William IV belonged to the House of Hanover. Born in 1765, he ascended to the throne in 1830 and died in 1837. He was preceded as monarch by George IV and was succeeded by his niece Queen Victoria.
William was the third son of George III, born at Windsor. He was popular with the nation, owing to his genial and simple character, and his sympathy with Liberal principles. After a long struggle, the Reform Bill was carried in 1832, although William IV had latterly adopted an antireform attitude. The abolition of colonial slavery (1833), the reform of the Poor Laws (1834) and the Municipal Reform Act (1835) were immediate results of that great constitutional change. William died at Windsor after a short illness.