George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820.
England’s longest-ruling monarch before Queen Victoria, King George III (1738-1820) ascended the British throne in 1760. During his 59-year reign, he pushed
- Who Was George III?
- Early Life
- Shy and Inexperienced, George Becomes King
- The American Revolution
- Glory and Madness
A member of the Hanover dynasty, which ruled England for almost two centuries, George III was the King of Great Britain during some of the nation’s most tumultuous years, including those of the American Revolutionary War. In 1788, illness brought on a mental breakdown, but he briefly recovered, regaining popularity and admiration for his virtue and steady leadership through the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Ultimately, recurring bouts of insanity led Parliament to enact regency to his son, and George III lived his final years with sporadic periods of lucidity, until his death in 1820.
Born prematurely on June 4, 1738, to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the sickly prince wasn’t expected to live and was baptized the same day. At the time, it seemed unlikely that George William Frederick would one day become King George III, the longest-ruling monarch English before Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Young George was educated by private tutors, and by age 8 he could speak English and German and would soon learn French. Instructed in a wide range of subjects, he showed a particular interest in the natural sciences. Acutely shy and reserved in his youth, George was strongly influenced by his primary mentor, Scottish nobleman John Stuart, Third Earl of Bute, who helped the young prince overcome his shyness and advised him on many personal and political matters. When George’s father died in 1751, George inherited the title Duke of Edinburgh. Three weeks later the 12-year-old was made Prince of Wales by his grandfather, George II, putt...
In 1760, George's grandfather suddenly died, and the 22-year-old became king. A year later, he married Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Though wed on the day they met, the couple enjoyed a 50-year marriage and had 15 children together. But in addition to the crown, George inherited an ongoing world war, religious strife and changing social issues. Since 1754, Britain and France had been engaged in a border skirmish along the frontier in North America that began when a British colonial militia, let by Lieutenant George Washington, attacked French Fort Duquesne. During the resulting Seven Years' War, George III was closely advised by his prime minister Lord Bute, who kept the young, inexperienced monarch isolated from key members of Parliament. However, due to his Scottish background and belief in King George III's divine right to rule, Bute was maligned by other members of Parliament and eventually forced to resign due to strong criticism from the press and his purported inv...
Though the Stamp Act was repealed, Parliament passed the Declaratory Act in 1766, stating the colonies were subordinate to Parliament and subject to British Law. Parliament then proceeded to pass more tax laws. As the protests in the colonies spread, Lords Edmund Burke and William Pitt the Elder expressed opposition to taxing the colonies as impractical, arguing that the distance and difficulty in making collections was too great. Amidst all this political dissent, King George III pushed Parliament to pass the Royal Marriages Act. A devout Anglican, the king was appalled by the behavior of his adulterous brother, Prince Henry, and the act made it illegal for a member of the royal family to marry without permission of the monarch. By 1775, many colonists had had enough of Parliament’s overreach. Inspired by Enlightenment philosophers John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, the colonists formed the Second Continental Congress and crafted their sentiments in a declaration of independence...
King George III never fully recovered—politically or personally—from the loss of the American colonies. He brooded over the loss of the colonies for many years and fell out of favor with the British public for extending the war. Yet, in 1783, he was able to turn disaster into triumph at home when he opposed a plan by powerful ministers in Parliament to reform the East India Company. Though the king originally supported reform, he saw this scheme as a way to further Parliament’s corruption. He let it be known that any minister who supported this plan would become his enemy. The bill was ultimately defeated, and King George regained some of his popularity with the British people as a result. In 1788, however, the king experienced an episode of insanity, believed to be caused by a genetic disease, porphyria, though some historians dispute this diagnosis. Though the disease would eventually return, George the III recovered the following year and, in partnership with his prime minister W...
By 1811, personal family tragedies and the pressures of ruling caused King George’s insanity to return. Feeble and blind, it was apparent that the king could no longer fulfill his duties. Parliament passed the Regency Act and, ultimately, the fate of the empire fell on his oldest son, Prince George, who was placed in the unenviable position of having to govern according to the increasingly erratic will of his father. George III experienced brief intervals of lucidity until his death at Windsor Castle on January 29, 1820.
- George III became heir to the throne on the death of his father in 1751, succeeding his grandfather, George II, in 1760. He was the third Hanoverian monarch and the first one to be born in England and to use English as his first language.
- George III was devoted to his wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. They had 15 children, 13 of whom reached adulthood.
- George III was the first king to study science as part of his education (he had his own astronomical observatory), and examples of his collection of scientific instruments can now be seen in the Science Museum.
- The American War of Independence ran from 1775 to 1783 and resulted in Britain’s loss of many its colonies in North America. France was eager to retaliate against Great Britain following their defeat during the Seven Years' War.
George III. King George III (Born George William Frederick 4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 until 1 January 1801. He was then King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. He was also Elector of Hanover, making him a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire .
Nov 02, 2020 · George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738[c] – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. …
Feb 14, 2020 · Media in category "George III of the United Kingdom". The following 69 files are in this category, out of 69 total. 1800-06-13 Brief Georg III. Wilhelm Friedrich, König des Vereinigten Königreichs von Großbritannien und Irland, an Feldmarschall Reichsgraf Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn.jpg 4,916 × 7,485; 37.38 MB.