope as the stronger rope was not long enough to connect Taugwalder to Douglas.
The account of Whymper's attempts on the Matterhorn occupies the greater part of his book, Scrambles amongst the Alps, in which the illustrations are engraved by Whymper himself. The accident haunted Whymper: Every night, do you understand, I see my comrades of the Matterhorn slipping on their backs, their arms outstretched, one after the other, in perfect order at equal distances—Croz the guide, first Hadow Hudson, lastly Douglas. Yes, I shall always see them... Whymper's 1865 campaign had been planned to test his route-finding skills in preparation for an expedition to Greenland in 1867; the exploration in Greenland resulted in an important collection of fossil plants, which were described by Professor Heer and deposited in the British Museum. Whymper's report was published in the report of the British Association of 1869. Though hampered by a lack of supplies and an epidemic among the local people, he proved that the interior could be explored by the use of suitably constructed sledges, thus contributed an important advance to Arctic exploration.
Another expedition in 1872 was devoted to a survey of the coastline. Whymper next organised an expedition to Ecuador, designed to collect data for the study of altitude sickness and the effect of reduced pressure on the human body, his chief guide was Jean-Antoine Carrel, who died from
Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of "The Minstrel Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer". As Lord Byron's named literary executor, along with John Murray, Moore was responsible for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death. In his lifetime he was referred to as Anacreon Moore. From a early age Moore showed an interest in music and other performing arts, he sometimes appeared in musical plays with his friends, such as The Poor Soldier by John O'Keeffe, at one point had ambitions to become an actor. Moore attended several Dublin schools including Samuel Whyte's English Grammar School in Grafton Street where he learned the English accent with which he spoke for the rest of his life. In 1795 he graduated from Trinity College, which had allowed entry to Catholic students, in an effort to fulfill his mother's dream of his becoming a lawyer. Moore was a good student, but he put less effort into his studies, his time at Trinity came amidst the ongoing turmoil following the French Revolution, a number of his fellow students such as Robert Emmet were supporters of the United Irishmen movement, although Moore himself never was a member.
This movement sought support from the French government to launch a revolution in Ireland. In 1798 a rebellion broke out followed by a French invasion. Besides Emmet, another formative influence was Edward Hudson a fellow student at Trinity College, who played a crucial role in introducing Moore to Edward Bunting's A General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music one of the main sources of his own collection of Irish Melodies. Thomas Moore was born at 12 Aungier Street in Ireland. Over his father's grocery shop, his father being from the Kerry Gaeltacht and his mother, Anastasia Codd, from Wexford, he had two younger sisters and Ellen. From a early age Moore showed an interest in music and other performing arts, he sometimes appeared in musical plays with his friends, such as The Poor Soldier by John O'Keeffe, at one point had ambitions to become an actor. Moore attended several Dublin schools including Samuel Whyte's English Grammar School in Grafton Street where he learned the English accent with which he spoke for the rest of his life.
In 1795 he graduated from Trinity College, which had allowed entry to Catholic students, in an effort to fulfill his mother's dream of his becoming a lawyer. Moore was a good student, but he put less effort into his studies, his time at Trinity came amidst the ongoing turmoil following the French Revolution, a number of his fellow students such as Robert Emmet were supporters of the United Irishmen movement, although Moore himself never was a member. This movement sought support from the French government to launch a revolution in Ireland. In 1798 a rebellion broke out followed by a French invasion. Besides Emmet, another formative influence was Edward Hudson a fellow student at Trinity College, who played a crucial role in introducing Moore to Edward Bunting's A General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music one the main sources of his own collection of Irish Melodies. In 1799 he travelled to London to study law at Middle Temple, he had difficulties in paying the fees and his tailor's bills. He was helped in this by his friends in the expatriate Irish community in London, including Barbara, widow of Arthur Chichester, 1st Marquess of Donegall.
