George III of the United Kingdom

George III of the United Kingdom

Overview
George III was King of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 and King of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 until his death. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 until his promotion to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'George III of the United Kingdom'
Start a new discussion about 'George III of the United Kingdom'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Timeline

1760   George III becomes King of Great Britain.

1761   Marriage of King George III of the United Kingdom to Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

1761   George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz are crowned King and Queen, respectively, of the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1763   George III of Great Britain issues British Royal Proclamation of 1763, closing aboriginal lands in North America north and west of Alleghenies to white settlements.

1768   John Wilkes is imprisoned for writing an article for ''The North Briton'' severely criticizing King George III. This action provokes rioting in London.

1768   James Otis, Jr. offends the King and Parliament in a speech to the Massachusetts General Court.

1775   King George III declares that the American colonies exist in a state of open and avowed rebellion.

1819   British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands, and claims them in the name of King George III.

1896   Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather King George III as the longest reigning monarch in British history.

 
Quotations

I wish nothing but good; therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor and a scoundrel.

Encyclopedia
George III was King of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 and King of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 until his death. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 until his promotion to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover
House of Hanover
The House of Hanover is a deposed German royal dynasty which has ruled the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg , the Kingdom of Hanover, the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

, but unlike his two Hanoverian predecessors he was born in Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

His life and reign, which were longer than those of any previous British monarch, 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
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of its American colonies were soon lost in the American War of Independence. He played a minor role in the wars against revolutionary
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and Napoleonic France
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 from 1793, which concluded in the defeat of Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 at the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 in 1815.

In the later part of his life, George III suffered from recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental illness
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

. Medical practitioners were baffled by this at the time, although it has since been suggested that he suffered from the blood disease porphyria
Porphyria
Porphyrias are a group of inherited or acquired disorders of certain enzymes in the heme bio-synthetic pathway . They are broadly classified as acute porphyrias and cutaneous porphyrias, based on the site of the overproduction and accumulation of the porphyrins...

. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George III's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

, ruled as Prince Regent
Prince Regent
A prince regent is a prince who rules a monarchy as regent instead of a monarch, e.g., due to the Sovereign's incapacity or absence ....

. 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" which have depended heavily on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them. Until re-assessment in the later half of the twentieth century, his reputation in America was one of a tyrant and in Britain he became "the scapegoat for the failure of imperialism". He is most remembered as "The Mad King" and "The King Who Lost America".

Early life


George was born in London at Norfolk House
Norfolk House
Norfolk House, at 31 St James's Square, London, was built in 1722 for the Duke of Norfolk. It was a royal residence for a short time only, when Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of King George III, lived there 1737-1741, after his marriage in 1736 to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, daughter of...

. He was the grandson of King George II
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He was born and brought up in Northern Germany...

, and the son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
Frederick, Prince of Wales
Frederick, Prince of Wales was a member of the House of Hanover and therefore of the Hanoverian and later British Royal Family, the eldest son of George II and father of George III, as well as the great-grandfather of Queen Victoria...

, and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. As Prince George was born two months premature and was thought unlikely to survive, he was baptised the same day by Thomas Secker
Thomas Secker
Thomas Secker , Archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Sibthorpe, Nottinghamshire.-Early life and studies:In 1699, Secker went to Richard Brown's free school in Chesterfield, staying with his half-sister and her husband, Elizabeth and Richard Milnes...

, who was both Rector of St James's
St James's Church, Piccadilly
St James’s Church, Piccadilly is an Anglican church on Piccadilly in the centre of London, UK. It was designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren....

 and the Bishop of Oxford
Bishop of Oxford
The Bishop of Oxford is the diocesan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Oxford in the Province of Canterbury; his seat is at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford...

. One month later, he was publicly baptised at Norfolk House, again by Secker. His godparents were the King of Sweden
Frederick I of Sweden
Frederick I, , was a prince consort of Sweden from 1718 to 1720, and a King of Sweden from 1720 until his death and also Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1730...

 (for whom Lord Baltimore
Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore
Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, 3rd Proprietor and 17th Proprietary Governor of Maryland, FRS was a British nobleman and Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland...

 stood proxy), his uncle the Duke of Saxe-Gotha
Frederick III, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Frederick III, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg , was a duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.-Biography:He was the eldest son of Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and Magdalene Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst....

 (for whom Lord Carnarvon
Henry Brydges, 2nd Duke of Chandos
Henry Brydges, 2nd Duke of Chandos, MP , known from 1727 to 1744 by his courtesy title Marquess of Carnarvon, was the second son of James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos PC and his first wife Mary Lake...

 stood proxy) and his great-aunt the Queen of Prussia
Sophia Dorothea of Hanover
Sophia Dorothea of Hanover was a Queen consort in Prussia as wife of Frederick William I. She was the sister of George II of Great Britain and the mother of Frederick the Great.- Biography :...

 (for whom Lady Charlotte Edwin stood proxy).

George grew into a healthy, but also reserved and shy child. The family moved to Leicester Square
Leicester Square
Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. The Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Charing Cross Road, to the east; Orange Street, to the south; and Whitcomb Street, to the west...

, 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. 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
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. At age 10 George took part in a family production of Joseph Addison
Joseph Addison
Joseph Addison was an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. He was a man of letters, eldest son of Lancelot 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". The historian Romney Sedgwick
Romney Sedgwick
Romney Sedgwick was a British historian. He married Mana St David Hodson in 1936, having one son and one daughter together....

 has argued that these lines appear "to be the source of the only historical phrase with which he is associated".


