The Info List - King George III

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George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738[c] – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain
King of Great Britain
and King of Ireland
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
Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland until his death. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick- Lüneburg
("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
before becoming King of Hanover
King of Hanover
on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in England, spoke English as his first language,[1] and never visited Hanover.[2] His life and with it his reign, which were longer than those of any of his predecessors, 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, 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. Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon
at the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
in 1815. In the later part of his life, George III had recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he had the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George III's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent. On George III's death, the Prince Regent succeeded his father as George IV. Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a "kaleidoscope of changing views" that have depended heavily on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them.[3] Until it was reassessed in the second half of the 20th century, his reputation in the United States was one of a tyrant; and in Britain he became "the scapegoat for the failure of imperialism".[4]


1 Early life 2 Marriage 3 Early reign 4 American War of Independence 5 Constitutional struggle 6 William Pitt 7 French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 8 Later life 9 Legacy 10 Titles, styles and arms

10.1 Titles and styles 10.2 Arms

11 Issue 12 Ancestry 13 See also 14 Notes 15 References

15.1 Bibliography

16 Further reading 17 External links

Early life

George (right) with his brother Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, and their tutor, Francis Ayscough, later Dean of Bristol, c. 1749

George was born in London at Norfolk House
Norfolk House
in St James's Square. He was the grandson of King George II, and the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. As Prince George was born two months prematurely and he was thought unlikely to survive, he was baptised the same day by Thomas Secker, who was both Rector of St James's and Bishop of Oxford.[5] One month later, he was publicly baptised at Norfolk House, again by Secker. His godparents were the King of Sweden (for whom Lord Baltimore stood proxy), his uncle the Duke of Saxe-Gotha (for whom Lord Carnarvon stood proxy) and his great-aunt the Queen of Prussia (for whom Lady Charlotte Edwin stood proxy).[6] George grew into a healthy but reserved and shy child. The family moved to 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.[7] He was the first British monarch to study science systematically. 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.[8] At age 10 George took part in a family production of 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."[9] Historian Romney Sedgwick argued that these lines appear "to be the source of the only historical phrase with which he is associated".[10] George's grandfather, King George II, disliked the Prince of Wales, and took little interest in his grandchildren. However, in 1751 the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
died unexpectedly from a lung injury, and George became heir apparent to the throne. He inherited his father's title of Duke of Edinburgh. Now more interested in his grandson, three weeks later the King created George Prince of Wales[11][12] (the title is not automatically acquired).

Pastel portrait of George as Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
by Jean-Étienne Liotard, 1754

In the spring of 1756, as George approached his eighteenth birthday, the King offered him a grand establishment at St James's Palace, but George refused the offer, guided by his mother and her confidant, Lord Bute, who would later serve as Prime Minister.[13] George's mother, now the Dowager
Princess of Wales, preferred to keep George at home where she could imbue him with her strict moral values.[14][15] Marriage In 1759, George was smitten with Lady Sarah Lennox, sister of the 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."[16] Nevertheless, attempts by the King to marry George to Princess Sophie Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel were resisted by him and his mother;[17] Sophie married the Margrave of Bayreuth instead.[18] 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. On 8 September 1761 in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, the King married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whom he met on their wedding day.[d] A fortnight later on 22 September both were crowned at Westminster Abbey. George remarkably never took a mistress (in contrast with his grandfather and his sons), and the couple enjoyed a genuinely happy marriage until his mental illness struck.[1][9] They had 15 children—nine sons and six daughters. In 1762, George purchased Buckingham House (on the site now occupied by Buckingham Palace) for use as a family retreat.[20] His other residences were Kew and Windsor Castle. St James's Palace
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,[21] which he thus popularised as one of the first seaside resorts in England.[22] Early reign Further information: Great Britain
Great Britain
in the Seven Years' War George, in his accession speech to Parliament, proclaimed: "Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of Britain."[23] He inserted this phrase into the speech, written by Lord Hardwicke, to demonstrate his desire to distance himself from his German forebears, who were perceived as caring more for Hanover than for Britain.[24] Although his accession was at first welcomed by politicians of all parties,[e] the first years of his reign were marked by political instability, largely generated as a result of disagreements over the Seven Years' War.[26] George was also perceived as favouring Tory ministers, which led to his denunciation by the Whigs as an autocrat.[1] On his accession, the Crown lands produced relatively little income; most revenue was generated through taxes and excise duties. George surrendered the Crown Estate to Parliamentary control in return for a civil list annuity for the support of his household and the expenses of civil government.[27] Claims that he used the income to reward supporters with bribes and gifts[28] are disputed by historians who say such claims "rest on nothing but falsehoods put out by disgruntled opposition".[29] 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.[30] He aided the Royal Academy of Arts
Royal Academy of Arts
with large grants from his private funds,[31] and may have donated more than half of his personal income to charity.[32] Of his art collection, the two most notable purchases are Johannes Vermeer's Lady at the Virginals and a set of Canalettos, but it is as a collector of books that he is best remembered.[33] The King's Library
King's Library
was open and available to scholars and was the foundation of a new national library.[34]

