George III of the United Kingdom
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George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
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. He was the longest-lived and longest-reigning king in British history. He was concurrently Duke and
Prince-elector The prince-electors (german: Kurfürst pl. , cz, Kurfiřt, la, Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. From the 13th century ...
of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, dissolution i ...
before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was a monarch of the
House of Hanover The House of Hanover (german: Haus Hannover), whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a Europeans, European dynasty, royal house of Germans, German origin that ruled Hanover, Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain, and Kingdom of Ireland, ...
but, unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language and never visited Hanover. George's life and reign were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict that involved most of the European Great Powers, and was fought primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Other concurrent conflicts include the French and Indian War (1754–1 ...
, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of Britain's American colonies were soon lost in the
American War of Independence The American Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783), also known as the Revolutionary War or American War of Independence, was a major war of the American Revolution. Widely considered as the war that secured the independence of t ...
. Further wars against
revolutionary A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. The term ''revolutionary'' can also be used as an adjective, to refer to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor. ...

revolutionary
and
Napoleonic France The First French Empire, officially the French Republic, then the French Empire (; Latin: ) after 1809, also known as Napoleonic France, was the empire ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte, who established French hegemony over much of continental Eur ...
from 1793 concluded in the defeat of
Napoleon Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who ...

Napoleon
at the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, near Waterloo, Belgium, Waterloo (at that time in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, now in Belgium). A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by two of the armie ...

Battle of Waterloo
in 1815. In 1807, the
transatlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and ...
was banned from the British Empire. In the later part of his life, George had recurrent, and eventually permanent,
mental illness A mental disorder, also referred to as a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitti ...
. Although it has since been suggested that he had
bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder characterized by periods of Depression (mood), depression and periods of abnormally elevated Mood (psychology), mood that last from days to weeks each. If the elevat ...

bipolar disorder
or the blood disease
porphyria Porphyria is a group of liver disorders in which substances called porphyrins build up in the body, negatively affecting the skin or nervous system. The types that affect the nervous system are also known as Porphyria#Acute porphyrias, acute p ...

porphyria
, the cause of his illness remains unknown. George suffered a final relapse in 1810, and his eldest son, the Prince of Wales, became
Prince Regent A prince regent or princess regent is a prince or princess who, due to their position in the Order of succession, line of succession, rules a monarchy as regent in the stead of a monarch, monarch regnant, e.g., as a result of the sovereign's in ...
the following year. When George III died in 1820, the Regent succeeded him as King George IV. Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a "
kaleidoscope A kaleidoscope () is an optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces (or mirrors) tilted to each other at an angle, so that one or more (parts of) objects on one end of these mirrors are shown as a regular symmetrical pattern when vie ...

kaleidoscope
of changing views" that have depended heavily on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them.


Early life

George was born on 4 June 1738 at
Norfolk House Norfolk House, 31 St James's Square St James's Square is the only square in the St James's district of the City of Westminster and is a garden square. It has predominantly Georgian architecture, Georgian and Neo-Georgian architecture. Fo ...
in
St James's Square St James's Square is the only square in the St James's district of the City of Westminster and is a garden square. It has predominantly Georgian architecture, Georgian and Neo-Georgian architecture. For its first two hundred or so years it was ...
, London. He was a grandson of King George II, and the eldest son of
Frederick, Prince of Wales Frederick, Prince of Wales, (Frederick Louis, ; 31 January 170731 March 1751), was the eldest son and heir apparent of King George II of Great Britain. He grew estranged from his parents, King George and Caroline of Ansbach, Queen Caroline. Fr ...

Frederick, Prince of Wales
, and
Augusta of Saxe-Gotha Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg ( – 8 February 1772) was Princess of Wales Princess of Wales ( Welsh: ''Tywysoges Cymru'') is a courtesy title used since the 14th century by the wife of the heir apparent An heir apparent, ofte ...

Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
. As he was born two months prematurely and thought unlikely to survive, he was baptised the same day by Thomas Secker, who was both Rector of St James's, Piccadilly, and
Bishop of Oxford The Bishop of Oxford is the diocesan bishop of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international ...
. One month later he was publicly baptised at Norfolk House, again by Secker. His godparents were King
Frederick I of Sweden Frederick I ( sv, Fredrik I; 28 April 1676 – 5 April 1751) was prince consort of Sweden from 1718 to 1720, and List of Swedish monarchs, King of Sweden from 1720 until his death and (as ''Frederick I'') also Landgrave of Landgraviate of Hesse-K ...

Frederick I of Sweden
(for whom Lord Baltimore stood proxy), his uncle Frederick III, Duke of Saxe-Gotha (for whom Lord Carnarvon stood proxy), and his great-aunt Sophia Dorothea, Queen in Prussia (for whom Lady Charlotte Edwin stood proxy). George grew into a healthy, reserved and shy child. The family moved to
Leicester Square Leicester Square ( ) is a pedestrianised town square, square in the West End of London, England. It was laid out in 1670 as Leicester Fields, which was named after the recently built Leicester House, Westminster, Leicester House, itself named ...

Leicester Square
, where George and his younger brother Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, were educated together by private tutors. Family letters show that he could read and write in both English and German, as well as comment on political events of the time, by the age of eight. He was the first British monarch to study science systematically.Brooke, pp. 42–44, 55. Apart from chemistry and physics, his lessons included astronomy, mathematics, French, Latin, history, music, geography, commerce, agriculture and constitutional law, along with sporting and social accomplishments such as dancing, fencing and riding. His religious education was wholly
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...

Anglican
. At the age of 10, George took part in a family production of
Joseph Addison Joseph Addison (1 May 1672 – 17 June 1719) was an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. He was the eldest son of The Reverend Lancelot Addison. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend Richard S ...

