Thaler from 1849 (Angsttaler). Minted only a year!
Av.: Ernst August King of Hanover
Rs.: Harz blessing
Ernst August I, born Prince Ernst August, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg; in Britain Prince Ernest Augustus, 1st Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, (1771-1851) was a British prince from the House of Hanover, a collateral line of the Guelphs, and from 1837 King of Hanover. Born at Buckingham Palace in 1771, he was the fifth son and eighth child of King George III of Great Britain and Ireland and Queen Sophie Charlotte. He studied in Göttingen and joined the Hanoverian army to receive military training.
Ernst August proved to be extremely skilled in cavalry and tactics training and was quickly promoted. During the First Coalition War, 1793-1797, he was stationed in Flanders and lost his left eye in the Battle of Tourcoing in 1794. For his recovery, Ernst August returned to Britain for the first time since 1786. The following year he returned to the front and commanded the rearguard in the retreat of British troops through Holland. Over the following years he held several different military ranks.
In 1815, Ernst August married his cousin Friederike, the daughter of Karl II, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The marriage was viewed critically, especially by Ernst August's mother Queen Charlotte, the future daughter-in-law was unmarried pregnant as the widow of Ludwig of Prussia and only saved from scandal by a quick marriage to Friedrich Wilhelm zu Solms-Braunfels. After the death of her second husband, Friederike brought six of eight children into the marriage. Ernst August and she had three more children, of whom only the later King Georg V of Hanover survived.
After the end of the personal union between Great Britain and Hanover in 1837, King Ernst August moved to Hanover and was symbolically presented with the keys of Hanover by the city director Wilhelm Rumann. Since in 1837 William IV King of Great Britain and Ireland, like his brother George IV before him, died without a descendant entitled to inherit, his niece Victoria, the only child of William's deceased brother Edward, ascended the throne. In Hanover, however, the Salian Law applied. This stipulated a male succession and thus excluded Victoria from the Hanoverian throne. Therefore, her uncle Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, became King of Hanover at the age of 66, thus ending the 123-year personal union between Great Britain and Hanover.
King Ernst August was quite unpopular among the people, as his anti-liberal style of government repealed the very liberal Basic Law of the State, which his predecessor had enacted in 1833. This led to the protest of the Göttingen Seven in 1837, who subsequently lost their professorships at Göttingen University. After the outbreak of the riots in 1848, Ernst August renounced the addition "V.G.G." for "by the grace of God" when minting the so-called Angsttaler of the years 1848 and 1849, which was interpreted as a concession to the revolutionaries, since they did not want to recognize a divine grace.
As a result of the overthrow of the French King Louis Philippe I during the February Revolution, the citizens in the Kingdom of Hanover were encouraged in 1848 to make liberal demands as well. The king was initially reluctant to give in to the citizens' petition. But when the demand for citizens' arms in other cities threatened to start a revolution against the monarchy, Ernst August was persuaded to agree to reforms. He appointed the liberal politician Johann Carl Bertram Stüve as Minister of the Interior and commissioned him to draft a contemporary constitution. This came into force in 1848 and guaranteed freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the separation of the judiciary and the administration, and equal rights for all confessions.