Historical Personalities » Emperors & Kings » GEORGE III OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
|Full name||: George III of the United Kingdom|
|Alias||: George III of the United Kingdom|
|Address||: Norfolk House|
|Animals||: The Horse|
|Father||: Frederick, Prince of Wales|
|Mother||: Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha|
|Siblings||: Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Caroline Matilda of Great Britain, Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, Princess Augusta of Great Britain, Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn, Prince Frederick of Great Britain, Princess Louisa of Great Britain|
|Wife||: Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|Education||: Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Prince Octavius of Great Britain, William IV of the United Kingdom, Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom, George IV of the United Kingdom, Prince Alfred of Great Britain, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge|
|Activists||: Emperors & Kings|
George William Frederick, more commonly known as George III, was one of the most famous Kings of the Great Britain. He was known during and after his reign for his benevolent, compassionate, and docile nature. He was more learned than his predecessors, and was a patron of advancements in science, agriculture and technology. He had a penchant for collecting objects pertaining to science and mathematics, which are now displayed at London's 'Science Museum'. He earned the nickname "Farmer George", initially because of the attention he gave to ordinary matters more than concentrating on political affairs. The name however stuck with him even later, when people realized the value of his humility and simplicity, as compared to his pompous son who succeeded him. Along with Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, he gained popularity amongst his subjects, which remained so till his death. As a King, he avoided speaking ill to anyone, and is believed to have taken decisions, often considered wrong, to defend his chosen Parliament, rather than establish his own control. Despite mixed opinions about this King, it is a fact that he is still revered by many, all across the world. Read on to explore more about his life and reign
In the year 1760, George became the King of England when his grandfather suddenly passed away. The next year, on September 22, George III was coroneted as the royal Head of State.
In 1763, when the King signed the 'Treaty of Paris' with France and Spain, the Prime Minister Lord Bute stepped down from office, and George Grenville of the Whig political party took over.
The same year, King George III issued the 'Royal Proclamation' which stopped further conquest of American colonies towards the west, instead focussing on north and south. This decision was not supported by all, mainly the colonists of the northern and southern parts of America.
In 1765, Prime Minister Grenville passed the 'Stamp Act', earning revenue from all documents that were printed in British-controlled areas of North America. This led to widespread dissent, especially amongst publishers of newspapers, and they protested against this step taken by the Prime Minister.
An attempt was made by the King of England, to thwart Grenville's activities, and the former requested British statesman, William Pitt the Elder to become the Prime Minister. Pitt declined the offer, and Charles Watson, also known as Lord Rockingham, replaced Grenville.
Lord Rockingham was well-advised by George III and William Pitt to remove the 'Stamp Act', a task which he successfully carried out. However because of his incapability to govern the country, William Pitt was named the Prime Minister in 1766. Following this the King’s popularity with the American citizens increased.
In 1767, the Duke of Grafton, Augustus FitzRoy, had to replace Pitt, when the latter fell sick, but his duties and position was officially confirmed only the next year.
The Duke of Grafton was later succeeded by Lord Frederick North, in 1770. The same year, the King's brother, Prince Henry, got wedded to a widow of lower class, Anne Horton.
This move was despised by George III, who immediately tried to bring into effect a law that would prohibit members of the royal family from marrying without asking the King. Though the law faced initial opposition, even from the King's subordinates, it was finally introduced in 1772 as the 'Royal Marriages Act'.
Lord North brought about several changes, mainly to appease those belonging to the American colonies. He did away with all taxes, except the duty on tea, which according to the King was necessary to levy.
In 1773, an unfortunate incident took place, where a lot of tea was thrown into the sea by the American colonists, and Lord North, in consultation with William Pitt, was forced to take harsh steps. He closed down the Port of Boston, and made it mandatory that King select the members of the Upper House of the Legislature.
This led to protest amongst the colonists, who had made each province a self-governed one, disregarding the power of the King. The protest led to the 'Battle of Concord' and the 'Battle of Lexington' in 1775.
By July, 1776, independence was declared in America, accusing George III of having plundered the colonies, and caused nothing but mayhem. At the 'Battle of Saratoga', fought the following year, British official, John Burgoyne, was defeated by the colonists.
The 'American War of Independence' continued, and the British government had to incur heavy expenses to keep fighting. While, the British were victorious at the 'Battle of Guilford Court House' and the 'Battle of Camden', they lost to the Americans in the 'Siege of Charleston' and the 'Siege of Yorktown'.
In 1781, Lord North stepped down as the Prime Minister, and the King had no other choice but to concede defeat and grant America its freedom. The next two years, the 'Treaties of Paris' were signed, and this event marked the close of the 'American War of Independence'.
Initially, Lord Rockingham was appointed the Prime Minister for his second term after the resignation given in by Lord North. However, following his death within a few months, it was Lord Shelburne who took over.
Within a year's time, Lord Shelburne was ousted and William Cavendish, the Duke of Portland replaced the former as the Prime Minister. He was assisted by Charles James Fox as the Foreign Secretary, and Lord North as the Home Minister.
Soon, in 1783, William Pitt the Younger replaced the Duke of Portland as Prime Minister, owing to several measures taken by the King to remove Fox from office. Pitt became the youngest British statesman ever to become the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
After the appointment of Pitt, several positive changes were introduced in the country, increasing the popularity of the new Prime Minister and the King. George III was admired because of his fidelity to his wife, and his religious nature.
Towards the end of the 1780s, George III became mentally ill, and was soon deemed incapable of ruling the nation. There were talks of the Prince of Wales, becoming the regent, ruling the country in his father's absence, but before the decision could be taken by the 'House of Commons', the King got better.
The King continued to be admired by his subjects, especially after he was lenient towards two people who had tried attacking him. Soon there were several other changes in the Prime Minister's office, but none of the decisions that George III took, had any major significance.
By 1810, the King had become old, and suffered from various ailments, including mental illness, and within the following year, he was no longer capable of performing his royal duties.
In the King's place, it was his son, Prince of Wales, George IV, who acted as regent, and under his leadership, the battles against Napoleon were won.
Under this famous King’s rule, there was a drastic growth in agricultural production in the nation. He also ensured that constant development took place in industrial and scientific areas. Rural population flourished in Britain, and these masses were eventually employed during the Industrial Revolution.
George William Frederick, popularly known as George III, was born to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, in Norfolk House, on June 4, 1738. Born premature, his grandfather was the King of England, George II, and his brother was Prince Edward.
Soon, Prince Frederick and his family settled down in Leicester Square, where the two young boys were home-schooled.
Apart from being fluent in German and English, he also knew a lot about the political affairs of the nation. He was also the first person from the Royal family to have learnt all the different branches of science, including chemistry, astronomy, physics, and mathematics. He was also taught the social sciences along with agriculture, commerce, and law.
Other than extensive studies, he was also trained in extra-curricular activities like horse riding, dancing, acting, and fencing.
In 1751, Prince Frederick died, and the young man inherited the title of Duke of Edinburgh. It was then that King George II made the new Duke, the Prince of Wales.
On 8 September 1761, King George III got married to Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, at the Chapel Royal, in St James's Palace.
The royal couple had fifteen children, of whom, Princess Amelia and Prince Frederick were his favourite children. The only two sons who ruled England as Kings, were, George IV and William IV.