Portrait of George IV standing, in white outfit with blue cape

George IV, when Prince of Wales c.1796, RCIN 405412 ©

Contained with the Georgian Papers collections are 41 boxes of accounts detailing purchases made by, and on the behalf of, George IV (including as Prince of Wales and Prince Regent) from 1783 to 1830. George 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. These Privy Purse accounts were meticulously kept and amount to thousands of documents, providing a thorough 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. To date, the following categories of bills have been made available on Georgian Papers Online:

Bill for a pedometer

Bill issued by William Fraser for a pedometer in a gilt case with a compass, 1784, GEO/MAIN/29083 Royal Archives/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018


Bills relating to furniture, lustres, clocks and linens

Amongst these accounts are a small number of bills relating to purchases made by Caroline, Princess of Wales, between 1805 and 1809. In addition, there is also correspondence concerning the installation of gaslighting at both Brighton Pavilion and Carlton House

Bills for music, George IV’s Private Band, guns, fishing tackle, toys, telescopes, opera glasses, billiard cues etc.

Including sheet music, musical instruments, canes, umbrellas, spectacles, scientific/mathematical instruments etc.,as well as expenses incurred by his Private Band and also band expenses for his role as Colonel of the 10th Regiment of the Light Dragoons.

Bills for books, newspapers, prints, stationery, and purchases for the Royal Library

Bills for for the purchase of prints, enamels, and statuary

Household bills and expenses for George IV, Caroline, Princess of Wales, and Princess Charlotte of Wales

Bills for carriages, harnesses, parks, farms, gardens, the menagerie at Sandpit Gate, bell-ringing and gun-firing and horses and racing