Joseph Addison
's play '' Cato'' and said in the new prologue: "What, tho' a boy! It may with truth be said, A boy in ''England'' born, in England bred." Historian Romney Sedgwick argued that these lines appear "to be the source of the only historical phrase with which he is associated". King George II disliked the Prince of Wales and took little interest in his grandchildren. However, in 1751, the Prince died unexpectedly from a lung injury at the age of 44, and his son George became
heir apparent An heir apparent, often shortened to heir, is a person who is first in an order of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person; a person who is first in the order of succession but can be displaced by the b ...

heir apparent
to the throne and inherited his father's title of
Duke of Edinburgh Duke of Edinburgh, named after the city of Edinburgh in Scotland, was a substantive title that has been created three times since 1726 for members of the British royal family. It does not include any territorial landholdings and does not produc ...
. Now more interested in his grandson, three weeks later the King created George
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ; la, Princeps Cambriae/Walliae) is a title traditionally given to the heir apparent An heir apparent, often shortened to heir, is a person who is first in an order of succession and cannot be displaced ...

Prince of Wales
. In the spring of 1756, as George approached his eighteenth birthday, the King offered him a grand establishment at
St James's Palace St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in London, the capital of the United Kingdom. The palace gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court, and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Altho ...
, but George refused the offer, guided by his mother and her confidant, , who later served as
prime minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the Cabinet (government), cabinet and the leader of the Minister (government), ministers in the Executive (government), executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary syst ...
. George's mother, now the
Dowager A dowager is a widow or widower who holds a title or property—a "dower Dower is a provision accorded traditionally by a husband or his family, to a wife for her support should she become widowed. It was settlement (law), settled on the br ...
Princess of Wales, preferred to keep George at home where she could imbue him with her strict moral values.


Marriage

In 1759, George was smitten with Lady Sarah Lennox, sister of
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually, it is the highest rank in an army and as such few persons are appointed to it. ...

Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
, but Lord Bute advised against the match and George abandoned his thoughts of marriage. "I am born for the happiness or misery of a great nation," he wrote, "and consequently must often act contrary to my passions." Nevertheless George and his mother, Princess Augusta, resisted attempts by the King to marry George to Princess Sophie Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Sophie married Frederick, Margrave of Bayreuth, instead. The following year, at the age of 22, George succeeded to the throne when his grandfather, George II, died suddenly on 25 October 1760, two weeks before his 77th birthday. The search for a suitable wife intensified: after giving consideration to a number of
protestant Protestantism is a branch of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Na ...
German princesses, George's mother sent Colonel David Graeme with, on her son's behalf, an offer of marriage to Princess
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Sophia Charlotte; 19 May 1744 – 17 November 1818) was List of British royal consorts, Queen of Great Britain and of Ireland as the wife of King George III from their marriage on 8 September 1761 until ...

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
. Charlotte accepted. While a and staff were assembled for Charlotte in London, , the royal
Master of the Horse Master of the Horse is an official position in several European nations. It was more common when most countries in Europe were monarchies, and is of varying prominence today. (Ancient Rome) The original Master of the Horse ( la, Magister Equitu ...
, escorted her from Strelitz to London. The princess arrived in the afternoon of 8 September 1761 and the marriage ceremony was conducted that same evening in the
Chapel Royal The Chapel Royal is an establishment in the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of the sovereign and the British Royal Family. Historically it was a body of priests and singers that travelled with the monarch. The term is now also applie ...
,
St James's Palace St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in London, the capital of the United Kingdom. The palace gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court, and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Altho ...
. A fortnight later on 22 September, both were crowned at
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is an historic, mainly Gothic architecture, Gothic Church (building), church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of ...

Westminster Abbey
. George never took a mistress (in contrast with his grandfather and his sons), and the couple enjoyed a happy marriage until his mental illness struck. (Subscription required). They had 15 children—nine sons and six daughters. In 1762, George purchased Buckingham House (on the site now occupied by
Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace () is a London royal official residence, residence and the administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and roya ...

Buckingham Palace
) for use as a family retreat. His other residences were
Kew Palace Kew Palace is a British royal palace within the grounds of Kew Gardens on the banks of the River Thames. Originally a large complex, few elements of it survive. Dating to 1631 but built atop the undercroft of an earlier building, the main surv ...

Kew Palace
and
Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is a List of British royal residences, royal residence at Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It is strongly associated with the Kingdom of England, English and succeeding British royal family, and ...

Windsor Castle
. St James's Palace was retained for official use. He did not travel extensively and spent his entire life in southern England. In the 1790s, the King and his family took holidays at
Weymouth, Dorset Weymouth is a seaside town in Dorset, on the English Channel coast of England. Situated on a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey, Dorset, River Wey, south of the county town of Dorchester, Dorset, Dorchester, Weymouth had a populatio ...
, which he thus popularised as one of the first seaside resorts in England.


Early reign

George, in his accession speech to Parliament, proclaimed: "Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of Britain." He inserted this phrase into the speech, written by , to demonstrate his desire to distance himself from his German forebears, who were perceived as caring more for Hanover than for Britain. During George III's lengthy reign, Britain was a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises their authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in decision making. Constitutional monarchies dif ...
, ruled by his ministerial government and prominent men in Parliament. Although his accession was at first welcomed by politicians of all parties, the first years of his reign were marked by political instability, largely as a result of disagreements over the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict that involved most of the European Great Powers, and was fought primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Other concurrent conflicts include the French and Indian War (1754–1 ...
. George came to be perceived as favouring
Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of Traditionalist conservatism, traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved in the English cul ...
ministers, which led to his denunciation by the Whigs as an autocrat. On his accession, the
Crown land Crown land (sometimes spelled crownland), also known as royal domain, is a territorial area belonging to the monarch, who personifies the Crown. It is the equivalent of an Fee tail, entailed Estate (land), estate and passes with the monarchy, be ...
s produced relatively little income; most revenue was generated through taxes and excise duties. George surrendered the
Crown Estate The Crown Estate is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western c ...
to Parliamentary control in return for a
civil list A civil list is a list of individuals to whom money is paid by the government, typically for service to the state or as honorary pensions. It is a term especially associated with the United Kingdom and its former colonies of Canada, India, New Zeal ...
annuity for the support of his household and the expenses of civil government. Claims that he used the income to reward supporters with bribes and gifts are disputed by historians who say such claims "rest on nothing but falsehoods put out by disgruntled opposition". Debts amounting to over £3 million over the course of George's reign were paid by Parliament, and the civil list annuity was increased from time to time. He aided the
Royal Academy of Arts The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly in London. Founded in 1768, it has a unique position as an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects. Its purpo ...