She and her sister became his lifelong friends. However, it was as a poet, translator and singer that he found fame, his work soon became immensely popular and included "The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls", "Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms", "The Meeting of the Waters" and many other specimens from his collections of Irish Melodies. Called "Moore's Melodies", they were published between 1808 and 1834, but Moore was far more than a balladeer. He had major success as a society figure in London, meeting the Prince of Wales on several occasions and enjoying in particular the patronage of the Irish aristocrat Lord Moira. Moore stayed at Moira's house at Donnington Park in Leicestershire where he enjoyed the extensive library, he collaborated with Michael Kelly and Charles Edward Horn in staging operas to his librettos in 1801 and 1811. In 1803 he was appointed registrar to the Admiralty in Bermuda, he spent around three months on the island, but he found his work light and uninspiring.
There were several other prize courts nearby and few captured ships were brought to Bermuda leaving him little to do. Although he drew inspiration from the scenery of Bermuda he found its society limited and soon departed for Norfolk in Virginia; because of his brief stay there, he has sometimes been treated as an unofficial poet laureate of Bermuda. His "Ode to Nea" caused something of a scandal since the language suggested a love affair and local gossip, rightly or wrongly, identified Nea with Hester Tucker, the young wife of one of his colleagues. From Norfolk he travelled across the United States and Canada in a Grand Tour. During this visit Moore developed a critical view of the United States, he disliked the governing Democratic-Republican Party and the President Thomas Jefferson. While in Washington he stayed with Anthony Merry, the British ambassador, met Jefferson briefly: the meeting had a touch of farce since the President mistook Moore, an exceptionally small man, for a child, he travelled through various American towns and cities, enjoying his time most in Philadelphia where he had a
Isaac D'Israeli was a British writer and man of letters. He is best known for his essays, his associations with other men of letters, as the father of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Isaac was born in Enfield, England, the only child of Benjamin D'Israeli, a Jewish merchant who had emigrated from Cento, Italy in 1748, his second wife, Sarah Syprut de Gabay Villa Real. Isaac received much of his education in Leiden. At the age of 16, he began his literary career with some verses addressed to Samuel Johnson, he became a frequent guest at the table of the publisher John Murray and became one of the noted bibliophiles of the time. On 10 February 1802, D'Israeli married Maria Basevi, who came from another London merchant family of Italian-Jewish extraction; the marriage was a happy one. The children were named according to Jewish customs and the boys were all circumcised. Religiously, Isaac D'Israeli appears to have set aside his Jewish beliefs. In the midst of an eight-year dispute with the Bevis Marks Synagogue and on the advice of his friend, historian Sharon Turner, all his children were baptised into the Church of England in 1817.
In 1833 he published a critical analysis of contemporary Judaism, The Genius of Judaism. He himself did not receive baptism and never indicated any desire to exchange Judaism for Christianity, he did attend the inauguration ceremonies of the Reform Synagogue at London. He penned a handful of English adaptations of traditional tales from the Middle East, wrote a few historical biographies, published a number of poems, his most popular work was a collection of essays entitled Curiosities of Literature. The work contained myriad anecdotes about historical persons and events, unusual books, the habits of book-collectors; the work was popular and sold in the 19th century, reaching its eleventh edition in 1839. It was still in print when the Encyclopædia Britannica entry was written in 1911, his book The Life and Reign of Charles I resulted in his being awarded the degree of D. C. L. from Oxford University. In 1841, he became blind and, though he underwent an operation, his sight was not restored, he continued writing with his daughter as his amanuensis.
In this way he produced Amenities of Literature and completed the revision of his work on Charles I. He died of influenza at age 81, at his home, Bradenham House, in Buckinghamshire, less than a year after the death of his wife in the spring of 1847. D'Israeli's daughter-in-law, the wife of his eldest son, erected a monument to him in June 1862 following his death, it stands on a hill near the Disraelis' country house in Buckinghamshire. Curiosities of Literature A Dissertation on Anecdotes An Essay on the Literary Character Miscellanies. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "D'Israeli, Isaac". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth