William IV, Prince of Orange

William IV, Prince of Orange

Infobox Person
name = William IV, Prince of Orange

image_size = 200px
caption =
birth_date = September 1, 1711
birth_place = Leeuwarden
death_date = death date and age|1751|10|22|1711|9|1
death_place = Huis ten Bosch
education =
occupation =
title = Prince of Orange
spouse =
parents =
children =
nationality =
website =

William IV, Prince of Orange and Nassau (September 1 1711 – October 22 1751) was the first hereditary stadtholder of the Netherlands.

William was born in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, the son of Johan Willem Friso, Prince of Orange, head of the Frisian branch of the House of Orange-Nassau, and of his wife Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel). He was born six weeks after the death of his father.

William succeeded his father as Stadtholder of Friesland and also, under the regency of his mother until 1731, as Stadtholder of Groningen. In 1722 he was elected Stadtholder of Guelders.

In 1733 William was named a knight of the Order of the Garter. On March 25, 1734 he married Anne, Princess Royal, eldest daughter of King George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach. William and Anne had five children:

* a stillborn daughter (born December 19 1736)
* a stillborn daughter (born December 22 1739)
* Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau (February 28, 1743 - May 6, 1787), married Karl Christian of Nassau-Weilburg
* Princess Anna of Orange-Nassau (November 15, 1746 - December 29, 1746)
* William V, Prince of Orange (1748-1806)

In 1739 William inherited the estates formerly owned by the Nassau-Dillenburg branch of his family, and in 1743 he inherited those formerly owned by the Nassau-Siegen branch of his family.

In April 1747 the French army entered Flanders. In an effort to quell internal strife amongst the various factions, the States-General of the Netherlands appointed William to the hereditary position of General Stadtholder of all seven of the United Provinces. William and his family moved from Leeuwarden to The Hague. William first met Ludwig Ernst von Brunswick-Lüneburg-Bevern in 1747, and 2 years later appointed him a field marshal in the Dutch army, which later led to his being one of the regents to William's heir.

Although he had little experience in state affairs, William was at first popular with the people. He stopped the practice of indirect taxation by which independent contractors managed to make large sums for themselves. Nevertheless, he was also a Director-General of the Dutch East India Company, and his alliance with the business class deepened while the disparity between rich and poor grew.

William served as General Stadtholder of all the Netherlands until his death in 1751 at The Hague.


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1= 1. William IV, Prince of Orange
2= 2. John William Friso, Prince of Orange
3= 3. Landgravine Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel
4= 4. Henry Casimir II, Count of Nassau-Dietz
5= 5. Princess Henriëtte Amalia of Anhalt-Dessau
6= 6. Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
7= 7. Princess Amalia of Courland
8= 8. William Frederick, Count of Nassau-Dietz
9= 9. Princess Albertine Agnes of Nassau
10= 10. John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
11= 11. Princess Henriette Catharine of Orange-Nassau
12= 12. William VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
13= 13. Margravine Hedwig Sophia of Brandenburg
14= 14. Jacob, Duke of Courland
15= 15. Margravine Louise Charlotte of Brandenburg


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