Royal Academy of Arts
with large grants from his private funds, and may have donated more than half of his personal income to charity. Of his art collection, the two most notable purchases are
Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , #Pronunciation of name, see below; also known as Jan Vermeer; October 1632 – 15 December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period Painting, painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class, middle-class life. ...
's '' Lady at the Virginals'' and a set of
Canaletto Giovanni Antonio Canal (18 October 1697 – 19 April 1768), commonly known as Canaletto (), was an Italian painter from the Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( vec, Repùbl ...

Canaletto
s, but it is as a collector of books that he is best remembered. The King's Library was open and available to scholars and was the foundation of a new national library. In May 1762, the incumbent Whig government of
Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne and 1st Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne, (21 July 169317 November 1768) was a British British Whig Party, Whig statesman who served as the 4th and 6th Prime Minister of Great Britain, his off ...
, was replaced with one led by the Scottish Tory Lord Bute. Bute's opponents worked against him by spreading the calumny that he was having an affair with the King's mother, and by exploiting
anti-Scottish sentiment Anti-Scottish sentiment is disdain, discrimination, or hatred for Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainla ...
amongst the English.
John Wilkes John Wilkes (17 October 1725 – 26 December 1797) was an English Radicalism (historical), radical journalist and politician, as well as a magistrate, essayist and soldier. He was first elected a Member of Parliament in 1757. In the Middlese ...
, a member of parliament, published ''
The North Briton ''The North Briton'' was a Radicalism (historical), radical newspaper published in 18th-century London. The North Briton also served as the pseudonym of the newspaper's author, used in advertisements, letters to other publications, and handbill ...
'', which was both inflammatory and defamatory in its condemnation of Bute and the government. Wilkes was eventually arrested for
seditious libel Sedition and seditious libel were criminal offences under English common law, and are still criminal offences in Canada. Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection a ...
but he fled to France to escape punishment; he was expelled from the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada. In both of these countries, the Commons holds much more legislative power than the nominally upper house of parliament. T ...

House of Commons
, and found guilty ''
in absentia is Latin for absence. , a legal term, is Latin for "in the absence" or "while absent". may also refer to: * Award in absentia * Declared death in absentia, or simply, death in absentia, legally declared death without a body * Election in absen ...
'' of blasphemy and libel. In 1763, after concluding the Peace of Paris which ended the war, Lord Bute resigned, allowing the Whigs under to return to power. Britain received enormous concessions, including
West Florida West Florida ( es, Florida Occidental) was a region on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North Ame ...
. Britain restored to France lucrative slave-sugar islands in the
West Indies The West Indies is a Subregion#North America, subregion of North America, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that includes 13 independent island country, island countries and 18 dependent territory, ...

West Indies
, including
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe (; ; gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Gwadloup, ) is an archipelago and Overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of France in the Caribbean. It consists of six inhabited islands—Basse-Terre Island, Ba ...
and
Martinique Martinique ( , ; gcf, label=Martinican Creole, Matinik or ; Kalinago language, Kalinago: or ) is an island and an Overseas department and region, overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France. An integral part of ...

Martinique
. France ceded
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
to Britain, in addition to all land between the
Allegheny Mountains The Allegheny Mountain Range (; also spelled Alleghany or Allegany), informally the Alleghenies, is part of the vast Appalachian Mountains, Appalachian Mountain Range of the Eastern United States and Canada and posed a significant barrier to lan ...
and the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system in North America, second only to the Hudson B ...

Mississippi River
, except
New Orleans New Orleans ( , ,New Orleans
Merriam-Webster.
; french: La Nouvelle-Orléans , es, Nuev ...

New Orleans
, which was ceded to Spain. Later that year, the
Royal Proclamation of 1763 The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued by King George III on 7 October 1763. It followed the Treaty of Paris (1763), which formally ended the Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict that involved mo ...

Royal Proclamation of 1763
placed a limit upon the westward expansion of the American colonies and created an
Indian reserve In Canada, an Indian reserve (french: réserve indienne) is specified by the '' Indian Act'' as a "tract of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, that has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a band." In ...
. The Proclamation aimed to divert colonial expansion to the north (to
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia ( ; ; ) is one of the thirteen Provinces and territories of Canada, provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime Canada, Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic Canada, Atlantic provinces. Nova Scoti ...

Nova Scotia
) and to the south (Florida), and protect the British fur trade with the Indians. The Proclamation Line did not bother the majority of settled farmers, but it was unpopular with a vocal minority. This discontent ultimately contributed to conflict between the colonists and the British government. With the American colonists generally unburdened by British taxes, the government thought it appropriate for them to pay towards the defence of the colonies against native uprisings and the possibility of French incursions. The central issue for the colonists was not the amount of taxes but whether Parliament could levy a tax without American approval, for there were no American seats in Parliament. The Americans protested that like all Englishmen they had rights to "
no taxation without representation "No taxation without representation" is a political slogan that originated in the American Revolution, and which expressed one of the primary grievances of the American colonists for Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the No ...
". In 1765, Grenville introduced the Stamp Act, which levied a
stamp duty Stamp duty is a duty (tax), tax that is levied on single property purchases or documents (including, historically, the majority of legal documents such as cheques, receipts, military commissions, marriage licences and land transactions). A phy ...
on every document in the British colonies in North America. Since newspapers were printed on stamped paper, those most affected by the introduction of the duty were the most effective at producing propaganda opposing the tax. Meanwhile, George had become exasperated at Grenville's attempts to reduce the king's prerogatives, and tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade
William Pitt the Elder William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, (15 November 170811 May 1778) was a British statesman of the British Whig Party, Whig group who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1766 to 1768. Historians call him Chatham or William Pitt the El ...
to accept the office of prime minister. After a brief illness, which may have presaged his illnesses to come, George settled on Lord Rockingham to form a ministry, and dismissed Grenville. Lord Rockingham, with the support of Pitt and the King, repealed Grenville's unpopular Stamp Act. Rockingham's government was weak, and he was replaced as prime minister in 1766 by Pitt, whom George created Earl of Chatham. The actions of Lord Chatham and George III in repealing the Act were so popular in America that statues of them both were erected in
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
. Lord Chatham fell ill in 1767, and , took over the government. Grafton did not formally become prime minister until 1768. That year, John Wilkes returned to England, stood as a candidate in the
general election A general election is a political voting election where generally all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation, state, or territory's primary legislative body, and are different from by-election ...
, and came top of the poll in the Middlesex constituency. Wilkes was again expelled from Parliament. He was re-elected and expelled twice more, before the House of Commons resolved that his candidature was invalid and declared the runner-up as the victor. Grafton's government disintegrated in 1770, allowing the Tories led by
Lord North Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (13 April 17325 August 1792), better known by his Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom, courtesy title Lord North, which he used from 1752 to 1790, was 12th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Min ...