George III by Allan Ramsay, 1762

In May 1762, the incumbent Whig government of the Duke of Newcastle 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 prejudices amongst the English.[35] John Wilkes, a member of parliament, published The North Briton, which was both inflammatory and defamatory in its condemnation of Bute and the government. Wilkes was eventually arrested for seditious libel but he fled to France to escape punishment; he was expelled from the House of Commons, and found guilty in absentia of blasphemy and libel.[36] In 1763, after concluding the Peace of Paris which ended the war, Lord Bute resigned, allowing the Whigs under George Grenville
George Grenville
to return to power. Later that year, the Royal Proclamation of 1763
Royal Proclamation of 1763
placed a limit upon the westward expansion of the American colonies. The Proclamation aimed to divert colonial expansion to the north (to Nova Scotia) and to the south (Florida). The Proclamation Line did not bother the majority of settled farmers, but it was unpopular with a vocal minority and ultimately contributed to conflict between the colonists and the British government.[37] 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.[f] 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.[40] The Americans protested that like all Englishmen they had rights to "no taxation without representation". In 1765, Grenville introduced the Stamp Act, which levied a stamp duty 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.[41] Meanwhile, the King had become exasperated at Grenville's attempts to reduce the King's prerogatives, and tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade William Pitt the Elder to accept the office of Prime Minister.[42] After a brief illness, which may have presaged his illnesses to come, George settled on Lord Rockingham to form a ministry, and dismissed Grenville.[43] Lord Rockingham, with the support of Pitt and the King, repealed Grenville's unpopular Stamp Act, but his government was weak and he was replaced 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.[44] Lord Chatham fell ill in 1767, and the Duke of Grafton took over the government, although he did not formally become Prime Minister until 1768. That year, John Wilkes
John Wilkes
returned to England, stood as a candidate in the general election, and came top of the poll in the Middlesex constituency. Wilkes was again expelled from Parliament. Wilkes 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.[45] Grafton's government disintegrated in 1770, allowing the Tories led by Lord North to return to power.[46]

Portrait by Johann Zoffany, 1771

George was deeply devout and spent hours in prayer,[47] 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, was exposed as an adulterer, and the following year Cumberland married a young widow, Anne Horton. The King considered her inappropriate as a royal bride: she was from a lower social class and German law barred any children of the couple from the Hanoverian succession. 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. Shortly afterward, 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.[48] 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]".[49] In 1773, the tea ships moored in Boston Harbor
Boston Harbor
were boarded by colonists and the tea 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".[50] With the clear support of Parliament, Lord North introduced measures, which were called the Intolerable Acts
Intolerable Acts
by the colonists: the Port of Boston
Port of Boston
was shut down and the charter of Massachusetts was altered so that the upper house of the legislature was appointed by the Crown instead of elected by the lower house.[51] 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."[52] Though the Americans characterised George as a tyrant, in these years he acted as a constitutional monarch supporting the initiatives of his ministers.[53] American War of Independence Main articles: American Revolution
American Revolution
and American Revolutionary War The American War of Independence was the culmination of the civil and political American Revolution
American Revolution
resulting from the American Enlightenment. Brought to a head over the lack of American representation in Parliament, which was seen as a denial of their rights as Englishmen and often popularly focused on direct taxes levied by Parliament on the colonies without their consent, the colonists resisted the imposition of direct rule after the Boston Tea Party. Creating self-governing provinces, they circumvented the British ruling apparatus in each colony by 1774. Armed conflict between British regulars and colonial militiamen broke out at the Battles of Lexington and Concord
Battles of Lexington and Concord
in April 1775. After petitions to the Crown for intervention with Parliament were ignored, the rebel leaders were declared traitors by the Crown and a year of fighting ensued. The colonies declared their independence in July 1776, listing grievances against the British king and legislature while asking the support of the populace. Among George's other offences, 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 George III in New York was pulled down.[54] The British captured the city in 1776, but lost Boston, and the grand strategic plan of invading from Canada and cutting off New England failed with the surrender of the British Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne
John Burgoyne
at the Battle of Saratoga. 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.[55] In the words of the Victorian author George 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."[56] 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".[57] However, more recent historians defend George by saying in the context of the times no king would willingly surrender such a large territory,[9][58] and his conduct was far less ruthless than contemporary monarchs in Europe.[59] 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.[9][60] With the setbacks in America, Prime Minister 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 Lord North's administration, but Chatham refused to co-operate. He died later in the same year.[61] In early 1778, France (Britain's chief rival) signed a treaty of alliance with the United States and the conflict escalated. The United States and France were soon joined by Spain and the Dutch Republic, while Britain had no major allies of its own. Lord Gower and 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.[62] Opposition to the costly war was increasing, and in June 1780 contributed to disturbances in London known as the Gordon riots.[63] As late as the Siege of Charleston
Siege of Charleston
in 1780, Loyalists could still believe in their eventual victory, as British troops inflicted heavy defeats on the Continental forces at the Battle of Camden
Battle of Camden
and the Battle of Guilford Court House.[64] In late 1781, the news of Lord Cornwallis's surrender at the Siege of Yorktown
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,[58][65] finally accepted the defeat in North America, and authorised peace negotiations. The Treaties of Paris, by which Britain recognised the independence of the American states and returned Florida to Spain, were signed in 1782 and 1783.[66] When John Adams was appointed 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."[67] Constitutional struggle 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 the Duke of Portland. In 1783, the House of Commons forced Shelburne from office and his government was replaced by the Fox–North Coalition. The Duke of Portland became Prime Minister, with Fox and Lord North, as Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary respectively.[9]

In A new way to pay the National Debt (1786), James Gillray caricatured King George III and Queen Charlotte awash with treasury funds to cover royal debts, with Pitt handing him another money bag.

