Maurice of the Palatinate

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File:1621 Maurice.jpg
Prince Maurice von Simmern by unknown painter.

Prince Maurice of the Palatinate KG (Küstrin Castle, Brandenburg, 17 December 1620 – near the Virgin Islands, September 1652), Count Palatine of the Rhine, was the fourth son of Frederick V, Elector Palatine and Princess Elizabeth, only daughter of James I, King of England and Scotland and Anne of Denmark.

He accompanied his elder brother, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, to take the part of their uncle Charles I in the English Civil War in 1642. He served under Rupert with the cavalry at the Battle of Powick Bridge, where he was wounded, and the Battle of Edgehill. He commanded the army in Gloucestershire which engaged Sir William Waller in several battles in 1643, including the victory of Ripple Field (13 April), culminating in the Royalist victory at the Battle of Roundway Down (13 July). He took command of the army in Cornwall and campaigned in the southwest for the remainder of the year.

In April 1644, he besieged Lyme Regis, but was forced to give over the siege in June, at considerable cost to his military reputation. He fought as a subordinate at the Battle of Lostwithiel and the Second Battle of Newbury, and under Rupert at the Battle of Naseby.

He attempted to defend Rupert's surrender of Bristol in 1645 to Charles. While unsuccessful, he did not share in Rupert's disgrace. Banished with Rupert in October 1646, he served with the French army in Flanders, but rejoined Rupert in 1648 as vice-admiral of his fleet. He was created a Knight of the Garter in exile in 1649. In 1652, while sailing for the West Indies, specifically near the Virgin Islands, he was caught in a hurricane and went down with his flagship, HMS Defiance.

Portrayal in fiction

He is a minor character in Lawrence Norfolk's historical novel John Saturnall's Feast, published on September 13, 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing.

See also

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