Lord North
to return to power. George was deeply devout and spent hours in prayer, but his piety was not shared by his brothers. George was appalled by what he saw as their loose morals. In 1770, his brother
Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn (Henry Frederick;He is called simply "(His Royal Highness) Prince Henry" in the ''London Gazette'8 September 1761Anne Horton. The King considered her inappropriate as a royal bride: she was from a lower
social class A social class is a grouping of people into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes. Membership in a social class can for example be dependent on education, wealth, occupation, inc ...
and German law barred any children of the couple from the Hanoverian succession.Brooke, pp. 272–282; Cannon and Griffiths, p. 498. George insisted on a new law that essentially forbade members of the royal family from legally marrying without the consent of the sovereign. The subsequent bill was unpopular in Parliament, including among George's own ministers, but passed as the
Royal Marriages Act 1772 The Royal Marriages Act 1772 (12 Geo 3 c. 11) was an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which prescribed the conditions under which members of the British royal family could contract a valid marriage, in order to guard aga ...
. Shortly afterwards, another of George's brothers, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, revealed he had been secretly married to Maria, Countess Waldegrave, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Walpole. The news confirmed George's opinion that he had been right to introduce the law: Maria was related to his political opponents. Neither lady was ever received at court. Lord North's government was chiefly concerned with discontent in America. To assuage American opinion most of the custom duties were withdrawn, except for the tea duty, which in George's words was "one tax to keep up the right [to levy taxes]". In 1773, the tea ships moored in Boston Harbor were boarded by colonists and the tea was thrown overboard, an event that became known as the Boston Tea Party. In Britain, opinion hardened against the colonists, with Chatham now agreeing with North that the destruction of the tea was "certainly criminal". With the clear support of Parliament, Lord North introduced measures, which were called the Intolerable Acts by the colonists: the Port of Boston was shut down and the Explanatory charter, charter of Province of Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts was Massachusetts Government Act, altered so that the upper house of the legislature was appointed by the Crown instead of elected by the lower house. Up to this point, in the words of Professor Peter Thomas, George's "hopes were centred on a political solution, and he always bowed to his cabinet's opinions even when sceptical of their success. The detailed evidence of the years from 1763 to 1775 tends to exonerate George III from any real responsibility for the American Revolution." Though both the Americans and older British historians characterised George as a tyrant, in these years he acted as a constitutional monarch supporting the initiatives of his ministers.


American War of Independence

The American War of Independence was the culmination of the civil and political American Revolution resulting from the American Enlightenment. In the 1760s, a series of acts by Parliament was met with resistance in thirteen of Britain's American colonies. In particular they rejected new taxes levied by Parliament, a body in which they had no direct representation. Locally governed by colonial legislatures, the colonies had previously enjoyed a high level of autonomy in their internal affairs and viewed Parliament's acts as a denial of their Rights of Englishmen, rights as Englishmen. Armed conflict between British regulars and colonial militiamen broke out at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775. After Olive Branch Petition, petitions to the Crown for intervention with Parliament were ignored, the rebel leaders were Proclamation of Rebellion, declared traitors by the Crown and a year of fighting ensued. Thomas Paine's published work ''Common Sense'' abrasively referred to George III as "the Royal Brute of Great Britain". The colonies United States Declaration of Independence, declared their independence in July 1776, listing Grievances of the United States Declaration of Independence, twenty-seven grievances against the British king and legislature while asking the support of the populace. Among George's other offenses, the declaration charged, "He has abdicated Government here ... He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people." The gilded equestrian statue of the King in New York was pulled down. The British captured the city in 1776 but lost Boston, and the Saratoga campaign, grand strategic plan of invading from Canada and cutting off New England failed with the surrender of British Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne following the battles of Saratoga. Although Prime Minister
Lord North Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (13 April 17325 August 1792), better known by his Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom, courtesy title Lord North, which he used from 1752 to 1790, was 12th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Min ...