The King disliked Fox intensely, for his politics as well as his character; he thought Fox was unprincipled and a bad influence on the Prince of Wales.[68] 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
East India Company
to Parliamentary commissioners.[69] Although the King actually favoured greater control over the Company, the proposed commissioners were all political allies of Fox.[70] Immediately after the House of Commons passed it, George authorised 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
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 election gave Pitt a firm mandate.[9] William Pitt

The Three Youngest Daughters of King George III by John Singleton Copley, c. 1785

Gold guinea of George III, 1789

For George III, Pitt's appointment was a great victory. It proved that he was able to 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.[71] During and after Pitt's ministry, George III was extremely popular in Britain.[72] The British people admired him for his piety, and for remaining faithful to his wife.[73] He was fond of his children, and was devastated at the death of two of his sons in infancy in 1782 and 1783 respectively.[74] 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.[75] When his children strayed from George's own principles of righteousness, as his sons did as young adults, he was dismayed and disappointed.[76] 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,[77] although this has been questioned.[78][79] A study of samples of the King's hair published in 2005 revealed high levels of arsenic, a possible trigger for the disease. The source of the arsenic is not known, but it could have been a component of medicines or cosmetics.[80] The King may have had a brief episode of disease in 1765, but a longer episode began in the summer of 1788. At the end of the parliamentary session, he went to Cheltenham Spa
Cheltenham Spa
to recuperate. It was the furthest he had ever been from London—just short of 100 miles (150 km)—but his condition worsened. In November he became seriously deranged, sometimes speaking for many hours without pause, causing him to foam at the mouth and making his voice hoarse. 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 King of Prussia.[81] Treatment for mental illness was primitive by modern standards, and the King's doctors, who included Francis Willis, treated the King by forcibly restraining him until he was calm, or applying caustic poultices to draw out "evil humours".[82] 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 George III's eldest son and heir apparent, the Prince of Wales, to act as regent, to Pitt's consternation Fox suggested that it was the Prince of Wales'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
Prince of Wales
were empowered, argued that it was for Parliament to nominate a regent, and wanted to restrict the regent's authority.[83] In February 1789, the Regency Bill, authorising the Prince of Wales
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.[84] French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

Portrait by Sir William Beechey, 1799/1800

Caricature by James Gillray
James Gillray
of George holding Napoleon
in the palm of his hand, 1803

After George's recovery, his popularity, and that of Pitt, continued to increase at the expense of Fox and the Prince of Wales.[85] His humane and understanding treatment of two insane assailants, Margaret Nicholson in 1786 and John Frith in 1790, contributed to his popularity.[86] James Hadfield's failed attempt to shoot the King in the Drury Lane Theatre 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.[87] The French Revolution
French Revolution
of 1789, in which the French monarchy had been overthrown, worried many British landowners. France declared war on Great Britain
Great Britain
in 1793; in the war attempt, George allowed Pitt to increase taxes, raise armies, and suspend the right of habeas corpus. The 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.[88] The Second Coalition, which included Austria, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, was defeated in 1800. Only Great Britain
Great Britain
was left fighting Napoleon
Bonaparte, the First Consul of the 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.[89] In 1800, the British and Irish Parliaments passed an 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 drop the title "king of France", which English and British Sovereigns had maintained since the reign of Edward III.[90] It was suggested that George adopt the title "Emperor of the British Isles", but he refused.[9] As part of his Irish policy, Pitt planned to remove certain legal disabilities that applied to Roman Catholics. George III claimed that to emancipate Catholics would be to violate his coronation oath, in which Sovereigns promise to maintain Protestantism.[91] Faced with opposition to his religious reform policies from both the King and the British public, Pitt threatened to resign.[92] At about the same time, the King had a relapse of his previous illness, which he blamed on worry over the Catholic question.[93] On 14 March 1801, Pitt was formally replaced by the 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.[94] George did not consider the peace with France as real; in his view it was an "experiment".[95] In 1803, the war resumed 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.[96] The Times
The Times
said, "The enthusiasm of the multitude was beyond all expression."[97] 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."[98] George wrote to his friend 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."[99] After Admiral Lord Nelson's famous naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, the possibility of invasion was extinguished.[100]

In A Kick at the Broad-Bottoms! (1807), James Gillray
James Gillray
caricatured George's dismissal of the Ministry of All the Talents.

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 III refused. Lord Grenville perceived an injustice to Fox, and refused to join the new ministry.[9] Pitt concentrated on forming a coalition with Austria, Russia, and Sweden. This 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. Lord Grenville became Prime Minister, and his "Ministry of All the Talents" included Fox. 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.[101] They were dismissed and replaced by the 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 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 the Duke of Portland by Perceval in 1809 was of little actual significance.[102] Later life

Engraving by Henry Meyer of George III in later life

In late 1810, at the height of his popularity,[103] already virtually blind with cataracts and in pain from rheumatism, George became dangerously ill. In his view the malady had been triggered by stress over the death of his youngest and favourite daughter, Princess Amelia.[104] The Princess's nurse reported that "the scenes of distress and crying every day ... were melancholy beyond description."[105] He accepted the need for the Regency Act of 1811,[106] and the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
acted as Regent for the remainder of George III's life. Despite signs of a recovery in May 1811, by the end of the year George had become permanently insane and lived in seclusion at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
until his death.[107] Prime Minister Spencer Perceval
Spencer Perceval
was assassinated in 1812 and was replaced by Lord Liverpool. Liverpool oversaw British victory in the Napoleonic Wars. The subsequent Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
led to significant territorial gains for Hanover, which was upgraded from an electorate to a kingdom. Meanwhile, George's health deteriorated. He developed dementia, and became completely blind and increasingly deaf. He was incapable of knowing or understanding either that he was declared King of Hanover in 1814, or that his wife died in 1818.[108] At Christmas 1819, he spoke nonsense for 58 hours, and for the last few weeks of his life was unable to walk.[109] He died at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
at 8:38 pm on 29 January 1820, six days after the death of his fourth son, the Duke of Kent. His favourite son, Frederick, Duke of York, was with him.[110] George III was buried on 16 February in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.[111][112] George was succeeded by two of his sons George IV
George IV
and William IV, who both died without surviving legitimate children, leaving the throne to the only legitimate child of the Duke of Kent, Victoria, the last monarch of the House of Hanover. Legacy 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. Only Victoria and Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
have since lived and reigned longer.

