|King of the United Kingdom and of Hanover
25 October 1760 - 29 January 1820
George William Frederick or King George III holds the prestige of being one of the longest reigning monarchs to preside over the United Kingdom. Born in London on June 4, 1738 to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, George III is largely remembered for being the person who lost the American colonies and simply "going mad".
He would become heir to the throne upon his father's death 1751; succeeding in 1760 when his grandfather, George II, passed on. Surprisingly, he was the first Hanoverian (House of Hanover) monarch to use English as his first language.
George III enjoyed a faithful marriage - never taking a mistress (common at the time) and shared the birth of 15 children with his wife, Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Later in life, George III was struck by an illness, possibly porphyry, which caused blindness and senility. As such, he had strange episodes and outburst, which led to the establishment of a formal Regency in 1811. The regent was his eldest son, the future George IV.
George III died at Windsor Castle on January 29, 1820, after reigning for close to 60 years - the second longest in British history.
King George III was king throughout the American Revolutionary war which was the culmination of the civil and political American Revolution resulting from the American Enlightenment. Brought to a head over the lack of American representation in Parliament, which was seen as a denial of their rights as Englishmen and often popularly focused on direct taxes levied by Parliament on the colonies without their consent, the colonists resisted the imposition of direct rule after the Boston Tea Party. Creating self-governing provinces, they circumvented the British ruling apparatus in each colony by 1774. Armed conflict between British regulars and colonial militiamen broke out at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775. After petitions to the Crown for intervention with Parliament were ignored, the rebel leaders were declared traitors by the Crown and a year of fighting ensued. The colonies declared their independence in July 1776, listing grievances against the British king and legislature while asking the support of the populace. Among George's other offences, the Declaration charged, "He has abdicated Government here ... He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people." The gilded equestrian statue of George III in New York was pulled down. The British captured the city in 1776, but lost Boston, and the grand strategic plan of invading from Canada and cutting off New England failed with the surrender of the British Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga.
* Spouse: Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744 - 1818)*
John Cannon, ‘George III (1738–1820)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2013 accessed 18 Oct 2017
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