Lord North
was not an ideal war leader, George III managed to give Parliament a sense of purpose to fight, and Lord North was able to keep North ministry, his cabinet together. Lord North's cabinet ministers, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, the Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, and George Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville, Lord George Germain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, however, proved to lack leadership skills suited for their positions, which in turn, aided the American war effort. George III is often accused of obstinately trying to keep Great Britain at war with the revolutionaries in America, despite the opinions of his own ministers. In the words of the British historian Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, George Otto Trevelyan, the King was determined "never to acknowledge the independence of the Americans, and to punish their contumacy by the indefinite prolongation of a war which promised to be eternal." The King wanted to "keep the rebels harassed, anxious, and poor, until the day when, by a natural and inevitable process, discontent and disappointment were converted into penitence and remorse". Later historians defend George by saying in the context of the times no king would willingly surrender such a large territory,Cannon and Griffiths, pp. 510–511. and his conduct was far less ruthless than contemporary monarchs in Europe. After Saratoga, both Parliament and the British people were in favour of the war; recruitment ran at high levels and although political opponents were vocal, they remained a small minority. With the setbacks in America, Lord North asked to transfer power to Lord Chatham, whom he thought more capable, but George refused to do so; he suggested instead that Chatham serve as a subordinate minister in North's administration, but Chatham refused; he died later in the same year. Lord North was allied to the "King's Friends" in Parliament and believed George III had the right to exercise powers. In early 1778, Early modern France, France (Britain's chief rival) signed a Treaty of Alliance (1778), treaty of alliance with the United States and the confrontation soon escalated from "civil war" to something that has been characterized as "world war".Willcox & Arnstein, pp. 161, 165. The French fleet was able to outrun the British naval blockade of the Mediterranean and sailed to North America. The conflict now affected North America, Europe, and India. The United States and France were joined by Enlightenment in Spain, Spain in 1779 and the Dutch Republic, while Britain had no major allies of its own, except for the Loyalists (American Revolution), Loyalists and Germans in the American Revolution#Allies of Great Britain, German auxiliaries. Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, Lord Gower and Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath, Lord Weymouth both resigned from the government. Lord North again requested that he also be allowed to resign, but he stayed in office at George III's insistence. During the summer of 1779, a combined French-Spanish naval fleet threatened to invade England and transport 31,000 French troops across the English Channel. George III said that Britain was confronted by the "most serious crisis the nation ever knew". In August, sixty-six warships entered the English channel, but due to sickness, hunger, and adverse winds, the French-Spanish Armada of 1779, armada lost its nerve, and withdrew, ending the invasion threat. In late 1779, George III advocated sending more British warships and troops, guarding the English Channel, across the Atlantic, to the West Indies. He boldly said: "We must risk something, otherwise we will only vegetate in this war. I own I wish either with spirit to get through it, or with a crash be ruined." In January 1780, 7,000 British troops, under General Sir John Vaughan (British Army officer, died 1795), John Vaughan, were transported to the West Indies. Nonetheless, opposition to the costly war was increasing, and in June 1780 contributed to disturbances in London known as the Gordon riots. As late as the siege of Charleston in 1780, Loyalists could still believe in their eventual victory, as British troops inflicted defeats on the Continental forces at the Battle of Camden and the Battle of Guilford Court House. In late 1781, the news of Lord Cornwallis's surrender at the siege of Yorktown reached London; Lord North's parliamentary support ebbed away and he resigned the following year. The King drafted an abdication notice, which was never delivered. He finally accepted the defeat in North America and authorized peace negotiations. The Peace of Paris (1783), Treaties of Paris, by which Britain recognized the independence of the American states and Spanish Florida, returned Florida to Spain, were signed in 1782 and 1783. In early 1783, George III privately conceded "America is lost!" He reflected that the Northern colonies had developed into Britain's "successful rivals" in commercial trade and fishing. Up to 70,000 Loyalists fled to Canada, the Caribbean, or England after their homes and businesses were looted and destroyed by hostile Americans. When John Adams was appointed United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, American minister to London in 1785, George had become resigned to the new relationship between his country and the former colonies. He told Adams, "I was the last to consent to the separation; but the separation having been made and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States as an independent power."


William Pitt

With the collapse of Lord North's ministry in 1782, the Whig Lord Rockingham became prime minister for the second time, but died within months. The King then appointed Lord Shelburne to replace him. Charles James Fox, however, refused to serve under Shelburne, and demanded the appointment of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland. In 1783, the House of Commons forced Shelburne from office and his government was replaced by the Fox–North Coalition. Portland became prime minister, with Fox and Lord North, as foreign secretary and home secretary respectively. The King disliked Fox intensely, for his politics as well as his character: he thought Fox unprincipled and a bad influence on the Prince of Wales. George III was distressed at having to appoint ministers not of his liking, but the Portland ministry quickly built up a majority in the House of Commons, and could not be displaced easily. He was further dismayed when the government introduced the India Bill, which proposed to reform the government of India by transferring political power from the East India Company to Parliamentary commissioners. Although the King actually favoured greater control over the company, the proposed commissioners were all political allies of Fox. Immediately after the House of Commons passed it, George authorised George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham, Lord Temple to inform the House of Lords that he would regard any peer who voted for the bill as his enemy. The bill was rejected by the Lords; three days later, the Portland ministry was dismissed, and William Pitt the Younger was appointed prime minister, with Temple as his secretary of state. On 17 December 1783, Parliament voted in favour of a motion condemning the influence of the monarch in parliamentary voting as a "high crime" and Temple was forced to resign. Temple's departure destabilised the government, and three months later the government lost its majority and Parliament was dissolved; the subsequent 1784 British general election, election gave Pitt a firm mandate.


Signs of illness

Pitt's appointment was a great victory for George. It proved that the king could appoint prime ministers on the basis of his own interpretation of the public mood without having to follow the choice of the current majority in the House of Commons. Throughout Pitt's ministry, George supported many of Pitt's political aims and created new peers at an unprecedented rate to increase the number of Pitt's supporters in the House of Lords. During and after Pitt's ministry, George was extremely popular in Britain. The British people admired him for his piety and for remaining faithful to his wife. He was fond of his children and was devastated at the death of two of his sons in infancy, in 1782 and 1783 respectively. Nevertheless, he set his children a strict regimen. They were expected to attend rigorous lessons from seven in the morning and to lead lives of religious observance and virtue. When his children strayed from George's principles of righteousness, as his sons did as young adults, he was dismayed and disappointed. By this time, George's health was deteriorating. He had a mental illness characterised by acute mania, which was possibly a symptom of the genetic disease
porphyria Porphyria is a group of liver disorders in which substances called porphyrins build up in the body, negatively affecting the skin or nervous system. The types that affect the nervous system are also known as Porphyria#Acute porphyrias, acute p ...

porphyria
, although this has been questioned: the original authors of the theory, Ida Macalpine and her son Richard Alfred Hunter, Richard Hunter, were "highly selective" in choosing evidence to support their claim. The most likely diagnosis, using more recent techniques, is
bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder characterized by periods of Depression (mood), depression and periods of abnormally elevated Mood (psychology), mood that last from days to weeks each. If the elevat ...