Extract from Observations on the Transit of Venus, a manuscript notebook from the collections of George III, showing George, Charlotte and those attending them.

George III was dubbed "Farmer George" by satirists, at first to mock his interest in mundane matters rather than politics, but later to contrast his homely thrift with his son's grandiosity and to portray him as a man of the people.[113] 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.[114] 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
King's Observatory
built in Richmond-upon-Thames
for his own observations of the 1769 transit of Venus. When William Herschel
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 was the biggest ever built at the time. 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",[115] 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,[116] though it has been estimated that as many as half of the colonists remained loyal.[117] The grievances in the United States Declaration of Independence
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".[118] Building on the latter of these two assessments, British historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such as Trevelyan and Erskine May, promoted hostile interpretations of George III's life. However, in the mid-twentieth century the work of Lewis Namier, who thought George was "much maligned", started a re-evaluation of the man and his reign.[119] Scholars of the later twentieth century, such as Butterfield and Pares, and Macalpine and Hunter,[120] 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."[121] 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.[122] 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.[9] Titles, styles and arms Titles and styles

4 June 1738 – 31 March 1751: His Royal Highness Prince George[123] 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 "George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and so forth". In 1801, when Great Britain united with Ireland, he dropped the title of king of France, which had been used for every English monarch since Edward III's claim to the French throne in the medieval period.[90] 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."[124] In Germany, he was "Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg, Archtreasurer
and Prince-elector
of the Holy Roman Empire" 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.[124] Arms Before his succession, George was granted the royal arms differenced by a label of five points Azure, the centre point bearing a fleur-de-lis 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 arms of the heir, only on the Sovereign's.[125] From his succession until 1800, George bore the royal arms: Quarterly, I Gules
three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England) impaling Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules
(for Scotland); II Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or (for France); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent
(for Ireland); IV tierced per pale and per chevron (for Hanover), I Gules
two lions passant guardant Or (for Brunswick), II Or a semy of hearts Gules
a lion rampant Azure (for Lüneburg), III Gules
a horse courant Argent
(for Saxony), overall an escutcheon Gules
charged with the crown of Charlemagne
Or (for the dignity of Archtreasurer
of the Holy Roman Empire).[126][127] 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.[128] In 1816, after the Electorate of Hanover became a kingdom, the electoral bonnet was changed to a crown.[129]

Coat of arms from 1749 to 1751

Coat of arms from 1751 to 1760 as Prince of Wales

Coat of arms used from 1760 to 1801 as King of Great Britain

Coat of arms used from 1801 to 1816 as King of the United Kingdom

Coat of arms used from 1816 until death, also as King of Hanover

Issue See also: Descendants of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

British Royalty

House of Hanover

George III

George IV Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany William IV Charlotte, Queen of Württemberg Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
and Strathearn Princess Augusta Sophia Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh Princess Sophia Prince Octavius Prince Alfred Princess Amelia Grandchildren Charlotte, Princess Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Princess Charlotte of Clarence Princess Elizabeth of Clarence Victoria George V
George V
of Hanover Prince George, Duke of Cambridge Augusta, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck Great-grandchildren Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover Princess Frederica, Baroness von Pawel-Rammingen Princess Marie of Hanover Great-great-grandchildren Marie Louise, Margravine of Baden Prince George William of Hanover Alexandra, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Princess Olga of Hanover Prince Christian of Hanover Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick Great-great-great-grandchildren Ernest Augustus, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick Prince George William of Hanover Frederica, Queen of the Hellenes

v t e

Name Birth Death Notes

George IV 12 August 1762 26 June 1830 Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
1762–1820; married 1795, Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; had one daughter: Princess Charlotte

Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany 16 August 1763 5 January 1827 Married 1791, Princess Frederica of Prussia; no issue

William IV 21 August 1765 20 June 1837 Duke of Clarence and St Andrews; married 1818, Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen; no surviving legitimate issue, but had illegitimate children with Dorothea Jordan; descendants include David Cameron, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Charlotte, Princess Royal 29 September 1766 6 October 1828 Married 1797, King Frederick of Württemberg; no surviving issue

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
and Strathearn 2 November 1767 23 January 1820 Married 1818, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld; Queen Victoria was his daughter; descendants include Elizabeth II, Felipe VI of Spain, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Harald V of Norway
Harald V of Norway
and Margrethe II of Denmark.

Princess Augusta Sophia 8 November 1768 22 September 1840 Never married, no issue

Princess Elizabeth 22 May 1770 10 January 1840 Married 1818, Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg; no issue

Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover 5 June 1771 18 November 1851 Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale 1799–1851; married 1815, Princess Friederike of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; had issue; descendants include Constantine II of Greece
Constantine II of Greece
and Felipe VI of Spain.

Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex 27 January 1773 21 April 1843 (1) Married in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, Lady Augusta Murray; had issue; marriage annulled 1794 (2) Married 1831, Lady Cecilia Buggin (later Duchess of Inverness
Duchess of Inverness
in her own right); no issue

Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge 24 February 1774 8 July 1850 Married 1818, Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel; had issue; descendants include Elizabeth II

Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh 25 April 1776 30 April 1857 Married 1816, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh; no issue

Princess Sophia 3 November 1777 27 May 1848 Never married

Prince Octavius 23 February 1779 3 May 1783 Died in childhood

Prince Alfred 22 September 1780 20 August 1782 Died in childhood

Princess Amelia 7 August 1783 2 November 1810 Never married, no issue


Ancestors of George III of the United Kingdom

16. Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg

8. George I of Great Britain

17. Sophia, Princess Palatine of the Rhine

4. George II of Great Britain

18. George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg

9. Sophia Dorothea of Celle

19. Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse

2. Frederick, Prince of Wales

20. Albert II, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach

10. John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach

21. Countess Sophia Margaret of Oettingen-Oettingen

5. Caroline of Ansbach

22. John George I, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach

11. Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-Eisenach

23. Johannetta of Sayn-Wittgenstein

1. George III of the United Kingdom

24. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha

12. Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

25. Princess Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg

6. Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

26. Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels
Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels

13. Magdalena Sibylle of Saxe-Weissenfels

27. Anna Maria of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Anna Maria of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

3. Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha

28. John VI, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst

14. Karl, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst

29. Sophie Augusta of Holstein-Gottorp

7. Princess Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst

30. Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels
Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels

15. Sophia of Saxe-Weissenfels

31. Anna Maria of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Anna Maria of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

See also

Cultural depictions of George III of the United Kingdom

The Madness of George III, a 1991 play by Alan Bennett, originally starring Nigel Hawthorne as George III The Madness of King George, a 1994 film based on the play by Nicholas Hytner, starring Hawthorne as George III

List of mentally ill monarchs


^ King of the United Kingdom from 1 January 1801 onwards, following the Acts of Union 1800. ^ King of Hanover
King of Hanover
from 12 October 1814 onwards. ^ a b 24 May in the Old Style Julian calendar
Julian calendar
in use in Great Britain until 1752. ^ George was falsely said to have married a Quakeress named Hannah Lightfoot on 17 April 1759, prior to his marriage to Charlotte, and to have had at least one child by her. However, Lightfoot had married Isaac Axford in 1753, and had died in or before 1759, so there could have been no legal marriage or children. The jury at the 1866 trial of Lavinia Ryves, the daughter of imposter Olivia Serres
Olivia Serres
who pretended to be "Princess Olive of Cumberland", unanimously found that a supposed marriage certificate produced by Ryves was a forgery.[19] ^ For example, the letters of Horace Walpole
Horace Walpole
written at the time of the accession defended George but Walpole's later memoirs were hostile.[25] ^ An American taxpayer would pay a maximum of sixpence a year, compared to an average of twenty-five shillings (50 times as much) in England.[38] In 1763, the total revenue from America amounted to about £1 800, while the estimated annual cost of the military in America was put at £225 000. By 1767, it had risen to £400 000.[39]