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 died unexpectedly from a lung injury, and George became heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

 to the throne. He inherited one of his father's titles and became the Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh is a British royal title, named after the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, which has been conferred upon members of the British royal family only four times times since its creation in 1726...

. Now more interested in his grandson, three weeks later the King created George Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 (the title is not automatically acquired).

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
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute KG, PC , styled Lord Mount Stuart before 1723, was a Scottish nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain under George III, and was arguably the last important favourite in British politics...

, who would later serve as Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

. George's mother, now the Dowager
Dowager
A dowager is a widow who holds a title or property, or dower, derived from her deceased husband. As an adjective, "Dowager" usually appears in association with monarchical and aristocratic titles....

 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
Lady Sarah Lennox
Lady Sarah Lennox was the most notorious of the famous Lennox Sisters, daughters of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond.-Early life:...

, sister of the Duke of Richmond
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
Field Marshal Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 3rd Duke of Lennox, 3rd Duke of Aubigny, KG, PC, FRS , styled Earl of March until 1750, was a British politician and office holder noteworthy for his advanced views on the issue of parliamentary reform...

, 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, attempts by the King to marry George to Duchess Sophie Caroline Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Duchess Sophie Caroline Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Duchess Sophie Caroline Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was the eldest daughter of Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and his wife Philippine Charlotte of Prussia, sister of Frederick the Great....

 were resisted by him and his mother; Sophia married the Margrave of Bayreuth
Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth , was a member of the House of Hohenzollern and Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth....

 instead.

The following year, at the age of 22, George succeeded to the crown 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
Chapel Royal
A Chapel Royal is a body of priests and singers who serve the spiritual needs of their sovereign wherever they are called upon to do so.-Austria:...

, St James's Palace, the King married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the Queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George III...

, whom he met on their wedding day. A fortnight later, both were crowned at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

. George remarkably never took a mistress (in contrast with his grandfather and his sons), and the couple enjoyed a genuinely happy marriage. 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
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

) for use as a family retreat. His other residences were Kew
Kew Palace
Kew Palace is a British Royal Palace in Kew Gardens on the banks of the Thames up river from London. There have been at least four Palaces at Kew, and three have been known as Kew Palace; the first building may not have been known as Kew as no records survive other than the words of another...

 and Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

. 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, annual holidays were taken at Weymouth, Dorset, which he 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". George inserted this phrase into the speech, written by Lord Hardwicke
Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke
Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke PC was an English lawyer and politician who served as Lord Chancellor. He was a close confidant of the Duke of Newcastle, Prime Minister between 1754 and 1756 and 1757 until 1762....

, and it demonstrated George's desire to distance himself from his German forebears, who were perceived as caring more for Hanover than for Britain. The historians Brendan Simms
Brendan Simms
Brendan Peter Simms, Ph.D is Professor of the History of International Relations in the Centre of International Studies at the University of Cambridge. Simms, a Newton-Sheehy Teaching Fellow, completed his doctoral dissertation, Anglo-Prussian relations, 1804-1806: The Napoleonic Threat, at...

 and Torsten Riotte have argued that "The majority of historians have accepted this statement as the core of George III's political beliefs and as an argument against the importance of the dynastic union under the third Hanoverian".

Although George's accession was at first welcomed by politicians of all parties, the first years of George's reign were marked by political instability, largely generated as a result of disagreements over the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

. George was perceived as favouring Tory
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 ministers, which led to his denunciation by the Whigs
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 as an autocrat. On George's accession, the Crown land
Crown land
In Commonwealth realms, Crown land is an area belonging to the monarch , the equivalent of an entailed estate that passed with the monarchy and could not be alienated from it....

s produced relatively little income; most revenue was generated through taxes and excise duties. George surrendered the Crown Estate
Crown Estate
In the United Kingdom, the Crown Estate is a property portfolio owned by the Crown. Although still belonging to the monarch and inherent with the accession of the throne, it is no longer the private property of the reigning monarch and cannot be sold by him/her, nor do the revenues from it belong...

 to Parliamentary control in return for a Civil List
Civil list
-United Kingdom:In the United Kingdom, the Civil List is the name given to the annual grant that covers some expenses associated with the Sovereign performing their official duties, including those for staff salaries, State Visits, public engagements, ceremonial functions and the upkeep of the...

 annuity for the support of his household and the expenses of Civil Government. Claims that George 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. George aided the Royal Academy
Royal Academy
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

 with large grants from his private funds, and may have donated more than half of his personal income to charity. Of George's art collection, the two most notable purchases are Vermeer's Lady at the Virginals and a set of Canaletto
Canaletto
Giovanni Antonio Canal better known as Canaletto , was a Venetian painter famous for his landscapes, or vedute, of Venice. He was also an important printmaker in etching.- Early career :...

s, but it is as a collector of books that he is best remembered. The King's Library
King's Library
The King's Library was one of the most important collections of books and pamphlets of the Age of Enlightenment. Assembled by George III, this scholarly library of over 65,000 volumes was subsequently given to the British nation by George IV. It was housed in a specially built gallery in the...

 was open and available to scholars and was the foundation of a new national library.