bipolar disorder
. However, a study of samples of the King's hair published in 2005 revealed high levels of arsenic, a cause of metabolic blood disorders and thus a possible trigger for porphyria. The source of the arsenic is not known, but it could have been a component of medicines or cosmetics. The King may have had a brief episode of disease in 1765, and a longer episode began in the summer of 1788. At the end of the parliamentary session, he went to Cheltenham Spa to recuperate. It was the furthest he had ever been from London—just short of —but his condition worsened. In November of that year, he became seriously deranged, sometimes speaking for many hours without pause, causing him to foam at the mouth and his voice to become hoarse. George would frequently repeat himself and write sentences with over 400 words at a time, and his vocabulary became "more complex, creative and colourful", possible symptoms of bipolar disorder. His doctors were largely at a loss to explain his illness, and spurious stories about his condition spread, such as the claim that he shook hands with a tree in the mistaken belief that it was the Frederick William II of Prussia, King of Prussia. Treatment for mental illness was primitive by modern standards; the King's doctors, who included Francis Willis (physician), Francis Willis, treated the King by forcibly restraining him until he was calm, or applying caustic poultices to draw out "evil humours". In the reconvened Parliament, Fox and Pitt wrangled over the terms of a regency during the King's incapacity. While both agreed that it would be most reasonable for the Prince of Wales to act as regent, Fox suggested, to Pitt's consternation, that it was the Prince's absolute right to act on his ill father's behalf with full powers. Pitt, fearing he would be removed from office if the Prince of Wales were empowered, argued that it was for Parliament to nominate a regent, and wanted to restrict the regent's authority. In February 1789, the Regency Bill, authorising the Prince of Wales to act as regent, was introduced and passed in the House of Commons, but before the House of Lords could pass the bill, George III recovered.


Slavery

Over the course of George's reign, a coalition of abolitionists and Atlantic slave trade, Atlantic slave uprisings caused the British public to spurn slavery. According to the historian Andrew Roberts (historian), Andrew Roberts, "George never bought or sold a slave in his life. He never invested in any of the companies that did such a thing. He signed legislation to abolish slavery." George wrote a document in the 1750s "denouncing all of the arguments for slavery, and calling them an execration and ridiculous and 'absurd'," but the King and his son, the William IV, Duke of Clarence, supported the efforts of the London Society of West India Planters and Merchants to delay the abolition of the British slave trade for almost 20 years. Pitt conversely wished to see slavery abolished but, because the cabinet was divided and the King was in the pro-slavery camp, Pitt decided to refrain from making abolition official government policy. Instead, he worked toward abolition in an individual capacity. On 7 November 1775, during the American War of Independence, John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, John Murray, Lord Dunmore, issued a proclamation that freed slaves of Rebel masters who would enlist to put down the colonial rebellion. Dunmore was the last Royal Governor of Virginia, appointed by King George III in July 1771. Dunmore's Proclamation inspired slaves to escape from captivity and fight for the British. On 30 June 1779, George III's Commanding General Henry Clinton (British Army officer, born 1730), Henry Clinton broadened Dunmore's proclamation with his Philipsburg Proclamation. For all colonial slaves who fled their Rebel masters, Clinton forbade their recapture and resale, giving them protection by the British military. Approximately 20,000 freed slaves joined the British, fighting for George III. In 1783, given British certificates of freedom, 3,000 former slaves, including their families, settled in
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia ( ; ; ) is one of the thirteen Provinces and territories of Canada, provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime Canada, Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic Canada, Atlantic provinces. Nova Scoti ...

Nova Scotia
. Between 1791 and 1800, almost 400,000 Africans were shipped to the Americas, by 1,340 slaving voyages, mounted from British ports, including Liverpool and Bristol. On 25 March 1807 George III signed into law ''Slave Trade Act 1807, An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade'', under which the transatlantic slave trade was banned in the British Empire.


French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

After George's recovery, his popularity, and that of Pitt, continued to increase at the expense of Fox and the Prince of Wales. His humane and understanding treatment of two insane assailants, Margaret Nicholson in 1786 and John Frith (assailant), John Frith in 1790, contributed to his popularity. James Hadfield's failed attempt to shoot the King in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on 15 May 1800 was not political in origin but motivated by the apocalyptic delusions of Hadfield and Bannister Truelock. George seemed unperturbed by the incident, so much so that he fell asleep in the interval. The French Revolution of 1789, in which the French monarchy had been overthrown, worried many British landowners. France declared war on Great Britain in 1793; in response to the crisis, George allowed Pitt to increase taxes, raise armies, and suspend the right of ''habeas corpus''. The War of the First Coalition, First Coalition to oppose revolutionary France, which included Austria, Prussia, and Spain, broke up in 1795 when Prussia and Spain made separate peace with France. The War of the Second Coalition, Second Coalition, which included Austria, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, was defeated in 1800. Only Great Britain was left fighting Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Consulate, First Consul of the French First Republic, French Republic. A brief lull in hostilities allowed Pitt to concentrate effort on Ireland, where there had been an uprising and attempted French landing in 1798. In 1800, the British and Irish Parliaments passed an Acts of Union 1800, Act of Union that took effect on 1 January 1801 and united Great Britain and Ireland into a single state, known as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". George used the opportunity to abandon the title "king of France", which British claims to the French throne, English and British sovereigns had maintained since the reign of Edward III.Weir, p. 286. It was suggested that George adopt the title "British Emperor, Emperor of the British Isles", but he refused. As part of his Irish policy, Pitt planned to remove certain Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom, legal disabilities that applied to Roman Catholicism in the United Kingdom, Roman Catholics. George III claimed that to emancipate Catholics would be to violate his coronation oath, in which sovereigns promise to maintain Protestantism. Faced with opposition to his religious reform policies from both the King and the British public, Pitt threatened to resign. At about the same time, the King had a relapse of his previous illness, which he blamed on worry over the Catholic question. On 14 March 1801, Pitt was formally replaced by the Speaker of the House of Commons (United Kingdom), Speaker of the House of Commons, Henry Addington. Addington opposed emancipation, instituted annual accounts, abolished income tax and began a programme of disarmament. In October 1801, he made peace with the French, and in 1802 signed the Treaty of Amiens. George did not consider the peace with France as real; in his view it was an "experiment". The war resumed in 1803, but public opinion distrusted Addington to lead the nation in war, and instead favoured Pitt. An invasion of England by Napoleon seemed imminent, and a massive volunteer movement arose to defend England against the French. George's review of 27,000 volunteers in Hyde Park, London, on 26 and 28 October 1803 and at the height of the invasion scare, attracted an estimated 500,000 spectators on each day. ''The Times'' said: "The enthusiasm of the multitude was beyond all expression." A courtier wrote on 13 November that "The King is really prepared to take the field in case of attack, his beds are ready and he can move at half an hour's warning." George wrote to his friend Richard Hurd (bishop), Bishop Hurd, "We are here in daily expectation that Bonaparte will attempt his threatened invasion ... Should his troops effect a landing, I shall certainly put myself at the head of mine, and my other armed subjects, to repel them." After Admiral Lord Nelson's famous naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, the possibility of invasion was extinguished. In 1804, George's recurrent illness returned; after his recovery, Addington resigned and Pitt regained power. Pitt sought to appoint Fox to his ministry, but George refused. Lord Grenville perceived an injustice to Fox, and refused to join the new ministry. Pitt concentrated on forming a coalition with Austria, Russia, and Sweden. This War of the Third Coalition, Third Coalition, however, met the same fate as the First and Second Coalitions, collapsing in 1805. The setbacks in Europe took a toll on Pitt's health, and he died in 1806, reopening the question of who should serve in the ministry. Grenville became Prime Minister, and his "Ministry of All the Talents" included Fox. Grenville pushed through the Slave Trade Act 1807, which passed both houses of Parliament with large majorities. The King was conciliatory towards Fox, after being forced to capitulate over his appointment. After Fox's death in September 1806, the King and ministry were in open conflict. To boost recruitment, the ministry proposed a measure in February 1807 whereby Roman Catholics would be allowed to serve in all ranks of the armed forces. George instructed them not only to drop the measure, but also to agree never to set up such a measure again. The ministers agreed to drop the measure then pending, but refused to bind themselves in the future. They were dismissed and replaced by William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, as the nominal Prime Minister, with actual power being held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Spencer Perceval. Parliament was dissolved, and the 1807 United Kingdom general election, subsequent election gave the ministry a strong majority in the House of Commons. George III made no further major political decisions during his reign; the replacement of Portland by Perceval in 1809 was of little real significance.