^ a b c "George III". Official website of the British monarchy. Royal Household. Retrieved 18 April 2016.  ^ Brooke, p. 314; Fraser, p. 277 ^ Butterfield, p. 9 ^ Brooke, p. 269 ^ Hibbert, p. 8 ^ "No. 7712". The London Gazette. 20 June 1738. p. 2.  ^ Brooke, pp. 23–41 ^ Brooke, pp. 42–44, 55 ^ a b c d e f g h i Cannon, John (September 2004). "George III (1738–1820)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 October 2008.  (Subscription required) ^ Sedgwick, pp. ix–x ^ "No. 9050". The London Gazette. 16 April 1751. p. 1.  ^ Hibbert, pp. 3–15 ^ Brooke, pp. 51–52; Hibbert, pp. 24–25 ^ Bullion, John L. (2004). "Augusta, princess of Wales (1719–1772)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/46829. Retrieved 17 September 2008 (Subscription required) ^ Ayling, p. 33 ^ Ayling, p. 54; Brooke, pp. 71–72 ^ Ayling, pp. 36–37; Brooke, p. 49; Hibbert, p. 31 ^ Benjamin, p. 62 ^ Documents relating to the case. The National Archives. Retrieved 14 October 2008. ^ Ayling, pp. 85–87 ^ Ayling, p. 378; Cannon and Griffiths, p. 518 ^ Watson, p. 549 ^ Brooke, p. 612 ^ Brooke, p. 156; Simms and Riotte, p. 58 ^ Butterfield, pp. 22, 115–117, 129–130 ^ Hibbert, p. 86; Watson, pp. 67–79 ^ The Crown Estate (2004). "Our history". Retrieved 7 November 2017.  ^ Kelso, Paul (6 March 2000). "The royal family and the public purse". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2015.  ^ Watson, p. 88; this view is also shared by Brooke (see for example p. 99). ^ Medley, p. 501 ^ Ayling, p. 194; Brooke, pp. xv, 214, 301 ^ Brooke, p. 215 ^ Ayling, p. 195 ^ Ayling, pp. 196–198 ^ Brooke, p. 145; Carretta, pp. 59, 64 ff.; Watson, p. 93 ^ Brooke, pp. 146–147 ^ Watson, pp. 183–184 ^ Cannon and Griffiths, p. 505; Hibbert, p. 122 ^ Cannon and Griffiths, p. 505 ^ Black, p. 82 ^ Watson, pp. 184–185 ^ Ayling, pp. 122–133; Hibbert, pp. 107–109; Watson, pp. 106–111 ^ Ayling, pp. 122–133; Hibbert, pp. 111–113 ^ Ayling, p. 137; Hibbert, p. 124 ^ Ayling, pp. 154–160; Brooke, pp. 147–151 ^ Ayling, pp. 167–168; Hibbert, p. 140 ^ Brooke, p. 260; Fraser, p. 277 ^ Brooke, pp. 272–282; Cannon and Griffiths, p. 498 ^ Hibbert, p. 141 ^ Hibbert, p. 143 ^ Watson, p. 197 ^ Thomas, p. 31 ^ Ayling, p. 121 ^ Carretta, pp. 97–98, 367 ^ O'Shaughnessy, ch 1 ^ Trevelyan, vol. 1 p. 4 ^ Trevelyan, vol. 1 p. 5 ^ a b Cannon and Griffiths, pp. 510–511 ^ Brooke, p. 183 ^ Brooke, pp. 180–182, 192, 223 ^ Hibbert, pp. 156–157 ^ Ayling, pp. 275–276 ^ Ayling, p. 284 ^ The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army (1994) p. 129 ^ Brooke, p. 221 ^ U.S. Department of State, Treaty of Paris, 1783. Retrieved 5 July 2013 ^ Adams, C.F. (editor) (1850–56), The works of John Adams, second president of the United States, vol. VIII, pp. 255–257, quoted in Ayling, p. 323 and Hibbert, p. 165 ^ e.g. Ayling, p. 281 ^ Hibbert, p. 243; Pares, p. 120 ^ Brooke, pp. 250–251 ^ Watson, pp. 272–279 ^ Brooke, p. 316; Carretta, pp. 262, 297 ^ Brooke, p. 259 ^ Ayling, p. 218 ^ Ayling, p. 220 ^ Ayling, pp. 222–230, 366–376 ^ Röhl, John C. G.; Warren, Martin; Hunt, David (1998). Purple Secret: Genes, "Madness" and the Royal Houses of Europe. London: Bantam Press. ISBN 0-593-04148-8. ^ Peters, Timothy J.; Wilkinson, D. (2010). "King George III and porphyria: a clinical re-examination of the historical evidence". History of Psychiatry. 21 (1): 3–19. doi:10.1177/0957154X09102616. PMID 21877427.  ^ Rentoumi, v.; Peters, T.; Conlin, J.; Gerrard, P. (2017). "The acute mania of King George III: A computational linguistic analysis". PLOS ONE. 3 (12). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171626.  ^ Cox, Timothy M.; Jack, N.; Lofthouse, S.; Watling, J.; Haines, J.; Warren, M.J. (2005). "King George III and porphyria: an elemental hypothesis and investigation". The Lancet. 366 (9482): 332–335. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)66991-7. PMID 16039338.  ^ Ayling, pp. 329–335; Brooke, pp. 322–328; Fraser, pp. 281–282; Hibbert, pp. 262–267 ^ Ayling, pp. 334–343; Brooke, p. 332; Fraser, p. 282 ^ Ayling, pp. 338–342; Hibbert, p. 273 ^ Ayling, p. 345 ^ Ayling, pp. 349–350; Carretta, p. 285; Fraser, p. 282; Hibbert, pp. 301–302; Watson, p. 323 ^ Carretta, p. 275 ^ Ayling, pp. 181–182; Fraser, p. 282 ^ Ayling, pp. 395–396; Watson, pp. 360–377 ^ Ayling, pp. 408–409 ^ a b Weir, p. 286 ^ Ayling, p. 411 ^ Hibbert, p. 313 ^ Ayling, p. 414; Brooke, p. 374; Hibbert, p. 315 ^ Watson, pp. 402–409 ^ Ayling, p. 423 ^ Colley, p. 225 ^ The Times, 27 October 1803, p. 2 ^ Brooke, p. 597 ^ Letter of 30 November 1803, quoted in Wheeler and Broadley, p. xiii ^ "Nelson, Trafalgar, and those who served". National Archives. Retrieved 31 October 2009.  ^ Pares, p. 139 ^ Ayling, pp. 441–442 ^ Brooke, p. 381; Carretta, p. 340 ^ Hibbert, p. 396 ^ Hibbert, p. 394 ^ Brooke, p. 383; Hibbert, pp. 397–398 ^ Fraser, p. 285; Hibbert, pp. 399–402 ^ Ayling, pp. 453–455; Brooke, pp. 384–385; Hibbert, p. 405 ^ Hibbert, p. 408 ^ Letter from Duke of York to George IV, quoted in Brooke, p. 386 ^ "Royal Burials in the Chapel since 1805". St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Dean and Canons of Windsor. Retrieved 7 November 2017.  ^ Brooke, p. 387 ^ Carretta, pp. 92–93, 267–273, 302–305, 317 ^ Watson, pp. 10–11 ^ Brooke, p. 90 ^ Carretta, pp. 99–101, 123–126 ^ Ayling, p. 247 ^ Reitan, p. viii ^ Reitan, pp. xii–xiii ^ Macalpine, Ida; Hunter, Richard A. (1991) [1969]. George III and the Mad-Business. Pimlico. ISBN 978-0-7126-5279-7. ^ Butterfield, p. 152 ^ Brooke, pp. 175–176 ^ The London Gazette
The London Gazette
consistently refers to the young prince as "His Royal Highness Prince George" "No. 8734". The London Gazette. 5 April 1748. p. 3.  "No. 8735". The London Gazette. 9 April 1748. p. 2.  "No. 8860". The London Gazette. 20 June 1749. p. 2.  "No. 8898". The London Gazette. 31 October 1749. p. 3.  "No. 8902". The London Gazette. 17 November 1749. p. 3.  "No. 8963". The London Gazette. 16 June 1750. p. 1.  "No. 8971". The London Gazette. 14 July 1750. p. 1.  ^ a b Brooke, p. 390 ^ Velde, François (19 April 2008). "Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family". Heraldica. Retrieved 9 November 2009.  ^ See, for example, Berry, William (1810). An introduction to heraldry containing the rudiments of the science. pp. 110–111.  ^ Pinches, John Harvey; Pinches, Rosemary (1974). The Royal Heraldry of England. Heraldry Today. Slough, Buckinghamshire: Hollen Street Press. pp. 215–216. ISBN 0-900455-25-X.  ^ "No. 15324". The London Gazette. 30 December 1800. p. 2.  ^ "No. 17149". The London Gazette. 29 June 1816. p. 1. 