In May 1762, the incumbent Whig government of the Duke of Newcastle was replaced with one led by the Scottish Tory Lord Bute
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute KG, PC , styled Lord Mount Stuart before 1723, was a Scottish nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain under George III, and was arguably the last important favourite in British politics...

. 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. John Wilkes
John Wilkes
John Wilkes was an English radical, journalist and politician.He was first elected Member of Parliament in 1757. In the Middlesex election dispute, he fought for the right of voters—rather than the House of Commons—to determine their representatives...

, a Member of Parliament, published The North Briton
The North Briton
The North Briton was a 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 handbills....

, which was both inflammatory and defamatory in its condemnation of Bute and the government. Wilkes was eventually arrested for seditious libel
Seditious libel
Seditious libel was a criminal offence under English common law. Sedition is the offence of speaking seditious words with seditious intent: if the statement is in writing or some other permanent form it is seditious libel...

 but he fled to France to escape punishment; he was expelled from the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

, and found guilty in absentia of blasphemy and libel. In 1763, after concluding the Peace of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 which ended the war, Lord Bute resigned, allowing the Whigs under George Grenville
George Grenville
George Grenville was a British Whig statesman who rose to the position of Prime Minister of Great Britain. Grenville was born into an influential political family and first entered Parliament in 1741 as an MP for Buckingham...

 to return to power.

Later that year, the Royal Proclamation of 1763
Royal Proclamation of 1763
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 placed a boundary 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. 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
"No taxation without representation" is a slogan originating during the 1750s and 1760s that summarized a primary grievance of the British colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution...

", an argument London dismissed in the name of virtual representation. In 1765, Grenville introduced the Stamp Act
Stamp Act 1765
The Stamp Act 1765 was a direct tax imposed by the British Parliament specifically on the colonies of British America. The act required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp...

, which levied a stamp duty
Stamp duty
Stamp duty is a tax that is levied on documents. Historically, this included the majority of legal documents such as cheques, receipts, military commissions, marriage licences and land transactions. A physical stamp had to be attached to or impressed upon the document to denote that 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. 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
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC was a British Whig statesman who led Britain during the Seven Years' War...

 to accept the office of Prime Minister. After a brief illness, which may have presaged his illnesses to come, George settled on Lord Rockingham
Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, KG, PC , styled The Hon. Charles Watson-Wentworth before 1733, Viscount Higham between 1733 and 1746, Earl of Malton between 1746 and 1750 and The Earl Malton in 1750, was a British Whig statesman, most notable for his two terms as Prime...

 to form a ministry, and dismissed Grenville.

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
Earl of Chatham
Earl of Chatham, in the County of Kent, was a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1766 for William Pitt the Elder on his appointment as Lord Privy Seal, along with the subsidiary title Viscount Pitt, of Burton Pynsent in the County of Somerset, also in the Peerage of Great...

. 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
History of New York City (1665-1783)
The history of New York City began with the establishment of English rule over Dutch New Amsterdam and New Netherland. As the newly renamed City of New York and surrounding areas developed, there was a growing independent feeling among some, but the area was decidedly split in its loyalties...

. Lord Chatham fell ill in 1767, and the Duke of Grafton
Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton
Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, KG, PC , styled Earl of Euston between 1747 and 1757, was a British Whig statesman of the Georgian era...

 took over the government, although he did not formally become Prime Minister until 1768. That year, John Wilkes returned to England, stood as a candidate in the general election
British general election, 1768
The British general election, 1768 returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 13th Parliament of Great Britain to be held, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707.-Summary of the Constituencies:...

, and came top of the poll in the Middlesex constituency
Middlesex (UK Parliament constituency)
Middlesex is a former United Kingdom Parliamentary constituency. It was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1885....

. 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
Henry Luttrell, 2nd Earl of Carhampton
General Henry Lawes Luttrell, 2nd Earl of Carhampton PC was a politician and soldier.-Military career:Educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, Luttrell was commissioned into the 48th Regiment of Foot in 1757. In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, he became Deputy Adjutant-General...

 as the victor. Grafton's government disintegrated in 1770, allowing the Tories led by Lord North
Frederick North, Lord North
Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, KG, PC , more often known by his courtesy title, Lord North, which he used from 1752 until 1790, was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. He led Great Britain through most of the American War of Independence...

 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, 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
Royal Marriages Act 1772
The Royal Marriages Act 1772 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which prescribes the conditions under which members of the British Royal Family may contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the Royal House...

. Shortly afterward, another of George's brothers, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh was a member of the British Royal Family, a grandson of George II and a younger brother of George III.-Early life:...

, revealed he had been secretly married to Maria, Countess Waldegrave
Maria, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Maria Walpole , the Countess Waldegrave and Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, was a member of the British Royal Family, the wife of Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh...

, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Walpole
Edward Walpole
Sir Edward Walpole KB PC was a British politician, and a younger son of Sir Robert Walpole, Prime Minister from 1721 to 1742....

. 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
Boston Harbor
Boston Harbor is a natural harbor and estuary of Massachusetts Bay, and is located adjacent to the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is home to the Port of Boston, a major shipping facility in the northeast.-History:...

 were boarded by colonists and the tea thrown overboard, an event that became known as the Boston Tea Party
Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party was a direct action by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government and the monopolistic East India Company that controlled all the tea imported into the colonies...