Final years, illnesses and death

In late 1810, at the height of his popularity, King George, already virtually blind with cataracts and in pain from rheumatism, suffered a relapse into his mental disorder and became dangerously ill. In his view the malady had been triggered by stress over the death of his youngest and favourite daughter, Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom, Princess Amelia. The princess's nurse reported that "the scenes of distress and crying every day... were melancholy beyond description." George accepted the need for the Regency Act 1811, and the Prince of Wales (later George IV) acted as regent for the remainder of the King's life. Despite signs of a recovery in May 1811, by the end of the year George III had become permanently insane, and lived in seclusion at Windsor Castle until his death. Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was Assassination of Spencer Perceval, assassinated in 1812 and was replaced by Lord Liverpool. Liverpool oversaw British victory in the Napoleonic Wars. The subsequent Congress of Vienna led to significant territorial gains for Hanover, which was elevated from an Electorate of Hanover, electorate to a Kingdom of Hanover, kingdom. Meanwhile, George's health deteriorated. He developed dementia, and became completely blind and increasingly deaf. He was incapable of knowing or understanding that he was declared King of Hanover in 1814, or that his wife died in 1818. At Christmas 1819, he spoke nonsense for 58 hours, and for the last few weeks of his life was unable to walk. He died of pneumonia, at
Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is a List of British royal residences, royal residence at Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It is strongly associated with the Kingdom of England, English and succeeding British royal family, and ...

Windsor Castle
at 8:38 pm on 29 January 1820, six days after the death of his fourth son Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn.Black, p. 410. His favourite son, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, was with him. George III lay in state for two days, and his funeral and interment took place on 16 February in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.


Legacy

George was succeeded in turn by two of his sons, George IV and William IV of the United Kingdom, William IV, who both died without surviving legitimate children, leaving the throne to Queen Victoria, Victoria, the only legitimate child of his fourth son Prince Edward. George III lived for 81 years and 239 days and reigned for 59 years and 96 days: both his life and his reign were longer than those of any of his predecessors and subsequent kings; only queens Victoria and Elizabeth II List of British monarchs by longevity, lived and List of monarchs in Britain by length of reign, reigned longer. George III was dubbed "Farmer George" by satirists, at first to mock his interest in mundane matters rather than politics, but later to portray him as a man of the people, contrasting his homely thrift with his son's grandiosity. Under George III, the British Agricultural Revolution reached its peak and great advances were made in fields such as science and industry. There was unprecedented growth in the rural population, which in turn provided much of the workforce for the concurrent Industrial Revolution. George's collection of mathematical and scientific instruments is now owned by King's College London but housed in the Science Museum, London, to which it has been on long-term loan since 1927. He had the King's Observatory built in Richmond-upon-Thames for his own observations of the 1769 transit of Venus. When William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781, he at first named it ''Georgium Sidus'' (George's Star) after the King, who later funded the construction and maintenance of Herschel's 1785 40-foot telescope, which at the time was the biggest ever built. George III hoped that "the tongue of malice may not paint my intentions in those colours she admires, nor the sycophant extoll me beyond what I deserve" but, in the popular mind, George III has been both demonised and praised. While very popular at the start of his reign, by the mid-1770s George had lost the loyalty of revolutionary American colonists, though it has been estimated that as many as half of the colonists remained loyal. The grievances in the United States Declaration of Independence were presented as "repeated injuries and usurpations" that he had committed to establish an "absolute Tyranny" over the colonies. The declaration's wording has contributed to the American public's perception of George as a tyrant. Contemporary accounts of George III's life fall into two camps: one demonstrating "attitudes dominant in the latter part of the reign, when the King had become a revered symbol of national resistance to French ideas and French power", while the other "derived their views of the King from the bitter partisan strife of the first two decades of the reign, and they expressed in their works the views of the opposition". Building on the latter of these two assessments, British historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such as Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, Trevelyan and Erskine May, promoted hostile interpretations of George III's life. However, in the mid-twentieth century the work of Lewis Bernstein Namier, Lewis Namier, who thought George was "much maligned", started a re-evaluation of the man and his reign. Scholars of the later twentieth century, such as Herbert Butterfield, Butterfield and Pares, and Macalpine and Hunter, are inclined to treat George sympathetically, seeing him as a victim of circumstance and illness. Butterfield rejected the arguments of his Victorian predecessors with withering disdain: "Erskine May must be a good example of the way in which an historian may fall into error through an excess of brilliance. His capacity for synthesis, and his ability to dovetail the various parts of the evidence ... carried him into a more profound and complicated elaboration of error than some of his more pedestrian predecessors ... he inserted a doctrinal element into his history which, granted his original aberrations, was calculated to project the lines of his error, carrying his work still further from centrality or truth." In pursuing war with the American colonists, George III believed he was defending the right of an elected Parliament to levy taxes, rather than seeking to expand his own power or prerogatives. In the opinion of modern scholars, during the long reign of George III, the monarchy continued to lose its political power and grew as the embodiment of national morality.


