William Arden was a British Army officer, peer and socialite, who was one of a close circle of young men surrounding the Prince Regent. Lord Alvanley was a prominent Regency buck and member of the Prince Regent’s circle, and was friends with Beau Brummell. He was popular in society and regarded as wittiest man of his day. He, Brummell, Henry Mildmay, and Henry Pierrepoint were considered the prime movers of Watier’s club, dubbed “the Dandy Club” by Lord Byron. They were also the four hosts of the July 1813 masquerade ball at which the Prince Regent greeted Alvanley and Pierrepoint, but then “cut” Brummell and Mildmay by snubbing them, staring them in the face but not speaking to them. Brummell then said to Alvanley, “Alvanley, who’s your fat friend?”. The Prince Regent was not amused; this incident was the final and most public sign that Brummell was no longer favored by “Prinny”.
Alvanley continued to support Brummell, sending money to his friend during Brummell’s exile in France. In 1835, Alvanley fought a duel with Morgan O’Connell. According to a near contemporary report, “[Alvanley] went through the business with the most perfect sang froid, but on his way to the field he whimsically intimated a singular alarm. Having descended a hollow, ‘My Lord’, said he to his second, ‘you get me down well enough, but’, alluding to his full size, ‘should I fall, I do not know how the devil you will ever get me up again.'”
He had an extremely lavish lifestyle, funded by income generated by the estates that his father had bought. His prominent position in society also allowed him to float a line of credit. However, his debts became untenable and eventually his family estates had to be sold to pay them off. Underbank Hall in Stockport was sold by auction in 1823 and most of the Bredbury estate was sold in lots in 1825. In 1827 he sold the Willington Estate to Waterloo veteran William Tomkinson, land that would become the site of Willington Hall. The Arden Hall mansion was sold in 1833. He eventually resigned his membership of White’s. The death of George IV in 1830 saw Alvanley’s society position deteriorate, which was furthered hampered by his limited income. He occasionally contributed to debates in the House of Lords. He did not marry and had no children. On his death, the title went to his only brother, the Hon. Colonel Richard Arden.
From his Wikipedia Page