. 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
Intolerable Acts
The Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts are names used to describe a series of laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 relating to Britain's colonies in North America...

 by the colonists: the Port of Boston
Port of Boston
The Port of Boston, , is a major seaport located in Boston Harbor and adjacent to the City of Boston...

 was shut down and the charter
Explanatory charter
The Explanatory Charter was a supplement to the royal charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay issued by King George I on August 26, 1725. The provincial charter, issued by William and Mary in 1691, was modified, and certain of its terms were clarified .-Background:The issuance of the...

 of Massachusetts
Province of Massachusetts Bay
The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a crown colony in North America. It was chartered on October 7, 1691 by William and Mary, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England and Scotland...

 was altered
Massachusetts Government Act
The Massachusetts Government Act was passed by the Parliament of Great Britain and became a law on May 20, 1774. The act is one of the Intolerable Acts , designed to suppress dissent and restore order in the Province of Massachusetts Bay...

 so that the upper house of the legislature was appointed by the Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

 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
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

." Though the Americans 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 Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 began when armed conflict between British regulars and colonial militiamen broke out in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 in April 1775. After a year of fighting, the colonies declared their independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

 from the Crown as "free and independent States" in July 1776, and listed grievances against the British king, legislature, and 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. The British captured the city in 1776, but lost Boston, and the grand strategic plan
Saratoga campaign
The Saratoga Campaign was an attempt by Great Britain to gain military control of the strategically important Hudson River valley in 1777 during the American Revolutionary War...

 of invading from Canada and cutting off New England failed with the surrender of the British Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne
John Burgoyne
General John Burgoyne was a British army officer, politician and dramatist. He first saw action during the Seven Years' War when he participated in several battles, mostly notably during the Portugal Campaign of 1762....

 at the Battle of Saratoga
Battle of Saratoga
The Battles of Saratoga conclusively decided the fate of British General John Burgoyne's army in the American War of Independence and are generally regarded as a turning point in the war. The battles were fought eighteen days apart on the same ground, south of Saratoga, New York...

.

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 Victorian author George Trevelyan
Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet
Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet OM, PC was a British statesman and author. In a ministerial career stretching almost 30 years, he was most notably twice Secretary of State for Scotland under William Ewart Gladstone and the Earl of Rosebery...

, 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". However, more recent historians defend George by saying in the context of the times no king would willingly surrender such a large territory, 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, Prime Minister Lord North
Frederick North, Lord North
Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, KG, PC , more often known by his courtesy title, Lord North, which he used from 1752 until 1790, was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. He led Great Britain through most of the American War of Independence...

 asked to transfer power to Lord Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC was a British Whig statesman who led Britain during the Seven Years' War...

, 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 cooperate. He died later in the same year. In early 1778, France
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

 (Britain's chief rival) signed a treaty of alliance
Treaty of Alliance (1778)
The Treaty of Alliance, also called The Treaty of Alliance with France, was a defensive alliance between France and the United States of America, formed in the midst of the American Revolutionary War, which promised military support in case of attack by British forces indefinitely into the future...

 with the United States and the conflict escalated. The United States and France were soon joined by Spain and the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

, while Britain had no major allies of its own. Lord Gower
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford PC , known as Viscount Trentham from 1746 to 1754 and as The Earl Gower from 1754 to 1786, was a British politician.-Background:...

 and Lord Weymouth
Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath
Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath KG was a British politician who held office under George III serving as Southern Secretary, Northern Secretary and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Between 1751 and 1780 he was known as 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. Opposition to the costly war was increasing, and in June 1780 contributed to disturbances in London known as the Gordon riots
Gordon Riots
The Gordon Riots of 1780 were an anti-Catholic protest against the Papists Act 1778.The Popery Act 1698 had imposed a number of penalties and disabilities on Roman Catholics in England; the 1778 act eliminated some of these. An initial peaceful protest led on to widespread rioting and looting and...

.

As late as the Siege of Charleston
Siege of Charleston
The Siege of Charleston was one of the major battles which took place towards the end of the American Revolutionary War, after the British began to shift their strategic focus towards the American Southern Colonies. After about six weeks of siege, Continental Army Major General Benjamin Lincoln...

 in 1780 loyalists could still believe the war could be won, while British troops inflicted heavy defeats on the Continental forces at the Battle of Camden
Battle of Camden
The Battle of Camden was a major victory for the British in the Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War...

 and the Battle of Guildford Court House. In late 1781, the news of Lord Cornwallis's
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis KG , styled Viscount Brome between 1753 and 1762 and known as The Earl Cornwallis between 1762 and 1792, was a British Army officer and colonial administrator...

 surrender at the Siege of Yorktown
Siege of Yorktown
The Siege of Yorktown, Battle of Yorktown, or Surrender of Yorktown in 1781 was a decisive victory by a combined assault of American forces led by General George Washington and French forces led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis...

 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, finally accepted the defeat in North America, and authorised the negotiation of a peace. The Treaties of Paris
Peace of Paris (1783)
The Peace of Paris was the set of treaties which ended the American Revolutionary War. On 3 September 1783, representatives of King George III of Great Britain signed a treaty in Paris with representatives of the United States of America—commonly known as the Treaty of Paris —and two treaties at...

, by which Britain recognised the independence of the American states and returned Florida
Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida refers to the Spanish territory of Florida, which formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire. Originally extending over what is now the southeastern United States, but with no defined boundaries, la Florida was a component of...

 to Spain, were ratified in 1783. When John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 was appointed American Minister to London
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
The office of United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom was traditionally, and still is very much so today due to the Special Relationship, the most prestigious position in the United States Foreign Service...

 in 1785, George had become resigned to the new relationship between his country and the States. 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."

