Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, 1st Duke of Cumberland, 1st Earl of Holderness, commonly called Prince Rupert of the Rhine, KG, PC, FRS (December 1619 – November 1682), was a noted German soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century.
Rupert was a younger son of the German prince Frederick V, Elector Palatine and his wife Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of James I of England. Thus Rupert was the nephew of King Charles I of England, who made him Duke of Cumberland and Earl of Holderness, and the first cousin of King Charles II of England.
Prince Rupert was a soldier, fighting against Spain in the Netherlands during the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648), and against the Holy Roman Emperor in Germany during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48). Aged 23, he was appointed commander of the Royalist cavalry during the English Civil War (1642–46), becoming the archetypal Cavalier of the war and ultimately the senior Royalist general. He surrendered after the fall of Bristol and was banished from England.
He served under Louis XIV of France against Spain, and then as a Royalist privateer in the Caribbean.
Following the Restoration, Rupert returned to England, becoming a senior British naval commander during the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch wars, engaging in scientific invention, art, and serving as the first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Father: Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Uncle: King Charles I of England
- Wikipedia for background, portrait