Titles, styles, honours and arms


Titles and styles

* 4 June 1738 – 31 March 1751: ''His Royal Highness'' Prince George * 31 March 1751 – 20 April 1751: ''His Royal Highness'' The Duke of Edinburgh * 20 April 1751 – 25 October 1760: ''His Royal Highness'' The Prince of Wales * 25 October 1760 – 29 January 1820: ''His Majesty'' The King In Great Britain, George III used the official Style (manner of address), style "George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Fidei defensor, Defender of the Faith, and so forth". In 1801, when Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain united with Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland, he dropped the title of king of France, which had been used for every English monarch since Edward III of England, Edward III's British claims to the French throne, claim to the French throne in the medieval period. His style became "George the Third, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith."Brooke, p. 390. In Germany, he was "Duke of Braunschweig, Brunswick and Lüneburg, Arch-Treasurer and
Prince-elector The prince-electors (german: Kurfürst pl. , cz, Kurfiřt, la, Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. From the 13th century ...
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, dissolution i ...
" (''Herzog von Braunschweig und Lüneburg, Erzschatzmeister und Kurfürst des Heiligen Römischen Reiches'') until the end of the empire in 1806. He then continued as duke until the Congress of Vienna declared him "King of Hanover" in 1814.


Honours

* : Order of the Garter, Royal Knight of the Garter, ''22 June 1749''Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) ''The Knights of England'', I, London
p. 44
* Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland: Founder of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick, ''5 February 1783''Shaw
p. ix


Arms

Before his succession, George was granted the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, royal arms differenced by a Label (heraldry), label of five points Azure (heraldry), Azure, the centre point bearing a fleur-de-lis Or (heraldry), Or on 27 July 1749. Upon his father's death, and along with the dukedom of Edinburgh and the position of heir-apparent, he inherited his difference of a plain label of three points Argent. In an additional difference, the crown of Charlemagne was not usually depicted on the Coat of arms of the Prince of Wales, arms of the heir, only on the Sovereign's. From his succession until 1800, George bore the royal arms: Quartering (heraldry), Quarterly, I Gules three lions Attitude (heraldry)#Passant, passant guardant in Pale (heraldry), pale Or (Royal Arms of England, for England) Impalement (heraldry), impaling Or a lion Attitude (heraldry)#Rampant, rampant within a Orle (heraldry)#Tressure, tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (Royal coat of arms of Scotland, for Scotland); II Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or (for France); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (Coat of arms of Ireland, for Ireland); IV Division of the field, tierced per pale and per chevron (for Hanover), I Gules two lions passant guardant Or (for Brunswick), II Or a Variation of the field#Semé, semy of hearts Gules a lion rampant Azure (for Lüneburg), III Gules a horse Attitude (heraldry)#Courant, courant Argent (Saxon Steed, for Saxony), overall an escutcheon Gules charged with the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, crown of Charlemagne Or (for the dignity of Archtreasurer of the Holy Roman Empire). Following the Acts of Union 1800, the royal arms were amended, dropping the French quartering. They became: Quarterly, I and IV England; II Scotland; III Ireland; overall an escutcheon of Hanover surmounted by an electoral bonnet. In 1816, after the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Electorate of Hanover became a kingdom, the electoral bonnet was changed to a crown. File:Coat of arms of George William Frederick, Duke of Edinburgh.svg, Coat of arms from 1749 to 1751 File:Coat of Arms of the Hanoverian Princes of Wales (1714-1760).svg, Coat of arms from 1751 to 1760 as Prince of Wales File:Coat of arms of Great Britain (1714–1801).svg, Coat of arms used from 1760 to 1801 as King of Great Britain File:Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1801-1816).svg, Coat of arms used from 1801 to 1816 as King of the United Kingdom File:Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg, Coat of arms used from 1816 until death, also as King of Hanover


Issue


Ancestry


See also

* Cultural depictions of George III * List of mentally ill monarchs


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * A compilation of essays encompassing the major assessments of George III up to 1964 * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

*
Online 90-minute video lecture given at Ohio State in 2006; requires Real Player
* * * * * * * * * * * * British views *


External links

*
Georgian Papers Programme

George III papers, including references to madhouses and insanity from the Historic Psychiatry Collection, Menninger Archives, Kansas Historical Society
* * , - {{DEFAULTSORT:George 03 Of The United Kingdom George III of the United Kingdom, 1738 births 1820 deaths 18th-century British people 19th-century British monarchs 18th-century Irish monarchs Blind people from England Blind royalty and nobility British art collectors British book and manuscript collectors British people of the American Revolution Burials at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle Deafblind people from the United Kingdom Deaths from pneumonia in England Dukes of Bremen and Verden Dukes of Edinburgh Dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg English people with disabilities English pretenders to the French throne Heirs to the British throne Kings of Hanover Knights of the Garter Monarchs of Great Britain Monarchs of the Isle of Man Monarchs of the United Kingdom People from Westminster Prince-electors of Hanover Princes of Great Britain Princes of Wales Regency era Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Children of Frederick, Prince of Wales