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
William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne
William Petty-FitzMaurice, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, KG, PC , known as The Earl of Shelburne between 1761 and 1784, by which title he is generally known to history, was an Irish-born British Whig statesman who was the first Home Secretary in 1782 and then Prime Minister 1782–1783 during the final...

 to replace him. Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox PC , styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned thirty-eight years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and who was particularly noted for being the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger...

, however, refused to serve under Shelburne, and demanded the appointment of the Duke of Portland
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, KG, PC was a British Whig and Tory statesman, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Prime Minister. He was known before 1762 by the courtesy title Marquess of Titchfield. He held a title of every degree of British nobility—Duke,...

. In 1783, the House of Commons forced Lord Shelburne from office and his government was replaced by the Fox-North Coalition
Fox-North Coalition
The Fox-North Coalition was a government in Great Britain that held office during 1783. As the name suggests, the ministry was a coalition of the groups supporting Charles James Fox and Lord North...

. The Duke of 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 was 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 Honourable 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 Lord Temple
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham, KG, PC was a British statesman. He was the second son of George Grenville and a brother of the 1st Baron Grenville.-Career:...

 to inform the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 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
William Pitt the Younger was a British politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 . He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806...

 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
British general election, 1784
The British general election of 1784 resulted in William Pitt the Younger securing an overall majority of about 120 in the House of Commons of Great Britain, having previously had to survive in a House which was dominated by his opponents.-Background:...

 gave Pitt a firm mandate.

William Pitt


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. During and after Pitt's ministry, George III 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 own principles of righteousness, as his sons did as young adults, he was dismayed and disappointed.

By this time George's health was deteriorating. He suffered from a mental illness, which was possibly a symptom of the genetic disease porphyria
Porphyria
Porphyrias are a group of inherited or acquired disorders of certain enzymes in the heme bio-synthetic pathway . They are broadly classified as acute porphyrias and cutaneous porphyrias, based on the site of the overproduction and accumulation of the porphyrins...

, although this has been questioned. A study of samples of the King's hair published in 2005 revealed high levels of arsenic
Arsenic
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As, atomic number 33 and relative atomic mass 74.92. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. It was first documented by Albertus Magnus in 1250.Arsenic is a metalloid...

, 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. The King may have suffered 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 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. With his doctors largely at a loss to explain his illness, 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. 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".

In the reconvened Parliament, Fox and Pitt wrangled over the terms of the regency. While both agreed that it would be most reasonable for George III's eldest son and heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

, 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 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 Prince Regent, was introduced and passed in the House of Commons, but before the House of Lords could pass the bill, George III recovered.

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
Margaret Nicholson
Margaret Nicholson was an Englishwoman who assaulted King George III. Her futile and somewhat half-hearted attempt on the King's life became famous and was featured in one of Shelley's first works: Posthumous Fragments of Margaret Nicholson, published in 1810.-Life:Nicholson was born in...

 in 1786 and John Frith
John Frith (assailant)
John Frith was an Englishman who believed himself to be St Paul.On 21 January 1790, Frith threw a stone at King George III's coach as it travelled to the State Opening of Parliament. As in an earlier case of assault against the King, that of Margaret Nicholson, Frith had sent multiple petitions to...

 in 1790, contributed to his popularity. A failed attempt to assassinate the King on 15 May 1800 was not political in origin but motivated by the delusions of James Hadfield
James Hadfield
James Hadfield or Hatfield attempted to assassinate George III of the United Kingdom in 1800 but was acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity....

, who shot at the King in the Drury Lane Theatre
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

. George seemed unperturbed by the incident, so much so that he fell asleep in the interval.

The French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 of 1789, in which the French monarchy had been overthrown, worried many British landowners. France declared war on Great Britain in 1793; in the war attempt, George allowed Pitt to increase taxes, raise armies, and suspend the right of habeas corpus
Habeas corpus
is a writ, or legal action, through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to his aid. Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system, but it is now available in many nations...

. The First Coalition
First Coalition
The War of the First Coalition was the first major effort of multiple European monarchies to contain Revolutionary France. France declared war on the Habsburg monarchy of Austria on 20 April 1792, and the Kingdom of Prussia joined the Austrian side a few weeks later.These powers initiated a series...

 to oppose revolutionary France, which included Austria, Prussia, and Spain, broke up in 1795 when Prussia and Spain made separate peace with France. The Second Coalition, which included Austria, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, was defeated in 1800. Only Great Britain was left fighting Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

, the First Consul of the French Republic
French First Republic
The French First Republic was founded on 22 September 1792, by the newly established National Convention. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First French Empire in 1804 under Napoleon I...

.

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 both passed an Act of Union, which took effect on 1 January 1801 and united Great Britain and Ireland into a single nation, known as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". George used the opportunity to drop the claim to the Throne of France
English claims to the French throne
The English claims to the French throne have a long and complex history between the 1340s and the 19th century.From 1340 to 1801, with only brief intervals in 1360-1369 and 1420–1422, the kings and queens of England, and after the Acts of Union in 1707 the kings and queens of Great Britain, also...