Ayling, Stanley (1972). George the Third. London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-211412-7. Benjamin, Lewis Saul (1907). Farmer George. Pitman and Sons. Black, Jeremy (2006). George III: America's Last King. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-11732-9. Brooke, John (1972). King George III. London: Constable. ISBN 0-09-456110-9. Butterfield, Herbert (1957). George III and the Historians. London: Collins. Cannon, John (2004). "George III (1738–1820)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Cannon, John; Griffiths, Ralph (1988). The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822786-8. Carretta, Vincent (1990). George III and the Satirists from Hogarth to Byron. Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0-8203-1146-4. Colley, Linda (1994). Britons: Forging the Nation 1707–1837. Yale University Press. Fraser, Antonia (1975). The Lives of the Kings and Queen of England. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-76911-1. Hibbert, Christopher (1999). George III: A Personal History. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-025737-3. Medley, Dudley Julius (1902). A Student's Manual of English Constitutional History. O'Shaughnessy, Andrew Jackson (2014). The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire. Pares, Richard (1953). King George III and the Politicians. Oxford University Press. Reitan, E. A. (editor) (1964). George III, Tyrant Or Constitutional Monarch?. Boston: D. C. Heath and Company. A compilation of essays encompassing the major assessments of George III up to 1964. Röhl, John C. G.; Warren, Martin; Hunt, David (1998). Purple Secret: Genes, "Madness" and the Royal Houses of Europe. London: Bantam Press. ISBN 0-593-04148-8. Sedgwick, Romney (ed.; 1903). Letters from George III to Lord Bute, 1756–1766. Macmillan. Simms, Brendan; Riotte, Torsten (2007). The Hanoverian Dimension in British History, 1714–1837. Cambridge University Press. Thomas, Peter D. G. (1985). "George III and the American Revolution". History. 70 (228): 16–31. doi:10.1111/j.1468-229X.1985.tb02477.x.  Trevelyan, George (1912). George the Third and Charles Fox: The Concluding Part of the American Revolution. New York: Longmans, Green. Watson, J. Steven (1960). The Reign of George III, 1760–1815. London: Oxford University Press. Weir, Alison (1996). Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy, Revised edition. London: Random House. ISBN 0-7126-7448-9. Wheeler, H. F. B.; Broadley, A. M. (1908). Napoleon
and the Invasion of England. Volume I. London: John Lane The Bodley Head.

Further reading

Black, Jeremy (Fall 1996). "Could the British Have Won the American War of Independence?" Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. 74 (299): 145–154. online 90-minute video lecture given at Ohio State in 2006; requires Real Player Ditchfield, G. M. (2002). George III: An Essay in Monarchy. Basingstoke: Palgrave. ISBN 0-333-91962-9. Hecht, J. Jean (1966). "The Reign of George III in Recent Historiography". In: Elizabeth Chapin Furber, ed. Changing views on British history: essays on historical writing since 1939, pp. 206–234. Harvard University Press. Macalpine, Ida; Hunter, Richard (1966). "The 'insanity' of King George III: a classic case of porphyria". Br. Med. J. 1 (5479): 65–71. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.5479.65. PMC 1843211 . PMID 5323262.  Macalpine, I.; Hunter, R.; Rimington, C. (1968). " Porphyria
in the Royal Houses of Stuart, Hanover, and Prussia" (PDF). British Medical Journal. 1 (5583): 7–18. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.5583.7. PMC 1984936 . PMID 4866084.  Namier, Lewis B. (1955). "King George III: A Study in Personality" in Personalities and Power. London: Hamish Hamilton. O'Shaughnessy, Andrew Jackson (Spring 2004). "'If Others Will Not Be Active, I Must Drive': George III and the American Revolution". Early American Studies. 2 (1): iii, 1–46. doi:10.1353/eam.2007.0037.  Robertson, Charles Grant (1911). England under the Hanoverians. London: Methuen. Smith, Robert A. (1984). "Reinterpreting the Reign of George III". In: Richard Schlatter, ed. Recent Views on British History: Essays on Historical Writing since 1966, pp. 197–254. Rutgers University Press.

External links

Find more aboutGeorge III of the United Kingdomat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Learning resources from Wikiversity

George III at Encyclopædia Britannica "Archival material relating to George III of the United Kingdom". UK National Archives.  Portraits of King George III at the National Portrait Gallery, London
National Portrait Gallery, London
Georgian Papers Programme George III papers, including references to madhouses and insanity from the Historic Psychiatry Collection, Menninger Archives, Kansas Historical Society

Titles and Succession

George III of the United Kingdom House of Hanover Cadet branch of the House of Welf Born: 4 June 1738  Died: 29 January 1820

Regnal titles

Preceded by George II King of Great Britain
King of Great Britain
and Ireland 25 October 1760 – 31 December 1800 Acts of Union 1800

Elector of Hanover Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg Archtreasurer
of the Holy Roman Empire 25 October 1760 – 6 August 1806 End of the Holy Roman Empire Titles abandoned 12 October 18141

Acts of Union 1800 King of the United Kingdom 1 January 1801 – 29 January 1820 Succeeded by George IV

