Sir Herbert Taylor was one of the most prominent and significant British courtiers and army officers at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. Taylor was private secretary to the duke of York and Albany, King George III and King William IV, and was aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria. An unashamed royalist, he was the quintessential establishment figure of his age. Born in Kent, he had an aptitude for languages, which brought him to the Foreign office. In 1792 he went on a special mission to the Prussian headquarters in Frankfurt and, in 1793, was presented to the duke of York, with whom he struck an enduring bond. He went on campaign in the 1790's in Belgium and was promoted to captain in the 2nd dragoon guards. Returning to England in 1795, he became aide-de-camp to the duke of York and then assistant military secretary in the commander-in-chief's office. He worked for Lord Cornwallis, Lord Lieutentant to Ireland, from 1798 to 1799 who described him as 'indefatigable in business; and in honesty, fidelity and goodness of heart he has no superior (Vetch, op. cit.
). In February 1799 Taylor became private secretary to the duke of York. Rising through the ranks of the army - eventually to lieutenant-general in 1825 - he became private secretary to King George III in 1805 and later also to the queen. Taylor was MP for Windsor between 1820-1823 but resigned his seat as he felt he could not execute all of his duties properly. He was appointed master surveyor and surveyor-general of the ordnance of the United Kingdom in March 1828 and, later in that year, became adjutant-general of the forces, the second most important post in the British army. Private secretary to William IV during the Reform Bill crisis, he was first and principal aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria during retirement.
R. Vetch (2008, January 03). Taylor, Sir Herbert (1775–1839), courtier and army officer. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. [accessed 28 Oct. 2018]