Henry Maurice (DNB01)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HENRY MAURICE of Battenberg, Prince (1858–1896), born at Milan on 5 Oct. 1858, was third son of Prince Alexander of Hesse (1823–1888) and his morganatic wife, the countess Julie von Haucke, daughter of an ex-minister of war for Poland, to whom was granted, in 1858, the title of Princess of Battenberg. His elder brother Alexander was on 29 April 1879 elected first prince of Bulgaria; he abdicated on 6 Sept. 1886 and died on 17 Nov. 1893. His brother, Prince Louis of Battenberg, married, on 30 April 1884, Victoria, eldest daughter of the Princess Alice of Hesse, third daughter of Queen Victoria, and this connection brought Prince Henry, who had received a military education and become lieutenant in the 10th regiment of Rhenish hussars, into contact with the English court. On 23 July 1885 he was married at Whippingham church by the archbishop of Canterbury to the Princess Beatrice, youngest daughter of Queen Victoria. He was naturalised by an act of parliament which passed the House of Lords on 31 July in the same year, was elected K.G. on 22 July, and was granted the title of royal highness; he was also made colonel in the army and captain-general and governor of the Isle of Wight. He took great interest in the Isle of Wight volunteer corps. In November 1895 he volunteered for service with the Ashanti expeditionary force. He sailed on 8 Dec., at first as merely an auxiliary, but he was afterwards made military secretary to the commander-in-chief, Sir Francis Scott. He marched with the force to within thirty miles of Kumasi, when he was attacked by fever; he returned to Cape Coast Castle and embarked on the Blonde cruiser on 17 Jan. 1896. He died at sea on the 20th; his remains were brought to England and interred at Whippingham on 5 Feb. He left issue three sons, Princes Alexander, Leopold, and Maurice, and one daughter, the Princess Victoria of Battenberg.

[Almanach de Gotha, 1895; Times, 23 Jan. to 6 Feb. 1896, passim; Burke's Peerage, 1895; Men of the Time, 14th edit.]

A. F. P.