George III of Great Britain and Ireland

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George III
Portrait by Allan Ramsay, 1762
King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; King of Hanover; prev. King of Great Britain and Ireland; Elector of Hanover
Reign 25 October 1760 - 29 January 1820
Coronation 22 September 1761
Predecessor George II
Successor George IV
Spouse Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
George IV
Frederick, Duke of York
William IV
Charlotte, Princess Royal
Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent
Princess Augusta Sophia
Princess Elizabeth
Ernest Augustus I of Hanover
Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex
Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
Princess Mary
Princess Sophia
Prince Octavius
Prince Alfred
Princess Amelia
Full name
George William Frederick
Father Frederick, Prince of Wales
Mother Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Born 4 June 1738
Norfolk House, London, England
Died 29 January 1820
Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, England
Burial St George's Chapel

George III (Born George William Frederick 4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 until 1 January 1801. He was then King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. He was also Elector of Hanover, making him a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.

During George III's reign, his home country was defeated in a noble war and he lost control of the United States of America. His two kingdoms Great Britain and Ireland were merged into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Also during his reign Great Britain and its successor the United Kingdom were at war with republican and Napoleonic France. His land in Hanover, Germany became a Kingdom. He suffered from periodic bouts of insanity. One of these caused a Regency crisis in 1788 during which the kingdom of Ireland attempted unsuccessfully to nominate his son George IV as regent. He quickly recovered and prevented this.[1]

George III signed the Quebec Act of 1774 abolishing William of Orange's anti-Roman Catholic laws in Great Britain's 13 North American colonies.[2][3] Also during his reign George III signed legislation abolishing some of the anti-Catholic Laws in Great Britain and Ireland, such as Catholic Relief Acts of 1772 and 1774 allowing Roman Catholics to have land leases in Great Britain, and a 1793 Irish Parliament bill called Hogart's Act allowing Roman Catholics to vote in Irish elections. But he still blocked a proposal in 1800 by the British Parliament to allow Catholics to sit in Parliament.[4]

In the later part of his life, George III suffered from recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he suffered from the genetic blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness is not certain. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George III's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent. On George III's death, the Prince Regent succeeded his father as George IV.

Because of "his plain, homely, thrifty manners and tastes", George III has been nicknamed Farmer George.

Titles and styles[change | change source]

  • 4 June 1738 – 31 March 1751: His Royal Highness Prince George[5]
  • 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

Ancestors[change | change source]

George III of the United Kingdom s ancestors in three generations
George III of the United Kingdom Father:
Frederick, Prince of Wales
Paternal Grandfather:
George II of Great Britain
Paternal Great-grandfather:
George I of Great Britain
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Sophia Dorothea of Celle
Paternal Grandmother:
Caroline of Ansbach
Paternal Great-grandfather:
John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Princess Eleanor Erdmuthe Louise of Saxe-Eisenach
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Maternal Grandfather:
Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Magdalena Sibylle of Saxe-Weissenfels
Maternal Grandmother:
Princess Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Prince Charles of Anhalt-Zerbst
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Sophie of Saxe-Weissenfels

References[change | change source]

  1. Ireland and the British Empire ed. Kenny, Kevin Oxford University Press 2004 page 79
  2. Willis, Robert The Democracy of God: An American Catholicism 2006 iUniverse Inc. page 18
  4. Ditchfield, G.M. George III: An Essay in Monarchy Pallgrave McMillan 2002 pages 101-102
  5. The London Gazette consistently refers to the young prince as "His Royal Highness Prince George" London Gazette: no. 8734, p. 3, 5 April 1748. London Gazette: no. 8735, p. 2, 9 April 1748. London Gazette: no. 8860, p. 2, 20 June 1749. London Gazette: no. 8898, p. 3, 31 October 1749. London Gazette: no. 8902, p. 3, 17 November 1749. London Gazette: no. 8963, p. 1, 16 June 1750. London Gazette: no. 8971, p. 1, 14 July 1750.