George III (b.1738 r.1760-1820)
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George III (b.1738 r.1760-1820)

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It is true that George III could only think of one thing at a time, but as that is also one of the most prominent characteristics of the English people, what might have proved a source of weakness served as an additional bond of union between him and them.
- Sir Charles Petrie, The Four Georges.

Additional Information on
George III (b.1738 r.1760-1820)

George II's son Frederick would have been heir to the throne on the death of his father but 'Poor Fred' died in 1751 and the heir to the throne became his young son, George, aged twenty two. George III was the first Hanoverian monarch to be born and brought up in England. He was intensely patriotic and was said to have 'gloried the name of Britain'. George was a tall dignified man who took his royal role seriously and conscientiously. He was deeply religious and remained faithful to his wife Charlotte throughout their marriage. Theirs was a very successful union, they were very much in love and had no less than fifteen children. George's sense of duty and his ability to speak to the general public earned him much popularity and respect. He became known as 'Farmer George' because of his interest in agriculture, and put his knowledge to practical use on his farms at Windsor and Richmond.

Although he was sometimes accused of interfering in politics, George had a successful working relationship with his prime ministers. He was in need of careful and trustworthy advisers because his reign spanned a period of such great change. The Industrial Revolution was at its peak and Britain's wealth increased dramatically.

At this time Britain was a very powerful nation owning many colonies, but protecting them proved very costly. The American colonists protested at the taxes Britain insisted they pay, and so in 1770 as a fair compromise all taxes were abolished except that on tea. However, Boston rebelled against the tea tax and so Britain took away their rights as a colony. This greatly angered many Americans, and in 1775 the War of American Independence began. American independence was officially recognised in 1783 after the surrender of the British forces.

Britain was far more successful in warfare against France. Two great leaders emerged - Lord Nelson at sea, and the Duke of Wellington on land. They successfully defeated Napoleon, Emperor of the newly formed French Republic. Republican ideals posed a threat to the British government system and so were suppressed.


The King of England changes his ministers as often as he changes his shirts.
- Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, on George III.

Throughout the greater part of his life George III was a kind of consecrated obstruction.
- Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution, 1867.

I desire what is good; therefore everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor.
- Quoted in Sir John Fortescue ed., The Correspondence of George III.

George the Third
Ought never to have occurred
One can only wonder
At so grotesque a blunder
- E.C. Bentley, More Biographies.

The King bathes, and with great success; a machine follows the royal one into the sea, filled with fiddlers who play 'God save the King' as His Majesty takes his plunge.
- Fanny Burney, writing from Weymouth to her father, 1789.

George the First was always reckoned
Vile, but viler George the Second;
And what mortal ever heard
Any good of George the Third?
When from earth the Fourth descended,
God be praised, the Georges ended.
- Walter Savage Landor, 1775-1864. Advanced Category Search

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