Francis Town of Bond Street (1738-1826) and his family: With Further Notes on Early Anglo-Jewish Artists

IN January 1809 the Battle of Corunna was fought and the British army withdrew from the Peninsula. This serious defeat aroused little interest at home where the public was eagerly following the sensational details of the Duke of York’s private life with Mrs. Clarke. George The Third’s second son, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, had been charged with corruption in connection with army promotions and an examination was taking place before the House of Commons. The evidence was supplied by his former mistress, Mary Ann Clarke, with whom he had parted on bad terms and showed that she had received large sums of money from army officers in return for promises of promotion but it was clear that the Duke was unaware of these transactions and he was exonerated by a majority of the House. Nevertheless the scandal was so great that he was obliged to resign his army appointment.

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