, which English and British Sovereigns had maintained since the reign of Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

. It was suggested that George adopt the title "Emperor of the British Isles
British Emperor
Although in the past the style of British Emperor has been applied to a few mythical and historical rulers of Great Britain or the United Kingdom, it is sometimes used as a colloquialism to designate either Plantagenet and Tudor caesaropapism or, more frequently, the British sovereign during the...

", but he refused. As part of his Irish policy, Pitt planned to remove certain legal disabilities
Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom
Institutional Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom has its origins in the English and Irish Reformations under Henry VIII and the Scottish Reformation led by John Knox...

 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. 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 suffered 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
Speaker of the British House of Commons
The Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons, the United Kingdom's lower chamber of Parliament. The current Speaker is John Bercow, who was elected on 22 June 2009, following the resignation of Michael Martin...

, Henry Addington
Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth
Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, PC was a British statesman, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1804....

. 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
Treaty of Amiens
The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between the French Republic and the United Kingdom during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was signed in the city of Amiens on 25 March 1802 , by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquess Cornwallis as a "Definitive Treaty of Peace"...

.


George did not consider the peace with France as real; in his view it was an "experiment". 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
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

, 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
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

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 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
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

's famous naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

, the possibility of invasion was extinguished.
In 1804, George was again affected by his recurrent illness; after his recovery, Addington resigned and Pitt regained power. Pitt sought to appoint Fox to his ministry, but George III refused. Lord Grenville
William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville
William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville PC, PC was a British Whig statesman. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1806 to 1807 as head of the Ministry of All the Talents.-Background :...

 perceived an injustice to Fox, and refused to join the new ministry. Pitt concentrated on forming a coalition with Austria, Russia, and Sweden. This Third Coalition
Third Coalition
The War of the Third Coalition was a conflict which spanned from 1803 to 1806. It saw the defeat of an alliance of Austria, Portugal, Russia, and others by France and its client states under Napoleon I...

, 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
Ministry of All the Talents
The Ministry of All the Talents was a national unity government formed by William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville on his appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 11 February 1806 after the death of William Pitt the Younger...

" 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. They were dismissed and replaced by the Duke of Portland
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, KG, PC was a British Whig and Tory statesman, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Prime Minister. He was known before 1762 by the courtesy title Marquess of Titchfield. He held a title of every degree of British nobility—Duke,...

 as the nominal Prime Minister, with actual power being held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

, Spencer Perceval
Spencer Perceval
Spencer Perceval, KC was a British statesman and First Lord of the Treasury, making him de facto Prime Minister. He is the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated...

. Parliament was dissolved, and the subsequent election
United Kingdom general election, 1807
The election to the 4th Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1807 was the third general election to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland....

 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.

Later life


In late 1810, at the height of his popularity but already virtually blind with cataracts and in pain from rheumatism, George III became dangerously ill. In his view the malady had been triggered by the stress he suffered at the death of his youngest and favourite daughter, Princess Amelia
Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom
Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom was a member of the British Royal Family as the youngest daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom and his queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.-Early life:...

. The Princess's nurse reported that "the scenes of distress and crying every day ... were melancholy beyond description." He accepted the need for the Regency Act of 1811, and the Prince of Wales acted as Regent for the remainder of George III's life. By the end of 1811, George III had become permanently insane and lived in seclusion at Windsor Castle until his death.

Prime Minister Spencer Perceval
Spencer Perceval
Spencer Perceval, KC was a British statesman and First Lord of the Treasury, making him de facto Prime Minister. He is the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated...

 was assassinated in 1812 (the only British Prime Minister to have suffered such a fate) and was replaced by Lord Liverpool. Liverpool oversaw British victory in the Napoleonic Wars. The subsequent Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 led to significant territorial gains for Hanover, which was upgraded from an electorate to a kingdom
Kingdom of Hanover
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg , and joined with 38 other sovereign states in the German...

.

Meanwhile, George's health deteriorated. He suffered from dementia
Dementia
Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging...

 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. Over Christmas 1819, he spoke nonsense for 58 hours, and for the last few weeks of his life was unable to walk. He died at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 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
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
The Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany was a member of the Hanoverian and British Royal Family, the second eldest child, and second son, of King George III...

, was with him. George III was buried on 16 February in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel is the place of worship at Windsor Castle in England, United Kingdom. It is both a royal peculiar and the chapel of the Order of the Garter...

.

George was succeeded by two of his sons George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

 and William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

, 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 Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II lived and reigned longer.

George III was dubbed "Farmer George" by satirists, at first mocking 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. Under George III, who was passionately interested in agriculture, the British Agricultural Revolution
British Agricultural Revolution
British Agricultural Revolution describes a period of development in Britain between the 17th century and the end of the 19th century, which saw an epoch-making increase in agricultural productivity and net output. This in turn supported unprecedented population growth, freeing up a significant...

 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
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

. George's collection of mathematical and scientific instruments is now housed in the Science Museum (London)
Science Museum (London)
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....

; he funded the construction and maintenance of William Herschel
William Herschel
Sir Frederick William Herschel, KH, FRS, German: Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel was a German-born British astronomer, technical expert, and composer. Born in Hanover, Wilhelm first followed his father into the Military Band of Hanover, but emigrated to Britain at age 19...

's forty-foot telescope, which was the biggest ever built at the time. Herschel discovered the planet Uranus
Uranus
Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System. It is named after the ancient Greek deity of the sky Uranus , the father of Cronus and grandfather of Zeus...