Congress of Vienna King of Hanover 12 October 1814 – 29 January 1820

British royalty

Preceded by Frederick Prince of Wales 1751–1760 Vacant Title next held by George later King George IV
George IV

Peerage of Great Britain

Preceded by Prince Frederick Duke of Edinburgh 1st creation 1751–1760 Merged in the Crown

Titles in pretence

Preceded by George II — TITULAR — King of France 25 October 1760 – 31 December 1800 Title abandoned

Notes and references

1. The Times, Friday, 4 November 1814, p. 3, col. C

Articles and topics related to George III of the United Kingdom

v t e

English, Scottish and British monarchs

Monarchs of England before 1603 Monarchs of Scotland before 1603

Alfred the Great Edward the Elder Ælfweard Æthelstan Edmund I Eadred Eadwig Edgar the Peaceful Edward the Martyr Æthelred the Unready Sweyn Edmund II Cnut Harold I Harthacnut Edward the Confessor Harold II Edgar Ætheling William I William II Henry I Stephen Matilda Henry II Henry the Young King Richard I John Henry III Edward I Edward II Edward III Richard II Henry IV Henry V Henry VI Edward IV Edward V Richard III Henry VII Henry VIII Edward VI Jane Mary I and Philip Elizabeth I

Kenneth I MacAlpin Donald I Constantine I Áed Giric Eochaid Donald II Constantine II Malcolm I Indulf Dub Cuilén Amlaíb Kenneth II Constantine III Kenneth III Malcolm II Duncan I Macbeth Lulach Malcolm III Donald III Duncan II Donald III Edgar Alexander I David I Malcolm IV William I Alexander II Alexander III Margaret of Norway First Interregnum John Balliol Second Interregnum Robert I David II Edward Balliol Robert II Robert III James I James II James III James IV James V Mary I James VI

Monarchs of England and Scotland after the Union of the Crowns
Union of the Crowns
in 1603

James I & VI Charles I Commonwealth Charles II James II & VII William III & II and Mary II Anne

British monarchs after the Acts of Union 1707

Anne George I George II George III George IV William IV Victoria Edward VII George V Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II

Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics.

v t e

Kingdom of Great Britain


Union of 1707 Great Britain
Great Britain
in the Seven Years' War Jacobitism Jacobite risings War of Jenkins' Ear French and Indian War Boston Massacre American Revolutionary War Anglo-Dutch War (1780–1784) French Revolutionary Wars Union of 1801

Royal Houses




George I George II George III



House of Lords House of Commons

List of Parliaments Acts of Parliament:

1707–1719 1720–1739 1740–1759 1760–1779 1780–1800


1708 1710 1713 1715 1722 1727 1734 1741 1747 1754 1761 1768 1774 1780 1784 1790 1796

Monarchy Peers Privy Council Prime Minister


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Great Britain


Queen Anne Georgian


East India Company British Empire Longitude prize Window tax Proclamation of Rebellion South Sea Company Speenhamland system


Flag Coat of arms

History of Great Britain
Great Britain

v t e

Dukes of Edinburgh

Frederick (1726–1751) George (1751–1760) Dukes of Gloucester and Edinburgh (1764–1834) Alfred (1866–1900) Philip (1947–present)

v t e

British princes

The generations indicate descent from George I, who formalised the use of the titles prince and princess for members of the British royal family.

1st generation

King George II

2nd generation

Frederick, Prince of Wales Prince George William Prince William, Duke of Cumberland

3rd generation

King George III Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn Prince Frederick

4th generation

King George IV Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany King William IV Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
and Strathearn King Ernest Augustus of Hanover Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge Prince Octavius Prince Alfred Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

5th generation

Albert, Prince Consort1 King George V
George V
of Hanover Prince George, Duke of Cambridge

6th generation

King Edward VII Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh
and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover

7th generation

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale King George V Prince Alexander John of Wales Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Arthur of Connaught Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince George William of Hanover Prince Christian of Hanover Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick

8th generation

King Edward VIII King George VI Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester Prince George, Duke of Kent Prince John Alastair, 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Johann Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover Prince George William of Hanover

9th generation

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh2 Prince William of Gloucester Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester Prince Edward, Duke of Kent Prince Michael of Kent

10th generation

Charles, Prince of Wales Prince Andrew, Duke of York Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

11th generation

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Prince Henry of Wales James, Viscount Severn3

12th generation

Prince George of Cambridge

1 Not a British prince
British prince
by birth, but created Prince Consort. 2 Not a British prince
British prince
by birth, but created a Prince of the United Kingdom. 3 Status debatable; see his article.

v t e

Princes of Wales

Edward (1301–1307) Edward (1343–1376) Richard (1376–1377) Henry (1399–1413) Edward (1454–1471) Richard (1460; disputed) Edward (1471–1483) Edward (1483–1484) Arthur (1489–1502) Henry (1504–1509) Edward (1537–1547) Henry (1610–1612) Charles (1616–1625) Charles (1641–1649) James (1688) George (1714–1727) Frederick (1729–1751) George (1751–1760) George (1762–1820) Albert Edward (1841–1901) George (1901–1910) Edward (1910–1936) Charles (1958–present)

See also: Principality of Wales

v t e

Rulers of Hanover

Electors of Hanover

Ernest Augustus (Elector-designate) George I Louis* George II* George III*

Kings of Hanover

George III* George IV* William* Ernest Augustus George V

* also British monarch

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 49264990 LCCN: n79061402 ISNI: 0000 0001 0898 6255 GND: 118716913 SELIBR: 207225 SUDOC: 030884039 BNF: cb12159008k (data) BIBSYS: 98047628 ULAN: 500009904 NLA: 35118717 NKC: jn20000700822 RKD: 30