YORK, FREDERICK AUGUSTUS, DUKE OF (1763 1827), second son of George III., was born at St. James's Palace on Aug. 16, 1763. At the age of six months his father secured his election to the rich bishopric of Osnabriick. He became a knight of the Bath in 1767, a K.G. in 1771, and was gazetted colonel in 1780. From 1781 to 1787 he lived in Germany. He was appointed colonel of the 2nd horse grenadier guards in 1782, and promoted major-general and appointed colonel of the Cold stream Guards in 1784.
He was created duke of York and Albany and earl of Ulster in 1784, but retained the bishopric of Osnabruck until 1803. On his return to England he took his seat in the House of Lords, where, on Dec. 15, 1788, he opposed Pitt's Regency bill in a speech which was supposed to have been inspired by the prince of Wales. A duel fought on Wimbledon Common with Colonel Lennox, after wards duke of Richmond, served to increase the duke of York's popularity. In 1791 he married Princess Frederica (b. 1767), daughter of Frederick William II. of Prussia. The princess was enthusiastically received in London, but the marriage was not happy, and a separation soon took place ; the princess retired to Oatlands Park, Weybridge, where she died on Aug. 6, 1820.
In 1793 the duke of York was sent to Flanders in command of the English contingent of Coburg's army. (See FRENCH REVO LUTIONARY WARS.) On his return in 1795 the king promoted him
field-marshal, and on April 3, 1798, commander-in-chief. He then led the army sent to invade Holland in conjunction with a Rus sian corps d'armee in 1799. From the time of the duke's arrival with the main body of the army, disaster followed disaster until, on Oct. 17, the duke signed the convention of Alkmaar, by which the allied expedition withdrew after giving up its prisoners. Although unsuccessful as commander of a field army the duke devoted himself with the greatest vigour and success to reforms at home until his enforced retirement from the office of com mander-in-chief on March 18, 1809. In the proceedings for brib ery in connection with Mary Anne Clarke (q.v.) the duke was acquitted of having received bribes himself by 278 votes to 196. In May 181i, he was again placed at the head of the army by the prince regent, and rendered valuable services. He died on Jan. 5, 1827, and was buried at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. A firm friendship existed between the duke and his elder brother, afterwards George IV., and he was also his father's favourite son. He founded the Duke of York's school for the sons of soldiers at Chelsea, and his name is also commemorated by the Duke of York's column in Waterloo place, London.