, which he at first named Georgium Sidus (George's Star) after the King, in 1781.

George III himself 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
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

 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 Trevelyan
Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet
Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet OM, PC was a British statesman and author. In a ministerial career stretching almost 30 years, he was most notably twice Secretary of State for Scotland under William Ewart Gladstone and the Earl of Rosebery...

 and Erskine May
Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough
Sir Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough, KCB, PC, DCL was a British constitutional theorist. This derived from his career at the House of Commons.-Biography:...

, 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", kick-started a re-evaluation of the man and his reign. Scholars of the later twentieth century, such as Butterfield
Herbert Butterfield
Sir Herbert Butterfield was a British historian and philosopher of history who is remembered chiefly for two books—a short volume early in his career entitled The Whig Interpretation of History and his Origins of Modern Science...

 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 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
Style (manner of address)
A style of office, or honorific, is a legal, official, or recognized title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal...

 "George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland
King of Ireland
A monarchical polity has existed in Ireland during three periods of its history, finally ending in 1801. The designation King of Ireland and Queen of Ireland was used during these periods...

, Defender of the Faith
Fidei defensor
Fidei defensor is a Latin title which translates to Defender of the Faith in English and Défenseur de la Foi in French...

, and so forth". In 1801, when Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 united with Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

, he dropped his claim to the French Throne. 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."

In Germany, he was "Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg
Lüneburg
Lüneburg is a town in the German state of Lower Saxony. It is located about southeast of fellow Hanseatic city Hamburg. It is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, and one of Hamburg's inner suburbs...

, Archtreasurer and Prince-Elector
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

" until the end of the empire in 1806. He then continued as Duke until the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 declared him "King of Hanover" in 1814.

Arms


Before his succession, George was granted the royal arms
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom is the official coat of arms of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom, and are officially known as her Arms of Dominion...

 differenced by a label
Label (heraldry)
In heraldry, a label is a charge resembling the strap crossing the horse’s chest from which pendants are hung. It is usually a mark of difference, but has sometimes been borne simply as a charge in its own right....

 of five points Azure
Azure
In heraldry, azure is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation....

, the centre point bearing a fleur-de-lys Or
Or (heraldry)
In heraldry, Or is the tincture of gold and, together with argent , belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". In engravings and line drawings, it may be represented using a field of evenly spaced dots...

 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
Argent
In heraldry, argent is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures, called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it...

. In an additional difference, the crown of Charlemagne was not usually depicted on the arms of the heir, only on the Sovereign's.

From his succession until 1800, George bore the royal arms: Quarterly
Quartering (heraldry)
Quartering in heraldry is a method of joining several different coats of arms together in one shield by dividing the shield into equal parts and placing different coats of arms in each division....

, I Gules
Gules
In heraldry, gules is the tincture with the colour red, and belongs to the class of dark tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of vertical lines or else marked with gu. as an abbreviation....

 three lions passant guardant in pale
Pale (heraldry)
A pale is a term used in heraldic blazon and vexillology to describe a charge on a coat of arms , that takes the form of a band running vertically down the center of the shield. Writers broadly agree that the width of the pale ranges from about one-fifth to about one-third of the width of the...

 Or (for England)) impaling
Impalement (heraldry)
In heraldry, impalement is the combination of two coats of arms side-by-side in one shield or escutcheon to denote union, most often that of a husband and wife, but also for ecclesiastical use...

 Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland
Royal coat of arms of Scotland
The royal coat of arms of Scotland was the official coat of arms of the monarchs of Scotland, and was used as the official coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland until the Acts of Union of 1707...

); II Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or (for France); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland
Coat of arms of Ireland
The arms of Ireland is blazoned as Azure a harp Or, stringed Argent . These arms have long been Ireland's heraldic emblem. References to them as being the arms of the king of Ireland can be found as early as the 13th century...

); IV tierced per pale and per chevron
Division of the field
In heraldry, the field of a shield can be divided into more than one area of different tinctures, usually following the lines of one of the ordinaries and carrying its name...

 (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 Westphalia
Coat of arms of Lower Saxony
The coat of arms of the German federal-state of Lower Saxonyshows a white Saxon steed on a red background.It is used on the flag of Lower Saxony.-History:...

), overall an escutcheon Gules charged with the crown of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 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 Hanover
Electorate of Hanover
The Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg was the ninth Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation...

 became a kingdom, the electoral bonnet was changed to a crown.




Issue

Name|DeathGeorge IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

12 August 1762 26 June 1830 (1) married 1785, in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772
Royal Marriages Act 1772
The Royal Marriages Act 1772 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which prescribes the conditions under which members of the British Royal Family may contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the Royal House...

, Maria Fitzherbert; no issue; (2) married 1795, Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Caroline of Brunswick
Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was the Queen consort of King George IV of the United Kingdom from 29 January 1820 until her death...

; had issue; died aged 67
Frederick, Duke of York
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
The Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany was a member of the Hanoverian and British Royal Family, the second eldest child, and second son, of King George III...

16 August 1763 5 January 1827 married 1791, Princess Frederica of Prussia; no issue; died aged 63
William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

21 August 1765 20 June 1837 married 1818, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and of Hanover as spouse of William IV of the United Kingdom. Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is named after her.-Early life:Adelaide was born on 13 August 1792 at Meiningen, Thuringia, Germany...

; no legitimate surviving issue; died aged 71
Charlotte, Princess Royal
Charlotte, Princess Royal
The Princess Charlotte, Princess Royal was a member of the British Royal Family, the eldest daughter of George III. She was later the Queen Consort of Frederick of Württemberg...

29 September 1766 6 October 1828 married 1797, Frederick, King of Württemberg
Frederick I of Württemberg
Frederick I William Charles of Württemberg was the first King of Württemberg. He was known for his size: at and about , he was in contrast to Napoleon, who recognized him as King of Württemberg.-Biography:...

; no issue; died aged 62
Edward, Duke of Kent 2 November 1767 23 January 1820 married 1818, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was the mother of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.-Early life:...

; had issue (Queen Victoria); died aged 52
Princess Augusta Sophia
Princess Augusta Sophia of the United Kingdom
The Princess Augusta Sophia was a member of the British Royal Family, second daughter of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She was a Princess of the United Kingdom and a Princess of Hanover....

8 November 1768 22 September 1840 died aged 71
Princess Elizabeth
Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom
The Princess Elizabeth was a member of the British Royal Family, the seventh child and third daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte...

22 May 1770 10 January 1840 married 1818, Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg; no issue; died aged 69
Ernest Augustus I of Hanover, Duke of Cumberland
Ernest Augustus I of Hanover
Ernest Augustus I was King of Hanover from 20 June 1837 until his death. He was the fifth son and eighth child of George III, who reigned in both the United Kingdom and Hanover...

5 June 1771 18 November 1851 married 1815, Princess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz , Duchess of Cumberland and later Queen of Hanover , was the consort of Ernest Augustus I of Hanover, the fifth son and eighth child of George III and Queen Charlotte.She was born in the Altes Palais of Hanover as the fifth...

; had issue; died aged 80
Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex
Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex
The Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex , was the sixth son of George III of the United Kingdom and his consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He was the only surviving son of George III who did not pursue an army or naval career.- Early life :His Royal Highness The Prince Augustus...

27 January 1773 22 April 1843 married in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772
Royal Marriages Act 1772
The Royal Marriages Act 1772 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which prescribes the conditions under which members of the British Royal Family may contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the Royal House...

, (1) 1793 Lady Augusta Murray
Lady Augusta Murray
The Lady Augusta Murray was the first wife of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III. As their marriage was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, it was considered legally void, and she could not be styled as the Duchess of Sussex.-Early life:Lady...

; had issue; marriage declared void 1794; (2) 1831, Lady Cecilia Underwood
Cecilia Underwood, Duchess of Inverness
Cecilia Underwood, 1st Duchess of Inverness was the second wife of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, sixth son of King George III. As their marriage was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, it was considered legally void, and she could not be styled either as the Duchess of...

 (later 1st Duchess of Inverness); no issue; died aged 70
Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
The Prince Adolphus, 1st Duke of Cambridge , was the tenth child and seventh son of George III and Queen Charlotte. He held the title of Duke of Cambridge from 1801 until his death. He also served as Viceroy of Hanover on behalf of his brothers George IV and William IV...

24 February 1774 8 July 1850 married 1818, Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel; had issue; died aged 76
Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester
Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh
The Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh was a member of the British Royal Family, the eleventh child and fourth daughter of George III....

25 April 1776 30 April 1857 married 1816, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester
Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh was a member of the British Royal Family, a great-grandson of George II and nephew of George III.-Early life:...

; no issue; died aged 81
Princess Sophia
Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom
The Princess Sophia was a member of the British Royal Family, the twelfth child and fifth daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte...

3 November 1777 27 May 1848 died aged 70
Prince Octavius
Prince Octavius of Great Britain
The Prince Octavius was a member of the British Royal Family as the thirteenth child and eighth son of King George III and his queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Six months after the death of his brother Prince Alfred, Octavius was inoculated from the smallpox virus. Several days...

23 February 1779 3 May 1783 died aged 4
Prince Alfred
Prince Alfred of Great Britain
The Prince Alfred was a member of the British Royal Family as the fourteenth child and ninth son of King George III and his queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz...

22 September 1780 20 August 1782 died aged 23 months
Princess Amelia
Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom
Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom was a member of the British Royal Family as the youngest daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom and his queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.-Early life:...

7 August 1783 2 November 1810 died aged 27

Ancestry





See also

  • Cultural depictions of George III of the United Kingdom
    Cultural depictions of George III of the United Kingdom
    -Literature:George's insanity is the subject of the play The Madness of George III by Alan Bennett. The role was created by Nigel Hawthorne, who received the Laurence Olivier Award for his role. The play concerns George's second bout of insanity in late 1788 and early 1789, which those in the royal...

  • Descendants of George III and Queen Charlotte
    Descendants of George III and Queen Charlotte
    Here a list of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of King George III of the United Kingdom and his queen, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Their children include King George IV of the United Kingdom, King William IV of the United Kingdom and King Ernest Augustus I of Hanover. Their...

  • List of mentally ill monarchs

Further reading


  • Ditchfield, G. M. (2002). George III: An Essay in Monarchy. Basingstoke: Palgrave. ISBN 0-333-91962-9
  • May, Thomas Erskine
    Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough
    Sir Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough, KCB, PC, DCL was a British constitutional theorist. This derived from his career at the House of Commons.-Biography:...

     (1896). The Constitutional History of England Since the Accession of George the Third, 1760–1860 11th ed. London: Longmans, Green and Co.

|-